Radio and other stories with RJ Rahul Makin


Pic courtesy – Google

Sipping his hot coffee, RJ Rahul Makin can be seen sitting quiet and flipping the pages of his script. That is how the very fondly known ‘Love Coach’ starts his usual day. RJ Rahul Makin is a popular Delhi based Radio Jockey working for 104 FM and his Shayeri in his typical dulcet voice makes him stand out.

Rahul is not a new face in public and his Instagram account is a testimony to the same. Academically bright and charismatic in appeal, Rahul is a guy who holds several awards in his kitty for his performances on radio. Deeply rooted to Jammu, he has his name registered in “Limca Book of Record” for hosting a radio show continuously for 105 hours (2009). I was curious to know what was more to Rahul Makin?

Here is a small excerpt from my conversations with this dapper RJ.

Do you love talking to people?

You will be surprised if I tell you, I am a super shy guy and an introvert. When I was growing up, my sister was the only person I spoke to from the opposite gender. Speaking is just not what I want. I understand one element in a conversation very well and that is listening. I believe people have a lot to talk about and want a listener. I love to be one and I must tell you I am an expert in silent conversations.

pic courtesy – Google

Radio seems to be your love. Did you want to do radio always?

It is pure love. I work in a way wherein I always make sure I preserve my energies and put them in doing impeccable conversations over love and relationships. I am thankful that my art and skill sets fall in place, which is why I guess men and women love to listen to me.

Talking about women, they never cease to swoon over your voice. Is it just that?

(Gentle laugh) I do my part in the job honestly, and leave rest to god. Indeed, it feels great to receive such unconditional love from people. I feel amazed myself when I see the love pouring on me through channels like emails, phone calls, etc. It works like a boost and I make sure that each time I give back something beautiful to my people.

That was modest you! However, I am aware you are a multifarious guy, you love to trek, gym, write and also, you take special interests in literature. What is that you don’t do?

I can’t develop questions like you (laughs). It is a matter of interests and nothing else. Luckily, I was an academically bright student, literature caught my fancy then and since that time, I never let it go. I read voraciously and always aspire to take lessons from my reading. All those things that I do, they simply help me in becoming a better person. Trust me, I am still that humble boy from Jammu (coyly smiles).

No wonder, why people love you. ‘Ishqiya’, ‘Hostel Classics’ and now ‘Pyar ka Punchnama’ all of them have been massive hits, your baritone voice seems to echo love for everybody?

Human beings are just not made of bones and flesh but emotions too. Just like we need medicines to keep ourselves healthy, we need something that gives aid to our emotions as well.

My camera

I know that our younger generation undergoes the excessive pressure of proving themselves in the society and hence, many a times, it takes a toll on them. Breakups, relationship hassles, and ego clashes are very common these days and it is important to heal them with the right words. I feel privileged to lead shows like ‘Ishqiya’, ‘Hostel Classics’ and now ‘Pyar ka Punchnama’.

You have some more shows that air on 104, tell us something about them.

Yes, I anchor ‘Zoon’ that talks about authors, also we did ‘Ambulance First’ that helped ambulances reach hospitals in the quickest time. From time to time, I keep doing shows that are ‘for the people, to the people’.

Do you wish to keep going with radio?

I can’t say what future holds for me but yes, I will continue to pursue my love and that is Radio. Keep listening to 104 FM.

As I end my dialogue with you, could I have something freshly baked from your oven of poems?

“Tu kehta hai tu nahichahta hai mujhe

Teri aankhon ne kuch aur kaha hai mujhe”

It is real!


 

syria
Pic courtesy – CBS News

“50 children died in a chemical attack in Syria – Oh! How sad!” Meera read the headlines of a leading newspaper and flipped to other pages. She then went to the vending machine and got herself a cup of Latte. Meera and her colleague, Liza later fiddled with the supplementary piece, which had colorful pictures of celebrities rejoicing. Both the women had a small session of chat on why so and so actor ditched his girl. It was their daily customary ritual to sit in the cafeteria for a cup of coffee before commencing to work.

 

The day was going on really well – Meera was handling client calls, attending meetings and gossiping with colleagues during lunch. It was a usual day. Just when it was time for evening coffee, suddenly Meera felt a slight shudder. In no time, she realized everything was shaking around her.

“EARTHQUAKE GUYS!” – A colleague from nearby cube screamed his heart out.

In a matter of seconds, the teams left their seats and ran for their lives. Meera pulled Liza and went out of the office. As the entire office population ran towards the campus area, Meera and almost everybody hastily called their families. Meera called her mother, “Run ma, run! Earthquake. Go out to the park”.

After ten minutes, it seemed everything was all right. All people in the office felt a sigh of relief and after sometime, they all went back to their respective seats.

The news said, “Richter Scale measures 3.0, not massive.”

Liza, “Did you ask your parents to go out Meera? I called mine. They are fine.”

“Thank god! Everything is fine. God! I went nuts!” Meera felt highly relived as the Earthquake was over and the fact that her parents were fine.

