I thought being an IT entrepreneur is exciting & easy. It is exciting. But it is not easy at all. Life was out of control…technology was in full control. I wanted to disconnect from technology to connect with self.
I was frantically looking for an outlet to give my passion a whiff of fresh air. It was getting asphyxiated. It was indeed a matter of life and death…when passion was getting strangulated by my profession. It happens, when we are in desperate search for something in life, that something rises like a phoenix from nowhere, we are pleasantly surprised…and I was exactly in such a pleasant surprise and it was Times Passion Trail that came as a magical panacea for the riddle I had no clue…
I didn’t dare to imagine that I will be part of such a talented team from diverse fields…each team member was an expert in his/her field and their creative passion was the icing on the cake. Top of it, the illuminated gathering of stalwarts from the creative sphere who by their simple presence were inspiring and the moment they share their experience…we all were mesmerized. The success of any such program resides in the hand of the program architect, and it couldn’t have been in any better hand than Bachi Karkaria…the erstwhile editor of Times of India.
I had an impression that she was like a principal, very strict and very tough. We all entered into the lobby of Inter-Continental at Marine Drive, Mumbai. I was tentative when I met her. I was perplexed when she was very warm and very welcoming to all of us. I thought it was just a welcome disguise…with every passage of time, I was getting proven wrong. I was too happy to be proven wrong and she was like a student with us…that was so nice of her. Everybody felt at home when she was there to interact and engage.
Her message was clear to be a creative writer….it is to write, write and write.
I had read his book “Shiva Trilogy” and had seen him on print and television…he was everywhere. He had a tale to tell, and he had told with such passion that the whole country was dazed to his magical woven of mythology. I never had an opportunity to meet him but his story was deeply within and had inspired me to meet him one day and I was genuinely aspiring for an occasion. And it was the second day and first session, it was in the lovely valley of the Upper Deck in Lonavala…it was picturesque and it was just perfect to meet the man “Amish Tripathi” who demystified the mythology of Lord Shiva.
All of us were excited to meet him and he was at its best in sharing his story, he also got charged up seeing such a wonderful bunch of creative talents ready to engage and taste his imagination. He loves to play with his imagination which was amply in display in his Book Shiva Trilogy and we were there to ignite his imagination…
His message was clear to be a good writer….it is discipline, discipline and discipline.
After interacting with him, I felt he was very much like us and we all can have our mark in the field of creativity, we had learned the secret from him but it was not easy keeping the secret within…as it was an open secret. It is all about doggedly pursuing the passion…he said it needs discipline, it needs commitment and one need to keep reading, he reiterated, before one could produce that master piece which can catch the imagination of readers.
Bollywood has always been fascinating. We all are in awe with the movies like Sholay and awe-stuck with the cinematography like 3 Idiots, and the screenplay and the lyrics are the yin-yang of the cinema. I was one of many when had little clue on how the screen play and lyrics are written…yes, it is part of the creative writing genre but such is the spectrum of creative genre that we rarely touch more than couple and we just manage to master one if we are lucky and disciplined in pursuing our passion. Swanand Kirkire the man behind the lyrics of 3-Idiots one of my most favorite movie and the song “Behti Hawa Sa Tha Woh” was humming long after the movie went out of the screen, and it still does. It was beauty and brain at work when Shaili Chopra took us on a joy ride on blogging and social media…it was time to tee off with her on Golf.
When such a wonderful story was getting written in the Passion Trail, the climax had to be enchanting and who else can make it magical…and it had to be none other than Javed Akhtar. The moment he arrived, the entire group was gripped in fascination. We were trying to pinch each other to accept the reality that it was not a dream, it was indeed a reality that had dawn with a mystical dream. He wanted to know a little about each of us, and before each could tell a little about himself, each one without any exception was tongue-tied and started uttering the word…I am amazed, I am excited, I am awe-stuck and the adjectives was flowing like the poetry from the master…it was smooth, suave and swift.
His message was clear to be a creative person….it is to read, read and read.
The session just couldn’t come to an end without the flow of poetry from the mouth of the master. It deed, and the request for more and more continued and it had to be finally the architect Bachi Karkaria to put the curtain down…it left us all wanting.
