In India, the word ‘job’ is generally referred to as ‘service’. But practically speaking, there is a vast difference between the two. Doing a job means carrying the work assigned to you. It doesn’t necessarily include any emotions.
But when we say a person is engaged in a service, it means he is serving someone. The act of serving is born out of compassion and isn’t limited to the material benefit one derives after its completion.
A one bus conductor named Sopan Bhagwan Javane in Mirajgaon, Maharashtra has taken the meaning of ‘serving’ to another level altogether, all by himself.
Working on an MSRTC bus, he takes care of his passengers in a way they could have never imagined from a bus conductor. He indirectly also cheers them up and provides a profound heartwarming feeling. Javane, in all sense, is an unsung hero of India.
Watch him and his special antics in the documentary below titled Ekla Chalo Re, conceived, written and directed by Swapnil Rajshekhar:-
By: Keyur Seta
Remember how Aamir Khan’s character felt in PK when he landed on our planet? The scene was similar when a workshop on electrical engineering was attended by someone like me, whose experience in electrical stuff is limited to changing bulbs and batteries of TV remote. The only difference is that I didn’t have to cover myself up with a transistor or radio.
The event was INK Live 2015 in Mumbai at the Indian School of Design and Innovation (ISDI). It was the 7th edition of INK, which was attended not only by the students of the institute but also by people from all walks of lives and age groups. I got the privilege to attend for being a blogger registered with BlogAdda.
Thankfully though, my experience after the commencement of the workshop, titled Art & Technology Workshop, was no way similar to that of PK. Although I was quite out of sorts at the start with the materials provided in the form of a battery, few wires and a device (don’t know what it is called), there wasn’t a problem later on.
In fact, it turned out to be a fun activity. We were taught to pass current through our hands and arms and create music out of it (see the video). The friendly nature of the teacher and his helpful volunteers largely helped. But my partners at the exercise, Nilesh and Saurabh, made things very easy for me since they had studied electrical stuff in the past.
This was probably the first time I had such fun inside a classroom after finishing school, despite feeling like Shah Rukh Khan’s character in Main Hoon Na since almost everyone out there was a teenager.
Here is the video glimpse of our fun experience at the workshop:-
INK also provides a platform to students to showcase their scientific innovative skills. This is where I met a couple of 12th standard students from Chennai, Yogesh Kumar and Shubham S, who have invented a miniature Landmine Detector or Landmine Detection Robot with some help from their teacher from Surana Jain Vidyalaya. As the name suggests, the device can help locate landmines in war-torn areas. Their passion and knowledge was visible from the way they answered all queries like professionals.
Interactive talk by well-known personalities and intellectuals is also an important feature at INK and this year was no different. The likes of Irrfan Khan, Ayushmann Khurrana, Kiran Rao, and Gingerr Shankar were among the many speakers at the event.
It was pleasing and motivating to listen to Babar Ali, who is the Youngest Headmaster in the World, according to BBC. While narrating his success story, he revealed that once he couldn’t speak at an event as he didn’t know English. But he vowed to learn English and speak at the event next year and did that. Today, he is doing his Masters in English Literature.
Pranay Chulet, the founder of Quikr, spoke about his upcoming film on terrorism. It’s a genre never-tried-before for it combines a feature film and video game. The user will have to choose playing any one of the characters and the film will move forward according to the choice s/he makes.
But then came Josh Radnor, the creator and actor of the hugely popular TV series How I Met Your Mother, where he plays Ted. He received the maximum applause for his interaction, which was both hilarious as well as thought-provoking. His humble and down-to-earth nature won over the audience.
So, all in all, it was an interesting and enlightening experience. It reminded me that there is always so much to learn in the world and learning is an unending process. It was my first INK experience and certainly not the last.
By: Keyur Seta
I firmly believe that films are a reflection of our real lives. This also includes some larger-than-life Hindi films. The only difference is that situations are dramatized in such films for entertainment purpose, sometimes to an unbelievable extent.
But if you take away the larger-than-life elements from Bollywood films, you would be able to relate with them because the situations or challenges faced by characters remain the same. So, similarly, the phrase “Kahani Mein Twist,” is also applicable in real lives. I am sure many of you must have encountered at least some major turn in your life, quite unexpectedly.
