SOCCER

(As published in ‘Unique Times’)

Remember the invention of fire? It has changed the way people lived. We started cooking our food. Then, was the invention of the wheel. That’s when we started rolling things. It made moving around easier and faster. And invention didn’t stop there. Are you ready for a controversy? Imagine a world without balls, balls of various sorts. If you love this season, then you’ll be thinking about the ball that’s kicked into the goal. A magic of leather and air that weighs 430 grams. Welcome to this football season otherwise also known as soccer in many parts of the world!

Football : A magic of leather and air that weighs 0.430 grams.

Football : A magic of leather and air that weighs 0.430 grams.

The discovery of football as it is played today with appropriate rules and regulations may not have needed much intelligence. But, the excellence to which this game has evolved into deserves to get all the applause. This excellence in the players who represent the game can be merited as nothing short of genius. The size of the world of popularity, that a player enjoys does vary. Some are good at regional levels, others graduate to state levels. Very few football enthusiasts make it to the national level. For some, it is not enough. They want to be known at the international level. This steely league of sterling performers is the monopoly of the outstanding among the geniuses. They are the kings and even Gods. The football legend will be known as long as the game is played. Can you think of a few names? Well, George Best, Kevin Keegan, Ardillos, Platini and even Rudd Gullit & Franz Beckenbaur are among the few of tens of thousands of greats. Where do you fit in Pele, Maradona, Messi, Ronaldo and Neymar?

Perseverance, dedication, determination, pointed focus, and relentless passion to achieve nothing short of the greatness, made these people into perennial inspirers. Many of the football greats have inspired us outside the game too. David Beckham has been in the forefront as a fashion model. Sports goods & fitness products has found endorsements from the soccer champions. Cars, Premium Housing, Airlines, Watches & other industries have fielded the football champions as their brand ambassadors. The lifestyle industry and magazine covers has used these champions to promote their products. And most of all, many greats have generously lent their credibility to endorse charity works worldwide. Millions of teens take to soccer as a career because of inspiration from these football giants. In the present era, you probably will not find any civilization on earth that is not exposed to soccer.

It may be justified to say that after faith, football may be the most common element among humankind.

Welcome to World Cup 2014 in Sao Paulo, Brazil! It’s a game that’s simple to play, easily scalable, can be played in any size, terrain and timeline which may have brought its initial appeal. Its competitiveness and team’s structure being the base strength where tact, speed, stamina, agility and decisive moves are the first skills required. All these have made the start-up to football and then its pursuit, a desirable feature for all. The minimum need of infrastructural facility makes it easy on the beginners.

And right now everybody is going crazy about the World Cup 2014. Even the 76-year-old Radhamma in Madurai is impacted by the FIFA. Her seven-year old grandson Murugendra is no longer attentive to the elders. His mind is not fixed on the tasty dosas and vadas anymore.  Now every time that his parents lure Murugendra with the bonda or the laddoo, the young lad sees a miniature football.  Then there is the elderly couple Mr.  & Mrs. Chaitali Chatterjee from Kolkata, who have been married for a full five decades have attended over ten FIFA Football World Cup games. Despite living on a monthly pension of less than Rs. 10,000, they saved enough rupees to take them to Brazil this year.

Soccer has given a product and content to newspapers, photographers, filmmakers, cover pages and also to story writers. The makers of video games and internet games for sophisticated gadgets are busy inventing new software. All these livelihoods and industries revolve around the football game’s strategy and technique. The Scottish man, who brought the game to Brazil in 1894, Mr. Thomas Donohue would have never imagined the amount of popularity which this game would receive. It is also little wonder then that the President of FIFA, Mr.  Sepp Blatter wants to extend his term yet again, much beyond his valid retirement age.

The tact, talent, skill, expertise and applying every bit of heart & soul into the game alone goes into creating the champions of soccer. In a FIFA World Cup, to win, luck has to favor the team.  The intriguing game consists of cases of mischief in each game by the players, professional fouls, a melodrama display of pain, an exaggerated fall to win a penalty or even a hand punch on the ball.

Adversaries need not become enemies. This year, Sao Paulo, one of the biggest cities in Brazil is the place to watch as the teams walk onto the field to defeat the opponent. Though off field there is a relation of camaraderie and harmony where the teams connect with each other as they are all part of the world-famous play of football. The game has created fire in the belly where everyone is cheering to win, to referee, to comment, all in the name of football.

ജീവിതം ഒരു യാത്ര 

Life is a journey, with problems to solve, lessons to learn and experiences to enjoy

Life is a journey, with problems to solve, lessons to learn and experiences to enjoy !

