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Tuesday, 15 December 2015

Converge 2015, The Meet To Raise Your Voice, And Be Assured To Be Heard: A Youth Ki Awaaz And Unicef's Presentation


Sofia Ashraf at Converge 2015

Converge 2015, an event brought up by the Youth Ki Awaaz (YKA) and Unicef, saw discussions streaming amongst the youngsters on various themes and concerns. From giving goosebumps, to describing how important service to the community was – Converge 2015, will always be remembered for its diversity in reaching out to the youth of today and questioning the stereotypes prevailing in the society.

The panel brought distinguished speakers, who not only enraptured and brought a clearer picture of what they experienced happening around them; but also kept to the particular theme of the event #RaiseYourVoice. Sofia Ashraf of the "Kodaikanal Won't" fame; said that, it was very important for her to feel strongly about some issue, that she would push her artistic abilities, to make music by which she could stand by! Performing her raps for the audience, left them spellbound and energetic—to cheer up Converge 2015 further. 

The afternoon began with an opening address by the CEO and Founder of Youth Ki Awaaz, Anshul Tiwari. He explained how the online portal which raises everyday issues started in the year 2008 from a personal blog where Anshul wrote on the pressing issues of society. He is well known as a social entrepreneur, who also added that for the last almost 8 years, YKA has published 30,000-40,000 articles by people—a greater way of crowdsourcing. As a team of 20 full time employees, YKA has excellently stood to its name by striking eyeballs, and pushing the mainstream media to focus on the wider issues, that it might be overlooking. Having led campaigns, such as the recent campaign brought forward through an open letter, which caught wider attention of media with the hashtag #HappyToBleed after Sabarimala board's comment on machine to scan menstruating women. It personified how big a revolution social media is and can be in the times to come.

Converge 2015 was a second of its kind event, the first being organised last year. After the opening remarks, a talk by Robin Chaurasiya, gave the audience a comprehensive insight into how she did not want to keep mum about her identity. She is a lesbian, and there is nothing to hide or fear from anyone in this regard. Her invincible attitude made her quit the U.S. Air Force, and come to India to work for uplifting the children of sex workers in India. Farah Shaikh was the next speaker, who is a survivor of female foeticide— she narrated her life story on how—in brutal desire to have a son, her mother had wanted to abandon her life, but was fortunately saved because a nurse in the hospital found her. 

Robin has helped Farah through her NGO and at the age of 21 Farah teaches 93 children in a Mumbai Slum. She might be having many reasons to accept defeat from life, when she was not considered as important as a son—but surely, she has strong commandments in life, in her words,"Tumhari Kamzori Hi Tumhari Himmat Hai." She had the strength to share her story with over 200 people sitting and watching her; Farah is truly an inspiration for youngsters, to teach them not to accept defeat even when the toughest circumstances test a person. 

She termed this deed by her mother as the first education given to her by her own family. Another education which she said to have taken was from how, on the basis of religion people fight in India—having been closely affected by the Gujarat riots, she expressed that it happened at so many places on the basis of—RELIGION. Another lesson she received was of physical assaults, when one of her uncles harassed both her sister and her. The Indian Education System is funny she said, "Ratta Maar Aur Paas Ho Ja."

The next speaker for Converge was filmmaker Abhay Kumar, who shared the first hand experiences of working on his documentary film 'Placebo', which has received a resounding response since its release at the Film Festivals. A question which Abhay asked in the beginning of his session was, "How many of you have seen someone and wondered about yourself, that why is this person so happy?" Most of the people raised their hands on this, and the ones who did not, were referred as the people living in denial, and had a laugh. It was a cheerful start to make the audience comfortable with the speaker.

He spoke about Depression and how much he was ambiguous about it, from the reasons behind why people took big steps of suicides—in the Question & Answer round, one lady shared how much terrified she was when one of her friends committed suicide, and for three days she was keeping mum, while on the 5th day there was a grand birthday party where she was invited—and she felt lesser pain in her heart then. Such responses formed the discussions which Abhay carried, showing how much he was confused on hearing them—one thing which he can never forget was said by the father of a boy who had committed suicide. It was when Abhay had enquired about, what could be the reason for such a step taken by his son? The father had without any second thought said, "Beta, koi buri nazar lag gayi yogi usse." It emphasised on how a logical explanation or enquiry wasn't necessitated, but merely superstitious thought was given value; as the family watched Comedy Nights With Kapil when he had entered their room. 

People in attendance got to introspect about themselves, and would keep thinking over the theme which Abhay discussed upon. His talk was moving, and would trigger discussions in future as well. While a lady stood up to say, that one should spend time with oneself when in depression, and one person said—there is a dire need of more counsellors in India, but the counselling fee is very high. 

There is some stigma attached with the word Depression, that one can just sight Psychiatrists; and something parents feared from happening to their kid— but the parents would never give the freedom of communication to them, to share their griefs frankly, etc. 




The next talk was by Akkai Padmashali, a proud Karnataka Rajyotsava Awardee—who is a transwoman made the audience a part of her cause through her words which really made sense in a Nation where equal rights and an identity crisis still remains. She explained her story, her journey to fight for herself, for who she was within, for her peace, when she did not let the laws and rules of societal standards break her—from the time when her family declined her, to the time when her father called her in tears when she won the second highest civilian award of Karnataka State. A wick, a flame, a hope, a fire—she is all of them—seen life closely through harassment, discrimination, wreck—she is a leader for those who do not have a voice. Towards the end of her powerful talk, she sang a song written, composed by her—that gave goosebumps, and no eye could drop but witness the power of her persona. Midway her talk, she started trending on Twitter in India in the top 10 ten trends. Her voice had made a difference, with people discussing, sharing her lines. Well, is it not how revolutions are framed and the way Youth Ki Awaaz perfects its stand on the issues it feels strongly about? It is, indeed. Some of the tweets sharing her opinions and thoughts can be found below:
Listen to the audio, talk by Akkai Padmashali recorded.





