Guilty as charged 

it took me exactly three years 24 days to get over what you said and five nights 

to forget a joke everyone just laughed about.

it wasn’t about me they said repeatedly 

but I still allowed

my mind to build a house around it to make my visits regular.

take it easy man, 

their voices echo

and I look at them like they

speak of a science I have never learnt about. 

you ask me

where the problem lies

and a finger of mine will turn to myself even when I’m asleep.
I do not know when 

not to say sorry because I use it for everything I do. 

there’s traffic

I’m sorry

there’s rain

I’m sorry

there’s no music

I’m sorry

there’s nothing 

I’m sorry 

I’m sorry 

I’m sorry 

I breathe. 

now I’m carving it in my nerves because that is how apologetic I am now and will always be. 

on most nights, 

the voice in my head is my only enemy because it only tells me the things I want to forget about. 

again and again. 

every second. every day. 

you’re not enough 

you’re not enough 

you are not enough. 

shut it. I know. 

it is absurd. ridiculous. almost nonsensical how badly I want to mute every thing in my head. 

but believe me I’ve tried. I’ve tried to release my heart from the claws of self-resent but the bar hasn’t moved an inch yet. 

also tell me, if it is possible 

to survive when you’re guilty as charged

but also the victim?

Image courtesy to the owner.

Communicating on LinkedIn

LinkedIn has been a great platform for me to communicate and connect with professionals. I’ve interacted with quite a few people to realize that it is all about communicating in the correct way.

I get a lot of messages here. Many times, I don’t understand how to reply because the message received serves no purpose.
It makes me wonder about the number of opportunities a professional can miss if they do not communicate well.

Hence, here are a few things you must keep in mind the next time you communicate on LinkedIn.

1. Introduce Yourself 

It has to be the most obvious thing to do. When you meet someone in a professional setting or even otherwise, the first thing you must do is introduce yourself. Sending a random Hi or What’s up isn’t going to get you started with a conversation. At least not on LinkedIn. And, even if it does, it shows a lack of professionalism.

2. The Purpose Of Your Message

After you are done introducing yourself, explain in brief the reason why you messaged the person in the first place. A lot of people get tons of messages in their inboxes but they might just avoid them. When you put your purpose in the message, it gives the receiver an idea of what exactly you are looking forward to.

3. Do Not Ask For Whatsapp Number (Unless Required!) 

If you’re looking for new individuals to just chat with, LinkedIn is clearly not the place. When you ask someone their number, especially when the conversation has just started, you might end up giving a wrong impression. And, honestly, I feel most of the work can be discussed on LinkedIn or could be shared on email. You should be sharing numbers only when it is absolutely essential.

4. No SMS language 

Grammar isn’t everyone’s game but typing normally isn’t that difficult. Is it? Do not message someone like you are sending them a text message limited by a definite number of characters. Writing ‘U’ instead of ‘YOU’, or ‘NYC’ instead of ‘Nice’ gives a bad impression. Moreover, it could become the sole reason why someone might not want to respond to you at all.

5. Be Courteous and Patient

Some people do not check their LinkedIn messages everyday. They could be just going through them once or twice a week. If you have sent a message and the person does not reply immediately, do not simply jump to a conclusion and ask them to respond ASAP. Be patient and wait for their reply. If they take a while (say a few days or weeks) politely ask them to acknowledge your message.
That’s about it! Let’s be a little more cautious while communicating in a professional space.
Hope these tips helped!

Dear Younger Self

Dear younger self,

If I had to protect you from everything that is going to come your way, I would be logical with you. I would tell you not to go around trusting everyone who smiles at you and the world isn’t always a merryland. But, life isn’t a game and there is no winner. So, what’s the point of having a plan?

Instead, this is what I want you to know.

You are going to meet a lot of people in your way, and chances are, you’ll like all of them. And, it’s okay. I’m not telling you none of them aren’t worth the heart you put into them. I’m just giving a subtle warning that they might not offer you the same things in return. You’ll wish the world for them but they might not think of you even in their good times. It’s okay. You’ll be fine, irrespective.

