About Me

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Worcester, MASSACHUSETTS, United States
Hi guys out there! Well, stories have been my first love because they make life. We all have stories to talk about, stories untold, stories locked in our hearts. I have been writing stories ever since they influenced me. Here I am with three fiction novels in my kitty. If you have a story you want to talk about, you can always write to me. Here you'll find my blog posts too which are sometimes funny and stupid because I choose to write what prevails within me. About me on a personal note: I love to write at any time. Some day, I want to be the person who creates a tiny difference in the book world. Apart from that, I do have common interests just like anybody else with an extra tint of passion for books. You can always write to me here chitalmehta1987@gmail.com or check my website here - www.chitalmehta.com

Thursday, December 27, 2012

Same old rape case…..when will we react?

Well, this isn’t new. We are having so many problems around that the news of rape has hardly made us stop in our tracks. Instead, the word rape has become so common in our magazines and newspapers that we read it and flap the pages as if it were usual to read such news. And we are partly right in our actions. Nobody ever stops to see until it happens to us. If it has happened to someone else, the least we can do is offer sympathy and move because we have been taught that life is supposed to be lived forward.

Whatever been said and done, we simply cannot ignore rapes. India, as a country can never develop if it never learns to keep its daughters safe. No amount of money or technology progress will help India until women are able to walk in the roads without the fear of being raped. The news article in NDTV dated 27th December talks about a particular case where a teenager who was fighting for justice committed suicide after one month because she was given two options:

1. To have a financial settlement with her attackers.
2. Marry one of the attackers.

Surely, justice seems to have an alteration in its meaning if people start throwing their options such as the above. I am surprised and proud for the fact that the teenager fought her battle for a whole month after the attack but I am equally saddened that something broke her confidence and faith that drove her to kill herself. I can only pray for her soul to rest in peace.

NDTV:A 17-year-old in Patiala who had been gang-raped has committed suicide because the police allegedly embarrassed her and refused to register a case for over a month.

The teen was sexually assaulted on Diwali by two men. Though her family was threatened by the alleged rapists, they decided to file a police case two weeks after the attack.

The family alleges that the cops refused to register a case; they summoned the teen repeatedly to the police station and humiliated her. "The police started pressuring her to either reach a financial settlement with her attackers or marry one of them," her sister said today.

Let’s not forget that at any point of time, men were not born to rape and women were not born to be preys. There can be no space for such filth in a society which boasts about culture and values. All said and done, the recent rape incidents throws a strong message to women out there to safeguard themselves against the prevailing evil minds that roam our streets.

Saturday, September 29, 2012

Please prove that you are not a robot!

I was recently trying to enter a comment on one of the blogs when I got the message “Please prove that you are not a robot. Enter the words shown below”. We have these captcha codes that are mandatory to be entered if you want your comment to be entered.
I couldn’t help smiling when I read the sentence “Please prove that you are not a robot”. As if entering the captcha code proves that. Well, in real life, we all have become robots. Now, now, yes we breathe, we eat, we cry, we laugh, we love, we sulk – none of these can be done by a robot. So, how are we robots?

A robot is anything that follows an order. If you look at it closely, most of us are actually following orders. No way, you argue, denying the fact that you follow orders. If that’s the case, why do you think people out there follow the media blindly? Why do you think people out there follow the customs and caste systems? Why do you think a human’s capacity is concluded with the wealth he possesses than his character? Why do you think we pay money for our needs without questioning if it’s worth or not?

Ages ago, someone decided to lay down the rules. To this day, we have been following them without questioning. To those who have tried to question, have been insulted or termed mad or crazy. Anybody who questions these silly, stupid, senseless rules is out of the league. We praise ourselves to be in accordance with the system while we are the actual fools.

Think for a moment about the decisions that you make. Think for a moment about the judgment you make about other people. Let’s prove that we are humans who have this special thinking capacity which can create wonders if used. Let’s prove that we are not ROBOTS.

Tuesday, September 25, 2012

Indian horror story: College student kidnapped child for 5 lakhs, killed him

The above statement is posted in 25th September NDTV headlines. When I read the story, I didn’t know what to think. But I wanted to know the details so I continued to read. What I read further shocked me so much that I had anger ebbing within me.

A college boy in Pune decided to kidnap a 5 year old kid from the neighborhood and demand a ransom of 5 lakhs because he needed the much used commodity – a bike. After the kidnap, for reasons unknown the lad strangled and killed the small boy to death on knowing that he wouldn’t get the money.

