29 May, 2009

Hot Hotter Hottest

I do not like to crib. And this post should not be taken in any such way. However at times it will appear that I am doing so.

I have spent around a little more than a week here in Delhi now. This also means that I have spent that same time in India now after moving back. Delhi has to be one of the most happening cities. There is just so much to do! There are so many places to go to! And there is so much construction happening everywhere! I am sure my weight has gone up due to the excess eating and inhaling of the dust from the constructions! It's literally everywhere! But the constructions give hope. Hopes of a better transport system. You can see the potential of it in the areas where the Metro runs presently.

On my way to Janakpuri from Lajpat Nagar, I started to talk with the Auto driver. He had some interesting stories to tell. One of them being, that how people shout at him, if he requests he has to fill the gas in his vehicle, and that they are getting late. But the same people would also ask the auto walaah to stop as they get something from a store. Where is the getting late in that situation! Which brought me to the thought, why are people running so much. Everywhere one sees, people are running for something or the other.

Everyone is a part of some race. A race to earn more, a race to outshine the other. Where does the self satisfaction come then? Where is the philosophy of doing things that you love doing? Where is the reason to keep the soul happy?

Often people ask me, what is the job that is lined up for me? What is my salary here in India, now that I have a degree from the US. I am out of answers. I have to say nothing or no or in the negaticve for all of it, as that is a fact at present.

I still try to find a lot more answers and am utilizing this break to do the same.

26 May, 2009


Life is all about the balance.
Between the personal life and the professional life.

I often wonder that I give advice to others to maintain that balance, but avoid that in my own.


I am ashamed of it.

25 May, 2009

Of AirIndia, Shouting Kids and a (overly designed) Frankfurt airport!

How much ever pride I take in being an Indian, I am often surprised and to an extent sad at the services that are offered by the flagship services in India. The least you would expect in an international flight is working television monitors. There were at least a dozen that was not. That might be understandable, but how do you explain broken seat handles, and seats so hard, that I loved the Indian Railways seats better. However I am not complaining. Even though this is my first time on an international route with Air India, I kind of expected a little more. The flight was full and hence needless to say there was chaos.

Chaos and Indians go hand in hand. They are inseparable. Chaos I think is a part of our lives so much that we almost ignore it in its presence. All throughout the first leg of my flight, I thought I was in some bazaar in Delhi. I expected nothing less in the later part of my journey from Frankfurt to Delhi.

I wonder what it is with Indian kids. I think they have to be honored with the ‘most shouting kids’ award! The funny (or rather sad) part is that the parents do not do anything to keep them under control. Or was it the whole sense of belonging that sets in right when you board any flight. The feeling of "apnapan". Perhaps one day when I have kids of my own, I would be able to understand it better. A kid in the flight shouted out to his sister Geetika a few times, like he would do in his house or in the field. I love kids for they do what they please without caring about what others think. I think that’s one thing I always learn from them. (though do not think I am going to shout in the plane :P ) I could also overhear a few co-passengers discuss ‘Slumdog Millionaire’ too. What a Geetika co-incidence. I love it when these small-small co-incidences happen. It makes life interesting!

I have been reading Barack Obama’s ‘The Audacity of Hope’, which was gifted to me by a dear friend to read on the flight. My friend and me have both been so inspired by Obama. Have followed his speeches, fallen in love with his talks, laughed at his sense of humor, and happily cried at his success. He is a personification of a dream, and meeting him someday becomes another of my crazy aspirations. It is another story (and that is sad) that I am not there in the US following his moves and his actions and seeing US politics from a closer view. I have to say that the book is inspiring indeed. This book along with the mandate of the voters in India in forming the new government, and the role of youth in India, often makes me want to join politics at some point of time in my life! Someday I will. 10 years down the line would be an ideal and attainable goal.

I am writing this from the Frankfurt airport, which for me looks like a very chaotic airport. It makes me feel claustrophobic. I have been so used to traveling US airports with the high ceilings, natural light, that anything less than that makes me feel strange. The pathways are narrow and the long German signage does not make life easier. What is worse is that the paths around the individual gates are not straight. You walk a few meters and there is another cross-section, which leads to other gates.

Even the dustbins are designerly and it constantly reminds one of the hegemony of the Ulm and the Bauhaus design schools. I am however not too pleased with the usage of grey colored fonts on the silver material that the bins are made of. There are many issues to be critical about, but then I do not want to do so without actually having spent more time at the airport.

More laters…..

18 May, 2009

There are two kind of people...

...in this world.. I tell you my friend.
Two | Lalbagh Flower Show

One is the optimist and the other is the pessimist. Well of course you know that.

The optimist proclaims that we live in the best of all possible worlds; and the pessimist fears this is true. I often wonder there are zillions who live in the later state. And that is the state of fear.

I tell you there are two kinds of people in this world.
One who talks and not act and the other who let their actions talk. As a result of this, the one who talks will always try to find faults in the actions done by the people who act.

There are two kinds of people in this world.
One who believes in themselves and one who just doubts everything they do. One who gathers confidence out of everything they do who believes that failures are the pillars of success and that failures do not deter them. The other kind lives in a state of fear and hence does not try out the various things and would just talk.

