Challenge Accepted

nano_typewriter

I’ve been in a writing rut. I know it and everyone else around me knows it too (grumpy me is a dead giveaway!).

But then I got an email from the NaNoWriMo people and then, all of a sudden, I was happy. Regardless of the reason, I figured that NaNoWriMo was a great way for me to kickstart my writing.

And guess what, its been bumpy, but I think I can manage it.

If you are curious, just hop on over to www.writefantastic.com to read it for yourself. I’ve decided to go all out with all of my shameful habits – procrastination, letting life get to me, laziness etc.

You know what – it is working. For one reason or the other, I’m pretty much on track with my writing so far. Phew!

The Contradictions in the World We Live In

contradictions

Our world is so full of contradictions, it isn’t funny.

Granted, everyone has the right to their opinions, but will “Society” please stand up and publish a list of rules or something, somewhere, just so we mere mortals have a reference point. Even if it is for breaking the “rules”, we need to know what those “rules” are in the first place.

A recent piece of news sparked this post, actually. I wonder what’s up with the world. Especially, when it comes to Sex. We fall over ourselves in our efforts to contradict ourselves. Really! We do!

India: This is Our World

Khajuraho TemplesIn India, the land where the Kamasutra was written, where we have temples dedicated to sex, where sex is also a highly evoloved Yoga practice – we don’t talk about it to our kids. If they want to conduct Sex Education classes in school, the parents protest outside the schools, claiming that these classes will make their kids want to have sex!

In India, where no woman goes unmolested (from creepy uncles and neighbors, to random loafers on the street and greasy pawing on buses and trains, to full-blown beastly gang rapes), we prosecute only the women for prostitution.

Sunny-LeoneIn India, where a random porn star with little or no ability for acting, becomes famous for shaking her booty to raunchy numbers, where ”item songs” are added to every movie so that they attract more audiences, the police arrest a woman who is forced to enter the flesh trade because she isn’t left with any options, while the perpetrators of the crime roam freely, unscathed.

I think, prostitution is considered to be a crime in most cultures and countries (correct me if I am wrong here), and only the women are held guilty for it.

Why is it that only women are considered to be the guilty party?

Why is it that when they are down and out, selling their bodies is the only option made available to women since the dawn of time?

USA: This is Our World

The US is slightly more sophisticated than that, I suppose. Here, things have turned on their head. We have mass media feeding us all sorts of wrong image archetypes, blurring the lines of morality and confusing the standards of right and wrong.

KardashiansA noted celeb family in the USA started its journey to fame and fortune (oh yes! Hundreds of millions of $$s) when one of their daughters slept with someone, and made a tape of it. Then they got featured on a reality show, and began their journey to achieving their celebrity status. Everywhere they go, crowds cheer them on, and buy stuff they sell in their stores, and make them their idols. Blogs are rife with gossip about them, and glossy magazines pay hundreds of thousands of dollars to photograph them as they marry someone, only to dump each other months later.

Teen MomAnother reality show glorifies teenage girls who got themselves pregnant (oops!) and are now going through their unique issues and troubles, while making them famous. This inevitably contributes to making other girls feel as if it is all right to do what these girls did. Are these kind of idols even supposed to be present? But they are.

Prostitution is still considered to be a crime here though. Although, from what I’ve seen and heard, both parties are held accountable for it. Regardless, it doesn’t really carry much of a penalty. You can pay a fine, do a few hours of community service, get a few counselling sessions, and you are off the hook.

Mass Media Creates Mass Perceptions

Mass MediaI do believe that on various levels Mass Media is responsible for keeping such antiquated and wrong perceptions alive and well in the psyche of the world.

Whether in India or in the US, it is the Mass Media that keeps the hype going, while cashing in on the trend. Throw in words like “moral values” and everything is all right under the sun, isn’t it?

The Mass Media, while having the responsibility to report the facts as they are, also has the responsibility of talking about the current social problems and uncovering the dreadful hypocrisy that lurks behind these closed doors. It is their responsibility to educate the masses, and to cultivate a certain level of understanding among the mob that eats up their prose.

