Work From Home In An Alternate Universe!

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A slack world. The lazy people inhabiting it. It has been so for the past twenty-five to thirty years. It hasn’t been any different for Neha as well. Somewhere between staying inside the house for thirty long years with little contact with the outside world and never having been in contact with even her nearest neighbors, she had grown accustomed to it and even silently enjoyed it.

But she is not to be blamed for any of this. Because since her birth, this has been the way the world was set. She even wondered whether it could ever have been the contrary as it now seemed impossible to her.

Albeit having no direct connections, she had given an interview online to a prominent MNC in her early twenties after she completed her online schooling courses through which she was hired directly and now has been enjoying the work from home schedule for almost a decade. She had acquired a handful of friends through work-related phone calls and becoming their ‘friends’ on social media. And so were the stories of the others as well.

One rainy day in the month of June, when Neha just turned 31, it was declared that the slack world as it was now should start getting busy and clamorous with the citizens of the world getting out of their homes. Soon, following this, the MNCs started urging their employees to put an end to the work from home practice and come to work in empty uninhabited buildings around the world that the MNCs had now started booking for themselves. It was a sudden shock that shook the entire world. Whole life in a cage and now being asked to come out!

It was unimaginable for Neha. True, a part of her had always wanted to see what it was like outside but the thought that haunted her the most was the fact that she had to go to work in a faraway place and moreover, with a group of strangers whom she had known just through phone calls and social media. She shuddered at the thought of having to meet them all within such a ‘short’ span of time; mind you, meet every single one of them, together.

The days ran by and soon approached the day of going to the office. For the past few days, Neha and her family had ventured places near their house to get used to it before going to work. They had met their neighbors and found them agreeable and very amiable. Even while doing all these activities, only one thought lingered in Neha’s mind: ‘I’m finally going to meet them all! Yes, I’ve seen them all through the social media but still, I really don’t know what they are like in real. I can get to know them personally now.’

And so, every one of them started walking from their houses, asking for directions to each other, all with the same thoughts in their minds. The roads were crowded with working pedestrians eager to enjoy the beautiful world.

 

P.S. Just a thought that came to me while quarantining during this anxious tension-driven period and contains many loopholes and impractical situations as well. But, yeah.

THE GOOD WAY TO VISUALIZE THE LOCKDOWN: THAT LONG PRODUCTIVE VACATION YOU WERE WAITING FOR!

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When was the last time that you meticulously planned out a fun schedule involving a lot of interesting activities? Was it during your last few days of high school? Or even ahead? Well, without bragging too much, let me get straight to the point at hand. I have been thinking too much as to how to utilize my time during this 21-days long lock-down in which we are expected to do anything and everything but going out. As I was restlessly contemplating about this, I came across an article by a Spanish Magazine and found it to be extremely motivating, which eventually prompted me into writing this. The various ways in which we can engage ourselves was delineated in the most interesting manner. Here are a few wonderful ideas from it that I found to be the best to fight Corona virus Quarantine Boredom:

