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Thursday, 2 October 2014

L’échange scolaire : Un voyage inoubliable

Le dernier jour au lycée Héléne Boucher

Le 17th décembre, mes amis et moi, Nous sommes arrivés à l'aéroport internationale d’Indira Gandhi au petit matin ne plus tenir en place et un peu et un peu nerveux de voyager près de 8000 km par nous-mêmes. Est-ce qu’on a su à ce moment-là, comme nous avons pris l'avion, que notre famille allait allons maintenant élargir pour y inclure de nouveaux frères, parents, sœurs, tantes ...?

Pas du tout, nous n’avons eu aucune idée. Mais à 19h du soir, quand nous avons quitte l’aéroport Charles de Gaulle, salué par des affiches hindi et avons accueilli par deux messieurs dans les vêtements français traditionnels, nous avons commencé à avoir une idée. 

« Quand une histoire sort de votre expérience, c'est presque toujours plus fort. »


L’expérience que nous avons vit pendant L’Echange Scolaire 2012 entre DPS International et le prestigieux- Lycée Helene Boucher. Ce n’était pas seulement un voyage dans ​​la ville de Paris et une expérience parisienne mais nous avons réussi, en effet, à trouver une famille loin de chez -nous. 

Là, à Paris, nous avons appris à ajuster, à se faire des amis, de s'adapter, d'apprendre, de s'ouvrir à de nouvelles idées, d'enseigner et surtout d'apprendre avec un esprit ouvert et la bouche fermée. Il nous a appris quelque chose de différent et nous a changés pour devenir de meilleurs amis, de meilleurs enfants, de meilleurs étudiants et de meilleures personnes. Mais plus que tout, le temps que nous avons passé dans la ville restera toujours proche de nos cœurs. 

De nombreux voyages en métro nous ont fait mémorisé les stations par cœur, de longues promenades, se perdre, le nombre des musées, la connaissance acquise, les parcs magnifiques qui vous détendent, le paysage splendide, l'odeur persistante d'une pâtisserie, la liste est longue. La connaissance, l'expérience et le plaisir que nous avons vit sont inoubliables dans toute vie. Et j'espère qu’un jour tout le monde aura la chance d'avoir la même expérience inoubliable.

Tuesday, 23 September 2014

2 Minute Dinner Tips - Watermelon and Feta Salad

This combination should not work - for some one as basic as me in my taste - but it does and while, right away you don't even realise how genius and easy it is; it comes back to you at the most strange moments begging you taste it again. The salad works because the freshness and sweetness of the watermelon goes splendidly with the saltiness of the feta cheese. Also, it is so easy to prepare.



Methods of Prep:

  • 1 Bag of Lettuce
  • Watermelon (according to taste)
  • Feta Cheese (in accordance with Watermelon)
  • 1 Onion, thinly sliced (optional)
  • A dribble of Olive oil
  • A squeeze of lemon juice
  • Mint leaves to garnish
  • And Voila!

Enjoy!

Sunday, 7 September 2014

Marriage

English Translation Study till 22, job at 25, girl at 26, kids at 30, retirement at 60 ... and then wait for  death ... who wants to live such a boring life     

I'm using this dialogue yet again but it's because it so succinctly puts into words, what boggles me about life. Since, when has marriage become the goal of our lives? I understand that everyone wants someone to share a life with; to love but that would apply if all marriages were love marriages. They aren't.

We understand that child-marriages should be illegal because every child under 18 is too young to take on the responsibilities of marriage. What responsibilities? I thought this was about sharing your life not becoming an unpaid servant to the whims and fancies of your "other half" (applies to both men and women). And what qualifies you to be 'too old for marriage'? There are no physical disabilities that we succumb to once we get older! Then how does one get too old to marry?

Marriage is nothing but a binding contract for a relationship which I am in no way against but at the end of the day, it is a relationship. While, perhaps you may be too young to have one (not sure about this yet), you cannot definitely ever be too old for one.

Marriage should stop being treated as the ultimate goal of life, as the definitive next step when you turn of a certain age. And to those who say, we marry to procreate - open your eyes and look around! There are far too many people on this planet. If some people decided not to have kids, doesn't mean the human race will end. Apparently, humans love sex too much. At least we don't eat our children.

Monday, 28 July 2014

Travel Guide: Jama Masjid and an Iftar Food Walk

This post is a Eid special. And while I write it most of the countries in the Middle East, Saudi Arabia Europe, America and Canada celebrate Eid-ul-Fitr today marking the end of a month long period of fasting, Ramadan (Ramzan). In India, it's tomorrow.

In celebration of Ramadan, Eid and in a way Chand Raat* my family, friends and I visited the famous streets around the Jama Masjid (Masjid-i Jahān-Numā)  in Delhi. 

View of Jama Masjid while there was still light.
The streets were wonderfully busy as people on their roza (fast) went about purchasing food and getting ready for their prayers. Around 7:45, the as the sunset, two loud firecrackers announced the end of the roza. I couldn't help but watch curiously as everybody nibbled on a small food item and drank some water. It was a strangely calming sight. You would imagine these people would be starving after an entire day of no water and food. If they were, they showed no signs. Shopkeepers, vendors and restaurant servers alike ate nothing more than maybe one khajoor (dates) or some fruit. It was so cute to see that vendors gave away small snacks for open to open their fasts.
A very blurry picture of a Khajoor vendor.
View of Jama Masjid at dusk (above) from Meena Bazaar (below)



















Once the sun sets, special lighting all around the Masjid are switched on making for a spectacular view. Our food walk began in street just opposite the Jama Masjid. About 100m away from it's beginning is a nondescript eatery where an old man is cutting up meat. A large bain-marie is boiling away with hot oil. This shop goes by the name of Haji Mohammed Hussain. 


