Gaurav Julka

The Heart can Articulate. Enunciate. Speak.

Singapore Writers Festival – A Volunteer’s Insight.

leave a comment »


Singapore Writers Festival was organized by NAC (National Arts Council) of Singapore from 31st October to 9th November 2014 and to my surprise I volunteered for this event.

Volunteering in Singapore was on my 2014 List and it was in fact in May or June of this year when I signed up for this festival. The surprise was that I actually went through, ad mist the most busy week of November, right after a sleepless night at Westin Hotel; I actually made it through two days of awesomeness.

First up I was really impressed by the sheer number of Authors that were engaged during the event [Authors and Speakers] and then I was simply enchanted on how they kept a strong focus on vernacular literature.

Day 1 of Volunteerism –  8th November: The volunteer responsible (a super cute girl) made an innocent assumption that I understood Tamil and assigned me a ‘room manager’ responsibility to all workshops and panels being held in Tamil for the day. I think I know more Chinese words than I know of Tamil but it was acceptable and logical. I took up the innocent challenge and it turned out to be amazing. I met some incredibly famous authors from India like Leena, Indra and many legacy writers from Singapore like Latha and AK Vardharajan. In fact authors like Kamladevi (Singapore) appreciated my participation in the events even though I was not able to understand anything. To be honest, they had no clue till almost the lunch session commenced, I would give an ‘Indian Nod’ to everything I was quizzed on.

The Saturday night ended at 8:30PM with my drifting home along with a McDonalds meal. When I put myself to bed, I had not slept for 38+hours. It was EPIC.

Day 2 of Volunteerism – 9th November: The Volunteer responsible was kind enough to give me an afternoon shift and let me sleep the entire morning. I reported at NLB, Bugis at 1:30PM only to end up having an enchanting Indian Lunch and within minutes I was assigned to Book Signing IC at Festive Pavilion which was in SMU. The first book signing queue I was managing was of Paul Theroux - Awesome right? ;) – Following this, I met many other authors that were book signing on 9th November.

Between 5:30PM to 6:00PM I was free and was allowed to roam around, instead I attended a panel discussion between Leena Manimekalai and Catherine Lim on Feminism. What followed was a series of inspiration conversations with Leena and Catherine because right after the panel discussion they proceeded for their book signing which I was helping out with. Of course this inspirational sprint requires a dedicated blog post on http://fortitudeandchoices.wordpress.com/  - how I wish I had more time to simply converse with these inspiring ladies.

The night wasn’t over yet. Next up: I took the responsibility to be a door bitch at SWF 2014 Closing party, I would check if every person entering the area is a featured author or an invited guest. It was quite unique experience, I had a glass of wine in my hand would toast it out to all the authors. Ah that’s so geeky of me.

This was followed by a bunch of volunteers and organizers drinking together (Whisky + Wine), also met the Director of the festival, Mr. Paul Tan, an interesting person. I thought he was humble, people thought otherwise.

Overall, it was a good experience, I think I will volunteer again next year :D

Checkout the complete Gallery on SWF Website.

Written by Gaurav Julka

November 15, 2014 at 1:04 AM

#NaNoWrimo is Coming | Holiday is about to End.

leave a comment »


Talk about mood swings. Exciting times are up ahead but I don’t wanna move on yet. I’m home, Dehradun, ready to fly back to Singapore in less than 72hours which would lead to some real exciting times with #NaNoWrimo , Singapore Writer’s Fest, Electrolux’s Annual Dinner and Dance, All the killer party scenes  at Clake Quay and my kick-ass work but I’m home.

Hills of Dehradun are extraordinary but one cannot beat the awesomeness of simply being home and being fed in the bed with all comforts; then there’s that Singapore’s Writers Fest where I’m a volunteer for two days and even responsible for a room during author sessions and panels.

There’s family here, own home and few friends that remind of who you truly are, where you come from; but then there’s #NaNoWriMo Singapore that I really want to be a part of this year and complete the challenge.

There’s being content here, there’s awesomeness there.

There’s comfort here, hardship and passion there.

Home Country, A Friendly Host

Togetherness, Loneliness

Lazy, Busy

We, I

Written by Gaurav Julka

October 30, 2014 at 5:10 AM

Someone once told me.

leave a comment »


It was just another day in the queen of hills, Mussoorie; I was drifting along the mall road when I came across a momo stand right next to the school with bottle green exteriors. That day would have been just about the awe-inspiring momos if I hadn’t met him.