  1.  Switch up your morning routine:
    • Start with an energizing exercise and drink some fresh lemon water.
    • Try your best not to lay your eyes upon any electronic gadgets until breakfast.
    • Eat a real healthy breakfast and set your goals for the day by prioritizing things.7814fda921e9756950739f682bd1c2cc
  2.  Teach yourself something amazing:
    • What is it that you have always wanted to learn new? Dance or music lessons?          New artistic or management skills? Mastering a new instrument? Well, go for it as   you have innumerable  free YouTube tutorials on  almost each and everything.Little boy playing guitar. PNG - JPG and vector EPS. Isolated on
  3.  Cooking:
    • Try out new dishes with whatever ingredients you have in stock. Now, since the lock-down, YouTube is inundated with thousands of recipes on healthy food items using minimal ingredients.
    • You can even experiment with your own inventions!                                                       cupcake-cooking-chef-cartoon-png-favpng-i4VtcyAG3ncQmdYs0CExAkQSw
  4.  Board games:
    • Dust out the board games lying inside your cupboards and start playing them again! Among my friends, we always had favorites in this sector: The Game of Life, Clue-do, Scrabble, Ludo, Monopoly, Jenga and so many more.                                          Adults leisure board games
    • Play other games like Chess and Caroms.
    • You can even design your own games. In my school days, I and my neighbors used to play the ‘Acting Game’, ‘Jump In-Out’ and ‘Airports’. I leave it to you to figure out what these were!
  5.  Learn a foreign language: Choose Spanish/German!
    • Start learning a new language that you always have been in awe of! To get used to speaking in it, engage your house members by conversing with them in this language and keep pestering them until they eventually start getting used to hearing it.
    • If not this, then improve a language that you already know.                                            children-learning-various-language-vector-21389977
  6.  Have a Karaoke Night or a themed Movie Night:
    • Call your family members and play the game of ‘Antakshari’ or ‘Dumb Charades’ with them. If they are busy or reluctant, then video-call your friends and do the same with them.
    • Have a movie night or a movie week designed with a theme such as a particular director or your favorite actor/actress or a specific genre. Or, as one of my friends did, watch movies from languages across the world! (7 movies from 7 languages in a week!)                                                                                                                                          maxresdefault
  7.  Read a good book:
    • Choose a particular book of your choice, written in your favorite genre and start reading it.
    • If you have always wanted to read a classic novel, sipping your tea/coffee and sitting on a comfortable chair on your veranda, then do it now!                                      b23c75df9dfdbb3e04245c6eb3b19dfa
    • Or, if you have never read a book ever, then now is the time to start experimenting this hobby.
  8.  Hone your talent:
    • Have any of your talents been hidden deep inside you for long and never been shown or known to the outside world? Such as playing an instrument? Try brushing it up and enhancing it.
  9.  Work on your weaknesses:
    • Weaknesses can range from feeling that you possess non-effective/poor communication skills or a bad handwriting or a poor vocab or any other. Go for helping yourselves with it and just along with fighting the corona-virus, fight your weaknesses too and turn them up as your strengths.
  10.  Arts and Crafts: Get creative!
    • Instead of throwing out the waste papers and cardboard, find out some creative way of utilizing them and craft them into beautiful objects, for which, you can rely on the million tutorials available free.                                                                                    springs-crafts-for-kids-1
  11.  A week-ahead planning:
    • Plan out your day or week ahead and also, the various delicious meals you plan to prepare for the week so that you may purchase all the items together without having to go out each time in this lock-down.                                                                        "It's 8 o'clock in the morning, and I'm all ready exhausted...and that's from just writing my to-do list."
  12.  Meet your ideal healthy-self:
    • Practice Yoga or meditation with an expert help and see the improvements it brings in yourself.
    • Make out a plan to possess the fit body of your dreams.
    • Every time you go out in the sun or in the rain, it’s your skin that bears all the atrocities that it is made to undergo. It’s time to avenge it and spend some quality time for your skincare.
  13.  Podcast and Clearing Space on Your Phone:
    • Choose a good soothing podcast from any of the podcast providing services (I listen to the BBC Podcast) which are perfect to listen to, while preparing dinner or getting ‘bored’.
    • ‘There’s no space left on my phone to download this, man!’ Sounds familiar? Or is it just me then? Well, what I mean to say is, clear out all the unnecessary items occupying your phone space and consuming the memory.
  14.  Write letters to your future self / friends:
    • Write out a letter addressed to your future self about the lock-down days and what the world is undergoing now. Imagine what you would feel like when you read it in your old age or show it to your children and they may be appalled to compare it with the world of our times against how the constantly changing world would be then.
    • On our birthdays, I and my close friends share a special bonding by gifting ourselves a letter containing our deep emotions and all the other aspects of our lives. Although we see each other daily and chat regularly on WhatsApp, this letter never fails to capture the underlying happiness with which we write it. It truly is a special way of sharing a special bond of friendship and loving. Just try it out for once and you’ll know!
  15.  Blogging:
    • Last but never the least, you can start a new blog, be it on cooking or fashion or memes, you would never know how much of your time would get consumed researching for and thinking up materials to post on your blog. You can also start a Vlog if your skills and passions lie in acting or talking or singing. If you are reluctant to do that, you could simply do what most people do nowadays; taking videos of what you excel in and posting them on Instagram or as WhatsApp status if that encourages you to do more.                                                                                                Blogger Man Records Video Blog Vector. Vlog Concept. Online Internet Streaming Video. Boy Leading Online Stream Channel. Flat Cartoon Illustration     
    • If you’re lazy to have a blog of your own, then choose interesting blogs by others and follow their content.                                                                                                                    imgbin-blogger-creative-work-illustration-T5HWJY8LvDk7M6rJh3an3XgSW 

INSTAGRAM PUTS AN END TO THE RIDICULE OF ‘GETTING FAKE LIKES’