They sell the most amazing fish and chicken fry. I kid you not. The food is marinated in a mix of spices that have remained a secret. The food is plated up straight from the pan. Served with chutney, a sprinkle of masala and round onions, the taste is orgasmic. The chicken is succulent and delicious, breaking apart as you bite into. One of the finest fried chicken ever served.

We couldn't get enough of this chicken but moved, quite unwillingly, back down the lane to the Masjid, entering the street perpendicular to it for some mouth-watering kebabs. Perhaps, some may have a problem with the hygiene at this particular taste but perhaps for some the taste would be worth the risk. The kebabs are soft and melt in the mouth. 
Popular indoor restaurant Al Jawahar
As impossible as it seems, we weren't done yet. ate at the popular Al Jawahar. It's touted as the undiscovered Karim's and since I've been too Karim's, I felt that it was the right time to compare the two. 
Al Jawar is a nice restaurant. I wanted to write little but it's not. It has extended into three floors of a medium-sized seating arrangement that is comfortable and provides full A.C. There was a waiting to get a table but because the service is so coordinated and fast, we didn't have to wait long - even though we were nine people!

We ordered a Sheer Mal, Romali Roti, Tandoori chicken, Afghan chicken, and biryani. I wanted Nihari but it was only available in the morning hours - huge bummer for me because I'd been waiting for that the entire evening. I know it's hard to imagine.

Unfortunate as it was, I didn't enjoy the food at Al Jawahar as much as people had said I would. Sheer Mal which is sweet bread was definitely fantastic - better than Karim's. But the biryani and the chicken were nothing special. It was a pity because they were made so well but I suggest Karim's Nihari. To top off the meal, we ate phirni - a traditional rice pudding delicacy which was alright as I have eaten better but it was perfect end to the night.
Phirni, a traditional dessert (rice pudding) at Al Jawahar




Meena Bazaar on the foot of Jama Masjid, Gate 



Before the sunset



After the breaking of the Roza, the lights came to life.
video
Here's a video of when the azaan started. Just wanted to sit and listen forever. 

How to get there: Take the metro to Chawri Bazaar and then a rickshaw to the Jama Masjid.

So here's the Food Guide to Jama Masjid. To everyone, Eid Mubarak, especially to our friends in Gaza. May Allah guide you and bless you with peace, happiness and prosperity. 


*eve of the Muslim festival of Eid ul-Fitr

Sunday, 27 July 2014

Travel Guide : The Westin Sohna Resort & Spa

View from the window - The Westin
In the humdrum and chaos of life, it not always possible to travel much. Perhaps that was the thought the The Westin Sohna was built with. Only 2 hours away from Delhi, on the Sohna road, the resort is made to be the perfect weekend getaway. 
My journey (with my family) began on a friday when we set off around 3:30 p.m reaching quite quickly around 5:30. The roads started out as fantastic and worsened the further we got away from the city. However, thankfully there wasn't much traffic and the bumps only slowed us down mildly.

Westin at first glance is quite exotic: the path leading to the reception, a steady wooden walkway flanked by a shallow water pool. Infact, the entire reception is surrounded with water moat. Greenery is in abundance and it almost seems like the luxurious farmhouses in Gurgaon. 

Westin is huge so although you can walk, there are golf carts deployed around the area to drive you to and from your room. Apart from having the most lovely, soft beds. The Westin provides for cycling, swimming, horse riding, and just siting around doing nothing. There were special activities for kids too.


Architecturally, the resort is wonderfully made with individual building of red brick standing in contrast to the greenery and the sandpaper path. However, inside the rooms, the oddest feature is that there are no doors to the bathroom. Instead, there are two sets of meagre, see-through curtains making bathing and going to the loo an embarrassing and rather quick process. As you can see, anyone siting up in made has full view of anyone who is taking a shower in the cubicle (not shown in picture) or having a bath in the tub (in picture).

The breakfast is lavish with a spread perhaps wider than that of a five-star hotel such as Taj but the food, in general, is anything but ordinary. In fact, the accessibilty of Westin meant that on Sunday there was no space to breathe much less stand as families from nearby all popped in for a Sunday Buffet Breakfast.
View at The Westin, Sohna: Resorts & Spa
Pretty pretty.


 The Westin is at the most a one time visit and although staying in the room, or siting in the garden provides the kind of relation city-dwellers often need, the nearby activity of paramotoring and the cars on the road along the resort can most easily ruin the peace and quiet. It's perfect for a one or two-day vacation.


Rating - 2/5 stars

Friday, 25 July 2014

Everything and Nothing : Fresh Starts

I should start by mentioning how deeply apologetic I am for being this inactive on the blog this past few months. The truth is that things have been crazy. But when are things not crazy right?

I recently started college - a week back to be specific - last monday to be even more - and everything has changed. The transition from school to college has only been spoken off but can only be understood best when experienced - as with other things. When my mum had repeatedly told me, 'Things will be completely different at college.' I believed her but never understood the extent at which that happens.

