Saturday, 24 September 2016

FRIENDSHIPS

When you are three,
And your dad's friends visit you
With their families
Your best friends are those
With whom you share your favourite toys.
And if they're lucky, your chocolate

When you are seven,
Busy solving your long division,
Your best friends are those
With whom you share your lunch box.
And those whom you invite to your birthday party

When you are eleven,
Figuring out life outside the cartoon channels
Your best friends are those.....
Who explain that maths sum to you
Who ride on the same bus as you

When you are thirteen,
You are coming to terms with your body and sexuality;
You realise that being an adolescent is never easy
Your best friends are those who have the same crush as you,
Those who lie so that you can sneak out with your boyfriend.

When you are sixteen,
You have no idea how your life will span out.
The pressure of the boards and entrance is killing you.....
Your best friends are those
With whom you can have a laugh whenever you want;
Who, like you, are on the run, from school to coaching to tuition

When you are eighteen,
And you make a transition from school to college,
You realise, the difference between acquaintances and real friends
The number of friends has decreased, but their value increased.
Your best friends are those who are on the same page as you,
They wipe your tears, and celebrate your joys;
 With whom you share your horrible viva experiences.

At this point you realize,
How friendship has changed for you, over the years....
The tag was the same- best friends. 
Your perception changed, and along with it,
The faces of the people you called friends.

You realize that like you,
Others have changed as well
You are talking to faces you never thought you would;
You are trying to avoid faces you never thought you could.
But life's like that my friend!
It is all about knowing which hand to hold
And which one to let go!

One day, when you look back, you'll smile
And silently whisper a thank you
To the big guy upstairs
For sending such angels into your life!


-Saujanya

Picture Courtesy: Google Images

Sunday, 3 April 2016

THE ENTRANCE MANIA

Hi again! I haven't written something here for a really long time. Man, I thought multitasking is doable. But apparently, it's not- especially if some tasks are the polar opposites; like memorizing the pharmacological classification of drugs and doing something creative.

Today the school near my place is buzzing with activity. It is JEE (joint entrance examination) for entry into the engineering colleges today. People are going crazy all over. And I am reminded of the time I was one of those students.

This is the start of the agonising months uptil June with so many entrance exams, the skyrocketing cut off marks, the apprehension and counselling.   A special feature of our country is that we like to keep tabs on who got into which college. You don't remember his name, or his birthday or anything. ....but you are very interested in his exam results.  This sucks. Parents, teachers and relatives, if any of you are reading this...please stop. Its annoying. It is your mentality that is causing half of the problems.

Ask any average teenager and he/she couldn't care less. We don't give a fuck about marks as much as the elders do. For us, it is just another examination we have to cross and the only difference is that it is a bit tough. Parents and teachers tend to think we are careless, we are not giving the importance these exams deserve, but believe me- we know better. It is just that sometimes the pressure really gets to us and we are afraid to even start/continue studying. We suffer from incredible fatigue from studying upto 18 hours a day. At that time please don't remind us about the examinations, or what your neighbour's child did or berate us. A kind word that you care about our mental state is enough. 

For the over ambitious students or the more aware parents, there is a small proportion of students whom you will find at every entrance exam; engineering, medical, law, plain sciences.....every exam literally.  The agony of these students is often undermined.  People just say it is your decision to appear for all the exams and you shouldn't whine.  What they fail to see the immense amount of pressure, pain and effort goes into each exam. An exam every week is crazy. Because no matter how well you prepare people will still say that you didn't prepare as well as you should. No kinds words of encouragement,  no patting on the back for surviving the Indian education system- just study and study like a donkey because let's face it-  a few hundred MCQs are going to judge your talents.

Sad as it is, we have to walk throught the shit because there is no other way out. To change this world, you have to walk through all this while retaining your free spirited ideas. So students;  give your best shot at these examinations but remember that real life is much more beautiful than all these. None of this success is going to compare with the joy of being in love,  or meeting your old friends.  None of these failures can ever substitute for all the life lessons you learned or the grief you face from losing your loved ones. 

Remember that these exams are a part of your life, they are not your life. It's okay.  Anything you do, it's okay. The only thing that matters is that you should not have any regrets.

-Saujanya

Picture courtesy: Google images

Thursday, 31 December 2015

NEW YEAR AGAIN!

It is Christmas and New year again! Before we knew it, a year has passed and made us all hopefully wiser and better. I remember a quote which aptly represents my feelings about a new year- 'Its funny how day by day nothing changes, yet when you look back everything is totally different.' I haven't been able to write anything here for quite a while, because I have been kept occupied with something or the other. Nothing noteworthy; but you know..some errands here and there.

Personally I'm not much of a party person. For me, parties have to be with those whom you love to bits. I always used to think that partying with people, staying out till 3 am in the morning would be the ideal way for a new year. But with time, and a few wasted new year evenings I realized that I did not actually like them. I would rather watch one of my favorite movies on TV with something to munch on, quietly whisper a happy new year to myself and then go to sleep. 