എന്തിനാണ്  ഈ ബസ്സിൽ കയറിയത്? ഇരുപത്  കിലോ മീറ്റെർ  എന്ന അല്പ  ദൂരം  സഞ്ചരിച്ചതിനു ശേഷം  ബസ്സിൽ നിന്ന് ഇറങ്ങണം. ബസ്സിൽ  നിന്ന് ഇറങ്ങണം എന്ന്  ഉദ്ദേശിച്ചാണോ ബസ്സിൽ കയറിയത്? അങ്ങനെയെങ്കിൽ  ഈ ബസ്സിൽ  കയറുന്നതു തന്നെ ഒഴിവാക്കാമായിരുന്നല്ലോ? ഇത്തരം അർത്ഥമില്ലാത്ത  വാദങ്ങൾ  ഉപയോഗിച്ച് യാത്രയിൽ നിന്നും രക്ഷപ്പെടാം. പക്ഷെ എത്ര കാലം ഇത്തരം കുതർക്കങ്ങൽക്കു പിറകിൽ  ഒളിച്ചിരിക്കും? എല്ലാവരും യാത്ര  തുടങ്ങേണ്ട ആ സമയം ഒരു ദിനം തീർച്ചയായും മുന്നിലെത്തും. കാരണം, ഈ യാത്ര ജീവിതത്തിൻറെ ഒഴിവാക്കാനാവാത്ത  ഒരു ഭാഗമാണ്… ഈ യാത്ര തന്നെയാണ് ജീവിതം. ഇപ്പോഴുള്ള സുഖസൗകര്യങ്ങളിൽ നിന്ന്  പുറം തള്ളപ്പെടാൻ ഒരു ഊക്ക്  ആവശ്യമാണ്‌, ഈ ഊക്ക് നിർബന്ധമായും  ഉണ്ടാക്കി എടുക്കേണ്ടതാണ്. കെട്ടി കിടക്കുന്ന വെള്ളം പോലെ സുഖസൗകര്യങ്ങളിൽ ആണ്ടിരിക്കുന്നവർക്ക്  വലിയ ഊക്കൊടെയുള്ള തള്ളൽ ആവശ്യം ആണ്. സുഖ സൗകര്യങ്ങളിൽ നിന്ന് പുറം  തള്ളപ്പെട്ടുകൊണ്ടുള്ള ഒരു യാത്രയ്ക്ക്  നിങ്ങളിലാരാണ് തയാർ ആവുക? ഒരു യാത്ര തീരുമാനിക്കുമ്പോൾ അതിന്  തക്കതായ് സന്ദർഭങ്ങൾ അന്വേഷിക്കാറുണ്ടോ?

മുറ്റത്ത്  നല്ല മഴ. യാത്ര  ചെയ്യാൻ കാരണങ്ങൾ  ഒന്നും  തന്നെ ഇല്ല. ആരെയും  അതിനായ്  ഒരുക്കാനുള്ള പ്രാപ്തിയോ ശേഷിയോ ഇല്ല. ഏറെ മുൻകരുതലുകളോടെ  യാത്രയ്ക്കായി  ഒരുങ്ങി. എങ്കിലും  യാത്രപോകാനുള്ള  മാനസിക തയ്യാറെടുപ്പുകൾ  എത്രത്തോളമുണ്ട് ? ഏറെക്കുറെ  കൃത്യയതയുള്ള കണക്ക് കൂട്ടലുകളോടെ രണ്ട്  മൂന്ന്  പെട്ടികളുമായി ബസ്സിൽ കയറി  വരെ നമ്മുക്ക്  എത്താം. ഇവിടെ റെയിൽവേ സ്റ്റേഷനിൽ  കാണുന്ന എല്ലാവരും യാത്രക്കാർ തന്നെ, ചിലർ  പ്ലാറ്റ്ഫൊമിൽ  ഇരിക്കുന്നു, ചിലർ  ഫസ്റ്റ് ക്ലാസ് പാസഞ്ചർ റൂമിൽ  വിശ്രമിക്കുന്നു. എല്ലാവർക്കും  ഉള്ളത്  ഒരേ  ആശങ്ക തന്നെ, ഇവിടെ എൻറെ  നിലനിൽപ്  ശാശ്വതമല്ല, വേറെ  ഒരിടത്ത് എത്തുകുയാണ്  ലക്ഷ്യം. ഈയൊരു യാത്രയിൽ എന്തെല്ലാമാണ്  കണ്ടറിയാൻ സാധിക്കുക. പലതരം വിപണികളും  വ്യാപാരങ്ങളും ഉദ്യോഗങ്ങളും  കൂലിപണിക്കാരും ഇങ്ങനെ  ഒരു പരിപൂർണമായ  ഒരു ലോകം  തന്നെ  കാണാറില്ലേ?

