Questions and Reasons

When a 95 born kid cannot explore the world due to some tacit agreement made between parents and education in India, he still struggles to give the circle of photography, travel, music, lifestyle and experiences a shot. With questions like why not earlier and what made you swim across the river of alternatives, reasons will be unknown without discovery ! Let us dream, live and learn.
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Diary and specs because what else could be a better combination other than sheets and eyes to spill out the images on screen. Happy reading !

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Get to know: The Alchemist (Book Review)

There was a time when I completed the Harry Potter series in 2 months amidst all the school work and coaching. It was a long time back and after that somehow my affinity towards reading a book gradually decreased (No, I loved Harry Potter), I never got that thrill to turn the second page. Somehow I got the realization that each object and subject will fade eventually but books can never be an anachronism.

Why I bought it :

This was the most challenging phase where I had to pick a book so that I could turn all the pages from the author’s journal on that book. I did not want to pick a tome or a verbose style of writing with magniloquent language. So my research began and I found a book named “THE ALCHEMIST” by Paulo Coelho of approximately 150 pages. “The International best seller” gave me a confidence but most importantly I discovered a book on TRAVELLING which endorsed my fidelity. So I ordered it from Amazon India but you can also buy it from Amazon.com and many other online stores.

Overview (No spoilers) :

A shepherd boy named Santiago from the Spanish province of Andalusia dreams of travelling the world in search of a treasure. From his home he journeys to the exotic markets of North Africa and then into the Egyptian desert experiencing new culture and obstacles where he fatefully encounters an alchemist. It is a story about adventure, life lessons, wisdom and above all following our dreams.

 

Post Reading :

No doubt it is Paulo’s magnum opus as I was simply recollecting the bits and pieces to what I experienced. With a colloquial style of writing, the author makes it simpler and easier to interpret for all the readers. The well structured story along with the usage of metaphors are the best elements of this book.

Lessons:

  • Fear of loosing hurts more than loosing itself.
  • Once the decision is made, live with it.
  • Your journey leads you to your destiny.
  • Fail again, fail better but don’t give up in the process.
  • Embrace your present scenario.
    AND MY FAVOURITE AMONG ALL :
  • It’s the simplest things in life that are the most extraordinary.

Few Lines from the book:

  • Tell your heart that the fear of suffering is worse than the suffering itself. And that no heart has ever suffered when it goes in search of its dreams, because every second of the search is a second’s encounter with God and with eternity.
  • When each day is the same as the next, it’s because people fail to recognize the good things that happen in their lives every day that the sun rises.
  • If someone isn’t what others want them to be, the others become angry. Everyone seems to have a clear idea of how other people should lead their lives, but none about his or her own.
  • I see the world in terms of what I would like to see happen, not what actually does.

Should you buy it ? :

I will recommend it to people who are 16+ for a very simple reason that once you read a book, you will hardly read it again (most cases) and if you don’t optimize your learning and time, then it will be a devaluation to the book and your investment. You will be unable to grasp the sphere of idea that is presented as this will be a magnate’s present to you.

If you are 16+ then it is a MUST READ as it will replace plenty of books which speak about wisdom, spirituality and fear in just 150 pages.

My Rating :

Content- 5/5

Writing style – 5/5

Overall – 5/5

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Anthropocene: A Mass Extinction

Ever been at different places simultaneously ?
Ever traveled emotionally ?
Ever had a thought “I wish I were there” ?

Well today is such a day where I am dealing with an implacable hatred towards myself which is on multiple faces of humanity.
For starters, our beautiful Mother Earth faced five mass extinctions from Ordovician to K-T extinction (one where dinosaurs were eliminated) which was mostly due to the climate changes or shall I say massive increase of carbon dioxide in atmosphere.

Anthropocene is going to be the cause of sixth mass extinction on this planet and there will probably even be no fossil records. Yes, it is such a malign truth but this is not where the egregious genesis ends. The irony lies in humanity’s prescience.


What are we, a rube ? Let’s find out :


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Sharks predate dinosaurs. They survived four mass extinction events and in this one generation that I have been alive, they cut down their ranks by 90%. The demand of shark fins for shark fin soup in China resulted in catching 250,000 sharks every single day. Sometimes they cut the fins and lay the shark in the ocean (above image).
GettyImages-488445084.jpgThis is a facility in China that has a scale which is out of control. This image was leaked along with the one from the first image which led to the reduction of hunting sharks by 70% because people didn’t consume it. But are sharks really safe?


