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Apocalyptic Effects of Covid-19

If someone a few months ago had said that the whole world would come to a standstill and we would all be forced to practice social distancing, no one would believe it. No one would have fathomed the damage that a virus would end up causing in the coming months. The effect that the virus has had on humankind psychologically, economically and socially is probably unprecedented.

Economically, it is expected that the world’s GDP could shrink by as much as 8%. Millions of people have already lost their jobs and are finding it difficult to make ends meet. The demand for most businesses has gone down as people are only spending money on essential commodities.  Consumer businesses have suffered a lot due to the lockdown with their earnings practically being nil during this period. Hardly anyone can be seen in malls, hotels and restaurants. Most employees in companies have had to take a cut in their salaries and wages. The stock markets in India posted some of its worst losses in history during the lockdown period with SENSEX falling by 4000 points and NIFTY falling by 1150 points in 1 day.

The poor had to and are enduring the worst during this period. Millions of migrant workers have lost their jobs and with no means of transport available to take them back home, they’ve had to walk hundreds of kilometres with their families to their respective villages and towns. Listening to such stories of hardships certainly breaks one’s heart! Added to that, governments of some states have revised labour laws to attract investment to revive the economy further adding to migrant labourers’ miseries.

Students have had to study through online means and those who do not have access to smartphones and the internet have lagged in their studies without any fault of theirs. They also have had to go through the stress of uncertainties of when and how their exams will be conducted with the virus showing no signs of stopping any time soon. On the positive side, many teachers have become tech-savvy and many ways have been devised to teach in effective ways.

Psychologically, the lockdown caused by the virus has affected each and everyone to at least some extent. Social distancing has induced loneliness in many and has led to more serious problems like depression and suicide. People, in general, seem to have become more frustrated and anxious because of their inability to meet friends and to visit public places with freedom. This has counter-actively led people to become socially-disobedient and irresponsible. Many have become obsessive and compulsive about sterilization and checking their body temperature. Again, the poor have suffered the most in this aspect because of financial uncertainties.

Not only humans but animals have also had to go through a lot of anguish. Humans have neglected their pets in the fear that they might spread the virus. Thousands of pets have no place to go due to this reason.

Hundreds of thousands of people have died already due to this virus not taking into account the deaths that went unreported. The virus has pointed out major loopholes in our healthcare systems. They have been unable to deal with the rising cases properly. As a result, people have died because they couldn’t get access to proper health facilities.

There have been some silver linings though. The air and noise pollution levels have come down quite significantly. Stars have once again become visible in the night sky. People have started interacting with their families more due to ample time that is available in their hands and thus developing stronger bonds. People have started trying new things like cooking and writing. It has made us appreciate our freedom more and has underlined the importance of our friends and families in our lives.

Let’s hope that the pandemic ends soon and we can all return to our normal lives once again!

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Be an Example!

 

 

Stay Hungry Stay Foolish. Never let go of your appetite to go after new ideas, new experiences, and new adventures.

It is often seen that humans tend to take the beaten path. They tend to follow others for it is easier and comfortable. From a young age, we are told to avoid taking risks and to try and “settle” in life. Not that there is anything wrong in having a secure life per se but risk avoidance often leads to the death of so many new ideas and innovations.

 New experiences will always teach you something. Even the seemingly insignificant things might end up giving you another perspective to life. Moreover, participating in different things enables one to enhance your skillset. You might even find your hidden talent doing so. It is a possibility that you try your hand at painting and find out that it comes naturally to you.

Taking bold decisions is difficult because there is a significant possibility of failing. But extraordinary things can only be achieved by taking extraordinary decisions. Had Elon Musk not decided to start  SpaceX and Tesla just because of the huge probability of failing (Elon Musk has stated that both of these companies had around only 10% chance of surviving), we might not have had any concrete plans for a manned Mars mission or existence of self-driving cars. There is no denying that people seldom succeed on their first try but if you’d never start trying then how would you reach a point where the possibility of succeeding is huge. Robert Kennedy has rightly said that only those who dare to fail greatly can achieve greatly!

Staying in one’s comfort zone may seem tempting but it would never give you a sense of deep satisfaction. You would always have a seed of doubt in your mind that what if I had done that particular thing? Isn’t it better to gather courage and do something you always wanted to rather than staying in your comfort zone and indulging in self-pity? You might end up messing up but at least you there would be no doubt affecting your mental well-being. To add to that, the experience you would gain would be invaluable!

 We all have heard names of exemplary leaders in different fields. Instead of just learning trivial facts about them, let us learn from their works and experiences and try to become an example ourselves!