അതാ നമ്മുടെ ട്രെയിൻ സ്റ്റേഷനിൽ  എത്തുകയായി. ടിക്കറ്റ്‌  ഇല്ലാത്തവരും  ഉള്ളവരും  ട്രെയിനിനുള്ളിൽ  വേഗം കയറിപറ്റാൻ എന്തിനിത്ര ധൃതി കാണിക്കുന്നു! സ്റ്റേഷനിൽ  നിൽക്കുമ്പോൾ  ഉള്ളതിനേക്കാൾ  എന്തോ  ഒരു സുഖവും  സൗകര്യവും ട്രെയിനിനുള്ളിൽ  ഉണ്ടാവും  എന്ന്  കരുതി പോയിട്ടില്ലേ? ഇവിടെ ആലസ്യത്തിനു  എവിടെയാണ് സ് ഥാനം?

അങ്ങനെ  ഒരു  യാത്ര  തുടങ്ങുന്നു. സഹയാത്രികരെ അറിയാനും പരിചയപ്പെടാനും  ഒരു രാത്രിയും  പകലും ധാരളമല്ലേ? അനേക സ്വഭാവമുള്ളവർ, വിവിധ ഭാഷകൾ  സംസാരിക്കുന്നവർ, മനസിലാക്കാൻ  പറ്റാത്ത അല്ലറ  ചില്ലറ  രീതികൾ  ഉള്ളവർ, സഹായ അഭ്യർത്ഥനയുമായി എത്തുന്നവർ, കുട്ടികളും വൃദ്ധജനങ്ങളും  ഒക്കെ ഉണ്ടാവും ആ ട്രെയിനിൽ. പ്ലാറ്റ്ഫൊമിൽ  കണ്ടത് പോലെ തന്നെ ഇവിടെയും. പക്ഷെ ഒരു വ്യത്യസ്‌ത  ലോകം തന്നെ ആണ്  ഇവിടെ. കാരണം  ഇവരെല്ലാം  ഒരുമിച്ചല്ല  ട്രെയിനിൽ നിന്നും ഇറങ്ങുന്നത്. നിങ്ങൾ  ഒരു പക്ഷെ  ഒരു അപരിചിത  ലൊക്കേഷനിൽ ഇറങ്ങിയെക്കാം, രാത്രി തങ്ങാൻ ഒരു ഹോട്ടലിൽ  എത്തിക്കാൻ ടാക്സി  ഏർപ്പാട് ചെയ്തിരിക്കാം. അവിടെ ഒരു  പുതിയ ഭാഷയിലായിരിക്കാം  ടാക്സിക്കാരനുമായുള്ള നിങ്ങളുടെ  ഇടപാടുകൾ. അങ്ങനെ  യാത്ര ചെയ്ത് ഹോട്ടലിൽ  എത്തുമ്പോൾ  എന്തൊരു ആശ്വാസമാണ്  അനുഭവപ്പെടുക.  നല്ലൊരു ഹോട്ടൽ ആയതിനാൽ  രണ്ടു ദിവസം തന്നെ താമസിക്കാം എന്ന് തീരുമാനിച്ചു. കുന്നുകളും, കാടുകളും  അടുത്ത്  തന്നെ ഒരു കടൽ  തീരവുമുള്ള ഒരു സ് ഥലമാവാം. അവിടെ  ഇരുന്ന് നല്ലൊരു മഴ കണ്ടപ്പോൾ  യാത്ര ഇറങ്ങാൻ നേരം  കണ്ട മഴയുടെ ഓർമയാണ് വന്നത്. നാല്  ദിവസം  മുൻപ്  വീട്ടിൽ നിന്ന് ഇറങ്ങുമ്പോഴും ഇതേ മഴ തന്നെ ആയിരുന്നു. ഈ രണ്ടു മഴക്കിടയിലുണ്ടായ സുഹൃത്ത്‌ ബന്ധങ്ങളും  ട്രെയിനിന്റെ  ഉള്ളിൽ  ഉണ്ടായ  അനുഭവങ്ങളും ഓർമിക്കണോ അതോ  മറക്കണോ എന്ന് നിശ്ചയിക്കാനാവുന്നില്ല. എന്ത്  തന്നെ ആയാലും  ഈ ഹോട്ടലിലെ  സുഖ സൗകര്യങ്ങളിൽ നിന്ന്  മാർക്കറ്റിലേക്ക്  ഇറങ്ങി നടന്നാലേ  ഇവിടുത്തെ  വ്യവഹാര രീതികളെ  പറ്റി  പഠിക്കാനും  ഇടപാടുകൾ  അറിയാനും  സാധിക്കുക ഉള്ളൂ. അപ്പോൾ  മാത്രമല്ലേ  ഈ യാത്ര  സഫലമായെന്ന്  കരുതാൻ  സാധിക്കുക ഉള്ളൂ?

