Save the street children with Montu

One cold wintry morning, when I was sleeping on the pavement, my body uncovered by a blanket to beat the chilly wind, I saw a beautiful dream.

Indian street children sleep on the pavement -Photo by Kevin Frayer (taken from www.gettyimages.in)

Indian street children sleep on the pavement -Photo by Kevin Frayer (taken from http://www.gettyimages.in)

An angel visited me. His name was Montu. In fact, I should call him Montu bhaiyya, for he addressed me as his little brother. How lovely those words sounded! After all, I don’t really have a family; my parents abandoned me when I was a little kid because they couldn’t feed me with their very little income.

Montu bhaiyya caressed my dirty hair and made me sleep on his lap. He didn’t bother about my soiled clothes or the slight stench coming off my unwashed body. He told me that he had come to help me. He said that he wants to be my voice; he wants to share my story with all the sleeping countrymen who always look down upon street children like us or do not care about our upliftment. He believed my story could wake them up,at least some of them if not all. I smiled. I decided to speak my heart out. Continue reading

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What makes Chetan Bhagat so popular? – My Analysis

Ever since I saw that my good friend Dr. Ryan Fernandes had put up a very good question in the IndiSpire section of Indiblogger.com, the question being:

What makes Chetan Bhagat so popular? What do the other lesser known talented Indian writers need to do to get the same recognition?

Chetan Bhagat

I knew I had to write something on it. But, I was in a fix as I couldn’t gather words to explain Chetan Bhagat‘s immense popularity. The simple reason for this conundrum was that I despise him and writing about him isn’t an easy task for me! I’ll tell you why by sharing a small anecdote which happened today and gave me the right impetus to pen this blog post! Continue reading

Beyond Boundaries: How technology and blogging has given me a new friend and a ticket to Karnataka!

Popular Indian blog directory website BlogAdda.com, in association with INK has given Indian bloggers a really wonderful opportunity to be a part of INK 2014 conference, to be held in Mumbai from October 31 to November 2, 2014 and listen to renowned people in different fields of life. To know who these famous National and International influential speakers are, you can check them in this link: Speakers at INK 2014 Conference

InkTalks

When I came to know about this BlogAdda contest, where a blogger has to collaborate with a blogger who stays in a different country or state or region, and write on one of the five given topics, my excitement and joy knew no bounds! This contest wants us to go beyond our boundaries, which itself is such a marvellous concept and I am a person who loves to meet new people, know their cultures and develop a strong bond with them. So, this contest is something I can’t miss, as it is my window to meet some amazing people.

BlogAdda had recently conducted another awesome contest called “Game of Blogs” in which I was a part of a highly talented team of bloggers. Among them, I became close friends with Dr. Ryan Fernandes (You can read his blogA Surgeon’s Sojourn). Dr. Ryan is a surgeon based in Mangalore, Karnataka and I chose him as my blogging partner for this contest. To my utter happiness, he was equally interested to be a part of this contest too! We decided to pen this post on the topic “How has technology and blogging helped people explore and meet new people beyond boundaries and learn new things in the process?” because technology and blogging have brought us together as friends, and most importantly, helped us know each other better.

Could we imagine, a decade ago, that technology could bring such a sea-change in how we communicate with people and share ideas and thoughts with them almost every second? I am 23 years-old now, and in the past two decades, I have witnessed an ‘information revolution‘ of gargantuan magnitude. Earlier, people communicated through letters, postcards and telegram, which is a thing of the past now. Slowly, telephones became a popular medium of communication. You must have fond memories of talking through ‘landline phones’ at a time when cellphones had not reached every person’s hands in India. Currently, almost every Indian owns a cellphone and has access to a world which goes beyond their boundaries. It’s simply incredible to see how the market today is flooded with high-tech gadgets developed with superior technologies and they offer a variety of applications and services that are helping us stay connected to a vast population. Internet, as a whole, has made the world population ‘one huge family’! One of the blessings of this internet is blogging. It has evolved from a medium of self-expression of just one individual to a platform to share thoughts, ideas and services by more than one individual. To highlight the power of blogging and the benefits of technology, the best example I and Ryan can give is the BlogAdda contest ‘Game of Blogs‘. The teams in this contest had bloggers spread across India, and they sat at their own homes or offices, and communicated with all team-members and shared ideas for the story on different platforms like email, Whatsapp, Facebook and Twitter. Each blogger was a stranger to another blogger, yet they connected with each other. This is quite commendable! Would this have been possible if not for Internet technology and the blogging opportunity offered by BlogAdda? 

A few days back, Ryan wrote a letter to me via email, recounting our wonderful experiences as co-bloggers in the BlogAdda contest. Surprisingly, his letter was not just any normal letter. It touched my heart and made me smile. This is what he wrote:

Hey Kunal,

Hope this mail of mine finds you in the best of health. How have you been buddy? And what are you upto these days?

