Food for Thought
"The truth doesn't need to justify anything, it's the lie that
keeps on continually trying to cleanse itself."
~ Amritbir Kaur
By Parambir Kaur, Souradeep Roy, Amritbir Kaur
Editor’s Note: We are all tied down due to some of our habits. We might be the slave of a few of them while we tend to avoid getting drawn into this quicksand.
THE EVER-REFLECTIVE HABITS
By Parambir Kaur
“Oh! I really cannot stop taking tea even if my doctor has strictly advised me against doing so,” exclaimed a friend at a get-together. Now one would say that the speaker has become a slave of his\her habit. Basically someone’s personality is nothing but only a sum total of a handful of habits, some of which one might have inherited and the rest may have been developed intentionally or according to need. And on account of these very habits each human being is different from the other. One can say that these habits determine the quality of one’s life to a great extent. They also ensure the kind of image a person will have in society. The way one talks, one’s choice of words ; the manner in which one conducts oneself on different occasions; the kind of food one eats and the way one eats it; the colours and style of dress are all, an expression of one’s habits and reflect one’s personality. Even our thought process is influenced by our habits. A deliberate effort has to be made on regular basis, to train one’s mind to concentrate only on the positive beliefs.
Then there are good and bad habits. As a human being is the topmost among the living beings on this earth, it is quite expected that instead of becoming a slave to one’s habits, one should rather govern them. Even otherwise acquiring too many habits tends to make life dull, mechanical and monotonous. Only such a practice deserves to be turned into a habit, the results of which are bound to be positive. When one finds that some habit is doing more harm than good to one’s disposition, there is no reason why one cannot get rid of it gradually, with consistent and conscious effort. And such a being ends up becoming a motivation source for one’s fellow beings, therefore improving the standard of society unknowingly. Taking out some time on daily basis to praise and confer with God is one of the most rewarding habits.
There also comes a time when some practices, instead of remaining merely habits, turn into principles and come to be known as the hallmark of someone’s temperament. Being flexible and able to change one’s behaviour, according to the need of the hour, is a sign of wisdom and maturity. This makes life interesting, boosts morale and eventually paves way for success. The American social writer and philosopher, Eric Hoffer has averred, “Wise living consists perhaps less in acquiring good habits than in acquiring as few habits as possible.”
THE OTHER SIDE
By Souradeep Roy
Another school of thought would contend that habits cannot be placed in the category of good or bad. Waking up every day is a habit we all possess. These can be called involuntary habits, that is, habits we all adhere to every day such as the basic act of waking up or sleeping. These habits are essential in the way they regulate the proper functioning of the metabolism of the body. However, in a larger sense, almost everything that we do every day in our lives is involuntary as we are all fashioned to live in a certain way. Modern society in Albert Camus’ opinion is “Rising, tram, four hours in the office or factory, meal, tram, four hours of work, meal, sleep, and Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday, Friday and Saturday, according to the same rhythm – this path is easily followed most of the time.” Thus this routine is but another substitute for habit – the habit of living. This kind of a habit of living in the same dull repetitive existence is neither good nor bad. It is a condition of living, and worse, it cannot be altered. It is a common phenomenon to experience the need of a ‘break’, which sometimes comes in the form of a holiday or sometimes just in the form of a good get-together. What we try to achieve through this is an escape from the habit of living the same kind of life. But such attempts offer only a temporary solution to the larger question of escaping the clutches of a routine. For most, the repetition of everyday events is the bane of living. The first step towards finding a solution to such a situation is the realization that we are after all in a habit of living in a ‘chain of daily gestures’ (Camus). The only solution is in the realization itself because we cannot but feel that no matter how much we would like to, we cannot completely alter the monotony of our lives. The only respite, in such a situation, is in realizing that living life itself is a habit. (This opinion of our everyday life becoming a habit is drawn from Camus’ view of existentialism, a view that finds its complete expression in The Myth of Sisyphus.)
By Amritbir Kaur
Harry S. Truman, the former American President, once remarked: “In reading the lives of great men, I found that the first victory they won was over themselves…self-discipline with all of them came first.”
With a view to inculcate a sense of self-discipline the authority must be in some or the other way invested in the students. This will help to serve many purposes – it makes the child more responsible towards his duties, makes the process of administration a bit more democratic and also inculcates a sense of pride among the students in their being able to contribute towards the management of the institution. Self discipline is something we all need because it is a vital characteristic of successful people. Why? Because nothing is as easy as it seems. There are always unforeseen challenges and problems on the path to success and achievement. To beat these you must persevere and be strong. Likewise, eating disorders or other problems associated with excess (such as smoking or alcoholism) require will power.
Excessive habits foster low self esteem and lack of self confidence. If you suffer from an obsession and cannot control it, you may blame or punish yourself. Likewise the reverse is also true. Low self esteem may cause some of these problems (eating too much, too little, binging or other damaging disorders), this is a vicious circle.
Self discipline helps you control your actions and make sure you stay on track. It is helpful if you suffer disorders like those mentioned above and need to break out and cure yourself. Please make use of help from friends or counsellors as this will support you in your efforts. Going it alone is very difficult!
