My "Unedited" Interview With Social Samosa

Earlier this year, an Account Management Executive from Social Samosa had contacted me for a coverage opportunity. A detailed questionnaire was mailed to me on April 12 and I had reverted with my responses by April 14. 

The interview saw the light of day on June 25, under the Influencer Interview segment. But that's not the thing I want to highlight. Even if I let go of the fact that they kept procrastinating for nearly 2 months, what really got my attention was that many of my answers were edited. That is truly not acceptable, given the democratic nature of the Internet. So here are my original responses yet again.

1) Looking back, where did it all begin?

I relocated to South Korea for work in 2005 and stayed there for a good seven years. My blogging journey started only a year later, in 2006, around the same time when the blogging culture worldwide had just begun to take shape.

In those days, I treated my blog more like a journal, and most of what I posted initially were blogs in English, catering to a niche expat audience who lived in Korea or came there for leisure or business.

Through my blog, people discovered offbeat destinations to travel in Korea. Since I was employed full-time with Samsung Electronics, my blog visitors regularly asked me to post about the latest breakthroughs in technology. I suddenly found myself communicating and engaging with a completely unknown international audience!

The blog opened up so many avenues for me, for instance, I was invited to write a column for top expat magazines in Korea like 10 magazine and Eloquence. I was even asked to share my blogging exploits on Arirang TV and Korea Broadcasting Station. This couldn’t have happened otherwise.

2) What's in the name?

I christened my blog ‘When The Muse Strikes!’ for two specific reasons. First, the name was catchy and self-explanatory. Second, I wanted to post ONLY if I had something interesting and significant to share.

My muse kept changing over the years as the blog continued to grow, and today I write on a variety of lifestyle subjects, more frequently than what I used to in my early years of blogging.

I guess the muse has struck after all!

3) What is your USP in this cluttered space? How does your content give you an edge?

My USP is taking responsibility, keeping things original and providing a unique perspective, posting honest opinions about both the good and the ugly, and communicating clearly about my experiences.

I am an extremely passionate and hardworking individual, and I guess, you can tell that by reading my blogs or looking at my social media feed. Not many people know that I am a trained photographer too, which complements the body of work I produce regularly.

Since most of my blog readership comprises people residing in top cities of the world, I produce top-notch content which is contemporary in nature and easy to consume by everyone.

What gives me an edge is the depth of research I undertake and the variety of subjects I cover on my blog!

4) Please take us through your content creation process. How do you stay relevant and relatable?

It helps that I have 13 years of blogging experience and have done campaigns for reputed Pan-Indian and international brands. I am also extremely well connected with the blogging community and keep abreast of what’s happening/trending in the world of lifestyle, travel, food, etc. by attending events and networking, whenever possible.

If you ask me about the process of content creation, what I generally do before collaborating with any brand is to study their brief thoroughly and set clear expectations in terms of messaging, deliverables, cost (if paid), go live dates and channels the brand wishes to use.

Once an agreement is reached upon, I request the brand to let me experience the product/service firsthand just like their targeted end user/customer would. Only once I am fully convinced that I have compelling content will I go ahead and post something on my blog or social media.

Staying relevant is absolutely necessary since people consume content differently. I promote my blogs on different social media platforms such as my Instagram, Facebook, Zomato, and Pinterest pages (set to Public) to ensure it’s read and shared by more people. I also post stories and short videos from time to time to provide more visibility for my blog content.

To stay relatable, I ask people to provide feedback about my work through surveys. I also go live at events to tap on real-time engagement.

5) How do you make moolah with your efforts?

I feel it is essential for PR agencies and brands to value my time and pay adequately for my work and efforts. I maintain a blog media kit that I distribute to anyone who wishes to work with me. The media kit highlights my blog’s reach, influence, and engagement, along with my accomplishments as an award-winning lifestyle blogger.

I enjoy working with anyone who understands the value of associating with me and wants to pay in cash or kind.