What we can learn from her is, in her words— "Stop feeling guilty, live for yourself." 




Sikha

The next speakers after the lunch were Sikha and Piyal Mazumdar. Ms. Mazumdar is the Director of Salt Lake City Prayasam, an NGO which works in providing skills in necessary fields like effective communication, standing against issues of discrimination, bullying—eyeing towards creating a power shift in society, with creative methods including the smooth run of a technological sound framework of film-making setup, which also teaches the youth to work towards the social issues—and highlight them, through realistic views and originality in ideas and creativity! Sikha is an 18 year old girl who has been working for the past 9 years with the NGO, and is currently the Child Advisor to it. She works with kids in Kolkata who collect health data from the community, to help in rallying information to make vaccines accordingly. She was interviewed by Melinda Gates at TED-X Talks in Seattle and Ms. Gates in her blogpost titled "Impatient Optimists" included Sikha's name in the 8 women from around the world who inspired her in the year 2013.

Sikha in her talk referred to how she got inspired from the NGO, when she questioned herself—whether she was satisfied with her society? She believed in herself that she could bring about the much needed change in the society. Her father was a rickshaw puller when she was 9 years old, and did not stop her from following her heart, of serving the society. She said, "do not become the product of the society, instead make society your product." She expressed on how, she would keep working towards empowerment of the youth, and the service of the community is her only goal. There was a good round of applause for the young girl, who had wisdom in her words.
Now it was time to listen to the young entrepreneur, Ritesh Agarwal who is building up the biggest hotel chain of India, OYO Rooms. At 22, he has been working with a smart team—whose 3 members including himself are college drop-outs—he is proud of it, because of his experience of not being able to attend college due to boredom. He wanted to create something different, of his own; and he shared stories of how he led that tryst to come alive. But needless to say, it was a long struggle after failures could no longer fail his determination. At 16, he would travel to Delhi to attend startup events where usually the ticket would cost some $100 dollars. It was then that he found a catch, that the people who did not wear the badges, were allowed the entries as presumably they were the VIP's. So, he did not have to worry for tickets any longer. Those in attendance enjoyed his talk thoroughly, and he answered the questions asked for him, wholeheartedly. As a lady asked him if she could expect "women only" hotels in all cities in India, so that they could travel all over India "On Your (their) Own"? Ritesh at this point brought fore his witty nature; by saying, that is why OYO name came into existence. He expressed how proud he was of his team, as I already wrote in the beginning; Ritesh also said that he was building this business for next 35 years in his mind—even if one of two years came in between as low periods, those would not affect his confidence in it. He further added that his idea was taken up by 22 new startups, and still counting. He is undoubtedly a youth icon, and hopefully will take OYO to greater heights and make India proud, the path it is on already.

The last session of the day was a discussion with Film Director Kanu Behl and Abhay Kumar. Abhay this time came with his funny and not so serious outlook—he was cracking jokes, and the people loved that. Other than the light moments, the discussion was very much insightful, where they discussed about the limitations of Independent Film Making. 

Kanu Behl's recent film "Titli", was released on 250 screens whereas the film which came a week later, a Salman Khan flick, "Prem Ratan Dhan Payo" was released at 5,000 screens. This came even after the Kanu's film being produced by the biggest production house in India, the Yash Raj Films. People asked Abhay on why he did not put his film, "Placebo" on Youtube or online platforms for good reach? To this he answered that, the life of a film reduces if it gets online. Otherwise it stretches long. Kanu gave tips about screen writing to the budding writers, he said, "go by what I like to write."
This is even felt with the screenplay of Titli where at a point in the film, there is no music which otherwise could have been used to signal the audience that a frightening scene was in the frame; but there was no music used, to leave it open to varied interpretations. Kanu said, he had thought of working on Titli in 2011 but he kept saying himself, "not yet, not yet" (that it was not the right time), but finally he succeeded.  

It is important for a film-maker to realise why he/she decided to make films? "Why did I take this decision in my childhood? It was then, the reality hit me back and I realised that I had lost the plot; also some personal issues back home; but I had to find myself back." He said.






Converge 2015 concluded with this session, leaving the audience engrossed wanting for more. The speakers were really sweet to everyone who came up to them to have a chat after their talk got over. There were one to one sessions also, and the team of Youth Ki Awaaz took good care of everyone—bringing creative ideas of having frames with which people could pose and click pictures. I got a picture too with the Founder of YKA, who was proud of the event that his team had brought forward with him, and Unicef. He thanked the media partners including, www.quint.com! Also a chance to be a next speaker was given to every participant, who could fill the form with one's idea to bring about a social change— the form was called, TEST TUBE. Truly Converge 2015, came as a blessing to me; I look forward to Converge 2016.

The event cover was also published at the website of Youth Ki Awaaz. Follow this link, to read it, http://www.youthkiawaaz.com/2015/12/testimonial-converge/ 

Thank you!

Read more about the event at, http://www.youthkiawaaz.com/2015/12/converge-2015-post-event/


——

Written by,
Gagandeep Singh Vaid



Monday, 14 December 2015

Light in you!

I wish to read,
I wish to write,
just the many facets
cling to me of life;
I wish to speak,
my confidence lacks,
I feel amiss,
Incomplete, yet some
work fills me.

I stare you in the face,
I find an innocent look,
Fulfilling me with
thoughts of love,
There is kindness,
while we find 
in ourselves our home.

