01 November, 2012

On depression

Why do people get depressed? I often am asking myself this question.  There is no right answer to this question .

The most common answer you would get  is that it is due to circumstances. It varies from different person to person.

Depression is often a result of the fear of failure. Failure in relationships, in professional life and at times in the personal life. This again is dependent on the time of this.

Often people go into a delusion that they are not wanted.  The entire world is against them.  Nothing that the person does is appreciated.  With every small allegations and misunderstandings the situation worsens.

How does one deal with it?  Often people resort to smoking and binge drinking or run away to be left alone.  The company of others feels a burden and a state of having to laugh alongside others when one does not want to.

Is it really possible to be one own self when depression hits? Do you still continue to live in  an utopian state of mind or does something change? What is that thing.?

The next point of course is to know whether there is a way out of this state.  And if you do, do you come out as a different person?  Someone who is motivated to not let depression strike again;  or  do you become more vulnerable to it.

There are so many questions. Life is full of these questions. Many to which we do not have an answer.

Facing Death

Facing death. It is a moment that you do not forget for a long time.  Today was one such I day.
Today whole driving In my car,  I was hit by a bus . For an instance i thought this was it.  Perhaps the last few moments of my life.  It was for those few seconds that I was too shocked. Anything could have happened.  I had my life play out in front of me.

While driving I was thinking about the one thing that is dearest to me right now; my wife.  Had she eaten anything ? What should I buy for the evening. Perhaps I will cook dinner today since she will get home late.  Where should we go for our second anniversary etc.

I was to occupied in these thoughts when a bus decided to take a sudden cut and bang into my car. Today the car completes one month and I was also thinking about the pleasant moments I have had with it so far.

Today suddenly I felt scared of death.  I Had not felt the same even while doing stunts liked sky diving.  They say that death is the only thing that is certain . The same thing cannot be said for anything else.  Perhaps if is these moments that make you realistic and realize the value of life.   It makes you appreciated the people you love all the more.  it makes you feel worried about what will happen to them when you are gone.

In an ideal relationship, Unconditional love flows. The kind of love you love without expecting anything in return for it. Though it is very idealistic thing  as there  are bound to be differences. Yet we as humans strive for it.  We run around really hard to ensure that the relationship is not hampered by these differences.

In moments like the one that happened today,  you forget that you expect a similar sense of unconditional love, that is pure.  you just want to live to love.  Where you're only worry is the person you love. 

27 October, 2012

On the road . . .

I am back.
On the road that is.
Felt I was missing something.
Not a big deal I know.
Perhaps it is after all a way for me to get back the composure.
To be back with uncertainty.
To get familiar with the unfamiliar.
The faces that all tell stories.
The chairs and seats all watching the action unfold day after day.
The anxious moments of turbulence.
Chai-Wai at the unknown stops.
Pressure controlled cabins.
Wish one could do that to the mind as well.
Up one goes down she comes.

14 October, 2012

The traveller in me...

Just made this small poster to remind myself that no matter what the circumstances are, I will travel. 

09 October, 2012

When a poem touches your heart..

The genius of Tagore.

यहाँ जो गीत गाने आया था , उसे गा नहीं सका |
आज केवल वीणा के तारों का स्वर साधता रहा,
गाने की आस मन में ही रह गयी |
मेरे स्वरों में सम नहीं आया , मेरे शब्द लड़खड़ाते रहे
केवल प्राणों में गीत गाने की व्याकुलता भरी रही |
फूल खिले नहीं, केवल एक हवा बहती रही |
मैंने उसके दर्शन नहीं किये , उसके बोल नहीं सुने, केवल
उसकी पग्ध्वानी ही बीच-बीच में सुनता रहा
वह मेरे द्वार के सामने से आता-जाता है ,
मेरा सारा दिन उसके सत्कार के लिए
आसन बिछाने में बीत गया ,
घर में दीया भी न जला सका,
तो अब उसे कैसे पुकारूँ?
उससे मेरी भेंट नहीं हुई;
किन्तु वह आएगा, भेंट होगी, यह आशा मेरे प्राणों में बसी है.
This one has so much meaning in my life at this point of time. 

04 September, 2012

The urge

It's something that keeps poking you again and again.
In moments of despair.
In moments when you are not sure of yourself, or of the people around you.
At times when you feel isolated and the most vulnerable.

You fight it. It plays games with you.
It teases you. It has this flirtatious smile.
Wants you to commit that one mistake.

Just once and then you can go back to not doing it, it says slyly.
It knows your weaknesses. Knows it really well.

But you be strong.
A slight deter and its game over.
Fight it. Believe in your heart.
Control the urge. 

24 August, 2012

Some life principles I live by ..