 2015 has been a big year in terms of a lot of things. We probably say this after every year. Maybe that is how it works. So it will be 2016 soon, the holidays will end, people will get back to work, schools and colleges will reopen and we go on with our lives. We just need one night with our family and friends to celebrate the fact that we made it through another year. And we are still going strong. To quote the teenage girl inside me, 2016 will be an exciting year with Game of Thrones coming out in April, then Harry Potter and the Cursed child and in the list of honorable mentions is of course Sherlock.

This time though, all I want to say is maybe....maybe we could make a resolution about being more tolerant. India has been the home of religious and cultural pluralism for centuries. With increasing social networking sites, it has become really easy to voice our opinions. Well, we should speak our mind-that is the cornerstone of a healthy democracy. But with this right to freedom of speech comes great responsibility. A duty to be a more responsible citizen of our country. These killings based on beef and idol worship are beyond any comprehension. But there is also something else. The moment you say something which is not widely accepted on the social media, you get a lot of hate messages, threats and so on.

Guys, come on, this is not tolerance. This does not comply with the very foundation of our nation. Your opinion is definitely not the best one out there. People have a right to their own opinion. You don't share someone's view about something, it is fine. You don't have to respond harshly to everything you hear. Also, saying something against your country doesn't mean it is anti-national. It is possible to love your country and still be able to voice out your fears and opinions. We come from the land of 'unity in diversity'. Unity doesn't mean that everyone will have the same opinion and do the same thing. It means walking together, hand in hand, despite having a difference of opinion. It means working together to get those kinks out. Surely we can behave better.

Anyway, it really is new year. It is the time to enjoy. If you had a great time in 2015, carry the momentum into 2016; and if you had not-so-good a year then don't worry, things will change soon for the better. May you have a heart of courage, a mind of will and may you get whatever you desire always at your will.

HAPPY NEW YEAR 2016!!!!!


-Saujanya

Picture Courtesy: Google Images



Wednesday, 28 October 2015

THE DISSECTION HALL

September 2nd 2014.

Clouds in the sky. A slight drizzle. One hundred and fifty students walked towards a new life. A different life. And it began with the Dissection Hall. 

Before entering the anatomy department a huge quote welcomed us.....
'THE ONLY PLACE WHERE THE DEAD TEACH THE LIVING'.
I was intrigued. Awestruck (I still am). However I didn't understand the full potential of this until I saw the Dissection Hall (DH).

For any first year medical student, the DH is probably the most exciting thing they could ever see. You know, the formalin soaked dead bodies, that pungent smell enough to make you cry and all the Cunningham manuals. This is the place where we, for the first time, come in contact with the human body and get to know the machinery of it. Cut and remove and count every muscle, organ or vessel of the body.

The first few months, we were scared. Not in the exact sense of the word; not scared of the cadaver but intimidated by the fact that we had to remember so many things about it. The first day, we did have a couple of students who fainted, but personally I think it was the smell of formalin that was responsible rather than fear. We would all be fighting to be nearer to the dead body. Trying to cram into ourselves as much as the body could offer. See the structures, cross reference them with the book and try and remember them.

Viewer discretion advised ;)
Quickly enough,  we got saturated. Our mind started wandering off. And that is when we started to look around us. We made friends. Each person came with his/her own story. You heard, you talked and you learned. Some life lessons. Letting 150 youngsters loose in a room with a few dead bodies can be dangerous. You have no idea on what topics people could bond over.  Talking all over, laughing, learning, asking others to teach them, playing chain reaction in groups, gossip (loads of it), completing seniors' records. I could go on.........

DH sessions were like stress-busters. Despite the intense
pressure of keeping up with the course they were comforting because they reminded us why we were here. Every afternoon, for two hours, we would forget everything else in the world. We would study, and observe, and get a good hands-on experience about the human anatomy. We also had to fill ourselves with the daily dose of gossip, eat chocolates and celebrate birthdays and pull pranks on our friends.The Dissection Hall bore witness to our growing up. 

Fast forward the clock, and it is Oct 1st 2015.
A year and a month after all this started.

 My palms were sweaty, it was my first professional examination. The subject was anatomy practical. After a grueling but a satisfactory show, it was done. Over. And I walked out with my friends.


The sky was overcast, raindrops fell gently and I was reminded of the beginning. 
It ended the way it started. 
Picture Courtesy: Google Images

Friday, 14 August 2015

8 THINGS WE NEED TO BE DOING....THIS INDEPENDENCE DAY

1. Attend your school/college/office ceremony

It is not a holiday. If you are present at your college or workplace, please do watch the national flag unfurl and stand with your eyes shining with pride. It a chance for you to remember what our ancestors did for your freedom.  And pay homage to those great souls.


