How practising photography turned me into a better writer.

I read somewhere that “Photography is the art of capturing a moment and making it live forever.” The same could be applied to a piece of writing.

When I wanted to write, and when I tried, I couldn’t write. I lacked the flow. I needed motivation. I needed something to inspire me to proceed further. That is when my mom got a book from one of our neighbors. The book was “Desandhri” by S.Ramakrishnan.

The book spoke about the travel experiences of the writer. One of the lines from the book said that world starts from outside your home. That made me realize what I lacked. It was experience.

I was looking for a way to make contact with the outside world and that is when I saw my friend’s photograph on my Facebook feed. He posted an album mentioning that he had taken it during a photo walk.

“What is a photo walk?” I thought. And, I didn’t waste any time. I immediately caught hold of him on chat and asked him what is a photo walk.

He said a bunch of photo enthusiasts will meetup somewhere; start clicking photos for a few hours and then discuss about it. The idea sounded interesting.

It was 2011 when I went for my first photowalk. I had a small digital camera with me and I started shooting whatever I saw. It was fun.

For the next two years, all I did was shoot pictures. I didn’t even write a single word. I got drawn into the world of photography and I completely forgot what I wanted to do in the beginning. Even though I read a lot of books in the meantime, I never really wrote a word.

Later, during the beginning of 2014, I started writing. It was a warm night, and I kept thinking about writing. One thing led to another, and I got an idea for a short story. I immediately got out of my bed, went near my computer, and started writing. And, for the first time, I got the flow. I found it surprising.

 But, later when I realized how it happened, it struck me that photography was the key to it.

Here are a few benefits I received as a result of practicing photography.

  1. Photography trained me to see things one would ignore usually.
  2. Travel doesn’t mean traveling to new countries. Traveling to the next street, or another part of the city also counts as travel. And the time spent there counts as experience. And, I got a lot of experience roaming around the streets of Chennai.
  3. Photography helped me in visualizing scenes while writing a story. Every street I’ve roamed came handy when I wrote a story.
  4. Photography made me interact with a lot of people. It helped me understand people better. Sometimes, even talking to a complete stranger can get you a new plot for a story or a character.
  5. It made my writing more vivid. (I believe so!)
  6. Photography enhanced my thought process. Every photograph I saw had a story and it kindled my imagination to think of a plot revolving it. I took it as a personal exercise and it helped me in a great way in taking a step towards my goal. (which is, writing novels.)
  7. Photography gave me great friends and mentors.

Since 2014, I published four short stories in a magazine; wrote and published my first book, a collection of short stories; and currently on my way into publishing my second book. All this wouldn’t have been possible without photography.

So, for those who wish to be aspiring writers, I would say practicing photography would be of great help. This doesn’t mean you should go to a shop, empty your wallet, and get a new DSLR. You can even shoot with a point-and-shoot, or a mobile camera. All that matters is the experience. Set foot outside and start clicking, and I am sure that you will have a great experience with your camera.

This is not a mandatory thing, or a rule. I found this useful, and I am sharing it with you.

Hope you guys had fun reading it.

What if we pay the politicians more? Would it change the landscape of Indian politics?

