Unforgettable Vacation at Munnar

Last year in the month of July, I was finally able to take time out to visit the hill station of Munnar. It has been on my bucket list for a long time and Munnar is famous for being a beautiful and picturesque hill station that was reserved for the elite of the British Raj in colonial times. Due to the monsoon season, we expected wet and rainy weather with thunderstorms. The place kept up its promise and offered more in the form of foggy mornings that gave a chance for great photography. It felt like the best time to visit Munnar as the weather was conducive for enjoyable treks and pleasant walks.

I am sure you want to know more about this place and what we can do there. Munnar is a famous hill station in the Western Ghats. It is located in the southernmost state of Kerala in India. This hill station is famous for tea plantations, and a national park with an abundance of wildlife. The town of Munnar is located at the confluence of 3 rivers namely the Muthirappuzha River, Chanduvarai River and Kundale River. There is also the Mattupetty dam that is a concrete gravity dam and is used to produce hydroelectricity.

For all nature lovers, the Eravikulam National park is a must visit. It is home to diverse flora and fauna. Visitors can view leopards, tigers, jackals, deer, Mongoose and a wide variety of monkeys. You can also have seasonal visits from elephants at the national park.

If you are an adventurous person, you have many hiking and trekking paths and boating clubs. The Anamudi peak is located here and it is the highest peak in the Western Ghats in South India. You can also go camping at the Munnar Tent camp. I am not much of a camper, especially since I am scared of creepy crawlies in the monsoon. I, however, enjoyed my hiking trip to Pothamedu – Aanakkal viewpoint.

My trip was only for a few days and I did not get to visit all that was on offer at Munnar. But, I promised myself to come back and take another look at all that I missed here in the form of the tea museum, the spice gardens, topiary flower show and the old Roman Catholic Church. I leave you here with more of the pictures we took here.

Everyone needs a BFF in their life

BFF – best friend forever is a common term we hear nowadays. It is that friend who stays with us forever, who always stands by us in the time of need. One who gives us support and advises us when needed. One might say that all friends are like that, the point of friendship is for a person to stand by us and guide us through troubled times. There are many sayings, proverbs, anecdotes of great friendships that withstood time and age. Friendship is the single most valuable relation that we have and it is the foundation of most of the other relations like love, parent-child relation, siblings, teacher-student relation etc.

As with every blog of mine, there is a big BUT. So here goes….But, is it easy to find a friend like that? We make many friends in our lifetime, but most of them drift apart over time. There might not be a lack of affection between friends, but people just grow apart with changing time and life situations. We are inseparable from our friends in school or college, but after job, marriage, kids etc., we find it difficult to find common topics to talk with the same person. We still keep in touch, but are not as close as before. This is the most often used response to on this topic. There is nothing wrong in this response either. When we are in different situations or stages in life our mind frame varies accordingly. A person who was once impulsive and spontaneous might turn contemplative and back again based on their experiences. Each person goes through life at a different pace so for every friend to keep pace with the other is near impossible. For a friendship to keep up with all these variations and stand strong is a tough task. Having such friendship would seem like a crutch to help us. We are very dependent on it and life comes to a standstill without it.

For most of us it would seem like such friendship is a dream. It is like a mirage on a hot summer afternoon. However, I have an answer here as well. We can be our own best friend. We can be that one person who will not leave our side at any time or stage in life. Does that sound pathetic to you?? Maybe, but don’t discount the idea yet. If you are an extrovert, an outgoing and social person, it is easy to meet new people and make friends and lasting friendships. However, for an introvert, or a reversed person, or a socially awkward person, meeting people and making friends is a difficult task. Some people find it easy to make friends, but hard to build a personal connect with them. In such cases, some of us are just too prickly or sarcastic for friendship to withstand. If you are from any of these groups of people, life may seem devoid of true friendship.

