Archive for May, 2012


Dreams


Beyond the world that we know so well, lies another one, just as magnificent – the world of dreams! Each one of us has witnessed thousands of dreams, but probably passed it off as a compilation of random thoughts. Nothing can be farther from the truth! Here is some trivia for you-

In most cases, dreams occur in the REM (rapid eye movement) stage of your sleep, when your brain works vigorously (similar to the condition of wakefulness). Dreams are witnessed in other stages of sleep as well, but they tend to be vague and are difficult to recollect.

The duration of a dream ranges from a few seconds to as long as twenty minutes. Research has shown that an average person sees 3 to 5 dreams per night, but some people can have about seven dreams in a single night.

“Dream incorporation” is a phenomenon wherein real external stimuli are incorporated into the dream, so as not to awaken the sleeper. For instance, one dreams of the phone ringing, when it actually is, or of urination, when wetting the bed.

“Lucid dreaming” occurs when the dreamer knows that he is dreaming. Sometimes, he can control his own, or even others’ actions in the dream. This has been proven scientifically. Lucid dreamers are called ‘Oneironaut’.

In “dreams of absent-minded transgression (DAMT)”, the dreamer indulges in those activities that he has been trying to avoid – like a smoker who is trying to quit, dreams of lighting a cigarette. DAMT make you wake with a pang of guilt. DAMMIT!

Some people admit to dreaming in black and white only!

“Déjà vu” is the feeling of ‘been there, done that’ in your dream, while facing a similar situation in your waking hours.

“Hallucination” is dreaming while you are awake! This differs from day dreaming mainly because your perception is unusually vivid, clear, and exhibits qualities of a real dream.

“Nightmares” are unpleasant dreams, which elicit extreme negative responses, ranging from horror to sadness, and awaken the dreamer, who is then unable to sleep for a long time.

“Night terror” is a parasomnia disorder, which causes feelings of terror or dread. Victims, predominantly children, who are often said to scream, have their eyes wide open, but are not actually awake. They seem to be protecting themselves from some possible threat.

What is astonishing is that people with diverse backgrounds and different corners of the world, witness similar dreams! Here are some of them which you might identify with, and what they could possibly mean –

Exam dreams – You have forgotten to study for your exam! You are late! You know nothing! Your pen stops working! Or you miss the exam altogether..! And bam! You have failed!!
Relax! There are people at the ripe age of 40 still witnessing this…Such dreams are indicators of your plummeting self confidence and your fear of being rejected. You are probably trying too hard to please others.

Falling dreams – You are on the verge of dozing off, and suddenly you miss a step! Your body gives a jerk, and you wake with a start! Ouch!
Falling dreams occur in the initial stage of your sleep, and are flanked by muscle spasms, called myclonic jerks.
(Please note that you WILL NOT ACTUALLY DIE if you fail to wake up before the fall).
Falling denotes your insecurities and inadequacies. Chances are that you are selling yourself short.

Naked dreams – You are dreaming of nothing spectacular as such, and then it hits you: you are naked in full public view!! This typically extracts either of these reactions – (A) You are petrified! This shows that you are vulnerable. Maybe you are hiding something (just like clothes hide your body). Or you are afraid of being embarrassed in public. Interestingly, if no one else in your dream notices your nudity, it implies that these concerns are baseless, and your fears are imaginary.
(B) You are proud of your nakedness. This symbolizes your free-spirited nature and your love for yourself. However, this can also mean that you are trying to gain attention in the wrong way.

Flying dreams – Flying dreams are a type of lucid dreams (i.e. you know that you are dreaming). If you are the sort who enjoys your flight and gets a thrilling sense of liberation, chances are that you are on cloud nine (pun intended).
If you aren’t so lucky, and find it tough to fly, it suggests your lack of control over a situation/ your life.
Unluckier still, if your ride gives you goose bumps, it says that you are not ready to face some challenge yet.

Chase dreams – You are desperately being pursued by somebody who wants to cause you harm or kill you… You are thoroughly exhausted. Yet, you run. You scream for help. Nobody seems to bother. Nobody seems to notice. You run till you can run no more. You collapse…
And what you notice next is that your brother isn’t too pleased at being woken up past midnight by your howling and screeching.
Little does he know that it was a result of the stress and pressures that chase you in your waking life! The next time, ask yourself who was chasing you, so you can get a hang of what is affecting you.

Teeth dreams – The only dream I haven’t seen is the “teeth dream”, and so that is the only one I find funny. Sources, who do not wish to be identified, have personally described to me their toothless versions, and let me tell you – it ain’t pretty.
Such dreams arise due to the phobia of aging. Teeth are associated with attractiveness, and their lack implies a shaky self image (also a fear of public embarrassment) and a feeling of unattractiveness. In fact, research has shown that women in menopause have such dreams frequently.

