Monday, February 18, 2013

Dil Se with Chirag on Chaterpillar Newsletter Feb 2013 by Carmaconnect page :)

Dil Se with Chirag on Chaterpillar Newsletter Feb 2013 by Carmaconnect page

Dil Se with Chirag
About 2 months ago, the entrepreneurial world in Bangalore came to a standstill. News spread that Bangalore’s and maybe India's favourite ‘chai-man’ had met with an accident and was in a coma. I was part of that community that was shell-shocked and shattered. For those of you who know Chirag, you’ll know that’s he’s always full of life, always smiling and the perfect prototype for an entrepreneur.
This was supposed to be an interview, but there was no way to grab Chirag’s essence in a simple question and answer format. So this is just a conversation I had with Chirag, at his favourite and oldest Chaipatty in Indiranagar, over a cup of what else :)
The first thing we talked about was Chirag’s accident. Truth be told, he’s recovered tremendously. There are very few telltale signs from the accident. Chirag says there are three sides to this story. One is his version of it; the second what God was trying to tell him through this accident and the third what his family is telling him post the incident.
Chirag’s version is slightly sketchy because he doesn’t remember exactly what happened. All he knows is that the minute he was admitted in the hospital, doctors from AIIMS, Nimhans, and Vickram hospital rushed to his service. None of them charged him for their services and they were insistent that there shall be no surgery, for all of them felt this person was an example entrepreneur doing all good and well. Only medication, in time, would fix their Chirag. He was in a coma for 8 days. When he did open his eyes, he didn’t remember anything for the first one hour. Then slowly, he recognized his mum, dad and his sister. And slowly things came back to him but they stopped at the night the accident occurred. To this day, he doesn’t remember what transpired that night and how he ended up at the hospital. Forgetting 5yrs of life disillusioned his next 1 month but slowly surprisingly he remembered upto 98% and the neuroscience experts at the hospital also mentioned to him and his Dad that his memory is already within 2 weeks better and bigger by 5% than the best-est illusionist/author/scientist and so he should just slowly get more health and get back to his wonderful idea life and brand. His collar fracture also has fully recovered much early, telling his body was quite good fitness and recuperating wise. Dad and him were almost in tears but happy at the brightness of life and God's miracle.

What God was trying to tell Chirag was that he needs to start keeping a few things to himself. He’s always been very social (personally and for Chaipatty) and maybe that’s not necessarily always the best thing. He’s also had a sense of epiphany post the accident and he believes that God was trying to tell him to start focusing on Brand Chirag- the creator his own name – his book (a collaboration with Ruskin Bond or many others he has always appreciated), mementos, music (he’s going to start writing and recording songs), magazines and paintings/sketches. But bottom line for brand Chirag will always be to make people around him smile and enjoy life always.
Post the accident, his family has been telling him not to be a child anymore. They’re asking him to get ready to get married! But something in Chirag has changed. He questioned why this happened to him time and time again. Part of him has given up on love and heart though his love for fellow mates/humans like family or friends will get him back soon.
To avoid the awkward silence from growing, we start talking about his baby, Chaipatty. Chaipatty currently has 5 outlets across Bangalore(some are changing). The dream is to add 2-3 more by the end of 2013, post which Brand Chaipatty will move beyond Bangalore into Jaipur, Surat, Pune, Chandigarh and Delhi. Chirag is very keen on collaborating with people and setting up more.
His targets are astounding: 2014 first quarter add 5 more. After that add 10 outlets every year. That’s basically 100 outlets in India in the next 5 years. He then wants to add 3000 in 10 years outside India and 900 more in India. Some might be collaborations, some might be own set-ups. The theme of Chaipatty will remain the same across the world – a place to eat, shop Chaipatty products(fashion, artifacts) designed mostly personally by Chirag and participate in workshops (photography, salsa, cocktail-making, pottery, baking classes etc). In fact, Maggi is soon planning a worldwide collaboration with them – a new flavor called Maggi Chaipatty!
Chirag is also keen on expanding the menu at the current outlets. He wants to add pet food (for the pet-friendly mornings), more desserts (desi mithai to high end desserts – muffins, chocolates, ice cream and waffles, pancakes). He also wants to add a few more salads the menu to make it slightly diet friendly. Though all should remember the menu has been same and good for last 2 yrs and still is mostly what Chirag cook and taste well. Chaipatty is also planning to start their home delivery service within a few months (within 5 km of the outlet) from 9AM to 9:30PM.
As we wrapped up our conversation, and finished our second cup of tea, I asked him for this segment – a few tips to young entrepreneurs and this is what he said:
1) When you come up with an idea, don’t discuss it with toooo many people. They will add too many of their suggestions and it will dilute your idea. Discuss it with your immediate family and get their inputs, but not the whole world.
2) Do not involve too many partners. You only need people to help you. So get them involved but not as partners.
3) Identify collaborations with companies who are supportive and who will let you grow with them.
4) Get a team on board you believe in, not necessarily can afford! Money will always come later. But finding a team who believes in your vision is key.
5) Visibility vis-à-vis social media. Give time to your idea, spread it out to your market. It worked for Chaipatty and I’ve never spent a penny on marketing!
- Chirag in conversation with Medini Mangala and some additions by him for his blog :)