As the day was ending, Meera thought of having a cup of coffee with Liza.

Both the women sipped through hot coffee and shared their concerns about why Earthquakes were becoming so frequent in their region.

While Meera held her favorite coffee mug in one hand, her another hand again picked up the newspaper.

“50 children died in a chemical attack in Syria – It is real!” Sighed Meera as she felt a lump in her heart.

A sneak peak into the world of perfumes


ultra limited
Pic courtesy – Google

“He didn’t smell great, hence rejected.” Said Simran when she was shortlisting executives for marketing in her company.

You can know a lot about someone’s personality by the way he or she wears a perfume. And something very terrible if they aren’t wearing at all! Since thousands of years, humans have worked hard to extract beautiful fragrances from flora and fauna and different kinds of other ingredients. Extraction is just not one aspect in the making, but the best perfumes also call for research on human behavior, demographics, cultures and a lot more.

Over the years, people have been investing largely in the beauty and wellness for themselves. Perfumes to be particular stand as a top priority in the list. As per a study, the global market for fragrances in 2016 was estimated to be USD 40.1 billion. This statistic tells us about the usage level among people and the significance. Companies engaged in making fragrances, perfumes and scents are working hard every day to bring something new to the consumers.

Not only on international grounds but also, within India, there is a huge demand for fragrances, essential oils, and perfumes. The growth of perfume industry has been steady in the last five years. A huge importance is growing towards self-grooming and personality development that drives people to buy perfumes. Currently, the Indian perfume industry is estimated at Rs. 2000 crores and it has been estimated that it will grow Rs 3000 crores in coming 5 years.

Among various industry leaders, Ultra International Limited is widely known in the perfume industry (across the globe). Strategically located in New Delhi, the company is extensively engaged in making and selling fine fragrances and many other kinds for:

  1. Air Care
  2. Personal Care
  3. House Hold
  4. Oral Care
  5. Aromatherapy

 

ultra
Pic courtesy – Google

Being a leader in the industry since 1929, the company is a name to reckon with in India and overseas. It owns a massive plant in Sahibabad in Ghaziabad and it is taken care by highly experienced scientists, fragrance experts, and several highly skilled human resource.Talking to Mr. Parsenjit Majumdar, Director, Marketing, Ultra, he shares, “We believe in following rightful methods of extraction in a hygienic environment. Our seasoned team knows how to systemically exploit aromatic plants in our advanced labs. Efforts like these have high possibilities to enhance the usage of plants and resultantly escalate the economy.”

The team takes ardent care in areas like raw material aggregation, environment, storage and other parameters. Right from agro-climatic condition to hygiene and safety measures, every detail is kept in mind. In a country that is humid, and has a working class as a majority, perfumes are a blessing in disguise for many. Companies like Ultra are tirelessly working towards bringing new fragrances to people and make them feel confident about themselves.

Want to know more about Ultra International Limited, check out their website – http://www.ultrainternational.com/

Reference: http://bit.ly/2ojky71

 

Beauty and The Beast – art and emotions in one picture


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Pic courtesy – internet 

I remember reading “Beauty and the Beast” as a child and later watching Bangla telefilm on the same as a teenager. The story has always kept in awe with the concept of falling for a beast. Recently, I watched “Beauty and the Beast”, a 3D Hollywood movie as an adult.

Directed by Bill Colldon and starred by Emma Watson and Dan Stevens, the movie was a mélange of pretty colors, pleasing music and good pace. My faith in love, love stories and fairytale has been restored – Beauty and the Beast has cast that kind of spell on me. Nothing but a piece of art – the movie is a treat to eyes to anybody who has an affinity for literature, poetry, art, humor and old world charm. I felt, I watched a painting in motion in 3D.

Emma plays the role of a little girl named ‘Beauty’ living in a small village Villeneuve in Northern Italy. She is a petite and fearless beauty loves reading, dots her artist father, and is admired by villagers and envied by a few. She is nothing but a pretty picture full of poems, songs, books and self-realizing questions.

Lot of effort has been put in the dialogues and monologues, as they seemed straight out of literary books. Songs are like breath of this film and they have blended so well with the plot.

Due to situations, Beauty’s father lands up in a desolated castle. The hauntingly beautiful, the palace is an abode to the ‘Beast’, who was once a handsome and charming prince. Cursed by an angel for being arrogant, the prince continues to live in complete isolation in the dusty castle, which has never seen sunlight in years.

Beauty, on being worried about his father’s whereabouts rides her horse to check him out. The story as we know it, is about how she lets go her father and offers herself to the prison, extending affection to the unloved Beast. “Beauty lies within”, one can hear this as the film moves like a painting. Dan Stevens plays the role of a prince who is bearing the brunt of being arrogant – he is the beast. He has love for literature that plays the Cupid’s role and thus, begins a love story, between a beauty and beast. The assurance that Beauty gives while taking care of him makes him fall for her more and more.

