As someone who has dreamt of living an independent life to get one step closer to his ambitions, shifting near the campus was a big deal for me. But as they say, with great power comes great responsibilities, I began succumbing to the responsibilities. The problem of plenty is real, and here’s why.  

Suppose you are living a life of comfort, following a flamboyant and careless lifestyle, eating anything recklessly, sleeping at odd hours and then one fine day you suddenly feel a prickling pain in your chest. The pain doesn’t go away, it persists, for a day or two and is mildly affecting your consciousness. You wake on the third day and the pain comes back again. You go and see a doctor and it’s your liver! It has been deteriorating for a while now. The physician hints at your sedentary lifestyle and absurd eating habits for the situation. You regret, you repent, you cannot accept the fact that you have succumbed into a chronic disease at such a young age. Though it can get worse with time, the relieving part is that only if it’s not controlled or managed well. Your liver will get back on track if you undo the effects with a disciplined and healthy lifestyle. Now, out of scarcity of option you willingly or unwillingly have to follow a better lifestyle.

If you are wondering why the medical situation of a careless youngster is being discussed here, then let me tell you, this careless youngster is me and probably you or a friend of yours. Let me clear the ambiguity first. I have used this analogy to illustrate the “problem of plenty”. A situation 11th-hour lovers must be familiar with.

Now, allow me to associate this problem with my decision to shift near the campus in order to concentrate on my college and academics. The most relevant argument a student gives to their parents or guardians (or at least I did) while persuading them to allow relocation to a flat or PG near the campus is that it will save the time lost in commuting daily from home to college and back. The other argument is generally the availability of a student-friendly environment in a flat or PG near the college. Subsequently, one also thinks about having a typical bachelor’s experience. In hindsight, a student comes with hope and determination to lead an independent life for the next few years.

And then comes the problem of plenty. The problem of plenty roots within the luxury of abundance. The abundance of resources, time and affinity. Just like “you” took your abdomen for granted and got marred by a deadly disease, I got marred by the assurance of resources and time.

Once I left the comfort of domestication and set foot out in the real world, I saw a lot of opportunities, experiences to seek, and things to try. A distorted sleeping cycle, untimely eating habits, eating whatever I got at hand, etc. became common practices. Exploiting the freedom I had was the foremost task my mind was alluded to do once I got out of home. Now, I could dare to miss classes on a regular basis and still sleep in peace, unlike my home where my parents would have ranted out their frustration had I missed classes so frequently. And academics – you remember the 11th-hour lovers I mentioned initially? I became that student inadvertently.

But then, the grass is always greener on the other side. When I see it from another perspective, I realise the vast amount of experience I am extracting at such a young age. I am maturing as a person, learning to tackle emotional and mental upheavals, discovering the value of every teardrop I shed. I am making friends who I am sure will become family to me if I hold on to them.  And if with great responsibility comes with great power, this independence, this abundance is nothing but power to me!


Image Credits: Adventure In Adventure Out



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The fifth season of the TV series “Vikings” premieres on 29th November this year. The TV series has been a phenomenon travelling back to the time when swords and stones brought power.

Vikings is a TV series based on the saga of Ragnar Lothbrok, one of the most popular Norse heroes the world has known. The series portrays the rise of Ragnar (Travis Fimmel), a farmer who became the king of Kattegat. The story is set in the 13th century and noticeably has very distinct features. One cannot help but draw similarities from these features.

Regarding law, the land has its own judicial head known as the ‘Earl’. The Earl hears the cases and gives his verdict on who is guilty. He is the most respected figure in the area. Villages today still have Panchayats where cases are discussed, and the head delivers his verdict. The jurisdiction today has a lot of law institutions, but it all still comes down to the judge who acts as the sole decision maker. The Vikings follow their God called ‘Odin’. He is believed to be the first of them and is known as the ‘Father-of-All’. All the people strive to go to Valhalla, an enormous hall where Odin resides. One must do good deeds and be a true warrior to be eligible to go to this place after death. This does not sound very different from what we know as heaven. We too strive to go to the place where we believe the God resides and all of us want to do great deeds for the same. There also happens to be a Seer, a person who can foresee the future. People go to him to find answers to their questions and know more about their future. We have our seers in the astrologers who claim to foresee our future. The people also make human and animal sacrifices to please their God seeing it as a way of inviting luck and glory. We make offerings of our own kind for the same reasons. Sounds familiar, eh?

Ragnar is an ambitious man. His ambitions lead him to create a secret team and be the first person to successfully discover and raid the North(England). This is what leads to the people hailing him as a leader. He is the one to do something that no one ever has done. The formula for creating history remains the same even today. Talk about being envious, Rollo, the brother of Ragnar is jealous of his brother’s fame and wants his share of popularity. How he wishes to kill his brother by using his brother’s trust in him. Betrayal and using people’s trust is not an unfamiliar concept. It won’t be wrong to say it is still very much in use.

The entire journey of Vikings deals with how Ragnar comes to power fending off the people who want to snatch it from him. The series is a magnificent display of how he attains and protects his power learning about men and life during his dynamic journey.

These are just instances highlighting the features depicted in the series which seem to be common in the present day scenario. We have moved from Earls to Supreme Courts, from swords to guns, and from Valhalla to heaven. The medium of beliefs and values have changed, but these beliefs and values remain the same. We have come a long way from using stones to smartphones.  However, the taste of power still lures us all. The desire to attain authority and enjoy power resides within all of us.

The human behavior is so unique yet seems to be so simple. All of us have our own features, and yet jealousy, backstabbing, and fragility towards power have been prevalent even after all these years. The thing about human behavior is that we are all humans and we ought to share some similarity. Be it the 13th century or the 21st, those who can go beyond limits are the ones who are hailed. It is just that the criteria have shifted from discovering new lands to discovering new ideas. Modern day has brought with it the modern ways of doing things, but the motive of doing things seems to have remained the same. We claim to have come far from our past, and yet we seem to be just repeating what has already been done.  This historical drama takes us to the past, and you’ll be surprised to know that although a lot has changed, our core values remain the same.



Image Credits: The Mind Reels

Karan Singhania

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