Saturday, August 23, 2014

ALS Ice Bucket Challenge: but why bro?

What is ALS? "Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS) is a progressive neurodegenerative disease that affects nerve cells in the brain and in the spinal cord. Motor neurons reach from the brain to the spinal cord and from the spinal cord to the muscles throughout the body. The progressive degeneration of the motor neurons in ALS eventually leads to their death." For more information, click here.

Now that we know what ALS is, I shall rant about the viral challenge of pouring ice water over oneself.

I was against it at a certain point in time too. Exhibit A:

Shameless follow request here :D
Following the tweet, I observed and watched many challenges. There were a few that gave me quite the impression, such as Sonu Nigam, who actually took the effort to explain what ALS means in his own words. This got me thinking...there's so much hype about this challenge. When people do it, we don't know if they are donating money or not. But the famous folks surely must be.

According to the ALS website, the challenge has raised more than $41.8 million. So why are we complaining? The objective of the challenge has sort of been accomplished. There is enough money for research on the ALS to be carried out. So why the hate peeps?!

Sure, some people talk about how we're wasting water, and we should think about not doing so and just donate. But the fact that people have been pouring water over themselves (and going viral) is what made other people actually aware of the ALS. I wouldn't know what it is otherwise, frankly speaking.

I really don't know how to end this

Oh yes! If you don't want to do the challenge, it's fine! Don't. I'm not gonna do it. But please, don't comment on others who are. You're doing your bit, and they're doing theirs. Not everything in the world is correct or moral. There are far worse things we can sit and complain about. But we choose not to. So let's choose the same with this and just umm...chill? (See what I did there? :D )

Don't hate. Appreciate. :-)


Saturday, August 16, 2014

Dear Stranger, Happy Birthday! Sincerely, Stranger.

Dear Stranger,

Today, you reminded me of the days when humanity, kindness, friendship and love were most important. You may not have realised the impact of your small act, but it made me realise that in today's world, we hardly give importance to the things that really matter. For this, I sincerely thank you.


To my readers,

My friend and I were sitting in front of Forum Mall (Bangalore), and just talking about random stuff. You know how it is when you catch up with friends.

While doing so, we observed a group of boys in front of us. They were hiding a cake, which had a number of candles on them. Another group of boys were bringing in the birthday boy, covering his eyes. They brought him towards the cake, then revealed the surprise. The expression on the birthday boy's face was one I will never forget. The genuine happiness and joy on his face is one that is rarely to be seen.

What moved me in this act of friendship was when the cake was cut and distributed, the boys also distributed the cake to the people around.

This kind of attitude in today's world is rarely found. I would like to thank these boys, not for the cake, but for putting a smile on my face and making me take part in their circle of happiness. This took me back to the days when I was a kid and I would distribute chocolates all around the school, to people I knew and to people I didn't know, just because I wanted them to take part in my happiness.

Sometimes, it's best to keep things simple. Simplicity is what brings happiness. Today's incident was one I will always remember and cherish. Once again, Happy Birthday Jagdish! :-)

They shared their cake!

The group of boys. Photograph by Sundeep Chevour

Saturday, August 2, 2014

The Curse of Memories

Okay. So. It's been long. But it's been a hectic month. Doing the CELTA course is no joke. They told us at the beginning of the course, "Forget everything in your life. This is your life for the next four weeks." And boy were they not kidding. Whew!

It's all over and now we can breathe. We've got a great qualification in hand, made some amazing friends and even made plans for the future...meeting up, careers...and so on.

These memories are great. You meet someone and know them at a sort of...semi personal level? You don't exchange much on the side of problems, feelings or personal matters. It's more about the jokes,  mutual feelings about the same experiences and perhaps sharing a meal or two.

The curse of memories are those you share with someone who is closest to you...a best friend, perhaps even family...the memories are great when you guys are still together. Don't get me wrong.

It's when they leave that the memories  become a curse. Small things like is 2nd August?  Well it was until you remembered that it is his birthday too.

Your colleague orders a mocha coffee? Oh. My best friend used to order that.

Even minute things like songs, movies, tv shows, books...They appear in your day to day life and disrupt your thoughts. Sigh.

It could be a curse of memories...or just some thoughts that will always be with you, no matter what. It's up to us as to whether we embrace and accept them...Or try to suppress them.