There are Men of Wisdom and There are Men of Strength and Then we have Dumbledore and Gandalf

What is it about ancient old men with grey beards that captures our imagination? Two irresistibly charming characters filled with wisdom and knowledge fit this description: Gandalf and Dumbledore. Guiding their young protégés, they are the drivers of the plot as designed by their respective authors. As a reader, I have felt a guiding hand from these two great old gentlemen as I was engrossed in their world and this piece of writing is my way of saying thank you.

Have you ever had the pleasure of the company of a tough and sweet old man? If not, read Harry Potter or The Lord of the Rings. The first attribute that comes to mind when I think Dumbledore or Gandalf is this duality of their nature: kind and benevolent and tough and powerful. You don’t mess with them but they don’t scare you either. Oh and both are wizards. Let’s not forget that because then you would be bracketed in the same category as Vernon Dursley. You wouldn’t like that, would you? So we have two wizards whom kids, teenagers love and yet both are feared and respected by their peers and enemies alike. And this is something you love. Just imagine, your loving grandpa turns into a badass wizard and kicks ass anytime you are in danger. Cool? Super cool.

We don’t see a lot of Dumbledore’s fierce side till the end of the fourth part and even then that is only a glimpse. Similarly, we all are aware that Gandalf has great power behind his facade of a fireworks maker but we never get a complete blast until he goes head to head and toe to toe with the Balrog. Even then we are misled to believe that the battle is a sour and heart breaking tie. It is only later that we are informed of Gandalf’s victory. Clearly, these two are not in the plot for action sequences and that is one of the least important of their roles in the books. So what’s their job description?

Well they are the strategist-in-chief of their respective plots. They weave the web in such beautiful manner that it is almost impossible for the villain to escape. Poor Voldy was no match for Dumbledore and Sauron considered Gandalf too weak for his attention and paid his price. No matter how powerful the opponent, these two have the ability to know more about him than the opponent himself. Dumbledore understood Tom’s (yes I dare!) weaknesses: his inability to comprehend love, and used it against him. Sauron didn’t even consider that Gandalf and company would seek to destroy the ring and Gandalf knew Sauron that. Gandalf knew Sauron would never acknowledge that anyone could possibly not be enchanted by the ring of power.

Besides being strategists, they are also father figures to the two main characters: Harry and Frodo. Harry grows closer to Dumbledore and learns more about himself than about Dumbledore in the time they spend together. Similarly, Gandalf feeds Frodo little titbits of wisdom that help him grow as a character. They are also expert at making people feel safe. It is as if they carry a shield with them that makes the people around them feel safe no matter what the location: Be it the cave full of inferi or the mines of Moria, Harry and Frodo never despair when these guys are around.

An interesting aspect about these characters is the enigma that surrounds them, partly owing to the fact that the story is not about them. We see much of the universe created by J K Rowling or J R R Tolkien through Harry‘s and Frodo’s eyes respectively. And to them, Dumbledore and Gandalf are an inspiration but an enigmatic one. They never learn much about their personal highs and lows until much later. This is much more visible in Harry Potter than in Lord of the Rings which is why I love Dumbledore slightly more than Gandalf.

In the end, both of them represent to me the epitome of great, complex characters. They live beyond the age of their books and have embedded themselves in the history of men and their pens. In the end, I shall share two of my favorite quotes by both. As you would expect, they are dripping with wisdom, waiting for us to drink it all in.

“It is our choices, Harry, that show what we truly are, far more than our abilities.”


“Many that live deserve death. And some that die deserve life. Can you give it to them? Then do not be too eager to deal out death in judgement. For even the very wise cannot see all ends.”


Beautiful. I am taking it all in. And you?

Sources for the quotes:

  1. Quotes About Gandalf
  2. Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets Quotes
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Going past the Past and into the Future

Sometimes I sit down and think. About things that have happened. The past, is really a very powerful thought stimulis. And so we often find ourselves late coming into the present. Thinking about the past while in the present only results in the present becoming the past. But is the past really past us? Well let’s just slow down a bit. I’ll re-define my question. When does an event cease to be in the present? When does the moment move into the past? What does the past mean for us?

