Journey called life

What about Books ?

Think wisely.

Which thought comes to your mind when you think about books. ?

Today , I am talking exclusively about physical books either hardback or paperback. Nothing else.

Magazines, Periodicals Journals ,Newspapers, Newsletters etc. are like small coins and I don’t value them as much as paper currencies.

In introduction, I must discuss the history and geography of books.

Paper was invented in China and may be books were also properly read in Asian or Roman civilizations. So, Asians have always been voracious readers. Invention of Printing Press was the starting point of modern books.

But, when people started reading properly ?

A million dollar question but no definite answer is available.

However, records of destruction of books and libraries are definitely available. No surprises here that Bible is the most published book in the world. Nearly 05 billion copies have been printed. Religion and books are inseparable and history of human progress has been greatly affected by both.

But, reading is a virtue. No doubt about it. Books are the best teachers and it has no replacement. Learning is synonymous with books.

India has been blessed in this regard and we are number one in spending time on reading books around the globe. An average Indian spends more than 10 hours per week. Second and third spot belongs to Thailand and China.

Surprising ? Isn’t it ?

I always thought that considering the number of scientific discoveries and technological superiority , countries in America and Europe shall be the leaders in book readings among masses.

But, it seems. Americans or Europeans don’t believe in reading books. Then, how come majority of top higher educational institutes belong to these two continents ?

It seems odd but data can always be debated and may be my reference data has some in-built faults.

Now the question arises that who reads the books and why ?

For students, study books are their lifeline to scores good marks in exams. Be it getting an educational qualification or scoring well in competitive exams to secure their future. Most of them discard regular books the day they get their dream job except some professionals like teacher, doctor, lawyers or some other specialized branches who need to read to survive in the rat race of their chosen vocation.

Students or professional people read books due to a certain reason. They read to accomplish a goal. In simple words, they are selfish and use books as ladders. I don’t call them readers. They are butchers who cut the contents of book , stuff it within their brain and vomit it at appropriate places to get ahead in life.

There are some exceptions and they can be termed as genius as they gain knowledge from books. Develop their own thought, apply logic and become trailblazers. They are heroes but found rarely nowadays.

But, some people are genuine readers who love to read for the sake of reading. They purchase books, even borrow books and beg if necessary, because they are bibliophile or bookworms ( in layman’s language). It is the bookworms who have kept the world ticking and alive.

Now, comes a special variety of bookworms who love to read books in the loo. Toilet reading is one of the most interesting technique of book reading. But, mostly , it is a phenomena limited to affluent classes of society. Though, there is no bar on reading for people of poor background. But generally, I have noticed that people having Western-style Commode in their homes prefer to read in loo. Newspapers are the most-sought after commodity for this purpose but books have a special place in toilet.

Is it good ?

No one is sure whether it is perfectly good or bad ! But, if you feel good and it helps in bowel movement then I guess it’s okay to read in toilet. May be , scientists who have read many books in toilet can throw some water…oh sorry…….some light on this topic. But, hygiene is an issue here. How do you remove microbes or dirty faecal matters from pages of books ? No easy answers ! But, if you belong to this tribe, think twice before eating anything.

So, now we have settled that who reads the book. Next question is how many books you can read ?

There are around 150 million published books in the world. Actually, I am not sure about data because counting all books in the world is herculean task and Google had tried to do it but failed. Then, nearly , 02 million books are printed worldwide every year.

This sort of calculation can make you insane. So, do one thing, just count your own books and read whatever you can in your lifetime.

Life is short and there are other things to do in life. Reading only books can make you sick. So, going out in nature and coming back to books is a good idea.

So , go out and think about it.

How many books you own ? How many books have you read in till today evening ?

Let me know if books are your lifeline. Share your story with world and let others enjoy the pleasure of book reading. It is the third most pleasurable activity in the world , just below the activity of going to loo.

What is the most enjoyable activity for a human being ? Think loudly and imagine !

Till the time you get an answer, choose a book and read peacefully.

