Wednesday, 24 December 2014


Image source :
The white snow. The cold breeze. Streets lit up with dazzling lights. Everything was just fine. It was the Christmas time. But her face wasn’t matching up with the ambiance around. She was lost. Lost in her thought. Thoughts about him. She was not sure if he would come back this year. She has been waiting for him since 5. Before that he would always come and bring gifts for her. She never saw him but it was okay. The gifts were there and she felt it comforting to know that someone cares for her.  Now she is 16. She waited for him every Christmas. ‘He would come. He always does at the middle of the night’, they said. She waited every Christmas night. He didn’t come. Not even once. Were they lying? Will he never come?

Still, in those dark eyes, there was a glint of hope. She waited. She felt drowsy. Her eyes refused to stay open but her resolve kept her awake. It was midnight. Nobody came.

It’s time, she thought. It’s time she accept the fact that Santa is not real. It was her Father who brought her those gifts. The only man who cared for her. She remembered the day she received her father’s death news. He was gunned down by a lunatic killer for no reason, whatsoever. It was a day before Christmas. She was five then. Since then gifts were not there. Santa never came.

But she still waits for that old man with white beard and the red-white Christmas costume. She knew her father couldn’t come back from the dead. But a hope lies. Santa will come. So she waited. In the white snow. The cold breeze. With streets lit up with dazzling lights. Everything was just fine. Well, almost everything.

Saturday, 15 November 2014

एक सुबह (EK SUBAH)

It's been a long long time since a Hindi poetry danced out from the quill. Somehow I found this Romantic Hindi Poem swaying in my mind.


Kuchh bechain sa hai aaj mann mera
Kehta hai pyaas jagi hai aaj, arse baad.
Teri aankhon ka deedaar ho jaaye
To chain aa jaaye.

Har wo lamhe kaid hain aaj bhi is zehen mein,
Jab jab tumhari nazro se yeh nazar mila karti thi.
Kuchh uthti, kuchh jhukti sharma ke
Fir chup chaap se ek muskaan khila karti thi.

Aaj ek baar phir yeh subah mere kaano mein
Kuchh haule se hidayat si de gayi.
Chidiyon ki chehchehat bhi
Aaj guftagu mujhse kar gayi.

Phoolon ne dil khol ke rakh diya apna
Ped bhi jhoomne lage hawaaon ke sang
Fir ek baar subah ne kaanon mein kuchh kaha.
Thandi aahon ki wo fusfusahat kuchh bechain si lagi.

Shayad yehi kehna chahti thi mujhse
Ki sabki subah to ho gayi hai
Par meri subah to ab bhi khwaabon ki duniya saja rahi hai.

Jaao koi jaga do use
To zindagi mein aaj khubsurti ka ujaala ho jaaye.

© Shreyansh Chouradia

कुछ बेचैन सा है आज मन मेरा
कहता है प्यास जागी है आज, अरसे बाद.
तेरी आँखों का दीदार हो जाए
तो चैन  जाए.

हर वो लम्हे क़ैद हैं आज भी इस ज़हन में,
जब जब तुम्हारी नज़रो से यह नज़र मिला करती थी.
कुछ उठती, कुछ झुकती शरमा कर
फिर चुप चाप से एक मुस्कान खिला करती थी.

आज एक बार फिर यह सुबह मेरे कानो में
कुछ हौले से हिदायत सी दे गयी.
चिड़ियों की चहचाहट भी
आज गुफ्तगू मुझसे कर गयी.

फूलों ने दिल खोल के रख दिया अपना
पेड़ भी झूमने लगे हवाओं के संग
फिर एक बार सुबह ने कानों में कुछ कहा.
ठंडी आहों की वो फुसफुसाहट कुछ बेचैन सी लगी.

शायद यही कहना चाहती थी मुझसे
की सबकी सुबह तो हो गयी है
पर मेरी सुबह तो अब भी ख्वाबों की दुनिया सज़ा रही है.

