Monday, November 5, 2012

Bodybuilding: The Sport, the Science, the Philosophy.

How many of you have come across a bodybuilder? What do you think is a bodybuilder? "A guy with huge muscles is a bodybuilder" is the stereotypical dummy answer. And this stems from the fact that there are a lot of misconceptions and myths surrounding bodybuilding.

So lets try to deconstruct it to its MOST BASIC ELEMENTS and understand it.




the act or practice of exercising, lifting weights, etc., so as to develop the muscles of the body.
Origin: 1900–05;  from the verb phrase build  ( up one's body.
By extending the definition, we can see that anybody exercising in any form to develop a certain set of body movements and muscles, is a bodybuilder - whether it is male or female, young or old, sportsman or dancer, sick or healthy, able or disabled. THERE IS NO BAR!

In competitive and professional bodybuilding, bodybuilders display their physiques to a panel of judges, who assign points based on their appearance. 

Bodybuilders prepare for competition through a combination of dehydration, fat loss, oils, and tanning which combined with lighting make the definition of the muscle group more distinct. 

Some well-known bodybuilders include Charles AtlasSteve ReevesReg ParkArnold Schwarzenegger, and Lou Ferrigno

Currently, IFBB professional bodybuilder Phil Heath from the United States holds the title of Mr. Olympia. The winner of the annual Mr. Olympia contest is generally recognized as the world's top professional bodybuilder.

Lets take this example: who do you think WON?
Phil Heath on the Left or Jay Cutler on the Right?
Bodybuilders are judged on the overall quality of their muscular development. Judging is based upon the presentation of:
    • Mass
    • Definition
    • Proportion
    • Symmetry
    • Stage Presence
    • NOTE: The judges at the pro levels also take into account your previous history, your genetics and are in the know of your strongest and weakest muscles - tracking your development all through the years. 

The perception of muscular size, has been the foundation for bodybuilding since the beginning of the sport. Yet, mass is only a merit when accompanied by the remaining qualities.

Indicates the degree of muscularity brought about by the absence of subcutaneous body fat. Defined muscularity is necessary to fully display the development of the physique. Definition is only of value when it allows massively developed muscles to be displayed.

Implies an even balance of muscular development in comparison to each muscle group. Theoretically, a "strong body part" can be just as detrimental as a "weak body part". Bodybuilders must strive for equal development between all muscle groups.

A misnomer, is commonly used to depict "proportion" or expressed to indicate an aesthetic quality throughout the physique. Although, in its strictest definition, symmetry denotes equal development of muscularity on both right and left sides of the physique.

 Stage Presence:
Includes posing performance and other factors influencing general appearance such as skin tone, grooming, charisma, and poise. Effective stage presentation is essential to display the physique to its maximum potential.

This display by Kai Greene is an epic example of taking body building stage presence to another level of 'performance arts': 

Scientifically speaking, Bodybuilding can be broken down to 3 key elements:


genes are the basic blueprints of every living body. Every human body has its own gifts and limitations. If you must have observed people, you must have noticed that people from certain regions grow taller, shorter, bulkier, fatter, get heavy around the hips, have a large butt, have larger calves, have greater endurance, have greater capacity for higher altitudes and so on. all these characteristics are mostly genetically primed.
Your genetics are the core blue print that you build your body on.
In a sculptors words - the genetics are the nature of rock/soil that the statue is being build/moulded out of. 

The most common genetic attribute that affects bodybuilding is the body shape:

No matter how much training you put in and nutrition you supplement, you body will not entirely defy its genetic code which primarily regulates the hormonal and cellular behavior of the body. (that is the link where the controversial usage of steroids in professional bodybuilding comes it. and unless you are a professional bodybuilder or athlete or actor/model you should not even resort to it as the cost to effectiveness ratio is way too expensive in terms of health benefits and money)
to get into details about how genetics affect bodybuilding, read this article: 