The best and possibly the worst thing to happen at college is the amount of freedom that you get. You are no longer children. All this while, you are waiting impatiently for you to be treated like an adult. Suddenly, as if the college gates were some sort of transformation portal, you finally start being treated like an adult. You are left completely responsible for your own self. For those who move away from home to hostel, the change is much greater and scarier. No one is going to feed you, do your laundry, make your bed or even remind you of homework. If you want to sit and watch Netflix all day you're most welcome to!

School to college in real life is like birthday transformations in sims.

There is no way to be prepared for college: I was a bundle of nerves the first day. Making friends can be both difficult and easy. At first, there are some who you easily become friends with yet others whom you feel you could be friends with but neither you make the effort nor they. It's all okay though. Slowly and steadily, things will become more steady and less scary. Even if, on the first, you weren't as successful in making friends as you hoped, it doesn't guarantee that you'll be friendless throughout. In fact, once you start attending class and participating in societies, you'll probably make enough friends to last you a lifetime.

Thankfully for me so far; my teachers are great, the students are alright, the seniors are as helpful and friendly as they can get and the campus is lovely. Slowly I hope to get to know more people, learn more things and become more confident.

One thing a senior told me and I'd like to share with you - 'By second year, everything changes. The first year is a massive grooming process.' So let the chips fall where they may! Have a happy experience!

Friday, 23 May 2014

The Days of Future Past in the X-Men Franchise

You see what I did there with the title? Future Past? X-Men? Play on the title of the new movie? No? Okay.

So, far I am legitimately the ONLY one in all my friends and acquaintances (ten people) who disagrees with the general consensus on the movie 'X-MEN: Days Of The Future Past'. Critics, reviewers, fans - everybody is literally gushing over the film but is it really that good?



I'm going to have to start with the title. I am aware of the fact that the title doesn't define the movie but 'Days of the Future Past' has to be the worst title ever! Subtitle actually. Or whatever. Does it even make grammatical sense? I feel like zero energy and effort were put into naming the film. It is honestly the most unimaginative, and literal title I have had the misfortune of coming across.

X-Men: Days of the Future Past is based in a dystopian future when the world has been taken over by killer robots (of course this is original!). These robots were created to kill mutants but went rogue, and started killing anyone who had even the slightest connection with mutants and their mutations. Mutants decide to save the day by sending Wolverine (Hugh Jackman) back into the past to stop the event that led to all this.

Although, the story boasts of complexity, in reality, however, people are forgetting that 90% of the movie only follows Wolverine, Beast, Prof X and Magneto as they chase Mystique down to stop her from shooting Trask (creator of Sentinels): the event that spirals out of control into a bleak and dark future.

When Jackman arrives in the past, Magneto is in prison for killing JFK and so it is decided that he must be freed. There is an extensive albeit hilarious breakout scene featuring Quicksilver which proves to be the undoing of the main characters. Magneto was meant to help them stop the creation of the Sentinels instead he ends up making the situation worse and then abandoning the protagonists to follow an evil path - entirely his own. Notably, Quicksilver's powers would have been much more handy and much less messy in stopping Mystique and the decision to leave him behind seems inexplicable.

Coming back to the other 10% of the story, it is quite unfortunate, but the action sequences are seriously lacking. Mystique's fighting scenes are repetitive, Wolverine's fighting scenes are non-existent because he can't fight with his non-metal claws, and the beast hardly ever uses his powers. Moreover, Professor Xavier can't use his powers as a result of a drug that allows him to walk. When he does come around to using his powers, he is too weak to provide an substantial result. Hence, the movie spans a multitude of  long narratives instead, through which (surprisingly) he is able to convince the villains of the hour against their villainy.

The film ends on a predictable happy note with an altenate future in which all of the previous characters are alive since none of the events of the past films have occurred. For instance - Jean and Scott are alive. This means our money, time, and patience were all truly wasted watching the previous films as none of it ever happened.

'...characters diagnose and cure each other through the power of motivational speechifying...[Xavier] eventually pumps everyone up slowly, empathetically, boringly.' - rogerebert.com


This could not get any worse but unfortunately, it does. The cast of the film is bloody amazing! James McAvoy and Patrick Stewart are as usual fantastic as Charles Xavier as are Micheal Fassbender and Ian McKellen as Magneto. Peter Dinklage plays Bolivar Trask with panache. Moreover, there is Hugh Jackman (Wolverine), Halle Berry (Storm), Jennifer Lawrence (Mystique), Ellen Paige (Shadowcat), James Marsden Nicolas Hoult (Beast), Lucas Till (Havok) and I am not even halfway through the cast. The acting prowess of these actors is commendable and the movie felt short to fully showcase their abilities.

I love the X-Men.; the comics and all but the truth is that the X-Men franchise is a huge disappointment. People keep saying that the movie is a huge improvement from The Last Stand  however, the point is not the compare it to other films from the franchise. It is a better than The Last Stand, yes, but that doesn't make it any good. Much like its predecessor, apart from a few chuckles and mediocre graphics, the film really doesn't offer much to the viewer.

X-Men movies have stopped depicting what the comics and its characters stand for. The standards of this franchise have been falling for a while now, and the The Last Stand did hit an all new low. The only hope is that now that rock bottom has been hit - there is no way but up!

To conclude - eh!

1/5 stars

P.s - There was a post-credit scene that I obviously missed, as did everyone else in my hall. #StopThePost-CreditScenes. The short scene introduced Apocalypse as the new villain of the series.


