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Friday, October 23, 2015

Flying in the air by the light of the moon

Sky Lantern

Lights are always bright . Not sure if some famous motivational artist said so but I believe for sure.  The very sight of beaming and shining lights just changes the aura around you and lightens you up. No wonder , in a country like India even before the Diwali festivities start the pre-festive seasons kicks in.

This is just a run up to the festival of lights . What it also does is it gears people and households to prepare well in advance for the festivities to start. 
And then , suddenly everything is glowing . Light installations to colorful flower arrangement to candles shining bright and a new add-on paper lanterns just make the entire air so very positive .

Floating ?!

Yesterday , I was invite to a private party for Vijaya Dashami  celebrations . While as I kid , purchasing a ‘dhanush ‘ or a ‘talwar’ seemed so much fun , now it’s just good to see Ravana and the crackers cracking with a little less noise and little less pollution . Besides the interesting food and drinks which were on offer , one thing which caught my attention  were the – paper lanterns . 

Also called and known as sky lanterns these are  small hot air balloons made of paper, with an opening at the bottom where a small fire is suspended.  Besides having an array of shapes and designs the colors of the paper are what makes these a beautiful sight . Not to forget the fire within .

River Lantern Festival

I could see people of all age groups jumping with joy , looking high up in the sky as the lanterns flew by.  It was a beautiful sight when suddenly you have 15-20 sky candles or fire balloons all lit up in the air making a beautiful sight. It just made me stand still to see how beautiful and pure such simple things in life can be. 

Aesthetic effect aside these are the moments which one should cherish .
What these also made me think and connect was ,these are also like us  , as humans , people. 

If you have a fire within of doing something big, great it won’t matter what kind of circumstances are around you. Just like the small candle lights out any paper from black to white or colored  the fire will burn and it will illuminate and make the surrounding look so much more interesting.  No matter how bad or tough the circumstances are you have the power to shine and shine on and spread the light around you .

What’s more is that people being people were actually writing ‘wishes’ on the lantern inspired from the famous Pingxi District in New Taipei City of Taiwan which holds an annual Lantern Festival .

Lantern Festival

And like they say , play by the light of the moon . 

Saturday, October 10, 2015

The Social Experiment - Kind a failing

It so happens that things which are of our aid actually become things we swear by.  

Take for example  FaceBook , as a platform.  If was initially started as a replacement for hi5 , Orkut of the worlds with a much better interface and a host of features which are more of an engagement  . 

The whole idea was to be in touch , in our busy lives and share moments which define us.

The idea was never to replace a personal conversation, a birthday greeting via a phone or in person or for that matter a break-up publicly by unfriending / blocking someone. 

I am amazed to see myself that we have actually made platforms like these valued more than individuals,emotions or the world in general.

Pictures are shared not with a purpose to capture a moment but to see which one can make a cut and cross and have more number of likes.  A new born baby on a hospital bed suddenly is on a platform like this with people pouring in with comments and likes.  A long good friendship is suddenly cut short because one persons is seen with his / her ex and gets blocked / un-friended and the two are no longer together .

We spend so much of our time on such platforms that we have actually stopped meeting people.  Calling someone and wishing them and having a 2 minute conversation on a special day is too much to ask for.

One would prefer sending a message or a ping or may be a just wall message.

If I ask someone when was the last time you did a good deed may be at your nearest NGO or with people from a slum , high chances are this would draw a blank .  We are not even realizing the amount of time we spent is actually not worth it . Besides straining eyes on flashy screens and randomly clicking on trending pictures, videos or links or liking statuses which have no positive impact . We are just doing what everyone is doing .

A chance conversation with one of the associates who told me that she used to spend more time on social media than with her 3 year old son . When she realized, a hard step was what she could think , was to close her account and disconnect from this entire thing . 

Now , seeing her kid grow is more than anything to her.  We are an independent thinking population . Let's see how good we are at regaining our own self's