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XX-Cartoons-Ironically-Showing-Our-Smartphone-Addiction__605You swipe left. You swipe right. You check your Facebook feed. You scroll through your twitter timeline. In the meantime, you receive a few good morning messages. As if text chat wasn’t enough, you snapchat. You read some breaking news about a leading actress-turned-black magician. You keep your apps open. You close your life.

You eat while scrolling. You scroll while eating. You wake up, and scroll. You scroll before sleeping. You look around, and everyone is scrolling. You see a beggar, you witness an accident. You want to help, but instead you click and upload. You fish for likes, you want approval. You are oh so cool. And then you go back to scrolling – scrolling your life away.

Do you know the feeling when the roller coaster stops and you are still, but the world is still moving? I am perpetually in that state! The world is moving too fast- change is too hurried. Even before one adopts and adapts to change, it has changed already. And may be twice. Perhaps it would be more appropriate to say, our maps and world view are out of date because the world is changing really rather fast.

More and more it feels like our lives have turned into a gruelling race towards a finish line we never reach.  Curiously, there has been very scant discussion about this dramatic speed-up of society. People may complain about how busy they are, how over-loaded modern life has become, but speed is viewed as generally positive – something that will help us enrich our life.

tb538ea_Boy-that-escalated-quicklyWhen I say the world is changing, I am speaking about every single aspect. From the literal sense of the planet Earth changing, to the people, the mentalities, the beliefs, the cultures, the technology, and the most important one: purpose. People have lost the sense of purpose, putting them in situations of utter confusion. We do not have time to sit and think about life amidst all this conundrum!

Having all the information on your fingertip kills the surprise element of our life. By the time kids are 25, they have been witness to everything that can be experienced by body and mind! Nature of the mind is such that it is always looking for newer experiences, something unique to keep it going!

In this age of high-speed internet, way too much information is thrown at you. There is a simulator for every kind of experience that there is. One knows how a different part of the world looks like, how the cosmos looks like just by sitting in their room! There are no revelations, no secrets, no privacy, and no novelty in this day and age. As one theory states – Don’t be surprised if suicides increase henceforth. Because the mind may want to explore beyond death, with the death of curiosities in this lifetime.

To sum up, I will use the last few lines of one of my most cherished poems by David Weatherford,

“When you run so fast, to get somewhere – you miss half the fun of getting there.

When you worry and hurry through your day,

It is like an unopened gift thrown away.

Life is not a race.

Do take it slower

Hear the music, before the song is over.”

That was the week that was!

Arnab Desai had news channels,

E-I-E-I-O

On their channel they had some TRPs,

E-I-E-I-O

With a suicide here, and an anti-national there,

Here a scam, there a rally,

Everywhere a perk, perk!

Current_Affairs_IndiaWith so much happening this week, our journalist had a field day! This gave them an opportunity to have a finger in every goddamn pie! Let me just list down all the major happenings of our country this week, just to put things in perspective, regarding our current state of “well-fare”!

  • There was Jesus Christ, and now there is Salman Khan. Jesus turned water to wine. Salman turned it back to water.

Salman: 1; Christ: 0.

(Do I have to apologize to Christ? Will I be called a racist or an anti-national? I hope no sedition charges on me for this one!)

  • The rich 17-year old brat recklessly driving Mercedes need not worry about justice with Hit-and-Run cases in our country! When you have a mentor like Salman Khan, no number Siddhart Sharmas’ dying is going to lead to justice. Relax bro, care for some Martini?

Salman: 2; Integrity: 0.

  • There has not been respite for the jewelers. This one month long protest doesn’t seem to be leading anywhere! This protest-turned-slugfest became fun when the leader of Anti-corruption movement jumped in to back holders of unaccounted wealth. Well, there is an opportunist and then there is Kejriwal.

Corruption: 1; Honesty: 0.

  •  In the last few weeks, for the first time in India, we experienced equality in the true sense- Jewelers and Farmers, both were on protest. Time for self-evaluation, Modiji? While they are sticking to their side of dispute in this scorching heat, a Good Samaritan sent them a stand-up comedian for a little entertainment- our very own favourite, Rahul Gandhi!

Gandhi: 1; Protestors: -10.

  • Talking about scorching heat, the drought situation is real. And IPL being conducted in drought stricken Maharashtra will only talk about our priorities – green paper over green fields. But why is everyone insisting on shifting IPL outside Maharashtra? Rather we must insist on them to import a measly 150 lakh litre of water in Maharashtra! Let’s play their game their way!

On a side note, to overcome the water crisis, contact Salman.

Salman: 3; Society: 0.

  • Thank God Bihar isn’t suffering from a drought situation. Given the liquor ban, even Salman wouldn’t have been able to help.

Nitish: 1; Salman: 0.

  • Close to Bihar is Chandigarh, where people who couldn’t get into roadies are struggling to make a mark in Stand-Up Comedy, under Modi’s “Stand-Up India” scheme. One minute silence for them.

Roadies: 1; Modi: 0.

  • Not so close to Bihar is Panama, from where a few papers were leaked, and now some rather important people are in a fix. Alas, if only it was as easy as papers leaking at University. Sigh.

Indebted India: 1; Incredible India: 0.

  • University paper leaks are least of our concern these days. Universities now serve a larger purpose- they have become prime centers for playing dirty politics. Education – Ha! Who cares?

Wide-eyed kids (studying in Hindu Madrasas) in 2020 – Are you really telling me universities were supposed to impart knowledge and stood on three pillars – Parampara; Pratishtha; Anushasan? (Courtesy- Senior Bachchan; because junior never seemed to have gone to one)

Bharat Mata ki Jai: 1; Mohabbatein: 0.

