दुधवा नेशनल पार्क: खुद को खोकर पाने की यात्रा


DUDHWAवो गुरुवार का दिन था जब सुबह-सुबह संडे गार्जियन में छपे एक एंटरव्यू को पढते-पढ़़ते सोचा कि चलो ना कहीं घूम कर आया जाया। संडे गार्जियन की टीम ने एक एडवेंचर लवर और सोलो बाइक राइडर का इंटरव्यू लिया था. यह बंदा अपनी बाइक पर पूरे इंडिया का चक्कर लगा रहा था और साथ ही साथ अपनी इस यात्रा के अनुभवों को अपने ब्लॉग क्लूलैस राइडर पर पब्लिश करता जा रहा था. इस बंदे ने अपनी ट्रिप को रोमेंटिसाइज किए बिना जितनी इमानदारी से अपनी ट्रिप के बारे में बताया तो इंटरव्यू पढ़ते-पढ़़ते ही सोच लिया कि काश मैं भी ऐसी किसी ट्रिप पर जा पाऊं जहां जाने से पहले वहां जाने में कोई मकसद ना छूपा हो. इसके साथ ही सोचा कि अगर अब‍की बार किसी ट्रिप पर गया तो खुद को खोकर पाने की कोशि‍श करूंगा. जैसे किसी अंजान रोड पर चलते जाना और उस रोड पर बने घरों और किनारे बने पार्को की जालियों को पहली बार देखने का अनुभव प्राप्त करना. पिछली बार जब जिमकॉर्बेट पार्क घूमने गया था तो पूरा टाइम फेसबुक के लिए पिक्चर्स खींचने और सेल्फी खींचने में ही चला गया था. नदी के बलुआ पत्थरों पर ठीक से बैठना तो दूर एक बार ढंग से छू भी नहीं पाया था. इसलिए इस बार पहले से ही सोच लिया था कि कुछ भी हो जाए इस ट्रिप पर फेसबुक को हाथ नहीं लगाऊंगा. यह सोचते-सोचते मैने अपने ऑफिस के दोस्तों वाले वॉट्सअप ग्रुप पर अपने ‘काश’ वाले ट्रिप आइडिया को शेयर कर दिया. मैने अंग्रेजी में पूछा ‘हाऊ अबाउट अ बाइक ट्रिप टू समवेअर विफोर राहुल भाई मैरिज, इट विल बी अ वेरी लिबरेटिंग जर्नी’. वहां से राहुल भाई का ही जवाब आया ‘वेरी नाइस, हम कर सकते हैं.’ इस मैसेज को सेंड करते टाइम मैंने सोचा भी नहीं था कि ग्रुप के सभी लोग ऐसी किसी ट्रिप का कितनी बेसब्री से इंतजार कर रहे थे. लेकिन मैसेज में लिबरेटिंग जर्नी वाली बात मैने अपने लिए ही लिखी थी. पिछले कई महीनों से कहीं घूम कर आने के बारे में सोच रहा था जहां मैं मैं ना रहुं और उस जगह का एक हिस्सा हो जाऊं. लेकिन अखबार की नौकरी में छुटि्टयों मांगना जैसे अपराध माना जाता है वो भी तब जब आप डेस्क पर काम कर रहे हों. इसलिए क्लूलैस राइडर जैसी किसी ट्रिप पर जाने की सोच को भी कई महीनों तक सोच के कमरे में ही बंद रहना पड़ता है. लेकिन मुंआ ये गूगल भी बिहेबियर टारगेटेड एडवरटाइजिंग से मेरी कंप्यूटर स्क्रीन पर पिछले कई दिनों से टूरिज्म वेबसाइट्स के एड ऐसे रन कर रहा था जैसे कोई आइसक्रीम वाला किसी ‘बच्चों वाले घर’ के सामने से गुजरते हुए जोर से अपनी घंटी बजाता है जिससे घर के अंदर के बच्चे आइसक्रीम वाले की घंटी की आवाज सुनकर बाहर आ जाएं और उसकी आइसक्रीम खरीद लें. कंप्यूटर स्क्रीन पर बरबस शुरू हो जाने वाले इन विज्ञापनों को देखकर घूमने जाने को आतुर मन ऐसे छटपटाता है जैसे किसी सात साल की बच्ची को कमरे में बंद कर दिया जाए हो और वह दरवाजे की सांस से आईसक्रीम बेचने वाले को निराश आंखों से देख रही हो. इसलिए ऐसेी किसी जगह पर जाने के बारे में सोचना ही काफी लिब्रेटिंग थॉट था.

