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Wednesday, 28 January 2009

A small dedication... :)

'Tis but a small world that we live in, and one that has been made smaller by the ubiquitous internet! Friendships struck in this virtual world grow into the very reality that supposedly surrounds us.

Silent happiness and a wish of gratitude,
For your appreciations - so generous,
That confidence grows in multitude...

Without further ado, I present all of you - yes, each and everyone of you - with the following pieces of *ahem* memorabilia.


Yes, they do!


And inspiring...


Which is why I read your *pulsating* compositions :)


Make that a Garland *for* your blog! :)


Ain't we? Duh! But of course! :)


So, hurry up! Wear this! :)


And last but not the least, here's something for all those really interesting stuff my compadres never fail to come up with! A medal!

---


Thank you populi, once again.

A regular update will follow soon. Till then, take care. Peace.

Wednesday, 21 January 2009

The Price of Freedom

I'd love to read your views on this topic.  Feel free to make yourself heard... Gratias.


Greetings one and all.

I scoured the internet for some of the best quotes on today's motion, The Price of Freedom, and the following statements appealed to me.
  1. “The price of freedom is eternal vigilance” : Thomas Jefferson , third President of the United States of America

  2. “A desire to resist oppression is implanted in the nature of man” : Publius Gaius Cornelius Tacitus , senator and historian of the Roman Empire.

  3. “If you will not fight for the right when you can easily win without bloodshed; if you will not fight when your victory will be sure and not too costly; you may come to the moment when you will have to fight with all the odds against you and only a small chance of survival. There may even be a worst case: you may have to fight when there is no hope of victory, because it is better to perish than to live as slaves.” : Sir Winston Leonard Spencer-Churchill , Nobel Laureate, renowned statesman, historian and a former Prime Minister of the United Kingdom.
Profound statements indeed.

When our freedom is at stake, how do we react? We don't shirk, we don't placate, and we don't send regrets. Instead, we unleash the might of our army, our navy and our air force. Our men and women are placed in harms way; that is the price of freedom and it is often high…

It isn’t enough to desire freedom. Every human being on earth seeks freedom. However, freedom is defined in different ways by different people of differing environmental influences. Freedom means something very different to those who have only known tyranny, as compared to those who have only known freedom. For those who have lived in bondage, no price is too high for freedom. For those who have never known bondage, freedom often has little meaning.

Like life itself, which we assume will last forever on most days - we hardly appreciate freedom or life until we are on the brink of losing it. Then, often only then, do we grasp a deep appreciation for what we spend most days taking for granted. Must it come to the brink before we wise up? If so, I think we are getting close, too close for comfort anyway.

Freedom from something is not the same thing as freedom for something.

I may have freedom of speech, but for what purpose? There may be a free press, but to what end? Freedom without responsibility is misguided freedom at best.

Freedom is about choice. It's about choosing between what we want or makes us feel good and what is true to who we are as social beings and members of a global community. Freedom is about discernment and dialogue. It's about searching for the best choice that fits the truth of what it means to be in union with other countries.

Freedom is not about unilateral decisions or coalitions made up of the strongest military forces. It's about finding solutions to hunger, the spread of AIDS, displaced populations, the oppression of women, and other humanitarian concerns that have little to do with bombs and guns.

The price of freedom must not be limited to the number of lives given or those injured. The price of freedom is about living with less so others may have more. It's about listening when, as a nation, we have become so accustomed to doing the talking. It's about learning to see through the eyes of others before choosing our course of action.

Freedom is a collective movement that assumes a collective responsibility. If we are to find hope in all of this, it can only be through the renewed efforts of the United Nations to recover the unity of the international community and to take a leading role in rekindling the embers of freedom in the truest sense of the word.

Our freedom did not come free, and we know that. This dignity of humanity was earned by others at the greatest of costs. That's right. Earned. And they did not give freedom to us. They merely loaned us this marvel. It is ours only so long as we are willing to guard it jealously, to defend it, and to fight for it. We must constantly pay the price for freedom else it will be ripped away from us, as has happened to so many of the world's peoples of the past and of today.

But what is the price?

The price is caution. We must exercise these rights of life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness very carefully. Whenever our actions begin to usurp the freedom of another person, we are beginning to destroy freedom for all.

The price is vigilance. We must be suspicious of practices that endanger freedom, and. cautious of people who promote such practices. Insidious encroachments will silently strip away our freedom little by little if we are not on guard.