ചില്ലറകൾ  കൊടുത്ത്  വാങ്ങിക്കുന്ന  സമോസയും വടയും ..കൈവിരൽ  മുക്കിയ  ഒരു ഗ്ലാസ്‌ ചായയും  റോഡ്‌  വക്കത്തുള്ള  ഡാബ ( തട്ട് കട) യിൽ  ഇരുന്നു കഴിച്ചിട്ടുണ്ടോ?ഈ വില കുറഞ്ഞ, റോഡ്‌ സൈഡ്  ഡാബയിലെ  ഭക്ഷണത്തിന്  വേണ്ടി  വന്നു നിൽക്കുന്ന കാറുകളുടെ  നിര നിങ്ങളെ അമ്പരപ്പിച്ചേക്കാം. ഒരു പക്ഷെ പത്ത്  ലക്ഷം  രൂപ വിലയുള്ള  കാറുകളുടെ  ഉടമകളാകാം ഇവിടെ വരുന്നത്. വേറെ ഒന്നും  ഇല്ലെങ്കിലും  നിങ്ങളുടെ ഉള്ളിലെ  ചിന്തകളും, ധാരണകളും, ഉത്കണ്ഠകളും, ഉയർത്താൻ  ഈയൊരു  കാഴ്ചയ്ക്ക് സാധിക്കില്ലേ ? വിസ്സമ്മതിചാലും  ഇല്ലെങ്കിലും  ആ ഡാബയിൽ  നിന്ന്  തിരിച്ചു  ഒരു ഓട്ടോറിക്ഷയിൽ  തിരിച്ചു  പോകാനേ  നിങ്ങള്ക്ക്  നിവർത്തി ഉള്ളൂ .

ഹോട്ടൽ  മുറിയിലെത്തി  നനഞ്ഞ വസ്ത്രങ്ങളെല്ലാം മാറ്റി  ചൂട്  വെള്ളത്തിൽ  നല്ലൊരു  കുളിയും  കഴിഞ്ഞു. കിടക്കാൻ അല്പ സമയം കൂടി ബാക്കി  ഉണ്ട്.  സുഖ സമൃദ്ധമായ  ആ സിംഹാസനത്തിലിരുന്ന്  നിങ്ങളുടെ  ഇഷ്ട  ചാനൽ  കണ്ടുകൊണ്ടിരിക്കും. സ്വന്തം  വീട്ടിലും  ഇതേ സാഹചര്യങ്ങൾ തന്നെയായിരുന്നില്ലേ ?

ആ അപരിചിത സ് ഥലം  മുഴുവൻ നടന്ന്  കണ്ടറിഞ്ഞു, കുറെ  പുതിയ സുഹൃത്തകളെ  ഉണ്ടാക്കി, എല്ലാവരും  പരിച്ചയക്കാരായി  ചില്ലറ സുഖസൗകര്യങ്ങളും അനുകൂല ചുറ്റുപാടുകളും  ഇവിടെയും ഉണ്ടാക്കി എടുത്തു. ഇത് വരെയും  ഒരിക്കലും  അറിഞ്ഞിട്ടില്ലാത്ത ഫലപ്രദമായ  ജ്ഞാനവും  കരസ് ഥമാക്കി . കാലത്ത് എഴുന്നേറ്റപ്പോൾ വേറൊരു  സത്യം  മുഖത്തേക്ക്  തുറിച്ചു  നോക്കുന്നു. വസ്ത്രങ്ങളും ഷൂസും  ഷേവിംഗ് കിറ്റും തോർത്തും  എല്ലാം  പാക്ക്   ചെയ്ത് വീണ്ടും  ഒരു യാത്രയ്ക്ക് ഇറങ്ങേണ്ട  സമയമായിരിക്കുന്നു . ഇവിടെ  വെറുതെ ഇരുന്നാലും  ചെലവ്  അമിതമായി  വർധിപ്പിച്ച്  കൊണ്ടിരിക്കും. പക്ഷെ  ഏറെ   വിലപ്പെട്ട  ഒരു അറിവ്  ഇപ്പോഴാണ് ബോധ്യമായത്. ഒരോ അപകടങ്ങളെ പറ്റിയും  ഊഹിച്ച്  യാതൊരു  സഹായത്തിനും  മുതിരാതെ  സുരക്ഷിത സംരക്ഷണത്തിൽ  മാത്രം ജീവിച്ചതാണ്  ഏറ്റവും വലിയ അപകടം. വിവിധ തരങ്ങളായ  സാഹചര്യങ്ങളിൽ  ജീവിച്ചിട്ട്  പോലും  അവിടെ  നിന്നൊക്കെ  പുറം തള്ളപ്പെടുന്നു. ഹോട്ടലിൽ നിന്ന് കയറിയ  ടാക്സി  നിങ്ങളുടെ നിർദ്ദേശപ്രകാരം  എയർ പോർട്ടിൽ  എത്തിച്ചു.  നിരവധി  സുരക്ഷ പരിശോധനകൾക്ക്  ശേഷം സെക്യുരിറ്റി നിയന്ത്രണങ്ങൾക്കും മുൻപിൽ  താഴ്മ ഉള്ള വിധേയത്വം കാണിക്കേണ്ടി  വരുന്നു. അടുത്തതായി ടിക്കറ്റ്‌  വാങ്ങാനുള്ള തത്രപ്പാട്.  അവിടെ നിന്നും തുടങ്ങി  ഐഡന്റിറ്റി  കാർഡ്, മെറ്റൽ  ഡിറ്റക് ടർ, പേർസണൽ ബോഡി ചെക്കിങ്ങ്, ലഗ്ഗേജ്  സ്കാനിംഗ്  എന്നീ  നിരവധി കടമ്പകൾ  കടന്നു. സത്യസന്ധനായ നിങ്ങൾക്ക്  ഒരു പക്ഷെ ഇത്തരം  ഒരു യാത്രക്ക് ഇറങ്ങിയാൽ   മാത്രമല്ലെ  ഈ ലോകത്തിൻറെ  പരിഷ്കാര പദ്ധധികൾ  മനസ്സിൽ ആവുകയുള്ളൂ ?

