POW: In The Hiding

Location: Whispering Woods Resort, Lonavana. Time: Around Noon. Although the month is October, the weather was fantastic.

Suspicions, Then and Now

I was taking an ‘after dinner’ stroll yesterday night when I met another guy who stays in my housing complex. He probably owns a 3BHK apartment in another building. But I saw him drive in on his motor bike along with his family (wife and son). I wondered why; so I casually asked, “Kya Prashant, aaj bike pe?” He smiled at me and said, “Haan, kyunki mere paas car nahi hai. Kaha is mehengaai ki jamane mein gaadi wadi.” It was actually surprising for me to know that he doesn’t own a car. I said, “Kya paka raha hai yaar.” to which he replied, “Nahi Nahi, sahi mein…”

I remember when my father bought his first car. In his generation, he was a first person to buy a car in both my paternal and maternal side. Although only a Maruti 800, it gave all of us a reason to boast our superlative expression. Owning a 4 wheeler almost 15 years back was indeed a thing to be proud of, at least in my town. It attracted lot of jealous glances from people known to us and also suspicion from people not so known. People thought where the money to maintain the car came from. I still enjoyed getting ‘dropped’ at places important to me then (like a friend’s birthday party, school functions) despite having an option to use my moped. And often relatives asked favours from my father in cases of emergency. But slowly, the car seized to be a luxury. Today almost all relatives have one at least.

When I go for a walk in our housing premises, I see a sea of cars. I’m sure there are more cars than trees in my compound. So when I hear some one saying he can not afford a car, it surprises me. And it adds  fuel to a suspicion, when the person who just told you about not being able to afford a car is actually an owner of a luxurious 3BHK apartment. Well… times have changed. 15-20 years ago an apartment dweller with a car was looked at with a suspicion. Today, the situation is other way round.    🙂

Khatta Meetha…

… is pathetic! I have no other words. I cant imagine Priyadarshan making such pathetic movies.

Dont ask me why I went and watched it. It was because Nikhat Kazmi gave three stars in the review on Times of India. But now I have no doubts that the producers of Khatta Meetha paid Nikhat to write a good review.



Image Courtesy: moes-world.com

If you haven’t watched Inception yet, you might as well want to just shut this browser, pack your wallet and rush to the nearest theatre. For this movie is not to be missed… AT ALL!

What is most precious to you? Your money? Your house? Your family? Your girlfriend? I think you are being too naive if you said yes to any of those options. For some one like me who writes stories, it is my thoughts. 🙂

So what if some one stole your thoughts? Or worse, what if some one replaced them? Ha! That makes an interesting movie plot. Chris Nolan uses an interesting concept straight out of the subconscious mind theories to create a masterpiece. Inception is all about a job where Leonardo DiCaprio is asked to plant an idea in the mind of Robert Fischer Jr., heir of world’s largest oil company (played by Cillian Murphy). What unfolds is a sequence of dreams and inter related events, which I rather not describe here.

Go watch it for yourself. Indulge!

How to Publish a Book

… is what I’m trying to find out these days. While I have found some really good ones online, all of them are US based. When we calculate the cost of getting books shipped back to India, it becomes too costly.

Another option is to offer it for download and try to popularise the link.

Third option is to approach publishers with a manuscript and try to convince them to publish it. I have heard they really squeeze you.

Fourth is to publish it myself and try to sell it.

Fifth is to distribute the book freely

What to do?

Life Beyond a Rat Race

I have written this article for VoiCE blog. You can find the original article here.

Ever wondered why you are one of those people who are caught in the race? You are an engineer. You did your graduation in Computer Science/ Civil/ Electrical/ Whatever from one of the many ‘very good’ colleges in the country. You completed your graduation copying journals from your seniors and projects from Google. You always dreamt of big things and yet appeared for the campus interviews. Probably you were the lucky one to get selected early or you were the one who scraped through. You joined an IT major and was one of the 25000 candidates selected that year to do an outsourced job. And then? You joined the rat race to appraisals, on-site opportunities, promotions and buying a flat… did you? Does it hurt to be in the rat race?

I’m a Civil Engineer. But I never built any thing more than a retaining wall 8 years ago. I’m also an MBA. But none of my job profiles offered me to ‘manage’ and ‘grow’ some thing until lately when I took the reigns in my hand. And now I have sat down to write an article for VoiCE, wondering what I did in last 6 years. Was it some thing I always wanted to do? Sadly, the answer is no. I was originally destined to be an Architect. Civil Engineering just happened to me. Peer pressure led me to MBA. When I was still a student of Pune University, I wanted to open a restaurant and had even made a business plan for it. But it didn’t materialize. It took long years for me to reality what I enjoyed the most. And I’m still not on it completely.

The life beyond the so called rat race only begins when we take a small but meaningful journey within us. It is important for us to know what exactly we want to do. For example, I enjoyed writing. I still dream of being a photo journalist. I want to travel around the world, capture different people, different locales, take pictures and write interesting stories about interesting people. I enjoy doing that. But no body made me realize it when I was still in my teens. I was learning structures and bridges when I should have been taking their pictures and writing stories of their makers. I might be earning well today. But some times on a rainy morning, like the ones these days, I don’t get motivated to go back to the same work.

The problem can be any where but within self. In the education system, in our parents, siblings, peers or any one who provokes us to join the rat race. A teen vies for the place in a coveted engineering college because he is told by his parents and relatives in the US that Engineering is the best degree to have. It will earn him a high paying job of a software coder. The guy is not given a chance to think out of his path and imagine a world he probably would have loved to be in. Once in the college, his only motto is to ‘pass’ the exams and grab one of the coveted job opportunities. Some engineers who have no idea of what to do next normally bow to peer pressure and go for a completely unrelated course, a management degree. They all start earning well and then leaving a high paying job to follow one’s dream becomes too much of a risk.

Every one imagines a life beyond a rat race. But hardly any one dares to try and live it. All we need to do it first know what we want and then take steps to do it. Money is secondary. If Edison invented electric bulb because he wanted to earn, he’d have never invented an electric bulb. Do it if your heart says. Do some thing new, some thing better and do it if it is fun. If you are good at it, the money will follow.