Minerva in the Making

If you ask me how long did I know Ankita Katdare, I’d say I know her since she was about 10. But when I read her blog, read these answers and got to know of few other activities she does these days, I thought how wrong I was. The school going kiddo I knew is an aspiring engineer today, manages a fairly successful blog and is the Editor-in-Chief of Crazyengineers.com. Truly a Minerva in the making, she has surprised one and all. Ladies and Gentlemen, here is the future generation for you… enjoy the interview.

Minerva looks like a name of a very old lady and you are surely very young. What’s the secret behind the name that suffixes your initial on the blog?

Ankita: It was January 2008. I was 17 and I really didn’t know what I was doing when I first started a blog on BlogSpot. Somewhere inside my head, I had planned to name my blog as ‘Junkyard’. So I kept the name as ankita-junkyard.blogspot.com. That blog still exists. Continue reading

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Folks and Reality

I remember how I grew up listening to stories from Mahabharata, Ramayana, stories of India’s independance struggle, stories of Chhatrappati Shivaji Maharaj and other many such great men. I have never known any one to exist… at least not the mythological characters, most of whom we call gods. But they were great stories of great men and I grew up learning different facets of life and personality from the characters of these great men and women.

Now that my son grows every day, I am back to the learning phase. I’ve already started revising what my grand father and mother told me as a child. The stories of gods, kings, great men of folks and the ideologies of well being. When the time has come to revise it, I wonder what if I could see them and know who they really were. I wonder what made ‘Arjun’ what he was. Or why did they call ‘Krishna’ the god when even he looked and behaved like an ordinary man.

The quest to find the answer led to a string of interwining thoughts crowding my mind. I think the men in these stories became what we remember them as only because they never gave up on what is right. Each of them had a purpose filled life. And they went till the end to fulfil their purpose. What differentiates them from us is that they never gave up. They just never did.

The world has changed a lot since the times of these great men… different times. What has not changed is the balance between the good and bad. We still have the evil that gave rise to great heroes in those times. We had martyrs of the freedom struggle who gave their lives for India’s independance. And we have the modern day heroes who are still fighting for making a terror free state.

When my son grows up, I’m going to teach him. I’m going to tell him the great stories of great men both from our age and the yester age. I’m going to tell him to go till the end in his quest, come what may. Because there is still some good left in this world. And it is worth fighting for!

Fiction or Philosophy?

philosophy-humorI was in a discussion with my wife yesterday. The topic was, “If given a chance, what kind of book will you write?” I obviously vouched for fiction. I have a thousand stories running in my brain all the time. Its quite obvious from the fact that I watch and review so many movies. I feel it like the normal philosophy of life. We like to read (or watch) what we want to be… or wish to be.

My wife, on the other hand, like philosophy more than any thing else. Although she is a big movie buff herself. She argued that we should read stories that teach us some thing. We should always be on a look out to find ways to live our life better than the way we live right now. So she’s got authors like Dr. DeMartini, Napolean HIll, Rhonda Byrne and Jack Canfield. Whereas my collection is adored by Sidney Sheldon, Geoffrey Archer, Dan Brown, Robert Ludlum and the likes. The only two authors lucky to have found a common shelf space between us were Ayn Rand and Paulo Coelho.

The big argument that broke out as an outcome of this discussion was, “Do such books really teach us the philosophy of life?” I had a one word answer, “No.”  I couldn’t possibly relate to all the good willed quotes and sentences full of gratitude. I’m too practical to get inspired from some one’s preaching. After all, how many of these authors have had a perfect life? I would rather read about a perfect love life, a perfect marriage, a perfect lady or a man, an exciting adventure, a luckiest and bravest guy… list is endless, so is imagination.

I would like my readers to tell me, “Do you really believe in the philosophy of life written by some one else?”