Needless to say, I too have encountered such a twist, which was born out of a #SachchiAdvice. But it would be an understatement to say that that advice made a difference to my life. It simply changed my life… completely… and this is not a larger-than-life element.
The story began 15 years ago. Circa 2000. I passed 10th standard with first class. As per the silly mentality of our society, all high rankers go into Science, average ones in Commerce and low rankers in Arts. I belonged to the second category so I went into Commerce. Also because most of my friends took Commerce.
The decision turned out to be my worst ever. I soon realized I am not meant for Commerce and my interest lies in writing instead of tallying numbers. I felt like Veer Pratap Singh (Shah Rukh Khan) of Veer Zara, who visited his girlfriend’s place, not knowing he would be jailed out of nowhere. I somehow passed 12th. I spent those two years like Veer spent 22 years in prison.
Despite passing HSC, I wasn’t happy at all as I dreaded at the thought of continuing Commerce, which was going to be even tougher now. In other words, I thought I would have to spend more jail time like Veer. The sight of the balance sheet and those crazy numbers gave my nightmares.
But then I happened to meet one of our family friends. It was just a chance meeting that turned out to be divine intervention as it changed my life forever. I visited the middle-aged couple to hand over something on my mom’s behalf. While speaking about various issues, our conversation turned towards my career plan (or the lack of it).
The couple had read some of my writings and they happened to like them a lot. So, when I said I am having a pathetic time in Commerce, they not only suggested that I should switch over to Arts but also urged me to do so. In the words of the uncle, “Tum yeh baniyagiri mein kahan chale gaye?”
In the present day, although I might not be greatly successful, I have made an identity for myself in the field of writing. But it surely wouldn’t have happened without the advice of those two people. After returning home from that fateful meeting, I thought about it long, discussed with my parents and finally went ahead and changed my stream to Arts.
From then onwards, study was no longer study for me as I felt completely at home with theories. It was more like a knowledge-gaining process that I greatly enjoyed. I used to look forward to studying in the morning. I can’t recall this happening ever before. This increased my interest and skills and writing. It became my biggest or, rather, only professional skill.
Today as I look back, I am utterly scared to even think of what would have happened to me had I not implemented that #SachchiAdvice and switched over to arts. You wouldn’t be reading this blog post for sure.
Finally, it won’t be wrong to say that the couple turned out to be Samiya Siddiqui for me. She was Veer’s lawyer in the film (played by Rani Mukerji), who helped him come out of jail and get reunited with Zaara. These two individuals did the same for me.
By now, you must have guessed that Zaara symbolizes my interest in writing, from which I got estranged during those years in Commerce. Today I am the happy Veer Pratap Singh seen during the end credits of the film, although definitely not that old.
The dialogues of Welcome Back are the biggest reason for the film's success at the box office (along with the graveyard scene). The Anees Bazmee movie has acquired the status of a laugh-riot due to the whacky, witty and crazy lines by dialogue writer Raaj Shandilya.
The movie also stands out from other mindless entertainers because it includes a list veteran artists like Naseeruddin Shah, Nana Patekar, Anil Kapoor, Paresh Rawal and Dimple Kapadia. It is quite a sight to see them perform some crazy antics.
Here are some memorable/ famous/ best dialogues from Welcome Back:
(Note: Some dialogues in this post are contributed by dialogue writer Raaj Shandilya himself.)
- JOHN: Mobile uska. Sim aapun ka. Tu beech mein missed call dene wala kaun?
- ANIL (Majnu): Aapki sharafat ke chakkar mein main kayde mein hoon, warna ab tak mere khud ke do-chaar Al-Qaede hote.
- DIMPLE: Yeh humari beti hai. NASEER: Humari?? DIMPLE: Matlab, meri beti hai. NASEER: Wohi main sochun ki hum toh kayin dino se shikaar pe nahin gaye toh bandook kisne chala di?
- NASEER: Mazaak tha!
- ANIL: Is tarah bolte the mazaak tha, mazaak tha, jaise humne kabhi zindagi mein chutkule sune hi nahin.
- ANIL: Ise dekho. Yeh baith ta hai toh lagta hai kala sofa hai.
- NANA (Uday Bhai): Kya khilone hain. Humare bachchon ke liye aise hi khareedenge. ANIL: Arre pehle shaadi toh hone do!