जाओ कोई जगा दो उसे
तो ज़िंदगी में आज खूबसूरती का उजाला हो जाए.

© श्रेयांश चौरडिया


For more hindi poems click here

Saturday, 25 October 2014

3 Incidents That Changed My Perspective About The Phrase "HAPPY DIWALI"

Diwali is a Festival of light. We usually celebrate Diwali at my Grandfather's home with around 20 members of the family gathering in one place. It is nice, bright and happy. However, there are some incidents which leave a trail on your heart. Something similar happened with me. Following are three incidents that changed my perspective about the phrase "HAPPY DIWALI".


1. My father is a Judge and I was staying at his home before Diwali. My parents were out of town and were to return a day before Diwali. Now, as Dad is in a government job, he gets plenty of servants and drivers. It was 10 PM. Hudhud storm has affected the weather and as a result, it was raining outside. I was happily wrapped in a cozy blanket with a cup of hot coffee in my hand. The TV blurted out brightly coloured Diwali commercials begging you to buy a camera, a car, a home and what not this Diwali. I wonder if India wasn't so obsessed with morality, Indians would have sold "new Wife", "new Children" and even a "Packaged Family Specially for this Diwali"

As I comfortably immersed in the aroma of my coffee, one of the peons who did night shift in the house came.

He: Bhaiya, I would like to go home tonight.

Me: Aren't you supposed to stay here all night. I don't know about your duty timings but I think Dad told me so.

He: Yes, bhaiya but...

Me: What? Do you have any problems?

He dipped his eyes low on the ground and his voice became shaky.

He: Bhaiya, I have been suffering from fever since last few days. I have a little son at home and no one else. He too has high fever since this morning. Moreover, for some unknown reasons, he has this unbearable pain in his left leg at random intervals. The neighbors called me and stated that the pain has started again and they told me to come home as soon as possible.

Me: Oh. I think you should leave right now. But wait. Isn't it raining outside. How will you go? Where do you live?

He: It is all right. I live 12 kms from here. I have got a bicycle.

Me: You will go home riding a bicycle in this rain?

He: Yes. No problem.

His lips smiled but his watery eyes recited a different story.

I got out of my blanket, packed some sweets and chocolates and drove him home in my car.

That was the least I could do. There was a single Diya (earthen lamp) at the door of his house. It was fighting with the wind and rain that night.  But it was still bright...


2. Here is an extract of a conversation with my brother a week before Diwali.

Me: Did you notice, Ishwar is always in a hurry. Always wants to go home.

Brother : Exaclty. His duty ends at 9 PM and yet he always ask to leave home early. Lazy fellow.

After 2 days:

I went out for lunch with an old college friend who is a judge. His father was also a judge and he was posted in the same place a few years ago where my father currently is and so he is acquainted with the staff. 

After a casual conversation with him, he told me something about how he used to play cricket in the large compound outside the house with Ishwar,

Me: Ishwar, the driver?

He: Yes. Nice fellow. But a bit unfortunate.

Me: Why?

He : Last year, on Diwali, her wife passed away. She was fighting cancer. It was a dreadful and painful death. The medical expenses were high and made Ishwar buried deep in debts. It was a hard time for him. Now he lives with his only daughter who is 4 years old. No one else.

I realised why he yearned to go home so early.

Now, when I am in my Grandfather's house, celebrating Diwali with atleast 20 family members, a variety of sweets and a large number of diyas at every corner of my house, my mind thinks of lonely Ishwar and his daughter. 


3. It was D-day. Diwali day. I like watching the fireworks rather than burning them myself. So, every Diwali, I go to the terrace and watch the colourful shows of crackers, sparkles, and rockets.

The streets were all lit up with coloured electric lights, the bright yellow colour of diyas and sparkly crackers. I was taking in the beauty of the festival when something colourless caught my eye. It was in contrast with the colourful festival. It didn't fit there. 

Suddenly, my eyes went wet and I had a lump in my throat.

What I saw was an eight year old boy in dirty tattered clothes standing by the side, jumping and clapping every time someone let off a rocket. His little dark eyes lit up every time my little cousin lit a sparkle.

