Colours, paints, the best of hues, spectrum of coloured faces, water, balloons. Yes! Holi is here.
Since the last six years, I have played holi with textbooks, struggled to take on the vicious attack of exams and then boards and cursed the examination system of the country. Well, how can I blame the almighty for fixing holi at the time of a major crisis: student’s crisis?! Status updates, photographs, memes and calls are enough to make you go red with jealousy. The moment you hear people shouting their lungs out while being surrounded with people loaded with their weapons of colour and balloons, you just lose it. Standing at an uncomfortable distance and seeing friends & family bask in the festival’s glory while your eyeballs from left to right, then centre, in a serious attempt to absorb what you are ‘trying’ to study. You can only ‘try’ during the charm of festivals. Fact. But this year is going to be entirely different. Fresh into college, you ought to make your first holi in college ‘ekdum hatke’. Unceasing discussion, silly plans, burning desire to flout the rules and play holi on campus, you name it and we have done it.
Remember the time when we were little kids searching for a target to launch our attacks? Difference being that I was the target today. As a kid frivolously shot a balloon at me at the speed of a shooting star, I retorted, ‘What’s wrong with these kids? Nonnsense.’ Then I sat back, laughed it off and relished my holi memories.
All those being haunted by the exam-holi dilemma, let yourself loose. Stop thinking, ‘holi kab hai kab hai holi?, get out on the streets and unleash your inner kid!
Last month, Youth Ki Awaaz (YKA) launched an interactive-mobile platform that enables anyone, again ANYONE, to voice their opinion, take action and meet like-minded people. Confused? Just call 09310952952 and experience India’s first and only mobile platform for youth opinions. And you don’t need a fancy-Smartphone to do so. And that’s what makes the platform BIG. Imagine, no more feeling helpless when you see a cop taking bribe, or eve-teasing in the metro. The platform has a potential base of over 800 million people and can change the dynamics of citizen-journalism.
Youth Ki Awaaz, which literally translates to ‘voice of the youth’ in English, is an award winning and India’s largest online and mobile platform for young people to talk about issues of importance and seek action on them. The youth-run news and views blog and mobile service founded in 2008 with focus on Politics, Society, Environment and other issues has successfully created a channel for young Indians to voice themselves. Making best use of online and mobile journalism, social media advocacy and new media tools, Youth Ki Awaaz has, since 2008, given voice to over 20,000 young people from across the country and has a readership of nearly 6 million people every month. Breaking the barrier of Internet-penetration, last month YKA kick-started a mobile-service that empowers people to share their opinions, and also take action by simply calling up 09310952952 and recording their opinions or report issues within 60 seconds. Anshul Tewari, the journalist who founded YKA, says, “The idea came to us in 2011 because wanted to have an outreach that went beyond the internet and was not mainstream media driven, but something that used simple tools of conversations - that was the reason why we wanted to launch a service accessible through a normal black and white phone, which everyone has.”
YKA has set big goals for the future. Tewari further adds, “We hope to reach out to at least 2 million people annually through this service, to begin with. Moreover, going mobile and being voice driven breaks the language & accessibility barrier, and enables anyone to confidently speak up on issues they are passionate for.” Considering the fact that YKA has been behind countless stories of change in the last few years, this potentially unleashes a gold mine for change-makers. The idea is just not people voicing their opinion but, a two way dialogue taking place (not just the youth speaking their opinions, but people in power responding as well). Eventually, this can alter the paradigm of how much a ‘responsible’ citizen can contribute to the society. So the next time you feel that you need to speak up and make yourself heard, call 09310952952 (which for a non-qwerty keypad reads 09310YKAYKA) and make your opinion count, there will be change.
Photo Courtesy : Youth Ki Awaaz Facebook page
Courtesy: Google Images
Visually impaired students (not using the word ‘blind’ because it explains the quality of some other people better) have been enrolled in various colleges of the University of Delhi. University has ‘offered’ them help by allowing concessions in their fees. Kind, indeed! According to them, their sense of responsibilities and kindness ends here. The golden question here is – “Is that enough from their part?”
University’s lack of facilities or lack of concern is exposed when everyday many such so called ‘blind’ students run after these ruthless DTC buses. The vigor and compassion with which they stand amidst the vivacious crowd of overly enthusiastic DUites and the faith with which they board buses everyday without having any idea of which way the bus is heading, is incredible indeed. The never dying smiles on their faces re-establish one’s faith in God which gets lost at times due to the exaggerated problems of our daily lives.