In this world there are two kind of people.
One who thinks that if they if they believe passionately in something and they dream when they see the stars. They are the ones who believe that the stars will align in some way that their dreams will be fulfilled. The others will not sleep and dream and will stare at the same stars and fear it falling.

Then there are two kinds of people in this world.
One who finds the best in what they have and gain immense happiness out of that. Then there is the other who will crib in any situation and never be satisfied and understand the value of the situation they are in.

Over the past few days, I have spoken to a few people of both of these kinds. Thankfully the list has been of more of the optimist kind

15 May, 2009

Reflections on a dream being fulfilled

I can confidently say that the whole child education project journey over the past year has been an amazing one. And more than anything this has been a journey into my soul and finding myself better. It has been a journey of re-discovering what I like and I love doing. It has been a journey of reinstating the faith in oneself and one’s skills in photography and design. It has been a journey of fulfilling a dream. A dream, which I have been working tirelessly since the past couple of years and mostly during the past year and fulfilling it to a large extent at the end of this journey.

Apart from the learning whole experience has also been spiritual. It has made me realize the value of service as a designer and putting service before self. Identifying the group that most needs the service of me, as a designer has been another satisfying experience. I have come to realize that there are a lot of others who need the input of design and that design can play a huge role in changing the society for the better. Design thus now to me expands beyond the computer interface an in an essential component in almost everything.

The cutest thing on earth...

The project has led me to define and then redefine what being passionate about a particular thing is all about. The very ideologies on which I base my projects and work was questioned at the later part of the spring 2008 and early fall 2008 semester. I had to make a decision between doing a project that would give me a job, or a project that I was really passionate about. Thanks to a professor here, I am glad that I made the decision to choose the passion over anything else. It has led me to have faith and the confidence in my work and my ideologies more than ever. I grow in confidence every time I speak about the project and every time I make a presentation about the project.

This newfound confidence has now inbuilt in me a belief that nothing is impossible if done with sincere effort and with dedication. When asked about how the ‘Pick Me, Click Me, Educate Me!’ project will succeed, I am often unaware of the answers. But the confidence that I gather out of the capstone experience and also from the support shown by others in the school makes me believe that the project will succeed.

I have often wondered how often do people have an epiphany that their life is not meant to be wasted just like that and without doing any good. I am glad that I have had that epiphany early in life and not having to spend an entire life wondering what to do. I have realized that I do not want to be just another dust in the cosmos, but a shining star whose legacy lives on forever.

I have often grappled with questions from all fronts on the possibility of working somewhere else. On the possibility of earning and being secure first and then looking to pay back. But as I mention, from my point of view it has been a question of putting my services before self. Letting go of materialistic pleasures has been another key learning from this project. It has been a question of taking the decision of saving a dollar on drinks so that monthly fees for children in rural India could be paid. It has been a situation of sacrifices and newer inspirations that would help children in rural India be a fraction fortunate of what I have been in life.

I started my sojourn at Indiana University with my statement of purpose in the application letter. I clearly remember mentioning how a smile motivated me and that I take joy in the simple things of life. In the end the whole capstone journey has been about spreading smiles and the message of doing only things that give you immense joy from within.

As I head back to India for good, with all the wishes for my project and a life ahead, I know that I will succeed. I have the smiles and the wishes of all the people I have known.

The journey has only just begun.

Keep Smiling.

06 May, 2009

New Beginnings

I love new beginnings. It gives you a fresh look at things and gives you the opportunity to rectify all that had gone wrong in the past. It also lays the foundation for success and taking the directions that you wish with more conviction and confidence. It is also a time for retrospection at the events that have just passed and time for introspection at the present and the immediate future.

Over the past few years I have turned more spiritual and to some extent religious. It is this immense faith in the almighty that keeps me going. I guess it was a result of me being all by myself, of not having to answer anyone about my actions, of not worrying about the materialistic pleasures, of understanding myself better.

I have come to realize that if I do something honestly with the best intentions, and without worrying about the results, the almighty takes care of the result. There are sometimes where the result does not turn out the way expected, but in no way, does that result in me putting lesser effort.

So whenever I start all new beginnings, without a clue of how it will be down the line. But I just have the faith in the almighty and the confidence in myself that things will turn out well.

I finished my masters here at Indiana University, and hence now every day is a part of a new beginning. A beginning where there is a project named Pick Me, Click Me, Educate Me! , a lot of children, and a lot of smiles waiting to be spread, a thousand dreams waiting to be heard and be told how to fulfill it.

I am super excited about this new beginning.

05 May, 2009

The launch of Pick Me, Click Me, Educate Me!

I am super excited at the launch of my dream project. It is taking up all my time these days and I love it. The presentation was a great hit and I could see that people were appreciative of the fact that I have put my life and soul into the project over the past year. And I think that the project is now actually started and hence the more challenge comes now.

Here is the first promo video that I made for the project.

The motto for the project is "Spreading Smiles .. One School at a time"

I have been fortunate to have the education of my choice at the best possible places. This project is a small way to bring about a change in the lives of many who do not understand the value of education. I am dedicating my photography skills towards bringing in the awareness for the issue.

I have been amazed at the support that I have been receiving for the project. I am sure that we will collectively be able to make a difference. Even if the difference is in a small manner.

Like all things the beginning is always a small step and I am glad that I have taken that step.

The website and more details of the project can be viewed here .
Pick Me, Click Me, Educate Me!