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Hi! I’m Justin Raj, a stock broker by profession, is also a freelance Journalist, an amateur Filmmaker and an enthusiastic Marathoner who possesses the ‘bad habit’ of writing too much. And as long as that ‘bad habit’ stays with me, I keep on posting to my blog.

A blogger is basically a tech-savvy writer. He is a keen observer with a sharing mind, not a silent spectator to all events which happen around him. If a reader is a person who loves to gain knowledge, a blogger or writer is one who loves to share his knowledge and dare to speak out his opinions and ideas. Like a singer expresses by singing, dancer by dancing, actor through acting, a blogger blogs his feelings and ideas out. Literally, Freedom of Expression is his shield and the blog is his Sword.

Here in my blog, write-ups are archived in 9 labels. In ‘Sweet and Bitter’ you can read about my diverse life experiences and valuable lessons I learnt from it. ‘Published Articles’ offers you my articles which have been published in Daily Newspapers. In ‘Random Brain Waves’ you can meet up with my random (or at times, weird) ideas. Poetry writing has eventually become a new hobby as well as a part of my blog. You can read my poems in ‘Verses’. In ‘Marathon’ label, you can read about my marathon experiences, challenges and how running a marathon can shape a man’s life.

‘Vlog’ is a recent addition to my blog as I realize the potential future of visual media. Sometimes, a 3-minute video can do the magic of expression than a 3000 word article. In this label you can watch the short films, documentaries, advertisements et al I have made. ‘Favorite Articles’ consists of articles which have influenced my outlook and attitude on life. Being a tireless traveler, ‘Travel’ label takes you to various travel experiences of mine. Conducting researches is a part of Journalism. In ‘Research Articles’ label you can get articles which throw light on various researches I have conducted.

Every life meets with various challenges, diverse experiences and at the end, all those teach us valuable lessons for our future. Wise men learn by other men's mistakes, fools by their own said H. G. Bohn. I learn more by my own mistakes than others. It doesn’t mean that I’m a fool! I learn from other’s lives too. My blog is a platform for sharing not only my life experiences but also the valuable lessons, ideas and poetry triggered by them.

To my mind, blog is a thinking man's tool. Blogging is more a passion than a hobby for me. It is as if talking something to someone somewhere in world. My words keep on talking to the visitors of my blog. I can feel the magic of words! And that’s the power of blogging!

Tuesday, October 28, 2008

The Idea That Transformed Me & My Life.

A hardcore book hater I was. Reading, writing, and books were to me as if Holy Cross to Satan. To me, they were the activities only idiots and jobless people indulge in! All these wrong convictions of mine took a U-turn while I was doing my diploma in Loyola College during the year 2006. Sometime I think it took a long time in my life to know great things. Anyway, it’s better be late than never.

Mr. James, Head of the English Department was our instructor for communication skills. Usually I set myself in hibernate mode during class hours but that day I was very attentive. He told to class that if we read 1000 words, only 50 words will remain in our mind. He kept on asking us, can we remember all we read? Can we comprehend all that we heard or seen? Will we put all the knowledge we gain into practice? Our answer was big no.

The theme reflected in his words is the limitations of human memory. He reminded that geniuses and intellectuals are made by hard work not by birth. That’s interesting. It was a revelation to me because till that day I had thought that geniuses are super human beings who possess great memory power and comprehension skills by birth. In fact, they are common people who are highly observant, regular readers and doers. After his class I came to understand that all the geniuses and intellectuals who took birth in this world had gone through their own trials and errors.

That idea was powerful enough to take a person who hates books and reading to news paper reading. I considered reading as a habit meant only for geniuses and not for common people like me. However, it was just a beginning. I became a regular newspaper reader and gradually took myself to book reading. Freedom at Midnight authored by Dominique Lapierre & Larry Collins was the first book I have read completely in my life.

We say, there are seven wonders in this world. But we always miss one: book. I, once a book hater, now know the value of books and their power to transform human mind. Books taught me what my aggressive yet intelligent father and my sweet sweetheart mother hadn’t taught me. They revealed plenty of mysteries and secrets that my friends haven’t shared with me. Reading made me exposed to new ideas and thoughts which refreshes each day of mine.

Reading changed the way I look at life and people. It transformed my restlessness to patience and outspokenness to soft spokenness (I hope so!) Now, I’m into blogging. It is such a pleasure making a post to my blog. Reading is above all, food for thought. And obviously, thoughts lead to action. Action in turn determines our character and character decides our destiny. So, will reading ascertains our destiny? Yes, I think so!

I could attend only a very few classes of James sir, but I still remember and grateful to him for his idea which by knowingly or unknowingly changed me and my life.

Are Jeans and Tees Symbols of Modernism?

During a talk with my going-to-be brother in law, he pointed out that it would be nice if my cousin (his would-be) would wears jeans and tees. My cousin, though well educated and being very idealistic, prefers to wears traditional costumes such as sarees and churidar. Jeans and tees or so called ‘modern’ attires are a big ‘no’ for her. She already expressed her discontent in wearing those to her fiancée.

But, he requested me just to persuade her to wear those ‘modern’ wears. I asked him why? He, who had done his education in different places in India and also fluent in prominent Indian languages, declared that he is ‘modern’ and prefers his would-be too-modern.

I, as a messenger of love between them, deliver her fiancée’s much desired wish to her. She saddened in hearing that repetitive request which she had already rejected. She asked me: are jeans and tees symbols of modernism?

My answer was negative. She agreed with that.

Never in the world history, have a person who admires and wears proudly so called ‘modern’ wears never been reckoned as modern. Then, what makes a person modern? Attire or attitude?
Attitude counts. For instance, Mahatma Gandhi was a real messenger of modernism. He had never clad himself in Raymond suits which always cloths The Complete Man. Above all, he was merely half naked. E.V Ramaswamy Naicker though bearded by making his face hardly visible and always wore cotton dhoties and shirts was an ultra modernist. These great people valued attitude and not attires.

Most of my friends had flown to UK for pursuing higher education and also to make out a great career. They also have another aim: to learn culture. I can’t understand what they mean by that. Shilpa Shetty, a talented and pretty Indian actress went to that cultured place for participating in a popular reality show, Big Brother. After few days Indian media has shown her shedding tears. The reason is nothing other than racist bullying. It is quite contradictory for a nation which brag their citizens as ‘modern’ and well cultured, dwelling on racism or bygone white supremacy theory.

I used to wonder about the ‘modernistic’ activities people undertake nowadays. When it comes to lifestyle, weekend partying, tattooing, piercing etc added with unwanted shelling out of money on expensive cosmetics and makeup rules the roost. In the relationship realm, dating and living in relations became a common phenomenon. All these are nothing other than just a mere aping of western culture.

When we turn our head to Westside we can see even westerners who got fed up with their disastrous lifestyle are in the pursuit of eastern philosophy and embracing eastern ideas. But sadly, our poor ‘modernists’ still haven’t woke up from their deep slumber.

Our world is changing in a feverish pace. Science and technology are at their zenith. Man is no longer a primitive being. But still, racism, untouchability, superstitions, denial of women’s rights, human rights violation, child labour and et al plagues our planet.

Modernism comes from within. It can’t be build outside. It’s high time to embrace modern ideas and thoughts. A person becomes modern only when he dares to think beyond his preoccupied conventional mindset. Let our fight towards the elimination of all those anti social or primitive elements be called as modernism. It is not as easier as buying and wearing ‘modern’ outfits. So, jeans and tees wearing hypocrites; beware.

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