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When I get time, I listen to music, or read books. If any is left, I blog!

Monday 29 October 2012

No Tears To Shed

Weeks before its 80th anniversary, and after months of free-falling readership and revenue, 'Newsweek' is closing down. Its move to dump the 'romance of print' and 'embrace the all-digital future' comes at a time when print publications like 'The Economist' are gaining readers.

Born within ten years of each other, 'Time' and 'Newsweek' in many ways, have remained two sides of the same coin. In India, they adorn hotel lobbies, business lounges and luxury cars, caressing many an ostensible ego, but failing to arouse any one's grey matter! 

Their approach to global issues is incomprehensible, analysis skewed and slanted, and expression arrogant. Be it the accession of Goa, border skirmishes with China, war against Pakistan, liberation of Bangladesh or the emergency, they have had neither the time nor the inclination to relate to our sensitivities.

The closure of such an enterprise does make us sit up and take note. What we see behind Newsweek's collapse is a mix of flawed editorial indulgences and plunging reader interest. Yet rejoice we must.  For every ton of unsolicited printing paper, 24 mature trees escape the axe, to render the world a better place to live! 

"Trees are poems that earth writes upon the sky,
We fell them down and turn them into paper,
That we may record our emptiness."
~Kahlil Gibran

Tuesday 16 October 2012

You Only Live Once

At the foot of Mount Fuji in Japan is a dense and dreary forest. No one goes there alone; those who dare, seldom return. This 'Sea of forests' as Aokigahara is popular, is struggling to shed its dubious image as one of the world's most preferred death spots.

India does not have a similar place; that is hardly a matter of consolation. A study by National Crime Records Bureau reports 135,000 suicides in 2011! 370 deaths in a day! 25 percent more than the last decade!

Death makes us grieve, death by choice horrifies us. The latter raises many questions, never a satisfying answer. Over hundred thousand suicidal deaths were reported, but how many were the actual attempts? What is the status of those who survived? While most would be coping with the trauma, won't there be at least a few harbouring the 'death wish' still?

A suicide is often seen as an act of cowardice or escapism, because we lack the ability to relate to the reality of someone giving up his life. Embracing death of one's own volition is never a first option. It is just an idea flashing past in a moment of desperation. As stresses intensify, the idea grows into a plausible solution.

That life has its ups and downs is a natural phenomenon. What is not, is one's easy disposition to wild emotional swings. Stop going overboard. Recapture the purpose of living. Turn to engaging hobbies. Seek out new friends. Go on a vacation. There are several ways to realise that the joy of life is in living it. Anyone who has had a second chance would vouch for it. "Suicide", as Phil Donahue said is only "a permanent solution to a temporary problem."

I end this post with Harriet Stowe's famous words:
"When you get into a tight place and everything goes against youhang on, for that is just the place and time the tide will turn."