When the show was over; when the kids took a break from their charade, those little eyes were sad again. It seemed as if the dreams in those eyes have just been shattered by the reality. His smile would vanish in a moment and he would start picking empty packets of fireworks and sometimes, if he was lucky, he would find some un-burnt plug of crackers. He would put them in a small polythene bag and waited for another round of show to begin. He would watch the "Festival of Lights" standing in the dark until someone smack him on his head and yell at him to get lost.

I picked up some packets of sweets, some sparkles and crackers. I rushed down the stairs, on the road. But he was gone.

I wish he got enough crackers for his little brothers waiting for him in a light-less hut.


Wishing you all a very HAPPY DIWALI !

Tuesday, 19 August 2014


# My laptop says low on battery. I plug it into a socket of my train compartment. I open my web browser and strain my brain hard, searching for a content to write about. I hear a vendor marketing his product : “Le Chai Le Chai… Garma Garam Malai Maarke Special Chaai.” The train passes over a bridge. A little girl asks her dad to buy her a dress on flipkart as she just now received an SMS about their 60 percent discount scheme. I smiled and my fingers started dancing on the keyboard.#

This piece was written for

Marketing in simple terms means communicating about products to the target customers in a bid to convince them to buy the said products. Believe it or not marketing has been in existence from time immemorial. Egyptians used papyrus for advertising while the Romans used paintings to promote races, gladiator contests, etc.

India was also not unknown to marketing techniques. Remember when you watched those Mahabharat episodes where the last war was being fought, and you got all confused as to which side is our beloved Indian Casanova Krishna was on. Where is Arjun’s chariot? Where was Krishna? The red flag with Hanuman’s print always came in handy. We knew right away which chariot is the right one. See, this is where logos and brandings came in handy. Be it Karna (Kavach and Kundals) or Krishna (peacock feather), Ved Vyas knew the advantages of branding and used it in his favour to write an awesome novel.. the epic called Mahabharata. Even the two clans of Chandravanshi and Suryavanshi Kings used moon and sun respectively as their logo. Then, there are other examples of wall paintings and statues. I wonder many a times whether the awesomely-nude-but-not-obscene depictions on Khajuraho walls was not merely an art form but also marketing for “Shilajeet. May be, may be not. But the point is that India was indulged in marketing strategies from the ancient times.


Pre Digital Period:

The times changed. Chariots have been replaced by cars, horses by bikes and cheer-haran by rapes. And so have the marketing techniques. The Khajuraho temples (apparently) advertising for sheelajit has become an advertisement in print media stating: “Meet Dr. Sahni in Raipur on Thursdays and Fridays. Call 98xxxxxxxxx.

Before the digital world came into existence, the printing press played an important role in marketing activities. There were newspaper ads, fliers, pamphlets and what not. However, in India we used other means too. Whosoever have travelled by trains, would have noticed these genius marketing gimmicks.
In buffalo-bold font, you can read clearly from as far as a kilometre far written on the walls (usually boundary walls): Use “Guddu Chhap Gudakhu”.

Caution : Using Gudakhu may have adverse effect on your relationship status

[For those fortunate beings who do not know what gudakhu is let me enlighten you. Gudakhu is a thick paste of tobacco, molasses and other such ingredients used to rub on teeth for reasons unknown to me. How cool is that.]

Another creative idea was the use of toilets. We all know while sitting in the “Indian style” aasan, our mind sprints like PT Usha. Indians may not use toilets for excretionary purposes but they sure have used them and still continue to use them for advertising purposes. With creative juices flowing, someone might have started advertising his “capabilities” by writing : 

“For an awesome night meet me, Rakesh.” 

Followed by Rakesh’s address. Then, Suresh would say some interesting but obscene depictions about Rakesh's mother followed by a doodle of errr...well you know. And hence started the wall where people would right all sorts of creative swear words one can think of and then there would be comments below those words inviting for a pleasurable one night stand or abusing moms and sis. And guess what? I wonder if Zuckerberg travelled by Indian trains once and got the idea for facebook from there.

