MTV – master at plagiarizing, 2010

Is it a matter of pride or a case of plagiarism – this was exact thought that came to my mind when on 18th august morning I saw my ‘Independent India’ image in MTV’s latest National Anthem video on Television.

Original MTV -jana gana mana video

After photo plagiarism case MTV India deleted previous videos, edited & uploaded new video http://www.mtvindia.com/newsense You can easily see the difference- so many images including mine was stolen by MTV.

I tweeted to MTV India and @MTVindia replied saying they are asking their production team & till then I stay a happy bunny!

STRANGE, I never got a response back after that. Instead, they deleted the tweet response, videos from MTV India website and their your tube links etc within in an hour. And 3 days later, I now see a new video, which does not have many images (including mine, which means other photos were also picked up without permission) – and the same video is on the Television and the Internet.

I kept writing to MTV on twitter and also I wrote an email to Viacom 18 COO, Rajesh Kamat  (Viacom 18 channels are Colors, MTV etc). But I didn’t get any reply.

People at Twitter / Facebook started suggesting me to send a legal letter to MTV for the same or talk to someone from media but when I tried contacting media like IBN (which is part of network 18), I didn’t get a reply.

The only option in front of me seems to be taking a legal route. In a country like ours, it is however a lengthy method to ask for credit and compensation by going to the court. However, I am tempted to do that not because of the wants for credit but also to spread awareness amongst other people of the illegal and unethical doings of these large companies. This photo steal case is 2nd for me, but there have been umpteen other cases like this which have happened with my photographer friends.

Through this blog, if there is one thing I want to do – it is to spread awareness amongst such media companies and their employees who routinely pick up pictures and content from internet without realizing that not only is it unethical but against the law as well. Perhaps it is their supervisor / seniors who don’t tell them about these basic work ethics!

When MTV India, a youth music channel, picked up my image and few more images to use in the national anthem ‘jana gana mana’ video, they probably searched for ‘india independence day’ or something similar and selected few good images and used in videos for which they spent few thousand dollars. This was all done and televised on TV without realizing that they had done a grave mistake of using images for which they did not have the copyrights.

Another bad ethical practice by MTV was them initially replying to me on twitter without understanding the consequences, where they later deleted video from website and Youtube and also deleted the tweet. They did not do the basic thing that they should have had done at the earliest was to handle this case of plagiarism in a mature way by immediately apologizing. Given what it was used for, I would have given my image for free but what eventually happened gave me a sad impression about MTV and seniors.

For saving few thousand rupees, MTV will carry a stamp of ‘pursuer of plagiarism’. They could have easily handled this more gracefully, but they ended up spoiling it and become the bad icon of the year!

I am hurt not because my ‘ Independent India ’  got stolen by MTV but for the shameful act of they trying to remove the traces of their wrong doings from the Internet. Poor MTV, you just become ‘plagiarizing icon of year, 2010!

Aerobics vs Yoga

Me! Writing a blog post on exercise is really an exercise for my mind! Well, I never exercised in past years apart from school days where P.T. was compulsory. I was so petite that I was under the impression; exercise is for those who want to loose weight. How wrong!

Our own lifestyles teach us lessons and me, the olive (remember Popeye the Sailor cartoon) kind of looking started gaining weight due to sitting in front of computer all the time. Long hours in cab – office & computer- food- Long hours in cab- food- computer- sleep. Where is walk when you talk? And see, I gained weight! In past 2-3 years I am no more same as I was in college. Now the same people, who used to tell me to eat, started asking me to loose weight!

So I joined Yoga class few months back. Yoga is a trend globally from some time. In foreign people pay huge amount to learn yoga and in our country Baba Ramdev is spreading the ‘yog rog’.

Yoga has different asanas, meditation and slow movements. You feel the pain in initial days and gradually you become flexible and learn to hold for longer period. As yoga is relaxing and slow, you feel relaxed and calmer after it. Yoga interests every age group- from young soul to souls going to heaven soon.
BUT
Aerobics! It’s fast (of course fun too) there is music and variations are many and you can do floor aerobics or step aerobics- many types. But yoga also many types like bikram yoga or circus yoga. But there is lots of cardio work, fat burning and muscle definition where as in yoga you are under control of body & mind and soul. And mostly young and middle age group people do aerobics.

So after doing yoga for 3+ months I switched to aerobics as I was looking for a morning class in my premises and I find the class very professional, strict trainer and fun filled. BUT legs are hurting like hell and the day you work with dumbbells, your every part is going to ache! After that I can only say, yoga is easy and aerobics is crazy. Yoga is relaxing, aerobics is taxing!
Let’s see, will I continue my fitness gaga or sleep & laziness will take over the saga!

Image Source: MSU.edu and fitnesscafe.

Go Goa.

