F.R.I.E.N.D-What I’ve Learnt From You

The 1st & oldest friend of mine is my Mom. When initially it was due to a lack of options, later it was simply the comfortable bonding that we shared.  And like all BFFs, we had our share of fights & arguments that we survived. Hers is the only advice I take seriously & she is the only one with whom I can share all spicy gossip guilt-free. Each day I try to live up to her ideals & like a true friend does-she’s made me a better person. She is & will remain my best friend, philosopher & guide-as they say!

Going down the list, I however am surprised to see the heterogeneous mixture of people I proudly call my friends! You would find every (excuse my saying so) ‘variety’ in there. Some my friends from school & later college times, some through internet & even a few through dating sites! And as I explore the wonderful world with them each day I learn something new, experience a new feeling & simply put-feel happy that they care enough to share their lives with me.

Love they say is unconditional, yet there are many unsaid lines drawn & invisible boundaries built that try to cage the other person’s soul. Friendship is liberating. It frees you, makes you what you are, what you want to be. And that is why I feel true love is best expressed in friendship.

Over the years I’ve had the pleasure of making friends all over India. The richness in culture & the distinct traits each one has never failed to amaze me. I’ve put Christmas decorations in my friend’s house on Christmas Eve, got gifts from Santa Claus (who I knew was the Uncle from the neighboring apartment) and been to church with her. I’ve also had the ecstasy of tasting sheer-korma with another friend & being laden with sweets till I thought I’d burst. And the simplicity of my Jain friend has always taught me that how true the inner you is, is what matters, not the outer mask. The list is endless-a clichéd expression yet true.

Coming to the lighter part, my friends are my source of happiness. In every materialistic or spiritual manner possible, they are the ones I look for when the selfish desire to unburden my heart arises. Or simply when I need to share a laugh. And without the needless word of commitment, I do the same for them. Learning from each other’s mistakes, correcting, admonishing & just being there, that’s what defines friendship.

I surmise my feeling for my cherished friends in a few words…

No give & take ritual of hearts was required

You gave me your hand & that has sufficed

With that you offered all that I had desired

Love, faith & trust all that cannot be priced.

Over the years we may grow apart

Distance & time, destiny’s sly hand

But I’ve caged your memory deep in my heart

I can see your smile from where I stand.

No words need fill the silence between u & I

No bonds no promises will ever bind us together

Fake worldly conventions we will always defy

And yet we remain friends forever!

Happy Friendship Day !

P.S: Normally I don’t go about praising my friends 😛

It’s ‘coz the Blogadda’s contest on Friends Forever theme sponsored by Pingroo inspired me to pen this down 🙂

It’s Raining..outside my window!

“Meow…” my phone rang. An SMS from one of my BFFs appeared.

“It’s raining billiz & kuttaz” it read. I smiled & looked outside the window. It was indeed raining cats & dogs. A sheet of white blanket had suddenly appeared, covering every building in the vicinity. Or was it just my window?

This year had been the hottest yet & last month had given everyone a rather hot proof about the fact that global warming isn’t just a term you throw around to show your knowledge of current affairs. It’s a real & it’s happening. Yet today the Sun had bowed & decided to hand over the stage to the Rain Gods.

I wanted a hot & steaming mug of coffee in one hand and a racy paperback thriller in the other, curl up in my bed & celebrate the arrival of monsoon.

Such luxury was however forbidden for the moment & I returned back to work on my PC. Outside I could hear the loud pattering of raindrops & the cacophony of flowing water with rumbling angry clouds that had a strange rhythm in them.

Slowly as the minutes passed I was aware that my banging on the keyboard was making more noise than the rain outside. The Rain Gods who had been denied their rights seemed to have abated their anger & now graced the earth with a meek drizzle. Outside the buzz of the traffic on the road had regained its normal level, as if declaring that rain or no rain I’m the sole noise-maker around here!

My phone beeped again. This time I grinned as I read the message. I shut down the PC & went outside. Look what I found-

The Light Rainbow

The sky turned clearer & had let the hesitant sun cast a golden tint on the sky. As I stood there mesmerized by the sight, the rainbow appeared bolder as if to wish me a happy monsoon!

Happy Monsoon!

Media: The 4th Wheel Of Indian Democracy?