 

Over And Out

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Midnight Thoughts…

Random midnight thoughts 🙂   –

  1. When you sleep, remember that millions don’t have a bed to sleep on and thousands who go to sleep in fear of death.
  2. When you feel like you are losing grip, remember that all that matters is that you still keep trying.
  3. When you end up messing up a thing out of your comfort zone and people laugh, remember that you at least had the guts to try and most of those laughing didn’t
  4. When you fail, remember that the failure strengthened you.
  5. When you feel sad, remember that life is about the memories, the happy memories. Just smile and look forward to something exciting.
  6. When you complain about a “necessity”, remember that that necessity might be a luxury for some.
  7. When you feel overwhelmed by what someone else has, remember all those things that you have and the people that love you. Accept who you are because you are unique and no one can ever replace you.
  8. When you feel betrayed, remember that you didn’t do anything wrong and let karma do its work.
  9. When you feel that something is really hard, remember conquering that thing would give you greater satisfaction
  10. When you procrastinate, remember that watching the same movie after completing your work would be more enjoyable
  11. When you feel that someone does not see your worth, remember that you don’t owe anyone anything. Live life, jumbo size!
  12. When you feel ignored, remember you are capable of achieving anything by YOURSELF. And when someone neglects you, remember sometimes, somewhere they will end up needing you.
  13. When you feel like dying, remember that you are not allowing happy times to come. Think of the people who helped raise you and how would they feel.
  14. When you feel lost, remember it is better to do something than nothing and being stuck in the dark.
  15.  When you feel anxious and afraid to do something, remember that you live only once and eventually everything ends so take a deep breath and do what you want to.
  16. When something doesn’t go right, remember to learn from it.
  17. When you like something or someone, remember to own up to it.
  18. When you hate something or someone, remember to not show it to the entire world.
  19. When you do something out of mere selfishness to someone, remember that the same thing could have been done to you and imagine what would you have felt.
  20. When you realize the list is over and you have read all of it, remember that I love you ❤

Over and out!!

 

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Worry

A day of worry is more exhausting than a week of work

John Lubbock

Stop worrying. Start living. What will happen will happen. You’re going to have to face it, come what may. Worrying and becoming anxious obsessing over a thing that may or may not happen won’t do you any good. Obviously, worry and anxiety are emotions that can’t be controlled. So, instead of worrying about something all day, give yourself some “own” time and think of all you want to and then go back to your normal life.

I myself overthink and worry a lot which is a habit I need to change. For instance, there was this Book Writing Project I was reluctant to participate in at first. But it turned out to be one of the best experiences ever. And then I’m worrying if I’ll be able to make friends in college when I’m in 11 grade right now. If I’ll be able to intermix with other people there. Leave college, let’s talk something more foreseeable. I might have friends but hardly 3 or 4 of them that I can call my true ones. So, all I keep thinking is how would I spend the year and a half left of my school life, whether I will be able to enjoy it.

But gradually I have understood hat a lot can happen within a day itself. Past experiences( I’m talking like a wise old man) have shown me that most friends aren’t going to be with you in the future no matter how much they promise that they are never going to leave you. Similarly, your priorities are also going to change. So you don’t know what the future beholds and as far as I’m concerned it can be beyond your wildest dreams(Positively or negatively). Who knows that this blog could get mere 50 views or could go on to become the most viewed(the latter is not likely but where would we be without hope)

Worrying about the future especially events that are not going to happen in months is of no use. One year ago, I was the most silent kid for some people and all I thought of at that time was that I wish these people actually knew me. And know when they do, I wish all that happened should never have happened.

Remember that it might be hurtful to walk away from people you like but it is more hurtful to stay with them if they don’t treat you the right way. This is another one of my weak points that I get too attached to or trust people too easily and start overthinking upon the slightest of my problems with my relationship with people.

Also, stop assuming everything anyone says is directed towards you. Chances are that they aren’t. To give an example, many of my friends always ask if what I wrote in my blog was directed towards them when whom it was directed towards are probably don’t read my blogs.

Stop being fickle-minded where you follow everything that others say!!

Taking tension of what others think of you is of no substance and I learnt that the hard way. I used to care if people called me studious and used to react before thinking. Now when I don’t, people have stopped. A quote that said “Be alone but be peaceful” really hit me hard. Ignore people who put baseless allegations on you because when you know from within that you haven’t done anything wrong, it doesn’t matter what others think. In the end, truth prevails and karma does its work.

