A life worth Living

How beautiful life really is! Our eyes see light, ears hear sound, heart pumps blood and our lungs supply oxygen. Isn’t it a wonder to think about the fact that all these cells work in perfect symphony to sustain our life! We do not control them but they still work together in harmony. If a few bunch of cells or an organ fails to work then our life cannot sustain. We are lucky to be living in this beautiful planet. While we are alive and well we should ask ourselves these questions, Are we in the process of transformation? Are we constantly evolving? Are we helping others? If the answer is a NO then there is no difference between us and a rock. If we live our life with greed, anger and ignorance, constantly hurting and criticizing others and judge others based on their gender, race, ethnicity or their sexuality and spread hate, then we are a wasted life.

We as a human race have done many cruel things in the past. One of the main reason is that we have become numb to our emotions. We are very sensitive to what happens around us but we are barely sensitive to what happens to others. We have done many cruel things to nature as we evolved. When a cow gives birth we separate the cow from its calf and we take her milk that was intended for the calf and we do not feel any remorse. When we hear the news about a child dying due to hunger in Ethiopia, we are relieved that our children are fed well and we just turn a blind eye to it. If we humans were sensitive to our emotions then rather than spending $1.7 trillion dollars on military (worldwide combined) we would’ve spent that same amount to eradicate poverty and disease across the world and improve people’s lives.

Every day we should constantly evolve by reducing a bit of bad things that we do and use that energy to live our lives beautifully. It is a slow step-by-step process. When was the last time you’ve felt the cold wind blowing on your face? When was the last time you experienced a beautiful sunset or gazed at the stars at night? When was the last time you enjoyed the birds chirping in the morning? When was the last time you smelled the scent of a flower or enjoyed it’s beauty? We humans are so busy with our daily work that we don’t have time to experience these beautiful and wonderful things of nature.

We are just a spec of dust in this big and vast universe which is over 46 billion light years in radius. According to estimates, the universe is about 12 billion years old. We merely live for 70~100 years in this world. The universe has existed long before we were born and it will still exist after we are long gone. So let us embrace humanity and help one another, Let us start living life rather than just existing, Let us stop spreading hate and start spreading love because “A life lived with hatred and anger is a life wasted” It doesn’t matter how you die, all that matters in the end is how you’ve lived your life. They say that our whole life flashes before our eyes when we die. So when the day finally comes when your heart beats it’s final beat and your whole life flashes before you make sure it’s worth watching!

The Mysophobic Humans

Viruses and bacteria has existed in this world long before human civilization even began. I was sitting at home today wondering about how a tiny virus which we cannot even see through our own eyes has brought the human civilization down to its knees. Due to the covid-19 pandemic most of the world has remained in lockdown for the past 4 weeks or more. If we look at the history Plagues and epidemics have ravaged human civilization throughout its existence, be it the ‘plague of athens’ in 430 B.C which wiped out around 1,00,000 people or the ‘Spanish flu’ which killed more than 50 million people worldwide, Humanity has been hit with pandemic much worse than the covid-19 before.

There’s this common proverb which I used to hear as a child that “cleanliness is next to Godliness” This proverb was made up to promote humans to be clean and remain hygenic from all bacteria and virus from our surroundings. It is said that we can live a healthier life and it helps us maintain a healthier mind and soul if we are clean but to what extent is this statement true? If we should live a clean and sterile life from all the germs then why does the human body basically have an immune system for? It’s for killing germs! Our immune system consists of a defence mechanism which protects the body from infectious disease and deadly virus which we encounter in our daily lives. But no immune system can protect us just like that. Our immune system needs practice just like how we learn to drive a car. If we learn to drive our car in a completely traffic free environment and all of a sudden we are exposed to driving in heavy traffic then we would freak out. The same phenomenon applies to our immune system too. If we kill all the germs around us and live a completely sterile life, our immune system would become soo weak that when virus do enter our body our immune system would be unprepared and it will not be able to fight the virus and we would fall ill.

The Pharmaceutical companies have long exploited our Fear to sell their products through carefully crafted advertisement claiming to wipe out 99% germs, targeting vulnerable people who fear for the health of their loved ones and themselves. The pharmaceutical companies advertise about all the latest bacteria and viruses around us and the consequences of coming in contact with them. Mothers who watch these ads fear for the health and safety of their children and hence kids these days are brought up in a completely sterile environment from the moment they are born. They are isolated from nature and from pets. Due to this their immune system would not come in contact with germs and thus it becomes weak. When the germs do enter their body, the immune system will be vulnerable and thus it would be easy for germs to attack the body. This is one of the main reason why children these days get sick frequently when they get wet in the rain or play in mud. What we have now is a completely paranoid population who are obsessed with cleanliness and hygiene that they would go to any heights to live a completely sterile life and thus isolating themselves from mother nature too.

