(Because you will find yourself wanting to do this soon. Or so we hope.)
In democracies, a SHOUT! from the people, can change everything.
Our SHOUT! was born in the world’s most populous and therefore, largest democracy on Earth – India. When a billion voices rise up in chorus, the planet generates one large SHOUT!. Every so often, that is the very thing that saves it, changes it or makes it better. Something matters to us all. We may let it out. We may let it in. We may let it linger, sooner or later determining whether to internalize, intellectualize, emphasize or externalize it. But it’s always there. Individual, intrinsic, an integral part of the whole. SHOUT! is for everything that matters. To anyone. An experience, a feeling, a flight of fancy, a state of mind, a piece of mind, a conversation, a question and may be even a petition.
With 21 categories, we’ve created a universe of diverse characters – celestial and living beings – that could be anyone. Any one of us, really. They come with a background, baggage and beliefs. They come with a story. As time moves and speeds and slows, their story builds. In response to prevalent conditions, in their survival in a shifting landscape, in moments of nostalgia and reflection, a narrative forms. It is autobiographical, true to life, relevant and resounding. Enchantingly, it is a thread that binds us all. And collectively they span the entire spectrum of broadly: the arts, sport, food, design, science, architecture, photography, culture, politics, ethics, economics, environment, business, society, family, health, law, mythology, fashion, technology, education, travel and history. When there’s place for more, if the need arises, there will be more.
Either you will identity yourself as one of the 20 or for different reasons, in different seasons, you will see yourself unfold in select episodes across our gamut of categories. You have been this person, in this place, you have felt this feeling, you have held this opinion, you have had this conversation, you have needed to say this and you are relieved it has been said.
A SHOUT! as any SHOUT! should be.
This is your release.
Our journalism is rooted in the virtue of empathy.
The action of understanding, being aware of, being sensitive to, and vicariously experiencing the feelings, thoughts, and experience of another of either the past or present.
Quality journalism is an abstract concept.
The quality of empathy drives the quality we strive to deliver to you.
Like art, it’s hard to explain. Like art, it’s hard to define. Like art, you have to feel this variety of lives. For the proof is in the pudding. Like art, it warms you on the inside. Like art, it’s what makes us better as humans. More connected. More a network than severed fragments. More friends than foes. Like art, It’s what makes the world better. More home than hostel.
And we have the capacity to home deliver that quality.
The question is, do you have the capacity to receive it?
We can answer that in the affirmative.
Only because everyone loves a good pudding.
WHAT PROMPTED US TO SHOUT!?
Journalism is responsible for inspiring, informing and arguably, inciting the public. To our misfortune, the media was failing to fill those three functions simultaneously, correctly and entertainingly.
It was simple.
We needed to be that missing link.
Switch a bulb on here,
Shine the light there,
Spark a debate,
Make the good glisten,
Take a lesson,
Fan a flame, douse another,
Arouse a sleepyhead,
Spearhead a movement that needs moving – a cause that seems lost,
Perhaps, the revival of the fourth estate.
Disrupt the status quo with fresh storytelling.
We’re the mavericks in this business of stories. Somewhere, we saw the need to dispense with traditional wisdom – the trusted formulae – to create something entirely new. In breaking the rules, we will most definitely irk, provoke or even stroke someone (figuratively of course…we’re not militants). But that’s the point. We SHOUT!. You SHOUT!. And bam, we’re all involved.
Everyday gladiators exist amongst us all. They’re battling something and every so often, someone every day. There’s something to be said about these ‘someone’s and ‘something’s; their battles and bruises and burns; their fears and failures and findings; their memories and motivations; their sensitivities and solitude and sympathies; their need and greed and speed; their work and words and worth – a significance lost in the clamour of everyday living. SHOUT! recognizes their place and gives them their due – space: an outlet; a release; a piece.
That’s the vacant space the media was always meant to fill. With us. with truth. With an ordinary that’s worth everything. Quality journalism is an honest representation of the real. It’s a read, a listen and a look into our hearts, minds and souls from a body that can hold and draw on that pen, voice and vision.
And, with that constructive non-conformity, we move into situations, into lives, discovering what’s new, what’s different, what’s within, even inviting ourselves to be wrong about something (why, with human instincts, ideologies and sentiments all over the place…we can’t be right all the time and that’s perfectly alright). It’s the starting point. The point of confluence where empathy is born to share and receive a story.
Our mission is to tell stories that evoke empathy.
Our mission is to tell stories that make you come alive.
WHO ARE WE?
SHOUT! comprises a tricky bunch of millennials.
They can look right through the whole world that isn’t their own. And look straight into your eyes and see your soul.
They feel deeply. But they also laugh heartily about the things they feel deeply about.
Humour in the face of a storm.
Ease in tense situations.
A sudden sensitivity to that which has been ignored.
A vulnerability we have now come to recognize as strength.
An urgency to makes sense of what is going on in the world.
Passionate to preserve the past, clued into the moment and hopeful, to a fault, about the future.
If the world is at a crossroads, as it always is,
they are the point of change.
And the point of change is to grow; to show up for yourself; to show up for what’s right and what can be made better; to show up for those that could use a hand and a presence; to express yourself; to be an example of what’s possible; to test and push the limits of human thought, ambition, empathy, differences and consensus.
When we had somewhat put ourselves together, we pushed the button. And SHOUT! was born.
We don’t believe everything. But we do believe in a lot of things. Because belief is a birth right. To articulate it, is a sense of duty. To listen to a voice that isn’t your own is respect. To agree or disagree with it is a choice. We make those choices every day, amongst ourselves. And through our many beliefs, senses, perspectives, interpretations and imaginations; through our shared ability to empathize with any and many and someday, all, we put forth a piece constructed with words and art and voice.
The SHOUT! Squad is made up of writers, illustrators, voice artists, coders, graphic designers, photographers, content contributors and mentors for each category, legal advisors, coffeemakers (the friendliest staff ever at the nearest Starbucks that is clued into every team meeting – our banter, quarrels, calls for truce, brainwaves, bizarre waves, impossible waves and details of the network) and tea breakers (those that cut chai to produce cutting chai), financial advisors (unhappy ones because we don’t make much) and some incredibly well-informed members of the public that ambush us with amazing reads to teach us how stories are told. If we ever get there, it will only ever be with heart, with art and a voice that soothes when it SHOUT!s.
We hope someday to be made up of you.
Give us a try. Give us a SHOUT!
Then, you’re us.
And we are you.
Together, sounder, louder, more than ever.
WHERE DO WE WANT TO GO FROM HERE?
That’s when a SHOUT! has really made it.
When it’s launched from a rooftop and travels across the world.
Perhaps, swings by space even.
