Tuesday, 25 October 2016

An Ad Campaign Which Successfully Voiced What You Chose To Ignore

India is a nation which is beautifully blessed with an amusing bounty of cultural diversity. However, at the same time, it is also cursed with a variety of stereotypes since the day and age of our ancestors. To challenge our ignorantly inherited view of endlessly judging people in our community, eBay India recently launched a TVC which precisely yet powerfully communicates its enormous range of (over 10 crores) products.

The sweet thing to observe is how there has emerged an audience which feels a strong urge to break through the senseless chains of chronic belief system. This audience has now become vocal to forge a democracy where equality for all is encouraged. To reflect this positive change in the winds of our communal thought process and contribute on its part to encourage the dream of a better India, eBay launched #ThingsDontJudge campaign with a compassionately loud film conceptualized by BBDO India.

The film beautifully opens in the pouring rain first introducing a young man who is wearing ghungroos (musical anklets) and is smilingly performing a classical dance form on the terrace, unmindful of a lady looking at him. His stream of thoughts is voiced: 'Log chahe kuch bhi kahe, par mere ghungroo mujh se ye nahin kehte ke woh sirf auraton ke liye banaye hai' (No matter what people say, my anklets don't tell me that they're made only for women). 

The film goes on to present several other characters across age and gender who are shown breaking through the dictated way of living by boldly putting in use some of the most ordinary yet objected things. For instance; it includes a young woman who is shown to confidently walk past a club wearing an ethnic wear, where there are other women standing in fitted western attires with their eyebrows judgementally raised. The woman doesn't feel uncomfortable even for a bit and instead rides away on a cruiser bike with her thoughts voiced: 'Meri salwaar kameez mujhe behenji nahin bulate' (My salwaar kameez doesn't address me as behenji). 

By thoughtfully inserting a series of other such situational experiences, eBay's TVC smartly puts forth its strong narrative of "Jeeyo aure Jeene do".  Shivani Suri, director marketing, eBay India, in an interview said, “Online shopping is changing how we live. It’s ushering in the acceptance of new. It’s at the heart of our evolving culture that’s gradually helping us distance from the norms around gender, age, caste, creed, social status or preferences. eBay, with over 10 crore products is inspiring consumers to shop for their favorite item and live their passions, desires, choices, and beliefs without inhibitions. With this central theme, we decided to launch this campaign to not just capture market share but drive conversational commerce.”  

At UnNumb, I warmly welcome campaigns like these which are crafted with the kind intention of creatively encouraging people to fight and find their way out of chronic conventions. Because it is only then that the dream of a better India can be actualized for once and for all.

To watch the video which UnNumb believes stirred the hearts of many, navigate to - https://youtu.be/K-lTMmSlom4

Wednesday, 12 October 2016

Stop the porn consumption, Now!

Today at around 6:30am when my dog goofily brought to me the Newspaper bundle, I sweetly smiled back in order to thank her. But, my smile faded away the minute I straightened up the paper and saw a front page article stating the latest case update of Monika Ghurde, a well known Perfume Researcher who was allegedly raped and murdered by a former watchman in her Goa flat early this October. 

The news piece had "Monika's killer says he showed her porn clips, then raped her: Cops" as it's headline. It instantly reminded me of all the incidents most of which were in the recent past reported and did get the required media coverage. However, it is clear that our generation is yet to be sensitized about the grave damages that exposure to porn causes.

Any amount of exposure to porn harms. I know, you might now label me as an 80-year-old orthodoxal nanny, but I strongly stand by my statement and overall belief. Because, it is scientifically proven that everything we do, watch or hear has an impact on us. Though, the amount of the impact may vary as per the duration and frequency of exposure.  Due to the sudden arousal of guilt, you might now want to navigate back to the social media site you found this blog link from. But, wait till you read the following portion of this thoughtful post.

Since a couple of years, pornography has become a much-debated topic. People have now started questioning its free existence over the internet and thereby it’s devastating impact on people of varied age groups. Pornography undoubtedly wrecks our concept of love and romance, our idea about sex and gender, makes us appreciate and find pleasure from acts which promote brutality and violence. Watching porn gradually corrodes our sense of self-respect and our ability to respect the ones around us. It does not just make us yearn for a faulty and a materialistic relationship, but also severely damages our capability of appreciating raw beauty which is not glossed-up with cosmetics or fake erotic emotions.

With deepening internet penetration and technological advancements, today porn is freely available to whosoever wishes to consume it. This happens to be a matter of great worry as children at a tender age are able to access this content and are finding porn more entertaining than cartoons, outdoor games, and other growth supportive activities. Soft minds absorb without filtering, accept without questioning and reflect without spending time in understanding the pro's and con's of the content they are busy consuming. And as the child grows, the curiosity of experimenting the filmed content only grows stronger.

