Thursday, November 17, 2016

You're being manipulated!

Wow! Time flies, doesn't it? I haven't written in a while because of various reasons, but I thought it's about time I wrote something. In fact, I need to get this off my chest.

I want to attract your attention to the ways we consume news and information these days. A lot of us rely heavily on various media outlets and especially social media to get there daily fix of news and information. In this day and age, information is available to us like never before. We are surrounded by it. From news items to advertisements, from your Facebook feeds to Twitter timelines, information is everywhere. Information is literally on our fingertips now. In fact, one can even claim that this generation should be the most informed people on this planet. But are we? Are we as informed as we think we are?

We call this the information age, and it is pretty apt because we have unprecedented access to information. But somewhere, this information bubble around us is not as informative as we think it is. It is more manipulative than ever before. Reporting is no longer as unbiased as we want it to be. I'll take the example of a recent report published in DNA. Below is what they posted:

There is an explanation to what AUCA or 'a write-off' is and how it works. But just pay attention to the headlines. I would urge you to read the actual article which can be found here:

Our next exhibit is this news item reported by The Indian Express. You can see it below:

It also says, and I quote, the following in this article:

"Mallya, who has been declared by ED as a proclaimed offender, has left the country after banks moved the Supreme Court to seize his assets. Kingfisher Airline owes a total of Rs 6,963 to 17 banks. In February, The Indian Express first reported that Twenty-nine state-owned banks wrote off a total of Rs 1.14 lakh crore of bad debts between financial years 2013 and 2015. SBI topped the list by writing of bad debts worth Rs 40,084 crore in the last three financial years.  The Supreme Court, taking suo motu cognizance of The Indian Express report, called the write off “a big fraud” and ordered the RBI to share with it names of the biggest defaulters. On Tuesday, the Parliamentary consultative committee, constituted to study non-performing assets (NPAs) in the banking sector, has suggested that the government should name all the defaulters whose loans have been written off by state-owned banks."

Again, you can read the whole article here:

You can see the articles differ in content and overall information presented. But this is not where it ends. Below is how this news showed up on my Facebook feed:

Do you see it? Do you see how the actual news is no longer relevant? And before anyone starts calling out on anything, my point is exactly that: we love news and information that matches our biases. And as the news and information become more targeted, we are prone to such biases even more. This misinformation, paid content and sensationalist mindset of media has incorporated a distrust so deep that we no longer believe what doesn't fit our ideology. With content more readily available, and everyone competing in this market, headlines are becoming more and more click-baity. There's almost no way of finding the truth in this cloud of misinformation. But how did we reach here?

We, the people, are to blame for this. We love the sensationalized news. We love thrills. We love the news/information that fits our biases. We love the conspiracy theories which fit our narrative. We consume what we like and our media outlets know that. They have to cater to their market. We as market has made news entertainment. Truth and fact-checking is not on the top of our list. In fact, it is nowhere on our list. We've come to a point where either you're with us or against us. There's no middle ground. We want to see the world in black and white which it is not. It's a problem. It's a huge problem. 

Media holds immense power to sway people and opinions. It's a good thing. The problem is the media knows it. And now it has taken to a whole new level. They love spreading negativity. It brings readers. It brings money. What about us though? What does it bring us? Does it bring truth? Does it show the real picture? We have reached a point where we are the most misinformed generation. We as people have to stop this. We need to become more observant. We need to seek the truth. We need to realize: there's a black, there's a white, and the truth lies somewhere in the middle. All it needs is finding.

Tuesday, June 21, 2016

All I have are memories...

I remember the time we spent
I remember the dreams we had seen
I remember the path we had taken
I remember the places we had been

I remember your angelic voice
I remember the songs you sang
I remember the taste of your lips
As the pictures in my memories still hang

I remember how you smiled
I remember the tears you shed
I remember the look in your eyes
When you lay beside me on the bed

Yes, I remember everything
Every moment we had together
For that's all I have left now
All that I hold so dear

May be I'll smile again someday
May be my heart will beat again
But for now I'll put my mask back on
As I have nothing left but pain

I'll not call your name
I'll never cross your way
But I'll keep these memories
Forever with me they'll stay

Let me dream!

I saw them crying
Yes, I saw them scream
I saw them letting it all go
I saw the bodies flow down the stream

Looking up for help,
I saw the fears in their eyes
I saw the smoke of the ashes
I saw them rise to the skies

I saw the holes in them
Yes, I saw your madness
I saw your truth, your lies
I saw through you, more or less

I cannot take this nightmare
Have I been awake too long?
As you wreck all their dreams
Can I get out of your vise strong?

I don't want any part of this insanity
I don't want to hear that guttural scream
At the end of the fear, where there is love
I want to close my eyes; just let me dream!

Saturday, June 4, 2016

Your god is not mine

Your god is better than mine
Is what you want me to believe
And while they cry for the lost,
You preach, "this is the way to live!"

The voice of the tortured souls
Don't reach your closed ears.
Your wall's thick, skin thicker
Do you not see the dried up tears?

You fight for your God's place
When millions have no place to go.
You revere a piece of rock
But do their pain you know?

You burn homes for your God's sake
You wreck families for hate
You bury their unborn children
Is that what you call faith?

Go, scream to the skies for forgiveness
Go, commit one more sin
But don't preach your God to me
I am fine without him

Thursday, May 12, 2016

Can I have myself back?

How do I know what's left of me?
Or if anything's left at all?
Where do I find what's left?
And if I do, will that be all?

If I find the answers I seek
To the questions I ask,
Will they heal me?
Or would it be too much to ask?

Is that the smile I wore?
Or is that the tear I shed?
If I find them both,
Will I be whole, or ripped to shreds?

So many dreams crushed
So many moments lost
If I could resurrect them,
Will my life they cost?

Could I just walk away?
Fight no more, just go off the track?
Can I lose myself for ever
So that I can have myself back?

Wednesday, January 13, 2016

Would you be my sunshine?

Would you be my sunshine?
Give me your precious time?
This is not just another rhyme;
Maybe it’s my last crime.

Can I be left in your shadow?
Laugh a little, cry a little like a callow?
It may sound a little shallow,
But it may fill a soul deemed hollow

What am I if not your moon?
Over you because I swoon
Stay in your shadow from night to noon
As your light lights me, for you I croon.

I need you more than you’ll ever need me
I’ll stay close even if you don’t heed me
So close to me, yet so distant I see
I am with you whether or not you’re with me

So, for all that I say or do
All I can think of is you
Without any further ado
I ask this question to you

Would you be my sunshine?
Light me like a moon in your time?
It maybe, for me, the end of the line
But I’ll forever sing your rhyme

Just tell me, one more time
Would you be my sunshine?

Saturday, January 2, 2016

My Bliss

I still remember the day
I fell in love with you.
A day I'll never forget
It defines what I've done ever since
It tells me what I need to know.

I remember how I told you about it,
and how terrified I was once I did tell.
But I had to do it, you know.
For I knew it was the meant to be,
and because from heaven on earth for me you fell.

To my parachute of life
you are the wind that pushes it through
It makes me wonder what I would have been
If I hadn't been here
or if I hadn't met you

Maybe someday I'll no longer breathe,
and I'll cease to exist
But even without my corporeal form
You have to know that I'll be there for you
Forever beside you, that's my bliss!