Kahaani Me twist

Content creation has become the new word of this year, that has been exploited endlessly thanks to COVID-19. Every where, on Instagram, YouTube, Facebook, Whatsapp or even an SMS, its all about creating high quality content that has us asking for more.My innocent google searches about SEO and backlinks also have started rendering sponsored ads about content creation. It is another epidemic in the making.

The recent ban on Tik-Tok has made all of us rethink about how we market our content. It has been a boon for creators from smaller towns and cities to become influencers. They also find many takers eventually, however in an unprecedented situation like this, it can be distressing to not be able to have a medium at all. The political scenario today is sensitive and banning Tik – Tok may not be a long term solution. It works though, in the current scenario, where we need to maintain solidarity with our soil. May be its also time to think as consumers, how we want our content in the future. Do we want to put a little effort in reading or just endless videos and gifs that wire the brain to become a piece of mulch. Over time and after endless hours of being on SM, I have no feeling left at all. All it makes me feel is dehydrated. Its a crazy vicious circle, but one needs to step out of it unlike Abhimanyu.

The Tik-Tok ban has brought the classic hare-tortoise tale to the front. It seems the old adage never dies. As a blogger, who is still learning the ropes of it, I feel a little grounded by the happenings around me. Bloggers are the tortoise in the race of content creation, with highest preference given to the hares – Influencers and Youtubers. We may argue about this not being a race or a debate to be won, but there is an economics involved in this. A lot of careers in the millennial generation have been made, owing to these platforms. But there is no denying the fact that bloggers have been old players. Perhaps as consumers we might want to turn back to them and give them the deserved credit.

Next time I meet a friend from a Whatsapp group, and tell her I am a blogger by profession, I hope she does not make a disgruntled face. Hopefully she will look at me with some love even if a tad lesser than an IG star.

Image Source : WeandThecolor.com

Sunday to Monday

So while I facilitate the little one to his classes that teaches him about a normal world, in my head I’m faffing. I am cynical about what he is being taught right from days of the week, to bigger concepts. With the lock down our weeks have become longer with identical days and every passing day seems like a time warp or a blur. The moments between Sunday to Monday and the rest of the week seem similar with a monotonous machine like routine taking over.

So you might be wondering where has this blog been, has it been quarantined or some such crazy rumour. Hey, its been right here, thinking a few things over, working on other plans and just basically soaking in inspiration for future. So after the roller coaster ride that is #BlogchatterA2Z 2020 in April, I’ve suddenly sunk in my couch of inertia. May was spent in celebrating birthdays and anniversaries while looking outside the window for hope. Looking at the world disintegrating, around and still living a normal life can be hallucinating. At least for me. Life has compelled us fortunate people, to forever count our blessings with the growing number of calamities unfolding around us. We can still afford to have first world problems and have fancy food. Its almost the climax of May and I have been strategising, reminiscing, predicting and sometimes just unwinding from the chaos. Overall I am still counting my blessings, being grateful for the monotonous routine, since the other end of this bridge would’ve been painful I can guess.

I’ve found a new passion, rather rediscovered an old one – painting. It feels like finding the perfect fit or the best groom. I feel centered, happy, and hungry to keep attempting it. I’ve challenged myself for a #100daysofSketching where I have a goal to keep sketching everyday. This will enable to have a tangible goal, seek a long lost love and enjoy the idea of creating something.

My sketches are on my Instagram profile. Do check out and let me know your thoughts.

Until next time, Cheers! Stay Hungry, Stay Foolish!