So, just in case you happen to be one of those who desperately navigates to websites catering porn, consume it out of addiction and later regret it, then here’s a list of a few things you could do to work on your addiction-

Dive into Music- Music is believed to have a therapeutic effect on its listeners. It has the capacity to transport you from your emotional current to altogether a different land. But, again I suggest you better be selective at picking up the genre for yourself. Instrumental music; violin, piano, sitar, flute, guitar, the sounds produced out of these instruments help you distract from your desperation for submitting to porn addiction. 

Browse about sex trafficking- A lot of people do not know much about sex trafficking and the ones who know about it choose to ignore it. Pornography is also considered as filmed prostitution wherein not everybody comes with their choice; many are dragged into it just that it happens in the brothels. The one-time solution is to sensitize people about the gravity of the issue so that they can sympathize and empathize with the dolled-up porn stars. Sensitisation would help cut down the demand for porn.

Watch a romantic-comedy- Watching romantic comedy films or sitcoms will help you register back the lost picture of true romance. Though films are fictional and gross, yet they definitely do successfully distract you when your urge of watching porn drives you almost insane.

Vent-out frustration on the treadmill- Most people tend to consume porn because the element of sexual violence entertains them like nothing else. So, to deal with the ever boiling frustration due to work pressure or love betrayal, you can instead go to a gym and burn your calories along with a bucketful of frustration. This would help you channelize your anger and do constructive good.

Go have an offline hang-out- I believe, the more you are connected to the people in the offline world, the more close you will find yourself incomprehensible sync with the ground reality and would thereby like to court and marry a girl in real time, instead of staying over the internet and getting aroused with the fake and brutal sex filmed and freely made available over various websites; porn.

I hope reading the above assertion has not just made you aware of the shocking damages of consuming porn, but has also made a positive impact by suggesting few most practiced healthy distractions. I wholeheartedly wish that the accused watchmen who first forcefully showed three porn films to Monika before sexually assaulting her and eventually smothering her to death shall get an exemplarily strict punishment. 

Monday, 10 October 2016

Oh dear, who told you that you are Cool because you are Sarcastic?

Are you a self-proclaimed Chandler? Yeah, I am referring to the character from Legendary American sitcom- Friends, played by Matthew Perry. Perhaps, you didn’t really bother to Google his name while you enjoyed munching popcorns on the couch with your eyes amusingly glued to TV, which broadcasted the sitcom series. But, the question that I want to ask today is, did you fall in love with the character to an extent, that to you, ‘sarcasm’ gradually rose from being just another literary term to your way of being?

Now, before you feel offended, I want you to know that I haven’t been able to adore any other sitcom the way I adored Friends. This is so not because I found all the contextual occurrences relatable, but because it sweetly transported me to a goofily happy world, offering its witty dose of laughter which seemed absolutely necessary to digest everyday reality.

Having stated the above, I now feel that I can safely go on to express my unusual take on Sarcasm. Well, as you know Sarcasm has recently become one of the most preferred ways of communicating almost everything.  I don’t say that Sarcasm was an unheard or a never-before-practiced way of interacting, but I do strongly believe that it was only recently that it gained popularity in the mainstream.

So, if you have been so far considering sarcasm to be something cool and funny, I would like to suggest you re-think, because sarcasm is really just hostility masqueraded as humor.  Trust me, if you begin to calculatedly evaluate the damaging effects of sarcasm, you would be completely shocked at how inappropriate, culturally offensive, and emphatically cruel most of the sarcastic comments are. For instance, some of the key ruins are-

Sarcasm does hurt and offends: To be frank, sarcasm is really just the most convenient way for people to express their disapproval without actually daring to come forward and speaking their minds. But, where from do we learn this art of laughingly offending people?  The truthful answer is that we absorb this from a variety of places and ignorantly bring it into our habits. TV is one of the main contributors and Friends is most certainly a globally popular machine.

Sitcoms like Friends are loaded with sarcastic remarks and, of course, the viewers laugh at the embarrassment the recipient demonstrates.  Most people get fooled that these are merely clever proverbs from quick-witted characters who are famous worldwide. But, this is all purposely scripted by television writers for entertaining the audience, but they ignorantly end up setting an example for viewers to follow and the result is that our children grow up believing sarcasm to be an essential element of being cool and socially acceptable.

Gives birth to ambiguity: Sarcasm depends heavily on the tone of the commentator’s  voice, body language, and other significant nonverbal cues to be properly understood. The absence of any of these essential elements can cause a real-time disturbance in the process of communication. So, why rely on a method which doesn’t guarantee the desired result? And, at the very least, it’s got a tremendous potential to be misunderstood since there is always a ‘hidden message’ intricated.  Thus, I urge you to consider today whether it’s worth risking and heartlessly alienating another person just for getting yourself a hearty laughter.

