28 October, 2011

Things to consider when shifting jobs / profession

Just read this online.
Made so much sense.  

22 October, 2011

Education on my mind

Need to change the education system definitely.

Something needs to be done about it. I salute the people who are working towards this.

21 October, 2011

Why so much stress?

No, don't give up and take life as it is

Think there's no chance
That you would live again

Why so much stress?
Don't you have gains to get?
We all do, even you!
And the more you seek
The more you find, then
Love, night and rain - life is good
So try to luck and kill the pain
Tell me, do you always think you have no worth?
Find it in yourself!

No, don't give up and take life as it is
Think there's no chance
That you would live again

This country's like a psychodelic trip
You can't change anything
Go and make use of it
Your life belongs to you, yourself
Make more mistakes now and make up for them
And when you're down you will rebound
Bravely use your time
Or you may miss your only chance

No, don't give up and take life as it is
Think there's no chance
That you would live again

So take a breath and think again
Life can make sense
Just take it all the way it is

So push and change and try again
Go forward safe
And take life all the way it is

Do change your life, stand up and fight
Go forward safe 

(Myslovitz - Acidland
Album: Korova Milky Bar)

20 October, 2011

Dose of Inspiration: Bunker Roy

Some things in life make a lot of sense. This talks resonates the thoughts going through my mind almost very closely.

18 October, 2011

With or without you...

One of my favorite songs. Can listen to it non-stop for hours!

What is the "you" in this song? Depends on the way you look at it, and the situations you hear the song in.

12 October, 2011

Man Human Mankind Humanity

Wise words form the master.

Just a few days ago, I was talking the same thing with my wife. And contemplating getting around to changing it soon. 

A life I did not want, but a life I ended up with...

Came across this rather very true depiction of the times we live in. 

06 October, 2011

An icon passes away...

I do not recall being so impacted by the death of a person whom I have never met, more than today. He was an inspiration, not only to designers all over the world, but just as a wonderful human being and instilling the thought to go change the world.

I know that death is inevitable, and that life goes on. But nevertheless, you will be missed dearly Steve. Go create a new iHeaven! :) 

09 September, 2011

Ay Samay

Monsoon West Coast and me

मुठ्ठी  में  रेत  सा  लगता  क्यूँ  है 
ऐ  समय 
तू  आगे  ही  आगे निकलता  क्यूँ है |

बस  एक  कदम  आगे
हाथ  के  पहुँच  से  बाहर 
हमेशा  नजर  के  सामने 
ऐ समय
तू आगे ही आगे निकलता क्यूँ है| 

ऐ समय
जरा  ये  तो  बता 
तेरा  रूप  इतना  क्यूँ मनचला 

कल  तो मुझे  दुनिया  तू  कुछ  और  था  दिखता 
आज  कुछ नए  सपने  बनता 
क्या  तुझे  किसी  ने नहीं  बताया 
टूटे  सपनो  का  दुःख 
और अगर  है बताया तो तू
क्या इतना निरदयी  है
इतना निर्मोही 
की  आज भी  आँखों  में नए सपने है डालता 
क्या तुझे मेरे  आंसुओं  में
पुराने  टूटे सपनो का दर्द  नहीं दीखता 

रुक  तो
जरा बात  तो सुन 

ऐ समय
तू आगे ही आगे निकलता क्यूँ है|

-Composed by a dear friend Sunil Kumar Singh.

05 September, 2011

I want to break free

I mean it. I literally want to! but let's keep the details for that for another post.

Here's a video that I am sure a lot of us have grown up listening to.

While I wish my beloved teacher's a Very Happy Teacher's Day, I would also wish Freddie Mercury a very Happy Birthday.

And not to forget the most dearest friend Shivam, a very Happy Birthday too. May you get what you wish for dude! Always. 

01 September, 2011

What I am doings these days..

There has been many ups and downs.
Some triggered by the comment of near and dear ones, and some by actions that speak a lot more than words. In the end all these things help you grow as a person and also take decisions.

Work wise, things are pretty normal at office, and I am doing my share of other exciting work in the fields of Design Strategy, Design for social Impact. I have been helping out with the design of a few Bihar related ventures. I did the logos for Bihar Entrepreneurs Association, Bihar Days and have also been helping out with the design of the portals. It's my small way of being connected to Bihar. Wherever I get a chance, I get to discuss and share my thoughts on the Child Education project too.

