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Posts Tagged ‘helplessness

Helplessness of the Third Kind

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I wrote this piece some 2 years back. Don’t remember the mood I was in.

Helplessness is described by Oxford dictionary as, a condition in which a person suffers from a sense of powerlessness, arising from a traumatic event or persistent failure to succeed. Let us concentrate on the two words powerlessness and failure. Was the failure because of the powerlessness or did powerlessness set in due to failure?

The thing that make us sad, if keeps on repeating, turn us immune. Living under constant uncertainty and doubt tends to make us powerless. It leads us to question everything in life. The confidence goes for a toss. Helplessness arises out of the persistent fear of failure in avenues which are out of our hands. When we can’t decide outcome of things that are not under our control, we are left with nothing but punching the walls.

I always believed and followed the funda of pre-empting such situations. I used to divert myself much before. Coz once I get sucked into it, I will feel powerless and nothing I do will make it better. I have always taken pride in my pre-judging a situation and ability to take preventive measures.

However you can bask in self-glory only so much. I used to chastise my friends for not pre-empting and for letting themselves sucked into. I never understood why they did what they did. I recently understood and how! They let themselves knowingly into a no-win situation backed up by their confidence and sheer hope. Confidence that no matter what, they will find a way and Hope that everything will turn out to be fine.

To an extent hope is good, but beyond a certain limit, it is nothing but foolishness and will destroy you eventually. Better to take things head on, find a solution or move away. Just because you committed yourself into something does not mean you have to stick by it, even if it’s killing you. Being practical is not everyone’s cup of tea but sometimes it’s exactly what is required.

Written by arpitgarg

December 14, 2013 at 3:59 am

Majboori Ka Naam Mahatma Gandhi: Why?

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“Kyon bhai sahab, aaj car ki jagah bus se travel?” “Kya karein, Mazboori ka naam Mahatma Gandhi.”

We use this phrase all the time. Don’t we? If I ask you, “What does Majboori have to do with Mahatma Gandhi?” Most of you would be stumped. Come to think of it, don’t you feel odd that we have coined our Father of the Nation, Mazboori.

In English, Mazboori means obligations, compulsions, and constraints emerging out of sheer helplessness. I asked many people in my office about the origin of the phrase. Noone came close. They were amazed when pointed out that indeed we are calling out father of our nation, helpless.

This brings me to the question, Why? In absence of any concrete definition, there are several explanations floating around. Let’s take them one by one:

Partition Blame

Partition Gandhi looked helplessly and let the nation get divided. His Mazboori was the worst kept secret. All the decisions he took were under pressure and portrayed sheer helplessness.


Last Resort

Partition This is one explanation that paints Gandhi in good light. When all options are over, try Gandhi. When all else failed, he practiced hunger strike, which shook the foundations of an empire. When one is out of money, there is no option but to eat less expensive food and live frugally.



Partition Gandhi overcame all the Mazboori’s (difficulties) in his life and led India to independence. Thus whenever there is Mazboori, remember Gandhi, you will find the solution.


Non Violence

Partition Non Violence is taken to be sign of weakness and helplessness. Gandhi preached and followed non violence, hence the phrase.



Partition Indian currency started having imprint of Mahatma Gandhi. To a poor India, Majboori emanates from money (or lack of it). Thus Mazboori ka naam Paisa aka Mahatma Gandhi.


Gandhi was Majboori

Partition To rely on Gandhi was Majboori of all Indians who wanted independence. As there was no one else who could have fought with Britishers and deliver Azaadi.


Self Destruction

Partition With the world in shambles and on the verge of self destruction, we have no options but to follow steps of Gandhi to save the world. That’s what Anna Hazaare has shown.


Expect the Unexpected

Partition When cornered, people tend to behave unexpectedly. When Gandhi was helpless, with no independence in sight, he turned to innovation. His turned prevalent hunger into a potential Anshan. We all find ways to struggle when turned into a corner. “Necessity is the mother of invention”.


Just for Kicks

Partition Since we were kids, we have been asked to name, Father of Our Nation so many times, that it has become our Mazboori to memorize it.
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