Friday, March 28, 2014

My name is 'Aan-ta-rik Un-way-shun'

My name is Antarik Anwesan. Now wait, what? Antariksh? Space?

“No! Say it as Aan-ta-rik Un-way-shun”, I would reply to almost each and every person who would hear my name for the first time. I don’t seem to recall a moment when somebody got my name right the very first time they heard it. I have almost always repeated it at least twice and have given up on getting the pronunciation right. Hardly anyone gets it.


So yeah, the name. There is a lot in a name. I don’t know what my father was thinking or what libraries he consulted when he devised such an unusual name for his son. He robbed me of his surname. And as I have grown up I have taken pride in not having a surname. It sets me apart from the entire world! Yeah, Anwesan is not my surname!

Friday, March 14, 2014

The Quest for a Known Face | A Short Story from Vaishno Devi

I looked up and down the street, frantically searching for a known face. Hordes of people chanting ‘Jai Mata Di’ kept going in both directions, each time reminding me of the old song on Doordarshan I had heard as a child. The old and disabled were on shoulder carry chairs, the young and non-walkers on horses and the majority on feet. Even at this time of the night, way past midnight, there was no change in the number of devotees taking the 12-km walk up or downhill the Vaishnodevi shrine. As far as my perfectly normal eyes could see, I couldn’t find my family anywhere.

Day and Night time view of the walking path to the Vaishno Devi shrine at Katra, Jammu, India.
I checked my phone. There was no network coverage. It was almost 1 o’clock, 40 minutes since what I now realized, was a situation where I was ‘lost’.

Sunday, March 09, 2014

How about ‘investing’ Rs.300 on watching 30 'good' films this month?

Let’s face it. Be it a college student, a Saturday night filmgoer, a man taking his family out for a show, or anybody else who loves watching films, this is something we all know, accept and have thought about sometime or the other: We want to see a film, but... The ticket prices are high. Not many very good movies out there. Only once in a while a good film comes out. We wait for a couple of weeks to see the ‘new release’ and pray for a reduction in the ticket prices. We don’t want to spend extravagantly on a film. None of us are the PVR Gold Class viewers who would spend more than a 1000 bucks on a single film! We would rather go for the easiest thing- watching a pirated copy of the film. Ultimately it’s we, the cinema lovers who miss out on some good film viewing experience.

Well, now how would you react if you could actually ‘invest’ the money that you would otherwise spend on watching a film which probably you would term ‘boring’? What if you don’t spend the 300 bucks that you would have spent on one good (or probably, boring?) movie show(s), and instead use it to see more than 30 guaranteed good films by student filmmakers from across India and beyond on the big screen? Intrigued, aren’t you? At least I was when I first heard of it. Because this is possible. And this is happening:

Project Frame 14- An initiative to bring cinema close to young filmmakers and cinema lovers across the world.
First Frame 2014 would create history by being the first international students' film festival to 'crowdfund'

About Project Frame 14, let me tell you something serious and really important: 
This one's gonna go down in history! Stories will be told and shared. Anyone and everyone related to films will know about this, talk about this. And they are doing so as you read this…

Because these college students are huge cinema lovers and they are out on a mission. A mission of bringing cinema close to young filmmakers and cinema lovers across the world. And nothing is going to stop them from achieving it.

Here’s a call to you
...to be a part of Project Frame 14.
...to be a part of history-in-making. 
...to be a part of India's first ever international students' film festival to go for 'crowdfunding'. 

Take a look at the initiative. Come forward, do your bit. Blog about it, Spread the news, Contribute. 


And before you move to read some other and more interesting blog post, I urge you to watch the video and read all about it at the link below. All about the ‘Project Frame 14’ initiative and the concept of ‘crowdfunding’, a concept which is already on its way to revolutionize the way individuals fund their projects.


Because when you read about it in a newspaper or magazine story within the next few days, you wouldn’t be proud just because you knew about it first but because YOU HELPED CREATE HISTORY.

As for me, I am a film lover who wants to go and watch all the films that release on every Friday, or at least the best one every week. When I asked my parents if I could have a separate amount fixed each month specifically for watching movies, I was told I must reserve it from within my pocket money. No separate allowances! Well, this month I feel I would rather not spend on a couple of commercial films at the multiplex and instead ‘invest’ 300 bucks in Project Frame 14 and watch more than 30 very good films.

If 500 people contribute Rs. 300 each, these guys would make history. I have their back. What about you?

Sunday, March 02, 2014

The Biggest Congregation of Bloggers’ in India- Skyscanner IndiBlogger Meet

‘There is a bloggers’ meet at Meridien on 1st March! And it’s back to the old format- the afternoon meet’ I exclaimed.

‘But all seats are gone. I hadn’t checked Indiblogger since two days, or my mail’, I told my sister sadly.

‘Do we really need to register? Can’t we just go to the meet and register there?’ she asked.

I wasn’t very sure. And over the next couple of days I visited the site every few hours to check if there was an increment in the number of seats and registered the moment I found one available. I wasn’t going to take any risks.

The huge Ball Room of Le Meridien, New Delhi hosting the Skyscanner Indiblogger Meet. Photo courtesy: IndiBlogger

The few days before the event rolled by fast and the registered delegates a.k.a. ‘bloggers’ tally had reached 400. This was going to be huge!

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