An Inspiring Conversation With a Two Time Solo Traveler

The following interview has been taken by me of Ms. Ishita Sood – Successful Blogger, Two time international Solo Traveler and an old friend from school. This is the 1st interview in the new series on ‘Cerebration’ entitled MAVERICKS. The series will feature 10 people from my life who took the plunge, did things differently and landed up not just being successful but truly happy. I call them Mavericks in every sense of the term and applaud them for ‘being themselves.’


Ishita Sood

Akriti: Before I formally start your interview I’d like to take a moment and express my gratitude to you for being a part of the new series on ‘Cerebration.’  So, what did it feel like when you were approached to be a part of a series that was featuring people who are not just successful but are successful being happy?

Ishita: It definitely took me by surprise and I felt both ecstatic and privileged thinking about. Thanks so much Akriti to help me be part of Cerebration. I am so proud to know a person like you since childhood and I am thrilled to be doing this interview for you.

Akriti:  I feel you’re one of those people who derives pleasure from writing your thoughts on subjects that fascinate you? No wonder you run a successful blog yourself. But I’ll come to that a little later. First I’d like to know what you views on expressing yourself via writing.

Ishita: Thank you for the blog mention. I love writing about things I love, especially things that drive my imagination. I was very young when I started to write poems. Even though they were only scribbles on a diary but I always used to think that I could do something big one day with writing. It is very important that we express in the way we like best. People choose to express themselves in different ways- there are writers and then there is the rest of the world.

Akriti:  Now let’s talk about your blog – ‘Italophilia’ (which I’ve been following for a while now). What made you start your blog? How has the overall blogging experience been?


Ishita: Thank you for following my blog Akriti. It feels good to have people like you around who appreciate and encourage someone else’s passion. I started my blog a few years back but did not start writing until I visited Italy in 2013. I only started writing to keep it as a diary for my Italy travels. Little did I know that it would take a whole other turn. Initially I saw I had no readers, I was still new to the world of blogging and it was almost impossible to get followers but slowly I got the hang of it. Readership takes a lot of time but in the end it’s all very fulfilling and brews results.

Akriti:  Your blog has Italy written all over it. Your tweets are about that too. In a way you seem to have fallen in love with the beautiful country. Isn’t it? What is about Italy that drew you so close to it?

Ishita: You are right. Italophilia- which literally means appreciation for the wonderful land that is Italy, was born because of my first trip to Italy. My blog and my Twitter profile are more or less centered on Italy because I feel connected to that country in ways I can hardly express. I feel half Italian in soul and it’s no joke!

The first thing that drew me to Italy was its beauty- lush green landscapes, rolling hills, endless stretch of sparkling ocean, roadside caffes, little trattorias, the first taste of gelato, Roman ruins…. I could go on and on. But what I most love about that place is the people. I love their passion for life and I hope to keep visiting Italy to learn from them.

Akriti: I’ve always believed that everybody should, at least once in their life time travel solo. It makes you a little more of who you are. What are your thoughts on traveling solo?

Ishita: Traveling solo is an experience I would recommend to everyone. But only now., because I had never thought traveling solo myself until a few months back. Italy gave me the courage to it. My love for the land gave me the courage.

I know now I can travel anywhere- even in India where things are not so easy and safe. It’s sad that most people around us are skeptical to eat alone, let alone travel. But it’s all about taking a plunge. I know it sounds fancy and big right now but everyone should try it for the experience. No harm done!

Do not travel solo to do the “thing”  or because it’s in fashion but to travel and experience a little more of the world around you. You might just accomplish finding a bit more of yourself.


Akriti: What is your take on conformity? Why do you think the most successful and happy people never conformed to the shams of society?

Ishita: I am a free willed individual never wanting to conform to set rules or standards. I follow my heart and do what I want. Maybe it sounds like I am a through and through rebel but I am not. I am just opinionated and strong in mind than most people around me. I believe in standing up for my rights and in things that are wrongly done. I have been like this for long and this is a part of me. People like us who follow what their heart wants are often criticized by society but in the end we win because we do what our hearts desire. Being happy is not just a state of mind, it is also dependent on your thinking and personality.

Akriti:  I’m a huge fan of Steve Jobs. When the man was alive he used to say, “Those who feel are crazy enough to change the world are the ones that actually do “. This quote is my life’s motto. What is your view on it?