6) How do you maintain editorial objectivity with the influx of brand briefs?

As a thumb rule, I don’t publish press releases on my blog. Even if I receive a concept note from the brand, I will repurpose it to make it relevant for my blog.

7) One instance/experience that made it all worthwhile

In December 2014, after a lot of deliberation and anxious moments, I mustered up the courage to blog about the painful subjects of physical abuse and bullying and share the deep-rooted psychological effects it continues to have on my own life. Only my wife and a few close friends were privy to the details of this bitter truth, but I still chose to write about it on the blog anyway.

In response to my post, I received a flurry of comments. One, in particular, was a touching mail from John Durham, who continues to work as a Director at Alpha Doc Switzerland.

Please continue to read until the end.

Hi Rahul,

I don't often get around to reading your Google+ posts, but I felt compelled to read this one, and I would like to thank you sincerely for having the courage and kindness to write about your suffering.

Courage, because part of us – bizarrely, and this is a real "kicker" – feels guilt and shame that we were victims of abuse or bullying (!).

Courage, because unlike you – and although I have a lovely, special wife – I have never even told her about this suffering, because I was so ashamed of not being able to defend myself, either verbally or physically. (Men are supposed to be strong and confident.) In parallel – and this I couldn't hide from her – was walking the streets as a child, neglected, because I was afraid to go home in the evenings, where sometimes my father came home drunk

[I'm sobbing as I write this, Rahul]

and shouted at me through my locked bedroom door "you fucking bastard" and other horrible things.

Kindness, because by disclosing something about your past, you give others "permission" to do the same, and they don't feel so alone, or weird, about feeling this way.

One thing I am proud of is that, although I felt angry and deep sadness about what happened to me, I have never once felt bitter. I learned later on, after my parents' deaths, that my father had gone through some terrible things, before, during, and after World War II. My father was not a bad man, and I have managed to come to terms with my childhood to a certain extent and retain some love and compassion for my parents. However, I'm still in therapy.

I don't blame my teachers for the bullying I suffered. They were great, supportive, and can't possibly see everything that goes on.

You seem to have found a partner with whom you can share lovely complicity and get valuable support. That's just great. It couldn't have happened to a nicer guy.

Thank you again, Rahul, for this wonderful blog!

Your friend,

John Durham


Main Office

Crêt-Taconnet 8

2000 Neuchâtel


Telephone: +41 (0)32 724 51 71

Mobile: +41 (0)79 209 61 35

It was only after this particular response from John that I started to realize the real potential of blogging. The fact that it could touch so many lives in such a positive way and make such a massive difference was very comforting and reassuring.

8) Weirdest brand brief/request ever

I was invited to cover the recently concluded Delhi Times Fashion Week 2019 by a public relations firm in Gurgaon. The agency, for some reason, assumes that bloggers and social media influencers will provide coverage for free!

Imagine it’s not one, not two, but a three-day event and they wanted me to cover the same for free, interview the designers and showstoppers, and then scream all over the Internet about how wonderful the event was.

Barters are the new flavor of the season, and many agencies want to exploit bloggers by requesting them to provide coverage for free, so please be wary.

A post shared by Rahul Prabhakar (@rahulprabhakar) on

9) If not blogging, you would be?

Blogging provided me a voice and an identity in the world. If not blogging, I would have been a journalist for sure.

Never Perfect. Always Amazing. That's moi 😉 Italian cosmetic brand, KIKO MILANO completed 20 years of beauty and announced another milestone with the opening of its 1000th store in Ambience Mall at Gurugram. Yours truly was invited to catch all the action live 😎 KIKO has made a retail mark in a widespread geographical network over a span of 20 years. The brand is present in over 20 countries and also has an online presence in 36 nations offering over 1400 products, including make-up, skincare and beauty accessories, as well as over 1000 new products offered in limited edition collections every year. #love #fashion #tweegram #photooftheday #20likes #amazing #smile #follow4follow #like4like #look #instalike #igers #picoftheday #food #instadaily #instafollow #followme #ootd #iphoneonly #instagood #bestoftheday #instacool #instago #all_shots #follow #webstagram #colorful #style #swag
A post shared by Rahul Prabhakar (@rahulprabhakar) on

10) A day in your life....