When I was a kid I used to bath in the rain, play with my dog and throw sandballs at school and maybe because of my “unclean lifestyle” I don’t get frequent cold or flu. Whenever I used to catch a cold or a flu as child my dad would tell me that if we let our body heal naturally without medication then we would have a strong immune system and a “steel body” He isn’t a doctor but he was damn right. A mysophobic person would disagree with my statement because it would be hard for them to digest. I’m not criticizing the people who are being clean, what I’m trying to emphasize is that there’s no need to be paranoid about germs because as matter of fact estimates say that the average human body consists of above 40 trillion bacteria cells. So next time when you catch a cold or a flu, give your immune system a chance to fight the virus and practice on it so it becomes strong so that next time when a super virus like the covid-19 hits you, you can just sneeze it off.

Does motivation help venture successful business in India?

According to the Oxford dictionary, the word ‘Motivation’ is the process of stimulating people to actions to accomplish certain goals. Recently as I was scrolling through my WhatsApp inbox reading messages from my old school friends group which is an interesting group, a group with a couple of intellectuals and freethinkers, I came across a particular text message. One of my friend was talking about how difficult it is to reach a “respectable position” these days and that there’s “No way to reach to the top” and when I replied “that’s upto us to find a way” he replied quote “not to pretend like there is a way” Since I myself have a dream of becoming a successful entrepreneur one day, that made me think to myself whether he was right to some extent or not?

Here in India things are not like it used to be 30 years ago. It’s been nearly 30 years since Dr Manmohan Singh liberalised our Indian economy in 1991 when he was the Finance minister of India. After 3 long decades of failed Socialism since our independence, Dr Manmohan Singh liberalised our Indian economy when it was on the brink of collapse as the inflation rate was well over 14% and India was barely 3 weeks away from defaulting on its national debt thus seeking International Monetary Fund(IMF) bailout. Since liberalising our economy and making our economy open to foregin markets, our stock markets were flodded with Foreign Direct Investment (FDI) and it rose tremendously thus increasing our foreign currency reserves and also opening plenty of opportunities to start new buisness in India thus reviving our economy. India’s GDP growth rate increased from a mere 1.06% in 1991 to 7% in 2018. India’s GDP thus increased from $27,010 crore USD in 1991 to to a whopping $2.72 lakh crore USD in 2018.

As years passed by, India slowly shifted from socialism to capitalism. Plenty of buisness opportunities rose and many entrepreneurs utilised this opportunity to venture out their buisness. Banks were giving out loans and slowly many industries and companies emerged. Buisness opportunities where thriving and plenty of job opportunities rose. But as buisness in India rose, some of the MNCs started crushing small business and prevented them from growing and also started influencing government policies using corporate lobbyists.

Today, there are 138 billionaires in India. India added 34 new people in the billionaires list last year alone. This economic crisis has increased huge wealth inequality in India. To put things into perspective, even if you earn ₹4,20,000/- per month it would still take you 1370 years to make $1 billion dollars. India’s richest man Mukesh Ambani had net worth of $58 billion dollars back in 2019 according to Forbes. This is the main drawback of capitalism. It is said that billionares are the sign of economic failure of capitalism. It is very difficult for new entrepreneurs to survive with their business due to tough competition among companies and with the new ‘conquer and monetize’ strategies also floating around. Due to this, 90% of startups fail in India in the first 5 years and success rate of startups is 0.1% which means only 1 out of 1000 startups succeds to the top and rise in India.

As the numbers were put into perspective and odds being stacked against me, I was thinking to myself “if the way to the top is blurred then what is the point of being motivated?” but then I reminded myself of the great Sun-Tzu’s quote “In the midst of chaos, find Opportunity”

Millennials: A generation of weakness

Being a millennial myself I believe I can explicitly criticize the flaws which has lead to the perfect cracks in raising up a generation of millennials who have become narcissistic, impatient, lazy, unproductive, depressed and disconnected from the outside world. For those of you who don’t know who millennials are, millennials are the children born from the year 1980s to 2000s. The millennials were born in the middle of digital revolution which kickstarted in the early 80’s. As the millennials grew older they got caught up in the technological storm off-guard.