Ishita: I absolutely love it. It is so true and I have several people around me who think the same and follow this view. Isn’t it awesome to see someone running after their dream?

Akriti: Why is thinking for oneself and standing up for oneself seen as selfishness by society?

Ishita: Because they still want women to conform to standards set in the past, to be a slave and not think of herself, to be the sacrificing one and stand for only her husband and children and not herself. I think it comes from the fact that women are “expected to”. I think that explains a lot in itself.

Akriti: Is being an independent, successful and a liberal woman, even in the 21st century, seen by many as a threat? Why do you think people feel that way?

Ishita: What do the words ‘free spirit’ mean to you?

Someone who isn’t bound by rules set by the society.

Akriti: Do you agree that being a ‘free spirit’ for a woman is harder than it is for a man?

Ishita: Sadly so. But times have changed and I’m optimistic. I think it’s a lot easier in our society now because women have opened up to find a path for themselves.


Akriti:  Since I’ve known you from school, I can tell my readers that one of your hobbies was reading voraciously back then? Do you still read? You think reading add more perspective to one’s life?

Ishita: Its so sweet that you remember this. Yes I still read as much as I did before or maybe a little more (on weekends it’s a lot more) I think reading shaped me as a person and opened my mind to several possibilities. It gives me a sense of freedom and identity.

Akriti: Who are your favourite authors and why?

Ishita: I have a long list of favorites right from start-Enig Blyton, Jane Austen, JK Rowling, Ruskin Bond, Andrea Camilleri, Italo Calvino and Haruki Murakami to name a few. All of these authors are wonderful storytellers and I connect to almost all of them in several ways. Blyton, Rowling and Austen were a very strong force behind my growing years while Ruskin Bond brought me to the times I spent in the mountains. Italo Calvino is my current favorite who writes amazing prose. If you haven’t read him already you must try J

Akriti: Would you like to write a book someday? Perhaps on your experiences in Italy?

Ishita: It has been on my mind since long and now that you ask, yes. I don’t know when or how it will happen. But I know it will be there for sure J

Akriti: How do you feel at this exact moment, when you look back and see yourself ‘grow’ and ‘evolve’ all these years?

Ishita: I feel proud and happy of myself. I know my calling lies in much more than I thought earlier. For instance I never thought life would take me to Italy and I would feel connected to the country  in such a strong way.

Akriti: What is your greatest life lesson learnt?


Ishita: Nothing comes easy but what comes to you is only a result of your hardwork.

Akriti:  How does Ishita Sood see herself a decade from now?

Ishita: Writing a book on Italy!😉

Akriti:  Lastly, but most importantly I’d like to ask you – Are you happy as an individual?

Ishita: Indeed I am. I live a fulfilling life on my own terms- I do what I like best- read, write and travel

Ishita is a solo traveler and a lover of the beautiful country of Italy. Apart from her successful professional life, she runs a highly successful blog (Italophilia) where she expresses her love for Italy and describes in detail the wonderful experiences she’s had there as a two time solo traveler. For those of you, who are yet to take a trip all by yourselves , visit her blog and get inspired.


Civil Services Mains: Answer Writing


Civil Services Mains

Civil Services Mains examination is one of the most challenging stages of the Civil Services Exam. The syllabus is enormous, competition is cut throat and the time frame is a binding on the aspirants. Even the most hard working individuals tend to lose their peace of mind during the course of preparation. Yet, the best make it each year despite all odds and that is the category you should aspire for too.

One of the most effective hacks of cracking the Mains Exam is to practice writing answers. I say this with my own experience and insist on you trying out the same.

Practicing answer writing has 2 benefits –

  • Helps you with remembering concepts in the exam.
  • Helps you with Time management

An aspirant should develop the craft of writing good and concise answers so that the examiner understands them clearly. Crisp and ‘to the point’ answers will make sure that you get awarded with the appropriate marks.