Day Z for Zeroing

When we were little,
it was just natural,
to brush off the dust,
and get up when we fall

It was normal
to wake up and seize the day
even if things went wrong
and happiness moved a little away

So then what happened along the way
When failure felt like castaway
We made our lives miserable
No success, would mean dismay

But then on a strange lazy day, I saw something
Inspiration comes any way, if you’re open
The idea made my blood gushing
And it sprung me out of my slumping

Why does a spider enjoy being in its own web
Why does it love to be entangled in its own mess
If it could just stay on trees, away from the stress
But then where would it be if not for this unique address

Pursuing art is like that spider
You pursue till the heart feels full
And even on days that it does not fulfil your desire
There is still a new you, like a raging bull

You fall, hurt, dust yourself and pick up
You go back to zero albeit with a new you
No matter how many times you fall, you still buck up
Coz adding zeros later is always profit accrue

For if we ever are lost in the web like the spider,
Only art can make the mess look magnificent
It may look empty to an outsider,
but what pleasure in creating that could be infinite.

And with this a beautiful month comes to an end. Never have I ever lived a month, with so much excitement and exhaustion at the same time. Its a vulnerable time to be living in, and yet there is hope, excitement to create something from zero. Whether its our own pursuit of art, or our lives in the real world, in a pandemic free world. The zero is not empty, it carries the amazing lessons of life, and thrusts us to live life with more vigour and never ever stop trying. You never know, but there’s always a possibility.

Thank you to all my readers for this giving me the zeal to write every day, even if I got late. Your views have kept me going and will continue further too. I plan to have some interesting features on the blog, and will keep engaging with you all, ever so often. Until then Cheers!

Day Y for Yearning

The heart feels too heavy today to be able to write anything, since it sank in the afternoon.

The news screens were flashing with ‘ Irrfan dies at 53’ and I just sat down. Shocked and deeply saddened at this, the pain was perhaps more than a relative passing away. I wonder why.

What an incredible life he must have built, to be an artist, give so much joy to everyone around, just through his art.

He may have not even met people in the world, like me, who today have shed a silent tear for him, but such was his impact. He felt like he was one of us, so enigmatic, a genius, a regular man and yet a phenomenal persona. He could blend so many different kinds of styles in his performance that it would leave you asking for more. A secure actor, who did not bother about screen time, but always yearned for bringing out subtle nuances in every performance. You wanted to root for him, because he was so relatable and not really over the top ever.

One of my most favourite performances of him has to be Piku and Qarib Qarib Single. Piku was all about the father and daughter, but its only when he comes into the picture, do you find how much fun the whole movie suddenly becomes. And Qarib Qarib is such a beautiful mature love story, which I’m going to be watching for over and over again.

Roohdaar from Haider should get a special mention. Nothing can beat the genius of that performance where he walks in the snow and makes a chilling entry. But as I watch thousands and thousands of tweets, posts and blogs about his genius, I well up. Can’t imagine he is gone, though he was never in our faces as a celebrity. He came, made a beautiful movie each time, and quietly walked away. On our good days and bad ones he sailed us through, giving us a lifetime full of beautiful memories to hold on to.

He’s still here, will forever be. Yearning to be an artist, and his fans yearning to watch him.

Irrfan Khan, the magician.

Day X for E(X)ploring Workspace

There is no city quite like Mumbai truly! It is a like a bag full of paradoxes which makes it so enchanting and real. There is a Napeancy road and a Nala Sopara, a Ballard Estate and a Byculla, a Mahim and a Madh Island. Mumbai takes all of these in its stride and makes everyone feel at home. It houses big industrialists and corporate honchos, while also housing their staff and workforce. It houses doctors, actors, government officers, people from all walks of life, and diminishes the borders between them, because well, its Mumbai.

So while starting out as a freelancer, and exploring options to find work spaces, I had the privilege of discovering some unique places and that is quite a luxury for a freelancer. Creating a workspace for SMEs, freelancers and providing an ambiance for them that can be conducive to work, is an artistic proposition. Acknowledging the growing presence of independent working community and creating a space for them is something I have been grateful about, many a work has found momentum in these places.

Here are some of the workplaces I found to be economical and highly functional, that you guys can try too. Let me know if you have more places that we can add to this list.