The other tip of the bodybuilding triangle is nutrition. Simply explained by the term 'you are what you eat', nutrition is often the most overlooked part of bodybuilding. Since nutrients are the core building blocks of every cell in your body - proteins, carbs and fats are pretty much the brick and mortar of your physique. So even if someone has the genetics to be massively well built, but is starved in a prison, he will turn skinny and weak. And if the same guy is put on a macdonalds diet, he will most definitely bloat out of proportion. but that's the simplest way to put it.
Nutrition in itself is a complex science. On a proper bodybuilding regime every nutrient you put in your body is calculated as per need. Durning gain season or off season for eg, bodybuilders load up on carbs to help them build muscle and generate strength require dto push their bodies to the max. Then durinf ON season or while 'cutting down' they often move to an entirely ketogenic diet that consists of only proteins and fats.
besides the basic nutrients, body building also requires other additional nutrients to aid joints, boost anabolic activity, boost ATP within their cells to generate energy, cause vaso dialation for better pump of blood into the muscles, and many more.
Along with nutrition comes supplementation. because it is highly improbable for people to get all the nutrients they need in their food all year long and every day. supplementation makes this task simpler and more effective. Supplements are not magical potions - they are just highly absorbent nutrients - that will help your physique build itself in the way you train your body to.
FOCUS on the word 'SUPPLEMENT' and you will know exactly what it means. It by no means replaces the hard work that a bodybuilder has to put in to build his physique. it only supplements those efforts with the right nutrition. 

The final and most popular side of the bodybuilding triangle is training. The human body is one of the most adaptive machines in the world. As you train it, it shall become. and this feature plays a huge role in bodybuilding. There are thousands of training regimes worldwide that promise to build a certain type of physique - but stripped of its fancy marketing terms and broken down to its most basic levels, bodybuilding training can be broken down to just 5 distinct components:
3. ENDURANCE (or what is commonly refered to as CARDIO training)
(even of these there are various versions which also include agilty, co-ordination, balance, accuracy and flexibility.  but since we are talking about BODYBUILDING, we'll stick to the bodybuilding 5. )
different sports call for focusing on different training regimes. but competitive bodybuilding mostly focuses on STRENGTH and POWER TRAINING with ENDURANCE and SPEED TRAINING thrown in mostly during cutting season. 

This interview with competitive bodybuilder Nizar Dawoodani effctively explains the corelations between the nutrition and training routines of competitive bodybuilding:

irrespective of what sport you are building your physique for, STRENGTH AND ENDURANCE are the two most important segments of training. 

BodyBuilding has been a part of every culture and every civillization. Body Building in itself means to BUILD the body - whether it is to improve performance in young age, to develop specific abilities or to prevent the effects of aging by combating the degenerative effects of age with exercises. Yoga, sports, strength straining, martial arts - all are kinds of body building routines aimed at building the body into its desired form and funtional capacity. 
but somewhere over time in the modern world, the term BODYBUILDING got  restricted to just competitive bodybuilding and large musculature. That is not Bodybuilding. that is just a part of the whole universe of bodybuilding - a publicized fragment of the universe of bodybuilding that has come to represent the whole philosophy of bodybilding at its extreme levels today.

To keep track of it, if you notice, even bodybuilding competitions till the 80's aimed at musculatures that were symettrical and aesthetic in its human form - like the greco roman sculptures and paintings of ages past. The ideal of the human physiology. But with the advent of rampant use of GH and Ergogenic aids, the sport was taken into a different direction all together - a direction which led to the extreme nature of the competing bodies today.

But even in this scenario, the bodybuilders physique is the highest peak of development of the human body - which is why it has all the acclaim. if leonardo da vinci had access to the modern bodybuilder's well developed physique, he would definitely use it to study the human anatomy.

But sport aside, whether its competitive or not, body buildign in any form depends on one major principle - DISCIPLINE.
Whether you do yoga, pilates, ballet or strength training without discipline  you wont attain any benefit that is worthy of the method. Eating right, following the techniques right and dedicating yourself to the methodology and the routine forms the foundation of bodybuilding in any form. So even today, whether its in the army, at a fat loss camp or in a personal home routine, the first thing that will always be stressed on is discipline. If you have to devote a certain time to it a certain method a certain habit to it, you have to. no excuses.

