Saturday, January 22, 2011

For Cities ♥

I read a lot, it is a hobby and life lessons and love and everything in between but every time i think of writing there is this one article i think of, it was a feature article based on my city and the authors unexplainable love for it. It's something that absolutely fascinated me, because it suddenly felt that someone understood my unexplainable love for a city or place.
Like Kolkata, I remember the 1st time i went there, it was dirty, it stank of fish, it was so crowded and so humid but then Mr Banerjee, the tour guide started telling us about his city, the pride in his voice the way he looked at it like it was his whole world changed my perspective. The life of the city,its spirit it spoke to me and suddenly I was in love with a city that i knew nothing about. So maybe love was but life and spirit.
I saw a movie yesterday "No one killed Jessica", in the movie Rani the role of "Mira" describes her city and her inability to understand it. Its complexity, power and struggle, its majesty comes out in the movie and now i want to live in Delhi, just for awhile maybe, just so i can see it all for my self.
So life attracted life.

Here i am writing from Pune and i can feel the love of my own city in me, its life, its unpredictable moods, its weather changes and life. Its small town touch, its cafes and thelas, its shady roads and and narrow streets. Its dynamics.
So love found love.

By Radha Agarwal

Friday, January 21, 2011

Career Conundrums

The delicate and infantile age of about 4 is when most of us make our first premature career decision. "Ma, when I grow up, I want to be a teacher!" and from there begins the string of career options we weave for ourselves, ranging from animated ones like pilot and "that-person-on-the-tv" to more serious, thoughtful and sane options like lawyer,doctor,banker,etc.
How easy is it for us, during our adolescence, to have a new ambition each day? I'd wanna be an air-hostess today, but owing to the fickle-mindedness and frame of mind of a child, I could wake up the next day declaring to become a journo, yet noone would question me- instead I would be encouraged with a smile(and sometimes a little clap,too); my parents going along with whatever I proclaimed, knowing that this is just their juvenile baby talking. As we grow older, the seriousness of these decisions dawn upon us. "What are you going to do with your life ahead?", becomes a deeply feared question, furtively longing to be ignored. It doesn't help that we're constantly reminded of those few odd contemporaries who predict rather confidently how their next 10 years are going to shape up - only to add to our growing insecurity.
Why this fear? Why the ignorance? Why are we so apprehensive to take a decision and stand by it for the rest of our lives?

Pressure. It's the pressure that we are inept of withstanding. Pressure from parents, from peers, from those galling relatives who wouldn't stop asking about our future plans... But the pressure of the highest magnitude is, ironically projected from ourselves. The pressure of choosing something that the 25-year old version of ourselves has to live with, the pressure of ensuring that that version of us doesn't look back to the present day with regret or compunction.
Career decision-making in today's time is not just merely about making a profession out of something one enjoys doing. It involves a series of complex parameters, as one has to take into consideration the competition involved, the job security, the satisfaction, the lifestyle that it'll facilitate, and not to forget, the money-which apparently seems to make this cynical world go round.
I am not an expert in judgements like these - hell, I've managed my choices even more erratically than the monsoons of India. But all I can vouch for is that this phase of perplexity in every teenager's life is inevitable, and to rise above it, going with what You feel is right (and not getting influenced by others) is what makes you a winner. The only way to know whether you've made the right decision is to follow it, which only requires you to be courageous, intrepid and ambitious. I believe that if one chooses wisely, follows it with whole-hearted aspiration, stays clear and concrete throughout... That 25 year old version has got to be living a pretty awesome life. :)

By Chahita Lalchandani

More goodbyes than most

All of us feel some regret as the year ends but maybe for me and exchange students all over, saying goodbye to the past year was harder than for others. When a single year means more to you because of the rich experiences you’ve had it makes it that much harder for you to see it end.
As the year 2010 drew to a close a wave of nostalgia and sadness washed over me. Going to a foreign country for a year as I did to Germany in august 2009,I knew that I'd have some unforgettable experiences. I however did not expect to get as attached as I did to so many people coming from so many different lands on the planet. I also did not know how hard it would be to say goodbye when the time came. Harder after it all ended to the year that had passed. It wasn't hard at the time I said bye to some not knowing it would be the last time I'd see them. It wasn't hard when I said goodbye to some months before leaving even when I knew I wouldn't see them again because it didn't seem that real then. Also it was not as hard as I'd expected to say bye to people I saw every day in school. The hard part came later with the realization that I did not know when, if ever, I'd ever see them again. When the January to December exchange students (ones from the southern hemisphere who come for a different period) started leaving last month,5 months after I came back home, it severed my last link to exchange year going on in Germany.
The hardest part was changing things in my mind, weird though it may sound. In 2010 I could still refer to everything that happened during exchange even things that took place in 2009 as this year. Now however it will all have to be referred to as last year like a door of experiences and memories that won't ever be open again; that I’ll be able to walk into only in my mind.
Then again, maybe the goodbyes won't be permanent, maybe I will meet them again and the euro tour reunion we've been planning will take off in the near future. And so with promises of new experiences and memories that will keep everything interesting, life goes on :)

By Nirmitee Mehta