We, the people, are responsible for this. We are responsible for the college boy wanting the bike. We are responsible for the death of the small kid as well. Being a part of the society, we have built stereotypes of various kinds to such an extent that, the want of a vehicle has become more important than a life.

With increasing demand for a more materialistic life, we are losing the stand that real life lies in people, relationships, passions, service and devotion. The above incident is just a warning for all of us that we are yet to feel the wrath of money if we don’t stop bathing ourselves in wads of money.

I wonder now, how will the murderer live with this sin all his life. The curse and fury of the parents, the society and the Gods – is this needed for a lad whose life is yet to start. He gained the badge of a sinner, the small boy at the hands of death, the media running the story for a few more days and then towards the end, the world moves on as if nothing ever happened.

Ignoring the situation isn’t going to help us for long. Let us now, at least now, wake up and analyze for a moment the things we have been giving importance. Let us teach our children the importance and value of relationships. This lies purely in the hands of parents and teachers, so let’s make use of this power in the proper way.

Until then, we have to move on, but with the thought that gruesome murders shouldn’t be allowed to be a part of a normal living. If we start living with this, one day murders will becomes daily news.

Saturday, September 22, 2012

You can also write for yahoo voices like I did...


Wednesday, September 19, 2012

Pleasant reminders

Today, being Ganesh Chathurthi, all of India is in full swing with streets displaying a wide range of clay Ganeshas. Of course, the package comes with a variety of sweets that seem too delicious for a wholesome meal.

As luck would have it, I had to report to office even when people around me were in the festive mood preparing themselves to enjoy the day. Reluctantly, I woke up and followed my routine despite my inner self not bothering to deny the sadness of not having a holiday. I boarded the office bus at sharp 7.45 am cursing the driver to show up punctually every single day (If he wanted he could come a little late by letting us sleep a little longer).

Choosing a window seat, I opened a copy of Reader’s digest and immersed myself in the world of light humor and bonus reads. In our office buses, usually a register is passed around in which we had to note down our names and sign the same. Apparently, it was followed to keep track of the passenger strength each day or so I thought.

Just when I was drawn deep inside the magazine, a felt a sharp thud of an object fall on my lap. With anger simmering inside, I noticed that the girl in my front seat had dropped it over me for signing it. The girl, who was now engrossed in the world of her headphones, didn’t see me noticing her with a callous expression. I decided to call her and teach her some manners.

For some reason, I held back. A few things started running into my mind.

1. I had to see her daily in the bus.
2. I didn’t want an argument to be a reminder when we saw each other.
3. True, she had dropped the register but it wasn’t as if I had a fracture or a wound.
4. May be it wasn’t such a big deal; she must have dropped it by mistake.

I resumed reading my magazine forgetting the entire episode but I learnt an important lesson. In most situations, we argue for things that don’t hold much water at all. If we sat back and thought about the anger and hurtful situations that come in our lives, most aren’t worth talking or discussing about. But we usually make a big fuss which in turn gives way for unpleasant encounters with people.

May be if we could hold back ourselves, we wouldn’t have so called “problems” that we complain about. Above all, we all need pleasant reminders when we meet people which is possible only if we smile and learn to let go.

You Are Who Your Friends Are

It's important to acknowledge the power of a positive attitude. This goes not only for yourself, but also for the people you surround yourself with.

Attitudes are catchy. Whether they're positive or negative, they're rubbing off on you. If you're around people who complain, judge, spread negative gossip, blame others, and play victim roles, chances are you do, too.

Who are you around most? Are they achieving their dreams or complaining about their circumstances? Do they look up to others who are go-getters and high achievers, or do they make fun of them and roll their eyes? How do they treat you?

If you're spending time with people who don't support your dreams and goals, it's seriously time to look at whom you call your friends, and start networking to up-level your circle of influence.

Successful people surround themselves with successful people, plain and simple. They want to be around others who are achieving goals and making things happen. They want to know their secrets and strategies for winning. They're not embarrassed to be hanging out with people who are studying for success and making good money.

You, too, need to surround yourself with positive influences. Join the clubs that other successful people are in, learn what they're learning. It doesn't matter from what walk of life you are coming from. Show up and transform yourself into an achiever! Success isn't just for those who have had it easy, who came from supportive homes or had expensive educations. There are so many successful people who rose up from very poor conditions and overcame obstacles to achieve the goals they set their sights on.

But they didn't get there by hanging out with negative energy-drainers!

