The Philospher's Stone https://www.subzeroricha.com Musings. Life. Books. And more Sun, 17 Mar 2019 08:13:53 +0000 en-US hourly 1 https://wordpress.org/?v=5.2.1 https://www.subzeroricha.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/05/cropped-12346151_955685217802010_1006567868_a-1-32x32.jpg The Philospher's Stone https://www.subzeroricha.com 32 32 71563087 Humari Society ka Chowkidar https://www.subzeroricha.com/2019/03/humari-society-ka-chowkidar/ https://www.subzeroricha.com/2019/03/humari-society-ka-chowkidar/#disqus_thread Sun, 17 Mar 2019 08:11:01 +0000 https://www.subzeroricha.com/?p=2592 It all started in May 2014, when we were looking for a new Chowkidar ( Society Manager)  for our Society. We had seen a lot of applications and the one that majority of us liked was that of a man who promised to work day and night for us. Whose experience included a rich fifteen […]

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It all started in May 2014, when we were looking for a new Chowkidar ( Society Manager)  for our Society. We had seen a lot of applications and the one that majority of us liked was that of a man who promised to work day and night for us. Whose experience included a rich fifteen years stint with GujaraTea Co-Op Housing Society.

Despite some complaints and of course records stating a major misdemeanour in 2002 from him, we decided to give him the benefit of doubt. And thus, majority members of the society took a call to hire him as the chowkidar for our area & signed a contract for 5 years.

For the initial few months, it was all hunky and dory. His efforts to create a clean and green society was appreciated by all. He undertook a major re-arrangement of personnel under him and it seemed that this would all lead to great things for our society in general.

But then he suddenly started complaining about a school nearby. It was called XNU. He started calling them names and even accused them of undertaking anti-society acts. This felt strange to a few of us, given some of our own kids were from that school too. In fact, not only kids, some of the society members had also studied there.

Here again, the majority decided to give him benefit of doubt and school was vilified.

To ease communications, he also started whatsapp forwards to inform members about all the good work he was undertaking and of course anti-society acts of XNU School.

It was November 2016, we were still reeling under the anti-society school incident when suddenly he created another rule. No cars or Bikes will be allowed inside the society anymore. Only bicycle & pedestrians. People have to walk a lot and it was a daily struggle. But what to do, contract was democratic & air tight with majority support.

He said this move will clean our society of all black smoke, traffic situations and unruly miscreants in the area & nearby.

We lost a few old people to exhaustion and a lot of chaos inside society. The anger against chowkidar was increasing but again, the benefit of doubt was handed to him by majority.

His son also now got buoyed into becoming chowkidar at Uttar building. In his first few weeks he got a Gaushala opened inside the society. And involved a lot of selfies with cows.

The chowkidar now stopped spending time inside society. He would spend more time meeting chowkidars of other society. When people complained to him about mismanagement, he would fold his hands and walk away. He hired a few people below him who would interact with us in all the society meeting and to answer all the questions.

There was zero communication between us and the chowkidar now.

But somehow it was always the fault of XNU school.

Then suddenly it came to light that chowkidar had allegedly siphoned a lot of money from one of the society purchases. He had given the contract to his friends and in due process made a lot of money for himself and people close to him.

The majority support slipped away from him.

But he still refused to speak to us. His minions would now scream and shout at anyone who spoke against him. They would even threaten with eviction for those who dissented.

Even members of society began fighting against each other.

It was a hell of a time to be living inside there.

Now in two months the contract is getting over. We are looking at applications again. They say there is no other alternative to the chowkidar and yet the benefit of doubt argument has become feeble this time round.

What will happen, only time can tell. One way or another, chowkidar’s golden support time is up.

These events are fictional & have no co-relation to any situation anywhere in India.

