Wednesday, 31 December 2014

What's so new in a new year?

I always wondered what's so new in a new year. Same people continue to live around you. You still have to prepare for that exam 10 days away. You still feel the heat in your job for not meeting the expectations of your boss. And love life may still be the same disaster it became ever since your partner left you just a few days ago, leaving you alone to see the last 2 digits on all displays change. Life is still abstruse and tough to crack. The ones who're always happy stay so and the ones who're forlorn too see no change. And the same happens with the crowd of conceit which still puffs its chest to hide their string of failures. In short, nothing changes. So what is it that just stepping into a new year can change except for causing mistakes while mentioning year in dates for the next few days? And what is it that only a new year can bring and the next day can't? Why am I so hopeful about my wishes being granted on this propitious leap into the next year, when things stayed the same for the last so many days despite all my efforts? And if celebrating something new alone is sure to bring better times, then why do I never celebrate the very next day?

So while framing resolutions is attributed to the new year day, why is it that every other day of the year is deprived of that honorary privilege? It's precisely then that I realize that amid the remorse and lost hopes, people need something that will cheer them up and make them feel sanguine again. They need the comfort of the idea of maybe something, something changing in their circumstances or themselves may turn the wheels of fortunes. So while everyone hopes and everyone feels optimistic, the cumulative hope brings with it an eerie and renewed energy that was amiss before. Subsequently though, every other day does not seem as special as 1st of January and the wishes people made on the first day of the year, lose their vigor and effectiveness. Next time, it's only the next 1st of January which sees that same hope and that enthusiasm again, and people believe that a leap to a new year could be the only catalyst of change;while in reality, every single day they inhabit this planet is no less than a 1st of January in it's own regard. So Happy New Year, but more importantly, Happy Tomorrow. 

Tuesday, 30 December 2014

One para a day.

So much for seeking control of your very destiny and so much for proving detractors wrong. Humankind's progress can be largely attributed to its constant endeavor to struggle, sustain and finally succeed, Hence while examples and vignettes of transformation caused by man are aplenty, we still don't reign over the supreme force of nature - probability. While we work hard to ensure that things go highly in our favor, entropy which is nature's prime driver of evolution, erupts crises by making things go the other way. We work hard and put in all the efforts but yet we end up failing in the end. Probability of failure can in short be reduced to a diminutive .000001, but still one can never make it zero. Completely fail proof is just as delusional as walking to the past and changing it. In one way, nature never intended to have anything that could be 100% certain. Randomness and unpredictability have been the bedrock of how the entire universe evolved. We human beings, happy in our own aplomb, believe we can defeat the very nature by designing more and more superior systems. While in our quest we succeed in reducing failures, it's a universal truth now that the possibility of failures can never be eliminated. Murphy's law remains applicable. So while we strive to better ourselves and what we so proudly pronounce as "our planet", as if our intellectual superiority gives us a default right to make that assertion, we are doing no more than sightly shifting balance in our favor. But failures, as and when they'll happen, will still be as big as they were when they haunted you to make further improvements to systems and processes. And while we see them as failures, nature may see them no more than just another outcome whose probability was low. And anything that has any probability, no matter how small it may be, it can still happen. You can try to get away from it, but entropy in all its essence is universal and it will never fail in doing its job when time arrives. 

Monday, 29 December 2014

One para a day.

It's Monday again and everyone is whining about it. And as if Monday enough was not a reason to cry about, you've got the warmth of the quilt engulfing you and seducing you to spend another few cozy moments with it. But it doesn't work that way. You've a lot of obligations including those to you yourself. So you end up at your workplace with batteries at 40% and believe they'll get charged to a workable level by the next day. You just beguile and bite your time around, have 10 cups of tea or coffee, discuss your weekends, and are brought back to senses only when something urgent arises out of almost everyone's incapability to work on that day. You finally resolve it and attribute the fault on it being a Monday, and Monday can never fathom why everyone hates it so much. Monday was deceived to believe that 'Monday' is a good name to have but it was never told it will be the first work day of the week. Every other day knew what Monday was being led into as a part of the giant devious conspiracy of Sunday to ensure its supreme reign and hence while everyday got something to cheer about, Monday became the biggest villain on the planet. So  while Monday is not capable of pleading guilty, the next time you howl about it, remember how much misery and pain have befallen upon it ever since mankind formed formal workday systems. And you won't believe that Monday in itself is powerful enough to reward you for your concerns about it in ways you can't even imagine! 