I don’t remember much from our conversation, 1o years indeed is a long time but I do remember him whispering the following in my ears, “Someone once told me,  95% of a writer’s content is never published and it is this 95% which comes directly from his heart, not from his pen

It is now, 10 years later that I understand what he meant. Obviously, years ago I had no interest in writing or publishing a book that I would believe came right from my heart  (thought I did write my first poetry almost 12 years ago).

I published my ‘first writing experiment’ on Amazon in 2013 (which didn’t really catch any friction); I have been planning to publish my second work which I have co-authored with the gorgeous Maitri Sisodia for a long time now, the only problem we’re facing is: WE DO NOT HAVE A PUBLISHER but that does not demotivate us, we understand that there are better authors and writers out there, we might be far behind in the ‘race’ but that’s no reason not to write!

So, it doesn’t matter whether what I write is categorized as the gem 5% or stacks itself in the 95% category, all that matters is that I WRITE because I love doing it.

Coming soon…An Anthology of Contemporary Cheerharan

Btw. I’m not sure but I think that ‘Someone’ quoted him was Ruskin Bond.

Written by Gaurav Julka

April 30, 2014 at 9:50 PM

25 Before 25 | Make your own kind of Music

leave a comment »


There’s this one small thing I have to do before this Sunday ends; 3.5 years ago I wrote a list of things I wanted to achieve and experience. And it was then when I promised myself that I will be spending the next two hours reliving my experiences.

Most of my friends are aware that I have themes for each year, it’s the jazzy version of a vision. My themes for previous years:

2010:  #IgottaFeeling

2011: Travel

2012: Don’t settle for anything less. Period

2013: Make life an offer that even life cannot refuse. Read more: 2013

2014: Attitude and Fortitude to make the impossible, nothing! Read more: 2014

These past 5 years have been an amazing journey for me; of course, there were both good times and bad times but I always felt content of who I was at the end of every year.

Following are the 25 things I wanted to do before I was 25: (these were written in April 2011)

1. Visit 25 Countries before I am 25.

I did 21 Countries (but I have been to China – Twice, Hong Kong – Thrice, Malaysia – Gazillion times) So I guess, it’s a GREEN.

2. Visit Egypt, Indonesia, Japan, Brazil, Colombia & Nepal.

Egypt, Indonesia, Japan — Done | Brazil, Colombia and Nepal — To be continued ;) — Amber

3. Walk on the streets of NYC and SING..”When your in NEW YORK” after getting super drunk at a cheap bar

Fail (I never visited NYC) – RED

4. Go to South Carolina and play on the River Court of One Tree Hill Or Meet anyone ONE TREE HILL Character.

Fail (I never did go to the US) – RED

5. Trend a Topic On Twitter.

Done. #BigLilCity ;)  – GREEN

6. Appear live on Radio or Television.

Done. Big 92.3 FM, Baroda, 2012. — GREEN

7. Have a draft of my first novel/book ready. May be published?

Done. You might wanna buy it from Amazon ;)The Creed of Julian Dalbert | 2nd book in progress. — GREEN.

A Manifesto

A Manifesto

8. Have two degrees/diplomas and be enrolled for the Third.

Well, I have one degree now. Technically, I’m also enrolled to a Masters in Mass Communications and Journalism :P — Amber.

9. Have Read over 150 Novels/Books since 2010.

I think I’m on 139th of something; I really do not have an exact track — Amber

Read.

10. Contributed to at least three different  social causes.

Done. Child Rights (Worked for Smile Foundation), Peace (volunteered for Aman Ki Asha), Women Sexual Empowerment (An Anthology coming soon) — GREEN

11. Still be best friends with Ayushee Mishra.

I guess, I’m ;) — GREEN

Best Friends

12. Learn at least one Foreign language.

Fail. I do know some Chinese words? XiaXia ? No. — RED

13. Take my parents on a trip abroad or Call them to wherever I am | Make parents proud of who I am today.

They will always be proud of who I’m. — GREEN

14. Have a project in the market of my own. Can be a fully owned website (blog) or an app or anything.

I have four blogs, one website, one book on Amazon, few blackberry themes with 100k downloads — GREEN baby!

15.<Encrypted> (some wishes cannot be public, you see)

Ssshh. Let’s quietly mark it, Amber.

16.After a special Success, Get Drunk, Get Wet and Dance on the song “Stand up for the Champions”with my special people.

Done. Like many times! — GREEN

17. Have had Worked for at least two amazing companies.

Done. ONGC, Electrolux — GREEN

18. Play full 18 holes of a Golf Course with Dad. Possibly hit a birdie :P

I was freaking ambitious back then wasn’t I? — RED

19. Have had achieved all levels of  Maslows Hierarchy.

GREEN (Of course Duh!)