- NANA: Yaad rakhna, Gun aur gun ki spelling same hai.
- NANA: Bhagwan ka diya hua sab kuchh... ANIL: Arre bandh karo yeh tumhara sann untalis ka dialogue.
- ANIL: Aapka apna beta, aapne bataya bhi nahin. PARESH: Arre batane ka kya matlab hai? Mera toh chacha bhi hai, mera mama bhi hai, uske bare mein maine kabhi bhi aapko bataya?
- PARESH: Tera baap yahan chhod ke gaya tha, ya teri ma rakh ke gayi thi?
- ANIL: Logon ki ma-behan hoti hai. Aapki toh baap-behan ho gayi hai.
- RAJPAL YADAV: Ek radio ke peechhe do log fit nahin honge.
- ANIL: Bhoot Shetty, Srivastava kuch nahin dekhte. Jiski game bajani ho baja daalte hain.
- PARESH: Jab maine chunaav mein vote dala hi nahin, toh mukhyamantri mera kaise ho gaya?
(Please feel free to add more in the comments section.)
By: Keyur Seta
We have heard male actors praising their female counterparts numerous times. Even female actors praising the looks of actors from their own gender is a common occurrence. But a male actor being in awe of another male actor in terms of looks is a rarity, which was witnessed recently during a bloggers meet and media interaction with actor Arjun Rampal.
When Rampal was asked how it feels to be one of the most handsome actors, his answer pleasantly surprised many. “I feel Dharam ji (Dharmendra) is the most handsome actor. I was with him in a flight three days ago. He still looks beautiful and he is a beautiful human being too.”
Rampal was speaking during the launch of the Nivea Men Body Deodorizer, a deodorant for men. The event was organized by BlogAdda and was attended by bloggers, who got a special candid session and photo op with Rampal. The actor spoke extensively on the issue of body odour and shared his experiences, which included a funny incident with his female friend.
“She has a big problem about body odour. I was wondering how to tell her about it as it can be awkward. So, I just said that some people have a terrible body odour. To this she said, ‘Oh yes. I am glad I smell good naturally’. What to say now?”
Before Rampal entered the scene, the bloggers got a chance to interact with Animesh Gupta, a Psychologist, Stress Management specialist and Trainer, about everything related to body odour; how and why it occurs, how to deal with it and, most importantly, how to tell someone that he or she has a bad body odour. But the interaction was funnier than serious, thanks to Gupta’s sense of humor.
But the most hilarious moment arrived when the spoof of a news debate show was played. It is a smartly-written and well-performed act, which is shared below.
The entire #sniffsniff experience was interesting but my family members found it surprising and, at times, weird to see somebody sending things like a clip, coffee beans and mask at my doorstep so religiously. It took a lot to finally make them understand that it is a promotional activity to build anticipation.
For me, the word ‘deodorant’ brings back bad memories of not only body odour but also those pathetic deo advertisements, where females start getting turned on by the good smell of men. I find such ads completely an insult to women as it shows them to be so dumb that they will have physical pleasure with anyone who smells good.
I wasn’t expecting Nivea to advertise their product in this way. But I wasn’t entirely sure given the advertisement scenario in India. Thankfully though, their ad, which was played at the event, doesn’t support this ridiculous theory. It was a case of Happy Ending.
By: Keyur Seta
The new Censor Board, headed by ex-filmmaker Pahlaj Nihalani, has been receiving criticism and flak in huge proportions following their shockingly silly decisions to ban certain words, sequences and, in some cases, an entire film. Plus, their cuss list, which prohibits harmless words like ‘sala’ and ‘kutta’ are making things worse for them.
But recently, the CBFC came up with a decision of cutting a particular scene, which is been labeled as their most laughable blunder ever. The said sequence is from Devang Dholakia’s upcoming film Kuch Kuch Locha Hai starring Ram Kapoor and Sunny Leone.
During a recent media interaction, Kapoor disclosed the cut ordered by the board. “You will laugh at this but this is a fact. There is a sequence in the film where Sunny Leone presents me with a gift. Since I have nothing to give her in return, I present her with a banana, saying it is very nutritious. This scene was chopped off by the censors.”