Thursday, 25 December 2014


They say "What's in a name?". Well, at least I know of one such guy who is a literal personification of what his first name stands for. 

It was a little more than 15 years ago on one fine Sunday. Any school holiday would start with a hefty dose of morning cartoons unless it was a national holiday which would then require you to cater to more pressing business like watching the parade or celebrating the same at school. But this Sunday was different. The drawing room in my house was abuzz with discussions among the elders. Paper headlines were being referred to, and statements were made regarding "13 days" and "13 months" and ultimately it was concluded that the television had to be tuned to news channels instead of my usual Cartoon Network spree. I patiently watched shaky pictures, all showing one stout man waving the 'V' for victory sign and some correspondents indicating how early trends were favoring a certain 'NDA' government. News anchors kept changing and I was now increasingly fascinated about everybody's obsession with this one single man. Later in the evening, it was declared that this certain Atal Bihari Vajapayee was to lead the nation as the next Prime Minister. And that was just the beginning of a lifelong obsession with the ardor of one man that was simply unmatched.

I kept growing up, kept grasping more and more, and Civics was now a full time subject. And due to that epoch, most of my understanding of politics was centered around Vajapayee's ideology. You'd see the man on television every single day. You'd see him launching a bus service to Pakistan, and you'd see him nailing the neighbor with his incisive polemic prowess and his tough decision to wage a war when the same turned into an enemy. You'd see him launching a new project every now and then, and you'd see him interacting with leaders from all over the globe with a confidence that was not characteristic of a lot many Indians. I had come to believe that politics is like that. An active leader who takes upon himself the entire list of onerous tasks and then does them one by one, sometimes to perfection, and sometimes to be harangued and hectored by what was called the 'opposition'. Simply put, he kept going. 

Times kept passing by and my understanding of politics grew more solid. I suddenly began to understand that not everyone is like Vajapayee. In fact there were people within the NDA govt itself that lacked any substance and that were just about average, but were just about performing well under an able leadership. I found out about the Congress dynamics in India's politics and how a non-Congress government formation was an event of astronomical proportions. People had now begun to make references to Janta Party govt of late 70's which was a sham, the 3rd front govt from 96' and NDA's own last 2 cabinets which fell before they could be properly founded. People said that NDA under the leadership of Vajapayee was here to stay and I said "Okay! This is going to be exciting!"for no palpable reason, I kind of liked this man, who for some reason seemed like he was doing nothing more than simply doing his job. Once again, simply put, he just kept going. 

More time passed by and amid a transition from a charlatan in politics to a vocal supporter of Vajapayee in my class, which was still mainly comprised of a largely indifferent audience, much had happened. Lives were getting transformed and standards were on the rise. A massive attack had rocked the parliament from outside and a blatant scam from the inside. There were mentions of 'growth' and 'employment' and for some reason, optimism was ensconced in otherwise trite lives. On the other hand, NDA was on critics' radar for being a little too pro-rich. Even for a passive observer with limited knowledge, Vajapayee came across as a subtle yet staunch person. And then I realized that the very meaning of the word 'Atal' is to sustain and thrive. And boy was he doing justice to it. He still kept going.

As my understanding of history improved, so did my appreciation of what this one single man had achieved in a lifetime. Through history books and basic inferences, it was easy to see the clout the Gandhian lineage was to have in the Indian political scenario. For someone to obliterate that advantage, one had to be an apostate who would take on challenge after challenge. In short one had to be a warrior of sorts. I learned of the JP movement and how Vajapayee was all that was largely left of it. I found out how ideologies of others diluted over time and how BJP managed a paltry 2 seats back in 84'. And then the very thought of struggling and striving all the while, losing partners and seeing ruse and deception, and finally seeing all your dreams come true; It was bristling. And well, Vajapayee did indeed see all of it. He simply never stopped. He just kept going. 

Elections took place in '04 and people ousted what they termed an 'incumbent' government when I never really felt that way. Half of the crowd talked about the 'feel good factor' and half of them said things about going back to the old ways. And some just wanted the solace of the Gandhian legacy again. Whatever it was, Vajapayee's tenure was over and it was clear he'll never be the PM again. For some reason, it came across as a shock even though I knew politics was just meant to be nebulous and complicated. Slowly and steadily, this cult that lasted for 5 years faded into the past and we now had a new much more qualified PM whom everyone looked forward to. 

