Saturday, 27 June 2015

Reservations - Just or Unjust?

Date: 09/02/2015
Time: 9:30 PM
Location: Kolkata

                                   In the human-society, the rich always take the rein of dominance in their own hands. They rule the world and the poor labor to build the thrones. There has always been a very sharp line dividing the world of the prosperous and that of the impoverished. The good news is, change is the only constant thing. Men become rich and its not long before they lose their fortune due to their own callousness.

                                   Resources will always keep changing hands and people will keep crossing the sharp line which divides our world into two halves (not in context of the equator!). However, amidst all these changes, one unfortunate thing will always remain constant- those with minimal resources will always be crushed by the higher powers and this will last as long as civilization lasts.

                                   In contrast to this unfortunate fact, one significant solution (it claims to be a solution) has been constructed by the society of the modern man. Its called 'reservation'. Reservation is to arrange for (a room, seat, ticket, etc.) to be kept for the use of a particular person (according to Google). Reservation occurs in any institute or organization. Even a certain number of job offers, food reserves and survival aids are provided to what society calls the 'backward classes and tribes' (Yes, this is not about 'reservation' of a restaurant table or a hotel room- if you were expecting that sort of a thing)  There has been a lot of debate on the matter- Exactly how correct or incorrect this stance is?
                                  If we count the heads on the opposing sides, it almost turns out to be equal. There are some who are significantly bothered by this concept of reservation. According to them, its never fair when a less deserving candidate gets the last opportunity available. Those with wider knowledge and greater skill do not get the chance to display and use their talent just because their rightful place was 'reserved' for someone else.

                                 However, when the whole scenario is perceived from a different angle altogether, it seems that reservation is a well planned move. This is the case when we view the situation with the eyes of those who stand for 'reservation'. According to this perception, when a person with limited resources perform averagely, she/he should be given more credit than the person who happened to perform slightly better with plenty of resources available.

                                 The problem arises when one needs to decide exactly which perception is the correct one. Its often said that nothing can be right or even wrong, but when a situation has a base (here, its a well defined society) to rest upon, usually the judge can reach a decision. 

                                 When we shift our perception to a completely different level, a new scenario arises. As it is, today the world population is huge..and its not supposed to be so huge. All the humans who live today, are not supposed to be present on earth at the same instant. Its like that piece of land where birds drop numerous seeds. Only the stronger seeds transform into a tree and continue the cycle of life...the rest die. 

                                The only option is the fight for survival. If the rich classes utilize their acquired resources to increase their chances of survival and diminish those of the others, it'll be wise to accept that their action is fair. Obviously it sounds like a cruel and heart-less thing to do...but in a civilized society, this is the mildest form of battle. Certain laws of nature cannot be made obsolete with civilization. 

                                Also, if the weaker classes in the society manage to convince the world of their real worth (and it'll be a hard thing to do, because the world turns blind whenever it needs to see something important) and make it believe that they deserve a better place in the future, its all fair again. Be it reservations, or any other methods, they are just means to secure a higher survival rate and a better scope to see one's own traits in the generations to follow.

                               The ones who stand by 'reservation', see worthy individuals with high potential in the withdrawn and subdued faces. They find it mandatory to preserve and protect the traits of those who are ignored and left out from society...because one must always know that diamonds are found in the darkest caves. Those who are against reservation, are more likely the one's whose chances of securing a better place in the future are threatened by those who demand the same place (and possibly the latter gets it because they were assigned that place before they even wanted it).

                               Its quite amusing actually, still we didn't reach a conclusion. The question still persists with no definite answer- Is 'reservation' just or unjust? Probably no one will ever know until they posses a biased view. It is correct and incorrect at the same time possibly...yes, that must be the case. We all are correct and incorrect at the same time.

Case yet to be solved.
Court Adjourned!
Images from (order same as that of the images): , , , ,

Monday, 22 June 2015

Dreams and the Perception of Reality (Warning: This will confuse you!)

