Explaining the Lull in Writing

I had been writing pretty regularly from 2010 onwards till 2013. I have hardly written anything this year, and whatever little I have written, I have not posted it on this blog – sumit4all.com . Many of my friends have asked me to start writing again, and have questioned me time and again why I have stopped writing. To be honest, I have been asking the same question too. I decided to write this article to better formulate my thoughts on this topic, but now I have decided to post this online for all to read and know.

So the question first – Why haven’t I been writing anything lately?

Well, there are two big reasons for that, and I will try to elaborate on them below, as clearly as possible.

1. I didn’t have much to say

I have always tried to be very honest in my writings, and always written what I wanted to say. I have written because there was something I needed to communicate, and not because I ‘should’ write an article on my blog regularly. But there are a few events in life which alter the way you view life so drastically that even you can’t believe it. On the outside, everyone thinks you are the same person, and expect you to behave like you have always done. But inside, you are in such a conflict that you are just hoping to figure it all out. You don’t see the world the same way, don’t think the same way, don’t believe what you used to before. I was in such a state after my mother passed away. I could not resonate with whatever I had written previously, as my thinking, beliefs and actions had changed suddenly.

I did not write anything because I had nothing to say. I read my own articles and poems and they felt so alien now. I was not interested in the ideas and projects I was so excited about before. I shut off CricketRadius.com – the start up I was working on, moved back to Delhi and got back to a job. I wrote a few articles here and there, but the frequency was nothing like before.

2. Coding and Photography

Once I moved back to Delhi in Nov 2012, I stopped my involvement in every social project or tech startup I was involved with. I had a new job in a new city, so I just dived back in all the tech stuff and computer programming/coding, which I still enjoyed. A few months later, at an office off-site, I brought along my DSLR, which I had bought in Bangalore 3-4 years earlier, but never used it a lot due to work or some other project I was so occupied with while in Bangalore. It would not be wrong to say that I haven’t put the camera down after that. I have always loved photography right from my childhood, but over the last two years, I have connected with my camera like never before. It became a medium for me to hide behind and communicate to the world in a totally different way.

A sunset in the Thar Desert of Rajasthan

A sunset in the Thar Desert of Rajasthan

Over the last two years, I have traveled and taken my camera to places all over the country. For Leh in the north to Rajasthan and Pune in the west, to Sikkim in the east and to numerous other places near Delhi. Apart from these travels, I have taken my camera out on the streets of Delhi and captured some candid street shots. After a lot of gear hopping which resulted in two new cameras and another set of expensive lenses to go along, I am getting the feeling that I am just getting started in a new way of communicating – via my photographs.

Looking ahead, I am not sure whether this is just a phase or this is something that will last for long. Well, time will tell. As of now, I am looking to start a photography specific blog where I will write less and try to say more through my photographs. I will also keep on writing on this blog whenever I have something to say, whatever the frequency of that be, in the future.

“When words become unclear, I shall focus with photographs. When images become inadequate, I shall be content with silence.”
— Ansel Adams

A candid street scene in Paharganj, New Delhi

A candid street scene in Paharganj, Delhi

तेरे प्यार के असर की कहानी

तेरे गालो की यह लाली
मेरे दिल पे वार करे है कितने ।
हर दिन मुझे लगे दीवाली
तेरी हर मुस्कान में है रंग इतने ॥love-cartoon

तेरी यह दो आँखें मतवाली
इनमे ख्वाब लगे है मेरे सजने ।
तेरी ख़ूबसूरती है आसमानी
चाँद तारे करीब लगे है मुझे दिखने ॥

तेरी जुल्फो की छाँव है नीराली
इनसे पवन के झौके लगे है खेलने ।
मेरे नैनो को भा गयी तेरी जवानी
यह छुप-छुप कर तुझे लगे है देखने ॥

तेरे कदमो से है फैली ऐसी हरियाली
जीवन में हर जगह फूल लगे है खिलने ।
तेरे प्यार की आंधी चली है तूफानी
हर कोने से तेरी खुशबू लगी है आने ॥

तेरे प्यार के असर की है यह कहानी
कि संग तेरे वक़्त भी लगा है थमने ।
आज तुझे सुना रहा हूँ अपनी जुबानी
जो मेरी हर धड़कन लगी है अब कहने ॥

लो आ गया मैं वोट मांगने

अपनी बनावटी मुस्कान दिखाने
गली गली शोर मचाने ।
पांच साल पूरे होने के बहाने
लो आ गया मैं वोट मांगने ।।