By Souradeep Roy
Tell me, tell me, what is this ordinary?
Where can I find it?
Is it there in my fixed fingers
holding a toothbrush
which sweeps my teeth everyday?
Is it there in my gait
when I walk directionless
towards my college?
Is it there in my pen
which fills white sheets
with utter gibberish?
Tell me, tell me, where is this ordinary?
Is it there in the makeshift bus-stop
where I stretch my hand daily?
Is it there in the concern
of a million
over how I became so tall?
Is it there in the hot vapour
of the morning tea
which mixes into the air suddenly?
Tell me; tell me more about the ordinary.
Teach me to be concerned
about how I look,
how I dress,
how I speak,
how well I look,
how well I dress,
how well I speak.
create a map of my footsteps
I should tread
from home to school,
from school to college,
from college to office,
from office to the market
and finally back home.
Just keep this one request:
don’t stare at me,surprised
after you hear the doorbell.
HARPREET SINGH MAKKAR
He was just any other author on facebook when I came across him. He had just penned his first novel. The pre-orders began a few days later. And then the book was out for sale. Though I was settled in New Delhi now, he being from my hometown, I was eager to have a look at his book. Before I could place an order for the book, it was decided amongst us that since I was visiting my hometown for a few days, we would meet and he would bring me a copy of his novel. This is how began my journey with ‘The Justified Sin’ and Harpreet Makkar, the author of this novel.
The contact was established on a literary note but as I began to discover him I knew the kind of person and business man he was. He shared his aspirations about his literary career and the kind of fields he wanted to venture into. We talked at length about the kind of publishers we have around, how they rob the author of the charm they have about their writings. The modern day publishers are only out to satisfy themselves by going all out to fulfill their vested interests without caring a fig for the respect of the accuracy of the printed word, let alone being true to their commitments to the authors.
The interactions with him have been few and far between but I have always remembered him as a friend and someone who is there to give you the moral support when needed the most. A while ago he announced his own publishing company, ‘Petals Publishers and Distributors’. Now this was something I almost expected from him and had an inclination that he would do it in a brilliant way. The company has already started churning out some true ‘unputdownable’ books.
I read his novel ‘The Justified Sin’ again recently. And I found the book even more interesting this second time.
To that unknown princess,
Lost in the folds of past…
She was back, yes she was,
With a smile, but a chaos,
What to do, to be lost,
Stay there or to be in past…
- Harpreet Makkar
About the Book :
What do you call it when three beautiful women come in your life, but you are still single? What if they all, at some point, tried to entice you, but you feel like committing suicide because of loneliness? What do you call it when you made no mistake, but still, you feel guilty as sin?
Jay had a common life until Saloni, Prachi and Vineeta came in his life and changed everything.
At times, he avoided the love that knocked at his door, and when he actually needed it, the same love kicked him.
He got betrayed.
He got rejected.
From being shot in the back by Prachis father to getting intimate with Vineeta under the influence of alcohol, his life was as spicy as those masala Bollywood movies!
He was getting used to his life, until one night, he decides to jump off a building.
The book not only has an interesting storyline but also the psychological unraveling of the protagonist. The book has enough potential and gives you enough food for thought.
In case someone is still not convinced, I can write another page! But I don’t think that’ll be required! Happy Reading!
The stalwarts of Indian English poetry are here to deliver the keynote address. The names include Ashok Vajpeyi, Arvind Krishna Mehrotra. Leading brands, arts organisations and educational institutions have once again supported the ZEE Jaipur Literature Festival as sponsors for the 2015 edition, enabling the world-leading literary festival to remain free and open to all. Among the new partners, who have venturd in are Amazon.in, which is here as the Festival’s Official Book Partner. The second new entrant is Rajnigandha that will support the Front Lawns as venue sponsorer.
ZEE is not the only returning partner for 2015, all four of the Festival’s venue sponsors from 2014 and before have again committed to supporting the annual event, pointing to the valuable brand association and visibility provided by partnering with the Festival. Google will be venue sponsor for the Mughal Tent for the fourth year in a row, British Airways, Harvard University’s Mahindra Humanities Centre and Ford will all return for the second year as venue partners for the Baithak, Durbar Hall and Samvad respectively.
The ZEE Jaipur Literature Festival beings with a bang today, that is, 21 January and will continue till 25 January at Hotel Diggi Palace in Jaipur. Confirmed speakers include Nobel laureate V.S.Naipaul, Pulitzer-Prize winning poet Vijay Seshadri and Man Booker Prize winner Eleanor Catton. The Festival is completely free and open to all.
Now that the festival has entered its eighth edition this time, the Royal Diggi Palace continues to be prestigious venue. Did you ever spare a thought as to wherein lies the charm with this palatial host? The Royal Indian Palace has been hosting JLF since its inception in 2006, and every year greets visitors with its lush green front lawns, steaming morning chai and the pleasant, fresh morning breeze. With deep cultural roots and a history so royal and full of grandeur – the Diggi Palace, makes it the perfect destination to host the most recognized literary minds from across the world.
One of the most anticipated events has charm enough and offers food for thought for all…