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!

Saturday, November 21, 2009

When My Love Bids Adieu...

When my love bids adieu,
My world turns topsy-turvy.
As a joyful excitement it crept in,
As a painful experience it ends up.

Tectonic plates of my heart shake,
Covering crumbles all over me.
My dreamy castles doomed,
Chucked me hopeless and lost.

It was hard to smile at world,
With tearful eyes.
It was hard to go an extra mile,
With crushed heart.

The poison was not strong enough,
To take my life then.
Your love is not sweet enough,

To take my heart now.

I opened up my heart,
To make you fathom.
But you jabbed through its slit,
To make it bleed incessantly.

I’m not a rat anymore,
To fall in the love trap.
I’m not a moron anymore,
To leave my heart ajar.

I’m braver and stronger now,
As a learning experience it ends up!
I’m filled with new hopes and dreams now,
As a joyful excitement they creep in!

Sunday, November 08, 2009

Dakshina Chitra: A Place Where Diverse Cultures Meet.

“Great culture is often betokened by great simplicity” – Dorothee Deluzy.

It’s raining heavily in Chennai. Used only with cruel sun and crippling heat, it’s the time of the year when Chennai always comes to a standstill. Rains always have a special place in Chennai as well as in my heart. They are emotive reminders. The reminders of my joyful childhood days. The days during which I carelessly played ‘mud-football’, sailed paper boats, caught cold and happily slept under the blanket.
Those days were gone. I’m not a child anymore but at heart I’m still a kid eagerly wanting to do all the naughty things and create nuisance all around me.  I might not be able to do all things tangibly. Anyway, in mind, I can do everything and anything I want and that’s what I’m doing right now: reliving in those fabulous memories in the rain. Our mind is such a beautiful machine, isn’t it?      

Today, as the exams were postponed due to incessant rain, we didn’t have any other place to spend some free time other than a movie theatre. Unfortunately, none of the theatre was showing the movie we wanted see: Unnai Pol Orruvan. We were running short of ideas. At last, my Friend Kamal suggested visiting a place which I haven’t visited during the four years of my stay in Chennai: Dakshina Chitra.
Located at East Coast Road under the patronage of Madras Craft Foundation, Dakshina Chitra is a beautiful, mind blowing meeting place of the cultures of the diverse Indian people with emphasis on Tamil Nadu, Kerala, Andhra Pradesh and Karnataka.
The only noise prevalent there in Dakshina Chitra was the noise of the heavenly water drops which were ceaselessly hitting on the roof. Neat, clean and decorated corridors took us to the seminar hall where a documentary was screening. We watched it for some time and went to the craft bazaar. From Mysore paintings to Rajasthani handicrafts, craft bazaar was vibrant in all aspects.
Painting- I really adore people who bring life to their sketches. It is the greatest form of creativity. I found lot of adorable people there who do miniature painting and sculpting in craft bazaar. At minimal price we can buy those great masterpieces too. If you are a person who seriously wants to learn painting, they also offer you courses in painting and other crafts.
Tamil Nadu section is the first place we visited. Six relocated houses including mud houses were there to exhibit various architectural styles. All of them boast of south Indian artistic, cultural and architectural splendor. They were also offering  excellent hands-on workshops on pottery, grinding rice and puppet making. While Kiran took the Kolam drawing (it’s a religious ritual of drawing auspicious designs with hands using flour at the entrance of the house. It requires excellent drawing skills and practice), I tried my hands at pottery!  It was fun playing with clay and making pots.
Soaking ourselves in the rain, we walked towards the Karnataka section where lot of costumes, pottery and other cultural monuments were at display. Andhra Pradesh Section too was soothing to eyes and refreshing to heart.
Finally, we reached the place which I was waiting to see since the beginning of the visit- Kerala Section. Two relocated Hindu houses, a Granary and a Syrian Christian House were at display. My wet body was chilling, while I entered the Hindu houses. They reminded me one of my Dad’s friend’s ancestral houses in Kerala. To my awe, the Christian house really looked like my ancestral house. While walking through the corridor of that house, I was, in real sense, walking down through my memory lines. Just for some moments I turned into a 6 year old kid who wanted to run crazily in rain, screaming, shouting and throwing mud water at mom and dad. Rainy days are really nostalgic.      
While coming back, we saw a person playing with fire! He was a glass sculptor. We spent some time with him amazed at his exceptional skills and an array of his masterpieces which involves glass chariots and deities.  Dakshina Chitra is also blessed with a good library and an amphitheatre.
We are also fortunate enough to meet Prabhu Deva, a legendary Indian dancer and actor and Mr. Pandu, a Tamil comedian. As Mr. Pandu was Kamal’s Dad’s friend, we were also lucky to have a small talk with him. We wound up by having a delicious lunch from Dakshina Chitra’s Kanali Restaurant and visiting craft shop. It was the end of a wonderful day which took me back to my childhood days and also made me proud of the rich, vibrant Indian culture in which I was lucky to born and lives. 


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