Harkat Studios: If you’re not a movie struggler, then there isn’t much to hover around in Aram Nagar, as the popular legend goes, but its does house a quaint workplace with great facilities and an even nicer vibe. Freelancers, artists and all kinds of people are welcome here. A flexi day pass costs about 350 INR, you can order food out or carry your dabba, its all easy going. They have a wonderful porch area to chill out, and the place is located inside a quiet locality, which makes it easier to actually get some work done. This place definitely tops my list, mainly due to easy accessibility and affordable day pass.

GUAC spaces : This is another quaint place in Andheri which is housed in a residential building. Its got a startup vibe, and has very good workspace facilities that enables one to work with great focus. Its flexi day pass costing is at 350 INR and the office is accessible to make travel easy. Another interesting workspace and good option if you’re looking for a affordable yet professional spaces.

Awfis :If you hate working in a corporate but still crave to be at a desk, because your bedroom work corner has too much scraped wall patches, well this is the place for you. Speaking from personal experience, this has been my most favorite go to place for work, and to get a dose of real people interaction. This is a chain of office workspaces accross the city and has excellent facilities that can push you from your inertia. The vibe is great and you can actually a lot of work getting done quickly here, since everyone works around you. Flexi pass costs 500 per day and if you can manage squeezing in a 7-8 hour workday, I say you’ve seized it well enough.

If you guys know of similar workspaces that are state-of-the-art and also affordable and very Mumbaiesque, do put in a word in the comment. I would love to try them out, once all of us can sail out in the open with gay abandon. The world has now become one large conglomerate with everyone working from home, and its a significant trend for freelancers who’ve been doing this for ages. But workspaces are a great platform for collaboration, keeping the motivation high, and keep the flow going. In a few months from now, I hope to write an article from one of these fun workspaces, ofcourse with all my lessons learnt.

This post is part of the BlogchatterA2Z series. More coming up tomorrow. Stay tuned for the last two awesome posts coming up!

Day W for Workshops

Workshops in engineering days would mean sitting in a small dingy room, using drillers, saw machines, cutting wood and using the computer sometimes if you were lucky enough to get into a better vocation. But in the last couple of years workshops is that keyword that lights me like ‘50% discount at Myntra’ or some crazy shopping nirvana.

Workshops have been extremely restorative for me, with the opportunity to learn while also meet really amazing people from all walks of life. Organizing a unique workshop, that is designed to give the audience the perfect learning tools all packaged in a day or two is really a great skill. Up until recently I would be spoiled for choice every weekend, to literally learn a new skill every month, with some amazing workshops conducted in the city.

Here are some of the workshops I did in the last couple of years that I enjoyed immensely. Lets take a trip down memory lane.

Tall Tales Storytelling: Michael Burns is an excellent teacher, and that is an understatement. So TTS conduct some really fun storytelling workshops and open mics. I attended a two day workshop about storytelling in a cafe, and we played games, grouped in teams. It was like getting into college for a day. Learning with a plenty of fun.

AIB First Draft : AIB would run a formal program, for screenwriting with practical ‘on the sets’ experience for its participants. However, they would have a formal entrance test and pre-course workshop with writer Satyanshu Singh to get everyone tuned in. Satyanshu is another entertaining and intelligent teacher. He taught us a lot about the reality of film writing and genre writing. This too, was a super fun workshop and the first time when I could visit the office of OML entertainment.

Krishna Thakker : If you have a workshop arranged in a Pepperfry furniture store, and even if it is about how to arrange the sewing buttons in your closet according to size; I say go for it. The venue adds every bit to the experience of the workshop and makes it worthwhile. So Krishna Thakker is a writer mainly dabbling in theatre, is really patient and an excellent listener. This workshop was again a great op for me to meet really new and interesting people.

I have posted experiences of other workshops I’ve done before, so I’d let you check it out. However, there are other avenues where I’d like to indulge myself through these workshops and gain more life skill and memories. Until then, lets keep dreaming, and staying foolish for the love of art.

Cheers!

This was 23rd post in the climax week of the BlogchatterA2ZSeries. Its been a roller coaster month of April with the lockdown and the excitement of blogging. This one will be for posterity! Stay tuned for the last 3 posts of this series

Day V for Vijay Tendulkar

“There is a thin line between self-confidence and foolishness”

Vijay Tendulkar said in an interview, and that is something that always rings true. For me, if there are any major influences in life it is ‘Pu La’ a.k.a P.L Deshpande and Vijay Tendulkar. Both these writers stood at the two extremes of the spectrum and the literature they created for generations to come, is incomparable. While PuLa wrote humor in the most subliminal style in almost every form, Vijay Tendulkar dug into the deepest and darkest pits of a character and exposed it like a raw, open wound. In a world where we regularly consume the darkest content like its the new trend; Vijay Tendulkar did it decades ago, and set the trend that we go crazy about today. He created a major movement in theatre, in writing, in the narratives in the 70s, when the mainstream was superficial,and uni-dimensional.

Post independence, nobody really called out the establishment, like he did. Nobody really questioned the system, or even pointed out the hypocrisy like he did through his writing. Whether it was the Brahmins in Ghashiram Kotwal, the family system in Gidhade, the society’s opinion of a liberated woman in Shantata Court Chalu aahe, he touched upon every aspect of our society with engaging plots and some very immortal dialogues.

I discovered Vijay Tendulkar by accident in a play called ‘Sex Morality and Censorship’ at Prithvi Theatre. It focused how the play ‘Sakharam Binder’ was made and faced so many problems from conceiving to staging. He always faced stiff opposition from the right wing, which never really diluted his work ever. He was a staunch liberal and an inspiring voice to challenge our norms that were regressive and unreasonable. His writing was penetrating, precise and literally could rip off the layers our conventional society would brush under layers of hypocrisy.

There are so many works of his, I still pine to read and absorb, but whatever little I’ve been able to do has been so educative and inspiring to write better. I wish I could see him at a talk or some show, but he could be one of the people I’d like to invite for my imaginary dinner and talk about the 70s. Or best, I could dream to be a fly in his writing room. Either ways its a win-win.

I’d just like to say that Vijay Tendulkar is not enough to write about in a small blog post, I would like to write about him more in a follow up post. His phenomenon is unbounded. I’ll always be his student and will find newer meanings about him and his work. To my guru, Pranaam!

This post was part of the BlogchatterA2Z series. Stay tuned for the climax week, for newer posts and more fun features coming up later.

A big shoutout to all the leaders who’ve shown me so much love. Together we’ll sail through!

Adios!

Day U for US of A

Hume bhi Amrica jaana hai, waha ki hep life jeeni hai!!

For several years in my 20s this was the party line in my head. I was obsessed about USA, and still am even now, but in a post- Corona world, my opinions have changed a tad bit.

Every family now has half of the members residing ‘saat samundar paar’ and its really a competition of how many NRIs does your family have more than mine. Honestly, its no big deal now to be studying or working in USA unless you’re in Google, working in NASA, a Senator or a Gujarati. With due respect again, these are the population that create ripples all around. The country always enamored me for what most are enamored by, and I was no exception. I too wanted the money, the freedom, the hi-life, the luxury, and USA was really far away. Almost like another planet. Looking at little brothers and sisters fly away the minute they entered adolescence, made me a little jealous. But hey, its all good and I’m lucky I made a round trip in a pre-Corona world, to see for myself. Well in time!

So I traveled to the Uncle Sam in May 2019, I was excited, thrilled, also a little delirious for finally meeting the country of my dreams so many years later. On returning suddenly I could see the microscopic dust, I could hear a car honk 15 kms away, I suddenly had a world view that forced the rebel in me to jump in every argument regarding USA. This trip gave me so much to hold on to, experiences, landscape and more importantly, it taught me to overcome childish regrets. The country is beautiful and if possible everyone must see what a good, developed country should look like. There is value for life, for money, for education and rules are followed. However, the chaos that I live in too is great, it keeps me insane, and immune to a lot of things that don’t happen in developed countries. There is also the opportunity to create my space here, and have my world forming amidst a developing landscape.

My trip to USA was a major achievement since I traveled alone with my toddler. The highlight of our journey was when all my electronic devices had discharged, and the airplane entertainment unit was broken for just the two of us. In the middle of the journey, when all we could do was just sleep and eat, my toddler and me had the amazing experience of watching sunrise and sunset at the same time. We watched a pitch dark sky on one side, while seeing a bright orange sky on the other one. Nature’s ultimate work of art, right there. The fondest memory of our trip and the biggest takeaway from it was that there’s always a bright morning waiting round the corner. We can do all this all over again!

Mornings bring hope and life can turn over again. Keep the dream alive!

Cheers!

See you tomorrow with another article, until then Adios!

This post is part of the BlogchatterA2Z series. Stay tuned for the final six posts coming up! This the climax week. Stay Safe!

Day T for Travel

Travel is perhaps the only thing that truly blooms any kind of art. Traveling is an art and also an enabler of art. Especially in our current situation, where travel now seems kind of luxury, is a major grounding experience.

Although, I haven’t traveled to all the popular destinations, I did have the good fortune to see some major places, soak in the culture, the vibe and also learn so much from each experience. And how I love the paradoxes of all these locations.

I enjoyed the serene nature of Konkan, eating from earthen pots and pans, while I enjoyed the luxurious Louvre Museum in Paris. I love the farms of my native place in Solapur, and my heart sometimes travels back to London when I was working in Leceister Square. The lone beach of Malgund near Ganpatipule, still tops my list of quick getaway, but every time I think of vastness I can’t help but think of the quaint town of Zermatt where all I saw was a huge expanse of snow.

The beaches of Goa are full of life and zest, but so is Brighton and so is the beautiful Alibaug. It would rain everyday in Southall, Wembleys and Rayners Lane in London City, but the light fog in the hills of Munnar were equally beautiful and haunting. I remember walking on the empty streets of Scotland right around Christmas, and realized the true definition of a festival, but I equally enjoyed the Ganpati and Dussehra celebrations in good ol’ Dadar.

I could go on and on, about traveling and the wish list, which expands ever so often especially during these lock down times. Traveling is therapeutic, it can instantly give you life long experiences that can be so humbling, and put you in the company of some extraordinary people. The best stories, are always the ones from traveling, from different cultures, different landscapes.

The most amazing gift we have is memory and photographs. So while we stay indoors and survive this calamity, lets cheer ourselves up, by traveling to our favorite places through our memories, and enjoy the experience one more time!

Cheers!

This post is part of the BlogchatterA2Z series. Stay tuned for more fun posts coming up tomorrow.

Day S for Serendipity

In the journey to pursue art, battling practical decisions, fighting my mind over leaving a corporate job, there have been many moments, that affirmed my decision to follow my heart. Even though a part of my mind, always struggles for identity, for appreciation, for quick gratification, the larger truth is that this is my life, just this one life. Why become a bobble head when you can create your own life. In this period, while I lived my new decision, there were many reasons that led me to Serendipity. And that is something I’ll never trade.

  • I finally learnt the art of saying No. Saying No to compliance without belief, saying No to pressure to be someone I’m not and saying No to being one of the herd.
  • I realized the responsibility of my freedom, and could finally look myself in the eye when I took my own decisions.
  • The small discoveries that I made , by way of writing a story, making a painting, traveling alone, pushing my mental boundaries, always made me happy and my memories are filled with just that.
  • I am prepared to do this all over again. This pursuit gave me more courage to face failure, rather an experience. There are no failures. There are just different experiences that truly nurtures the soul.
  • And finally the happy accidents along the way, the Serendipity of moving every inch closer to who I want to be is what makes every day worth while. My heart smiles even when my body sweats. Even in the mundaneness of life, these moments charge my batteries and I can mop the floor with renewed zeal.

To living with abandon and the Serendipity. May all of us find ours forever!

This post is part of the BlogchatterA2Z series. More coming up soon. Stay Tuned!