Does not inspire change: The most resorted way to defend the undue use of sarcasm is by suggesting a not-so-actual purpose of “funnily inspiring” change. First of all, I feel that there are numerous other more suiting ways to encourage people to make the due changes in their respective fields. Secondly, even if I buy your idea of comically offering people a mirror and thereby instigating them to make improvements, I don’t think your message is really understood and acted upon. Because had that been the case, our world would have been a much better place, for every family of five has at least two people who do excessively use sarcasm in their everyday communication. That is to suggest, sarcasm often goes unnoticed without having played its supposed role in activating change.

Demonstrates a lack of conviction: Whenever somebody counts on sarcasm to get a point across in a cloaked manner, it demonstrates a clear lack of conviction and courage to say what the person actually means. However, an occasional sarcastic remark may not intensely harm, remember that people judge your character every day by paying close attention to what you say as well as how you act. The collective result of those judgments is your reputation which can seriously be in danger if you continue to ignorantly use sarcasm in your daily interaction with one another.

If reading the above assertion has even slightly triggered your mind to give your mastery of sarcasm a second thought, then let me tell you that I am extremely happy. I invested time in typing down my idea about eliminating sarcasm from our everyday communication because I myself have experienced the side effects of using sarcasm. So, today, let’s un-numb our minds and try to break through this habit which Does offend a lot of people. And, at the same time, let's together find more creative ways of breaking boundaries and building fruitful ties.

Wednesday, 21 September 2016

A World That Was Once Wonderful

I saw trees of green,                                                              
red roses too.
I saw them bloom, 
for me and you. 
And I thought to myself,
what a wonderful world. 

I saw skies of blue, 
And clouds of white. 
The bright blessed day, 
The dark sacred night. 
And I thought to myself, 
What a wonderful world. 

The colors of the rainbow, 
So pretty in the sky, 
Was also on the faces, 
Of people going by.
I saw friends shaking hands, 
Saying, "How do you do?" 
They're really saying, 
"I love you". 

I heard babies cry, 
I watched them grow, 
They'd learned much more, 
Than I'll ever know. 
And I thought to myself, 
What a wonderful world. 

Yes, I thought to myself, 
What a wonderful world. 

Oh yeah!

No, what you just read is not a parody of "What a Wonderful World", a phenomenal song which was sung by Louis Armstrong in 1967, but is rather an altered version crafted with the deliberation of reflecting the Modern Day helplessness, aroused in our hearts by domestic and international tensions instigated by groups which proudly promote Terrorism.  

If you too can relate to this feeling of profound loss, which can certainly not be expressed by stating facts or weaving stories, then come sit with me, to bid adieu to the innocent souls of victims from across the globe, who have now become stars, still hoping and expecting from You and I to extinguish hatred and spread nothing other than love and peace. 

Tuesday, 20 September 2016

A Freeway To A Better World

On the weekend, while sipping a king size cafe latte in a Rajiv Chowk metro station's Cafe Coffee Day, I wondered what does it take from a person to acknowledge and appreciate the being and effort of another person? I couldn't help observing people's raised eyebrows and instant frowns for neither the coffee was interesting enough to distract me nor was it possible for me to commence reading my new book amidst all the superficial chatter that eclipsed the English country music streaming from cafe's new wireless Bose speakers. 

You might find it hard to believe, but the question remained in my head even after I was done with all the scheduled meetings and was on my way back to home. See, here I am talking about our society at large, including you and me. Each one of us gets our dose of moral conditioning not just from our homes, but also from all the place and people we invest our time and energy on. And, the skill of appreciation, which I am trying to bring to notice, is, unfortunately, absent in most of us. 

Accept it or not, most of us refrain from pausing and dropping a genuinely good note or even a simple smile to any person we come across, who we do find wholeheartedly fusing-in all his/her resource and talent to do something remarkable. Now, you most probably would say "So what? How does it matter? Somebody or the other would pause by and appreciate the chap, why do I have to it? And, by the way, when nobody ever has been all that nice to me, why should I be?" 

Did I just catch you awkwardly smiling? Yeah, I guess I did, because, you see, I understand that you can closely relate to all of this and are also somewhere down the line a bit apologetic for the same. But, if we are human enough to feel apologetic, why aren't we humane enough to dare and drop a note of appreciation to the ones who are enthusiastically trying to do things which you almost always ignored? 

I remember having once read a quote by William James, a well-known psychologist, and philosopher,  “The deepest principle of human nature is a craving to be appreciated.” And, to encourage you furthermore to inculcate this healthy habit, I will now like to clearly list three most astounding benefits which are as follows-

1- A Freeway to a better world:  Your sincere compliment can inspire somebody to fight against all odds and keep making the extraordinary efforts to beautify the world. Assuming that you are a Twitterati as well apart from being an ardent lover of Facebook, LinkedIn, Instagram, and Snapchat, I hope you do get to read about the horrifying everyday occurrences inflicted by groups of intolerant people from around the world. Then, explain it to me, how is it that you haven't so far been able to understand the fundamental essentiality of encouraging the people who are doing genuine good? Give it a thought, because, like many other believers, I too believe that the best way to better up any society is by encouraging its selflessly dedicated craftsmen to come together. 