Have you been limiting your success by letting yourself become influenced by other people's negative energy?

Make a list of all the people you spend time with and make a note of the kind of personality they have. How many negative people are you around every day? How many people on your list are achieving their dreams, supporting yours and taking responsibility for their lives? You're better off spending time alone than with people who hold themselves back with a victim mentality.

Simply stop spending time with the negative people on your list. Join the clubs that will put you in with a positive circle of friends. Set a new standard for yourself and don't become friends with people who fall below that standard. Invite your old friends to come with you and you'll know who has potential and who to stop being around entirely.

You have to take responsibility for this area of your life. Look around you at the people you call friends. Does it make you proud? Are you selling yourself short? Or are you on the right track?

Starting TODAY ... make a conscious effort to surround yourself with positive, nourishing, and uplifting people - people who believe in you, encourage you to go after your dreams, and applaud your victories. Surround yourself with possibility thinkers, idealist, an visionaries!


Jack Canfield, America's #1 Success Coach, is founder of the billion-dollar book brand Chicken Soup for the Soul© and a leading authority on Peak Performance and Life Success.

Cartoons: Is there a need for filtered viewing?

A 13-year-old hanging himself imitating a cartoon character should serve as an eye-opener for all the parents. They should pay special attention to what their child watches on television and there is a dire need to guide the children as they might imbibe all the good and bad characters they get to watch on the television sets.

KIDS OF all ages have always enjoyed watching the cartoons; there are some which are enjoyed by adults as well. Who can ever get over from the repeated series of Tom and Jerry? Some fond memories are awakening the thought of Scooby doo, Flintstones, Popeye show, Dexter and much more. We spent most of our childhood fancying these characters as if they were our next door neighbors.

When I read recent coverage, I realized that cartoons are no longer the same. The brain-free-mind refreshing cartoons have evolved into a complex phenomenon that has ceased to be fun. The news article spoke about the death of a thirteen-year-old who hanged himself imitating a cartoon character. The only difference was that the cartoon character came out alive while our youngsters fell for an ill-fated death that was uncalled for.

It is disturbing to know that cartoons which are basically aired only to entertain children are also provoking a million thoughts in the minds of children. The characters create an influence deep enough to control the action of our children through a medium of dummyness. This incident shows us how our children are easily hypnotized by the silly cartoon characters.

Are children naïve to understand the difference between real and reel lives? Are parents too busy to notice what their child might be up to? Is there a need to filter the cartoons that are being aired on television?

While a reason from the above can be picked to blame, it is essential to realize that kids absorb everything that they come across. How seriously they glue it to their sub-conscious minds is never known. As parents, what we can do is, keep checks on our children to filter cartoon watching. Parents are the closest contacts to children who should know how sensitive their children are to the world of fancies.

Monday, September 17, 2012

A mother always looks for the best in her children

We think little about what a mother feels when her family doesn't turn out to be what she dreamed of. The story about the Empire state building shootout gunman's mother has made me think whether we as children need to think about our parents before committing any such acts.

IN THE Empire state building shooting incident, the gunman Jeffrey T. Johnson, 58 was shot dead by cops after he allegedly shot down his colleague, Steven Ercolino, 41 because Jeffrey blamed him for his job loss. The case has been shut down after the killer was shot dead for his offence.

The news of her Jeffrey's crime and death reached his mother when she was watching the news with her husband on Friday morning. The name Jeffery Johnson didn’t shake her enough but the word “Hazan Imports” shattered her because there couldn’t be more than one Jeffery Johnson working for the same company.
"I know there are a lot of Jeffrey Johnsons in the world and a lot of Jeffrey Johnsons in New York City, but when they said the company he used to work for," she said, "I just went to pieces."

Ms. Johnson, in her 80s, recalls that her son had suffered a head injury in sixth grade that had nearly killed him. Recently, he had developed an attachment towards his cat, Romeo who suffered from a rare kind of cancer that eventually killed the pet. Jeffrey wasn’t able to react to the death of the pet like a normal life and death routine. Instead, he blamed himself for the cat’s death and felt bad that the doctor had to euthanize the cat long back to stop its suffering.

Jeffery mentioned in his letter to his mother, “It embarrasses me that I feel this way. Life is bigger than one cat or me or you. But I can't shake the feeling that life has been diminished tenfold by Romeo's parting."