I would rather have a completely free press with all the
dangers involved in the wrong use of that freedom than a suppressed or regulated press
.”
So said our 1st Prime Minister Pt. Jawaharlal Nehru. Like all the ideals & dreams of our erstwhile great leaders, this too has met a cruel fate.
The Indian media has no doubt carved a niche for itself & reserves a strong hold on the public. The concept of freedom as demarcated by the Indian Constitution in Art.19(1)(a) that gives us Freedom of Speech & Expression, has been thoroughly utilized by the media. I refrain from saying mis-utilized, as the debate about the alleged misuse of freedom by media is still an open discussion.
Let’s give the Indian Media a fair trial:
The modern tech-savvy media is accused of being meddlesome. It seems to turn up in all the wrong places, at the wrong times & speak volumes on all topics having first labeled them as “Breaking News”. No matter what you do-turn on the TV, tune in to radio or surf the internet, you can’t escape the news onslaught.
This information overload puts a question mark on the credibility and the professionalism of the media. The pressure of increasing TRPs of their news channels seems to be the fuel that propels the journalists to indulge in cut-throat competition to grab first hand news. In this race the relevance of the news they are covering and the manner in which they are telecast, is lost.
24X7 news channels running updates on the “Breaking News” repeatedly flaunt their “exclusive” videos footage or interview every random person who is willing, to give their valued opinion on the topic. Is this true journalism? When airing news about a victim, do they really have to show footage of the victim’s parents or relatives moaning in grief? It seems that media has forgotten about the humanistic approach that needs to be taken when telecasting news.
The manner in which the media had meddled in the 26/11 attacks, telecasting strategic positioning of the commandos is just one glaring example of their folly.
Sting Operations:
The latest trick to increase TRP! Sting operations are carried out left, right & center throwing concerns about protection of privacy to the air. A sting operation is rightly carried out by a law-enforcement officer & a member of public who has willingly assented to help trap the criminal. The media however has pinned on the police badge & is now the new crusader of law.
This however compromises the reputation of many, and has brought many careers crashing to ground. Like the recent case of a Bollywood B-grade star. Cases like Kharak Singh v. State of Uttar Pradesh and Others & Gobind v. State of Madhya Pradesh and Another, have finally lead to the inclusion of the Right to privacy as an integral part of the Right to personal liberty under the humanistic expansion of the Art21 of the Constitution. Let’s see if this turns out to be just another Right that the press ignores.

Free Press Vs. Fair Trial:
The concept of ‘Janta Adalat’ has lead to a serious conflict between free press & fair trial by the judiciary.
Indian media leaves no stone unturned in its quest for gripping news. And what better news to grab viewership than an on going trial?
The Contempt of Courts Act, 1971 and Articles 129 and 215 of the Constitution of India are meant to protect the right of a citizen to have a fair trial i.e. a trial uninfluenced by extraneous pressures. But the realm of aggressive journalism has severely compromised this right.
Instances of media uncovering ‘evidences’ & prejudicing the public opinion are not new. This leads to serious miscarriage of justice. In their relentless investigations & publicizing of the same, they spare neither the seasoned criminal nor the innocent victim. Both their images are splashed in their channels. Even the witnesses & the kit & kin of the victims are not spared. Witness protection is seriously endangered and so is the likability of the victim ever returning to normal life.
Now for the good acts:
The media may bias justice, it may broadcast senseless news for hours on end, but one thing that cannot be denied is that media forms the 4th wheel of the Indian democracy. With a secular state like ours with varied beliefs & traditions, a strong & independent media can mobilize us for the right cause.
The true spirit of journalism is showcased in instances such as the Bofors case and the HDW (Howaldswerske) marine case. Through media only the case of Narasimha Rao bribing the Jharkhand Mukti Morcha MPs, was revealed. Sting operations carried in the right spirit had resulted in the success of Operation Duryodhana in which MPs were caught taking bribe to raise questions in the Parliament. Similarly the Tehelka case had led the CBI to file a chargesheet against those who took the bribe.

As observed by the Delhi High Court in the Bofors case, the media plays a vital role in making the public aware of what is happening in their country. It can be rightly said that media is instrumental in making people aware of their rights & freedoms.

Moreover by telecasting such news media is in a way reducing the crime rate as more & more people disapprove of criminal behavior. As such it also facilitates public discussions on important issues.

Every Right or Freedom has its boundaries & cannot be adjudged as absolute in any manner. While exercising one’s right it should be kept in mind that one shouldn’t encroach on another’s freedom. The media needs to be self-regulatory & humanitarian in its approach to the way it treats news. Only then the concept of Free Press can be realized.

As of now the conclusion can’t be drawn. I believe in giving the media a second chance in proving its mettle in the true spirit of journalism. What remains to be seen is whether media continues to indulge in responsible & professional journalism or the craving for TRPs & viewership rides over the right to freedom of press.

This post is an entry for BlogAdda’s Contest sponsored by Pingroo

Winner Of BlogAdda’s Contest

Contest Topic-"Is Indian Media Misusing Its Freedom?"

Contest Topic