You must be wondering why I’m mailing you instead of messaging you on Whatsapp. After those crazy hectic days during the GAME OF BLOGS by BlogAdda everything seems to have quietened down on our Whatsapp group. What an experience it was!!!!  I still remember the day I got a call from BlogAdda saying “Sir, your team mates are waiting for you to respond. It seemed so weird to get together with strangers from different places and plan out a book.  We developed an instant connection! I think it was only after a week or so that I came to know that you are from Assam! Having lived all my life in Mangalore, Karnataka and not having gone beyond Goa and Mumbai, Assam to me seemed like a foreign land. Till I got to know you, I didn’t know anyone from Assam nor did I know anything about Assam! The only thing that I knew was that its tea is very famous! And that too was just hearsay! That’s about it.

But then you came along. Initially of course, your obsession with our story and your “Where is Roohi” obsession really scared me but then when I got to know your ‘normal’ side, I found a good friend and also learnt so much about a new state.

Remember Kunal, we had all once discussed on our Whatsapp group about different holiday destinations. I had said that I would be visiting Goa this December. Well, me and my wife have now changed our mind and that’s all thanks to the amazing pictures and stories you shared with us of Assam! You said we should visit there at least once and you had even offered to show us around.

Well….Guess what! We have taken up your offer to come there. There are some specific places we want to see. You had told me about the Assam State Zoo cum Botanical Park. Honestly I never believed you when you said that it is the largest one in the North East. Can’t wait to see it now and I hope it’s not too far away from your home. By the way, is your offer still on for us to stay over? Just kidding we wouldn’t want to impose. Just pay for the cab, that’s all. Ha ha ha! Don’t panic I’m still kidding.

Then of course, much to the dislike of my wife, I would like to check out the Cricket Stadium in Guwahati. Being a cricket fan that’s definitely one place I’m looking forward to visit. BTW has Assam ever produced a Rahul Dravid? Oh no that’s coz he’s from Karnataka *evil grin*. Even your Abu Nechim plays for the Royal Challengers Bangalore. Yeah Yeah! You’ll probably whatsapp me saying that you will report me to Arnab Goswami who you very very clearly once told me hails from Assam. The nation now knows that your state was responsible for him! Anyways jokes apart, while at Guwahati, lets make a quick dash to the Assam State Museum, I’m sure my wife would enjoy it. 

These are just a few of the places among the ones you told me that I remember. Rest of the place I leave it to you to show us be it the Kamakhya Temple or Deepor Bil. I just googled those places and found them to be very interesting!

So as you can see, we are really looking forward to be there. Will inform you the dates as soon as I confirm them. Regards to everyone at home. And yes I finally will get to taste the original Assam tea!

In the meanwhile…..FIND ROOHI 😛

Regards,

Dr Ryan Fernandes

I was so thrilled to read Ryan’s email. We’ve met each other on the Internet; we haven’t met in reality, and yet, blogging has connected us hear-to-heart, so much that he has actually wanted to come to my home state Assam. Atithi Devo Bhava! Ryan and his wife would be my guests, and I would love to accompany them and show them my wonderful Assam.

I have never been to Karnataka, so I asked Ryan that if he would be interested to help me explore his home state. He expressed his delight at the offer, and to further fuel my excitement, he emailed me some pictures of ‘must visit’ places in Karnataka. Here are the pictures, which I made into a collage:

Karnataka Collage

This conversation on email is, no doubt, a gift of technology. Blogging and technology has transformed our lives in an amazing manner. Watching the rapid developments in technology, one simply cannot guess what the future has in store for us. Websites like BlogAdda are doing wonderful work by serving as a portal for bloggers to express themselves to a global population. They have not only allowed us to meet new people, but also learn new things.

One human life is too short to explore the wonderful places and meet the people around the world. Our time in this world is limited, so we ought to make the best use of this time. Know that nothing is impossible till we have tried every possibility. Arthur C. Clarke aptly said in this beautiful quote:

“The limits of the possible can only be defined by going beyond them into the impossible.”

This post is a part of “Beyond Boundaries” at BlogAdda.com in association with INK 2014.

 

The 100th post: Celebrations and a journey to the past

The number 100 is a special number in our lives. We all have some special moments which get associated with the century mark. We celebrate the 100th birthday of our parents, or grandparents in a grand manner, if they live up to that age, and we wish them many more healthy years. We celebrate 100 days of a successful relationship, or friendship or any other work or some association. We celebrate the century of our favourite cricketers or the 100th victory of a sportsperson. We even celebrate 100 likes on our Facebook updates! In fact, there are so many ways we celebrate a century.

