All posts tagged: people

Social media

I recently discovered that a lot of people are unaware of the social media phenomenon, even though they are very much a part of it. As a believer in the power of social media, I owe this post to them. Simply put, social media collectively describes all tools that enable people to talk online. Often interchangeably used with the term Web 2.0, social media consists of social networks like Facebook, content sharing sites like Youtube and Flickr, blogging platforms like WordPress and Blogger, and user-generated information sources like Wikipedia. The term, coined only recently, is creating waves in the PR world. It is a colossal avenue for people to share their insights, opinions and knowledge, through interaction with others like them on the World Wide Web.  Currently, the size of the social media community is estimated at 400 million. According to a study by Strategy Analytics, by 2015, 1 in every 6 people will be users of social media platforms. Billion dollar companies like Dell, Starbucks and Coca-Cola are reinventing themselves through social media and reconnecting …

The Aasha Build: Gift hope, build a home

Slumdog Millionaire has put the slums of India on the world map, albiet in an artistic way. Despite the obvious, it’s still hard to believe that some people don’t have a concrete roof over their heads, that they live in make-shift shacks even in this age and time. Apparently, India homes 17% of all slum-dwellers in the world, a figure which translates to about 170 million people! The odds are just slightly tilted in our favor.  If you have ever witnessed the poverty on India’s streets (in person or through CNN or BBC), I am sure you have wondered, even for a moment, if there was a way you could help. This is your chance. A few of us have started an initiative with Habitat for Humanity to build houses in a slum area in Devanahalli, on the outskirts of Bangalore, India. The 2 weeks we spend on site will involve an intensive 10 day build, with an aim of constructing 8 double-storeyed houses, sheltering 16 families or approximately 96 individuals. A house might sound trivial, …

Vision for all

If you wear eyeglasses, I’m sure you can remember what it felt like the first time you wore them. Personally, I was in denial for 2 years before I got my first pair. My bespectacled self realized that my whole world had been a blur. Suddenly, everything was bright and all those blotches had defined shapes. I could see clearly again, thanks to Salvino D’Armate, peace be upon him. Unfortunately, millions the world over, and nearly 15 million people in India can never experience their first time. I shall resist brooding over how this affects their quality of life and how unfair the financial inequality in our country is. I will however mention that the aftermath of unaided poor vision is often blindness.  A while ago, a friend told me how some IIT students had found this problem an ingenious solution. Today, I stumbled upon a similar initiative by Lions Club International. Apparently it has been in place for over 80 years! I’m still blown away by the idea, and to prevent further anticipation, here goes: …

21 Blues

Dear world, 21 years ago, I crawled into your arms, a mess of blood, skin and life. My tiny imagination was awestruck by your splendor, your shapes, your sounds, your colors, your movements, your smells. I probably didn’t imagine it then, but it must have felt like home. My early memories are lost somewhere between jumbled lego structures and frowzy plasticine moulds. I grew up marvelling at the seasons, the sun, the stars and the flowers, even things that man had created, like photographs, the television and the phone. Then I got used to them.  Adolescence was a rocky phase and my sole aim was to emerge unscathed. In retrospect, I grew up too soon, taking things for granted, missing my chances to ask my questions. The world gradually changed from colors and sounds, to people and nature and science, to dishonesty and selfishness and inequality.  World, now I stand before you, 21 trivial years in me, and pray that I may become a child again. I want to be enamored by your majesty again. I …

Hong Kong!

The Asian hub of lights and color, Hong Kong, welcomed my most spontaneous trip thus far. I was in India for less than 3 days when I was asked to fly out to HK for an assessment centre! Adventure in disguise. A colorful mix of India and Singapore, Hong Kong charmed me with its mountaineous landscape and windy winter. A refreshing blend of corporate city life and nature. After a day and a half of rigorous testing, I let my hair down and became a tourist. I stayed with some distant family at the palatial Park View Apartments, up in Hong Kong island, which is home to some incredible hiking trails. I ventured on one with a couple of friends who frequent such trails. Our aim was to conquer Mount Parker. After a relatively simple stretch of 45 minutes, we reached the base of the mountain. I had anticipated adventure, but not exactly the kind with a narrow, undefined, uphill climb amid rocks, mud and bushes. Did I mention deadly?! It struck me midway that …

Post Secret

For years now, I have been following the Post Secret blog, started by Frank Warren in 2005. An ingenious idea, the blog is a collection of real secrets mailed anonymously by real people. Whoever you are, whatever it is that you are hiding, Post Secret ensures that you are not alone. The world is stranger than we think, and somewhere in it, we all find a place to belong.  One of my favorite songs, Dirty Little Secret, by The All American Rejects, is based on Post Secret: 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

While we were sleeping…

They came, they captured, they killed. Fear and frustration mark the days. I pray for those who became victims of the terror attacks in Bombay, those who lost loved ones, those whose lives have changed forever. A prayer for the grieving; a prayer for strength. Unfortunately (or fortunately?), life goes on. We continue to live our little lives in our little worlds. It hit me when I was following the coverage on CNN and they switched from the Bombay shoot-outs to another story in another part of the world, as though the former had moved nothing in their hearts. I know it sounds silly, but it still surprises me how we can just move on with our own lives.  We, as a country, have a very long way to go. And yet, most of us are happy doing what we do, criticizing what is, mocking what will be, never once asking what we could do. Even after all these years of our struggle for freedom, I really believe that we are genetically coded to be …

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, …

No more evil

Randy Pausch wrote in The Last Lecture, “Find the best in everybody. Just keep waiting no matter how long it takes. No one is all evil. Everybody has a good side, just keep waiting, it will come out… Wait long enough and people will surprise and impress you.”   It never struck a chord with me, until now. The negativity in me had set my default mode to ‘don’t trust’, ‘the world is bad’ and ‘people are guilty’, until proven otherwise. Small gestures, strangers, life, does change the way we look at things, and sometimes for the better. I’ve realized that the world is not all bad and not all evil, but we have to believe that before we start to see it. I think I’m starting to believe it. It’s the beginning of a new phase for me, one that I hope will outlast all the hatred. Evil really lies in the eyes of the beholder. It’s a nice world from hereon. Shivya NathWelcome to my blog, The Shooting Star. I’ve been called a …

The Singapore Grand Prix!

The Formula One came to Singapore this weekend, made the city glow in the dark, and left everyone awestruck (and deaf) by the sheer speed of the race. Oh, that night race was a spectacle!  Our vantage point was less than five feet from the F1 track! That’s right. The best view we could’ve asked for, without paying a dime! A humble Alonso supporter, I was thrilled, ecstatic, to see him race to victory, after Massa and Kimi crashed. Alonso’s first win of the season, and it had to be the Singapore Grand Prix! Life couldn’t get better!  Force India enjoyed a few laps of fame too, with Adrian Sutil in the third place, until of course, he slipped lower and crashed. Here’s to my first Formula One race, an unforgettable view of the F1 track, the blinding speed of the F1 cars, and of course, Alonso’s long-awaited victory!  The video: The third last lap of the race, with Alonso in the lead, followed by Rosberg, from our vantage point beyond Marina Mandrin, by a …