I and you
find ourselves
through our light,
reflecting each other!
--

Gagandeep Singh Vaid

Thursday, 10 December 2015

Is OYO Rooms Really A Comfortable And Affordable Option? Find Out In This Blog

It is a matter of great prestige to site a fact that, the largest literature festival in terms of its scale is the Jaipur Literature Festival (JLF). I had been hearing for a long while about the OYO Rooms, thanks to its massive publicity. This time I chose to stay at OYO Rooms, and the nearest one to the venue of JLF was DRS 8586 Haveli, in Adinath Nagar on the JLN Marg.

I was satisfied to hear the price to stay there for a day, which was a nominal Rs. 999. The room which I got was clean, with all requirements which a decent hotel would provide to its customer, plus its location was very posh. I liked the idea of the dining at its terrace, where I ate my breakfast daily! Students d o not miss the free meals, mind you. Haha!! The fresh chilly breeze of winters added to the excitement to visit the Festival venue as soon as possible every day. The best part was that there were choices the hotel gave us at 8am in the morning, starting from Poha, Maggie, Butter/Jam Bread with tea/coffee which made for a great start to the day. There were many other choices, but for those guests who would wait for the breakfast to get ready. I would anyhow ring the reception as early as I woke up— to inform them that I had to leave around 8am every morning, as I did not want to miss on to any sessions with my favourite speakers. The receptionist was kind enough to listen to me, and also sent newspapers to my room to read what they had to say about the big Festival making news in the Pink City!

About first entering my room, I remember how I found red colour pouches provided by OYO Rooms, which had all the necessities, including toothpaste, etc. To be honest, I kept it with me- asking the receptionist if I could, and he kept his smiling face on; while I took it a green signal and didn't ask him again. I could also ask them for help from the venue of the JLF, anytime and they were all ears to help me.

Moreover, the cab facility was provided by the hotel, and when I was about to check out on the 26th January, when the Festival was over; I ticked 5 stars at the cleanliness profile of the hotel. The dinner which I would eat there, had many varieties of vegetables to choose; Shahi Paneer being my favourite of them. I could not resist than ticking it 5 stars as well. I don't know why, but I wanted to come back again to OYO Rooms. I had agreed this to myself, that the next trip wherever I was planning in India, it had to be through this hotel chain only! Overall mine was a memorable trip, and I had long planned to pen down my experiences about Jaipur and without writing about my hotel, it could never be complete!

Here, I would love to share some pictures from the hotel with you. I suggest you to choose OYO as well, and I am sure, you will be happy about this decision.

An Advice: If you are going next year in January'16 to attend JLF, then choosing this hotel would add on to your delight, because the concert and the author's ball is scheduled at Clarks Amer Hotel, which is at a walking distance from OYO Rooms and is on the same road, which is the JLN Marg in Jaipur. Otherwise the venue, Diggi Palace is 7-8 km's from here, which is convenient. You can stay late night at Clarks Amer, buying a ticket for yourself to enjoy the concert without worrying about returning to the hotel. Find the Festival details here, https://jaipurliteraturefestival.org/clarks-amer-evening-music-program/ 

World Trade Park is a landmark building to find Adinath Nagar, and the JLN Marg is very famous stretch in itself. In addition, everyone knows Clarks Amer hotel which is on the same road, i.e, JLN Marg. So get ready, to explore, interact and live your dreams at the JLF 2016! Cheers!!




Nearby- Clarks Amer

View from the terrace of Haveli 8586 at night (OYO Rooms)


My room- the black spot  in the picture is my camera's defect :D The room was kept clean!


DRS 8586 HAVELI

Reception

--
Gagandeep Singh Vaid

Monday, 7 December 2015

Under the light of my promises to you, oh guardian angels; accept my dreams!

Life, I see you grey,
Life, I see a ray.
Life, you wisdom personified,
Life, you a plight!

Many moments I wait,
Look at stars,
I find myself amongst them,
Shining, yet blinking!

I find myself so complete,
I find myself incomplete.
You, my hero,
My guardian angels!
I hope you know,
That everyday, I look up to you.

That everyday,
I smile, I weep, I gaze at you,
And finally I settle,
I embrace myself.
I know one day,
I shall meet you.

Dearest stars,
You who give me,
My identity,
I am definite,
I shall see you,
Very soon!

I cannot hide,
That I wish to be one of you.
Not only on this land,
From where I look at you.
But I want to stand,
Just next to you!

Your light,
Shall show me my path,
That I am to rightfully follow.
I promise,
I shall never,
Never leave you, hollow.

I shall spring as much joy,
I shall spring as much grief,
I shall try, to circumscribe,
To you the reality!
As the world is,
And you see it,
I promise you,
I shall make it, a better place,
A better place to live,
For all of us!

I will give you,
A good sight,
The light you give,
That light will shine.
I promise you,
Your lover!

——
Gagandeep Singh Vaid

Friday, 4 December 2015

She grew

The heart sank deeper
than the conclaves of her reach
deeply rooted to herself
she felt dispatched from the world

Now all it was she alone at one side
and the entire world at the other
unwrapping herself from the cultures
she withdrew for those days
and spent time with herself
the much needed break
needed for her to settle herself
in her new life
--

Gagandeep~

Thursday, 3 December 2015

Dear Diary 03/12/2015

Mind is at unrest, I do not know what is the right path for me. There are many thoughts rolling past, flashing by but I am stuck somewhere in a land unknown, trying to get out of it—yet I say, mind is at unrest.

There are situations which are easy to counter and which are difficult to counter, this situation of mine is difficult at the moment. I wish to breathe easy, and be like the dew in the morning and evening breeze. Now how cooler and satisfactory it would be I wonder and keep liking the very idea. It just makes me feel strong and yet again gives me flashbacks of how chiller the morning would be—when I would wait for my school bus at the bus stop. How the thought of cold water in the morning would send goosebumps, but I had to take a bath in the morning nevertheless. The very tinging memory of the winters is itself so victorious, as it also warms me up and cools me down.