And then, we (Indians) took it to international level. As we all know footfalls play an important role in business area. The more the people the more customers you can get. Our people got that right and started writing on the monuments too. Hell yeah. There are national as well as international tourists.

One of them read : 

“For guide contact 98xxxxxxxx.”

Then, there were messages with hearts and arrows which read as : 

Rahul “Heart pierced by arrow” Pooja.

Another one was a marriage invitation: 

“Mohan Weds Mumtaj”. 

[Because someone once said: “Marketing is not about money, it’s about relationships.” And we took it quite literally.]

Love is in the air ....

.... and on the walls too !

This is how most of India evolved into the marketing arena. We have companies, we have big corporate houses but the larger number of marketing takes place in root level.


Digital Marketing: 

After print media, came the digital world. The telephone and internet has become the main tool for marketing. Now you can see “Manchali Baatein” advertisement not only in newspaper but also in those annoying pop ups whenever you open to download a song.

Coming to the internet. We have seen various ads for online shopping by Flipkart and Snapdeal. Writing about them is cliche. Everyone wrote about it and will write about it. I would like to take the road less traveled and talk about some candid marketing activities people do knowingly or unknowingly using the internet.

* Personal Marketing: Remember I told you what marketing is? Communicating the customers about your product and convincing them to buy the said products. When personal marketing comes into picture, the person marketing is the product himself. For instance : The ‘about me’ column in Face Book profile of an uncle read –

“I m cool dude wid full attitude. Attitude is my last name. I m macho man wid broad shoulders. I wnt do frandship wid gals and aunties. Accept me n u wil luv me.”

Another bio in a matrimonial site read:

“Cool husband. Wife dead. Want another. No mother in law. No problem. Contact soon.”

Now this is what I call an irresistible offer. Isn’t this marketing? Who would not want to send this cool dude uncle a friend request on FB. Or won’t you want a cool husband with no mother in law?

* Star Marketing: No, this isn’t related to celebrities. This is one is about the stars that have the power to change your fate. Whenever I am free I take my time out for youtube. Not for the videos per se but for the comments below them. They are more entertaining. I am sure you must have read them too. They start with who is better SRK or SALLU. Then, SRK becomes SRGAY and SALLU beomes LALLU. Then, out of the blue the whole fight moves on to North Indians vs. South Indians. Eventually and inevitably it goes on to India and Pakistan. But then suddenly something else happens. Let me show you how it is:

CoolDudeUncle:  Dis is bakwaas. The film will flop n so wil ur Sallu Lallu.

MachoManSalluFan: Shut the f*** up you *****. Ur Srgay is not even comparable to shit of my Sallu. (Authors Comment: What an analysis man… Bravo !)

NerdyAttapattu: All of these movies are copied from South Movies. Rajnikanth is the super star.

JattPunjabiMunda: Oye teri ***** You southy **** you oily *****

BiriyaniLovingPaki: Yes u shud all fight. Die u Indians.

JaiHindBharatKumar: M****** you ******* Bharat Mata ki jai.

[And just when the war was getting nastier and an e-nuke was going to be dropped by BiriyaniLovingPaki on Youtube comments, an irrelevant yet important comment comes in.]

BABA GAJODHAR : “Baba se milein. Sirf phone mein milega samadhaan. Buri nazar, sautan ka asar, saas se taklif, pyaar me dhokha, businees mein pareshaani, paise ki dikkat. Baba ke paas hai sab ka ilaaj. Baap dada se mila khandaani vardaan. Sirf phone karne ke 5 minute ke andar fark dekhein. Kismat zaroor badlegi. Call: 94xxxxxxxx”

This proves that online marketing is not only limited to big companies. Even mysterious dudes with incredible powers also like to use digital marketing techniques to grow their business.