During the early technological revolution in the 80’s the two most prominent and influential devices were the cable television and personal computers. The parents who raised these Millennials took too much care, provided them with every latest gadget available allowing the children to spent unlimited amount of time in front of it not knowing the negative aspects it was going to bring forth. Rather than playing cricket or football with other kids, Millennials started to spent more time in front of the tv or computer and less time socialising and playing with other kids outside thus making them lazy and unhealthy. The excessive devotion to children by the parents have robbed them of their childhood and have made them lazy, fat and stupid. Children love playing, but these millennials were robbed of their childhood and made to sit at home with these electronic gadgets like giving a feeding bottle to a baby. These children who started spending long hours in front of the television became lazier day by day slowly turning into a couch potato. They became less social & more unhealthy.

When these kids reach barely 3 years of age they were put in kindergarten where they have to study and perform in the kindergarten tests. These children were taught to pursue success and not happiness. These kids were pressurized from the very beginning of their childhood all the way up untill they graduate from college. Some of these poor children, my fellow millennials, snapped due to excessive pressure and stress from their parents that few of them commit suicide because they couldn’t handle the immense pressure from their parents and the society.

One should stop and think about why the rate of depression, drug abuse and suicide rates statistics goes up through the roof year by year. Parents spent very less time with children because they are busy with their 9 to 5 job that they barely find time to spend with their children. Children are also refrained from playing in the rain or mud fearing that they would catch flu or cold. Such acts have made the children disconnect completely from nature and their world has become their computer or tv. Most of the children have not experienced the feeling of raising a plant or pet because parents want their children to focus more on studies. They are not taught how to handle money and as they grow they end up with more debt and less wealth, buying things they don’t need with the money they don’t have so that they can max out their credit cards for “reward points” The advertisement companies and banks do know how to use these vulnerable millennials and make money out their vulnerability. Pretty soon these millennials would end up working like machines, like a cog in the wheel, working like robots in the system we created. We have brought this crisis upon ourselves on our own and yet we start playing the blame game pointing fingers at others.

No matter where we point our fingers, we have brought up a generation of Weakness in this society knowingly or unknowingly. As the saying goes Hard times create strong men. Strong men create good times. Good times create weak men. And, weak men create hard times.” So let’s all brace in for some hard times ahead!

Death: should you embrace it?

It is estimated that more than 100 billion people have lived and died on our planet Earth. That is roughly 14 dead people for evey person alive on earth right now. Nearly 1,50,000 people die every day. If you do the math that’s roughly 2 people every second. By the time you reach reading this sentence nearly 26 people have lost their lives. As the covid-19 pandemic sweeps through the globe wiping out massive amount of human lives I couldn’t stop my self from wondering “what does it feels like to die?”

Death is an important aspect in our lives and whether we like it or not we have to face death one day. Some die young, some die old, but eventually everyone’s heart will one day beat it’s final beat and their lungs will breath it’s final breath. And just like that we will cease to exist. Our body will become cold & it would be locked up in a coffin and be buried 6 feet underground for eternity. Our loved ones will mourn our death for year or more remembering all the good memories and the legacy we left behind. As time passes by they will also pass away just like us. As a couple of generations passes by, your descendants will not be aware of the fact that you lived on this earth just like every other person, being a good child, a loving father, a caring friend or a loving husband. You will be forgotten in time just like all your forefathers who lived on this earth centuries ago.

There are 365 days in a year. We know the day when we were born. Every year we celebrate the day happily with our friends and family, cutting beautiful cakes, celebrating another milestone of our lives. The rest of our days we live it simply as every other day going through our daily routine like every other people going to the office or the mall during the weekends. We do not realise the fact that every year on the 31st of December when the clock strikes midnight we have lived through the day when we die, doing our daily routine not knowing that a few years down the road we would breath our last breath on this same day.

A few years ago I came across a blog where a few people shared what it felt like when they witnessed death face-to-face and escaped a close call. Some of them met with a major accident, some of them had a heart attack, some of them just heard a bad news from their doctor that they had cancer and their days were numbered but they survived. I noticed the fact that they all shared a common thing. Their perspective towards life changed. They started living their Life to the fullest rather than “just existing” like others. For them every new day was beautiful day and they were glad that they were a part of it. I was curious to know what it would’ve felt like to witness death face to face and escape it. After all I was a growing teenager with a million unanswered questions rippling through my mind.

Since then, I was curious enough just to get the “feel” of what it’s like to witness death face-to-face and escape. I tried jumping across 3 storey buildings(not kidding) in my college and tried rash driving on my bike trying to go as fast as I can zipping through the intersection missing hitting the vehicles coming from the opposite direction by inches. Call me crazy, I’ve done worse. Even though I did all that I could only feel the adrenaline rush flowing through my veins which increased my heartbeat and occationally made my hands shiver. But I still couldn’t obtain the feeling which they expressed. After all you can’t witness death face-to-face when you are aware of the consequences because of your actions.