His mother also recalled that Jeffery was a patriot and had enrolled himself as a coast guard almost three decades. She describes him to be a perfectionist who was hard on himself as well as people around him. Ms. Johnson thinks may be the head injury caused him to turn evil after all these years. After a coma, he wasn’t expected to live and yet he did go on to live a normal life for a long time.

"I don't know," Ms. Johnson added. "This may be some kind of excuse. I don't understand what snapped in him to do what he did."

Ms. Johnson hasn’t seen her son in the last 22 years after he moved out in 1990. He called her every Sunday and rarely spoke about work or his problems. She wished she had known something was wrong. After his death, Ms. Johnson has been replaying every moment of his childhood and adolescence to look for the cause that turned her son into something of a killer.

In her heart, he is still the kind hearted man who loved animals and who, like all of us loved life as well. Guess that’s how mothers are, no matter what happens, they love you for what you are.

Saturday, September 15, 2012

Dealing with problems

Most of us who are leading worry –free happy lives have our own problems which we haven’t considered discussing with anyone. Instead, most people choose to pretend as if nothing is wrong and learn to live with the problems. Though problems are a part of our lives, it certainly doesn’t mean that we let them rule our lives forever. One day or the other, you’ll have to stand up and say – Problem, I don’t want you in my life.

Of course, we have been fighting troubles ever since we were born. Issues with friends, parents, girl friends, boyfriends, spouses, and children – the list goes on. Apart from these, the inner conflicts within ourselves that outline our feelings such as low self-esteem, low confidence, loss of faith, inferiority complex, nervousness – these keep adding to our already existing problems.

Bad news is that problems come in different shapes and sizes and colors and feelings and situations. Good news is that ALL problems can be solved. Now breathe a sigh of relief and read on to know how to solve your problems.

Talk, it really helps- What most of us think is that our problem can be understood only by us and that no amount of talking is going to help. Know this – when you talk about your problem to a person, don’t expect that person to understand. Instead, when you talk about it, you are releasing the negative energies that’s been mounting within you. Talking helps you move on and let go.

Write your problems – Having a journal or a personal diary can also be of huge help if you don’t want a real person to talk with. When you write down your problems, you are venting out all the frustration and tension from your system. You can try flushing away the paper in which you wrote your problems. By doing this, imagine yourself flushing away the problems from your life.

Relax and think – More often than not, when problems mount, we forget thinking. Instead, we choose to panic and stay glum. Teach yourself to relax in situations that demand your focused attention. When you relax, the answers become more clear and obvious.

Don’t lose faith and hope – No matter what you lose in life; do not lose faith and hope. Even if you lose all your money, family, friends and career, you should still have faith. You say that sounds crazy. How can a person still have faith after losing everything? That’s the magical part. With faith and hope, you can rebuild everything that you lose.

Your problems are not the worst- No matter what problem you get in life, there are another one million people whose problems are huger than yours. Tell yourself – when they can deal with them, why can’t I? Your problems might just seem big and worse, but in reality they can be removed.

Go about and solve your problems because every problem, however big or small, always has a solution.

Friday, August 24, 2012

“Women’s intimate health, should the issues remain hushed or is it time we spoke out?”

This post is a part of the weekend blogging contest at BlogAdda.com in association with 18again.com

Women have always been the topic of discussion since centuries. As for today, there is no topic that hasn’t been discussed, thanks to advent of technology; women are able to ask questions through papers, internet, magazines, health experts and much more. No woman needs to be shy to ask questions especially if it concerns her health. The plus point here is that women can ask their doubts anonymously which protect personal issues as well.

The health of a woman has to be valued in every way possible. The problems that women face due to health are most of the times ignored in India. The fact that Indian women don’t take their health seriously leads to the subject being ignored. Though there are various health awareness camps that are being held, there are still areas where women’s intimate health issues such as sexual issues, bacterial vaginosis, Pelvic inflammatory disease, Chlamydia are not being spoken about. These are just examples but yes, there are more topics that being ignored. I bet most women haven’t even heard of these terms that are real issues dealing with women.

It’s time women brush aside the mask of embarrassment that has been used all this while to hide their problems. Simply not talking about the issue will not solve the problem. It’s time women come out of their cocooned shells and speak out their minds. When people are able to discuss their relationship issues, why the need to keep intimate health issues private?

There is need for more media spotlight on issues that deal with the intimate health of women. There are more magazines and articles provided to discuss national issues, sports, movies and entertainment. Definitely, there has to be more space for women talk. Online sites have been a handful of help because there are lots of women out there who don’t really use the internet. This gap has to be filled by the aid of newspapers, magazines and awareness programs. Hospitals and health clinics need to take this a serious concern.

