Discover your Silver Lining

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Difficulties they say , are like training camps. They make you confront what is real, which you may or may not have thought you’ll face. The early you face them in life, the more stable you get. The deeper the affliction, the more bright is the silver lining later on. When one falls on the ground and keeps on tumbling more and more, there comes a point , i call a ‘halt.’ Henceforth, one can only rise. There is no deeper pit to fall into. No rut to slip into. There is only the firm and steady surface to hold on , where you lie down with your head facing towards the sky and in that sky you see no darkness but the shining stars that twinkle brightly.

So, if you are at a point in your life right now , where situations are challenging and you feel exhausted, don’t be disappointed. Instead be thankful because your life is changing for good. When you look back upon this time five years from now, you will realize that your life was transforming. Not just transforming , but leading to a metamorphosis you never dreamed. Remember –  For every setback you rose up to, there will always be a major come back…

..And this is how people discover their silver lining and turn rock solid !!

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O Captain! My Captain!

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Woke up today to the extremely sad news of Robin Williams’ demise. The news of the veteran actor’s suicide is heart breaking and agonizing. Robin Williams’ was one of the few actors whose performances left the audience in awe of him. His movies have left an everlasting impression on so many people across the world. His performances will always remain relevant for all times to come no matter what the era because the messages conveyed to the audiences through his performances are eternal. I first watched him in the critically acclaimed movie ,’DeadPoets Society'(i’ll always be thankful to my brother for making me watch a superb film like this). What a movie and what a performance by Robin Williams. His character of the inspiring teacher Mr. John Keating is beyond words. His craft moved many including me. It made millions cry and more than that convinced us to re look at our lives and the way we were living it especially with dialogues like , “Carpe Diem – Seize the day boys, make your lives extraordinary” or “You must strive to find your inner voice because the longer you wait to begin the less likely you are to find it at all” or “You must constantly look at things differently.” I mean the movie left such an impact that i literally am using the dialogues as quotes because i remember them. I also loved him in the very brilliant ,’Good Will Hunting’ where he plays the role of a therapist. The man even won an Oscar for his performance in the film. I can go on here about a lot more actually. The point is that his performances were just breath taking. Even better is the fact that Robin Williams was not just accomplished celebrity but a deeply humble man.

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The social media is flooded with tributes for him and the kind of tributes he’s receiving shows that Robin Williams touched a million hearts. People are genuinely gutted by the news of his suicide.They are in denial that how can a man as talented and inspiring as Williams commit suicide. His own fraternity is also in deep shock. Some of the tributes by the people of his own fraternity on Twitter are worth mentioning here:
STEVEN SPIELBERG – “A lightning storm of comic genius and our laughter was the thunder that sustained him. He was a pal and I can’t believe he’s gone.’
BEN STILLER – ” A tweet cannot begin to describe the hugeness of Robin William’s heart and soul and talent.This is so sad #RobinWilliams… Ok i’ll try. I met him when i was 13 and a huge fan and he was so kind and i watched him be kind to every fan i ever saw him with…And with other actors he was generous and brilliant. He made everyone feel special and equal around him even he was the genius.”
ELLEN DEGENERES – “I can’t believe the news about Robin Williams. He gave so much to so many people.I’m heartbroken.”
..And there are many more across the digital spectrum. Shows the agony his death has caused to so many people.

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Robin Williams will always rule our hearts. He will always be remembered because he has truly won our admiration. The world will always mourn his death. As a tribute to the great man, i feel like standing on the desk like the character of Todd did in ‘Dead Poets Society’ when Robin Williams (Mr. Keating) was about to exit and just as Todd calls out “O Captain! My Captain” so do i.

REST IN PEACE OUR CAPTAIN.

One Year of Awesomeness – ‘CEREBRATION’ Turns One Today :)

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An year ago , on this date i started writing this blog . I named it ‘CEREBRATION’ and added a subtitle – ‘Reflections of a Deeper Psyche.’ The word ‘cerebration’ means, ”The process of using your mind to consider something carefully.” Coincidentally it rhymes with the word ‘celebration’ and I guess that is a beautiful coincidence because I celebrate my blog along with all you amazing people.

I had started this blog with a lot of thrill , a lot of insight of the world around and more than anything else, for pursuing my passion for writing. I didn’t really have any high expectations of the blog becoming popular, getting any sort of readership , receiving a lot of hits – Nothing at all. I was just catering to a hobby. I didn’t have the slightest idea that people from across the globe with such diversity in culture and environment will be interested to read what i write. To cut the long story short, i had never really thought that people will actually spare time for my writing and will love to share what i feel at a personal level. But today when i look back it feels great. In fact my first response to anyone asking me about my experience here will be – “My whole time on blogosphere has been JUST WOW.”