Overtime, Gymming, yoga, or training - martial arts,sports or other wise becomes like a religion. it gives you peace, it helps you focus, it helps you organise the chaos of life, detach yourself from external situations and focus on your regime towards a purpose. Its not just beneficial physically but also mentally, intellectually and emotionally. 

Many people find it higly relaxing and soothing. patients with adhd and manic depressive disorders and bipolar disorders have found it beneficial to workout. and tests have proven these effects too. 
Today, gymming or working out have become social behaviours and are beinfg more and more widely accepted as social behaviours. And thats not something new - infact in the 1900's a sect called muscular christianity had also developed where people used to get together and work out in the gym together in the name of god. India has its own league of 'hanuman bhakths' who used to to the same. The shaolin temple monks are another example. 
Even today indian wrestling is closely rooted to religion and society. And the time is not far when people will realise why it was made so and why it should be so. 
Afterall, body building is not just a sport of a phase, its a philosophy of continuous creations and improvement. a Kaizen, if you may, for the human body - the temple of human life. 

- Pushkaraj Shirke

Friday, October 12, 2012

How to motivate yourself to and through a fitness plan?

Most people want to work on their fitness levels - lose weight, gain muscle, get fit, gain endurance, develop stamina and so on. The most common goal obviously being the one to lose weight. And also the one most prone to what i call Laziness Inertia.
So, how do you work around that inertia to stay lazy and unfit and motivate yourself enough to take the first step towards a fitter you?
More importantly, how do you motivate yourself through that process once it's begun and avoid it from turning into just another kind of 'failed new year resolution'?

Here are a few things that have always worked for me and for the people I consult:

Define your purpose.
Every mission needs a purpose. You need to be sure of yours. Ask yourself why you want to bring about that change. List down the reasons. Are you tired of being overlooked because you are fat? List that down. Are you unable to go on treks because you are too weak? List that down. List down every goddamn reason you find that is driving you to change, and put up this list at a place you can read it every day.


Get the right support, advice and infrastructure.
Starting off the wrong way is one way guaranteed to kick you back. With more frustration than results. So when you do start, do it right. Join a proper gym with a personal trainer (atleast for the first 3 months - and make sure he/she is a proper certified trainer from a legitimate training institute) if possible. Get a nutrition consultation- It's cheaper than going to a doctor and in my opinion, way more important.

Put up your intentions on facebook or among friends.
When you keep your transformation goal a private one, you are more likely to fail it. Because you think 'who the hell knows - so what if I stop my routine - who cares'. This exact mindset back fires on you. When you go public and make your intentions public on Facebook or among friends you'll be surprised to see how many people support you and encourage you! This goes a long way in letting you know at every step that you are on the right track.

A very recent example of is is my Aussie pal 'mothpete' who went public on Facebook about his intentions to take reign of his life again - with regular status updates and results a mapping and pictures of his cheat diets whenever he did cheat, he made his own fitness goal a goal for all his friends to look forward to and talk about. I'm not at all surprised that people were happy to see him fit into his old clothes again on fb :-) I was too :-) (way to go mothy!)
PS: also, if you can, please get a workout buddy who shares the same goals as you. it makes staying on track a way lot easier. 

4. MOTIVATION: the worlds no.1 supplement

Make sure you stay motivated through multiple channels.
Your motivation is your inner fuel that drives you. Which is why you need to make sure it's always replenished. Thanks to the Internet and Facebook, you now have a million more options than just motivational posters and diary cards. Join online fitness communities that keep posting and talking to and about fitness goals and people similar to you. Try
PS: It may be cheesy, but this works: make a pic of your 'fav and fittest' star your desktop/ phone wallpaper.
The more often you are reminded of where you want to get, the less likely you are to deviate from your plan.


Supplement your efforts.
If you can achieve X, proper supplementation allows you to achieve 2X AND avoid damage! And being able to see those results play a huge role in keeping you motivated.

NOTE: Now, don't get confused between steroids and supplements. Stay away from steroids at all costs. Please.