Is super duper exciting. It’s not easy to step inside my shoes since I wear multiple hats during the day, like that of a father, a program manager at a leading agency, a colleague, a friend, and a blogger. I religiously give my blog/social media pages the fodder it requires to grow, i.e. at least two hours daily.

11) Message/tips for upcoming bloggers

Stop being impatient and grow your personal brand by working twice as hard. Don’t be short-sighted, focus at long-term associations. Also, don’t quit your cushy full-time job to pursue blogging. Blogging will not pay your bills!

12) Your Favorite Influencer
I used to like Simon and Martina from, a happily married Canadian couple that lives in Tokyo, Japan and makes food and adventure videos.

13) The Future you foresee for your Personal Brand

The future looks promising. This year my focus is to create engaging YouTube videos on travel and food. I have not even explored 1% of the potential that YouTube offers as a medium.

Top post on IndiBlogger, the biggest community of Indian Bloggers


  1. didn't knew the reason behind the name, but 'The Muse' always amused me...very catchy name...1 question, if not blogging, what would be (something not related to blogging or journalism)...

  2. Amazing and insightful post. The blog highlights very useful info. Keep it up your blogging.
    Great thoughts.

  3. Very well explained you have nailed it ty for sharing such a wonderful post.

  4. Keep the good work on. Your blog name actually looks catchy and interesting to read.

  5. Amazing, you nailed it. I like each and every answer of yours. One question here - how do you manage your blog along with your full time job?

    1. I do it somehow. I am on a sabbatical right now, so it is easily manageable.

  6. Quite inspiring and amazing. .It's great to know about blog name history

    1. Thank you so much, Sapna. I'm glad you found the interview inspiring and amazing 😊

  7. I literally felt myself at your place while reading this post, your journey is worth reading and worth admiring 💯 Wishing you loads of success 😇

  8. You have an amazing blogging journey. I love how the story unfolded when you were living in South Korea, for 7 years! Wish you all the very best for the journey ahead :)

    1. Aw ... Thanks a lot for your appreciation, Seema ☺️

  9. Well, I did not know that magazines even edit the answers to such levels! Good to know about your journey, story and the reason behind the name. Have a great blogging career ahead!

    1. Thanks Amrita for your wishes and appreciation. FYI, Social Samosa is not a magazine. Not sure what made you think it was!

  10. Social Samosa Interviewed me too, glad to read your post.

    1. Social Samosa has interviewed a lot of people, including you & me. The questions remain the same for everyone, but the answers aren't :)

      I'll read your response soon!

  11. I already know about your Korea story. It was great to know more new facets about you. Blogging since 13 years is not easy. Keep going and do what you do best. All the best for the future!

    1. Yes, it hasn't been an easy ride but I've stuck to what I do best! Blogging for me is part of life now :)

  12. I actually felt myself at your place while reading this interview 🙈

    1. So glad to hear this. Please leave your name next time while commenting.

  13. What an interesting read. I too have experienced an editing of my answers in a similar situation, for the worse, but I’m glad you put out an unedited version of your answers.

    1. Yes. Editing someone's responses is so not cool, especially when you're interviewing them! I'm a writer and I would like my responses to be published as is.
      The editing was uncalled for!

  14. It is inspiring reading about your journey. It takes a lot of courage to talk about your personal experiences and I am glad that you were able to help your readers and have a positive impact on their life.

    1. If my writing can resonate with even one person in need, I would feel accomplished.

  15. Another feather in your cap... Congratulations... Great to know your blogging journey...


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