You have a strange picture of the world in your head. You believe things are just that way. Maybe, they are. Who knows? A belief is a safe harbor and you’re lucky to have one. But, hey, if life takes a left instead of taking the right, do not panic. Sit back. Relax. You are going to be where you’re supposed to be.

You’re going to invest in the wrong places at the wrong time. Sometimes, even the wrong people. And, don’t be afraid of it. You are going to do it anyway and you must. Too many wrongs will teach you a solid right. You’ll learn things that’ll be exclusively meant for you.

You go to sleep with certain scenarios in your head. Some so ridiculous and sweet that they make you cry. Are they going to happen? I won’t tell you. But, here’s what you should know instead. Life is capable of going beyond your imagination and there is a possibility that it’ll give you a lot more than you’ll ask.

Love? It will come to you. Probably, not in the way you must have pictured it to.

There are also chances, that you’ll be fooled. Everything will feel so right that you’ll say – this is it. And, you might be mistaken. That will be an experience and it’ll teach you how to protect yourself.

And, love will be there. At your door. Chances are it’ll not be so obvious. Chances are you’ll not want to open the door because your belief will be cracked. But, listen to me. Open the door.

Always be crazy. Never foolish.

How To Get Noticed On Twitter 

To be honest, I have a love and hate relationship with Twitter for ages now. But, it indicates that I still keep going back to it. Twitter is a great place to find out what’s up with the world and also an ideal platform to make new connections.

There are more than 320 million people (last time I checked) on Twitter, so it shouldn’t be difficult to gain followers. Right? Unfortunately, it is.

One of the hardest things to do on Twitter is to get started. Some people struggle for ages to go beyond 100 followers while some make the jump in no time.

So, what is the first lot doing wrong? Well, if you want to gain more followers, you must get noticed. And, no I am not asking you to do publicity stunts for the sake of it. Just some simple social media knowledge can get you a handful of followers.
1. It all begins with your bio 

You might have a quirky handle (twitter username) but an empty or a poorly done bio can mess up the game. Tell people what you really do and keep immature stuff away if you want to show people you are on Twitter for real business.

2. Hashtags

You could be cringing when your friends use hashtags on social media but chances are they are doing it better than you. Using a hashtag in a tweet increases your chances of getting noticed. But, mind you, do not go overboard. Just one or two hashtags (relevant ones, obviously) are good.

3. Interact with like-minded users

Twitter is also about interacting with the right people and Twitter’s search tools make it way easier. Engage in a conversation that is about your interests or just see what people are talking about. It’s that simple.

4. Engage with brands

A lot of brands out there on Twitter look forward to connecting with the users. Mention a brand in your tweet. If you’re lucky, you might get a retweet. More views, more chances of new followers.

5. Follow the right tweeters

It’s like give and take for some. You follow them, they follow you back. But, wait, sometimes you get more than that. There have been times when I followed a new account and three similar users followed me back. Strange how Twitter works. But, let’s be grateful for it for now.

Well, that’s about it for now. Get tweeting and discover the world of Twitter. Good luck! 

​How I Edit My Travel Photos With VSCO 

To have a spectacular feed on Instagram, you definitely need spectacular photos. And, for that, you don’t have to necessarily have high-end equipment or software. A good photo is only a great edit away from becoming Instagram worthy.
This is how I edit my travel photos on my phone using VSCO. Used is a picture I had clicked from a moving bus while I was travelling in Switzerland. It was clicked using a Samsung Galaxy A7.

1. Exposure

First up, let’s be careful about the exposure. I usually play in the range of 0.5 to 1.5. But, it totally depends on the picture and the kind of mood you want to create.

2. Colors / Saturation 

Most pictures that I click using my phone have a decent color tone. However, I often experiment with saturation to see if it can get any better. Here, as you can see, the color is still dull. So, I’m going to increase it a bit.

You can definitely see the difference. The picture looks much more alive than before.

3. Sharpening

Since this picture was taken while I was in a moving bus, it is not completely sharp. So, I’m going to make it sharper using the sharpening tool. Do not sharpen it too much since that will make your picture look too artificial. Here, I’m making it somewhere around 2.5.

4. Filters

I absolutely love most of the filters on VSCO and they do a great job in creating the right mood. I usually use HB1, HB2, KK1 or M3.

