Thursday, September 13, 2012

Into the Buddhist Vale: Mc. Leod Ganj

There is no doubt that most of the hill stations in India; especially the ones in Himachal Pradesh bear heavy influence of the Tibiten Culture, and Buddhism. However I believe it’s fair to call Mc. Leod Ganj the best place to experience a different culture far away from what we have experienced or heard of general India (After all it’s also the capital of Buddhist under exile and home to the Dalai Lama). People know it for its Monestry and a good summer get away; however there is more and perhaps the best place to run to if frustrated of the routined city life. Movies and novels often show people running away to Tibet, or Nepal in search of inner peace. A cheaper option for cheap Indians is Mc.Leod Ganj also known as upper Dharmashala.

My visit was rather an un-predictable one; where I was expecting Mc. Leod Ganj to be like any other hill-station; though it was after having the lamb Thukpa and Tingmos (rolled breads) that I realized there is a lot more to the place. The place is inhabited mostly by Tibetans and western folks; who come down here to learn the ways of Buddhism, or understand their philosophy. Often you see them interviewing a Buddhist monk in a Cafe. ‘Free Tibet’ flags and ‘rescuing the next Dalai Lama from Chinese custody’ posters are a common sight on the streets. Perhaps one of the most spiritual experiences that I have had is that of the Monastery where devotees have their way of kneeling down, and pushing themselves forward at the altars (Just like any other Buddhist Monastery). However, something that you probably don’t observe at other monasteries in India is Monks having their debates on Buddha’s principles. I found it amusing for some reason; two monks challenging each other with intimidating gestures surrounded by a circle of onlookers. 

There are several treks one can take up from Mc. Leod Ganj; the most famous perhaps being that of the Triund peak, which offers the scenic beauty of Himachal Pradesh on one side of the range and Ice caped rock mountains on the other. Camping there is indeed an awesome experience, by a bonfire and overlooking the lights of various hill-stations in Himachal Pradesh. The trek; however does go on into the mountains to the Indrahar Pass. However due to time constraints one might leave behind the expedition, and wish that some other day he could fulfil his fantasy of taking the expedition and crossing over to Tibet on the other side.