Get proper advice as to what supplements can help you and take them. Especially in third world countries like India, knowledge of supplements is extremely low. Which is why it becomes important that you take your knowledge and supplements from reliable and trusted sources only. You can try For a free supplement consultation or call their free helpline on 1800 102 8444.


Know where and how you're headed.
Professional athletes and businesses track their performance on regular intervals. So should you. Why? Because it not only allows you to derive objective results of your workout, but also fuels and motivates your next one. In case the results are negative, you also immediately realise that something is not right and you can work on fixing that immediately. Crossfitters and Prossional strength Trainers do is all the time. Over time you can see your own performance graph grow and change with you. Trust me, it's a proud feeling.

Follow these 6 steps and your journey to whatever your fitness goal maybe will be a cake walk. yeah right! hell no it wont! it will still be a hard long road uphill - but yes, this will just make it a wee bit easier to stay on that road and not fall off the hill.

best of luck!

- Pushkaraj Shirke

Tuesday, September 25, 2012


monkeyrating: 9/10

waddabout: Set in 1930s Paris, an orphan who lives in the walls of a train station is wrapped up in a mystery involving his late father and an automaton.

isay: i have never seen a director reinvent himself as well as martin scorcese. the man just brings out the soul in any story he narrates. and instead of getting old and senile, he only keeps getting better and better! this movie is a must watch if not for scorcese's direction, then for a learning of human emotions, a classic tale of simple things and a brief history of the magical world of cinema! and ofcourse, coz it won 5 truly deserved Oscars!

monkeyrespect to: MARTIN SCORCESE of course! and his usual magic companion, art director Dante Ferretti and set decorator francesca schiavo - who always brings eras magically to life! 

watch the trailer: and watch the movie in 3D if possible. James cameron himself said that he has never seen a better use of 3D - even in his own movies!

Monday, August 27, 2012

How to Lose Weight Fast, While Building Muscle: MONTH 1

Alrighty folks, my 15 days of detox and conditioning is almost done and my body feels in condition to start working out now.
So i'll be starting the first month of my 3 month regime soon.

Here's the plan for MONTH 1 :


I will only be doing upperbody weight training on one day and lowerbody weight training on the other. and just alternating that for the first month. rest everything else will be the same on everyday.
5 Mins - light stretches, extensions and hops.
30 Mins cardio - cycling, running, skipping.
10 mins break
4O Mins Weight training
10 mins break
20 Mins - core, flexibility and stretching
5 Mins - cool down
2. THE DIET (this diet has been devised in accordance with a professional nutritionist):
I'll be having seven small meals a day. Keeping it rich in protein and conservative in carbohydrates and fats.

Wakeup drink: one scoop protein shake of hydrowhey/whey in water
(you have it in water and not in milk to increase its absorption and provide you with fast release muscle building amino acids and to avoid muscle breakdown)

meal 1: breakfast of eggwhites (added with rajma, chana, moong, sprouts) with wholewheat bread + salad + tea/milk

meal 2: snack of carrots/cucumbers/tomatoes + 2 crackers/biscuits

meal 3: lunch of 2 rotis/3 slices of whole wheat bread + vegetable + single scoop protein shake

meal 4: a carrot / a bhel

meal 5: egg sandwhich/chicken sandwhich

meal 6: POSTWORKOUT: one scoop protein shake of hydrowhey/whey in water

Meal 7: DINNER: Chicken/paneer/tofu/fish/soyachunks/mushroooms salad

CHEATMEALS: Low calorie foods to add to your meals or to nibble on: oats, peanuts, nuts, carrots, cucumbers, apple, guava, watermelons.

PROTEIN RICH FOODS: Low fat chicken, fish, egg whites, skimmed milk, curds, low fat paneer, sprouts and pulses.

SUPPLEMENTS: Below is a simple guide to protein supplementation. This is applicable to normal sized people. It would differ slightly  for extremely skinny, fat or physically challenged people.

- written by Pushkaraj Shirke and Meenal Sharma (nutritionist)

Wednesday, August 8, 2012

Why Mary Kom and Saina's Defeat is Greater than any Indian Victory Yet?