Calvin N Hobbs Mass Media Worship
They have no right to distort the facts just so they can sell a few hundred thousand copies of their magazines and newspapers.

In fact, the world (by this, I mean the real world) is changing all around them, but they don’t even seem to have noticed. With the passage of time, and due to the growth of scientific knowledge, our lives have evolved from the stage of primitive man hunting in the jungles to men and women battling it out in lives rife with modern day existential issues.

While a certain level of society achieves a celebrity status thanks to the Mass Media, it is worth noting that their only claim to fame is their debauchery. Whereas, real issues and real people with real problems are simply not highlighted at all. They don’t get as much exposure simply because they don’t bring in the ratings and the sales.

Granted, no one wants to read sad stories all the time. However, there are stories of normal people with extraordinary lives, who have proved without a doubt that the gender bias perpetuated by ‘society’s morals and values’ doesn’t really exist. Or rather, it is on its way to changing for the better.

In Conclusion…

Modern WomanPushing ghoonghat clad, obedient bahus into the television screens needs to be replaced by women who bravely conquer the world, sans ghoonghat but with dignity and pride.

Stepping away from celebrities who only flash their bodies to get publicity, the mass media ought to focus on the real women who handle their day-to-day with sense and acumen.

The Mass Media and the so-called ‘Society’ needs to get their collective heads out of their asses, and start doing the right thing by promoting the truth, rather than the hype.

Rather than adding their helping hand to the process of dumbing down the minds of the people (all this, while Curiosity Rover hurtles down the surface of Mars), mass media should become the channel through which intelligence and open minded discussions create a pathway for waking up the masses from their decades long slumber, and awakening them to the reality of a changed world.

Hopefully this will slowly work towards changing the mindset that exploitation of women is somehow allowed and acceptable. Those concepts need to be slowly eradicated from the minds of the people by educating them about how to treat women respectfully by setting the right example – both on our television screens and in our households .

Math and I

math problems

Math and I

Schrodingers CatAs a child, Math was something I simply couldn’t understand. Give me complex ideas of Physics like the cat fellow whose cat was both alive and dead, and I’ll get it right away.

Schrödinger – yeah, that’s who he was!

But put an x in an equation and ask me to solve it – I’ll break out in hives.

Talk to me about the elasticity of demand and I’m all ears. But why does it have to be expressed mathematically? Why? I mean, the concept is clear, just as it is! Why bring Math into it, huh?

Stuff like this video makes absolute sense to me. But math problems! They scare me more than the fact that in some parallel universe, Schrödinger himself would be the cat AND be dead and alive at the same time. Get it? Get it?

I firmly believed (and sometimes still do) that Math was invented to make people like me feel nervous.

Hey, every character has a flaw, a weak point, an Achilles Heel, if you will. And Math is mine.

Why, oh why, I used to wonder, do they even teach all this stuff in school. I mean, after all, who was going to use it after we left school anyway?

I mean, come on! Algebra! Shudders! At first, there was x. But then he was so alone, they got y to give him company.

Algebra is ScaryBut then, x had to go and plus this stupid y, and in a bracket and everything. Not satisfied with all that plus-ing, they decided to square them! And when they weren’t even done with figuring that out, they went and cube-ed them!

While I was just about coming around to figuring out what all of it meant, they decided enough was enough and lets square-root and cube-root the shit outta them!

Jeez! It was a miracle I came out in one piece!

And if that wasn’t enough, they had other forms of Math problems to torture me.

water-bucketWhy do you bother filling up a drum with water (after explicitly detailing the drum’s dimensions to us) , only to have a hole drilled somewhere in it to let the water out? I mean, seriously: what gives? Why do you want us to figure out when the drum will be full, or how long it will take for the water to drain out? Why are you filling a holey-drum with all that water anyway?