Written by Vikas Agarwal, our in-house satire Guru. More of his articles can be found at : Humour

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Three years of Blogchatter and Counting https://www.subzeroricha.com/2019/03/three-years-of-blogchatter-and-counting/ https://www.subzeroricha.com/2019/03/three-years-of-blogchatter-and-counting/#disqus_thread Sat, 09 Mar 2019 04:50:00 +0000 https://www.subzeroricha.com/?p=2584 When I was growing up my grandmother (my nani jee) firmly believed that I would be the one who would make name for family legacy. She believed it so much that an eight year old me decided that I deserved no less than a national holiday on my birthday in times to come. Though that […]

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When I was growing up my grandmother (my nani jee) firmly believed that I would be the one who would make name for family legacy. She believed it so much that an eight year old me decided that I deserved no less than a national holiday on my birthday in times to come.

Though that still remains an inside joke of my house, somewhere growing up I lost all hopes of building the family legacy through my efforts and any mention of my towering future success often frustrated me.

I believed the stories were just ways for my grandmother to infuse that harmless motivation that we often indulge kids in.

And thus started a cycle of aiming low. Real low. And taking solace in achieving the dismally insignificant milestones.

But I was happy. I had built my own world of saying no to new ideas and things. I was keeping myself above failure and the heartbreak that follows usually.

But who was I to do so? The universe conspired. Sent me an idea that threatened to push my risk taking abilities. I started believing until it reached a point that turned my doubts into affirmative actions. Sleepless nights followed by anxious days and immensely tiring work travel but the results made up for everything and more.

This baby today, turns three. Three years of building one thing after another – taking steps that seemed huge for me but completed with little help from universe and loads of support from community.

Today when I look back and see how much we have travelled, how each day our efforts of building a better community – a greater online space for those out there – it overwhelms me.

And also scares me. But now I know there is no stopping. Because this is no longer my story, this is no longer my journey to decide. It is but a collective conscious of hundreds of those bloggers out there who connect on #Blogchatter to discover their own thing. It is now their call to take whether this plot continues or stops for good.

My failure or success isn’t mine to shoulder anymore. And believe me, this is the most wonderful thought of last three years.

As for my Nani jee, I do not know if my success can carry my family name or legacy, but I do believe – I shall never let her name fail. Because this gift of storytelling that I use to sell dreams, is hers and only hers to me.

Shashi Kala Shukla shall never not be known to the world out there – the greatest storyteller I ever met.

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Why Prince of Galle is a Must Try Place in Sri Lanka https://www.subzeroricha.com/2018/12/why-prince-of-galle-is-a-must-try-place-in-sri-lanka/ https://www.subzeroricha.com/2018/12/why-prince-of-galle-is-a-must-try-place-in-sri-lanka/#disqus_thread Sat, 08 Dec 2018 05:49:38 +0000 https://www.subzeroricha.com/?p=2551 One of my pet peeves about five star hotels is that they all look exactly the same as the next one. And that in itself sounds like a waste of money to me. So whenever we plan our travels, one thing we attempt through our journey is to discover hotels or home stays that offer […]

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One of my pet peeves about five star hotels is that they all look exactly the same as the next one. And that in itself sounds like a waste of money to me. So whenever we plan our travels, one thing we attempt through our journey is to discover hotels or home stays that offer a different experience in terms of accommodation and service. I would rather spend the amount I would have eventually spent on a Five star place, on a boutique hotel with a unique experience set.

This is something we attempted (and successfully achieved) in Sri Lanka tour as well. While I will be blogging the whole itinerary in detail later. Today I want to share with you my experience about the place we stayed in Galle.

Prince of Galle.

True to its name, the hotel had an element of history embedded in it. The hotel also earmarks the year 1718 as first birth of Jobsz ( owner family) after coming from Amsterdam, the place had its own emblem, a large wall filled with photographs, paintings documenting the years that have gone by and of course like every other great stay, a very gracious host.

Kirk is not your regular hotel owner, he is a very hands on person who will spends hours in the morning interacting with guests at breakfast, getting his staff to cook up a storm in kitchen (later about this) and most importantly makes you feel belonged in a place far away from home.

Galle was our last stop in a whirlwind trip across Sri Lanka and we had deliberately done so to allow ourselves a relaxing end before we headed back to home and chaos. The city itself is a beach town and as most Tripadvisor reviews would recommend – you have to stay within the fort because that is where the experience lies.