वॉट्सअप ग्रुप पर ट्रिप के बारे में बोलकर मैं ग्रुप से लगभग गायब हो गया था क्योंकि राहुल भाई और अरुन भाई ने शुरूआती दौर में ही हामी भर दी थी. लेकिन मुझे फिर भी लग रहा था कि हो ना हो यह ट्रिप पॉसिबल नहीं है क्योंकि राहुल भाई की शादी को सिर्फ दस दिन ही बचे थे. ऐसे में उनके लिए ऐसी किसी ट्रिप पर जाना संभव नहीं लग रहा था. लेकिन वॉट्सएप पर ट्रिप के बारे में बातचीत शुरू हो चुकी थी. लेकिन मैंने किसी भी कनर्वेजेशन में पार्टिसिपेट नहीं किया क्योंकि मैं मन बनाकर तोड़ना नहीं चाहता था. इसलिए मैं आखि‍र तक कहता रहा कि मैं नही चल पाऊंगा क्योंकि मुझे एग्जाम देने जाना है, पैसे नहीं है आदि आदि. परंतु जब मैने देखा कि अरुण और राहुल भाई लोग ट्रिप को लेकर सीरियस हैं तो मैने भी हां कह दी. हालांकि मन में डर था कि कहीं यह ट्रिप भी पिछली कई ट्रिप्स की तरह फेसबुक और इंस्टाग्राम की शि‍कार ना हो जाएं. लेकिन मैंने रिस्क लिया और तय किया कि जो भी हो जाए पर इस ट्रिप पर खुद से इस वर्चुअल दुनिया का शि‍कार नहीं बनूंगा. मन ही मन डर तो लग रहा था कि कहीं छुट्टियां खराब ना हो जाएं लेकिन रिस्क लेने का भी अपना मजा होता था. इसलिए पूरे दिल से रिस्क लेने को तैयार को हो गया. फिर वो दिन भी आ गया जब हमें सुबह-सुबह दुधवा नेशनल पार्क के लिए निकलना था. दुधवा जाने के लिए हमने 26 जनवरी की छुट्टियों पर निकलने का प्रोग्राम बनाया था. हमने ट्रिप के लिए बैट बॉल और पतंगबाजी जैसे इंतजाम भी किए थे. इन इंतजामों के साथ हम सब निकल पड़े.

जानना चाहेंगे इस खास ट्रिप पर आगे क्या हुआ तो थोड़ा इंतजार करिए. वैसे बता दुं कि ट्रिप के शुरू होते ही हैंगओवर मूवी टाइप एक किस्सा हुआ था. अब अगले अंक में.

Thanks housing.com for giving me the opportunity to tell about about a journey which renewed my understanding of life and its virtues. I got the power of hope and positivity and calmness.

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Author Interview: Shreya Prabhu answers tough questions on Urban Relationships


shreya-prabhu-jindalIn metro cities, life runs faster than metro trains. People infused with multipronged ambitions work day and night to make things work. In all this, relationships face the worst part of such rollercoaster lifestyle. People begin hating people whom they loved months ago. Our author Shreya Prabhu Jindal has encompassed urban relationships with its all kookiness in her Book Simply Complicated. In this interview, she has answered tough questions relating to urban relations.


Anant: How do you come to write about the complicated relationships of young professionals living in metro cities?

Shreya: I write what I know, what I see and observe around me. I have always lived in big metro cities and my friends are young professionals- as am I. So it made sense to write about the complications that exist for that age group.

Anant: There are similarities in you and your characters like the alma mater and professions. Did you see these characters as real people in your life?

Shreya: Yes, many of them are based on people I know and come from a similar background to myself and my friends. The professions are very typical ones for young working people, and so are the kind of problems they are faced with. But beyond that, they are all fictional characters.

Anant: Do you really think two couples can live happily despite the bitterness and regular fights?

Shreya: I think it depends on the couple. How much are they willing to try and make it work? I think that if the couple is happy on more days than they are fighting, it’s worth it. It depends on the kind of people they are.

Anant: Do you think it will be easy for a girl to behave with someone as a friend for whom she had got real feelings? Can such feelings be curbed for the sake of anything even friendship?

Shreya: This happens all the time, everyday. Everyone has crushes which aren’t returned, and people struggle to get over their exes and remain friends with them. Behaving normally with an old friend, even if you have developed feelings for them, isn’t that hard!

Anant: Which character was closest to you and why? I believe she was Astha!

Shreya: Yes, Aastha, because I am always playing the role of the single friend who’s giving relationship advice to others. But that’s where the similarity ends. She can be very judgmental and irritating- something which I hope I’m not.

Anant: Did you intentionally give Rahul’s character a gray shade to make him relatable and real?

Shreya: Rahul was initially supposed to be a complete “douchebag” with no redeeming qualities, but when I started writing from his perspective I had to change my portrayal of him. He is as human as any of the other characters. They all have their flaws and problems- none of them are perfect.

Anant: What have you just finished reading and what are you reading now days?

Shreya: I am reading fanfiction based on Harry Potter and the popular TV show, Sherlock. I don’t have too much time for reading, so I end up reading fanfiction in my spare time, since I prefer that.

Anant: Please tell what qualities of a book makes you read and reread with one example please?

Shreya: A good book should have strong characters, memorable dialogues, and a conflict or crisis that the characters have to work to fix. This is a formula which works for every genre- from The Fault in Our Stars to Harry Potter!

Anant: Please share this book’s journey from an idea to a paperback. Hope it will help young writers.

Shreya: It takes a lot of work to write a book. Getting the ideas in place is the easiest part. After that you have to force yourself to keep writing at least 300-400 words on days when you might be feeling very tired or uninspired. You can only succeed as a writer if you’re able to keep writing regularly.

Anant: Please share how was this interview round? You can pinpoint which question is good and which is boring.

Shreya: The advice to young authors and the questions on what inspired me and the journey of writing the book were great, but you shouldn’t be too specific about characters and situations in the books which people reading the book might not have read. Otherwise, it was a good interview.

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An Evening at Painter’s Universe


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Some days back, I was with a girl, whose name I wish to be coined with mine. It was a calm and normal day. Everything was settling at a normal pace. I woke up early and tried understanding one of my dream. In my dream, I saw a painter splashing colors at his canvas. Such vivid dreams were not new to me. I have even seen people discussing concepts of horror and sex in my dreams. But this painter’s dream was little more engrossing as he was splashing colors at his canvas hysterically. The whole room was being splattered with different shades of prussian blue, crimson red and mustered yellow. But I could not gauge the abstract creation of ‘the painter’. After spending about an hour in search of the meaning of this dream over web, I ended up feeling frustrated. The mystery of the ‘creation in process’ remain unsolved. But I somehow managed to transport myself back into the real life where I was to go the office.

This day, I was to meet the girl I liked. But that was a very small section of the day. The meeting was about to happen at 7 o’ clock in evening and 10 hours long working day was ahead of me. The painter’s dream was perturbing me hard. I again spent about thirty minutes in office to find the meaning of the dream. But nothing happened. Restlessness was growing with each failed effort. Somehow I managed to complete the day’s work without any blunder. And left my workplace at 6:30 evening to meet my girl.

Clad in creamy white cardigan with pink flowers, she looked like the goddess of pink color. Every time I saw her such analogies came to my mind. She’s waiting for me at the check-in counter. We weren’t in love but we liked eachother’s company. We were fellow travelers. It was the first time we were into a movie hall. Opportunity makes people greedy for things that they can’t avail. But they also give the courage people to stand and show their guts by fighting hard for someone you love. In the movie hall, we were able to see each other to our heart contents. But we were watching the movie. Each fight scene was being consumed with bigger amount of popcorn. I sipped from her soft-drink after quickly finishing mine. We were sharing cold-drink in a manner as if we were together for years. Such familiarity and comfort in sharing glasses were seemed magical to me. But we didn’t say a word. The search for popcorn was making our fingers crash unknowingly. Heart was pounding so hard that I felt like being in a dream again. Her presence looked dreamy as we didn’t talk. But the moment was so overwhelming that I couldn’t tell her if I liked the movie or not. I was so speechless and stunned that I could only experiencing the presence of my girl in a sacred way. I didn’t touch her because she touched me with her overwhelming presence. Each time, my fingers crashed with hers she went more silent. This unknown touch was bringing emotional thunderstorms for her. It brought me more close to her for support. But she was not looking for support. She was herself an ocean of happiness. This day, she opened her ocean of love for me. In this ocean I will have to sail using my own Skills. After the movie, the painter’s dream was not anymore a mystery. The ‘creation in process’ was nothing but my growing love for the girl of my life.

Thanks housing.com for giving us the opportunity to write about a memorable even though signifying positivity and optimism of love.

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This women’s Day express your love to the women of your life


At times, we get the opportunity to tell someone how much we love them. To make them know that our world will doom in their absence. But at many times we dont get such opportunities. SafetyKart’ Women’s Day Writing Competition is one such opportunity. On this international Women’s Day, you can tell the women of your life how much you respect them in their efforts of creating this world a beautiful place.

Contest Details are given below…

Contest entries are now open
The contest is divided in the following 3 categories:
Drawing/Painting/Sketching for age group 6 – 10 years

Writing Contest – Type 1 for age group 10 – 18 years

Writing Contest – Type 2 for age group 18 years and above

The contest entries will be judged by a panel of eminent personalities including names like Shruti Kapoor, Sanya Seth, Suman Nathwani, Mriganka & Nitin Saluja.
These judges will select top three candidates from the 10 candidates selected for each category by a preliminary jury. The last date for submitting an entry is March 7, 2015 by 11:59 PM.
The winners of the contest will be awarded with cash prizes amounting up to Rs. 50,000 and several gift vouchers. Besides this, top 10 winners in each category will receive SafetyKart vouchers worth Rs. 500 each.

Details are up. So what I tell you my readers don’t write for the prize but for the opportunity to tell the women around you that how wonderful they are. These women can be your colleague, your loved one,  your female friend, your cook and in whatever form the woman touches your life.

Write because it will make you a better person.

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Making of a Universe


googleSince I was a 13 years boy, I saw only one side of love. It was to walk with someone to reach somewhere. This someone should have been the person whom you can like and feel proud to walk in daylight. But one day something happened and it changed my way of seeing love or close cousins of this strong emotion. Let me tell you the story of two people who were not in love of each other. They were fellow travelers, who liked each other genuinely. They sought utter joy in each other’s company. They found solace in seeing each other smiling. And, one day they embarked on a journey to come close but they lost in a world which was even unknown to them. They went to a movie.

Movie was the idea of the boy as he wanted to see the girl like a painting lover looks at a classic painting, like a painter looks his canvas, likes a writer looks at his notebook, like a passionate boy looks at a beautiful girl. In a movie hall, it was easy to avoid to people who stare at such unions. So they reached the movie hall on time and landed on their seats. Movie was about to begin and suddenly the girl found a kid on seat next to them. Seeing the kid as a potential cause of disruptions in romantic exchanges, girl requested the multiplex manager to change seats. Manager ignored the reason of request and replied utterly that he understands the reason and offered a corner seat. It made the girl embarrassed a bit but she quickly returned. It was a cool change -a seat next to the service gate of the hall. It added fun in their journey. For the first half, they kept on laughing loudly. As the visuals and audio were not matching to each other. They were getting the audio of Dhishum – Dhishum when on screen pair were making love, due to their proximity of service door. It kinda added fun in the union. They didn’t know how many times they laughed on manager’s reaction of proper seating arrangement.

After the first half, they begin watching movie seriously as the movie on alongside screen was over. They were sipping cold-drink and eating pop-corns. Now was the time when something strange happened. The boy embarked on his journey in a rocky ocean. Unaware of how to take his boat further in that tidy mountain, the boy was trying to go ahead instead of turning back to shore because he didn’t come from any shore. They were still watching the movie, still noticing each unfolding of the movie plot but the girl was going across tidy emotions. The boy was going ahead in her ocean of emotions. Soon…the boy will learn sailing in the tidy ocean and ocean will accept its new sailor. Then they will belong to each other. A universe will be made.

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Good Old Days and Van Heusen’s MY FIT


Some 16 years back, there was a guy named Rahees-ul Uncle. He was our family tailor, who used to visit our house before every big event in family: be it a marriage ceremony, birthdays or regular festivals. Mom used to call him at least 14 days before initiation of any such celebrations so that he can work comfortably. Back then we were not aware of his religious faiths, caste and social stature, he was the man of word for us. He never missed any deadline in getting our new cloths stitched with best fits. He was so perfect that our entire family or I should say our 250 people plus Khaandaan never ever looked for anyone else. I still remember his smiling face and his ways of playing with us while taking measurements for our new outfits. We used to hide the keys of his Hercules cycle to make him stay little more so that we can play more. But as every good thing comes with an end, our relationship with Raheesul uncle and best fitted cloths ended when we left our hometown.

On reaching Kanpur, we tried many good and known tailors of the city but never got the fitting of Raheesul uncle. For the time being, we tried get our cloths stitched at our hometown. But gradually, readymade cloths begin dominating in our wardrobes and we begin loosing the sense of being dressed in best fit cloths. It continues for quite a long time until I didn’t come across an advert of Van Heusen.