In any country that worships the sedentary sport of cricket, every other sport that actually requires grit and effort gets sidelined. India is just a prime example of it. Yes, our men can stand around in the sun and wait for a ball to come their way, sit on their ass and move chess pieces and play carrom or stand in line and fire guns (after all india is the largest importer of firearms IN THE WORLD!). No doubt about it. But what about every other sport that requires hours of grueling effort, stamina, strength, skill and determination?

If you notice, the countries that have the highest medal tallies in the olympics every year - USA, Russia, Japan and China, do not even have a cricket team. And god damn it, japan is even tinier than an average indian state!

Despite having the largest population in the world, the highest amount of manpower per se, India as a country has a belittled stand in the world of sports. The country is blinded by its victories in cricket, and since everyone just loves 'winning', they just keep repeating and supporting the same 'sport'. Politicians and commercial brands and industries more than anyone else. India is infested by the need for spectator sport - and cricket has become the prime resourse. Just the way the politicians of falling rome used the GLADIATOR GAMES to keep the masses entertained and to blind them to their own miseries. Cricket has become India's anodyne. And this vicious cycle has only corrupted the very status of sports in the country beyond measure.

Given this bleak scenario of sports in India when two women reach olympic glory in two of the most tedious sports possible, it speaks volumes. Add to that the fact that India is the very country that still has the highest rates of female infanticide in the world, and the achievement of these women seems even greater. In a country where taking up any sport besides cricket is laughed upon, in a country where having a girl child is looked down upon, in a country where women are primarily looked upon as 'marriage' materials and dowry cows, their achievement certainly is.
Add to that the fact that Saina Nehwal is the FIRST INDIAN to ever win a medal in Badminton at the olympics, and she's led the way for the sport itself! Yes, badminton is looked upon as a girly sport in india, but the very fact that you are so good at it that only two other people in the world are better than you - puts you way ahead than any other cricketer in this country. apart from Sachin Tendulkar.

The most stunning victory though, is that of MARY KOM. even in her defeat at this olympics as she settled for broze, she's been more victorious than any indian has ever been in the world of sport. Despite being a five-time world boxing champion and the only woman boxer to have won a medal in each one of the six world championships till this olmpics, she was hardly even KNOWN by anyone. By keeping up her dedication and persistence to the sport, her bronze medal at this olympics has led the way for women in sports in this country. And her success comes along with the fact that she's achieved it whilst fulfilling every other role that chauvinistic indian culture belives an 'indian woman' is supposed to fulfill. ie: she is married, has two children and plays an active role in her family.

All said and done, Saina and Mary have shown the country that our women are willing to put in more effort in their sports than almost any man in the country is willing to put in. They have shown India that women are more than just "marriage materials" or 'Dowry carriages'. They have, even if for just a brief moment, shown the potential that lies in india, for both men and women - only if we could now act on it.

Most of all, Saina and Mary, more than any one else in this olympics, have given hope... Hope to those struggling athletes who have dared to choose a sport besides cricket in this lethargy forsaken country.
I really hope we wake up and start supporting REAL sports in this country. I really hope this brief moment of clarity that Mary and Saina have brought to India lights up the way to the future. I really, truly hope that in the next ten years atleast, India has a definitive contendor in every sport in the olympics - men and women alike. And I don't just hope, I'm entirely guilty of believing that we can.
Saina and Mary, you have my respect.
Even in your defeats, India, even if only for a moment, has found its greatest victory yet.

-Pushkaraj Shirke

Monday, August 6, 2012


monkeyrating: 6/10
waddabout: A factory worker, Douglas Quaid, begins to suspect that he is a spy after visiting Rekall - a company that provides its clients with implanted fake memories of a life they would like to have led - goes wrong and he finds himself on the run.
isay: the action is splendid. the art direction of the sets is awesome. the costumes are bad. the screenplay is too verbose - having actors speakout all elements of the movie rather than have the audience WATCH and DISCOVER it. the cinematographer has gone a bit overboard with the camera flares but has managed some really insane, stunning scenes.
The movie all together lacks the drama that it should have packed. so in a sentence, the only major reason to watch the movie is the splendid action sequences - especially the scenes of 
kate beckinsale.

