Category Archives: From around the Net

The Phoenix.

What started with me drowning in the depths of the eyes of Patrick Verona, the ‘juvie’ bad boy with his manly charm and brown curls never really ended, even though it’s been almost 12 years since those eyes lost the light of life.

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By the time I saw the Dark Knight, little did I know Heath Ledger was already dead or that he was the same 19-year-old who had stolen my heart in ’10 things I hate about you’. When I did put two and two together, it was too late to share the grief of his loss – people had numbed to his death by then while I was suddenly dealing with fresh punches to the gut, re-watching his films, reading the news pieces of his death with a face to it now, a face I recognise, a laugh I can’t seem to forget, and that wide smile that just melts me into a sloppy mess on a hot day.

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I sat to watch the Joker today, recreated by Joaquin Phoenix and team – still in two minds as the opening shots rolled in. I didn’t want to betray Heath’s memory but I wanted to know what the hype was about. As the scenes played, there were places when I imagined Heath in place of Joaquin or how Heath would have handled the scene or how different the body language would have been. Obviously, all of this is just mere conjecture of Heath’s image in my mind but isn’t that what fans do – juxtapose our idea of a celebrity onto their persona?

By the time the film ended, I had forgotten about both Heath and Joaquin – the character had taken over my senses, making me jump in my seat, spout expletives, rub off the goosebumps lining my arms. That itself speaks volumes about the absolutely stunning work the team has done! Maybe the film wasn’t such a bad idea after all.

But. Is Heath Ledger the Phoenix or is Joaquin Phoenix the one?

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Call it what you may – my fondness for Heath, or my first taste of blood being the Joker from Dark Knight, or a soft spot for the dead, or the relentless anarchist Heath’s character was, or simply blind fanaticism – but I’d still turn to the Dark Knight to watch my share of creep. Maybe Joaquin’s Joker seems too real, too close, too human? Or maybe Heath’s Joker explains the mania all of us have but are afraid to explore?

Never mind what I feel, the Joker is here to stay and go down in the rolls of history once again, for sure.

Graciously Yours!

My happy place.

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The Internet, as we all know it, can be a vicious place to be. If you still don’t know it, well, you haven’t explored enough. Right from seeking gratification to fake news, keeping up with TikTok videos and the latest record-breaking egg, medical remedies to tips on how to build your own rocket, you will find it all. It’s brought the world closer together but it’s also taken us apart.

I am sure each of you has had days where you just want to keep the phone aside and not look at what the internet had to offer. The deluge of information can be overwhelming and a detox work sometimes but then you get hit by FOMO! In all of this confusion, what do you really do with those twiddling thumbs?

I try to detox every once in a while but I am left with my own thoughts which do not really help because they’re, if I may say so, contaminated by social media. Everything seems so peachy and perfect on social media that I start questioning the daily rigours I face in life. For once I’d like to know the challenges people face, the scars that are healing, the pain hidden behind those smiles. I’d like to know the people for who they are and not for what they want to project.

So how do you find a happy place on the World Wide Web? One that assures that it will take care of you, it will not let you down, bring a smile on your face. I found mine! Pinterest. And I cannot swear by it enough. It’s helped me through two heartbreaks, endless writer’s blocks, restless hours of melancholy, dried spells of humour, DIY craft spurts and hell, even when I wanted to drool over the hotness we can never seem to find in our daily lives. No one’s competing for attention there, no one’s trying to up the ante further, no one’s liking or commenting and if they are, I am blissfully unaware. All you find are pictures people have pinned on to their boards, private or public, and the algorithms do the rest based on your search keywords.

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Pinterest to me represents the true collaboration of how far one’s choices and ideas can go if one only has the intent of not seeking validation but instead sharing it because they wanted to. I love the quotes, life stories and confessions that you find up there! They restore my faith in humanity. Pinterest makes me come to terms with the fact that whatever be my life story, someone else is also living the same story somewhere out there, if not worse.

In a world of seven billion people, I may be unique but I am not alone!

Graciously Yours!

P.S.: This is not a sponsored post, though I wish they did sponsor me! If only. *Sigh*

What’s in a name after all?

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The SpaceX BFR (Big Falcon Rocket) is now called the Starship! Musk has been known to be creative even when it comes to naming his ventures. At least, the latest ones. Boring Company. Why? Because they bore through the ground to make tunnels! Brick Store. Why? Well, duh. Because they’re selling bricks! Bricks from the tunnels bored! And my favourite? ‘Not a Flamethrower’ because anything named Flamethrower could not have been shipped through US Customs! But would you call him creative? Or just plain? The names are generic, after all. After all, people who came up with the names Dunzo and Dependo – aren’t they the creative ones?

But why are we discussing names?