1. The most boring word in any language is "I"

2. People are more important than things.

3. Nobody else can make you happy.

4. It's ok to fail.

5. Forgive yourself, your friends and your enemies.

6. Nobody can be successful unless they love their work. Be proud of what you do.

7. Value people as people not as business prospects.

8. Develop a hobby that you can live your life on. 

9. Don't be afraid to show and tell others you love them.

10. Be a kid always. 

11. Spread smiles. Nothing is more satisfying than a genuine smile. 

12. Let go of things.

13. Goals in life will change. But the key is to keep moving.

14. Nothing is impossible if you try.

15. Love today. It's a gift. That's why it is called the present. 

Cheers to life!

09 August, 2012

The DDLJ diaries

One of the things that we had decided to when we were planning our trip to Switzerland was to visit the places where Dilwale Dulhaniya Le Jaayenge (DDLJ) was shot. 

The movies holds a special place in the hearts of many and ours too. I must have watched the movie at-least a dozen times. The dialogues have been learnt well, the scenes all to familiar. 

So after finding it out on the net, we got to know that the places we needed to head out to were Gstaad and Saanen. These are small towns in the Western part of the country. With the briliant public transport system that switzerland boasts of, getting there was never going to be a problem. 

On the way to the town of Gstaad and Saanen we spotted many such churches, which I think are the way churches would be in the country. But remembering 1995 when I first saw the movie, it was a unique church. 

This is the church that Simran askes Raj to take her to. Though in the movie the scene that follows, i.e. the inside of the church is not this church. We did go inside to verify it also.

This is the small town of Gstaad, where the movie's super hit song Zara sa Jhoom loon mai is shot. The town is so small that you can walk across the entire town in less than half hour.

After spending the time in Gstaad where only the song was shot, we headed to Saanen, where most of the other shooting happened.

We were on the lookout for the train that matched the color in the movie. The coaches' quality has improved, but the color remains. They are a part of the Golden Pass Railways.

We stumbled upon this small sculpture, and thought whether this could be the inspiration for the musical instrument that Raj plays in the movie.

Behind the church in Saanen, was this beautiful cemetery, just at the foothills of the beautiful landscape.

The Saanen town itself is very small, though larger than Gstaad.

The golden pass train makes its way into the Gstaad station.

The famous bridge over the river leads to the railway crossing that you see in the background. This is the place where Raj confesses his love for Simran, but later says it was a joke!

My Simran, remembering the movie.

This is the Kiosk that Raj engages Simran in the discussion over he being served first because he came first to the store. This leads to Simran missing her train.

And there goes the last train. Will have to wait the night in the town for the next morning train.

The whole of Switzerland is filled with such landscapes. It's no surprise that these hills have played backdrop to many of Yash Chopra's romantic movies.

This is the cafe in Gstaad, where Simran creates a hungama, after being drunk. The Song Zara sa Jhoom loon mai is shot here.

This is the small and easily accessible Saanen airport, that is just beside the railway tracks. Raj is introduced in the movie as showing running alongside a plane on this airport.

This is a typical house architecture in Switzerland, but I like to call the actual Yash Raj Studios :) 

23 July, 2012


"Plan holds if it rains also?", I had asked. We will shoot with an umbrella in our hands said a dear friend. It did rain. On the way to the venue not once, but thrice the mind said that the logical thing to do is go back. I am a person of heart and it said, do not return back.

It had been a while since I had gone shooting with the group at the Bangalore Weekend Shoots (BWS).

So here I was attending a shoot almost after more than 2 years. The feeling was that of a new, but old person. Since the last time I had attended the shoots, many things have changed. I did a lot of assignments, a lot of workshops, traveled around India a lot and the world a bit. But the experience of shooting with a group like BWS was something that was missing.  The talks and gossips were missing. Missing was the excitement over exploring new places and meeting new people. The storytellings were missing.

A group of 14 photographers met at the Bangalore Cantt railway station, for what was now rebranded as a Photo Walk. We walked down to the Bamboo Bazaar and then went to the the Medina Masjid area to witness a lot of coming out after their evening prayers, then towards the Shivajinagar and then the Russel Market. Shooting along the way. With our cameras I mean. 

As soon as I met the participants of the day's shoot a sense of nostalgia crept it. It reminded me of the very first shoot I had with the Bangalore weekend shoots group way back in 2006 in the Malleshwaram flower market area. Then I was this new kid, with a fancy camera that I had bought with savings. So much was the cost that I had not told the actual cost of that camera to my parents for quite some time. 

Today too there were a few new people. Some would take the cliched pics. Some would flock together. Canon, Canon, Canon and Canon I spotted. Have people stopped buying Nikon these days, I ask to myself. All spoke in the language of the f numbers and mm and compared the shots immediately after making the bamboo cutter a celebrity for a moment. 

The feeling of paparazzi. "Take my photo only if you are going to publish it in a newspaper, else do not take!" said a watermelon vendor. He posed with his broadest smile that would definitely light up some hearts.