Date: 08/02/15
Time: 11:45 PM
Location: Kolkata, India

                                I've come across many people who do not believe in the idea of dreams and dreaming. I do not speak of the casual dreams that we have at night and forget as soon as daylight pushes open the eyelids. This is in context of those dreams which are way beyond a given person's reach, and it's structure is supported by the aid of imagination and not a single hint of reality resides in it. These are those dreams which we would rather exchange for reality. Its not only about unearthly and fairy tale stuff, but its also about things which are real, but far too unreachable and beautiful for becoming a reality for a given person.

                                Dreaming big isn't that never was. Even if those extraordinary dreams do not come true, I'd say, its completely fine to waste our time there. Its very important that we do not pay heed to those who complain about the "dreamers" in the room. When we dream of things which are apparently elusive, we offer a part of our mind to actually be inside the dream. We want our minds to believe in the dream, which in turn makes the mind order the body to function accordingly. This makes the body react the way it would if the situations were real. For example, if you are dreaming about having a dog (can't think of any other example because this is my most recurrent dream, correction: unobtainable dream *sigh*), your body will probably release oxytocin, which will make you feel the same love, the same feelings of comfort and longing which you have when you look into the eyes of a cute and cuddly dog. 

                                Its wonderful actually, how we can feel the same things, experience the same situations and live the same moments...both in the real and the unreal world created by our minds. There's very little difference between the two worlds actually. Reality is a continuous phenomenon and a dream is reality, offered in bits. Alright, the previous statement may be a bit confusing if you have not heard of the "phaneron" concept. This theory says that there's a difference between reality and how we perceive reality. What we perceive is actually the product, obtained after the input is passed through the filters of our senses. Then again, there's filtration by our mind. This means whatever we understand from our surroundings, is actually a product of our mind...just like a dream. Reality is real because we think its real. Reality is what we perceive most of the time, and some random person from the past, decided to name this phenomenon "real". Our dream is "reality offered in bits" because we perceive things within dreams as well. This world of dreams is only experienced by us when we have the time and leisure to dream...unlike reality which we experience all the time. Both are products of our mind.

                                In fact, certain people (called solipsists) believe that whatever they perceive, is just a fragment of their mind. You'll never be able to make them believe that what they see really exists, simply because they consider even you to be a fragment of their thoughts. In this universe nothing is really certain. It might just be that these people are the one's who are correct in their perception. It is also possible that now, when I'm writing this, the pen, the paper...all are just moving and scribbling in my thoughts. Maybe nothing exists...not even my body, just the mind which makes a world of its own, a mind which thinks body parts exist, a mind which thinks that reality is real. 

                                In the very same way, it can be that you...yes YOU, you are the one who is making all this up. Maybe right now, you are reading just another fragment of your own mind. You just think that some other person has written this, but maybe that's not true...and probably, now your mind is revealing all the secrets to you as you read this. Its your mind which just thinks that its reading words on paper and thinks that the information is being supplied from an external source, but truly, all of it is a product of your fascinating mind which hides and reveals at the same moment...Remember Matrix? There was this character, Morpheus, who talks about the same thing, explains it just perfectly- "What is real? How do you define 'real'? If you're talking about what you can feel, what you can smell, what you can taste and see, then 'real' is simply electrical signals interpreted by your brain."...Then another one- Cypher - "You know, I know this steak doesn't exist. I know that when I put it in my mouth, the Matrix is telling my brain that it is juicy and delicious." Just replace the "Matrix is telling my brain" with "Mind is telling my body"...but all these perspectives and theories will always have a "maybe" hanging to it.

                               This two syllable word is in fact the law of the universe- "Maybe". Nothing is certain, it never was, it never will be...and probably that's the best part about this universe...Another great thing about this universe is the existence of human minds...we are more than fortunate to have one. Its our responsibility to do the best possible things with the aid of our minds...and dreaming certainly falls in the to-do list! 

                                It might just be, that one fine day you realize, your reality is just a dream, and what you dream of, is your real reality.