2- A smile accelerator:  The fact that humans seek approval of one other for the work they do, is now scientifically proven. Whether you are a student, a working professional or a parent, you would agree that every time somebody steps forward and sweetly expresses their approval, you feel absolutely elated. So, when a simple note of appreciation can offer greater motivation than Money itself, why don't you start serving back your community by gifting its people a variety of smile accelerators?

3- A matter of Karma:  Nowadays, a lot of people rest their belief in the rules of Karma than that of the ones listed in their religion's holy book. So, if you too are one such believer, you would clearly agree with the fact that complimenting another person's effort and out of the blue gifting warmth to their heart will help you attract positive energy and blessed luck to your own life. 

So, I suggest you to #UnNumb your mind and starting from today mend your behavior towards others and begin to considerately contribute for the betterment of the society. And, yes, most of all, do not ever misinterpret a genuine note of appreciation as somebody's attempt to 'hit' on you. 

Sunday, 18 September 2016

The Art of Standing Calmly Against the Wave

The art of standing calmly against the wave of change isn't too hard to master. But, before I go on to profess my understanding in detail, I would like to know, if  you remember having experienced moments which came straight out of the blue when in your mental landscape you sat back and asked yourself while brooding onto the sudden change of events, "Is this it?" "Was it this I was looking for?" "Will my decision be rewarding?" "Will that reward be enough to cheer me up?" Well, if you find this situation relatable, I suggest you get yourself a tumbler of fresh water and sit down to read through. 

To be honest, you aren't the only one; this happens with even the most optimistic of us, whenever we expose our minds to the possibility of change, we do feel a little daunted by the very idea of quitting a skillfully mastered pattern of life. And, why not? We spend an enormous portion of our time in settling down and then if all of a sudden, life expects us to change our ways to a tremendous extent, it will most probably cause a hard-to-overcome discomfort, right?

Having said that I will now ask you to lean back on your chair and calmly place your hands onto its armrest. For what I am going to now say will definitely help you see above and beyond your clouds of chaos. There are no absolute answers or solutions to anything at all, but there are always some tried and tested methods to deal with almost every situation, even with the discomfort caused by fretting over an unexpected change of events. And, trust me, there is an ocean full of little ways which can help you make improvisations at a larger scale. To help you frame a better understanding I have provided below a brief listicle. So, why don't you lean a bit forward now and curiously scroll through? 

Wipe your slate clean- One of our many habits that pull back most of us from performing extraordinarily in our lives is our stubbornness of not redeeming ourselves. We keep carrying the burden of our past unbecoming till the day we realize that we have lost a handsome number of opportunities.  So, I would like to humbly request you to wipe your slate clean and start afresh by giving yourself another chance and by thereafter applying a new perspective to comprehend the situation instead of giving up on the opportunity itself.

Befriend yourself, first- By this, I certainly do not intend to insinuate you to become a narcissist and throw your weight around. I just want to suggest, you know and befriend yourself first and later go onto looking for emotional support in others. Because I certainly believe that we are all complete in ourselves, just that we need to start believing in this fact. So, I will advise you to start acknowledging your strengths and also at the same time come to terms with your existing weaknesses. We all know where exactly we lack, right? We don’t really need others to raise their eyebrows and point it to us at our faces or lose an opportunity on the cost of knowing ourselves less. So, come on, let’s befriend us, first.

Beautify your space- Now do not dismiss this as a "girly thing", because placing and keeping things in order is a habit we all must try to bring into our routines. Ever wondered why at Temples, Gurudwaras, Churches and Mosques, people are able to sit back and meditate with an astounding abundance of energy and concentration? It's because of the exclusive ambiance that these places offer wherein you can come and tie together the broken strings. It’s all about providing your inner-self with the essential free space to think and make mindful and timely decisions. So, why don’t you make a pact with yourself to take due care of your surroundings to become productive like never before? 

Gardening- Spending time with plants can sometimes be the best motivational stimulator. You would be amazed to know that gardening can help reduce the level of stress hormone, can significantly boost up your immunity system and also potentially improve your brain health. I believe that God is in details and trust me, if you spare each day even a small portion of your precious time, to observe the gorgeous plants in your garden, you will most definitely be able to gain back the lost clarity in your life and become more thoughtful about almost everything. 

Take a break- It usually happens, especially over the weekends that we feel we have really been underperforming in regards to handling our roles and responsibilities. I suggest, at times like these, fish out some time for yourself (Yes, yourself alone) and take a break. Use this exclusive time to explore new possibilities, enjoy the existing ones and simply make memories worth revisiting in times of trouble. For instance: Get yourself tickets of the latest blockbuster movie, or make a visit to your favorite cafe or just attend a stand-up comedy gig. 