Visualizing the courage of these physically disabled, a thought is provoked and an unanswered question rises that how easily we get defeated, discouraged and disheartened with small failures! However, God has sent some of its messenger on earth to teach us how life is lived and not just passed. Their sticks, their MP3 players, their Braille notebooks and their amazing technique of identifying someone by smell keeps one wondering how much of these extraordinary powers are preserved by the human beings. We call ourselves physically enabled and we don’t even value our lives. We don’t even realize how adventurous life is! Witnessing such experiences of those impaired students teach us a lot of lessons. All that Zoya Akhtar tried explaining in her latest movie – life is short, smile, fly high and explore your limits.
The fighters don’t find it easy to travel everyday in such crowded buses, they don’t enjoy coming to the college for the sake of attendance, they don’t enjoy these partially special treatment given to them but they enjoy living their lives as they know that there is a reason why God has sent them. They walk, they fall, they can’t even see someone’s smile but they know how to catch the one who is falling, they know how to pass a smile and turn that sour heart into a friend. They can’t be blind when they can see so much more than us. Blind is an adjective that can be used for the authorities who are technically disabled but don’t have a single moment to spare and pounder upon this topic.
Still, the fighters won’t complain, since they have learnt how to deal with anything and everything they encounter, with a smile, I guess! No doubt, science and humanity both has equally supported the never dying zeal of the torch bearers of the young generation.
People, get conscious, look around, you might not realize what a tremendous gift life is but its better late than never.
Cheers to them! Cheers to life!
Courtesy: Google Images
“I am making this statement as an act of wilful defiance of military authority because I believe that the war is being deliberately prolonged by those who have the power to end it. I am a soldier, convinced that I am acting on behalf of soldiers. I believe that this war on which I entered as a war of defence and liberation has now become a war of aggression and conquest.” – Seigfried Sassoon.
Dulceet Decorum Est is a latin translation for “It is pleasant and proper to die for one’s country.” This notion of love and sacrifice which intends to provoke and stir emotions of patriotism and nationalism in an individual dates back to the time of famous Roman Poet Horace (65-8 BC).
The eulogistic glorification and exaggeration about making a career in the hemisphere of navy, army and air force often beguiles young men and women to get associated with it. The honour and deliverance one is bestowed with, accolades by the state, special benefits and services is what one looks forward to while thinking about it as a profession which may sound very lucrative but it has a seamy side too. All these bounties are bait in disguise to invite young men to guard the territories of state. Away from their family and friends, their loved ones, in abnormal weather conditions and at the cost of their lives, to serve as watchmen for their country.
Courtesy: Google Images
But one really wonders, what resulted in this provision of security and defence for countries? Why does the government of every state invest huge amount of funds in the defence hemisphere? What is the need? Why is the idea of pacifism, utopian and fictional? Why is it that our history has witnessed catastrophic destruction and annihilation; sweeping a large number of population?
The hunger for money, power and resources has always annihilated the peace and tranquillity and provoked political upheaval and social unrest. The stereotypical ideology of glorifying the death of soldiers induces people to get involved in wars and violence and take up jobs in military and army. The actual concept of war is hollow and meaningless. Today we may not see actual wars going on as our ancestors witnessed but terrorism, civil war, cold war and political tensions between countries hold the hazardous potential of turning into one. Violence, be it of any kind, will never be fruitful and even if one comes out as triumphant and victorious, there will be no one to celebrate and share this victory with. The history of mankind is pregnant with agonised incidents of violence which serve no good but remain as sad and shameful memories in the minds and hearts of people.
This piece of writing may not find its relevance in the contemporary conditions because we cannot observe any real wars or violence around us but the stereotypical view of dying for one’s country needs to be questioned and challenged. We need to establish a flag of universal brotherhood and peace, curbing terrorism and anger that drives people insane and they don’t see what is right but only what is left. Violence, be it domestic or political, on whatever scale, can end if you want it to. And then perhaps, we can divert the youth of the world to become doctors, engineers, journalists, teachers, sportspersons, economists and contribute to the intelligentsia rather than killing those unknown people who are standing with guns in their hands in front of them.
Have you ever realized that almost all the sensations and feelings that we humans (and not-so-humans) experience, affect our stomach…but all the credit goes to our heart?
Here are some examples which will show you how-
In school or college, when you can’t (or don’t) complete your work even after the last date has been re-re-re-adjusted, and the teacher starts developing symptoms of Dolores Umbridge and one unfortunate day, when she asks you to stand up in front of the whole class…insults the life out of you and God-forbid you answer her back, which leads to her final transformation into Umbridge and she asks you to step out of your bench (and face her head-on) then what is the immediate reaction that your body experiences? At that very instant when you know that your Firebolt is inside some dark dingy closet that probably Malfoy is guarding and you’ve nowhere to go but in front of him…your stomach punches you hard! So hard that you want the earth to treat you like Goddess Sita and lovingly engulf you inside her! Don’t you feel like it? Like…your stomach clenches itself so much that for a millisecond you think that your belly has actually shrunk a few inches?
