Available Balance
Human Beings: Their Obligations And Free Will
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It is said that human beings are meant to carry out obligations and such obligations dictate the very success that one may or may not enjoy during their lifetime here on earth. And so when these obligations show up every time, we are bound to either take them all to our own or heed no attention to them at all. Such obligations need to be fulfilled by us or else all things seem futile. There is no meaning left in the way we see things. There is nothing in this world that may interest us any longer. And if such obligations are carried out, futilities tend to crop up. Why would anyone keep on taking up any kind of obligation when all they did before was for nothing? Why would we accept a duty knowing that it would never bring any good to us? But here it is worth noticing that human beings are not completely rational objects. We are supposed to be one, but we may not work according to our beliefs or rational thinking every time, and we may not even possess rational thinking at all as we are supposedly creatures of free will. We are not some mechanical artefact that is programmed to work according to a fixed set of rules. We are not puppets in the hands of puppeteers who may drive us and make us do things as they may wish. And we are certainly not some animals that are domesticated for personal benefits and that are not allowed free will whatsoever. We are creatures of free will as they say who are bound to see as they may please. And who are never slaves to such obligations but are masters of themselves, each in their own right.

 

But why is it a common observation that the things that we are obliged to take into our hands but that we may not ourselves want to accept, keep appearing and piling up in front of us all and we keep on accepting them either with supposed feelings of happiness or with evident feelings of being in confinement, seeing that it is an obligation which we have to accept and from which we cannot escape at all?

 

Why are we so vulnerable in our position to refuse to oblige to such obligations in the first place? Is it that we are really vulnerable that anything may stir us or drive us on their own will? Is it that we may not actually possess the free will that we believe ourselves to possess? That is to say we are not a creature of free will as we supposed ourselves to be, neither we are entities who may or may not have rational thinking. More than that it seems that we are slaves to our own tendencies and to those of obligations. And we are bound to oblige to them when they appear whether we may actually want to oblige to them or not. It seems that this is the only conclusion one can draw out from observing human beings such as ourselves who are not unsettled in their free will and obligations.

Changes: How They Affect The World And Us
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Being narrowed down inside this world, where changes occur in a nick of time, it is not a thing of surprise that these changes have indeed had a strong impact upon every minute detail concerning our lives.
Changes are meant to crop up every now and then. They are inevitable in this world which itself undergoes changes no matter how big or small they may be. These changes are meant to be benign, but at times these changes itself may become painful. The pain they inflict upon our lives, and so upon us, can be excruciating or bearable depending on its intensity and origin. These changes can be educative as well, as they teach us of the very essence of humanity and dynamism. While, there are times also when these fuddle us and create certain crevices, dividing mind, body and soul.
The body goes to the grave, whereupon a change of life cycle occurs. Even when a life cycle begins with the birth. The life itself undergoes countless changes and these are meant to shape and drive it. We are all dependent on these changes. We are all but mere puppets to these changes. And we are certainly not unaffected by these changes as some may claim to be. These claims hold no strength to these changes and succumb to them when they are subjected to them.
How worse a change could be or how better, than it is in present times, depends certainly upon the external factors that have an impact on the whole of humanity along with the relatively good or bad choices that dictate how a change may take place. Even then the certainty that one of these will have a larger impact than the other is somewhat unstable and cannot be predicted easily. Both these factors may affect at the same time or they may not have an impact at all. Or one of them may indeed have a larger impact than the other, while the other will have little or no impact at all.
We are constantly driven by changes and this is the proof that all things change and we change with them, “omnia mutantur, nos et mutamur in illis.” This says that we are bound to change with the changes and we are ourselves bound to undergo changes and in turn bring changes to us and to the people and to the world around us.
Changes are important while importance of things brings about changes in them and so lead to more changes. How are we to accept these changes, depends simply on how we choose to. Because while we may adapt to these changes and undergo changes as well, we can also neglect these changes and fail to undergo these, thus bringing about changes in us on our own. These may well be the acceptable changes that we will want in us and expect the world to accept these changes while undergoing or not undergoing these. And so changes will prevail with the years to come.