monkeyrespectto: the chemistry that director len wiseman and action-actress kate beckinsale have. i dunno what it is, but the two seem to work really well together. maybe because they have only worked together for a long time now with the UNDERWORLD series. 
monkeyrating: 8/10
waddabout: When a man goes for virtual vacation memories of the planet Mars, an unexpected and harrowing series of events forces him to go to the planet for real, or does he?
isay: the costumes are legendary! the drama is brilliant. the sound and sfx were brilliant for its era (considering it was 1990). this movie is MUST WATCH!
monkeyrespectto: director paul verhoeven for putting together a movie that was truly in all senses way ahead of its times! and of course, ARNIE - for without his robotic timing that somehow weirdly adds to this movie, it probably wouldnt have been as awesome as it was!


Monday, July 30, 2012

The Dark Knight Rises

monkeyrating: 9/10
(the only reason i have deducted one point is cause of the lack of furious pace and action as opposed to the dark knight)

Wadddabout: the conclusion to Nolan's Dark Knight Trilogy. Batman is forced out of his self imposed exile to fight a ruthless mercenary called Bane - and save the very city that has branded him a criminal.

isay: watch it in IMAX and buy highest definition DVD possible. This is the best possible conclusion to the Dark Knight Trilogy. It couldn't get any better!

True Dark Knight Fans will love it - purely for the reason that it is more psychologically true to the nature of the characters than anything else. it focuses more on the man behind the suit and the men beneath their masks than the mind numbing action that most superhero films have. THAT is what batman is.
People who became batman fans just coz of 'the dark knight', may not FEEL it. 

The movie draws more sources and similarities in pace and tone to BATMAN BEGINS than to THE DARK KNIGHT. So it would be an added advantage if you have watched the first one too.
All in all, i'm sold for the trilogy. Lots of popcorn and a Knight to remember.

monkeyrespectto: NOLAN, the god, for obvious reasons. and Hans Zimmer for a score that consistently keeps creeping beneath your skin somewhere. Bane's theme echoes in your mind long after the movie is done! epicness to the max!
And the catwoman?..... just in case you are reading Anne Hathaway... please marry me.

watch the trailer:

Tuesday, July 10, 2012

Table Lamp Portraits

A new experiment with the basics of traditional photography.
One Subject. One Table Lamp. One Camera. 
You can't get simpler than that.
- Pushkaraj Shirke

Sunday, June 3, 2012

Star Wars : A New Analysis

Star Wars : A New Analysis

It's been 35 years since the first Star Wars movie had released in 1977 and in no way have the movies become dated or irrelevant. With new CGI additions and 3D releases, Star Wars is still a cash cow.
It's become common in popular culture to hate the new star wars trilogy. Some say it raped their childhood memories, some just can't get past the spaceships and Jedis (how are they fans of the series again?)  

But having seen numerous badly written over hyped and rushed movies in the past decade, such as

1. Pirates of the Caribbean 3 : we all know how much this movie sucks. For the third film in a so far spectacular trilogy it was a huge let down!
2. Pirates of the Caribbean 4 : who made this movie? And why is he still alive!

3. Spiderman 3 : Sam riami took a dump on SONY and we the audience got stuck watching a jive dancing peter parker!

So coming back to the topic, Star wars episode 1 is said to be very weak on the script and story front. But most people are missing the subtle undercurrent here. An evil power grabbing emperor sets in motion his plans to rule the entire galaxy. How does he do this? With a simple conflict. This conflict escalates like a domino effect into full blown war in episode 2-3.  So instead of seeing episode 1-2-3 as a simple adventure movie, if one can see the clever way in which Lucas has managed to integrate a intergalactic political tale into a seemingly shallow action movie.

So why should we care? 

Well it’s the equivalent of writing The Godfather mixed into a rich fantasy world like The Lord Of the Rings.  That’s rather impressive if you think about it, since the only subtext that is there in LOTR is the evil lord wants his ring and he isn't getting it! 

Has no one done it before or after?

