Who we really are.

This isn’t a philosophical post. What I am about to write may offend you as you near the conclusion. Especially if your gender is  Male. I expect most of you to quit reading as you finish the first paragraph, two at the most. But, if you still make it to the bottom of this page, you MAY see things differently!

Recently, a lot of my Facebook friends shared a few pictures, all of them raising one common issue – our circumscribed thinking. They sure made me disgust mine, if you haven’t already seen those pics you’ll feel the same in about 10 mins. In case you saw and ignored the message, well BURN in HELL. I am going to talk about the best ones that may shake your sleeping conscience.

1: If you feel that it is hot, plant a tree. This is pretty right actually. After reading a few blogs and wiki pages I came to a conclusion that “TREES ARE VERY IMPORTANT”. I think i don’t need to mention elementary science reasons for that. Unfortunately, we are at fault. We may give infinite reason for deforestation, but justify none. There is no point in lecturing you over its effects. If you understand how to use a computer and read my blog, you very well know its implications.

2: Surely a bullet train will solve all the problems of a 10 year old child labor. Recently, Indian government gestured multiple times about its plans to accelerate India’s technological growth. 100 Crores have been proposed for its infrastructural development.  Another proposal was to erect a 182 mts tall monument of Vallabhbhai Patel with an expected budget of $34 Million. Those are large values.I am sure this had more priority than current fiscal deficit of India, increasing inflation, decreasing education standards, unemployment. I am sure these can be tackled in the next FY. After all “Ache din ane wale hai(Good days are about to come)” as campaigned by Bhartiye Janta party. We so readily accept what we are given. We have learned to move on quicker now. To some a bullet train seems the right thing, but that is only from individualistic perspective. If we were to consider this whole society then there may appear things of higher importance than that.

3: We live in a society where Porn Stars are easily accepted as Actors while a rape victim is denied the status of a person. (this ripped my conscience).  These are strong words and have even stronger message. In itself they are a one liner description of our pigeonholed psychology. We all (including me as well) may write, debate endlessly on the female empowerment, but never may arrive at the definitive solution for it. We call ourselves so morally strong. However, we forget to scrutinize our insensitive conduct with these victims. They don’t need our sympathy, for it is the last thing they ask for. Empathy doesn’t help either as it is fake unless you’ve been yourself in such a situation. What is the solution? Did you ever though about it ? I did once. I ended up blaming the society and the political structure of India. What I did not realize ,until i read this line, was that I belonged to the same society as well. I chose the government in action. All that I get is the repercussions of my actions and my decisions. Same applies to everyone of us.

We all try to find someone that we can put the blame on, someone who will be the victim of our own collective mistake. The only solution that appears to me now is to change the world.  Obviously you can’t, you are not Nelson Mandela or Mahatma Gandhi, you are you. If you are able to bring the same change in yourself that you want to see in the world, consider it a victory.

I read these next few lines in a book and it made sense to me.

A small boy once saw a women getting raped by a very muscular guy, someone she could not overpower. The boy could have tried to save her but he saw that the women herself did not try to protest. The man saw the boy and frightened him so much that he fled the scene. His mother told him that he was too young(he was, in fact) to have saved the woman. The women herself did not protest because she knew she would die if she did. She chose life over death. But his mother was being protective of him. His uncle told him that it was the women karma that she will have to live with now(having not protested) but it was your karma to save her and now that you did not, you will have to carry the burden your whole life.      — The Secret of Nagas ( Shiva Trilogy -II)

One has to live with the decisions one makes. There is no point in writing things that you already know. We all face great challenges as individuals and as a society. Most of them can be tackled easily with reason and standing up together as one. If you read this line and have a different thinking or ideology, please surprise me!

 

A week with the Indian Air Force

I’ve never been more than 50 Km away from my parents alone for more than 2 days and when I was, I was mostly under my blood relative’s protection. Not that I despised being with them, I voluntarily stayed with them. The point I want to prove is that I’ve never been on my own for once in 21 years. I never had the chance to live in hostel, or maybe went out for an outing that lasted more that one night. When I cleared AFCAT’s cutoff and received a call letter for the Service Selection Board(SSB) process I was excited. I’d heard before about the life that one experiences in SSB and how one remembers it throughout his life. I didn’t want to let this slot get filled with another week of boring life that I live here.

I scheduled my SSB date on 23 June, 3 months after I received the call. I chose this date specifically making critical analysis of a lot of things. I knew that my end term exams would be finished somewhere around mid June and then my Job would begin on 1 July. I also had a lot to do on my body which was expanding in every direction possible. Hence I joined a Gym the next week. The next three months passed with me working my ass out to burn as many kilos as I could. Precisely, a call for AFSB(Air Force Selection Board)  was the impulse I needed.

The judgement day came and I left for the unfamiliar destination, with a lot of doubts and a little fret. Nonetheless, I arrived there and the next few hours were hard to recall. Everything happened fast or maybe it didn’t. Maybe it was because I was drowsy as I could hardly close my eyes in the 7 hour-long journey via train. First day was a screening round. One had to clear all the tests on day one to proceed to phase two that would be 5 days long. I cleared it. Yes with my eyes almost closed half the time I managed to get through. We all were allotted a chest number, kind-of like an identification for the next 5 days. We all would henceforth be officially referred by our chest number. I was chest number 19. Whenever i heard this, I made my chest swell about 2 inches and I would feel ,for no reason, like an AirForce officer, though it was still a distant dream.

Next few days were a bunch of test that would test our psychology,physical fitness, group management and behavior, pilot aptitude test and what not. Group task were something I enjoyed the most.  Group Discussions, Group Obstacle Tasks, Group Planning etc were the most fun part of the stay. All these task made me feel different form the civilian life that I live back in Delhi.

Back at our rooms we were 10 different people from different cities speaking in different accent but were here for one common purpose. This was the first time I was in the same room with a Khalsa Sardar and people from Indore, Chandigarh etc. Since we knew our night would pass very dull we bought a pack of cards. It did us well for all the 4 days. We 11 people(100 from our room and one from a different room) would play cards for 2-3 hours and making endless fun of any newbie’s mistakes in the game. These 10 people made me laugh enough for my throat to act up. After the second day I could hardly say a sentence without muting  a few words. It took a week for my voice to return to normal. Sometimes we all had a very heated discussion on some irrelevant topic that we would need some distraction and we found that in those swimming calmly in sweet dreams. I can’t describe the pleasure it gave us to wake our asleep friends with ice chilled water. Some of them reacted exactly the way we wanted to. 😀 Yes some of us had the most evil mind in the whole lot.

Food was good as per my expectations of mess food. What else could a hungry and tired student want other than Chicken Curry or Egg Curry at night. Last night was a feast for us. But in this 5 day journey what I remember the most is not the food or the different life i lived there. I remember the people I met, I remember surviving 5 days without my cellphone and no internet, no connectivity to outside world except for a few minutes when we get to call our homes. These 5 days made me realize that had we been allowed to keep our cellphones, these days would have passed pathetically boring and I would have detested my decision of coming here. Whatever be their purpose of taking away our phones, it worked well for me. Although, I regret that I could not make it to the final list of selects I still did not feel bad as my purpose for being there was more or less fulfilled. I was going home with some wonderful memories and just one picture of the whole group together. 🙂AFSB