See my point? It’s the stomach!
Okay, another one…
Think of the moment when you got something that you didn’t quite expect to be given to you. Like, when you got a surprise test on a Monday morning whose marks will be added in the finals! How would you feel? Like your whole world crashes down and the dreams that you weaved for your prep holidays before finals smashes into pieces? Didn’t your stomach feel a setback then? Sure did! Pay a little more attention to it the next time. It might make him smile through the pain of the test.
Take one more:
For those of you, who while driving, think that nothing’s going to happen to you and that you own the road and you madly speed up your vehicle!
Even for those who are first timers on the road, and are doing experiments on their not-so-developed driving skills in someone else’s vehicle…
What happens when the road is oh-so-smooth! And your heart is saying those encouraging (which sounds more like prayers for survival) words to you and you increase the speed just a little to fulfill your dream of flying in the air and TADA!! Wish Granted! You desperately search for the break and press the accelerator instead and AAAAAAAAAAAA!!! Somehow the vehicle miraculously stops just when it is about to bang into a wall and the world around you comes to a standstill…
It’s not exactly your heart that a stop beating… it’s your stomach kicking the hell out of you!
Okay, enough of the painful stuff, now time for some butterflies!
Yeah! Now! For those who are in love… Remember the first time she/he said those words? Was it really your heart that flip-flopped? No! It was your stomach! Didn't it suddenly feel so light and then something whirled inside it and you couldn't help but smile and calm yourself down and smile again? You feel like hugging your pillow so tight so close to your stomach and you feel on top of the world!
See? And all you say is that the person has stolen your heart! Why so much prejudice against your own stomach?
She/he stole your stomach!
When you laugh hard, you hold your stomach as if it would fly off! And still you say you had a “hearty laugh”. Justice denied?
When your loved ones leave you, you cry or become upset and who do you punish? Your stomach…your very own stomach! You stop eating as if that would bring them back! It’s not your heart that’s broken! It’s your stomach! That poor little stomach!
Your voice comes not from your throat but from your stomach!
When you look good, you treat yourself a chocolate! (Stomach smiles)
When you don’t look good, you diet!
When your stomach’s upset you can’t concentrate on anything….can you? Next time, notice this!
There are umpteen examples of our stomach being the bearer of all emotions; however we seem to ignore it and give the credit to the heart.
We really, really need to spend some time with our stomach…to listen to its worries and rejoice with its special moments!
Stomach Revolution is on its way!
The alarm bell rings at 7.45 am to stir me up for the morning Maths lecture at 8.30 in the college. Sometimes, I switch it off to let the pirates (in my dream) conquer the crammed ship. I ask for a five minutes extension but, that somehow multiplies to thirty minutes. Then, I brush. I wash my face. I comb. I do not bathe. I sprinkle the Axe deodorant all over my body believing in their advertisement. I stuff one register into my bag and leave. As soon as I lock the door of my flat, I pray to Sir Usain Bolt (the fastest man on earth) to give his strength for the next five minutes. I run as if I am on the track to win gold in the Olympics. The gatekeepers in the college ask for the I-Card and I show to them with an attitude of an Investigative Officer and enter the college of high heel girls and built up muscular guys. Breathe. I run again to reach the class which is unfortunately on the second floor.
‘Ma’am, May I come in?’
‘No. You may not. You are late.’
And, then I wished I could have slept for that half an hour more and enjoyed the invasion of the pirates in my crooked dream. The day would have been much more pleasing! Then, the canteen’s tea and samosa calls me in for the breakfast. The round little brown samosas are the savior for my morning hunger. I see my friends in the corner table fighting over a plate of Chowmein. They discuss about some assignment that is to be submitted in the next lecture and which I have, obviously, failed to complete. I console myself and searched for an excuse.
‘Sir, I had an appointment with the doctor. I was ill.’
‘You seem all hale and hearty. This excuse won’t even work in 1980s. Out.’
‘2015, Out.’ He pauses. ‘I said, OUT!’
And, then, I felt sorry for the pirate in my dream whose adventures were far more interesting and engrossing than the ‘Fiscal and Monetary Policies of the RBI.’
I come back from the college after all the boring lectures and society practices. Midway to the world of my afternoon nap, the door bell rings.
‘Bhaiya! Newspaper ka paisa de do!’
'Kal le lena. Abhi nahi hai.’
And I shut the door pitying over ‘The Hindu’ which I never manage to read. As I take a step forward for the cosy bed, the door bell rings again. I open it.
‘Bhaiya! Khane me kya bana doon?’
'Dal aur sabji’
‘Bhaiya! Sabji toh hai nahi.’
‘Le ke aata hoon.’
