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, November 30, 2010

A Guilt Feeling Being a Wrong Role Model

The ways of expressing my love towards my aunt and uncle are bit different from others. I express the love by creating movies and slideshows on nieces and nephews and of course, on uncle and aunt. I also never forget to get my aunt and uncle (both are sweet diabetic) their favorite cakes and sweets once or twice in a week.
At a cursed moment, I decided to create a slideshow for her, scanning all the old photos from her treasured archive. Finally, after a few days of scanning and photo editing, I created it and showed it to them. Aunt was really happy to see her old black and white photos on TV with nostalgic music as BGM. Uncle too enjoyed watching it with a smiling face.
She keeps my videos and slideshows in a special steel box and takes care of them like her jewels. She never shied away from showing her jewels to the visitors and thus making me proud. On those days, while I was creating the slide show, she told me to add my photos too in that. It was not a difficult task. Happily, I added a recent photo shoot of mine to the slideshow.
After few days, my cousin with her husband and children visited aunt’s house. I was busy working on some freelance projects and after just saying ‘Hi’ to them; I came to my room and resumed working.
After few minutes I could hear some familiar music downstairs, giggling and hooting of niece and nephews. I understood that my slideshow was ‘running successfully’ downstairs. I was content and with a slight smile, I continued my work. Suddenly, something unexpected happened.
“Uncle Justin smoking! Uncle Justin smoking!” I heard the screaming of Stainz, my nephew.
“What the hell!” I jumped on my chair with dropped jaws and ran downstairs to know what happened.
Everything was normal there. It was some of my photos from the photo shoot with cigarette on my lips that created bit of a trouble with my nephew. My aunt and uncle knew those photos were just a part of the photo shoot and nothing serious about it.  But the real impact of those photos was on that little mind who was watching the slideshow.
After the slideshow, I just went out and came back.
I saw Stainz sitting outside the house and the moment he saw me, he took out a piece of paper, rolled it and placed between his lips and stood in front of me exactly like I posed with cigarette in that photo shoot in the slideshow. I liked it and smiled at him but took that paper piece from his lips and threw it away.
After sometime he entered my room with another rolled piece of paper on his lips and gave me a wink and ran out. That time I didn’t like it much. I just followed him to the living room, where he was sitting in the couch and acting as if he is smoking with his phony paper cigarette. I got really angry because I know from where he got that ‘inspiration’.  But I didn’t show the angriness on my face.
“I never get you chocolates, if you are going to do this again” I said to him very gently. He is a good, obedient boy although mischievous at times. He threw his paper cigarette away without any resistance or annoyance. I was really happy since he obeyed me. But as I knew it was my photos which inspired him to do mock smoking, I really felt angry at myself too.
Children are so innocent and even minor things can inspire them to do so called bad things. I’m a heavy smoker turned occasional smoker, I still feel guilty about those days. I feel guiltier if I’m the reason for a person to begin smoking.
Stainz loves me that’s why he tries to emulate me. Children possess a natural urge to imitate elders. They also have greater tendency to inculcate bad habits than good ones. Bad habits are easy to adopt than good ones. He has never done his mock smoking in front of me after that incident, but still I feel…guilty about…creating that slideshow.

Image Source: Internet

Saturday, November 20, 2010

With Age Comes No Wisdom

“It is better to leave a developing country and settle down in a developed one for a brighter future” a pastor who was visiting my aunt’s house said to me. “I love to be in a developing country because it is only where I can touch, see and feel the ‘development’ “I retorted.
Do you know what is the biggest burden of old - okay, it is not right to use the word ‘old’- 50 or 60 plus young people? It is younger, wandering, aimless youngsters (like me).
So if a young chap with a smiling face without any decent or ‘reputed’ job (like me) comes in front of these settled 50 or 60 plus young men, he definitely invites trouble. He gets showered with the most freely available thing on this planet: advice. Settled people call it practical tips but in reality, they are none other than advices.
Kerala, my home state is basically a settling place. No one works here because there is literally no work in this beautiful place! Kerala is a safe and peaceful haven for people who had made their fortunes abroad or other states in India and desperately needs a peaceful life. It is a great place to unwind ourselves before or after a hectic cosmopolitan life.   
Kerala is not always a safe zone for jobless, aimless young guys because of these wise sages. This is the main reason number of youngsters like me never get the privilege to stay longer in their beautiful and peaceful home state. A stay for more than a week invites number of queries such as “what are you doing?” “Where were you?” and finally, “when are you leaving?”
No matter what this time I’m determined to stay here longer than I did previously.
If you think wisdom comes with age, you are on the wrong side. Today, youth are to a great extent smarter than these 50 or 60 plus young men. We can’t call tiny kids playing around us silly.  One fortnight ago, I was really surprised to watch my 12 year old niece using computer and accessing internet with such ease and her command over Universal Language was extraordinary to a girl of her age. Thanks to information explosion. Kids are stuffed with nuclear bombs of information in their little brains.
We shouldn’t do thought control on these children. They know what to do. Only thing we can provide is guidance and everything else rest with them. It is their life. They have choices as well as freedom.  
I have only one request to all those 50 or 60 plus young people: please respect the individuality of others. Everybody has individual characteristics, traits, dreams, hopes as well as visions. Give everyone their own space.
If a person is jobless, respect his joblessness, he has the right for being jobless!
Image Source: Internet

Saturday, November 06, 2010

A Man Who Walks on Edge

He seemed like a moving silhouette in the evening sun. I was standing near to the highway talking to one of my friends near his uncle’s wood mill. I was randomly watching that figure even while my friend was talking nonstop to me. That shadowed figure was walking on the edge of the highway and was moving closer and closer towards us.
“I think he gets hit by a truck or a bus” I told my friend, pointing my finger to that man and interrupting his talk.
“Oh, this guy…he is a regular passerby this way” my friend replied.
By the time my friend paused his chatter, the shadowy figure- a tall, fair, young man- had reached near to us.
His sunglass was too thick and dark which covered his eyes completely. He stopped after listening to our talks and looked at us.
“Lottery, sir? He asked me.
I was staring at his sunglasses and my eyes were trying to penetrate his shades curiously.
“I’m blind sir…” his abrupt words amazed me.
“Oh well, I was wondering how you are managing without a white cane” I expressed my excitement.
‘It is on my back sir. I usually don’t use it. The edge of the highway is very helpful to show me the way.” He replied. “I used it earlier but today after a little practice, I learnt to walk by the direction of the edge of the highway. It is fun you know!” he told by giving out a wide smile.
I was really shocked after his talk. “A blind man without using a white cane daringly walks on edge, interesting!” I said in my mind.
“Lottery sir?” he asked again by disturbing my private thoughts.
“No thanks. I don’t believe in luck” I replied smilingly.
“Neither do I” he gave back a smile. He left us slowly getting on the edge and taking up again his routine lottery business.
“I see him every day since my uncle opened the shop here” my friend resumed his chattering whereas I was simply gazing at the white cane which was swinging loosely on back of his shoulder. 

Image Source: Internet

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