Every scene has been taken care of meticulously and the performances delivered by all the actors is class apart. Something that stood apart for me was the humor quotient. The film didn’t fail to give me reasons to smile and chuckle at several intervals.

And if I do not talk about music then I am a sinner. Alan Menken was the music director for “Beauty and the Beast” and he did complete justice with the plot. Listen to the tracks like ‘Be Our Guest’ and ‘Something There’ especially.

Costumes and set design are on point, they take you to an Elizabethan era. Detailing seems to be the key for the director in this section. In all honesty, I would say, this movie was a delight to eyes with no flaws. In a long long time, a movie managed to impress me to this length. Watch it at the theaters to savor the experience.

Asha Kiran – an apathy we should not allow to reoccur


Tattered rags, human excreta on floors, pungent smell across all nooks and an eerie mental healthatmosphere everywhere – this may have a resemblance with that of ’10 Days in a mad house’. Who knew that Swati Maliwal will relive the same sequences that Nellie Bly went through 130 years ago. Certainly, nothing has changed since then. Recent Asha Kiran apathy displays the same – a foundation for mentally challenged unfortunately stands like a monster untouched by judiciary.

What went wrong? Gross ignorance? Or bureaucracy? Or laid back attitude? Or simply stars working against humans? Asha Kiran questions every little ethic that we have learnt in our childhood. Approximately 60 million people in India face mental disorders according to a news report in ‘The Indian Express’. It is startling to realize that such a large number of people, who could otherwise have been actively resourceful in some field, are struggling to lead a normal and healthy life. Some of the major psychological problems that people suffer from include – bipolar disorder, depression, Schizophrenia, and anxiety. Some of these problems start from a level when it doesn’t seem alarming. But due to general ignorance about them at first, the symptoms escalate. It is extremely important to take action at an early stage.

In India, people have a tendency to ignore issues around mental illness and psychological problems. There is stigma attached to it so people try and avoid giving attention to it. Going around Indian cities, one may see mentally challenged people walking aimlessly often in filthy conditions. Many of them have been abandoned by their families as their people were either not able to afford the treatment or they didn’t want to face society with a mentally challenged family member.

As per a report featured in The Quint – More than 7 crore mentally ill people live in India and there are less than 4000 doctors to treat them: NIMHANS (National Institute of Mental Health and Neurosciences, Bengaluru). Isn’t that a sorry state? It is important to understand why things have screwed up so much?

A complicated lifestyle today demands too much from the common man – a demanding job beyond 9 to 6, a general expectation to put up a happy face round the clock, smartphone driven regime to fit in with society and much more. People are finding it difficult to deal with life transforming every so often. Coping with a fast changing lifestyle demands a lot from the mental stamina of people. Almost the entire younger population is running a race, trying hard to keep pace up with every other social athlete and often collapsing at the threshold.

Is it not possible to recover from this desperate and dismal situation? Asks the mind. Somewhere in this complex life, people are always looking out for good listeners. It is very crucial to listen to each other and understand what is going on within our minds, what is disrupting our peace and fueling our inability to relax. Each condition can be treated provided enough time is given and precautionary measures are taken. If society continues to treat it as taboo, or not a subject for public discussion, there are feeble chances of progress

Even cities are struggling having only a small number of psychiatric treatment and doctors. Imagine the plight of remote villages. Major facilities, which take in mentally challenged, are in disgraceful conditions. The American based Human Rights Watch says that there are places where patients are treated in inhuman conditions.

It is important to concentrate on the most constructive policies and programmes that the government can put in place and most importantly the efforts that families of the affected can put. Families that abandon their mentally challenged member should be helped to take some positive action.

Partha De (Kolkata) is a classic case of a society gone wrong, ignorant of issues within it or just ignoring them. It is a case of abandonment and excessive but irrational emotional attachment with sibling and pets. Patha De was found living with the decomposed body of his sister, charred body of his father, skeletons of his two pet dogs and food scattered around the house. The police officials found him feeding his ‘sister’. Had relatives or neighbors been connected or slightly concerned, possibly such a massive breakdown within a family and the consequence could have been kept at bay. Often such situations arise due to family disputes, sour relationship between parents, loss of a loved one, excessive loneliness, career crisis and other related issues. Partha’s case demonstrates an alarming rise of isolated lives in metropolitan cities.

It comes as a shock that educated people are succumbing to loneliness and they are unable to find good listeners. It is time, that society takes action. We should look around and evaluate if our near and dear ones are doing fine just not physically, but mentally too.

Why not start with those around us. Always check if someone in your circle has suddenly turned quiet, has become fussy with food, has stopped going out etc. These are signs that the person may be gradually sliding in the direction of depression or similar mental disorder. Moreover we should be vigilant about the centres. We need to make sure that apathy and indifference to mentally challenged human beings who are resident in institutions like Asha Kiran shouldn’t repeat again. Only unconditional love, compassion and empathy can bring a person back on tracks of happy life.