I love clicking kids

Photography wise, I have been more involved in the running of the Bangalore chapter of Open Show and re-started posting on my flickr account and my PhotoBlog

Eid Mubarak

I restarted my talks, and have a couple more lined up. Recently spoke at the STC UX conference, and I have a couple lined up this month and the month after that.

Overall many things keeping me busy.

25 August, 2011

One of the most inspiring speeches ever

I have always been an Apple fan and have loved to use it'd products like no other. There is and will be only one Apple ever.

Today woke up to the news of Steve Jobs, retiring as the CEO of Apple. The amount of things Steve has done for Apple is unthinkable. It simply cannot be fathomed. We only wish him the best of health (though he is not in a very good shape), and good luck with the new role of the Chairman of the Apple board.

Here's one speech that was delivered by him at the Sanford University Commencement in 2005, and it has left a deep impression on me. I must have watched it quite a few times, but every time I do, I feel all the more charged up.

So long, Steve! You have been inspirational and a person millions across the world look up to!
You will be missed.

24 July, 2011

Dadi - a memoir

Yesterday, I presented a short collection of photographs and stories of my moments with Dadi, at the Open Show #4, Bangalore. Dadi passed away this April this year, and her death has led to many questions than answers. There are many questions that I had when she was alive, and was never able to find an answer to. Some of them are here.

Why did she only want to stay in the village, when she could have all the comfort in the world at dad's or uncle's home.

 What's left after her are empty rooms and voids that are hard to fill. Some voids should just be left like that and memories remain.

08 July, 2011

Oh India beautiful!

Mindblowing video of India. What amazing shots. What a story telling with awesome frames, moments and instances.

21 June, 2011

Chaos Cloud

full-time-employment time-management photography design writing india bihar child-education social-impact networking business managerial kuliza deskala friends loneliness relationships misunderstandings facebook twitter social-media help pay-it-forward death wedding memories settlement purchase real-estate investment savings future-planning shift-location delhi ncr entrepreneurship home vicinity inspire inspiration travel photo-venture family respect openshow pickmeclickmeeducateme politics corruption lack-of-interest insomnia cooking freelance dis-orientedness health appendicitis fear chronic-back-pain NGO setup reading flipkart books attention-deficit-syndrome blogging backache meditation yoga exercise potbelly giving-up loser fail need-someone-to-talk-to introspection junkfood irregularity uneasiness forgive forget let-it-go never-ending-to-do-list ideas excitement fade-away shortlived

08 June, 2011

Getting back the sanity around me

And one of things to do in such a situation is to watch an inspiring video. 

About this video:
Kiran Bir Sethi shows how her groundbreaking Riverside School in India teaches kids life's most valuable lesson: "I can." Watch her students take local issues into their own hands, lead other young people, even educate their parents.

Have been going a rather tough phase in life. More on that later. For now, I am just learning to greet each day with a smile.

11 May, 2011

Keep Smiling

An interesting video that I came across today.

So have you smiled today?

09 May, 2011

When there are more questions than answers

Just got back from home after the sad demise of my grand mom.

Some things are just inevitable an one has to just accept it and move on. Death is one of them.
Since all the post-death rituals was held at the village, I ended up spending more time at the village than in the town where the home is.

I end up with more questions and the desire to find the answers to some of them is haunting.

06 April, 2011

Let the burden off your shoulders.. and have a bit fun

Often there seems to be so much that we are carrying, that in the thick of things, we miss out on a few basic necessities of life.

One of them is the basic concept of having fun. Often we stop having fun in the context of being sad for an incident that had a huge impact emotionally.

I recently let go of something that I loved so dearly. More than anything else in the world and had put in my everything to see it succeed. But then I had to let go it it. I am sure there would be many memories associated with it. And the memories cannot be deleted.. but that should not stop one from moving on .. and having fun.

Secondly it is staying in touch with people who actually matter the most and would be there with you through every hardships.

Thirdly is to smile back at people. The power of a smile is much more than you can imagine.

Fourth is to be around and with people who admire you for what you are and appreciate you that way.

Fifth is to see and read things that please us.

Just saw this inspiring video that simply amazed me!  Enjoy!

01 April, 2011

The self belief of doing something worthy

Something that is important.. and interesting..
Something that has a larger impact... and makes people happy.

Over the past few weeks I have been going through this immense emotional tsunami. It is about letting go of things that are so dear to you at one point of time. It is about being able to hold the head high, in believing that what one did was the best in the interest of things at that particular moment and then moving on.

