Tag Archives: social

Our Grading System

Anytime we write exams which were subjective in nature, we have tried showing the important steps/points in the solution to the problem asked. It has been taught to us as kids that, steps have to be shown as it is the basis on which marks will be given. One step might carry 1 mark another 2. This distribution is often fixed throughout all schools. During our final exams, the teacher who set the paper would share a model solution showing how much the different steps weigh by doing so there is a standard by which everyone is evaluated. But in real life, we all evaluate friendships differently. We all judge and feel happiness differently. There is no standard for these things.

We all have different tick boxes for friendship. These criteria and their importance vary from person to person. This can be considered a form of weighted average. Their importance is based on our individual personalities and past experiences. For someone initiating a conversation is a big thing as it is not something they do normally but for others it can be trivial as it is something that is the basic requirement of a friendship. For someone, telling their everyday life along with trivial details is important while for someone having deep, intelligent conversation is important. That is why rarely friendships are on the same level for both. We all have different needs and requirements, if these are fulfilled we are happy else we wont be fully content.

In all situations, there is a fine line where good turns bad or stupid. How should one differentiate trying constantly and a fool’s errand? No one knows. There is no standard time period. It all depends on the person’s capabilities and tenacity. If they will keep trying no matter what but they dont possess the necessary skills, this becomes a fool’s errand but if you do possess such skills but dont have confidence in yourself or you cannot wait for too long a period (again subjective, varies from person to person) you would give it up, does this mean that you are a fool for giving up? Some will say yes, others would say no. We all have different perceptions and depending on them we decide to draw that fine line.

Even in today’s world with corruption, nationalism people are forgetting the fine lines. Nowadays nationalism is being synonymous to patriotism. Both being very much different in meaning. One believes in values nad beliefs, the other in cultural background and heritage. George Orwell said that “Nationalism is the worst enemy of peace” but still many of us follow nationalism in the name of patriotism. Where do you draw the line. In America, where a single person could change everything in 4 years and his present policies are almost similar to dictatorship. A similar situation is taking place in India, where words have taken over the minds of many people. Religion is being forced on ordinary citizen and secularism is shown in the form of removing a certain religion from the country itself. Where does one draw the line. Some people already feel this is against everything what their countries stand for while others feel this is a step in the right direction. But who is deciding what is the right direction? Unfortunately we dont have models to show that.

We all have our different thresholds and back stories that make us who we are. But sometimes when we give advice to others, we take our thresholds as an input which we shouldn’t. The other person isnt us. They might have gone through something more challenging or less, making their limitations different from ours. We have to keep in mind the weighted average and try understanding what the other person feels. It is only by following this path can we understand and help each other. 

The Contradictions We Live

We have been living in societies since ages. We are social beings afterall. We have evolved over time. We have become sophisticated, as some would say. If look at the kids today they are much smarter than us, when we were at that same age. What makes us different from animals, is our mind and thinking. We possess immense thinking capabilities. It only through our brain and curiosity that today we are so technologically advanced. But this increased capability has come with its own share of cons. We no longer possess a simple mind set. We arent restricted to simple emotions anymore. We experience complex emotions. Greed, Lust, Pride, Gluttony, Wrath, Sloth, Envy – These are 7 deadly sins, as put forth by Christianity. We all possess them. We dont exercise them all the time but sometimes we do exercise them with reason and sometimes with no reason. Animals on the other hand are free from them. They never over eat, never show unwanted aggression. They only have sexual encounters to keep their species alive. But we do everything in excess sometimes to the point that it is a waste.

But slowly some people are understanding their flaws and try to be a better self. We see online pictures saying to be always truthful. We say “Tell me the truth, dont lie to me” But in reality, we cannot handle the truth. Truth is and always will be bitter. If someone criticises you, our first immediate response is to prove them wrong and probably abuse them. Maybe after some time we see our flaws and try to not continue doing them. But eventually we all into the same loop. We tell our friends and family “I will change, give me some time” But it is very rare for the change to become a constant.

