The Coconut

coconut

 

 

Bow to the Almighty, shed the negativity

Break open the ego, let the soul flow

Frayed the coconut may be

But with Him, peace be with thee


Among Hindus, coconut holds a symbolic value in worshiping any deity. The hard shell generally is considered to be one’s ego which is broken to let the water (one’s soul) out and then taste the fruit after bowing to God.

This week Indians celebrate Ganesh Chaturthi in honor of Lord Ganesha. I took this photo during the pooja at my house. In the background, you can see the turmeric, fruits and flowers offered during pooja. It coincided well with the challenge of the week Fray and, hence, this post.

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A small disclaimer: I am not religious. More of a hypotheist. More on that in a future post. Keep visiting. ūüôā

The cutest God is here!

When the fervor of Ganesh Chaturthi is in the air, even an atheist is overwhelmed. Such is the passion and devotion!

Ganapati is just one of the thousand deities worshiped in India. So what makes him special? Well, there are plenty of reasons. But for me, it is primarily because – let’s face it – he is the cutest!

http://tinyurl.com/mm47l7n
Source: http://tinyurl.com/mm47l7n

Gods’ generally are depicted as composed, serene and smiling and Goddesses as charming and beautiful. But the general projection of Ganesha is a strong and defiant, obedient one.¬†He is also worshiped before beginning any new task, as his blessings are considered auspicious.

Why he has an elephant head, is a lengthy and interesting story (which can be found here). Putting it briefly, an angered Lord Shiva (his father) had apparently cut off Ganesha’s head when the latter did not heed his command, because he was in turn carrying out Parvati’s (his mother) orders. When Parvati demanded that the deed be undone, his body was retrofitted with an elephant head!

Pre-independent Indians were banned by the Britishers from getting together as a crowd so as to preemptively quash any revolution in the making. Festivals, however, were not banned. Lokmanya Tilak used this to his advantage and popularized public celebrations of the festival to inspire unity. And I personally think that it was a pretty cool idea.

Nevertheless, this day is celebrated with great enthusiasm among the Western and Southern parts of India. I have witnessed it through my childhood and I still enjoy it every year. More than anything, it is an occasion for a get-together of the extended family.

The celebrations go on for about a couple of weeks. I will attempt to capture glimpses and post them if possible.

Oxford Comma – to use, or not to use?

I happened to find this pic on my FB timeline:

Grammarly on Facebook
Source: https://www.facebook.com/grammarly/photos/a.158139670871698.33824.139729956046003/846877501997908/?type=1&theater

The graphic itself was hilarious. But apart from that, it brought back memories of an age-old controversy. The Oxford Comma Рa debate probably as old as literature itself.

In school, I was taught that ‘using a comma just before a conjunction is a crime. Period’. That stuck. For a long long time. And being the dork that I was, I chose to blindly believe it.

I thought it would be appropriate that this matter get some limelight on my ¬†small lil’ blog.

Just before I composed this post, I did a brief research (read ‘surfed online’) about it, and although it didn’t settle the debate, it made me change my allegiance. I now publicly declare that I support the use of Oxford comma, Harvard comma, or serial comma.

Why did I write this post?  Because I come across a lot of fellow-bloggers who excel at writing. And many of you adore the concept of grammar. I, for one, am obsessed with it. (not to imply that I am a master at it). But lets just say that whenever I see a grammatical mistake, I feel uneasy, restless, and irritated.

So, this is for all you grammar-lovers out there.

You can read more about this fascinating debate here, here, here, and here.


After you vote, do visit this site for a fun fact –¬†http://tinyurl.com/mhjvftd

Racists & Rapists – Unnecessary Evils

At a time when the world’s largest democracy¬†marches forward under the leadership of a new government, expectations are high and patience is low. The change of leadership has yet to show its impact on the rising atrocities against a certain gender and a certain race.