A scientific mind would probably say that as soon as the event happens, its in the past. Every moment that passes, passes into the past. I should say that would be the answer by most people regardless of how they think. It seems so obvious. It is 17:50:45 right now or rather it was 3 seconds ago. That is in the past. Or so would most of us say. But I say not. I don’t say that the time stops or slows for me. No, that would be ridiculous. What I mean to say is that even though the clock has moved on, even though the time has gone by, have we really moved past it? You would say it doesn’t matter. Time moved past us or we move past it; it’s the same thing. I would beg to differ. 

You see time isn’t just what you read on your watches. It isn’t just an entity. Like everything else that exists, its relative to everything else. In this case we are discussing the relationship between us and time. Why does it take so long to get over a death of a loved one? Why do we always reflect back to our memories in times of contemplation? Every traumatic experience is like a blockade. It blocks you from moving with the time. Every painful experience is a bump in the road, it slows you down. But the time doesn’t stop or slow. So are you then in the present or the past? 

I believe your past doesn’t really become the past until you move on. Until you move on, you are stuck in the past. Your actions, your attitude, your life doesn’t exist in this present moment. You do and be according to your past. Your present ceases to be. Your past becomes your present.    

I wrote this because I feel that there are a lot of people who are living in the past. People whose past has become their present. People who no longer exist. They are no longer in harmony with time. They have stayed back. It’s on their loved ones to bring them back. Back to the present and back to life.

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Switch to Solutions

We, humans, have been around for quite a while now. Looking back, we have come quite a considerable distance. From the stone age to the age of composites, we have progressed beyond the wildest dreams of our forefathers. In this equation of variables, problems have been a certain constant since time immemorial. Problems have dodged every step we have taken towards our future. In fact we have progressed by converting these obstacles into stepping stones. So when people around me despair at the problems we are facing today, it does surprise me a little. Are our problems really insurmountable? Are we at the end? Is it so bad? I don’t think so. 

When something is right in your face, it seems to be the larger than it is. When there are so many problems right in your face, we feel they are insurmountable. And our problems have definitely  increased. For every  new child that is born, we are giving birth to new thoughts, new opinions. With about 7 billion people on this earth, we now have 7 billion brains that think. It is more than likely that many of these are going to clash. Which is at the root of most of our problems. But for the 7 billion problems we face, we have 7 billion, if not more, solutions. And it is time we took a step back and stopped looking at the problems. Start looking at the solutions. We have plenty of them in our heads. Let’s try to solve instead of wallowing in despair. 

To that effect I present the universal solution set:

“What ?” Represents a desire to understand the problem. 

“Why?” Represents a desire to understand the reason behind the problem.

“How?” Represents a desire to invest in ways to solve the problem.

“Why Not?” Represents a desire to persist in the effort to solve the problem.

And these are the four steps we need to take. Often we skip the 2nd and 4th steps in this process. The 2nd step is about trying to find out why we have the problem we have. It is crucial to understand the difference between dispassionate fact finding and a passionate blame game. Judgement and understanding do not go hand in hand. 

4th question is of absolute importance for us to succeed. Without persistence, other questions are meaningless. We will fail often. We have failed before and we have fallen hard on our asses. I don’t need a historian to tell me that we got back on our feet and solved the problem eventually. If persist, we will exist.

“What, why, how and why not” represents the universal solution set. We have always known this. All we need is a reminder that the only thing we need to do is step back, forget the size of the problem and start solving. Invest in solutions and your share of problems will go down.

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It’s good to be opinionated

It’s said that experience is the best teacher. What’s not said is that it’s more us learning from our experiences than the experience teaching us and we are not always the best learners. Experiences help us form opinions, perceptions and from that we develop our own prejudices and biases. Why am I talking about this? Because recently a certain celebrity made some comments about intolerance in India and reaction was ka boom! Really I was amazed at what lengths we people go to avoid talking about the things that matter. All the people who came out on the twitter and all other social networking sites just don’t understand what is important. And that’s only my opinion. And that’s my right, to call you all wrong.

