Monday, September 28, 2015

Leh-Ladakh : Through my lens

A 10 days of a Lifetime journey. While back home, I can now gather my nerves  and come to this realization of living to tell the tale of a near survival and profound experiences that happen when you undertake the most difficult journey(or so they say) in a lifetime.   A “Road-Trip” to Leh-Ladakh. Of all the journeys I have undertook, this was different. To understand nature's deep dark secret I knew we will have to travel far and wide , risking a lot more than just small things. At altitudes, where survival is difficult to imagine let alone making it. To the wild streams of water running everywhere and the unstoppable quest and curiosity of what comes next.
Every turn during the road trip from Manali to Leh ; brings you a new surprise. You may see snow covered mountains at one point whereas after just 10 kms these mountains turn into barren lands showing no signs of existence. “14” hours of driving time and it is as immersive as it gets. I am of course discounting the number of times I had threw up on my way. Rising altitude was directly proportional to deterioration of my health. Rare signs of oxygen makes you realize that there are major things in life , for which you haven't thanked the almighty enough. I mean who "learns" to breathe anyway, it just comes to us automatically and we never thanked him ever for providing us with the functionality to breathe. We just assume, we get it. 
I can’t really say that I have really enjoyed the hills always, but this was Different. I might have fidgeted, taken breaks, checked messages and so on, but in the dead of the night, it was transcendental experience. The haunting imagery of another planet crosses your mind which is right on its way to collide with earth. Skies that point towards your imminent extinction but also made for mesmerizing views. You just look at them in a hope that they would draw even more closely and get you in touch with your dear ones.
We could spot “BRO”(Border roads organisation. What were you thinkin’ eh) signs all over, asking us to be safe and sound in every possible humorous ways so that they could capture our attention even while driving.

On our way to Pangong-tso lake (15500 ft, above sea-level), I looked out of the window for a moment (yes , there were only a few moments in which I was doing just fine) into the world of clouds & snow! For five minutes I was out there and could see army camps all over the place trying every possible move to keep these ranges of mountains tamed. The idea of taming these huge mountains was an uphill task and impossible to believe. Imagine them Doing  it . I got a chance to introspect - prosper and appreciate . It kept me thinking that we as Indians haven't done enough to honour this talent. Strangely enough, we haven't even appreciated these warriors for their extraordinary contribution to our freedom and except for mouthing the usual platitudes twice a year, only because everyone else would be doing the same. Only two ceremonial occasions in an year, we might just give a thought about them and we believe we have done enough! Whereas we have hardly paid any attention to their agonies and wounds. For a nation that bellows of its efforts to seek independence at every corner, it is indeed a shame that we had let down our soldiers in their hours of distress.
I am not in favor of showering them with praises on every platform we have made it to, but the least we can do is help them, when they need it. Keeping an eye over how difficult their survival is, will surely get us moving. To me it did.  

After three days of reaching back home safely, I can now say that my respect for a lot of things has grown even more than it was earlier. For now at least  I am forewarned against the kind of whim-worship we do for our army , and abstain from indulging in our “own” lives for the moment. I couldn’t agree more to the idea by which I believe, keeps the people living here, going: “Life should be a celebration, if we were not here, we wouldn’t be” 
Pangong-Tso Lake (15,500 ft above sea level), Zukung, J & K

Wednesday, October 22, 2014

of timeless and selfless love ! R.I.P

To begin with I make an observation about the writing process that I unconsciously follow. I have many themes in my mind on which I decided that I will sit down and write. But writing I believe is not just the activity of conscious mind, but also the sub conscious as well. Often I have written about stories that touch me , topics that engage me and then realised  that they speak of matters, that concern me the most. 11OCT’2-14,I was fearing every single passing day because your reclusiveness had shown me signs of danger. I have known, and I hate to agree that your end was near. At the same time, I wanted your pain to subside. I prayed for something that was impossible, i knew but yes I hoped against hope.
Your presence has been so astounding and loving all the time. I see you around and I feel loved. You were so young and delicate when we first brought you here. And life was topsy turvy. From exam stress, to discussing relationships, my short timed crushes, you name it and, we have talked it all. The daily jabs at side park and evening walks. Singing songs after dinner and your never ending poo-breaks. Life was so engaging all this while. Now when I am back, I feel lost, estranged. Like an alien who is into some foreign land, looking for you everywhere but to no avail. The news made me psychologically profoundly disturbed and traumatised. It is difficult to sink in that fact.  Now was the time when you have grown up and we could start doing some sane things in life. Remember the time we talked about my marriage and your role. How ugly this phase is, and no matter however hard it is, there is an empty space within me which longs for your presence.  All said, you are irreplaceable . I do not think there could be anyone else on this earth with whom I can be with the same madness, Let alone sharing thoughts. Our world was so beautiful, beyond imagination, unconditionally true and bonded by selfless affection. 
There are a few times when I am unavoidably reminded of the fact that you were an animal, I certainly do not think so. Animals are said to not have heart, but you did, a heart of gold. A heart which gave us in so many ways that we could not give back. Made our lives much simpler and happier in every possible way. It was your heart which I can die for. Your life has been a lesson . a lesson taken and well remembered always. Missing you will not be an option because I will keep your idea of life of giving selfless love and happiness intact within me.
 Forgive me for the fact that I will continue to miss you and feel alone at times. I hate to agree but I  still lookout for you during my meals(because it reminds me of how i would give u food stealthily under the table when papa wasn’t watching) , my wake up sessions, my study times, the times when I cried and you could understand the reason why  and of course at every single second and with   passing day. You will stay with me always.
May your soul rest in peace! Keep an eye on me, because that will make me feel your presence. I seek your love and I believe you will be more happier up there but I would still want you to  come down again and be a part of me. I will be always waiting max!
Forever LOVE ** Max**
Bestfriend/love/part time mommy