Here are 5 writing hacks that every Civil Services aspirant must do –

  1. Make notes and modify them regularly according to the word limit.This will not only help you gather useful content but also help you save time in the exam.
  2. Use the content of the notes effectively in the exam as and when asked in the respective questions. Using your own content will help you gain confidence. Remember it is an exam and not an extempore competition where you need to express opinions on the spot.
  3. Always refer to multiple resources while crafting notes and hence answers.This way you will develop an excellent grasp on the subject matter.
  4. Each note should be an answer in itself. This will not be easy at first but eventually you’ll master the art.
  5. Lastly, revise notes daily, weekly, monthly and nobody can stop you from qualifying the exam

All the very best. Put in your hundred percent and make your attempt count🙂

For any query on any aspect of the Civil Services Exam, feel free to post your comment on —> CIVIL SERVICES EXAM: DAILY DOUBT SOLVING SESSIONS

Some Useful Books & Resources for Civil Services Aspirants

Writing Skills for Civil Services Examination

 Civil Services Mains

Physical, Human and Economic Geography for Civil Services Exam

 Civil Services Mains

Civil Services Preliminary and Mains Exam Audio Notes

 Civil Services Mains

Economic Development in India

  Civil Services Mains

Ethics, Integrity and Aptitude

 Civil Services Mains

Civil Services Exam: Daily Doubt Solving Sessions

Civil Services Prelims was held on August 7,2016. As expected the paper was challenging and definitely more difficult than last year. Now that the prelims is over and the result has also been declared, it’s time to start working hard for Mains without losing your peace of mind. Even if you didn’t make it this time, give your best shot for next year🙂

Mt. Sinai Academy (1)

I’ve received a lot of questions in the past few days across social media pertaining to different aspects of the Civil Services Exam. I’ve tried my best to answer them on social media as well on the email ids given by many of you. But my blog seemed the best medium to address them collectively so that more and more aspirants can benefit. Feel free to post your doubts in the comments section below and I will answer them one by one within 24 hours.

If your questions are not visible in the comments section immediately, do not worry. It only means that they are pending for my approval.

Looking forward to guide you a little better. After all our country needs dedicated bureaucrats. 

Make this year’s exam your greatest attempt. I wish each one of you my very best🙂

Civil Services Preparation



  The Gist of NCERT Books Combo (Set of 5 Books)


INDIAN POLITY by Laxmikanth




‘Game of Thrones’ – A Rip-Roaring Spectacle on Celluloid

With Game of Thrones Season 6 coming to an end, the world seems a boring place.

Game of Thrones is not a show; it’s an enchanting experience.  The first time I saw its pilot, I was spell bound. Six seasons later, I still feel the same.

There is an innate quality of spontaneity and unpredictability about Game of Thrones that makes it so intriguing. Every time you feel things will end a certain way, they don’t.  RR Martin is a true creative genius for creating a series that has the world on its toes. No wonder the illegal downloads for the show are highest the world over.

The amalgamation of the fantasy series – A Song of Ice and Fire with the on screen adaptation is just wonderful. R.R Martin’s marvel is as expanding and far reaching as Westeros itself. The show inspires new fans everywhere and has made a huge impact on the modern day populace. All thanks to R.R Martin and the show’s creators David Benioff and D. B. Weiss, Game of Thrones is now a household name across the globe. I am going to go to the extent of saying that GoT is one of the best fictional series in the history of television.

One of the things that strikes all viewers of GOT is the enormous world which Martin has created. With every passing episode new characters are introduced, new regions are unveiled and new accents pronounced. But that isn’t to say anything is included just for the sake of magnitude. Every new character added to the script offers something significant to the story. Speaking of new characters, I just loved the character of Lady Mormont in the latest season. I mean wow. The child actress has a done a phenomenal job in pulling off her role. Had it been in my hands, I would have made her sit on the throne.

Each element in the show has a quality of enormity to it and that is why nothing on the show ever gets unnoticed. With a narrative that continually manoeuvres us into thinking we know things €but end up with a feeling that we don’t, the show becomes an addiction with each passing episode. The sentiment that we’re close enough to the action to be knowledgeable, only for that to be stripped away every episode by some quite despicable antagonists.

Just when you begin to affirm that you’ve figured out a thread in the intense plot, you’re proved wrong by the show’s creators. Quite often the ‘good’ characters fall and ‘bad’ ones emerge victorious.  But one of the best things about GoT is that the concepts of good and bad aren’t polarized, but merge continuously in a beautiful, ordered chaos.

While some characters are pure vicious with no saving grace about them, GOT has also managed to create several great anti-heroes.  Arya Stark, Jaime and Tywin Lannister, The Hound, and Lord Varys – these are people who’ve done awful things .Yet the viewers feel an innate sense of sympathy towards them.