ലോകം  ഇങ്ങനെ ഒക്കെ ആയതിൽ നിങ്ങളുടെ നിഷ്ക്രിയത്വം  ഒരു കാരണമല്ലേ ? മറ്റുള്ളവർ  തമ്മിൽ  ഇത്രയും  അകൽച്ചയും  വിദ്വേഷവും വൈരാഗ്യവും സംഷയാലുക്കളും ആയിരിക്കുമ്പോൾ   നിങ്ങൾക്ക്  എങ്ങനെ നിഷ്ക്രിയരായി ഇരിക്കാൻ സാധിക്കും? എന്തായാലും രണ്ടു മണിക്കുർ  ഉള്ള പ്ലയിൻ  യാത്രയിൽ ചിന്തിച്ചിരിക്കാൻ  ഇതാ ഒരു പുതിയ വിഷയം. എയർപോർട്ടിലുള്ള  യാത്രക്കാരെ ശ്രദ്ധിച്ചു നോക്കി. ബസ് സ്റ്ഷനിലും റെയിൽവേ സ്റ്ഷനിലും ഉള്ളത് പോലെ തന്നെ ഉത്കണ്ടാകുലർ ആണ് അവരെല്ലാം. ഏതു സ്റ്റെഷിനിലായാലും എയർ പൊർറ്റിലയാലും അവിടെ ഒന്നും  ശാശ്വതമല്ല  എന്നതാണ് എല്ലാവരുടെയും അനുഭവം. ദേശങ്ങളെല്ലാം  കുറെ കണ്ടു. പഠനങ്ങൾ എല്ലാം ഒരുപാടായി. ഒടുവിൽ വീട്ടിൽ തിരിച്ചെത്തി, എല്ലാവരോടും പറയാനായി ഒരുപാട് കഥകളുമായി. ബന്ധുക്കളെല്ലാം കഥകൾ കേട്ടിരുന്നു. പക്ഷെ  എല്ലാവരുടെയും  മനസ്സിൽ ഒരേയൊരു ചോദ്യം മാത്രം ബാക്കി! ഈ കുടുബവും ,നമ്മുടെ  സ്വന്തം  വീടും, ഭദ്രതയുള്ള ഈ സുഖസൗകാര്യങ്ങളും എല്ലാം  ഒരു കഥ മാത്രം ആയിരുന്നോ?ചിന്തിക്കേണ്ട  വിഷയം തന്നെ! അത്താഴത്തിനു  ശേഷം  എല്ലാവരും അവരവരുടെ കിടക്കയിൽ ഉറങ്ങാൻ  കിടക്കുമ്പോൾ ഒരേയൊരു  ചിന്ത മാത്രം. നാളത്തേക്കുള്ള കണക്കുകൂട്ടലുകളെല്ലാം ശാശ്വതമാണോ? അതോ  വീണ്ടുമൊരു പുതിയ യാത്ര വേണ്ടി വരുമോ?

