What’s on your BUCKET LIST ?

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“The Bucket List” is a phrase that’s been around awhile but entered the common vernacular in 2007 following a film of the same name, starring Jack Nicholson and Morgan Freeman as two aging and terminally ill men who strike out together to cross accomplishments off their bucket lists – their term for those things they hope to achieve before kicking the bucket.  The idea of reaching certain goals and milestones before crossing life’s finish line is nothing new, really, but now we have a name for it and countless people have embraced the idea since. When was the last time you really wanted to go out and do something ? Something that would make you really happy to accomplish ?

We dream big, plan big, and view the world around us as something to be explored, experienced, and conquered.  We are driven to growth, personally and collectively, and we aspire to greatness as we define it.  But something happens as life sets in.  A great many of us become complacent, simply satisfied with where we find ourselves and without any desire to push beyond.  Contentment is one thing, and we’re certainly not knocking anyone’s contentment if it is well-earned and built on accomplishing goals and dreams. Sometimes we get wrapped up in the daily “to do” lists and forget about doing the things that enrich our own life. Instead of doing the things we want to do, we stick to the things we need to do. A way to accomplish some of these things is to make a bucket list.

To prevent boredom and personal complacency we believe developing a bucket list is extremely important. Getting caught up in the day-to-day grind easily overwhelms and puts us in a type of survival mode where one day looks pretty much like the last, and predicts the next.  There is great power in having hope for your goals to add happiness and an edge to life that otherwise gets suppressed.  Redundancy and the boredom that comes from it creates its own kind of stress that working on a bucket list reduces. Putting our goals and dreams on paper helps define us, teaching us what is really important and clarifying our nature and character.  This might seem silly; of course we know ourselves right ? We’re intelligent, fully actualized adults, in command of who and what we are.  Or are we ? Life is actually a journey, and self-discovery an ongoing process.  A lot of us fall into roles that seem right, or responsible, or just expected of us, without a lot of thought or real insight.  Taking a hard look at our bucket list might redefine what we think our roles should be, or even prompt us to change course or cast off the expectations of others.

Life is very short and time really does fly past us. I am in final year at college right now and I feel as if I just graduated high school yesterday. I have some regrets from my previous years, that I didn’t do all the things I wanted to do. So from now on I am living life to the fullest and creating that bucket list. Along with any items, big or small, I’ll be working to cross off everything on my bucket list! And now some judgemental people might ask “Eh, why the bucket list ?” Because it should be; it’s really that important to collect memories instead of regrets.

So, what’s on your Bucket List ??

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YOU ONLY LIVE ONCE

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“Live everyday as if it were your last.” I believe in this quote because life is too short to procrastinate; do the things you want now because there might not be a tomorrow. I know it might be hard to live like this, but I’m sure if you asked a group of older people if they died tomorrow, are there still a lot of unfinished goals that are yet to accomplish, most of them would say yes, and wish they would have done these goals earlier in life. This ideology is like a breath of fresh air in the current hectic and fast moving world. It gives people the liberty to do whatever they want; however crazy it is. This ideology helps people in removing their fears about everything as the followers believe that there is just one life and you must take all the risks because you might not get another chance. Many researchers have claimed that YOLO followers are free from any sort of depression or emotional traumas. Most of the times we see people who have a lot of crushed or suppressed desires and they never get a chance to explore them. YOLO gives you a chance to fulfill all your desires in this very lifetime.

We have only one chance to live this life; it would make much more sense if we live our life on our own terms, instead of thinking about what others want. If you are too concerned about what others said about you in life, you might end up like a clown, trying to make everyone else happy but yourself. Yes, sacrifice yourself for your love ones makes you a hero, however please also remember that your life, it belongs to you. There are times you need to respect and appreciate yourself too. So, don’t forget to give yourself some space and do things which you really want to do. You only live once, make sure you live it to the max. Whether it is learning how to bake a cake, how to ice skate, how to surf, how to speak a new language, trying or learning new things will always excite you. It is a very good way to make friends and also to enrich your life. Besides trying different things in life, you should also try your best in anything you do. One of the best things in life is you can always confront your failure and then conquer it. If you have failed something in the past, be it in losing weight, learning how to make cookies, or anything, you should go back and give your best shot. If you really want to do it and you have started it, then never give up until the moment you succeed.