We too while searching hotels on Tripadvisor, placed our filters to discover a stay inside the fort and our search popped open Prince of Galle as an option. The property not only looked beautiful in pictures and in positive reviews but was also in fact extremely centrally located and within minutes of walk away from the beach and pedlar street.

It took us a day to zero in on the stay.

The room we stayed in was “King’s residence” and it had its own private floor with a beautiful seating space. The room itself was done extremely tastefully with some elements retained from the original building set – such as a vintage door with a mirror inside it.

They say a picture says a thousand words, I will embed a video tour of the room below here to make it a million sentences!

 

View this post on Instagram

 

A post shared by Richa Singh (@subzeroricha) on

Apart from the room, the hotel offers a five course breakfast which let me just say, is to die for. Most people who know me, know this, that I am not a foodie. Not only that, I am also a very frugal eater. So when Kirk first mentioned the five course breakfast I wasn’t very excited. But how wrong I was!

The breakfast itself deserves a separate post. I even sneaked some of the recipes of the individual dishes and have already tried one and another is on way tonight (Masterchef India – here I come).

The five course breakfast meal involves – this beautiful oats and fruits meal. A very Sri Lankan style french toast. A mouth wash to remove all the flavours you have experienced so far. Then a unique take on the very famous Sri Lankan hoppers – Hoppas (a mix of tapas & hoppers) – which let me tell you, two of them were not enough to satiate my taste (THAT GOOD). And then to end the breakfast with some bread toast and homemade jam.

While I was writing the last paragraph it dawned on me that if someone narrated this course of meal to me, I would imagine I cannot finish even half of it. But guess what, I finished them all! Yup. Yup. That good.

Side note: Though I will document the breakfast in detail – if you still need more info, check out this post.

Overall, Prince of Galle was an experience it itself. What with unique rooms, a beautiful setting and gracious host – the stay was very much part of our trip as the city tour. In fact if you are in Galle, we highly recommend you stay here. But just in case you don’t, then do try their world famous Ice tea – which let me tell you was quite something!

If you want any other information about this place, hit me up in comments or send me a message through contact us.

You can also look up Prince of Galle on Instagram & Facebook. Also their website.

Disclaimer: We were offered a complimentary stay at this hotel but in no way has that impacted my review of them.

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Indian Edit Look Season One Rocked and How! https://www.subzeroricha.com/2018/10/indian-edit-look-season-one-rocked-and-how/ https://www.subzeroricha.com/2018/10/indian-edit-look-season-one-rocked-and-how/#disqus_thread Fri, 05 Oct 2018 05:51:50 +0000 https://www.subzeroricha.com/?p=2529 How did it all begin? Well ever since as a child I have had the women in my house tell me over and over again that I look amazing in a saree. Some would even take me along shopping and make me try stuff they wanted to buy for themselves. Saying they rather see an […]

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How did it all begin? Well ever since as a child I have had the women in my house tell me over and over again that I look amazing in a saree. Some would even take me along shopping and make me try stuff they wanted to buy for themselves. Saying they rather see an updated version of that piece to gain a better idea.

It was all too funny to me, personally. I was all very happy with my Shorts and T-shirts at all times.

And then I got married and these compliments flew some more – given the additions in my wardrobe thanks to the change in marital status.

Until I gained weight. And well, a saree hides all of it & how (truth be told).

Suddenly it dawned on me that I definitely looked better in a saree than any other dress. So I decided to shop more of it.

But where to wear!?!? 

Of course. Instagram!

And thus created Indian Edit Look Season One.

What was the Objective of this?

To promote Indian wear in everyday lives.

Detailed plan.

You could be wearing a saree, a suit, a kurta, a jhumka hell even a lungi! All you need to do is click a photo of yourself, put up on social media and add hashtag #IndianEditLook

Success Metric.

No of people who decide to put up a photo with the hashtag. I kept a reasonable number 24.

My profile picture across networks is fruits of this project!

And armed with all this I started off with the project at hand. Project? Did I say project? Yes! I entered this idea as part of Blogchatter Projects – a unique campaign where you can build something larger than you through your online efforts. And see results that are far reaching in all aspects. 