 

References:

https://www.thequint.com/fitness/2015/07/09/a-life-in-shackles-mentally-ill-in-india

http://indianexpress.com/article/lifestyle/health/nearly-60-million-indians-suffer-from-mental-disorders-3022073/

http://indianexpress.com/article/india/india-news-india/mental-illness-indias-ticking-bomb-only-1-in-10-treated-lancet-study-2807987/

http://www.firstpost.com/india/delhis-asha-kiran-home-as-crimes-against-mentally-challenged-continue-policy-and-social-intervention-required-3271780.html

Gajodhar and the idiosyncrasies


It was a big day for the Dhasas. Their pockets were burping money and they were ready for a feast. Gajodhar Dhasa had always fancied that someday, he would go to the famous restaurant that was adjacent to the mall he was working in. ‘The Unison Hotel’ – the guard would open the door each time someone entered or exited. The guard had big moustache and he would gently stroke it now and then. The hair was greyish and demonstrated the fact, that they greeted several guests in several seasons. He was tall must be six feet approximately and his belly was slightly protruding out. A shining uniform he would wear, white in color and had stars on shoulders. What a dynamic man he seemed like! Gajodhar always loved this man and would watch him while having his food sitting on a base over the construction debris. He was always awed by his disposition and gait. The gaurd complimented the gates and walls so well and the marbles on the wall would echo back.

The hotel was no less than a beautiful ensemble in itself in the city. People frequented the joint which was known for offering Mexican delicacies. It had marble decorative all around, so clean that one could see his own reflection. Above the pedestal and at the right side of the hotel, the name was created from plastic and distinctively put in italics. Gajodhar could never read it but found them very interesting. He often thought, one day he would go to the restaurant with his clan and eat like a monarch. Smiling in his own whims and fancies, his fellow labour friends would often make fun of him, whenever he tried sharing his dream.

He never thought, the day would arrive. His dream was coming out to be true today. Clad in a cream shirt he bought from Shukkar Bazaar, he was looking at his best. Hemanti wore a saree that she mostly draped during Holi and Diwali that was given by her mother years ago. Nima wore the Salwar Kameez that Hemanti had received while she worked as a maid. Pinky and Prince wore a frock and shirt pants respectively that were given by Hemanti’s previous boss.

While making puffs from his Bidi, Gajodhar was glaring at his wife wearing Kajal. Today, her Bindi was slightly bigger than usual and the orange vermillion was visibly perceptible from at least a distance of four kilometers.

“What makes you gaze at me like that?” Asked Hemanti while making the bun.

“I can’t look at you is it? Remember I told you I will take you to eat foreign food?” Gajodhar answered cynically.

Hemanti chuckled coyly while she adjusted her Ghungat and said, “Ya ya I remember. They will give us two spoons. Remember, the one with teeth on right and the other on left.”

Gajodhar asked, “What if I eat with hands?”

Hemanti, “No. Big people do not eat like that. My owner and his wife ate with those two spoons.”

Gajodhar scratched his head a little and said,”Hmm! Ok!”

The family was ready with all its adornments. Prince was running around the hut in ecstasy and screaming at the top of his voice. The vicinity knew of the feast Dhasas were going to have. The fellows who were neighbors whistled as Gajodhar was readying to leave.

It was important to lock the door today. It was for the first time; the entire kin were going out together. Prince was his usual self – loud enough to inform the other planet, Nima and Pinky were extra docile today, occasionally giggling at the public feat that was going to happen, Hemanti recalled all the gods’ names as she put a lock.

Bhayu, his neighbor shouted, “Looks like the entire family is having a feast today? Have a ball of a time all of you.”

Gajodhar smiled back to the greetings and boasted his chest a little more and he signaled Bhayu to take care of the house. His usual slant smile demonstrated an extra bling today and his squint eyes drifted everywhere. He was checking out if the people in his proximity were looking at them making the way.

At a distance of 100 meters was the hotel but the Dhasas required waving hands to the people. The distance between the small gully and venue was covered in a jiffy.

‘The Unison Hotel’ gave a giant welcome to the Dhasas. The name on the pedestal was glowing loud. It had tube lights inside and it was shining bright like that of Diwali lights. The family looked above to the banner which had lesser lights and still they were glowing equal to stars.

The guard was reluctant to open the doors to the latest entrants. Seeing the ungrateful gesture which Gajodhar was prepared for, he gave his usual smirk. Today, his pockets were speaking coinage and there was no dearth like previous years. He took out a fresh bunch of 1000 rupee notes and showed it to the guard. Today, there were no probabilities, Dhasas could be refused.

The guard still stood rigid, he didn’t bat an eye. Hemanti and kids were so besotted by the charm of the place that even though it was just a few meters away, it looked like a paradise – such a beautiful garden in front of the hotel, lilies and roses all around, lights that made the venue look like some scene from a movie, glasses and doors all looked alike and the guard seemed like the protector of all.