Elections kept happening, parties kept getting usurped, new heroes entered the scenes and old ones kept waning away. But all that remained in my mind of that era from 99 to 04 was that picture of one man who could be both stolid and sturdy, sober and rabid, and would always be an inch ahead of what was demanded of him. His dreams of a connected India, his vision of India Inc and his ideology of aggressive progression, dwindled with the next governments and even the current NDA's vision is not as definite. There was to be only one such man who would do the right things and wait for the outcome patiently. Who would take up challenges he knew were debilitating and yet he would be hopeful. Who would stay firm even in the most torrid of tests and would still be flexible enough to change when needed. Who would dream as against the volition of all those who were conservatives and who would ultimately prove his detractors wrong. All in all, there was to be just one man who would survive the tests of time to get that one single opportunity to do that he always dreamed of doing - Transforming the nation. And maybe there was to be just one such man who literally defined what his first name meant - To hang around and to fight, no matter what! And one who just kept going.

Wednesday, 10 December 2014

Cleanliness: Our catharsis amid the chaos #SwachhIndia

What is that one thing which reviles you the most when you step inside the premises of a typical government office? I bet you've had instances when corners in front of a flight of stairs was emblazoned with such magnificent graffiti in red that it left you spellbound. Or maybe you dared to use the urinal nearby once, only to find that the redolence is a little too profound for your liking. Or maybe when you finally made your way through the queue, you ended up in a huge pile of files laden with dirt, housed with complete lack of meticulousness in cabinets which have remained a delight of termites for generation.And all that in a gloomy and dreary office room which also houses cockroaches, mice, lizards and spiders, amongst other life forms of nature. All in all, if you're not the other type, these offices are archetypal for muck and melancholy. Even the thoughts of stepping inside one of these clamped up spaces sends shocks across your nervous system. Be it your local revenue officer, be it a public utility office or be it a railway ticket counter, you've witnessed all of it. But even though these govt offices may have developed an indelible reputation for being so odious, we've done more or less the same thing to our nation and are even proud about it. 

I recently had this taxi driver who was very vocal about how Indian politicos fail to deliver and how he himself has plans for foraying in the mean and sullen world with his own ideas of emancipating the needy. His ideas seemed alright but what made him appear holding a trophy at the zenith of hypocrisy, was that he would slide open the window every 4 minutes and 27 seconds and would spit his pan laden saliva, making his own red graffiti on the road or sidewalks as govt officials and visitors made in the para above. 

PC - The Hindu

Ever spent some time sitting on the sumptuous coast of the marine drive in Mumbai, enjoying one of the most priceless of scenery? Well, it seems all so good except for when the high tidal waves bring with it all the grime and grit and the waters touching those massive beeline stones appear so turgid and smell so morbid that you're forced to consider coming back some other day. And while the Mithi river literally disappeared in Mumbai taking human ignorance and neglect for the nature to an all new level, Delhi is doing the same thing with the Yamuna. With everything from dirt to garbage being littered in the river, the city's prime water source appears to have a rather grim future. And when it comes to Ganga, reports have already been published regarding how big of a cleaning operation shall have to be carried out to pull the sacred river out of its plight. In short, what we've done to our water bodies, is no better than the state of those urinals in public toilets. Full of shoddy smells and sleazy garbage, all because of our years and years of onerous efforts to destroy their natural charm and to literally extirpate their existence. 

And finally comes the case of our residences. While from the inside of our houses we claim to be aficionados of life and lifestyle with the best of gadgets and the best of antiques. From the outside, our houses are enmeshed in a large and never ending muddle of more and more houses, crossing over with open drainage and improper electrical and other transmission systems and the occasional open pound of unattended garbage. Look closer and you'd find that the same exasperating configuration which you found in your local govt office, is prevalent in the very society you live in; Complete chaos with a lot of clamor and with almost nothing being set in proper order. 

