Animal Farm

Animal Farm

The world as we all see is just a distorted image reflected through the mirage of our perception. So the quest to view the events occurring around you through another perspective is what makes one read more and more. In my attempt to read musings of George Orwell, I zeroed upon Animal Farm. It was not someone’s suggestion but merely the less number of pages that prompted my to pick it up. The expectations, thus, were not much. However, as I progressed through the book, the story got hold of my attention. The beauty of this book is that though it is said to be a political satire it never picks up any actual political figures to convey its message. Even if you are narrating it to a five-year-old kid, it would still be as gripping as it is to a political science student.

The book begins when the animals in the Manor Farm are grappling with the negligence of their owner and the talks of rebellion are circulating among the animals. After days of deliberate effort by the dedicated animals, the rebellion does take place and Mr. Jones Manor is thrown away from the farm. The animals, as they wished,  thus become the sole owner of the farm.  Like any nation that gets freedom after grappling with the dominant opposing forces, the animals, too start to set up some rules (constitution in our language) which each of them would abide by. The rules that let them govern without any malice and any inequality towards each other.  They call it the 7 principals of animalism- which makes sure their rights are well taken care of.

It has been rightly said, power corrupts. As the time progresses, animals also change their way of living. The pigs who are the intelligent creatures take charge of the governing of the Animal Farm and slowly start engaging into malpractices.  Just the way each regime changes its colors once they come to power. The leaders who once fought for oppression start oppressing once in the regime. Amidst all this, the heroes have turned villains through propaganda. Napoleon, the pig, who fought bravely when Mr. Manor made a failed attempt recapture the farm is treated as a traitor. Little does people realize that the minute behavioral change taking place each day sums up to a drastic change in attitude in the long term. Animals forget the principals of animalism and the laws are tweaked to suit the pigs in power.  Slowly, chaos takes over the farm but no one has the courage to raise a voice against the rulers because by now they have been habituated to live under fear and tyranny. The story of the animal farm by the end comes back to square one.

George Orwell has wonderfully carved out each character of the novel and they reflect the different types of people existing in the society – from the ones who doesn’t bother about political change to the ones who believe their work is supreme no matter what, from the ones who feels something wrong in happening in society but never raise a voice to the one who starts to gel with the people in power. At many instances, you would simply be dazzled by the wonderful character and story build up by the author. The book though written in 1945, holds relevant in today’s time. You can relate each and every scenario described in the book with the contemporary politics and the political parties and it would hold true.

If you are interested in politics of the nation, are curious to know how narratives are built by political parties, how smallest of the decision matters in the long term then I would highly recommend this book to you.

There are a number of thought provoking as well as amusing quotes throughout the book, however the following indeed makes you think twice about the meaning it conveys.

“Several of them would have protested if they could have found the right arguments.”

Rating – 5/5

P3 – The Peripherals

Thesaurus defines ‘peripherals’ as ‘able to be attached to and used with a computer, though not an integral part of it’.

Peripherals are the accessories that may not be of great use if used separately. But once used with the main commodity, they are of great significance. Keyboard, mouse, a pen drive, you cannot use all these accessories alone for any productive purpose but when used together, they smoothen the functioning of a computer.

Fellow Toastmasters and Dear Guests,

A very Good Morning to all to you. Let us begin with a story.

I was in 3rd year of graduation. Yes, all stories begin when you are in graduation. So, during graduation I fell in love. I actually am a graduate in relationships.

Look at our faces right now. We all are so keen about love.

I will not begin the story with love because I feel stories that end at love are more interesting than the ones which begin at love. So we will talk about love at some other point.

So the story begins when I was in 3rd year of graduation. And I got involved in so many extra-curricular activities and was just not able to concentrate on studies. I was into so many things and I started missing my classes.  As a result my grades fell. The after effect of which was I wasn’t able to participate in these activities too whole heartedly. I visited a professor of mine for his advice and he said something to me.

Do you want to know what my professor said?

We will get back to what she said for sure. But before that let me narrate another incident to you.

