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Are grades everything?

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As a student, I find that the perception of people around me about intelligence is that they think students who get good grades are intelligent. If someone gets excellent marks just by cramming the entire syllabi, he is termed to be more intelligent than the one who gets 5 marks less but actually understands what he studies. I simply don’t understand this mentality.

My board examinations are just around the corner and while people around me say, “Study for your exams and stop writing your blog”, I consider it more practical to write a blog instead of going through the same things over and over again. I would rather expand my knowledge rather than cramming the same things again and again. Rote learning has no use. As I have already mentioned in one of my previous blogs , children don’t remember what they have studied the previous year. All they care is about exams and marks.

Now, parents especially in India find marks to be of utmost importance. Minimal regard is given to hobbies and extra-curricular activities. A budding footballer is not allowed to pursue his dream just because people think that here in India, pursuing sports will not lead to success. One of my friends isn’t allowed access to internet just because his parents say, “Internet is a distraction and would lead to a fall in marks.” Little do they know internet has more knowledge potential than the outdated books that we cram. In this world, access to internet and phones is really important. We can learn much more from the internet than what we can from our textbooks.

Agreed that exams might check what you have learnt in school. They can check your determination towards getting marks. Moreover, I am not saying that not studying and always partying, watching movies and hanging out with friends is of any use (You are just wasting your parents’ money by doing so). When people say,” Bill Gates was a drop-out too and thus education isn’t necessary” , I tell them that he is just one of thousands of successful people out of whom most received formal education. Also, he dropped out of Harvard University and not from some average institution. Nevertheless, I think having a productive hobby is really important along with your studies. Write a book, read novels, play some sport, participate in olympiads. Just do something. Just studying what is taught in school will seldom lead to success. Go beyond your own textbooks and research more on subjects you love. If you love physics, research on black holes and supernovas. If you love programming, learn new programming languages. So, go beyond your textbooks. Don’t limit yourself to formal education.

Now let me talk about my personal experience. I was always hungry for grades until grade 5. But then I realised marks aren’t everything. Now, I feel more satisfaction in having my article published in a magazine than getting good grades. I feel more happy studying for quizzes and olympiads than studying for exams. Talking to my friends about the latest happenings in the world gives me more delight than studying about different types of nouns and verbs. Learning how to file taxes is much more important than knowing who wrote “Julius Caesar”.

Now, getting good grades is not a bad thing but there are a lot of things that are much more important. People say that you won’t get admission in colleges without grades. I tell them that there is no point getting admission in colleges when you don’t understand what you study. You won’t be able to perform your job after college if you cram things and not comprehend them. Moreover, getting into prestigious universities is not only about grades but also about co-curricular activities. So don’t limit yourself to formal education and always try new things.

Over and Out.




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It’s not wrong to be an introvert!

“Lighthouses don’t go running all over an island looking for boats to save; they just stand there shining”- Anne Lamott

There are 3 types of people in this world- Introverts, extroverts and ambiverts. There is a common belief that introverts are inferior to extroverts and ambiverts. This belief is not only prevalent amongst extroverts but some introverts too feel that their personality isn’t something to be proud of. I am totally against this thinking.

Now, I consider myself as an introvert who doesn’t enjoy being in the center of attention. I would rather sit at home and read a novel instead of going to parties. Many people view me as a shy boy who minds his own business and I am totally fine with that. I have my close group of friends with whom I can talk about anything. I might be shy with strangers but with my close friends, I am the biggest nuisance creator. I would sing songs and dance along with my close friends but I would feel uncomfortable doing it in front of people with whom I don’t talk much.

If people call you a “geek” or a “nerd”, let them. Do what you like. You weren’t born to please anybody! It’s better to curl up in your bed, reading your favourite book or watching a movie than going to parties and if you get bored there . I, myself hate going to social gatherings. Whenever I am forced to go to one, what I do is find a corner table, sit their and use my phone to write a blog or text my close friends. I can behave like an extrovert and talk to people if I have to but I get completely exhausted doing so. To me small talk is like food having minimal nutritional value . I would rather talk about planets and outer space than talking about what clothes people are wearing. Small talk might be good to start a conversation but has no role thereafter. You can initiate a conversation with small talk but to become good friends with someone and to maintain that friendship, the role of small talk is negligible.