GOT can actually make one feel sorry for a character who tried to kill a child in order to cover up the incestuous affair he was having with his sister . I’m speaking of Jamie Lannister here. That’s how much finesse is there in the writing of the show.This is also the beauty of Got – The shock value is what keeps it going and allows the viewers to remain intrigued.

While ceremonious sword fights and tournaments are beautiful to watch, the most gripping moments in the show are the ones that are the most brutal. Remember the time Ned Stark’s head was chopped off? or the time when princess Shireen was burnt alive at a stake or when Arya got so close to her folks only to find her entire clan dead.  I’ve smiled, laughed, felt sad, wept, got shocked while watching GoT but never stopped watching.

When Ned Stark’s head was chopped in Season 1, I was devastated and pondered what’s left to watch now? How could they do this?  Yet I watched season 2 and went on to season 3 where the red wedding happened and again I felt devastated but continued watching to finally see Jon Snow murdered in cold blood in season 5 . My god it seemed like one of my own is dead but I continued watching just like millions of GoT fans across the planet. This is how much the show means to me.

GoT has every visual element that pleases the senses and the mind alike – character portrayal, storylines, intrigue,  magic, picturesque landscapes, spectrum of accents, birth, deaths, rebirth, fear, love, lust and raw sexuality. Sexuality as an elements stands out throughout the series and there’s nothing offensive about it, yes I said it out loud.  ( By the way here’s some sex trivia – Sibel Kekilli, the  actress who plays the role of the pretty Shae, is actually a former porn star. Her stage name was Dilara,  in case you were wondering). 

GoT has managed to portray both raw sexuality as well as the strongest female protagonists in one show. I can’t think of another show that features more strong female leads than GOT. Brienne of Tarth, Ygritte, Arya and Catelyn Stark, Margaery and Grandma Tyrell Daenerys Targaryen, Cersei Lannister

Then here are also a whole lot of supernatural and magical elements in the show that are to die for – Direwolves, dragons, whitewalkers (my god the night king is sexy),warlocks, giants, mammoths and so on. In Westeros, magic is a powerful force even though a lot of characters don’t believe it exists only to get affected by it in the end.

I am a die hard fan of the show and I’ll always be. However, this season left me a little disappointed at certain moments. Now, I am partly to be blamed for this since I knew most of the spoilers. The bigger reason however is that this season was not based on A Song of Fire and Ice by RR Martin. He is yet to write the next book in the series. Martin had long ago provided with a  blueprint of the major arcs of the story, but the creators can no longer rely on the books scene by scene.

Game of Thrones is truly the show of Benioff and now. This is both a good as well as a bad thing. Good because we’ll have new minds relying on their creative juices and bad because it will be challenging to match the creative genius of a writer like RR Martin . If it wasn’t for him, we would never have the TV series in the 1st place .No offence to the show’s creators but they managed Season 6 on their own and it hasn’t really provided the shock value of the former seasons. Also, the pace of the show was too fast and too slow at times and the characters too extreme. I’ll put it this way – It took Season 6 too long to get interesting and when it did the season got over. In the words of Kasia Delgado, “The drama is in danger of believing its own hype.”

I hope my favourite show picks up from where RR Martin left it and concludes (whenever it does) leaving us all in awe of it.

P.S. : I offer my sincerest apologies for not updating my blog since the last 2 months. I was busy relocating and settling down. All you lovely people who’ve dropped messages and emails, I’ll get back to you as soon as i can🙂



Game of Thrones Poster



Game of Thrones Poster



Hand of the King Brooch



House Stark ‘Winter is Coming’ Keychain



House  Targaryen Dragon Keychain



House Stark Direwolves Collection



A Song of Ice and Fire – The Complete Collection



Game of Thrones Coffee Mug



Winter is Coming  Laptop Skin



Iron Throne Laptop Skin



Tyrion Lannister Poster



Jon Snow Poster



Khaleesi Poster



Game of Thrones Set of 2 Cushion Covers


Game of Thrones Tshirt



Game of Thrones Tshirt



Game of Thrones Tshirt



Game of Thrones Tshirt



Game of Thrones Tshirt



Game of Thrones Tshirt





Our ships have crossed – In different seas we ride – Here’s looking at you kid -Have a fantastic life :)


I still remember the day as a 7 year old child when i has asked my parents to give me a baby brother. I was a single child back then and was keen on having a younger sibling. Everyday i prayed to the almighty to grant my wish with all my innocence as if i was sure that God listens only to me. I wanted a younger sibling to play with, to have fun with, to eat with, to travel with, to see dreams with, and somebody i could inspire. Three decades later, i’m so proud to say that my brother is my biggest inspiration. The sweet adorable kid who grew up with me has made it to the flagship program of his dream destination – Indian Institute of Management – Ahmadabad (IIM-A) – One of the Top B Schools of our country and the World.