I met P the last time he was here. I asked him the same question which I asked to my professor. The context might be a little different but the gist was same. I asked P that how can I juggle between the project related activities and the Toastmasters related activities.

And since I was asking the same question, P gave the same answer as my professor gave 2 years ago.

Looks like P has met her.

P said, that whatever we are doing at toastmasters should not hamper our project work. Rather people should say that R or for that matter each one of you has become more efficient since the day you have started attending Toastmasters meetings.

My professor had said that whatever you are doing is the extra effort you are making to improve the quality of your life. This should complement your main task but it cannot replace the same.

Ladies and gentlemen, in our life there are many activities that take the major part of our day. It may be studies, if you are a student or it may be your job if you are a working professional. This is the main equipment that drives your life ahead. And then there are some activities which we do to enhance the quality of our life. I call these activities – The peripherals. These activities themselves might not be of great significance if used alone – Just like the peripherals of computer. But we need to find a way to attach them with our life and to improve the experience of our life.

But before finding a peripheral for any device we need to find which peripheral is best suited for your device. Which peripheral is supported for your life?  There is no point buying a 3.5 mm jack headphone for an iPhone 7 now. So, today, when you leave this room, I want you to find out the peripherals in your life. The peripherals that will improve the quality of your life. Peripherals that will give you joy.  And once you have found them, use those peripherals to increase your productivity and take yourself to a new zenith.

We all use a cellphone. Does after buying a headphone for your brand new headphone you throw away your phone? No, not at all. Rather both, the device and the peripheral are used together to enhance the user experience. Then why can’t we apply the same in our lives. Why can’t we enjoy the fruits of two separate activities to experience life to the fullest? Why do we think that we can do something only if we sacrifice the other? Why don’t we coordinate the equipment and the peripherals in our life?

 

P2 – Say Yes!

Good Morning Everyone!

How many of you are aware of the three magical words?

***audience response***

Can you please repeat it for me?

***audience response***

Thank you so much.

I am unsure about the magic these words possess. But I am sure, what follows once you have uttered these words is indeed magical. The reply to this question can change your life. You heard it right a simple Yes, coming from someone else indeed can change yourself, if only for a few days. But it’s not the first yes that determines longevity of a relationship. It is how many times you say yes after getting committed that determines the strength of your bonding.

But today, I am not here to talk about your relationship with the outside world.  Today, I will talk about our relationship with our own self. And imagine how smooth our relationship with us will become once we start doing the same to us. Once we start saying yes to us.

Ladies and gentlemen, fellow toastmasters and dear guests. A very good morning to all of you.

There are times when we are trying something new and are unsure of its outcome. Or the case might be that you might already be engaged into something but are not finding enough motivation to continue with the task. It does happen with most of us at one instance or the other. I was in a similar situation when I was in college. I was involved in many things, but after few days I was not able to take part in it. I was missing my classes and was not taking part in any activities I used to do. I approached a teacher and he suggested something to me. Something which I was difficult to understand at that time.

Do you want to know what he said?

He said that it is all there in our brain. All the hurdles, the flexibility, the turmoil, the confusion, it’s all here. He asked me to start giving and affirmative response to my mind whenever it imposed a dilemma. My mind might be wanting me to rest for it felt exhausted after travelling for few hours; which, actually was excuse not for attending the class.  I started saying yes in all such circumstances where we have a tendency to make excuses.

But before saying yes, it is also important to understand why we say no. Let me narrate another incident to you.

We were released from first corporate training and were sitting in the library. We met ‘A’ Sir there and he said something that day which I will be the guiding light for me in my professional career. He said, that now that we have transitioned into the corporate-world, we have to learn to balance everything along with this. This is the battleground and it will be an integral part of our life henceforth. Whatever it is that we do has to be done along with this and not apart from this. He was talking about the work-life balance.

Friends, we say no when we are saddled with two diverse tasks. When we feel that there is no connection between the two tasks and one cannot be done after the other. We might feel that I cannot attend Toastmasters session or vice-versa right after a meeting as both are diverse tasks. There can be in numerous such situations.