Dreams are perceived to be messages to you from your subconscious mind. In fact, some of the greatest ideas were conceived when the person was dreaming!

So the next time you dream something particularly nasty, don’t curse! It might just help you to hit that problem on its head.

– Divya. Ganapathy
(A Minerva M Writer)
Visit us at www.minerva-m.com


Sunday morning began the same way it always does, lazing around in front of the computer giving rest to the ass which had been working hard all week. As I browsed through the “YouTube Recommends For You” page, I sat back as I played the first video on the list. And sugary sweetness played on my screen for the next 5 minutes. I shamelessly hit the replay button to hear the sounds of “Baby, baby, baby, ohh”, while convincing myself that I was watching it because of Ludacris and not the copper-blonde kid. The next couple of days were filled with talks of the new eye candy in our school and the Beiber fever spread like wildfire. But as a forest guard would know, that every wildfire leaves ashes in its wake. As the craze for the new pop-sensation cooled down a bit, hatred started pouring in, mostly from boys all over the world. Sad jealous boys. Now Beiber on the other hand started actually believing that he’s as awful as people said he is. So he tried an age old recipe used by pop and R&B artistes. He became black. Yes you heard me, and I’m not being racist. Since R&B and hip hop were invented by the first Afro-American settlers In the U.S.A. it has mostly been their monopoly and whenever they collaborate mostly there is just one sad shade i.e.-BLACK. Famous collaborations include girl band “Destiny’s Child”, and the new Jay-Z and Kanye West duo. Of course there are exceptions including The Black Eyed Peas, but the group is an evolved form of a hip-hop group called Atban Klann which again happens to be- yes, all black. Now coming back to JB. The poor kid was so disappointed by the fact that half the world hated him, he didn’t realize that he was reigning king on youtube and 2nd on Twitter only next to Lady Gaga. Beiber had started believing that if he wasn’t under some more talented artistes’ wing then he wouldn’t succeed. Thus the decision to collaborate on his 2nd single with his new godfather, Usher. Thus the saga continues. Every time he collaborates with some one black he peaks at Billboard. Thus came Usher, Ludacris, Boyz II Men, Mariah Carey, Sean Kingston, Drake, Jaden Smith and the list continues. Then came the proposal to Rihanna. The poor guy had finally started losing it. But that didn’t stop his next album “Under The Mistletoe” from breaking sales records again. But amidst all the hatred and the paternity tests and the name calling and the leaked pictures with Selena Gomez, little boy blue did what most jealous and untalented people could not. He became famous at 16. Ok, now I don’t want to disappoint all the Justin Beiber haters out there, even though we know that he’ll be as hot as Ricky Martin in 10 odd years and most probably share the same fate as he did( for all those people who didn’t get the Ricky Martin gibe please feel free to use Google). Lets get down to some bitching! Now the most awited question of the year- When will Beiber die? 2012? Why not? Just that we will be so busy dying ourselves that we probably wont have the time to relish it. If not the apocalypse maybe he could follow the likes of Amy Winehouse and join the 27 club. Then I guess it’s a nine year wait. I can already hear the clock go tick-tok!

-Debabrata Das

A Minerva M Writer

Visit us at http://www.minerva-m.com


TAPESTRY OF EMOTIONS

We have been blessed with emotions. Fear, hate, happiness, love and a whole lot more besides. Different ones flood into our minds day after day, even hour after hour. Some are intense, some go almost unnoticed but they all enrich our lives, hopefully helping us to be better people and helping to steer us through life’s rich tapestry. That is a nice phrase but what does it mean in practice?
The last week hasn’t been very different from any other week but as I look back I find that in the course of just seven days I have gone through a whole gambit of emotions. I am sure that is true most of the time for all of us; rarely is our passage through life ever without incidents for any length of time. In fact I sometimes marvel at how we come out sane! It helps me to understand why, even without physical work, we can feel really exhausted at the end of a day.
To be honest, when I look back to how many emotions I actually portrayed last week, I get tired just thinking about them. Love, hate, fear, sadness, frustration and helplessness. Sometimes I realize that we are not humans without this bag of emotions. We just become machines that are programmed to think logically at every step of our lives. But then God gifted us with something worth living for, a soul. Come to think of it, we are nothing without it anyway, just as lifeless as a vegetable.
Life is a very rich tapestry of emotions but at the end of it all one can wonder why we have such emotions at all. Wouldn’t it be easier if we were completely logical beings who simply felt and did what was logical and without emotion. Yes, but then we would lack God’s greatest gift to us all – a soul.

