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!

Tuesday, March 10, 2009

Who the hell am I?

I shouldn’t have done that. I really feel sorry about that. Phoning the dean of a prestigious institution like Madras Christian College and asking permission for shooting inside college. Though the request got turned downed by him, I carried out the shooting. Who the hell, I think, am I? Get caught at last, by my identity card seizing, and even standing under the shower of rebukes, I kept on smiling at his face! What made me to do so? Am I showing off smarter? Am I idiotic or egoistic? Why I’m like this? Do I lack integrity and discipline as the dean puts it? Honestly speaking, I don’t know…

Just a fortnight ago, I had to take camera in my hands for shooting an advertisement regarding our project work. Thrilled, as usual, I planned to conduct shooting inside our campus. Some of my friends told there is no need of dean’s permission. Some others told it’s a prerequisite.

I know very well that getting permission is such a complex process. However, I sent one of my teammates to fetch the permission. In fact, dean went home just moments she entered his office. But, I thought she got the permission. I personally went and secured physical director’s permission the same day. I called the security officer too on phone to get his consent. He told that if dean gave permission he doesn’t have any problem in shooting in-campus. It’s really a complex process. Don’t you see!

I got dean’s personal mobile number from security office and called him. It is one of the most idiotic things I have done till now in my life. Dean’s response was entirely different. He told that he hasn’t signed any letter regarding any in-campus shooting.

“Who cares?” I thought. “He may be signing numerous documents and letters daily. He would have forgotten!” I guessed.

“I won’t allow you to shoot!” dean shouted over phone.

“Okay…okay. No problem, sir” I replied calmly.

I shouldn’t have asked his permission. I messaged every one of my teammates that we got permission from dean and we can go on shooting on the next day early morning. Shooting we did. But then, security personnel came, seized my identity card and didn’t allow us to shoot further. Fortunately, we have captured all the needed shots by then. They left by telling me to collect the identity card from dean. I nodded supposing all the troubles were over. Later I came to know that it was just the beginning.

My mobile phone started ringing from noon. It was from other teams who went for shooting. “Dean wants to meet you! Dean wants to meet you!” that was the only phrase I could hear from the other end. “Hey, tell dean that I’m not well and will collect the identity card the very next day” I replied.

“Hey, idiot!” it was Swaminathan, my close friend in class. “Dean wants you to come in person and surrender your cassette as soon as possible. No time, dumbo! Everybody’s shooting got cancelled by dean because of you…”he cut the call. I darted to dean’s office after hearing that.

There I saw him standing red faced, angry enough to eat me alive.

“What did I said to you over phone?” he asked angrily.

“You didn’t allow me to shoot, sir” I replied.

“Then what did you do?” he asked.

“I shot, sir” I replied.

“It’s a breach of trust!” he shouted. “Surrender your cassette immediately” he told restlessly.

“No problem! Sir…” I said by fuelling his anger.

“No problem? How dare you?” he couldn’t control his anger. “You are troubling me, don’t you see. I need an apology letter too from you at this moment.” He shouted again.

This time, I couldn’t control my smile.“Trouble? What trouble? He only made all these chaos. Not me!” I said in mind. My smile helped only to intensify his anger.

I have a very serious problem: when someone shouts at me needlessly, I never feel irritated or upset. It only helps to shoot up my imagination. Unconsciously, I visualize him/her standing in front me electrocuted with bulged eyes, raised hair and dropped jaws! I can’t help it. I’m like that. I don’t want to change. Above all, why should I limit my imagination?

I left from dean’s office, wrote an apology letter, got it signed from Head of my Department, got a bundle full of rebuke from her as bonus and headed back to his office again.

Contrary to all my expectations, after receiving the apology letter, dean became so cool and started advising me not to repeat these kind of ‘undisciplined’, ‘heckless’ behavior. Smilingly, he gave back the cassette. It made me really happy. I thanked him and went for a tea outside campus.

“Hey dude, I saw you guys shooting inside campus. Do you need dean’s permission for shooting inside campus?” a guy from my college asked me in the tea-shop.

“No need” I answered unconsciously.

“Okay, dude” he stepped out of the tea-shop.

“Hey!” I called him from back. “Sorry, you need dean’s permission…okay?” I told him smiling.

Monday, March 02, 2009

It’s All About ‘Plug-in’ Culture!

Imagine you are talking very seriously to someone and unfortunately, ends up by knowing that the person whom you are talking to was not even listening to you properly. How would you feel then? You may feel annoyed, dejected or sometimes angry, isn’t it? Stop. Don’t take it to the heart. You have just spoken to one among a million of ‘pluggers’ all around the world!
Arrival of portable music systems and mobile phones with inbuilt music players have given birth to a rapidly spreading ‘plug-in’ culture. ‘Pluggers’ always listen to music on the go. While commuting, jogging, biking, driving or even during office hours, their ears are sealed off by earphones taking them away from the real outer world. Music players have taken an unavoidable part in their lifestyle.
Akin to all other lifestyles, ‘plug-in’ culture too is individualistic. Some ‘plugs-in’ for sheer love for music, some to kill time and others for brushing off boredom. “Music is a requisite for me while studying or reading” says Avinash Kagava, a media student. “It increases my concentration and feels as if my productivity soars”, he adds. Robin, a student and an enthusiastic guitarist ‘plugs-in’ for his first love-music. He says that: “I love music and wants to fill every moment of my life with music. That is why I keep my iPod with me throughout the day”.
Musical giants such as Sony, Apple et al are competing to bring out more advanced yet user friendly music players to catch up with this ‘plug-in’ trend. Apple has sold more than 20 million iPods till date. More and more people are joining this ‘plug-in’ bandwagon day by day. It seems as if people are just happy with the music they have in their music player, rather than interacting with fellow human beings. It provides a room for escapism similar to that of reading. While reading is productive, listening to music may end up unproductive at times.
Warning note for ‘Pluggers’: Researches show that regular exposure to noise above 85 dB (decibels)will cause a gradual hearing loss in a significant number of individuals, and louder noises will accelerate this damage. When listening to music on earphones at a standard volume level 5, the sound generated reaches a level of 100 dB. It’s loud enough to cause permanent damage after just 15 minutes per day! The amount of time you listen to a sound affects how much damage it will cause. The quieter the sound, the longer you can listen to it safely.
Thus, beware, pluggers! Keep an eye on your decibels. Do you want to ‘plugs-in’ at the cost of your precious ears?

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