So let’s talk about this particular case. A celebrity expressed an opinion about intolerance in India. And what was the reaction? It was nothing about intolerance or anything of relevance. I was surprised to read a few people say that just because he was able to make such comments in public without retribution is the proof of tolerance in India. Is it? Being better than the worse is no achievement. If you are proud of not cutting off heads of people with different opinions then you really have low standards. Anyway my point is that whatever the comment was, it was an opinion based on some experiences. Did you experience that? No. I am quite sure most of you didn’t. But you still chose to criticize an opinion you have no idea about. To all the people who criticize, it’s not a bad thing. Provided you realize that just because someone thinks different doesn’t make him/her an anti national.

And for last time discuss issues not people. Please. It would have been better to ask if we were really becoming intolerant. Think about the issue. People come and go and they all have different opinions. Issues will always be there and we will always have to face them. So have an opinion and respect others’ opinions. And above all the noise listen to the issues for they are always going to be more important.

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Death Penalty: Attention Overload!

Build a car with truck tires or build a truck with car tires, neither of them is going to work. So when the death penalty of Yakub Menon was executed, we had this whole uproar about death penalty and law and justice. I also remember similar reactions and similar focus on death penalty when a lot of heinous rapes caught the media attention. Whenever I hear about a heinous crime, this debate about the death penalty cannot be avoided. So let’s talk about it and after we do so I want you to think, is this discussion worth the attention it gets?
So let’s start. Death penalty is the only way you can legally kill a person. In our judicial system, death penalty is handed out if the crime falls in the rarest of the rare category. Here comes the first question: what is rarest of the rare category? This system has been described as a very vague way of classification. And this is a problem. If you consider the recent case of Yakub Menon, many people felt that the death penalty was not appropriate even though they might have been misinformed. Whether it was the right decision is a moot point but the fact that there were quite a lot of people who felt that the case didn’t fit in the category of rarest of the rare tells you about the vagueness of the system.

Next point about heinous crimes. And the argument that death penalty creates fear in the mind of criminals. So when the rapist is about to rape we are supposed to warn him, ” rape me and you will be killed by the government *.” 
* lots of conditions apply: a brave victim ready to face the discrimination of this society, efficient-honest investigation, a non political, non mafia, non powerful criminal(rich industrialists, politicians are a strict no), a good attorney, a supportive government(that knows how to differentiate between a criminal and a victim), an impartial judicial system, etc and after maybe 10-15 years you will finally die(after endless appeals).

What do I want to say here is, this is a indirect and inefficient method to stop heinous crimes like rape. Maybe you need it. But let’s not all of us focus all our attention on this topic. As you read above, improve the law enforcement, the societal perspective, the judicial system, end the corruption and then if required put in the death penalty. If a rapist knows that he will be hanged within next 1 year regardless of his background, then it will create fear.

Death penalty is not a magic pill that solves our problems. We need to find an effective way to use this tool. Death penalty is the ultimate punishment. Rarest of rare needs to change to something more definite. And before you start handing out death penalties make sure you have a system that can handle the load. Death penalty is just a part of this giant wheel of justice. Maybe we need it. Maybe we don’t. But it certainly doesn’t need this attention.