Gajodhar took out some money and demonstrated the bunch with a smirk, sturdier than ever. There was no way the guard could refuse as Gajodhar and the gang was in its best, fresh clothes, clean faces and pockets full of money.

“What do you want?” Asked the guard.

“We want to get inside. We are here for dinner.” Answered Gajodhar intentionally pretending to calculate money in front of him.

While Gajodhar cajoled the guard with money in his hand, the latter looked at his son almost turning into a tadpole in utter exhilaration. He was jumping from one place to another.

Prince was relishing a ball of his time. He was running around screaming like those singing during Jagrans with mic in hand. “Hualalalala!” Just that Prince had a bandwidth to pierce ears without any mic.

The guard chuckled at the sight. The manager was watching the drama from inside. He signaled the guard to allow them. The door was pushed. Score – guard – 0, Dhasas – 1.

Just as the gang entered the hotel, a mass of condemnatory eyes welcomed them. Gajodhar yelled at Prince for not roaming here and there. The lady with a blue purse quaked at the impulsive decibels. The Unison Hotel was not used to this, it experienced such a tyrannical and loud communication for the first time.

“Table for four, sir?” Inquired the staff.

Hemanti nodded to whatever the staff asked for because Gajodhar was too diverted towards handling Prince. Nima and Pinky stared at all the tables and giggled like docile brides. The brigade followed the staff to a window facing table. While Hemanti kept adjusting her veil, Gajodhar kept grinning at the act of his wife, flattering her in many techniques.

Prince was now calm after a few tight ones on his face. He glued himself on the window like a lizard and tried tracing his hut in their small slum area near the half constructed mall. Posh people sitting at the nearby tables were struck with the question – “How did they make it?”

Menu cards were put forth on the table – food and drinks separately. The waiter ogled his eyes at the family while he controlled his giggles. Nima, as commanded by Hemanti collected all the handkerchiefs kept over the plates. None of the four knew the ambition of the clothes. On this sudden observation of handkerchief collection, the waiter had to control on all his nerves and command the kin to stop.

Gajodhar held the menu and scratched his scalp a little. He and the wife ‘read’ the catalogue. It was a matter of dignity today – they couldn’t afford to let down themselves today. While the waiter kept his diary handy for the orders, he realized there was more performance coming up.

Nima and Pinky slantways peeped into their father’s menu, they all looked together in harmony at the menu. Gajodhar directed Hemanti with eyes and pointed her to bring in their literate boy. Hemanti pulled Prince by his collar and threw him on the table. He was asked to read out the menu to them. Prince – the only ‘educated’ member in the family was now supposed to protect his family’s name and rescue his folks from this deep shit. His government school educated him to ‘read’ – read with struggle.

“Ulta pakda.” Prince shrieked like any cheap orchestra to correct his mother.

Hemanti instantly put her card correct. Gajodhar aped the same in macro seconds, girls remained slanted to the card like usual.

Waiter reacted like his favorite team missed an easy goal to a smart goal keeper. Score waiter – 0, Dhasas – 1.

Prince read the menu:

“1. Turtilaaa 2. Barritaaa 3. Kusidilaaa 4. Nakooooo”

Waiter and the nearby guests had their moments of pleasure while Prince continued reading. A lady with a visible locket in diamond gazed at the Dhasas like she regretted her decision to visit the hotel.

“Any Orders?” Waiter was impatient now.

“Tutilaaa libe hum.” Prince informed the waiter in his usual tone.

“We do not have roti sabzi, is it?” Inquired Hemanti as the pictures did not resemble she had anything like that in her life.

“Maas khayibe hum.” Answered Gajodhar.

Nima and Pinky had taken over the cocktails’ menu so they gazed at the pictures in amusement. Those pictures of wine bottles meant taboo to them. Just one stare and they at once kept back the menu in fast motion.

“Nachos and Tacos will be good for you madam. Sir, for you, moles with guacamole and Enchiladas will be good. It will have meat.” Waiter was patient with them this time.

All Russian, all German did the waiter sound.

Gajodhar and the gang nodded in all angles in affirmation and in blind trust.

“Sure. Will take 15 to 20 minutes. Thanks.” Waiter blatantly informed his guests.

“uff!” The waiter felt relieved as he came inside the kitchen area and his fellows decided to have a good laugh.

Dhasas took a deep breath of relief too. All eye balls in the room now were diverted at the family to see their next move. Hemanti looked at the people, people looked back at her. The peek-a-boo session kept happening just like those fast paced badminton rounds.

This time Dhasas wanted to act smart. Score – Dhasas – 0, people – 0. The match was on till the food arrived.

Dhasas struggled to stay quiet for the allotted time but maintaining the decorum was important. They decided to look around the hotel because this whole time, they were not able to concentrate the adornments of the hotel. They could see so much to look at – lady with the blue purse, shining mirrors on walls, aristocratic men, a stout judgmental woman in an extreme corner and a fountain that was a mile away in the hall. But! But Prince had caught the fancy already. Fountain did not seem far anymore. Catastrophe was just a moment away.