I agree that one should know how to talk to people confidently but that doesn’t mean you have to go on talking the whole day long. Speaking irrelevant and nonsensical things all the time serves no purpose and is utter wastage of time. There is zero relation between talking and achieving success.

I would often feel that I was missing out on a lot of things by avoiding going to functions and parties. When I would see my schoolmates add posts on their social media accounts about where they are partying, I would often question myself if I was wrong in not going to parties. But when I went to a few of them, I realized loud music and dancing isn’t for me and I should stick to staying at home playing video games with my close friends and reading the latest novels by my favourite writers. So, if everyone is doing something, it doesn’t mean you have to do it too. If you don’t like it, don’t do it. Don’t succumb under peer- pressure. I embrace my personality type and know that nobody cares if I attend a gathering.

No personality type is superior to another. Don’t think that being an introvert or extrovert is bad; Live life the way you want to.

Over and Out

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Nothing comes before mental health!

What mental health needs is more sunlight, more candor and more unashamed conversation – Glenn Close
“That man is consulting a psychiatrist. He is mad”. These words represent the mentality of the typical Indian today and is something which needs to be changed.

If a person is going through mental trauma and needs to visit a psychiatrist, the society says innumerable things about him/her. Mental illness is like a taboo in our society. People need to understand that mental illnesses are as real as physical illnesses and they should support the person who is suffering from depression rather than forming opinions about him. This is the reason millions of people in India are scared to get help for their depression or mental illness. They are scared that the society will laugh at them.

A lot of people around me say that they are depressed because they couldn’t buy shoes of their choice and then seem to be perfectly fine the next day. Please understand that depression is not a joke and don’t think that you are under depression when you are momentarily sad because of a materialistic thing. Depression is something else altogether.

Hundreds of students commit suicide every year because of depression. No one asks students if they are fine mentally and if they need help regarding any problem that they might be facing ; all people care is about what grades is the student getting and how well he is performing in his examinations. People need to understand that depression is a real thing. Having suicidal thoughts is not normal.

I, myself was not mentally healthy the last two years . I was constantly compared to my brother which made me very sad. I was told again and again that I am nothing compared to my brother , directly or indirectly, by my schoolmates and relatives. There was a teacher who said that I should become like my brother and follow him in whatever I do as if I can’t do anything on my own.It was a really difficult time for me. I wouldn’t say that I was depressed but I wasn’t completely fine either. A lot of my friends too are struggling mentally due to the extreme pressure put on by their parents, teachers and friends. Some of them feel that they are criticized to no ends by their parents, some of them feel insecure with their own friends and some of them have suicidal thoughts due to variety of reasons. I can tell you that you can’t cure your mental illness by yourself. If you could, you wouldn’t be ill in the first place!

There are psychologists in almost every institution so don’t shy away from asking for help. Online help is also available easily. There is nothing wrong in getting professional help. Mental illness is nothing to be ashamed of! Don’t listen to people who tell you that consulting psychologists is a bad thing. It is such type of people who shame our country. Nothing lasts forever so if you are suffering with depression, remember that it would come to an end.

Your mental health is much more important than grades and pleasing the society so take care of yourself!

Over and Out

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Promote Entrepreneurship!

 

 

Entrepreneurship is living a few years of your life like most people won’t so you can spend your the rest of your life like most people can’t

 


The ultimate dream of most teenagers in our world is to get a job in their favored Multi-National Company and earn around $100,000 a year doing a 9 to 5 job. Such people live for weekends and a quarterly vacation. As Robert Kiyosaki aptly puts it in his book “Rich Dad, Poor Dad” that these kinds of people are motivated by two things- fear and desire. The fear is that of being without money and the desire is of earning more and more. They are stuck in what he calls a “Rat Race”. And this is a major problem being faced by the youth of today.