From side of campaign I got tons of social media coverage and exposure. I was also sent to all community members as part of emailers. And at all times I knew Blogchatter had my and my project’s back! Which is phenomenal!!

In my case for example, not only did I break free from my usual routine – I also got a chance to create an idea larger than me. Promoting Indian wear in everyday lives! And boy it was fun and super successful.

Do you also have an idea you want to build further? Something larger than you and me? Say starting an awareness campaign for a disease OR calling for equal rights for all genders OR selling an e-course! Then get going, plan and register your project for Season 2 of Blogchatter Projects!

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Why an EMI free Year could Get You Your Dream home https://www.subzeroricha.com/2018/09/why-an-emi-free-year-could-your-dream-home/ https://www.subzeroricha.com/2018/09/why-an-emi-free-year-could-your-dream-home/#disqus_thread Sun, 02 Sep 2018 16:57:04 +0000 https://www.subzeroricha.com/?p=2522 Investing in real estate is not an easy job. It takes tons of research and well backed up projects to take this gigantic leap of faith. Previously I have written all about my first property purchase. But since the time I wrote that post to now, which is roughly one odd year, a lot has changed.  I […]

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Investing in real estate is not an easy job. It takes tons of research and well backed up projects to take this gigantic leap of faith. Previously I have written all about my first property purchase. But since the time I wrote that post to now, which is roughly one odd year, a lot has changed. 

I have now purchased and moved into a new home! Which is a different feeling altogether. Because a house is not just a property investment, it is also home to your dreams and aspirations. And as many will tell you, purchasing a house is only the first step. Customising it to suit your little quirks and needs is the journey that follows.

And you don’t want to delay this journey, most of us attempt to complete those reading nooks and chai parlours as soon as we move in.

Did you know as a thumb rule for decor, you must spend 10 % of your house’s value on interior designing? This is to ensure your house becomes your perfect home! 

But with pressures of new found EMIs and other costs, how can one shell out more? 

What if that first year had no EMIs? Wouldn’t that allow us to invest back into the house’s decor without worrying? And in turn create that perfect home of our dreams? 

I was surfing the internet when I came across the Ghar Aaja India offer by Tata Value  Homes. The offer is easy peasy: 

1 – Pay 10 % and move in

2 – 90% after twelve months

Making your FIRST YEAR an EMI FREE 365 Days! And all that money you can push in to get your perfect decor.

For example this chimney with side lamps that might cost a bomb but would look magical in your kitchen. 

OR

This Greenhouse in the backyard which would need tons of labour but becomes a haven for butterflies and flowers.

OR

This sit out in the Balcony which would have become that perfect chai place if not for its enormous costs

 

You might think these ideas are randomly inserted here as dreamy locales. But you couldn’t be more wrong! Because these options are the exact things I had to cancel in my interior project due to lack of cash.

I did get an elaborate Kitchen and a living room of my dreams but some ideas got pushed as next year to-dos. Imagine if I had a year free from EMIs, all these would be a part of my own plan… 

So when I saw the Tata Value Homes Ghar Aaja India offer, my heart ached because this could have allowed me to build my perfect home with all my favourite things. But alas, I didn’t have the option.

But you do have that option. And might want to exercise it before it ends. Go get your dream house and decorate it into that perfect home!

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Why Adulting is a tough take in Thirties https://www.subzeroricha.com/2018/06/why-adulting-is-a-tough-take-in-thirties/ https://www.subzeroricha.com/2018/06/why-adulting-is-a-tough-take-in-thirties/#disqus_thread Sat, 02 Jun 2018 08:58:20 +0000 https://www.subzeroricha.com/?p=2508 It is an average Saturday for most of us. But not for me, I am sitting in my chair – taking a much needed half a day off from work, out of which most time I spent talking to my Dad. In an honest account of my childhood, my relationship with my Dad has been […]

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It is an average Saturday for most of us. But not for me, I am sitting in my chair – taking a much needed half a day off from work, out of which most time I spent talking to my Dad.