Wednesday, May 7, 2014

Grow up and move on !

There is an old saying : Love teaches you many ways to live.
Last week I saw the movie "raanjhanaa" and was taken back by a surprise. You never expect in Bollywood movies to touch the bitter realities of life.They are all made to please the public, and people want to see what actually doesn't hold any importance or not even practical in daily life.The Karan Johar" typical formula works quite well here , because it is all so fancy in those movies. Rarely you come across such stuff. Raanjhana was one of this.
The entire story which weaves around the immortal love of a street boy for a girl of his dreams. At one point of time I actually thought these stories never existed. But when I have gone through one experience myself, I can say, yes it is true. There are these road side romeos or the dreamy eyed boy of your class who can turn into a obsessed lover before you could actually figure out.
Some guy might fall for you , and it will be quite difficult for you to find out , what actually made him do so ? just when you thought you are ugly looking , and better - be -geek, you found an admirer!!.We girls, are not really aware of how much efforts go behind all this. But to admit it , yes it feels good. After all, who doesn't want attention during school days.
But what happens when life moves on? what happens if that school love of yours transforms into a life long wretched journey of loneliness in hope of getting your love one day. Will it be worth it ?
Damaging your lives , spending your days remembering this one person will not make you happy. Life is short to love and be loved. I have always felt that it is important to be with the person who loves you , rather than being with whom you love. Realize, plan, and seize the days of your life.
it isn't a rehearsal. it is soon going to end before you could actually sense its importance.

Love is a good thing , but it isn't worth dying for. 

Thursday, February 6, 2014

APING THE "aap" ! are brands learning from it ?

Aam admi party has provided a breathe of fresh air in the current scenario of politics.A movement which was marketed the way it will target its customers, loud campaigns reaching the far flung areas and not leaving a single stone unturned in giving voice to the people. The question is , this impeccable debut by Mr. AK has taught a lesson not only to the political fraternity but also to the MARKETING specialists who are brains behind the BRANDS!
Brands always look forward to reach to the customer and gain attention in every possible way. After all honesty, accountability and a sense of newness are the principles AAP stands for and they also happen to be the virtues consumers seek in brands.Ad campaigns like - "JAAGO RE" by Tata tea , and "OPEN HAPPINESS" by Coca cola have tried to put forward their proposition in a much perfect manner , so as to spread the awakening message to society I feel to some extent the very presence of aam admi party has led to this reforms in advertising area.Customers now seek answers from advertising firms " what role does brands play in society" . till now these questions hovered around their livess but now it has reached to a different level altogether. a level that seeks transparency, honesty and accountability in whatever these brands boast of.They will not only have to now "Do the walking" but also " walk the talk". AAP always has some backup data to support their claims, similarily brands will also need to hold responsibilty  if they are proclaiming a hyperbolic thing in their promotions. being realisitc is the need of the hour !
"the purpose of doing business is business".If today brands take up the concerns of social issues then it might lead to their own fallout. Since in a competitive environment your are required to outshine others in every possible way, it might seem difficult if a brand becomes to honest in its predispostion. building customer loyalty and brand evangelists is every man's dream and as far as social issues are concern then CSR will take care of that.
"Amul" is owned by an aam admi and is consumed by many consumers. in last 60 years it did not felt the need to spread a social message but were equally responsible in handling their products and catering to those masses.Political changes cannot bring down any significant effect. Instead of weaving stories around causes , it will be profitable and better for brands to convey their message in the righteous, targetted and concise manner.

Saturday, February 1, 2014

Beating retreat! Marking the end of our country's 65th republic day!

to spoof or not to spoof !