I remember my friend Arjun, who would spend hours with me in the tennis courts—not playing tennis but discussing life, while we would relish the taste of our favourite ice cream from Kwality Walls, the Blue Grape Jelly. He was such a lover of that ice cream that in the recess time, he would often eat 2 of them, whereas I would be satisfied with only one. This is the memory of 8th standard, but later on I remember him discussing mobile games with others, as he had many friends when we were in 11th. But I knew, he always had me in the back of his mind, so I would be glad by his presence always!

Winters have magic, winters have that trust, but all that I say from my perspective as I remember the past winters. Otherwise I am a great fan of summer season as well, I often regard it as my favourite season. When others find it difficult to beat the heat, I again remember the Summer Cricket Camp which I would join every year near my home. I was so happy in the two months of my summer vacations. I would be the first kid to reach the nets and jog at the ground, and I played exceedingly well—but somewhere I could not perform very well, that I am here just typing down my childhood days. I had wanted to play all my life, the game of cricket; but as they say, one does not get all one dreams. So newer dreams come up, to catch up with the times. Whereas those past dreams hold a crucial space in our hearts that thinking about them, springs in the tinging effect as I just expressed.

This is the wonder of dreaming, that even if your mood is not right, even if you are passing through the most difficult phases of life, (oh, you never know which one is the most difficult one); you get to the tone of things—remembering your childhood dreams.

So, now I feel much better and would be able to complete an article I am trying to write for a long time now. Thanks, and catch you soon!

Cheers,
Vaid

Thursday, 26 November 2015

Life—A Journey Full of Flashbacks and Memories



Image Source: Wikipedia


There are some positive and negative forces holding this world together. Forces that can't be seen but only felt. And that is what people refer as GOD. Different religion, different names, but for me it's one's CONSCIENCE. It's the only thing that lets you choose between the choices and the following consequences. For the following two things are the only close ones to this God Particle. 

1. Work Ethics - either working selflessly or selfishly because your work represents you, your personality, your thoughts, your perspective. It represents your inner voice, the true you, the hidden face.

2. Music - This is a bit difficult to explain, but let me try. Time, as we know, a physical quantity that we (humans, highest on the intellectual chart) can't control. Though we have qualified ourselves enough to prove that time moves on constantly and keeps going on and on endlessly. We can't store it, can't play, pause forward/backward it. Time is independent, but it is stored. Now you must be having questions how and where? Let me help you, what I think is, time is being stored in words as I am writing this article. For you the moment as you are reading it. 

In the same way time is stored as we speak. All these storage capsules are no where else than in our minds. Either we speak, or choose to remain silent, time is passing and being stored in the memories we have. And, according to me, the highest form of memory we can store is Music. 

For music has a tune, a soul of its own, a voice, an emotion. Hence, storing time while listening Music is pure. And every time you listen a song again you are back in time, yes I am talking about time travel. For instance, you listened a some Music two days back sitting near the country side. And today you are listening the same Music in metro train, amidst the hustle bustle in a metro city but somewhere in your mind the picturesque view of that country side still resides and you remember it. The moment you remember it, you go in a flash back, yes you travel back in time. Again results have proved that no same God Particle can be present at two physical points in the same time reference. Thus, it is the part of your mind that travels back and forth in time. And this is God Particle's highest form, i.e., travel time. 

So in a way we are close to that God Particle when we are deep into music, saving memories, storing time and travelling back and forth at the same time (remember not physically). And this is not valid Music only. This theory is valid for all those activities in which one indulges oneself completely, be it writing, driving, diving, flying and whatsoever. Thus the second point proves the first point itself.

Now what I believe is that we are constantly changing our positions in same time reference back and forth infinite times.

I may be wrong, but I do have a point. For, “I am, a universe of atoms, an atom in the universe."
----

Written by,
Rahat

Wednesday, 25 November 2015

A Thought About Me!

This moment, brings peace to me of greatest order. This moment, lifts up a smile on my face. When I look at my picture in the mirror, I reflect back to the wonderful day I spent today. There were few questions which I had been asking myself, which eventually got answered. Few people come to our lives, as alchemists. They are the pathfinders, who show us what is right for us. Not that they tell us, they just give us a hint, and with it we get towards our road of symphony. After many darker nights, there is a pleasant night. A night when you would sleep with peace, oh how long did it take for this day to appear for me. I opened up with myself, and I opened up somewhere with my dream.

"Do what you wanna live for," said the voice from my heart. "Take your time, to decide what you want out of your life. Well, I took my time—I spent sometime doing my MA, while I was exploring, discovering, what was right for me." He said, while I listened. While on the coffee table next to us, two gentlemen sat, one of them was a very famous television news presenter. There were successful people around me, but wait—they had led their own journey's headstrong, they must have had their darker nights, but how they responded to the stimuli just shows the results, of what they have become today.

I sit here on the bed, while typing this memoir from my day. I had joy to share with you dear diary, for a long time I have been filling you up with sad thoughts which travelled my self.

I call you my diary, while anyone can read you—the question rises as of why? Well, this has been a different kind of involvement that I have relished all these years. I am so much willing to write to you, because you have actually seen me through all my times. If I have achieved anything then you were always the first one whom I told you so. While writing to you, I write to myself, I interact with myself. Whereas sometimes I have that desire that someone reads it and goes through my thoughts. This I say because, I myself like to read thoughts of others. Thoughts which have some philosophical weight in them. You can blame me for my selective likeness about reading thoughts, but that is what I like, and what my individuality really feels peace at.