ഒരു പ്രവാസത്തിനായുള്ള സഞ്ചാരമാർഗ്ഗത്തിൽ  അനുഭവപ്പെടുന്ന  ജഡത്വ പരമായ  അവസ് ഥകളെന്തോക്കെയാണ്?ആ സ്ഥാനഭ്രംശതിനുള്ള  വൈമുഖ്യത്തെ പല  ഭാഗങ്ങളായി  വിഭജിച്ചു  നോക്കു. അവസ്  ഥഭേദങ്ങളെ  ഓരോന്നായി  അതിജീവിക്കാൻ  കഴിഞ്ഞാൽ  ജീവിതമെന്ന യാത്രയ്ക്ക്  നിങ്ങൾ  തയാറായി  കഴിഞ്ഞു. അങ്ങനെയൊരു  യാത്ര  എത്തെണ്ടിടത്തു  എത്തിയതിന്  ശേഷം  മാത്രമേ  മോക്ഷം ഉള്ള. അതുവരെ  ഏവരും  ഓരോരോ  യാത്രയിൽ സജീവമാവേണ്ടി വരും. എല്ലാവരുമോന്നിച്ചുള്ള  ഈ യാത്രകളിൽ  ഹൃദയപൂർവം  പങ്കു വയ്ക്കൽ മാത്രമായിരിക്കും  എല്ലാവർക്കുമുള്ള  ഒരെയൊരു ആശ്വാസം . അങ്ങനെ  എത്തെണ്ടിടത്ത്  എത്തിയാൽ  മാത്രമല്ലെ  യാത്ര  ചെയ്ത  വാഹനത്തിൽ  നിന്ന്  ഇറങ്ങാൻ  സാധിക്കുകയോള്ളൂ?അതുവരെ  ഈ പന്തി  ഭോജന ശൈലിയിലുള്ള  ഈ സമൂഹയാത്രയിൽ  എല്ലാവർക്കും  പങ്കു  ചേരാം.

SHOPPING

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Each person is endowed with unique and specific skills. One may become interested in creating clothes where as the other may cultivate bananas. This is a suitable environment for exchange and barter. It is not ever possible to avoid interacting with people.

Many People excel in this activity called interaction. For some it is just an entertainment or pastime or a hobby. Others may have multiple objectives while interacting.

For many people, their livelihood is dependent on their ability to interact with others. As with other things, interactions also give results or consequences. But is there an escape?

Pursuit of interacting with yourself devoid of any other is alright. There must be a bench mark as to whether you are interacting with yourself correctly.

As much as you introspect and decide to intervene into your own ignorances, so much so, you will enhance your interactive skills with other people. Here begins the art of exchanging goods and services with others.

Is there a tool to ensure fairness and justice in the exchange of goods and services?

What is the unit of measurement of profit and loss?

Accumulating the favorable results through an interactive exchange is called profit. Slowly we have moved into maximizing profits and minimizing losses. A good bargain attempts to minimize the gap between gain and loss. How courageous are you to expose yourself to the art of bargaining?

Look at the market place, a system has evolved for exchange of goods and services. The method of give and take and bargaining , among the masses is the marketplace. Today you have options for shopping. Open market place and fortified shopping malls.

What is your preference? You have wholesale markets and retail shops. Shops that allow bargains and others that have fixed prices. What are the challenges in open markets?

Parking space, dust and other pollutions. Disturbing noises or even rain sometimes may hamper the quality of your shopping experience. Shopping malls have climate controlled aisles, spaces concentrated with one type of goods, multi level parking space, food courts, convenient electronic displays, multiplex cinema theatres and comfortable lounges.

What type of shopper are you? Is your approach to shopping, by the liberal way or cautious?

Are you a planned shopper who has studied all the components that go into purchasing a product?

Have you seen erratic and impulsive buyers who are just happy to buy things? There are other buyers who consider all the peripheral services like the after sales services, discount sales and all other freebies that come along.

People purchase goods for needs or even for image. There are both young and old among the window shoppers who like to treat their eyes and mind to the mannequins in the shops. Food shoppers in the food courts are a breed by themselves.

Game and cinema shoppers can be categorized separately. Young people are seen browsing the gadget showrooms. But the collective behavior of footfalls in the shopping malls have a distinct feature rather than in open markets.

Which is popular in your city: Open markets or the climate controlled shopping malls?

Friday Market, Garage sales, China bazaar, Eat street, Imitation bazaars are also the places where people arrive and interact and exchange.

Some people are specialists in specific market places as much as there are professionals who sell the goods .Some have become very proficient in corresponding the specific needs to the market places. Knowledge of people profiles, communication skills, interactive genius and bargaining instincts altogether make you an expert in the art of shopping.

It requires immense strength to study the correct mannerisms and etiquettes in dealing with the interactions. Sometimes there are emotional buyers; therefore emotional intelligence becomes an important factor in studying the market place.

The Caliber of people in your city to interact with each other will decide the growth and economy of the city. Are you open to further trading?

Trading and economy exchanges also require intellectual rigor and stamina of the heart. The comfort you have with yourself is almost the same as with other people. Conversely speaking the discomfort you have with whom you trade with, may be equal to the discomfort you have with yourself.

Trade, economy exchange and interaction can become your new buzz words. So how to establish the level of comfort with yourself. What are the impediments that stop you from discussing and negotiating the matter with other people? Are you surely moving away from the conventional market space where you are more exposed to other people?

Are you afraid of the assessments they may make about you with respect to your demeanors, with their discovering your interactive weakness?  Have you carefully kept them hidden for so long?