Because our stories come from an assortment of settings:
Grimy, little shanties in urban cities,
Fancy cars zipping past the same ones,
A peculiar vehicle on an intergalactic pilgrimage,
Somewhere under the sea,
An island or the human embodiment of it,
The oldest libraries with invaluable treasures,
Histories of war and blood and strife and suddenness – traversing transformations triggered by victory or defeat,
Jungles and backwaters and open fields and arenas where wild things live and learn and labour to compete, survive and thrive,
Irish Mountains with aromas that nourish,
A sight worth saving,
Workspaces that hold dreams and desserts where dreams aren’t deserted,
Small towns where people gather to gain grand wisdom preserved for centuries,
Courtrooms sheltering, breeding and humouring unresolved disputes, unearthing ambiguities and witnessing irreconcilable differences,
Ramps with displays that break the rules and help us rise to the occasion and above,
Difficult anatomies experiencing some very worrisome fluctuations,
Brains and bodies in repair, brains and bodies being nourished, brains and bodies recharged,
Writing desks with stationery that never runs out,
An entangled world that has yet to answer many questions.
They should reach every thinking, feeling, sane, insane, sunny, shady, seen, unheard of but interested – impossibly nosy, deeply empathetic, curious corner of the world.
And when it does. When a SHOUT! has been tossed and has fallen on the ears of:
a young, aspiring entrepreneur,
a seasoned industrialist,
a chef sprinkling just the right amount of seasoning or a freshman still acquiring a taste for flavours,
a woman running the house,
a man running the home,
a couple raising their kids, fighting the odds, founding a new,
a teacher that believes in education,
a student that does not,
a wallflower in a court of law, an observer whose innermost self is sardonic as sin when it finally finds expression,
a victim of abuse,
a victim of circumstance,
someone who messed up,
someone who’s trying to make amends,
a campaigner for rights and justice and causes,
a recluse crying for the dying hope of a better day,
an ascetic praying for a better day,
a photographer who captures what must be,
a reader who’d save every library and every bookstore in the world because words cannot do justice to the pleasures of a good book house. Ironically.,
thinkers that are considerate and compassionate and completely clued in,
idealists that believe,
escapists that veer,
the rational that see reason and the need for a presence,
enthusiasts that make things happen,
wanderers in a trance,
realists shaking everyone awake,
cynics killing the joy,
and optimists bringing it back,
a professor of history who has grown weary of being ‘merely’ enlightened and is desperate to get in and play his part in the past,
a professor so convinced of the need of a transformation in education that he wishes to play his part in the present,
someone preserving yesterday and witnessing today for the future to look back and see how far it has come,
a sometimes worried, sometimes despondent, sometimes positive and always driven environmentalist,
Teenage girls drifting and dreaming, awestruck by the greatness before them – a life of limitless possibilities,
A lover of life,
A lover of art,
A person that sees perfection in ordinary, everyday visuals and presses pause,
A person that captures a scene that doesn’t come by everyday,
A lover of the enormity of this Earth – objects, people, structures, nature – enraptured by the essence of it all,
A seeker of space – an infinitude of deliberation, wishes upon stars, a lifetime spent in making sense of this very complicated cosmos,
A revolutionary breaking barriers in the business of fashion,
A body battling sickness and disorders and amusingly, good habits, because self-destruction has become one,
Those that worry with a frown,
Those that worry with a smile,
Those that don’t,
They SHOUT! a question,
They SHOUT! an answer,
For the things that matter,
Anything to anyone,
Anyone for anything,
Everything to everyone,
Everyone for everything.
And then, we’re there.
HOW DO WE PLAN TO GET AROUND?
Well, at the moment, there’s a pen that’s our sword.
And then there’s a voice that transports the ink to our ears.
The written word says much.
Sometimes just enough to let a SHOUT! take birth inside someone.
A seed sown, a SHOUT! out.
A word written, another one out.
It’s just a really loud conversation.
But a meaningful one.
With everyone trying to get a word in, however small, however sure, eventually swelling to the crescendo of a concerned, cooperative crowd.
As we write words and you read them, you will respond.
When you respond, we’ve gotten around.
We’re in your head, in your heart, in your gut, in your throat and on your mouth.
A network doing as a network should – building connections, one story at a time.
We’re sitting in a Media Maybach, a high-powered, massively spacious, all platform-encompassing vehicle stocked with enough fuel for every road journalism could take: Word, voice, visuals. There’s the possibility to tell stories in writing, on the radio, through films and photographs.
And while we’ve only travelled one road so far, a wide one nevertheless with text and sound – we’re writing letters and transcribing conversations and dialogues and monologues and detailing narratives, often read aloud, that matter enough to you and to be cast on you as the Maybach pulls into your driveway – we do hope to drive by roads that lead to broadcast journalism.
The complete circle is the whole Maybach.
On every road. A quality ride. Smooth storytelling, no matter how rough the road. And we’ll give everyone a ride. Because every story, every episode, every experience, every infinitesimal thing infinitely matters.
And you provide the fuel.
When you subscribe.
When you SHOUT!.
When you get on the road – a necessary network.
We’re all hitching a ride, aren’t we?
Our SHOUT! to You. Your SHOUT! to Us.
For You. For Us.
The name obviously resonates.
A “Champagne Supernova” is a drink, a cocktail of simple ingredients.
And Oasis rocked us with this song – a 90’s rage that made everyone want to be found “in the sky”.
Around the world, it’s also the name of pubs and clubs and societies.
When it’s so many things to so many different people, “What’s (Our) Story, Morning Glory?”
To us, it’s an anthem,
to explode into a campaign for the things screaming for attention because they ought to;
to draw your attention to a burning star for that very reason – it’s burning.
May be, when we’ve all drunk the drink and sung the song,
to swallow the urgency of being “caught beneath a landslide” and put in a word and an act to make it better,
We’ll find ourselves drinking a pint and singing “in the sky” in times that are in fact brighter.
That “Someday” arrives soon. Because our sight is forever set on a star.
THE LONG DRIVE HOME
If you had to speak with someone with a point of view not quite like yours, for hours on end, day after day, would you?
There are many possible outcomes:
You could never see eye to eye again.
You could master a level of persuasion very few have.
You could become more tolerant than you were ever meant to be.
You could agree to disagree.
You could choose to remain silent.
And, if you haven’t changed his already, you could’ve changed your own point of view.
You would have given away something. Or you would have something to take away.
But you simply cannot walk away. Not only because you don’t want to but also because you’re in a moving car and it’s pretty cool the conversation doesn’t break when the car has to – through rough roads, smooth roads and anything in between.
Safia and Oni are two thinking, feeling, believing, informed, conscious, separate, opinionated individuals. Conversations with cabbies like Oni could well be the most enlightening.
They know the place and hence, its problems.
You’d need a suitable passenger to match that light.
And Safia can sure keep a fire burning. Even if Oni can almost always douse it.
Sometimes, they get to each other.
Every so often, they get through to each other.
One stands firm, the other bends and burns.
One convinces, the other resigns.
