ArpitGarg's Weblog

An opinion of the world around me

Posts Tagged ‘future

e-Volution: The WhatsApp Group and Human Interaction

leave a comment »

whatsapp.jpgThere was a time when we used to hear how in future there will be robots to do everything. When Matrix movie was released, the hype went even further. How the virtual reality would be? Then we heard about robots might even replace the need for companionship.

WhatsApp has reached quite close. Before you get naughty thoughts, let me clarify. The need for a companion to share thought; talk to, has been addressed at some level. Consider this; I have a WhatsApp friend group, with people living in different time zones. At any given time at least one of them is active to have a chat.

Chatting on WhatsApp is non-intrusive too. You sit in the coziness of your house; safety and security. Chat, share jokes, share emotions. If you need any help someone is there. If you are in grief, people are there to cheer you up. Of course you need a real group of friends first. I have a friend circle which I made when I was in college.

With WhatsApp group, the connection has gone to a new level. Any new movie we see, first thing we share with the group. Promotion in job, rejection in love, from going to gym to stomach indigestion, we end up sharing. I feel there is always someone to listen.

I feel it takes away a lot of loneliness. It is like a personalized Siri; a group of friends which matches your thought process. However this might lead people to stop looking for interaction in real life. Since there is no loneliness, where is the need to find someone to kill it?

To predict future is too tricky. But one thing is sure; we already are living the future we used to read in sci-fi during childhood. We are not able to realize as it is happening run time. I call it e-Volution of humans.

Advertisements

Written by arpitgarg

May 4, 2016 at 8:42 pm

Why do we Celebrate Birthdays?

with 2 comments

Like always, I threw a party for my friends this birthday. We celebrated, ate, I got gifts et al. This year was different though. I turned 25; a quarter of my life gone. According to a legend, man lives total of four lives. First 25 years “life of a human” when he enjoys, next 25 years “life of a bull”, when he works like hell, next 25 years “life of a dog”, when he barks and no one listens to him. And the last 25 years “life of an owl” when he is awake at night and listens to everyone without his own existence.

Accordingly I am done living the enjoyment part of my life. During early years of my life I used to wait eagerly for this day. New clothes, gifts, money. As fate should have it, I started falling ill on my birthdays regularly. At the age of 8 my Grandma decided enough is enough, no more celebrations. “Logaun ki nazar lag jaati hai chore ko”.

From that day, I avoided opulent celebrations, a tradition which I have carried on since. It has been just a few close friends, raising a toast and a small cake cutting; personal and close. Inadvertently I have moved on from opulence to sobriety.

I often wonder why we celebrate birthdays at all. When and how the tradition started? It could not have started before the advent of calendars, right? We just celebrated birth and death prior to that. At birth God gifts life, at death God takes it away. Both events take us closer to God. Hence the celebrations.

During winters, days get smaller, and as summer approaches they start getting bigger. Early people thus considered advent of summers as rebirth of Sun. This was among the first annual birthday celebrations by man. When calendars came into existence the same was applied to birth of the son (sun, Jesus) and effectively to every human being.

So what does birthday celebrations signify during our modern times? Are we celebrating the coming year, are we celebrating the accomplishments of the past year, are we celebrating surviving yet another year?

If we are celebrating the future life, than with each passing year, we have less and less reasons to celebrate. So should a septuagenarian celebrate any less than a guy in his twenties? If the answer is no, then one thing is quite clear that we are not celebrating the future life.

Are we celebrating the past year? But why? The past is past. It is gone. It is a like the sand which has dropped out of the hand. It is like the wind that has passed. We could have admired it as it was happening but why should we celebrate the past. Though we often raise a toast to the past years accomplishments during the party, it’s just a filler.

Since we move one year closer to death, we are for sure not celebrating the gift of life. Coz we are one step closer to that gift being taken away. It will be a delusional stunt of defying death if that is what we are celebrating.

What I feel is that birthdays are just a timely reminder of our existence in this vulnerable world. It’s a way by which we feel ourselves. We realize our existence. “Look, I am still here, despite what life has thrown at me. It’s just another way to celebrate who we are and where we have come from. It’s just another way to announce ourselves.

Same Same but Different

with 8 comments

Last night I had this amazing dream. I woke up at night with lights flashing all over. A man with big mustache and vintage golden dress was standing tall, over me, and laughing loud. “Wake up, you lazy bugger, Wake up”. Sleepy and startled, my first reaction was to blame it on the overdose of Vodka that night. But soon the gravity of the situation or can I say the lack of it dawned on me. Aaj toh lag gayi Mamu!