Similar Reads: Den of Geek 11 questions about X-Men Days Of Future Past answered

Sunday, 4 May 2014

One Half of the Question

As a part of a country, we all expect certain rights and comforts of being its citizens, security, clean water; unending flow of electricity, laws …and the list goes on. Yet, we do not always receive what we deserve and we can rightly blame the government for being to corrupt; too embedded in its own self-interest. We, however, often forget our end of the bargain. As citizens, although we have rights, we also have duties so the question isn’t just ‘what my country can do for me, it is – ‘What my country can do for me and what I can do for my country’.

The biggest concern in the world right now is the lack of clean, fresh and drinkable water and, we expect our country to provide it to us. We, here in India force the government to clean the Yamuna, the Ganges…all the polluted rivers of India. Then, when the government fails, we denounce it. The question is why was the river so polluted in the first place? As citizens of the country, our duty is to keep the water sources clean and to not waste it if it is available. That is what we can do for our country; this is what I can do for my country which is essential for it to provide me with clean water.

The other day, a certain radio show featured a segment wherein the radio jockey called up the electricity company to ask him why there was such a shortage if electricity in our country. The call was made to make the employee feel uncomfortable about the thousands of people who sit in forty-five degrees of temperature without electricity. Provision of electricity is what my country can do for me. However, has anyone paused to think that maybe if collectively, we were not all guilty of wasting electricity, there probably would not have been a shortage anyway. Switching off lights and fans is a must in the duties of what I can do for my country- also one of the easiest duties which so many of us simply forget to do.

The government of each country emphasizes on welfare- related goals and growth and development of a country. Free or subsidized education and healthcare is a provision made by most countries, Indian being one if them. We all must feel that this is what my country can do for me especially if I am less fortunate. Yet, we do not realise that availing those facilities not only benefits us but, also the country as a whole. You must be wondering how? It is quite simple really; free education till the age of fourteen means more children will be educate themselves which will enable them to look for better jobs and earn better. This has multiple positive effects - two prominent ones being: first, the crime rate of the country will fall because people may not need to sustain themselves through these crimes anymore; secondly, through basic economics one has learn that a better educated population propels the country forward towards economic and social growth. In short, we will have better living standards.

Similarly, free health checkups allows more people to afford to get themselves checked which could translate into early detection of contagious diseases making the environment and people around the patient safer as well as a quicker start to counter the effects of the disease and medicate it. You see how simple things you and I can do for this country can make this country better as a whole?

At one point in time, being in the army and police was prestigious and highly respected. Nowadays, also because of the falling number of wars, and growing perceived inefficiencies of the police is causing a drop in their membership. Personally, I feel that it is wrong to demean such courage. The army and police make it easy for us to fall asleep every night and not have to watch our backs every waking moment.

Do it for your country, if not by enrolling in it, respect the professions because they deserve it. Just like it is the duty of army or police officials to protect a civilian in danger; it is our duty to assist them in their attempts to make this country a safer place. It’s small things that make a big difference.

Last but not the least; the problem that we as citizens are increasingly encountering is corruption. Corruption is like pollination. It spreads just as one seed spreads to a different location. Slowly and steadily, it has seeped into our system and like vines it, now, has a tenacious grip on the legal framework. Most people rally to the country to get rid of it but, the key to its removal lie in our hands- yours and mine.

Firstly, we must definitely vote. In a popular report, findings say that 46.8% of the population in the cities doesn't vote. Why? Unless you make a thorough case for yourself and vote for who you think is a better party, how will the country progress?

Secondly, corruption did not start at such a high level. No, it started small with you and I bribing the police officer when we skip the red-light; with you and I fixing the outcome of cricket matches to win our wagers; with you and I accepting the bribery from officials to vote for them in the parliament. This and got to stop and that we what we can must do for our country.

Today, I have talked about only a few things from a huge list of duties that you and I have forgotten to fulfill. It is a two way street and we must not solely ask ourselves ‘what my country can do for me’ but also, ‘what I can do for my country’. All this whining and complaining is less effective than just getting up and doing something about it.

Sunday, 13 April 2014

Foreign Things That Are Not Actually Foreign

I was watching Queen the other day. (On a side note: It's a great movie.) So Kangana makes and serves French Toast to her foreign friends (one of who is French) and he says, 'I am from France. This is not French.' She tells him that it's only available in India and this got me thinking, there are so many dishes in other cuisines (mostly chinese) that are completely Indian and served ONLY in India.




For instance, Honey Chilli Potato, which is like heaven on a plate - I kid you not - it is a-mazing. But you can only find it in India. It is a vegetarian version of sweet and spicy chicken and since, no place is more vegetarian than India - we make potato. (Haterz gonna hate; potatoes gonna potate)

Then there's the Chowmein (also pronounced Cho-min) - it is a oily, spicy, Indian street friendly version of Hakka noddles and I assure you, you will find it no where else in the world. Also, no other dish is more capable of giving you heartburn than this variety of newdles (overheard local pronunciation of noodles).

Of course, we've discussed, the French Toast - bread dipped egg and then lightly browned in oil. Of course the even desi-er version includes chilli (how can we live without masala man?), tomatoes and every mummy's favourite garnish, hara dhaniya (fresh coriander).

And lastly, there is the French Fries which are more American than French. Everybody from the neighbourhood aanti (aunty) to cousins from Canada are fond of these fried potato. It is universal food. If they don't eat anything alse (else), make fraanch fries ji!