“I have only a hundred likes for the picture that I uploaded yesterday. She posts the picture of her shoes and she gets a two-hundred.” This is the mindset of many Instagrammers and Facebook users who crave for getting the maximum number of ‘likes’ for their uploaded pictures. Instagram is a good repository that can contain the colourful pictures of your lives in a single frame and maybe even inspire the other users to visit those places that you have posted or may lead up to them imitating your stylish way of posing. All these aspects of Instagram attract the users to it as it involves sharing the wonderful moments of your lives with others and nowadays, it has also become a vociferous platform for the socially good movements that require the attention of the humankind. This has become even more resounding and sonorous now as the celebrities have started sharing videos and speeches that necessarily demand our attention. Inspite of all this, it is the likes that we crave for. If one posts a gracious picture on their account but end up getting just a few ‘likes’ on it, then the essence of the goodness of the picture vanishes and the person eventually archives or deletes the picture. (This might not be true for most of the people, but I do have a few friends who used to follow this ritual regularly.) One would be surprised to know the existence of like-enhancing-applications which automatically add a certain number of random followers and likes. (What exactly might be the user’s satisfaction on getting such fake likes?) Well, there would be an exception in this case; the professional photographers and people who are looking for a career through Instagram might need an appreciable number of likes for them to get acknowledged by the respective authorities. Now, putting an end to all these absurdities, Instagram has come up with the new feature of not showing the total number of likes received for a picture. This, I would say, is an excellent move towards reducing the kinds of eccentric views that people have when it comes to getting likes on instagram.

Resolution: That One Promise We Never Fail To Break


January 1, 2020.

The day I finally decided to look back at my long-forgotten and neglected blog. Well, there is absolutely no surprise that today is the day I eventually chose to come back here; today, the day of new resolutions, one or two or maybe three in the case of many whereas an umpteen resolutions in my case. This day is a much awaited day for me because I am a person who loves to plan new resolutions and wish earnestly for them to happen. The same is true with anyone who makes vows on this day.

The extent to which we look forward to this day each year is revealed in the following excerpt taken from my own life:

Dec 30, 2019.

Mom: Meena, come wash the dishes atleast today.

Meena: Mom, you know what! In 2 days, it’s gonna be 2020, the year that I start helping you with the dishes, which I will be following for a whole year.

Dec 31, 2019.

Meena’s positive half of her mind: Come on! Start reading a book today. It has been a long time you’re wasting time.

Meanwhile, Meena’s other half of her mind: But why should I start reading today when tomorrow brings with it the day of new beginnings, which will ultimately lead me to become a voracious reading champion!

All of us knowingly or subconsciously believe in this somewhat superstitious belief, no matter whether it fails each year or not.

If you happen to be a die hard fan of the TV sitcom, F.R.I.E.N.D.S., the first thing that might come to your mind when you hear the word ‘resolution’ is the episode in which the six friends gather and pledge to take a resolution each. Even though one of them (Phoebe’s) is an impractical one (which is, by the way, probably the one that many of us would love to try out), two among the others always tempt me to follow suit, namely, Ross’s desire to do a new thing each day and Rachel’s ambition to never gossip. I could say that I somewhat succeeded in achieving Rachel’s ambition (well, somewhat, not yet fully).

I happened to watch this episode on December 31, 2019 and immediately felt a zealous, ardent spirit push me towards planning my own vows for the coming year. As I was planning on what it should be, I received a call from one of my friends who told me about a guy who had taken a resolution to finish reading 19 books in the year 2019 and had done it very successfully. The moment I heard this, I knew what my 2020’s resolution would be: to start a book club with my voracious reader friends and read 20 books in the year 2020. After all, it has been quite a while since I and my similar-minded friends have been complaining about ourselves having become utterly lackadaisical when it comes to reading a book fully. We have a strong positive feeling that this resolution would definitely work out and that we will do wonders. All the very best to us! Happy New Year!!!

The Placement Journey That Many Of Us Dread!

It was the season of placements in my college. Everything that we learned till then seemed to lead up to this day, or more aptly, these few moments that tested our eligibility to move forward in life, or so we believe. Despite me having convinced myself that this wasn’t the end of my career, I somehow ended up believing that my life would come to an abrupt halt if I failed in getting a placement offer.

Two or three (or four or five?) companies had come and conducted the placement drive and the unique factor that bound them together was that each of them hired only finger-countable number of candidates. I was fortunate to reach till the final round of one of them but wasn’t fortunate enough to get selected. The same thing continued to happen for the other companies as well.

Like everyone else, I also became frustrated and started relying on absurd superstitions, which didn’t seem illogical to me, such as wearing my ‘lucky’ outfit, not getting angry even at those incidents that required me to become angry and most importantly, not informing my parents about the drive being held. (This was done just to not spread my grief to them and certainly not because of the fear of getting chided. In contrary to my notions, they were unbelievably supportive which abashed me on not having told them earlier.)