We all are so busy looking for job security. Nobody wants to start their own company. Nobody wants to take risks. I have nothing against a secure 9 to 5 job but you have got to risk it for the biscuit! We wouldn’t have Uber and Facebook today had no one taken a risk to do the unprecedented. Working for a corporation will never give you satisfaction as owning one would. When you are working for a firm, you are basically working for the owner and making him richer and richer. In return what you get are simple wages whose rates are controlled by the owner. Especially when jobs are becoming lesser and lesser and everything is becoming digitalized, employees hardly have any space to bargain for more wages.

This brings me to the topic of unemployment and how entrepreneurship gets rid of it. In this day and age, there is a huge shortage of jobs in many sectors such as engineering. Many engineers are completely unemployed or are working in places that are totally unrelated to engineering. They complain of the unavailability of jobs and are totally unsatisfied with their present occupation. Now, had their been more companies and firms, they wouldn’t have faced such problems. So if you are starting your own business, you are not only doing yourself a favor but also helping provide a livelihood to many people.

I have a friend who builds highly innovative things that leave me dumbfounded but he is being forced to become a doctor by his parents. I believe that his talent would be wasted if he becomes a doctor on his parents’ insistence as his talent is not in the medical profession(according to me). So, society is playing a huge role in stopping people to start their own businesses. This mindset of the society that job security is everything and getting settled at a particular place is of utmost importance is something to be reformed. Of course, job security is important but if it is hindering your passion and aim to become an owner of a large MNC, don’t worry about it too much. I am not saying that straightaway start your venture without having any experience and knowledge regarding how a company functions. Join a company, gain some experience and then go do your own thing. There is no point in working for an MNC when you have the experience and knowledge to start your own!

You can become the founder of the next big thing that would change the world. You just need guts to start your own company. So, if you believe you have a great idea and can change the world for the better, don’t let anyone stop you from starting a new venture. Odds are that if you work smart and hard, you would be successful!

Over and Out!

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Is Money Overrated?

“Money is not the only answer, but it makes a difference”- Barack Obama

We all seem to go after money. We all think that being ‘rich’ is the ultimate goal.We believe that once we have earned tons of money, our lives are successful. We dream of staying in luxurious hotels, dining in high-end restaurants and travelling business class with our OWN money.

It is very certain that money plays a very important part in our life. Nobody does not love having a comfy bed, a large T.V., having good food to eat and travelling and exploring the world. But is money everything? My answer to that is a big NO! The goal isn’t to earn money but being happy, satisfied and living lives on your own terms. Having money does not equal to being happy. I would rather have a middle-sized house and have freedom to take my own decisions in my job rather than having a big house but being under my boss’ command regarding all decisions. For me, if I am not free, I can never be rich even if I have lots of money. People say that they might cry in a Lamborghini than on a bus but I say to them that if you are sad and depressed, you would never care where you physically are because sadness doesn’t discriminate on basis of how much money is in your bank. Taking part in unethical activities and earning millions would never give you the satisfaction and you would always feel guilty deep within. People who earn billions commit suicide because they are depressed due to drug or alcohol addiction or they are not happy with what they are really doing in their life while people who are not so rich are often found to be the happiest. While some of us groan for the latest phones in the market(myself included), the poor always are often found to be happy and satisfied because they enjoy whatever they have.While me and my friends want the latest games for PlayStation and are still not content even after receiving them, the eyes of my domestic help’s son glitter when he receives a bar of small chocolate. Money does help but ultimately it is your mindset and thinking that decide how happy you will be.

Once you become rich, you realise that being rich does not feel that great to what it seemed like earlier. Fine-dining, Five-Star hotels and lavish villas would slowly start boring you. But if you help someone to stand on their own feet, the satisfaction you would feel would be immeasurable. You would never see billionaires like Bill Gates and Mark Zuckerberg flaunting their wealth by wearing Gucci belts or Louis Vuitton shoes. But what they are often found doing is helping the society in some way or the other because for them, happiness isn’t just money but it is the satisfaction that they get using their money in a meaningful way and doing something for the benefit of others!