An Undelivered Letter: To A Friend
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Dear friend,
How are you and how have you been around these variable times? If you are worrying about me, then you have to worry not the least as I can assure you that I am as fit and strong as a horse would be. And may this letter find you in good health and shape as I wish to see you such, no matter how further we may be when it comes to distance! And let me remind you that this distance is only physical, for the eternal path on which our friendship walks has no distance to cover at all. And how have I wished that even this physical distance may one day diminish so we could see each other and speak of our hearts that have suffered this long for being apart!
O friend of my youth, and of my childhood, have you not felt the same? Have you not wished for us to meet again? And have you not shed tears in my loving memory? And have you not longingly asked the will of nature to free your soul that you may come to me? And have you not sought for my happiness forevermore?
O my friend of happy days, and of days when sadness encircled us two, this bond we share is for eternity, and no force can measure its strength for every kind of force that has tested it has failed and submitted to its strength. And no boundaries can separate this bond, which is but invisible like the air and yet strong like the winds, and so it is unlike the boundaries that are evident but weak to keep the free will of nature and of friendship.
O companion of my soul, and of my heart, have you not felt the suffering which I am suffering? And have you not seen into the cruel eyes of the cruel times that have been keeping us victims of their play? And have you not looked upon the face of the sky to see the moon that reminds you of me? And have you not cried with the rains that came that these reminded you of my tears of sorrow? And have you not left the shallow brook that there we had played when we were together and the memory of which breaks you to your inner core?

O my dearest friend, the apple of my eye, why is that I feel your tears in my eyes? And why this heart feels the pain of your heart? And why my mind sees the picture of myself? And your longing longs inside me? And why your words are uttered from my mouth, “My dear friend, where are you? Can it be that you have forgotten our friendship, as we are further now and may never see each other again, that you do not come to me? Can it be that you now have a new friend whose friendship is more worthy of you than mine? Can it be that you have forgotten all about me?”

No, my dear friend, I have never forgotten you, nor failed to think of you. How can I forget you for you are my memory? And how can I find a new friend when my only friend is thinking about me far across the seven seas? And how can I live without my friend, who is my breath? My friend, I am coming to you and no boundary shall stop me!

A Woman’s Account Of Her Love
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Once I was in love with this guy. My heart throbbed at the very glimpse of him. His view drove me out of breath. I wondered about him day and night. I sang love songs with his picture in my mind and heart. Even in my soul it was ingrained.
This once I imagined him to be sitting by my side, talking about the pureness of love between us two and our future that he promised would be bright as the sun.
Even then, my heart, at times, feared of uniting with his heart because of the gap that had suddenly appeared between us. Darkness had swept my mind that our courtship would prevail no longer. Prejudices had also appeared. Falsities were no rarities then. Our love had suffered the whip of harsh times and our souls were left badly torn. What had happened? Why had a sudden rift left us lonely? Why could we not love each other the way we always used to?
How lovingly we used to look at each other, having forget the notion of time in the midst. What boundaries would have cornered our hopes? What chains would have shackled our free love? What customs would have prevented us from loving each other? What society would have stopped us from meeting? What world would have been against us if it were not the world itself that had taught us love?
I had never felt a feeling so fervent before. I had never loved anyone more. And I had certainly never thought of leading my life with someone else. My body would have submitted to the world’s will. But my soul which belonged to you would have never let anyone near it. My heart which was your own heart would have never let a stranger’s love inside it nor would have committed itself to his heart. And neither would have my love that resided deep within my very own core.
It was with this love that I could have ever survived in this harsh world. This love had given me hope in the harshest of times, when not even a single soul spoke to me and comforted me. This love had driven my angst-struck soul towards peace. This love had been my only true companion; perhaps, a companion for life. And certainly this love had been my courage to face all kinds of odds of the world.

Oh, how this love could have ever let myself be defeated by the cruel test of times. And how it could have deserted me in times when I needed it the most. And never ever could it let me fall victim to the vicious propensities of the approaching prejudices?
Yes, the prejudices did let me in doubt but it certainly did not or could not take that love away from me. We are born surrounded with prejudices as they encompass the whole of humanity. But we learn to not fall victim to them. It is with this love that we learn and strive. And it is with this love that we learn to love and spread love.