All through his younger days he saw dreams of living life a certain way. He kept moving in the direction of his goals, focused and dedicated. At his young and tender age he knows more than people do in their 50s. Over the years he has developed this amazing perspective on life which comes across as inspirational. His motto is simple – You want to live life your way, set goals , work hard and don’t stop until you achieve them. The classic quote from the movie Pursuit of Happiness is his all time favourite.



I still remember the day he was born. My god i was ecstatic. I hear people talking about sibling rivalry , which is ok but never felt that with him. My parents did a commendable job of making sure that i felt secure as a child. That is why i felt more responsible towards him than anyone else. A friend’s mom who happened to be an excellent gynecologist was my mom’s doctor. She brought the young sweet thing in this world. I took a full day’s leave from school to just see the newest member of our family. Next day when i arrived in school, the same friend has made the cutest card congratulating me for the birth of my brother.

Feels so good right now, i remember everything🙂 The next few years were interesting for i had a younger kid in my house different from myself. As a child he was extremely naughty but adorable. He had this habit of munching chips all the time and then not throwing their packs and keeping them under his mattress. There have been times when we found as many as 50 packs under the mattress. As if it was some sort of treasure😀

Jokes apart, one thing that has remained consistent throughout his life, be it as a child or now – He never stopped asking questions. His curiosity to know the world is persuasive. He doesn’t conform to a set standards of beliefs or values that have been going on through the ages. He asks questions and seeks answers himself for he knows the world doesn’t have them. That is why he is so different even at his young age.

I remember the time when we used to walk to the bus stop together for boarding our school bus. The discussions we had were a pretty good way to start our day. Back then he was still evolving as an individual and tried finding answers through me , me being elder to him. A few years later he has all the answers through his own experience, his perception on life and his grasp of some brilliant books. Every discussion i have with him now is a kind of a motivational talk coming from a leader. He never comes across as younger to me. He’s taught me so much without ever knowing it. I guessed i kept picking all of it and I’ve learnt so much.

I feel extremely grateful for having him in my life. I miss the time we spent together. I do. Being in different cities, our paths may not cross but they’ll always run parallel. This is what he wrote to me recently🙂

“Our ships have crossed. In different seas we ride.
Here’s looking at you kid. Have a fantastic life”

This post is like re-visiting a beautiful memory lane. The entire time we spent together until we left for different cities comes back as a lovely flash back. I wish him my best for life and i know for sure that this is just the beginning.

I love you Angel:)

For all the future aspirants , here are the recommended books for CAT preparation –


Quantitative Aptitude by Arun Sharma


Logical Reasoning  by Arun Sharma


Verbal Ability and Reading Comprehension by Arun Sharma and Meenakshi Upadhyay


How to prepare for CAT – Set of 4 Books by Arun Sharma and Meenakshi Upadhyay





Startups will Transform the way Markets Function in India!!



Created by Akriti Mattu

The journey from , “I want to be a doctor/engineer when i grow up to i want to be an entrepreneur ” has been a really long one for a lot of people in a country like India but finally worth it. All it takes for someone to bring about a revolution or even a small change that impacts people is an idea. An idea that springs from the deepest layers of one’s creative psyche, an idea that recasts the existing patterns and most importantly, an idea that sells. From 3,100 startups in 2014 to a projection of more than 11,500 by 2020, this is certainly not a passing trend. It’s a revolution, a reformation and a revamp for the Indian economy. It will change the way the markets are working today in India.

From recharging your cellphone via Paytym to finding the most hip restaurant via Zomato, from getting food delivered at your doorstep via Swiggy to getting organic breakfast via Brekkies, from ordering a cab via OLA to booking tickets online via Redbus, from ordering books online via Flipkart to disposing old books via BuySellBooks, from searching a new home via NestAway to disposing old stuff via Priti International, from e-learning programs via ChalkStreet to e-mock tests by MockBank, startups are taking over our lives productively and making them convenient. I mean right from some cutting edge technologies to earning ‘cash from trash’ literally, startups are doing it all.