The rising rate of rapes and racial discrimination against the North-East¬†is not just concerning, but alarming. India was recently labelled as the worst place to live for a woman among the G20 countries by The Guardian.¬†Meanwhile, politicians don’t seem to be helping the matter. Either they are not aware or they just don’t care. As long as the votes keep coming…

While one part of the globe is witnessing warring countries, another part is witnessing war of a different kind. Rife with increasing cases of rape and racial discrimination. India is at war with itself.

We celebrate our 68th Independence Day on 15th August, 2014.

What are we celebrating for? We were freed from one tyrant only to be ruled by another. Only difference Рthe present day villain resides in the minds and therefore harder to banish.

An introspection is in order. Urgently.

For a nation that aspires to be a superpower one day, issues such as these will simply hold us down. A lot needs to be done. Wake up countrymen…

A small body of determined spirits fired by an unquenchable faith in their mission can alter the course of history.
– Mahatma Gandhi
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Image credits:

‘Never Let Me Go’ – My review

A close friend suggested me this movie and duly warned me that is ‘slow’ and could turn ‘gloomy’. I watched its trailer online and read few reviews of the author. I wasn’t sure I would like it. But I watched it anyway.

The Poster
The Poster

And I loved it!

More than anything, the fictional concept of organ donation was amazing and was handled with respect; well executed; emotions galore. Saying anything more would be a spoiler.

I haven’t read the book, so I don’t know if the movie did justice. But I loved it and would recommend it to anyone who likes meaningful and soulful flicks.

Does ‘The Making’ make it less special?

Came across this article in today’s newspaper.

image

It had me thinking. I generally am excited to see ‘makings’ and ‘behind the scenes’. I, in fact, make it a point to go to IMDb and look at these extra stuff. It helps me relive the movie.

But, on the flip side, I started wondering whether the above is right.

Imagine seeing a very serious and moving flick and then watch clips of its making which are generally hilarious. It takes away the feel and magic of the movie. May be it is better we confine ourselves to the movie alone?

The Upstart Crow!

Jack of all trades, master of none

I came across this phrase and was toying with it since morning. I wondered about its origin and who might have framed it. Who else better than Google to answer my question.. So after a li’l googling, I came across some very interesting facts which I wish to share. I say interesting because it relates to a very popular literary figure. For those who are curious, this is how it goes…

Back in the late 16th century, there was a very popular English author called Robert Greene who had apparently authored scores of literary works.

Enter William Shakespeare – author, poet, playwright and actor. He shot to fame in the literary world, first as an actor who slowly started writing plays and poems¬†which are masterpieces even today. Greene did not trust ‘actors’ because they stole the show, became heroes in the eyes of public and handsomely paid. On the other hand, authors were beginning to get ignored and did not receive their worth even as a lack of copyright laws belittled their work.

Groatsworth
Source: Wikipedia

So, in 1592, when Shakespeare was in his late 20s, Greene penned ‘Groats-worth of Witte, bought with a million of Repentance‘¬†in which he attacked Shakespeare for being a Jack of all trades (and master of none). ¬† Greene referred to Shakespeare as the ‘upstart crow‘ in his works, a title which remains associated with him.

Greene left for his heavenly abode that same year (1592) and Shakespeare went on to create history as we know it today.

¬†Now you know all about the ‘The Upstart Crow’! ūüėÄ


Disclaimer: None of this research is mine. This information is merely a brief compilation. All credits go to the respective owners and all rights remain with them. You can visit the websites directly for more extensive info:

  1. Wikipedia – Robert Greene
  2. Wikpedia – William Shakespeare
  3. Literarygenius.info
  4. phrases.org.uk

I am sober – and I’m proud of it.

Yes, I don’t drink. So what?

Certain people do certain things. And certain people don’t do certain things. It’s a personal preference.

“You don’t drink? Seriously?” ¬†¬†Yes, I don’t. Is it so hard to believe? Just because¬†you have a weak mind and tipple to lower your inhibitions, doesn’t make me less of a person. In fact, I may more likely have a stronger mind than you do.

