Sunday, June 17, 2012

The story of the storytellers - 2

(The first part of 'The story of the storytellers' can be found here)

Please welcome this week's writer : Baba Vaniteshwar from Saucy Jane 

" I'm the cat's meow,the bees's knees,the dog's whiskers. "

Your favourite hobbies aside from writing? How do you unwind?
 I paint, or just mess about with paint. Also, lately photography has put a spell on me.

Do you believe we need inspiration to write? Is your writing planned or spontaneous? Do you take out time regularly for writing?
 My writing is mostly spontaneous. Sometimes I'm watching a movie or just doing something random thing and BANG! An idea hits me.
Though sometimes, people or things do give me some inspiration.
Nah, I don't take time out for writing. Somehow I can't force myself to write anything. It comes to me.

Now that you're a better writer (I'm sure you are!), what advice would you have given to your past self if you could?
 I still have a long way to go as a writer but if I could advice my past-self I'd say-You're not writing for anyone else but yourself. Don't be afraid to let the ink flow.

Do you prefer any particular genre or do you just freestyle in your writing?
 I freestyle. Though, I avoid romance & philosophy.

The best thing about being a writer?
 This might take a while =)
         When you start writing, you get transported into a world which is wholly yours.

Your milestones and favourite moments as a writer? Any you're proud of?
 Ah, when I was in the fifth grade, my English teacher read my fiction post and was amazed. She told me I would go a long way if I would improve on my writing. I did. 
One favourite moment was when my essay was published in The Young World. It was then I knew I simply have to be a journalist.

And the age old classic, any advice for aspiring writers? 
 The same thing I would have told my past-self-let the ink flow.

The nicest compliment you've ever received for your writing or the way you write?
      That I create magic with words. ^_^

What question would you ask your favourite writer(s)?
 When is the next book coming out?

What are your thoughts on writer's block? If you've ever had it, how did you get through it?
 Writer's block. My life long nemesis.
To get over it, I just write. Even if it is random senseless ramblings, I just write.

What are your plans for and where do you see yourself in the near future?
 It changes everyday. One day I want to become a journalist, the next day I want to become a world famous artist.

Any author or personality, dead or alive, you would like to meet or work with? Any recent favourite book?
 I would LOVE to work with J.R.R.Tolkien.
         Recent favourite book-The city of Djinns & Palace of illusions.

What words would you use to describe yourself as a writer or a person?
 Eclectic, different, a wandering soul.

 If you were writing a book about your life, what would the title be?
 A Comedy Of Errors.

How much of your writing is inspired from real life?
 Pretty much most of it is drawn from my own experiences and feelings.

Anything you would like to change or improve in yourself as a writer, blogger or person? 
 I wish I were more free in putting what's in my mind on paper.

Any other question that you wish I'd asked? What would be the answer? 
 You pretty much hit the nail on the head :)

Anything small or big that has frustrated you recently?
 My inexcusably bad performance in the recent exams.

What's one of your biggest dreams? 
 To have people come up to me and say “ I love your book! Would you please sign my copy? It's for my daughter. She wants to be like you one day”. [ I'm an egomaniac, sue me] :D

Share your thoughts please!

Monday, June 4, 2012

Birds - we've grown up with them!

Most of you might not remember that almost a year ago I started a series called Saving the earth. In it I suggested that we all do something to help the environment based on our inclinations and limitations. Recently I discovered an initiative on the net which I hope most of us would take part in.

You'll find the homepage of the Citizen  Sparrow Initiative hereThe project is run by the Bombay Natural History Society, together with a group of organisations interested in nature, birds and conservation from all across the country. Here is the introduction on their website:

House Sparrows -- who can resist these chirpy, cheerful and charming birds? 

Sparrows are found all over the world, almost everywhere that humans live. But strangely, sparrow populations have been in decline in many parts of the world, for reasons that are still unclear, although hotly debated! In India, sparrows used to be found in great abundance in all our cities, towns and villages; but sadly not any more. 

Where are sparrows still found in India? Where were they found before? In which places have they declined the most? 

The answers to these questions are crucial if we are to discover what ails them, and how to bring them back. 

You can help!

By spending 5 minutes documenting the presence or absence of sparrows in localities you know well, both at present and at any time in the past, you will join enthusiasts all over the country in helping sparrows. 

You will be asked a brief set of questions, including the precise location of areas you know (or knew) well, aspects of the habitat in these localities, sparrow presence or absence in these localities, and optional information about things like locations of nests, amount of green space, and so on. The questionnaire is very simple to fill, and there is also space for you to share your favourite sparrow stories

I can vouch for the fact that it takes very little time to create an account and contribute your observations and stories. 

This is their 'How-to' page which has all the instructions =>

You'll find a full map of people's observations here=>

People's stories about sparrow are here =>

The campaign has been extended till the 15th of June. Please, please take out some time if you can to look up this initiative and contribute something to it. Help in saving the innocent little bird that we have all grown up adoring before they vanish altogether!  

Update: Just came across an article in the Hindustan Times, June 5. The Nature Forever Society is launching a campaign called 'Bird of the Month' to raise awareness about 18 common bird species found across India.  It seems very much on the lines of the Citizen Sparrow initiative, except that there are more birds, like mynah and pigeon that are being observed. If you're interested in being a part of their 'Common Bird Monitoring of India' program, you can check out their very cool site at