Your goal shouldn’t be to be rich but it should be to be happy and to do something exemplary for society. Having money won’t make you extraordinary but changing the lives of others for the better will!

Over and Out

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Are we really allowed to live our lives our own way?

We live in the world’s largest democracy(India) but I often wonder that are we being allowed to live our lives our own way in this country? The answer that comes to my mind is a starightforward ‘NO’.

Now my argument has 2 aspects. One legal and one moral. Let me talk about the moral one first. This is based on what the society and the public expects of us. They, in a way, force us become doctors or engineers when we might not be interested in these professions. If we don’t take either of these professions , we are regarded as a failure. They control our personal lives. They tell us what to do and what not to. If you want to go out with your friends which might involve both girls and boys, they start judging us. They regard us as shameless and a disgrace to our families . If we don’t want to celebrate some traditional festival and if we go against an old meaningless tradition , we are considered to be as someone who goes against his/her own culture and are condemned to no ends. If we get good grades, we are thought to be a nerd. If we don’t, we are thought to be a spoilt child.They decide how much we should learn. If we want to stay at home minding our own business, they regard us as an anti-social person. They decide how much time we get to stay out from our home. They decide our religion. They say, ” You have to follow the religion you are born into as it is a sin to change your religion”. You are thought to be a rebel if you get a tattoo. They decide how much affection you can show to people in public. It is they who decide what type of clothes you wear. You aren’t even allowed to choose whom you want to marry. “Leave it up to your parents and relatives.They know what’s best for you”. As if anyone know a person better than he knows himself. So the conclusion is that it is ‘they’ who control our social and personal life in this country.(“They” refers to the typical society) But I would like to mention that all these prejudices are changing slowly. But we still have a long way to go

Coming to the legal part, 3 of our states have banned alcohol for its citizens except for medicinal purposes. I am personally against the consumption of alcohol but according to me, every citizen has the right to decide if he wants to consume alcohol for it doesn’t have very harmful effects if taken in light amounts. The content that we might be creating in the form of movies, books, magazines etc is censored in such a way that it loses all its meaning. I myself fear writing blogs on certain topics due the growing hooliganism in our country. All these example show we aren’t being provided the rights we are entitled to in a true democracy. However I do agree that extensive rights given to us constitutionally are unparalleled and India is indeed amongst one of the most successful democracies despite the issues we face today.

I hope you will give a thought to my thoughts.

Over and Out.

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Are we all racist and discriminatory in some way or the other?

Being an Indian, I often find people living around me accuse the Europeans and the Americans to be racist and hostile towards our ethnicity. Of course there are some people who are racist towards our ethnicity.The recent example being the whole T-Series vs Pewdiepie saga where people have turned aggressive against Indians calling them names and stereotyping them.When asked why do they do so, they say its just a joke. I want to tell them that being racist and disrespecting a certain ethnicity just cannot become a reason for laughter. However, I believe that such people constitute a very small amount when compared to the whole.

However, we Indians ourselves are racist in some way or another. For instance people living in Northern India are racist towards those living in South and vice-versa.People living in one part think that people living in the other part are uncultured, dirty and egoistical. Not only that, some people call our own country’s citizens who live in North-Eastern part of the country as “outsiders” and “foreign” just because they look a different way. We like to insult people by saying that they are form a certain background which is considered to be lowly by our society. Though religion can’t truly be defined as a race, I would also like to mention that being discriminated against on the basis of religion isn’t that rare here and then we Indians complain of being on the receiving end of racism from other countries when we ourselves are racists. Even though much of the racism might be intended on a light note, people need to understand that race is one topic that cannot be made a topic for having fun.

It is not only in my country that such cases happen. For instance in USA, a small part of the white people still view blacks as theives and drug dealers while some blacks view whites as self-centered and uneducated about other cultures. And obviously we know that there are some people,not only in USA but also in some countries of Western Europe, who view all Muslims and Sikhs as terrorists. This is why there are tons of attacks and on religious places of Muslims and Sikhs and assaults on Muslim and Sikh people.And then they call Muslims as terrorists when they themselves are induldging in a criminal activity.How ironical and hypocritic! And because of such people the name of the entire nation gets degraded even though the number of people who discriminate on basis of race and religion are very few in number. So, if you love your country, please don’t support racism.If you don’t liked to be on the receiving end of racism, don’t be racist yourself in any way to anyone. Its only then that a virtuous cycle would start and we would be able to get rid of this evil from the entire world!