I have been discussing the issue with a few close friends and some of them have given some really valuable advise.

Here are few of them which were really helpful in me making my decisions.

Tip 1:
If you are being treated as a mere resource in your company, its time to rethink your involvement in the company. 

Tip 2:
Never invest your hard earned money into something where you do not have a control over things. 

Tip 3:
If you do not get recognition at work on something which you put your heart and soul into, it's best to make a move.

These guiding principles allow for the decision making to be easier. Though I know it is difficult to follow it, and when I have taken the decision, I try to keep my self busy with doing things that I am passionate about, or have been wanting to do from a long time, or see things that I have enjoyed doing in the past.


Experience Prototyping from happyhorizons on Vimeo.

Would like to end with this quote that I just read.
"I'm not a person who predicts what will happen in the future. I'm a person that makes the future happen."

28 March, 2011

The Madhushaala video

I just noted today that my Madhushaala video that I had done for my Design project, crossed the 15k mark on youtube.

Hoping to get back to doing more videos. I really want to do it, since I am so passionate about it when I am shooting and also editing video.

25 March, 2011

On Social Entrepreneurship

I have always been fascinated by this idea of people doing something worthwhile in their lives to create a change. A friend shared this short and inspiring video on the life of social entrepreneurs.

I liked this thought here "Social entrepreneurs believe and then they see !"
what a nice thought!

24 March, 2011

Life's worth: In plain simple English

Here's a small note i just received from a friend whom I admire for all the work he is been doing.

Six lessons to learn from Bhagat Singh's life
1. Be your own person
2. Find a purpose in life
3. Follow that purpose with passion
4. Procreation isn't the only thing you're born to do
5. Read
6. Take up a social cause

As we keep getting stuck in the discussions that would do nothing but to dismantle the peace of mind, we forget these basic steps. 

The basics which in my opinion would allow each one to be a better human being. 

23 March, 2011

Does passion drive you?

I always am driven by passion.

Well, atleast I keep telling myself that. And the funny part is that I often fool myself to believing that! The problem with that is that you end up making presumptions and assumptions that whatever you are doing has some relation to the thing that you are passionate about.

Only when you sit (or stand) at the other corner of the room, and try to understand the situation from a different view point, you actually get to know whether it is true or not.

Of late I have been going through this emotional turmoil and feeling a lot of guilt in not being able to do the things that are driven by the passion in me.

I also realize that the time is short. and with the health issues increasing day by day, it sends me in a panic mode. Of not knowing what to do and how to do. 

At the end of the day, there is limit to things and there comes a time when you pause and face the other world that is not letting you do those things; directly and say STFU and let me do things that drive me. And that is where you make your decisions. The time when you decide that enough is enough and that something needs to be done. The time when you know that you just did not want to be another rat in the rat race and actually stood up some something that you so passionately believed in.

18 March, 2011

Are you waiting for your first million?

Short. Crisp. Inspiring.
Enjoy the video!

17 March, 2011

Notes from the IIT Mentors Program, Bangalore 2011.

Attended the inauguration of the IIT Mentors program here in India. The program is based on a pay-it-forward model with the goal of helping mentees reach out to mentors in the four tracks of Entrepreneurship, Corporate, Academia, Research.

The idea is to also impart Life skills along the way. Mentors would be able to advise, cheer and guide the Mentee over a period of 8-10 weeks with the Mentees required to spend a min of 10-15 hours a week.

More on the engagement model can be found here

The keynote was delivered by Kris Gopalakrishnan the CEO of Infosys and it was really nice of him to share a few stories on the mentors he remembers from his life. There were were many points that is worth mentioning from his talk. Here are the few.
  • You need a lot of patience in entrepreneurship. You have to aim to be there for a long time. 
  • Plan out your business roll out in phases. 
  • Any good organization has to develop and groom its leaders internally.
  • Accidental entrepreneurs are rare. If you want to be accidental, might as well buy a lottery. 
  • When you are in the business scaling phase, you need to identify the multiple engines of growth and work on them equally. 
  • You need to identify what is the predictable revenue source and can you generate that over a period.
  • In most startups the fallout happens in the transition phase. 
  • Its only when the operational load sets in that people start seeing the burden and often it results in  fallout. 
  • One has to have the vision of creating the instituion. 
  • The goals of building the institution has to be larger than the goals of the individual. 
  • You need to constantly research to create new products and services. 
  • If a job does not give you recognition, SHIFT. 
  • If a job gives you recognition, STAY ON. 
  • Good work cannot be suppressed for long. 
  • Think about Change and give it Time to happen. 
  • Have defined and realistic milestones. 
  • Have the confidence in your IDEA. 
  • Get early funding and work on it.
  • Don't start with your own money unless you are willing to take the risk completely, or are a rich dad's son! 
  • Do not postpone discussions on matters related to Downturns, Problems and Finances within the organization. 
  • The spirit of entrepreneurship in India is catching up.  
  • Always evaluate Success and look into what Value you are delivering to others. 
  • Do you see your other team members as equally delivering those values.
  • Create new jobs and give back to the society. 
  • The society respect is more than any amount of money earned.

