Irony takes the lead in the narrative, The submissive confronts the free bird and triumphs. If you find beauty in the brick walls that suffocate you… Would it be tragically wonderful or wonderfully tragic? I desire to fly, but the ropes of fear have tied me to the pit. Perhaps you define fear for me, […]
FALLEN ANGELS, a film that moved me greatly, brought me to tears and even made me smile. I’ve never doubted the strength that a woman had but this documentary made me realise, we are more than what we will ever know or can gauge.The many lives I have witnessed of the women around have only taught me strength, hope, courage, optimism, kindness and love. I wish I could reach out to each one of these children and their mothers, tell them it is okay to accept their realities, it is okay to be a sex worker, it is okay to cry and weep. These women may not be great personalities but they still inspire me, give me strength.
Please watch the film below.
it isn’t being embedded for some reason. However, please click on the link and watch.
Well articulated, how I wish this could reach Arnab!
I had always admired the man for his stance and praised his courage, but recent times have got me thinking otherwise. How does one expect to relate or appreciate someone who has fought and believes in freedom of speech but never allows a contrary point of view on his show, deeming those with an ideology different from his as incorrect and deserving of his vile rant!
It’s saddening to see the country being fed this sort of journalism every night at prime time and then we ask, why are we so intolerant? Exposure to someone that people idealise, bawling out at everyone with contrary opinions and making that seem right is what influences the minds of the people!
We need to become aware of what the media feeds our minds with. An active filter is highly essential to stay sane.
I am wondering if all has been going well with you. I saw your show on television the other night and you were shouting at a young man who has now been accused of sedition because of a meeting he attended on his college campus. In this show you shouted this young man down, did not let him speak, turned off his mike while he struggled to make himself heard. You called him a terrorist. You said people like him are dangerous elements and wondered who was funding him. You told him he should be grateful for things that India has apparently given him and others like him. You even had a tweet for the purpose #FlashpointAfzal. We will not go into the extraordinary idiocy you displayed in your own version of what you are pleased to call an ‘argument’. It seems in the world you inhabit, and people…
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“Tell me your deepest secret,” he asked. The coffee shop was unnaturally quiet. A couple giggled in the corner, their whispers echoing in the silence. He looked around and took another sip of the coffee. They were coffee shop friends and their friendship had begun in silence, when only the slurping and the coffee kept them company.
“I’ve always had a strange fascination for curves, things that were flexible and could flow. I always thought angles were rigid and complicated. Somehow, imperfection always seemed perfect to me,” he answered. “That’s not strange at all,” the friend replied. “Nobody is perfect and life’s always about the curves. I love curves too, it has something so artistic and lovely about it.”
He smiled and nodded in agreement. “The world loves curves, it represents creativity, I’ve always thought straight lines were somehow unattractive and rigid,” the coffee shop friend continued in deep thought. Silence took over again. He reiterated, “So what’s your secret?”
Their eyes met, “I’m not straight,” he replied. His eyes still fixed on him. The friend now seemed uncomfortable, suddenly there was a certain awkwardness around them. He got up to pay the bill. As they left, the friend smiled, “I guess the world is rigid and stale, tomorrow same time?” They nodded and went their way.
The room was full of romantic whispers again.
– Sarah Thomas
I read this today and thought I must must share this. Please spare a moment.
“I love being horribly straightforward. I love sending reckless text messages (because how reckless can a form of digitized communication be?) and telling people I love them and telling people they are absolutely magical humans and I cannot believe they really exist. I love saying, Kiss me harder, and You’re a good person, and, You brighten my day. I live my life as straight-forward as possible.
Because one day, I might get hit by a bus.
Maybe it’s weird. Maybe it’s scary. Maybe it seems downright impossible to just be—to just let people know you want them, need them, feel like, in this very moment, you will die if you do not see them, hold them, touch them in some way whether its your feet on their thighs on the couch or your tongue in their mouth or your heart in their hands.
But there is nothing more beautiful than being desperate.
And there is nothing more risky than pretending not to care.
We are young and we are human and we are beautiful and we are not as in control as we think we are. We never know who needs us back. We never know the magic that can arise between ourselves and other humans.
We never know when the bus is coming.”