Sometimes, one is right. Or they both are. And as much as they reserve the right to be right, they also reserve the right to be wrong. Admit it when they are so, and get back on the road anyway.
These issues are pressing.
The discussion drags, the debate rages on, tempers flare, tempers soften, explanations are provided, reason is invoked, perceptions change, emotions are high, language is key and concerns win because they’re being addressed, spoken about at the very least.
There’s no better known way of riding out a long drive. Especially when none of these conversations are forced. They come straight from the heart. Hopefully, they hit home before the cab does.
There are people who are like planets in their own inimitable orbits.
Figures of speech aside, there are people who literally live celestial lives by example.
For when the Earth is not enough, the cosmos certainly is.
It has to be.
Outer space allows enough room for us to expand ourselves whole; to stretch and sprawl and may be sprinkle some stories – those extensions of ourselves – like stardust, over a landing yet to be located.
It allows enough darkness for deliberation,
enough routes for roving,
an infinitude for immersion into the depths of the heights of knowns and unknowns alike,
sweet silence even – the quiet solitude that is such a rarity these days,
for observation, for discovery, for exposure to alternate realities perhaps
and above all an appreciation of the Earth and its bounty.
Aazaad has the freedom to be in a daze. To gaze. To have a phase. To let himself be amazed.
Zone in. Zone out. Mull or mutter when he must.
The stars we look up at, he’s among them.
And he’s the same person he was,
when he was eleven, under the same stars, camping out in the backyard with his favourite gadget;
when he was thirteen, singing to a set of eyes sparkling in the stars;
when he was eighteen, driving alone, stopping at the edge of the city, looking up at the same stars.
That boy – big and little – walking down a cobblestone street, riding a canoe, staring out the back window of a car, looking up at the same stars.
Here where the world begins and ends, nothing ever stops happening.
He embraces losing consciousness on Earth for a higher consciousness in space.
Technologies change as do the spaces we inhabit. Aazaad records these changes as he recalls life, love and literature on Earth. They lift him up. He looks at the old from the new and is intrigued by the splendour, ingenuity and worth of them both.
Somehow in these reminiscences, a sharp-eyed Aazaad becomes as solidly grounded as he is lofty.
Out here, in a space of his own. A place he now calls home.
THE ART HUNTRESS
There are a few easy things in life.
Art is not one of them.
Nonetheless, it sure is the most fulfilling.
It’s where your heart lies – an easy choice to make when you have to decide where to go.
No matter how daunting and disconcerting, it does you a world of good and the world a world of good.
When you’re the saddest kind of sad, the happiest kind of happy, when you feel so out of your depth or when you’re up on a cloud, when you’re challenged and uncomfortable – those are the precise moments when Art is born. And it’s for anyone and everyone to adopt.
Above and beyond calibre, creativity needs crisis. It needs chaos. And in the midst of it all, it needs a calm that only comes by if an artist is hungry enough; hunting enough.
Every artist has a story in making the difficult habitual, the habitual easy, and the easy beautiful.
So that it seems effortless.
And although the effortless act is an artful deception, it stays with you long after you’ve witnessed it.
On her artistic journey, Kaali hunts down flowers in full bloom.
It’s one of the simplest, purest, prettiest forms of Art nature offers.
Songs are sung in praise of it, paintings are painted, inspired from it, dances are danced to depict it, poetry is written to honour it and a whole lot of art forms are engaged in its unique portrayal.
If a flower blooms once, it goes on blooming somewhere forever. It blooms on for whoever has seen it blooming. That is the bounty and the beauty of nature. It is Art. And its indefatigable promise.
Stories of and from Kaali keep the flowers blooming and preserve a memory, a feeling, Art that must flourish in nature, on land, in human hearts.
Art will always need champions. A voice that speaks for it. Even when it speaks for itself. Trajectories that must be traced, acknowledged, appreciated and most vitally, supported. Each one’s own – inimitably beautiful.
You tear your heart open when you SHOUT! and bare it all.
That’s how Art is done.
A successful hunt pierces flesh and bone, slicing skin, revealing the core.
Art does that.
It turns you inside out.
May be you live to tell the tale.
Of course you do. You live more than anyone else. You thrive.
We write it down and belt it out.
And then you live forever.
Art does that.
THE BLYND SPOT
You think you know everything.
But you don’t see enough to.
The whole picture. The whole truth.
We simply don’t always have a panoramic view.
You can’t blame yourself. The light doesn’t shine on everything at once. And the blind rely on instincts that may not always be engaged.
Savi is our quiet, displaced one.
He once had a home. In the woods.
Now, he has a shelter. In the city.
His roar died when the din of chainsaws destroyed his habitat.
He grieves in silence, observing how meticulously we’re destroying ourselves – suicidal, unscrupulous homo sapiens, theoretically the most intelligent species.
It’s sad. But it’s true. And every sad truth must be told.
To strive towards a happier reality.
If it comes, when it does, if it ever does, this SHOUT! will be worth it.
A roar will return.
A roar will be responsible for a revelation.
Perhaps even a revolution.
All it takes is a lion’s heart to be lionhearted.
Families function despite their dysfunctionalities.
Homes function despite their dysfunctionalities.
A faucet leaks,
A face has tears streaming down it one minute; it breaks into a smile right in the next,
It rains, it pours, finances are short and then the sun shines and suddenly, they are not,
the roof caves in and then you hammer it back out,
One affects the whole; the whole obviously affects each one,
the smallest decisions matter and the big ones – well, they’re momentous,
the smallest things occupy the biggest spaces in everyone’s hearts,
the fuse blows out and then it returns,
there’s lessons in empathy and sympathy and apathy (often feigned) and many different versions of normal that border on hysteria, frenzy, irregularity and every so often genuine repose; a lull even, restorative, surprisingly peaceful,
before one kid throws a tantrum or breaks a toe and an adult breaks his head in the bargain,
salty, bitter, sweet, spicy, sour – food is often too much or too little of these – but you’ve got to swallow it all down and savour the times it turns out just right.
Every day is different – a new challenge, a new predicament, a new muddle, a new puddle. Sometimes you leap right in or leap across and dodge the hurdle.
And it takes a certain someone, to hold the fort; to hold himself together when the house is falling apart; to keep the smile, in the face of sorrow or suffering or struggle; to break down walls when relationships are unnecessarily strained; to know when to be a grown-up and child-like; to know precisely when and where to give immediate comfort or a tongue-lashing; to leave your loved ones better than you found them; to give shelter and protect but never imprison; to be willing and ready to rush and repair and redo when you’d much rather rest;
to basically make a home.
And it’s nowhere close to basic. It’s a labour. Done out of duty. But mainly out of love.
Jabir’s given his life to his family and home. He chose to.
The story of their collective functioning (or not) is one that deserves telling.
Speaking with Nala, his wife, at the end of every day, he’s only ever trying to clean up one mess after another, further one dream after another, make it better.
It’s frustrating. It’s exhausting. But then it’s also exhilarating and deeply rewarding.
And through all those times, it yelps…err…helps to SHOUT!
THE JUNGLE GYPSY
In a desperately developed world, forests are a fairy tale. It is no surprise then that enchanting stories of flora and fauna and our wonderful albeit troubled earth come from it.
The urbanized, homogenized, concrete land we live on now is what we borrowed from the jungle.
We often forget there’s no overdraft facility here. One Earth is all we have. And while we can’t keep renting what we can’t repay or couldn’t care less to, we do.
Some parts of the Earth still breathe. Mercifully.
With jungles for lungs, our planet still has places to call its own.
Argus lives in the parts we haven’t scrounged.
Although threatened with human intervention, the forestland that remains is still fortunately free.
Unless we keep it that way, there will come a day when it will only live in Argus’ journal – records of movements and motives and mere moments from the natural world.
They must be kept; preserved for the generations of the future that we have borrowed this earth from.
Heck, the future must continue to have moments like these and more!
The endangered should be helped, cared for and saved.
The disappearing numbers of fascinating species must be revived.
Nature should have its place; pride of place on this planet.
We’ve known these ‘must’s and ‘should’s for a while. But passivity is an easier proposition.
What does it mean to us if a tiger lounges regally in a pond or a hippo lazes sleepily in another one?
What does it mean to us if a bald eagle miraculously appears or a peregrine falcon disappears?
What does it mean to us if a panther peeps from some dense undergrowth or a grizzly bear finds and feeds on fish that it painstakingly plotted to prey on?
And what will it ever mean to us if the marlin meets the same fate as the mammoth?
Well, while we don’t notice, the world will lose many things of beauty and variety and possibility.
Perhaps, when their worth does dawn on us, dusk may have fallen on them.
Stories that were possible in the present will become stories of the past. And therefore, tragedies.
In his journal, Argus makes stories of sights. Sights that may elude us or intensify depending upon our response to the challenges of and regard for the environment.
When you rove about the jungles of the Earth,
a heightened awareness;
a refreshing humility;
a deeper sense of gratitude fills you.
Of, from and for the bounty of nature.
May Argus rub off on us all.
May his SHOUT! reach more ears than the earth’s cries for help so far have.
May this jungle book become the bible that stops us from sinning against fellow beings – to whom this earth belongs just as much or more.
Sometimes, it takes a gypsy in a gypsy to look through a pair of binoculars or the lens of a camera or the thicket of a shrub, right into the wild and make what he sees stay.
In a story. As a memory, saved for posterity.
Or in reality. A reversal of imminent tragedy.
You thought you would be understood without words.
Or you hoped you would.
Well, it doesn’t always turn out that way. It almost never does. Your brain, after all, can’t be mapped for everything. And while the world may be full of mind sores and mind bogglers and mind blowers, it is, we’re afraid (and sort of relieved), not full of mind readers.
You’ve got to say things to be understood. To give the disturbed, raring, provoked, edgy, inscrutable parts of you an outlet. And thank yourself you do.
The right noise keeps the world turning. The right breaks in silences maintained for far too long or even too little keep the world engaged. The right rant (and it’s never wrong) could rid the world of debris that you just rid your own system of.
Because words do things. They change things. In the ever-evolving world we inhabit, they transform both speaker and hearer. And whiny words do it even better.
You couldn’t have never ranted. If not to someone else, surely you have to the person in the mirror. It’s that necessary catharsis to keep your arteries from being blocked; to keep your arteries from bursting.
When words flow, your blood does too.
You’re a little lighter, a little looser, a little saner and a lot less alone.
As apathetic as we’d like to seem, a lot of things affect us. They matter. Enough for us to get all knotted up about them. The bottles of our bodies get knottier and nuttier and then there’s a surge. That’s your rant. It’s your most immediate story. And it absolutely has to be told. Or better still, SHOUT!ed.
Just so the world knows you care. Because you do.
And words only make sense when they make the things that matter better.
Never mind that you sometimes sound like a ratty crab or a crabby rat.
We’ll take a grouch over leaving things unsaid, any day!
We often don’t own up to how much toxicity we’re fighting.
Toxic waste. Toxic people. Toxins in our bodies.
Quite possibly, we don’t know enough to own up. Because what’s lethal isn’t always easily discernible.
We find ourselves in a tricky spot. With a messy mind. And it isn’t quite so hard to go cuckoo.
Now, there’s a healthy cuckoo and an unhealthy cuckoo.
But some of us just eat our cuckoo. All of it.
And he’s struggling with more than just a gorging syndrome.
In fact, there’s far too many people battling far too many toxins than we ever thought possible or new existed. Things often spiral out of control. And we’ve got to get a grip. Bring ourselves back. Better, stronger, detoxified.
Our trysts with our bodies and minds are ever-changing tales of victory and defeat.
And each one of us is negotiating our own wars.
When health isn’t your wealth, it’s what’s squeezing the latter out of your coffers.
And you’ve got to be able to spin that around.
So, while George is anything but your health goal, he’s going to help us find ours, really follow it. And in doing so, he’s also going to help himself.
The process of restoring our individual equilibriums therefore becomes a story in itself.
(Of course, given the amount of issues he’s grappling with, George goes in search of new planes and proportions altogether.)
Toxins are imbalances; discrepancies that can’t always be explained.
Aside from what we go through inside ourselves, discovering the inexplicable and explicable conditions other beings are in is both humbling and enlightening.
Inspiring even, to learn how people cope with conditions that can’t necessarily be resolved; conditions that can only ever be approached differently.
It helps to have a larger awareness of the toxin.
Because you have to know your poison to water it down.
To, with any luck, make it dissolve.
To SHOUT! it away.
To stop letting it gorge on you. Because god knows George has had enough already!
Human beings are fundamentally different.
If you’re looking for uniformity, you’d basically have nowhere to look to.
In fact, you won’t find that consistency within one being even.
We’re new every day. Sometimes, at different points of the day as it progresses.
Making a transition of sorts from who we were yesterday or a minute ago.
Fashion marks these moments of change – as we renew, rediscover and reposition ourselves in a world that’s just as dynamic.
We changeover to define and reflect that changeover.
Very often, it takes us back in time – a vintage, evergreen sense of style.
The art of fashion is therefore, the truest imitation of our immediate realities.
The story of today.
A depiction of life.
Which is a continuous transition, as we know it.
People like Kari are the reason we evolve as a people.
The reason we grow to accept all sorts of variations within and amongst ourselves.
We’re born different. We dress different. We even wear the same things differently. Fashion highlights that difference and makes it every bit worth detailing and discussing. Celebrating, even.
Kari has fought to be who she is and remain so.
If that’s not a story, nothing is.
And fortunately for the world, she’s found a field that lets her hold her own.
Fashion is about being yourself.
Over and above making a style statement or dressing to impress or living up to a standard.
And it doesn’t have to make sense. Even to yourself. Because it’s a feeling.
Feelings come about. You dress like how you feel. And you’ve made your own fashion.
Simple, complex, personal, random process.
So unpredictably human.
Fashion is also our wildest fantasy.
Everything we hope to wear and have. And own.
When we do, the world is a better place and you can suddenly, take it on.
Style matters. It’s important to look good. You owe it to the world for everything it gives to you.
An outfit is a story. Not an easy one to tell. But a story, nevertheless.
When a designer tells it, it helps to listen because it’s usually a very deep reflection of who we are and what we have come to be – starkly different from who we once were or just the same.
Kari makes a splash with her sense of style.
It’s a feast – soft and loud, a wardrobe full of SHOUT!s.
Let her dress you up!
With your difference, may be you can make one.
For a lot of us, life is an effort to leave something behind after we’re gone.
Something the world is better off, more beautiful, more wonderful with:
A wall built, a wall broken, a house, a tree or a tree house, a building, a cottage, a church or a mosque or a temple – any peaceful place of worship, a garden, a palace or a palace surrounded by gardens, a vineyard, a castle on a hill, a structure or a statue in the water, a fortress, remains and ruins and relics and residue from bygone eras that take you back in time, traces of contemporary times that bring you back to now, to its creators, curators, architects, into their imaginations, to their sense of purpose, the reason these exist, the reason they were ever made – the tales their fences and leaves and flowers and pillars and flooring have stored and tell when touched upon – in the limitlessness of a moment.
You came. You left. But what did you touch, where does your soul lie, what will you be remembered for?
Kagan, with a sixth sense for stories, discovers your touch upon his touch.
Look around you. We’re not such a bad species after all. We may have the ability to break. An ability we have often engaged. In our infinite wisdom, things of beauty have been destroyed, snatching away so much of our joy forever. Our own doing; Our immense, collective folly.
That supreme folly, however, has also come with the superpower to make.
When exercised, it translates into mankind’s marvellous contribution to the world.
We all come into contact with these marvels. We touch these treasures. We admire them – the painstaking effort it took to craft something so exquisite. Kagan goes a step further: With the superhuman capacity to tell its tale upon contact. It’s a mutation that allows him to mark the journeys of these material compositions – their creation and construction.
A mark has been made. A mark remains. It’s a treasure. Treasure it. Save its story. SHOUT! its story. It’s history. It’s the spirit of creation. And it’s every bit worth preserving.
A trove of mankind’s superpowers unearthed.
Only a superpower could reveal it.
And, because we have one, maybe we have many!
A REVOLUTION IN LETTERS
Extreme dissatisfaction with the status quo often leads to rebellion.
What are we doing here otherwise, sitting around, swallowing the indigestible, lying down?
When the very thing that was meant to grow us starts to decay, we have got to hit the brakes, rethink what way we want to go and then ironically, step on it!
At some point in the course of our education, we all break, take breaks or both.
It’s just as sad as it is startling that systems that were designed to facilitate learning – the simple act of gaining knowledge – would ever cause a breakdown or prompt escape or be anything but joyful and fulfilling.
May be it’s the forced schedules and the forced learning and the forced (unhealthy) competition and the forced irrationality to excel at everything you study and the forced day you pull through at school or college when you’d rather be somewhere else doing anything or nothing else.
It adds up to a monotony that can and does drive us mental; we simply have different thresholds for when the seemingly forced becomes monotonous.
With water levels going over most people’s heads, the pumps will have to surface to suck the dullness out.
Mankind has always needed a holiday from structure. That hardy word that spells discipline, order, method and is very often a madness marauder; a chaos killer.
We soon realize though that coping with chaos is the only lesson we’ll ever have to learn.
The letters that X exchanges with a Professor not so faraway record a watershed in approaches towards education today together with proposed solutions, crucial advances, even thorough transformations tomorrow.
They’re the necessary stories of change in exchange.
Mankind has always needed a holiday from structure.
Holidays are fun.
Learning was always meant to be fun.
These letters might just bring it back.
A WANDERER’S JOURNAL
We’re told not to grieve. That anything we lose comes around in another form.
But you have to grieve. It’s a passage you have to traverse. To get to the other side.
The last act of love you have to give to those you loved and lost.
For where there is deep grief, there was great love.
Kiza’s odyssey is her last act of love.
A journey she makes to honour the memory of a man who raised her. And her standards.
When she loses her father, she could cry an ocean.
And then, when she’s filled it up, she looks out at it, in quiet contemplation of the words he leaves her in letters.
While it does, there in those moments, she knows her calling – Travel.
And she knows her carrier – The Ocean.
People live in letters. Even after they’re gone. The scribble, the scratch, the awkward, abrupt, marked pauses when you’re stuck or ill-at-ease, the uninterrupted sentences, full stops that prompt delight or anxiety or contentment or confusion or introspection or curiosity or a smile, a tear, a frown, a faraway look, delivering you to a state of completeness or leaving you simply not whole. Commas with continuations and endless possibilities.
Through his handwritten pearls, her father makes Kiza see her own.
And he finds his way back to her in the enormity of experiences that travel brings.
If he hadn’t gone, neither would she.
Loss does that. Once absorbed, if ever, it makes space for more than what was taken away from you.
A well-written life is almost as rare as a well-spent one.
Kiza unwraps a brown-paper parcel to reveal a journal. Saved thus far, possibly for this moment.
She imagines her father urging her to, “write down everything you see, every animal, bird, and insect, every experience, favourable or otherwise, every lesson, every transition, every twist, every turn, the trivial that constitutes the noteworthy…and then one day, we’ll discuss them together”.
Her, on land. Him, a star.
She takes out a new pencil, licks the lead, and writes her name on the fly leaf:
KIZA VICTOR KAZIN.
It is the 15th of January, 2017. She is seventeen years old.
And for the rest of her life, she will not forget her father’s words.
Her journal is a story set against a backdrop of the world, navigating the seven seas in a submarine.
It has depth and length and breadth and breathlessness.
From moments that are memorable and worth chronicling.
Travel takes different people to different places – physically, mentally, spiritually.
A diary contains one person’s eye view of the world, and is restricted to what he or she wishes to commit to the page. This, in turn, is influenced by their motivation for keeping a record of their lives. For some, it is an outflow pipe for their emotions; for others a stab at immortality. For Kiza, it’s a promise, an exchange and a necessary deliverance.
A metaphor for her father even.
Somewhere, her journal becomes a trusted confidante, a friend on whose shoulder she occasionally feels the need to cry or laugh aloud or simply do nothing with. Often not requiring her to spell out things if she doesn’t or can’t for some reason.
It takes guts to leave.
To jump into a submarine that plunges into the Ocean.
A leap like that takes faith.
But sometimes, it’s tougher to stay where you are.
You could move with memories that give and restore strength.
Kiza’s ‘one fine day’ has arrived sooner than she thought. It is her turn. To leave homes, cities and countries to pursue grander ambitions. She leaves friends, lovers and possibilities for the chance to roam the world and make deeper connections. She defies her fear of change, holds her head high and does what she once thought was unthinkable: to wander…far and wide and away. And it will be scary. At first.
But what we hope she’ll find in the end, other than knowing she’s never alone, is that in leaving, we don’t just find love, adventure or freedom.
More than anything, she will find herself.
The Law is a tough conversation. About what sort of society we should live in. An elephant however, that must be brought into the room because it reveals where we have got to at this moment and where we might go in the future.
Crime and Punishment. Conflict and compulsion. Circumstances and consequences. Justice and judgment.
The multiple purports of the word “conviction”.
Very often, you can’t be certain the right thing’s been done.
The letter of the Law is a confusing mass of innocuous, retrograde, ambiguous statements that are therefore susceptible to manipulation, exploitation and very often, ridicule.
These statements aren’t necessarily the fairest principles; they aren’t practical and they don’t provide the clarity we need or seek.
The guilty can find their way around and out.
The innocent lie and may be die entangled.
Issues go unaddressed.
Solutions are almost never found.
Common sense loses to rigidity.
And you’re reminded, time and again that the Law is an ass.
A donkey kicking us over and over, pulverizing our ability to put a finger on the spirit of the Law, making its application completely contrary to reason.
Archaic beliefs stay. Tragically, they are advocated.
What’s complicated has the ability to become diabolical.
It’s always too late. Too late when the wrong is righted; when the irreversible is reversed; when justice arrives; when we, as a people, arrive.
Solomon Naidu has much to type when he isn’t being dictated to. Although the job of a stenographer doesn’t necessitate it, he’s got a mind of his own that muses at the laughable, sticky, murky state we find ourselves in inside a courtroom. Which obviously pours onto the obscurity outside.
His humour is a very caustic take on the nuances of a phenomenon – the Law – that was meant to bring order. Of course it lost its way. The river is turgid with unresolved disputes, inertia and indistinctness – a constitution that is voluminous but not articulate enough. A gap where words should be. And far too many winding words where brevity, although harder to achieve, would be more valued than loquaciousness. And we’re drowning in the daze of a stagnant system.
It’s a sorry story this. Solomon chooses to tell it to bring the dichotomies, the derangement, the disorder and the dilemmas to the fore. It’s a story we would do well to read through our Recesses.
May be the river will flow someday. And our boats will float to Laws in order for the passing of orders as per Law.
THE BROKE ATHLETE
Competitive sport is a tough game. Quite like life. One could prepare you solidly for the other. But you have to push bloody hard on days that you don’t think you can. Sport then, is that metaphor for life. There will be times when you feel broken – you’re battered and bruised and hammered but you have to get back up and out there. Giving up and pulling out has never been an option.
There’s a physical severity to this. A body outdoing itself, day after day. When it can’t, a part of it has snapped. One day, explosions of energy. Another day, injury from impossibly harsh impact. You’re broken. Perhaps, on morale even. But one fine day, you come back, recovered and renewed, ready to take on the strain – this time though, more resilient.
The pursuit of sport also requires support. The kind that would boost your morale monetarily. Equipment, resources, training, access, coaching and rehabilitation don’t fall from the skies. They have to be paid for. For all that they put their bodies through, athletes also struggle to stay afloat as they chase a dream most cannot dream of chasing. Being broke or unable to afford the excesses of a career in sport is one of the unfortunate but primary reasons why athletes desert their fate. A fate they gave all their lives to build but can no longer live out.
Sukanya isn’t financially in the red. But she could be in the company of those that are. And she’s definitely persevering through the same pain her contemporaries feel. They’re all in it together. And they make for a great story of the young and inspired and relentless finding their own greatness.
Greatness in sport, in life, is a scary thing. Until it isn’t. Her track is a hard place. But so is everyone else’s.
Sukanya realizes the importance of exposing herself to more role models and diverse experiences to broaden her perspectives and ideas; to acquire that undefeatable speed of a sprinter.
She’ll use the endurance of a marathon runner, the focus of a soccer goalkeeper, the precision of an archer, the agility of a badminton player, the force of a tennis acer, the brute strength of a wrestler or a thrower or a lifter, the weightlessness of a jumper, the effortlessness of a swimmer,
and the unbreakable spirit and togetherness and abundance of a team,
To find that greatness.
It exists in every discipline.
And while it does break you.
It is the only thing that will ever make you.
Our story on sport is about revealing these different versions of greatness that Sukanya stumbles upon.
That it’s not a gift that belongs to a chosen few.
It’s not reserved for prodigies and the lucky ones whom we have to stand by watching and applauding, concurrently cursing our insufficient or absent luck.
It’s precious but it’s not rare because luck only works if you do.
That everyone is capable of it.
That it’s just pure and simple and serious fun.
That it doesn’t have to be about numbers and placements and positions. That it’s unquantifiable.
That it may not even be something you plan. It’s something you try.
That it’s not supposed to look a certain way or act a certain way or play a certain way.
That sometimes, it’s about overcoming insurmountable adversity.
That it could come after seconds or minutes or hours or even barely finishing.
That it’s about facing your fears. Perhaps, pointing yourself in the right direction.
That it’s always worth fighting for.
That when it doesn’t come knocking on your door, you could go knocking on its door.
That when someone doesn’t tell you that you’re born with greatness, you could just tell yourself.
That it doesn’t always need an audience. It doesn’t need a grand celebration nor the biggest stadium in the world nor the biggest players nor speeches nor bright lights.
That it’s not about the fame.
That it doesn’t wait for judgment nor validation. It just is.
That it’s not in one special place or one special person.
It’s where anybody is trying to find it.
And the pursuit of greatness in itself is big enough.
Because it isn’t born; it’s made.
They drive her. They would drive anyone. And more importantly, they help us identify with our shared process of putting broken pieces back together. To make ourselves work. Every nerve, every bone, every muscle – especially your beating heart because it beats for a reason.
Struggle and stumble and fall, yes.
But always work.
Mythology is someone’s truth.
It might differ from yours.
You might dismiss it, accept it, cherish it or scramble over its specifics.
In any case, in every case, it’s fun, it’s entertaining, it’s invigorating because it gets you thinking.
About faith, about customs, about society, about divinity, about the ways of the world, about how we got here as a people, about how far we’ve come and about how far we have yet to go.
A step preceding history,
it’s also so limitless in its scope, its variations, its versions.
Everyone has their own.
Our Granny does too.
An avant-garde take on the ancient.
An interesting unearthing of rituals, folklore, tradition, legends and the beginning of it all – the determinants and components of any culture.