When i started , i had published one post – Diablo , which was not even a post per say but just a reaction to what i thought of the whole concept of the ‘devil’. That post had one ‘like’ by some lovely fellow who was considerate enough to stop by a blog that was just an hour old. But that one ‘like’ gave me a sense of accomplishment. It gave me a feeling of my point of view being appreciated and ever since the ‘likes’ on this blog have constantly been increasing. So have the posts. I’ve written 34 posts till now. This is the 35th and all thanks to you fabulous people, that 4 of my posts have been trending on this blog as the ‘top posts’ from the day they were written till this day – ‘From the heart of a Child’ , ‘Take it Easy’ , ‘Flush Out the Most Dangerous Toxin of All – Negativity’ and ‘Does the F Word Scare You?’ .Guess it’s time to add more. Every time a reader shares my work elsewhere on the internet or otherwise or reblogs it, it feels damn good. So many of you have quoted me in your posts and have made me feel really special. On this exact same date , last year i had 0 hits, 0 followers, 0 shares ,0 comments, 1 visit from 1 country. Today, after a full year i have exactly 10,141 hits, 916 followers , more than 150 ‘shares’ on Twitter, Facebook and Google Hangout, 1256 comments, 10,000+ visits from 21+ countries . Wow. I feel ecstatic. I feel admired. I feel loved.

I owe it – all of it – to each and every person out there, whether on WordPress, or on Twitter, Hangout, Facebook, Tumblr, etc. who spared a moment out of their lives to give my blog an interesting reading. Also, i would like to thank every person who has subscribed to my blog for getting updates on their email. You people really keep me motivated. Your feedback in the form of your extremely thoughtful comments makes me ponder, makes me widen my world view, gives me a lot more perspective on things which i think differently and most importantly , it makes me ‘grow’ as a person. I have tried to respond to each one of you (if at all i haven’t yet, i will get back). I have made sure that no feedback goes unnoticed because your time really counts and i appreciate that. I respect your interaction with me whether it is here or on any other social media. You folks really made this whole endeavour worth it. Totally worth it. Also a special thanks to WordPress. I love this site and am glad i chose to sign up here for my blog. I am extremely grateful to all you wonderful people.

I should also mention here today that I have received on my blog , a minor but quite powerful negative feedback on some rare occasions , mostly by people (and unfortunately so) who hold certain prejudices against my personal space in this world & make everything into a ‘war of sexes’, and get abusive. I don’t have a problem with negative feedback if it relates to my work but sadly it doesn’t. Some people make it an ego issue when it comes to criticism. To all those hate mongers i say – “My work really rattled your brains out, hence all your reactions.” :D This world and the space we share is not either my space OR yours. It is my space AND your space too. So instead of being threatened by women progressing, just be a part of the progress and celebrate it because differences always need to be respected.
I can now proudly conclude by saying that this blog is literally my baby and i’m nurturing it and growing along with it in the most awesome way, every single day.

A HUGE SHOUT OUT FOR ALL YOU LOVELY PEOPLE WHO MAKE
‘CEREBRATION’ AN ABSOLUTE HIT .

LOVE YOU ALL

- Akriti

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Take It Easy

Came across this video – ‘Always #LikeAGirl.’ Loved it. Thought of sharing it here. It’s been viewed over thirteen million times and has gone viral. The makers of the video say,”Boys and girls are told different things growing up, but the overriding message is clear: ideological masculinity is to be aimed for, and ideological femininity (AKA acting ‘like a girl’) is to be avoided at all costs.” This is exactly why a video like this is important. It shouts out loud that the words ,”Like a Girl” are not an insult because being a girl is not an insult in the first place. High time people get that.

Interesting thing is that just when i was wondering if i could somehow access another video , made with the same sentiment but with respect to boys, i found another one entitled – ‘The Mask You Live In.’ This video makes us ponder that are we as a society failing our boys since we put on them a lot of pressure to conform to a set standard , we call ‘masculinity. ‘Emotional stoicism ain’t good for them. When will we learn to just ‘let them be’ and not propagate a skewed definition of masculinity? If we need a better society to live in, we’ve got to start teaching our children better.

It’s good to make more videos like these . Videos that are a part of a social experiment and which fight the gender stereotype. I really appreciate individuals putting stuff like this out there for all of us to watch. Things like these make us realize that we should not be speaking, behaving or even feeling in a certain way just for validation from people. It puts a lot of unnecessary pressure on us.
It’s time we RESPECT THE DIFFERENCES between genders and then celebrate them.

C’mon people, spare a few minutes and WATCH these videos NOW.

From The Heart Of A Child :(

The last thing a 3-year-old Syrian said before he died: “I’m gonna tell God everything” :(

I happened to come across this picture on Twitter today and I haven’t been able to be at peace ever since. It just breaks my heart. It’s a picture about pain and suffering of a 3 year old boy who became a part of religious intolerance in Syria. This boy’s last words before dying were, “I am gonna tell God everything”. :(

The child’s deeply touching words and the sentiment behind those words presents such a deprave situation of the world. These words make your eyes water and makes your heart so heavy. Is this the world we are living in ? The child wants to make an appeal to the Almighty to ‘punish’ the people who hurt him so inhumanly. If this is what a 3 year old is subjected to, what the hell are we doing ? Are we still humans or have turned into beasts ? It really is a sad state of affairs.