Make it Count

Make it Count

बिन वजह झूठी हमदर्दी जताने
साथ में मगरमच्छ के आंसू बहाने ।
पुराने जख्मो को फिर खुरेदने
लो आ गया मैं वोट मांगने ।।

झूठे वादों कसमो के गुण गाने
उज्जवल भविष्य के सपने दिखाने ।
सबके जनतांत्रिक अधिकार को चुराने
लो आ गया मैं वोट मांगने ।।

अपने नेताओ की तारीफ करने
दूसरो के अछे कर्मो को अपना बताने ।
और तुम्हे अपनी बातो में नचाने
लो आ गया मैं वोट मांगने ।।

कुछ नोट दिखाकर वोट खरीदने
साड़ी कम्बल देके उल्लू बनाने ।
कुर्सी के चक्कर में देश डुबाने
लो आ गया मैं वोट मांगने ।।

The Mouse in the House

Below is an incident from my childhood which I remembered today.
 
“There must be atleast two or three of them.”, said my mother referring to the sightings of rats in our house which had become more frequent in the last few days.
 
“Yes, at least two. One of them is bigger than the other.”, I replied.
 
“Let’s set up a trap for them. Otherwise they will become a nuisance.” 
 
“Ok. Let me go and get them.”, I said as I rushed to the store room to get the mouse trap. “Should I set it up?”, I asked my mother, excited by the idea of baiting and trapping a mouse and rushed towards the refrigerator. I took out a small piece of dried bread from the refrigerator and was fixing it in the trap when my mother interrupted.
 
“Hey, what are you doing? A cold piece of dried bread? Let me cook a small piece of roti and we will apply some ghee and put it in the trap.”
 
“What? Roti? Ghee? Why the hell do we want to treat the rats with roti and ghee?”, I shouted as I found it hard to understand.
 
mouse trap

A typical mouse trap – Giving them what they want

“Because we want the mouse to do what we want (enter the trap), we must give them what they want (which is the nice smell of food). They won’t come into the trap if we just lure them with a dried piece of bread. These mice are not foolish. We have to lure them with what they can’t resist, which is the smell of roti and ghee.”

 
“Ok. If that is how it works.”, I said.
 
As I recalled this incident from my childhood, I was totally moved by the great lesson it has. My mom very clearly demonstrated that if we want someone to do what we want him to do, we must give him what he wants. But in our daily conversations, how often do we talk about the other person’s needs. We always start our conversations with “This is what I am doing, and this is what I want. And you should do this – buy this, act like this, or some other blah blah blah.” The other person must think on hearing this – “Why the hell in the world do I care about what you want?”
Only if we can keep in mind what the other person wants and start our conversations with his needs, and without doubt we can get the desired result more easily. Whether it is in sales or business or personal relationships, this one realization can change our lives.

बड़ा मजा आये मुझे – II

घर आके तेरा चहरा देखने में
रोज़ तेरे साथ बाते करने में
तेरे हाथो से खाना चखने में
तेरे हसी के ठहाके सुनने में
और रह रह कर तुझे छूने में
बड़ा मजा आये मुझे यह सब करने में ॥

धीरे धीरे तुझे दिल्ली घुमाने में
कभी इधर कभी उधर ले जाने में
तेरे साथ चाट गोल गप्पे खाने में
अचानक आई बारिश में भीगने में
और इस रंगीन सफ़र को साथ बिताने में
बड़ा मजा आये मुझे यह सब करने में ॥

Love is like playing the piano. First you must learn to play by the rules, then you must forget the rules and play from your heart.

Love is like playing the piano. First you must learn to play by the rules, then you must forget the rules and play from your heart.

रिश्तेदारों के यहाँ खाने को जाने में
वहा ज़बरदस्ती मीठा मीठा खाने में
भाई बहनों से ढेर सारी मस्ती करने में
बड़ो का प्यार और आशीर्वाद लेने में
और सबसे नज़रे चुराकर तुझे देखने में
बड़ा मजा आये मुझे यह सब करने में ॥

तेरे संग आगे जीवन के सपने सजाने में
हर पल को बीते पल से हसीन बनाने में
धीरे धीरे तेरे संग पूरी दुनिया देखने में
तेरे संग दिन महीने और साल गिनने में
और तेरे साथ तीस चालीस पचास का होने में
बड़ा मजा आये मुझे यह सब करने में ॥