Goa is a favorite tourist destination. But somehow I was not in favor of visiting Goa because I thought it would be crowded or beaches would not be clean. But when I went there, such doubts were clear. I would have made a mistake, if I didn’t come to Goa.

Goa for sure a fun place, as soon you land there you know you are going to have fun. Either you are looking for complete relaxing holiday or some water adventure based package fun & food would be there by default.

 

We stayed in South Goa and rented a cool bike. Tip 1– if in Goa, better have own vehicle else you would be paying a lot to rude auto rickshaw guys or expensive taxis. Anyway bikes/ scooters are cheap to hire.

 

Travelling on bike from south to north goa in itself was a fun filled ride. Narrow but traffic free, clean country roads for sure ignite the lost youth passion of riding a bike with glares on and bandana on head. Tip 2– before getting out from hotel room- put enough of sunscreen. Anyway, you are going to get tanned.

About water sports– You can do from water scooter to parasailing to going on boat to see dolphins or if dare than go for a scuba drive when in Goa. There are enough activities to keep you busy for a day that you would not mind warm sun rays on beach. Tip 3– being little apprehensive about water is normal. Once you are in water with your life jacket on, you will only flow and fear will go away slowly 🙂

 

If in Goa, and not going for a mid night walk on beach than there is something missing in your romance life. And ya, don’t be ‘kanjoos’ to have a nice candle light dinner. Also don’t mind having sea food in beach shacks too. Tip 4– forget about diet when in Goa. Just enjoy the food. Dieting can wait.  😉

 

Goa is also famous for hand painted tiles. I couldn’t do that during my visit to Goa in early march 2010 so whenever I go next, will do. BTW I loved my hotel (Zuri, South Goa) – their staff was very courteous and we even got a surprise cake but best was their own beach, we went their in night time only. Waking up early on a holiday is little tough thing so what I could not click sunrise shots. 🙂

Do “Not Mind”

How many times have you run out of ideas? How many times have your mind gone blank? Forget about out of the box thinking, you could not even suggest an ordinary idea. It happens with each one of us. Accept it or neglect it, choice is yours. And who gives this choice to you? Your tired, rotten mind!

After all, mind also needs a change, a change from the routine life. Just sleeping with a thought that an extraordinary idea will strike in your dream and you will wake up like August Kekulé; who day dreamt about snake and formulated the Benzene structure. That’s not going to happen. Better find easy and reliable method.

meditate everyday

Innovative ideas, creative skills and design skills depend on mind. Meditation is the key. Because in meditation you are not suppressing the thoughts or ideas rather your mind is in relaxation state. It is not running behind finding solutions. The peace, power and purity that your mind will experience after meditation, will be immeasurable.

Also mind it, doing meditation is not easy. In past, I tried and failed. Because, the mind keeps wandering and doesn’t stay focused for sufficiently long duration. A new thought comes and the mind again become active and starts working. Practicing it in a right manner can help. (One can try Sudarshan Kriya by Sri Sri Ravi Shankar). It will not only give you peace but also help you in concentration and focus.

Our day to day life stress and working style (all the time glued to computer screen) makes our mind linear and stressful, and it needs rather it “demands” NOTHING. Yeah, no more wandering mind or forever search for peace. It just wants to DO “NOT MIND” state.

Try this or join Art of Living beginner’s course. I am sure, you will love it. This article, I wrote specially for H. H. Sri Sri Ravi Shankar birthday on 13th May.

So celebrate the silence of your mind by doing meditation. Creativity will flow after this golden silence 🙂

Summer Escape.

When the summer heat makes us restless, all we look forward is soaking ourselves in water. Best way to do so is indulging in some water sports. So what if you, like me, don’t know swimming 🙂
White water river rafting used to be a mode of transportation but now it’s a popular recreational activity which gives you thrills when doing so. Raft and rapids and you are rowing your paddle. Life seems so much calm and adventurous at same time.
relax-at-rishikesh 
River Rafting in India.
In India, we have many nice places to do the White water rafting, from Zanskar river flowing at high attitude in Leh to Rafting on River Brahmputra in Arunachal Pradesh, which is in the top ten best destinations to do river rafting or go to Uttarakhand, where have relaxing time in sandy river camp and do the rafting on holy Ganges i.e. near Rishikesh. Here you can have grade 4 rapids.

kayaking

How to reach.

If you live in New Delhi or near by, it’s just 5-6 hrs car journey and if taking train from New Delhi, reach to Haridwar, from there its hardly 25 KMs. In Rishikesh, you can stay in cool & comfortable beach resort, like I stayed in the Ganga Beach resort or opt for a nice cozy tent to spend the night.

rafting-in-rapid

Other than rafting, what else?
Apart from rafting, you could learn yoga, have nice massage or spa (Ananda is a famous destination spa but expensive) and do rock climbing, trekking and spend evening by visiting Ram & Laxman Jhoola. Ganges aarti happens at 6-7pm everyday and you would feel so content & relaxed. Don’t forget to have nice meal at Chotiwala restaurant near Ram Jhoola.

cliff-jumping-scene1

I am quite regular to Rishikesh and it was my 2nd time to do the River rafting. I am planning to do rafting on Brahmaputra River some time. But before that I should wash my water phobia in MCD water 😀

It’s a HOLI day time.