So to my surprise, we are doing nothing more than turning the entire nation into that clumsy little govt office we hate to even step inside, without knowing that one day our efforts are actually going to help the nation surpass that govt office in terms of the filth and murk. We may not realize but not only all does this execrable dirt and dung cause problems in truly executing the present tasks, it also impedes any progress which we might be able to conceive. Cleanliness is not about sweeping your house with a broom but it is in fact the absence of any tumult and entropy. Cleanliness is what makes your overall environment much more conducive to positive transformation, while the absence of the same stymies any progress whatsoever. So while the country pledges to be clean, one should know that though cleanliness alone can manumit us of a lot many problems, but that's applicable only when cleanliness is taken for what it really means. And as we dream to be a genuine superpower, enshrining cleanliness in the individual and the nation could just be the most important step in making us a convincing candidate. For no progress is possible when you get your very first footing wrong.   

Life, 40 months post completing a CSE degree

I passed out of my engineering college with full honors, my laziness and apathy notwithstanding. I saw myself as a huge reservoir of talent and knew the industry would bamboozle me with opportunities to showcase my flair. I was extremely confident of bumping into able and like-minded individuals who shall embolden my prospects further. And yet, after a point of time, I knew life wasn't going to be as beatific and dazzling as it seemed in our dreams. So while a few deserving ones worked strenuously to get those 'real' jobs, I had to bail out and move towards the supposedly greener pastures in life. I had to abdicate most of the computing acumen, as a result. So how would someone like me relate to terms and technology that was once so colloquial that it was your sine qua non? Well, this is how it changed for me.  

1. Firewalls

Okay, you still know them because whenever your workstation fails to load mail, your IT guy is woken off his siesta and he does a few mechanical things and gets the mail loading again. Or he raises a ticket, which leads to more tickets, and more tickets, till the time you find out a solution yourself. After all, the engineer in you never died, did he? But this is what firewalls look like nowadays.

2. Null Pointer

Ah, how often did you witness this eerie little devil come into picture with your code not running despite you getting everything right? You did all things right and used breaks to analyze the step by step operation only to find that a dastardly null pointer was to be taken care of. And you did know how to send it to perdition,. But this is how null pointer looks like today.. 

3. This Pointer

At first you were perplexed but later on you used it so regularly that you didn't even know that you were using it. This pointer became a part and parcel of most of your high level code and before you knew it, this pointer became no more than 'this' below.

4. Garbage Collector

You were amazed to know that you won't have to flush and free memory space in Java because garbage collection was now an advanced feature handled by the framework itself. But your brush with garbage collection was always an exciting confrontation in C when the output was a little more than just disheartening. Luckily, you've got these guys to handle the garbage collection nowadays.

5. Preemptive Scheduling

Priority queuing seemed so ecclesiastical and effervescent that you'd learn new constructs to play with the operating system's kernel level functions to schedule tasks. Your programming tasks were no more than hirelings in front of OS level programs but you still enjoyed queuing your stack of small programs and ending up empty handed because the program executed in no time and the scheduling didn't have no visible effect. Well, not to worry anymore. Any public queue you join in has someone . or the other who would use their power or position and jump the queue. And sometimes, like it happened with Chiranjeevi, you can crash into a gatekeeper deployed by the operating system itself.

So, just in case this makes you feel nostalgic, don't shy away from putting in a comment or two on how even today, that quirky little argot from those CSE days makes its presence feel every now and then.


Tuesday, 9 December 2014

The choice between hunger and education.

Imagine if you were forced to make that choice every single day of the year. You'd consider the prospects with a lot of foresight and contemplation. You'd try and see the larger picture and the possibilities that good education shall be concomitant with. The very thought of having a secure and eidetic future shall make you make your resolute even more firm. Education it will be, hands down and you shall be already on your way and you're happy. And just when you had your plans in place, an excruciating and unnerving pain strikes its blows and you realize its your empty bowel which is signalling its emptiness again. You are brought back to reality and your dreams annihilated. Once again, even a dream of acquiring education couldn't withstand the pangs of hunger and you decide to employ your labor for the meager meal you get in return. And what was barely not enough for you, is now to be shared with others who still aren't capable of earning meals on their own. Just imagine that. Well, a substantial portion of Indian children are subjected to that ordeal every single day. 