When it comes to the cities where the startups that get funded are based, Bangalore leads the charts with $2.43 billion. Investors in India are becoming experimental, yet extremely well-informed decision makers.   NASSCOM has come up with an excellent initiative called “10,000 Startups”, which aims at scaling the startup environment in India by 10x. The program is supported by Microsoft, Google, Intel, Verisign, and Kotak. 10,000 Startups aims to enable incubation, funding and support for 10,000 startups in India over the next ten years.

Experts have begun to say that in the future, there will be no separate category called startups. All companies will be like startups because they will become the norm. The pace of innovation will become so fast that all companies will have to be agile and emulate startups. Not to sound political, but the Prime Minister of India recognizes the importance of start ups and has launched campaigns like ‘Make in India’ and ‘Startup India’ . So when the PM of India understands the importance and future of start ups in a young economy like India, so should a professional like me.

It Seems We’re So Invincible But The Truth is So Cold !!


A new year , a new beginning with new hopes and new horizons to override. The pace at which life is progressing is swift and amidst everything the cycle of life continues – birth-growth-life-death.

As i was beginning to feel grateful for a lovely 2015, a loved one passed away at the eve of new year – December 31st, 2015 and the night between the eve and the next year seemed a really long one. They say – “life is what happens to you while you’re busy making other plans.” Holds true.

I’ve seen a lot of loved ones go away to places which are unknown. Places that we mortals can only keep alive in our imagination. It’s strange how one moment somebody is a part of our life and the next moment is not to be found anywhere. You can keep searching the limits of the Earth and you still won’t find the person.

In the words of the protagonist from Life of Pi, “I suppose in the end, the whole of life becomes an act of letting go, but what always hurts the most is not taking a moment to say goodbye.” Letting go is what we ‘strong’ folks do but that feeling of wishing somebody adieu remains inside. The feeling of spending more time until we bid the final goodbye remains.

Our life doesn’t halt. We continue on our journey of self growth and we progress. We still have our moments of joy and we still laugh. We occasionally get triggered by feelings from the past and we share a smile and shed a tear at the same time. We let go of the moment and embrace the present but what is left behind is a void. The void persists. Everyone has their own special place and it cannot be substituted by anyone else. Never ever ever.

I was grateful at the end of 2015 and i still am even after losing so many people year after year because i am blessed with family & friends who are beyond words. I say this from all my heart.I read in a book once – “We all die. The goal isn’t to love forever. The goal is to CREATE something that will.” We as a family have created a legacy that will keep us united until death does us apart. I say this with all my pride and with all the love in my heart.

There are people who are remembered for all the acts they did that left a permanent imprint on people and there are others who get forgotten. If you’re remembered and respected by people even after you leave this world, i guess you’ve spent your time well in this world . Nothing lasts forever. That is for sure but memories remain .

In the words of Lord Alfred Tennyson from In Memoriam –

In words, like weeds, I’ll wrap me o’er,
Like coarsest clothes against the cold:
But that large grief which these enfold
Is given in outline and no more.

He is not here; but far away
The noise of life begins again,
And ghastly thro’ the drizzling rain
On the bald street breaks the blank day.

O living will that shalt endure
When all that seems shall suffer shock,
Rise in the spiritual rock,
Flow thro’ our deeds and make them pure.

This post is dedicated to every individual who understands the sense of loss and who knows that in the end all that matters during our stay here on Earth is the time well spent with loved ones and the legacy that we leave behind for mankind to cherish. Everything else is irrelevant.

Photo Credits:







‘OFFENCEomania’- The New Epidemic in Town



Taking offence has now become the new ‘normal.’ People across the globe are now taking offence at the drop of a hat. It’s spreading like a fatal disease and is gradually becoming an epidemic. What is wrong with all of us ? Were we always like this but expressing offence right now (all thanks to a hundred outlets on the web) or do the times we live in are bad times ? My answer will be BOTH.

The human race has always been sensitive. Sometimes for its own good, sometimes for the better of others and sometimes (sadly) for the worse.  People were offended then and people are being offended now. The only difference is that in ancient times word of mouth was the only way to express oneself. Today a lot of us have our own unique spot in cyberspace. More outlets , more voices – some are genuine voices and the majority are just misinformed beings. Anonymous people with loud offended voices.