When we are at our lowest point we are open to the greatest change- Avatar Aang

Once we are back to normal and are criticised again, we just bypass the whole conversation by saying that we tried. Somehow trying, in this case, means it is ok if dont change. Can we say when we promise to someone that we will change, we are giving hope to someone. When we dont fulfil our promise, we are betraying someone. If someone were to betray our trust or not deliver what we promised, we would stop believing that person and be angry with them. We would probably look for someone who can keep their promises. But if someone were to replace us, we would speak ill of that person even antagonise them in front of other people. We ourselves sometimes cannot criticise others because of the fear if the above mentioned thing will happen with us. We speak of having proper etiquettes while sometimes we dont even have the bare minimum

We speak of equality among all races, religion, sex etc. But there is not really a proper sense of equality anywhere. Initially there was “All whites are superior” But over the course of time, this ideology was reduced. There was a time when black people were treated like slaves and objects. But by the help of various international figures, this idea was abolished. But now we are free of that idea or are we? We still face racism in some parts. No idea can ever be destroyed completely. If someone would cast the black guy in a minor role or would show him as a bad guy while the rest of the crew is white and are good people, this is racism and bad. But if we “exchange the colours” here, suddenly it isnt racist. If the black guy is given an antagonistic role in a movie, the critic might point out that it was racist in doing so. But by doing so, isnt the critic himself being a racist where he expects the black guy to land all the nice roles.

In India, there are various reservations for various castes and tribes in education and jobs. Yes, it was imperative initially when they weren’t given enough chances but now it isnt the same case. Now it is the finances that has come into picture. Somehow being in the general category has become a curse. A kid with 4 GPA isnt given admission into college but a 3 GPA kid is. Why? Because the later belongs to a Scheduled caste. It doesn’t matter evenif the former’s family is just above the poverty line and latter kid has a iPhone and car just for him. Corruption has been a big problem. Everyone will say it is wrong but at the same time, someone will be bribing someone.

Teachers also take part in a double standard lifestyle. They expect the students to be sincere but their wrong doings are never punished properly. If a teacher does punish them, they regarded as evil, mean and “khadoos”. But we ourselves make it our life’s agenda to punish someone for their wrong doing. Trump has been in the headlines ever since he became the president. He promised to make more jobs for Americans. Everyone has slammed him for this. Has anyone given a second thought to his actions? Maybe what he is doing is for his own countrymen. In America a large chunk of jobs are taken by immigrants. We wont understand their dilemma as our jobs arent exactly being snatched up by people from other countries. An example that some would understand is China’s control over production of various goods. Almost everything is manufactured there. The whole market is flooded with cheaper models. It is after all natural to buy something cheaper. Who would by 1000 rupees ear pods for a 350 rupees china headphones. Even though the ear pods may work for maybe 3/4 months extra but still the person is able to save money.

All of us are inside this loop. We cant empathise properly with anyone. We all believe in something but do something different. We have mother in laws who prefer a grandson over a granddaughter. People in the upper strata that perform such heinous acts that makes you question the whole society. Hopefully with time, we will be able to see beyond the black and white. We could let go of the dualistic thinking. Afterall with this intelligence, we see not only the black and white but also the shades between them.

Talk Like You Text

There is an increase in social messaging apps in the past few years. After the overwhelming success of WhatsApp everyone has started their own version like Telegram (a personal favourite), Viber, Allo, Hangouts and the list goes on. These have become an integral part of our lives. Almost everyone with such an app will either text someone or change his display picture (dp), status or will probably stalk his contact list by browsing through their dps and statuses. Very few people lead a non whatsapp life. Our parents might be a part of them. They might just use them to send greetings, important news and photos. Else they would prefer to meet or call their friends and family. While some of our parents have perfectly integrated the apps into their lives like us.