Saturday, 12 April 2014

Shyness and Other Such Antisocial Behaviour

Definition: Contrary to what most people think, an introvert is not simply a person who is shy. In fact, being shy has little to do with being an introvert! Shyness has an element of apprehension, nervousness and anxiety, and while an introvert may also be shy, introversion itself is not shyness. Basically, an introvert is a person who is energized by being alone and whose energy is drained by being around other people. - more at +About.com
So yeah, like this is a huge discussion nowadays which before we delve into I must confess that I am an introvert. Not that should come as a surprise in terms of they type of antisocial things I talk about in this blog. Technically, just because I am an introvert doesn't mean I am antisocial and in all honesty, I am not antisocial.

I like to meet people; party; go out as much as the next guy. In fact, I probably go out more than my friends who are all surprisingly social and extroverts of the highest order. I love to go out. I love to travel. I like to attend social events (read: lame school parties) often. I don't have social anxiety. I don't hate everyone (just the incredibly stupid ones...okay everyone). And most importantly, I do not always wish to be alone.

Instead, after attending a party, I like to spend the next day in a less stressful manner maybe sleeping, or reading, watching TV and all things of that sort. Yes, like an extrovert I don't like to party everyday. I find that incredibly exhausting. I like to talk to people but not, small talk. I like to have witty or meaningful (or utterly meaningless) conversations. And that's that.

Being an introvert certainly doesn't mean that I want to hide under the blanket everytime someone looks at me. It means, I want to be the centre of attention all night and then I need about a week to recover from the effort. Honestly, that's all.


Friday, 11 April 2014

You have 1 unread message


In simpler times/ olden times, communication was a slow process. You want to talk to your sister all the way in London? Well, you would have to write a letter and wait for weeks to have it delivered and then another few weeks for her to send her reply. This all of course developed from the other slower, inaccurate and ancient means of communications (pigeons, parchments, etc.)

Then came telegrams, and telephones, and pagers and now mobiles. Mobiles are much more than calling and messaging. We have social media on our phones - Facebook, Twitter, Whatsapp, Instagram - and then specific chats for each of the brands of cellphones- iMessage on iPhones (Apple) and BBM for Blackberries (now universal) and even ChatOn for Samsung phones.

Amidst all this buzzing (pun intended), I am having a seriously difficult time in understanding why I have to be available to people 24/7. If someone sends me a message, am I obligated to reply to it straight away? What is there to be offended of if I choose to reply at a time when I want to reply instead of right away.

It's a huge issue now a days because everyone just picks up the phone and calls or sends a message through one of the apps straight away and by any chance if they see that their message has been 'seen' and not replied to - all hell breaks loose. I might like you; you might be my best friend but if I don't want to talk to you, you can't make me. I'd like to choose when I wish to converse with someone else no matter who you are. Honestly!

Is it just me or do other people feel this way too? I think that just because a message has arrived doesn't mean it needs to be read and just because I am online on facebook doesn't meant that I should have to talk to you.

I don't mean to be rude in anyway, I just like my liberty probably more than you do.

Thursday, 3 April 2014

Fruit Wars

I'm not even going to mention HIMYM. I'm not even going to tell you I had with tears streaming down my face (well, okay not literally) had also written a post about it which I abandoned because life is unfair. (Fine, I forgot to upload it and now it has lost its relevance like Barney and Robin's marriage *sob*).  


This post is about fruits or two fruits in particular: Blackberry and Apple. By now you probably know where the post is going.  

'Do you still have a blackberry?' My friend asked me. 

And the answer is yes, yes I do. I understand that my phone is probably the worst. It is literally falling apart and it takes forever to load but that's not why people are hating on my phone. They're hating on it cuz it's a blackberry. Because now all of a sudden (okay probably not that sudden) but there is Apple fever and so macs (irrelevant to this post) and iPhone are selling like hot cakes. (Also, irrelevant to 20th century) 

I remember when Blackberry was the 'in' brand. Every single person owned every single version of Blackberry. People couldn't live without BBM. Ask me. And suddenly it faded. These days I don't even remember the last time I used BBM. Damn. 

The point is, people who are running after iPhones and sneering at people who own other phones better realise that this popularity is fleeting. Plus, come on, buy an iPhone and your phone will be outdated by the week after.

All of us are Bad Luck Brians with iPhones


So, I'm living with this...phone. Not that I had a choice anyway.



Monday, 31 March 2014

Zombie Apocalypse


ZOMBIES HAVE ATTACKED OUR WORLD! HAS ANYONE NOTICED?! ANYONE? NO? Of course you haven't! You're a bloody zombie too.


I totally had this internship right: 9-5 everyday, 5 days a week. I was a zombie too. Wake up, eat, work, eat,  watch tv, sleep - literally. Like you're so exhausted by the end of the day to even think straight. It's crazy and the more I think about it, the crazier it seems. 


Why does everyone spend their life doing this? I understand for those who LOVE their work but their is like a huge majority who just go around like a zombie and not even realizing how fast life passes by. I spent two months doing this and I didn't even realize when it was all over. I enjoyed what I was doing but honestly, that's not what I could be doing all my life. I want to truly LIVE: fulfill the actual purpose of my existence.

'22 tak padhai, 25 pe naukri, 26 pe chokri, 30 pe bacche, 60 pe retirement...aur phir maut ka intezaar...dhat aaisi ghisi piti life thodi jeena chahta hoon' - YJHD

English Translation
Study till 22, get a job at 25, marriage at 26, kids at 30, retirement at 60...and then wait for death. Who the hell wants to live like this?