“Drinking is a sign of the ‘real man’. Don’t be a sissy.” ¬† A ‘real man’ doesn’t require alcohol to face his problems or to have fun. I attempt to solve my problems on my own without depending on spirits. Time to return to ‘real’ity, sir.

“C’mon, don’t be shy. Try it.” ¬†¬†I don’t shy away from drinking per se. I shy away from the thought of letting booze take control of my actions. You are already wasted. Don’t waste another life.

“You are missing out on the good part of life.” ¬†¬†I am happy the way I am. If there is anything that can make me happier, alcohol is the last thing on that list.

“Hey, I’m sorry for what I said/did last night. That wasn’t me. That was the alcohol talking.” ¬†¬†Be a man and own up to what you said/did. You probably deserve double the punishment.

“A li’l alcohol is actually good for your body.” ¬† Well, so is exercise and a balanced diet. When was the last time you jogged and ate healthy on a regular basis?

“You need to drink to socialize.” ¬† No. You need to be social to socialize. Alcohol, on the other hand, can unmask the ‘anti-social’ in you.

It pains me to see a person ‘drinking for fun’ turn to ‘occasional drinker’ turn to ‘social drinker’ ¬†which most often culminates in ‘addiction’.

Problems? If alcohol was a problem-solver, then beer barons would have been saints.¬†Isn’t it wiser to face your problems than use alcohol as a shield.

Fun? There are a million other things in life to do for fun which are better (and inexpensive) substitutes. Hobbies, trips, friends, books… An addiction to these is welcome!

Lastly, how about this…

  • Is there anyone who you have ever respected/loved MORE because they drank?
  • Is there anyone who you’ve respected/loved more because they DIDN’T drink?

If you answered YES and NO respectively, maybe you and I are two very different people!

The very fact that I chose to write a post explaining myself is proof that something is not right. The mindset, to put it bluntly.

Think. Retrospect. Choose.

If you still think there is a valid justification, you have all the rights to continue. But, you most certainly do not have the right to belittle someone sober.

Because I am sober – and I’m proud of it.


[PS: If you drink, this post should offer you a different point of view. If you are sober, you are most probably in the same train as me. Either way, do share your thoughts.]

The Middle-East Conflict – what do I know?

Not much, apparently.

The Middle East conflict between Israel and the Arabs is all over the news. Gaza, Cease-fire, Netyanahu, Hamas – terms that ought to be known. After all, this conflict is slowly developing¬†into a war. And when it involves international superpowers, it means nothing but trouble. What the world definitely doesn’t want at this point, is another World War. Continue reading The Middle-East Conflict – what do I know?

10 lies in medical dramas that make us look cooler than we are..

Came across this very interesting post. All the medical TV series (however interesting and glamorous they are to watch) have built a certain steerotype of a medical professional. But the truth is that all physicians aren’t as smart as Dr House, nor good looking like Dr. Shepherd, nor as dedicated as Dr. Yang. We are normal people with a normal, albeit different, job.

I had myself thought of talking about this. But for now, this post summarizes the gist of my thoughts. 

Of scalpels, diapers and pinky-nude lipsticks.

7792115-portrait-of-surgeons-at-work-operating-in-uniform-looking-at-camera

Medical dramas have more often than not been immensely popular on TV. The intense life and death stories, Adonis like surgeons, uber- competitive super- attractive residents, wacky patients, natural disasters, passionate hospital romances, never- ending drama…..

Keeps the viewers hooked ….

And propagates a ton of lies and half- truths!

They present a seriously distorted concept of what a surgeon’s life is like!

Of course there are times, when interesting, intense, exciting things transpire in the operating room or in the surgical wards.¬†After all art does imitate life. But most days in the ‚Äúoffice‚ÄĚ for the surgeon are mundane and uneventful. Some days can be borderline boring even!

Here are the top ten lies/ myths about surgeons that is often dispersed on medicine/ hospital based TV shows:-

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