He told me I was dead. Died of a certain Gastropathic attack. Gas! Couldn’t it have been something legendary?  Like being attacked by flying dragons while jumping of a plane which collided with a UFO. Leave it.  I died of Gas alright.

Here I was, one moment trying to realize my dreams, my future and the very next facing the shock of my demise. My whole life flashed before my eyes. Family, Friends, Future. What now? I begged, pleaded with my soul transporter. Let me live to make things work, make things right.

It’s hard to say that it was my lucky day, given that I just died. But he took pity to me which clearly didn’t seem to match his M.O.  “There’s one condition though”, said he. “Here it comes” “Give me a reason to let You live.  Hey it’s easy, “I have so much left to do in my life. Get married. Make a career. Have kids”. He gave me a smile. “You don’t seem to get my question. Why should I let You and not some other person, live”

I was just an answer away. Given that I have been writing exams all my life, it shouldn’t have been that difficult. But believe you me, however hard I tried, I couldn’t get an answer.

Have you ever thought? Trying to make a mark in life, a place for ourselves, we have ended up being clones of each other. Lost that very individuality that we have been craving for, fighting for. When I look outside my apartment all I see is blinking stars. Only they are not stars, they are other apartments. We are all boxed up. All flats look same. All work looks same. All roads look same. All blokes look same. How is my life any different to my fellow men?

Well, it only seems logical that we all be same. The funda of evolution revolves around learning and surviving. We learn from others, grab the best of all and apply to our lives. Thereby becoming a hybrid.

With the advent of cut throat competition, this cloning process has only hastened. Don’t you remember your mother/wife saying, “Pados waale Sharma ji jo TV laaye hain humein bhi wohi chaiye” Or a kid crying that he wants the new Play station which his friends have. You covet other mans wife, car, house, life.

If we look at it the other way round, “What’s the problem in being clones” After all we are all born humans. Same at birth. Same creator. Same creation. Why is the need to be different? Just that it doesn’t seem all that right to be part of a monotonous system. It just seem what can I say, unnatural.

The similarity doesn’t end with the lives we tread; it follows us to our grave. However hard we have tried to make our post-death ceremonies different, the truth is, after a certain point, nothing but dust remains.

Anyhow, I was not able to answer the question of the big mustached guy. Good that it was just a dream. Am not sure what I had done for real.  Not even sure I really do care to be all that distinctive. I might try now and then, something out of the blue to be different. Might also be successful at that for a while. Till someone decides to catch up and steal my thunder of course.

Laluisms and Indian Railways

with one comment

Lalu Prasad Yadav’s railway budgets used to be special. He started a trend of sorts with rhymes in his speech. It takes an orator in command for the words to take effect. Not everyone would have had the same effect. The rhymes themselves were not a random phenomenon. They reflected the state of affairs of Railways. The Mood. I try to put together few such rhymes in accordance with the changing Railways each year. Could be easily divided into three phases.

1. Phase I: The Beginning
When Lalu got hold of ministry, it was in shambles and Lauisms in the initial budgets reflected that.

There was hope of building a new future. Hard labor was needed to fulfill the dream.
                “मैंने देखे हैं सारे ख्वाब नए,
                  लिख रहा हूँ मैं इंक़लाब नए”
                “मेरे जुनूं का नतीजा ज़रूर निकलेगा,
                  इसी सियाह समंदर से नूर निकलेगा”

There was a tough path ahead. Help of every individual was needed to overcome the hurdles.
                “जीवन के हर पथ पर माली पुष्प नहीं बिखराता है,
                  प्रगति का पथ अक्सर पथरीला ही होता है”
                “एक कदम  हम  बढे, एक कदम तुम,
                  आओ  मिलकर नाप दे, फासले चाँद तक”

Overall it laid expectations from the future.

2. Phase II: The Delivery
During his later budgets he stood on solid performance and growth. Hope gave way to conviction.

