Thinking about the past few weeks makes me proud and sad at the same time. It makes me proud in the sense that my nation, the biggest ever democracy in the world, India, has successfully completed the biggest ever election in the history of the planet. It makes me sad, disappointed and desperate that my nation, including all the small children part of our huge population, witnessed our politicians abusing each other on the basis of party and profession and most importantly caste and religion.

I am really glad that my nation is going to be steered forward by a government with ruling majority on its own. After 15 long years, my nation is at last ready to shrug away coalition governments. Now, the Prime Minister need not be a puppet. We all saw how a real genius, Dr. Manmohan Singh, was spoiled away by a coalition government. In fact, he was a human who would have been remembered by the world as one of the best ruler the globe ever saw. But he was relegated to just a puppet by the UPA. Now, Mr. Narendra Modi has the freedom to take over the nation as a ruler who needs to consider nothing but ‘DHARMA’.

But, this all the more puts heavy responsibility on his shoulders that the nation would not forgive him, if his government were to consider some mistake. It is now the time for the man, who claims to be a tea vendor, to prove that he will always be there for the common man. Ii is now that Modi should prove that his developments in Gujarat was not something that went with the tide of movements in Gujarat, but his  initiative that has now borne fruits.

Also, Modi has to prove that his secular attitude, which he had spoken off during his campaigning, remains so till the end of his term. He needs to ensure that he rejects recommendations that would stir religious riots in the nation, even if it arises from the RSS. But, with the spirited support of BJP and RSS, let us be sure of something that the intervening of foreign powers in the nation’s steering would rapidly decrease and the level of tolerance towards Pakistan would fall steeply.

All his proposals about the bullet train services linking all the important parts of the nation, Sustained growth in the value of Rupee, development of enough opportunities for the young and empowering women needs to be taken proper care of as the public has paid a lot of trust on the BJP and that is the strongest of the reasons for electing BJ into power.

All the aspiring youth of the nation can now dream of a secured future because the nation has now landed in the hands of a strong government. We can now hope that our dreams become fulfilled. We can now believe that India becomes the last ranked among the nations bathed in corruption and the same time becomes top ranked among the developed nations. Sweet and short, the next five years count a lot in our future.


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Never Been There


I pass by it every day when I go to work. The fences around it haven’t stopped the trees from spilling out. They are bursting out, into the sky. Green and dense trees, you cannot see through them. The neighborhood park has been here even before I shifted to this apartment. I have lived here for three years now, but have never been there….

It lies right in the middle of the city. Nestled in between a maze of shops which sell everything your heart could desire. Ignoring the park, I come to the shops for my daily groceries. I am too caught up in my city life – work, eat and sleep. But, the park just stays there. Winters come and winters go, I see the leaves change from the brightest green to the warmest yellow. Sometimes, when the car horns aren’t loud enough, I can hear the birds chirp – like a disorganized orchestra. The kids of the neighborhood pay a visit to it every evening. I know this because I get off work at the same time. Mums and Dads drop them off at the gate of the park, and kiss them goodbye. They walk into the park with their heads high and their laugh full of promises. Their cricket bats are bigger than themselves, but they manage to carry it all the way. They push the rotating gate of the park with one strong stroke. The green swivel creaks, and gives way. Soon they are inside, after which I can’t see them, anymore. I envy their freedom.

It’s not like I never wish to go the park. The laughs and the chirps call to me whenever I pass that way. But, I am too busy. There is always something to be done and someplace to be. I have to fix up dinner or finish up some paper work, or clean up the house, or do the laundry. There is little time left for going to the neighborhood park, and even when there is, I use it to catch up on my sleep. Sometimes, I think to myself. Maybe if I had company, I would have gone. Heck! I would have gone every day then. I would have gone with my family, but my husband gets too tired after work and my kids are all grown up now. They wouldn’t come with me. The women in the neighborhood are in their own cliques, and frankly their company isn’t something I desire. But, then again, it would be nice to have someone to go to the park with.