Each to their own pal but I know what I'm going to do and in case do really attack zombies attack, I'm going to let them have it. AAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHH

BeCuz I'm Happy




It is a prevalent mindset that I have noticed quite a few times no doubt arising in West: if it's sad, it's better. This can apply to everything and anything - movies, book, songs and even dogs (makes it easier to convince people to adopt it). The fact is that most sad things make people equally sad. However, most happy things don't make all people equally happy. 

My aunt's friend's daughter's cat got a cold. I'm sad
Person 1: I'm sorry! It'll be okay.
Person 2: That's terrible. Did she take it to the vet?
Person 3: I remember when my uncle had a cold. It was awful. All that snot, sniffing, coughing...terrible! He died of a brain tumour then. (A.N: WHAT? That is so unrelated.)
Person 4: Oh poor animals! Curse the humans.

My point being that everyone is equally upset that my aunt's friend's daughter's cat has a cold. However, if I were to say:

jokes.cc.com
That is funny. No? Made my day!
Person 1: Hilarious! Hahah! Can you breath through it! Classic!
Person 2: Ew You have such a dirty mind
Person 3: Agreed! That was sooo lame!
Person 4: You call that a joke.

See? No universal sadness. Jokes are either too funny; too lame; too dirty; too racist; too old; too obvious; mean; etc etc

jokes.cc.com

Okay back to seriousness:
People love being sad. Honestly, no offence, but John Greene's The Fault in Our Stars is the single most unremarkable piece of literature I have read. Yet, it continues to top charts. Why? THE KID HAS CANCER HOW CAN WE EVER SAY THAT THE BOOK IS TERRIBLE? (note: sarcasm). It is as true as it gets. The sad films always get the Oscar, the books always top the bestseller lists, the songs always are on top of billboards...even comedians are given lesser credit than serious/sad/grim (+atrociously made) documentaries (sometimes not even those). Yes, the story is sad and I have deep respect for all the atrocities and unfairness faced by people in life but that doesn't necessarily mean that when that is converted in to commercialized media, any of its original sentiment is left. Badly written books are badly written books; sad or not.

It is a universal fact that, it's harder to pretend you're sad than to pretend you're happy. It is also, harder to make people laugh than to make people cry. SOME DUE CREDIT TO COMEDIANS HERE.

On a side note, HIMYM is ending. Let me go cry.

I'm out.

Tuesday, 18 March 2014

Formula 1 2014 - Australian Grand Prix

Formula 1 2014 started this friday and there was some intense racing at the first stop - Melbourne during the Australian Grand Prix. For all of you, who weren't able to watch this race, the result was such:-

          Driver's Championship          
                                                     

 Constructor's Championship 



Friday and Saturday suited me so well. You see, I am a bit of a Hamilton supporter and boy, did he set the stage (or race, in this case): snatching up the pole position for himself during the practise sessions. However unfortunately, Sunday turned out to be a big disaster for him because as issues with his engine and gearbox forced him to retire after the 4th lap.

"I think I was driving on five cylinders," Hamilton told Britain's Sky television. "It's a bit unfortunate but that's racing."

You could see that he didn't want to go because even after being told to retire by his teammates whilst in his 3rd lap, he continued onto his next lap. Halfway through his lap, however, he realised that his engine wasn't going to help him through to the end. It was quite a disappointment.

One thing I won't deny however was that Hamilton or not, the race was quite eventful. Apart from, Hamilton, six times Championship winner Vettel had problems with his car. So much so that, he too retired after his fifth lap. Lotus racers had a bad time with their cars which gave away quickly during the race.

After the third race starting, Kobayashi crashed into Massa on the first turn retiring them both from the race. The investigation was to happen after the race and thankfully, Kobayashi has not been held responsible for the crash which, is said to have been caused by rear-brake failure.

And this is not of course not the end of all the action: after the race, there was another investigation into Daniel Ricciardo (who came second btw) who was suspected of not sticking to the fuel limit. When I had started writing this post, the investigation was still on going but sadly, it has been finalized and Ricciardo has been stripped of his title. Ugh.

Anyways, the race was great fun and the next one is in Malaysia on 30th and the preps are on 28th and 29th respectively. Catch you then!

Btw, what do you guys think of the new rules? I feel that it has made racing more competitive and so this year watching F1 is much more interesting that last year but do you think that the rules are unfair to the game? Leave your comments below! I'd love you know your thoughts. Till next time-

Thursday, 13 March 2014

The Correlation between Artists, Success and Batsh*t Craziness


What is the similarity between Carvaggio, Johnny Depp, Heath Ledger, Virginia Woolfe, Charles Dickens, Van Gogh and Helena Bonham Carter (etc.)? All these artists at one point or another have been perceived as crazy. They are also all super successful in their fields. 

Right you are!
I live really close to a Fashion Institute and today when I was passing by, I realised how boring the people coming out of it looked. That's why not all designers (even with degrees) are successful because the honest truth is they are not crazy enough!

What do I mean by crazy?
Having said that, it doesn't mean that all crazy people are artists or all successful artistes are crazy. When I say crazy I don't mean that these people are mad; what I mean is they are insane enough to do things are not in trend or the complete opposite of what normal people do. There has to be a certain madness to try out new things - to experiment.