Peace: With And Without It
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What would you do? What would you do without peace? What would you do at all without peace?
What can you do? What can you do without peace? What can you do at all without peace?
What do you think peace is? What do you know of peace? What do you understand of peace? What do you say of peace? What do your hear of peace?
Peace as you may assert is no bird of hope. The bird itself has been caged and sold to the war. War and peace cannot live together. But war is keeping peace as its pet, securely locked inside a cage so strong that it may not break the bars and fly away.
Peace as you may presume is no outcome of understanding either. This understanding has been blinded by prejudices and disbelief, and then enslaved. It has become a slave to corrupted and greedy motives. Corruption has become a force so strong that we may not even think of defeating it. But it has defeated many million souls and corrupted the minds and bodies of its victims. Greed along with corruption have fed the souls that have an insatiable lust for power, money, and fame. Perhaps not fame, but money and power. Where there is greed there will always be corruption. And where there is corruption there will always be greed. The one cannot exist and grow without the other.
Peace may not be a friend of confusion, but it is no enemy either. When confusion subsides, peace follows. Where confusion stops, peace moves on. They neither walk hand in hand nor stay apart. One knows the other and knows very well. One shows up when the other cannot be seen. One dwells where other may not tread. One sticks when other has left. But they are neither together nor apart. They live in each other’s shadow. They are the two faces of a coin that may not see each other for it is a forbidden thing. They are forbidden to eat the forbidden fruit, as was forbidden Adam in the garden of Eden.

 

Peace is and remains a thing that is neither elusive nor well-known. We being ignorant have greatly misunderstood peace even when we have greatly misrepresented and mishandled it. We have underestimated its true power. We have forgotten that no matter war has kept it inside a very strong cage, it will break free. No matter how strong a barrier surrounds it, it will try to take a leap along with faith and succeed in it. No matter understanding has failed, having blinded by prejudices and disbelief, peace will be its walking stick and its guide. No matter how many souls are corrupted, even if there is a single soul in peace, it will prevail and ward off greed. No matter confusion stays within its shadow, it will never overshadow or overwhelm it.
And so peace will prevail in the years to come, teaching we humans its true value and what it could do.

A Free Bird Of Space
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I have always been a free bird. I have always loved the free sky, where I could spread my wings and scale the horizon. The seas greatly envied me when they saw me in flight. They would deliberately raise their waves in jealousy, but I was not to be stirred by all this. The winds were friendlier, though at times they would try to drive me off my course. The seas and the winds have been good friends for a very long time. But I was the winds’ new friend. They loved how I glided upon them in ecstasy, which in turn made them ecstatic. But to not let their friendship with the seas go to waste, they would divert me often. Even though they did that, they apologized and I humbled. I knew the reason they did that. And they were happier to know that I did not mind at all.
“I am a free bird of space, O winds! Be my guide. Drive me where you want to and I would not mind at all. Hear that I have no nest to return to, no younglings to feed, no tired listeners to sing to, no friends to meet. But I have you all, my omnipresent friends. And that’s all I need. Guide me, O mighty winds! Please, guide me with your whispers, or shoutings.”
The winds would say, “O free bird of space, our dearest friend! Your wings are on the flight of our hope. Your gliding is our dream come true. We can see how you fly upon our whispers! And we can really feel how you struggle upon our shoutings. But our jealous friends, the seas, neither see nor feel. They know not the ecstasy of your flight, nor the thrill of your wanderings, nor the happiness that you bring to all. We have obligations with the seas, that we try to deviate you of your course. But hear that we will never let you in the harm’s way. We will be you shield if needs be. We will be your guide and your followers. We will keep you safe. So please, come with us and see your landscape of your dreams.”
“The landscape of my dreams, which I have always dreamed to see, where I would dip and drink in the holiest of the waters. And feed of the sweetest of the fruits. And lie upon the cushion of the softest grass. It’s a hope that I never see fulfilled. It’s a dream that never turns real. Oh how I yearn for the landscape of my dreams. And how I long to scale upon it with you. And how I long to sing to our friendship, and sleep in the repose of your gentle rolls.”
“Your dreams are our dreams,” the winds said. “And we hope to fulfill them altogether. And listen to your lovely song of peace and see you sleep upon the midnight breeze. So we will see the landscape together, that’s a promise for us to keep. Let’s go, O free bird of space. Let’s us all find the landscape of your dreams.”