Ladies and gentlemen, we all would have heard the phrase that opportunity knocks our doors. When you say ‘yes’ to something you open the door for opportunity to embrace you. And please understand, saying ‘yes’ to one thing doesn’t imply that you will say no to the other.

Thank You.

P1 – Love For Life

Good Morning Everyone!

How do I look today?

***audience response***

I just wanted to know whether I am hot enough to melt the ice. From my home state also known as ABC – the land of dreams to the land of odds PQR, life has been quite eventful. And in coming few minutes I am going to live the moments all over again.

I consider myself the manifestation of the Darwin’s theory of evolution. And no, I am not talking about physical characteristics of mine. From a shy boy to the most talkative guy in my batch. Looking through the prism of time I see many shades in my persona. But among all the shades the color of love is the brightest of all. Life, for me, has been about finding love. Love that leaves you sleepless.

I don’t remember when but I fell in love early in my life. And my first love was Cricket. Back then, to be a cricketer was my only aspiration. Playing in my neighborhood till sunset was my routine. To realize my love I joined a cricket academy in class 8th. I tell you, the application form was no less than a love letter for me. But like most first love, this one again was not rosy as it appears. Soon I realized that pursuing cricket as a career is not plausible. This led to the first break-up of my life.

I got admission in a new school in class 9th. The famous guy in old school had become just another face in the crowd. I was clueless what and how to study. All stories are incomplete without the mention of expectations. I too had one such. As per popular notion – board exams are supposed to be unpredictable. So at the time of 10th board results I thought, maybe because of some magic I would end up scoring at least 90% and will be one of the toppers. The results were announced and I ended up scoring 80%. My parents were happy but I cried. I realized that in life you get only what you deserve and not what you expect. I realized that efforts are better than expectations.

It was the board exam season again in class 12th. Again I was clueless about what and how to study. During physics viva for half yearly exam I was unable to answer simplest of the questions. My theory marks were 52 out of 300. Thereafter I studied hard and ended up scoring again 80%. This time I was very much satisfied with my efforts.

Amidst all this, I fell in love twice. My second love was my love for the English language. It was my English teacher in class 10th who introduced me to beauty of the language. The way he used to teach, his voice modulations, his vocabulary were fascinating. I used to read comic books, but now I was reading English literature book twice and thrice. If winter comes can spring be far behind. I still remember quotes from The Ode to The West Wind, Julius Caesar, The Christmas Carol – chapters of my high school book. I am happy that my love for the language has endured with the passage of time.

After 12th I went to another city for graduation. The city where the revolution had started. Well, a revolution had started in my life too. I had fallen in love again. This time with studies. Studying through the night used to be a common ritual in our hostel. I studied hard and ended up being the highest scorer in the university in the second year. I also participated in so many events in college. I was Mr Fresher’s, participated in debates, wrote poetry, acted in dramatics, hosted events and organised fests. Participating in these events helped me understand that life is not about winning or loses. We are all winner when we perform to the best of our abilities.

There are some love stories that are written in stars. My love for public speaking is perhaps one such. I didn’t use to speak much till graduation but something magical happened since the day I received my first interview call. I often tell my friends that the best thing about this organization is that I can interact with at least one new person every day.

Few stories are meant to be left incomplete. So I would prefer leaving the stage here, not because I am short of words but because I’m still young and I’m going to fall in love over and over again.

Thank You. Have a nice day.

निगाहों के दरमियान

आखिर था ही क्या हमारे दरमियान,
चंद बातें दो मुलाकातें,
रिझिम सी गिरती कुछ गम की बरसातें,
कुछ मज़बूरी मेरी चाहत की,
कुछ बेपरवाही तेरी आदत थी,
यूँ बढ़ती गयी दूरियां,
अब बचा ही क्या हमारे दरमियान |

Journey

Your journey is not about what you have been, it’s about who you are and what you have, it’s about utilizing your assets to mold your future. Life is nothing but a process of evolution. Our habits, thoughts, expression, beliefs keep evolving as we progress through life. This is something that others call an experience. Experience is the manifestation of growth of intangible aspect of life.