It’s the many stories that add up to a lot of the belief systems we hold today.
The many stories that are lessons on life, living, love, longing, loss, letting go, leaving and leaping when you have to. Learning from the experiences of the divine, imbibing them as mankind. Familiarizing ourselves with the established order of the universe – sometimes rattled, sometimes restored.
Storytelling is an incredible occasion for the old to be wise and for the young to recognize their folly.
May be even revel in the folly of the old who were once young and foolish.
It’s an exchange of energy, spirituality, wisdom – an attempt at transcendence.
Like all great storytellers, our Granny has a gift.
She could tell the same stories over and over again.
But when she tells them, her way, they are new, they are news, they renew us, they show us the world made new.
She’s usually silent. Silent till she wants to say something, and then says it supremely well.
Nobody wants you to SHOUT! all the time.
But there will be a time to break that silence in mind and mouth.
Not to destroy the peace but to build the world when you understand its foundations a little better.
And when it comes and when you do, do it supremely well.
AN EMISSARY FROM THE PAST
We all dwell on yesterday.
It’s the hardest known thing to snap out of. Sometimes you just don’t. It crops up and you’re caught up.
Rummaging through the facts, drawing up multiple interpretations, battling some memories, reliving some, triumphing over some and letting others defeat you.
But then one day – today or tomorrow or the day after tomorrow, you catch up.
And although you never thought it possible, you’re able to look at it in retrospect, objectively, analytically or perhaps even more participatively.
You catch up enough to know that it’s your past. And although it may not all be in the past, you must give yourself the chance to be at peace with it, or perhaps even own it for all that it taught and made you.
Your personal history.
Intertwined with those of others, it’s history.
And good or bad, it’s important.
It’s almost always relevant.
Of the incontrovertible reality of its relevance, we need to be reminded.
SHOUT! makes place for that reminder. In a professor who puts across, in the most peculiar method of narration, the story of our yesterdays.
The herald who brings, the actor who plays out and the raconteur of our yesterdays.
Preserved in the recesses of our collective memories, in black and white in chests and drawers and bookshelves and libraries, read by the dreamy, dramatic, learned likes of Prof. Sahai,
our yesterdays are the mountains and valleys that got us here.
They are not moments in vain.
We would have to credit them for ensuring we aren’t the same. Acknowledge that we have grown and are growing. Some lessons we have learned and some we are yet to learn.
Because history – that collective story of our yesterdays is his textbook. Our textbook.
An envoy like Sahai brings us pieces from the puzzle of the days gone by. To ascertain and reassert our identities.
And very often, when humanity dwells on its past; on its history; it knows itself a whole lot better.
Professor Sahai has taken it upon himself to relive our shared past. To be the dedicated student reading that textbook. He won’t skip chapters. He’ll read every line, meet every character. May be he won’t enjoy all of it because history isn’t all that happy. Hell, some chapters will make him cry for weeks. He’ll read things he doesn’t want to read, he’ll have moments when he won’t want the pages to end. But he’ll have to keep going. Because these stories have kept the world revolving. He has to live them all and not miss out.
Literally live them all, by being them all.
You will too.
And with the characters you most relate to or the ones you even see a sliver of inside you,
You’ll sure find yourself in History.
More remarkably, you’ll find who you are today.
Even more crucially, you’ll know what to be tomorrow.
That’s when our SHOUT! comes full circle.
From yesterday to tomorrow.
With help from an Emissary in between.
THE OVERCOOKED ENTREPRENEUR
All things are difficult before they are easy. Business, in particular. And entrepreneurship is often about bouncing back when the world has concluded that your goose is cooked.
Business is a bloody affair.
You’re surrounded by bloodsuckers. Sometimes you become one yourself.
It is often the domain of the bloodthirsty because you so badly wish to build what you yearn for even if you burn yourself out in the bargain.
And it’s bloody rewarding!
Vicky and Arya are bound by blood.
The same blood that buttresses their backbone for business.
The siblings inhabit the world’s most chaotic, crowded and charming industry – Food.
Feeding people is a nightmare dressed like a daydream.
Be that as it may, these two believe they have the chops to take it on.
To run a restaurant that leaves a good taste in every visitor’s mouth.
Business, after all, is about belief.
And when you want it so bloody bad, you go way beyond what you ever thought was within you and within your reach.
And then of course, it’s about economics and ethics and society and responsibility.
Vicky and Arya are the quintessential brother-sister gang – united in quarrels.
They will build a team and with the luck that works when they do, every dream.
Their chalk and cheese personas could be their biggest boon and biggest bain.
A SHOUT! though, whether at one another or for one another, makes them better at their business.
There are days when the food is uncooked; days when they’re overcooked,
But hopefully, it will lead to days when they’re overbooked.
And yet again, they will be overcooked.
Entrepreneurship is the story behind every SHOUT! that comes from frustration, confusion, resolution, accomplishment, satisfaction and above all overcoming.
Often, just when they think they will perish,
They shall overcome,
And the contrasting but complementary pair will continue to nourish.
If the purpose of business is profit.
this one will benefit us all.
There are few things in life that you have to please more than your taste buds.
We are good people when we’re fed. And quite fed up when we aren’t!
The better people of course are those that feed.
They fill your stomach and also your heart.
Food is their art, their canvas, their playground.
They put the warmth in the cookies, the crunch in the softest croissant, the milk in the chocolate, the sour sweetness in a pineapple, the gooeyness in cake, the cream in yogurt, the spice in salsa, the goodness in veggies, perhaps even the comfort in milk and bread and eggs and meat and potatoes.
That cooking is no cakewalk is an easy inference to make. No Art was ever meant to be.
It is for that very reason that we should, enduringly, toast to those that reside in every culinary space.
It’s funny and filling when your stomach largely determines your truest loves in life.
Grandparents probably take most of the pie on that chart.
Their true, unadulterated, often excessive love (if there ever were such a thing as too much love) moulds a relationship that has food at its core.
They feed you till you’re full. And then some more.
It is one of the most beautiful feelings in the world to be fed till you’re full by your truest loves in life – both of which may regretfully be the privilege of a few amongst the billions that inhabit this Earth.
Grandpa Gastro has a pantry full of recipes from his travels across the world.
They make for a storehouse of interwoven stories.
He brings them to us from a backyard of a farm with more than just a barbecue, amidst a mountainous Irish fairy tale landscape.
This is inspired writing coupled with inspired cooking by a charming chef.
It brings the love of a grandparent, the joy of a delicious meal and an assortment of emotions invoked by a recipe, to its receiver.
Grandpas and Food deserve the sincerest love. For they make us SHOUT! with delight.
Photography has everything to do with ‘The Eye’. It’s what you look at, and then, what you, in fact, see. It is a story that often can’t be put into words. Yet, we make that attempt here – a story with a visual, the complete circle of experiencing an image, without you being there, corporeally, beholding the encircling reality of it yourself.