And then we discriminate on basis of nationality. People think of people from India to be unhygienic, people from USA and Europe to be “modern”, people from Germany to be heavy drinkers and people from the Middle East to be inhumane. These things might have been true to some extent a long long time back but now such stereotypes are as true as unicorns!We should not limit ourselves to be a citizen of a certain country but try to become a citizen of the globe.

Over and Out

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Is Social Media really doing us any good?

Let me start off today’s post with my experience of what people post nowadays on social networking sites like Snapchat and Instagram. The most common posts I see include driving in a car with some songs on and putting up stories which state how much time is left for a friend’s birthday. I find no sense in such types of posts. How do I care if you are driving somewhere within a city while listening to songs or how much time is left for one’s birthday.When their birthday will come, wish them in person as they are your friends. No point wishing on social media if you are meeting them everyday in your school or workplace or talking to them on phone. What’s more interesting is that people ask their friends themselves to put up stories state how much time is left for their birthday. I scoff at the stupidity of such people .I just don’t understand what would one get by getting wished on social media by their closest friends.It might be because such people are insecure about their status in the society or they think that their self-esteem and respect would increase if people post about them.(These are solely my views. You are free to disagree and voice your opinion in the comment section.Also I would love to know if such types of posts are prevalent outside India too). I strongly think that social media is making us insecure about our lives.

The above example gives us a glimpse of the bad side of social media and I would again touch that topic later in this blog. But there is indeed a positive side to social media as well. It helps us in obtaining opinions of different people regarding a certain issue. It also allows us to follow our favourite celebrities and helps us to connect with people in different parts of the world. It is also an effective tool to promote our businesses(You are probably here viewing my blog just becasue of Instagram, Snapchat or Facebook). So obviously social media isn’t that bad as some people project it to be.

But there is a really dark side to it as well. Besides making people insecure about their lives(I actually felt left out and insecure because of social media for a certain period of time), I feel social networking has become the primary activity in many people’s lives. You go to a party, all people are doing is using their phones and putting up stories that they are partying at abc place. They seldom talk to each other at social gatherings and are busy on their phones updating their status and putting up stories.

Another thing that sucks about social media is that it shows only one part of a person’s life and how unreliable it is in telling what is actually happening in one’ life. Lets take the example of Avicii,the famous Swedish musician who committed suicide almost an year back. If you followed him on instagram, you would know how merry his posts were just before he committed suicide. He was recording music , going on trips with friends and seemed happy in general. And then one day, news flashed on our phones that Avicii has committed suicide because he was suffering from depression. This shows there is a lot of difference in what happens in real life and what is shown on social media.

I don’t discourage anyone to use social media as it as great source of information, entertainment and business tool. But, just think that before adding a post that is your post relevant and would interest others. If yes, go ahead and post it. If no, I would strongly advise you to restrain from adding it to your feed.

Over and Out

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Do people buy iPhones just for Apple’s brand name .

Those who know me know that I’m a huge apple fanboy. I love apple products and have never liked android products and have never used them as my first choice.So I might sound a little biased here…

One of the most talked about topic in today’s technological world is apple vs android phones.In 2007, when Steve Jobs unveiled the iPhone, Apple took the world by storm and the launch of the iPhone started what I like to call the technological revolution. Now as much as I hate to say it, Apple has indeed gone down in terms of innovation since Jobs’ death.Until 2011, I like to believe that Apple had no competition. Such was the aura of Apple and its products back then. But now when we fast forward to 2019, Apple faces huge competition from other companies especially Google, Samsung and OnePlus. Many phones now arguably have better features than the iPhone.Many people still buy Apple phones and the question that arises is that are apple products worth it or are people buying these products just for that apple logo and brand name.