We as a country are often full of conceit on the way classes are emerging in the nation and how we are making our mark. We talk about our corporations which are making inroads into the global markets. We talk about our top quality talent. We even go to the extent of terming ourselves as a potential superpower, and while we do all that, we turn a blind eye to the predicament of these children who haggle with their future every single day. So pestilent is their situation that they know they're taking the wrong call and yet they've no other option but to take it, In an age when they need to learn the alphabet and the numbers, they learn how to do laborious tasks like piling bricks on their heads and accompanying their families in their daily struggle for existence. Not only do they suffer by becoming just another addition to the ever expanding army of factotums who are assigned the most arduous and yet the most menial of jobs, they also miss out on the much needed nutrition requirements which they miss out on by miles. And before these children know that, a promising life has already turned into one full of lifelong struggle for basic necessities. 

What stupefies me is that despite this plight of millions, we continue to remain hopeful about our supremacy and even assert that from various platforms. Moreover, we are proud of our so called 'young' nation, even when the most important sect of that youth smolders and fades away into the murkiness of this struggle every single day. We celebrate the fact that we are the larges producers of so and so crops, and we hopelessly fail to provide a handful of grain to these children, thereby ensuring of their proper upbringing. By failing on those fronts, our youth is going to be no more than a ready army of slaves who are custom made to live the worst possible human life in the most insalubrious of surroundings. Maybe that precisely is what we are referring to when we lay claims on our potential by saying we've got ready labor. 

Imagine how different things would have been if instead of drowning in the gallows of such a life, each such child was endowed with the opportunity of experiencing the brighter side of life. Imagine how much change education could have brought. Instead of being exposed to the mawkishness of such a dark and gloomy life, they'd be exposed to the possibilities that await them. From batting hard to earn two meals a day, they'd very well be on the path to making it big for themselves and their nation. Disparity as we know it today, would begin to perish for even the lowest rung of all classes would know be aware of all the rights and honors that the constitution vests in them, and administration for the first time be implemented in a truer sense. 

Education alone can actually extirpate most of our problems today. Crime, which is the single mos catastrophic byproduct of disparity, shall be reduced to controllable levels. Even when one member of every such downtrodden family acquires the basic minimum education, he/she can quickly ensconce the basic set of morals in every member of the family, which for the first time wold get in touch with the good and better things in life. That will also encourage others to have an inhered craving for education and sooner than later, the entire society as a whole would develop a much greater yearning for adopting education as the route to happiness. 

However utopic it may seam, we always are equipped to make such a day come true and we always were. It's just that in absence of any viable modes to contribute, indifference begins to condescend. Truth is that there is a lot that can be done. For those who've time to spare, no better thing that to organize classes themselves or join such initiatives and to teach a few classes every month. One simply cannot have an idea how big a difference it can make unless someone has done that. A really important aspect is to point out fallacies and to do something about it every now and then. If you're taking up these classes and at the same time are comfortable drinking tea prepared by a 9 year old in a small roadside 'tapri', then we've got a problem. While calling the police and getting the owner of the 'tapri' arrested would do some good, it does no good to the future of that child who still has no other option but to join some other such occupation that pays the morsel to buy his next meal. You've got to bring an end to the child's long term misery, which can only be done if education replaces what he/she does today. Because then, and only then, could he genuinely enjoy the fruits of education and develop into a virtuous human being who is ready to bloom and succeed. 

For all the bloggers out there, your one single blog post can do just what's mentioned above. So please contribute as much as you can. 

I am going to #BlogToFeedAChild with Akshaya Patra and BlogAdda.

Sunday, 7 December 2014

A miracle of melody – SwarBhoomi band

How often do you see a person dreaming sky high and seeing those dreams collapse under the vagaries of reality? How often do you witness the tumult and din of not being where you truly belong, doing something that you never really wanted to do? And how often do we find people, full of regret and resentment, on not taking that one leap of faith in their lives? Well, at least I know of one such guy who did that and literally renounced all caveats of what would otherwise have been a pretty ordinary and banal life.This guy took over the path of surreal redemption; a redemption of his desires, his faith and his sheer erudition. And before I knew it, Deepak Gupta took all the risks he said he’ll take, and today is he soaring high on the sails of success.

Back in the engineering school, we had a fair mix of all kinds of people. People who genuinely wanted to be engineers were rare pretty much like every other engineering college. Then you had despondent people who would chide everything right from their career choice to the decision of American people in electing Obama. And finally we had dreamers like Deepak who still had that shred of true belief that one day they will indeed get their shot at doing what they wanted to do. Deepak was already known for his dexterity in singing and he was a delight to listen to on all those fests and events which are pretty commonplace. By the third year, he had already developed a strong penchant for singing and the predilection to have singing as a career, but he knew he had lacunae to take care of.