And like all good things in life this had to come to be end…but this was great and it just couldn’t end, it was the beginning of a new chapter for all of us and these beautiful memories are imprinted in our mind forever. Our memories will never be the same hereafter, it is time immemorial…
My take on such a diverse talented team whose creative mind was @ witty work during the sessions…
Surya Harikrishnan – The youngest, the brightest driving the ‘Bangalore Literature Festival’ under Vikram Sampath & Shinie Antony…student of journalism & an aspiring author. He was genuinely gentleman. And he was my room-mate and we did have nice late night chat when he returned after his charming engagement with the angels of the group…I didn’t mind getting up from my sleep midnight to open the door. I knew he was going to share his lovely story, he had with the angels. You may ask but I cannot share, that was the gentleman agreement between us.
Sunil Bhandari – Like all sweet Bengali he was deep into literature and driving the language, he kept his consulting cap aside, he was enjoying every moment and he was engaging and he was exciting in his conversations with each one of us. He was creative and he did suggest that brilliant Bengali slang “…….” in composing the lyrics which gave the real impetus to the song in our group. It must be still ringing in everybody’s ear. it was evident that he must been creatively naughty as a child and slangs must have been on his sleeves.
Kausthub Rajendran – The look was gripping and he had his own ways to keep us surprised every time he asked a question. Being in Cloud Computing, he was in a different world…literally on the cloud. The group’s only question when departing from one location to other was “where is kausthub?” yes where is he. We all had questions and he had a befitting answer… and the answer was in his entry, he used to come with his majestic trademark style and his voice was commanding.
Charu Chitwal – Chirpy and the copywriter was just not copying but she was brilliant in her creative imagination and in their skit she was the epicenter. She took us into the world of apsaras and brought us down to the earth for the search of bride and groom. And the “pig’ character in her story was strikingly different. Yes, we love your “ketchupmoms”…she was frantically busy to get her blog flying with the support from the creative group, we love your blog Charu.
Pushkar Gunjun – The English man from the rustic land. He has long back moved out of Bihar and is an integral part the Bangalore culture. He was loving his stay in Bangalore and he had fallen in love with the weather. He had his series of hypothesis and was ever ready to test his propositions with the experts and he was not afraid of the debate. The intriguing sound was vibrating in everybody’s mind, it was there in his name ‘gunjun’.
Sapna Ullal– She was calm and composed. As a travel content writer she was enjoying the journey of creative flow…she was absorbing the content of travel which was fascinating. She loved fashion and never told. She indeed gave a tough challenge to Nidhi and her fashion statement was creative and her style was travelling in everybody’s mind. She turn out to be the dream fashion architect as her name suggested ‘sapna’.
Parvathy Rajmohan – It took some time for her to get into the groove. She felt she was lost in the wilderness of so many budding creative personalities. She was the gypsy girl…lively and ever smiling. And finally when Bachi Mam told about the gypsy girl to Javed Sahab, she was blushing and she became the epicenter of joy and in the end she was in hurry to leave the venue she had to catch the early flight, trying to spend a little more time with each other and she could barely say goodbye….
Nidhi Khurana – She has been driving the Bangalore’s retail industry, as a fashion designer she was defining the fashion trend in the group. I am sure nobody said it but everybody waited to see what Nidhi was setting the trend for the day and her love for poetry was there to be seen with her beautiful narration in front of Javed Sahab…it came from her heart and the emotion was there to be seen…the treasure (nidhi) she kept hidden. She has many more such beautiful poems in her blog which she should start doing more frequently.
Ipsa Pandey – The first question in everybody’s mind, O! She is a doctor, why the doctor I go is not cute like her. A doctor beautifully lost in the world of poetry. Every patient would love to go to a doctor like her who can cure their disease with her poetry without any use of medicine. Let the world be full of such doctors where patient needn’t have to spend money on medicine…she as a dermatologist made the skin of the group glow.
Anubhooti Kabra – The music of historical city of Udaipur and rustic desert was in her poems…and she recited in her Rajasthani tune, Javed Sahab was impressed and so was all of us. Anubhooti means experience. That was a surprise experience for us she perhaps deliberately kept for the end. It is the early morning walk that we come to know each other better, she was at her best when she suggested to me as I was photographer to capture the moustache ladies…it was indeed humorously creative.
Vishal Furia – The look was not deceptive. His hairstyle was designed to augment his presence in celluloid and it is just a matter of time we shall see him on the directorial debut in big screen and perhaps he may not recognize us thereafter. Nothing can stop him. It is embedded in his name “VISHAL”…the great, we all are imagining of meeting the Bollywood stars and he was one among them, we were lucky to meet him…few disguised him to take his autograph.
