FREEDOM IS NOT FREE

Freedom is not free. To get freedom, you have to pay the price.

                                          Freedom is not free. To get freedom, you have to pay the price.

Digital people sometimes are oblivious to their real neighbourhood. Their neighbours may be entertainers. The drummer and guitarist who live two houses away may have all the musicians at their house. They may be jamming noisily throughout the night. But that is their livelihood. To be a noisy neighbour.

Just about ten houses away from your house, there may be few researchers and academicians. They may be converting every emotion of people into academics and literature. Giving solution may not be their strength. Just like you have confined yourself to the virtual world and you acquired proficiency in the digital dimension. You know everything about cyber and WI-Fi. But aren’t you handicapped when it comes to a confrontation with a neighbour. The next housing colony may have some gangsters living there. Though you chose not to engage them into a social dialogue, yet they are integral part of your community. What when they become unruly and rowdish with you? Though some criminal offences are part of their behaviour, yet you are helpless in a confrontation. They may have initiated the standoff. But yet you are not equipped for a conflict or a showdown. But yet when the members of the gang are wounded or sick, then they are at the mercy of a neighbourhood doctor. You must befriend this doctor who is respected in the neighbourhood. But if the gangster knew of your relationship with local police, then they would show you a pleasant behaviour. The society cannot be without the Police.  The police station is a location that everybody knows. This is a landmark just like hospital and school.

People accept that police is capable of ensuring civil behaviour among all neighbours. If only all citizens of the neighbourhood were orderly and complied with civil duties and interactions. The civilities are violated even at religious conflicts. These religious institutions also have landmark places of worship. Society is sometimes known as followers of a specific faith. Diverse religions are practiced in your neighbourhood. Sometimes celebrative fervour overlaps on to each other’s sentiments. In any case, though you are a digital chip designer, yet you will be exposed to religious festivities.

Any such expression of religious festivities in your neighbourhood needs licenses. The mayor or collector can allow or prohibit a festive gathering if they suspect disruption of law and order. Haven’t you been at the receiving end of bureaucracy? The regulatory officers can be kind and relenting but at times they can be seen as harassing or misusing power. But you cannot avoid bureaucratic authorities. Indifference of these governing authorities can delay your progress. They have the power to deny many civic comforts to you. But bureaucratic institution and its people are questioned on accountabilities. Haven’t you met your local politician? May be a Member of Parliament, legislative assembly, corporate or any position that is elected by the people? These people have political fervour and panache.

However good or expert you are as a chip designer, yet a neighbourhood volunteer can knock on your door for the contribution to the political party. Turning them away will attract ire from them. You may come under their radar as somebody who does not integrate in a social system. Suddenly, you may be exposed as the bad and non-cooperative neighbour. But your image cannot be cleared by the advocates. They can only propose, or represent your story.

In any case, they seem to be there to teach you patience. Considering the number of pending cases, you may decide to avoid this neighbour. But it’s only a matter of time that will take you to contact this neighbourhood advocate. Many advocates may have cars, luxury homes or even branded jewellery. But why not! They are celebrity advocates. There are celebrities in every field.  Any and all streams of work are evident in your neighbourhood. It is important   that your maturity as a social person is indicated by how you integrate with all varieties of lifestyles in your neighbourhood. Most of the varieties are visible when you go to the neighbourhood club house.

Haven’t you been invited to the local events? The business community is most active in organizing social events. The sports club and its athletes may have worked hard and practiced well for the respective competitive sport. The neighbourhood club may have drawn the attention of all, in the annual athletic meet. Almost all the citizens of your neighbourhood are visible here. Yet, the business people would have sponsored the players, the event or even the sports complex. In any award ceremony, your neighbourhood jewellery shop owner or the restaurant proprietor and names of all other entrepreneurs are announced. That is the presence of business in your neighbourhood.

Now can you isolate yourself from this bustle of your neighbourhood? It is imperative that you learn    ‘the art of interacting’ with one and all in your neighbourhood. May be they are not at all linked together or even networked on world wide web. So, the solutions that you seek may need the attention of the people around you. Civil matters need local solutions. How equipped are you with skills for neighbourhood transactions? It is not surprising that the neighbourhood has the flash mobs or even ‘herd mentality’.  But your solace may be proportionate to your capacity to deal with your neighbourhood. What have you done to enhance your capacity, so as to handle this polity called neighbourhood? How long can one be in denial of the neighbourhood realities? Can we discover a digital methodology for neighbourhood interactions? It is important to be practical about it and not in dismissal.