Women health is a treasure, so let’s save it.

Saturday, August 18, 2012

What culture is of murder?

Indian newspapers are doing a great job by getting all the stories right under our nose for our inspection and reflection, even though the life span of these stories lives in seconds. Well, stories these days are getting gruesome and terrible that one just wants to skip or read and forget about it. After all, life goes on no matter who dies or who lives. People dying in freak accidents, people killing each other for petty reasons, people killing themselves, people hatching plans to kill their kin and oh god; you don’t want to know more. The newspapers are disturbing.

Yet, these stories are not just some random stories. They are stories about those people who had once been alive just like you and me, breathing fresh air and drinking the same water that we all drink. But, they die one day in a way nobody can ever imagine.

One such incident that shook me is the death of Shafilea, a 17 year old Pakistani girl who was killed by her parents. When I read the whole coverage on NDTV, I was amazed with the kind of research the paper had done to bring the truth to its readers. That apart, the story itself is sickening. I don’t know if there could be a better word.

For those of you who don’t know this. 17 year old Shafilea was killed nine years ago in her Britain residence because her sin was that she belonged to a Pakistani family. As she grew up, she began to wear on the Britain culture which is customary. Most of us adapt to cultures because our friends, our social life and our education depends on what’s around us than what we originally hail from. Shafileabegan to have a life of her own – western clothing, boys, social life, movies and friends. To most of us, these things are absolutely normal just like how breathing is normal. Yet, Shafileahad to pay a price too huge with her life only because she fought to live life her way.

In 2003, her father, Iftikhar, 52, and her mother, Farzana, 49, killed Shafilea with a plastic bag by stuffing it inside her mouth until her heart stopped beating. That was the end of a life full of promise to retain the Pakistani culture of being cocooned in the world where girls are not allowed to live a life of their own. I want to ask the parents, if by owning their daughter’s life, they felt proud? If so, each one of would be living another’s lives. Since when did culture become more precious than our sons and daughters? This is clearly an act of shame which has been given justice after nine years by punishing the parents with life imprisonment by the Britain Police, thank to Shefani’s sister who provided the evidence being the witness.

What most people don’t realize is that nothing is permanent. Culture, status, money, people, and world – everything changes every minute even as you and I pass through day and night. We can’t control these changes, instead we learnt to adapt by making the right choices. There is no culture in killing. Murder doesn’t save culture, it destroys it. Real culture is within us, deep inside our hearts.

One life down, squashed dreams and hopes – I hold myself together until the newspaper prints another terrible story and there goes again, another life down.

Saturday, August 11, 2012

Death and its ghastly face

I am 25. Most of the times, I have no idea what it means to be 25 but I do know that at this age, a person wants to live life with friends, career, love and never ending joy. These are just the basic things which every person would want from life. After all, we all are suckers for happiness. So was Pallavi who was 25 when her life was rudely or should I say gruesomely cut short by the wrath of her apartment watch guard.

There isn’t much we know about her but yes from the media and papers, I have learnt that she was a law student and a legal advisor for Farhan Aktar’s film production house. Pallavi was definitely enjoying a lucrative career with the addition of her love life in the picture as well. She must have surely had dreams just like all of us. But God decided to cut on her dreams leaving her life like the shattered glass that can NEVER be fixed.

They say when the time comes, the time comes and there is nothing anybody can do about it. I wonder if Pallavi knew that her time had come. Of course not, she wouldn’t have known, not until her guard pulled the knife at her. She wouldn’t have know it when she came to her apartment in Mumbai at night 11 pm. Nor would she have known when the lights went off and she contacted the electrician to fix it. Not when the electrician came to fix it with the company of the guard who stole her house key without her knowledge. Not when the lights went out for the second time at 1 pm.

What followed wouldn’t have given Pallavi time to think at all. The guard entered into the stranger prohibited area to rape her. Pallavi, who put up a fight to safeguard herself till the end was no match for a knife that slit her throat.

The next day, the papers and media swarmed around to catch the heart wrenching death of the 25 year old law student. The guard has been arrested and he has made the confession to the killing citing the reason to an earlier spat with the law student which didn’t go even with him. He probably thought killing her would make him even. Squashing her dreams with the knife would have given him the relief.

Such horrific rage in a human calls for a wakeup call. While this incident is ghastly and dreadful, it offers a disturbing thought of when does a human decide to kill another? If so, are his reasons justified? I wonder if there are any justifiable reasons for killing.