Has online shopping become the new saviour? Have you heard of Leebay, tabong, amazon, flipkart, snapdeal? These online services expand to even other industries like travel, medical, matrimony and even fitness.

Have you ever picked up the phone and called the toll free number on television screen?

The telemarketing industry has a luxury to be able to explain a product to you in 20 min. Can this give you the comfort of understanding a product sitting in your bedroom? Various telebrands have succeeded in giving you the edge of the seat experience by slashing 50% of the cost in case you make a call at that moment. The comfort has moved from open market to the shopping malls then through the internet as online market place.

The grand mother on the veranda has observed this graduation in shopping in the last five decades. In all she claims that the children like the taste of tomato ketchup but have never seen the shape of a raw tomato. They like dairy products but have never seen milking the cow.

The chefs in the fancy kitchen who use ginger and garlic paste from tetra packs would never have handled the raw vegetables. The store of cotton clothes would have never seen the raw cotton. The eaters of soya chunks would have never seen a soya bean. She wonders that how did the various marketplaces succeed in eliminating the human connect and personalized interaction. Commerce looks attractive and glamorous. But devoid of personal connection and a human touch just may not have glitter for long.

Humanism encourages the interaction with people and exchange of goods and services among them, though profit can be a favorable result, profit alone cannot be the main objective .There is much value in the quality of interaction when they are based on kindness, compassion and generosity.

The heartfelt interactions are good standards for the home .Must not then the market place be regulated for sustainance? Human relations, progress and development must happen. Can trade and economics have trust instead of suspicion and confidence instead of threat? Volunteerism and willingness to part with little and petty mind sets will ensure that exchanges can be in accordance with human values.

As a volunteer you can become accountable to steer the economic insight of your city to benefit all its citizens together we can make a city of surpluses and country of abundance.Market place must have collaboration, communication, co-operation and coordination. Economy and  trade can then flourish and all can thrive.

FINITE CIVILIZATION

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People inhabit various regions on earth. They cultivate specific mannerism of behavior and different life-styles which is primarily suitable to the terrain. You may call it civilization. Many civilizations have flourished in as many regions and after many centuries they have disappeared. We know every civilization had their time of glory and otherwise. What is the glory of the civilization? Comfort, Conveniences, Economic strength, protection of civilization, Administrative & Political system and may be expansion of territory. Some initiatives in to art, music, romance and all other attributes of daily living is also visible. But does all of the above make the civilization complete?

All the civilizations which had the comforts for its people yet may have had lack in wisdom & happiness. We can agree that devoid of wisdom & happiness all else is finite. All finite experiences and civilization are conditional. The joy in the finite system is dependent on conditions that are bound by shelf life. Is it sufficient that the civilization is established on fault lines? Are the stability assured and the steadiness ensured in the civilization? How deep we should understand the human behavior? Has our civilization have any systems that provides happiness & wisdom. Does humanity need to learn further?

Has humanity shut itself in to a framework that stagnates learning? Rearranging the raw material in to appropriate product or infrastructure may not be consistent with the inner drive to be wise and happy. How much ever products are manufactured for human conveniences, yet the number of presents, psychiatric clinics and hospitals are not reducing. The reason is very simple. In our insatiable chase to procure happiness perhaps we have slipped in to wrong trajectory. Consumption of materials for indulgences alone will not bring wisdom & happiness

Does our civilization need to graduate into the realm of wisdom & happiness? If so then where is the exit out of current framework & the bridge into the fresh dimension? People, who have regularly practiced alternate breathing techniques and specific stretches for the body, seem to know the answer. They have claimed that solutions are hidden to people who does not subscribe to meditation. Meditators seem to have the key to unlock the secrets of fine living. Our civilization seems to be molded on a practice that compels citizens to procure more. Isn’t it inside your experience that your search is not complete even though your procurements are immense? So the Guru encourages civilization to move in to the dimension of wisdom & happiness. Only happiness & wisdom is consistent. This is because the Guru converts each citizen into a contributor. Consumptions are finite yet contributions are infinite. What if humanity positions itself as a raw material for the nourishment of the entire earth? What can human beings do to poster itself as the raw material to nurture the environment, the animals and all other flora & fauna? Consider this hypothesis. Human beings are the raw materials for iron ore. People become useful for photosynthesis in plants or even your civilization produces nourishment for the goats than its reverse. The entire eco system will then thrive when the civilization starts complementing the nature. But this paradigm shift into happiness & wisdom needs education. It needs a relationship of trainer with a trainee. The ignorant nature of civilization that compels it to dominate others makes people into poor learners. A good student welcomes upon himself the necessary sacrifices so that he can liberate himself from the shackles of confinement. Every civilization was confined into its own understanding of luxury, growth, development & success. Whereas the paradigm shift is an opening where success is defined as talent, skills, sharing, caring & a collective global cause. 