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The petty differences

Recent events and the controversy surrounding Yoga has made it the topic to write about. I am no expert when it comes to Yoga and thus it wouldn’t be right for me to discuss the Yoga itself. But what I can do is comment upon the comments of our political commentators.
I think Indian politicians love controversies. And perhaps media loves it even more. And we the normal people crave it. How dull would be life if both Congress and BJP would come together as one at every opportunity instead of trying to tear each other to shreds. Ah one of our most watched News programs would certainly prove my point. Not that I am against the debate and the right to difference of opinion. In fact that is what makes India such a lively democracy. The difference in opinion represents the vast diversity in the electorate. But forgive me for saying this but for those who don’t know there is a difference between difference and petty difference. I fear we have come to a time where we have political analysts poring over a rival party member’s statement or speech to find that one error, that one word or sentence for which they can nail them.
Political debate and difference of opinion should be based on issue at hand. Where the merits of the issue ask from you your support then it should be given regardless of the stand of the opposition. Take Yoga as an example. Congress accused the government of using Yoga as a publicity tool and used Yoga day to organize a protest against our respected foreign minister Sushma Swaraj. The protests don’t bother me much but the timing does. Are they not trying to hijack the piblicity themselves? Also why fight over Yoga? Yoga Day was an opportunity to do exactly what Yoga needs: create awareness. And that is required more so in India. To see your own respected Prime Minister perform Yoga with so much enthusiasm gives you the motivation to do it yourself. All the reasons Congress and the others gave trying to justify their opposition to Yoga Day as far I think were just because BJP is in power and they are not.
There was a comment from the religious groups that Surya Namaskar is communal. I really don’t understand the logic behind it. Sun is ultimately the source of all energy of earth. So how can claim that he belongs to a religion or not? Anyway the more important and merit-based point is that it is not compulsory. In fact many people don’t chant mantras during Yoga. For those who are religious you can chant them and for those who are not you don’t have to. Again it is the same thing, finding fault just for the sake of it.

All in all this is perhaps one of the recent examples where parties have unnecessarily opposed each other just so that they remain opposites. If you can’t treat each issue with the level of sincerity it deserves then you don’t deserve to discuss it or debate it. I request all people involved at any level in any kind of decision making process to consider the issue and not the party or people opposite you. And if you can’t, then please step aside because I as a citizen of this country don’t want people with vendettas taking decisions about our future.

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We are talking about :
Mayhem in Delhi can be also read as Elections in Delhi. Or Madness. It is on you. But the fact remains. The elections we are seeing today in India are more about publicity than issues. I maybe wrong about this. I am about a lot of things. But I have rarely seen parties outlining their plans or at least ideas during pre-elections. Campaigns are more about the wrongs of the others than rights that need to be done. I started this blog before the Delhi  polls and I am back to finish it after witnessing the ‘AK67’ spectacle. I guess it just proves my point. The way every BJP member was trying to sling dirt on Arwind Kejriwal now seems amusing. I remember Amit Shah, the BJP President, mocking Kejriwal’s complaint about not being given a VIP seat during the Republic day celebration by saying that they would give him a VIP seat for the oath taking ceremony, after BJP wins the election. It seemed over confident then and it seems childish now.
Lets come to the Problem.
BJP is not alone. Every party is guilty of not focusing on issues. And public, live debates are important in determining the stand of the people we are voting for. When I get my voter card and I am about to vote,  I would want to know what my representative is going to do for the next 5 years. Just think about it. If we forced our elected representatives to tell us what he is going to do to help our constituency during the next five years, wouldn’t we able to judge by his own standards the next time around?
My expectations:
I might not know all the ground realities of being a representative of a constituency or the difficulties faced by politicians, but I did pay attention in my Civics class. I remember the line that said that it is not necessary for your elected representatives to be educated or experts in any field. The only requirement is that they should be able to represent the interests of the people they are representing, with commitment and sincerity. Nothing more, nothing less.
I don’t want to know what the opposition leaders are doing. I don’t want the details of your national schemes either. I want to know simple things. Like will I get 24hrs electricity. Or if the roads I travel on will be repaired. Or if you are putting up dustbins in my locality. Simple things. And I am sure they can be done. Just we, you and me, the voters, need to tell them this. We need to bring them out in front of us and question them.
Solving the problem. Fulfilling Expectations.
The roots of our problems lie in us. Or rather our gap in communication. What we need is to bring the representatives back in touch with the electorate. I would like to meet my representative, know more about him. Wouldn’t you? We need to establish communication channels between the electorate and the representative. I can see multiple ways of achieving this. Debates, at the local level, is one way of doing it. Just imagine.  Wouldn’t it be amusing to see if our politicians have the guts, to create the same level of chaos and ruckus they do in the assembly,  before the elections and in front of their voters? But let’s be serious. I would really like to see our representatives talk about their own plans instead on listening to what their party leaders have done for this country. Another way the communication gap could be filled is if the media started representing us. The media is said to be the institution which was envisioned to play a big role in the balances and checks system of our democracy. Local media should organize and report live debates while at same time help the electorate in putting up their questions to the poll contestants.
Social networking, websites of the contestants and simple letter mails with appropriate response from both sides can help us realize the authenticity of our representatives and at the same time also convey our expectations to them.
My hopes: The conclusion.
I hope one day we will ask a simple question and get a simple answer in return. I hope that one day my representative will be really my representative. That day we would really be a representative democracy, responsible for the development of our own country. And that I would change the title of this blog to Elections=Magic.