A lot of people are afraid of getting out of their comfort zone because they are afraid of disappointment or getting hurt. But, come to think about it again, isn’t that life is meant to have up and down? A fall in life is meant to be there to make you stronger. The most important thing is that you always keep the door opened, try out new things, and it will certainly spice up your life. We all have big dreams and it is dreams which fill our lives with hopes. It is amazing to own a big dream no matter how silly it sounds of the others. How the other look at your dream doesn’t matter at all because it is your dream after all. The most important thing is that you make use of every second you have to keep moving forward, marching towards your goal. Embrace change and enjoy your life as it unfolds. Make every moment a meaningful moment.

Feel it in your heart…Be part of something you believe in…Travel to new places…Forget the past; start living in the present…Meet new people…Learn things that fascinates you…Indulge in craziness…Fall in love…Enjoy the beauty of Nature !! Take a look around yourself and recall when was the last time you have a good laugh or yell because of excitement. You will realize that it is the time you spent along with your loved ones or with your buddy. Not all happiness comes with a price tag. There is some happiness which is free, yet are so precious to make you feel it is worth living !!

So, don’t keep calm, because you only live once !!

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FLAGGING INDIA’S LOST FREEDOM

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Dr. S. Radhakrishnan explained about the national flag in the Constituent Assembly which adopted it, “Bhagwa or the saffron colour renunciation. The white colour denoted the light to the path of truth to guide our conduct. The green colour symbolises our relation to plant life. The Ashoka Chakra in the centre is the wheel of ‘law of dharma’. The wheel also denotes ‘motion’. There is life in movement. India must move and go forward”. The Tricolour is a common factor of inspiration for every Indian it is indeed a true expression of pride for our mother land.

It is true that we were once under the British rule, but that does not mean that we will follow all their practices, and eventually end up disrespecting our national flag. Yes, we can definitely express our aggression and anger according to our ‘right to expression’, but that does not mean that we will simply insult our national symbols like the national flag or the national anthem. Some people light-heartedly make cartoons so as to mark it as a satire for our country, but some people are too rigid to take this lightly. There is nothing wrong in presenting our flag in any cartoon, until and unless one is not insulting our national flag. We have our right to express what we feel, and it includes the use of our national symbols also. Yes, we ought to respect our national symbols, but we can take help of the symbols as and when required.

If done properly, there is no restriction on the display of the National Flag by common people, private organisation or educational institutions. Consistent with the dignity and honour of the Flag as detailed in the Flag Code of India, anyone may hoist/display the National Flag on all days and occasions, ceremonials or otherwise. Even Sachin Tendulkar, who is loved by Indians all over the country and the world, was subject to considerable criticism for cutting the cake that represented India’s national symbol. Similar controversy surrounded Mandira Bedi, a popular TV personality, when she wore a saree depicting the Indian Flag for a cricketing event and appeared on live television. Cartoons that play around with the national flag feature quite regularly in a variety of British newspapers like The Sun, The Daily Telegraph. I feel that through the cartoons and caricatures, important, thought-provoking issues are being brought up such as female feticide, caste problems, illiteracy, poverty, government faults etc.

Our Constitution says that the Flag must not be embroidered or printed on cushions, napkins, etc. On the other hand, British flag is allowed to be printed on cushions, and is commonly used as a print on handkerchiefs, caps and shirts. In India, national symbols represent the country’s sovereignty and integrity. For the same reason, it is an established law that you cannot use the national symbols for any purpose, whether personal or commercial, unless you are specifically authorized to do so by the process of law. This show how rigid is the mentality of our countrymen. They usually tend to aggravate even a small issue. The people feel so insecure that we see sedition everywhere, even in a humble cartoon !