Two Trains in Opposite DirectionsAnd why, for God’s sake, do we need to know when those two trains who left from a nameless point A and nameless point B would pass each other, especially when they travel at some weirdly different speeds. Is someone going to jump from the top of train A onto the top of train B perhaps? Hey, in India, it was possible. But still, why do Math for it. Just wait, and the train ought to pass by some time, right?

pole and shadowIf that wasn’t enough, they began teaching Trigonometry, where everyone was measuring the shadows of poles and deriving formulae about some Theta and looking at Log Tables – none of which had absolutely nothing to do with the real problem, (or logs for that matter). All they wanted to know was how tall the pole was? Who gave a shit? Didn’t you know it when you ordered those poles and stuck them in the street? Who signed the contracts anyway? That guy is a dingbat!

And why, for fuck’s sake, is K the constant. I mean, why K… Why not Z or D or something else? Why only K for crying out loud? Why?

So far, in my life, I have never really seen or used any of the stupid stuff they shoved down our throats in Math class.

I know, I know. Perhaps, this stuff can be useful to some people. Just not me. I have no earthly use for it.

So why am I ranting about it?

Just because…

Actually, I Can Only Feel Sorry For Them

Shoulder to cry on

Recently, I’ve realized that, for some people I am either a shoulder to cry on, or an easy prey for their petty games.
Simply because I am caring and compassionate, and because I am honest and upfront, it doesn’t mean that they get to lean on me when they are in trouble, or take me for a ride just because they feel like it.
I’m not going to change who I am, or become like them, simply because they hurt me.
It’s not that I don’t feel the hurt. I do. Probably deeper than most.
When it hurts, I cry too.
In the end, I only end up feeling sorry for them.
Why?
Because it is harder to hate. It is easier to love.
It is heavier to carry the hate.
That’s what makes it easier for me to move on. To let go.
While I can and do let go of my burden, they are still at the mercy of theirs.
It is unfortunate, but true. They can’t help yourself, but I can. And I do.
These are the people who lean on someone, burden someone with their suffering, and then walk away feeling light.
These are the people who think they can hurt someone and get away with it.
The vulnerability that honesty requiresThese are the people who can’t seem to let go of their compulsive need to be energy vampires.
When I let go, I also let go of the cord that connects them with me.
When you hold on to the anger and the pain, these people keep getting energized from it.
The best way to get them to be deflated is for me to let go of the connection.
Once the connection is severed, they seem to flounder about for a bit, but they do manage to find someone else to leech off. It’s like an addiction for them, and they are powerless in its clutches.
It’s actually quite sad to watch them do this to themselves. That’s why I can only summon up a bit of pity for such people. Nothing more. 
Even with all the compassion in my heart, I can’t seem to feel anything more for these people.

Why are People So Mean?

When people are mean to you even when you haven’t done anything bad to them, usually it is because they are unable to cope with some quality within you that they aren’t able to generate within themselves.
the-way-people-treat-youDue to whatever their personal life experiences may have been, they find it extremely difficult to retain their ‘good’ self, and thus, they evolve into hurtful people.
Then, when they meet someone who is nice and kind despite all the bad stuff that she went through, some sort of trigger just goes off inside them.
Sometimes, they aren’t even consciously aware that this is happening to them. 
They just can’t stand being around the person who makes them feel like a volcano about to erupt. They have to do something hurtful and mean, just so they can feel good about the choices that they’ve made in their lives.
With some people, it is almost compulsive. They can’t seem to help themselves.
They have a low sense of self-worth to begin with, which makes them stoop to such levels to raise their own self-image. Without doing these and other similar things, they can’t seem to find any sense of accomplishment in their lives.

I’m NOT All That Awesome to Begin With

Hey! I’m not saying that I’m an all round ‘goody two-shoes’.
Far from it!
I am made of flawsI have my flaws too:
- I can be quite lazy.
- I procrastinate – A LOT.
- I babble when I’m nervous.
- I pretty much wear my heart on my sleeve.
- I am very fixed in my way of thinking. Once I’ve made up my mind: I. Won’t. Budge.
- In a very King of Pentacles way, I like things done a certain way only.
- I am quite the couch potato.
- Unless I’m sleeping, I am pretty much glued to a screen of some sort at any given time.
- The Writer inside me is always pecking away at my insides, which makes me very fidgety and short-tempered, especially when my writing is not going my way.
- Once I’m done with someone, or something, I’m done. I don’t ever go back. I can forgive. But I can’t do a memory wipe.
Man, I could go on and on about my flaws! 😉
However, just because I’ve been hurt by people and then some, do I have to become a person who also hurts people or is mean to people in return?
Do I have to hurt the people who hurt me?
I don’t think so.
I recognize the fact that I don’t have to.
And that has given me the power to remain steadfast to my core beliefs.