In an honest account of my childhood, my relationship with my Dad has been .. for a lack of better word – tumultuous. We had both lost a precious loved one – a wife and a mother – that didn’t bring out the best in our emotions. We both attempted to safeguard our own versions of truths and if I can say – fights.

But that time is long gone. I am now thirty one and one of the worst effects of adulting for me personally has been this need to let go of expectation of perfection in people you love. I cannot say I have succeeded completely but I can say – I have, through a basic and rather crude algorithm of decision making, zeroed in on people I cannot just let go.

And my Dad is featured in it. No, not because he is my only surviving parent – if you grew up in my house you were always taught – “Respect is earned, not granted through birth or hierarchy”. So this reasoning of granting him importance was never my DNA. But he is featured because he has been the best possible parent anyone could be in that situation. He had his flaws but I now realise his good was so good, it helped us all survive.

If anyone was curious who else is on that list – my best friend is. And she too has her set of flaws and quirks (which i adore by the way) but at all times I know, she loves me like there is no tomorrow. And every other idea in front of that gets washed away instantly. There is of course, my sister and my husband – who honestly have no way knowing how messed up my head is but they still bring out the best versions of my life.

Moving on. In my blogposts that this website has seen, I know I have never offered clarity – or a space to deduce things. I have always just poured my confusion out here, hoping something in this exercise brings in some sort of a semblance of understanding for us all.

Today was one of those days. What I thought would be a half day break is now a puddle of emotions, memories and “what ifs” that have crippled me to continue beyond with anything.

Somewhere in the middle of my conversation with my dad today, he mentioned “You bat for so many greys in life but internally you have always been one of the most black & white person I have ever seen. Your fixation with truth and nothing but the truth has always prevented you from listening to other sides of the coin. And I don’t mean this in a bad way – but I believe that is the reason for many of your failures and yet most of your successes too”.

It is almost as if I lost my voice. How smoothly and simply he drew out the biggest mess of my life out of my head and into words. My idealism. Which has always been my undoing. How I have always had this yardstick inside my head and nothing above or below is right. How many friends, family, career opportunities, projects and what not have I lost, only because I could not bring myself to compromise.

And yet. It is this very need to strive for nothing but the truth that I have discovered my life’s most challenging idea. A difficult and long journey that finally now shows signs of success. 

Usually I am an articulate human being, but when he finished saying those words, I had started stammering. This guard I carry on my face – this pretence of showing one thing and being another was so quietly gone in front of him. Like he knows, he understands but he plays the game with me – insinuating he is fooled as is rest of the world.

And it is this very idea of perfection. Truth and nothing but the truth that has tortured me for years, centering my whole life around existential crisis of different kinds.

As most writers, I know the beginning and the end of a piece are critical to survive reader’s attention span. But what if the very end is what my writing seeks. That it is the lack of a befitting end to my words that led me here.

Will that reader then forgive me? 

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Was our anger for Nirbhaya in 2012 – politically motivated? https://www.subzeroricha.com/2018/04/2497/ https://www.subzeroricha.com/2018/04/2497/#disqus_thread Tue, 10 Apr 2018 04:28:11 +0000 https://www.subzeroricha.com/?p=2497 I was visiting Red Fort with my sister and husband for a light and sound show in 2013, late evening. When suddenly out of nowhere I remembered that the road right across the Fort was one of the routes that dreaded Nirbhaya bus had taken, when she was being raped inside. And before I could […]

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I was visiting Red Fort with my sister and husband for a light and sound show in 2013, late evening. When suddenly out of nowhere I remembered that the road right across the Fort was one of the routes that dreaded Nirbhaya bus had taken, when she was being raped inside.

And before I could even collect my senses, I had started crying. Only person who saw that was my husband and perhaps out of some strange telepathy he understood what had run through my mind.