Last night, I dreamt about it. I dreamt that I finally went in. I pushed the gate, and the rusty green swivel creaked against my force. It gave in after some effort and then, there I stood, in the park. The view was magical. Birds flew across the vast sky and the trees waltzed with the air. Butterflies played with the long stalks of blue tulips. It felt like home.  There was a yellow cobbled path winding through the grass, it went on and on, till my eyes could see. I happily hopped around on it, taking it all in. This was very unlike me. I couldn’t remember the last time I had hopped. When I looked down, I saw my face reflected off the shiny Red Ruby Slippers. They seemed familiar, like something I had lost and found.

Today, I got to know that I am being posted to another city, someplace far away. My family is happy to be moving, they are looking forward to the adventure ahead. I haven’t still come to terms with it. The packers will be here next week. We will have to start organizing things again into – what we want and what we don’t. I will have to choose. But, there so much left to be done here. I haven’t visited the park yet. I want to hear the green swivel creak. The dream starts to replays in my mind. The bird, the breeze, the cobbled road and Oh! My beautiful Ruby Slippers…. “Should we keep the TV honey?” my husband asks. “Huh?! Yeah…. Yeah we should” I reply. Ah! Don’t worry woman, I tell myself. Life isn’t over yet. My posting is for only three years. Who knows? I might get a chance to come back here one day. And when that day comes, I will forget everything else and I will go to that park. Simple as that.

I will, won’t I?


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Enigmatic 89

I woke up this morning and could only instantaneously relate to a dream that I had a few days before the announcement of my twelfth standard results. Back then, I had dreamt about a middle-aged teacher with a number of answer scripts and I could see the number ‘89’ in red ink on the topmost paper, with such graphic detail. Two days later I found that it was the exact score of mine in my English paper.
What are dreams? They are messages that come from the unconscious part of the mind. The mental body, or our mind, is the basis of all of our desires, feelings, and emotions, having many memories from our life. Spiritually speaking, this mind can be divided into the conscious, sub-conscious and unconscious mind. The conscious mind comprises of nothing but our thoughts that we create, while the sub-conscious mind is more about intuitions, the sense of unexplained knowing.
The third division, the unconscious mind, is that which we will invariably be unaware of. It is this which contains so many details that are stored in such an impervious way owing to their power. The impassable nature of the unconscious mind is explained by the notion that the details it stores are too powerful and overwhelming for a person to be able to freely access.
Dreams are simply the doors to this unconscious mind that do not remain open for a long time. Dreams are known to give solutions, give inputs to make decisions, explain a cycle from our past or even answer the questions we put to our own mind, with the contents of its unconscious division.

Classifications of electro magnetic state of brain

The fascination with dreams is because it’s mysterious and gives access to the inaccessible. A fascination so clearly shown in the vigorous studies into the cognitive neuroscience of dreams. The importance and attention given to psychics and ‘dream interpreters’ is a whole new story.
But why did I in the first place, even relate to the dream about my score in the English paper that I had two years ago? Because I woke up this morning after I had a dream where I jubilantly returned home in a Porsche with a boxes of pizza stashed into the backseat, so excitedly calling my family to see what I had got, before the car rolled down the slope into the lamppost and the pizzas tragically plonked onto the road. Am I going to buy a Porsche? Am I going to get some pizza? Or am I going to drop the pizza I might be bringing back home? Or hey am I really going to forget the brakes of my Porsche and watch it ram into a lamppost? I sure would love the services of a dream interpreter!
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Dreams are the touchstones of our character.

-Henry David Thoreau

Dreams are something that unites all of mankind. We all have dreams- sweet dreams, bad dreams, nightmares and even daydreams. How many times have we wondered about the meaning of a dream? Or why we had the dream… or why we have any dream at all. What is the reason, purpose and meaning of them? Baffled by these same questions, scientists have for long tried to find the answers, with little success- if any at all.

Wikipedia defines them simply as “successions of images, ideas, emotions and sensations that occur involuntarily in the mind during certain stages of sleep.” They occur during the stage of sleep called Rapid Eye Movement (REM) when brain activity is high and resembles that of being awake. They may be over in the matter of seconds or stretch on for 20 minutes. Frightening, exciting, magical, melancholic, adventurous- dreams are of varying natures. And with the exception of lucid dreaming, they are generally outside the control of the dreamer.