Also met up a couple of VCs during the example mentoring session. Very interesting to hear from them on how they go about deciding whom to fund and how they verify.

The starts of this event looks promising and I am sure a lot of the IIT Alumni would benefit out of this.

Looking forward to more.

15 March, 2011

Some wonderful words...from Oprah

Just found this video. Liked it.

Oprah Winfrey, global media leader and philanthropist, spoke to the Class of 2008 at Stanford's 117th Commencement on June 15, 2008. Winfrey drew on experiences from a career that began in 1976 when she co-anchored a television newscast, and she shared three lessons about feelings, failure and finding happiness.

The question of making life more purposeful

The same question gives me sleepless nights often.

Here's a video that would inspire one further (and perhaps get more to think).

About this talk:
We each want to live a life of purpose, but where to start? In this luminous, wide-ranging talk, Jacqueline Novogratz introduces us to people she's met in her work in "patient capital" -- people who have immersed themselves in a cause, a community, a passion for justice. These human stories carry powerful moments of inspiration.

About the speaker: 
Jacqueline Novogratz founded and leads Acumen Fund, a nonprofit that takes a businesslike approach to improving the lives of the poor.

12 March, 2011

Education on my mind

The thing that I spend a lot of time these days is about education. And I do not meant my personal education, but education for the masses. It is becoming clearer day after day that I do want to set up something in education for the masses. And in particular the rural masses.

It all started with a epiphany a few years back. What do I really want to be remembered for.

I presented a glimpse of what I want to do, and have been working towards at the TEDx talk at NIT Bhopal last month. The feedback was inspiring, but I am sure that there is a lot that needs to be done. One thing is that I am conscious of the huge amount efforts required in it and am working towards making a stronger case for it.

For me the questions I have trying to answer are these.
1. How do we motivate people to attend schools?
2. Even if we motivate them to join, how do we help them attend it regularly and not drop off?
3. And when they do finish school, how do we ensure that they continue to college and end up making a career.

All the three above are separate questions, but are definitely valuable and need to be answered. In the project that I am working on, I am trying to build a collaborative learning platform. (More about that in separate posts.)

It also helps that once in a while you get a comment from people you admire. Makes me believe in the cause a lot more. Just the other day a photographer whom I admire, messaged me saying that Its amazing to know the things I am doing in life and it actually is inspiring.

I also stumbled upon this video which is being heavily viewed in multiple circles.
The Khan Academy utilizes videos to educate children. They were awarded the Google 10 to the power 100 award for their efforts and to expand.

Here's the recent TED talk by the founder Salman Khan.

If only we did what we could for education, the world can be a better place.

I am just trying to do my bit.

02 March, 2011

Call of the mountains

There are few things that give true peace and visiting the mountains is one of them for me. Having spent my entire childhood in the hills of Darjeeling, it was a welcome though nostalgic trip when we (Me, wife, Netra and Naina) went there.  Last December we were up in the mountains in Sikkim and we went up close to the Nathula Pass. The ride was heavenly to say the least and with every curve we scaled, the mountains had a prettier face to show. With every kilometer we traveled I smiled more.

Needless to say, I was sad on leaving the mountains.

Though we did not go all the way up-to Nathula Pass (had to come back just 4 kms short of it), I read the hidden message. It is nothing but a sign that I need to get back there again! I am hopeful that this time will be able to reach the Pass and watch the Chinese soldiers parade.  I promise to go back and attend the call of the mountains.

01 March, 2011

Karm kar, fal ki chinta mat kar..

So says the Bhagvad Gita. Life is like a journey and at times one just needs to keep moving ahead without getting distracted by the paths left behind.

It is one thing that I have just been following it for the past few days and feel at peace. I realize that its pointless to waste energy in some things which are just not worth the effort.

