Cluttered Desks, reckless shelves, drawers which look like dustbins..
Shouting parents, maids in a futile attempt to clean your room, sleeping on one side of the  bed with books shoved to the other side..familiar?
Face it we’re too messy, Our desks and dining room tables are piled with things; our  cupboards are bursting with clothes and old things. And with the ethical system telling us to be neat and clean and organized, we feel really bad about being messy.
We feel the need to straighten that mess to distinguish ourselves from animals, or so that other people don’t think of us as animals, whatever the reason may be!

But then again, consider this: 

1.      Humans, like Garfield are messy by nature. They aren’t robots programmed to put things where they found them. Tell me one thing, when you come home from school or work, how many of you actually go and put your bags neatly inside a cupboard or on a table? I’m guessing most of you just dump it the first place you see and then go hunting for it the next morning, My point is that since it comes so naturally to us, we really shouldn’t try to battle such strong and powerful forces of nature.

2.      Being organized is time consuming. Don’t your parents constantly tell you not to waste time? Well, what is the point of tidying up your room, when its likely to be in the same condition in another few hours? Now isn’t THAT a waste of time? Would you believe that people who keep their desks very neat spend an average of 36 percent more time looking for things than people who keep a fairly messy desk?

3.      Neat people are humourless and inflexible prigs.They’re people who seem to have nothing better to do than to spend more time organizing their things than actually using them! On the other hand, messy people signify happiness and contentment and aren’t so crazily obsesses with keeping things in order all the time.

4.      Messy people are more artistic, not that they see the mess on their table and say “oh what a beautiful painting this would make” But they generally have a more artistic sense than people who are neat and organized and prefer having things in order.
5.      Albert Einstein said “If a cluttered desk signifies a cluttered mind, what does an empty mind signify?” Albert Einstein
      wasn’t exactly the neatest person in the world either. This is a picture of his desk
       at Princeton. This just proves that genius=messiness. Now if Einstein, a genius who probably worked more in a 
       day than any of us have worked in our entire lives, could find all his crazy scientific formulas in such a mess, I’m sure our mess is worth keeping. Sure we have more formulas these days than Einstein did in his days, but still!
6.      Did you know that a book has been written called the perfect mess. Even the New York Times had published an article about it. 
       You know how hard it is to get books published these days. And the New York times featured it!  We must give it SOME credit and respect.
So look at the facts. There is no point trying to fight against nature. They are less time consuming. Messiness is a sign of a contented and an artistic mind. Einstein was messy. New York Times published a book on how mess is good.
So tell your parents/spouses to stop feeling bad, there are more urgent things to worry about. For instance, the end of the world in 2012, extinction of the polar bear and global warming. 
Now it is up to you to decide whether you want to clean up your rooms and tables or just remember what I said and say YES TO MESS!

The Power of One

Wael Ghonim led two lives. He spent his mornings at the office of google as the marketing head, and he spent his nights on facebook.

Dear readers, like us he did spend his time on facebook. But unlike us he did not while away his time by checking out people’s pictures, commenting on friend’s status and chatting. His facebook hours were devoted to making Egypt a free and fair democracy!

Let me warn you, the first time I heard this story, I couldn’t believe it. I couldn’t believe that one ordinary man could alone trigger something so incredible. Today I am going to share with you two life changing stories

For those of you who don’t know there was a recent uprising in Egypt which led to the overthrowing of President Mubarak, a pressing and unfair dictator.
Now when you think of protests and uprisings you think of activist giving speeches, putting up posters, gaining public support. But when you think of THIS protest, you think of an anonymous, invisible leader, one who doesn’t care for power, but cares for freedom for his country.

Wael Ghonim organized the revolution on facebook. He created a facebook page in the name of a late popular Egyptian leader. As people went on liking the page, he gained support. He managed to get 60,000 people to like the page.  Any status update that he put up on the page, would appear on his supporters home page. He used it to organize events and reach out to a wide range of people. That is how he organized the protest at Tahrir Square which led to the overthrowing of Mubarak.