As we raised our eyebrows and were about to react, he added, “Wait. Would you like to know their logic? They said they are chopping it off because it is a night scene. If the situation had taken place during the day, they said they would have allowed as it wouldn’t have amounted to double meaning. But since it is a night scene, it becomes double meaning for them.”
Kapoor expressed the need to do something about this saying, “It’s absolute nonsense.”
By: Keyur Seta
In my personal opinion, formula Hindi movies are similar to our real lives. It is just that films are dramatized for entertainment purpose. So if you take away the larger-than-life elements from our Hindi films, you will be able to relate with many of them. One such element is twists or turns in a story. Is there anyone who hasn’t experienced such Kahani Mein Twist? I don’t think so.
But there are times when you are required to make important decisions to bring out this twist in your life or to Start A New Life. Sometimes, this also means taking a bold decision that can risk something as precious as your career if it doesn’t turn out to be successful. Taking one such decision changed my life entirely for good.
Initially, I wasn’t entirely sure of my decision but I just went ahead with it, just like Jai and Veeru did in Sholay when they agreed to capture Gabbar alive, despite not knowing how they would go about it and whether they would succeed. Life sometimes throws Aar Ya Paar kind of a situation, where you have no other choice but to make a bold move.
There is a back story or a flashback that was responsible for my move. It started after I secured 64.20 % in my 10th standard. For average students like me, it was a moment to cherish. I thought from now onwards, my academic life would be smooth, just like Raj kept saying in Dilwale Dulhania Le Jayenge during that Europe tour – “Ab koi problem nahin aa sakti”.Unfortunately, I too landed in a soup like Raj did in the movie.
Like a large majority of average students, I went into the Commerce stream. My decision was an outcome of a clichéd mentality in Mumbai, according to which scholars take Science, weak students go into Arts and the average ones opt for Commerce. If a student dares to go different, he is considered crazy. This is akin to 80s and 90s formula where a boy and a girl have to dance around trees after falling in love. If they don’t, it isn’t love. Simple.
My experience into commerce was like Jana Tha Japan Pohonch Gaye Cheen. I soon realized Commerce wasn’t my cup of tea. It wasn’t my cup, in fact! Subjects like Accounts and Economics gave me a feeling of nausea. I have nothing against this field. It is just that I am not made for such hisaab kitaab. I felt very much like Rahul of Chennai Express who wanted to go to Goa but landed up in Meenamma’s gangster village.
Still, I endured Commerce till 12th standard, like Veer Pratap Singh in Veer-Zaara. I somehow managed to pass that year. (No, this time I won’t mention my marks.) But then I thought of taking the bold decision of leaving Commerce and going into Arts (from 13th standard onwards). I had developed an interest in writing by the time I reached 12th. And after that, I was quite sure of pursuing it as a profession.
Initially, my parents weren’t convinced and got worried. But they slowly understood and realized my interest and allowed me through a change of heart or Hriday-Parivartan in our films. I did face criticisms for my decision with some people almost laughing at me. But as we know, Kuchh toh log kahenge, logon ka kaam hai kehna.
The decision of moving into Arts turned out to be truly a life-changing one. Today, I wonder what my life would have been if I hadn’t switched. In fact, I shudder to even think about it! I also feel I wouldn’t have been writing this blog right now. Now, some of those who laughed at me are appreciating my move. Rancho and Farhan of 3 Idiots would be proud of me! Aal Izz Well!
But this wouldn’t have been possible if my parents hadn’t given a green signal. A big Thank You to them! The only difference is that they didn’t say, “Jaa, jee le apni zindagi”.
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By: Keyur Seta
My chosen topic: Stories or instances where you missed out on an opportunity because of an ungroomed look.
I have often heard the phrase – Small things matter a lot. But I realized its true meaning only last month on November 22 when I missed out on an opportunity due to my unshaven look. I was quite stunned to see BlogAdda coming up with this activity just after my experience. A huge co-incidence indeed!
I am quite lazy when it comes to shaving. Of course, years back when I had just started, it was an interesting activity. But now it has become boring and time-consuming, so much so that, many a times, I need to play some music while I am shaving. So whenever I need to go out when I haven’t shaven for some days, I try giving myself fake assurances that my stubble isn’t visible much or I am not going to meet anyone of prominence.