* Carrot & Stick Marketing: This kind of marketing is exclusively used by using the “carrot and stick” technique. Remember those annoying but scary chain mails? They have taken a whole different road in India. You must know what I am referring to. A picture of any Indian god pops up either on FB or on Whatsapp and it says… Jai ######. Share zarur karein. Labh avashya milega. This is the pleasure technique – the Carrot. For people who would love to go to heaven they will share it to atleast 15 people. Visa to heaven confirmed.
Another one will read : Share it or you will burn in the red flames of Narak (hell) or bad luck will hover on your head for 7 years. This one is the “Stick” technique. Those who are happy with mother Earth but do not want to go to hell will share it to many friends and the chain goes on annoying and scaring people all at the same time.

Now, look at it from the marketing point of view. Isn’t this just awesome. Though you are not earning any revenue. 
(See, religion is not about money at all, you know)

You are easily getting 10 to 15 referrals per lead. Isn’t this amazing? Even Tom Hopkins can’t get this much referrals in a month.

There are many more, and someone from a business school might write a book on it. I will conclude here as this piece is getting two times longer than expected.

It is quite interesting when you note that in this age of digital marketing, Indians have been quite resourceful and creative. They have taken whole of this digital marketing to a new height. These were some interesting aspects of both digital and conventional marketing which I have observed time and again but never read anything about them being referred to in B schools. I wonder why?


I am neither an MBA student nor do I have any knowledge about marketing. I just observed some interesting ways of marketing and I had an urge to write this piece for my friend. I am obliged that she found this piece relevant enough to make a place on her site
This piece need not be taken seriously. But you ought to give a round of applause for the creativity we Indians possess.

Sunday, 13 July 2014


RAIN. One of those words (including cheese, pizza, emma Watson and many more) that has the tendency to put the line of my heart on hold for a second. It somehow changes the whole mood. I might have been grumpy all the day and it might have been a really bad day. But as soon as black clouds cover my arch nemesis – the hot and smoking Indian Sun- my mood takes a full swing. The frown turns into a smile.


For a pluviophile like me, living in India can be a pain in the ass. But, living in Central India, it is like undergoing an endoscopy. Sun is the boss here. I agree we have no major earthquakes or floods and all, but then we have that Hotty – The Sun. He peeps into our lives every day, like Big Boss. Only difference is we can see him, feel him. Like that friend in your school who was always there for you, even when you want him to stay the fuck out of your life. “The Hotty” never leaves you except for the night. The part where I live, it’s only the monsoon season when the sun is not there. The things around are reduced in their brightness by 3-4 points. As soon as the month of July arrives, the Indian hearts start beating to “MONSOON, COME SOON” in the rhythm of "Sachin, Sachin". But, God is a sadist. He enjoys teasing you, seeing you in pain. And that is what exactly happens in India. Year 2014 has been one of those years where kaare megha are not pleased. Atleast, for the central part of the country, monsoon has eluded us, like that heroine from the 70’s eluding kisses. (And singing random songs of how her jiya is being manchala.)

For a romantic, pluviophile and movie-buff like me, the rain has always played a very important role. It has been part of my life. Infact, it has been one of my emotions. People feel happy, sad, angry. I along with these also feel ‘rain’.

  • I feel rain, when I see the green leaves dancing with joy.
  • I feel rain, when I smell the sweet scent of dry soil mixed with water.
  • I feel rain, when I see the roads reflecting the lights of the traffic.
  • I feel rain, when the environment all around turns suddenly romantic.
  • I feel rain, when it’s raining and I am just lying listening to music, holding a cup of hot coffee and reading a book. (I told you I am very filmy.)
  • I feel rain, when all my clothes are wet and I ride a bike in the rain.
  • I feel rain, when I drive car on a road with least traffic, playing (again) soft romantic songs.
  • I feel rain playing football and sliding in mud.

To be precise, I feel rain when it rains.

No matter how much I love it, there are some people who can never get enough of hating it. My mother is one of them.


