It’s a strange world

Posted by Priyanka Nag on 4:26 AM

I was in London for the 41st World Skills Competition 2011, last week. It was like a living a dream, all the lights of the world was in my arms.
We were given a grand welcome in O2, one of the world’s biggest auditoriums. The very thought of sharing roof with thousands of talented candidates from more than 45 nations from around the world mesmerised me. What a small small world! In present days of globalization,working together on the same project with so many different people from so many different religions, so many different beliefs; its not that big a deal. Sharing lunch together, drinking and dancing together, laughing our days out together, it all feels so wonderful. There seems to be no bar of differentiation between human beings anymore on the basis of race, religion, nation and all unimportant things.
The belief and the feeling were good, until I was introduced with ‘REALITY’. We were sitting in the bus, quite late at night, celebrating our end of competition days.  A lady walks in with 2 little, cute children and occupies the sit next to mine. The little child in the arms gives me a smile from behind the mummy’s elbows. Without giving a second thought, I rush to play with the child, to place a kiss on his cheek, to rub my hands on his cheek……when I hear a warning from behind me. My friend, who had occupied the seat behind me, beckons and says-“pagal hai kya? Haat mat lagana. Tereko pitenge sab log milke. Ye log humpe trust nahi karte hai pagal. Kuch mat kar. Dekh bhi mat. Kuch bhi ho gaya, to blame humpe ayega.”
The call of reality brought me back to ground. I felt tears in my eyes. Which is the true face of this hypocrite world, the one I had seen throughout the competition or the one I am introduced to today?


We, the people of India

Posted by Priyanka Nag on 10:16 PM
Today on this occasion of Independence Day, there are a whole lot of thoughts that are hitting my mind. Every single day of our life, we keep complaining about this country, about its corruption, about how dirty and unorganized this place it and so on. On 15th August every year, we get up, go hoist the flag, feel very proud to be an Indian for a day, enjoy the holiday and then again back to square one...all our complaints begin again.
Did  even I ever stop to think why am I complaining? This is my country and whatever it is today, its me who is responsible for it...no one else. Its me who needs to take up the initiative to make it a better place. Have I done my job before I place my complaints? If I haven't, then do I have the right to complain?
If my house is filled with dirt and garbage, I am not suppose to complain or leave my home and shift to a better place...I am suppose to clean up my house. But what are we doing with our motherland then?
Getting a better opportunity outside India, and happily going and settling there does make our lives better but does that benefit our country in anyway? Are we not responsible to make India how we want our grandchildren to know India as?
Today, on this occasion, I am not celebrating this day as the last day of my extended weekend but the day from which I promise to do my duty to my country. May be in small steps, may be it wont make a big difference, but atleast I will try....and keep trying till I convince others to also join me to make a change.
Changes are to be made....they are not to be waited for.


The stranger in Pain

Posted by Priyanka Nag on 8:25 AM
I have just returned from Malaysia today. After a 3 months stay in Singapore, I could finally make it to Malaysia, Kuala Lampur. Just a small 3 days trip with my friends.
On the second day of our trip, we had decided to visit the Genting Highlands. Early morning we started off for the adventurous trip, only three of us- Sree Lakshmi(my room mate in Singapore), Nishita(my co-scholar from SCMS-UG) and me. We boarded our bus to Genting. Sree and Nishi sat together and I sat alone, taking a window seat. After a while, an elderly uncle, Indian looking, of about the age of 60+, occupied the vacant seat next to mine. 
He initiated the conversation by asking me which country I am from. After I answered that I was from India, he said he was from Sri Lanka. My thinking of him being an Indian was proven wrong. He was a very friendly man. After the initial ice breaking, we started speaking about ourselves and our lives. He told that he had finished conquering the entire globe with just some 4 countries left to visit. I was amazed. The very idea of touring the entire world amazed me.
He then started explaining me the reason why he tours so much. And then he began his story...... He was a happily married man with 2 children, a son and a daughter; the entire small family living together until the problems in Sri Lanka made him and his wife come to the decision of moving out of the country for better job opportunities for themselves, and better facilities for their children. 
The moving out was easy, but when things got settled back in Sri Lanka, and he wanted to come back, that wasn't easy. He couldn't convince his family to come back with him to Sri Lanka. Today his son is in Netherlands, his daughter is in Switzerland and wife again in some other part of the globe. His son is married and having a child, his daughter is married and settled and his wife is happily teaching in some University (apologies for not remembering the name). Today his world consists of himself and the house maid. He has his mansion in Sri Lanka and a perfect maid to take care but no family to be with. His food is ready at the prefect time in the dinning table, but he has no one to share the food with. The family meet once in a year, and thats all he has of family life. His loneliness drives him to get out of that big, empty mansion and tour around the world. He tours all around the globe, all alone. While telling me all these, he actually broke into tears.
I realised that touring was not fun for him, it was simply a way to get out of his loneliness. This made me think deeply about what we are heading to in life. Running behind money, comfort, we are actually forgetting those people who had sacrificed all these for our upbringing. If this is what we give our parents, do you think we will get anything better in our old-age???
Every tear drop in his eyes actually spoke of his craving to be with his children, to get the family together again. Friends, staying away from our loved ones may bring us loads of money, but will never bring us happiness. Just a few minutes talk with me, and a few smiles of comfort from me clearly showed the happiness and satisfaction in his eyes to have been able to share himself. I couldn't stop my tears that time and I can't stop my thoughts till now. 