We have come so far by a collective effort. We have redefined success.
                “नवाजिश है सबकी, कर्म है सभी का,
                  बड़े  फ़ख्र से हम बुलंदी पर आये|
                  तरक्की के सारे मयारों  से आगे,
                  नए ढंग लाये, नयी सोच लाये”

Charges were not increased amidst the inflation. We came good on our promises. Wait for more.
                “दौर-ऐ-महंगाई में भी रेल सस्ती रखी,
                  पर कमाई में कोई कमी न रखी”
                “जितना अब तक देख चुके हो, ये तो बस शुरुआत है,
                  खेल तमाशा आगे देखो, दरियादिल सौदागर का”

Overall mood migrated from hope to conviction of delivery.

3. Phase III: The Continuance
His last budgets were more of a commentary of his achievements. Election budget!

                “गोल पर गोल दाग रहे हैं, हम हर मैच में,
                  देश का बच्चा बच्चा बोले, चक दे रेलवे”

He summed up his achievements. What had been done in his tenure will help reap benefits in the long term. We have just planted a tree. Everyone will grow with it. Commitment to duty.
                “सब कह रहे हैं हमने गज़ब काम किया है,
                  करोड़ों का मुनाफा हर एक शाम दिया है,
                  फल सालों यह अब देगा, पौधा जो लगाया है,
                  सेवा का, समर्पण का, हर फ़र्ज़ निभाया है”

Overall mood was of letting people know of what was delivered. Of coming good on the promises. One more chance, perhaps!

Stranger on Train: The Handwriting Expert

leave a comment »

With the advent of discount airlines in India, frequency of my train travel had become lesser and lesser. I must admit that train travel is an experience of its own. More often than not you meet people who are far from ordinary. You find yourself in situations which you would never find during the normal course of life. Also with each train travel you find more grey hairs on your head, such is the learning you get.

Now that the air fare has sky-rocketed, train travel has once again come back to the fore. This Diwali, we boarded Goa Express from Pune to Agra. Now why didn’t I have confirmed seats and why were we standing through half the journey is a different story altogether and I will cover it up separately. For now I want to tell you about a stranger I met on the train.

Let’s start. I was lying on the upper berth when I heard someone spreading “Gyan”. Don’t ask me how and why, I just know it when some one is giving Gyan. There was this Guy Gyaaning a fellow passenger how to stop eating Gutkha through self control and self motivation. He was a middle aged lean person, whose bald head was shining in my eyes helped by the sunlight from the window. It was a hot day. Apparently, this person was able to study another person by his handwriting. Quite a few passengers were taken aback by his observations about their past and future.

A couple was sitting beside him. The husband in a bid to impress his newly wedded wife; took it upon him to bare the bald con man naked. He jotted down six different signatures of his and threw the challenge to now study him. I could see the wife was really impressed by his hubby’s brilliant stroke as she leaned closer against him. I couldn’t hear what the bald man’s observation were but I could clearly make out the brimming with confidence face of the husband getting paler and paler until he retreated behind his wife, who seemed not much amused now.

I called from above. “Chacha whats up! Whats this art all about”. According to him, this was a quite old American art revived in India by his Guru in Mumbai. He named a number of famous personalities including Sachin Tendulkar who have sought his Gurujis help. According to him Sachin has a certain flaw in his signature which reflects uncertain health issues thus causing frequent elbow injuries. Hmm…Impressive. So the guy knew his art well. I and my friend climbed down to test for ourselves. First me. I wrote down. “My name is Arpit Garg. Tell me something.” It was followed by my signature. He made me write down “dog”, “cat” and couple more of such short words. I was expecting some loose vague remarks, when the very first line he uttered left me shell shocked. I won’t go into detail of the remark as it was something personal about my family. I can only reveal that it was about a relative of ours who has wronged us. Had it been a remark about a vague relative, I would have understood. Instead he pinpointed who the relative was, i.e Chacha, Mama, Foofa, Tau etc. He made certain remarks about my laborious and sharp mind and such other things. By then I wanted to listen no more. When he was about to embark upon my future, I asked him to discontinue. In fact I don’t like predictions about my future in general. But his very first observation about me still lingers in my mind.

I can tell from the faces of people in my compartment that they were quite curious. Many wanted to know about their job prospects, success/failure in business, family, health etc. The usual. Was he a con artist, was he real, was he fake, was he a messenger, was he the Oracle or just a bug.

I have decided to travel by train as much as possible. Come with me. Just one thing. It should be the sleeper compartment. Coz therein lays the true mystic and majestic journey through India.

Written by arpitgarg

November 3, 2008 at 1:12 pm

%d bloggers like this: