All those moments in life that leave an impression, leave you in deep thought,and contemplation.
Find book reviews for reading that feeds the soul. Personal experiences, travel stories- for spirituality is a daily pursuit. Movie and art, as what works better therapy than these.
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Book and film reviews and random abstruse musings.
It is in common saying that man is known by the company he keeps. He is the average of the 5 to 7 persons that he spends most of his time with. Naturally, his perspective and viewpoint will be affected by those around him, be it a situation as small as deciding which movie is good, to discussing life and arguing on global issues.
Is this true?
Are we really forming our opinions on other’s premise? Many of you would be thinking a loud ‘No’ right now. I want you to remember the last time when you chose to stick by your opinion that the book you read was ‘awesome’ while your friends said it was ‘boring’. Or the time when you thought a dish was ‘delicious’ when the entire family said it was ‘tasteless’. Most must have settled for an average of the two extreme comments- ‘It’s okay. I like it.’ or ‘it’s good, edible.’ If it’s not so, then you’re in the good ground. But if it is so, you need to face this weakness. You don’t want to be a parrot that repeats, what his fellow mates say, now do you?
Why we try forming our opinions keeping others in mind?
One of the many reasons is the lack of confidence in our own opinion. This makes us depend on others’ opinion, thinking if many people share the same opinion, then it must be good and true indeed. You are no cattle, dear. Don’t follow the herd. Take your own stand. Be brave enough to voice your own opinion, that which you truly believe in.
Another reason is seeking acceptance and belonging in the crowd. You make a statement, a comment to please others, doesn’t matter whether you believe in it or not. But remember that flattery can do no one any good. Rather seek respect by taking your unwavering stand on a point.
Some of us are just unable to make our own opinion. We just don’t know how to. We are told what to do, what to choose, what to wear, what to eat and even where to go, by our elders ever since childhood. We literally depend on them for every decision we need to take. We need to learn that seeking advice is good, but taking the final judgment ourselves can satisfy us the most.
When we don’t know anything about what is being discussed, we don’t want to come out vulnerable about our lack of knowledge. Mingling with the crowd is the safest option.
Are you afraid to form your own opinion?
Are you afraid to speak your mind? Don’t be. “Sabse bada rog, kya kahenge log”- the greatest disease of all is ‘What will people say?’ Others’ opinions matter so much to us. A teen takes up engineering coaching classes instead of the dance classes he wishes so much to take. A woman does not come out of a dysfunctional marriage by taking divorce. We seek approval wherever we go, in every stage of life. What will our parents say? What will the society speak of us?
What good does this do to us? Nothing.
How to try forming our opinions, not on other’s premise?
Don’t jump to the conclusion: You need to let go of all kind of prejudices to get an unbiased view of the topic. Don’t take other’s words for granted. Open your mind to different views. It doesn’t let you narrow your perspective. Learn to consider counter views without judging them too much. Pay heed to your intuition too. Your gut instinct tells you something’s wrong even when everything seems right.
Be informed: Little knowledge is a dangerous thing. You should be informed of the situation thoroughly. If you are not, then it’s alright. It’s never too late to mend. Read a lot- newspaper, periodicals, etc. Subscribing to news updates in your smartphone is one of the best options.
Research: Sometimes it so happens that we tend to go with the herd. We think, so many people can’t be wrong, as happened recently in the Free Basics campaign led by Facebook. But after researching what is the argument between Free Basics and net neutrality is, most of us changed our opinion. Watch interviews.
Widen your group: Network more. You’ll come across so different views. Therefore, someone has rightly said- make a friend who is 15 years older than you and another 15 years younger, both do you a lot of good.
Others opinions do affect us a lot. But we need to sieve away the ones that do us no good. We are affected a great deal by how others affect our thinking. We are psychologically inclined to believe what we hear than doubt it. We need to learn and practice the way out.
Empress Ki is the most elaborate, gripping, and thrilling series I have watched this year. And at 51 episodes, it is the longest Korean drama series I have ever watched. Even though the number seems daunting and too much, it’s worth it all. If you like period dramas, you won’t want to give this one a miss.
It was in 2016 that I first read about Empress Ki, the historical drama that had garnered much praise and accolades from the audience and critics alike. Most Korean dramas are just 16 or 20 episodes long. So 51 seemed never-ending to me then. It wasn’t until 2017 that I decided to at least try the first episode. And I was hooked. But owing to the various circumstances I didn’t continue watching it. It was just last month that I remembered this epic story and watched it to completion within just a few days. Believe it or not, midway through it, I was almost literally pulling my hair out, in anticipation of what would happen next.
I would have given this magnum opus 10/10 had it stopp…
I have always been the one to leave first. Be it luck or circumstance, it has always been this way. Some of the times it has been my decision to venture out of my comfort zone first before all my peers decide to do the same and I am left behind, alone in the old world. The decisions are out of fear of being left alone, most of the times. Or is it self-preservation instead?
I am a person who takes time to adapt, make new friends, get accustomed to new surroundings- an unlikely one to leave first- yet I do. You might think me selfish, but I am just afraid, and I decide to take care of myself first. Some might see this as a major risk-taking attitude, but I mostly see it as fleeing before the 'desertion' hits me instead. Now that's a strong word indeed. I am always in search of safe ground, always so insecure and calculating my moves lest I end up being alone on the island.
Paranoiac. Several things bother me at once. What if my peers get on with their lives leaving me behi…
Horse riding was no cake walk for me.
I feigned ignorance for months about the rule for Princesses to learn to tackle a beast like that. For weeks I would hide somewhere innocently when it was time for the lessons. The experts appointed for this task left their posts within weeks. Hah! I would make each one leave. It’s a war now, between my father - The King and me.
One morning I spotted a rather young man near the stables. The maids were gossiping how handsome he was. Some whispered he was a year or two senior to me. Huh! He must have just graduated then. Father is appointing amateurs now, I see. Had I not been home-schooled, I would have known school life for myself.
I chose the haystacks in the courtyard of the servants’ quarters to hide that day, much pleased with my choice. The sky was beautiful and so were the house-sparrows. Just as I admired my surroundings, a head popped in front of me from nowhere.
“So here you are. You’re late for your classes. Let’s go now,” he pulled …
"When the ego dies, the soul awakes." - Mahatma Gandhi
Why do you have such a huge ego? You cannot wear your family's name on your sleeve as an identity forever. The world wouldn't see you through the eyes of your parents who have pampered you so much for the better part of your life. Here in the real world, you will get what you give. Respect begets respect. Selfishness begets selfishness. Hate begets hate. And your 'i don't care', 'i don't give a damn', 'i am paying money for that', 'i will do as I please' attitude will give you the same.
Respect is earned. Agreed. But you should give it first to earn it back. The other person should and must be respected by default despite his class, caste, job and family background, until and unless he proves unworthy of it with time. I stand strongly by this belief.
There can be no excuse for disregard. The way you speak to me about people tells me the way you might be speaking about me t…
July has been a special month for me. Not just because it is my birthday month, but because many new beginnings, many fresh starts, and many turning points of my life have happened in July. It's mid of the year when I have looked back at what the year was like for the first six months and have anticipated and dreamt about the coming six months. Goals and resolutions are reviewed in July.
These initial days of college are all about fun, making interactions, creating friendships and increasing your network. It's less on course works and assignments. So we are trying to take full advantage of it. I have made a few friends at the hostel too, most of them are my juniors, with a huge age gap. But the good news is none of us can feel this gap. We visited the Forest Research Institute this weekend. It was a good trip. I stopped at almost every tree to take a snap and posed at every corner of the museum clicking selfies. Too much beauty in a single place. Beauty overloaded. The view of t…
One Friday evening, as I was feeling a bit lonely and homesick with nothing much to do, not even strolling on the terrace viewing the ever so beautiful mountains since it was raining hard- thus it also contributing to my gloomy mood, I decided to watch Before Sunrise. Yes, once again. A first for me. I rarely re-watch a movie. Yearning for a light-hearted yet meaningful conversation this was the best choice I had. My hostel mates were out in the city and all the people I called up were busy. Luck by chance. Thanks to the superb uninterrupted internet connection I had a great 1 hour 40 minutes that evening.
"Experiencing the otherworldly. When morning comes, we would all turn into pumpkins."
Even though it sounds like a cliche today, unplanned trips, adventures in life, serendipity and providence are romantic. Before Sunrise has all of these, when strangers indulge in light conversations, grow intrigued about each other's lives, and spend time in each other's company …
Odia is my mother
tongue but I had never really focussed on Odia novels, given that I love
reading. Of late I realised that I should explore the culture and language of
my native land, and see for myself whether it suits my reading sensibilities. I
read “Jagyaseni” by Pratibha Ray a few years back, over a span of several
months. It is a retelling of Mahabharata from Draupadi’s perspective, which
brings about her inner turmoils, confusions, decisions, desires and dreams,
really well. It was the first Odia novel I ever read. Three days back, I
completed reading my second novel in Odia, coincidentally it is by the same
author. “Punyatoya” - literally it means the river, or ‘as pure as the river’.
It is also the name of a revered river in Indian mythology. The book has been
translated into Hindi with the same title, with the tagline “the story of a
village girl Meghi”. Other translated versions are in Marathi and Malayalam. The story follows a
young girl named Barsha, dearly called Meghi at…