Come on in!

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!

Thursday, December 18, 2008

Action Speaks Louder Than Words.

When American president George W Bush made a farewell visit to Iraq, he might not even thought in his mind that a souvenir was waiting for him in the press room: a pair of size 10 dark brown Iraq-made shoes. It was 29 year old Muntazer Al-Zaidi, a journalist did the daring yet heroic act of throwing his shoes to the wicked American president ever.

“It is the farewell kiss, you dog!” he shouted by flinging his shoes which is considered as the ultimate insult in Arab culture. It was not an instant outburst of anger or frustration, but was a well thought and planned feat. He bought those shoes deliberately for the ‘shoeing show’ from a shop in Baghdad’s Al-khyam street.

Indeed he didn’t hold any personal grudge towards Mr. Bush. He did this for his Iraqi people. In much more broader sense, he represented the mindset of the whole Arab community.

Applauds and praises poured from all over the world to this heroic journalist who is awaiting seven years of imprisonment. Did this world ever rolled out red carpet to real life heroes? I will say, no. Nelson Mandela had to spend 18 years in prison just for the ‘sin’ of holding his principles close to his heart. Martin Luther King was assassinated. Ernesto ‘Che’ Guevara was gifted with a bullet on his forehead. Bhagat Singh was hanged till death after being ruthlessly tortured. The list is so long and if I go on, it may flood my blog.

Fortunately, Al-Zaidi is not alone. His employer, Al-Baghdadia television urged authorities to release him immediately and also suspended normal programming to play messages of support. Arab media too made an immediate positive response.

After reading about Al-Zaidi’s lionhearted ‘shoeing show’, I haven’t had any other option other than blogging to express my admiration to this brave young man. As a communication student, I have one more reason to proud of. He is also a communication graduate from the Baghdad University.

Unquestionably, he is a role model for youth, especially to communication students worldwide who not only displayed fearlessness but also perfectly showcased freedom of expression. Thank you so much, Al-Zaidi!

Wednesday, December 10, 2008

Two Great Failures In One Year.

The year 2008 welcomed me with a blast. A horrible blast guised as a bike accident.

I was heading back home from a New Year party at one of my friend’s house in a reserved forest area. Intoxicated, I wasn’t able to see clearly the jungle along a curve. A sudden brake; that’s what I could and I did it. My bike and I rammed into the bushes and got stuck in terrible silence and ghostly darkness. Only light available to me was from my mobile phone display. I stumbled out of the bushes with a bleeding face and injured elbows and started waving my mobile to the passing vehicles through the road.

Two cars passed by without stopping. Finally, a biker stopped near to me. I showed the mobile display light over my bleeding face to show him that I met with an accident. He also understood that I’m drunk. With the help of the mobile light, both of us took the bike out of the bushes. He also helped me to kick-start it. Thanks to that unknown ‘God-sent’ biker. I returned home with those bloody midnight kisses.

Next day dawned with a great news: I passed the Combined Defence Services Examination (CDSE). I jumped up in joy and informed all of my friends and relatives about my achievement. My physical pain from the previous night’s drunken biking adventure vanished while enjoying the spirit of success.

It may sound ridiculous a person who got graduated in Visual Communication, plans to join the armed forces. But, my desire to join the Army is well thought and meticulously planned one. My love for an adventurous and thrilling life is the catalyst behind this aspiration.

Subsequently, I received call letter for attending the Service Selection Board (SSB) interview. I went to Bangalore for attending it on 08 May 2008. My confidence soared when I screened in. Everyone felt that since I have passed through the first phase, I would easily get through the whole process. Their confidence on me made me ultra confident. I blindly believed that I will definitely pass the interview. But, all the expectations and hope went fruitless on the conference (final) day. I failed.

My dreams got shattered. I saw hopelessness and gloom everywhere. I hope, it happens to everyone who dreams a sensible dream and fails in the course of achieving it. I found no place to escape. Library is where I spent most of my troubled times. Books told me great success stories. All the success stories of great personalities have a thing in common: failures. I got company!

I passed CDSE again in the month of August and I went to attend SSB on 28th November at Allahabad. Although screened in, SSB rejected me.

Final day of the interview, Group Testing Officer (GTO) told all the candidates:”Approximately, 1.7 lakh Indian youth write CDSE. Out of that merely 8000 pass out. Out of that 8000 just less than 50% are screened in for the interview. So, whether you get through or not, be proud in becoming a SSB candidate.” He concluded his motivational speech by saying that “If you can’t make it to army, it doesn’t mean that you are useless or unintelligent; it just means that you are not fit for this particular profession. So, whatever profession you choose, try to excel in it and do your best!” He went back to his car and drove away.

Impact of second failure on me was comparatively smaller than the former one. I’m trying to deal with my failures and learning a lot from them too.


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