Sure, the game of thrones is a world set in fantasy with more politics and evil thrown in than the Borgias!  So yeah George Martin (another George… hmmm) might be smarter than George Lucas. But does Game of thrones have insane action set pieces made to please rabid fans which involves light swords ? Guess not.


Rather than seeing the movies for a kiddie action flick, if we can see how one single event can cause a ripple effect and change the lives & fates of an entire galaxy, we can see a whole new level on which this series is operating on. Sure there are 2 love stories, few comedians, noble nights and evil war lords all thrown in for good measure and we still complain that these movies are LAME ? 

all views expressed belong to an opinionated dickhead called Rohon Nag. If you have differing views, feel free to share them or visit

Friday, May 4, 2012


monkeyrating: 9/10

waddabout: Nick Fury of S.H.I.E.L.D. brings together a team of super humans to form The Avengers to help save the Earth from Loki and his army.

isay: The most kickass super powered - superheroes movie EVER! action packed, true to the comic book character personas and hilarious as hell thanks to its perfectly punchlined and comic timed dialogues and grunts(for the HULK) - an absolute MUST WATCH and OWN on DVD!

monkeyrespect to: JOSS WHEDON for making this miracle possible! He had made interesting movies and TVshows like Firefly and Serenity and with Avengers, he's just made it perfect! He makes the advantage of being a writer-director visible on screen! 

watch the trailer: 

A poster that deserved mention:

Saturday, April 21, 2012

What is Truly Beautiful?

I had to lash out at the stupid perceptions of beauty modern media has generated. So went ahead and wrote and designed this little poster postcard for some of the most amazing and beautiful women I know.

Beauty and its perceptions change from time to time. but the current media perpetuated ideals of beauty are downright unreal and most disturbingly - unhealthy. Thanks to that we are now looking at a whole generation of women and men idealising skinny, bulimic, anorexic, unfit body structures as the epitome of beauty - which btw are seriously altered via multiple means never disclosed openly - the most commonly known and least harmful one of which is PHOTOSHOP.

Women and men alike need to realise that no matter what era you are in, there's one form of beauty that never ceases to mesmerise and add quality value to your life - a healthy and fit body, an intelligent mind and a kind heart.

Pushkaraj Shirke
PS: feel free to share the poster with a friend who could use it.

Wednesday, March 28, 2012

Round Trip

A young girl about to be ditched by her boyfriend stumbles upon an autorickshaw that allows her to take a round trip in time till she makes the right choices.

concept by: pushkaraj shirke
written and directed by: pushkaraj shirke and rohon nag
camera by: saket iyer
ad: krishnan nallappa
starring: pushkaraj shirke (rahul), meneka lalwani (monica) and baidyanath (autodriver)
the crew on location at bandra. clockwise from left: rohon nag, pushkaraj shirke, krishnan nallappa and saket iyer. 

Tuesday, March 13, 2012

The Grey

monkeyrating: 7/10

waddabout: one huntsman leads a crew of 7 plane crash survivors in alaska through a challenging uninhabited terrain - while being haunted by pack of savage wolves and painful memories all along the way.

isay: if you ever wondered if a movie could be a poem, this is the movie that'll answer your question. its minimalistic awesomeness to the max!

monkeyrespect to: Liam Neeson for his incredible awesomeness that makes every moment of his screen presence a moment worth looking forward to. and to Marc Streitenfeld whose music is the life of the movie! at any given point in time, its as if only 4 keys of the piano are heard! and yet it haunts you continuously! minimalistic awesomeness!

watch the trailer: 

Monday, March 12, 2012

The Psychology of Advertising Communication

Knowledge, is the strongest factor when it comes to impacting behavioural change. even more powerful, than our our innate drives and hormones. 
for eg: you are alone in a closed room, standing besides an attractive naked woman who wants to have sex with you might excite your mind, releasing hormones that make you feel aroused. 
Yes? What would you do?
Now imagine this:
1. you find out she has an STD.
2. You have a spouse and you discover that she is watching you through a hidden camera. and
3. that the attractive naked woman's tribal, savage husband will kill you if you do anything.