RECREATING LOST MAGIC

To me, the magic of life is each breath that you take,
so you can smell the beautiful flowers or enjoy a serene lake.
The magic of life is to enjoy all living creatures big and small,
and to feel a sense of awe to the wonder of it all.
Living the magic of life is to laugh, cry and smile,
and to show love and compassion at all times, not just for awhile.
Sure enough that was the magic what life provided us with. Let me ask you people out there something? Do you see much of this nowadays, without the feeling of greed, hate or contempt in someone’s mind? No one in today’s world can be trusted, says my mother. As a kid, I never really believed it as it seemed too surreal to me. I asked myself, ‘How can mother say that? How can someone survive that way?’ And I always sought for the answer…
I am 15 now; much more mature that what I was when I was 10. Believe it or not, but I am beginning to give a second thought to how much of that ‘magic of life’ is left in this world. I am aware that I am not writing to a bunch of infants so you people sitting there on the other side of this discussion are well aware of what the problems faced by a common man alone are- Corruption, poverty, scams and cheats and along with these problems, come the 7 deadly sins. I don’t see any magic in this kind of a life, do you? But I think to myself, ‘Who is it that can actually do something to recreate that lost magic? It cannot be God because I for a fact have always grown up to think of God as not God but karma.’ Ahh.. The lies in front of me and yet I fail to see it. It us of course!
For all I know and so should you, we are the future. So whatever we do now will reflect in the future of our country and ultimately the world. It may sound like a huge responsibility on such small shoulders but it is not as difficult as I make it sound. All that is required is a little patience and loads of will power and hard work. This, my friends is not a time where you think of showing your country as the best in the world. Rather this is the time when we learn from our forefathers about the beauty and purity of even the air they breathed back then and make history repeat. This is it friends, this is the beginning of the future.

HELLO HAPPINESS

Money, once beyond enough to afford life’s necessities and a sense of control over one’s life, is less predictive of happiness than other marks of happy lives. Especially in poor countries, such as India, being relatively well off does make for greater well-being. We do need food, rest, shelter, and some sense of control over our lives. But that is where we go wrong. Is it just the money or the luxuries or is it more than that.. Isn’t happiness all about peace of mind?
If personal happiness does not enduringly rise with our rising personal affluence, does a rising economic tide lift our collective happiness? Were we unhappy more than a half century ago, when we had so many fewer cars, so much less technology, small homes, and no post-it notes? If you ask your grandparents, for them their life was perfect. For us it all about being dependent of technology. Right from making toast to making chips that can be installed in brains; we have been so dependent on technology that we have forgotten to appreciate the much better things in life.
For someone to be happy they need to know that everything that has happened in their past has happened for a reason and that it has happened in order for them to become a better person. Not only does it make them a better person but it also makes them realize how good they have it or can possibly have it. Although things might be hard to deal with at the moment, people need to realize that they will be able to learn from their experiences and that they will learn to take the good from them all. You can’t live your life in fear of what can go wrong. You just need to go out and live your life to the fullest and know that you’ll be happy, even if something doesn’t go the way that you had planned it to. Happiness may come and go like the seasons but in the end, every moment that you have that is filled with happiness will be well worth the sad or unnerving ones that you have had to endure.


If the sordid news of a student being beaten to death by fellow college mates in itself wasn’t enough. When one hears that it was regionally charged, it makes one wonder about our country as a whole. It’s nothing new that people from the rainbow states of India have felt alienated and this is an understatement. The recent protests on social media as well as on the streets of Delhi , Bangalore, etc. Should at least make us Indians question why does my fellow countryman feel alien in his own country?

Coming back to what may now be seen as the tipping point for our people in the seven-sister states. 19-year-old Loitam Richard, a second-semester student of the Acharya NRV School of Architecture in Bangalore North, was found dead in his hostel bed on the afternoon of April 18. The initial report that Loitam Richard was beaten to death by some senior hostel mates when he changed the television channel while they were watching an IPL match has been refuted by the family members now and this opens up a whole set of new questions, for which there are no answers as yet. However this is besides the point. The fact, the heart breaking cold fact is, the life of a young man, pursuing a degree in Architecture has been snuffed out and that it was not a natural death is clear. He was killed, prima facie. Brutality is written all over the death of the young man and this is what is galling.