I’ve never thought I will write a post on politics. But, I am doing now. What made me do it?
Well, a couple of days back I was reading a book  “When to rob a bank and 131 warped suggestions” written by Steven D Levitt, and Stephen J. Dubner. (the authors of the “Freakonomics“, the famous non-fiction book that released during 2005.) The book is a collection of selected articles from the blog.
I was flipping pages and I stumbled upon the article Would Paying Politicians More Attract Better Politicians?
The article talks about a scenario where politicians should be paid more in order to be more efficient and happy. The article also talks about how politicians should be given stock options/ receive a share of profit from whichever plan/government facility that they’ve established.
It is a really interesting idea.
“He looted this many crores; he looted that many crores” is what we talk about and read about in newspapers. What does these things tell you. Politicians (not everybody) need money. That is the root cause of all the problems. They need money!
If that is what they need, why not give it to them?!
If a CEO of a company like Google and Microsoft is getting paid millions of dollars, why not pay a similar salary to those who govern a whole country! Makes sense, right?
I was going through the salaries of Indian politicians, and I found their salaries to be so less. A computer programmer with 5-8 years of experience would make the salary of the Indian Prime Minister (Rs. 1,50,000/month according to Wikipedia)
You might argue that they get a lot of perks and allowances. But, even a sales head of a company gets to travel in business class, have all his/her expenses taken care of.
I was also going through salaries of other countries, including Singapore, which was mentioned in the book. If a small country like Singapore could offer US$1.7 million to their prime minister, why can’t a big country like ours could do it.
Also the system can be tweaked a little bit.
Every minister should be given the entire amount that is allotted for their department and they should find the best and efficient way to fulfill all the objectives provided by the government. By the end of their 5-year tenure/every year, if they’re left with enough money, they can keep a part of it for themselves and return the rest to the government. More like an incentive for doing a great job.
Also, if a minister works hard to start a textile mill somewhere, why not make him a stock holder and send a small share of the company’s profit every year.
With so much cash incentives politicians would want to establish more projects and will also work hard to complete the projects. This will bring the best to the people, and will also benefit those who are in power. A win-win situation.
Some might argue that already a few are looting money saying that they’ve laid roads and built dams, etc. But, according to me, every system has its own pros and cons. But, trying doesn’t hurt.
This is just a vague idea I got when I read the article. It would be great if we could a try a version of this. Who knows! This might change the current Indian political scenario.

Things I learnt when I photographed my entire trip using a smartphone

Recently I traveled to Mumbai on a four day trip.

When I was packing for the trip I took my DSLR out of the shelf and was about to keep it in my bag. I had to pack my EOS 550D, the kit lens (18-55 mm) and a 50 mm f/1.8 II, a pack of memory cards, flash, and a set of rechargeable batteries.

Then I thought “why carry such a huge gear bag! Why not travel light!?”

Also, I’ve always had this idea “a good photograph can be taken using any device, and you do not need a sophisticated camera to do it.” I’ve tried it before when I owned a digital camera. This time I decided to test it using an iPhone.

So, I placed the camera back into the shelf considering that I will shoot my entire Mumbai trip using an iPhone

All I took was the charging cable and the earphones. When I was done packing, my shoulder bag weighed light as a feather.

Usually it will be the opposite. I used to carry a huge bag with all the camera accessories and clothes. And having an alternate lens would often tempt me to change them often, making me greedy for getting more photographs rather than allowing me to enjoy my trip.

This time I decided “good or bad, you’re shooting only using your phone.”

When I came back from the four day trip, I looked at all the images and I was very satisfied. Also, never for a single moment I felt like ” damn I should’ve taken my DSLR”

You might say “hey! This guy is using an iPhone da.thats why he’s showing off by writing this blogpost”

Well, this applies to any phone with a good/decent camera. If you don’t believe me, check out my photo series The Unnoticed that was shot using a 2 MP mobile camera. (Samsung Galaxy Y)

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Coming back to the point, what benefits does one get with using a phone for photography?

1. You blend in

The problem with street photography using a DSLR is that you could often be spotted in a crowd easily. The huge black camera in your hand might give you up.

Using a mobile is often consider a casual practice. People take pictures/selfies everywhere. So, using a phone lets you blend in.

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Also the quick camera shortcuts and the zero shutter lag in many phones allows you to take your phone out of the pocket, shoot, and put it back – all within a few seconds.

You will feel like a gunslinger from the Wild West. I felt it. It was so cool!!

2. You Bring out the best with what you have

Shooting with a mobile phone will help you understand the limitations of your device and will help you find creative ways to bring out the best.

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3. You save space!

Raw images were a pain, at least for me. One trip and I will end up with 40-50 GB of images. 5 such trips and a major portion of your computer’s storage gets filled.

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But phones automatically process images into JPEG and they occupy less space. Even the highest quality JPEG won’t occupy more than 4 MB.

During my recent Mumbai trip, I took close to 800-900 images and it took less than 2.5 GB space in my computer.

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It is also easy to back up if you’re using a cloud service, like Flickr, or Dropbox.

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If you’re planning to print, exhibit your images in large format, or if you’re into fashion or professional photography, then a DSLR is your choice. No doubt!