My excuses for not shaving remind me of a play on Einstein titled The EQ, which I saw earlier this year. In a particular scene, Einstein refuses to dress properly. His logic – he doesn’t need to dress well for people he doesn’t know because they don’t matter. He also doesn’t need to dress well for the ones he knows since they know him well.
Anyways, luckily, I had never missed out on any opportunity or faced any issue due to my laziness to shave until November 22. It was unlike any other day.
The date happens to be my younger brother’s birthday. After we have grown up, our birthday celebrations just include cutting a cake, which would be distributed among family members. Unlike, the old era where guests would turn up and they would be served cake, Rasna orange sherbet and potato chips (this was a fixed menu in many households).
As it was going to be another almost uncelebrated birthday, I didn’t shave despite not having done since 5 or more days. But then came Kahani Mein Twist! Few guests turned up all of a sudden. So the casual family cake-cutting got transformed into formal celebration. And when there is a celebration, there has to be photos clicked.
This is where I missed out! It was a voluntary decision to not include myself in the pictures because of my look. For those who don’t know, in my Badhti Ka Naam Dadhi look, I look like a terror suspect. Or like a man from the ‘Wanted’ list inside a police station. I could imagine my brother and father saying – Mere Paas Clean Shaven Look Hai!
After reading the whole post, many of you might say- What’s the big deal on missing out? Or you might think – Khoda Pahaad Nikla Chooha! Well, as I am not a student any more, Facebook likes are the only numbers I can flaunt, on which I missed out. After all, Ek Chutki Sindoor Ki Keemat Tum Kya Jano Ramesh Babu?
So from now onwards, I will try to say Sayonara to my laziness for shaving. Kasam Paida Karne Wale Ki!
As a part of the #WillYouShave contest activity, Ankit Jain had tagged me to write a blog post for it.
I would like to tag the following bloggers for the same:
Rahul Prabhakar - When The Muse Strikes
Shwetabh Mathur - Memories
Aseem Rastogi - Transition of Thoughts
Aditya Iyer - The Nameless One
Akash Bagaria - Meandering Through Twilight
Anchit Shethia - Anchit Shethia
Jigish Shah - Jigish Blaze
Shashank Tiwari - Embark With My Thoughts
Manisha Tavate - Creative Strokes
Dr. Sweety Shinde - Impractical Dreamer
By: Keyur Seta
Art goes beyond boundaries. In other words, the geographical difference between two people ceases to exist if they share the same passion towards the same art. This was proved right once again yesterday at the literature festival Tata Literature Live when the well-known Israeli thriller author Liad Shoham shared useful tips for writing a thriller/ mystery story to a group of aspiring authors.
Shoham is an advocate who got into writing accidentally. Hence, he has no qualms in labeling himself as ‘The Accidental Writer’. It was his wife who encouraged him to pursue writing by meeting people and editors when he was hesitant. So, naturally, he gives a good amount of credit to his wife and advises, “You should keep talking to people and if your wife asks you to do something, just do it.”
Likewise, Shoham displayed his sense of humor throughout the session. These are the important advises he had for budding thriller writers in his own words:-
Follow your heart: Write about things you are interested in. Other people will care about your story only if you care. In my last three books, I have described social problems through thrillers.
Enlighten: It is very important to know everything about your subject. Of course, you should entertain the audience, as that is the motto of thrillers, but at the same time you can also teach or enlighten your readers. For one of my novels, I went to places in Israel were African immigrants live. I also met police officers and UN officials.
Authenticity: I once wanted to kill a person at the start of my novel. I came to know from someone that a person in some hospital knows this. So I met that guy and straightaway said, “I want your help in killing somebody.” Naturally he was shocked!
Just listen: It is not necessary to do extensive research. Just listening to people is enough. So my family members and relatives go away from me when they speak because they know I will steal from their talks. I have stolen stories that way (laughs). One close friend told me how he proposed his wife. He made me promise that I won’t use it in my novel. But later I used it. He didn’t mind as he is my close friend. But once his wife called me up at 3 am expressing her displeasure for it.
Characters: After research, the most important thing is to shape your characters. Characters evolve the story by themselves.
All important climax: I don’t always know the end of my story. Sometimes, the general idea of the story becomes different due to the characters. You wish to advance the plot in certain way but your characters take it elsewhere due to their nature. So you don’t need to know the ending always. I use real characters but I don’t copy them. They go through a lot of changes.
