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!

Friday, February 25, 2011

A Granny's Heart...

Today was a lonely day. It is somewhat self imposed because I need some time alone before leaving to the busy world outside; a kind of absolute solitude, just a little time with myself.
Last year, for first time in my life, I was fortunate enough to stay with my 83 years old granny for one month at my house. It may be the solitude that I experience now at home that made me think about her and inspired me to write a poem on her.
This poem which is dedicated to my granny is based on my observations on her daily life. I'm just trying to get into her shoes and transform her thoughts into a poem.

Chirping birds bathing in sunrays,
Reminding me of my youthful days,
Those joyful days are over,
When is my soul going to hover?

Old leaves swaying on trees,
To the tune of wayward breeze,
I lived and raised my family with toil,
When is my body going to melt in soil?

Stillness of darkest night,
Taking my loneliness to greater height,
Is this solitude, an earthly tranquility,
Before my soul's quest for heavenly eternity?

Strolling along narrow, deserted lane,
My heart has become so calm, so plain,
Now, I'm loving my life more than ever,
But, when is my eyes going to close forever?

Meditating on my rosary,
Only way to get my mind steady,
Let my prayers reach heaven,
And bring good to my children.

Image Courtesy: Internet

Friday, February 18, 2011

Grass is Always Greener on Our Side

Grass is always greener on other side.” says wise people around us. What does the Grass and the other side means? I was confused with this phrase till recently. There is a similar saying in Malayalam (my mother tongue). The English translation of it goes like this: “ Jasmine grown in our surroundings doesn't possess much fragrance”
It is a naked truth. We won't see greener pastures on our side. And the jasmine grown in our backyard is considered as 'local' or mundane or may be useless. People always find pleasure in looking into the neighbours' house and envy them as well as complains on what they don’t have rather than enjoy what they do have.
Local food. “Oh no! It is so unhygienic!” people says so. But I don’t think so. Traditional costumes. “Hey dude, they are so conventional. Be modern, dude!” people say so. I don’t think so. Frankly speaking, I have a serious trouble with this 'modernism'. Solution to this problem came in the form of an ethnic day which is observed once in a blue moon. On that day, we wear our traditional dresses and boast of our traditions as well as culture. Rest of the days we all are (forced to be) so called modern! What a paradox!
How many people take pride in their identity, their nationality, their own culture and heritage? Unfortunately, only a few.
People tend to become others by destroying their own culture and life styles. A civilization is complete only with its time tested traditions, culture and lifestyle. How many of us carries with us at least a small part of our culture, heritage and language? Only a few.
Let me make this thought clear with a personal experience. During a North Indian trip few years ago, I met a European lady on the train. She is a highly talkative woman and suddenly, during the talk, she exclaimed: “ You got it, man! Look around you...” At that instance, I couldn’t understand what she was trying to tell. “ Excuse me? What do we got?” I asked her. “ You, Indians are too tanned and I love your complexion!” I felt like laughing and I did it at my max.
“ In Europe, we do sun bathing and such to get tanned skin...” she said. “ And here...we use fairness cream to become fair like you!” I interrupted her talk. “Yes, you are absolutely right!” she smiled. “Actually, we are not brown skinned, we are chocolate skinned!” I joked and she enjoyed it.
Let me tell you that these fairness cream advertisements are really terrible as well as pathetic. The message they are trying to propagate is crystal clear: if you use the cream, you will be a fair or 'white' princess/ prince within 2 weeks and you can get a beautiful, charming bride/groom or get recognized in the society. So, will the people with tanned or dark complexion never get a beautiful partner or never get that so called social status? Saddest part is that even Indian superstars are trying their level best to promote such advertisements.
To conclude this thought, let me give out few of my favorite quotations.

Don't let anyone else take the measure of your worth and capabilities. Always stand proud in who you are!
- Margaret Spellings

The snow goose need not bathe to make itself white. Neither need you do anything but be yourself.
- Lao Tzu

Stand Tall, Stand Proud. Know that you are unique and magnificent. You do not need the approval of others.
- Anonymous

Image Courtesy: Internet


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