When will religious bigots realize that war kills not just humans but also their humanity. The kid in the picture could have been anybody’s child from any nation. What is religious intolerance and fundamentalism doing to this world ? Can we ever say that there are any real winners? No one’s winning here. In fact there can NEVER be any winners in war. The world at large loses because humanity loses. If some fanatics feel superior that they won a war by ‘controlling’ a region and killing innocent lives in the name of religion, it’s time they make sure that they still are in human form and have not turned into beasts !!

Who Destroyed the ‘Cradle of Civilization’ ?

Once upon a time, there was a country which was known as the ‘Cradle of Civilization’. A country whose civilization flourished long before those of Greece & Rome. A country so beautiful that the Hellenes would have blushed. A country , that despite being mostly arid was bountiful with vegetation, good weather, abundant wildlife, and water resources. A country with a far more literate population than the surrounding countries of the middle-east. A country which gave to the world inventions like the first accurate calendar, the wheel, maps and most importantly the first schools. A country where women had traditionally more freedom than their counterparts elsewhere in the region. A country that is home to the world’s second largest oil reserves. Lastly, a country that is now unfortunately burning in flames with millions of lives lost and thousand others rendered homeless. I’m referring here to the Republic of Iraq .

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The world at large has always seemed interested in Iraq especially, the United States ( All thanks to the Iraq’s rich oil reserves which have the potential to make its leaders extremely powerful ). U.S has intervened in the past and there is now a possibility of a third intervention. The current situation in Iraq can prove deadly for a lot of countries including the United States. It’s ethnic and sectarian divisions have deepened even more this time. Plus its neighbourhood comprising Syria is not doing well itself. If US intervenes this time, it might end the fanatics but not the fanaticism of the region. Last time US did defeat the Al Qaida forces in the region but didn’t destroy them and today the entire region is witnessing a dangerous uprising because of a lethal terrorist organization called the ISIS (Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant) which is horrifically violent. ISIS was basically a part of Al Qaida group but became much more powerful after Laden’s death, and today it’s the wealthiest and the most deadly terrorist outfit in the world.

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I personally feel, had the George. W. Bush administration not attacked Iraq in 2003 in search of ‘Weapons of Mass Destruction’ (which were never found by the way because there were none and this was a fact confirmed by the top Intelligence agencies of the world) Iraq would be in a much better spot today. As for Saddam Hussein, he would have made sure that terrorist groups like ISIS don’t take over Iraq. What was the whole point of being at war with Iraq and capturing its leader, when the situation now is even more grave ? It amazes me as to how an organization like ISIS became so powerful when all this while the US forces were in Iraq? Iraq had its problems even before the US intervened but the country was still liberal in a lot of ways. Now the radical groups from Saudi and other adjacent countries have taken over and the ISIS wants Iraq to become an Islamic state. The invasion of Iraq was completely erroneous and the political advisors of the Bush administration were misguided. I agree that the Bush government did get rid of a tyrant dictator but it also killed way more innocent people than even Saddam Hussein killed. People were killed in the name of insurgents, when in actuality they were innocent women and children. The public mind in USA was brainwashed, convincing people that it’s a war on terror  a retribution for 9/11 and that invading Iraq was in the best interest of the world. But the question is was it ?

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I mean the US government that time fooled its people and the world, claiming that Iraq is under the rule of an unstable and dangerous leader so an invasion is the need of the hour. I’m going to give a case here of an exactly similar leader. But I can vouch neither the US nor the rest of the world will dare touch either him or his nation. I’m referring here about North Korea and its supreme leader Kim Jong un. Try doing it to them and the repercussions would be fatal. Thank goodness that North Korea doesn’t have oil , otherwise there was just no stopping that nation.  Anyway, my point is that the entire exercise of the Bush government attacking Iraq is rendered moot since an extremely beautiful and prosperous nation has over the years turned into an absolute disaster. A civil war can break down any moment now. There are people from various nations either trapped, abducted or executed. There are children who might have otherwise been intellectually and creatively curious but are now orphaned. There are women who once enjoyed a liberal atmosphere where they could educate themselves and make progress but are now either killed or trafficked into prostitution. There are men who should have been busy working a livelihood for their folks but are now being mass executed right in front of their families. Lastly, there is the youth who should have been watching the FIFA World Cup right now ( since football is extremely popular in Iraq) but are now holding arms and ammunition.

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Saddam Hussein might have been the craziest of leaders but the man knew the geopolitics of Iraq. He was the impetus behind turning Iraq from a mere Arab nation to the most advanced Arab country in history. Iraq was always better than its neighbours. Healthcare facilities were excellent. Education was imparted right from the primary level up to the university, completely free of charge. Iraq was a nation where more human rights were granted to its citizens than any other Arab nation, especially in the areas of religion and liberation of women. The New York Times had thus, once called Baghdad “The Paris of the Middle East. Toppling Saddam Hussein was the biggest misstep US committed and now Iraq has to face people, I call pre-historic barbarians . I’d never thought a day would come when I’d have to support a man like Saddam Hussein over President Bush. Sometimes, I feel that the biggest Weapon of Mass Destruction in Iraq was Mr. President himself.

The day Saddam was caught President Bush had said, ” the world will be better off without you, Mr. Hussein.” Today Iraq has gone worse, and so has the world. :(

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