In my school days, during the morning assembly once a LEADER stepped up the podium. Well, he was a man of normal height but he was referred as a leader. I didn't know what his achievements had been, and neither had anyone introduced him more than the term leader. And that word just passed by, as soon as he held the mike in his hands! He started telling us a story about a bird who saw a building which had caught up fire. In the story, the bird would fill its beak with water and reach near the building which was burning massively to pour the water droplets over it. The other birds flying past the bird in question, asked the reason for doing so? After all, the little water was not going to cease the fire. The answer which the bird gave to the other bird was simple, the bird said, "When names are written of people in the judgement day—about who was involved in fuming the fire and who was involved in ceasing the fire; I want my name in the list of beings who tried to cease the fire."

That single hope I wish to be. And that day I understood why the man who stood up to the podium was regarded a leader! It was so because, he had the power to influence me and other kids so much that some of them would remember that story of a hope for a long-long time, and would pass on to others. Well, that is how the world moves ahead.

If you do good things, and help others grow through your knowledge, then there is nothing better you can do for the world. Believe in yourself and if someone pin points you for your mistakes or errors or even if you were not at fault, then there should be acceptance—of at least giving all ears to the other person who has been your friend for sometime or even an acquaintance whom you meet once in a blue moon!

Ending today's diary I would say,
"If you don't fall, you won't stand up. Don't be fearful of falling, fly like a bird"
All the best!

Love
Vaid


An affectionate present from my bhaiya and bhabhi! :)




Saturday, 21 November 2015

Question yourself, oh leaders of War Time!

World, oh my world,
Why you set apart!
These ammunitions burst,
taking several lives!
Commotion stays,
and penury stands.

Oh peace, oh peace,
do you exist?
If yes, then show us,
your face.
Where are you hidden,
in this phase,
when guns clash,
against each other.
Oh, irony,
to bring peace,
this tragedy sets,
what has this world,
come up to.

Whose victory is it,
I stand here,
my hands on my face,
as the war gets going,
souls get pierced,
well literally,
the meaning of life,
is a torn out paper,
which could otherwise,
have imbedded poetry,
of love, compassion,
care and regard.

Oh where is that land,
whom we regard our mother,
has she drown her appearance,
embarrassed by the outcomes?

Can't we just,
draw a line now,
and give way to light,
and not darkness,
to write out past,
present and future?

--
Gagandeep Singh Vaid

World stands still, oh to what state have we come?


The world fell apart.

Your eyes hateful,
My heart 'dreamful',
Your pride, your ego,
My life, my smile.

When did we clash,
Why did we clash?
Questions range,
and hit my wisdom.

When I thought, you a friend,
you proved me wrong,
my feelings, amounting less.

I still came by you,
to tell you, we were friends,
you asked me not to be,
around you. I left.

One day, you called me,
you wanted to meet me.
I was overjoyed,
burdened less-
at last I was to meet my friend.

You came, and the time I saw you,
the next moment I was ridden of sight.
It was an acid attack, my friend,
and again, you proved me wrong.

Today memories arise in mind,
those of the times we spent.
Until the day, you expected,
and I had to decline.
After that things changed,
we were not the same.

Eyes yet again look at the moon,
the stars greet me,
no one is here to praise my smile,
my looks are dampened,
and the light falls upon me.

Yet again, I remember us,
and the next thought of you,
gives me reasons to hate you,
but can I do that to my friend?
No, but I cannot forgive,
that thought which occurred to you,
of destructing me,
not merely my face,
but my soul, and us- two great friends!







Friday, 20 November 2015

Dear Diary (20/11/15)

Why?
Why do I not work properly when being in a team that I start expecting way too much from everyone.
In this manner, there is no need to work with anyone if one's attitude is like this. Like mine!
I think I work fine when I work under someone, and not when I lead. Leading is difficult when the work does not go, the way you had planned and that is actually when the need of a leader steps in. A leader who has the ability to contain oneself and one's frustrations and outbursts would only be able to manage a team.
I think these qualities of a leader lack in me. So I like it better, when I can do things my way; it is better to lead your company than an institution or someone else's company for me.
The day hasn't been that sweet to me, but it is how it was meant to be it seems. To be in this tight spot, where I am both stuck and afloat. Well writing eases me, gives me a sigh of relief.
Good night.
Take care and thanks for being there for me, dear diary.

Thursday, 19 November 2015

Shadow of Self

Picture credits: Aishwarya Anand

Your name is 'angel',
my name is 'stranger'.
I have, certain likes,
you have certain likes.

We see around the land,
there is length, and breath.
We see within ourselves,
there is much to balance.
Something breaks,
yet something builds.
Oh, how this time,
moves further and rhymes.
But the wonder is,
it never stops.
Not for me, or you,
or for anyone,
it just knows how to walk.

While today,
we have carried,
those images,
across the horizon,
can we sit and think,
where we are going,
and what we are doing,
with ourselves!

This in itself is a self,
flourishing factor.
That we witness the sound,
the blaze of the light,
when we peek within,
and outward of our being!

It is this time when we grow,
another year, in that moment,
when we self reflect,
about who we are.



Tuesday, 17 November 2015

A Path

It was very easy, to mock at someone's sentimentality.
It is also easy, to call a person a madman,
when one is speaking logic!
More annoying it is,
that a person has to explain oneself,
to the people who are themselves the culprits.

Very easy it is to frame situations,
and paste them on faces of others,
who are trying to present the reality!
To make a person fall and accept defeat,
you might call it your win but really?
peek into your heart, yes even deeper within you,
and ask if it is your victory or your fall on others' fall?
Whereas the other's fall is not the fall,
because some people don't fall by your thinking so,
they rise when you think they fall.

And as the phrase goes aptly,
"What goes around, comes around."
Lead your path, and justify yourself,
what you think is right and actually,
your path!