Freedom is not free. To get freedom, you have to pay the price. And at times, simple freedom is costly. If you do not use your car for over three months, then the battery is discharged. If you do not use your SIM card in mobile for a long period, then the service provider may block the service. They all encourage you to be repeatedly interactive and transactive. Freedom in the neighbourhood is only for those who transact.

You can consider this reading as a check list of to-do things. Did you acknowledge that this useful list is brought to you by the media person in your neighbourhood? Isn’t reporting news a lucrative trade? A professional in this stream of media is also your neighbour. A festive season is coming your way now. It is a time for pleasantries and exchange of gifts. Now is the opportunity to merge with the heart of your neighbourhood. You can initiate to create a neighbourhood – a social merger.

So if you wish to get freedom to have your way, then it is essential to be interactive and inclusive to transact in 2015! Best wishes for a free and happy new year.

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COFFEE TIMES

People need something to occupy their mind. You may call it as activity. Nobody can live devoid of things to do. People become restless and chooses to indulge. Some indulgence keeps the mind occupied and results in solace. Though temporary a relief is essential. Is it the coffee relief?

Coffee-people

Everybody needs comforts. People call this as lounging. A suitable ergonomic seating with a centre table, a pushback chair, reclining backrest, high armrest and tall headrest. Maybe something below your feet to allow the stretch of your knees. Nice light, pipe music or a light piano recital with soothing notes for your listening pleasure. This is lounging. Is it the coffee lounge?

Don’t you want freedom from having to think of confrontations, competitions and comparisons? Do you want some time devoid of having to make profits? A time that you may call as your own. It’s not surprising then that people gravitate towards leisure time. A coffee leisure?

What do you do when you feel moody? Many methods of relaxation may have looked futile. Probably that is the reason that you have reached out for a cup of coffee. Everybody enjoys the stimulants by way of coffee even though it is not permanent. Yet the stimulation from coffee cannot be dismissed. The taste, the aroma and the temperature are all appealing to your palates. It is no wonder then that coffee drinking seemed to have gained an overrated popularity in the last decade.

Then there are the lonely people. Or may be they are bored. Have you seen a cluster of three chair and one table occupied by just one person. She may have the wandering eyes. Her eyes would fall on everybody who has walked in to the cafe. This is the eternal day dreamer who can buy one coffee and sit for an hour. The cafe is the companion with a poetic licence.

Stimulation, leisure time, lounging comfort and a social activity have all come together into a formula called a neighbourhood coffee shop. You will agree with me that the number of coffee shops have increased exponentially in your neighbourhood in the last decade. As people grow in to adulthood the coffee drinking exposure has become a statement of adulthood. Social indulgence, professional meetings, book reading and even dating have all been done on the platform of a coffee shop.

Are you in the land of the traditional south Indian decoction coffee? Inside your house today, the youth pronounces it as cappuccino, expresso, café latté and by many other names.  Coffee is pronounced in your town in Italian, French or even in Spanish names. People vouch for the soothing effect on their minds while they are in a conversation in the coffee shop. Even the companies founded on the concept of instant coffee such as Nescafe and Bru have started to feel the heat of the local coffee shops. Accompanied with chocolate cakes, confectioneries and other snacks, coffee drinking has become an irreversible trend. The bitter seed of coffee have found sweet acceptance among all segments of society. It has captured the sentiments of people to the extent that a break from stress is termed as coffee break. The traders, the coffee growers, auctioneers, distributors, retailers and others in the assembly chain have all a stake in the burgeoning market called the coffee drinkers. Most sophisticated professions such as the coffee tasters and the blenders have also fitted into the niche among the coffee fraternity. Very beautiful hill stations has sprouted on the slopes of hills with coffee plantations. The advertising industry sometimes claim conflict resolutions among relatives by serving each other this popular beverage.

Today the revolutions in coffee drinking has cold coffee, ice cream coffee and other fusion products among the product range. It is no more surprising to see coffee shops and cafes have become a regular place for the bonhomie amongst us. Specialised newsletters, specialised radio channels, studied ambiances and trained waiters have all made the café experience into the most satisfying indulgence. Emotions, intellectual discussions and much work, which were earlier done in office premises are today shifted to the local cafes. Is it an integral part of today’s times or something that will be replaced by other beverages and venues is a debatable topic. But for now one thing is certain, the seductive attraction to walk in and to settle into a lounge chair in the coffee shop seems to be a legitimate indulgence.