Saturday, April 24, 2010

Clouds - a poem

I wrote this poem a long time ago when a teacher asked me to write something for the school newsletter. It didn't get in eventually, but I still remember it. Let me know what you think.

Why do clouds exist ?
Some days when I have time
I look out of windows in search of a rhyme
I now see the clouds and wonder why
Is it that they so coolly pass us by?

Though I had to cudgel my brains to find explanations,
Here they are listed for your convenience

But before you read them, know this:
Science was not considered while making this list
I thought this was a more interesting way to pass my time
So please don’t consider this omission a crime
(Well here goes: )

First, when clouds pass by
and hide the sky
Do they say that heaven’s bright light must
Always be hidden from us?
Second, do they mock us as they go
That there will always be something we don’t know?
Do they warn us, when life seems to have paused
That we must stop grieving because
Life will go on?

Do clouds with their never-ending patterns and shapes
Show us the beauty of nature and the things she makes?
Do clouds try to show us with their changing form
That life, while moving, should be changing along ?
(Also that adaptability,
Is a useful ability)

While I would like to write more,
I must restrict the length
Because this poem is the for the newsletter,
and not something I meant
to do. So thank you clouds for helping me when
I needed inspiration and picked up my pen!

 - Charu

Saturday, April 17, 2010

Saving the earth, Part 5 - Find yourself

Note to all my readers: I'm EXTREMELY sorry I haven't updated in a while. 11th was starting in school and besides battles with teachers, indecision about my subjects, general grumbling, and the odd reading and watching movies, I haven't had time for much else. But I promise I'll be more regular from now on

It's been a long time since I wrote to continue my ten part series on environment conservation. Let me first clarify that no matter how busy I was, the real reason I haven't put up this part for so long is that I was very hesitant. I consider this the one of the most important parts of the series, and I didn't want to mess it up. But now that I've delayed this for so long, I think I'll just do what I've done many times before : trust my instincts. I hope you'll like it.

In the words of Andrew Carnegie, "If you want to be happy, set a goal that commands your thoughts, liberates your energy, and inspires your hopes". 

I have often observed that environmental conservation becomes a rather sporadic issue. Some specific issue comes up, receives a lot of brouhaha in the media and fizzles out of memory.  On the other hand, I've heard of individuals who've made environmental conservation their life's work or as a constant endeavour alongside their regular life. 

Take the case of the tigers. The Aircel "Save our tigers" initiative ran strong for a while. It stayed in public memory long enough for the situation to receive plenty of criticism, and the tiger to receive plenty of sympathy. But at the end of the day, many people have moved on with their lives. The fact that there are less than 1,000 tigers in India is now old news. I'm not saying this to start a tirade on the shortness of public memory, but to draw the contrast between regular individuals for whom the issue is short-lived, and the people who fight battles, big or small, for the world. 

But aren't they regular people too? Aren't they the same humans who share our world, consume food and water like us and breathe the same air we do? What is it that sets them apart and what is it that makes them continue? We observe their passion, and we may even be a infected by their enthusiasm.  But we are unable to work as they do, make contributions like them and, in brief, do what they do. Why?

The real reason lies in the fact that these people have found what resonates with them. They've found a goal that they can pursue without forcing themselves, one that they want to pursue. They've identified what they can and want to do.  Here, I'm not speaking only about well known environmentalists, members of wildlife organizations and NGOs and others,  but also of every layman who follows environmentally friendly practices with the intention of doing good. 

There's no reason why you should follow an issue with which you don't identify. Why should you work for an endangered species when you feel more strongly for say, waste management? Besides, compared to all the big shots, what can you do and how can you do it? 

So in this part of the series, I would like you all to think about what resonates with you. What do YOU feel is an important issue on the environmental frontier? Waste management? Energy efficiency? A particular plant or animal species? Specific practices or technologies? Governmental involvement in some form?  Some particular issue which you feel is ignored?  Or something else? What do you want to do for the environment on a small (or large) scale? How do you really think these problems should be solved? 

The importance of identifying such an area lies in the fact that it is much easier to work for something you are passionate about.  In the previous parts of this series, you've made yourself aware of the world around you and what is actually happening in the world.  Once you identify where your interests lie, it will be much easier to regularly and eagerly work hard.

In fact, you don't even have to work with the set intention of doing something great for the environment. Neither do you have to give over your life to the cause. All you have to do is find your niche and fit in. You, your talents and your situation in life can make a unique contribution. What can you do? Can you alter your habits? Can you speak or write to spread word about the causes you feel for? Can you persuade people to change themselves? Can you encourage your school or business to become more eco-friendly?

There's a world of possibilities. It remains for you to find the one that you can really act upon, and feel satisfied too. It's your world, your home and your lifeblood. It gave you life after all. Surely you can find yourself a happy place in it? 

Find yourself within...

Wednesday, April 7, 2010

Remya's tag: 50 random things about me

Yay! My first tag where I can respond on my blog. I have to write down 50 random things about me. Am not really sure it'll turn out, but it's worth a try. So here goes...

