All posts tagged: culture

Wish upon a shooting star

Shooting stars make a spectacular sight in the night sky. I saw one last week, when I was out star-gazing with a couple of friends. None of us seemed to be able to trace the history behind shooting stars and wishing upon them, so I thought I owe this post to my blog. For starters, shooting stars are misnomers. These streaks of light are actually broken little pieces of rock and dust, which, when close to the Earth, enter its atmosphere at blinding speeds, and heat up, glow and burn down. Apparently, on any given night, a shooting star should be visible every 10-15 minutes. This holds especially at the time just before dawn, when we face the direction in which the Earth moves. The frequency of shooting stars increases at certain times of the year, when the Earth passes through a region particularly crowded with dust and rocks (Meteor shower). Legend has it that wishing upon a shooting star makes the wish come true. It is believed to have originated in Europe, when Greek astronomer Ptolemy, …

happy diwali

To ye and to all, a Happy Diwali! Celebrations galore. Let there be lights and diyas, firecrackers and sparklers, and delightful, irresistible food. May the good in all of us taste victory over evil temptations, an end to an exile of hardship, pain and oblivion. It’s that time of the year again. The time when families come together and pray to the Goddess Lakshmi and the Lord Ganesha, for good luck and wealth, to our creator Vishnu, for happiness, and to Indra, for satisfaction. The time when homes, shops and streets glow with lights, hoping that the gods will find their way to our humble abodes. The time when evenings roar with crackers and the sky crackles with mini rockets, and kids jump around dancing sparks from anars and chakris. The time when all our world unites in a bright, loud, happy celebration. May this festival of lights enlighten our lives! Shivya NathWelcome to my blog, The Shooting Star. I’ve been called a storyteller, writer, photographer, digital nomad, instagrammer, social entrepreneur, solo traveller, vegan and …

Advertising archives from India

Indian advertisements have a nostalgic, patriotic charm about them. Here’s my collection of some timeless Indian TV commercials: The Airtel ‘Express Yourself’ Campaign, always a classic. A brilliantly funny, witty, creative Camlin ad. A really, really old one from Cadbury, something special 🙂 …..Can’t say anything about the next one… A recent ultra-creative ultra-funny one by Happydent. Another Airtel classic. Of course, the list will be incomplete without this HA-HA funny one by Orbit White 😀 What’s in your Indian-TV-commercials’ memorabilia? Shivya NathWelcome to my blog, The Shooting Star. I’ve been called a storyteller, writer, photographer, digital nomad, instagrammer, social entrepreneur, solo traveller, vegan and environmentalist. But in my heart, I’m just a girl who travels! Check out my: First book || Travel-inspired clothing collection || Instagram

The 3 best graduation speeches

[Update September 2018]: I’m excited to share that after 7 years of travelling the world – 5 of those without a home or permanent address – I’ve written a book about my journey! My first book, The Shooting Star, charts my journey from the cubicle to the road and from small-town India to remote corners of the globe. Published by Penguin, the book is now available on Amazon and Flipkart. Words can be ‘weapons’ of mass inspiration, especially when the right ones are found at the right moments, moments which tend to define the rest of our lives. The following three graduation speeches inspire me most as I prepare to undertake the journey that lies ahead. One. Steve Jobs, the creator of Apple, to the Class of 2005 at Stanford. Two. Chetan Bhagat, an IIT grad and the author of Five Point Someone, at Symbiosis (India) Convocation 2008. Good Morning everyone and thank you for giving me this chance to speak to you. This day is about you. You, who have come to this college, leaving the comfort …

The Arabic Language

Arabic has long fascinated culture-seekers and artists from the west. The language is reminiscent of an ancient setting, and has a crude, poetic aura about it. Despite all the unconventional stuff I fancy myself doing, I never thought I’d be learning Arabic someday! It’s an absolutely brilliant language, though the non-artist in me can barely do justice to the creative strokes of the Arabic alphabet. I learnt my first few today (alif, baa, wow…), together with some introductory greetings (sobah-ul-khair, masaa-un-nuur) so often heard and ignored in hindi movies. Here are some interesting facts about the Arabic lingo: Arabic is written and read from right to left. In fact, books and newspapers are binded on the right, unlike conventional reading material. Check out the front cover of my Arabic textbook and notice the right-binding. All letters are connected when writing in Arabic. Unlike English, this does not vary by handwriting. For example, in print like this, the English letters are all disjointed. In Arabic, even in print, these letters are connected. There are a few …

Is college education over-rated?

As a graduating student, I’m starting to question the purpose of a college education. Is a ‘degree’ really worth all the money, time and effort? Do we really learn what they think we do, does it really prepare us for the big, bad world?  I doubt it. After 3 years in college and counting, I have started to doubt that I learnt anything ‘real’ at all in college. I’ve learnt so much more outside of classes and outside of college, and that is probably complimentary to growing older. So when I consider college in isolation, I’m not convinced it’s a value-add. I found the following video on youtube. It’s so brilliantly made and clearly illustrates the point that I’m struggling to make. Maybe it’s just me, but spending close to 3.5 years in such a grade-centric environment has almost killed my belief in education, staggered my creativity and made me reconsider any ambition for further education. It never occurred to me that in college, everyone will be running a politically correct race for grades, with …

The Ikea marketing gimmick

The Ikea store in Queenstown, Singapore, has only 1 entry, but 2 exits. As my services marketing prof aptly puts it, “They’re playing on the Singaporean mentality. When Singaporeans see a queue, they join it.” More than often, there’s a huge crowd outside Ikea, waiting to get in through the single entry door. It entices passers-by to believe that Ikea is GOOD. Which it is, by the way. And localization, as they say, is the key to good marketing. I suppose we attribute the ‘queuing mentality’ to the success of Doughnut Factory too. What else can make doughnuts special enough to be queued for for 2-3 hours? Shivya NathWelcome to my blog, The Shooting Star. I’ve been called a storyteller, writer, photographer, digital nomad, instagrammer, social entrepreneur, solo traveller, vegan and environmentalist. But in my heart, I’m just a girl who travels! Check out my: First book || Travel-inspired clothing collection || Instagram