Shweta Modgil – We all had come to learn the art of writing and publishing…but she was already there with her first book “one hundred days” is out in the world…readers are cherishing it. She was counting the days for her next book to be released. She was not resting her thinking during this trail. She was in her world of writing, she was deeply in contemplation for her next book…she had already seen the vision for the 1000 days. She loved adventure travel but never expressed it.
Om Hisaria – He has been in legal profession and he was clear and made the statement loud at the beginning, he just cannot afford to be creative in his profession of legal and tax management. That would make his profession a hara-kiri. He has been instrumental in changing the policies in govt. sector but with shifting to private sector, he had ruffled the creative side of his life which was in hibernation in govt. He wanted his wife to be part of the Javed Sahab recitation which couldn’t happen, I am sure he went back and he must have mesmerized his beloved with his charming narration which he was very good at…om sri.
Tej Bharath – Reserved and ready to observe and absorb, and whenever his turn came for narrating the story he was open and expressed with deep intensity. And it was his turn for him to narrate his story when asked by Vinay Shukla, and he was so deeply got involved that he just didn’t want to end his story…he went on and on. That showed his love for story telling…and we all loved it. He was the secret weapon of the group…
Vikas Singh – The journalist brain was at work, he was vocal and he knew what to ask and when to ask, his questions were coming out of his research mind at operation. Perhaps more from a trained mind and man who has been part of many such creative sessions…Only with deep interactions we come to know more about the talents of others…and it happened when we started extending our dialogue with him. But we all were swayed by the aroma of the tea he was a master at we did not know….more to hear from him on the taste and trend of teas.
Vishakha Phatnani – She was aggressive, she was fearless, she was very articulative and she was very vocal in her expression…she had travelled the world (her sole venture in Africa was an adventure, indicated what she wanted to be in her life) she was counting her days to start her charted accounting career. She decided to be disown our group when the language crossed the barrier in our lyrics…and she rightly so did it. Our group would have been a body without a soul without you…there was many arguments but we loved you.
Animesh Ganguly – He was into the insurance industry, he had his mission to insurance his career in creative writing though his actuarial brain was predominantly at work…he brought the prediction and statistics to the creative discussion. He was enjoying every moment by being silent. There can’t be a more powerful mode to listen to self than being a good listener. He kept his dress code perfectly matched to the poetic session with Javed Sahab.
Mohan – The youngest at heart and ready to challenge the young brigade, he was sportive and he had come to cherish every moment of his engagement with the team, he was there to quickly list out the songs from his i-pad when we were evaluating the choice of lyrics. I think many may not be knowing that he lives on a tree house…and if you have any doubt you can pls check his photo where he is standing in his tree house. He indeed added the much needed experience to the group dynamics that was on play.
Divya Dubey – He was the hidden jewel. Nobody had a clue that one amongst us is the TED talker…the master of Hindi language, his passion for the language was subtly permeating through the English sessions and when everybody narrated their poetry in English in front of Javed Sahab, he waited and waited but he couldn’t resist his inspiration and he had to come with his poetic best in his own enchanting style…and when he did, Javed Sahab had to acknowledge. We all felt what we missed during the evening gatherings.
Anuradha – The people’s lady, her Human Resource profession was evident and she was cool and calculative in her words during her conversations…all her questions was measured and she asked with authority. She wanted her blog to speak her heart out and she never minced words and she said it with beauty and manifestation of richness. Little did we know that she participates in the Mumbai marathon?
Sreyansh Satpathy – The Banker with a poetic heart at work…it was surprise for all of us until when he was inspired by the presence of Javed Sahab and recited his poetry which was dissected and appreciated by none other the master. We all loved his poem. He once again proved it to me that the world is a small place, when we started exploring each other’s origin and we came to know that we are both come from the same place of birth. Such is the love for his wife, last day after the session he ensured that they together go a play to compensate the time they couldn’t spent together…love is forever.
Sunil Vaid – The Pediatric doctor was child at heart, he was there to question everything and get an answer to all his queries that has been bothering him for years, he knew he didn’t want to doctor the questions, rather he was open and wanted to get the right answers from the experts. The best part of any creative person is being open and keeping one’s questioning quotient high on agenda…a child doctor who has written seven books and interestingly one is tilted as “slap your child”. Doctor we all enjoyed your presence…you brought out the child within all of us without doctoring the matured mind.
Light, Laugh & Love…