Ah yes, the same questions kept popping up.  People stopped us and asked the very familiar questions, which channel, which newspapers. For a lot of people, our answers have not changed in the past, but this time for a change I did it for a while. I explained them the concept of the BWS. Some still thought we were students, which we happily agreed to.

Look he is taking a photograph of the broken chair and the junkyard, commented another passerby. What do they know of aesthetics of photography? I comfort myself with this thought. 

Within me, there was the hesitation of pointing the camera at about anyone. I remember the days, when I was so much in love with the streets. This was not me. I used to love interacting with the people. No I did not speak the local language then, neither can I now. But still the conversations happened. The stories unfolded! 

Yes. I remember. These wordless stories had to be experienced. Then captured through my camera and then shared with a wider audience. Flickr only, it used to be in those days. It was a pride to know that a photo of the shoot this weekend is now in Explore! Perhaps the one I took today will get ten likes, or maybe 30. I do not know. 

I had deliberately taken the decision to go with only one camera and one fixed 50mm lens. I did not want to distract myself much. I just wanted to enjoy the moment. I just wanted to feel myself like how I was almost 6 years ago. Naive, unsure, enthusiastic, and I was in love with the 50mm then. Compositions is what make a great photograph I believe in. Can you compose with constraints is what I ask myself. 

The doctor had advised lot of walking for my back problem. So let me enjoy the walk I said to myself. Perhaps the others are taking the photos anyway. I have had my share of these moments. Walk and talk. Was good to meet a few folks after a few years. Some said they had gained weight during that period and then reduced it again. To me they looked exactly the same like they were when we had last met. Perhaps the eyes had captured the images of them in eternity. Some even wore the same familiar shirt. Some still looked the same corpulent self. Oh yes there was one difference. The cameras were different now. Some moved to something called the Mark series and some to more compact OM Ds. 

I let Nostalgia take its course and kept smiling to myself.

We stopped for the customary BWS tea coffee break. Janta hotel, is where you have to have the tea. I loved it so much that I ended up having 2 cups of it, with a set dosa sandwiched in between. 

We discussed about the shoots, the professionals, the old timers, who's doing what and where they are. We talked about how a few of the so called famous photographers in Bangalore now, were a part of the BWS earlier and we covered the streets together.

6:30 is too early for a shoot, someone mentioned. I remembered the odd hours in which we would go out to shoot in those days. Early morning at 4 am or the Midnight. Late nights or the odd afternoons. We did all of it. We traveled. We walked. We learnt all our photography there. There was always someone you could start a discussion with. Bokeh, Depth of Field and the art of taking portraits on the streets, etc all were learnt in these shoots. Some long lasting friendships. Some mentors. All were made during these shoots.

Do more of this more often. I make a note in my mind. It is good to get a sense of Nostalgia once in a while.

22 July, 2012

A landmark in Indian Cinema?

Anurag Kashyap talks about the Gangs of Wasseypur.

21 July, 2012

What are you good at?

Something to live life by.

It's ok if you take some time to get good at doing something, but when you do, let there be no looking back.

29 March, 2012

2 kgs Angoor

"Bhaiya, Kukas chaloge?"; I asked the auto rickshaw driver, standing in the busy Johri Bazaar within the Pink city, laden with the bags of Sarees that I had just purchased. 

He must be in his late fifties or sixties, had a moustache and a heavy voice. So typical of the Rajasthani you would expect to meet.  He had a long look at me. Felt he was too old to call him Bhaiya, so I decided to address him as Kaka. 

"Kahan jaana hai Kukas mei?". 
I need to go to my Hotel on the Delhi-Jaipur highway, I said, deciding not to divulge much information. 

"Haan chalenge

I asked how much would he charge? 

After pausing for a while, he said, "180 Rupye lagenge."

Just in the morning that day, I had checked with the hotel on how much a to-fro from the hotel to the city would cost and they had said Rs 1200. So the 180 seemed like a great deal for the close to 15 kms journey, considering what I am used to paying in a city like Bangalore. 

Perhaps Kaka was expecting me to bargain, but there was something within me that did not. It was a moment of trust that I built within that moment, when our eyes met.

And then began a small journey, that I would not forget in a long time. 

I sat like a king, in the open from 3 sides autorickshaw. This was the big ones, that ferried almost 10 passengers when plying within the city, and it ran on diesel. So here was I alone with the bag of Sarees, riding like a king. I did have my GPRS enabled mobile phones and was accessing Internet, trying to be in my own world.

Kaka began to sing some Rajasthani Folk songs while driving. And suddenly at that very moment, I stopped all my not-so-important activities and let myself get immersed in that experience that was unfolding before me. He must have been a good singer in his village, I thought.