Images from (order same as that of the images): , , , ,

P.S.- In case you are thinking about why I mentioned pen and paper instead of keyboard and screen, this is part of a journal entry (written and not typed) dated 8th Feb, 2015. Lots of edits are there of-course, but I decided to keep that part untouched.

Tuesday, 16 June 2015

The Uncertain Path Towards Beauty

Date: 08/01/15
Time: 9:00 PM
Location: Kolkata, India

                                Sometimes, what we really want is, proceed in the direction where everyone is headed. There's this new faith and a longing for experiencing the subtle human emotions and behaviors by walking with the crowd itself (and not being a part of it at the same time). There's this sudden discovery of beauty in the everyday human lives and the humans themselves and all we know is how much we love being alive and that too as a human. We suddenly know what magic really means and realize the potential of every object that can exist.

                               That's exactly the feeling that I'm going through at this moment. There's this strange "feel-good" feeling which makes everything way more beautiful than they normally are- the heart feels lighter, people are more reliable, kids act as a symbol of joy rather than annoyance and I somehow manage time to watch the moon late at night and imagine strange disney stuff!...No, I'm not in love and also not quite a hopeless romantic. This just happens...and I'd say that I've been fortunate enough to realize the beauty of everything that's there, many a times. Its that time when we fall in love with not just one person...but everything that's human...and everything else too! Okay...if this is confusing...more simply it means that you suddenly know what it means to be alive and know how gorgeous life really is...and this knowledge is so intense that breathing in and out suddenly becomes the most magical experience that you've ever had! The beauty of the world becomes so overwhelming that you know tears were never made for sadness. 


                              Frankly, I do not know much about life or the living and this is so because I've not had the opportunity to experience much (did not yet step into the realms of the adult world)...but I know, I'm on my way to discover the most wonderful aspects of this world...the journey has already begun...and somehow I feel this journey towards a more experienced me, is going to be the most surreal experience. Sure, there'll be a lot of low points in this uncertain path, but that'll only amplify the beauty of what matters. Darkness is important because that way I'll know what is light. One of the most extraordinary part of this journey will be the path towards self discovery...because presently I'm highly uncertain about everything related to me. I know my name, but I don't really know who I am. I know my goals, but I'm unaware of my purpose. I know what my thoughts are about, but I don't have a clue about the secrets deep inside my own mind. I'm a stranger to myself if not to the world. I'm a stranger to the world if not to myself.

                              When I think of the Earth, I feel that I simply need to know even the known facts. I know about the gorgeous Alps, the mind boggling Stonehenge, the tranquil Himalayas and even the unearthly Aurora Borealis. However, at that instant of time when I was told about these splendid features of our world, I had not the slightest idea of what 'beauty' meant. I was a child and did not know the skill of making the mind believe what is beautiful and what is not. I'm still not quite sure of what beauty really is but I've come across things and instances which make my mind feel at peace and spreads a sheet of serenity over it. 


                              So, even though I know a bit about things which truly are beautiful, I'm still awaiting that time when I'll know how to appreciate the beauty to it's full potential. Maybe in the near future I'll learn a new way of feeling which will serve beauty and knowledge in the right proportions! The concept of beauty obviously is different for different minds...I'll just have to decide which one to plant in my own mind. 


                              So there are many questions which are best unanswered at this point. The list tends to be endless but more than being annoyed by the endless questions, it'll be wiser to appreciate them...because there's beauty even in the way these questions were born in the minds of the living. I don't know whether the answers will promise the same. Sometimes I fear that I'll remain unknown to myself forever but isn't that great?! Maybe I'll have the privilege to discover a new side to myself every moment. I'll never be complete because there'll always be some new attribute added to me each passing day! We can never be complete. Can we? 


                             Nothing is absolute in this Universe, not even the universe itself. Not even science is absolute or decisive...which obviously makes the answers hard to obtain. There's no one to decide which is a better question but even the silliest questions do not have an absolute answer. The uncertain path towards beauty promises the gift of the answers much sought after. The answers which may just change the next moment...