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Getting Older Every Day

Have you ever realized that when you woke up today on a rainy Sunday morning in India, you became older than yesterday ?

Did you see your face in the mirror ?

If not then I will kindly suggest that you leave reading this blog and see yourself in the mirror. Watching oneself in mirror is a pleasant activity. It would be better if you use a concave mirror instead of plane mirror as concave mirrors in bathrooms enlarges small features on face and minute observation becomes possible.

Looking in Mirror

In fact, mirrored wall or full-length mirrors are good for soul searching. Some people use glossy bedroom mirrors to see themselves in their birthday suit. It’s good. But, not everyone is comfortable in this state. We have become obsessed about curves/flats/biscuits/washboard appearances.

Are we talking about human bodies or commodities on shelf of a shopping complex ! I hate Facebook , Instagram, WhatsApp status feature or any other similar apps for this narcissistic feature. How can an actor look good even when he/she is sweating profusely in a gym ?

Gross ! Sick ? Stop this nonsense !

Why do they post such videos ? Why do they want me to exercise and work hard when I can sleep peacefully away from worries of a boring life ? Laziness is a virtue in our times. If you don’t agree then going to a medical professional may help you.

Mark my words.

No one is important.

Earth will not stop rotating if you will sleep for some more hours. Many of our important ancestors are sleeping peacefully in their graves.

Has world ended after rise and subsequent collapse of Roman empire or for that matter any empire in any part of the globe ?

But, coming back to mirror –

So, what do you see in mirror ?

Is it lying ? Are you a better version of yesterday’s image ?

If not then start thinking about yourself.

It is a proven fact the majority of people attains the peak of physical or mental fitness around the age of 30 years. So, what happens after you have rotated 30 times around the Sun ? Where will you go now ?

Can you prolong this process ? Science says yes and people have prolonged their fit life beyond 30s. Sport stars are living example of this phenomena.

If you are interested in tennis then Roger Federer and Rafael Nadal on men’s side and Serena Williams on women’s side look fighting fit even in their late 30s. I will not take into account fitness status of movie stars or common man as looks can be deceiving and seeing always is not believing.

Older Sportsperson are fighting duel with teenagers and beating them regularly so by that logic they signify the supreme fitness.

But, everyone can’t become a Federer and life is more than a bloody sport.

So, most people peak around 30 years and then the decaying process commences.

Greying hair, baldness, poor vision, body pains, weak heart and other body parts symbolizes ageing process and organs start decaying. It is more or less like ripening process of a mango. When the time comes , mangoes fall off the branch and end it’s life. Sometimes it goes in stomach of a living being or many times it just rots away on the earth.

Which is your life – green or yellow

You can maintain a healthy body and live 100 years or more by applying science in your life but think about quality of life.

What is the goal of living ? What is the purpose ? What makes you happy ? Why are you living and for whom ? If you go today, who will cry for you ?

People die of natural or man-made causes daily.

I still vividly remember the death of a former news anchor in Mumbai last year. She was on her regular morning walk, a perfectly normal-looking coconut tree fell on her and she died on the spot. It was captured on camera and you won’t believe the freakish nature of this incident unless you see it with your own 02 eyes.

Nothing to panic. Freak accidents keep happening time and again.

But, does ageing gracefully and dying suddenly has any connection.

Deep questions with no definite answers.

So, life is strange. But , what matters is how you live life.

Happiness is a state of mind. Do you know how to become happy ?

I wonder, if we can discover a happiness pill one day ? You feel sad, feel lousy, feel tired, feeling worse, de-motivated – pop a pill.

You become happy.

So, now onwards, don’t think about anything. Sunset is not in your hands, even of your life ! Worry less and let the life flow like water. It will go on , no matter how many stones are lying in it’s path.

Nothing matters. No one knows, what happens when you die ?

Stay happy. Do anything and everything. Nothing in this world is good or bad.

Stop ageing process. See yourself in mirror everyday and start laughing.

Do not try to find logic in my blog, there isn’t any !