The price is action. We must stand forcefully against threats - move actively against prejudice, bigotry, and unequal treatment of our countrymen. If you and I don't stand up for our rights - who will? But we cannot be hypocritical and consider that only us Indians deserve freedom. We must also be prepared to assist those in other countries. If we really believe in freedom, then it must be a belief in freedom for all people - the freedom for those of all countries to live in the way they think is best.

The price is education. We must study all the meanings of freedom - must learn when to be cautious, when to be vigilant, and. when to act.

The price is blood. We must defend freedom with our lives when necessary. This price bas been paid by many, so that we could grow up in freedom. If we also must die, it will at least be with the memory of freedom's sweetness. And the price will be paid for those who remain.

Sure. the price of freedom is high - in its cautious exercise, in vigilance, and in action - and in the blood of those who would enjoy freedom' s loveliness. But the choice is simple. To live enslaved and die, never knowing individual dignity - or to live - and perhaps die - as a free human being.

Of course, there are a lot other aspects of “freedom” which I may not have touched up on. One of them being freedom from emotionsI leave you to ponder over a very short story. 

Suppose you see a group of children playing on an oft-used railway track. You also notice an abandoned track nearby where a lone child amuses himself. You spot a train coming in the distance and you see yourself vested with the power, nay, freedom to switch the train's path. Will you go ahead and push the switch? Give it a thought. The cost of one life that knew it was an abandoned track over of a group of children..? That one life you probably choose to sacrifice may be one too many, for the track is abandoned, remember?

That said, freedom, from whatever it is, just isn't free.

Thank you.
---

Oration is something that has always spurred me. Addressing a sea of optic spheres that stare at your every gesticulation is not the easiest of tasks, per se, but I must say I have always enjoyed the prospect of addressing a body of people. After all it is the listener's loss, not mine! *smirk*

Jokes off. 

The Price of Freedom happened to be my last performance as an orator (back in university, March '08). I will upload the audio when I get my laptop fixed. You just read the transcript (of what supposedly was my first and till date only prepared/researched speech) and I really appreciate your patience in reading it in it's entirety.

Wednesday, 14 January 2009

An award...



I was felicitated with the aforesaid awards by Mehreen and Akshat respectively. Without further ado, I nominate the following for the same;

Usha ma'am

Praveeen, S R

Sameera Ansari

Lena Toporikova
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PS : If you are still wondering why I haven't bothered to pen a few lines for each of them, take a look at the awards, again. :)

Saturday, 10 January 2009

C'est la vie...



"O those sensual kisses from you!
Each one seemed like a dream come true.
My fondness and care but exponentially grew;
Alas, reality set in only when time flew."

Those disconsolate, bleary eyes...
Scouring her heart, all in vain,
She turns to Him that resides in the skies.
Momentary respite from a raging pain...

"I know not what I try to say...
I miss and love you more with each passing day!
Why... O why do you still keep me so at bay?!?
Nay... This is more than just an unpretentious lay!"

Her mind, as always - curious - flows,
In a quest for His forgiveness, yet untold.
A passionate refulgence within her glows.
Having failed in love, she had to be bold.

"Know that I adored you right from the start...
Fate may well take aim my dreaded dart.
We may be physically a whole world apart,
But you will forever be enshrined in my heart..."

*a cringe* Her angst never really ends...
She hopes the Omnipotent Being forgives;
For 'tis He who hath bless'd her with wonderful friends,
And 'tis His will that her love still lives...

"O my heart, whenst shalt thou be set free?
I fear to think what the Heavens would decree!
Yet I will stare you right down - O reality!
Amen. As the French say : C'est la vie..."
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My first post of the year 2009 also happens to be a guest-post at Ms. Qureshi's blog - Simply Me Gratias, Mehreen! 

Now that I am done with my forced hiatus (due to reasons mentioned in the previous post), I look forward to catching up on posts that I have missed. A heartfelt "thank you" is all I have to offer, populi, for your warm words.

And oh yes, I have been generously showered with awards. Christmas, New Year and in general! Boy am I lagging behind. Winners will be announced soon. ;)

Peace. Be well.

Minions

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Vox Populi...

Rendition?

"Santa" Akshat comes to town!

"Santa" Akshat comes to town!
A token from a fellow blogging compadre, Akshat

Lady Cяystal relates...

Lady Cяystal relates...
Note - her creativity *swells* with every block. :)