—Rachel C. Lewis, Tell The People You Love That You Love Them
This is an article written for WiseOwl, a Bangalore based youth magazine. I’ve been waiting for long for this to be published. The issue isn’t available on line and I haven’t got a hard copy of it either but this was the copy sent to me before the final proof reading.
Before you go on to read the article in the image, here it is. Making it simple. 🙂
I enjoyed writing the piece, got to speak to many young entrepreneurs. Very inspiring.
Hope you enjoy reading it.
Be Your Own Boss
We’ve all heard many ‘rags to riches’ stories of how people with small time jobs have made it big by themselves. Often, these success stories would have got you thinking about yourself, about how you could get there too. Ever wondered what is common in Bill Gates, Walt Disney, Steve Jobs, Mark Zuckerberg or our very own Ratan Tata and Kiran Mazumdar? Despite having come from different fields and family backgrounds, these achievers had one thing in common; they all had some ‘ideas,’ something they believed would change the face of the industry they were to step into. No matter how disastrous or preposterous it may have sounded to the rest of the world, they believed in that idea and went ahead to start their own businesses and today, as we all know, are among most acknowledged entrepreneurs worldwide.
Owing and running your show may sound simple, but making money out of it is not as simple as it may seem. After all, it isn’t just about being an entrepreneur; it’s about being a successful one. Having an idea and believing in it can be a great start, but making that idea work needs the perfect equation of mind, skill and talent. Did you know that two percent of the world’s population earns 60 percent of the world’s wealth? That’s not because of the charm of these entrepreneurs but their ability to turn financial skills into revenue-generating models.
A Bangalore based, young entrepreneur Farhan Hussain proudly states that when he began, his resources were too less. He was short of professional equipment and his team was too small as well, but he used them to their best. The famous ‘Happy Bangalore’ video was created by him and his friends, parts of which were incorporated in the official ‘Happy’ video by Pharrel Williams on VH1 and Comedy Central. This created a ‘Happy trend’ among the youth of the nation, youngsters from different cities began creating happy videos of their cities and uploading it on YouTube.
Farhan is the co-founder of F-Stop, a media company, and Poster House, a home décor company. Farhan’s clientele boasts of brands including Puma.
Being interested in photography, art, design and film making, Farhan calls himself a visual artist. “The whole idea of F-stop stemmed from the start-up fever wide spread in Bangalore. We were keen on starting something new and so, F-stop was born. Our goal is to help start-ups create quality-brand identities using visual media.” He started marketing and brand building from the scratch with ‘zero’ initial investments. Social media, he describes, is the best platform for start-ups to spread their message. It has gained a strong hold as a marketing platform and it is a ‘no cost’ and extremely efficient means of spreading the word.
“F-stop started as an artist page on Facebook. We got good response to this community forum and people wanted us to help them out, most of them were start-ups. So, we registered it as a small home-based company and started publicity in the virtual world,” said Farhan. This three year old company is growing by leaps and bounds, making its presence felt across the different media fields.
Before you begin thinking about the ways you can register and get your company up and running, weigh out the pros and cons. Invest good time and research on your idea and learn more about it. Hasty decisions can cost you a lot. A thorough analysis of the idea and other similar ideas of people who have established their companies must be done. Known as ‘Competitor Analysis’, it is of utmost importance to be prepared with the understanding of the business sector you are to join. Many a time, you may bump into your own idea being executed differently by somebody else. Therefore, it is very important to acquaint yourself with your potential competitors.
“You need to ask yourself what makes your idea unique, it need not always be in monetary terms. You can be unique in terms of the services you offer and the way you address your client’s grievances,” said Shuba K, co-founder of Visionways, a human resources (HR) consultancy established in 2012.
Initially, you have to go through the process of registering your company, developing a website, filing taxes and also getting your sales tax registration done. For this documentation process, Shuba relied on newbies who carried out the complex job throughout the setting up phase at reduced cost. “Help with documentation proved beneficial only to an extent as the worries and mental stress of dealing with amateurs, on the other hand, is a burden that came along,” says Shuba.