4. You spend less time in post-processing

When you shoot in a phone, you can process it, upload it and share it from anywhere. It gives you the freedom to stay away from your computer and still share great pictures.

I use close to 9 apps to process my photos. That doesn’t mean I use all the apps while processing each and every photo. I use a combination of one or two apps per picture. And, I love processing pictures in my phone. They are simple and easy to use. You don’t have to be a photoshop wizard. You just need to know a couple of basic functions and you’re all set to go.

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Again, processing in your mobile phone will help you bring out the best result with what you have.

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5 places in Mumbai that gave me an ultimate food experience

I’ve recently been to Mumbai for a short trip with my colleagues/friends and all we did for the entire time was walking and eating. We ate and as well as burnt a lot of calories. A win-win situation.

We’ve had great food in several places in and around Mumbai and after coming back I thought “why not choose the best 5 food joints and write my experience with them!” And, here it goes.

Aram Vada Pav 

The first thing that came to my mind when I stepped my foot in Mumbai was vada Pav a.k.a Indian version of burger.
For all the four days that I was there, I made sure that  I eat vada Pav at least once a day.
The third day we were roaming around CST and I came across a board that said “Aram Vada Pav – since 1939”
We immediately ordered a cheese vada Pav and it was awesome.
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Vada Pav is basically the vada ( Indian equivalent of burger patty) with potato stuffing, placed inside the Pav (bun) . Most of the places where I had vada Pav in Mumbai, the stuffing had too much masala.
But, Aram had the perfect Vada. The potato stuffing inside remained white with mild masala. Also the masala powder and the chutney blended well, making it the most memorable Vada Pav I’ve had in Mumbai.
We ordered one more Vada Pav with a different stuffing. It was more spicy with basil added to it. I didn’t get the name of that variant as it was in Hindi.
If you’re around CST Mumbai, please try Aram Vada Pav. You won’t be disappointed.
Price range: 20-45 Rs.

Sher-E-Punjab

As soon as we landed in Mumbai, we went to the hotel, checked in and headed straight to CST. We were really hungry and asked the Uber driver to drop us near a good hotel. After 15 minutes we were dropped near Sher-E-Punjab
The Punjabi restaurant is located near the head post office, near CST.
The place looked old and so was the waiters. But, we never realised that we were in for a treat.
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We ordered a plate of mutton sheek kabab and Romali roti. My friend ordered garlic naan and a paneer and corn gravy.
The service was wonderful and most of all, the sheek kabab gave us an out of the world experience. The chutney, the kabab and the roti made us realise how lucky we were to end up in such a nice place.
The sheek kabab was dry, but the taste will make you forget it all.
Price:
Mutton sheek kabab – 375 Rs

Bademiyan – Kebabs and Rolls

This place is famous for its sheek kabab rolls. When I planned my trip to Mumbai, I was looking for famous food joints and every website had listed Bademiyan.
Truth be told, what every other website had said was true. The sheek kabab rolls were awesome. Two full length sheek kabab pieces will be placed on a roti and will be rolled before it reaches our hands.
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The taste was mind blowing. The sheek kabab we had here was completely opposite to what I had in Sher-E-Punjab. It was so juicy. Every inch of the sheek kabab was cooked to perfection.
This place resembles a road side joint. And they’ve also occupied near by places to serve their ever pouring stream of customers.
I tried both chicken and mutton sheek kabab roles and I liked the chicken version better.
The place is located near Leopold Cafe.
Price:
Chicken sheek kabab roll – 180
Mutton sheek kabab roll – 210

Kheema Pav in Mohamed Ali Road

We stayed in Mohamed Ali Road during the first day and the street turned into a full fledged non vegetarian’s paradise during night.
Almost every shop sells chicken or mutton.
But, we couldn’t have dinner as we already filled our stomachs at Bademiyan.
The next day when we checked out, we were curious. “Will get some good non veg dish in the morning? Why don’t we try?”
We entered a small restaurant – Manvi restaurant and asked what they serve for breakfast. The guy said “Kheema Pav” and we immediately said “Yes”
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They served three pieces of Pav with a small plate of mutton kheema. I was super excited seeing it. The Pav was soft, the kheema was well cooked and the combination was heavenly.
Price: 50 Rs.