20.  Celebrate at least one festival( each year) back home. Have a amazing family time.

Holi – 2012, Holi 2013, Diwali 2013 — Check — GREEN.

21. Skydive, scubadive, Infinity pool, Bungee Jumping, Submarine ride,  a one day trek, learn how to drive a car, Hot air balloon. Do at least ( 5/9)

Hot air balloon, Infinity Pool, Bungee Jumping, One day trek — Check. Others, to be continued! — Amber.

(Yes, I do not know how to drive a car)

22. Attend Ocktober Fest or Sunburn or A Halloween Parade or The Famous Brazilian Parade.

Fail. But I did attend ZoukOut (similar to SunBurn) –to be continued — RED

23. Go on a crazy road trip with friends and Go to Wagah Border (and Golden temple)

Done. Road Trip to Amritsar, Roadtrip in Malaysia. — GREEN.

24. Get hair cuts in Random countries.

Done. Egypt, Cambodia, Vietnam, Singapore, Malaysia. — GREEN.

25. Stand at one of my favorite places in the world and read this list on 17th March 2014. Mark it Red, Yellow, Green :)

Sitting can? It was a long list. Yes, I’m at one of my favorite places in the world, Bishan Park (Singapore). — GREEN

Clearly, my past 3 years didn’t really work out as I thought they would (most of it did right?) but you know what, it’s doesn’t matter anymore. I perhaps did 25 things which I never thought I would do, I perhaps experienced many more awe-inspiring experiences that I could have never thought of.

I think it’s amazing to plan and experience how your life unfolds (and I will soon be writing by 30 before 30) but it’s also important to understand whatever happens we must learn to enjoy.

I know next five years might bring some real though times but I guess I’m ready because I have the attitude and fortitude to make any impossible, nothing

You gotta make your own kind of music ;)

You can read the raw text written years ago here: 25 Things before I’m 25 (you would need a password)

Written by Gaurav Julka

March 16, 2014 at 8:33 PM

What makes you feel complete? A travel journal.

leave a comment »


Love is that distinct memory from your past that once made you feel complete.

And I have tons of those; like the one…when I was eating Butterscotch Ice cream and walking hands in hands with a girl in the middle of a basketball court of some university in Nairobi,Kenya. I ended up playing a  basketball game with some really cool Kenyans :)

Or the time I drove us (on a motor bike) from District 1 to District 7 of Ho Chi Minh City at roughly 2:30 am in the night after consuming at least few liters of beers, a sheesha and few 30ml Whiskey on the rocks.  Trust me, I didn’t feel an inch of alcohol in me, I was rather high with the idea of falling in love with her. (Please don’t drink and drive)

I can list them all but that’s exactly not the point; I recently lost my travel diary of 2013, I had traveled to 7 countries last year and had documented every amazing memory in that shiny bundled bunch of paper but now it’s all lost. It did make me feel a little sad but eventually I realized I have them all right here in my head and if not the head, it’s in my heart.

I will start writing a new travel log diary for 2014 and I will keep blogging my stories but that won’t change the fact that every legendary memory of love will be written in ink straight into the hard coded memory of my heart.

Because it was these moments when I felt complete and it’s these moments I would like to think about before it all ends.

Written by Gaurav Julka

March 1, 2014 at 11:46 AM

Thank you Steve Jobs; I had an awesome Sunday!

leave a comment »

Written by Gaurav Julka

January 20, 2014 at 7:12 PM

2013: 10 things I wanted to do.

leave a comment »


A perfect way to live; create a list of things you want to do, find ways of how you wanna do it, live in sprints, reflect and consolidate the sprints by the end of the month, make a life — feeling Geeky & Reflective.

Yes that sounds like “Project Management”; it actually is.

Scrum_processIt’s called the Scrum Process (or Scrum style of Project Management or Scrum (agile) SDLC).

I think it’s an apt way of living life;  it’s controlled yet drives you towards the infinite, it’s dreamy yet you can track your achievements, it’s planning your future yet living in your present. It makes you feel ‘balanced’ in life.

Last year on 30th December 2013 I wrote a blog post called “10 small things I want to do in 2013″

I will now begin my reflective journey and start consolidating my sprints in the year 2013. I know I have almost completed every thing I mentioned on the list of 2013 (except traveling to Vietnam – I still have 13 days to go) but the question is: Have I really lived 2013?

 

Written by Gaurav Julka

December 17, 2013 at 9:11 AM

Follow

Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

Join 5,027 other followers

%d bloggers like this: