Thursday, March 28, 2013

Short Story by Vishnu Doerga: Unlimited Potential

This is a guest post by Vishnu Doerga

My first attempt at short story writing! - complete story. Each line goes as deep as you want it to.
Once upon a time, on a beach called 63, a group of friends were enjoying the sandy shores.
One decides to enter the coffee colored waters in order to escape the sweltering heat. Being a non-swimmer, she chooses to carefully venture deeper, still standing on firm ground.
Suddenly....a steep drop, she goes under...soft, fluffy mud is all she feels below her feet.
Her friends, still standing on shore, now become aware of her predicament.
Now this is where it gets interesting...
Would our friend prefer her closest companion, a non-swimmer, such as herself or the best swimmer in the group to come to her rescue?
The choice, on her part, seems logical. However, at this point, logics fly out the door. Human relationships kick in...has she ever hurt the best swimmer? If so, how deep did the hurt go?
Back on shore, her closest companion goes into a frantic panic, knowing he can't swim as well. Going into the water will most likely cost his life as well.
With no other groups nearby, these friends look at each other, looking for one to volunteer.
The best and probably the only swimmer in the lot suddenly starts seeing flashbacks of the hurt inflicted over the years. Very deep hurt indeed. Is this faith?
A second passes.
The swimmer quickly realizes that her skill, her talent, perfected through hard work with the blessings of the divine, may have been hers for this very day.
Into the water she speeds, heading for an outstretched, disappearing hand. She returns dragging a shaken, still conscious soul back to shore.
Our shaken friend looks around and breaks down in tears realizing the fragility of life. Her faith lay in the hands of one she hurt deeply.
She wonders.....would I have been able to do the same?
Established human nature is a female dog.
Persons prefer to follow or befriend those like themselves. This is the easiest and definitely more fun option.
Nothing in this world worth having, comes easy!
Learning to swim, while others partied is definitely a skill worth having. A skill that can not be learned whilst drowning.
This short story plays out everyday with and around us. Realizing what is important and what really needs to be done is the trick to avoiding life/career/financial/family/etc threatening situations.
The story could have gone a different route if our swimmer had looked the other way. This is something we all do, everyday. We look away from those in need. We keep our skills to ourselves and those willing to pay in one form or the other.
This can not be right!!
We are all born with unlimited potential. The time and effort we put into unlocking our potential in any particular area should serve as an inspiration to those searching souls. Our skills should be given where and when needed in as high a volume as required and possible.
Our choices, many times, resemble the results of popularity contests. Popular persons will always feed you what you like to consume. This is how they stay popular. When you need the 'populars' they are more often than not, unavailable.
Respect the skilled ones who tell you what you need to hear instead of what sounds nice. This way you have the data available to make better choices.
The question facing our victim, faces us everyday. Would we choose to place our faith in popular hands or in skilled hands?
Popular and skilled is very rare.
Hope my attempt at a short story makes you think about your choices. And help you make better ones.

Vishnu Doerga is the Director of The Best Management Company and Owner of Venu Shopping Centre.
Director Profile
Mr. Vishnu KPV Doerga, DME, MBA. –
Short Bio Data – Chamber of Commerce
Mr. Doerga is a member of the Georgetown Chamber of Commerce and Industry (GCCI) and Secretary/Immediate Past President of the Upper Corentyne Chamber of Commerce & Industry (UCCCI). After joining the UCCCI in 2003 he held several executive posts, becoming President in 2010 at the age of 29. He was awarded the Georgetown Chamber of Commerce & Industry, Young Business Executive Award 2011, in recognition of his demonstration of ambition, skill, vision and tangible business success.
Mr. Doerga is qualified in several fields including Engineering and Business Administration and is currently preparing to pursue his Doctorate in Business Administration (DBA). Mr. Doerga is also a director/business consultant with Doerga Business Enterprises.
Mr. Doerga plays an active role in Private Sector Development making representation in among others, the Education (TVET Council), Health (BRHA board), Energy (ESG), Infrastructure (ISG) and Employment (SKYE EAG) sectors.
Mr. Doerga has represented the private sector as an Association of Regional Chambers of Commerce (ARCC) executive and Private Sector Commission (PSC) council member.

Thanks for sharing this inspirational story with us.

Monday, March 11, 2013

A musical mirage

Do we really know our partners before we make a lifelong commitment? How many of us take our partners at face value? We look at the exterior, a beautiful body, a great family, fancy cars, big houses, lavish lifestyles and popular circles. Do we ever look beyond, into the soul, into the darkest and deepest corners of another’s persona?

Photo courtesy Stealth Productions/Photographer: Sunil Persaud

Donald Andrews and Neil Anthony Bacchus of Stealth Productions, wrapped their creative minds around a very taboo subject in our Caribbean Community. In today’s “feel good” society we often tend to sweep heavy topics and unpopular dialogue out by the grass corner. In music, artists are encouraged to write and produce more of similar material that the public divulge in droves. How many more ways can one thing be said? Or is it, that we are too busy suffocating our own emotions, that we could care less for anything else?

Who are we in this world, if we cannot care for the perils of our fellow human kind? Our time and energies are taken up focusing only on what we see on the surface. Whatever we don’t see or comes to our doorstep is not our concern. But what happens when that concern is on our doorstep. What do we do? Do we turn away and sweep it out to the grass and hope someone else will take out the trash? Or do we open our eyes and deal with the issues?

I had the honor of talking for a few minutes with Donald Andrews, who wrote, sang, and performed this song. Here is an excerpt from our conversation:

Eric: What was your inspiration for writing this song?
Donald: This song was written two years ago with the intention of entering the Trinidad Chutney Soca Monach Competitions, in collaboration with Big Rich and the Pungalunks Factory. But the promoters decided that the subject was not ready for prime time. I felt that there had to be a more constructive way of approaching the issue.
Eric: Why did you choose to showcase this issue in the manner you did?
Donald: This is a very gender neutral issue. It can happen to anyone. However, given the scores of women issues that get suffocated, I felt that this was my way of bringing light to the subject.
Eric: You’ve been in the business a while, why tackle this issue now?
Donald: When I started out a long time ago, being the front man for Gemini Band, we tore up the New York music scene. We brought it everytime to clubs and shows. As time went on, I gravitated to gospel music and my fate. Now in a subtle nudge I think our community needs to pay attention to some of these social issues that affect us.
Eric: What do you hope to achieve with this song and video?
Donald: I am in no way an activist. Neither do I intend to take a hard stance on the topic. But I wish for our community to recognize that there are two sides to every story and sometimes the untold is the truth. What we hide in our bedrooms and closets are more damaging than what we face everyday. I think we can do better as a society.

Go Download the song for FREE on Donald Andrews SoundCloud HERE.

In dialogue with Tony about his direction for this video, I came to realize the artistic and responsive talent of a young man that is rare in the music industry. Many people would take the negative angle of depicting this issue for it’s big, bold, knock over the head sensationalism. However, Tony was determined to not showcase a derogatory side but let the audience read between the lines. The stage-set for this video is very simple but purposeful. If you look very closely there are subtle signs that tells the story. There is nothing in the scenes that are happenstance, every item and movement carries a line in the narrative. Notice the three candles? What do they mean? How about the artist rendering? Why? Visualize the camera angles that tell a story through smoke scenes.

Photo courtesy Stealth Productions/Photographer: Sunil Persaud

Like most of Stealth Productions projects, this also holds true to carrying a positive meaningful message to our Caribbean Community. As is said in their website Welcome message,  “We take pride in our work and we intend to uphold our reputation on the scruples that the company was built on, integrity.” Those are difficult words to live by in this world of insatiable desire for regurgitating music. The current trend in West Indian music is this butchering of classical music, remixing 5 songs to make one, overlaying words on music that is timeless, singing pieces of Indian music that translates to nothing in particular and blending it all into one. This practice has it’s place if done tactfully and respectfully. Stealth Productions seeks some form of originality, modern, cutting edge music that carries an impactful stamp.

Photo courtesy Stealth Productions/Photographer: Sunil Persaud

Who is the “She” in She’s Ah Drinka video? Former New York catalog model Rachel Persaud signed on to showcase the hush side. An excerpt from our conversation:

Eric: Why did you choose to participate in this project?
Rachel: The subject matter was very attractive. I wanted to be a part of showing how my younger generation is taking the perils of older generations to a more liberal level.
Eric: Why do you think that the younger generation is more liberal?
Rachel: We grow up with more open socializing, hanging out, clubbing, and other activities. This encourages us to indulge in questionable behavior at a young age. While most of this behavior is accepted in males, females are the same participants. But females are never assigned any responsibility.
Eric: Are you taking a hard stance against this issue?
Rachel: I am hoping to raise awareness that there are two sides to this issue and encouraging others to take a look at themselves.
Eric: Why choose to appear in a music video over catalog modeling?
Rachel: The video content is very appealing. I feel that this video carries a message that needs to resonate with my generation.

Often in our Caribbean Community we tend to shy away from social issues even though they consume our daily lives. The people who take on these challenges are brave and sometimes shunned. When we take a stand, whether hard or soft, we are marginalized. Yet there are outcries when major disaster strikes on our doorstep. Are we ever going to stop and think? Are we ever going to take a stand? Are we ever going to acknowledge and recognize the signs? Are we ever going to reach out and extend a hand to our fellow mankind? Tony, Donald, and Rachel did? Are you going to follow? 

Go Check out and Share the Stealth Productions YouTube video for She’s Ah Drinka HERE.

Grant me the serenity
to accept the things I cannot change;
courage to change the things I can;
and wisdom to know the difference.                        
--Reinhold Niebuhr