Being a HR consultant for seven years, Shuba developed a vision to empower individuals by helping them create a visionary approach in their line of work which provides them with a competitive business edge. When asked about her initial investment she explained that after she carried out research based on other similar companies, she realized that other consultancies gave more importance to money involved and targets met compared to the individuals taking up a job. For them, candidates were secondary. “Visionways works towards giving quality service. Although people de-motivated me a lot in the beginning, I knew that if I worked towards what I believed the end result would be worth it.”
Shuba had enough contacts to begin working independently. She started off connecting with more and more people through references, job portals and social networking sites. She required an initial investment for the registration and to set up an office. The rest slowly fell in place. Today, Visionways has established itself in the market and serves US-based clients among others.
As HR expert, Shuba advises that before you start your own company speak to other people who have been in the field and try learning from their experiences. Reading autobiographies of successful business persons helps too. It is also essential to determine a target group for your idea. Your idea needs to be appealing to this group. If your products and services are not plausible to them, then there is no use doing it.
Speaking about target groups, Johnson Rajkumar, another co-founder of Poster House says, “The youth love sticking posters on their walls, be it of their favorite artists, movies or soap operas. In the West, you get inexpensive posters neatly framed, ready for your walls. But here in India the scenario is quite different. Not only are we short of showrooms that sell posters but the ones that do, sell them at exorbitant prices which the youth cannot afford.” The wooden frames are used for pictures of deities and do not cost as much. After a lot of deliberation, Johnson along with Farhan and Muhammed came up with the idea of Poster House, where they create classic wooden-framed posters. According to them, their target customers are young people who are aware of who’s who of Hollywood and rock music. People between the ages of 16 to 30 forms their target group. “The set target customer base is only approximate and not absolute. We are here to cater to anybody who wants posters,” explains Johnson.
Though, an idea can get you started on your dream to set up something of your own, but without the much-needed investments to support it, an idea can die a slow painful death. It is crucial to have an estimate of the investment needed and revenue that can be generated. Founders of Poster House looked into the initial capital that would be required; they calculated the costs required for delivering the posters and making the frames. That was all the investment they needed, which luckily turned out to be affordable for them. Poster House was publicized only through Facebook. “We had 300 orders in just one month. People were thrilled about the fact that what would generally cost Rs 2000 otherwise, was available at just Rs 500 at Poster House, and that too posters of impeccable quality,” beams Muhammed.
If you refuse to sell mediocre services and products compromised on quality, profits will eventually follow. There are several local investors and banks that help raise capital for one’s start-up. However, it is best to start small with an affordable capital and then work towards growing the firm and expanding the business.
Owner of beauty services Ezina, Sahar Khatija, has cut across conventional trends. Ezina offers professional services in make-up, hairstyling, nail art, henna and photography, and that too at the customer’s doorstep. At the initial stages, her only investment was her pocket money after which her family supported her. Now Ezina has grown beyond Sahar’s imaginations and she is all set to opening a studio to continue her work.
The first and foremost quality much needed to be an entrepreneur is patience. It may not always come easy and ‘by when?’ is a question you may have to ponder over for a long time. To start a business is certainly a big risk, but if you have faith in yourself it is a risk worth taking. So don’t refrain from dreaming big and going after making your dream larger than life. After all, even these successful people started from the scratch at some point of time. Give your idea and your faith in self a chance and you never know, you may just end up as the next business tycoon. In the words of Mark Zuckerberg, “The biggest risk is not taking any risk. In a world that’s changing really quickly, the only strategy that is guaranteed to fail is not taking risks.”
Hats off to this young woman, for saying what she has and for speaking for several others who may not have the courage to speak up!
For most of my life, I used to consider myself lucky. I’ve had a beautiful childhood, doting parents who have given me the liberty to make my own mistakes, an amazing environment where I can mingle around with whoever I pleased, the freedom to date whoever I want to and, the most important of all, an education. I had never, and have never, taken my privileges for granted. Until recently; I began to think – Lucky? Why did I consider myself lucky? Isn’t all this what I am supposed to be receiving anyway?
Not really, as the current state of affairs clearly exhibit. My eating what I want to, sitting however I feel like, talking and spending time with people of my choice, dressing up in what I feel looks good on me, and going out whenever and wherever I want to, are things I need to be eternally grateful for, it…
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