What was WhatsApp supposed to be? I feel it was supposed to be a substitute for the SMS services and a way for people to know about your availability. It was supposed to be a means by which we could send text messages for free instead of paying SMS charges. It was made a paid app so as to control its growth. But didnt stop its popularity. Eventually it was made free and it exploded. Each phone had this app. But like each and everything that made man’s life easy or somehow gave him some kind of power, it started being misused. It became a substitution for talking with people. Since this was the direction in which the app was going, the developers started introducing features to simulate a conversation. Last seen, the ominous blue ticks, voice calls, video calls all are a form to mimic a real life conversations.

Last seen, a way to see if the individual is present or no. Blue ticks to see if the person “heard” what you said. Soon a feature to screenshot conversations, because we can’t remember everything. If we really see, this has become a form of talking. Since it’s just text with no emotions, emoticons were introduced. Though there are certain debatable topics for which emoji means what, they are still used. These emojis add emotion to our chats in a way. What makes these so dangerous is that we can see all this. The last seen and blue ticks. God help you if your last seen is later than the message sent by your patner/parents/bffs. If you see the message and dont reply almost instantaneously, it is very much possible to see your obituary in the paper. But often the last seen and blue ticks show wrong information. Afterall the message and information delivery to your phone depends on many factors like your and your friend’s net connectivity, the load on the app’s server etc. If you hide your last seen or remove blue ticks, it can be seen as a way to hide your true feelings/emotions/status with someone. It is, in a way, hiding from a certain section of your social life. Sometimes people are too busy to reply which can be disheartening. What is even more sad is when people dont reply to your repeated messages. We have certain etiquettes when we meet someone. It would sure be helpful if someone laid down certain dos and donts for texting. The greatest way someone can show that they dislike you is when they block you. It is almost similar to ignoring someone.

The dps are probably a way to identify that this is the right contact number you have. But nowadays some people put random pictures or of a gift they received. The function of status has also changed. If you look at the inbuilt options, they include Available, Busy, At work etc, all of these show your availability. But now we use them to write our state of mind or a quote we read somewhere. Type “status” in Google and the first page has sites dedicated to good and innovative whatsapp statuses. Also it has become a social norm to put a dp with the “bday guy/girl” and a status saying “Happy bday” for them. Over the course of time, we have learnt to give an original twist by putting a personal message. Also on Independence Day, we have to put a tricolour flag as a dp or our childhood photo on Children’s Day. We change our whatsapp dp in support of a cause. “Change your dp to a black dot to show your support for No Rape”. This concept still eludes me. How will a dp change show my support. I have to do something for it. Call Police, if i see a girl being eve-teased if i cant physically drive her teasers away

But has this change in the form of communication affected us? Yes, to an extent. Even though our main form of communication has become through texts, we still occasionally try to hangout with our friends. All of us will agree that we have better memories when we hangout with our friends. Texting is just like alot of starter. It is always when we are physically present that matters. That is always the main course. No amount of starters can beat the main course. The texting format uses the human nature of not saying about our feelings. Earlier people would write letters or chits to say what they wanted to. We do the same but we do it all the time for everything. This has made us socially awkward. We cant talk freely about our feelings with ours bffs/family verbally. We are much more comfortable to do it via texts. We live in a very paradoxical society. Where we want to talk about our problems via texts but only a warm and comforting voice will help us through our ordeals. No wonder, it is our school friends that last the most in our lives. We spend 10 years, if not more, with them. Afterall a face to face conversation is more fun than a face to screen conversation. 

The Art of Leading on

In our lives we have been either led on or we have seen others lead on someone. To lead on someone is such a bad thing, according to the vast majority. It is bad as long as you are doing it consciously. Majority of the time it is done by people knowingly. But the rest, maybe it isn’t.