Festival, More Than A Word

Image Source: Solo-Tuder
Festival as the name suggests, describes about a social gathering or celebration of or any kind of religious reasons at any particular day or at a period of time. Although some of us are at this stage that we have kind of blurred out the actual concept and meaning of the word ‘Festival’ from our vocabulary. Even though there are more such words and terms that connect us to the world that have been forgotten down our timeline, yet we will be only talking about the word ‘Festival’ for now.
Some of us might think what’s the need to know and read about such a word which we already know the meaning of? But I’ll bring this into the limelight. Did anyone know where the word ‘Festival’ came from? I bet no one, although some might take a guess and say it must have been derived from some Latin word and yes it has. As a matter of fact in early 1300’s in Latin it was called ‘Feast’ but before that it was called ‘Festus’. Now as the word ‘Feast’ tells us, it means a large meal prepared for everyone due to celebration purposes and in those times people often gathered and celebrated usually because of the victories and feats they triumphed.
But that was just history. These days when we hear the word ‘Festival’ we only focus on the word that precedes with it like, holiday, offer, bonus, leave, etc., which is the reason why we are happy about it most of the times. Plus a festival is always considered now as a religious one. In fact when we hear the word  ‘Festival’ indirectly we think of a ‘Religious Holiday’. The true spirit of Festival just diminishes in between those lines, more of it becomes as a custom, a mandatory obligation, a ritual rather than a true joyous celebration. 
Even if it is our religious holiday so to speak, we only enjoy it when we get to do things which we want to do, like shopping, going out, meeting relatives or just getting some rest, the list goes on. But then when was it the last time you actually celebrated that festival with everyone you know of or around with or whom you just see on day to day basis or just the people who are the dearest to you, with your full heart and greeted them, shared words, gifts and food with? There may be reasons why one or you haven’t but then again have you celebrated it that way? 
Festival is meant to be celebrated with everyone, especially regardless of religion or class, after all we are all one big community living and sharing together in one way or another. It’s a joyous occasion which needs to be acknowledged and shared amongst us. Not a mere holiday or break from our day to day routine. That’s what the meaning of it tell us, right?
——

Written by,
Himanshu Negi


Image Source: Artist Address

Monday, 16 November 2015

Intolerance is the trending word, What about pollution?

Intolerance is the trending word these days. Everyone is talking about intolerance. It is in the electronic and print media and in everyone’s mind. Writers, Filmmakers, Scientists are returning their awards. Marches are being held by politicians and actors. Intolerance is in the air. This whole intolerance wave started when people started killing people because they eat beef or if they have certain thoughts. Yes I’m talking about the late Mr. MM Kalburgi and Mohammad Akhlaq. All that is fine and it is good that people are coming out and protesting. But I think that people are not protesting much on Pollution.This is a topic that I think is not getting much attention. All that I see in the news is intolerance about beef and writers returning there awards and people commenting that returning awards is not the right way to protest against something.

Well my question is why people are not protesting against pollution. Sure there are articles in the newspapers and discussions but I think it is not enough. This is a very serious matter. Delhi is the most polluted city in the world. The air is toxic. Lakhs of people use public transport and despite the super awesome connectivity of the Delhi Metro people are still travelling in their personal vehicles.

There is a very minute difference in traffic I guess. Some steps are being taken by the government but their speed is very slow. This spike in pollution is because people keep buying cars especially diesel cars. According to the transport department data there is huge increase in diesel cars this year. I think this is also because there is not much of a difference in CNG price and CNG friendly engines are not being made either.

Sometime earlier I read in a newspaper that there will be a 05 hour window on diwali in which people can burst crackers but a 05 hour window is also very huge but the Supreme Court rejected it on the grounds that it cannot put a window because it will hurt religious sentiments. Instead of giving a window the government should put a ban on Crackers but that is not happening I don’t know why. It should’ve been done a long ago. The government should take some harsh steps by limiting the number of cars a family can own and should promote CNG and hybrid vehicles.

People are not thinking of their own good. These are alarming times. More car free days should be organized and the government should strengthen the public transportation system. We all have to work together to fight pollution. It is killing us slowly. The air is not clean and we all can see it clearly. People are aware and yet they are not doing anything that’s the sad part.
WAKE UP!

--
Written by,

Ankur Goyal

Image Source: Indian Express

Friday, 13 November 2015

Yes it all depends, from person to person


The path is right, the path is wrong,
You never know, where you belong.
Is it in the bushes, that you feel good,
or is it, in the tall buildings,
that you feel harmony and comfort.

You never know, but you want to know.
The human tryst to seek more,
continues way far and beyond.
Is it about learning, 
what is right for you?
Isn't it already felt,
in your heart of hearts?

Why do you wait to paint the stars,
when you can do it, in a moment-
Why do you wait to guide others,
when you know, you can do it now?

Why do you feel lost,
when you can win over yourself?
Why does your mind ache,
when there is no soothing wake.

Why do you bend in front of others,
just to bring happiness to them,
hence forgoing your comfort and peace?
Depends whether those people,
give you joy, satisfaction and shower smiles,
that you give yourself fully to them.

Wednesday, 11 November 2015

Artist Address Wishes You Happy Diwali!



Flowers that form garlands,or which are used to decorate homes,leave a lingering essence,of celebration and of utmost...

Tuesday, 10 November 2015

Firecrackers!

I meet him,
his eyes smile.
A cracker in hand,
he crosses a mile.
Implants the 'rocket',
into its stand, and runs.
In the next moment,
the rocket guns,
high in the sky!
It bursts, spreading,
into many sparks,
oh, what a life lied,
in the rocket,
that warred.

"Pollution, pollution!",
I cry, I leave,
I am not surprised.
He laughs, and says,
"You did the same,
it's my turn now."
I return,
comfort myself inside,
my home.

It has been a mile,
of a time that I fired-
crackers,
It was late,
that I realised-
it was not soothing,
it hurt me, the air-
that forms me.