2. Stand straight, shoulders broad and chin up during the national anthem. Be proud of it. 

Putting your right hand on your heart and singing the anthem is not practised in our country. You need to stop doing that.


3. Donate. Help. Empathize. 

A few clothes, food or any other necessary commodity to the needy.
Better still, why don't you provide for the lunch of the kid who comes and cleans your windshield or sells you the flags and other things at a traffic post?
Make that child believe that good people are still out there.


4. Pick up the national flags lying around after 15th August.

A national flag lying on the streets and people walking on it is a crime, punishable by the Indian Law.
Besides, it is our moral responsibility to see that our national flag isn't disregarded.


5. Celebrate the soldier near you. 

We all put up floral tributes and messages for the soldiers on social networking sites.
How about giving a rose to an ex-army man from your neighbourhood?  How about knocking at his door early in the morning with a rose and a simple thank you?


6.  Do something Pro bono

In Latin, it means doing some skilled work free of cost for the public.
How about lawyers providing free legal aid to someone who needs it, doctors going for free surgery or electrical engineers setting up solar panels in villages?

It doesn't mean free check ups or where you diagnose the patient and let it be. Follow up with any investigations and surgeries till the patient is cured.
Lawyers, fight the case to the end.
Engineers, when they come and complain about its malfunctioning someday (which they will).....listen and fix it.


7. Students, why don't start planting trees or clean up the garbage?

India has a large student force, and if this force volunteers at something. ...we are sure to get success.
Again, I don't mean plant a tree and leave it as such, become responsible for the plant till it becomes a tree.

8. Be the change you want to see.


The youth of India. A strength unheard of. Change your display pictures, share patriotic videos and share your views. ...no stopping that; but don't be limited to that.
Do something that will make you feel proud of yourself.

After all, India belongs to us.

Wishing everyone a very Happy Independence Day.
Jai Hind!!!



Picture Source: Google Images

Saujanya







Tuesday, 28 July 2015

THE END OF AN ERA

God's providence is your only inheritance. 

Small aim is a crime.

If you want to shine like the sun, first you must burn like it.


These are some of  the thoughts of perhaps the greatest visionary of our generation.  The man who inspired millions transcending all barriers that exist, who encouraged us to embark on our dream journey has finished his own.


This post is a tribute to  India’s Missile Man, People's President, Bharat Ratna......the epithets will never end. Dr. A.P.J. Abdul Kalam was a person par excellence with his vision of India 2020 and an uncanny ability to inspire every single soul he interacted with. Here is my message for him.


Sir,
You made us feel empowered with your enthusiasm.  Your vision of Developed India by 2020 and your tireless efforts to work towards it showed us what passion really means.


As a scientist, you were the face behind India’s missile program.
As a teacher,  you taught us how to think, not what to think.
As a writer, you shared your own story for us to learn from.
As a politician, you taught us to engage in developmental politics rather than political politics. You became the most accessible President till date.
As a human, you set the example of simple living high thinking.

Every profession you touched.......you became the face of it.


Today, the nation really mourns your demise.  Perhaps there was no better way to leave the world like you did. It is a way of telling that even death bowed to a person like you.


 
You will be fondly remembered.

May your soul rest in peace.


Sincerely Yours,
The Youth of India.

Sunday, 19 July 2015

MEMORIES TO LIVE BY..........


As I flip through the albums in the closet,
A wave of memories hits me.
I am reminded of the days gone by
Days of innocence and joy.

What fun it was, going to school
Bringing back just homework, not suppressed anger
Oh what fun it was playing in the neighbourhood
Coming home with scrapped knees and elbows,
Not emotional injuries that cut through the heart

Celebrating the rain, not cursing the traffic.

Climbing the trees just to see what the world from above looks like.
A cricket match in your area...
Held more promise than the stock market.
The Mickey Mouse watch gifted by your friends
is always more special than Rado and Rolex…..
Where maturity didn’t come in the way of living your heart out.

The summer hols, with cousins and friends.

The afternoons had no time for boredom.
Full of cartoons, books and ice creams and toys,
And huge fandoms Power Rangers and Ben 10.
Trading cards of WWE, and Pokemon.
Delightful; in the truest sense of the word.

The birthday parties with the funniest hats possible.

The cake, candles and the chocolates.
You didn’t need facebook to remind you your friends’ birthdays.
Their lunch boxes were always tastier than yours.
Mornings started with Bournvita
And treats meant homemade sweets.
The innumerable marbles and gums we ate,
Just to collect the stickers and tattoos.

Love was unconditional, and fights transient.

Lived as if there was no tomorrow.
People ask all the time
What do you wanna do when you grow up?
I am a grown up and I have an answer now……
I wanna be a child again.

-Saujanya

PS: The above-written poem is a memoir which celebrates childhood. As I turn an year older today, and enter the real world, I can only hope that the innocence of childhood and the joy of those days should guide and inspire my journey ahead. :) 

Picture Credit: A Donald Zolan Painting.