The word safety has lost its meaning. While the media and the debaters decide whom to blame for the safety of women, I would like to pray for Pallavi’s soul to rest in peace. It still leaves the question open – If death is certain, is there is anything at all that is certain about life? I guess, when the time comes, it does come.

Monday, July 9, 2012

F(P)light of Emotion

The below article writer's name is not mentioned protecting his identity.

I am an ordinary software engineer who jumped into this IT fraternity after my cool college days. As I grew up in the IT environment, a lot of things grew along. To name a few, stature (Ego), confidence (over confidence) and money for spending spree (for all NON-SENSE). As days passed, I gradually attained maturity in life and what’s going around. At this stage, obviously a man will become responsible and committed. I am not an exception. I too lodged into those stuffs and had things to accomplish. As my goals were set, my ultimate aim became to earn for my living. Literally to say “survival of the fittest”. So I wished for an Onshore role in my company. When I completed my tenure in my team, as usual they initiated my visa. I was eagerly waiting for my turn.

One fine day, my dad was on a business trip to Singapore for 5 days. So I went to airport to give him a send-off (even though it was not that big). I reached the airport soon and was waiting for my dad who was struck in the traffic. So I started ogling at the glimpse of beautiful NRI girls and Air Hostesses there. After sometime, it became boring. Then I saw a small Muslim family comprising of elders, many middle aged people and children standing a few meters away from me. From the way they were talking, I came to know they had come to send off one of their family person. Probably the bread winner belonging to one of the families. They were looking so simple with all ladies in burka and men in their authentic loongis. The person who was going to board the flight was alone in casuals.

They were all chatting about the good times which they had during the traveler's trip to India. The elderly person reminded about the things which were part of the travel and luggage. Children were running and playing in between the crowd there. Women were chattering about family happenings. As time became tight (I would like to use this word TIGHT because the time for flight departure was nearing, everyone’s inner instincts were holding tight), he started hugging all men and wishing them good luck for their endeavors. He got the blessings from the elders. He went to his children and advised them to be obedient in his absence. Then kissed them. Went near his spouse to wipe her tears and said something to make her strong. In all these moments, I found him smiling. He didn’t show a sign of grief like his family. The reason why he is carrying the smile is a belief that his son or daughter would achieve big feats in life. A smile is a belief that his better half would bear the entire burden in his absence. At last he left the emotional scene with the rub of his child’s finger. I was so keen in noticing his face. I saw the tears by the side when he left near the gate while dragging his trolley.

This created a big impact in my heart. Until then I was not so serious about the send off to my dad. But by then my love and affection hormones started over working. My dad arrived in a car with luggage. I helped him to transfer it into a trolley. He didn’t have much time as the traffic ate much of it. I just shook his hands holding that incident in my mind. That moment the reflex went to my heart and felt happy for some time. After the send off, I rode my bike and left the airport. When I rode over the bridge near airport, I saw an Emirates flight above my head in the sky. A small thought flashed in my mind that this flight is carrying so many dreams, commitments, tears and responsibility. I hope the flight reached its destination safely.

Sunday, July 1, 2012

The discovery of Titanic

Everybody loves Titanic. The love story of Jack and Rose has been imprinted on our hearts deeply so much that the sinking of the majestic Titanic has made us cry as we watched the lovers tearing apart. Not to forget, the luxurious decks which adorned Titanic astounded us each time we saw Jack showing Rose the dolphins. And who can stop thinking about the famous arm- in- arm pose that became a worldwide symbol of love.
For us, Titanic is just a movie that definitely deserves all the Oscars that are being given away. James Cameron, the creator is worshipped for his highly talented soul to make such a stupendous movie. Even today, 15 years after the movie’s release, if aired on television, the movie has everybody glued to the screen to watch the ship sink for the umpteenth time. Ever wondered how the ship actually sank? Ever wondered how anybody discovered the Titanic after it sank? I never thought about it until I came across the book “The discovery of Titanic”. Until then, it didn’t matter how it was found. It never mattered for us to know who brought the story of Titanic alive to the world. We saw the movie, the majestic ship sinking into great waters, a heart wrenching love story – that was Titanic for us.