The unknown sandwich shop

The name of the shop is not unknown sandwich shop. I didn’t know the name of the shop, so I mentioned it like that.
We got down near the domestic terminal and we were walking around the area since we had an hour to kill before catching our flight. We crossed the road opposite to the Terminal 1B entrance and walked for a few hundred meters and found a small sandwich shop.
An inner voice in all three said that we should eat a sandwich there.
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We ordered a vegetable grill sandwich and a paneer cheese grill sandwich.
Only one man ran the shop and he took too much time to make the sandwiches. We were pissed. But when we took the first bite, we realized the true effort of the shopkeeper who took at most care in delivering us the best experience.
The sandwich was made using a triangle shaped bread, called the slice bread. They also server similar bread sandwiches in chowpatty.
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The sandwich had a layer of tomatoes and cucumber, a layer of mashed potatoes sprinkled with chaat masala, a layer with shredded chess and onions.
After taking the sandwich out of the grill, he applied a spoonful of butter which melted and smeared across the surface of the sandwich.
It was wow!
Believe me! I couldn’t complete the sandwich. It was that heavy.
Price: 125 Rs.

Aspiring Chennai-based filmmaker Monish is the First Indian to be acquainted with Korean Filmmaker Kwak Jae Yong

I am very happy to write this blogpost as it’s about a friend. A friend whom i know since 2006. Monish. He sat next to me for most of my college life and we spoke about movies, completely forgetting about the purpose of college. (We still don’t understand the purpose of college!)

He was passionate about movies, and he always wanted to be a filmmaker. Soon after college we parted ways, but his passion towards movies stopped him from taking day jobs and he tirelessly pursued his career in filmmaking. That is the time he got into watching Korean movies. The narrative style of Asian films, especially korean attracted him so much. I know times where all he spoke about was Korean movies. And, do you know where it took him now? To China ! 🙂

Yes. His passion towards movies and his love towards Korean films has recently gave him an dream-come-true opportunity to work with Director Kwak Jae Yong, who is known for several renowned Korean movies like “My Sassy Girl”, “The Classic”, “Windstruck” etc.

Monish got an invite from Kwak Jae Yong and team to be an on-spot observer in their new movie, which is a Korean-Chinese co-production. The technical team of the movie was from Korea, and the actors were from China. I am proud to say that Monish was the only Indian who was part of the movie crew. A one of its kind honor.

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The shoot took place in Qingdao, a coastal city in China for a month, and Monish was there throughout the shoot, observing the nuances of Korean filmmaking.

When asked about the experience, he said

“He & his films are famous among film buffs around the world. Meeting him atleast once in my Lifetime was my dream, i didnt expect that i will be near him in his shooting spot. I am the First Indian Technician to be acquainted with him, there are many aspiring filmmakers who wants to work with him in Korea and around the world, i am very lucky to get that opportunity.”

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Also, when I asked about how he made this possible – to be part of a foreign film, he said

“Towards the end of 2014, i realized that im not just a film buff to watch Korean films and keep admiring their work from my home, one Question struck my mind ‘Why shouldnt i work with a Korean Filmmaker?’ Why shouldnt i be a part of a Foreign Film?’ So that is when i started to take serious steps to contact Director Kwak, It has been 6 months of day and night follow ups through mail, and when i got the positive response from the Production company to be a part of Director Kwak’s movie i was like i have done it.”

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Monish is a good example of how youngsters can pursue their dream if they tirelessly fight for it. We all know that he’s got to go a long way. But, he has already started taking the steps, big ones.

According to me, aspiring filmmakers should try to part of foreign films so as to learn the technique and implement them into our movies. Watching a foreign film is completely different from working in one.

Are you an aspiring filmmaker? Would you like to know more about Monish’s experience? You can reach him at ragava.monish@gmail.com

You create you with what you do!

I was browsing the internet, and stumbled across an interesting video where Jean-Paul Sartre talks about Existential choice. To be precise the video talks about what makes you, YOU! It conveys the message that you create yourself through what you do, which, according to me, is great advice!
Soon after I saw the video, I had a question in my mind: “Who is Jean-Paul Sartre?”
Jean-Paul Sartre was a French Philosopher, playwright, novelist, political activist, biographer, and literary critic. (Yes, stolen from Wikipedia.) I read about him, and he seems to be straight forward and cool. He was awarded the 1964 Nobel Prize in Literature but refused it, saying that he always declined official honors and that “a writer should not allow himself to be turned into an institution”.