Dreams have been known to be the inspiration for many creations and discoveries. The riddle of the structure of benzene was solved when August Kekule saw a vision of a snake biting its own tail. Fortune favours the worthy though. Not many of would have bothered about what a snake in a dream was trying to tell us. The Twilight series and Frankenstein are the products of wondrous dreams as well. Movies like Stuart Little and the Terminator have the same source of inspiration. These stories make us think- perhaps we should take our dreams a little bit more seriously.

Perhaps the best creation involving dreams was Christopher Nolan’s movie “The Inception”. With concepts like dreams within dreams and the art of inception itself (which involves planting an idea into someone’s mind while they are asleep), it is one of the most complex plots ever created. Interestingly, Leonardo DiCaprio, who played the movie’s main character, Dom Cobb, also had lucid dreams before starring in the movie. Visions of future or hands of fate?

Various theories have come up about dreams. One theory suggests that dreams are the result of our brains trying to interpret external stimuli during sleep. For example, the sound of the radio (or your mother’s shouts) may be incorporated into the content of a dream . Another theory uses a computer metaphor to account for dreams. According to this theory, dreams serve to ‘clean up’ clutter from the mind, much like clean-up operations in a computer, refreshing the mind to prepare for the next day. Yet another model proposes that dreams function as a form of psychotherapy. In this theory, the dreamer is able to make connections between different thoughts and emotions in a safe environment. What, then, is the right answer? A mix of all these? Or something entirely different?

Someday we will find out. Or we may not. Dreams, however, will continue. As will the stories of inspirations we get from them. The true meaning of dreams in our lives is something that science cannot answer. How dreams affect our lives- we alone can decide. And how our lives, in turn, affect our dreams, no one can say. Perhaps we should stop grappling at an answer that’s like a wisp of smoke- beyond our grasp. Or maybe we are asking the wrong questions. What, indeed, is the stuff that dreams are made of? Dream on!

The future belongs to those who believe in the beauty of their dreams.

-Eleanor Roosevelt

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Let them keep telling you what to do…

‘Don’t let yourself be trapped by dogma which is living with the result of other people’s thinking’
- Steve Jobs.
‘Dogma’: Wikipedia defines it as a principle or set of principles laid down by an authority as incontrovertibly true.
And ‘dogma’ decides who we are, and what we should be from the day the nurse hands you over to your mother.

From the day we were born the baby boys were dressed in beautiful blue and the girls in pretty pink. And on birthdays every Aunt Muriel and Uncle Tom, gets your brother a toy car and your sister a Barbie doll,you don’t question why.

Shakespeare says ‘All the world’s a stage; men are merely players.’ This is how the script of your life goes:

You start going to school and your dad promises a new cycle for an A grade in math. From then on you take to the habit doing your homework for every new video game your parents promised.

One day your parents run into your old neighbor Mrs.Smith at the mall. Your parents strike up a conversation which takes a sudden turn from her Gucci handbag her son gifted her to her elder daughter’s perfect GMAT scores. And when the endless conversation does end and you go home, your parents start a word by word replay of it for you complete with annotations, and you wonder how a harmless handbag could cause all the uproar.

A few years later, after your parents have successfully talked you out of joining a drama school or studying literature, you spend the last two years of high school pouring over mathematical formulas, chemical equations and Newtonian physics and manage to enroll at the best engineering college in your locality. You expect this to be the happy ending, but the talk-of-the-town is the Harvard acceptance letter of some son of your third-cousin- twice removed. You realize the battle is not over; apparently the brother of this son of the the third-cousin-twice-removed has got a job offering from Microsoft, and now your parents are talking about your job.
You roller-coaster your way through four years of college and another three years of post graduation, learning marketing. The logicality of your post graduate degree is never clear to you, but you play along with the social trend. Your relatives are already talking about how you haven’t settled, so ………..

I have come this far. The rest is for you to fill up.

P.S. Or do you want to tear up the script, and write one on your own?

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