 The most impressive rules are that of countries like Norway, Denmark and Japan, where the people allow their own flags to be burnt or caricatured, but won’t stand for it if that were to happen to a foreign flag on their soil. In India, the people are just too over-reactive and sensitive about their belongings, including the National Flag. Especially the political leaders are quite conscious about who, why, when and where is making their cartoons and publishing them. For example, political figure Mamta Banerjee got the Jadavpur University’s chemistry professor behind the bars, because he made her cartoon !! I totally agree to the idea of  throwing satires on these political figures through cartoons, because this is something, I feel personally, that can make them realise what they are actually doing to our country in the name of “Government”. But the leaders unnecessarily bring up the topic of Flag in cartoons, shift the attention and get the artistes locked up !

In this context, the author Dipankar Gupta comments, “It is a fact that India is pretty sensitive towards political cartoons, especially involving the Flag. As we pride ourselves for following the Westminster model, and for being the world’s largest democracy, surely best practices in places like Britain should have been our guide.” Therefore, I personally feel that there should not be any problem in using the national flag for any other purpose, till it is being respected and not misused in any way.

“It is our flag and we all must respect it, love it, and above all fly it”- by Naveen Jindal

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Digital Intimacy

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Comparing the time before 20th and 21st century, one of the prime differences in communication we find is that in this century there is no excitement and curiosity in receiving the news of our near and dear ones. Prior to the digital age, the notion that communication fosters a healthy relationship most commonly referred to the traditional offline communication, whereby couples maintained intimacy primarily through face-to-face communication. Technology, no doubt, supports lives, jobs and education and its advantages are simplicity and convenience. The cell phones and laptops are convenience, because every time we want to connect to somebody, we can easily do it anytime. The difference between 20th and 21st century is that our lives now are more dynamic, and we depend a lot on technology.  I am mindful that technology itself is never the reason things change, and I strongly support this notion. Rather, it is how people choose to apply technology — and whether they make wise decisions and address real needs — that makes the difference in the long run. However, just like everything has its own merits and demerits, technology has its own boons and banes.

One of the biggest conveniences that we get from digital technology is the access to internet. Through internet, we have the ability to search and find different information that we need. Another advantage of technology is that through technology deaf and dumb people have connected with everybody. They have special mobile phones, iPads and computers which allow them to be a part of the society. They can have friendship with people from all over the world, and they don’t even feel isolated from the world. There are many “matrimonial sites”, which not only connect people, but in many cases bound two people and their families for life-time in the auspicious thread of marriage. For example in Ravinder Singh’s book, “I Too Had A Love Story”,  he shares his personal experience of how he met his fiancé through a matrimonial site, and fell in love with her. They did not even meet each other until a few days ago before their engagement.

The disadvantage of technology, especially of internet, is that one can create a virtual world of their own, with virtual friends from “Facebook”, “Twitter” and “Skype”. But the internet and cellphone obsession can lead us in a wrong way, because there is a possibility for us to think only about the life on internet world, forgetting the people around us, dismissing our family, career and our responsibilities. Moreover, using the new technologies, we have stopped talking face-to-face, and believe in written messages and texts. I think this fashion to write texts develops a distance between everybody and the new generation will have a very new way of communication, let alone the increasing cases of cyber crime, suicides, and unnecessary misunderstandings due to fake accounts on social networking sites. Taking a look at technology’s affect on romance, we see that technology is “completely degrading” the way we communicate romance. Given all the information that exists about each person online – from their Facebook profiles to Twitter updates, technology leapfrogs couples three months and has made the blind date practically obsolete. Online information complicates romance. It may be helpful to research potential dates and get the skinny on them before meeting them face to face, but it can also sets up expectations. And these expectations, if not fulfilled, lead to problems, crime and even suicide. Basically, the relationships in the present 21st century has become behind the screens of PCs and mobile phones. People are sometimes in relationship with people whom they have met over networking sites and might have talked over the phone, but have never met each other in real time.