When a child taunts another child, you do not expect a response ! It is like a tantrum or a jibe. Even when you do respond to someone spoof or a comment in a funny way and even when it is supposed to be taken in a funny way, it does no harm. But when people start  taking it in wrong ways then it becomes a bitter name calling match ! For brands also the same formula applies.Todays media and advertising world we are witnessing multiple spoofs of advertisments, comedy runs on politics and gags on rahul gandhi with arnab goswami ! How far do these jabs trouble us or the person/organisation concerned ! ??
No one would like to make a mockery out of their too much busy lives and specially not, when it comes to public viewing ! In this season of election campaigning 2014, every party is behaving as a brand to outshine others in the race. Remember the ad campaign of coca cola and pepsi where: coke wrote " the official drink" and pepsi came out with a tad crazier tagline saying" nothing official about it".Also reminds me of the jet airways tagline " we've changed" to which the mallya owned kingfisher replies(intended or not)- " we made them change" ! ARE the customers really looking at this ? Brands or political parties for that matter should have some maturity level. Reacting to any spoofs or a tagline makes you no better, infact it drags you down to their levels. Their response must not be led by immediate provocation !
In today's world if you have to enter into media glare and attention, you have to get into the conversation. spoofs are the best way indeed.For majority of brands, it is much wiser to react to any spoof made on or by them because in a way they are attracting the eyes of the customer with their own RIVALS help! Isnt it a WIN WIN situation ! IF guilt free humour can be enjoyed and taken in no offence then why not ? In fact, it provides gains to both the parties.If your party or any company's leading brand have made a advertisement and then somebody spoofs it,overeact  and attract attention of the customers towards your idea  and if the spoof made is better than your idea/ ad , then IT is better to let it pass ! you sure do not want to bring bad name to your brand ! Do you ?  ( well, thats for rahul gandhi to annswer at least in today's scenario)

Later ;)

Wednesday, January 1, 2014

winds of change !

2013 has ended! yes !and the new year has begun with a smile on every one's faces.People around me have been excited at the new government formation by Mr. kejriwal.
on December 8 when the election results came out every one was shocked to see the sparkling debut. in fact to some people's dismay , it bagged many seats which people thought congress would bank on !
but i do not know since the very inception of AAP party , i believed it would bag majority and people will NEVER think twice before giving him a chance.
I am not the first person writing in praise/critics about him. I am not any kind of a literati who would go ahead and pass on his/her own opinions about his misgivings and good deeds. Neither I am an avid supporter of any national party who will try to bog him down by stating facts which hold no relevance/ logic.
I am just an aware citizen, sitting in the awe of your speeches, listening to you day in and out. Following you on various networking sites. Chalking out a plan on how to join your anti corruption brigade. Bringing a change in the society that I have always been looking at, but could not really Understand how to begin. Of all the articles I read about you, This one is going to be no different. Of course, it will be all about you giving us HOPE amidst DESPAIR in our country. Which we as youths have long forgotten. The power of “COMMON MAN” which today, stands tall defeating every single one of us who never thought of taking plunge into forming a political party. Blaming the system/governance would be easiest to get away with ,for us.
Most of us have gotten away with it , labelling it as the dirtiest game ever, and losing out on your morality and ethics if you want to enter it. Some of us even went to the extent of fighting an election, winning it on the grounds of honesty and then exploiting people and aam junta for reasons well understood by them. On the other hand, while the national capital territory wait for you swearing in ceremony with dreams of a better India. I am still juggling with the fact, that why is it always so difficult for good people to come together ? WHY is it that some good ministers are sitting out and watching the whole melodrama and not being a part of it ? i see no reason because in the end a political party has dreams of ruling the nation one day. All of them more or less carry same manifesto of giving us the required facilities. Then why are they all so disjoint? Why don’t they support this moral cause and lend their support. I found no reason convincing enough, which made Anna stay out of your party. Comrades like Kiran bedi who were once the youth icon for us  ,declined to be a part of this moral brigade? It disturbs us as, we are still wondering what could have hold her back?? Similarly, there are other good ministers in other parties who can give your party the much needed experience. After all that is the only  thing which keeps you at a lower stance than others. All they have is “experience”. It is disheartening to see those good members of our society staying aloof from your party and supporting not –so- worthy people out there. where  have they gone??
To all those people who are still waiting for this party to make big and then start being a part of it, let me tell you my opinion: START NOW ! because if all of us experienced, educated, moral members of the civil society come together,and be the torch bearers then our country shall definitely  fulfil the dream of a “DEVELOPED NATION”
 “AAP” has proven that, everything is possible and could be achieved if you have the right niyat. All you need is conviction, strength ,determination to achieve the pinnacle.

It has come to my notice , that something divine has been happening in our nation.! the last year's mass protest against the brutality inflected on 23 yr old woman. the huge masses coming out from their homes and expressing solidarity on the issue.!, and then AAP win! isn't it ecstatic! i find this change much needed and something which our country needs badly. 2013 has paved the way for some good governance, awareness about issues that concerns society,MOM (mars orbiter mission)and many more. these are the event one should be proud of and look forward towards a brighter future. because folks the winds of change have started blowing and will go along way to sweep this country of corruption,poverty ,unemployment and if needed be then its own politicians who have been cheating on the public since last many years.
I have already started making plans to contribute to this cause
 , Have you ?

Have a great year ! 2014 !