Sun, Sand, Stars and Dreams

The chronicles of a misfit Indian teen


September 2012

Weekly Photo Challenge: Solitary

The car in the middle of the desert seemed lonely to me.
This is what solitary means for me.

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Taken with my iPhone 4S


Is it a date palm? No, it is a plastic palm!

Yesterday, there was a sandstorm in Riyadh and when I woke up today morning, I found the date palm in our compound completely covered with plastic bits.

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Is a truce between religions possible?

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Recently, an anonymous person released a video depicting muslims and their faith negatively.
Sure, it was wrong on the part of the person who made it. Protesting against such a video is alright, but why should American ambassadors be killed?
I mean, they played no part in creating the video. The only thing was that video was uploaded from the United States of America. It wasn’t even created by an American national, it was allegedly created by an Egyptian Christian and a few of his friends.
Well, it most definitely was wrong to attack American embassies and kill their ambassadors just because someone living in America published a negative video.
But, similarly it is wrong to publish such a video too. There is nothing to do with free speech or liberty here. President Obama was right to apologise ecen though he had nothing to do with it but Mitt Romney argues for free speech!
I wonder what the motive might be. Perhaps, it is publicity and wanting the hitherto unknown people to be known by the entire world.
Take Sir Salman Rushdie for example, he had published many books (really good ones that too) before, but he become well known only when he published “The Satanic Verses” and a fatwa to kill him was issued by Ayotollah Khomeini.
Same is the case with Dan Brown.
But whether by hook or crook, these both people are well known.
Likewise, the makers of this video might have wanted the same.
Yet again, I would like to know why they had to do this. What they did was utterly wrong. They only incited a war between religions.
And religious conflicts, since time immemorial, have only led the world to doom.
All religions advocate peace, harmony, equality, kindness, and to treat others like you treat yourself. So, why do we fight on the basis of religion?
Even in India, where apparently there is unity in diversity. Well, people do live in unity till there is some conflict between religions. Then, they beat each other up, sometimes even kill each other, even though they had been friends before.
Also, when a Hindu procession pass by a mosque or church, the Muslims or Christians throw stones or shoes at them. So, the next time when there is a Muslim or Christian procession, the Hindus retaliate by doing the same.
But why do they have to do this? If one of the groups stop throwing stones, and hope for peace, the other groups will finally stop too. But, it seems like neither of them crave for peace.
The 20th of September this year marked the 84th death anniversary of Sri Narayana Guru, a great Indian social reformer. One of his ideals was, “One caste, one religion, one god for human beings”.
I wonder whether this will ever come true and whether various religions will ever agree to a truce.
I hope it will at least someday. Is it wrong to hope for peace and harmony?


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I was really bored and so when I randomly clicked a pic of a zipper on my backpack and it turned out clear, I decided to post it. 😉

You are not alone – On suicide

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Today, the 10th of September, is World Suicide Prevention day and my post is in honour of it. The suicide rates have increased tremendously in most parts of the world.
According to WHO there are twenty people who have a failed suicide attempt for every one that is successful, at a rate approximately one every three seconds.
Suicide is the “most common cause of death for people aged 15 – 24, mostly young people who have just begin living.
Brian Mishara, IASP president, noted that, “more people kill themselves than die in all wars, terrorist acts and interpersonal violence combined.”
Why do we all want to take our lives for the most simplest issue? Why do we want to give up in the hard times while knowing that there are going to be good times ahead?
And the things that we might feel are mountains today, might turn out to be mere molehills by tomorrow.

Those who read my previous post, “High school survival guide”, might know that I had a really bad sophomore year at high school. What happened to me wasn’t as bad as what happened to many others, but for me, it hurt a lot. ( It is such a long story that it could be considered as a post on its own. Maybe I’ll write about it someday)
Anyway, at that time, I was depressed and had many suicidal thoughts. But, help came from an unexpected place. From my mother. She was the one told me (in her rather harsh way) to picture my own funeral and to picture all those who will mourn my death, at any time I felt suicidal. Apparently sensing those peoples’ grief, I would regain my will to live.
She also told me that if I thought no one will mourn for me presently, at least picture a future funeral, after achieving my dreams.
And to live at least for the sake of dreams.
And I did come out of depression and I regained the will to live. And I don’t regret it. Somedays, when I feel I am sort of relapsing, I remember my mother’s words and vow to stay strong.
I never actually attempted suicide, but I was almost on the brink of it. And I am glad that I wasn’t weak to succumb to it.
I am a fighter and I am proud to be one.
If any one of you is thinking about suicide, I beg you please do not. Think of those who love you and care about you. And I am sure there will be at least one, even a pet animal. At least for their sake, don’t do it.
Nowadays, there are also many helpline numbers to which you can call for help. It is okay to ask for help.
You only get a chance to live once. Make sure you do just that.

P.S. If anyone here is having suicidal thoughts and need to speak to somebody, know that I am here to help you. Just drop a line at my public email,

The Indian (mis)conception of marriage

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So, today, at school, when a few of my friends and I were having lunch, a classmate of ours came bursting into the classroom and yelled,”Guys, guess what! Do you remember Ayesha, the girl who won the first prize in athletics last year?”. A few of us nodded in the positive. I did not know her personally, only by sight. “So, what happened to her?”, asked one of my friends.
Eager to spread the gossip, my classmate said,” She isn’t coming back to school. She got married in the vacation. The groom is a 25 year old engineer.”
Most of us stared at her dumbly, not really believing what she said.
Well, many of you might be wondering what is abnormal about it.
The thing is that Ayesha was a junior at high school and was barely fifteen. The time when she should be thinking about studies, hanging out with friends and gossiping about movies and other teen talk, she was expected to take up the role of a housewife. For that matter she is really young to even fully grasp what marriage implies.
She was also yet another teen like us with the same hopes, dreams and aspirations. She was one of the best athletes in our school. What if she wanted to go for professional sports? What if she wanted to study?
What about her dreams and hopes? Did nobody care about what she wanted?
The main thing I feel unfair about it is that her husband was allowed to study, to become an engineer. But she was expected to drop out.
According to Indian law, a girl isn’t allowed to marry before the age of 18, but Aisha had barely turned 15.
And another thing about Indian society is that arranged marriages are still prevalent.
In many cases when a man and woman marry normally, (fall in love and then marry), they are disowned and in some rural areas, killed. (Though that has reduced a lot now). And those marriages are called ‘love marriages’. Kinda implies that the couples married through arranged marriages do not have love between them!
And if two people fall in love, it is talked about as if it is a bad thing. Love is divine, and is the common law of nature. Having boyfriends or girlfriends and living together is yet again considered a taboo in the society.
In arranged marriages in which absolute strangers marry, many a times, the husband and wife aren’t able to get along. Yet, they do not divorce since a divorce is yet again considered a disgrace to the family.
Honestly, sometimes the Indian society is so backward.

P.S. I hope I did not offend any Indians here, but please note that I am only stating the truth and not mere fantasies.

High above the clouds

Like an eagle I will soar above the clouds, I will spread my wings and fly high in the sky. I will rise above the stars and fly to places unseen. Go beyond my wildest dreams.

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This picture was taken while on an aeroplane at sunset.

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