 

*image courtesy¬†: “Free Bird” from AOC-08 (Andr√©s) of deviantart.com

When An Elegant Woman Looks Upon A Mirror At Herself
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There have been times when I have looked upon a mirror. There I see my reflection, another me – daintily built, silent, with a bit of angst on my face, kempt the way this world needed from me, disciplined to follow the customs very closely, uncomplaining and humble to duties that were given, unquestioning and undoubting at the very core of my heart, raised as an elegant woman, and accustomed to listening and heeding. That’s what good breeding means. And a woman ought to be raised how she is supposed to be raised, so the name of her family would not go through defamation.
That’s how I was raised: to not let anything defamatory close to my family’s name, to not let people judge or condemn either me or my family for my actions, to not let the world be a miserable place as it is by doing something that holds contempt in the people’s eyes, all in all to not let anything, anything at all, no matter how tiny or huge, to become a reason to bring shame to my family’s name. And that’s how I was raised.
I was never a girl of my own will. But I was definitely a girl, or more clearly, a woman of my family’s will. It dictated what I should wear, read, write, learn, partake in, think, say, discuss, explore, imagine – no, imaginations had no place in a middle-class practical family – play and play with, and even eat or drink or taste. Ah! And my emotions were encompassed within it as well, so express.
I was not allowed to make decisions for myself. My family was supposed to do it on my behalf, and it was for my own good. They would never let their daughter suffer even a little, and evidently they would not let the family’s name suffer either. It was made through much pain that my family had to endure, so there was not even a little room for mistakes that would have defamed it. And that’s how I was raised.
I was a bird that was well fed and had a very beautiful cage made of gold, all to her own self. I was taken care of and fostered when I was in any kind of pain. No matter what, I was never let out of sight for some creature might try to harm me. There were people who were more than willing to come between me and the harm’s way, so no harm could have ever touched me. I was a bird in a cage of her own, well looked after and cared for.
I was the only daughter of my family, so the whole family reputation depended on me. I was raised an elegant woman, happily willing to perform every kind of duty. I was the bearer of my family’s name, the greatness of it, that was much talked after and envied about. Great many noble families sought my worthy hand for their sons until I was married in the noblest among them all. I am taking a far more complex role now, but that’s okay for it is expected of me. And that’s how I’m raised.

Let Your Will Be Your Way
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Many times you feel frustrated, you feel agitated to bring about yourself to the world. All those things which bug you and irritate you keep on piling up more and more; and it becomes so that you can not take it all whatsoever, while those things begin to overwhelm you, that you feel the need to release your pent-up energy. You feel like screaming on top your voices to tell the world that you have had enough, that you can’t take it anymore, and that you are not going to compromise any longer. But if it all becomes futile, you feel like running away from this life and hiding yourself where no one could ever find you again. You are trying to escape not from this life or its ‘not so mundane’ matters but from yourself. You are escaping from you. You are running away from yourself. You are letting these things, whether petty or not, take a considerable portion of your life. You are letting them own you and drive you at their will. You are submitting to your own miseries. You are a slave to your own supposed futilities. You are a lapdog, or so you think, to your own escaping nature.

 

Certainly you have forgotten that your will is stronger than anything in the world. If you have lost faith on your will then what it may do. Because you are your own will. You know exactly when to give up and when to strive. Or maybe, you know not. You have fallen victim to your own little insecurities. A little frustration tempts you. A little failure defeats you. And you stop trying at all. You haven’t tried enough because striving seems like an affair huge enough to you that you can engage to it no more. You are troubling yourself on your own. You think troubles are troubling; but let me tell you what’s more troubling – your failure to understand things, or your viewpoint that you know everything, and that’s the reason these troubles are annoying you.

 

Let your will be your way. Let it be your shield; let it me be your sword. Let it be your way. Let it drive the soul in you, that never dies and will never die, so you may face anything. Let it be your guide, when you have been blinded by your disbelief, as it will lead you to your salvation. Let it be your faith. Let it be your hope. And above all else, let it be you that you will never succumb to your own miseries, to your own little insecurities, and to your own frustrations. Let your will show you, guide you, move you, and drive you. Let it be a force so potent that you may outlast the oceans of your troubles, that you may gain wisdom to gauge every little thing as it is and as it isn’t, and that you may become a better you than you were yesterday, and you are right now.