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Intentionally Vague

Hey guys! Here I am, back with you, for your own sake, pulling your thoughts onto something that you know but don’t think about. Don’t ask what it is. Because I don’t know. Do you? Do you know about all the things you ought to think about but don’t? Yeah. I can feel a few of them trickling into your heads. Don’t stop them. Don’t just read this passage. Try to listen to what I am saying. I am no saint nor am I a motivational speaker. But what I want you to realize is that you need neither if you just think. And that is why I am going to be vague. Think.

I said Think. Why the big space in between? For time that you seem to lack. Many a times and during various discussions, I have been called too serious and I do agree. But what I do not agree with is that just because I think, I am uncool and don’t like having fun. People shy away from serious discussions simply because they find it too taxing, because it is difficult to get out of your comfort zone and think about something that does not strictly lie on your path. And I have tried to make you think in whatever small way I can. To all those who read all my blogs I ask you this, have you started respecting woman? Or have you started trying to be a little more accommodating with different opinions? Have you done anything, like absolutely anything about sex education? Or perhaps you might have thought about false expectations you keep as a society from your children and friends and family? Oh you must have at least started enjoying your days? Come over guys, that one was for you! Everything else I have talked about has been about being bigger than yourself. But this was about you.

I don’t think anyone has even tried to think about trying to change. Don’t appreciate my writing. Don’t praise me for my writing. I don’t care about that. I don’t just write for myself. When I write what I write, it is try to make something happen. I can’t do much as I witness things go about me that can easily be remedied. But I try to do this. I try to talk and interact with people like you, the mango men. I try to raise the issue infront of you. Because I believe that if I can’t convince my friends, if you don’t take me seriously,  if you don’t take what I write seriously,  then I don’t think I will be able to do it for anyone else. But it seems it really is true. What I was being sarcastic about is true. You don’t like change. Or rather not when it comes to you. My writing has only been read. Taken only as a literary piece whose grammar and vocabulary is to be appreciated but not it’s meaning.

But today I am going to challenge you. You think you can just sit in your chair, have a sip of tea, watch a nice sitcom and pretend that everything is pretty? Pretend that rapists don’t exist? Pretend that terrorists won’t strike in your town? Pretend that you are a well respected family and your children are in your control? Pretend that you are right and mainstream? Pretend that corruption doesn’t exist? Pretend that you are happy? Pretend that all this politics is not for you? Then go on pretend. Pretend that your daughter or sister or wife is not one of 93 woman getting raped daily. Pretend that there is no chance that your child is not amongst the 28000 people watching porn every second. Pretend that it is no big deal to dish out a bribe to get your Aadhar card faster. Pretend that you are not one of the 8 lakh nutters who take their own lives. Pretend. Pretend. And just pretend. But I will not pretend. I will pray. I will pray that what you pretend is true. Not just for your sake. But even more for the sake of your daughter, your son, for the sake of this country.

And when you stop pretending, I will stop praying. Because then the prayers wouldn’t be needed. They would have been answered. Guys listen to me. Don’t read. Understand. If you really care. If you really want to care about something else, then go back, go and read what I have said. No. Go and understand. And then try to think. And then try to do what you have thought. And when you have done that, come and comment about what you have thought and done. I am not asking for a revolution. In fact we have had too many of them. I just want a small change. Atleast Now Please get up from that chair. Switch that TV off. And think. And do. I won’t tell you what to do. I don’t know. And that is why I need you.