My TEDxMANITBhopal talk went off really well and I am glad that I was able to interest and inspire more people there. Met a few other really interesting people there and realize with more conviction that there is so much to do, and so less time!

Which brings me to my next thought that is been conflicting in my mind. How do you let go of something (someone) you love so dearly? I know that many would ask, whether it is absolutely necessary to let go of that thing in the first place.

Well that can be debated! :)

25 February, 2011

Life is good when..

.. you meet people who can inspire you!
I have been fortunate to meet a few of them during my talks and presentations.

Keep inspiring!

20 February, 2011

Moving on .. No not yet.

The meaning of things take a different turn when the situations change.
What was pleasant a while ago, may not be the same after a certain point of time, because things change. This change is governed by multiple factors and events that happen in one's life.  At the end of it all, however the question that remains to be answered is whether the soul is happy doing a thing or not. 

Of late I have been doing a lot of introspection about things that have happened in the past and the state of those things. One of the things that I have been talking to myself about is the reasons why I started Deskala. 

Amongst the reasons, here are some of those points. 
  1. Passion to do something for India - One
  2. To spread awareness about Design in India
  3. To do socially relevant projects in the contexts of Design for Social Impact - a topic that was the core of my Masters Thesis project back at Indiana Univ.
  4. To have an entity of my own where I am the boss and get to spend time on Photography and Design - This entity could be as an individual or as an organization.
  5. To travel and have projects that would require travel so that I can travel across the country India and perhaps the world.
  6. To take a lot of pictures and make documentaries along the way while traveling.
  7. To be happy doing what I am doing.
During the course of my introspection, I try to find an answer to these above mentioned points and how am I doing it with respect to the company. One would then ask, so what is the status of things now. Are there reasons still valid with the set of changes that have undergone.
Each of the above mentioned points require a separate blog post and I think I will do just that over the next few weeks. It will help me connect with myself better and help me reach that state of peace that is so eluding.

29 January, 2011

Some people are just not worth it ... just Let it go.

No matter how much of an effort you put in.
Best is to just ignore and move on.

Here's a song I have been listening to almost daily!

27 January, 2011

Can I have a longer day please?

I often wonder about this. And as much as I know that it is not a possibility, I still hope that one day it shall be possible.

Things looking super busy at the office and with that there is the now 2 month old marriage to take care of. Amongst this there is the month of travels coming up in February.

At Deskala, I have been doing things I had never done before, like Recruitment, interviewing people to join us and also generating Employee offer letters! Social media marketing which somehow only I believe in at the company, is therefore sole-ly on my shoulders. I like doing it, because it keeps me updated with my field and I try to ensure that the links are shared through our Twitter channel and Facebook pages.

Amidst all these, I have been asked to write up a few articles for publications and thats something that I need to spend some dedicated time on.

Phew thats a lot to do, and the time so less. Somehow managing to take the time out to sit over chai and discuss things that does not fall in the above bucket.

 Tea Lovers

I so sincerely wish that the days were much longer.

04 January, 2011

The year that was...

So another year comes to an end, and this is the customary year end post. Has been a year of highs and lows personally indeed. There have been laughs and cries both aplenty.

Amongst the other things that happened, I got married.  I guess thats a mixed bag. So far so good, is the phrase that comes to my mind when someone asks me hows it going.

I voted for the first time, and felt glad that the person I voted for, won the elections. What made it more sweet was the fact that he was able to attend my wedding.

Met a few friends after a long gap. Some after 13-14 years! And our talks would never end! Its amazing when you connect with friends after such a long time. The memories come alive and it does not look at all like so much time has passed. We discussed the bunking of classes, the pathetic hostel food, the teachers who taught us to lead, the games we played, the adventures we had etc.

Oh and on the travel front, I traveled more and more and covered, Rajasthan a bit, Pondicherry and more of Sikkim. I further explored other parts of Bihar (the central districts), just to see the changes evident on the development front. Seeing is believing they say. In Sikkim, we went close to the Nathula pass there. The lifestyle of people at both these places, namely small townships in Sikkim and rural Bihar, fascinated me. I think thats the matter of another post.

2000-2010 has been an interesting decade, where I explored not only parts of the world, but also India a lot. Infact towards the end of 2010, I also explored Bihar a lot.

The coming years definitely promises to be a lot more challenging, with me and my partners trying to expand the business, Deskala that we started. Need to establish the photography business and also the social enterprise that I had initially set up.

Time as they say is always short, and the efforts are on. :)