Festival of colors is around. It is one of the special festivals of India. I am not going to talk about this festival in details; you can read my old article on same that came on PingMag.

holi colors festival India
From past few days, I have been missing my childhood days. Is it the Holi fever or am I just getting nostalgic on few things, especially when I see children in park running around and playing with squirt and splashing water on each other? Today children are much more aware of simple facts; they use herbal, natural colors. They don’t play holi in such harsh way as it used to happen in our time. I still remember the days when putting silver paint on face and throwing each other in mud was quite common. Few activities like throwing water balloon in some streets are still a practice. Let me compile holi’s different types / styles.

Temple Holi- It is a traditional form of playing holi. Pandits and people play holi with Lord Krishna and Radha. It is like – 1st god play holi and the color that touched their holy feet will be used to play holi by their devotees.

Rural holi– a bonfire is set up by using the cow dung cakes and fresh harvest is offered to fire. In morning people put colors (gulal) on each other face and play with water colors, and in the evening they dress up nicely and visit the nearby fair.

In a city – people from the same location (apartments/ colonies) gather in park, and put colors on each other. Some snacks are there to eat. Of course, you have to pay for the same.

Page 3 holi– Music, dance and drinks. It is more like a party, either in a farm house or in a banquet hall, where people dress up in style and play in style. Entry is strictly by invitation!

Campus holi– it is full of fun. Best part is that students from different states, countries play together. It is complete fun. Even if you don’t like to play, anyway you will get pulled from your hostel room.

Street fashion– Some naughty boys will freak out on bikes and throw water balloons, harass people on street and make life difficult. It’s a non-decent form of holi. In small city and rural areas it is common. That’s how people avoid going out on road, using public transport like trains, buses & rickshaws.

Office holi– As HR has to do some event, so, a small event in office premises happen. Where little bit dry colors or flowers petals are allowed. You will get some munchies or holi special lunch.

Family get together– Family members and close friends will gather at one home. Some special dishes, specially gujiya, pakodas & thandai and lots of chit chat. Good time in today’s nuclear family time.

Bollywood holi– Indian cinema and a holi song in Hindi film is forever in demand, from classic film era to today’s niche class movies. If you are alone and nothing great to do just switch on TV (or search in You tube) and watch bollywood best holi songs 🙂

Get set go– It is actually a vacation time. One can escape from colors and have some relaxing time. It could be having a long vacation by using holi holiday plus some extended holidays.

holi, colors, people, festival, India

So in whatever way you are celebrating it, I just want to wish you a very HAPPY HOLI – day!

Shopping in recession time!

Being a Delhite, I am also fond of Sale time. The spring time generally comes with good deal on clothes, shoes and bags etc. But like weather, our economy has also changed and this change is pretty harsh.
This year the sale season started quite early. It came so early that it didn’t wait for 2009 to come. I could get my New Year party dress at great discount in December month only.

Splurge was the keyword early last year. People were spending money on decorating their home or buying branded stuff to buying new stylish vehicles. Then all of sudden various companies started to cut down on the expenses, thereby causing people to lose job. Home loans, car loans and insurance installments were same as before but shopaholics could not resist themselves from 50% to 70% discount.

Shopping in Recession timeShopping in recession time!

After all, just because there is slow down time, people do not necessarily stop pampering themselves. The joy of buying something always makes us feel good. In recession time, when we are more into depression, we need to shop. We just need to be a wise shopper.

Those ‘aspirational’ rich, metro residents and mall going people could not resist themselves by spending little less on their favorite Reebok sports shoes or Louis Philippe formal shirt. Even Bodyshop, Revlon etc are giving discount, and some brands like Lakme are coming with exchange offer on old lipsticks etc. It’s really hard not to shop, even in this hard time.

Future group ventures like Big Bazaar, Home town and Pantaloons are already giving great deals and people are really rushing to buy.

china-shanghai-nike-store

These cases were even seen in USA to China. When I visited China last December, things looked fine (at least from outside) but in USA major electronic stores (Circuit city) and few more were going out of business and were running huge store closing sale.

So how are retailers / store owners working on the mathematics of 50% + 50% discount. That’s something I will figure out. Till then happy shopping!