Thankfully I could one day witnessd death face-to-face and had a narrow escape. I would never forget that moment. All those small details are still in my mind as if it happened yesterday, yet it was unexpected and it came out of nowhere. It was 2 months back in the month of February when I was doing my final year internship at Keltron. I went to Keltron everyday on my bike. I loved zipping passed the traffic because the traffic drives me nuts and I loved the occasional adrenaline rush it gave me. One day on my way back home I was riding like every other day zipping passed the traffic. On my way back there wasn’t much traffic like it used to be. As I was riding down the road I was casually overtaking a Kerala State bus and just like that a scooter crossed the road to reach the opposite lane. I still remember that exact moment. The moment I saw that scooter while overtaking the bus I was like “ohh shit” because I knew what was going to happen when I hit the scooter. I applied my brakes and my bike lost traction and I hit the scooter head ON. Everything was very quick and happened in the blink of an eye. As I was falling down from my bike the only thing going through my mind was not to get run over by the bus even though I was sure that was going to happen. As I was falling down from my bike, I tried turning my head trying to take a glimpse of the bus tyre through my helmet visor hoping that it wouldn’t run over me. The first thing I saw was the thread pattern on the bus tyre. Somehow the bus driver managed to bring the bus to a standstill. I was lying on the road with the bus tyre less than 5 feet away. At that moment words can’t express the feeling that went through my mind. There were people in the bus scolding the person who rode scooter but I was there being Glad that I didn’t get run over by the bus. I didn’t get angry at the scooter rider nor did I feel any pain from my bruises. I was just glad that I was still alive. Finally I had witnessed death face to face and escaped it. As I was riding back home there was only one thought going through my mind. ” I’m Alive!” And probably my dopamine receptors were firing like crazy because I was having a burst of happiness!

Long story short, ever since that day, I started living every moment of life embracing my loved ones a bit more and my perspective towards life and death changed for the better. After that I felt like everyday was a bonus or a gift and I shouldn’t take it for granted. When I was a chid I used to be afraid of the concept Death. It would scare me like anything. I would try to convince myself at night before going to sleep that I wouldn’t Die. I couldn’t think of the fact that I would one day have to witness my parents dying and I would have to see their cold lifeless body lying on the coffin waiting to be buried in the church cemetery. I couldn’t imagine the fact that they would one day die and I would have to live without them for the rest of my life. I couldn’t imagine a world without them. As I grew older I started realising the concept of death and I accepted the fact that “Death is inevitable” I realised the fact that birth and death are part of our life and once I started embracing death I started living Life, as the great Buddha once said “Life is uncertain but death is certain”.

Dogs: man’s best friend or best teacher?

The bond between humans and dogs dates back centuries ago. The grey wolf were among one of the first animals to be domesticated by humans. As centuries passed by, the Wolfs adapted with humans, slowly changing their shape of their skull, their teeth, their paws shrank and they became more tamable slowly learning the various human expression that ripple through our faces. Humans started raising puppies way before they started herding cows, goats and sheep. In ancient Rome the dogs were used as Guard dogs often protecting owners from thieves and wild animals. Today, it seems mind-boggling to us when we think about the sheer number of dog breeds that exist today. One might wonder how a pug or a beagle decended from the big bulky wolf. Dogs are one of the only few species which can produce such staggering variation of breeds but are still close enough to interbreed.

Today there are more than 300 breeds across the world with of which many were bred for acquiring certian traits. Domestication of dogs has largely diminished their instinct or need to hunt as they have become our everyday pet. Yet, they have adapted to live with humans in perfect symphony. So perfect that once if you own a dog then you can’t live without one.

I still recall the time when my dad gifted me a pup he brought when I was 4years old. It was a female German shepherd and we named her Lika. I grew up with Lika as a kid playing with her everyday when I came from school but as a kid I was in no match for the dog’s sheer strength. When I grew up, one day my mom told me that sometimes mom was often scared that the dog would bite me when I used to pull it’s ears for fun as a kid often not knowing it would hurt the dog. It never bit me once. After a year or two passed by, Lika gave birth to 6 or 7 litters and pretty soon all of the pups ended up in my neighborhood houses. When Lika gave birth the second time we kept all the pups not knowing the hardship it was going to bring us because feeding 8 grownup german shepherd isn’t easy as you think it is. Lika passed away in 2006 October due to an infection and we buried her in our yard.

As the lockdown has kept us all idling at home I was thinking to myself about all the beautiful memories I had with my wonderful dog and how it changed me for the better. I came across a post on Instagram about how much we can learn from dogs and it made me realise the things I learnt from lika. People would think you’re kidding when you tell them there’s a lot to learn from dogs. I learnt to

  • live in the moment
  • Love unconditionally
  • Play whenever you get a chance
  • Greet people happily when they come home
  • Jump up and down when you’re happy(literally😀)
  • Express feelings
  • Stretch when you wake up
  • Being loyal
  • Protect our loved ones
  • Be alert and mindful
  • Always express gratitude
  • Don’t judge

Dogs might have a brain about the size of a lemon but they have a big heart to love us unconditionally. Dogs live on this earth for a decade or more but they live in our hearts for a lifetime.

The inevitable threat of a “Nuclear Winter”

The earliest form human civilization began in Mesopotamia around 10,000 BCE, an astronomical number for humanity but a tiny number if we compare it with the age of the universe which is roughly 13 billion years old. We as humans have evolved from the early nomadic tribe to the civilized society that we have become today in less than 10,000 years. Throughout our existence we have been constantly evolving step by step from the discovery of wheel to electricity we have been constantly thriving for innovation.

In the past 10,000 years of our existence, apart from innovation, our human history has been full of wars and destruction. We have always have been highly greedy & territorial and it is hardwired into our DNA, often invading other Tribes and occupying their land sometimes involving bloody execution in the due process. Humans are the only species with the never-ending desire to want for more. In the animal kingdom the animals stop fighting once they occupy certain territory or get what they need to sustain life but in case of  humans, the desire is unlimited and the never ending desire to always wanting for more never ceases to exist, history has tons of examples to show. Be it the invasion of the Great Britain in 43AD by Rome under the emperor Claudius for no reason or the invasion of Asia by Alexander The Great for “glory” we humans have shown our cruel & evil derires along the way.

Throughout our history, most of the invasion often ends up in bloody wars and mass genocide. From fighting with arrows and sticks centuries back to fighting with nuclear weapons we humans have come a long way in finding out very innovative ways to kill our fellow human beings. World war ii has changed the course of history drastically. Ever since America dropped its first atomic bomb on Hiroshima in 1945 the nuclear arms race started and the race has not stopped ever since.

The world war ii had officially ended on
2 September 1945 after Germany surrendered to the allied forces. After Germany’s surrender, two major countries emerged from the ashes of WW2. America and Soviet Union(Russia). During the shared occupation of Berlin by the two countries tensions between them rose to new heights which today is known as the Cold war which started in 1947 and ended in 1991 after the fall of the Berlin wall. During this period both countries were involved in the arms race, increasing the size and quality of military resources to gain military and political superiority over one another. In the due process both the countries started testing & making nuclear weapons. During the arms race the US built about 66,500 warheads while Soviet Union have produced somewhat around 55,000 nuclear warheads with each nuclear warhead more powerful than the atom bomb dropped at Hiroshima.

During the Cuban missile crisis in October 1962 the United States and Soviet Union were on the brink of war. If a full scale nuclear war had taken place between the two countries, human civilization would’ve been wiped off the entire earth and life on earth would just cease to exist because both countries has nuclear warheads capable of destroying continents multiple times. Most of us are still not aware of how close we were to a full scale nuclear war during the Cuban missile crisis. After the “Cuban missile crisis” scientists from around the world warned the consequences of a full scale nuclear war. So in the beginning of 1991 the United States and Soviet union signed The Strategic Arms Reduction Treaty which reduced their Arms to less than 6000 warheads.

Today there are less than 13,800 warheads around the world. This number might sound small compared to the 70,300 active nuclear warheads back in 1986 but the 13,800 warheads are still capable of wiping off whole life on earth. Today as it stands 9 countries own nuclear weapons and the relationship between these countries are not good. Today thanks to democracy any madman can be elected to power. This is the very reason why Socrates feared democracy. Isn’t it an irony to think about the fact that our life is in the hands of 3 people or less.  If Trump decides to bomb North Korea(because why not? It’s trump we’re talking about here) and North Korea retaliates and it turns into a full scale war OR if India & pakistan, the two nuclear-armed enemies decided to restart their decade long squabble into a full scale nuclear war, the aftermath of a nuclear war would be so devastating that radioactive dust would cover earth leading to thick black clouds covering the earth’s atmosphere thus preventing sunlight and heat from entering earth which leads to Nuclear Winter. And no, Nuclear Winter is not your regular winter. Even if you survive a Nuclear attack, chances are less that you will survive a Nuclear Winter because the earth’s average surface temperature would drop below -4°c which means no crops would grow and animals would die. So let’s all be careful in who we elect as our leaders and focus more on education and healthcare for the betterment of human civilization so that we can make this a better place for our future generation to live in. Peace☮️