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The human eye is so limited. We only see a tiny little sliver of the electromagnetic spectrum. It’s like you own a WiFi network but you can surf only one website. Our eye is invisible to the carbon dioxide and methane and we are contributing so much in increasing these greenhouse gases that we are changing the geology of the planet and the chemistry of the oceans.

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Climates are controlled by the oceans and they are changing now. The massive amount of carbon dioxide reacts with the oceans which forms carbonic acid. Thus results in vanishing of the creatures and has led to the reduction of phytoplankton by 40% which produces majority of oxygen. The spike of carbon dioxide now is on a very large scale than any of the five mass extinctions.


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Converting the natural habitat into land for food. Cattle produce a byproduct of methane as breaking down grass. A cow can fill a 55 gallon garbage bag full of methane in a single day and there are around 1.5 billion cows. If we reduce the consumption of milk and meat, we can reduce the methane emissions. Consume more plants.

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The largest mass extinction that occurred in Permian extinction is methane. The Arctic’s getting warmer and all the methane that is locked is starting to come out. The only way to tackle the methane problem is reducing the emission of carbon dioxide because that is warming the arctic.

With carbon dioxide, when ocean starts dying all the function of environment changes and life eventually fails.


 

These are only few instances of what’s happening around to cause a mass extinction. Affecting the endangered species on any front imbalances the nature and we are all moving one step closer towards it.

Life wants to flourish and DNA wants to go forward. Why would we want to disrupt something that took billions of years to evolve ?
The small changes we make everyday can lead to the kind of world we all want for the future.

I know it all sounds overwhelming but if we can start with a step, we can make a difference. Better to light one candle than curse the darkness.

Credits – Louie Psihoyos

Source– Racing Extinctions Documentary

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Bonfire : The sequel

With my friends having dinner inside the cottage, I wanted to witness and partake in setting up the bonfire. Lachung, being a small mountain village at an altitude of 9003ft. turns entirely dusky once the sun sets. I was asked to hold the emergency light while didi(older sister) and bhaiya(older brother) were structuring the wooden logs in a definite geometry. It was a freezing weather with 2 degree Celsius and our fingers were trembling without gloves while interlocking the logs.

30 minutes swept like waves hitting the beach with excitement (dinner and buying bottles of homemade wine) and it took me a pinch to realize that it is no fairy tale encountering the blazing fire, the shape of smoke, the clear sky, the emotion of a non-existential wit for the first time.

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With each step approaching closer towards the bonfire, I could see the logs through the flames which was akin to a transparent sheet and THIS is REALITY. Yes, virtual palace is a dust in the beautiful sky of real sentiments. The titillation didn’t pause that night as surprises began unfolding inside my mind. There I was, standing near the fire whose figurative side overtook the literal one.

All my life I have heard in simple elements blowing the mind. Now I can add one more page to that book of “Vanishing equanimity” (Disclaimer: Do not search πŸ˜†)

Wine bottles popped open, chorus began, the temperature went down to a negative 2 degree Celsius and our body synced to all of them. Dancing was an emotion with everyone holding on to one another and turning solo each time the wine bottle was in hand. She was the affinity – our dear homemade red wine. Suddenly, I found a tiny white ball on my jacket. My mind was just starting to process when another fell on my boot. There it was, another effect added to the picture. Certainly getting aphrodisiac 😝.

With snows falling down from the invisible dark sky and appearing in the light produced by the bonfire , you can very well imagine what it looked like. May be not. Well I am going through a roller coaster of emotions hitting the keys down. We all sat circling the wooden log and as the cigarette was being passed, everyone had their personal stories setting up on the table that was not to be discussed after that night because it was not a tale.

I could learn something really simple that night –

” I believed that I existed. “

Isolation: A fraction of reality

Traveling for almost 7 hours, my friends and I reach the destination, a very small mountain village named LACHUNG, close to Tibetian border in the Indian state of Sikkim. Twisting and turning the body, relaxing the muscles (awkward sounds) we get down from the MUV but then where are we ? I could barely see the house with darkness already covering the entire sky and the frosty winds biting our skin. With almost no electricity, I walk into the dimly lit, wooden house with high stairs. Going for a stroll outside with no network on the mobile device (after all we were at an altitude of 9003 feet) covered with wool, we discovered a beautiful mini house with plates hanging on the wall and cases with alcohol. Complementing the freezing climate with a bowl of noodles, a cup of tea and a cigarette I sunk into isolation.

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