Showing posts from 2014

Film making lessons from the Duchess of Documentaries

Not many people are fans of documentary films. To many, documentaries are those boring things that hit you with the reality and at times have a preachy tone and sad ending. I too had some of these misconceptions in mind when I appeared at the Mequinez Palace auditorium to attend the Master Class by Oscar winning documentary filmmaker Megan Mylan and Sophy Sivaraman.  Megan Mylan, by showing us the trailers of some of her films and sharing her stories and experiences during the making of the films laid out what makes a great documentary film and a great documentary filmmaker.
It is important to be an observational filmmaker first. Funding comes later, said the director. A good documentary filmmaker stays true to his own style of storytelling regardless of the consequences. It is one own choice whether to pitch a proposal to NGOs or other organizations which might lead the influence of the benefactor to creep in, or to work with a modest budget, choosing sponsors who give you comple…

The BoP Crisis

Remember the BoP (balance of payments) crisis India faced in 1991? Well, I have been facing a BoP crisis of my own-the Balance of People crisis.
I appear weird to strangers because I take time to analyse and trust people, hence, they don’t connect with me quickly. On the other hand, I can’t stop talking to my friends about the awesome ideas I have. Thus, they are overwhelmed and forced to leave. I am facing a heavy attrition in terms of friends. This is not a good sign especially when I need characters for my new book.
My friends in Goa are really passionate about Goa and often prefer talking about local politics, Goan identity and language issues. I am more interested in topics like personality psychology, world history, globalization and acculturation.  
I connect better with my German and Japanese speaking friends in Pune. Two of my best buddies among them are writers and avid readers. They love to talk about stories and novels. I am afraid that they will be bored if I talk non-…

Confessions of a media man

There are many unemployed people who have trouble telling everyone that they do not have a job.  My problem starts when I tell people what I do.

I work in the mass media.  

When you tell people that, your predicament is worse than an unemployed person.  “Oh, so you must be knowing the ministers and all!” people say to you with beaming faces. You smile and give an ambiguous Indian nod. The fact that you hardly leave your desk at the office is best kept to yourself. Someone needs to tell these people that not everyone in the media is a reporter.

Sometimes when circumstances force you to reveal that you work as a sub-editor and thus get to decide which events to cover for the news, you become the proverbial goose that gives golden eggs. In your case, fame is the golden egg that everyone is after. Those loving relatives and friends become pirates seeking the treasures of popularity. Everyone suddenly has some talent or another that needs exposure.

“My mother is 92 years old.” A 60 year-old …

The Company of Zeros!

Ola! My reader friends, The last few months have been really busy and eventful. The best thing of all, I came back home from Pune and got a job as a content writer with a small company that provides a number of web based services.  93% of the people in this company are engineers. They do not take even a fleeting interest in beautiful subjects like history and politics. Instead, they chat excitedly about machines and programming in a language that is certainly not English.
We gel pretty well over movies and computer games . On that note, considering their lack of interest in politics and their interest in computer games, I have come up with a suitable nickname for my new place of employment: The Company of Zeros (hereafter referred to as TCZ)
Services provided by TCZ include web designing, web booking portals, computer sofware, mobile applications, Search Engine Optimization (SEO) and Social Media Marketing (SMM).  SEO is a process by which you get your website to rank as high as po…

The book is coming...

Guys, It’s coming! All the character sketches on my blog have been turned into a book!  The book is titled ‘Cool but confused: young professionals have all the material wealth but are their minds really at peace?’ I think the theme of the book is pretty clear there.  Still, here is a little excerpt  from the first page of the book!
This is not a novel. It is a book about young professionals, their choices, attitudes and issues. Just like the people it is about, this book breaks the rule that a book must always stick to one narrative style-story or essay. Just like a young IT professional who plays with computer during the day, plays violin in the evenings and takes French classes on weekends, this book consists of a mix of stories, essays, letters and even poems!
We often hear the old heads complaining about today’s youth. They have problems with our dependence on technology, our impatience, our thinking, dressing and what not. Well, the book is built around three points.
1.      1. This i…

The Jackal

"A few more hours to submission.” I reminded myself as I battled with my assignment. I had no patience to read the reference books and irrelevant information on the internet was only compounding my problems.  When governments and intelligence agencies run out of options, they turn to Special Forces.  I was a king fighting to protect his academic empire. 
In moments of desperation, I remembered one such man.
A man who is shrewd like the British, dour and cunning like the Chinese and insane as an Israeli Commando.  For him, no task is impossible, no challenge unbeatable and that he is unstoppable so his friends say. Hence for all his coldness and insanity, his cunning and his efficiency, I nicknamed him after the legendary killer in a famous novel.
The Jackal.
“Ah, it has been such a long time brother,” said the Jackal as he ushered me into his flat.  One could see he was happy from his broad smile. his deep black eyes just shone huge black pearls devoid of any emotion. He…

Dreams of the demented souls

Life can sometimes take very funny and weird turns.
I had just finished my level 3 German classes. (European reference level B1). The subsidy on my German training ended.  My three month stay in the city should have officially ended.. However, I wanted to stay a little longer in Pune to avoid the terrible Goan monsoon. I called a few friends, pulled a few strings and got a part time job with a small web site as content writer.  
My job was to write a newsletter for a small steel company. The newsletter would be centered around pretty general themes like ‘quick exercises at your desk’, ‘tips for peace of mind’ ‘work-life balance’ etc.  They liked my writing but we had differences of principles.  They had a ridiculous complain. “Your English is too good.” The company’s chief editor told me. “Our audience is Indian workers and managers. You write like western authors.” 
The  Americans on Twitter must have influenced me a little deeper than I actually believe.
“What is the need for such tho…