All posts by Harshita

Limbo of the Lost

Growing up you solve so many puzzles – picture puzzles, riddles, and word quizzes – so that your mind gets accustomed to questioning everything around you. This develops in you an inquisitive nature and you start to see mysteries in everyday things around you. You try to question the existence of some things and the non-existence of others. In this world full of mysteries, one such mystery is that of the Bermuda Triangle.

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Also known as the Devil’s Triangle, the Bermuda Triangle is a section of the Atlantic Ocean, roughly bounded by Miami, Bermuda, and Puerto Rico. Mythical literature revels in the stories of ghost ships, of airplanes disappearing forever, and of instruments going haywire around the Bermuda Triangle. But these are just fanciful theories; there is no solid proof that these types of mysterious disappearances occur less in the other well-traveled sections of the ocean than they do in the Bermuda Triangle. As a matter of fact, there are many people who navigate the Bermuda Triangle on a daily basis without any incident. So why do we still think of Bermuda Triangle as an unsolved mystery?

Covering about 500,000 square miles of the ocean, the area was sailed through by Christopher Columbus on his first voyage. He reported that a great flame of fire crashed into the sea which was probably a meteor. Also, his observations about the erratic compass readings could be explained by the fact that at that time a sliver of the Bermuda Triangle was one of the few places on earth where the true north and the magnetic north aligned together.

Reports of unexplained disappearances started capturing people’s interest around the early twentieth century when the USS Cyclops, a 542-meter long navy ship with 300 men and thousands of ton of manganese onboard, sank somewhere between Barbados and the Chesapeake Bay in 1918. Although they were equipped to do so, the Cyclops never sent an SOS distress call and the extensive search yielded no wreckage.

After that, an alleged pattern started to form when five navy bombers carrying 14 got severely lost in the area in 1945. The nave bombers were forced to ditch at sea when they ran low on fuel. A rescue plane with 13 men also disappeared while searching for them. Even a weeks-long investigation failed to turn up any evidence.

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In a 1946 magazine article, author Vincent Gaddis coined the phrase “Bermuda Triangle” for the first time after which it became a sensational legend with reports of planes going down despite having just sent “all’s well” messages. Paranormal writers blamed the triangle’s lethality on everything from aliens and Atlantis to time warps and reverse gravity fields while scientific theories, on the other hand, pointed to magnetic anomalies, waterspouts, and methane gas eruptions from the ocean floor.

In all probability, however, many don’t recognize the Bermuda Triangle as a hazardous place. There is no single theory that solves the mystery but there has been nothing discovered indicating the casualties were a result of anything other than physical harm. No extraordinary factors have ever been identified.

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Life Unplugged

For a second, let your imagination run along these lines. It is a beautiful morning, the sun is slowly rising. You are there on your balcony, peacefully sitting and the only sound you can hear is the chirping of birds. In your hand is your favorite drink, and in your mind is calmness. Amidst all this, you take a long deep breath and feel connected to your soul.

Your life keeps going on and you do things which you think are important for you. You never once stop to just take a breath and look around to see where you have actually reached; what is going on in your own life. So to counteract this, there is this unworldly concept that you just sometimes take a break from your life; you unplug from your own life.

More often than not, you forget to take a break. And even if you do take it, you usually only give it to your physical being but forget that your mental being is equally important.

Take a break every now and then to reevaluate your life and your surroundings. It is just as important to stop as it is to continue to accomplish things because, without a balanced head, you would not be able to accomplish them anyway. Take a break from places, from routines, from people, and even from yourself. Unplug from the chaos of life.

Plug back into life in its purest form and not through a lens. Plug back to your values and the things you desire. Connect to those who truly matter. Connect to peace, joy, and Zen. Embrace your inner self once in a while.

  1. Start your day with yourself

There will come a time when you have to attend to your duties and obligations. The world will start pulling at you and the day will become just a domino effect of endless pulls. Before that happens, spare a few moments for yourself.  You deserve it. Nobody else is more important than you. Take five minutes to breathe, contemplate, and feel grateful for your life.

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  1. Mind your diet

The world is a chaotic place where every being has to fend for himself. Start by minding and mending your food habits. Introduce a new super item into your diet. The only condition is that it should be healthy. Drink a green smoothie if you like that. Find healthier alternatives for your favorite foods. Try eating cakes and sweets that are gluten-free. Cleanse your diet.

  1. Empower yourself with an inspiring book

Your subconscious mind creates reality. Feed your mind with the world you want to create for yourself. Start your day by reading a portion of a book that embeds positive thoughts in your mind.