Are we better than Chimpanzees ?

It seems like a silly question at first and you may think about stupidity of this brainless question. But, it’s a legitimate question considering the degeneration of what we call human values.

A thinking Chimpanzee

Few days back, I saw a video (online) where a Brown bear falls off a cliff near Drass in Kargil district of Jammu & Kashmir. You can ask , so what ? How does a bear falling off a cliff is surprising ? Bears are normally fat and stupid animal and many other wild animals also fall off cliffs in natural course of their life and die ?

It’s plain and simple – survival of the fittest theory.

But, in this case , bear gets pelted by a stone in it’s head and tumbles off the cliff. Stone-pelters are heard cheering and laughing on this macabre sight. I feel sorry for humans who did this.

Animal -humans conflict are increasing in all parts of India especially in vicinity of forests or mountains or in plains where we are encroaching their territory. At least, we can behave like humans and show some sympathy to our ancestors.

Yes, our ancestors ! Because, we have forgotten them ! Ancestors of Chimpanzees and humans are same. Nearly, 04 million to 08 million years ago, we diverged and became a little bit different from each other.

In fact, even today around 98 % of our DNA is same.

Hard to believe , but yes it means Chimpanzees and humans are more or less similar. See, theory of 98 % genome by me in earlier paragraph.Don’t look for it in Google.

It will only prove that you are better than others and may even have 100 % similarity with Chimpanzees.

It is like percentage of marks obtained by our youngsters in class 10th & 12th Board exams. But, unlike fake marks, genome of Chimpanzees are real. I call percentage of marks fake because, how can you get 100 marks in a Social Science subject or in Language papers ? If students are getting 100 % marks in subjective answers , it only proves that either their teachers or Board officials are acting like Chimpanzees. You have to decide the answer for yourself.

I always had this doubt that some humans behave like apes and now I know that why they do . Again , don’t look for difference between apes and Chimpanzees , they both belong to our family and therefore you must pay them proper salutation wherever they happen to cross your path.

But, Chimpanzees are only found in some parts of Africa being their natural habitat, so for us Indians, going to nearby zoo will help immensely.

Now, coming to the question of humans being better than Chimpanzees.

Like those noble souls in Drass, Chimpanzees can also throw stones. They can use a variety of tools for inspecting dangerous things. They even drink water by using leaves and wipe their body. So, the concept of toilet paper has been taught to us by Chimpanzees. They are also intelligent and can solve many puzzles if trained properly. In this respect, they are better than humans, as a trained human mind is a dangerous thing.

Apes showing human-like behaviour

They also have a social life but unlike humans they don’t have a social media life. They normally walk on all fours but have the ability to stand erect and walk on 02 legs. Here also , I find fascinating resemblance between some people and Chimpanzees. Though, people can walk on 02 legs but some of us prefer to bend and use all fours to interact with superior humans. I am not talking about some Indian or US media persons or what we call paid media houses, to please their masters.

But, there is one difference, Chimpanzees haven’t still learnt about the WhatsApp phenomenon. Nearly , 01 billion people i.e. almost 1/6th of human population is using Facebook-driven social media applications.

So, in the course of this blog , I have found the most vital difference between Chimpanzees and humans.

We are connected and they are not !

But, I have a doubt ! Are they happy without being connected ? What will happen if they get connected and bridge the 02 % difference between us ?

Answer was given in 1963 by a french novelist namely Pierre Boulle in a science fiction book aptly named “Planet of the Apes”. He visualized a futuristic scenario and I believe the future as described by him has already arrived. Because, nowadays humans are behaving like apes.

Wars, terrorism and self-destuction are symptoms of a decaying civilization. See all around the globe, where is the good news ? Monkeys are running around everywhere and doomsday is not very far.

But, that is the topic for a different blog.

Don’t again think about difference between monkeys and apes ? Remember the logic given in preceding paragraphs and stay happy.

A smart Ape

But, still the question remains……. Are we better than Chimpanzees ? If you know the answer then let me know. We will spread the happiness all around.

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