Prince quietly made his way from below the table. Rest of the Dhasa battalion was still in awe with the decorations and posh. For them, the geography of music was still a mystery. Their curious eyes rolled around every nook and corner of the hall but they did not know who was playing it.

“They have good cassettes.” Gajodhar gave discerned answer to all the mystery. Women Dhasas nodded in affirmation like earlier.

Meanwhile Prince had already reached his location. Crystal clear water cascading down the hands of a statue. This white sculpture of an English woman was stunning, something inspired from that of Michelangelo’s works. It took some time for Prince to realize something. The revelation required to be delivered to the rest of the Dhasas.

“Yu aurat nangi haiiiiiii!!!!” Shrieked a shocked Prince.

The vital information reached every ant, entire cosmos and every molecule. Pin drop silence. The lady with blue purse already made a decision with her conscience, she wasn’t coming here again. Posh men kept back their glasses of wine and the stout woman in extreme corner decided to find refuge in washroom.

Score – Dhasas – 0, People – 0

The manager decided to play his integral role. He went upto Prince who was busy splashing water in all junctions – “Har har gange, har har gange!”

The food was ready to be served, the waiter was ready to bring in. The manager commanded him to go back. Gajodhar knew his plans for the night. Holding the fork and spoon upside down, the complimentary buns on his plate looked at him with detachment. Nima and Pinky did not bat an eye on these unprecedented commotions. They knew night was going to be even more dramatic in their dwelling.

Holding Prince’s hand with utter annoyance on face, the manager came to Dhasa’s table. Dangling Prince was all wet but seemingly happy.

“Certainly, it was our fault to bring you in. But it is a lesson learnt.” The manager said in agitation draped nicely in manners.

Dhasas nodded in affirmation again.

“You can take the food with you and eat at your comfort. I do not think; we can allow it here.” The manager completed.

Gajodhar quickly took out the money from his pocket. A fresh bunch of notes, they seemed to be the only answer. Gajodhar was all panicky as he tried counting the money. He couldn’t, his hands shivered.

“Leave it. On humanity grounds, we are letting you guys go. Please leave peacefully. Our eatery doesn’t entertain this thing.” The manager completed his answer without no interest to speak more.

Dhasas nodded in affirmation again.

Score – Dhasas – 0, manager – 1

Gajodhar caught hold of Prince and the evening was like never before. While women Dhasas carried the food packets, father decided to turn into a bull. The family was back in the shanty. Prince was blue and green and there was no mercy.

Score – Gajodhar – 1, Prince – 0.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

10 things to keep in mind for active reading


While searching for an illustration for ‘reading’, I only came across pictures where

otter-reading
Pic courtesy – Google

subjects are reading books only. Reading as per Google search means “the action or skill of reading”. Reading could be anything. Reading is a beautiful gesture where every piece of written content counts, from Grihashobha, online articles to a novel by Dan Brown, reading is reading. As long as someone is able to draw value added lessons and information, reading will never go out of trend. I personally read lot of articles from Livemint, Harvard Business Review, TED etc. This art calls for patience as well. In every seven people only two people actually read.

 

On that note, I have written down some tips for people who finding reading a tough job. Here they go:

  1. Don’t get swayed by book reading alone – I never understood why is it reading is identified by reading a book only. Reading is reading. Even reading a banner is reading. Never tell anyone I do not read. If you read articles, blogs, informative emails, or any content available online or on paper is reading in its own way.
  2. Take baby steps – It is not possible for someone who is running short of time and patience to read heavy books at first shot. Neither recommended. Whenever you feel the urge to meet the reading quest and feel you aren’t in the right direction, take baby steps. Read small paragraphs. From Laghu Kathayen in Hindi newspaper to Speaking Tree section in the English daily, reading is reading and it qualifies as a substantial one. Start with baby steps in reading such as small paragraphs, picture books with stories, anecdotes, features etc.
  3. Read what you like irrespective of language – Never get swayed by fancy English names of novels. Not all those that sound extravagant have enormous fodder to offer. If you like reading, then read whatever comes your way. Just make sure, it is value driven. As mentioned in point 1, read Laghu Kathayen in Hindi newspaper, Speaking Tree section in English paper, news columns, magazine areas etc. As long as you are able to derive information from it, it will be valuable to you.
  4. Do not create your whims and fancies – Never think too much about reading. Just go with the flow. Reading is a beautiful culture in its own way. Famous authors like V.S. Naipaul, Arundhati Roy, Vikram Seth etc. often write very beguiling articles in English dailies. Read them. Reading a book because it is popular among people doesn’t mean it will entice you. You can even read interviews of famous people, write-ups on food, health, and travelogues.
  5. Reading a book is different from reading about a book – Either way, it is not bad. Having awareness of the books that are trending in the market is a good thing. Read what people are writing about? where are people drawing inspiration from? and how are they writing? and most importantly, does it encourage you? And if you fall in a category where you read books in real sense, then it’s win win story.
  6. Read simple content – I have always recommended people to read that is easy to understand. As a prolific writer, I pen down my content in the simplest form. I want everybody to read and it is my moral responsibility to write something that is simple, engaging and lucid. Read to enhance your knowledge, your vision and explore cultural diversification.
  7. Read less but qualitative – Do not look around at a book shop and decide to spend a fortune. Spend wisely on books or whatever reading material you are preferring. Before purchasing, inquire yourself that will you read it fully, will it entertain you in anyway and how far will you extract some knowledge from it?
  8. Share what you read – It is critical to share what you have read. It is important to inform the world about the knowledge you have received from reading something. Let your reading abilities become path to awakening for others. It is similar to the happiness people felt when the postman read aloud letters to them. Imagine, if you could share your information with people who cannot read at all.
  9. Read to derive value not attention – Do not read to show off. Read for understanding the world a little better. If you are reading to showcase yourself to people, you are doing injustice to yourself and you aren’t turning any wiser. As I mentioned earlier, read less but qualitative.
  10. Don’t read under pressure – Because entire universe is reading around you doesn’t mean you have to ape them. Go with your own pace. Read that is easy to you. People intentionally subscribe to sophisticated and extensive news journals only to impress their guests. Don’t do it. Kill all apprehensions. Pick anything that amuses you and develops interests in you.