Tuesday, September 11, 2012

Through the ruins and wilderness: Mehrauli Archaeological Park

It’s had been two years; since I had planned a proper heritage walk for myself. The Mehrauli and Qutub area, was on my list last when I had this idea of filming a documentary. Hence I decided resume my journey from where I left; at the ramparts of Lal Kot (The first city of Delhi) south-east to Qutub Minar Complex. I really thought they go on further; and tried following the walls into the wilderness when finally I stopped after passing through a lot of spider webs and thorns and bushes. Later I realized that the full extent of the ramparts didn’t lie where I was looking; but to the north into a forested area known as the Sanjay Van.
Metcalf's Boathouse
I didn’t realize it until then that there is a back entrance from Qutub Side to Mehrauli archaeological park as well (Most people know it as the Jamali Kamali; though Jamali Kamali is just a small part of the region). So I thought maybe I’ll explore the region which is known for encompassing the entire medieval history of Delhi. So from the Qutub side one comes across the Quli Khan tomb; and found it rather bizarre that the tomb was used as a weekend suite by a British official ‘Metcalf’. Some rumours hold that he desecrated the sarcophagus and placed his dining table or billiards table (Pretty upsetting for the soul of the Mughal Noble, who served Emperor Akbar). Further east as one goes downhill we witness yet another medieval building which was converted to a boat house by Metcalf. One would now think twice before boating in the swamp amidst the overgrown wilderness; it now plays host to spiders, insects, dogs and birds (However once the rains are done; I am sure the depression would be left pretty dry). Perhaps the best thing he did was covert a major chunk of the area to a garden, with canopies where one could lay back and enjoy the view.
pavilion tomb of Jamali Kamali
Jamali (L) and Kamali (R)
The famous Jamali Kamali Mosque; is now a protected monument and hence is no longer operational as a regular mosque (After all, encroaching mosques and temples is a pretty common activity in India). There is a courtyard next to the mosque which hosts several unknown graves sharing the site of burial with the Maulana Jamali (during the reign of Humayun in the sixteenth century). The sarcophagus of Jamali lies in a chamber (pavilion); along with another of a man of whom no one has any knowledge. To make the tomb sound rhythmic they named him Kamali. Probably one could cook up a pretty controversial story between Jamali and his unknown companion. Further east lie the ruins which were perhaps once excavated in 1993; and now are a home to pigs, dogs, and sometimes goats which are brought in by the villagers for grazing. Though, one could consider pigs sniffing graves of Jamali’s disciples pretty blasphemous.
                At a depression from the ruins lie the main entrance of the Archaeological Park and the Tomb of Sultan Balban (of the 13th century), and if observed pretty closely he did spend quite amount of fortune in building it (However the sarcophagus present there is not his; it’s of his son). Though currently in ruins; the walls at some points reveal small patches of blue tiles and plaster which has engravings. Apparently his reign was the first one in India to master the art of building true arches.
Rajon ki Baoli
                Walking further away from the entrance in search of ‘Rajon ki Baoli’ or ‘Masons’ step well’ one comes across a long chain of debris, tombs and structures which all lie in ruins. I guess more than the eagerness to find the destinations; it’s the feeling of time travel to the medieval age that appeals to one. Even though in the busiest areas in Delhi; one feels falling back in past as he/she observes wilderness climbing around abandoned and ruinous structures which covers about seven hundred years of history. Finally ending my journey at Rajon ki Baoli; a step well of four levels I felt I could just sit here forever in the serene environment and perhaps have a few of my friends over for an acoustic JAM (Well; even in the past, step wells used to be pretty cool venue for social gatherings, I believe it hasn’t lost its touch).

Qutub Minar peaking behind the traffic
It was nearly sunset and my legs finally gave up after walking continuously for about four hours. Reclining back against the stairs of the Reebok Showroom across the Anuvrat Marg Road, the Qutub Minar was perhaps the only archaic structure standing high above the new urban city of New Delhi.

Over the Hills; with KLoD.B

There are two ways of making one’s trip; either as a lone ranger and rediscovering places on your own or find a group of like minded people and make your experience a really constructive one, by sharing knowledge, perspectives and ideologies about the destinations. Coming across a fifteen years old circle ‘KLoD.B: Knowing Loving Delhi Better’, made my walk in Jawahar Lal Nehru University a more insightful one. For me everything is rediscovery since I have been back to Delhi after a long-long period of time; and it’s now that I explore traces of left over Aravali Hills in Delhi. JNU is about a thousand acres campus known for its academia, food and politics. In fact; food and its natural landscape of unblemished Aravalis and greenery is one of the main reasons why it’s on the list of many young Delhites to hang-out. There is another reason as well; but well let’s not highlight that in my blog (Let’s say ‘Sandwich’).
One finds JNU within the cliffs that lie between IIT Delhi and Vasant Vihar. In fact it’s believed that IIT Delhi was established in the Valley of the Aravalies and JNU over the Aravalies. Here you find the highest natural point in Delhi; the Partha Sarthy Rocks and it’s a completely different world from the peak. Amidst the busy, urban and polluted South Delhi, you find yourself over a range surrounded by wilderness on all sides (Thanks to the current season, we often crept through the shrubs and thorns). I found the campus as a pretty good spot for weekend rock climbing and trekking. The Dhaabas; and their food are known to most Delhites for their delicacy and the economic price (I mean really economic). You find them everywhere, whether it be behind the central library on the rocks overlooking the green campus, or the famous Ganga Dhaaba in the valley right opposite to the Ganga hostel. And then, there is one which is operated by an ex-student of JNU because he just didn’t wish to leave the campus; known as ‘Mamu ka Dhaaba’. When one can’t find food anywhere in Delhi late in the night; 24/7 is perhaps the only Dhaaba which serves you delicious food no matter what time it is.
I personally didn’t interact with a student there; however the culture is quite apparent from the ambiance of the place and the magnificent and evocative posters that you find everywhere in the campus. Among common students; it’s here that I first witnessed art inspired by true reason and political and social views. Some of them, I found just loud enough judging by the use of colours and strokes. Other members of the group who had seen enough of JNU then enlightened me that one observes politics whether it be left, right wing, or capitalist in its full swing amongst the students in JNU and indeed some of them later do get a seat in the parliament. And yes; every now then you observe students distributing pamphlets for some seminar, or event.
I almost expected to find the twenty years old history of JNU, from a personal diary of 1993 which was pushed between couple of rocks; but unfortunately only the dirty hardbound cover was left behind with no pages in it. Apparently someone did want us to read; but the rains which might have dissolved the papers over years didn’t. There is yet more to explore, the caves and the haunted house that I was told of further south to the Partha Sarthy Rocks; but I have left them to another visit. 

