Destiny is, Cool Blue...

Wednesday, December 31, 2008

A season to celebrate

It is Holiday time and looking around, you can sense the festive mood setting in, already. Visiting friends and family, vacations to plan, gifts to buy, parties to prepare for and of course, the money to cover all these - will be the things occupying the minds of millions of people, this season.

Kicking off the holiday season is Christmas, a day marked by giving and receiving gifts and more importantly a joyous occasion for everyone to spend time with family and friends. As I drive around Lexington’s busy Hamburg shopping district, I can see people thronging restaurants and shops, filling the air with the holiday buzz and excitement. Stores and buildings decorated with elegant Christmas wreaths offer a beautiful sight for the eye in red and green. Stars and flashy lights dangling in my neighbors’ patios remind me of the jolly days I had in my hometown back in India, during "Diwali" (The Festival of Lights), the "Christmas" for Hindus, if you will. ‘Feel-good’ movies and innumerable ads exhorting viewers to go shopping, fill the TV space. As for myself, single, though not lonely, like the magnificent Christmas Tree downtown, I have always felt that the city I call my hometown, the "Athens of the West," teems with life and joy during the holiday season, true to its name - nickname rather. See http://www.santas.net/aroundtheworld.htm for interesting information on Christmas traditions around the world.

Following Christmas comes the New Year’s Day. Breathtaking fireworks lighting up the skies and late-night parties have become regular activities marking new year celebrations worldwide. Though a majority of people celebrate the advent of the new year based on the Gregorian Calendar, people in various countries welcome the new year by following a calendar that is unique to a particular ethnic group, religion or region. The Tamil New Year celebrated in southern India is observed on the first day of the Tamil month "Chithirai" (typically falls on April 13 or 14 of the Gregorian calendar); The Chinese New Year traditionally begins on the first day of the first lunar month in the Chinese calendar; Rosh Hashanah, the Jewish New Year, begins on the first day of the seventh month (Tishri) of the Hebrew calendar. Cultural differences apart, the New Year provides an opportunity for everyone to introspect and plan a better life in the year ahead, aided by sometimes unattainable but trendy New Year’s resolutions. The page http://www.fathertimes.net/traditions.htm shares an insight into new year traditions around the world.

In these troubled economic times, spending money wisely becomes an automatic priority for us in matters involving money. Celebrating the holidays is therefore strongly influenced by money constraints and you could find innumerable blogs opining on having an ‘economic’ Christmas or New Year, television commercials advising viewers on how to save money during the holidays and so on. Money or no money, Faithful or not, these festivals bring out the true spirit of the holiday season - family, love, peace and oneness. Christmas and New Year being universal holidays, people around the world, cutting across religious and ethnic divides, would be hoping that the season would usher in prosperity, happiness and peace in the coming year. So does yours truly. Merry Christmas and Happy New Year !!!

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Friday, May 06, 2005

Learning, the iPod way...


Ever wondered about this ? - "Is what I want, actually what I need ?"

There might have been many instances in your life where you have had to choose between what your heart has longed for and what you actually needed to have, at that point in your life. I have had many such experiences in the past and the most recent one, a couple of weeks back. The occasion was my b'day and my close friends asked me what I would like to have as my b'day gift, as it was the usual practice followed for each one's b'day.

Though I'm by no means a music aficionado, listening to music is my favorite pastime. So, getting an mp3 player for me was on my mind for a long time.I was thinking of a Sony MiniDisc Player, but when my friend suggested I have a look at Apple's iPod, I changed my mind and decided to go with the iPod, as it had cool features. He also asked me to consider the option of getting a nice set of formal pant and shirt as I had just graduated at that time and was beginning to attend interviews. After pondering for a while, I decided to go with what I wanted, the iPod, though, what I actually needed was a nice formalwear for my interviews.

This incident made me realize two things. More often in your life, your best (read "close") friends are the ones who rightly know what you want/need at a given time. Here, my friends showed me what I really wanted (The iPod, not the Sony MD Player) and what I actually needed (formalwear). Which one you prefer finally(want or need), is of course, for you to decide. So, it would be better even if you have a very few "close" friends than having a lot of "friends". This is not to say that one should not have too many friends, but in addition to those, he/she has to have atleast a few "close" friends. Because, they are the ones who help you differentiate between what you want and what you need in life. In that way, I'm lucky enough to have quite a few of such guys.

Second - Having understood what I wanted and what I needed, I was left with the task of choosing one of those two. I am not sure if my choice, iPod, was a wise one. But, the logic behind my decision was - you should choose whatever that makes you feel happy. I'm not sure if I would have been happy, had I chosen the formalwear option. It cannot be said that I didn't consider my friends' suggestion. In fact, they were of the view that, whatever my choice was, in the end, I should be happy with what I chose. They helped me identify my preferences and I chose the one that would make me happy. After all, that's what your folks want you to be...HAPPY.