Highlighting a research by Robin Dunbar, a professor of evolutionary anthropology at Oxford University, he said that according to “Dunbar’s Number” human brains can really only handle 150 friendships. But on the contrary, we have hundreds of virtual friends on the social networking sites. Dunbar initially came up with this number in the 1990s, but recently repeated the research to consider social networking sites. You may have 1,000s of friends, but according to that research, you can only have meaningful friendships with a much smaller group. (Incidentally, Facebook says that the average user has 130 friends.) But as for how technology is changing work relationships, though people are working longer hours because of technology, workplace satisfaction surveys indicate that people are actually happier because they have more flexibility.

 It is obvious that technology will continue to develop, and we will be more and more dependent on them. We should support the newest gadgets and software, and use them very careful, because they sometimes can work against us. It is within our power to determine whether this generation is to experience the rewards of self-discovery, a higher quality of life, and a renewed sense of community that derive from an interactive sharing of information and knowledge. If we make that leap, and ensure that every citizen has access to the Internet and the chance to learn the skills to apply these new technologies for personal advancement as well as the common good, we can make a successful transition to the millennium. If we fail, we may leave a legacy smaller than our own inheritance.

References

  • Facebook ruined my marriage-digital intimacy interference on social networking sites (by Lynessa M. Williams)
  • Reaserch paper of dr. Robin Dunbar on “Dunbar’s Number” (Oxford University, 1994)

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THANK GOD IT’S FRIDAY

“Thank God it’s Friday !!”

No, we are not talking about the famous 1978 movie by Robert Klane, or the celebrity talk show hosted by Farhan Akhtar. We aren’t talking about the famous TGIF pub either.

Now you may ask “ Really ? What’s there to celebrate?” The fact that a week has just breezed by and now you can finally ‘live’ for the next 48 hours before the monotonous cycle begins again. And why Friday especially? Of course, it’s end of the work week. But Friday is still a work day. Fortunately this semester we were spared the educational atrocities on a Friday. Thus we can safely classify Friday, as the beginning of the weekend, somewhat an ‘extended weekend. Weekends are special even if your schedule is all over the place. Something tells you the weekend has arrived and you can indulge yourself a bit. So, we thought of ‘indulging’ in blogging from now on; hoping it to be ‘somewhat’ successful. Making it sound like you have knocked it off on a rainy (or even cloudy) Friday afternoon, with ‘Get Low’ from F&F7 playing in the background is not as whimsically simple as it sounds.

If Mondays give you the blues and Tuesdays are tiring and weary Wednesdays make you go “WTF”, you would probably share our relief. Friday. The golden child of the weekdays. The superhero of the work-week. The welcome wagon to the weekend. The famous ‘F’ word we thank God for every week !!

Before we go into the inception of this noble resolve, bare with us as we take a few lines to introduce ourselves. This miscellaneous group comprises of 4 undergrads: Ananya (aka. Ana) a resourceful innovative writer with a knack of sarcasm; Diptaparna (aka. Derp), our official techfreak-cum-foodie, the person to go to for tech support and whereabouts of the coolest restaurants; Kanad (aka. Kandis) the mastermind behind the blog design and Shinjini (aka. Jini), a music-oriented person, who originally instilled the idea of ‘blogging’ in us.

It’s a friday afternoon and we were in the cafeteria for lunch, with thoughts messing up in our heads about what to do this weekend. Of course, we know that we have assignments to submit, deadlines to meet, and exams to appear for, still the child in us forces us to think about all sorts of topsy-turvy weekend plans, to seek refuge from the college stress. Somehow, Jini comes to the topic of ‘blogging’, and Ana suggests about ‘food blogging’, keeping in mind that Derp is a big foodie, and he could help us with the restaurants and stuff. As usual, Kandis is super-excited and and all ready to do the ‘designing stuff’ for the blog. Somehow, after a discussion (that lasts for an entire lunch) we decide to write blogs, about a new topic every week, marking the beginning of our blog, on a free friday. *Cheers!!*

So, finally, welcome to our blogging site. In preparation for takeoff, please ensure all negative attitudes are properly stowed. On behalf of your captain, Jack Daniel’s and the bloggers, welcome aboard. We expect sunshine and good attitudes today for our trip. Enjoy the ride !!

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