People who lead on others, knowingly, are far worse than scum. They toy with feelings of others. It is the cruellest of things to do. They date someone just for the limelight or just for hookups. They have friendships with people just as a means to an end. Sometimes we recognise such behaviour but sometimes we dont until it is too late. We blame ourselves for not seeing the signs and advices of our friends. But is blaming yourself the right thing ? Shouldn’t you feel happy that you came to know of thaf person’s true nature. At least they cant ruin your life more. The only way is moving on and hoping you meet someone better.

But sometimes people are led on unknowingly. One example that might explain it properly is a typical movie scene. The actress has gone through an emotional ordeal. As soon as she sees her husband and friend there, she hugs her friend first. You see the husband there standing in disbelief and shock. She feels safe with her friend than her husband. Most would agree that it was meant to be. But this is in a movie.

Real life isn’t as forgiving as reel life. Someone you consider your boyfriend/girlfriend isn’t really as close to you as he should be. In that moment we dont realise it. We just live in a fairy tale and often in denial. We would just brush it off by saying it is not that close a relationship as compared to your patner. We just say it. The world will see otherwise and say that there is something between them. Same applies for a friend or a bestie. Maybe you cant feel as safe around them as you should. Eventually you drop your patner/bestie or they drop you.

It is the next part that makes the whole thing a million times worse – GOSSIP. People gossip as if you have led people on. You are given a number of colourful terms. Sometimes it comes from your ex. Very rarely do the exs realise that it was an honest mistake and just dumb luck. Sometimes you may consider someone your world. They would too ordinarily. But in certain important times of their lives, they wouldn’t show you the level of importance you would expect. It will never be a single event but very often. It is always easier to blame someone than having to admit that it wasn’t meant to be.

Maybe you lead someone on without even realising that you are. Maybe we should just reflect once in our lives and trying seeing it from a third person perspective. It might just hold the truth we often refuse to see. 

Attention – A power 

In any relationship, the one thing that matters the most is giving attention to the opposite person. You stop or reduce it and the dynamics of the relationship starts changing. Any normal human being likes attention. We all like showing off our skills. We like being the centre of attention. It is a similar situation in a relationship as it involves only two people.

But attention has alot more power than we realise. We have ignored someone in our lives and we have been ignored by others. Ignoring someone gives us a sense of superiority that they don’t matter. But if we are ignored, we feel inferior and that we dont matter in that person’s life. We try in different and often colourful ways to catch their attention. Somehow having their attention is a sense of happiness or achievement. We have power in their lives. Since we matter to them, they might include us in their daily activities.

It is human nature to try obtaining things we cannot have. We try and try. No wonder we crave attention from people who wont give it. But what about those who do give it to you? Some cases people reciprocate to the same extent. But in some cases, it is ignored and taken from granted. It can be similar to unrequited love. We start assuming that the person will always be there no matter what, no matter how we act. But what happens if that person realises he can be friends with better people or that he can be romantically involved with some other person? We are left with this unknown void. We never knew we had it until too late.

The problem in our teenage years is that we want things which we cant have or dont deserve. For anything we have to work hard but after getting it we dont have to work hard for it again. On getting selected for the perfect job, my job should be fun and easy and not tiring and causing me depression. On finding a best friend/soulmate/boyfriend or girlfriend, the relationship should be fun and should make you happy. If we have to work for their attention still, does it mean you arent significant in their lives? If so,  dont be deserve better people? 

We never appreciate enough what we have. It is perhaps one of the greatest tragedies of our stories. We realise what we were missing out on only after we dont have it. We have people around our lives who care for us. They give you their everything. A little more attention to them and a little less on other people wont cost you anything. If anything it might just make their lives alot more better and in turn yours. 

Power, power, 

I will never understand the power you were holding over me, 

Power, power,

Oh you had it too long, yes you had it too long. 