My first book and the story behind it


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It was 26th November when I received the first set of my book “The Bobby Pins and other short stories”. Since, I hadn’t informed anyone about the new feat, the surprise and ecstasy was equally an add on. Authoring a book was something my parents never thought I would do or even my extended family. I kept the first copy in my father’s hand and the reaction came like this.

“Oh! Another product from your shopping spree.” He said.

“No, just see it properly.” I answered.

“Oh! I see. Oh!” He exclaimed.

“Yes, exactly! I answered.

“You published a book? When did you do this?” He inquired.

“I have been working on this for the past 3 months.” I replied.

Next 20 minutes went in syncing in the fact that their daughter did something they never believed in.

Ladies and gentlemen, that is how my book attended its first reception. I know, there is a long way to go.

I thank Notion Press for the team they allotted. I thank George, the project manager, the design and copy editing team which worked on the backstage and gave an eye-to-detail to every phase.

My book is a compilation of 13 short stories based on various events of life such as hit and run case, acid attack, social media addiction, widows, and much more. Every story is different from another. Writing is not easy, neither is reading. You need patience, perseverance, and dedication to learn. Honestly speaking, people do not read much. In every 7 people, only 2 read. Knowing this fact, I wanted to write that was easy to understand, grasp and impactful. I knew my audience will not sit for long and read so the language has been kept lucid, engaging and simple. The book is available at online stores like Amazon, Flipkart, Snapdeal, Paytm, Shopclues, Notion Press, and Infibeam. It is NOT available at Kindle and physical stores. Please get it online.

It is a thin book and the stories have been divided into parts to make it easy for people to read. Every story has its own share of influence and I am sure each time, you read any from the book. To all those, who have purchased it, please share your feedback and your points for improvement. I thank my parents again for always being by my side.

 

Dear Zindagi – Review


I am too late to write a review on ‘Dear Zindagi’ but I feel like writing something. Critics dear-zindagi-7599and masses have already shared their opinions. Possibly mine doesn’t even matter to the rat who mistakenly made way to the PVR. But it is ok. Here it goes.

The film was directed by Gauri Shinde (English Vinglish fame) and Alia Bhatt and Shahrukh Khan played the major roles. A lot of people are terming it as a ‘slice of life’ sort of film, and I second the view. It takes a small part from Kiara’s life where she is juggling between a roaring career as a cinematographer, complex relationships and concerned friends and kin.

Before I come to the script, I want to duly appreciate the real cinematography of the film. The cycling parts of the movie just make me go swirl with the wind. My friends tell me that Goa is not as clean as it has been shown in the film but I guess the DOP knew what to pick. Coming to the costume, I loved everything that Alia and other characters wore especially Alia’s mother.

The movie beautifully captured the essence of life and the fact that if you do not explore the choices then how will you decide on what you want. Because buying a chair and finding a life partner of your choice both are a significant deal. There goes the mantra. Alia showcases a young girl who is relationship wise confused, sexually liberated, financially independent, smart, and ambitious. She has been shown as a free-spirited woman who lives on her own in Mumbai.

Alia cheats on her existing boyfriend which showcases the next generation woman who isn’t afraid to claim what is on her mind. She walks out on him only to realize the guy she cheated for dumps her later. Though, there is an angle wherein Raghu did ask her if she was serious with him. We realize that Alia has not been demonstrated as a goodie goodie woman we have grown up watching or have been asked to behave like. Kiara – a woman of today who is liberal and has her own share of complexities in life – not sure of the men, commitment-phobic, fatal attractions and many more.