I also looked up to few of his quotes. They were witty as well as wise. Especially this one:

Only the guy who isn’t rowing has time to rock the boat.

Another interesting one is:

Every existing thing is born without reason, prolongs itself out of weakness, and dies by chance

Everyday, I make it a habit that I learn something new. Today, I learned about Jean-Paul Sartre, and his words on existentialism and truth behind existential choice. The video and a few of his quotes made me want to know more about him, and his work on philosophy and existentialism. Will write more as I dig further into his works!

Smart Age: How new age social media content makes your brain dumb?

The age of smartphones has transformed the distribution of content and media across the internet. People no longer are interested in reading lengthier passages, and are obsessed with images and videos more than any form of media. If you want your audience to read something important, type that, convert it into an image, and post it online. That’s how people’s mind work these days.

How have we arrived to this state of being obsessed with small snippets of text and images? Before the widespread use of technology, the only source of information we had was books. Searching something in a book is a highly complex task. A reader should go from point A to point B to know what’s in the book. He should read the complete book, or at least a complete chapter to find or understand the content of his interest. This linear approach made us accumulate knowledge. It helped us in understanding a whole concept rather than just getting a glimpse of it.

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But, the internet is different. The information shared on the internet is instantly searchable. You can press Ctrl + F and search what you wish to read. This practice is widespread among everyone who uses a computer. The result? This practice has rapidly reduced our ability to read longer passages. The media and the tech industry has recognized this trend, and instead of bringing people out of this practice, they decided to go along with the flow.

Websites started posting news stories with limited text content, and started including other forms of media (image, video, GIFs) to support their stories. This scenario has also led to the fame of social networking sites like Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, etc.

Even plain facts involving statistics is done using infographics, a creative form of visualizing data.

Even though the idea of crispy content looks good, it slowly kills our ability to use our brain to its capacity. Brain is also a muscle, and giving it more work will keep it healthy and happy. But, the current prevailing scenario on the internet will change it for us. This will make people feel that they know a lot of things, and eventually make them into nothing but pseudo experts. They won’t be true experts in anything, but will merely speak their opinions based on a Facebook status or a tweet that they had come across on the internet.

This needs to change. If I shout out saying that the internet has to change and people need to read stories with longer passages, then I am really stupid. Let the internet be the way it is. Enjoy memes, GIFs and infographics. But, at the same time spend more time in keeping your brain active. Give some exercise to your brain.

  • Here are a few things you can do to keep your brain active:
  • Read a book (Atleast one book a month)
  • If you want to know something, don’t derive at a conclusion by reading about it in one website. Do complete research, derive your opinion from facts, and not from others opinion about it.
  • Travel. Interact with people. Get to know life.
  • Ask yourself a lot of questions.
  • Ask questions to others
  • Brainstorm

I’ve wanted to write about this for a while, and I had finally found time to do it.

I am not sure how many would have spent time in reading what I wrote! If you’re, then I appreciate your patience. I bet you’re still old fashioned!

My first book “Written with a cursor” is live now!

Writing a book has been my dream for so many years. It took me a long time to figure out what I wanted to write and where should I focus in order to better myself as a writer. When I was looking into efficient ways to be more creative with writing, I stumbled upon a few short stories written by o Henry, R K Narayan, Haruki Murakami, etc. They were short, crisp, but had packed a lot of emotions packed within a few pages. I loved them. I thought “Why can’t we experiment writing a short story?”, and I did.

“An evening in Nehru Street” was my first short story. It was not a great story, I would say. But, it was good enough for others and myself to know that I can write. I received positive reviews for the story, and it got published in a Chennai based magazine. A great moment. This gave me the confidence to write more. But, I don’t want to stick with the same genre for all my stories. I wanted to try something different. I tried different genres in the book in order to see how far I can write out of my comfort zone. It took me over an year to write these stories, and its time to show it to the world.