100 posts

And today is my day of celebration! Today I write the 100th post in my blog. This may be a very small celebration compared to others, but it means a lot to me. A few days ago, when I was pondering what to write for the 100th post, I hit a roadblock, not because I was short of ideas, but a torrent of different topics filled my mind. I was unable to come to a proper decision, so I sought the help of the readers of my blog. I created a poll asking the readers to vote for the category on which they would like me to write my 100th post. The initial votes were in favour of ‘Fiction’ and ‘Photography’. Honestly speaking, I was a bit worried as I didn’t want to write a story or post a photo for my 100th post. I really wanted to write something on a personal level, something to connect with the readers and share my story, which was possible only if majority votes were cast for the categories ‘Musings’ or ‘Memories’. I waited for sometime. And today, I am writing this post according to the wishes of my blog’s readers. A big thanks to everyone who voted and a special thanks to those readers who voted for the categories I wished for. Thanks a lot.

Poll

Since equal votes have been given for ‘Musings’ and ‘Memories’, I am sharing something which reflects the essence of both these categories. I want to share with you a small incident which propelled me towards reading serious novels, creative writing and especially blogging.

People, who know me well, often ask me what inspired or prompted me towards literature because I wasn’t so keen about reading novels or writing during school days. But I loved reading other books, especially comics and a set of 20 Volume Children’s Britannica, from which I learnt so many stuff. Occasionally, I used to read books of Famous Five series or The Secret Seven series. Sometimes, I used to write poems but they were really horrible by poetry standards. I better not discuss about them! However, this particular incident changed my perception and interest regarding  the world of literature, and eventually, helped me become a blogger.

It was the day in the year 2010 when the results of CBSE Class 12 board exams were announced. I was expecting good marks in all the subjects. But, fate had other plans for me. When the results were displayed on my computer screen, my heart broke into pieces. I had scored excellent marks in all subjects except English. Out of 100 marks, I scored only 69. I say ‘only’ because it was the poorest English marks I had scored in my entire academic life in school. I used to write well, my teachers themselves believed I could score above 90 and my board exam was pretty good. But 69 baffled me! It was something I never imagined; in fact, I still don’t. This incident turned into a wound, which is till fresh and the pain it gives me has become a driving force. Instead of lamenting over a lost cause, I promised myself that if my English actually has some flaws for which I probably got low marks, then I would have to work hard to improve it, to remove the shortcomings and finally to master it. In the four years of college I spent after 2010, I watched a lot of English movies and TV series, which I hadn’t done before; I read books like a voracious reader and took my writing seriously by contributing articles for magazines, newspapers and journals. I began to work with people with similar interests, learning how to improve my writing and overall, my literary tastes. I immersed myself totally in any medium which could help me improve my English.

And in 2013, I stumbled upon the world of blogging. My mark of achievement of this hard work is my blog “The Kaleidoscopic Kanvas“. 4 years back, I was easily intimidated when I was told to write something, be it a story or an article or a report. I was not confident about my English and my writing skills. But, today, I am able to maintain this blog with posts which many readers have loved and appreciated. In this one and a half year journey as a blogger, I have truly benefitted from the association with the websites Indiblogger and BlogAdda. They have given me opportunities to improve my work and connect with different bloggers across India and the world. Thank you Indiblogger and BlogAdda.

The 100th post  is a momentous one for me, and I consider it as a stepping stone for better things to come in the future. Blogging has opened up a new world of possibilities for me and I immensely rejoice this new life blogging, books and writing has offered me.

To know more about “The Kaleidoscopic Kanvas”, you can read these two posts I wrote earlier.

The birth of “The Kaleidoscopic Kanvas” !

A new beginning!

Once again, I thank you for your reading my blog and I hope you will continue to show your love and support for my blog. I shall strive to make this relationship between scribe and reader better and richer everyday. 🙂

What if Jamaicans turned into zombies!

The Internet is filled with memes nowadays. While some memes are sensibly hilarious, others are outrageous! Today, I came across this funny and a rather thought-provoking meme on Facebook. Just imagine – what if Jamaicans, or Usain Bolt (in picture) – the current fastest man on Earth turn into zombies.

Zombie Apocalypse

Our knowledge of zombies, as seen in movies mostly, are slow-walking dead creatures who thrive on human flesh. Be it movies like Resident EvilDawn of the Dead or Warm Bodies, or popular TV series as Walking Dead, zombies have always been a subject of terror and disgust, to some extent. But many a times, their actions are funny, their sloppy walking and awkward expressions, as seen in the movie Warm Bodies seemed adorable!

Anyways, coming down to the point. Imagine if Jamaicans, who are famous for their athletic skills, turn into zombies, supposedly in the context of a zombie apocalypse! The whole definition of a zombie would change. People would have to run helter-skelter and chances are you won’t escape a zombie bite. How could you? If Usain Bolt can run 100 metres in around 9 point something seconds, you can pretty much bet that his fellow countrymen can clock nearby speeds too. And the average human beings can run the same distance in about 30 seconds! Doomed!

Damn. No chance of escape, unless you are rescued by the superhero Flash of DC Comics. Flash, by the way, is the fastest man on Earth. Wish he was real!

Disclaimer: This post is inspired by an Internet meme and the author does not intend to hurt anybody’s sentiments. It is written with a good heart and to tickle the funny bone only! Peace. 🙂