Deepak strived and strived hard and by the time we all were to part ways in the final year, Deepak had made astounding progress. In his parlance, he had mastered the techniques and virtue of professional singing, all courtesy of his enrollment in the coveted Gadharva Mahavidyalaya in Delhi. For a layman like me, the jargon was hard to fathom, but the progress was evident in his singing and his style. I just knew that the formal training just consummated my friend’s innate skills and took them to the next level.

It was tough to stay in touch with each other and my Facebook feeds became a potpourri with all my folks doing all kinds of things. Deepak, I knew, had to make some tough choices. He had a job with an eminent corporation, which he obviously had to leave if he were to pursue full time singing any further. It was hard to imagine how one could take such a colossal call but the prodigious Deepak vested full faith in himself and took the road less travelled. Deepak slogged and worked hard and for the ensuing years, despite not getting to hear a lot from him, I had an idea that he is burning the midnight oil to unravel his own destiny.

Suddenly, my friend turned up on Facebook with news that was simply terrific. Not only had Deepak progressed amongst the ranks of professional singing with his years of practice, he also formed a fabulous band SwarBhoomi, which had already performed on various occasions and received accolades and encores from the audiences. I subscribed to their YouTube channel and was amazed to see how impeccably they perform and leave the crowds asking for more. It was a treat to watch. And for Deepak, the male vocalist of this fantastic brand; His abilities were literally emboldened by his place and by being with other able and like minded professional artists like Bharti(the female vocalist), Aakash, Amit and Hemant. With all the members having years of formal training and practice behind them, the band is a perfect mélange of performers that will capture your imagination.

The band is another example of how one’s cherished dreams could become one’s reality by taking that one single step of abdicating all those normal attainments, and going after what you hold most dear. When you do that, hard work no longer requires any effort or energy. In fact every moment becomes so effulgent that hard work leaves you asking for more and more because you’re genuinely engrossed and enthralled in what you do – your own art, and your own dreams. That one stand of these wonderful folks is today manifested in a well sought after band that excels in all prevalent genres – Bollywood, Sufi and Rock. So don’t be surprised if you find yourself exalting SwarBhoomi band at some grand occasion someday. Deepak and his gang have some real mettle behind them and they’re on their way to bedazzle you with their blitz.

More from their band here - 

Saturday, 6 December 2014

Fellow Bloggers: Saru Singhal's 'Words'

When I first came across the concept of using a blog as an effective platform of regaling the world with one's soulful poems, it was courtesy of this terrific concoction titled 'Words'. I was looking for some help regarding what theme or idea to predicate my blog on and Words provided some genuine inspiration on how the art of writing has to be adapted and crafted for the online audience and how perfectly it has to be served afterwards. And before I knew it, Words became much more than a mere source of inspiration, and I became one of the most ardent fans of Saru's writing prowess. 

What I like the most about Words and what I believe is going to leave everyone spellbound after reading that blog, is the eerie and yet bedazzling panache with with the words literally weaving into stories and making even the most simplest of subjects suddenly making you pensive. And when it comes to the more complicated coterie of themes and matters, Saru's finesse gets more enhanced and more visible than ever. So while the 200 odd poems on Words are pretty much like conventional poems which are well organized into similies and metaphors, there is still something about the blog that makes them appear so contemporary.

While I still struggle to cope up with the flow of thoughts whenever I intend to write down my thoughts as a poem, and all I end up writing is not so impressive(and sometimes out of rhyme and inconsistent as well) doggerel, Saru's chemistry with her thoughts and words is playful and puckish and her poems as a result receive unfettered praise in the form of comments and shares. Never before have I witnessed a blog that is followed so diligently and that has such a partisan fan base. The comments tell you how much people have read her poems and how much they've become acquainted with her trademark writing style and her choice of themes. And yet on many occasions, they're surprised by her ever changing oeuvre. 

So when it came to choosing the next blogger whom I had to mandatorily thank, it was Saru for the exultant charm of her words, duly manifested in 'Words'.They say poems are unique and a representation of thoughts, opinions and experiences. But Saru's poems are in a way a befitting tribute to the chores, travails and the subsequent joys of modern life. So when you're done grappling with all your usual problems, do get your well deserved dose of conscientious gratification by reading the latest feature on Words