Saturday, May 19, 2012

A promise that begins and a promise to end..

A promise that started it all,
To be the one for you,
To be the only one that mattered;
Maybe only at times ur want mattered the most.

A promise to be the one , the only one to reach your soul,
Was it the bed, the sheets, the floor, Or the house, the day,
the moment or ur mindset, That left me used as a pit-stop.
When all u wanted was to wildly sin right before your vows.

A promise to keep holding hands never to let go,
the was it fame or the name or the secretly crazy possessive,
At times a Child's play odd attitude; Or was it the everyday
to make u feel secure dinners or the cafes,
The has-to-be weekly visit to settle insecurities;
Or the sad typical societal gold-digger in you that,
Left me unused unfelt with reasons vague for most but to me.

A promise to be together in coupledom infinite.
The midnight coupling rituals that would make up for everything odd in the day,
A day full of errands of a typical soon to be couple state of affairs,
Then was it me, my family, my way of life, my work preferences;
Or was it u and ur imaginary delusional world of a vegetative family,
Crude friends, ur demeaning acts of impulsive unimportance insignificance,
That was pitted against my close to perfection seeking egoistic way of life
expecting you to raise ur bar and aim at better make you leave me hanging for a while
To further insult with ur nonsensical indulgences...
You of all have dealt the final blow leaving em a Robot, lifeless,
e-motionless and wasted as one can be..

A promise to start it all,
And a promise that ends it and me...

Monday, October 12, 2009

Love one time but feels like lifetime....

I remember awfully one line from a random Shahrukh commercial one that fits this odd slightly high state poem of mine after being half a bottle of Rum down- Zindagi mein kai humsafar milenge par Humraahi hoga sirf ek. On the salsa front i only can say " I rather dance with you than talk with you".... A gibberish from a happy person feeling damn light and confident of his matters of the heart....

I think i have loved the very best
I think i want to have the very best
I can even gatecrash and steal if that's what it takes
Or have a stunner to go weak in the knees for me....

I know i am there in the big league
Running for my dreams but also getting them
So many great lovers i brush by
Not many though i get to live by

I still am a nice person at heart
Smiling each time i imagine me
Me with myself or somewhere up there
With a girl of my dreams or a new filler

Oh i mean no harm coz i am all simple
Out when it comes to love all i have is dimples
Get attracted by them or see deep inside my heart
& i will take u to a world u'l love from the start

I know i can love and be loved like never before
I know i can sweep u off ur feet i am too sure
All i know is i will have my share of love
From someone so amazing like d stars above

Once i get there, fight it and i find her
I will keep her for good let nothing matter
Whether it takes a gatecrash, a steal, one step or a million miles,
A war, a mission impossible but i will have her for the rest of our lives

And i so love her i so love her i soooooooo love her.... Well she is still to come and i shall wait until she's there.

Thursday, October 1, 2009

Butterflies- Titliyaan....

Funny sometimes how when u least expect something you get something tapping your shoulder as an opportunity. You get carried away let your guard down and when you least expect, it comes like a big “Thud“to you. Welcome to the worst place for mankind Earth my friend and welcome to the worst time to be here on it- The Nineteen Eighties to God knows when….

I wanted to keep this post for some time before I could convincingly put it up waiting for some more stabs before I label the angel the devil. Well I guess I got my last pinch of reality today and yes it still did turn me red but not with gladness but disgust and despair. I am the bloody object that is always the object and my right place is the floor. One cannot handle me too long in their hands, in their arms, they have to slam me down coz m an object, coz I don’t live and coz I am this big convenient fool who has “Sucker” written all over him. Am I so worthless, is this world really this shitty a place that's worth nothing, neither genuine hard work nor pure love.