Although photographs have a grammar of their own, we want to tell why our ‘Eye’ saw what it saw and thought it was worth keeping, then and there, in that moment, for eternity.
We observe so much. How can we tell apart that one, remarkable instant that must be preserved? And, more importantly, how can we be so sure of that shot?
The answer comes from a nudge within. It is the ‘Why’ of the ‘When’. When it arrives, an impulse triggers your finger to pull that trigger by pushing a button.
A photograph is taken. The world is held. A story is told.
Here, it is SHOUT!ed to deliver the immensity of an impression the image was taken to make. There is power in this image, there is spirit, there is resilience, there is humanity, there is patience, there is precision, there is ease, there is a sureness of ‘The Eye’, there is an instinct that’s hard to come by and yet, it isn’t.
For the lot of matters that go unquestioned and the questions that go unanswered,
We ask, irrespective of end.
Hoping that if you shied away from these once,
You’re now prepared to SHOUT!
Hoping we can be the outlet for what can no longer wait.
Because daring to doubt, deliberate, debate and discuss is where we begin to answer ‘The Question’.
THE SHOUT IMPACT
If you’re SHOUT!ing, you better be making an impact.
That’s the whole point.
If we are, it resolves our existential crisis.
From the time we have come into being, we have desired to make an impact and let it remain.
Not everyone gets it:
The quirkiness, the story upon the story, the novel-styled take on the news.
Novels allow us to experience the minds of other people in a way that is more immediate, intimate and real than other forms of writing.
Often, knowing another person is no different from reading about them.
SHOUT! went for it because it’s novel.
But it’s also more than that.
Like a novel, it’s making people feel what’s happening around them; to themselves; to other people.
And that’s where we have wanted the SHOUT! to go:
From our larynx to your eardrum to the organs that move for the things that matter.
It’s urgent. And whether real or imagined, it’s addressing the need for empathy to understand our minds and read our hearts and those of others.
We’ve come some way since we’ve been around. Waiting to come into our own.
With over 115 stories that matter,
Across 21 categories that matter to us all in turn.
They’ve appealed to over 30000 people.
And we’re quite tickled millennials aren’t the only ones taking to our weirdness.
There’s just as many 70 year olds entertained by a piece of history or mythology or technology as readers half their age.
There’s just as many 50 year olds intrigued by a Rant on diet distress as finicky 18 year olds.
There’s just as many 42 year old professors in Dubai inspired by letter exchanges suggesting revisions in education as 21 year old students in New York City.
There’s 35 year old Londoners that know, in an instant, that they’re not alone when they read of the struggles of a homemaker and a breadwinner in Mumbai.
Food and photography are the loves of people at 19 and 90. They sure believe that smell and sight stick, save and shake us out of stupor.
There’s far too many voices from gen then, now or next, willing to answer some really tough questions that have taken us a while to ask.
If a SHOUT! resonates with someone who’s 22 just as well as it does with someone who’s 32 or 42 or 52 or 62 or 72, we’ve made our impact.
In the little or no time that we’ve been online, we have.
With content that does justice to what matters.
Whether surprisingly or stupidly, we raised the bar for ourselves, pretty early on:
A domestic subscription base after a month of being around,
An international subscription base within the next 6 months.
A lot to keep up with and a lot to live up to in an age of too much information – junk or prized.
This network was built to tell you that this heart beats with yours.
We hope to keep it beating.
As more beating hearts pledge to SHOUT!
For everything that matters.
And they will.
And just when you think Hearts are all we’ve got,
Minds and Mouths and Eyes and Pens will follow.
That’s all it ever took for a story to live.
And that, in itself, is everything.
Now while inspiration does very often fall from the skies, stories do not.
They take time and energy and thoroughness and sincerity and soul – not an easy, inexpensive thing to come by these days.
We spend hours and days and weeks and months (yes, we can be slow) labouring over matters that matter and words that don’t always come so easily, to express just why they do.
What does that do for you?
Well, all at once, it puts you in the skin
Of a professor who lives in a past as glorious as it was gory;
Of a professor who believes in the reformative and transformative power of education;
Of a college dropout dead set on ensuring education is more pleasurable for the generations of the future;
Of a mother who makes making money look easy but knows it’s anything but peaches and cream;
Of a man who makes a home;
Of a man who lives among beasts and has made the wild his home and somewhere, his purpose;
Of a lion who was forced to forsake the wild for something wilder;
Of a girl who’s lost everything she ever had and is about to gain everything she never had;
Of a grandma who tells tales to live more truly;
Of a grandma for whom preservation is the act of popularizing philosophies from ancient treatises;
Of a girl who wants to run into her dreams like they’re waiting for her at the finish line if she makes it there first. And they are;
Of a man in a courtroom who writes more than his brief;
OF an odd bird who’s had enough of the Earth. Ironically, from up in Space, and with all that space, he’s more connected to what he left behind;
Of an extra-terrestrial, earthen being who looks long and hard at what is beautiful, extracting narratives from constructions.
Of a girl who dreams with every limb and documents the dreams Art lets her see;
Of two souls who realize they have to travel longer distances together to come closer – to agree to disagree, to be on the same page even, as infrequently as that may be.
Of a star that wants to set the world ablaze with concern and correction;
Of siblings that want to feed with love to stay fed and not fed up;
Of a chap battling fat and so many other excesses, waking up to wellbeing and the challenges around being well;
Of a transgender’s tryst with fashion;
Of a grandpa chef’s earnest love of food;
Of the vision that makes us want to secure a moment forever;
Of anyone that was ever asked a difficult question but deep down knows the answer;
Of a dog who barks and whimpers and you can finally make perfect sense of it whilst also accepting that it made sense for it to.
Look, journalism is the most widely consumed and perhaps, for that very reason, the most undervalued service to ever be offered.
Because there’s so much of it going around.
You know you’ll always have it.
You’ve taken it for granted, haven’t you?
But not everything you’re getting is good.
Because the creation of good is a thorough process.
The right research, more mindful analysis, shining the light on everything it’s unfair to keep in the dark.
We’re taking that rough road with our voices shaking or croaking or just about producing a SHOUT!
We’re bridging a major disconnect here that readers often experience with those they read about.
With empathy as our modus operandi, we’re establishing a connection between reader and content, reader and character, listener and script, listener and speaker – a web The SHOUT! Network strives to create between people with stories to tell and those with stories to read or heed.
Nothing like us has ever been around.
And let’s face it.
We can’t live on compliments (although we love them) or air (although we breathe it) or Oreos (although we pretend it’s brain food to keep us going).
We need you to subscribe.
Because no SHOUT! should sell itself short.
When you buy a subscription, you support journalism for the service it provides to the world.
We’re only asking you to go premium because we want to stick around, we want to bring more meaningful matter to the fore, we want to make an impact without making any grand celebrations because this is a service we want to provide to the world.