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The book “Written with a cursor” is not a professionally edited one. It was reviewed and edited by people who are passionate about reading and writing. They care about writing, and most of all, they care about me. And, that is what had brought this book together. From my side, I worked on everything from writing the book to designing the cover page. It is a great experience to see your creative work shaping up slowly, finding its way into the universe. One of the moments for which I’ve been waiting for a long time.

Are you looking for something fun, and interesting to read? Then this is the book for you. Are you a serious literary freak? You can still read the book and criticize me for my own good. (and for the good of others too!)

The book is a downloadable file, and contains files in .epub and .mobi formats. The .mobi format is for kindle users, and the .epub format is for those who like reading in their mobile or tablet.

The book can be downloaded from amazon kindle store. Click the Buy Now button to get it!

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The girl I met in the hospital

A few incidents can change your whole perspective towards something. In a recent TV series episode, one of the characters will tell that everybody has a ‘defining moment’, a moment that changes their whole life; or their whole perspective of how they see things than before.

One such defining moments happened to me yesterday. I was at the hospital to visit my dad (he was admitted due to a mild electrolyte imbalance. He’s fine now!) and was talking to my mom, as my dad slept after a heavy session of intravenous reionization (drips!) We spoke about my mom’s stay at the hospital and she told me that she couldn’t sleep properly as one of the patients, a little girl, kept screaming all night.

When I asked her the reason, my mom told me that the little girl was diagnosed with bone cancer, a tumor on her left shoulder. She told me that the girl was seven-years old. I was thrown into a deep state of shock. As we kept talking about the girl, we heard a loud scream from across the hall. It was the girl’s voice. She was shouting at her dad. We paused our conversation, and I walked across the ward to see her. I slowly went along the direction from where the voice came and stood before her bed that was draped with sandal colored curtains to provide translucent privacy.

The propelled air from the ceiling fan flung the curtains back and forth, revealing the face of the little girl. She was a beautiful little thing. She was lean, had a moderately dusky complexion, and had a deep brown eyes. Her short boyish hair cut made her look more pretty. When I noticed I found a lump on her left shoulder. A bulge. The tumor!

She sat on a plastic chair with a pillow behind her back. She kept turning her head from left to right to avoid the spoon of rice that was handed over to her by her father. I walked near her bed and looked at her. She gave me a puzzled look. I was a stranger. I never knew her. I just went there to see her. Now that she saw me I don’t know what to say. I introduced myself by my name, and told her that I am her friend. But, she was not in a mood to meet any new friends. She did not smile, but she was calm.

But, the calmness did not last long. She started crying when one of nurses came back to connect her to the intravenous chemo dose for the day. She pleaded the nurse saying she did not want the medicine as it was painful. She screamed whenever the nurse went near her. She kept repeating the word “please”, with tears rolling down from her deep brown eyes. That moment shook me to my core.

Within minutes, the entire nurse station was there, trying to make her smile, and to convince her to take the medicine. But, she did not stop crying. Almost every nurse looked sad, irrespective of their experience in handling patients like her. They felt really bad for forcing her into the treatment. But, it was necessary, and it had to be done. I did my share of convincing the girl. I sat next to her and spoke to her. I told her that she should consider taking the medicine or she will have to stay longer at the hospital. She nodded,and went silent for a minute. But, before I could get happy, she started crying again. None of us could do a thing about it. I told the nurse that they should leave her alone and try convincing after sometime. They agreed and left the place. But, I sat there for a couple of more minutes to see her calm down.

I wanted to be with her for a few more minutes, but I was called by my mom to meet the doctor and discuss something. I waved bye to her with a heavy heart and left the place. While driving back I kept thinking about the whole episode. Seven years old. I felt that the girl was too young to be in such a state. I felt that she does not deserve this. We’re all complaining about life, saying things like “why is this happening to me? I am a good person. God shouldn’t punish me. Why did he?” We always try to justify ourselves to come clean. But, the little girl is not blaming anybody. She doesn’t even know the seriousness of her disease. All she could feel was the pain, and she let it out by crying.

