Monday, February 18, 2019

Want to do something for a soldier, be an Indian who is worth fighting for

For the past few days I've been grappling with my emotions stemming from the brutal #PulwamaAttack that has irreversibly destroyed at least 44 families. Families that have brought up their children in a way that made those young adults chose to defend this country and not a seemingly safe job anywhere else.
I have always wanted to travel to Kashmir, now a holiday is planned with my friends, yet there is much trepidation over the politics of violence due to the impending elections. In the next few weeks, it will be a toss-up between the apparent risk of travelling there, against the apparent safety of travelling elsewhere. The safety, our security forces allow us to take us for granted. The safety for which these brave young men died.
When a calamity like this strikes us, how should I react? How should we the people of this country react? How should India react?
Should we strike back to cause equal hurt? Should we strike back to cause greater pain? What then about the pain caused by our actions? What then about the collateral damage? Won’t our reactions then perpetuate a never-ending cycle of violence? As Gandhi said, “an eye for an eye leaves the whole world blind”. Should we then decimate our enemies from the face of the earth so that there is no pain or hurt anymore?
Or should we choose to follow Gandhi’s footsteps and embrace our enemies with the message of ahimsa, peace and non-violence? Does that bring lasting peace? Is it still relevant in this day and age? Is peace possible without a dialogue?
In our current political scenario, India stops dialogue, sports, and even business with Pakistan whenever there is an attack. In any dialogue there will have to be some give and take. As a society, do we have the vision of what peace can do, or the maturity to accept any resolution that may seem like we have given up something? How then will the politicians resolve this issue? How then will there be lasting peace?
I am struggling with these questions in a constant state of Rage & Placidity #CalmVolcano but here’s a thought that came out of this befuddlement and pain.
When there is such a mind numbingly painful attack on our country and our people. there is an out pouring of offers to support. But, even in apparent lack of war, India loses soldiers every other day. I feel most families may get some sort of support, yet, there could be some families which may struggle to educate their children. Also, do the children of such brave men need our support only when they lose someone? I am looking for Bhumians, collaborators who would like to join a team
- do some ground research and understand reality, and the need for such a programme
- identify and shortlist children for scholarships
- conduct fundraising campaigns to raise money for these children
- mentor/support these children until they graduate

Want to do something for a soldier, be an #Indian who is worth fighting for #Volunteer

Sunday, February 17, 2019

Be unreasonable

Recently, someone told me I could not possibly do something! And, how many times has that happened before :) That, however, did not trigger this post. An exchange between two colleagues about a young person who hasn't understood his own potential did.

The world is filled with people who do not achieve their true potential because they let someone else tell them they would not be able to do something.

I like these lines from the the Pursuit Of Happyness where the on-screen Chris Gardner tells his son "Don't ever let somebody tell you-you can't do something ... You got a dream... You gotta protect it. People can't do somethin' themselves, they wanna tell you-you can't do it. If you want somethin', go get it. Period."

Another quote by George Bernard Shaw that rings true, “The reasonable man adapts himself to the world: the unreasonable one persists in trying to adapt the world to himself. Therefore all progress depends on the unreasonable man.”

Put your mind to anything and you can do it, whether it's waking up at 5 AM every day, climbing the Everest or becoming the CEO of your company. Be unreasonable!