You are just another human being on this earth. Earth makes up the tiniest bit of sand particle as compared to the universe. Think of how small you are and how meek is your worry. Think of how many people are dying because of hunger, have their freedom confined and don’t have houses to live in while you are here being perturbed by the thought that why did XYZ person say this to me. But, as Rumi says, “You are the universe in ecstatic motion”, meaning you have the power to affect everyone’s life for the better. So do your best, stop worrying but don’t stop believing. (Also, if you are still reading, you are a true one <3)

Over and Out.

 

 

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Make it memorable!

Memories may fade as the years go by but they won’t age a day.

Michelle C. Ustaszeski

Do things that you can laugh and smile at for years to come. Do things to people which make them remember you even after you are gone from their life or don’t meet them often. Do things that would make them go “Ah! Himanaya did that for me!” when someone even does something remotely related to what you did. Cherish the good memories and learn from the bad ones.

Do what you like. Don’t succumb under the pressure of others. When you love someone, be it a friend or a soulmate, ensure that your love is such that they never forget you. When you are committed to something, do it with all of your heart. It should be as if your work and actions speak for you and that people always remember you for what you did, be it professional or personal.

Create memories. They are going to be something you are going to live with forever. 

Personally speaking, I was going through a rough patch recently. Of course, I will remember what all bad happened. But what I will remember more vividly are the friends who stuck by me every step of the way and offered all that they could. 

Also, I was strongly considering changing my subjects to Sciences. Even though I decided against it, but when I told one of my friends about it(who is pursuing a career in medicine), he quickly started telling me what all I needed to do to cover up the syllabus. We might not meet often in the future but deeds such as these will immortalize him in my heart forever.

Apologize when you do something wrong. At most, the other person won’t accept it. What difference would it make? All it would do is give you peace of mind. On the other side too, learn to forgive. Give people second chances. We are humans. We commit mistakes. However, do know when to stop trusting someone.

I had a friend and we don’t talk anymore, But what I know is that memories we created are going to last forever out of which most were full of sweetness and joy. Of course, there were some problems but 10 years down the line, I don’t see them coming up on my mind at first when I think of them. What I will remember with happiness is the side of that person that made me love them and not the side which did the opposite. 

It’s 1 A.M. when I’m writing this blog. Music is playing on full volume and I’m surprised that it hasn’t woken up anyone in my home. It might be stupid being awake at this time when I have my Math exam in like 2 days. But it will be these stupid moments that I will always treasure in my life. I had the most fun in quite some time tonight talking all nonsense with my loved ones but it as I said it was fun and that is all which matters. 

As Vir Das says, “I’m stupid, this is stupid, you’re stupid. God, you’re so stupid. And that’s why this is so wonderful. He adds, ” Show the universe and, more importantly, yourself that this moment doesn’t own you, you own this moment.” (To read the entire speech that he gave at Knox college, and I really recommend it, go to – https://www.knox.edu/news/commencement-2018/das-speech

Don’t pollute your future memories by trying to seek validation of what you are doing through social media. Nobody cares(except a handful whom you don’t need to explain yourself to) of what you are doing and why you are doing.

When your life flashes through your mind on your deathbed, you should be laughing. Why? Because of all the joyful recollections of incidents that you would have had in your life

Make memories. Do memorable things. Nobody is going to care about your “reputation’ after a while. After all, memories are what we live for…And yes, try writing a diary regularly in which you express all your experiences and feelings. Trust me, you will feel a lot of pleasure reading it from say a year from now.

Over and out

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Why humans aren’t logical

Recently, I was reading a book titled “Predictably Irrational” by Dan Ariely . It talks about how we humans take unreasonable and baseless decisions in different situations. At first, I thought the book was another one of those philosophical writings that are true only on paper. But after reading the book, it really made me realise the fickleness, the irrationality, the timidness and the impulsiveness of our race.

Why do we drive at high speeds even when we know that there is a high risk of an accident? Why do we try to keep all options open even when we know that options are just not worth our while. We often make opinions about things before even trying them. We are willing to spend a few extra hundred bucks while dining at a fine dining restaurant while we try to save the tiniest amount of money while buying cereal or vegetables. A student is often not able to give procrastination even when he knows he might not do well in the upcoming examsWe choose to buy things which we don’t need but get them “just in case”. For example- a man might buy an Audi over a minivan even if it is difficult to adjust whole of his family in his car.

An experiment was conducted where a Hershey Kiss was priced at one cent and a Lindtt bar at 50 cents. Most people bought the Lindtt Bar. But when the Hershey Kiss was offered for free and the Lindtt bar at 49 cents , people tended to buy the Hershey Kiss just becuase it was “FREE” and did not compare the total utility they would get out of both of the chocolates.