Unlike the other days which go by ignoring the lunch, I stuffed my wallet in the pocket and ran to get the vegetables. I get all the vegetables required for the week. It costs 150 bucks. I search for the money in the wallet and realize that, the beer last night had eaten up the junk. I rush to the ATM. Get the money. Give it to the vendor who gives me a wicked smile. I smile back and rush. I reach the flat and give the vegetables to the chef, who with a decorated smirk, taunts that I had disrupted his planned schedule.
The day goes by, restless, twitchy and agitated. Sometimes, I run after the DTC Bus to get in. Sometimes, I fail to get down at the desired stop in a DTC Bus due to overcrowded population. Sometimes, I reach late for filling forms of a gas connection. Sometimes, I sit on the floor of the metro and get caught by the security guards. And, many a times, I fail to manage my finances due to more night-outs and increasing house rents and bills.
When the weather is breezy, I walk in the park in the evening. I wish for my mom’s agonized taunts that used to wake me up for the morning classes during school days. I wish my dad could see the doctor for me and get my medicines so that I could complete my assignments. I wish I knew the reason behind the wicked smile of the vegetable vendor who has probably charged me more. I wish to be at ‘my’ home, lay lazy with Jason Mraz music and enjoy the luxuries. I wish to munch Grilled Sandwiches and Chicken Curry instead of samosa and dal as my staples. I wish for the free flow of funds that I enjoyed in my hometown.
In the night, as I sit at my study desk to study for my test the next day, I flip the two hundred pages of John Garle’s ’Rise of Capitalism.’ Suddenly, I look at the Superman T-Shirt I was wearing. It read-
‘I Ain't SUPERMAN. Lemme Sleep!’
I close my book and go off to sleep wondering about the adventures of tomorrow. I set my alarm to 7.45 am which would probably be a useless attempt but gives me unknown satisfaction. As I close my eyes, the pirates invade!
May the odds be ever in my favor.
- A DU Outstation Student
All those smiling sheepishly thinking of the title, no it’s not what you think. Laughing again at your own wonderful imagination? Gotcha!
Have you ever laughed at your own silly tactics and profound stupidity? All that thinking and trying to retrace, carry on. Humor indeed is the key to survival in this big, badass and so Bollywood like world. In the hustle and bustle of our daily lives, one dose of laughter is a great stress buster, be it with American sitcoms or the pack of PJ’s or two little kids arguing their lung outs, perfectly imitating the Lok Sabha scene. Sense of humor is one sense that doesn’t come naturally but developing it is exactly where the fun lies. But what I see today is a bunch of dull and such serious (well, more than required) creatures that I have wistfully accepted that humor is a rare species now. Indian parliament’s ruckus over Dr. Ambedkar cartoons in NCERT textbooks which is as old as six decades clearly signals at the dissipating sense of humor. Honestly, politicians look more appealing and promising through caricatures. But the point of debate is have we become so hypersensitive that we can’t take humor of a mere cartoon? Have we really lost it?
Sense of humor finds such an important place in our monotonous lives that certain matrimonial sites mention ‘great’ sense of humor as a requirement for one’s prospective partner. And no, that’s not too big a demand; it’s the need of the hour. Imagine being surrounded with friends and family who keep a straight face all the time, even while watching Mr. Bean...Scary, isn’t it? I have always loved the company of those people who can laugh at themselves because they teach you that life is not supposed to be a battle all the time but a rollercoaster ride to be enjoyed. Laughing your way through the insults that people shoot you at is the most fascinating way to deal with them. Laughing your way through the worst of circumstances, finding humor in flunking a semester exam (once or twice, not more than that) and trotting on the path of positivity that your ex broke up with you because he just couldn’t handle your explosive sense of humor is the way to be.
All those still wondering the last time they laughed at themselves, do it now. For, ‘if you haven’t laughed at your own silly self, you have missed quite a lot.’
I am a homo! Who would have the guts to say that? Now, there is a way students can reveal their deepest secrets and sit back and laugh at them.
Facebook Confession sites have sprouted in university campuses here for students to "confess". About anything, really. Created by students, these anonymous posts can range from love confessions to who's having sex with whom, as well as complaints about grades and assignments.
With new confessions coming up every day, it has got turns and twists in lives of many people like for instance - for those who got hate messages their own friends have started judging them , for the ones loved, new add requests every day. Confessions were fun initially but slowly they are creeping into the personal lives and destroying it. It has become more about people posting random stuff which is most likely to be unrealistic.
Going by the literal meaning, a confession could mean a statement where one admits something that they are embarrassed or guilty about but with the recent mushrooming of confession pages, somehow the essence of a confession is lost. Bitching, inter-departmental rivalries, anonymous love proposals and what not?!
So here I confess: I love working with University Express, and this is not a promotional stunt…
So…what’s your confession?
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