I see people going cuckoo on the internet for quite some time now. Social media has given us a platform to voice out our opinions and that is a good thing. But it has also created  a whole army of completely misinformed and mislead loons. When a certain topic trends on Twitter or on Facebook , i see a thousand faces venting out their voice under those hashtags. Now it would have been a good thing had those people actually been informed . I mean sure have a voice and express your ‘informed’ opinion but make sure it counts into something productive. Else, no point at all. Sadly they’re not informed. They’re misguided. It’s more of a ‘booking my spot under the hashtag’ kind of a thing.

Expressing yourself on issues that won’t even affect you or commenting about people you won’t even meet is irrelevant. I mean there are a thousand better thing to do. As for people who’re a part of your daily life and issues that concern you, here’s an advice – You don’t like things around you – try changing them by taking an initiative that’ll help people. Else, just change yourself. No amount of abuse and moral filth via your tweets or Facebook statues is going to be of any good, neither to yourself nor to others. You don’t like something that somebody did or said – either bring about a change or  ignore it.

Now let’s come to the second question i raised before – Are we living in bad times ? I’d say there could have not been a better time to live. We’re a damn lucky generation for we have seen the world changing , progressing and transforming. The luxuries of yesterday are the necessities of today and we have them all. We have witnessed the IT revolution and have seen a massive revolution take on the world in the last ten- fifteen years. The only thing missing  (and sadly so) is our attitude to discriminate people other than our own . In short people who are ‘different’ from us. Every time a person has a ‘different’ point of view on matters relating to religion, politics, and gender (Trust me people get offended by these subjects all the time), the majority seem to gang up on the ‘different’ individual.

In India, we’re currently divided on the ‘Tolerance Debate.’ Some of us feel that we’re becoming more intolerant while others feel we’re still quite a tolerant nation. It’s okay to be on either side of the debate as long as we have our valid reasons. It’s also okay to disagree. But to impose our point of view on others is not being tolerant. Tolerance does not teach us to agree to everything others have to say. It teaches us to allow people different from ourselves to have their space to voice their point of view. That’s all.

One very important thing that needs to realized is that more than 50% of the world still does not have access to the internet so let’s just think beyond social media on relevant issues. Not every voice that takes offence is relevant. Don’t let the trolls bother you. The world will not remember them hundred years from now. They’ll be mocked. Actually they’re mocked even today. People who’ll contribute towards humanity will be remembered. Be a part of the contributors and not the ones who hold the human race back. Had bright men and women from the previous generations allowed the trolls (they were always there, now they’re just loud and abusive on the internet) to distract them , the world would still be sitting in the dark ages.

Have a voice and contribute to people who need to be uplifted. Have a voice for your own self and learn to stand up for yourself. Have a voice against the fear and the hate that the world tries to instill in us. Don’t bother at what others have to say because you really don’t need to shout out loud at every little thing that happens around and is of little importance. Don’t be a part of the rat race because even if you win it , you’ll still be a rat . Did that offend you ?



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No Place Called Home ?

The above picture of a 3 year toddler Syrian child went viral recently. It broke a million hearts and made millions cry. It also incited public outrage and shamed world leaders. His name was Aylan and was from war torn Syria. His final journey was supposed to end in Europe.However, it claimed his life and highlighted the plight of  innocent people caught in the darnest refugee crisis that the world has seen in a while.

Before seeing this picture, a lot of people were not even aware of the crisis in Syria – I can vouch for that. People are busy with their own lives , complaining about petty things when a lot of people around the world don’t even have a place they can call home. Half of the 23 million population of Syria have been forced from their homes, with four million becoming refugees in other countries. The civil war in Syria as well as in a lot of other nations in the  middle east and North Africa have become notoriously barbarous and ruthless.

It breaks my heart to see endless people being displaced out of their own homes. Families that were previously living peaceful lives are now forced to become refugees. Who is a refugee ? A person who has been forced to leave their country in order to escape war, persecution, or natural disaster. According to the official statistics of UNHCR the number of forcibly displaced worldwide is 59.5 million.

Where are the human rights of all these people ? What if we are in that exact sam e plight as these people ? When did our world become filled with so much hate and violence ? I can keep posing endless questions here but i have no answers. None at all. Nobody in the world should live under shadows. Every individual matters. Every life matters. I hope that this world becomes a beautiful place – just the way it was intended and this mad charade of violence and bloodshed ends forever.