Of late, news reports doing the rounds involve Uttar Pradesh and the changes in city names by the current Chief Minister of state, Yogi Adityanath. Yogi Adityanath was born Ajay Mohan Bisht, Guess he didn’t like it much and renamed himself. In a political career spanning over two decades, he’s been known to change names of markets, lanes, roads, railway station platforms and cities. Think of the number of platform displays, milestones, letterheads, postcards, envelopes, shop displays and road signs this man has single-handedly changed. Do the agreements and tenders also require to be changed? I hope not! It isn’t as simple as a Microsoft Word Find and Replace function, after all. Think of the amount of trade he has generated just by the stroke of his pen!

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This isn’t the first time India is witnessing such a drive. Our politicians prefer changing working names rather than doing the actual work of bringing about a change. Their claim to name is religion, history, patriotism and God (of no particular faith, of course) knows what not! From Calcutta to Bangalore, Allahabad to Madras, no place has been spared. Be it the Congress or BJP, Trinamool Congress, or even DMK – they all make name changes when in power and cry their lungs out hoarse when in Opposition! If an act is considered unnecessary and expensive, hold the same standards for everyone – whether in power or in opposition.

The plea that the names were given by the British or the Mughals or whosoever is bollocks! They, even if they were atrocious to us, were a part of our past and they have helped shape our present. If not for the British would the union of the states of India have been possible? Or would we still be ruled by kingdoms and factions, warring for more land? Would we have been another Middle East or the world’s second largest economy? If not for the Mughals, the Persians or the other Muslim rulers, would we have the Qutub Minar, Red Fort and the Taj Mahal? We cannot pick and choose our history. Even if we do not accept it, it’ll still exist. Changing the name of a place will not alter the course of history of the places.

Yogi Adityanath is at the helm of a state which has almost 10 times the population of Australia at 20.4 crores but a purchasing power parity of Tajikistan. With 828 persons per sq. km, against a country average of 382, the state has only 2 working international airports and a crime rate that exceeds all other states of the country, when it comes to communal violence, custodial deaths and police clashes. With over a year into the CM role, there’s so much more for him to focus on. But if only he and his troop of sycophants could focus on the atrocities and deprivations that our people are facing today rather than the ones hurled at us by rulers long dead! If we could only focus on paving the way for the future than trying to alter history. Does no one want to build a legacy these days?

Oh but if we are going to continue with this, then can the psuedo-Gandhis drop their borrowed surname as well and come clean? Now that will be altering the path of history, won’t it?

Graciously Yours!

India Amidst Trade Wars.

An opinion piece I penned recently was published on YourStory.com! Yayy! It details the history of trade, the milestones we’ve achieved, USA at the eye of the trade war storm and how India features in it. Feedback is most welcome.


Over the last year, the United States of America under the leadership of President Trump renegotiated trade relations with the European countries, its’ North American neighbours, Asian economies and has now brought India under its’ lens. Post an apolitical stance in the Cold War era, India opened up its’ trade borders extensively to the U.S but no bilateral trade agreement was signed between both countries. Now that we seem to be on the brink of one, here’s what to expect…

Read more at YourStory.com: https://yourstory.com/mystory/india-amidst-trade-wars-jifc8k86l8

Graciously Yours!

 

The curve.

How you greet a person is often the lasting impression on their mind about you! But it also does much more for your brain and your hormones. A harried, impatient first look leaves a negative note. A blunt hello with no eye contact leaves the other person feeling unimportant – they may not be your beau, your banker or your next CEO, but no need to drill it into their senses. A dull hello defines the course of a duller conversation. And no hello or a greeting? Well, doomed there. Now imagine being greeted by a smile! A simple hello, a wave here, a handshake there. It does go a long way to show that you’re there, if not to share troubles but at least to bring a smile. That curve does go a long way – more so than we have ever thought about.

“There are four important chemicals in play in your brain: Dopamine, Oxytocin, Serotonin, and Endorphins (we will shorten these chemicals to D.O.S.E. for the sake of convenience). When you smile, your brain releases a DOSE of these chemicals automatically.”

Now let us break down the workings of the four chemicals :

D – the joy of finding what you seek – The Happiness Hormone

O – the safety of social bonds – The Hug Drug

S – the security of social dominance – The Mood Hormone

E – the oblivion that masks pain – The Painkiller

So you see how important that smile of yours is! It doesn’t just release a DOSE for you but also for the one who responds to your smile. Baby steps to happiness!

Graciously ‘Smiling’ Yours!

#NationWantsToKnow?

There are some days when life does not make sense.

Then there are more days when your manager does not make sense.

Then come a lot of days when the news does not make sense. Picking up a few of those gems!

What say you? Are you prepared to ruin your good day? Well, or maybe brighten up a bad day? 😛

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Despacito = slowly!

Like the article mentions “Despacito is a song in Spanish about slow love making.” Translated lyrics here. For so many of us Indians and also non Indians out there who think sex is and should remain a taboo, here goes. The song you so love to jive and hum, blabber words you don’t even know the meaning of and think that Spanish is only spoken in Spain, wake up! Life just dealt you a joker. Now what will you do with it?

