Started writing for OpinionCircuit.com

 

 

OC

For a long while now, I’ve been quite inactive with my present blog. But, that was for various reasons with the most important one being that I was busy getting married and very shortly after that, even my sister got married. So, it was a few months where I had no idle time to sit down and write blogs.

Now, I’ve recently joined one more blog site founded by a few friends and I found it quite exciting. OpinionCircuit.com

This is bascially a place where the founders as well as the resident editors (all of us love to write) blog their fair, frank and fearless views on various topics that are important to them. These include politics, society, etc. and are mostly India-centric. There are also a few articles that attemp Satire on various fields such as politics, bollywood, etc.

I have joined their team as a resident editor and have been writing a few posts. Do visit our website and support us by liking our Facebook page, follow our twitter handle (@OpinionCircuit) and help spread the word.

Happy New Year!!!

 

sun-rise-in-earth-orbit

Here’s me wishing everyone a great and happy new year 2014. Yes, finally, after a long wait of 365 days, the calendar has finally exhausted itself and the Earth has tirelessly completed yet another revolution around the Sun – though the point in the orbit where it started from and where it finished really has no bearing on us. It might as well have been any other point or any other date, we would still have enjoyed the feeling of the New Year just as well.

Not so overjoyed today are the outer planets, such as Jupitor, Saturn, etc. because they are not seeing the new year anytime soon. It takes both Jupitor and Saturn nearly 12-earth-years to complete their single year, so basically, you need to wait for a really really long time.

Uranus, with its 84-earth-year cycle lags a long long way behind as well. Can you imagine celebrating new year on Uranus?

And the worst of the lot – the saddest of them – I can certainly say are Neptune and Pluto with their own yearly cycle corresponding to 165 and 248 earth-years.

But that does not mean we got the best deal. Mercury celebrates its new year every 88 days, so all the party people…. Next year, forget Ibiza and head to Mercury!!!!

Countdown to my 30th Birthday

For the last many years, I’ve dreaded my 30th birthday. I always knew that the 30th would be my most undesirable one simply because I thought I would cease to be the guy-in-his-20s anymore. 30th birthdays do not have the same charm as 20th or 24th or 27th. Makes me feel older, entering the 4th decade of my lifetime. They just sound too morbid to me.

So, taking cue from the fact that each my birthdays over the last decade has turned out to be a fiasco in some way, I have been expecting my 30th to be no different and have been preparing for the stupid day with no excitement at all.

MagicWandThough my birthday is only in the end of august, yet last night something magical took place that has turned things around when I got a magic make-a-wish wand. All I need to do is wave the wand and utter a wish and it will be fulfilled. Sounds childish, right? But it made a difference to me. It made me feel as if it is not my 30th birthday that I am approaching but my 3rd.

I am super excited now that I have been told this month is a special month and that I can expect lots of surprises. I feel that age again when I would stay sleepless the night before my birthday because I would be so looking forward to the excitement of the day and the gifts that would come rolling in.

Obviously, at 30, you don’t care much about the gifts money can buy anymore. What you do care about is the fact that you have people to make you feel on top of the world.

So, the gong has been sounded and the countdown to my birthday has begun.

29th August, 2013, I am looking forward to you.

A Year of Blogging

one-year-oldI just realized that I have completed 1 yr of blogging yesterday, the 4th of August. It just seemed like yesterday that I started to write my first blog post where I wondered what one should write about. That was a question that I pondered over for the last few years before I finally made the final push and started to write.

I am a slow beginner, I take it. I always aspired to write my own blog because reading was such a great passion and writing cannot be left much behind. And there have been weeks and weeks of inactivity during the last year during which I couldn’t come up with a single idea for a post. Not even one line.

So, at the end of my first year, I went back and looked at my Blog stats and I find that I have:

97 Blog Posts (this is my 98th), 5,320 Views on my entire blog and 161 Followers

My most viewed post has been: Banning and Burning Books, which I wrote exactly a year ago on 5th August 2012.

Another spinoff from my blog was that I started writing some short stories, which I have self-published in the form of e-books through Smashwords.com. I know it is not a big deal and almost anyone could do it but I learnt a lot from even this small experience. I still have ideas in my head for further writing but either I do not have sufficient time or maybe I am not bright enough but that is for my readers to decide.

I can just say this. Whenever I feel like writing something that is important to me, I do and will continue to write it. At times, I will go missing – suffering from writer’s block – and I imagine I can live with that also.

As long as the spirit of being a writer - even though I might be awful at it – keeps burning inside me, I feel a sense of happiness.

What if you’re wrong?

20130804-031233.jpg
I am often asked this question by believers when talking about belief in God, “what if you’re wrong?” I do admit that it is definitely a fair question and so it deserves a fair and honest answer.