Pitying myself,
of my past deeds-
I went back to the kid,
and cautioned him-
"Do you want to be,
at a place where you see me?"
He replied,
"I don't care, you're just afraid,
of firecrackers."

Sunday, 1 November 2015

AdviceAdda.com, One Spot For All Advices You Need To Take!

When one sits for placement in a company, one makes sure that one has good knowledge about the respective company. This knowledge can be in the form of analysis of it's functioning or a general idea of how it works and what it specialises in. This is more important when the company is not that known or famous. It is what happened with me, when I got to know that AdviceAdda.com was coming to my college for placements. I had not heard about any such company, but when I visited its web link I felt that it was something what I had never seen before.

AdviceAdda.com is one spot where all questions asked by people are answered in less than one week's time. It might sound to you that it is something very usual. The same can be done on Google or Yahoo Answers and these days Quora is a hit amongst youngsters, who go with their question to these websites where random people answer them. But AdviceAdda.com is not one of them, that was what interested me head over heels. I might sound artificial or very sentimental but let me tell you, it is one such company I really looked up to in that moment. What distinguishes this company/website from others is the very idea behind its existence. Here you can ask questions and receive answers from EXPERTS in that very field. Once you start scrolling down the website and going through the tools, you can spot a list of Experts and their respective fields in which they specialise. This means that if you ask for advice then experts would answer your questions, that too free of cost. Now how cool is that? Very much, isn't it? That is what made me "head over heals" for AdviceAdda.com!

When I went on checking the profiles of the experts I understood how we could ask for a counselling session with them individually also. It could be an appointment and some experts charged a fee for that—whereas the online advice was free of cost. 



This brought me back to the memories of my school days when I was shy and introvert. When I had many questions to ask but I hesitated from asking them from people around me, so much so even my near and dear ones did not have that comfort zone with me—to be able to answer my queries—simply because I never asked them. It happens, happens with teenagers that they are bashful of taking advice from elders because they may not have that kind of atmosphere which would make them feel safe and unhesitant to talk about various issues, for example; sex education is not talked about in homes. Another invigorating feather of AdviceAdda.com is that, it gives an individual the freedom to submit a query and receive advice anonymously. The names of the people asking questions is not given, to save their identity. 

At the same time one can visit the website and read Expert advices given to people who have varying questions from wide topics, such as Men's Health, Career, Legal Issues, Parenting, Gadgets etc. It is always a good idea to consult an expert in a given field before taking the decision for oneself which would be the best! You can moreover create your profile on the website and select the topics of your interest about which you would like to be updated when you login. I do read random questions on the website and find them accurate for the given situations also, sometimes I understand things better after reading about them on AdviceAdda.com—on topics where on I do not have much ideas. One advice that I read few days back, caught my attention and I would like to share it with my readers. The question was answered by a Relationship Expert at AdviceAdaa, Ms. Kannupriya Kamboj and was, "I Travel 18 Days a Months & Wife Feels Bored Which Is Causing Problems in Our Marriage, Help!""The husband had further stated that his wife would talk to some other man on her phone in his presence and he did not like it. "

In response to it, Ms. Kamboj explained him, the need to spend time with his wife out of his busy schedule and if still he is not able to do so, then he should fix the problem someway or the other. Because if he had wanted to be this busy in his life than what was the reason to get married?" I would suggest you to read the advice by clicking here.


Listening to its founder Vivek Satya Mitram through my placement drive, I understood how the company got great response from different media houses in less than one year of its existence. Websites such as FirstPost and BBC World Service amongst many others have covered the story of AdviceAdda.com; in May this year FirstPost published an article (http://www.firstpost.com/living/listen-up-indians-advice-addas-notahypocrite-campaign-sends-a-strong-message-2156141.html) which talks of the #NotAHypocrite campaign that it launched!


Mr. Mitram has also given an interview to BBC World Service where he emphasised on how the idea of starting a portal such like his came up to his mind. In his words, "There was no such portal where one could freely share ones' concerns and get the right advice on that given topic. AdviceAdda is just doing what no other company did before." Rightly said, the advice of an expert would not go wrong because of the experience one has in that particular field. In my view this website is also working towards showing people what the right path is in different situations, and how their actions can be wrong sometimes. When one introspects then one is talking to oneself and is sometimes unfamiliar to the many angles from which a particular situation can be seen; AdviceAdda brings those different angles to light, to that given person. It is an eye opener I can say, and a website where youngsters and elders can trust in for obvious reasons. 

All said about them, I would suggest you to take a look of their website and surprise yourself with free advices.
---

This article is part of the Blog War contest - ‘I’m Influencer’. If you think I have explained AdviceAdda.com in the best way possible in my write-up, Vote for me Here. Or if you want to challenge me in this Blog War Register Here

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Gagandeep Singh Vaid


Friday, 30 October 2015

In your memory

Your presence shall remain,
In our hearts.
Your magic, your smile,
Bear every reason to remember you.

It is always a newer beginning,
Older one's leave behind a legacy.
A life lived with head held high,
While burning the midnight oils.

Now you leave the sight of your land,
But as they say, "Every leaf has its fall", likewise in your going,
You have given others 'yourself' to look up to,
The freshness and blossom of yours,
Shall mingle in our world, a direction,
To continue your legacy of art,
With our artistic variations-
To see you smiling and proud of us.

Thursday, 29 October 2015

In thine face, a spirit of love shines

Love to see your face dearest man,
In this silence of your faceless smile-
I appreciate the beauty of your being.
Your sophistication, the art in you,
Soothes me, gives me your touch.
Ever resplendent your thoughts,
Pour a bottle full of emotions-
Wherein lay your trust and values.
I keep them intact in me-
That I feel you interacting with me,
The blossom of our memories occur,
Blessing me with confidence,
And honest, positive spirits of love.