Please see the transformation in this poem. Yes if u ask me, it was written twice….

Oh lovely little butterfly

Why don’t you ever stop by

Why do you come, tease and leave

Why don’t you ever stay back with me….

I didn’t choose to come to your garden

Luck brought me here by chance

Once here enchanted by you and your world

I vowed not to leave anything to circumstance

I was busy making my world work

The world that’s got the head as its boss

Trying all efforts to make it big in life

Throwing all the love & mush out for a toss

I still am a secret believer, a devotee of sorts

But this time neither did i wish nor a command

Then why did the universe react and gave in

To my “Oh I never knew I wanted that” demand

If same pinches were the ways to appreciate similarity

This person by now had turned me red all over

So much in pain (but still praying for more and more)

To see if it’s reality or just a hangover

We try to meet more and more, talk endless over the phone

Allowed some sins too- Was it senseless mingling

Thought we would get bored but our souls touched

In a losing battle to wake up, we went on dreaming

Dreams led to starch realities we wanted for us

Time passed and a day came when we had to part

We planned everything from when to where

Many questions asked but none of future or past

It was perfect this shadow of mine

So adorable my closest to real soulmate

Wish we stay together for ever and ever

When suddenly it came crashing down back to my old fate

We would never last, she said and when I asked why??

Because she given up and cant try for an arrangement

She had a past and that would now be her great future

Well what was I then- A pit stop entertainment????

I am wondering why I let this happen to me

If I am so good that I can be the one picked

Loved, used & thrown without any regret

Is it my fault for which I SHUD BE KICKED!!!!

Let me be your getaway from this odd life of yours, your respite in the mistakes that you made so far…. Let me be your bed where you can rest, cuddle, scavenge, fight, loose or win, get tired, sleep over it, rejuvenate and then jus walk off me leaving the sheets strewn, blots on the mattress and most of all, the pillow torn. Now that you are gone I feel so used, trampled, pitied sometimes sympathized, felt sorry for but left abandoned like a stray dog chasing a car….

Oh lovely little butterfly

Don’t you ever come by

Don’t you spoil my dreams turning them into nightmares?

Let me live all by myself happily alone if that’s how it’s meant to be

At least I will have a smile on my face and some peace in my mind.

Lastly to add some lines from my current favorite song- “Titliyan”

Dil tha, Khilona
Chalo toot gaya, Kya karein
Koi Saathi tha , jise chaha tha..
Wohi loot gaya, kya karein….

Aria my dear here's my Metaphysics from the Shadow to the Butterfly....

Tuesday, September 29, 2009

I just lost my shadow.. can someone turn on the lights please....

When he started out he was in this house something he had built with his own hands, brick by brick putting together some amazing ideas. Only problem was that it wasn't his own, it had other dwellers too who would rather sit back and wait for him to complete the building for them. He would not bother about all this knowing his will to take up a task single handedly and doing it with his heart. Too many cooks in the same curry would be something he never would approve of. He just loved to work and take up challenges and here it was a challenge to build it up from scratch like no one else cud do.

Somewhere in this whole task of putting together a foundation and a great place to be at, he forgot about his heart the very reason he lives. For he is not the kinds who thinks from the head or even works from there. All that he does is from the heart and even now he worked for the heart and from the heart. If his heart would be busy working when would it love or do anything to fill the vast stretch of loneliness that was slowly creeping into his world. He was unaware and all he did was ignore it even more to keep it from affecting him at all.

Then one day something happened, a figure dark though lovely appeared out of nowhere. He asked her who she was and why she was here? All she said was "I am a gypsy and i love to travel and to dance" I was passing by and thought i could see what you had here. Well he ignored her and put her up to one of the other owners to show her around. She went around the house and once she was done she again came by and just watched him work. He thought he could use a break and also host this guest who was otherwise not very willing to let go of her curiosity.

They went out and talked a bit. Finished it soon and got back. She left and he went into his usual work of building it up. They did this a couple or more times and he suddenly realized his heart was also good at a few more things than just working and that it was feeling left out on the love. The more he met her the more he would think how similar they were. She too had started feeling a certain way about him. It was now just a matter of time that they would both sit and enter the realms of contemplating what could be and what is....