First image from:

Saturday, 13 June 2015

Mindfulness and Free Will; Hope is Never Lost

Guest Article By Thomas Parisi

                                One of the greatest philosophical discussions of all time centers around the greatest gift we've ever known as a species. It is something that is ever-present and often overlooked. It leads us to our passionate and most joyful moments or to our agonizing and painful mistakes. I am talking of course about Free Will.
                                Free Will exists in every circumstance.  Even when we are unable to affect the unalterable confines of physical reality we can still choose how we think and act. We can choose how to address and handle each situation. We can even choose how we feel by reinforcing the patterns of thought and action that help us feel joyous and alive, or by abandoning the ones that promote negative emotions and behaviors. Feelings surround each of our choices, and if we recognize how we are affected we can learn to choose wisely. 
                               I have heard the argument time and again that we do not possess Free Will. Proponents of this theory believe that we are thinking, behaving, and existing solely at the end of a long progression of events that have given us no choice as to what will occur next.They make claims that Free Will is an Illusion. I find that statement oddly ironic because believing that free will is only an illusion can only be ascertained by exercising the free will to believe so! 
                               While I understand that yes, we are standing in the here and now, at the end of a lifelong progression of events that have led us to this very moment, I wholeheartedly disagree that we have no Free Will. We are not omniscient or omnipotent, so our freedom is limited only to what we can control as sovereign beings, and that is our choices. 
                             Life is a series of choices. Those choices lead us down an infinite number of pathways. Sometimes we choose incorrectly and we feel as though we are trapped. We sometimes feel that we have less freedom than we did before the choice was made, but this is only the illusion of reality. We can choose the wrong path over and over again only to feel trapped and in despair, but this is the true illusion. The illusion that hope is lost and that Free Will is non-existent is the antithesis to life, and it leads only to suffering and pain.
                            We are never without hope because we can always choose again.  We sometimes construct the negative thoughts and feelings that keep us bound but they are just that; constructs. They can be destroyed by action. No matter how confined you feel, or how stuck in your current situation you think you are, that can all be changed by choosing to act in ways that will change your situation. Action is always the result of a choice, we need only become mindful of our choices.
                           As conscientious and thoughtful creatures we possess the ability to think before we act. Consciously we can choose each step carefully and with intention. This is Free Will at it's essence. No matter how limited you believe your choices have become hope is never lost. Through a persistent mindfulness to discern the proper choice (and therefore course of action) you can begin to reshape the world around you, and with it your life.
                           Free Will should be viewed as making proper and healthy choices. Nourish yourself. Physically we must eat nutritionally complete meals and get enough exercise. Mentally we must be stimulated with information and experiences that keep us feeling fulfilled. Spiritually we must feel connected with Life and each other. 
                          Our sub-conscious minds collect and store everything we think and experience, every action and every feeling is catalogued to create a deep sea, and the undercurrents will affect you in a plethora of ways. By choosing the healthy choice each and every time you are enriching yourself. These proper choices add up over time- and before you know it you can and will be free; Free to choose wisely in every circumstance. 
                        Through mindfulness we can learn what choices enrich and inspire us. We can learn how we are affected by the patterns that develop from choosing one way or the other. We can choose to learn through observation how our choices affect us, and our surroundings. We can choose to exercise our Free Will and begin to step in the direction we were meant to. The journey becomes better than the destination when  each and every step is better than the last.
Thank you Samadrita Ghosh for allowing me to guest post here @!!
Authored by: Thomas Parisi
Website: Hoping to enrich and inspire toward social good.

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Saturday, 6 June 2015

Its all about Me!

Date: 4/01/15
Time: 8:19 PM
Location: Kolkata, India

                         Well, today I'm going to write about something different. You won't get to read about the universe, earth, humans, life or any other stuff I usually write about. So...this is just gonna be about me. The ones who are least interested in knowing another strange human mind, I recommend that you stop reading this because it just revolves around one person and that is me.