Friday, September 7, 2012

Tracing Ancient India - Camouflaged rock edict in Delhi

Most of us know the legend of indraprastha or how it is associated with the old fort. It is said that the city of the pandava lay here; as its ancient name and archaeological excavations prove thus. However my journey lies south near Kailash colony and Kalka ji temple. There is a hypothesis that the temple is ancient and sacrifices were predominant here. Also Delhi lay on the ancient highway to the northwest. So what better place could emperor Ashoka find to inscribe his notion of peace on the rocky ranges behind the temple. I arrived there one day to have a look at the minor rock edict myself. Thanks to the insistence of the Buddhist communities, the edict is now a protected heritage site. It's tough to identify the locality as a part of the Aravalies though; the urbanization has lead to eclipsed natural landscape. So there is just one part of the range that remains here and at its peak is the sheltered ashokan edict.

Just like most of the sites in Delhi the enclosure is locked and I had to persuade the guard to unlock the railings for me. India shares another interesting aspect; where guides are missing local security guards of the heritage site take up the task of enlightening you about the site. Sometimes you don't doubt there knowledge for they have been here for such a long time assisting tourists and often have a good story to tell. According to him the place is usually visited by Bhuddhist groups from Japan, Nepal, Korea; Thailand in the summers and they light incense sticks or candles and kneel down to the edict. They recite their hymns and tie Buddhist flags to the railings (which were still there). What amused me was his description that 'they worship Ashoka next to Lord Buddha as we worship dau Balram next to Lord Krishna'. He had quite some knowledge of the inscriptions and told me of the Dharma Chakra which even though not clearly visible, could be traced by the fingers and how to take the photograph of the inscription such that they are visible in a camera.

The edict resides in an urban colony however from the peak of the ridge one can identify the pinnacle of the famous ISKON temple to the west and a few other temples here and there. And indeed my next interest there lies the massive ISKON temple and Buddha Vihar inaugurated by Shiela Dixit.

