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A beautiful sunset at Marine Drive, Mumbai, where reclamation for the Coastal Road Project is taking place.

Do we feel guilty? Guilty for not recycling our trash. Guilty for giving away our data for free. Guilty for buying fast fashion. Guilty for owning leather. Guilty for working at a company with questionable ethics. Guilty for eating meat. Guilty for asking for help. Guilty for not fighting an injustice. Guilty for turning the other way. Guilty for not understanding someone’s struggle. Guilty for complaining. Guilty for not speaking out.

How guilty should we feel?

Much to their chagrin, I keep pestering my loved ones to ‘speak up’ about everything that’s going on in the world (the options are endless right now, to be honest). Their reactions range from “but what difference will it make” to “I don’t know what to say about all this” and often “what will people say? …


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At the #MahimBeachCleanup initiative in Mumbai. Photography by Aaryav Mitr.

Most people I know have never heard of the EIA, what it means and why it’s become such a hot topic recently. In fact, even I only recently heard about it and it terrified me. That’s probably because even though I’m interested in social issues, environmental causes and read the news regularly, mainstream media doesn’t cover such policy developments enough to make people really listen or question what’s going on.

I’m simplifying the situation to make it accessible to more people, especially my friends who I know would care about this if they felt like they were in a position to control or change what’s going on. …


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Many small businesses and independent brands take part in Dysco events. Photograph by Abodid Sahoo.

Everywhere you look today you’ll come across the phrase ‘support small businesses’ — in news articles, across influencers’ posts on social media and within brand campaigns too. Becoming ‘vocal for local’ has taken on new meaning thanks to the pandemic and the huge crisis in unemployment and falling consumer demand, both domestically and abroad.

But what does this really mean, and how can you truly support the people and companies that need it most right now?

How do we break past the risk of simply virtue signalling and letting this rally call from becoming just another social media trend? It begins with putting yourself in the shoes of those most impacted and thinking about what they really need right now. And in reality that goes much beyond using a sticker to give someone a shout out on Instagram (although that’s certainly valuable in it’s own right). …


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Signage from Dysco’s Halloween Party taken by Abodid Sahoo

I am awkward about conversations around payment, rates and pricing. I hear it’s something you get better at with time — in my case, however, I think it has to do with my personality. Once I become friendly with someone (and I tend to do that with many people), I find it difficult to negotiate or discuss money matters. It’s where I lean on Mishal (my brother and co-founder) to help me out.

Separating business and friendships is tricky, but I think it’s something that’s really important to learn how to do. When we began building Dysco, we chose to do it because we saw a huge gap in the market — we could see that the people around us didn’t know where to find quality talent and collaborators, and often asked their friends for recommendations. …


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An installation by Extinction Rebellion India X Fridays for Future India at one of Dysco’s events in February 2020

With each week passing by, I’ve been thinking more about what the average person can do about the world falling apart (both literally and figuratively). We constantly read about the multitude of problems cropping up and ballooning, and people who are impassioned, motivated, informed, angry and frustrated ask “What can I do about this? How do I stop this? How do I change this?”

The truth is that MOST problems have to be tackled from the top down — by those in power. That’s why education, and, consequently, voting is so important. But what do you do when quality education is largely inaccessible? Who do you vote for if the political choices aren’t great? What can you do when you don’t trust the media? What can you do when all the systems of power are so interlinked, often corrupt, and inefficient that you can tell there’s a serious lack of political and corporate will or ability to change things. Yes you have politicians making grand statements, and big brands stepping up and announcing their solidarity, but what happens after that? How do we know that it will go beyond lip-service and translate into action and commitments on ground? …


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1.My mom never lies. She’s the most honest person I know. Except if she’s lying to her kids about looking after herself, because she’s always putting her family first.

2. My mom used to work as a fashion designer and now she refuses to play homemaker. Because she’s very busy being a nutritionist, physical therapist, yoga specialist, sleep therapist, fruit and vegetable expert, astrologist, Indian history teacher, beautician and just generally the wisest human ever. Even if her kids don’t always believe it.

3. My mom can’t talk while eating. Unless it’s to give instructions, tell us to eat more, or tell us how much she loves what she’s eating. And how she can cook it better. But don’t bother telling her anything while she’s eating because she won’t listen to you. …


It’s December already, and just like that the year has flown by. Reflection and retrospection is in the air, and on that note, we chose ‘Rethinking the way we work’ as our content theme for this month. It’s been a couple of years now, that I’ve been reading about this ‘new way of working’ which seems to include everything from remote work, flexible work, open plan offices, collaborative working, the gig economy and more. There’s no denying that this has been a huge shift, that’s redefining work culture, organisational success and employment rates across the globe. …


Our (Dysco’s) content theme for November is Happiness & Wellbeing at work, a theme we chose because it’s something that’s been on our (collective) minds for a while now. We live in an age which seems to glorify hustling or working 24x7 — but is that what we truly believe is healthy and important? The more we’ve been chatting and sharing, we realised that what we all value our personal wellbeing and mental health, which is closely tied to how we feel about work. We want to create an encourage a work culture that facilitates that, and not just mindlessly driving ourselves to exhaustion. …


Social media and I have been breaking up for a very long time

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I’m feeling pretty cynical these days

Disclaimer: The relationship in question is between me and social media (sorry to disappoint you!)

Today, I spend much more time on social media than I think is necessary or ‘fun.’ I think it’s safe to say that most of my family, friends and colleagues seem to feel the same way too. Not to mention the endless articles and podcasts online talking about the impact of social media on our mental health and society too. With this information constantly buzzing around me, I sat down to introspect. The problem is that we’re sucked in a little too deeply, to easily untangle ourselves from the digital spider web that we’ve built for ourselves. Managing profiles on profiles across so many platforms, we’re at the mercy of our most vulnerable vices (need for validation, approval, boredom, insatiable curiosity etc. …


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It’s coming close to 3 years since I quit my consulting job and decided to take the plunge into entrepreneurship. No one really prepares you for what’s going to come when you’re running a startup, trying to create a business from ground up and taking on a mammoth task like building a social network of your own. All your insecurities have a way of surfacing in your most vulnerable moments, and the many, many times that things go wrong, you can’t help questioning yourself. What was I thinking? Am I qualified to be a ‘founder’? What if this fails? …

Khrisha Shah

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