Tuesday, 27 October 2015

The Wonderness of The Tree

Leaves of the tree are silent green,
Inner and outward exist the patches-
That form the fullness of its being.
A landmark for every bee,
A place to hide for every ant.
It stands high, with leaves that shelter-
The inhabitants of it and the passersby!
Who could imagine that a small plant,
Could do so much magic and prosperity.

So, I would also suggest you plant this much glee,
In the form of a plant that builds upon a tree.

A Life Giver

He pressed my head,
Listened to my heart.
He knew me far much-
Than I knew myself.

He doesn't agree,
Of knowing me more-
Than I know myself.
He is modest, I know-
He is like the genial,
A spirit most humble!

He knows me for over-
Two years.
Quite less, quite more,
We have spent times-
In each other's company,
And today those-
Memories revive!

In his arms I lay,
As he presses my head-
And I sleep in peace,
He wants that I live long,
He knows that I am happy,
Being in his presence warm.

Last ray of peace

Headaches are bearing tough on me,
Coldness is eating me up.
A land, a road of peace I look up to,
Yet I am incapable to breathe easy!

I thought I would dwell in silence,
Silence of senses even in crowded places;
But no, I am having a hard time with myself,
Like a body devoid of solitude.

It just moves by, asking the Lord-
To grant it some ability to take care of itself.
For it is sad that its soul has to go through a lot,
In order to find a ray of last hope.

It appears that the time moves by,
And there is no one to listen to me.
Maybe with this I shall learn to live,
Or get low and low in the left phases of my life.

Monday, 26 October 2015

Childhood

By, Kasak
At this weird stage in life, I find myself perplexed. Perplexed by the future which lies ahead, perplexed by the choices I have to make. I am mainly trying to balance myself in my battle with societal norms and constraints. As a third year student of Delhi University, all I see ahead is mystery ahead of my B.A degree. I am tangled in the yarn ball of my career, social life and the other shit life is going to throw at me for the next forty years (If I manage to live that long!). I meet friends and acquaintances who are in the mental paradox of having everything sorted for them. They believe their 9 to 5 job is the only way there is to live a comfortable life and how I am being an idiot for believing that my heart is leading me somewhere. My parents blabber endlessly about how my friends are going to surpass me with their huge mansions and luxury cars; whereas I will prove to be a nuisance to my family (obviously the days of Taare Zameen Par and 3 idiots are long gone). Being at home remains toxic and being out with my so called ‘friends’ doesn’t help either. My ideas yield enthusiasm in people at times but fail to get them out of their deep rooted desires of finding solace in a life of comfort and prosperity with minimum struggle.
I remember the time when I was 5 or 6, the only concern I had was how I could go play cricket with the big guys outside. When I would come back home bruised and hurt, I would be a celebrity in the house. Apart from first aid, I would get calls from my dad from his office asking whether I was okay. And now, the parents are same but the wavelength and thought process don’t match. Discussions yield friction and silence is misunderstood. There is love and care, but no time to express it wholeheartedly.
When I grew a little older, cricket had become my passion. I wanted to learn and play for team India. That’s when I realized that my dreams were becoming hurdles in the fate my family had already planned for me. I would be discouraged to learn what I always wanted to do and was asked to focus on my studies instead. That’s how in order to make my counterparts happy; I gave up on my dream. I loved my mother’s affection and cared for my father’s prestige more than any dream I had. That’s how the fucked up story of my life began.
As moments passed by, I came to the real terms of the world and what it wanted out of me. The days of innocence were melting to big words like maturity and practicality. Politics, broken friendships, futile relationships took their toll on me. My shortcomings were laughed at loudly while my positive traits were whispered amongst few. My belief of holding on to my childlike innocence was slipping from my hands. I was being forced to grow up. And I hated it!
Fast forward to now, and the lamp of innocence feebly illuminates my soul. I try to protect and cover it as much as I can, but there are moments when it extinguishes briefly and lights up again. Writing gives me solace and works like meditation for me. But then again, people and their philosophies of life try and bring me down and I resist and battle them like a lone warrior. And I want to see where it takes me because my heart believes it will. Even at the cost of losing people who I considered were understanding enough of my desires. I have been proven wrong and my belief structure has been reframed. I am open to accept life as it comes and I will be in the battle until I win or every iota of my existence is wiped out.
      *******************************************
They said god would be waiting and welcoming to me, if I ever visited him. I decided after a long banter between the heart and the mind that I was going to go visit him. I started my car.
On a chilly winter morning, I reached the temple complex. It was refreshing to see the birds chirping, a group of women practicing yoga in the park and the drops of dew on the grass. After my moments of reminiscence, I removed my shoes and entered the temple. Bowing down my head in front of wax idols for some strange reason, felt good. 
I noticed a familiar face, smiling content in his peaceful demeanor and went ahead to talk to him. He was applying tilak on foreheads of children that stood there, just like he did to me in my younger days.
“Panditji Namaste!”
“Namaste Beta! Who are you?” He inquired, perplexed.
He shifted his attention off me and commanded the children to stand in queue for the ‘post pooja toffee distribution’.
“Where is my toffee panditji?” I playfully gave him a hint that I had been in his toffee squad for years in the past. He laughed.
“No beta! This is for kids as Prasad. You are a grown man now! You don’t get any.” He replied smiling and started teaching the gyaatri mantra to the kids, who in the joy of being given candy obediently repeated everything he said.
I smiled to myself as I walked back to the car sans the toffee. I was no longer a child anymore, I had grown up.
       *******************************************
About the writer!
The writer known by a pen name Kasak is a fitness freak, who does modelling and in his words, he is someone who, "emphasises on all experiences in life". He likes to travel and it is music that keeps him motivated.