Are we happier than our previous generation?

Posted by Priyanka Nag on 8:22 AM
Today's topic that I am planning to write on is a very controversial topic. Theres a big debate all the time whether we are happier than are previous generations. Somehow I have found most people going against the motion i.e believing that we are not happier than our parents or grandparents. But I strongly support the motion. Theres a very famous saying that "standing on one bank of the river, the other bank always seems greener." Similarly. we often think that the previous generation had a happier life simply because they had a simpler life. 
Here are certain points to support and back my thoughts about us being happier than the previous generation.

First and foremost I would like to bring up the topic of present day women, they obviously lead a happier life than their mothers and grandmothers did. We finally have the hard-won rights, opportunities, and advantages. Today's women, unlike our previous generation, have the liberty to choose whichever life they’d like.Women today at least are very actively participating in the decisions that will affect their lives versus being treated like the chattel that they were mere generations ago.

Not only women, I do believe that even people today are happier at their work places than what they had been a few decades back. This generation is basically free from the 9 to 5 time table. They can work any time from anywhere due to the flexibility of technology. Moreover today’s generation wants to collaborate in work place and they do make use of collaborating tools such as ‘Facebook’ rather than simply following some rules of unproductive hierarchy.

After all the above points, I think I would be able to convince people at least rise a thought into all those minds who strongly believe that this generation is not as happy as the previous one.


One Night @ the Singapore Hospital

Posted by Priyanka Nag on 11:40 PM
When coming to Sinagpore, there were many things that I hadn't planned but they had just happened down the time, giving me some new experience every time. But if I were to pick up the strongest one which had the greatest impact on my life, it would be the Night out at Alexandra Hospital, Singapore. One of my friends caught Pneumonia and had to be admitted in the hospital under emergency. Her parents couldn't come down from India obviously in such a hurry, so we students had to take up the responsibility of taking care of her. After the day end, I decided to stay back with her for the night. 
It wasn't my first night out at some hospital. I had had one in Pune also. But situation was very different this time. In Pune, I wasn't alone all night, this time I was. In Pune it was a private room where my friend had been admitted but this time it was a general ward. Her bed was surrounded by some 5 more beds in the same cubical. All other beds were occupied by old ladies, who were around past 70 years of age for sure. My night was spent in not only taking are of my friend but also in observing these helpless souls. One of these old ladies was getting so restless and trying to get out of the bed that she had to be tied down to the bed. I could hear her cries, her begging to set her free. I couldn't understand her language but could surely understand what she was trying to say. She was so helpless..but you know who was more helpless than her? Me. I so wanted to let her free...give her some peace but I couldn't do anything.
There was another lady, who tried to get out of her bed. I was observing her for a long time. She was trying but was failing. Finally she suddenly managed to get down. She was at the verge of falling down and I just ran to hold her. If I would havebeen late by a few seconds, she might have fallen down. The situation was even worse after I did help her. She couldn't understand English and I couldn't understand her language. I tried to tell her to sit down and kept on trying to tell me something that I couldn't understand. I got tears in my eyes. I called out for the nurse. Till the nurse arrived, for those 3-4 mins when she was hugging me, I could hear her sobs...I could hear mine too. Who was she to me? Why was I crying for her? My whole night was spent just observing them. They couldn't express properly what their problem was, what they wanted. They had to be pampered like a child. 
While just drowsing, I would be waken by sudden cry of someone, sometimes by the voices of the doctors, trying hard to console these poor beings. In the middle of them all, I was the only one who was in all her senses but still couldn't help anyone in anyway. These old people didn't have much visitors, no one to accompany them through the night. What could I have done to save them from the pain? 
I can still feel their pain in my heart. I don't think I have any courage left in me to accompany my friend for an entire night again in the same place.