Tuesday, September 4, 2012

Rediscovering Shahjahanabad I – From the Kashmiri Gate

Often things turn out to be different from our expectations which we develop through books. I underwent a similar experience; during my walk to Kashmiri Gate and the remains of Shahjahanabad and British colonization. I wondered how history is so densely camouflaged here, and how is it that the ramparts of Shahjahanabad were hard for me to trace. Most of the British buildings are now continued in use; such as the old British Deputy Commissioner’s House (A white mansion with a central dome), which is currently being used as an office for Northern Railways.
As we walk down to the double arched Kashmiri gate which bore its importance as northern gateway to Sahjahan’s Delhi; we find its remaining ramparts which were breached by the British to seize control of Delhi in 1857. Eight thousand British soldiers fought against thirty thousand mutineers at these gates. If we look in closely at the fragments of past still present there; the story does feel alive even in the crammed old city. The history there brings in a fresh perspective; that of the British. Nicholson and Lothian cemeteries host uncountable graves of British soldiers who faced the blow of 1857. As an Indian we were told that the mutiny was subdued by the British tyrants; but today I realize that they died too and they too were soldiers fighting for their empire even if its purpose was ambition. The former cemetery is named after brigadier general John Nicholson; the man who led the assault on Shahjahanabad, and died in the process of annexing Delhi from the mutineers. Demolished British Magazine provide us an insight into how the British avoided their resources being annexed by the Mutineers, when they were taking over Delhi; and the obelisk, the telegraph memorial holds testimony to the officers and engineers who just managed to call for British reinforcements from the north.
My enthusiasm towards the British soldiers grew as I came about Colonel Skinner. Col. James Skinner; was the son of a Scottish Officer, Hercules Skinner in East India Company and a Rajput Princess. He wanted to join the British Army; however due to his Indian lineage his plea was rejected. Hence he went on to fight for the Indian forces at the young age of eighteen as a junior officer; and soon grew to fight for the Maratha Chief of Sindhia. After facing defeat in an Anglo-Maratha war; he went over to the side of East India Company and raised his own cavalry regiment which were also known as the skinner boys, or yellow boys (since they uniformed in yellow). At the young age of 22; he vowed to build a church when he was heavily wounded in one of the battles. We know it today as St. James Church; opposite to the Kashmiri Gate and I managed to attend an early Sunday morning prayer session during my walk. The cemetery in the Church complex hosts graves of those in his family. Col. Skinner’s own grave is present at the altar of the Church. (However, I do recall a funny incident: A religious Baba with a ‘serpent’ tried to mug me right outside a Church.)
My walk insisted me to go on till to the red fort. But rains as usual have a way of changing one’s mind.

Tuesday, August 28, 2012

Heritage Walks: Building my Itinerary

  It's been a long time I have been sitting more or less idle; trying to figure out how to go about content marketing for youth diaries. It's high time I should think about more direct revenue models and salaried procedures. Through the course of writing 'Arth Unearthed' I believe travel has become more or less my routine and I guess it's here when I should take travel writing more seriously. So where to start; but home itself. The next ten-fifteen days of my life would be concentrated upon discovering Delhi, and its culture as much as possible; and that's my pledge. 

  As most of us do know, Delhi is cities of cities. Well; built over seven cities. And I thought to myself the best way to explore Delhi is starting from the first city (Qutub and Mehrauli Archaeological Complex) and then moving on consecutively. However it didn't start at the first it started at the last mausoleum built in the Mughal architectural style (Garden tomb, as that of Humayun's tomb): The Safdarjung Tomb, a mausoleum of the viceroy of Oudh (Late-Medieval constituency in U.P) under the reign of Muhammad Shah (1719-48). In-order to build my itinerary I needed the Archaeological map of Delhi, which I lost a few months back. So I went back to the place from where I first bought them, however then I was updated that those books and maps are no longer available at Safdarjung Tomb; and now are available at the Red Fort, Qutub Complex, and the Humayun's Tomb.

  So I decided that I would just walk around the gardens and the Tomb that evening. It originally did remind me of the same architecture used in the Taj Mahal and Humayun's Tomb. It's a square tomb, with symmetrical sides; and a trail of fountains leading to the four Arch-ways of the tomb. The main entrance gate to the complex is a magnificent one to the east; which neighbors a courtyard of apartments and a mosque to the right. And though prohibited area to tourists; I somehow managed to catch a glimpse of the central washroom next to the courtyard (Pretty much reflected on the late medieval life-style). The tomb is built on a platform; and even though we observe a single grave in the central chamber; it's believed that the graves of Safdarjung and his wife lie underneath that chamber. There is a library also; which until my own experience realized was again restricted to tourists. Caught in the enthusiasm and heavy rain, that evening; I realize maybe I should just lose myself in my idea for the next few days, and then conceptualize whatever I would then learn.