The whole incident made feel the importance our lives in this world. We have no idea who will get what. We are waking up everyday, getting ready for a wild gamble. When you’re through, it doesn’t mean you have won. You’ll have to repeat the whole thing the next day. Life is all about living through the unpredictability. It is all about the upcoming anticipation that slowly decodes itself along with the time. There is no machine to break the code. There is no way to hack it. The only way to get through it is by living the moment.

Live life. Love life.

Truth I came to know when I set up my matrimonial profile

Women’s day wishes.

Today, I read a blog post written by a friend and fellow blogger, bragadeesh, who spoke about today’s marriage market, especially what’s happening with respect to matrimonial sites, which made me want to write something about what I observed when I set up my profile a couple of months back. (Yeah! You heard it right!)

Until his mid-twenties, a guy struggles his way into the job market, which is cruel, highly-demanding, and constantly changing based on god knows what! Soon after he settles into a job, which he doesn’t know, is insecure compared to how it was twenty years back, he is pushed into the marriage market.

I was no exception. My parents want me to get married, because they didn’t want me to go through what they had to go through when they got married. My dad was almost 40, when he got married. I understand their feelings. But, the marriage market has changed a lot, especially during the past decade. It’s chaos. It difficult for anybody out there, especially for a person who is dark, heavyset, and on his way into going bald. (I’m talking about me.) But, I set up my matrimonial profile for the sake of my parents.

After signing up, I had a chance to go through a couple of profiles. Working women prefer a partner who earns more than them. There’s nothing wrong in that. I girl who is making 3 lakhs per annum is expecting a guy who is making 5-6 lakhs per annum. Makes sense. But, girls who are not working, or not willing to work, is preferring guy who makes 10-20 lakhs per annum (I have come across this in many profiles.) They want to marry a guy who earns their part too. This is insane!!! At least, I feel it that way.

And, in several talk shows I’ve noticed girls wanting a guy to have a car, two or three bedroom apartment, and lots more.
Let’s make a simple calculation. A guy has a small car, which he buys in EMI. Even if he puts an EMI for five years, his monthly expenses for the car would be EMI + Petrol, which would approximately round up to Rs.10,000. If he buys a house, he should pay a minimum interest of 15,000 – 20,000 for the next 10 or fifteen years.

So, let’s analyze this in a much detailed way. (All these are approximations.)
EMI for car – Rs.5000
EMI for house – Rs. 12000
Petrol for car – Rs. 4000
Petrol for bike – Rs. 2000 (office use, etc.)
Groceries – Rs. 3000
Weekly outing (movies) – 4 x 500 – Rs. 2000
Dinner and other expenses (per month) – Rs. 3000
If a guy wants to give money to their parents – Rs. 8000
Telephone and internet – Rs. 1500

Even on an approximate basis, a guy would need approximately Rs. 40,000 to run his family. And, this is without any savings. Additional expenses include jewels, investment on land, guest visits, family trips, buying home appliances, etc.
So, a guy has to make more than Rs.60,000 to satisfy the expectation of most women. But, what happens when the guy loses his job? Does he defy your basic qualifications? What if he stops making money? Where is the savings? What will you do? The house will still be on due, the vehicle too. And, there will be no money to support the family. What will a girl do under such circumstances? Leave him? I don’t know. I’m puzzled.

I am not saying girls are bad. No, I am not that kind. I am a feminist myself, and I respect women who are independent, and who follow their passion. They have dreams, and no one is stopping them from having it. My concern is about most of them setting a trend. A luxurious life, a grand wedding, a big house. Doesn’t happen to every guy. I know really smart, hard-working guys, who are not making more than Rs.12,000 a month. Bitter truth.

I am not telling you to hunt for lower middle class guys and marry them. That would be ridiculous. Set your preferences to a realistic level. Look for someone who would be with you in the long run. Start a life, have fun, work hard, save a lot, and then invest in a house, or anything as a couple. Don’t make the guy bear all the burden during an age where he has things to do, dreams to fulfill, and a life to live.

Life’s all about being happy. Expecting too much will cost you more time, bring you more stress, and take your life away before you get to live your dream. Marriage is not materialistic. It’s not about properties and money. My wish is, one has to consider everything before thinking about setting unrealistic expectation.

You can read my friend’s blog post here: http://bragadeeshprasanna.com/its-kindah-funny/

Also, you can mail me your views at kart168@gmail.com