Sunday, February 13, 2011

Indian Traffic & Life

Travellers from outside India, when talking about their first impressions about India, will tell you that they were completely shocked by the traffic. That when they were being driven around in cars, they were extremely scared. Indians who have lived in countries in Europe or the US, even for just a few years, come back and find it difficult to understand the traffic here. When people have lived outside India for sometime, they are really scared to drive here... EVEN people who have never gone anywhere outside India find the traffic really horrible most of the time.
And of course there are many factors that make it what it is. The two main categories are -
  • Infrastructure & authorities
    • The condition of the roads
    • The way the constructions /repairs are being done on the roads
    • The amount of traffic compared to the size of the roads
    • Insufficient & sometimes careless authorities (even people responsible many times do not know what is right and what is wrong)
  • BAD drivers
    • People who drive on the wrong side
    • People who do not follow the traffic lights
    • Many, many people who drive without knowing the rules
I get very annoyed while driving mostly because of the bad drivers. We all travel on the same roads, so the infrastructure factor is common for all of us. But the second factor, bad drivers, make it even worse. And they make it especially bad for the drivers who follow the rules.

Having said that, recently it has struck me that Indian traffic is really like Life!! :-) The traffic in US, for most part is very orderly. No body's life can be like that. And if it was like that it would probably be extremely boring.
In Indian traffic we start with an idea of getting some place by certain time, but will we get there in that time, no one can be sure. That's so much like what happens in life!! Also, in Indian traffic people, carts, cycles, two wheelers or cars, basically many different things keep coming at you from any direction at any speed - that's how life is! In life too, things keep coming at you at different speeds and from various directions. In Indian traffic, we see many people getting ahead of us who we know don't deserve it or we feel are getting there with wrong means. That too is so much like life!!

And sometimes you are taken completely by surprised and you have a wonderful experience with people being fair, following rules not being too pushy and you managing to get someplace ahead of time. Is this about (Indian) traffic or life??? In my opinion, both!!

Thursday, February 3, 2011

Earlier travelogues

So, earlier I have written a little about my travels. And that time I put it up on MSN Live spaces (because I was on messenger, and had the ID and it was so easy you know....)

Anyway, now it all has been migrated to wordpress. So that is where some of my earlier travelogues are. You can read about my trek in Kanchanjunga National Park,Sikkim (June 2006), my trip to Hampi (Nov 2006) and trip to Germany & Austria (May 2008), on wordpress at

Wednesday, February 2, 2011

Imagination - what can it do?

It happens many times. When we expect too much out of something, we get disappointed with the actual thing. Be it a movie that our friends praised a lot and told us that it is a “must see” or a dish that was said to be “to die for” at a restaurant. Or even a car that was supposed to be the “dream machine”. I have myself felt this on many occasions and of course I have heard this from many people. So when we expect a lot, what we get in reality does not meet the expectation and we are disappointed. And that is because we use our rich imagination when someone describes something as “too good”. Imagination wins over reality every time.
Similarly, when you get into something with no expectations or really low expectations, you are many times very pleasantly surprised to find that you actually don’t dislike it as you expected. In fact sometimes you actually like it – it may even become your favorite.  This is because you have either used your imagination to expect something really bad or not thought about it, not used your imagination at all.
So does this mean its better not use one’s imagination? No, I don’t think so! No, of course not! How can one advocate not using one’s imagination?  Imagination has given us so much.
Imagination of many great men has been the cause for many scientific discoveries and inventions; imagination of other great people has made them create beautiful paintings, wonderful sculptures and amazing melodies that would sooth our soles. Even capturing those melodies in tapes, records or CDs has been possible only because some scientist, some technician first imagined capturing them and preserving them. And if not for the imagination, what would we have in name of literature?
Actually, anything and everything that is good and is of any meaning has its origin in someone’s imagination. Of course, we can’t deny that imagination can also be cause for hatred and actions based on hatred. Imagination can also be cause for overindulgence sometimes and for ravaging of nature.
So obviously imagination itself is not enough to decide whether a person will be good or bad. And just imagining things will not do anything for a person. Just imagining things is called day-dreaming, living in a dream world. On a daily basis all of us are imagining something, about something we want to do, something we wish to see, something we want to happen, someone we would like to meet or something we want to eat. And of course it can be very enjoyable to just sit around and imagine things. But as we all know, just imagining does not do anything for our progress or growth. It does not do anything for our own good, forget someone else’s good or progress.
Imagination gives us wings – it gives us our dreams. Not only the dreams which we dream in our sleep, for those too come from our imagination, but the dreams you dream in wakeful awareness. The dreams that make one want to become a scientist or an artist. But to turn this dream into something real and meaningful, you need to firstly apply your thinking to the imagination. While the imagination itself is one type of “thinking”, one needs to apply a different type of thinking, a more logical thinking which takes into account ground realities and can define what your “aim” has to be for your dream to come true, can break it down in smaller steps if required and can come up with a sort of an equation of how to start with what you have and how to reach your goal.