He gave me a quiet hug and let my tears flow for next few minutes. And all of this, while I saw my sister hop, skip and jump on the side where she was buying some eatables for us. That was the fear, always. Nirbhaya case brought my worst fears to life, I can protect myself but what about my sister? (My hands shook while typing that)

And today too, even a mention of that case can zone me out for a few hours. In the middle of the night through random thoughts, details of that case come flooding back – and only a cup of chai can bring me back to sanity. Often, I make my head think of happy memories from my childhood with mom to calm my senses. 

It was also one of the cases that put the final nail on UPA 2 government. Thousands like me, took to internet and streets to vent their anger which finally overflowed in votes as well.

Yesterday though, a woman accused BJP MLA from Unnao of gangrape. Forget arresting that person, police refused to even file an FIR. Not to get political, but with as much as a single complaint, AAP leaders have been thrown behind bars in rather swift action from Police.

It further led her to attempt suicide outside CM house, demanding justice. But she was saved. Only to finally watch her own father die in police custody. Her father was arrested by Unnao police and allegedly goons of MLA were sent inside jail to thrash him.

This woman, lost her dignity, her right to justice and her father all in one go. And while all of this was happening – what stunned me beyond disbelief was that there were thousands of us who had taken to internet and streets to speak against the Nirbhaya case and treatment of conviction that followed. This time, a mere handful of those thousands raised their voice.

The stunned silence from rest, reeked of biases that do not encompass humanity.

But. If this was not enough. Kathua (in J&K) saw brutal gang-rape and murder of an 8 year old. DNA tests have revealed she was raped over a few days inside a TEMPLE.

While this may have violated your senses a bit, there is more. The accused is a State Police officer who had carried out this heinous crime to give a signal of fear & intimidation against Muslim community. Does that shock you still?

Oh there is a lot more. Hindu Ekta Morcha took out a rally involving two Ministers from BJP in support of…. ACCUSED. They have vandalised court procedures and police investigation – ensuring chargesheet is not filed and demanding accused be released immediately.

I looked around, again I saw off the thousands who had spoken against Nirbhaya, many were quiet. 

Today after a long time, I felt defeated. I felt like I was a fool to believe that when I raised my voice against UPA2 I did it for my nation, my country. That I was hoping for a better future of same.

When actually, they all had an ulterior motive. A motive to safeguard their community and those who appeased them.

What do we tell our little ones? How long can our silence remain the weapon of oppressor? 

 

The 8 Year Old from Kathua

 

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An Uncommon Love that Saved me https://www.subzeroricha.com/2018/02/uncommon-love-saved/ https://www.subzeroricha.com/2018/02/uncommon-love-saved/#disqus_thread Sat, 17 Feb 2018 08:06:37 +0000 https://www.subzeroricha.com/?p=2485 One of the rarest gifts both my parents helped me achieve was extreme forms of self-confidence, which never bordered on foolhardiness. And yet, when I lost one of them to a sudden act of God, it was this self-confidence that took first hit. I had lost my mother to death and my dad to depression. […]

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One of the rarest gifts both my parents helped me achieve was extreme forms of self-confidence, which never bordered on foolhardiness. And yet, when I lost one of them to a sudden act of God, it was this self-confidence that took first hit.

I had lost my mother to death and my dad to depression. The love of his life had left him, it took him years to reconcile to this fact.

And to add injury to insult, I suddenly realised that I was not confident because my parents told me so. I was confident because my parents shut out all the voices of the world who threatened to tell me otherwise.

And without them, there were scheming school teachers who found a golden opportunity to pull me down, set of relatives who could now without my mother, play havoc in our family and of course thanks to the emotional instability I had embarked upon, I even attracted a set of friends who had understood the power their words had on my physical and emotional being.

Slowly but surely I gave up on my self. I stopped going to debate auditions knowing they would be rigged. I stopped meeting relatives, understanding they would seek information out of my being to spread more gossips.

And kept seeking safest options in the world to ensure I do not fail. Which obviously involved aiming really low. 

When you look at fifteen years of not scaling your potential, you miss these five second encounters and decide to move past them all to finally place the burden of your failures on your shoulders.

I did that. 

Until one day something happened to me. Blogchatter. At first I refused to believe it was anything and kept playing it down. I pushed the idea as a mass movement and nothing more, until a friend over dinner drew my business model on a napkin! He looked at me and said ‘It is out there waiting for YOU to stand up and claim. Either do it or give it up’.