Saturday, August 25, 2012

The Unfinished Documentary

    It was summer 2010; when I had this knack of shooting a documentary. Well; I possessed a book on Archaeology of Delhi by the ASI and I must say for any one who wants to learn more about the historical structures and landscapes in Delhi, it's by far the best source. One of my most planned experience by far I guess; I scripted down a documentary on 'Emergence of a Capital'. Hence, it all goes back to the Old Fort; where the earliest remains from Nothern Painted Grey Ware were found and are to be associated with 1200 BCE. Since the region used to be connoted as Indrapat; the site is identified as Indraprastha, the mythical city of the Pandavas. From there on, by the banks of Yamuna (The Yamuna then); Delhi lived on. It was in Ashoka's Era that he even inscribed in the rock, the message of Dharma and peace near the Kalka Ji Mandir (Kali Mandir known for sacrifices in the past) at Srinivaspuri colony.

 Then we come across the first city of Delhi; or technically the second if we consider Indraprastha to be first. It was the Qutub Archaeological complex where the Tomars built their city in the Lal Kot (fort) later fortified further by Prithvi Raj Chauhan in the 12th century AD. However, over the period of Central Asian invasions Prithvi Raj lost the 2nd battle of Tahrain (Thanesar) to Mohmadd Ghauri and the city of Rai Pithora to Ghauri's slave Qutub-ud-din-Aibak. And the rest as we know is history; Qutub-ud-din-Aibak demolished all the temples in the fort complex and near to build the mosque and other structures in the Qutub Minar Complex. Since then we have come across six other cities of Delhi; and finally coming to one modern capital which covers all seven. 

    After the script; I did make director's notes and plan my shoot. I shot a few scenes as to the scripted documentary as well; however I had to then leave to Hyderabad, and I could never get myself together for video editing since I always faced trouble softwares like Adobe After Effects (The damn thing hangs up my whole laptop) and Windows Movie Maker is.. well 'Crap'. However I am looking forward to get a hang of alternative softwares, and resume the work on the documentary with luck and time. 

Monday, August 20, 2012

From dwelling in cafes to 'The Leaky Cauldron'

I am rather shameless about spending most of my time in Hauz Khas village working from a Cafe and sipping my Espresso. However there are more reasons for one to get hooked on to this place. The ambiance; it has to offer both which is the old and the new, and offers a space for creativity. And it's here that I came across 'The Leaky Cauldron', a new kitchen that has recently opened up at 19, Hauz Khas Village. 

It was a regular day at Kunzum Cafe, with my friend Anurag; when Namrata 'Elysia' came over and got us aware of the 'new magic' that was to be conjured in the village (an invitation to 'The Leaky Cauldron'). So just like most Potter fans and Occult fans; our imaginations did run wild and we wanted to explore the place. The best part is that entire Hauz Khas Village is another Diagon Alley; and then there is a Leaky Cauldron. So the story behind this Kitchen begins when 
a kind-hearted witch named 'Elysia' travels far and wide on her broomstick, to be endowed with the knowledge of her favorite cuisines Thai, Mexican, and Italian. Finally she settles in the Hauz Khas Village to share this knowledge through her Kitchen. (The whole story is much detailed, why don't you discover it for yourself)
There are spaces where we find comfort with our friends and family; yet there are fewer spaces which relate to our fantasies. I guess the latter is the one which provides more warmth. Very soon the Kitchen will also harbor shelves with books on witchcraft, occult and symbology. The cuisines will have a different perspective; perhaps from the world of wizardry and the ambiance may just set us believing in what medieval histories, controversies and tales meant to us at one time. It's often the inception of the 'fantasies' that intrigue us more than the desire to believe in them; which is exactly what makes 'The Leaky Cauldron' a kitchen for all those who dared to dream.