Being part of a privileged Indione Group at Indiblogger.in, I came across the promotion campaign of van heusen. Usually, I don’t take part in such wonderful blogging contests due to time constraints and multiple other things but this blogging contest was really cool and interesting. The description made me apply for this contest. Here, I like to thank Diana, who took the pain to wake me up for visiting the show room of Van Heusen to try MY FIT campaign.

On reaching the nearest Van Heusen store, I found it bit difficult to make them understand my purpose of visit as they had no communication over Indiblogger’s campaign with Trend-In. So, I went on asking about MY FIT thing. Here I met with Sachin. While chit-chatting with him, I come to know that many people come with such urgency that they can’t even afford waiting for five to ten days for the delivery of MY FIT outfits. But, I see their expression of interest as micro conversion because such customers usually come back in future. But, the store must introduce the visitors with this thing to make them feel what it can do for them. I believe such introduction goes very essential for tier two cities like Kanpur, where people don’t frequently visit stores like Van Heusen to find their perfectly fitted outfits. So, “little introduction” will help.

If I will talk about my personal experience then Sachin helped me in choosing the best fit for me. It includes valuable suggestions in finalizing the shade for the trouser & shirt from a thick catalogue of color shades (I don’t know what we call to that book which carry color shades). Eventually, I finalized my order in exact 47 minutes. I intentionally put on the time app.

After 9 days, I received the order and tried the MY FIT outfits. It was unexpectedly wonderful because I felt really great while trying those perfectly fitted shirt & trouser. Here I would like to pay sincere thanks to my friend for coming with me to explore a right fit for me.

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Queen – My Journey from Conformist to Nonconformist


queenSometimes, you want to do something crazy that the folks around you find too crazy & stupid to attempt but you still go on attempting such things. Because something inside you propels to attempt at these things no matter you will gain or lose. Here comes the moment of struggle. You decide which comes first: you or the collective opinion of people around you. It’s about my journey from being a conformist to a nonconformist.

It was a fine Thursday evening, when I was about to leave the workplace so that I can come back the next morning. Right then I logged on Bookmyshow.com to check the show timings of an award winning movie Queen’s re-release. It was kind of an old habit to lookout for the opportunities of trying things that others usually ignore and keep looking at such opportunities until they die naturally. So I was just habitually checking if the rerelease has been replaced with a new movie or not. Somewhere deep in my heart I knew that there will not be any show left as the rerelease was not drawing crowd.

In case of such must-watch movies, I used to check their Wikipedia pages to make myself convince that I should and must watch these movies in theater. In order to be surer of the contents, I used to check what the director and actors have told about the flick in their recent interviews. Once I became sure that I must see this movie in theatre, I used to ask folks around me if they would like to watch the film. In most cases, they have said, ‘let’s go some other day, some other movie or just tried to convince me that the movie is not good enough for theater.’ I used to give up on such discussions and manipulate myself by saying that it will be an act of stupidity to watch a film that others have not found good enough to be watched in a theater. So, I used to end up moving on to another film or such crazy thing that my heart tells I must do.

So on this fine Thursday evening, I checked the show timings of Queen only to find out that the last show is going to begin in another thirty minutes in INoX Kanpur. In order to cross check the information, I called up the booking counter and after few minutes of requests of being patient, I was served with the information that the last show is indeed scheduled to begin in thirty minutes. I returned to my desk while fighting a psychological war between a follower of social customs and a lone solider who fights for what he believes in.  It’s a long passage from the balcony to my desk. While crossing this long passage, all I could think of making people agree but they didn’t yield despite kind of pleading to them to go movie with me just because I wanted to do that. Once everyone said no, we won’t. I was going to feel low as I always do and looked up at the poster of the film. I was reading the Wikipedia page for last time before shutting down the system and then I read something really unexplainable in words.

I read, “She goes solo on her honeymoon to Paris when her fiancé breaks the marriage with her.”

I don’t know how and why but this line gave me strength to go and watch the movie alone. I just shut down my PC and reached the minute when the movie was about to start.  Before this, I have met only found two people: Om Dheeraj and Ruhi Sonal, who used to go for movies alone. Right then, I found it quite stupid to go and watch the movie alone. The experience of watching the movie alone was awesome that I will talk about in another post. But with Queen, I turned from a conformist to nonconformist. After finishing the movie, I was like dancing and singing the movie’s songs in a crazy while driving. That moment, I decided to try on another crazy thing of visiting Kasauli alone. That day I learned that it is quite relieving to live in present while doing the things you trust most.

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