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.