My answer is:
I believe in humanity, happiness, fairness, justice, equality, honesty and humility. I would like to see everyone to be happy and treated fairly, irrespective of their gender, religious beliefs, sexual orientations, caste and color amongst other things. And more importantly, I believe that everybody should be allowed their fundamental rights to say what they want, live the way they want and whoever they want to live with. All these are important and real issues and principals of humanism. These matter. Not having a blind belief in a God allows me to hold these very real principles as sacred and in a way devoid of any prejudices against any groups of people who might be different from me and hold principles different from mine.
If I am wrong about the God question, then it doesn’t really matter because I have still lived for real causes, real people, real happiness, real fundamental rights, real freedom from oppression. And these would have still remained equally important whether god existed or not because if he did, and he is half as good as you claim him to be, then I can be sure that I would be okay in his eyes because I still advocated for very real issues which were of a more pressing concern in my world than taking time out to worship an omnipotent and omniscient ultimate entity – something that simple logic definition becomes needless – or spending my energy on persecuting people who held different beliefs from me or had a sexual inclination that I did not approve of.
So, if I were wrong, I wouldn’t have lost out much in life anyway because I would still have been the same person as I am today. And if there turned out to be a god who’d still punish me for not worshipping him, then I submit that we would already be living under a supernatural dictatorship – an anarchy if you will – the nature of which would in itself indicate doom for humanity and the universe.
But you, a believer, have lived and dedicated your entire life to an assumed entity that you had no way of knowing for sure. And you don’t possess any special mental and physical faculties that I don’t so you cannot claim to have a way to know that I cannot. And because of your belief in that assumed supernatural entity, you have decided to live by a code which is based on compulsory love and extreme fear of the same entity and which makes some of you do really really horrible things to really really sweet and innocent people -things which someone with secular mindset could never even dream of. What about the sufferings you could cause in the world by following religious dogmas that persecuted people because of their beliefs, sexual inclinations and who they loved.
So, now i ask you the believer, what if you’re wrong? Haven’t you missed out on the most important things in life itself while thinking only for something that didn’t even exist?

Ridicule of religion

religion vs scienceWhy is it that when Charles Darwin, the genius who changed the world with his discovery of the concept of evolution, is made into a cartoon by attaching his head to the body of a monkey and when jokes are made and repeated by people in religious authority, nobody from the scientific community or science “followers” gets angry or violent or even remotely offended? But at the same time, utter anything against a religious figure, such as even a self-proclaimed godman, and you can be sure that people are going to get deeply offended, become violent, damage public property and even kill other people.

I think the difference here is what your belief system teaches you. Publicly, religion says it teaches tolerance and that without this tolerance the world wouldn’t survive. But privately, what it really teaches is to tolerate people only as long as they do exactly what you would like them doing and stray no further. Since birth, people are taught to revere their religious beliefs, which they don’t even understand properly, and blindly follow everything that is told to them.

For instance, if any other person proclaims himself to be highly religious or a godman, then everything he says must be taken as words of perfect wisdom. It doesn’t matter who these godmen are, how many times their acts of con are exposed (as in the case of Sathya Sai Baba), how low their educational and intellectual levels are (such as ISKCON’s Srila Prabhupad). The moment you mention examples of their ignorance, religious people get deeply offended and shut their ears but their dedication to such ungodly people continues despite what you say.

But have you ever heard a scientist or an atheist pelting a single stone towards any of these con-men despite their horrendous world-views?

You know why?

Because education gives you the maturity to ignore when people deserve your ignorance and pit evidence of all sides against each other and dismiss that which cannot hold its ground. No need to get angry if the same godman as above is making a fool out of themselves by saying that the “…moon is above, 200,000 yojanas above the sun… Above the sun. How they’ll go? [laughter] They are going to the wrong… bluffing only. I am repeatedly saying, they have never gone, simply bluff.”

Well, I only take offense to one thing in the above dialog. And that is that the laughter belongs to the listener and not the speaker.

And I challenge any religious followers to tell me I am wrong in laughing at the ignorance of such statements and the people who make them.

The Fake Wellwisher

Often, when you are not too happy, you might find a lot of people empathising with you. And, that is a good thing because you feel you are not alone.
However, when things turn around and you are happy again, most of those people would continue to be happy for you but there would be a few who would suddenly vanish. All your deep ties appear broken.
I wonder why that happens. Maybe it is human nature that brings out the good in people when they see others unhappy and that somehow makes them feel their lives are so much better.
But it is much more difficult for them to see the same people become happy, maybe because it rubs away the special feeling that they have enjoyed till then.
Truth be told, once you identify this behaviour, you should be even happier than before because now you know that someone is jealous.

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