The Time Dogma- There are very few of us who make the best of our time because most of us frantically hold the dogma of time abundance close to our chests. The sooner we get over this dogma, the happier we can become, because remember "Time is a valuable thing". When we make utilizing each moment a habit, then we automatically make room for future possibilities and also in a way become better equipped with our heads unclouded. 

Never give up learning- I believe, to give up learning at any stage of life is the worst of all decisions. There are innumerable things to observe, absorb and learn from in life. Every occurrence teaches us something extremely valuable, but you can habituate your mind to view the world that way only if we never let our zeal of learning be eclipsed by our ego or arrogance. And, once you commit yourself to be a learner for life, you would not have to fear the sudden stream of change which may knock your shore in the near future. 

Whether, you’re retiring, trying to manage your new business, or are unexpectedly unemployed, the world can seem like a lonely place where you might feel a little unsteady. But, in moments like these, instead of panicking, you can summon all your courage to stand calmly against the wave by pausing, reflecting and mending your ways.

So, #LetsUnNumb and make the best of our lives.

Friday, 9 September 2016

Did you zap through all sports channels and yet couldn't find live broadcast of Rio 2016 Paralympics?

Did it occur to you why you couldn't catch the live broadcast of Rio 2016 Paralympics on any of the sports channels in India?

Now, that does sound a little absurd, right? Because, despite you having enthusiastically tweeted about it a day ago, you just couldn't experience the extraordinary thrill of watching some of the most phenomenal athletes putting forth their best at the Rio Paralympics field.

Well, to your surprise, India is amongst the 65 countries in the world including South Asia, South-East Asia, and central Africa – where the Paralympic Games will not be shown on Television. Now, you may assume that the sports broadcasters perhaps do not have the required rights, but what if you get to know that they didn't even bid for the rights?

The list of these ignorant sports channels includes Sony ESPN, Ten Sports,  and also the public broadcaster; Doordarshan Sports. On contrary to their deliberate miss-out in not covering Rio 2016 Paralympics at all, they had a totally different story during Rio 2016 Olympics. For instance; Star Sports, dedicated 8 channels, (Yeah, you heard right) 8 channels to telecast Olympics, out of which 4 channels were in standard definition and the rest 4 in high definition. They enthusiastically broadcasted over 3,000 hours of action during the Games. No, we are not done yet; Star Sports also had 14 live feeds and 36 concurrent feeds on Hotstar, its digital platform. Nevertheless, it looks the Paralympics is just not worth their creative effort.

However, to stream support, our Prime Minister Narendra Modi did tweet; “The people of India will be enthusiastically cheering for our athletes representing India at the Rio 2016 Paralympics, starting 7th Sept.” But, the paradox remains because sports fans in India have no other choice than to disappointedly resort to watching the games online at www.paralympic.org and www.olympicchannel.com.

You would be absolutely amazed to know that this year to bring back glory to our country, sports contingent of 19 athletes are sent to compete at Rio 2016 Paralympics. And, because I strongly feel that these athletes deserve several rounds of applause, I would like to hereby list out their names and their respective events.


Pooja- Women Recurve Individual



Ankur Dhama- 1500meter- T11,
Mariyappan Thangavelu- High Jump- T42,
Varun Singh Bhai- High Jump- T42,
Sharad Kumar- High Jump- T42,
Ram Pal- High Jump- T47,
Devendra Jhajharia- Javelin Throw- F46,
Sundar Singh Gujar- Javelin Throw- F46,
Rinku- Javelin Throw- F46,
Ranbir Narender- Javelin Throw- F42/44,
Sandeep- Javelin Throw- F42/44,
Amit Kumar- Club Throw- F51,
Dharambir- Club Throw- F51,


Deepa Malik- Shot Put- F53


Farman Basha- Men's-49kg


Naresh Sharma- Men's R7-50m Rifle 3 Positions- SH1


Suyash Narayan- Men's 50m Butterfly- S7

I humbly request you, my readers, to respect and remember Rio 2016 Paralympics athletes not just for their medals, but more importantly for their undying spirit and extraordinary courage.

Note- Information related to athletes and their respective events is taken from Official Paralympics Website

Thursday, 8 September 2016

Intervention Of The Divine

Dearest Reader,

I know I haven't posted since a very long time. The reason is, I met with an accident lately, an accident which gave me a head injury, but it, more importantly, gave me back my lost clarity. Okay, this might sound a little fancy to you, but that is how it is. Post my accidents, I could recognise and understand the pattern of events in my life so far, with an astounding amount of clarity.

Frankly, after being badly hit and literally thrown onto the ground, by this random vehicle speedily driven by an absolutely inconsiderate driver, in a not-so-busy colony of Delhi, while I was simply crossing the street, I felt as if my breath had numbly paused, for forever.