Each of us has two opposing voices in our head telling us different perspectives to every situation. Listening to oneself and retrospection will help you find that true friend that you always needed. On a lighter note, you can be that one friend who can never ditch you, no matter how much you try. Speak to yourself, be honest about your true intentions, because, let’s face it who is your mind going to tell? It can’t snitch on you to anyone. You will get the best solutions that suit your personality and your requirement. Like in any friendship, you have to be honest with yourself and speak to yourself everyday about the events and emotions without the fear of bias or prejudice. I know that the thought I have put here today is a debatable topic. It is not a true solution or someone even say a healthy solution. I would like to hear your thoughts on this.

Being selfish is not all bad

We are always taught to be selfless and put others before self. This is one lesson that transcends religion, nationality, time and age. If you are a mother, it is always the child before self. For a father the family comes first. It is a universally accepted norm, but does it always ring true? Can you always deliver the results when you put others before self?

I have recently viewed a short video of Jubril Agoro, where he talks about how we need to be take time out for our self before we can help others. Here is the video, watch it and tell me if it is true.

I have felt the same way for quite some time, but I was ashamed to think like that. I felt that one cannot give peace to others when they have none in their mind. One cannot give joy to others when they feel none in their heart. It is essential to keep our stock of peace and joy filled to the brim, so that we can share and dispense some to others. Though my mind agreed with this idea, my heart always felt that being selfish was wrong and blamed me of being a bad person. I felt that I have no right to enjoy peace when my friends or family  were in distress. It felt like a betrayal of loyalty and friendship.

It took me a long time to realize that, though I would smile and laugh for their sake, my laughter was hollow and the smile lacked the joy. This applies to everyone. We all push our self to the limit and beyond thinking of others. We however, fail to notice that our loved ones can see right through the facade.

When I say that we need to be selfish, it only means that we are not being disloyal when we enjoy our day. We need not push all joy and enjoyment away because others are unhappy. We need to take a mandatory 10 minutes of personal time every day to just laugh and breathe peacefully. As the video suggests, in a situation of emergency, first put on your oxygen mask before you help the person next to you. If not, you are of no help to that person or yourself.

I know, some of you might say, how does it help others if I take time out to relax? The answer is simple really. Only when you are relaxed and calm, will you be able to take the best decisions and understand the problems correctly. If we are as worked up as the person next to us, then we will only add to the chaos. To be that one sane voice that calms the crowd, one should be sane in their mind. Believe it or not, when we pretend to be happy, we are fooling no one but ourselves.

So, how do we go about relaxing in a chaotic situation?

  • One sure shot way is to remove yourself from the situation and have some alone time to breathe and reflect.
  • Take daily break for 30 minutes to watch a good comedy that makes you laugh.
  • Start your day by counting your blessings, however small they may be, rather than checking your to do list.
  • Pick up any small hobby or pastime that is close to your heart and allocate a fixed time for it, on a regular basis. The hobby could be drawing, coloring, crafts, walks, gardening etc.
  • Try to see the comedy in every situation. It might be a difficult task, but not impossible. It will make any situation bearable when you can laugh at it.

All these ideas are there to help you to help yourself. Because, only a happy smile can spread joy, a forced or false smile never helps.

Gardening- Is it just a hobby?

Most of us practice gardening as a hobby, a pastime or some times as a relaxation. Recently, a friend of mine opened my eyes to a different thinking. Gardening can also be a therapy or a door to a healthy way of life. It might not be the most glamorous of hobbies, but it is one hobby that will pay you back many times. As with all my blogs there is a backstory to this too. So, here goes….

A friend of mine faced a personal tragedy and was totally lost. I would say he was in a state of depression, but he never approached a psychiatrist due to the stigma attached to it. For a long time he refused to accept the fact too and persevered on. We could all see him go on a downward spiral, but no one was able to get through to him. My friend strongly resisted any help in the form of therapy or otherwise. We were at our wits end on how to help him.