It’s Like A Paradise When You Take Me In Your Bosom
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Oh, it is like a paradise when you take me in your bosom as a mother lovingly takes her child. It gives liveliness to me and a whole new meaning to my life, and to those who either lie dormant on your lap or run freely in the wild. You have so many shades – blue, yellow, green, and red. It is as if every shade is inside you and you are inside every shade. Oftentimes, you are surrounded by cotton candy clouds. They speak to you in voices, sometimes soft and sometimes loud. Birds sing merrily upon branches night and day of your sacrifices and glory. But sometimes there are some anecdotes, while other times short stories. Even the winds compose ballads in you glorious name; as if these were done to add to your growing fame. The seas, feeling left behind, run amok, while you embrace them in your arms. With this you soothe their spirits that have been tormented, as you are the deity of calm. Your naive daughters, the rivers, flourish amongst your backdrop. While you like a careful onlooker – and a caring mother – see to them from base to top. Around the days when your children feel lonely, you come and sing lullabies to them lovingly. Whenever there have been harsh times, they all have looked upon you with eager eyes. There you are, they can either see, or else feel, amongst everything that lies.

 

As for me, you are everything; and I cannot sing to you or to your glory. But I can speak. Please listen: Oh, dear mother earth, you are a world of me and a world for me. Your plentiful bounties are but food, water, and shelter to me. How lovingly you have borne me, nurtured me, sheltered me and protected me. How generously you have given me your all, while I being your ignorant child, have always taken everything for granted. Oh how selfish of me that I failed to see your love that was never requited. And how you never let it show on your face but keep smiling that I may not feel guilty. I have been a fool to chase after fruitless things. I have been miserable for things that I could not buy, even when I have been greedy to amass vain riches. But did I forget, “The best things in life are free.” Your stole, this sky, which covers us all and shelters us – who can buy it? Your silent whispers, these winds, which are the very reason for our sustenance – who can amass them? Your tears, these rivers, which quench our thirsts and constantly fill in us – who can encompass them? Your carings and blessings, these mountains, plains, and forests, which protect us and feed us – who can appraise them? Who will determine what diamonds may buy your love? Who will say of what they may give you – the all giver, or else pay your unpayable debts? I say no one. And I thank you and bow down to you, my dear mother earth.

Rising And Shining India : Its Growth And Development
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Located in the South Central Asia, India is a diverse country having multitude of religion, custom, tradition and beliefs. India has variable climate which has resulted in variation of clothes, food, and housing structure from region to region. India is a land of fertility, resources, water bodies, and so on.

India gained independence on 15 August, 1947, and from this period on there has been considerable amount of changes taking place. After the Independence, new industries and new laws were constantly formed. There was a huge migration of people to Pakistan and Bangladesh. This had created much instability in the easy functioning of the country. Later on, after new decades, India gained stability with little interruption.

In the present century, a lot of advancement has taken place in various fields, be it science and technology, arts, literature, commerce, business, tourism, sports. With modern way of constructive mind, Indian youth is progressing towards prosperity, achievement, and perseverance. People are now educated and aware of their duties and responsibilities towards their nation. Their equal participation in the social activities and professional life has made the country to develop at a steady rate. With the incorporation of new techniques and methods in the previous practice, flaw has been removed.

When we see the present generation, we can see their fruitful work which will develop the country. For example, in genetic engineering, tissue culture has been adopted for crop production. This technique in a greater extent will ensure food security in India and will prevent shortage of food. Another example – tourism in India is encouraged nowadays. This will ensure recreation of tourists, protection of biodiversity and culture, and income of local people of that region.

India has also promoted sports. Sports, in general, increases sportsmanship, health, and also creates friendliness among the developed and the developing countries. In the business and marketing sector, FDI (Foreign Direct Investment) is promoted, which will help India in its economic development.

Recently, Prime Minister Narendra Modi has set an objective to make India a clean and developed nation by the year 2022. He has put forward a goal of making 100 smart cities in India. His objectives have ignited the mind of the citizens. His actions have made the citizens to aspire for a strong and developed nation.

Clean India campaigns have laid emphasis on the cleanliness of the surroundings, which in the long run will ensure the cleanliness of the entire nation. Metaphorically, it is also the cleaning of the mind, corruption, and malpractices.

In the field of literature, many Indian authors like Amish Tripathi, Arvinda Adiga, and other known authors have made the country proud. Even in the social activities, India has set a mark. Kailash Satyarthi has been awarded Nobel Peace Prize, which is a great achievement for the country.

A lot more achievements are needed to be accomplished, but these cannot be accomplished by a single individual or a group. Each and every one of us has to take active part in making the country a developed and prosperous nation, only then will India continue to rise and shine.