Apart from that I think, artists enter this zone when working when they are all alone. They think of things in ways that no one has ever done before. That way people go like, 'OMG, No way dude! You're crazy!' so I suppose the craziness just progresses as they continue to work. I found this cool article on WiseGeek that you can take a look at if you want to know more. 




Tuesday, 11 February 2014

Top 10 Theme & Other Songs from the past.

A blast from the past, music is the soul of television shows and films. They have the power to make or break scenes. Almost all shows and films have their own Theme songs and some of these songs have earned their position on this list by being a perfect musical representation of their visual counterparts. They are often fun, sometimes gloomy, but almost always addictive. So let's look at the top 10 Theme Songs (Note: the position of the songs on list is noway a reflection of their rank.):

1) 'I don't wanna be' - One Tree Hill
This fantastic teen drama serial ended in 2012 but its theme song is still part of my playlist. The soulful rendition of Gavin Degraw is by far one of his best songs and is as relevant to us now as it was when it was released. In fact this song was the only single to break the UK Top 40.It also, topped the US Billboard of Top Pop Songs.

Listen to it: I don't wanna be - Gavin Degraw

Other good songs from this singer: Not Over You

2) 'Why Would You Walk When You Can Run' - Guys With Kids
Okay so 'Guys With Kids' did not turn out to be a popular show but that doesn't mean that it doesn't deserve kudos for its theme song. The song is fun and catchy, a reflection of the laid-back show and its slapstick comedy. I don't know about eslsewhere but in India it is currently airing on Comedy Central. It is sung by the co-creator of the show, Jimmy Fallon - no music maestro but I love the song anyway.

Listen to it: Why Would You Walk When You Can Run - Jimmy Fallon OR Why Would You Walk When You Can Run - Jimmy Fallon

3) Sherlock Theme Song - Sherlock
Even if Benedict's mordern representation of Conan Doyle's character Sherlock Holmes, with Martin Freeman and a crazy Moriarty isn't appealing to you, the theme song should be. It is of course devoid of lyrics but it is a brilliant composition all the same. Infact the days, I watch Sherlock, I can't get the tune out of my head.

Listen to it : Sherlock Theme Song

4) Pirates of The Caribbean  
Arr matey! This pirate-y music almost convinces you to turn into a swashbuckling rogue, climb aboard a ship and drink a bottle o' rum. But Pirates are thieves of the sea, not a reputation you want, aye mate? So just enjoy this amazingly energetic music with your eyes closed. Technically this is not from the past because I think there's one more movie left but still, had to include it here.

Listen to it: Pirates of the Caribbean

5) Far Over The Misty Mountains - The Hobbit (part 1)
This gut wrenching and soul stirring composition of J.R.R Tolkien's poem 'Far Over The Misty Mountains' deserves an applaud for retainning equal amounts sense of loss and pride that the Dwarves felt for their home, the Lonely Mountain, claimed by the powerful dragon Smaug. The song adds to the marvelous acting and fantastic directing of the bestselling book by Tolkien.

Listen to it: Far Over The Misty Mountains

6) Hedwig's Theme - Harry Potter
This beautiful composition was created by none other than John Williams who is one of the finest Film Composers. He proved that with this theme song which stirs nostalgia for the series everytime I listen to it. There are not enough words to decribe how much I enjoyed this magical melody.

Listen to it : Hedwig's Theme

Other compositions: Star Wars - This needs its own few words because although I am not a big Star Wars fan, the theme song is a work of art!

7) Star Trek - Micheal Giacchino
I am, in fact, a major Star Trek fan and this theme gives me goosebumps. It is futuristic and dark and hopeful and everything Star Trek stands for. 'Space: the final frontier. These are the voyages of the Star Ship Enterprise. Its continuing mission: to explore strange new worlds; to seek out new life and new civilizations, to boldly go where no man has gone before.'

8) Game Of thrones - Ramin Djawadi
Originally Stephen Warbeck (Celestia Warbeck, Harry Potter anyone? *snigger*) was supposed to compose the music but he left. Can I say that Warbeck lost something, and we gained something? More specifically he lost fans and we gained some kick-ass powerful, not-so medieval music for a certain badass medieval show...

Listen to it: Game of Thrones

Other compositions: Iron Man  - OMG OMG OMG! LOVE HIM! #FANGIRL

9) Mission Impossible - Lalo Schrifin
Who doesn't know this? The theme song of Mission Impossible is synonymous with spy and impossible-ness. It's a cult. And truly, who hasn't (atleast once) dowloaded this music on their phone and sneaked around the house pretending to be Ethan Hunt?

Listen to it: Mission Impossible

10) The Powerpuff Girls  
I still love this cartoon! What? Don't judge me! In all fairness I love both the theme song used in the beginning and the one used in the end. SUGAR.SPICE.&EVERYTHINGNICE.

Listen to it: (beginning) Powerpuff Girls & (end) Powerpuff Girls Song


And that's it. Got any of your own theme songs that you think should be on this list? Leave your comments below. :)

Tuesday, 14 January 2014

Why are Mondays so awful?

“It was Monday morning. Swaminathan was reluctant to open his eyes. he considered Monday specially unpleasant in the calendar. After the delicious freedom of Saturday and Sunday, it was difficult to get into the Monday mood of work and discipline..."

Ugh Mondays. I also found the perfect quote for it. How appropriate, it's from 'Swami and Friends' by R.K Narayan. It also seems self explanatory why someone...everyone would hate Monday. What is there to like. Everything about it makes me cringe. it announces the end of the holidays. The short weekend, my breathe of relief. It forces me to go back to work; to start thinking again; to approach my to do list. I can no longer sleep till the cows come home. No more spending time watching TV, curled up in bed. No more vegetating. Mondays are positively dreary.