The solution came to us quite unexpectedly. One day we had a chance meeting with an owner of a nursery for plants. The owner was trying to market his plants and sat down to tell us the different benefits of each plant. The fresh and cool air around the plants, the aroma of wet soil and perfume of flowers gave my friends a sense of peace. From here his healing process started. Initially, he volunteered to take care of the plants at the nursery and slowly built his own terrace garden. He said working closely with a plant right from its germination up till it flourishes on its own, it gave him a sense of achievement. He considered them as his children and would spend most of his time in his garden. For a time we were worried for his sanity as he started talking to his plants about innate things and events. He brushed away our fear saying that he was just encouraging his plants to grow better. His smile and joy told us that we have nothing to worry anymore.

Though he found his peace and recovered completely, he continued his gardening and turned it into his own organic farm. At one time he was growing crotons and flowering plants for beauty. Now, he spent more effort to grow vegetables and fruits. He strongly avoided chemical pesticides and used organic means like neem oil, mango leaves, green tea, guava leaves, turmeric etc. He says using chemicals harms the nutritional value of the plant products. He also started growing more of plants like Areca palm, money plant, snake plant etc. They are indoor plants that produce more oxygen at night and day, while also removing harmful pollutants from air around us. More oxygen in the air not only makes breathing easy, but also helps keep the mind sharp and energetic.

Gardening involves not just growing plants, but also taking care of the soil, the air and the water quality. So, by making them healthy, we are in turn making ourselves healthy. This is one hobby that is worth trying.

Train your brain to kick bad habits

The title of this post, ‘train your brain to kick bad habits’, might sound like a medical thesis or a white paper on psychology. However, I got the inspiration for this from a comedy movie. I kid you not, there is an old Telugu comedy movie in which the protagonist wins the heart of his lady love by helping her family get over a few of their bad habits. It might sound whimsical and far fetched, but, the idea behind the plot is a simple trick to train your brain. Without further ado, I will give you a brief explanation of the story.

The father of the heroine has a bad habit of swearing and cursing for the smallest of reasons, this in turn is seen by his son as a carte blanche to misbehave and abuse everyone around him. Since the child’s behaviour stems from what he sees in his father, the hero first tackles the father. He sets about to cure the father short temper and habit of using swear words. Everytime he gets upset at anything and has the urge to start cursing, the hero advises the father to tell out all the inanimate objects in front of him. Instead of saying bad words, he would be listing harmless objects around him. This results in some good comedic situations, but the idea behind it works. Since the father is now consciously making an effort to watch what he says, he has subconsciously started moderating his speech and actions.

Watching his father change, the son also takes it up as a game. The hero challenges the child to play games and the loser has to learn any new lesson, moral, concept etc that the winner teaches. The child’s natural curiosity takes over and he begins to play and learn, thereby changes his aggressive and competitive spirit is channelled in the right way.

The movie might seem like a comedy and the problem may have been trivialised, but the fact remains that our brain is powerful enough to cure and change all our bad habits. With the will to change, we can make our brain bend the way we want. Like a machine, with all the right commands our brain will start churning out the best results every time.

Start with simple tasks like waking up at a set time daily. Before you sleep at night, tell your brain to wake up at a set time and repeat this command 5 times. When you practice this with a calm mind and make the effort to wake up when your brain reminds you, you will notice that without an alarm, your brain will wake you up. I have tried this and it did work for me.

In the same way, we can train our mind to stop many habits like picking things that do not belong to us, smoking, being lax in our work etc. It just takes a determined effort and anything is possible.

All that remains is for us to stop using excuses and start to make real efforts. I do not promise that the task is easy, yet the results are always worth the hard work we put in.

Trip To Port Antonio (Jamaica)

Hello everybody. This is Sharda here, back again with another write up. How are all of you? Last weekend we were invited to a birthday party at Port Antonio, Jamaica. It’s such a beautiful place that I had to write about it.