It was not until later that day in the hospital that I realised I might have bled to death on the spot IF I had not picked the courage to walk and immediately rush for the nearest medical facility, by myself.
So, something in me; I now call it 'an ever-forgiving element of God' in me helped and guidingly took care of me and to everybody else it seemed as if I was the one who rescued me.

My accident now seems to be, perhaps the best thing that happened to me lately. I've now become much more grateful and observant towards the countless graces bestowed upon us all by the spirit (God) which look onto our safety while we every now and then embark on our new journeys.

To keep you immersed in this positive perspective and to inspire you to undertake a retrospection to be able to understand the pattern of life events, I would like to share with you a playlist which has in it some of the most extraordinary Sufi tracks from soulful musicians across the globe.

If you have a story similar to mine, based on an incident which profoundly strengthened your faith in the sublime, feel absolutely free to share the same in the comment box provided below. Till then, stay safe and stay grateful because everything will eventually fall in its right place.

Wednesday, 29 June 2016

Being at Google

Well, my experience at Korrade's #AskGoogle 2 day event in collaboration with Google- Gurgaon wasn’t just an average happy experience; it was rather an overwhelming one, which amazingly opened up my mind to a Global oceanic body (Google) that is convincingly offering an endless array of opportunities and solutions for people like you and me to grow above and beyond.

I had in my recent past the opportunity to make visits to companies across the verticals for a variety of purposes, but somehow I never felt compelled with enough joy to pause and write about my experiences. Apart from having one of the most stunningly enormous buildings, interestingly innovative canteens, awe-inspiring work-station decor, tidy green rooms, there’s something more than this that makes Google, unlike any other workplace.

Can you guess what that “something” might be? Well, that something is nothing other than the spark of content and pride, which I assure you can spot in the eyes of each Googler and mind you the list includes not just Coders, Designers, Sales or Communication professionals, but also chefs, receptionists, and guards at Google.

During the sessions, I never for a minute felt bored, instead, I tried my best to absorb as much as I could from the humbly interactive execution of informative presentations. I strongly believe, to build any initiative into a phenomenal institution, one doesn’t just require swift funding, but more essentially an enthusiastic team of employees which feels happy and humble firstly about their association and secondly about their work.

So, to me, THIS is how any company should aspire itself to be like. 

Tuesday, 14 June 2016

Please, let only LOVE win!

As I vent this out, an uneasy dawn is yet again breaking over Washington DC. Frankly, I have barely slept a wink, since my cousin living in Florida spoke to me about what all she saw from underneath the table of a café near Pulse nightclub, where one of the most tragically horrifying mass-shootout happened since 9/11, leaving about 50 people dead and several badly injured.

Guns, Mental illness, Islamophobia, Hatred, Domestic Violence, Racism, Homegrown Extremism,  different people hold different things responsible for what happened at the midnight in one of the most enthralling gay nightclubs in Orlando, Florida. Untangling this senseless violence is an unnerving struggle not just for Americans, but for all the people around the world who fear that there could be more.

To many people, the mass shooting above all was an act of barbarity by a terrorist determined on harming America. To LGBTQ community, it was something else as well: an attack to puncture their flights and discourage them from celebrating the liberties that the patrons at Pulse were enjoying that night. The shootout evoked a spontaneous outburst of support and sympathy for a group that is still often mocked, with people expressing solidarity through whatever way they can on the social media.

Not-so-surprisingly, within 24 hours of the shootout, the Islamic State had publicly claimed the shooter—29-year-old Omar Mateen—as one of their own, igniting promises from presidential contenders to defeat the terrorist group. The ground level political reality for people of the Muslim community is no less disturbing; as after each incident of this kind, there’s an undeniable sad escalation of attacks and violence toward Muslims.

On the other hand, violent bouts are all too common in the LGBT community as well, which is strongly believed to be Omar’s intended target. Since the attack, Omar’s father, Mir Siddique told NBC News that his son had recently seen “two men kissing” in Miami and became “very angry.” But, can that justify the death of 50 beautiful people who simply had come to a nightclub to joyfully dance a step or two? What century are we all really living in?

However, it’s difficult to determine whether Omar’s alleged commitment to the Islamic State or homophobic anger was the primary trigger of what was the deadliest mass shooting in U.S. soil. But the fact remains that he targeted a gay club during the pride month.

Chad Griffin, president of the Human Rights campaign, told reporters during a press conference “This is what disgusts me the most about this tragedy: The maniac who did this was somehow conditioned to believe that LGBTQ people deserve to be massacred and that they are less-than in this society,” He also added “And he wasn’t just hearing this message from faraway terrorist organizations. He was hearing it from politicians and radical anti-LGBTQ Extremists right here in our own country.”

There are several lessons we all should learn from horrifying occurrences like these, but among those, I feel these four are most important; 

  • Learn to respect other people’s opinions, because it’s absolutely human to have a different opinion,
  • Rise above differences and love people as they are,
  •             No matter who you are, watch your words and your actions,
  •             Keep a vigil, but do not let attacks such as these terrify you to an extent that you stop living the way you always wanted.