Something that hit me hard was, Kiara’s life has been showcased as a pretty sorted one– good friends, good boyfriends (pretty handsome ones) and a caring family. Usually, in reality, it doesn’t happen. Women get dumped, rejected, friendzoned, and these create way more seclusion in mind than anything else. I understand every person has her share of problems and probably, it doesn’t sound big to others. Honestly speaking, had they shown issues like I mentioned it would have seemed more reasonable. In fact, many a times we have terrible break ups with friends which breaks us from inside. Many of us do not come from a solid background to pursue our degrees from abroad, many of our parents do not speak in English, neither are they sophisticated, modern and highly educated.

A lot of causes of depression usually revolve around the background we hold, the unfaithful friends we assemble, the disrespectful and disinterested boyfriends we make and 9 to 6 demanding desktop work life we lead. I would have appreciated if any of these issues were portrayed.

On the other hand, the film was a complete package of tranquil music (Amit Trivedi), flawless acting by Alia and Shahrukh and picturesque Goa. Nothing could have given me a better delight than this breath-of-fresh-air kind of a movie. I would recommend this film to everybody who is looking for some stimulant. I appreciate the filmmaker for coming up with films wherein experimentation is the keyword. Cheers!

Picture courtesy – Google

Currency ban – a powerful plan or a poor execution


While scrolling down news feed, I bumped into a heading “a forty-year-old washerwoman died due to shock on hearing currency ban.” As I read in detail, I realized she had gone with two notes of thousand rupees as a form of savings to the bank. Only after she went to the counter, she was informed the news. She was half-informed that money was invalid hereafter. No one possibly cleared the fact that it would get exchanged for new.

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OBC bank at 9.55 AM in the morning and it wasn’t open

Since then, the currency ban has claimed around 100 lives. Most of them were older people who were queuing up to get exchange or deposit. They died because of stroke, heart attack etc. In fact, the count includes a cashier at SBI who was at the counter when he got the attack. What has gone wrong actually? Is it an economic strategy that was poorly executed?

Some of the issues that have been seen include:

  1. Lack of information distribution – While standing at the queue, I tried to speak to people. Four people had four different perspectives. People were speaking to each other to understand the process and how should they apply, fill the forms and execute. There should have been bank volunteers to explain the entire plan. Had people been well informed, there wouldn’t have been tragic endings at several households.
  2. Recalibration of ATM post currency ban – I was astounded by Arun Jaitley’s statement “ATM will take 21 days to recalibrate.” So after, the ban has been put, people have gone berserk and it is now that the officials have realized it will take 21 days. Imagine, the kind of after effects it will have on common masses. The team should have thought from all angles before applying a half-baked strategy.
  3. No facility for senior citizens and disabled – Yes, this is the most critical part in the entire currency ban chaos. I saw older people standing up in broad daylight waiting for their turn. Also, they were highly confused with the latest banking paradigm.
  4. Lack of resources – I was amazed how a team of 20 people was catering to the requirements of approximately 50,000(tentative) people at a time. Why there were no new hiring? Banks could have hired people on a contractual basis to the massive bank activities that have got flooded in a matter of few days.
  5. Hassled processes and no time management – I spent around 5 hours to get my turn at the bank counter. I was not informed on which counter to go first and if it was important to get a number on my deposit slip. I simply barged into a counter till I was asked to go to some other. Similar to my case, several people had the same experience.
  6. Different banks, different processes – While public sector banks have tokens to enter the bank, the private ones on the other hand, do not require any. I do not know if there are any other rules. So, people getting confused again shouldn’t come like a new piece of information.
  7. No space for other bank activities – People have been running for withdrawal and deposit so much that there has been no space left for the activities like pensions, loan, etc. So who is going to take care of that?
  8. Standard time of banking operations – Through news, I realized, banks were supposed to work from 8 to 8. Though, it wasn’t made clear if it included time for bank’s own operations or public consumption. As a matter of fact, Axis bank got closed at 3.30 PM itself.

Hail to internet banking, the urban population would have added to the pain of currency ban impact. As per a report in Live Mint, the mobile banking value of transactions hopped 46% to INR 49,029 crores (in December from the previous month, as per RBI data).

Axis Bank has approximately 2.4 million clients who use the mobile platform for transactions (this includes its SME clients). As per RBI data, mobile banking transactions have augmented from 16.8 million in December 2014 to 39.5 million in December 2015. Should we thank heavens?

With the emergence of Paytm and other virtual banking setups, it has become easier to do day to day activities. But, it is limited to educated, and corporate people. As per The Hindu, Paytm has reached a record of five million transactions in a day as compared to Rs.2.5-3 million transactions previously. Thankfully, there is some respite even if a certain population is able to use it.

The objective to make the nation cashless cannot be materialized at the cost of middle-class’ man’s daily earnings. Think of life from a daily wager’s point of view and understand. We are an intelligent nation with stupid people. We react before we respond. No psychology was put while employing such an empowering economic strategy. In India, economics can never emerge as a success until psychology is applied.

References taken from:

http://bit.ly/2fyTMUX

http://bit.ly/1pEHazn