Now since this is still a story in progress, we cannot draw too many conclusions. But what is certain is that if this indeed was a “HATE-CRIME” as most people back in one part of our country are taking it as, it is a dark time for our nation. Some people back in the undisputedly most beautiful part of India ,and I am not talking of the land but its beautiful people, argue that they saw this coming.

In 2007 Delhi Police booklet suggesting a code of conduct for students and visitors from the northeast had sparked outrage among people from the region. While a section of the people from the northeast termed the booklet titled “Security Tips for northeast students/ visitors in Delhi”, issued by the west district police, as “helpful”, many had taken strong exception to what they described as its “insensitive” advise. The booklet advised girls from the region to avoid wearing any “revealing dress” and had suggestions about cooking “smelly” food without creating a “ruckus” in the neighborhood. I leave the interpretation of the issue to you but to me even then it had seemed disgusting hailing from Assam myself.

It is time when we should all reflect on ourselves as a society. Before we call the boy/girl next to us with oriental looks as a “chinki”, we should weigh that against the probability that this girl/boy may also be an amazing musician, athlete, orator, dancer and so many other characteristics that should, define him. Are we as a society so shallow? What ever happened to unity in diversity we learned in school?

Growing up I always believed that the chicken neck was only on the map and that it didn’t really matter, but such incidents are indeed making me doubt myself. And I am not the only one.

By Manas Dadheech

(A Minerva M Writer)
Read more articles at: www.minerva-m.com


Lady Gaga

The Famous Lady Gaga

From the time music videos began to be made, artistes who broke rules came into being. This forced them to think way out of the box. So that’s how double-meanings in songs originated. If one notices then one can see so in numerous songs, the most notable being perhaps Bryan Adam’s “Summer Of ’69”. For the simpleton and the untrained ear 69 basically refers to the Year of the Lord 1969, but think along the lines of Bryan Adam and then you see that it basically refers to something you do in the bedroom! Then again citing Madonna from her chartbuster “Like A Prayer”- “When you call my name, It’s like a little prayer, I’m down on my knees, My voice can take you there “. It’s obvious that Madonna under no circumstance is referring to the act of praying when she says I’m down on my knees, after all she did shock audiences through her pseudo-erotic dance movements in “Papa Don’t Preach”. Then comes Britney Spears with “Hit Me Baby One More Time”. No guesses there what “hitting” refers to. For the perverted mind one can even make a sweet song like “Hold It Against Me” her first single from “Femme Fatale” sound vulgar. It is obvious that “it” refers to “it”. New generation Madonna-Lady Gaga also made it very clear what “I wanna take a ride on your Disco Stick” meant. These days when you see small kids singing -“I wanna see your Peacock” you can’t help making a mental applause for Katy Perry who again outdid the censors with her single “Peacock”. I can’t wait for the video-release any longer, who knows, she might actually show her Peacock!
And finally we come to Nicki Minaj. Even though there was nothing ingenuous of her twisting the word superb ass into Super Bass (the song did manage to peak at the billboard!), the use of UV in the video did seem pretty cool and thank god she did not expose her “Super Bass”. No matter how hard she tries, at the end of the day, she will just be some Gaga poop.
– Debabrata Das
(A Minerva M Writer)
Read more articles at www.minerva-m.com


Dear Reader,

I recently came to know about the incredible work Chhavi Rajawat is doing and wanted to share it with all of you. Chhavi, an MBA, is the sarpanch of the village Soda in rural Rajasthan. This youngest sarpanch of India is an alumni of the Rishi Valley School in Andhra Pradesh, Mayo college girl’s school in Rajasthan and Lady Shri Ram college in Delhi. She was even called to speak at the 11th Info-Poverty World Conference held at the United Nations.

How often do we see highly educated individuals giving up their successful careers in corporate sector for social service? Today when brain drain has become so common that the united nations development programme (UNPD) estimates that India loses $2 billion every year because of the emigration of computer experts to the U.S. Indian students going abroad for their higher education cost India a foreign exchange outflow of $10 billion annually. Imagine the kind of development and progress possible if such vast resources were used effectively in the country; especially the rural areas!

The truth is we need more people like Chhavi Rajawat. Educated, non-corrupt and dedicated. So that kids in all the villages can get quality education and have a chance to shape their future. So that basic facilities like water and sanitation don’t just remain a dream for millions of Indians. So that problems like poverty, unemployment and hunger can be reduced. As Chhavi says in her message to the young Indians, ” Don’t run away from your roots because that is your foundation and the nation’s foundation too. If you want to make a difference, you have got to start at the bottom. There is so much one can do.”

I am inspired. Are you ? 🙂

– Nishiggandha Kerure.
(A Minerva M writer)
Read more articles at www.minerva-m.com