After a few days, there came this company, XYZ, that offered a special package compared to the prior ones. I may sound bragging a bit but I did experience a somewhat optimistic feeling after I gave my placement aptitude test. The results were published soon and an overwhelming number of candidates had been selected into the next round, namely the Group Discussion (GD) round. Again, I felt a wave of optimism rush through my body. But there, in the midst of it, was hidden a trivial problem. I had to have an idea of what the topic would be based upon. Though I may claim myself to be a regular newspaper reader, I do it just for the sake of pleasing my moral-self and not because of my love for gathering the daily news. And for this reason, I often fail to remember the content.

From that day onwards, I tried reading the newspaper with ‘forced’ interest. Finally, there came the eve of the placement day. I believed that I had a general or atleast a vague idea of all the current affairs. It was then that it struck me, almost pierced my lungs, that I had done nothing for the interview process.

I ran to my sister’s room, pleading to help me by sharing her ‘Computer Science’ notes (because the interview was supposed to be based on that) and I rushed through the logics of various programs in ‘Java’. I went to bed with the least satisfaction regarding my interview preparation but with a strong inclination to participate in the GD. Till around 6 AM the next day, I couldn’t sleep, thanks to my stomach that was growling with excitement to begin the GD session. I quenched its thirst by reminding it of the interview.

This time, I had told my parents about there being an interview that day so that I would get their prayers and support and besides, my grans were there as well. I asked them not to be too loud while sending me off at the gate as it would attract the neighbours to the scene which was the last thing I wanted. ( In case I didn’t get hired, I didn’t wanna get embarrassed in front of them.)

And so I left for the college, wearing my ‘lucky churidhar’ (the formals), with this surprisingly unnatural vivacity. It was the first time that I left for an event before the reporting time.

The Written X The Visuals

“Reading a novel, getting the characters into your head in a way that their visual appearance of your creation appeals so much to you, then finally watching the movie version of the book wherein you expect to see the characters of your fabrication but instead get failed to be allured by the cast members as they hardly cater to your taste of your imagination” : ever experienced this feeling?

Indubitably, it is a feeling of intense disappointment but in my case (as in many others’ cases), I use it as a shield to protect me from the ineluctable wrath of the hangover injected by the book. I honestly have no idea how that works.

There might be a few exceptions to this. For instance, the characters I imagined while reading the Harry Potter series turned out to have a striking resemblance to those cast in the movies. I was delirious with happiness and an inexpressible satisfaction on seeing the Sirius Black of my imagination in the movie (Gary Oldman).

For me and a bunch of congenial souls that I know, it remains our bailiwick to watch the film after reading the book and is not so thrilling, doing it the reverse way.

One of the reasons that can be attributed to this might be that we expect too much of the cast (who play the roles of the characters) and envisage them to be doppelgangers of the heroes and heroines of our dreams. Or it can be because they are forced to cut down the one-thousand-paged novel into a two-hour film and it might appear to be a mare’s nest.

I have performed an experiment on myself and analysed it:

(a) I read the novel and I acknowledged the fact that we are open to a wide variety of ways in which we can develop, form and change even the minutest details attributed to the characters.

(b) I watched the movie first and later when I read the book, I was inadvertently forced to imagine the very same actors who were cast in those roles, every time I tried to deviate from them.

Nevertheless I watch the films of whichever novel I read until the blank screen after the displaying of the credits appears. I try my best not to decry the efforts of the innumerable people behind the films. After all, who knows, if I had watched the film before reading the book (although that would be in contradiction to my interests), I may as well have enjoyed the film!

Too Many Emoji, Too Little Emotion

One often quotes the approach of the day that is going to witness communication among people that exists just via the electronic devices irrespective of whether the sender and receiver are just at arm’s length or not.

If we examine ourselves (provided we are users of social media), we will be surprised to acknowledge the fact that we are also a part of this journey towards a taciturn kind of communication. For instance, if we note the pattern of our chats, we’ll find that seldom do we communicate without using emoji. If one wishes one’s friend on his/her birthday devoid of an emoji, chances are that he/she might misconstrue it to be a perfunctory wish.

The day has come when it is considered inappropriate if you do not react with a teary-eyed emoji to an obituary post.

People’s mind-set now is such that if you respond with an emoji, then it means you’re experiencing the same emotion, regardless of whether you are or not. This evolutionary phenomenon might not be prevalent among all but it is applicable atleast to a majority of the people.