It is all wet: The roads, the house, the seats in trains: everything. But it has to be wet. That is the beauty of it. But no no, it is ok when Mr. Sun gives you all that heat, all that sweaty sticky feeling. It is ok when because of Mr. Sun, we have to battle our sense of smell from “aromatic” people in the local train. But it is wrong, very, very wrong when it is wet.

We can’t go out: Why not? It’s a great feeling getting drenched in rain. Remember, when as a child (I even do it now), everyone used to bathe in rain, splashing that puddle of water on to our brothers and friends? It was awesome, wasn’t it? And racing the boat (may be too cliché). But the Kagaz ki kashti in baarish ka pani is one of my best memories.

It is all too gloomy: Yes, it is and that is beautiful. I don’t like lights (bright lights) much and I am a night person. Nothing to add more :P

These are all the points that I can say hold no point. I agree this is a matter of opinion and liking but then there is one argument I could never win and that is :

I can’t dry the clothes out in the sun : We live in a nation where even the guy who owns an expensive Range Rover or a Mercedes wears the clothes dried out in the sun. I love the sight of limpy legs of a jeans dangling out of the balcony grill of a million dollar 5 BHK apartment. It brings the Indian-ness in us. It is our sanskriti to wear sun-dried clothes after all. The direr is all too mumbo-jumbo and westernised and should not be used at all. 

Whatever it is, I love the RAINS and so does our beloved – Mr. Bollywood. Let’s talk about some of those rainy moments:

1. THE EPIC ONE: Raj Kapoor and Nargis. Do I need to say more. If you are an Indian and watch movies, I am sure the one song that comes into your mind when words EPIC and RAIN are together is Pyaar Hua Iqraar Hua. The song is the epitome of ‘rain-romance’ in bollywood to say the least. Though it was the black and white era, but in my opinion the greyscale actually enhances the beauty of it. The song has inspired me in many of my plays and acts I did in my college years. It has been, is and will be my favourite.

2. THE PERVY ONE: The above song was for movie buffs, the romantics and the classics. But if you are not that deep in thoughts but deep in your pants, I am sure you will catch the song when I state three things : Raveena tondon, yellow saree… See, I didn’t even have to tell you the third one. You are already crooning “TIP TIP BARSA PAANI”. You navel-loving-cheerharan-doing perv. The scientific precision in the lyrics (‘tip to tip) and the oomph of Raveena Tondons navel makes the song a memorable rain song. You search “sexy saree hot song” in youtube and I can assure you, you will find this one along with various south Indian wet saree songs. Go, enjoy and show your gratitude to rain.

3. THE ROMANTIC ONE: Shahrukh Khan and sappy romance are like pizza and jalapeno toppings. Seldom can you separate them. And to put rain on them is like a cheese burst pizza with jalapeno. 

If there is heaven on earth, here it is, here it is, here it is.
Enough of pizzas and cheese. The song I am talking about is the Kuchh Kuchh hota hai rain version. Shahrukh Khan, Kajol, Rain, Saree.

4. THE RECENT ONE: Bollywood has many of the ‘rainy moments’ but the recent one that caught my attention was from Aashiqi 2. The song that played umpteenth number of times and bled my ears (though it was a good one but as they say in Sanskrit “Ati sarvatra varjayate”). The scene though a reminiscent of the old aashiqi poster was worth a watch when rain was there. It added the effect that was needed and the drop of water dripping from tip of Shraddha Kapoor's nose was just beautiful.

5. MY PERSONAL FAVOURITE: The last scene from Wake Up Sid. A teary eyed Ranbir Kapoor in white kurta sitting on the window when a drop of water fell from the sky. Then the camera cuts to shots of beautiful rain drops from the top angle and Konkana puts her hand out of the cab. Then there are shots of much more rain and marine drive. The song takes you to another level. Simple but beautiful. Just like the rain itself.

Moreover, rain brings in me the ‘creative-arty Shreyansh’. This is the reason that after so many days of hot and humid and what not summer I could write this post. It is raining outside. I need to go. It is calling me. It wants me to dissolve in it. I need to go now because- It’s rain It’s rain It’s rain again…
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