  1. I tend to do all my worrying about things before hand, that is before they even happen.
  2. I remember many of my dreams
  3. I get moody occasionally
  4. I want to travel the whole world
  5. I love to debate. 
  6. I wish I could paint, but I'm not really good at it... 
  7. ...but at least I'm good at copying diagrams in biology.
  8. I LOVE reading
  9. I want to learn some of the classical European dances like the Waltz, Ballroom and Ballet
  10. I don't use my I-pod and  don't have a laptop. 
  11. I write long emails
  12. I'm not a member on any social networking site (barring the flixster account I never use) according to wikipedia's list of social networking sites here
  13. I enjoy considering different points of view
  14. When I sing or dance, I love to think I'm on a stage
  15. I enjoy "reading" people
  16. Sherlock Holmes is my favourite detective
  17. A quiz once told me that my biggest question in life is "Am I having fun?". I agree.
  18. I want to try out every adventure sport I can.
  19. I love updating the programs on my computer to newer versions
  20. I enjoy reading my horoscope through different methods (is that correct?): sun signs, moon signs, tarot, numerology etc.
  21. I tend to be a bit of a purist when I see books made as movies  
  22. I used to be an introvert. Though I used to feel bad at the time, now I think it was a good thing.
  23. I enjoy playing basketball, volleyball, badminton, uno etc.
  24. I love reading sarcasm, irony and witty replies in books. 
  25. Yes, I'm halfway there!!! ( And hopefully, you'll still be reading :) )
  26. I have fussy tastes in food, clothing and music. Or so I'm told ;)
  27. When I get lost in a fantasy book, I really don't like having to return to reality.
  28. I tend to worry about how I look to other people and what they think of me
  29. I love photography.
  30. People tell me I try too many things at once
  31. I think I have an absolutely rubbish sense of humour
  32. I think one should balance being alone and having company
  33. I'm an Aries
  34. I often become restless when I have nothing to do
  35. When something becomes very popular/famous/sensational, I tend to be even more sceptical about whether I would like it (until I've tried it out myself)  
  36. I can be very indecisive at times
  37. I'm old fashioned in many things
  38. NOT sure what to write next :|
  39. patar patar patar - makes me laugh hysterically (!)
  40. I don't like so called "fashionable" clothes that one can hardly wear off the ramp or carpet
  41. I think self awareness and consciousness in general are very important
  42. I prefer winter to summer and spring to winter
  43. I think there are analogies for everything everywhere...
  44. ...therefore I believe the mind sees what it chooses to see
  45. I have a habit of monitoring myself, to see how I've changed and whether it was good for me.
  46. I don't like being stereotyped
  47. Red is my favourite colour
  48. I can be a bit of a drama queen
  49. I love my family, nature, books, music and many other things (which I can't remember right now)
  50. I'm EXTREMELY happy I'm finished
I honestly hope you enjoyed reading this list. It's probably not as funny as I would have liked, but whatever. 

Oh, and I tag Vivarjitha,  Choco and Vintage Obsession. 

Thursday, April 1, 2010

End of tenth....

"The end...of another year"
-Albus Dumbledore (Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire)

[And to anyone who's reading this, I would highly recommend my friend Nil's story as well.  You can find it here]

Or at least, the official end of my tenth class.
Yes, yes tenth class really ended more than a month ago, when we stopped going to school. But for me and many of my class mates, our tenth academic session wasn't really over until yesterday, the last board exam.
We had our MCQ (Multiple Choice questions) paper, and I'm glad to report that I wasn't the only one who thought it was confusing or tricky (And to all the others who had a great paper, congrats!). But what really set the seal in on the occasion was the end of the paper,when, after some general discussion about the questions, students began discussing their plans for the afternoon. Most of the people I talked to were heading off to malls, movies and even amusement parks. I had no particular plan myself, but I had fun listening to others grumbling about the questions, autos, time, heat etc. I went back home in a neutral frame of mind. To be honest, I wasn't exactly whooping, cheering or feeling ecstatically happy. The event I'd looked over to all year was over and done, as I knew it would. Good. I don't have to keep re-reading my textbooks. Good. I don't have to sit at home and get bored. Good. The new academic session, rumoured to be one of the hardest, where I don't know half the teachers, where I'm practically guaranteed to have the stuffing knocked out of me, will start soon. Uh huh.

For many reasons, tenth was one of my best classes ever, an unforgettable milestone. I was able to really build relationships with the important people in my life, reconcile the different sides of my own personality and last, but definitely not the least, tenth was like one huge lesson; An interesting one, that I'm sure we all enjoyed. I'd heard a lot about tenth: the stress, the fear, the competition, the slogging, but I have to say, NOTHING in tenth was like what I heard. Most of the kids were chilled out, studies were interesting, teachers were a lot more fun than usual, we were left to our own devices and even the oft-repeated jokes had a new flavour. The joys, the triumphs, the friendships, the lessons, the hard work....all were unique, and non-transferable. So today, when tenth really is over, there's a lot I remember, but I still feel quite happy moving on to 11th. To all who've finished tenth, did you have fun too? To all who're going to start it, believe me, tenth will be as wonderful as you can make it. It's really not all that bad.