As soon as the Egyptian authorities realized that a movement was underway, they tried to sabotage it. Now normally, these people would have caught hold of the activists, put them in jail and open fire on the crowd. But here, there was no activist who was leading the movement, and alas, the troops were on the side of the public. So here’s what they did– they cut off the internet and phone connections in an attempt to halt communication. Infact, when the authorities found out that he was behind this movement, they secretly detained him for 11 days. But despite all that, the message had reached the public and the protest happened with a 50,000 strong crowd.
What followed was a free country. This man alone changed the scenario of Egypt’s political system. Not only that but he managed to awaken Middle eastern world! Inspired by Egypt, there were uprisings in Libya, Bahrain, Yemen, Tunisia, Iraq, Jordan, etc
Now if he could use facebook to bring change why cant the rest?


Now coming to India..Narayan Krishnan is another such man who resides in the town of Madurai.
Narayan Krishnan, an award winning chef of a five star hotel in Mumbai was offered an elite job in Switzerland. Before going to Europe he decided to make a quick visit to his hometown, Madurai. Well, it turned out that the trip would be much longer than he intended it to be.
He saw an extremely old man eating his own waste. He was dying of acute hunger. Narayanan got him some food and that old man’s eyes filled with tears of happiness as he gobbled it down. So Narayanan Krishnan immediately decided that he would feed the poor and the homeless for the rest of his life.

He started in 2002. He feeds breakfast, lunch and dinner to the people who live and die on the streets, to elderly people and to those who are mentally ill. Has fed over 1.6 million meals since 2002. He feeds about 450 people everyday in Madurai. He went on to found  trust called the akshaya trust. Apart from feeding the underprivileged, he gives them shaves and haircuts with the aim of restoring their dignity and is also in the process of constructing a home for all these people.

This one man changed the life of so many just by caring for those who are uncared for.

Such is the Power of One.

If Wael Ghonim could change the Arab World and Narayanan could go from feeding highly paying elites to helpless roadside dwellers, why cant we? They didn’t have a huge amount of money or a powerful father!

One tree starts a forest, 
One smile begins a friendship, 
One candle destroys the darkness, 
One star can lead a ship. 
One life can make the difference, 

..and that one is YOU

Do schools kill creativity?

A girl was drawing a picture of god. People around her said “No one knows what god looks like.” And she said “They would in a minute”.
Kids will take a chance. They will not worry about being wrong. They will take a risk. The same is unfortunately not true about adults.
If you are not prepared to be wrong you wont come with anything
original. By the time they get to be adults they have lost that capacity. They are frightened of being wrong.
Schools are run in a way where mistakes are the worst things that can happen. We are educating people out of their creative capacity.
Picasso said “ All children are born artists.” We don’t grow into creativity but we grow out of it, or rather get educated out of it.
Do you know where Shakespeare was born? He was born in stratford. Can you imagine of Shakespeare as a child? Being 7 and going to school? He must have been 7 sometime and been in someone’s English class.
How annoying would it have been? Checking all of his English assignments and telling him to work harder on his English. Can you imagine his mom telling him “Go to bed now and put the pencil down. and stop speaking like that. Its confusing everybody.”
If this had been the case Shakespeare wouldn’t have been what he is today. People wouldn’t know him like they do.
Same hierarchy of subjects everywhere. At the top is maths and languages, then humanities and then the arts.
Maths is very important but so is dance. After all, we do have bodies, don’t we?
The main output of education is to produce university professors who typically live in their heads. They look upon their body as a form of transport for their heads.
There was no such education system before the 19th century. They all came into being to meet the needs of the green revolution.
You’re always told not to do what you like. Don’t do art, don’t do music. You’ll never get a job like this.
Highly talented, brilliant and creative people think they are not capable because of the bad system of university entrance. Anybody not good at school was never valued and stigmatized. In the next 30 years according to UNESCO more people will be graduating through university than since the beginning of history. Degrees aren’t worth anything. Isn’t that true? Earlier if a student had a degree he had a job and if he didn’t have a job it was because he didn’t want one.
Now you need a PhD where you needed an MA and you now need an MA where you needed a BA degree. This is because of academic inflation. My father once met a person who had done his BA. Can you guess what job he was doing? He is one of the security guards in our colony.
We know three things about intelligence:
1. It is diverse-visually, in sound
2. It is dynamic- wonderfully interactive creativity is a process of having original ideas which have values
3. It is distinct.