Law of Attraction

Just as like attracts like, the law of attraction ensures that the opposite will also hold true. In short, I am just as likely to meet the nice people as I’m likely to meet the not-so-nice people.
Just Because I Forgive People...However,
- By choosing to walk away from people who have decided to hurt me or were mean and hurtful to me, doesn’t mean that I am stopping myself from being a caring, compassionate and honest person.
- By the very fact that I choose not to end up becoming like them, and by the very fact that I choose not to take any kind of ‘revenge’ on them, I essentially end up retaining my core self in a stronger form.
- I’m simply walking away from people who created bad vibes in my life. I’m walking out of a relationship that is not good for me, will not be in any way enriching and fulfilling for me.
And yes, while it may hurt, in the long run, it is for the best.
For me, as well as for them.
- For me, it means that I won’t be around people who are not aligned with my life’s energy flow.
- And for them, it means that their weird triggers won’t get set off because of me.
I see that as a win-win all around.

Oh Yes, I Rant

I am become Medusa

I scream. I yell. I screech like a banshee.
I cackle like a withered old crone.
Rub the snot off my nose. Hot, angry tears spring forth.
I curse like a sailor till I’m blue in my face.
I let go so I can let it go.

I’ve held it all inside of me.
This anger. For years. Millenia.
Didn’t utter hurtful words.
Always thought of your feelings first.

The gloves come off.
The shit hits the fan.
The lid blows away.
The masks crack open.
Revealing ugliness within.

Regrets come unbound,
This pain has no sound.
Words that now hurt you.
Tears that now fall from my eyes.
This ache that sears my insides.

Things I couldn’t say before,
Finally burst out of my mouth.
The hurt I kept inside
Eloquently finds a way out.

I am become Medusa,
Punished for loving.
Turning what I see into stone.
Snakes fall from my hair,
Spew their poison everywhere.
I wander about, waiting for the end.

It hurts you now,
These words that I say.
It didn’t hurt you then,
As you gave me the pain.
All of you made me this way.
Now you want me to walk away.
You warn me, snidely,
Counsel me not to rant again.

I am not allowed to say what I feel.
A dog on a leash, you call me to heel.
All of you forget, how one by one,
You rend the bonds, kicked me, made me run.
You cut me loose. Now you would tie me down.
How funny! You can’t even reap what you’ve sown.

Oh Yes! I will rant. And I will rave.
For all the love that I gave.
This is the epitaph,
Scratched upon this grave.
I gave up. I lost. I withdrew.
These were my reasons.
This was my hurt. This was my pain.

I have to mourn. To set me free.
The ugly truth. That painful story.
Now only words written upon the wind.
Fluttering away, scrawled on the sand.

My Desktop Dashboard

Quotes on my Desktop via GeekTool

With all the crazy productive stuff going on in my life, it has always been GeekTool to the rescue!

The UNIX Connection

The easy explanation is that the Mac OS is built on the UNIX core. So you can totally use a bunch of Shell Scripts on your Mac, either via Terminal on your mac or via GeekTool.

I will be the first one to admit that I do not know much about all these things. Heck, I am NOT a coder. But then so many people out there, are! And they are sweet and kind enough to put their scripts out on the Internet for people like me to use. To them, I say:

Thank You! You guys and gals rock! Totally!

GeekLet IconA great resource for finding these Geeklets, as they are sweetly called is: The Geeklet Repository on MacOSXTips.

Before You Begin…

GeekTool IconFirst things first, in order to get the basic stuff of GeekTool running, you will:
- Have to be on a Mac (Duh!)
- Then install GeekTool.
- If you want to have your Calendar schedule and Reminder lists up on your screen, then you will also need to install icalBuddy.

Once you’ve done all this, you are ready to begin!
I also suggest, giving this GeekTool tutorial a look-see. It covers the basics, so I don’t have to.