In the book “The discovery of Titanic” Robert Ballard, the author who is an explorer, oceanographer and Former Navy captain explains the intricacies, challenges and the conflicts involved in finding the wreck of Titanic. As the book progresses, you will comprehend that searching the Titanic was indeed a titanic task itself. Titanic was long thought to have sunk in one piece. After it sank in 1912, many schemes were implemented in vain. The essential problem was the sheer difficulty of finding and reaching a wreck that lay over 12,000 feet below the surface, in a location where the water pressure is over 6,500 pounds per square inch (simply unimaginable). The explorers would need equipments with high definition cameras to locate the debris area in the waters of the Atlantic. A number of expeditions were mounted to find Titanic but it was not until 1 September 1985 that a Franco-American expedition succeeded.

They discovered that the ship had in fact split into two before hitting the sea bed. The separated bow and stern sections lie about a third of a mile (0.6 km) apart in a canyon on the continental shelf off the coast of Newfoundland. They are located 13.2 miles (21.2 km) from the inaccurate coordinates given by Titanic's radio operators on the night of her sinking,[184] and approximately 715 miles (1,150 km) from Halifax and 1,250 miles (2,000 km) from New York. Both sections hit the sea bed at considerable speed, causing the bow to crumple and the stern to collapse entirely. The two sections are surrounded by a debris field measuring approximately 5 by 3 miles (8.0 × 4.8 km).
Robert Ballard and his team first spotted a boiler lying on the ocean bed which resembled from the pictures they had from Titanic’s maiden voyage. The boiler was the turning point that led to the discovery of the ship. The debris contained hundreds of thousands of items, such as pieces of the ship, furniture, dinnerware and personal items, which fell from the ship as she sank or were ejected when the bow and stern impacted on the sea floor. The debris field was also the last resting place of a number of Titanic's victims. Most of the bodies and clothes were consumed by sea creatures and bacteria, leaving pairs of shoes and boots – which have proved to be inedible – as the only sign that bodies once lay there.
Titanic has proved that everything that is big and proud doesn’t sail through everything safely because an ice berg can bring it all down. The legendary ship has proved to be a tragic reminder for 1500 lives that sank with the ship altogether taking down all hopes. Yet, Robert Ballard and his team were courageous enough to hail in the cold waters for days together to pay condolence for those who died on the night of April 12th, 1912.

The bow of the wrecked RMS Titanic, photographed in June 2004

Thursday, June 21, 2012

The “low” ness of life

They say one should always be happy because life is short and not one moment should be wasted. When I recall that thought, I find it strange because I don’t find myself being completely happy each minute continuously for a week. May be a day, yes, when things are really going well.

Then again, sometimes, even when things are going well, there is this level of lowness which steals a part of me. I am not sure if a lot of you must have felt the same way. Some days begin with a spell of depression as if the heart doesn’t seem to find solace in anything. It’s even more frustrating when you don’t know what is wrong. What one wants is a reason. We don’t look for reasons when we are happy but gloominess demands reasoning.

And then, you try to analyze and analyze reaching nowhere wondering if music or food or a chat might help you feel better. One day you feel your spirits sunk in like the titanic which never rose to the water. The next day, you’re back to normal where you suddenly enjoy the tiniest events of life. It’s is quite strange how our mind tunes to lowness and happiness.

Rather than giving it more thought, I think there is no such thing as being happy always. Some days are bound to be the low days when all you feel is confusion for no reason. May be these low days are meant to give the good days. So, welcome the lowness and see that it bids goodbye. The Sooner the better.

Sunday, June 10, 2012

The gruesome curse of fury

I have been thinking of this for quite some time – the word “anger” had always meant to me, an emotion to display a dislike or frustration or hatred. It used to be just like any other emotion, like love, happiness, sadness, moody, excitement or despair. While all the other emotions never lead to an extreme, anger is seen to result in harming other people.

In the recent times, people have given in to anger so much that it has resulted in unnatural death of innocent people. We do hear from time to time of crimes that people commit under the spell of anger. We talk about it and forget about it praying silently that we don’t meet such psychotic people. What sort of a person would kill another person because he couldn’t control his anger? You don’t even want to know about it because it’s abnormal to kill someone just because you are angry.

Majority of the world knows this which is why we scream or shout or ignore when we are angry. There might be thousands of reasons of why you don’t want a particular person existent in the world. We are human beings, designed to like and dislike but that doesn’t give us a proper reason to take someone’s life.
I am simply wondering, for the millionth time, about the 23 year old guy who killed his girl friend because he was angry that she went out with another guy one night. Was it a strong enough reason for him to decide that his girl friend shouldn’t be alive anymore? This is not it. There are various other people, normal people just like you and me, who act under circumstances that don’t seem very real. But they react based on their instincts and not consequences.