My husband and I started at 9:15 am from home. We live in Montego Bay, Jamaica. It was a sunny Sunday morning and I was looking really forward to take a break from the daily routine. I was told that it a long drive and it could take at least three and a half to four hours’ drive. My friends started on Saturday evening and reached there in the night. They spent the night at a villa. I wish I had done that but I had to take care of work before relaxing. The roads were clear, not much traffic and the air was fresh. I had water and snacks packed in the car. Had my favorite music playing on the car, my dear husband was driving and we were chatting all along the way. I had such a wonderful time.

Route map from Montego Bay to Port Antonio

It is about 202 km from Montego bay. The road runs along the coast line and all through the journey I could see the shimmering waters of the Caribbean Sea. On one side was the ebb and flow of the waves and on the other side of the road was beautiful, tall trees. Up to St. Ann’s Bay it was flat road but after that the road was like a long winding ribbon running up and down hills, valleys and knolls.

Finally, after a very long drive we reached our destination and the scenery of Port Antonio was a jaw-dropping gorgeous. The birthday party was held at the majestic looking Trident Castle. It was a private estate and they rent the place for gatherings. The hours flew by as we were engrossed in the simply breath taking views and soon it was time to leave. It took us four hours to get back home. we were dead tired but totally satisfied.

More pictures from the journey:

Political correctness

In the present day, more than diplomacy, political correctness is more important. Many of us do not bother much for diplomacy and prefer straight shooters. However, no one wants to compromise on political correctness. So what is this political correctness, what exactly does this entail? Is it really that important or necessary to be politically correct?

Before launching into this discussion, I would like to tell a little about myself. I am very lean, I wear spectacles and had buck teeth. As a result, I have often borne the brunt of the jokes of my friends and colleagues due to my appearance. I would not say that I was bullied badly, but I have faced some hurtful and insensitive comments, whether it be intentional or unintentional. My experience on the matter of bullying, prejudices, may be limited, though they give me an insight into that world and need for political correctness.

Being politically correct means to speak in a way that does not offend or hurt the sentiments or feelings of any community, race, sex or ethnic group etc. Being careful in our choice of words and usage of expressions so that one does not demean or belittle people of disability or different abilities. In a world of bullies and trollers, being politically correct and being considerate of the sentiments of all groups of people is a good thing and many consider it an essential attribute in communication. The intent of the concept is to make everyone feel welcome and included in our world and not to differentiate. People around the world have taken to this concept very seriously and practice it. However, is the good intention behind this concept really working, how far is it helping?

Political correctness is like a mask that one wears to hide true identity. The problem with haters is not so much with their words or actions but with their intentions. While practising politically correct rhetoric, one can still harbour hatred in their hearts. In fact, I feel, when a person is not allowed to speak their minds and when society starts policing the freedom of speech and expression, the hatred only grows.

Any dispute, disagreement or agreement can only be resolved when all parties speak openly and honestly. With a veil like this, one can never completely address the hatred, xenophobia, bigotry, intolerance in the society. Even if we set aside the matter of fighting all these battles and only consider the fact that most of us just want to navigate through life peacefully and calmly. Would it not be simpler if we knew each other’s standpoint on issues of race, abilities, ethnicity, etc? I can at least steer clear of those that do not match my viewpoint.

The concept of Political Correctness, in my opinion, only masks the ugliness that lies within. To truly rid the society of such ugliness, we require a change of heart, ideology and thought process, not a change of wording or change of rhetorics. We should all think honestly and deeply before we come to any conclusion and stick to our guns in this fight.

Disclaimer: I do not own any of these images. They are sourced from Google and Pinterest.

Music that inspires and motivates us

Music has long been a tool to entertain and relax. It can also be a way of expressing emotions and encouraging change. When good music is complemented with apt lyrics, it becomes a very powerful medium for inspiration and motivation. Many a time, a song can open your eyes to repressed emotions, unidentified issues that need to be addressed. It all seems farfetched to many, but ask any Pink Floyd fan and you can get a multitude of examples of how music changed them.

Staying with the example of Pink Floyd’s music, the song ‘Another Brick in the Wall’ opened up a can of worms of how the English education system oppressed free thinking and independent thought. It hit a raw nerve for me as a proponent of the old convent school system. At the same time ‘Learning to Fly’ uncovered my struggle to become my own person.

There was a time when composers like Mozart, Vivaldi, Handel, and Beethoven etc. composed complex concertos that told stories, evoked love and praised God. Music was a study of notes and instruments and all the fine arts and high society. There was nothing ugly about music in those days. Slowly the social differences were blurred and apart from classical music, jazz, folk, pop music came into prominence. Singers like Frank Sinatra, Dean Martin, Louis Armstrong, Sammy Davis, and Elvis Presley became the crowd favourites.
Popular music from The Beatles, Abba, The Carpenters, and Boney M etc. wowed the masses. Simple tunes, simpler words and easily expressed emotions were the hallmark of this genre of music. It nonetheless invoked very strong craze and hysteria among music lovers.
There are also those dark songs that help to give words to all the angst, turmoil and disquiet in the mind. Songs like ‘Fade to Black’, ‘Unforgiven’, ‘Enter Sandman’ etc. from Metallica are some examples. One can also quote songs from Iron Maiden, Nirvana, or the more recent bands like Linkin Park, Imagine Dragons etc.

I may be an aficionado of rock music, but mainstream music and pop music has many gems too. However, today’s music scene is quite different. Hip hop music, dance and EDM music are more in flavour. That still does not take away the fundamental quality to inspire.

I watched a recent Netflix show on Rap and Hip Hop music and how it is being used as a way to mobilize youth toward change. It is used to fight against oppressive regimes and cultures. Be it in Spain, Russia, Thailand even China. Gone are the days when music concert were basically composers like Bach or Beethoven or Mozart playing to entertain gentlefolk. It’s not even the Woodstock era where music spread the message of peace and free spirit. Nowadays music has taken the role of revolutionaries and militias.

Through these entire roles and titles, one thing is constant with music. It evokes feelings, inspires greatness and motivates change. It can be anything we need at any point in our life.

Disclaimer: I do not own any of these images. They are sourced from Google and Pinterest.

Immortals Of Meluha – A Book Review

Hello everyone. I am Sharda, I love to read but my busy life leaves little time for any of my hobbies. When I do get a chance to indulge, I love to talk about it. Here I am today to talk about this book I read. If you also happen to have read this one, I would love to hear your thoughts about this book. Now, without holding you up for too long, let me dive into the topic.

Title of the book I read is: The Immortals of Meluha (Book 1 of the Shiva Trilogy). The author of the book is Amish Tripathi. It was first published in New Delhi, India in the year 2010 and has 424 pages in all.

The time setting for this fictional story is 1900 BC. In this book Amish Tripathi, muses about or, should I say, toys around the idea – what if Shiva, one of the three main Gods of the Hindu mythology, was in fact a mortal who lived an exemplary life and eventually became a God due to the heroic actions done during his life time. This story thus uses many of the characters from the actual Shiva purana around which Amish has skillfully woven his own work of fiction. The story in this book has been divided into twenty-six chapters and there are two more books following after this first book.

The setting for the story is the empires of Meluha and Swadweep, which includes: most of Northern India, Pakistan and Egypt were also mentioned in books two and three. All through the story, one thing that stands out is the effort the author makes to give details about locations. It reminded me of the history lessons that I learnt in school. He describes the culture of the Meluhan and Swadweepan people in great detail and the stark contrast between the two cultures is more than obvious. The description of the cities is so detailed that at times I felt that it hindered the smooth narration of the story. I found myself thinking “Come on now, enough of the description, get back to the story!” Generally, I don’t skip even a single word while reading a book but this is the first time I skipped a few paragraphs here and there in order to avoid the unnecessary description and to get to the actual point. I wonder if any of you felt the same way.

The main characters in this story are Shiva, his wife – Princess Sati, emperor Daksha of Meluha, Capt. Nandi, the doctor Ayurvathi, General Parvateshwar, chief scientist Brishaspathi, Naga the mysterious hooded figure, Prime Minister Kanakhala, emperor Dilipa of Swadweep, his children Princess Anandmayi and Prince Bhagirath etc. There are many other secondary characters that make their appearance at different points in the story and play a vital role in shaping up the story such as Vidyunmali, Mayasheinik, the different Pandit ji at the temples etc. The other thing I observed is that there are too many characters in this book. Even though I am familiar with Hindu mythology it was hard to keep track of the characters, who is who and who is doing what. There were times when I had to turn back the pages to cross check the character. I can only imagine the plight of a person who is not familiar with the Hindu mythology. Having said that, I must emphasize that each and every character had a role to play in the story and none of them felt out of place or unrequired.  The character of each and every person has been developed with clarity and all persons in the story act according to their character.

Plot of the story involves many intricacies and the author took his time to gradually unfold the main plot and several subplots. The revealing of each incident and unveiling of each and every concept drags us deeper and deeper into the story. His exceptional story telling skill makes us question what needs to be questioned, form opinions and feel the emotions relating to the events. Shiva the leader of the Guna tribe comes to Meluha on Nandi’s invitation. He is fed up with the constant wars and struggle for survival and wants a peaceful settlement for his tribe. In Meluha he is suddenly looked upon as Lord Neelkant – the prophesied savior. This is because the manner of his arrival and the outcome, of events that followed after his arrival, fit the description perfectly. It takes another 100 to 115 pages to understand the nature of help that Meluha expects from their Neelkant. During this time the author includes many subplots such as the love affair that develops between Sati and Shiva, the concept of Vikarma, the magical somras and its effects, the mystery of the evil Nagas, the Maika system, the Suryavanshi and Chandravanshis etc. The author, very skillfully, paints a picture of who is good and who is bad by the time we reach the halfway mark in the story and then takes the readers racing to the anti-climax. Emotions are high at this point in the story and what is expected in the climax is obvious to all. Just as the all expected actions are executed with full fervor we are in for a rude shock. The last quarter of the book makes the readers question everything and everyone in the story just as some of the main characters do. At this point the story comes to an abrupt halt as Amish cruelly leads us to a situation where the hooded Naga is advancing towards an unsuspecting Sati while Shiva is frantically racing to save her.

To sum up I enjoyed reading the story with all its intricacies. However, I also feel that the elaborate descriptions could have been a little shorter. The story has used a lot of terminology that relates to Sanskrit language and Hinduism.  For this reason, the author has even included a glossary at the end of the book. Thus some sections in the story felt like an educational documentary on the beliefs and culture of ancient Hindus. Some of these details, I felt, could have been avoided. Finally, in order to enjoy the story one has to forget all about the actual story of Lord Shiva and treat this book as just a work of fiction that consists of similar character names.

Does Positive Thinking Really Work

Hello friends!! When someone spoke about positive thinking, I always made fun of them by asking, will it help me get away with murder just by wishing it away. Yet, I have seen it work and I have experienced its failures too. You might understand my perspective if I tell you the backstory about a coworker of mine. I have known her since my school days, but never really warmed up to her until we started working together. Since the beginning, she was always a bundle of positivity and this rubbed me the wrong way. In school, when all of us wished for the teacher to fall sick so that we get an extra day in the assignment, this girl would just say that the teacher won’t mind it if she didn’t submit and it worked for her. We all thought it was favoritism, but after the same story repeated in college and work, we realized she can’t have so many fans. It was her luck maybe?