“When you can get similar features in Rs 50000 (around 700 USD), why buy an iPhone which costs a lot more?” This is a question raised by tons of people. I respect their opinion but I have a different perspective.

There is a reason that Apple has created a brand name for itself. There is a reason that most celebrities use an iPhone. There is a reason that iPhone, despite a lot of competition has still managed to retain its users. So obviously Apple is doing something right. And the reason Apple has been able to retain its users is because of its unique operating system.Despite Apple’s extravagant prices, people have stuck to using iPhones because they find it difficult to shift to Android. Also, don’t forget that phones that compete with iPhone in terms of quality and features are not cheap too.

I agree cent percent that there are phones in the market that can and are indeed giving iPhone a tough competition but this doesn’t mean iPhone is bad. Nobody’s stupid enough to spend tons of money on a phone just to show off. They do it because of Apple’s quality and even though Apple is not that innovative as it used to be, it still releases some new awesome features every now and then.

I respect Google and OnePlus a lot(Let’s not talk about Samsung), for they too are providing excellent quality products but at most are at par with Apple products and not better than them(according to me). Apple’s consistency is what makes them better than other companies.There has seldom been any iPhone that has not been a success(apart from maybe iPhone 8 and iPhone X).So most people don’t buy iPhones for flaunting. There are some those who buy them for the purpose of showing off but such people are limited in number.

Over and Out

(You can voice your opinion in the comments)

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Are we consuming more content than what we ideally should?

We are currently living in a world where having a Netflix and Amazon Prime subscription is a must. You can instantly become “cool” if you have watched F.R.I.E.N.D.S or Game of Thrones. In schools, web series and stand-up comedy specials occupy a considerable portion of children’s conversation. Students are on their phone viewing memes the whole day. We basically are living for consuming content most of the time and when we are not, we are talking about the content that we have consumed.

If I am being honest, I myself was a big consumer of content. I watched web series, youtube videos and vlogs, stand-up comedy and what not. For a good amount of time, the first thing I used to do after coming back from school was to open my phone and start watching videos of my favourite vlogger, Casey Neistat. Moreover, I also used to watch the same movie again and again. I have watched many movies such as 3 Idiots, Taare Zameen Par, Air Force One multiple times. Added to that I have watched the entire series of the show “House M.D.” which consists of 8 seasons twice! To say the least, I am not quite happy with what I have done. It might have seemed cool watching hours of content everyday but now I realise what tomfoolery I have done.I still watch content but it it has gone down if we compare it to the amount I used to watch 3 months ago.I have now started trying to devote more of my time towards more productive things. I have started reading more novels, writing articles and of course recently I have started posting on my blog regularly. I believe watching and consuming content is an addiction and it is a bad one and is not limited to me. I think at least 70% of my schoolmates are addicted to gobbling up content.

I am not at all saying that we should not watch stand-ups or movies. I agree that they are an excellent source of entertainment and pleasure(Pleasure and entertainment too are components of life!). But the problem arises when swallowing up content is what we start doing day and night.(This is what happened to me some time ago)We think nothing but of watching the latest videos and movies.Everything else takes a backseat be it studying, playing some sport or socialising with people.I obviously have no right to talk about socialising for I barely start any conversations!However the topic regarding socialising is better to be left for another day.

Now is reading novels and books also consuming content? Of course it is!Obviously its great to read books for it does improve your language skills and vocabulary. However reading books without doing anything else the entire day is harmful too. You won’t be able to do anything productive if you keep on consuming content the entire day be it even reading books. You may argue if it is improving your langauge what’s wrong in reading novels the entire day.(This is what I thought when I became addicted to reading.Going off topic but my personal favourite book series is the Percy Jackson Series and I used to love the Secret Seven series when i was younger ).Coming back to the topic, my answer to that is if you keep reading books the entire day, when will you have time to showcase the skills you have acquired through reading?

So, don’t consume content excessively.I’ve learnt this the hard way for I wasted some months of my life and I hope I act as an example for you to stop consuming material.

Over and Out.