She in the meanwhile also saw this amazing person in him who was selflessly trying to make the house work and stand as the best that stood. What she found him ignoring and in a way living with the fact that it was becoming more and more of a one man show. Day by day he was getting closer to the reality he dreamed for the house - the greatness and the amazing part was he wasn't even close to being a part owner. His dues were verbal than actual and there were these bystanders waiting for him to complete what he said he could and then they would take it away from him. The constant scheming had brought cracks in the foundation and he being on the inside was not seeing the outer perspective. Only she could see it. She wanted to tell him but then who was she to him and will he listen and go away with his selfless style. there were no guarantees. So she did this.

She met him more and more and made him realize a few things about them. They grew in love, so much that they took vows to be together no matter what. Yes she did promise him and he promised her to be together till the world lasts (or at least as per her till she lasts). He still worked but moreover spent time with her because he knew she didn't have much time. For him all that mattered now was her and being with her. And he did that every time he could. Then the day came she had to leave. She asked if he would be fine, if he would not loose it, he would be strong with himself and not bother whether the house stays or not. He promised her he would be fine and that he would come for her. He asked her if she would still wait for him, have trust in what they shared and make their dream a reality. She nodded and she hugged him tight. She left soon after....

He got back slowly to his life and work. For the first time he saw the big cracks the ones he never saw before and he remembered how she never let him know or feel the pain of knowing all he's done so far was about to fall apart. He felt remorse and he felt shattered. Thankfully for him he had this happiness in his heart now that she was there. She wasn't there with him but for him she was like his shadow one that was with him everywhere he went. She was the reason he still smiled and he still wanted to fight. His belief in the house had broken but his belief in the fact he could build it again this time for himself was strong and he vowed to make it happen for him and moreover for her, the reason he still stands....

Thanks to his shadow who leaves him with a reason much bigger to move on and make it happen in a bigger way for himself. All he desired now was her to be by his side not just as a bystander but as a part, a part he loved and a part he still feels a part of....

Like an object on the floor....

Been away thinking life had become easy though hard but it was more of challenges than let downs. Didn’t know I would be back so soon….

Like an object on the floor

You had your days of glory and fame,

Of people you could trust to carry your name

Suddenly u were stabbed and down everything came,

U had no one around to help but just yourself to blame.

U looked bruised like one who lost his game.

Given up the fight, hanging pointless in aim,

I offered to help to make everything the same

You lapped me up, your savior I became.

I worked hard and alone for many fortunes I had to claim,

Adding fresh colours to the fallen picture well all over again.

Just so that the one final day I eventually put in a frame

People would see my effort, the picturesque destiny I cud tame.

The results were there, rewards none and the excuses lame.

Silent scheming, plans of deceit & efforts to maim,

Letting all my achievements go down in flames

Calling me a showoff.. My head down in shame..

Not because what I did for you went down in vain,

But for being someone u could use & throw away when in gain.

Not recognizing the sacrifice nor the months of pain

Treating me like an object on the floor one that can never complain….

Thursday, March 5, 2009

Its been a while since i could hear my own voice again....

Well to be precise i have quit my job. Salsa is the new reason to smile and keeps me going. Some new hiccups and lots of delusional stuff but then i guess the timing couldn't be better to start all over gain and re-invent what the world calls as "Chirag".

To begin with my silence over all that's happening and my reaction to it as well here is a small passing by thought....

Its been a while since i felt this alone
Alone though with so much happening around
Life of all sorts- sweet & nice, irritating yet distracting
Keeping me engrossed every single day & night

Life that is like two worlds for me
Balanced finely along one another
One incomplete, unfulfilled without the other
One filling the stomach, the other the heart

It always happens that one world goes down
The other somehow trying to stabilize
Pulling both up isnt easy and i sometimes fumble
Get bruised, abandoned, left alone to cry, wake up alone

There is so much more to do and never enough to say
Every moment that passes by i wonder why
I end up changing my house or the paint on my walls
Why i change my pair of shades every time i need to look up????

I wish i can tell someone that i live, i like to laugh
That i too fall down and that i don't need anyone's support
But once i am up i need you not to stare me in the face
Rather look pleased at my return and hug me tight....

Wish you didn't run away at the first sight of my fall. Its just a matter of time i stood up and never looked better. Only if you had waited....