Well, this good luck did not limit itself to assignment submissions or tests. From getting comfortable seats in buses to the last dress in her size at a sale or chance to meet her favorite star in the airport, she had all the luck. At one time, we even suspected that she might have a stock of rabbit feet that brought her all this good luck. However, that was not the case and while working with her I realized the truth. The secret was her positive thinking. As you can guess, I did not believe her. She would say, ‘don’t worry, it will all work out’ or ‘you will win this time’, and her words came true. The positive thinking did not work for me though. No matter how many times I thought positive thoughts when I did I shoddy job, I always got caught.

One day, I sat down with her to get to the bottom of the matter. How come positive thinking worked for her and not me? The answer she gave me took a while to digest and understand. When one thinks about positive thinking we already have a set outcome in our mind and everything else is a negative outcome. She explained that that is not how it works. We should be open-minded about all the outcomes and ask for one that is the best suited to us. Whether it is the one that we foresee or not is of no consequence. We have to have faith that we will be given the best outcome. She was, quite literally asking for the best outcome and nothing else.

This was a difficult lesson to learn for me. When I tried practicing it, I had difficulty accepting the outcome. Maybe it was because I could not see far into the future and determine that the outcome was for the best in the long run. If we want to succeed in making positive thinking a way of our life, we need to be more accepting and open-minded in our approach. I decided to start with small steps by applying it to my daily tasks and everyday issues rather than starting off with all of life’s big problems straight away.

I am still practicing it and have not become a master at it yet. As of now, I can safely say that Positive Thinking is not quite the impossible concept that I thought it was. There might yet be more to this than just getting the promotion or getting away with murder.

Disclaimer: I do not own any of these images. They are sourced from Google and Pinterest.

Who gets my vote

Voting and elections are the hot topic in the country today. With the general elections just around the corner, every political party is campaigning, canvassing and, in some cases, begging for your votes. It is not just political parties that depend on our votes, reality show participants, news anchors, beauty pageants etc also depend on public voting. When votes are such an important part of our democracy, what is the psyche behind each vote.

I am not talking about the contestants of any show, political party, pageant, reality contest or the virtues of any candidate. I, simply aim to understand what triggers a voter to choose a particular participant. I have spoken to my friends, colleagues, co passengers, and gathered general opinion from neighbours and relatives. Mind you, I am not conducting a scientific survey or study, all this is just to satisfy my curiosity. Now that I have made my intentions clear, I will make my findings clear too. I have found some very weird and funny reasons, some smart and practical reasons and some absolutely ridiculous reasons too.

  • Some people have given usual answers like ‘that participant is from my community/ caste/ neighborhood/ ethnicity’, this reason is most unreasonable because it has no bearing on the contest at all.
  • There were also reasons like ‘his/her relative was a good person’, this again is a bad reason because you can’t call someone a good reason or actor or person just because they are related to good people.
  • Some people have given practical answers like, ‘this person is a lesser evil compared to others’. I understand that in some contests you don’t have any suitable or good participant, we just have to pick the best option.
  • Here is a foolish reason for supporting or voting for your candidate. ‘i like to support the underdog’. This is such a bad reason because, you are the underdog most of the time due to your lack of skill, preparation and qualification. How can that be a reason to make you win.
  • Some people also vote purely based on appearances or looks. ‘he looks so innocent/ kind/ cute’ etc.
  • Sometimes the participants create tragic backstory  to gather sympathy votes. I have seen hardcore enthusiasts and fans and followers fall for such plots. The participants mainly have the skill needed, but have a sad story and you can get through. Revenge is also another reason for people to vote for unqualified candidates. We try to play god and avenge the wrongs done by a candidate by voting for other unqualified candidates

In this way, people have given a wide range of good, bad and ugly reasons to bestow ones vote. The sad thing is that we can’t preach to the public about the importance of vote and their duty. When we are starved for good choices, we have to make do with bad ones.

Disclaimer: I do not own any of these images. They are sourced from Google and Pinterest.