Wednesday, June 27, 2012

A New Definition

There are two things that really get on my nerves; one I can't discuss in public, and the other filling in a business plan competition. The common thing in both is that after solving the issue, I look back in pride that I updated or defined new terms. It often becomes really irritating when you are filling in the same questions for different competitions, and never get selected in any because the 'TalEx' idea may not be convincing enough to the 'Angels'.

'What's the need' is their question and that's always their question. So I guess our first answer to that was 'TalEx is a platform for the youth to share their talent', I really thought this was vague. So I came up with another answer; 'TalEx is a platform to monetize the User Generated Content by the youth'. Honestly; even I wouldn't buy into this, if I was not its Co-founder. And so I went on to make couple of more weird and confusing definitions. 

The truth is you can't define TalEx as a product or a service. It's nothing but an idea! An idea that generated a talent sharing platform (currently crashed), a magazine (which is just awesome), and merchandising service (to empower the digital designers). It's an idea that every eighteen year old gets on asking himself 'should I write a book like Chetan Bhagat', 'should I film short movies', 'should I join a band', or 'should I throw around my art  in this world'. It's an idea that I get, it's the idea that Ankit gets, it's what Pamnani gets when he thinks like a monk, what Shubham and Abhay get. 

Tired of my relentless trials to put the business idea in a logical form which is a product or service; I have recently just defined it as 'TalEx is the realization of a confused eighteen year old Indian's dream'. I feel that I have arrived at a good definition after all; at least it's something that saves myself from getting confused, for I know that TalEx is realization of my confused dreams as well. And if any person we are pitching to is still confused, please ask your eighteen year old son 'Beta, what's your dream for the next 4 years?'; and keeping your fingers crossed won't help, because most probably the answer is not going to be engineering.

Honestly I am living my TalEx dream everyday, even though I am a bit lazy at business; I play my guitar wishing I was up on the stage again, I write my blog, my stories and for the youth diaries, and I watch the only decent enough clip of Greenday's American Idiot on St.James theater wishing I directed it (thought I'd share it). :D

Tuesday, June 12, 2012

Back on the Road Again!

I honestly wonder how did I ever manage to travel 5 hours to get to the Hyderabad city. However, looking forward to my presence in Delhi now, I feel that traveling has become more or less a part of my daily routine. If I ever give it up I may feel useless and pity myself. I guess with a few bucks in pocket and an old Maruti 800 out for servicing; I  may soon grow hobbits' feet. But that's actually the fun part; for you cherish every moment of your journey outside your home (if you are doing something different and worth while).

Jammers United of Delhi etc.
My experience in Kunzum Cafe, has taken my twice back to Hauz Khas village again. Once on a Sunday; where I bumped into one of my friends initially from Hyderabad , and that experience lead me to the discovery of 'Jammers United of Delhi' sessions at deer park. Lucky to find guitar there itself, I was actually swept by the moment; for I never played along with a crowd before and found myself useful if not for singing then at least for strumming.

Hauz Khas ruins and Hauz Khas village
If you were ever an archaeology freak, you would love the Hauz Khas ruins; which currently surrounds the reservoir which is maintained with quite some elegance. The deer park is on other side; where you can actually check out the deers which my ancestors once used hunt for sport. The corridor structure of the ruins; is also pretty cool for people to hang out and spend some peaceful time.

The village is now a village just for the name. It is now filled with heritage cafes, antiquity shops and art galleries. I doubt a person can ever get bored in this area; there is loads of culture that Hauz Khas village and deer park has to offer. The books, photographs and posters date back to British India. And even though a book on Indian Architectural Art may cost 7000 Rs; it's still worth being flipped through. Old movie posters which were once hand painted are usually all over the antiquity shop; and heaps of old laminated maps and photographs lie there. If you know a person who understands art well, I suggest you take him/her along with you to the galleries; for the experience would be more fruitful. However; a few galleries are descriptive about their art works, and a few curators are kind enough to let you know what a painting really means. 