I am being vague to help you be specific. Stop pretending. But till then I will pray without pretension. And the day you stop pretending, I will only have to pretend to pray.

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The Journey Ahead

As the most advanced species, we have also been the most restless species on Earth, undertaking journies for reasons varied. We have always been more enthralled by the journal than the destination itself. Even our books have been about journeys and travels, be it the Gulliver’s travels or Around the world in eighty days, we have always loved stories of travel and when the opportunity arises, the travel itself. I often wonder, why do I love to just travel? Why does the idea of traveling in a destination seem so attractive? Is it because of the resulting destination? Or is it because of the various changes we observe and become a part of as we move from one place to another? I like the second one. Not because the destination is not important to me. I am not a drifter or it is not that I don’t like to settle down. But while I realize that the destination enforces the meaning of the journey, the journey itself is a world of its own and what it does is to determine how you end at your destination. It is like this. Suppose you are going home. From office. To your beautiful wife, to your cute children, to your loving parents. And here I think I couldn’t have possibly thought of a better reason for undertaking this small journey. As you ride in your car, you see a small ice cream shop and immediately stop there. You think of your kids and take a family pack for them. Chocolate chips. Hmm.. Yummy.. Isn’t it? Then you get back into your car and you are back on track again. But then again you see a medical shop and you remember that your Mom’s BP meds are on a low side. You decide to stop and get the meds. Just as you are about get back into the car, you see a shop. It’s a florist you pick up a beautiful red rose and finally head towards your destination. You play a song on the music player and oh yeah it so relaxing! And then, ” hello everybody, I am home! ” And then everyone comes out smiling and those who are not smile after you shower them with your gifts. You get a pretty good snacks and a relaxing tea from your wife. Your Mom is much more relaxed than before and you get to keep your head on her lap and close your eyes. Your children bring you your snacks and take your laptop bag. And it really feels like home sweet home. Now let’s just take everything opposite. You don’t take anything home. You just go straight to your place. You don’t listen to any songs. You are irritated and tired. Then you reach home and your children ask you for their surprises and your Mom asks if you got those meds and you shout at your wife because you don’t get a proper snack. And suddenly its all very tense. Woah. Wait a second. Did you go to some other place, by any chance?? Dude, just check your Google maps. Are you really at home? Hmm.. You seem to be. Then what the hell changed? Should I? Really? You still expecting me to answer? Ok. As you wish. What changed is the journey. And I hope I won’t have toThe rextend this any further because I am getting bored telling you same thing again and again.
So it is that simple. Your journey will flavor your destination. Your journey is the build up to the destination. So just love it. Start enjoying it. And if you already do, then you know what I am talking about. So Au Revoir. Sayonara. Sastriyakal. Off you pop! On your way to scripting The Adventures of I, me and myself!!

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The Grey Zone: Opinions, Perspective and Impressions..