And my head went – ‘Give it up.’ 

If you don’t bet, you don’t lose. 

But it kept pulling me back. It kept demanding my attention. Sometimes through tears and bawls, surrounded by a life of failures, I would wipe my tears and sit on my laptop and send out a tweet saying “Hola! Welcome back to Prime Time of Twitter” 

And in that one hour I would forget all my miseries and failures.

What was it that kept pulling me back? What was it that undid fifteen years of conditioning? It was Love. 

Love of these strangers who arrived on a Twitter chat every week. Who would enquire if we were sick – in case we got late by a couple of minutes. Who sent us emails and what not, expressing their love for us.

That love kept me going. 

Last month I gave a TED talk. When I made this announcement on social media – I received a flurry of messages everywhere.

Someone sent me ‘Go rock the stage Richa, inspire us millions of women who have given up on ourselves’.

Another said ‘You are a Miracle.’

I was overwhelmed.

I went up on stage, gave my talk and amongst thunderous claps walked back to my seat in front row. In those few seconds, I was transported to when I was fourteen and I had given a debate audition (first after my mother), I came back to similar claps and juniors telling me ‘You were sooo good’. When the results were announced, another girl was selected. The whole room had a blanket of silence. I looked deep into the eyes of that teacher to understand if she felt any guilt. She looked back with that arrogant smile.

I never gave another audition ever again. 

And yet here I was, speaking on a Global stage. Speaking to a hall filled with people, lining up to meet and greet me, getting selfies with me.

In a sea of familiars, I found my love in an ocean of strangers. 

Uncommon Love of strangers online.

***

This post has been written in response to that same Blogchatter’s Prompt of the weekend – Uncommon Love/First Love.

 

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Why Freelancers & Self-employed need to Seek Community https://www.subzeroricha.com/2018/01/freelancers-self-employed-need-seek-community/ https://www.subzeroricha.com/2018/01/freelancers-self-employed-need-seek-community/#disqus_thread Mon, 29 Jan 2018 07:22:00 +0000 https://www.subzeroricha.com/?p=2468 As a self-employed individual, my life doesn’t have HR managers or Finance teams to assist in my everyday activities. I rely on hiring designated firms or professionals for all the support functions. But more importantly I rely on a community of bloggers and social media enthusiasts to drive me each day. When I began blogging, […]

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As a self-employed individual, my life doesn’t have HR managers or Finance teams to assist in my everyday activities. I rely on hiring designated firms or professionals for all the support functions.

But more importantly I rely on a community of bloggers and social media enthusiasts to drive me each day.

When I began blogging, I found my community in Write Tribe, a story well documented on my blog over the years. It was here I learned all the tricks of the trade and even found my niche when it came to writing. I had so many questions, which all got answered by the veterans in the group.

Moving across timelines and even projects, today Blogchatter relies on this emotion everyday:

“When you take your writing or art online, you are seeking Community”

I remember some of my first blogging projects were all due to references I received online. Connections I had made over Twitter while discussing politics, religion and even music! These connections became stronger over time and today when I am hustling behind Blogchatter – these same connections form clients/Vendors as the nature of project demands. The ecosystem thrives on our inter-dependability.

But when life moved from domestic to international, as any other person I discovered some hiccups. During my early years of freelancing, I was exposed to International Freelance business through FoodPanda Germany – who wanted to get a truckload of content work carried out through me.

From trusting the client to understanding payment methods, I was a bit stumped. Those days, social media was not so handy and community of freelancers not too communicative – but on referral of client I tried PayPal for my payments and after my initial inhibitions, life with International freelancing has been super easy!

Over the last few years, I have seen a large community of freelancers develop around International Clients. In fact a survey notes that 4 in 5 freelancers get international projects.

At times, the size of projects and need for diversity sees many of them come together to deliver for a single client. And connecting them all is PayPal.

For example, very recently I was offered work from an International brand who wanted an app testing to be carried out and the specifics of the project entailed that I share my PayPal.Me link upfront for easy and hassle free payments.