Chal Chalein Himachal (Lets go to Himachal)

After having a hard time at work, a break is very important. Not only does it help unwind, it also gives exposure to other parts of the country. We also took a similar break, from the heat of Delhi to the cool weather of Himachal.
Manali, Himachal pradesh, India
Manali-Abode of Manu (Manu, who recreated the human) in Himachal Pradesh, India. This town also has a way to Ladakh via Rohtang Pass. It’s a peaceful place famous for apple orchard and woolen shawls and nice cool excursions.

We started our journey from New Delhi National Highway -21 via Panipat, Chandigarh and Kullu. Taking a Volvo bus has advantages as you could relax in the night, and you would be somewhere in Himachal when you wake up the next morning for having a cup of hot tea. You will reach the city shortly thereafter.
Temples, manali
Shooting in temple

We reached Manali at 11am and after check-in to our hotel (Manali heights, which we found very good) took brunch and cab to see city attractions.
The local attractions, namely Club house, Tibetan Monasteries are just ok type. It is advisable to carry an extra pair of cloth, if you plan to go to Vashisht Hot water springs. Hadimba temple is nice specially for taking a walk around. It is apparently also famous amongst film-makers and we also witnessed shooting of a film when we were there. Manu temple in old Manali is also worth a check-out, to see old homes and walk down on narrow lanes.
Mountains and more

This place and its surroundings have loads to offer in terms of activities like para-gliding and skiing. Solang valley is a must-visit place, do indulge in paragliding other than good sightseeing. And if you are on a long trip, just keep half day time solely for this so that you can do this from greater heights (3-4 hours activity in total).
paragliding in Himachal
The road to Rohtang pass has lots of Nallas (or waterfalls) and you will like to stop there while driving on the broken narrow roads. Once you reach the destination, you can take a walk around, climb the snowy mountains or do skiing. Ginger tea and noodles is a good way to relax after a tiring walk. This place has small local shops for all these. Just beware of Kesar (saffron) and Kasturi seller, who will go all out to con you.
rohtang Pass, Himachal Pradesh
Rohtang Pass, Himachal Pradesh
When we visited, snow was there but not enough to really excite you (particularly if you have seen snow before). But it was more of wholesome experience, the journey that made it interesting.
On the way back, some dynamites were kept to clean up the road and our cab stopped right before that, so that way it was bit real adventurous. While coming down, we stopped at Mandi (which is a small village) and saw sunset.

And yes, before I forget to mention, I must advise you on keeping one day just to explore market and have lazy lunch at Johnson café or Casa Vella café. Both these places are highly recommended to have good food.


Point to keep in mind- don’t buy Chingu (kind of quilt but it is all a fraud) though the locals have pretty interesting story about the same, don’t buy saffron (you can’t get 15gm for Rs. 100 anyway).
Carry enough cash- there are just 2-3 ATMs and they hardly work.
Wake up early- go for walk, have nice food with tea/coffee, do activities- there are many options (trekking, rafting, paragliding, skiing etc)
flowers, Himachal Woman
And yes, don’t forget to carry woolen clothes. It’s cold there in any season.

Home solutions.

If the role of color in any industry is very important than so is reading a consumer mind and coming up with a color forecast that will be liked my many (if not all) is very difficult.
Recent issues of design & interior magazines shows how new technologies and inventory features and interesting lighting and new materials possibilities making a Home much more trendy than ever.

Here are some home trends hints.

White and vibrant– From pure white to ivory and adding colors in accent, like, saffron is something that will make the interior to stands out. Apart from this Black and white theme is something that’s always green.

living & more

living & bath

Metals & wood – Hardness of metals and soft, warm feel of wood is something that can gel well with artifacts and furniture. Even the metallic finishes and rough old wood types are happening.

Dining and decor

Natural & organic– It’s more than just green décor. Adding a jute matt either as a castor or spreading a chatai or furnishing with natural colors prints are something talking loud. Anyway eco design is something that’s creating vibes from sometime and now when India also taking stands in green building than why not atleast green décor that we can think of when designing & decorating.

bedroom & more
kitchen and more

Leather & luxury– Leather is hot with soft touch and just a right level of use. The yellow, black or browns will look good. And yes, luxury is in! No more minimalism.

kids room

Wallpapers & graphics– other than in kid’s room its something that can be added anywhere to make that place stands out. Its simple, it’s easy and can be change as desired.

Light & bright– How could light be missing in any décor. Put it purposefully or just for adding a style element, with neat & clean designs and use energy efficient CFL or LEds.

Images Source– Internet (Design Sponge specially)

Independent India

Independent India- Picture by Paavani

Is being free citizen our destination
& being independent without discrimination
Where there is no place for cast & creeds
With people respecting each other and doing deeds!

Or do we ask where is love, respect in our nation
With so much hatred, pain and suffocation
Casting shadows of pessimism
and saying follow the Gandhism!
Let’s starts a new vision
Be a true progressive Indian!

 9:12 pm, 13th August, 2007

 India is celebrating the 60th year of Independence.