We often overvalue our possessions just because we develop an attachment with it and don’t see what the market is willing to pay for it. For example, in an experiment conducted at Duke University(which is totally mad for basketball), an average student was willing to pay around $100-200 for a ticket to a university basketball game. On the other hand, student whole owned a ticket were willing to sell their ticket for no less than $2400.

These are all experiments conducted by different psychologists and economist which show how us humans are not always rational. Most economic laws assume that humans are rational which is a fallacy.

Now, if I speak of my personal experiences, people who considered me to be special have often started treating me as a normal person just because of a single thing and don’t consider all the good things that might have happened in the past. You can do any limits for anyone but impulsively they would end up saying that they don’t need you. To add to that, they behave completely normal as if nothing happened. One day you are best friends, the next day complete strangers.This impulsiveness of people really sickens me.

People are indeed forests of impulsiveness and irrationality.

Over and Out.

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Lessons I’ve learned as a teenager

Being a teenager is quite an experience. Hormones are kicking through your body , you have mental breakdowns and one moment you are on top of the world and the next you hit rock bottom.

Here is what I have learnt during my teenage years-

  1. Don’t follow what others are doing blindly. Go where your heart desires and don’t succumb under peer pressure.
  2. Don’t indulge in alcohol just as yet.
  3. STAY away from smoking.
  4. Academics is important even if it is not everything.
  5. Pursue your hobby, be it writing, a sport or playing an instrument.
  6. Keep your friends small circle and don’t trust everyone.
  7. Listen to your parents and your friends. You are not always correct.
  8. Don’t do something just to prove someone wrong.
  9. Play video games but in moderation
  10. You can’t live without social media but don’t make it an addiction.Networking sites like Quora are much better than Snapchat and Facebook.
  11. Don’t demand products of luxury brands from your parents. If you want a Gucci bag, earn it.
  12. Be grateful for everything.
  13. You learn something from every single person and object in this world.
  14. Don’t just watch motivational videos and read philosophical quotes. If you want to follow them, be cautious
  15. Infatuation isn’t love so don’t fall for every other person.Get to know the person first.
  16. Have ambitions and dreams. If you don’t have something to be excited about or don’t have anything in particular to do when you wake up, you are wasting your life.
  17. Don’t oversleep or overeat just because you are feeling sad.
  18. Listen to music. It does help improve your mood.
  19. Express your feelings to your loved ones.
  20. You only have your family in the darkest times except one or two friends(who are basically family)
  21. Don’t over-trust. Your best friend can become your worst enemy tomorrow.

Over and out

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Student Leadership

Student and Leadership

“Leadership is not a position or a title, it is action and example”

When we hear the word ‘leader’, what comes to our mind are  the politicians that run our government. Of course, they are leaders. But leadership is not limited to becoming a politician and holding a position of power. It is much more than that. In fact, even students can become leaders in some way or the other. Being a good student doesn’t only mean doing well academically. It has various other aspects amongst which a vital one is to learn how to become a good leader. Certainly, being a part of the student council would help shape your leadership skills significantly. You get to learn how to manage events-both intra and inter-school, to take initiative and to act by example.It would help you to become more competent, responsible and also teach to act under pressure. All of these qualities are needed on a daily basis in the ‘outside’ world beyond the boundaries of your home and school.

It is not that being a part of the student council, you only have burden on your head. You enjoy a lot too. The bonding you develop with many other student council members lasts a lifetime and allows you to make many new friends. The satisfaction of completing a task successfully gives unparalleled joy and even if you are not able to complete your job up to the expectations, you still learn a lot.

Don’t become a part of the prefectorial body because it would improve your college resume, but because it would give you lessons that can’t be learnt elsewhere.

Apart from being a student council member, a student can still become a leader in his day-to day activities. It could be taking initiative in taking part in the class assembly and debates or members of school sports team giving suggestions to improve their strategy and their coordination. All of these activities are typical of leadership.

Forming a group and doing community service by educating street children, visiting orphanages and old-age homes, conducting nature-protection drives is an excellent way of experiencing leadership. If your activities are such that it inspires others and you become an example, then you have already become a leader.

A leader doesn’t only have to be the Head Boy or the Head Girl of your school.Your acts make you a leader and not your position. It is the young leaders of today that are going to run the country tomorrow, so it is important to ensure that this skill is properly polished and honed in students.