  1. Explore your neighborhood

It is not necessary for you to travel to exotic places to feel relaxed. You could just go outside your home and take a walk around your neighborhood. Connect yourself with nature. Try a new restaurant. Join a class that you wanted to for a long time.

  1. Prioritize your time and feelings

Learn to balance your time within your boundaries. Manage the time you spend on social media. Own up your actions and let people know how you want to be treated. Focus less on what you want to do and achieve and more on how you want to feel while achieving that.

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A Break in Between

The high school focuses on the textbook education of a child. As a student, you will be provided with insights on the Nazis and the best topography for the coniferous trees. But by the time you graduate from high school, you get so focused on your formal education that you are completely burnt out for the real world. There are still lessons waiting for you out there, many of which you need to learn before you enter your university and get a taste of the real world.

Although most students head directly from the high school to the university courses, it can be healthy to take a break from school and focus on building your character for once. What most people don’t believe is that education can be continued outside a classroom too.

A gap year is the answer for such students who are lost. It will give you the opportunity to take a breath before you dive headlong into university life. You can go to another country and instead of simply reading about the place you get a firsthand experience of its culture, traditions, and people. The change in scenery will aid in your networking and give you a global perspective on life.

The one-year gap is a breather for you to understand what you want to pursue in your life. You will get the experience of making tough decisions and be more independent.

Here are 4 benefits of taking a gap year in a country that is not yours.

  1. Accelerated maturity

You can be a good student easily but there is nothing to support your statement. A gap year allows you to gain quality life experiences. You get to witness different things the world has to offer, from new sites to new foods. You learn about the people and more importantly, about yourself. Living in a place that is not your home allows you to handle things on your own, making you more responsible and self-reliant.

  1. Better performance in college

If you are a student struggling to decide upon your major in college, the bridge year gives you a chance to explore your interests and allows you to make an informed decision regarding your field of study. It also gives you the time to refine the specific skills you feel you are lacking and catch up on them before you begin university.

  1. Boost your job prospects

Since you return to college invigorated with a newly found confidence and perspective, you will have a better chance at any future employment prospects. You will be able to cater to the needs of diverse customers. Your time spent volunteering will be proof of your empathetic side which most employers seek while hiring.

  1. Discover a hidden passion

In one year’s time, you can learn a new language or pursue a new hobby. Maybe you can even hone a previous skill of yours like writing, public speaking, and cooking. These skills will give you an edge in your career or help you in your personal life by making you feel relaxed. Either way, you’ll become a well-rounded person creating positive opportunities along your way and leading a rich and rewarded life.

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Commercialization of Education

Back in the 90s, getting 60 percent on your boards meant having a party in the whole neighborhood; it was a celebration. Today, even 95 percent is not enough to secure your admission in the college and course of your choice. So, what changed during all these years? Not the NCERTs for sure.

India is fast becoming a country where education is just another commodity. With everyone obsessing over education and paying any amount of money to get the best, the real essence of education has been devalued. It is no longer a noble cause; it is a mere means for people to earn a profit, to scam others into paying for a basic necessity.

To educate someone means to impart that person the knowledge so that he or she can survive in society. But the commercialization of education has turned almost every institution into a business or a money-making factory, charging huge amounts for all the facilities that they provide. And the sad part of it all is that these facilities aren’t even required most of the time.

Today, every nook and corner has a new coaching institute being run by someone who is not even a professional of the field they are teaching or tutoring students in. As a result, most of the students going from schools to colleges are not using any prior knowledge from their formative years. Furthermore, the students passing out of colleges are not ready to be employed right away. Yet they are being employed, many even as teachers. A teacher is a pillar of a child’s future, but what will happen if the teacher himself fails to build a strong foundation for his student’s life?

Another important parameter for quality education is having the right infrastructure. The environment of the place where you send your child to study matters a lot. As a student, it is important to keep in mind that nurture plays a huge role in the development of our minds and the correct environment is the first step towards nurturing the feeling of learning in our minds. Schools and colleges are spending way more on advertising their institutions and finding prospective customers in the name of students rather than spending that same money on improving the infrastructure and the facilities available for the students. The parents are falling prey to these lucrative ads, readily paying a huge amount of money to get their ward into the said institution, without even realizing that their hard-earned money will be used to catch other prey. Basically, they are being cheated in the name of education.

Instead of being the solution to a problem, education itself is becoming more of a problem. Even though the education industry is rising, it is lagging behind in fulfilling its social responsibility towards the society.

The education system has to improve, thereby improving the meaning of education. Providing education should no longer equate to just paying the fees. The youth has to be provided with quality education and the whole society has to work together to convey this message to the world.

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