Here, for this picture, I am going to use HB2.

You can also decide how strong you want the filter to be. I almost always reduce it a bit to make sure it still looks natural.

5. Fade

Fade is one of my most used tools because it gives the picture a very tumblr-ish look. But, you can skip this if you want the colors to look rich.

I’m going for a 7.6 for this picture. As you can see the colors are still looking rich and it has changed the mood of the picture to a great extent.

That’s pretty much it. I don’t use a lot of tools because it makes the picture look artificial. Another tool that I didn’t use here but I often do is the Crop tool. I use it when the picture is not symmetrical enough. But, again, it is totally subjective.

Here’s a before and after picture for you to see the changes.

All you need is a decent picture, a phone and VSCO!

Comment below if you like these tips and definitely share your methods.

​5 Practices That Will Help Your Writing

So, I get this a lot – How do you write so well? Though I often don’t have a structured answer to offer, I can’t say that I have no clue about how I improved my writing skills.
Honestly, it does take a lot of while and hence you have to be patient. It isn’t something that will make you go “VOILA! I DID IT.” Writing is never going to be a destination, it will always be something that you’ll keep getting better at.

So, in case you want to sharpen your writing skills or you want to probably just start writing, here are a few things you must do –

1. Up Your Grammar Game

You might or might not be a native English speaker. And, grammar has nothing to do with it. Until last year, I was pretty sure that my grammar skills were good. It was only after I took advanced grammar lessons that I realized I still had a long way to go. So, if you think your grammar is in a good state, I would suggest you to still brush up on it.

2. Write On Different Subjects 

Writing on various subjects could be difficult but trust me it really helps in the long run. If you love a certain subject, do not stick to it forever. Take a random subject and start writing on it. You don’t necessarily have to be acquainted with everything about it. Just write whatever you know, whatever you feel. Apart from that, writing based on different emotions is also a good exercise.

3. Study Writing Styles 

To do this, you should totally be random. Pick up literary classics, comics or contemporary fictions. Additionally, you could read articles on science, history or probably politics. This way you’ll learn about different writing techniques and that will help you to incorporate some of them in your writing. But, you gotta be an observer when you do this. Read like a writer.

4. Seek Feedback

A great way to know where you’re going wrong is to take feedback. Make someone read your words. I would suggest asking someone who is very straightforward with their feedback. Criticism definitely hurts. But, it helps you by great means to discard all your common writing errors.

5. Do Not Settle

You will always have a chance to improve your writing. So, if you are feeling too complacent right now, you’re not in a good position. Writing is something that needs a lot of time and it will probably never be perfect.

And, that’s okay! That’s how it works. Keep brushing up on your skills and I’m sure you will improve your writing skills soon.

We are done with words

There’s a letter for you that sits in my cupboard 

I wrote it the same night you said, “I guess there is nothing left to say.” That night, 

I rummaged through our memories to find all the things 

I could have said because I knew words could save us if nothing else. 

I remember, 

I wrote too much but it never felt enough. Words after words. Sentences after sentences. 

I wanted to tell you about the day you looked at my palms and said that they reminded you of someone. I asked you, “Who?” and you just smiled. 

I wanted to ask you what it meant when you said that you didn’t know what a safe place felt like. You said you did not know a place that isn’t dangerous. I was right there in front of you but you never noticed how determined I was to keep you safe. 
I wanted to ask you if you ever noticed how I always parted my hair to the right.

I wanted to ask you if you ever wanted to know what love meant to me. 
I wanted to ask you if ever felt “this is it.” Because, I did. So many times that it almost felt ridiculous. 

That night, with the letter, was a difficult pursuit. I was trying to deposit my emotions into the paper. So, I didn’t have to carry them once you were gone. 

IF you were gone. 

And, you were gone. And, I was left with paper cuts and half-cooked metaphors.

I’m still here with the letter and the loneliness these words feel has ruffled me for too long.

Long enough to make me wonder if you ever wanted to listen to what I had to say in the first place. 

The letter has always been incomplete because I have always had so much to tell you. 

But, today, as I stare at my palms something feels wrong. I think of you and it doesn’t feel like it. Today, for the first time, I feel we are done with words.