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Past, Present and Future

People say “Forget the past, live in the moment and don’t think about the future”. I say “Embrace and learn from the past, live in the moment and don’t worry about the future”

Forgetting the past, be it a happy or a sad memory isn’t something I would like to do.(Anyways, I think that the past can’t be forgotten). If you get happy remembering the past, what’s wrong in enjoying that moment. Obviously reminiscing about that moment the entire day won’t do us any good but rejoicing for 5 minutes won’t do any harm and could actually provide inspiration. Yesterday, I was looking at my photos as a small kid when I had gone on a trip to Kashmir. I could be seen to be genuinely happy and delighted to be in the midst of the valleys. I could be seen smiling in photos not just because a photo was being clicked, but because I was thoroughly relishing that particular moment. This memory made my night and as a result, I slept really well. Added to that, it inspired me to write this blog. What more could I ask for?

Even if a memory makes you sad, think that you are strong enough that you endured and lived through it. Think that you learned something from it which would help you in the future. I wasn’t really happy 2-3 years back due to factors like peer pressure and insecurities but now looking back, I feel proud that I lived through it and improved my condition.

There is nothing wrong with thinking about the future. Just don’t worry about it too much. Thinking about what you want to achieve in the future is necessary in my opinion. I thought in 5th grade that I want my own book published and I began writing one but I hit a dead halt after about 6000 words. However, I still kept on writing short articles and was the first one to start doing a writing task given in school. And then one day, my English teacher asked me to write an article for my school magazine. That was the start of quite an eventful journey. I started writing regularly for the magazine and became the student coordinator of the magazine. Having gained quite a bit of confidence, I started writing this blog which is doing reasonably both in terms of consistency and numbers…This blog too wasn’t started impulsively. I remember the same teacher asked us to write our goals by the end of the year. This incident of last year. It was then when I thought of writing a blog. And then, I grabbed the golden opportunity of being published. Quills writing club, an organization which selects students from schools and helps them get published, collaborated with our school. And I got selected!!! So within a few months, our(I and a few other students) books would get published and I’m quite happy with the short story that I have written and feel that it is the best piece that has come out of my pen. Even though it might not be something extraordinary, all these things have instilled self-confidence in me. So Ma’am, if you’re reading this, thanks a lot!!!

Similarly, I always aimed at winning a national competition. Even though I have not been able to win one yet, I did win an inter-school quiz which might be a really small achievement as compared to winning something at the national level but it has kept me motivated.

All of this just because I did think about the future.

Living in the moment is what we need to do. However, past and future do have their importance and can’t be ignored.

Over and Out

 

 

 

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My bucket list before I turn 50.

Hey. Just like I wrote a letter to my past self., I would like to write a post for my future self. I hope all these things which I mentioned below have been achieved by me by then. So here it goes-

  1. You have become a top-class psychologist or a top-shot economist.
  2. You have skydived. Skydiving has been your dream since you were 16 but it scared you back then. Hope that you overcame that fear:)
  3. You have authored/ co-authored a book however small your part may be.
  4. You have the money to travel business class wherever you go. Even though you hated all those Lamborghinis or Ferraris, you traveled business class once and fell in love with it and have always hoped to have the money to travel that class…
  5. You are going to meet your favorite tennis player -Rafael Nadal in an airport (Quite a random prediction)
  6. You continue writing your blog even now provided reading blogs hasn’t become obsolete
  7. You are still in contact with your friends from school and your best friend during school days is still your best friend.
  8. You still read Diary of a Wimpy Kid every year provided Jeff Kinney still writes those books :).(Hope the kid in you doesn’t go away)
  9. You own an iPhone 27 keeping in mind some other company doesn’t provide a better phone which it probably won’t. (Android fans, come after me:) )
  10. Your signature becomes an autograph
  11. You still write your diary regularly pouring in your feelings that you are too shy/afraid to tell to anyone else.
  12. Your room still remains untidy as it is today.
  13. You go back to your school to be the chief guest of an event held there.
  14. You are still in love with playing basketball and have won at least one tournament.
  15. Your name appears on the TV but only for the correct reasons.
  16. You still have the ownership of the house where you live right now and go back there every once a while and reminisce about your old memories.
  17. You have gone on a biking trip at least 500 kilometers long
  18. You have visited Antarctica maybe with a friend who also wants to go there.
  19. You learn to meditate and are happier than ever.
  20. You are still the same philosophical person.
  21. You get over things more easily than you used to
  22. You have a person to talk to about the most sensitive of topics(except your parents)
  23. You take your mother to Norway or Sweden to view the Aurora Borealis
  24. You buy your father a first-class ticket with your self-earned money
  25. You open an NGO which operates worldwide to help people who can’t afford basic health services with someone who has this same wish as you.

And then obviously I hope all of these wishes come true.

Over and Out