As a child. Monday was even worse. It meant, that it was time for the ridiculous Monday Test. It was the sole reason we spent our weekends studying everything yet nothing. We studied long and hard (on an afterthought..maybe not hard), our prescribed syllabus but it took away from us the chance to study something we didn't know so well. In my case, math.
I am an adult now. Yes, I just turned 18 and there is absolutely nothing to look forward to except repetition and routine. The age-old words for boring and boring. Wake up early, eat cereal, work, eat dinner, sleep. Mondays are awful.


If Monday were a person, they would lack imagination. Monday would be that person who once laughed on your joke and will remind you that s/he did, every time they cross you. they are positively idiotic. They lack ambition and pride in the boring.


Why are Mondays so awful? Because they are the fairytale door to boring. An abomination.

Monday, 13 January 2014

Do’s and Don’ts of sending your Manuscript!

I recently got accepted as an Intern at this really badass publishing house. It’s my third day here and I am writing a blog post because in three days I’ve learnt things I’d like to share with budding writers and first time authors. My job here as an intern is to read manuscripts that have been sent to the Publishing House and then reject or accept them, depending how they are. I now know things that you absolutely need to know before you click on that send button. So, here they are the Do’s and Don’ts of sending your Manuscript!


Do’s

1)  Send a synopsis – Sometimes as authors you probably forget that you and only you have the story in your head. Editors have no idea what the story is about and if you don’t send them a synopsis, they will never know. Infact, they may reject your proposal simply based on the fact that they don’t understand where the story is going to end. So, don’t think that you’re going to impress the editor by keeping the story suspense. The truth is that there are no secrets with the Editor.
2)  Edit – Edit, edit and edit till you can’t and then edit some more. Make sure that your story starts with the story and is not a lengthy monologue about yourself or your character. Absolutely not. Since you are always required to send sample chapters, send chapters that tell a story. Editors have no interest in reading long character profiles that can easily be included later on.
3)  Check all spellings (especially in your email) – A lot of manuscripts arrive with long praises for the author only to spell the first word, even as simple as ‘Hello’ wrong.  Now, you can imagine that’s quite annoying considering that it is probably followed by a story of all your prowess and achievements.
4)  Correct all grammatical errors – It doesn’t matter if you don’t have a completely grammatical errors free document, because that is the Editors job. However, do make sure you have corrected all the basic errors like; making sure that your singular and plurals are all correct.
5) Be original – I once read a manuscript that had been copied word to word from a popular comedy film, including the title. Be original because even if editors enjoy reading, doesn’t mean that they don’t watch movies or listen to music; they are not generally unaware of the goings on in the world.
6) Have a story to tell – Probably the most important advice is that every story needs a beginning, middle and end so, make sure your story does too. It will not do to send your opinions or a sudden stroke of genius if it does not have a structure. You’re pinning false hope on nothing and moreover, wasting the editor’s time. So if you don’t know the
7) Have decent email ids – At school we’re told all the time to make proper email ids for college applications. It’s the same thing with your proposal! If you send a manuscript from the id ‘barneyrocks@email.com’, the editor will not be impressed. It will do you good to remember that editors are not your friends. They deserve every bit of respect and formality and it should be given.
8) Read all the requirements – Most publishing houses have their own websites where they post rules and advice to help you. They too post things that you should and should not do. Do read them and keep them in mind. If it says, do not send us enquiries then do not send them enquiries.
9) Make your manuscript presentable – If your story looks like the picture below, please don’t send it. Read rules Q to 8 and then start again. Include all the details and put it in a proper format. Don’t overuse exclamation marks (!) or ellipses (.)
Don’ts

  1. Write an email – Do not send an empty email because it’s rude. Even if it’s just four words, write them!
  1. Label the attached documents properly – There are hundreds of manuscript submissions so if I open your attachment, I should be able to find it later without a hitch. It doesn’t help if the document is labelled ‘Synopsis’. Be more specific – ‘Synopsis for Paradise (xyz)’


  1. Do not send multiple emails – Just because the ‘To’ row is first doesn’t mean you have to fill it in, in the beginning. Infact, leave it for the end so that you do not end up accidently sending an incomplete proposal. Sending multiple emails reduces the chance of your email being accepted simply because the editor may not realize that you have sent him a complete email. They may assume that you’re one of those people who keep pestering them about replies.


  1. DO NOT ASSUME the gender of the person reading your proposal – Unless you’re completely sure who is reading your mail, in which case address the email with their name – ‘Mr SoandSo’, in other cases do not address the email to ‘Dear SIR’. It is very irritating to receive emails from people who assume that I am a guy. Get your mind out of you’re a$$ and please notice that women work too.


  1. Do not be a ‘smarta$$’ – By this I mean, don’t do thigs that can earn you labels like ‘prat’, ‘smarta$$’, ‘prick’ etc. This means, don’t send 600 pages of references. Do not send praise for yourself. If you are not part of the story, then STAY OUT OF IT (focus on your characters) etc etc.


  1. Do not send the novel in the email itself – Just don’t.






And that’s it! The Do’s and Don’ts of sending your Manuscript. I do hope this helped you in determining what you need to do. If you have any questions, leave them in the comments below, I’ll try to help you to the best of my capabilities.


Cheers!