He drove at a not so high speed. We let the cars, bikes, trucks, and all other vehicles cross us. None of us were in a hurry. He drove at a brisk pace of 35 kmph perhaps. I just gave into the situation and let myself get drowned in that experience that was nothing short of spiritual. 

Just before we left the Main City limits, and were about to hit the Highway, he stopped the auto at a junction. 

"Angoor khaoge saheb? ";  he asked, interrupting me from my thoughts. I declined, saying no. 

He bargained with the fruit seller and asked for 2 kilograms of Grapes for 70 Rs. 
2 Kilograms!!! I do not recall ever buying more than half a kg of Grapes at a time. 

Keeping the grapes in his bag, that rested over his shoulder, he smiled at me and said. 
"Saheb, ghar khaali haath nahi jaata hoon.. toh bacche ke liye kuch le liye. Aaj angoor hi sahi.

2 kgs! the words ringed in my mind still as I smiled cheek to cheek in this encounter. 

And then we took a detour from the main highway. Now this is where I felt scared for a while. Alone me. Alone he, the dark night and just some vehicles passing by. I was scared, but at the same time smiling. Inspite of the fear of being in a new city, traveling at night on the highway alone with this person, I tried not to panic too much. There was something about him that was so genuine.

Perhaps it was that trust that was initially built between us, that I  I did not mind the detour. 

"Kaka, kya yeh road (detour) waapis highway par milega", I asked him, trying to assure myself that all is well. 

"Haan wahin milega he said. Ek aadmi ko kuch dena hai saheb. Bas 2 minute lagenge

I said yes. Though somewhere deep within me, there was that iota of fear that said, what if all is not right. What if he comes back with another person and tries to do the unthinkable? He went out, carrying his grapes filled bag possessively and a parting smile.

Kaka returned. Alone. And in less than 2 minutes, smiled again and we then continued our journey, with his folk songs to give us company on the highway.

"Kahaan se aaye ho Bhaiya?"
Bangalore, I said. I usually do not divulge the right place where I hail from, but it was that initial trust that was at play. 

"Bangalore! Arre wahaan se toh Rahul Dravid hai! Kitna mahaan khiladi hai! " And at that moment, our barriers broke. We were two passionate souls, living in two distant worlds, but living the same moment and experiencing it spiritually. 

We break into a heated discussion. 
Sachin should retire. Rahul Dravid is greater than Steve Waugh and is a class apart. Sachin is also good, but Rahul Dravid is very great. 

Cricket definitely binds the country like nothing else.

We reach my destination. 
I hand him two hundred Rupees note. He reaches for his bag again to return me the change. 

Folding my hands in the most genuine of thank yous, I smiled to him, with throat choking with the experience I had just had, I say to him;

"Kaka, aap poora rakh lo. Bache paise ke bacchon ko mithai khila dena. "

I think I spotted the tears of joy in his eyes, as he thanked me. 

He must have spotted them in mine too.

23 March, 2012

From Facebook to Facing the Unknown...

Respect! That's the only word that comes to my mind when I watch these videos! Ruchi Sanghvi - from being Facebook's first female engineer to starting out Cove. Love the passion she brings to the talk!

17 March, 2012

Who is an Indian

Excellent speech by Dr Shashi Tharoor.

04 February, 2012

Thoughts on the mind ...

The change is driven by the desire to find that elusive happiness. The moment the happiness seems hidden, is a clear indicator of a change.

Happiness is driven by the desire to service. The service of others without a self reward. 

Whether it is a change in a job, or a better understanding of relationships with people you love and care about the most, or the joy you get out of helping someone in need.

It is these moments that make the life rewarding.

I just got back to being an entrepreneur and going through some crisis in the life, as I write this.

31 January, 2012

The Laughing Heart

The Laughing Heart by Charles Bukowski

Your life is your life
Don’t let it be clubbed into dank submission.
Be on the watch.
There are ways out.
There is a light somewhere.
It may not be much light but
It beats the darkness.
Be on the watch.
The gods will offer you chances.
Know them.
Take them.
You can’t beat death but
You can beat death in life, sometimes.
And the more often you learn to do it,
The more light there will be.
Your life is your life.
Know it while you have it.
You are marvelous
The gods wait to delight
In you.

27 January, 2012

A thought to live by...

What a brilliant thought! 

12 January, 2012

Oh, the places you'll go..

The key to happiness is to get lost in the things you love doing the most.

What a wonderful video.

Based on Dr Seuss's final book before his death, this is a story about life's ups and downs, told by the people of Burning Man 2011. 

10 January, 2012

Do what you love...

..and live the life you want to lead, not what others want you to.

I am here again on the roads of change, taking a path less travelled. This should promise another exciting journey.

Leading the life I wish is easier said than done. I remember a friend discussing about responsibilities. They are everywhere and with everyone.

I am trying my best though to balance that out with the life I want to lead :)