Speaking of PayPal.Me, it is one of the best features offered by PayPal team. You can customize the way you want to, and give your services a unique identity. Simply share your PayPal.Me link with your clients and get paid with the click of a link.

61% of freelancers have faced issues in payments. Additionally they also face issues of trust while dealing with clients. And there have been cases where they have been duped of payments post completion of work. This risk is all the more, higher while dealing with international clients.

Seller Protection Policy of PayPal helps self-employed individuals everywhere by assisting them through a dispute settlement court. If an individual is not paid by a client, they can evoke this Policy to settle dues (provided a reasonable point is established by party).

With PayPal, me and millions of other freelancers discover that simply by getting on the medium one can take a deep dive into more Opportunities, more Clients, more Business and, more Money!

And now you can additionally get vouchers up to 1500 INR for earning with PayPal

Domestic or International, writing or creating art can be a lonely job. Seek your community online to deliver better projects for yourself. Not only will community assist you in doubts and issues, they will also come together in getting you more projects and better business.

 

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A Failure that Gave me Blogchatter https://www.subzeroricha.com/2018/01/failure-gave-blogchatter/ https://www.subzeroricha.com/2018/01/failure-gave-blogchatter/#disqus_thread Sat, 13 Jan 2018 11:15:26 +0000 https://www.subzeroricha.com/?p=2464 Very few people are aware about the life changing incident that I am about to share. It was the year 2012, I was newly married and floating on cloud nine of love and companionship. With that milestone achieved, I thought now could be a good time to push myself into work and build a more […]

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Very few people are aware about the life changing incident that I am about to share.

It was the year 2012, I was newly married and floating on cloud nine of love and companionship. With that milestone achieved, I thought now could be a good time to push myself into work and build a more successful career at the organisation I was engaged then.

Thus began my year of endless working, I would skip tea breaks and lunches to push more and more tasks out of my way. Take on added responsibilities to create a good impression and of course continuously take feedback about my performance, to ensure I was on track.

To my disbelief though, when appraisal got released a year later – I was handed out an average grade. While my discussions had been quite opposite, the final results were not in line with my expectations. And I was in no way prepared for this.

Though I still say, my bosses were extremely supportive and perhaps in some way justified in the end but my heart simply broke.

I came back home and cried. For two entire days. 

My father or my husband, who are usually more accustomed to a more balanced me, were literally at their wits end. Endless phone calls and tea conversations were carried out by the two, to re-boot my confidence levels.

But something had snapped. I could no longer put myself back in the equation.

After about two days, I opened my laptop and started writing. I wrote and wrote. I hit publish on as much as three to four blogposts in a day! That was one crazy time.

My husband would leave for work at eight in the morning and return by six. He would leave me sitting on laptop and come back to find me still sitting with same.

Nobody could say anything to me, they were afraid I was going crazy and perhaps definitely needed some help.

After five days of not showing at work, I received a call from my Head. He sounded concerned and entreated me to join back.

Which I did. But this time my head space was not same. My mind and heart both were at home on that laptop, still writing. Still publishing blogposts. 

I even began writing a manuscript, and after about forty thousand words I realised it was quite the piece of shit. But what it did was that consistent writing helped me evolve my style and smoothened my prose.

Something I still can see in my pieces. A lot of my writing got lifted in that phase.

While I continued at work, my heart had taken a flight. My day would be filled with writing ideas and my nights would be filled with Blogging. It was during that phase when I even achieved an under 100K Alexa rank and became one of the popular bloggers in the country.

One thing led to another and before I could even realise the momentum’s speed, I had created Blogchatter.

Looking back, I realise if it wasn’t for my abject failure when it comes to corporate, I may have never discovered entrepreneurship. If I was perhaps satisfied with an average rating, I would have never pushed myself to aim for the stars.

So sometimes, it is good to aim high and fail. It is good to experience failure so that you know what you need to do, to never experience it again.

Connecting it with Chatter Prompts where the theme of the weekend is ‘A Failure that Changed me‘.

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