-Bastille

Trust in me

In every relationship there usually comes a time where you start doubting your friend, patner. The reasons can be endless. The usual and the most basic/primary reason is that there is some form of a trust breach. Maybe your friend has lied to you about him/her like saying they are busy with some work and at the same moment you see them posting pictures on social networking sites. Maybe your patner has started talking more about a person of the opposite sex and that person becomes the main topic of discussion for the couple or they start hanging out with that person and seem to have more fun with him/her.

When such things happen we feel that the other person isnt giving the same importance we give them. We dont have the problem with the subject of the lie but what bothers us most is why the person lies and whether they trust you or no. Closer the person is to you, the more it hurts. But the question should be should it hurt you so much. Shouldn’t we have more trust on them? The people about whom we are talking about are those with whom we connect. We should trust that they will have a good reason for what they did. We can always confront them about it if it becomes too excessive. We should have faith in these people and not worry too much about it. Sure it is tough but we can work towards it. 

On the other side of the coin, if we ever do this, we lie to the people we care. We usually do it for a good reason or that it is very trivial and means nothing to anyone. But we have to understand that people are smart and when we lie it leaves a trail. It is the computer age after all blue ticks, last seen etc. We shouldn’t lie to such people. Even if we do we should own up to those mistakes. Obviously they will be angry but they will understand your reasons. Still it is much better for you to own up than them figuring out you lied via other means. 

Another reason is bringing up of a person in a conversation. The other person becomes such a hot topic in the conversations you start feeling jealous. What we dont consider is that this person connects with your patner/friend in unique way and that excites them and you are the person they want to share the excitement. Like anything new, we are most excited in the beginning but what matters is the “after” part. You have managed to keep the excitement going even in the “after” part. You cannot be replaced because if you can be then your relationship means nothing. If something similar were to happen to you, the yin to your yang would also be jealous. So maybe during that time, you could bring the other person less often and simultaneously show sweet gestures to your ‘yin’. This way you never end up making your friend/patner jealous or sad.

We are humans and it is our natural behaviour to save ourselves from pain. That is why we see the negatives and choose to be safe than sorry. It is difficult to take the leap of faith. But it is not impossible. Maybe we should take a leap of faith for the people we care and who knows it just might be the most important decision which saved your relationship.

Treasure is uncovered by the force of flowing water, and it is buried by the same currents
 Paulo Coelho

Soulmates

What are soulmates? Someone with whom we connect on an emotional level. Someone with whom it just clicks. Nowadays the term is mostly used in case of a romantic relationship. It now also involves a physical compatibility also. But are soulmates just restricted to being romantic? Can a friend or a family member be your soul mate? Someone with whom you connect and feel safe around. 

Soulmate is someone who makes you feel whole. Someone who makes you a better person. These are people who are different from you yet around them you feel safe and you open your true self. They have qualities that you don’t possess. They help you see these qualities. They get you thinking “Hell I wish I was like him/her”. They make you feel things that you wouldn’t normally feel for someone like empathy, sympathy. They care so much about you that it feels unreal. You would do anything for them. Usually you know when you meet a soulmate.

When they are going through something, you will do anything in your power to help them out. So that they can go through with their ordeal. When they are happy you feel happy. It may sound like a romantic relationship. But it is not one. There is also a respect in this relationship. You respect your soulmate for who they are. You feel lucky to have met such a person. How much ever of a bravado we have, deep down we know our flaws. Any person who is close to us, has accepted us with our flaws. Our soulmate will try and help us improve our present self. They will know our flaws and know just the right things to make us understand things.

All of us have a soulmate. Someone is out there who will bring down your walls. You will be your truest self and be honest to him/her. You won’t hide anything. You will do this because you wish to and not out of compulsion. If we ever find such a person we should cherish them. There aren’t many people in this world who can get into your most personal space

Kawai means cute in Japanese while Sakura is the cherry blossom tree, which is beautiful. They are not the same but they complement each other like soulmates would. 

Somewhere something incredible is waiting to be known
– Sharon Begley