ArpitGarg's Weblog

An opinion of the world around me

Posts Tagged ‘third

Why do we Celebrate Birthdays?

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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.

Top 10 Examples of Jugaad in India

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“Aapko koi problem nahin hogi, maine jugaad kar rakhi hai”. “Kuch setting ho toh batao”. “Are apni upar tak setting hai”. Every one of us would have come across something similar at one point or the other. What exactly is this much celebrated setting aka jugaad? Well, it can simply be defined as an improvised quick fix to a tricky situation; goes to the extent of bending the rules; wisely attributed to lateral thinking.

Let me list down the top 10 examples of jugaad in India over the years.

  1. The Third Front as Alternative Governance
    Recent elections have shown a new trend. The opportunist, UPA/NDA discards come together to form an alternative famously known as “Third Front”. It’s nothing more than a jugaad with sole purpose to bargain hard with UPA/NDA when time comes to form the Govt. Everyone knows it is not long term, but as to the purpose of holding the Govt to ransom it has worked quiet well.
  2. Third Front 3Third Front 1Third Front 2

  3. Chidambram as Home Minister
    Prithiviraj Patil was busy putting make-up and changing wardrobes amidst the 26/11 attacks. He needed to go and went he did! The big question was “Who would fill the empty chair”? Chidambram, known to be an astute economist, was fitted to run the Home Ministry. Barring a few fiasco (Hindu terror, Shoe sting et al), expected of a jugaad, PC has more or less fulfilled the role of a workable HM.
  4. Chidambram 1Chidambram 2

  5. Ravindra Jadeja as All Rounder
    The lack of all round cricketers in India is well known. One too many players have been tried by the selectors. When all else failed, time was ripe for the jugaad, Ravindra Jadeja. This jugaad failed and failed miserably. It even put a question mark to the very existence of jugaad. This, until he was selected again. You can hate jugaad, you can love jugaad, you can’t ignore jugaad.
  6. Jadeja 1Jadeja 2

  7. Students and College Exams
    Most of us never studied the whole semester and used to bunk the classes. At the verge of exams, we had no notes/no idea. The jugaad used to come into effect. Whole course was divided into 4-5 parts, depending upon the number of friends in the group. Each one read a particular section and then explained it to the rest of the group. I still don’t understand how, but we faired really well, Jugaad rocks!!!
  8. Exams 2Exams 1Exams 3

  9. L K Advani as Leader of Opposition
    The fight for the post of Leader of Opposition was out in the open. Feelers were doing the rounds. When the GenX of the BJP leaders failed to come to a settlement, it was time for jugaad. The age old tested campaigner Advani, who till then had shown inclination to retire from active politics was brought back and he did some serious damage to UPA over price rise and corruption issues.
  10. Advani 1Advani 2Advani 3

  11. Security in India
    Secuity setup in most of the places in India works on jugaad. Overworked/underpaid policemen; lack of proper fighting equipments; lack of transport vehicles; lack of proper police station. When people say, “How the hell do we not see anarchy in such a scenario?” I tell them it is the Indian jugaad of 3rd Degree. If you get caught by frustrated law enforcers, God help you!
  12. Security 1Security 2Security 3

  13. Elections year after year
    If you know someone who has acted as an Electoral Officer, you would know the whole election runs on nothing but jugaad. Govt officers are made poll officers, School/ Colleges are made the poll booths, Long lines at booths with no facility at all. Locals provide the chai/paani/lodging to the booth officers posted in remote areas. In tribal areas, the poll stationary is transported on Elephants. At some places people vote under lantern light. But this jugaad has stood the test of time and hopefully will continue doing so in the future.
  14. Election 1 Election 2 Election 4 Election 3

  15. Manmohan Singh as Prime Minister
    When Sonia Gandhi did not accept the post of PM after 2004 victory, there was a big frenzy as to the appointment of the PM. Dr. Manmohan Singh, a respected, senior member of Congress party, was employed as a jugaad. Never contested an election, not known to be conniving politician, he turned out to be a shining success of Indian jugaad and how! Into his second term, the jugaad continues to rattle iron man Advani at his own game.
  16. PM 1 PM 2

  17. IPL in South Africa
    IPL2 in SA is a shining example in the Indian jugaad armory. At couple of weeks notice, it was decided to shift the event to SA. Frenetic night outs, back room negotiations and “karna hai” attitude paved way to one of the highly successful events in cricketing history. It was a city moment of jugaads.
  18. IPL 1IPL 2IPL 3

  19. Baap of All Jugaads: Sheila Dixit (Common Wealth Games)
    To term CWG, Baap of all Jugaads won’t be a misnomer. Everything was left to the last moment, to the chance. Sports Minister termed it the Fat Punjabi wedding, which turns out well at the end. A quick fix to the impounding problems, CM Shiela Dixit was the jugaad to get the games up and running. And boy did she turn out to be one hell of a jugaad. The opening ceremony was a grand success and the whole world came to know and respect the great Indian Jugaad. Bharat Bhagya Vidhata!
  20. CWG 1CWG 2CWG 3

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