A leader who provides the vision & training that gives you a global perspective will connect not just by mannerism but also from the heart. A mature adult must show traits of willingness to evolve. The fruit that ripens naturally will be more sweeter than the other which is compelled to conform. The adult who has ripened & matured through the processes of evolution will have equipped himself with the qualities to discover the true leader. The opportunity has submitted itself to everybody. You are also exposed to possibilities of happiness & wisdom. The leader has expressed the willingness to provide guidance. Where is the catalyst that hastens the evolution of civilization? This catalyst perhaps was the missing link. Will the innovator be justified if he articulates the missing catalyst as time? 

When the time, opportunity, willingness and maturity has all come together to welcome the guide, the civilization can call itself complete & ready for happiness & wisdom. Welcome to infinity…

TRAVEL RELATIONS

(As published in Ashwartha Magazine)

I cannot move but I am not handicapped. I am handpicked.

Solo-Weekend-Trip

I deserve much care, but they do not give it to me. Nobody can do without me. I am not just their friend or family. But I am a necessity to mankind .I keep most of their secrets and their belongings. I go where ever my owner goes. I am the most shabbily treated one among their properties, yet I endure the most. I am picked, racked, carried, passed on and many times even thrown.

 Much thought goes into choosing me before they buy me. My colour, style, trend, cost, size, type, design, durability, strength, shape and country of my manufacture are considered. I am expected to give comfort and convenience to my owner. You will be amazed to know the kind of vehicles that I have travelled in.

I have been to all places that my owner has visited.

Many times my owner has forgotten to carry me back. And the air carrier has misplaced me. I have been stolen and have been lost .But through all these I loyally endured. Without me most of the plans and preparations will fail. No programmes or function will be on time without me. 

I am the most integral part of your living too. I know of all the objects that are dearest to you. I ensure that these things that you intimately carry where ever you go, are protected and secured.

Did you know that you even bargained for the price, at the time of buying me? You may have underestimated my value. Many times you have burdened me with more than my capacity, but I never complained. I stretched and obeyed. When your objects pierced through me as you fastened my mouth, I too relented.

I have added value to your style quotient. I did not protest when they stuck to me many different labels and tagged me before your travels. I did not fear when I was shut into many cabinets, shelves and cars. You always knew I was disposable and replaceable, yet, I chose to serve you unconditionally.

You even lent me to other people. I carried for you objects used by your friends. I carried for you packets meant for your friends or neighbours. But yet most of the time I became a suspect. I am the most frisked and many times feared species among you.

I am the most tied up and my mouth is always fastened.

I am strapped and locked, yet I never was in grief or sorrow. When I became wet I patiently waited to become dry. And when you choked my neck I simply yielded in silence. 

I never judged you as old, young, adult, child, woman or professional or personal. I simply served without commerce or economics. In my sturdy version, they sat on me and in my flat version I became a table top.

Have you ever seen something more versatile than me? Certainly not, yet I expect no acknowledgement or recognition.

I may not be intelligent; I may not be empowered to forgive. I am just grateful that I have been of much use to all. Really, I am so silent when put to work that rarely anybody even knows me.

Inside me are many compartments of various sizes. I am valuable to people in my deepest darkness. I am also available as the most clear and transparent, but your mess is hidden by my external appearance. Though I am most flexible, I carry most rigid contents with me. 

Your most personal items, sharp objects, perishables, edibles, valuables and your trash, all are revealed to me.

 But yet, I understand that I am here only to support you and never to lead you. I have outlived most of your other belongings. Though I am old and used and discarded yet I am never remembered.

 Are we related? You have chosen me. I am always carried by you, but never did I claim a contract. I seek no rights, but have all responsibilities. You may even hold me accountable for good service.

Sometimes you have assessed me as shameful. To many places, you have chosen another as your arm candy. You thought I am shabby and not worthy to be seen with you. Yet I shamelessly tagged behind you. And waited till you returned.

I know my limitations; I am also vulnerable to wear and tear. Some people repair me, some replace me, some dispose off me and many even discard me after use. I am also exposed to being recycled. But then again I never asked for rewards or awards.

I am most happy when I am considered to be bought as a gift.  But rarely anybody does that. I carry all the gifts that they want to carry. But almost never has anybody assessed me as worthy to be their gift to another person. But then I never sought to etch my personality in your memory. You never hugged me or caressed me. You never introduced me as your friend. But yet I enjoy making your travels lighter for you. I enjoy organising your things so that you can play, dine, sing and dance.

Everybody has one or more of me. Human kind could never live without me. I am just the humble travel bag. If you ever accuse me or blame me of being corrupt, then somebody else has certainly put it there.

 As a courtesy to my endeavour, I request something from you. Talk about my good qualities to your children. Educate about my service-orientation to your friends. You can be an educator of the story called “The travel bag values”.

May be human values can follow.