Minimizing errors: Thrillers are bound to have loopholes. So you should give your book to people you trust before getting it published so that they can point out errors.
Don’t fear: Don’t be afraid to be bold thinking what if someone gets upset. Once my editor told me, “When people write about sex, they think of their mother.” (confused laughter followed this). “They think, what will our mother and aunt think while reading this?” My mother said she skips the sex part in my novels. So I asked her, how she knows when it ends? She answered, “Your father tells me that.”
Be original: Some authors re-write American novels into Israeli. But that doesn’t work as there is a huge difference between both countries. Our detectives don’t drink whisky and people don’t disappear here as it is a small country. Due to the second reason, we also can’t show a character travelling from one city to another.
Be domestic: When your story is more domestic, it becomes more international. People will understand you are more attached to your story and there is more realism. For example, we can’t show bank robberies in Israel because it seldom happens and the robbers would be stuck in traffic. Similarly, there are also no serial killers.
Believability: Write stories people can believe. In Israel, there was a President who used to rape girls in his office. Although this is real, you can’t show it as it sounds unbelievable.
Surprise element: You should surprise the readers by showing them possibilities they thought could never happen. So I feel being a thriller writer is like being an engineer; you should know the start and ending but work your way in between.
(This post is not against the practice of arranged marriages. It is just speaks out about how even in the 21st century, marriages are continuing to be like a business deal or shopping. This is something I have been witnessing all my life.)
By: Keyur Seta
Arranged marriage versus love marriage is a debate which has not reached a conclusion. Although it is a general belief that there are merits and demerits in both the methods, I wholeheartedly support the institution of love marriage. This is simply because, according to me, love marriage is a natural process while the arranged one is against the forces of nature.
In love marriage, a boy and a girl meet in places like colleges, offices, parties, etc. They become friends at start and if the tuning of their hearts and wavelength match, they go ahead and become life partners. Hence, we can say they met in a natural way. In other words, their meeting and falling in love is a natural process.
In arranged marriage, two families ‘fix’ a meeting between a boy and a girl. They are made or even forced to meet and decide in maximum 3-4 meetings whether they can consider each other the most important person of their life. The most important relation of our lives is ‘fixed’ by going against the forces of nature as if it’s a business deal. And going against the nature is certainly a bad idea!
However, my opposition to arranged marriage is not limited to this point. After witnessing and hearing first-hand-accounts of marriages fixed in an arranged manner, I find no difference between arrange marriage and shopping! Yes, you heard it right. Okay, let me explain!
(Article continued after picture.)
Before starting their search for a partner in an arranged manner, both the girl and the boy mentally prepare a list of qualities their future life-partner should possess. This is very similar to people thinking about the color, brand, quality, price and fitting of a jeans before going out to buy it. And if you are an MBA, your chances of getting a life partner increase fivefold. I am not sure whether an MBA degree will get land you a lucrative job but I am certain it will increase your ‘market value’ in the ‘market’ of marriage.
But the real shopping fun begins when the girl and the boy’s family meet each other. The party which starts asking questions first behaves like the buyer while the other has to behave like the seller. For example, the boy’s family will start listing all his good qualities, just like a salesman tries to portray his product in a must-buy manner. On the other hand, the girl’s family will try to figure out the percentage of truth in their claims, just like the buyers do to make sure the salesman isn't taking them for a ride.
After the first round, the tables are turned. Buyers become sellers and vice-versa. Now, the girl’s family will start proving how perfect to-be bahu their girl is while the boy’s family will do some brain-work in guessing the percentage of authenticity in their claims. Most importantly, both of them (girl and boy) will check whether the list of qualities in their potential life partner matches with the mental list they prepared. If it doesn’t, they will probably go to another shop!
If both parties are satisfied, they go ahead with the marriage. In my words - the deal is finalized with both parties benefiting both as buyers and sellers. In this way, a total stranger becomes the most important person of your life after just few meetings. Wow!
But wait a minute! Where the heck does love figure in all this since it is the most important ingredient for marriage? Oh forget it! As long as the girl’s family can say, “Humare sar ka boj hat gaya!” and the boy’s family can proudly declare, “Humare ghar me oonche khandan ki bahu aa gayi,” nothing else matters! Not even love!