At last, I would like to quote Jimmy Fallon’s response to Orlando’s mass shootout "It's just 1 bad guy and 50 good people. There will always be more good than evil. Keep loving each other, respecting each other, keep dancing and we will build it back" 

Friday, 3 June 2016

Got Insomnia? Let's talk about it!

As a teenager, I always thought being an “Insomniac” was something incredibly cool. Surprisingly, now, I crave for a sound & proportionate sleep more than a perfectly warm slice of brownie. Sounds relatable?  Well that’s factually true for most of us who follow 9-6 work routine and wish to strive harder. Unfortunately, Insomnia is not growth supportive; instead it sharply kills our over-all productivity.   

However, before we talk about solutions, we first must know what exactly Insomnia is. Insomnia is one of the most common sleep disorders, which is characterized by difficulty in falling or staying asleep. Some people with insomnia may fall asleep easily but wake up too soon, whereas other insomniacs may have the opposite tendency. Of course, the end result is poor-quality sleep and an everlasting feeling of being lazy as hell.

If you dig deeper, you will come across studies that claim the existence of mainly two types of insomnia; primary and secondary. Secondary Insomnia is observed to be the most common type as almost 8 out of 10 people with insomnia are diagnosed with it.  Here, ‘Secondary’ in medical terms means that the insomnia is not the main thing; it is rather a symptom or a side-effect of some other chronic problem. Some of the problems that usually cause this type of insomnia include:

·     Serious medical illnesses; heart and lung diseases
·      Overdose of Caffeine, tobacco, alcohol, and other substances that affect sleep
·       Chronic pain, anxiety, and depression
·       Heavy medicines that lead to delay or sleep- disruption as a side-effects
·       A poor sleep environment; or a sudden change in sleep routine

So, to keep yourselves from giving a ‘below-the-mark’ presentation at a crucial board meeting or dozing off accidentally while appearing for an important exam, you have got to get rid of your ‘unhealthy’ habits.

Get the right mattress: Sleep comfortably or don’t sleep at all. Make sure you have got the mattress which is neither too hard nor too soft.

Make your room soundproof:  Often, insomnia is caused by being awakened recurrently by loud noises. So, try sleeping in a soundproof room, or else wear earplugs.

Cut down your caffeine-intake: I agree, caffeine is a great pick-me-up, but it can also become really scary. It’s a great stimulator, but when you get to the point of needing that morning mug like the air you breathe it’s time you cut down your caffeine intake at least by half.

Take a bath and listen instrumental music: Wash and make yourself clean and while you do that play Instrumental music in the background. Instrumental music stimulates positive vibes deeper and faster than anything else, so maybe you can take some help.

Never trade your sleep: Sound sleep is a precious thing, trade it for no film, work, or late night party. Once in a while can be acceptable, but repeated patterns create concrete problems and if pattern is related to disruptive sleep, it can result into insomnia.

Let-go all your stress: Stress is considered to be the mother of all problems especially the ones related to our health.  Surviving in a competitive environment is not as easy as it may sound, because stress comes more often than the rains. To de-stress your life you can indulge in anything which engrosses you and makes you happy.  For instance: you can swim, run, paint, bake, play, listen to happy beats, or dance a step or two.

So, don’t be an insomniac, nor let anyone else be! 

Wednesday, 1 June 2016

The other side

Know where the grass is greener? It’s on the other side of all your fears. The moment you stand-up with your chin held high and shoulders as strong as the sky, everything loses its capacity to break you down. When instead of giving up, you dare to make a louder roar, you actually kick start the process of breaking the cage.  

Somehow, I have always strongly held the belief that each of us sharing the same Moon and the Sun, are absolutely capable of doing the impossible.  But, then why is it that only very few of us are actually able to make it? Maybe, it’s because those few do not succumb to fear and even if they happen to do, they make it a point to overcome it and strive back even harder.

Overcoming fear of any sort demands hard work and practice. Music, to me, has so far been the greatest motivator to do just that. So, to help you beat down your fears, repeatedly and religiously till the time they are completely gone, I would like to share my ‘eargasmic’ playlist with you.

Aerosmith's “Dream on”: Written by Steven Tallarico, four years before Aerosmith came to be in the New York music scene, Aerosmith’s “Dream On” stuck out as one of the finest and most enthralling songs till date. With its crux themed on ‘dreaming until your dreams come true’ the song continues to inspire people from across the world.  Focusing mind and energy on your dreams can certainly be the most exciting bait for not submitting to the trail of fears.