But the current education system
1. enforces rules upon us and instructs us to do things in a specific manner
2. focuses on all kinds of subjects, not allowing professionals in the country to be experts in their domain.
3. enables the majority of the population, who by the way do not want to become lawyers or doctors to waste their time and kill creativity.
4. doesn’t allow our schools to be flexible. They have very limited co-curricular activities.

The 20th century saw the rule of the left brained-the analyzers. But with the 21st century comes the renaissance of the right brained people.


Source: Ted Talk by Ken Robinson


Can you recall the most memorable day of your life ?

It was October 4th, another Sunday, and I was peacefully asleep past noon. my mom was trying to wake me up. On her 50th attempt, in vain she tried, “Today is the last date of registration for the Airtel Delhi Marathon. Sleepy head– did you listen”
To her utter surprise I jumped out of bed.
All charged up!!! I was ready to Go!!!
My parents were in a state of shock and disbelief – My dad said, “you can’t even run 7 steps, let alone 7 kms”.
There were basically 3 reasons that I wanted to go for this marathon.
First, I wanted to prove my father wrong. Nothing gives me more satisfaction than proving my parents wrong.
Secondly, I wanted to be on TV. I knew that there were going to be a lot of cameras there and I had a good chance of being on TV if I went.
Thirdly, there was a best dressed contest award. The best dressed person would get an enormous amount of Rs 20,000. I could already think of what I wanted to do with the money.
I immediately called up my friend, Aishwarya and my brother Anmol called up his friend Ishaan to join the run.
The four weeks flew by and it was Nov 1
I knew the objectives of the day – the 3 things I had to achieve –First things first – sh!!! Sh!!!. Actually I had no intentions to run, not even walk if things turned out my way – yet had to prove my dad wrong.. My Dad wanted me and my friend Aishwarya to stick along with him, but we had better ideas. We just had to get him off our back, but he would not leave us easily.
Just as we were making our way through– my brother and his friend were lost. My dad started calling and looking for them. This was the perfect chance for us to slip away. He called and called on our cellphone but obviously they were on silent.
We knew we could have more fun and enjoy without him – we kept running and gave him no chance to catch up. The only places we paused to catch our breath were TV cameras.
We made it to the finish line. Yes, I managed to run 7 km.
Now to my 2nd goal – I glued myself to the big TV camera – as it would turn so would I, of course my picture came on the same roll as Shah rukh, taken by the same person who took SRK’s picture and even by the same camera.. I got it all here with me and I was on TV. In case you are wondering –“Why I look familiar”, it would be because you saw me on TV that day!
I managed to achieve my 2nd goal but going from camera to camera made me really tired. I sat down to catch my breath. I donot remember when I fell asleep. I dreamt that the marathon was over. It was time for the award ceremony. Everyone was gathered around the big stage and names were being called out. The best costume award goes to “Payal Lal” – I was being handed over the cheque by Priyanka chopra and hundreds of comera man were jostling to click my picture. I was famous. I was on cloud 9. Just then, I was suddenly shaken up and my father woke me up.
Everyone had finished the marathon – it was time to go home.
Friends, it was the most memorable day of my life. Till then, I did not believe that I too could complete a 7 km run – success is about audacity, determination and luck – I had the fortune of all three at the same time because of which I successfully met my goals– in reality or in dreams.