Now, I am wondering again for the millionth time, what solace does murder provide? Does killing someone solve the problem? I think it’s cowardice to kill someone. Those who commit murders under the spell of rage suffer a range of insecurities which is why they can’t bear the existence of a particular person and they decide to punish the person with death. What they don’t realize is this – the murderer is actually punishing himself in the process of killing another person. It’s easy to pick a gun or stab a knife; but what about the future? How can a person get sleep at all? There is definitely no normalcy left in such a person.

This isn’t a world where murders are allowed like marriages and child births or has it become routine? I hope not. While anger management courses are there to aid people, it’s more to do with the mental stability of human beings. There is no need of courses or counseling to control anger; instead, all it requires is a little common sense to accept that murder doesn’t provide freedom. Nor does anger give the right to take another person’s life. Murder, simply isn’t the solution and it never is.

Thursday, April 26, 2012

One for the country - Country for?

I don't usually take interest in Politics because half the time I don't have time (the lamest excuse!) and half the time I don't care. I do care for people but politics is such a waste of time that it hardly makes sense. However, I was drawn towards one piece of news that read "Collector Abducted" which initially went ignored because I assumed it was one of those boring pieces which news channels flash because they think you ought to know everything that is aired.
The more I read, the news intrigued me further. For those who haven't got a chance to read, here it is, skimmed version though.

Alex Paul Menon, a collector had visited Raipur to have a conversation with the tribal group out there when another group famously known as Maoists shot down his guards and kidnapped him. Right now, he is held captive by some 500 Maoists. The collector is known to be asthmatic which came to light after his newlywed wife, Asha [three months pregnant] appealed to the nation and Maoists to release him quickly. Meanwhile, the government has assigned a committee who are supposedly to be the mediators to have talks with the Maoists to ensure how their demands (to free other Maoists friends) can be met.

While the newspapers and news channels have been groping at every piece of information regarding the abduction, the collector or the Maoists to keep us informed every minute, my thoughts flutter to the collector and his wife. It must be horrible for the wife to know that her husband is in such a perishable situation and the uncertainties must have robbed her sleep and any thought of happiness. Of course, she is trying her best to stay strong throughout (I do hope she continues the same). While we do know her state, we don't have any news about her husband.

Even as the wife and the family survive through the depressing hours, there isn't been much progress regarding the collector's release. I am sure the government and all the other people who claim to be helping the collector are doing their best. What makes me wonder is that why do people who actually take up responsibility for the country have to face this?

This abduction will only lead aspirants (who do care for the country) to return to their shells because people treasure safety more than their dreams. However negative the situation gets, it's best to stay positive and hope for the best. Let's wait for the news channels to air the good news at least for once.

Sunday, February 12, 2012

To die or to kill?

When I read the news article about a fifteen year old boy from Chennai who murdered his 37 year old Hindi teacher repeatedly with a knife (the actual word used was ‘stabbed’) in the midst of the school premises, I didn’t know what to think. And then, as my mind began to digest the piece of information, a series of questions began to float inside my head. Are we shocked because a fifteen year old committed the murder? Are we surprised that a young boy would go to the extremes of being violent? Did something go wrong from the teacher’s part that drove the child to this extreme? I call him a child, though his actions do not equal the description, but we have been told that until a person reaches 18, they are kids.

Obviously, the fifteen year old is no more called a child, because he had the nerve to commit a sin so dreadful that has shocked the country. What untrusting anger or adrenalin distilled mind he must have possessed that he picked up the knife to stab his teacher’s body? A part of me tells that parents are to be blamed here because they did not prepare the boy for the world; instead, they prepared him only for a blood spilling arena.

Uncontrollable anger can have its results in the most gruesome method such as this which can now possibly give courage to those who have been controlling so far. It’s definitely an unacceptable offence but one cannot blame the boy as a whole.

Another incident that came to light two days after the murder was a death of another 15 year old who hanged himself from the fan. Reason: Exam pressure. The contrasting extremes of the two boys; one who murdered and the one who killed himself shows that the upbringing of children definitely needs immediate attention.

There are two set of parents- those who pamper their kids to such an extent that the child is unable to accept the worldly rules and those who pressurize their children for marks and not caring about the child’s mental state.
One can only pray that these saddening events will awaken parents to nurture their children in the right way where emotions are balanced because imbalance has obviously showed its consequence.