Would you now behave in the same way as you would before knowing this tri-way of information?
why did knowing a separate set of information change the way you act upon the same situation?

She is still attractive. You are still in the room with her. she wants to have sex with you. and you are aroused!
how and why did that additional set of information change your perception of her?

In the field of advertising and mass media, this power of knowlege and controlled information takes on an even greater form : affecting not just behaviour but even entire social perceptions of what's acceptable and what's not.
For eg:
HATARI, the movie, glorified the hunting of rare animals like rhinos.
Tattoos that were one taboo now have a cult following and become common-day occurrence.
Thanks to Romanticization of the institution of marriage and paired romances in literature, films and advertising, they are the norm today.
Abortions, that were once frowned upon, now are seen as a boon. (in a few cases, they actually are).
The ads for Sunkist made ORANGE JUICE, a once almost non-existent breakfast item, the icon of american breakfasts.

So as a copywriter, thinker, creator, designer or whatever in advertising - it doesn't matter what your craft is. what matters most is your understanding of what factors affect change - and your capability to deliver them in an acceptable format to your audiences. whether its via a great print ad, an interesting film, an app, a video game or even a mall activation or a road show. 

Understanding Behavioural Dynamics: This short film from a TED TALK actually gives a great insight into 'How information AFFECTS thinking, behaviour and attitude':

- Pushkaraj Shirke

Monday, February 27, 2012

Empire Skate of Mind

Empire Skate of Mind from pushkaraj shirke on Vimeo.

A longboarding/skateboarding action-comedy unfolds in New York City when a dude bungles up his plans of proposing to his girlfriend.

Director, Writer, Editor: Pushkaraj Shirke
DOP: Haruhico Nishioka and Emir Bautista
Stunt Camera Man: Fillip Hord
Voice Over: Olivia James
Music Credits: Fat Boy Slim
Starring: Cesar Zorilla and Jeniffer Blanchard. 
Special Thanks to Tassos Rigopolus and Pierro Basso.

- Pushkaraj Shirke

Monday, February 20, 2012

my personal networking card: doodled

how do i spend my free time while my films are being edited?
like this.
indulging my doodling senses into making myself a personal networking card.

- Pushkaraj Shirke

Tuesday, February 7, 2012

new york, i'm helpless loving you.

you blind me
in your lights and darkness.
you freeze me with your coldest winds,
and then crash me against people with hearts even colder,
oh new york,
you amaze me for a moment
soak me in splendors only you can possess
and then you make me burn in disgust.
you set me on fire and then soothe the pain away...
with a song in your streets...
the voice of a man with no place to call home.
your stark parody of human life.
oh new york,
you spin me around, my mind and soul,
your speeding lives and mettalic monsters of fate,
and then you bring me still,
face to face with the myself beyond my reflections,
a reflection i recognized no more.
a creature i've come to be from the man that i was.
you reveal me, in you.
oh new york,
i so hate you, for all you are,
but then again, i'm not made in you....
and i'm still helpless loving you.

- Pushkaraj Shirke

Tuesday, January 31, 2012

time walks on...

you frolic there in abundance,
ages quickly move on...
you stand around in admiration,
and things move on...
you stand there alone... staring into the stars,
you stand there by yourself,
and people walk on...
bustling crowds at times...
and fewer and fewer,
down the passage of time...
you then stand there teary eyed,
and your ties move on...
bonds and words and telltale mementos...
you stand there reminiscing
and years walk on...
change moves on...
people move on...
you walk slowly bleeding...
and your soul moves on...
you stand there now empty...
as time walks on.

- Pushkaraj Shirke

Saturday, January 7, 2012

Death On the Stairs

Written and Directed by Pushkaraj Shirke
DOP: Francesca Tagliarino
AC: Riccardo Spina
Gaffer: Chong

Cast: Selina Barker & Riccardo Spina

- Pushkaraj Shirke

Thursday, January 5, 2012

Hurt - Johnny Cash (NYFA music film project - first cut)

Dedicated to every moment you've torn your heart away hoping never to be hurt again.

- Pushkaraj Shirke

A Compilation of My Fitness Photography Work

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