Short Movie Festival - filmbooth
What's important here is perhaps narrating an important story in a few minutes. And it's here that I found the directors of the screened short movies, successful in narrating from the actions more than the words. 

Youth Diaries visiting card
The best way to know more about a scene; whether it be short movies, or art galleries in hauz khas village, or hacking of social media networking sites is to let people know that you write for an online magazine and would like to cover their initiatives in an upcoming article. :) 

Tuesday, June 5, 2012

Place to Breathe

I have spent my entire life in IIT Campuses, born in IIT Bombay, brought up in IIT Delhi, graduated from IIT Hyderabad. Not until my adolescence, I realized that the walls around the big 'state of the art' campuses become stiffening. However out there in the city; there are very few places which I find comfortable as a student, and now a graduate (Basically because I have a budget constraint, and I don't like hopping from one cafe' to another). So what does a person like me expect from a city? A place where I can find cheap but good food, free wi-fi, social networking with like minded people (offline, and trust me it is embarrassing to follow a stereotype engineer's idea of social networking), and a couple of cultural events taking place every week.

La Makaan, Banjara Hills, Hyderabad
Even though I never visited this place regularly, due to the remoteness of my campus; every time I was here was a different and new experience for me. Over these brief visits, I came across other entrepreneurs, students from the university, theater artists, photographers, film makers, people who run NGOs, event organizers or just another person who thinks as differently as perhaps you do. The best part; you just bump into them, that's the culture. LaMakaan is an open cultural space; where events like film screenings, recitals, music shows etc. keep taking place every other day; and all at a reasonable price to both the audience and the organizers. There is a Cafe' attached to it as well which serves cheap food and beverages, where I remember drinking cups after  cups of Coffee. Oh yeah! there is free wi-fi also.

Kunzum Cafe, Hauz Khas Village, Delhi
I happened to discover this place, when I asked one of my friends for a LaMakaan in Delhi. Apparently my mind doesn't function well and constructively when I am at home lying on my bed; and can't resist myself from Youtubing, or facebooking, or thinking about crap memories which are still fresh. Even though Kunzum is a Travel Cafe where travel freaks get together and share their experiences, and there are loads of travel journals and books on their shelves; I think I may still find like minded people to interact or work with. And well, travel does lie in my like-minded category. Once again free wi-fi; and good riddance from slow IIT internet to the residential area. Their marketing concept is something I really appreciate: 'pay what you like'; which means I can pay whatever I am comfortable with for amazing espresso and cookies, while the foreigners who visit Delhi may be a lot more courteous. :D
Best part: Ambiance with cushions, Travel Photographs, and Andy McKee hits; Can lie their all day long.

I am new to this place; so can't add much.

Sunday, May 27, 2012

'The Corridors' - philosophy

Most of you, who know me; know this as well that I always wanted to write a novel, on the desires of a boy who has been through a journey of graduation. Yes, I know there are Chetan Bhagats and Amitabh Bhagchis who have done so already; but I wanted to approach this from a very different angle. It's about how I lessen the obsession with the protagonist's college; and focus on something bigger. It's about how I can focus upon a network across the city, and how I can spin different fields, different virtues, and different mindsets together. To achieve this goal of mine; I press upon the following aspects which would play an important role in shaping my novel: Philosophy, Place and Culture, Protagonist's mindset, Element of life.

Philosophy - The Corridors
It's a way in which I perceive life. It's an analogy that I derived from my school days. I see life as a journey across the corridors of a school; with doors leading to classrooms on either side. But there is a glitch here; for I wouldn't truly know of the nature of the class, before stepping in and I would just be building assumptions based on what I have heard. The truth is that experiences in each of these classrooms may develop to become the most cherished memories of my life; or on the contrary, the most regrettable. However, if I were to look for the secret of honor; I would take a step into those classrooms and never quit before my time is done, and desires are accomplished or if I am forsaken by my own subjects of belief. There will always be a courageous thought though; that the corridor never ends and that my journey will always have something to teach me at the porch of every door I take.