My GeekTool Setup

Yes, I know I kinda looks like all I do is watch TV and throw out the trash, but that isn’t the case! I’ve excluded a bunch of calendars from the list. Those contain my regularly scheduled writing blocks.

Rest assured, I still get all the alarms buzzing on my iMac, iPhone and iPad at all times!

Technology works strives to keep me working! LOL

Now if you want to have your desktop look like mine, here are the scripts for you to implement, and enjoy!

  • Date: Date +%d
  • Day: Date +%a
  • Month: Date +%b
  • Time: Date ‘+%I:%M’
  • AM / PM: Date +%p
  • This Month’s Calendar (with Today’s Date in Red): cal_head=`cal | head -1`; cal_tail=`cal | tail -7`; today=`date "+%e"`; echo "$cal_head"; echo "${cal_tail/${today}/33[1;31m${today}33[0m}”;
  • Next Month’s Calendar: cal $( echo $(date +%m)+1 | bc ) $(date +%Y)
  • Weather: curl --silent "http://xml.weather.yahoo.com/forecastrss?p=your-zip-code-here&u=c" | grep -E '(Current Conditions:|C<br)' |="" sed="" -e="" 's="" current="" conditions:="" '="" <br="" \="">//' -e 's///' -e 's/<\/b>//' -e 's/
    //' -e 's///' -e 's/<\/description>//‘
  • To-Dos and Events: Echo TO DOsEcho/usr/local/bin/icalBuddy -nc -stda -sd -ss '' -b '- ' -nrd -df '%RD : %a, %d %b' -po datetime,title,notes -ps '|\n|\n|' -etp priority,location,url tasksDueBefore:"tomorrow+2”EchoEcho EVENTSEcho/usr/local/bin/icalBuddy -nc -sd -ss '' -b '- ' -ec ‘names-of-calendars-you-want-to-exclude’ -nrd -df '%RD : %a, %d %b' -po title,datetime,location,notes -ps '|\t|\n|\n|' -eep url eventsFrom:"today" to:"today+2”

I hope this is useful.

It certainly is for me.

Special Thanks to Eric for asking me to do this post!

Being Selfish

As a child, I was taught to be un-selfish. I was supposed to share everything I had with my little sister, with my friends and so on.

As I grew up, being selfish was made out to be among the worst things you could be.

But today, I am forced to ask this to myself: what is wrong with being selfish?

I mean, everyone else actually is being selfish all the bloody time. Of course, the hypocrites that they are, they don’t / won’t / can’t just admit it. Neither to themselves, nor to the world.

Frankly, I’ve lost enough faith in people to realize that I can’t expect them to do so either.

Which brings me to another question that I am forced to ask myself: if these people are, in fact, being selfish, how is that wrong – especially if I take the effort of seeing things from their perspective?

The Dilemmas in the Real World

In the real world, we come across a variety of situations where it is relatively easy for us and for other people to be selfish.

People only do things and say things which are right from their point of view. They don’t / can’t / won’t consider the other person’s feelings. They just aren’t even wired that way.

In such situations, would it be right to see things from their perspective? Even when it hurts mine? Do I have to do that?

Do I really have to be all understanding and stuff to put myself in their shoes and try to see things from their point of view? Doesn’t that pretty much go against the whole concept of being selfish to begin with?

I mean, I can’t be selfish and try to see things from their point of view – both – at the same time, can I?

It kinda defeats the whole purpose, doesn’t it?

Solving Tricky Conundrums – C’est La Vie?

I guess, solving such sticky questions is part of life’s little tests, right?

It is one of those trick questions that life puts out. You’re damned if you do and you’re damned if you don’t. Either way, you are pretty much screwing yourself over, regardless.

I guess, the only solution for these types of situations is to pretend that I didn’t realize it and go about my life, but with a certain level of awareness that these thought processes do exist in that person’s mind.

today I choose meIn all honesty though, it is hard. And it will continue to be hard for me. Because, the kind of person that I am, I simply find it so damn frustrating to be that way myself.

But, I guess if I keep doing it over and over, it may become involuntary, just like breathing, right?

Right?