  • On the other hand, my heart goes out to students preparing to get into IIT, but merely will end up getting into a life-long education loan. Only to be able to use the Stand Up scheme of course!

Banks: 1; Education: 0.

  • Solely good lord can save our country from all this chaos and stupidity! Gee, but then again, owing to the way He created me, I cannot enter the temple to meet Him! With temple’s new found idea of gender equality, I am looking for a transgender to take my message to the almighty. Any references?

Stupidity: 1; Sanity: 0.

  • This bring me to my favourite – Rakhi Sawant vs. Ceiling fan! For someone who has never seen a fan in her entire career, I can probably understand why she wishes to ban them. Though I would request the government to let her use one before they do so!

Rakhi Sawant won; everyone else zero.

All I can say is that at the end of the day, everyone is but just a speck of dust that no one cares about. A tiny speck on a pale blue dot suspended in a vast cosmic arena.

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“I cried because my 3G wasn’t working, until I saw someone without a smart phone!” – Rumi

The day is not far when we literally see such posts, and we need therapy to overcome the pressures of social media! Yeah, typing can be so exhausting and taxing to the brain! Phew. Give me that protein shake! I plan to do another circuit – of Instagram, Facebook, Twitter, Myspace, Zomato, Quora, and Snapchat- before I cool down with YouTube!

It is so hard to believe that people were actually “alive” when Facebook was not around. In fact, it is just about 15 years ago, when there was no email, and we would actually wait to hear from one another! I wonder when I grow old, will I still be able to keep pace with this ever changing technology! It is like Christmas every single day, a new gift that science claus showers us with!

What comes to your mind when you hear the term “Social Media?”

Perhaps some use it to communicate with people around the world (obviously, we don’t talk to the person in the next room. Or do we?). Some others use it as stress buster, and give 1 star reviews to people who did not consider their request for free sukhi puri after a plate of pani-puri. Oh, look at those grinning marketing and PR guys- it is like the great IT boom from 2005 for them now! While I am just struggling to look for my digi-cam(#swag) to take the picture of this cutting chai, just so that I can transfer it to my computer, to transfer it to my phone, to upload it on Instagram – *bliss*. Oh, don’t judge me, the chai stained my camera lens, and now all my pictures have an in-built sepia mode. Hence.c6545387078dc51e5056cf068518b9e9

Social Networking Sites are fast emerging as powerful and unparalleled tools to share information, shape opinions, connect people across domains and cultures, bring participation, and above all to communicate as never before. This is just the beginning. Social Networking Sites are still at a very nascent stage and communities across the world are just beginning to understand the potential of this medium to impact discourse and communication.

Even though it creates a few negative impacts on youngsters (or may be educates them in more than one way), we cannot think of a world without these websites today. So, corrective and preventive measures should be taken towards these negative effects and the young people should be well educated and must have proper awareness regarding such problems of Social Networking Sites.

My only concern is that our evolution will go back by a few thousand years, all thanks to the cannot-straighten-my-neck-anymore due to obsessive compulsive disorder of checking the phone notifications every millisecond! A big shout-out to all the people who check the phone last thing at night, and first thing in the morning! Welcome to we-are-unemployed-and-we-know-it club!

I am just waiting for the day, when we will share our screenshots of Facebook on some other website – botoxkindle for all you know- and tag them, “Nostalgia.”

BREAKING NEWS- Thank you for raising our TRPs

Media is a business, it is a business of news. The trouble is when media gets to the business of breaking news. It breaks all boundaries of ethics and logic, and the whole drill of “please-watch-our-channel” is way too apparent.

What has happened in the last few weeks is but an expression of this! It has been a great ride for all the media houses with so many incidents and topics, juicier than Frooti. Right from the Hardik Patel taking the government for a ride to Indrayani Mukherjea giving ideas to Ekta Kapoor for her new plot, media has gone berserk. It has overshadowed other important news like Kalburgi murder case or Baba Ramdev launching his own brand of instant noodles!

Superficial coverage has become characteristic of Indian news media because of breaking news syndrome! Research, permissions, analysis has no place in this whole game of sensationalism. This has proved to misleading information in so many cases, and then the apology that is rendered so feeble, if at all. But the damage is done, and an innocent has to live with this public humiliation. 24-hour pressure for the channels soon led to reporters thrusting their mikes on victims of a mishap to single-handedly engaging an entire nation in a family-tree puzzle.

Last week Anurag Kashyap put up a picture with “plaster” on his eyes on an oh-your-phone-picture-is-so-hipster website, indicating it as a result of a brawl with MMA fighter. Immediately, the news spread like wildfire, just to know later that he had trolled the media houses to prove a point. Media fell flat on its face. A few people called this experiment lame.

But it is not. It just is the sorry state of affairs with Indian media today.

Introduction of social media has aided in adding more spice to this. Just last week, one girl’s Facebook post costed an innocent guy his reputation. He was declared as a national pervert in the honorable court of Facebook, and many media houses ran this story even without listening to his other-side! Turns out this girl was closely associated with a national party, taking revenge for he-did-not-listen-to-her-and-hurt-her-ego! But the damage was done, and the guy – though proved innocent- was humiliated across the country in just a matter of few hours.

Media is the fourth pillar of democracy! But it seems to have shaken, since the line between “news” and “views” has diminished! Objective news has become a far-fetched dream! The pressure of proving oneself innocent in “Noise at 9”, and putting your point across Arnab Sardesai’s trial is much-more than remembering your wife’s birthday!

In the past, it has proved to be a successful medium between the government and the people. Media was probably the strongest tool in our freedom movement. If handled wisely and ethically, it can actually aid in solving important and urgent national issues. If only they can stop being the seeming corporate puppets, who knows, we could actually be successful in eradicating poverty, if not cynics!