How many times have you come across comments on your appearance or clothing or your accent? I for one have had many inputs in various forms and I am sure you would have too, that is if you live on a planet called earth and amongst the homosapien species. It is not unnatural to express like or dislike on the inputs provided by your sensory organs. In fact we, as the thinking species, are impelled to opine. So let us discuss about opinions. And perspective. And impression. And then finally the get a general equation for all these variables.
Coming first up are Opinions. Opinion, according to my dictionary, is or rather are the thoughts that flow through your mind after you receive an input through any of your sensory organs. For example, when you look at Aishwarya Rai, the word beautiful would come to your mind. Which means that in your opinion Aishwarya is a beautiful woman. Opinions have always been an expression for our thoughts. They are also, to any keen observer, very interesting psychological expressions. I say that because I have observed that opinions are never independent nor are they exclusive statements and thus can hardly be believed to be absolute truth or anything similar to the concept of the absolute truth. I am sure there will be those who would have a very impolite and opposite opinion to that of mine with regards to Mrs Aishwarya Rai Bacchan and believe me when I say that they believe in their opinion as much you think you and I believe in ours. So in my opinion, to say that a particular opinion is rubbish is not entirely correct because even the negation of an opinion is nothing but another opinion in itself. What I basically mean to point out is that please have your own opinions and believe them to be the universal laws by all means but understand that the person in front of you thinks the same about his own opinions. I am sure now you will be wondering why don’t we all believe or think the same thing and how these opinions come to differ. I believe opinions are nothing but your thoughts. And thoughts are never random. You don’t think randomly about anything. Can you think of something you have never heard of before? You can’t and you won’t. First because like all systems, like all machines, our brain requires input, on that input it forms a database and when required it fishes out the info for your thoughts. Your thoughts are always biased. And this bias is exactly what is referred to as perspective. Each one of us has a perspective and therein lies the reason for our dissimilar opinions because despite living on the same planet or the same country or the same state or even the same locality we all live our own lives, we face our own problems, we achieve our own success and we are ourselves responsible for all the falls we suffer. In such uniqueness we can hardly expect people to have the same experiences, or data input as I referred to it earlier and thus when the roots are different, the plant can hardly be the same. With all our worldly knowledge we have constructed a window, a window to look at the world around us and it is our experience, my dear friends, that defines the dimensions of our window. Our tiffs and trips with and into the world around us (read experiences) is what makes you form a perspective and brings that small little bias into play with your thoughts. So people please stop saying that this is right and this is wrong. Just for a second, pause… And realize that you are not really white and your pesky neighbour or your ex or your political rival not really black. To quote my English teacher, we are all grey.
Now you might all wonder where is this all leading to. As I said at the start, I am going to have a small chat about what is an opinion, about perspective and about impressions. As we move towards the end, we have tried to understand the concepts of opinion and perspectives. We have opined on the topic of opinions and perspectives. But all these are baseless concepts without their source, us. So any discussion about our thoughts, opinions, experiences, perspectives, etc is incomplete if I don’t talk about us, if I don’t talk about how we are affected by the opinions of others and how we knowingly or unknowingly, influence the people around us. Actually that is how I started out this discussion. We have always been moved by honest and at times dishonest display of appreciation. We have got depressed because of the comments of people around you. To understand this we need to understand that when you completely believe in black and white, even a hint of the white and black disrupts your status quo. It is like even a semblance of proof for the presence of God will disturb and disrupt the thought process and normalcy of a hardcore atheist. I like normalcy. Not facing problems is so easy. And if that is not possible, facing expected problems is still ok. And I know all of us are like that. If even the tiny atoms crave for stability, is it really surprising that we wish for the same? But we in our desire for stability, have gone astray. We are fighting wars for peace which is highly ironic considering peace is more likely in the absence of war. I am not talking of big international conspiracies. I am talking about you, who is all set to show it to your big and stupid neighbour that Christianity is the best religion out there or perhaps spit out all the achievements of Narendra Modi on the face of your skeptical friends. These wars we fight daily, to prove yourself, to prove your opinions correct. We fight with clenched fists and closed mind. And anything to the contrary of our belief rocks our boat. It does affect me if someone tells me that you look hideous. It does affect me when someone praises my speaking. And it does affect you. But it is time I think we realized that except for the few closest to us, everyone else is fighting for their opinion. We have time to understand that we are grey. Man I am just 18(soon to be 19) and it is nice to accept that I am not perfect and I don’t care what the hell you say if you are not on my priority series. I know I have black inside me but I am sure as hell not going to allow it to overshadow the white. I want my friends to do the same. Am I important for you? Yes? Well I am flattered and I assure you when I argue with you I will listen to your point of view and when I point out any genuine anomaly I will point it for your benefit. A simple understanding can go miles on this road to peace, both internal and external. Just a small realization that I am not perfect but my anomalies are far less important than my strengths and every other person on this person is in similar shoes. Remember the window? Why don’t you try sticking your neck if you dont want to widen your window? Let us just believe that opinions can exist outside our sphere of thoughts, for a start. Then perhaps we can move to respecting them. Because only in acceptance we can find our peace. So let’s change our paintbrushes. Let us mix the black and the white. Let’s paint the world grey.

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