Love in the air

Posted by Priyanka Nag on 1:01 AM

I am no poet to describe love in the romantic and poetic form, I am just an ordinary person, who experiences this beautiful feeling everyday of her life. "Love was God's plan, when he made man...God's divine nature is love"-these lines are from Christian hymn book.
Many times I had been wondering what exactly love is? Defined in innumerable ways by innumerable people, but yet so unclear. Its probably felt and taken differently by every different person. Since the first day of our birth, we had been experiencing this beautiful feeling. The first peck on my cheek, holding me in her arms; my mother had expressed her LOVE for me. Every story that dad had told me, every time he had held my fingers to teach me to walk, he had expressed his LOVE for me. Every time my sister approached me with her problem or quietly just whispered in her secrets into my ears, she has expressed her LOVE for me.Each time, I have done well, the patting on my back was nothing but my teacher's LOVE for me. Every single hit on my head, every bite of food that I had shared, were nothing but showers of LOVE from all my friends throughout my life. 
When our tears bring tears to someone else's eye, its the feeling of LOVE....when our smile lights another's heart, its the feeling of LOVE. Love is present in all the universe, then why ever feel unloved? 

Our life becomes so much more precious, the moment we realize how expensive it is to others. So many smiles are dependent on our smile, no many heart beats are directly attached to our heart beats. From the first smile to the last breath, every moment we are surrounded by love, no one can ever run away from it; its just that we often fail to recognize it and thus fail to feel it. Every moment its worth analyzing and thanking each one who LOVES you so dearly and in turn, go tell them-"I love you too..."


Life in NTU

Posted by Priyanka Nag on 12:55 AM
I had come to Singapore on the 17th of January, 2011; as an exchange student from Symbiosis, India. When I had arrived in Singapore, I had several dreams and aspirations. I had come so many miles away, wanted to achieve something really worth taking back home. I still have that dream and aspiration in me. NTU, Nanyang Technological University, unfolds its hidden beauty every single day to me. The first day I went to college here, I was scared, scared of the work load here, scared of the new environment, scared of the new language, scared of everything.
Almost 2 months have passed now, I have almost reached half way through my journey here...explored much, had many experiences (not all of them were good, but majority of them were). Today, when I try to look back at these 2 months, I find myself really lucky. Back in my home university, I never got so much exposure to all new Industry oriented subjects like 'Computer Graphics' or 'Computer Game Programming'. They are obviously not easy modules for me, they are like challenges which I have taken up. But these challenges are fun to go through. Other than the academic part, leading life in an institute which is rightly a multi-cultural institute, is another challenge and fun. Initially, I used to worry about how to get along with people whose language I dont understand, whose food I dont eat, who are from a completely different upbringing than I am, but now, I am so emotionally attached to these people here that when I am back in India, I will really be struggling to get back to a life where they never existed.
Really cant think of going back right now...rather the 2 and half months that I am left with, I wanna get maximum possible out of it, I wanna squeeze out all the possible flavors and wrap them up in golden memories and preserve them forever in my life's book of the 'Best things ever'...



Posted by Priyanka Nag on 12:38 AM
Well, I am sure the meaning of IVY is unknown to many. IVY basically means 'Evergreen'. Life for me is like that, evergreen and ever changing. Each day a new. Not all days are equally happy ones or memorable ones but each day leaves behind some new teachings, some new experience. Like said many time-"Har paal yaha ji bhar jiyo, jo hai sama kal ho na ho". I live life that way. Evergreen doesnt mean I am talking about not getting old etc, I am not challenging the scientific ways of life but for me, being evergreen means, being enthusiastic. We physically cant, but the heart can be young always...forever. Thats what IVY means to me. 

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