Florence and Machine’s ‘Shake it out’: Continuing the ‘superhero’ morph from an arty rocker to a stunning pop diva, “Shake it out” is considered to be Florence Welch’s most powerful song till date.  Released under the F&M’s album ‘Ceremonial’, the track fuels its listener's heart with an undying hope. The lyrics go like “'Cause I like to keep my issues drawn/ It's always darkest before the dawn.” Followed by beautifully sung chorus “Shake it out, shake it out, shake it out, shake it out, ooh whoa/ And it's hard to dance with a devil on your back, So shake him off, oh whoa”. So, shake off all your fears, because it’s hard to climb mountains when you have got a bagful of fears.

Bon Jovi’s “It’s my life”: Bon Jovi’s legendary song which went straight up #1 across Europe is lovingly played till date in each of his concerts.  The song gained such a huge popularity that it became one of the driving rock anthems celebrating human autonomy. With a catchy chorus, the song will make you question: whose life is it anyway? And if it is yours alone then why must you let others have control? So, tune-in to the song and shake off your desire to have other people’s opinion with lyrics like “ It’s my life/ And it’s now or never/ ‘Cause I ain’t gonna live forever…./ I just want to live while I’m alive/ ‘Cause it’s my” life!

Rihanna’s “Diamonds”: Penned by Sia and produced by Benny Blanco & Stargate, “Diamonds” emerged as something entirely different from anything tuned-up on any of the radio stations. It’s not really a killer club cut instead, it’s a stunningly soulful track. Where Rihanna confidently declares “Find light in the beautiful sea/ I choose to be happy/ You and I, you and I/ We’re like diamonds in the sky”. We can all shine bright like diamonds, but for that, we must face our fears. 

Ryan Tedder & Gym Class Heroes’ “The Fighter”: Released as an Olympic friendly cut number back in 2012, the track has inspired people to go beyond and raise the bar. With lyrics like “Give em hell, turn their heads/ Gonna live life 'til we're dead./ Give me scars, give me pain/ Then they'll say to me, say to me, say to me/ There goes the fighter, there goes the fighter/ Here comes the fighter”, the song furiously pumps up the energy level and thus is one of the most popular tracks played at gyms and clubs.  

Lady Gaga’s “Born This Way”: Well, the whole album is worth listening a thousand times, but “born this way” track in specific is incredibly thrilling and at the same time inspiring. The lyrics rock like “I'm beautiful in my way/ 'Cause God makes no mistakes/ I'm on the right track, baby/ I was born this way/ Don't hide yourself in regret/ Just love yourself and you're set/ I'm on the right track, baby/ I was born this way” So, stop doubting your abilities and compete confidently! 

Eminem’s “Not Afraid”: Regarded as the “Rap God” by music fans across the globe, Eminem has always been one of the most inspiring musicians. “Not Afraid” is largely seen as Eminem’s comeback song after having knocked down his drug addiction in the rehab. The song is a dedication, not just to those who have struggled with substance addiction/abuse, but to anyone who has had a hard time fighting with their demons (fears). Considering mistakes to be his life's greatest teachers, Eminem through his song expresses a bond of solidarity and offers motivation in his own unique way. The lyrics roll like “I guess I had to, go to that place, to get to this one/ Now some of you, might still be in that place/ If you're trying to get out, just follow me/ I'll get you there”

Frankly, there’s an amusing abundance of inspiring tracks which can help you fight and beat your fears to death. Because, music embraces all, disappoints none. So, tune-in to rise above and beyond. 

Monday, 30 May 2016

Train thyself!

Many of you must have several times heard people talking about one of the most popular Shakespearean quotes “Know thyself”, but I would like to talk about a step further; Train thyself. Knowing the self in terms of both virtues and vices is absolutely essential. For instance: if you have come to the point of realization where you are able to understand and accept that you have got an anger-issue, then to achieve control and resolve the issue you need to train yourself. And, trust me, living in an age where more and more avenues for knowledge absorption are becoming digitally accessible, nothing at all is impossible; not even the process of ‘training thyself’.

From learning how to manage your anger to cooking exotic new cuisines, you can count on the internet to train yourself to accomplish almost anything that ever existed or is worth being innovated.  However, the key to success of every sort remains the same; patience and sharp focus. So, if you’re confused about how to actually start training yourself, take my advice of first bringing order and discipline to your life by religiously following these simple steps:

Wake-up early but work hard till late- Creating and more importantly abiding by a routine can help you restore and channelize your energy in achieving all your set targets.

Intoxicate- To be able to proceed forward and work hard, you ought to first cleanse your head and make space for fresh and positive ideas.

Say ‘Yes’- Let life flow and teach you along. Summon the courage to say ‘yes’ to whatever life may throw at you. For whatever happens, happens to teach us something incredibly valuable.

Be your coach- Let’s face it; nobody else apart from you would ever think of you, with greater interest than you. So, be your coach, be strict but also be self-rewarding.

Filter and absorb- Don’t simply buy any narration, do your research and the practical before building your belief.

Never stop- Life is a learning process. Never stop training yourself; checking yourself even when you are able to locate visible signs of success.

So what are you still waiting for? Figure out your calling and get going!