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Mr. VP – I would wonder about the why rather than the what.

Okay, call me demeaning, if you want. But if this would have happened at a Railway Station washroom, I’d go all, ‘Maybe there have been worrisome incidents in there and there’s a context that isn’t being reported.” But if you tell me that a Church had to take such a step for women’s safety, then well, I’ll return in a while with my argument after laughing my guts out. The Church also needs to be worried about women’s safety in their premises now? Or is this an excuse for men to now make us more worried than we already are about our safety so that they can have a good, authorised peep show. Wonder if the CCTV footage reviewers also have to take the vow of celibacy.

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So I understand we’re going all digital and laptop usage is at an all time high. Yeah, well, you don’t need to be a rocket scientist to figure that bit out. But what I am left wondering is why is Cambridge scrapping exams due to bad handwriting? We could have done this with the thought of saving paper, contributing towards cutting lesser trees, maybe slow down global warming or at least be happy about having done something to slow it down, even though it seems inevitable now. But no, we’re scrapping it because the handwriting is illegible? How thick brained are we really?

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Yes, that is an iPhone screenshot. Not owned by Yours Truly. Duh.

Oh, yes! News of the week. The iPhone 8 got launched. The iPhone 8S too. And the iPhoneX too. Poor iPhone 8 and 8S. They became obsolete within two minutes of their launch! Need I say more?

Then this happened. Bewakoof.com which when translated in English means foolish, lived up to their name for the first time. They launched a tShirtX. You shouldn’t think so out of the box also. Too much of anything is bad!

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Living up to thy name!

And with that I’ll end my tirade and only ask one thing – does the nation really want to know these news? #NationWantsToKnow.

Graciously Yours!

P.S. : What have you come across of recent that you want to rant against? Tell me. Maybe we think alike!

In Other News.

We’ve known for a while that journalism hasn’t really been improving it’s standards but today I will not be blaming them.

In other news, that’s what the world was up to. In other words, that’s what was trending!

Pokemon Go – Because Candy Crush outlived its fifteen seconds of fame!

Every second person I know, whether gaming freaks or not, whether or not they know that there are 151 Pokemons, whether they can say the names of even ten or not, they will be playing the latest app rage that is Pokemon Go!

USA has more Pokemon Go downloads than Tinder. Pokemon Go has more Google search than porn (which is good, actually! But, is it?) Pokemon Go walks are being organised. And memes are already in place!

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Pubic Hair Dress – sometimes things get a little too hairy to be waxed.

Yes, because clothes are passe! Who wants fabric to cover their body when they can get hair? And that too pubic hair! Dream come true *sarcasm*

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I wonder how the lady in the picture agreed to wear that remarkable piece of imagination.

And by the way, when I first read this piece of news I gagged on nothing but my own saliva! And eating? Eating food was a long way off while trying to recover from the shock! Just saying. You might want to give yourself time.

Oh and what’s on the top of your head? Oh, just some hair! Too soon? 😉

Ramdev Baba – India’s brand ambassdor for Yoga, NOT!

You taught us Yoga? Good. You taught us different ways to breathe? Good. You got into our homes at 5 in the morning to give life advices? Good. You entered politics? Whatever. You tried to ban Maggi? #LifeIsACircle!  You started selling hair oil to flour to noodles? Don’t give a dime of thought to you. But then you went ahead and did this :

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Need I even say any thing?

Huma Mobin – the lady who rocked her ‘honeymoon’. Alone!

Meet Huma, a lady who had to go on a vacation without her husband and she came back with pictures that broke the internet! She brought Pakistan into the news and for once the world was smiling! Thank you, Ma’am! 🙂

Also, she went to Greece. Thank you for helping Greek tourism. They can do with whatever they get.

Signing off,

Graciously Yours!

Project For Awesome 2015.

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Have you heard of the Project for Awesome? If you haven’t, it’s time to brace yourself for a dash of awesome!

Project for Awesome (P4A) is a community-driven charitable movement organised, since 2007, by some of the world’s online content creators (the ones running those fancy YouTube channels which educate you, make you think and are proof that empathy isn’t dead) to raise donations for various charities, including UNHCR and Save The Children. They encourage people to upload videos supporting the charity they believe in and the ones voted for as best are added on to the list of charities which will benefit from P4A.

One of the fun things they’re doing is running a 48 hour live stream, where they’re constantly encouraging people to donate, announcing random on-the-spot perks for donors and discussions ranging from the refugee crisis to live football commentary and dubious college advice! It may involve a lot of peanut butter, sharpies and whipped cream too. You have to see it to believe it! 😉

The 48 hour live stream has people like John Green – author of Looking for Alaska, The Fault in our Stars, Paper Towns, et al., vlogger, host of Mental Floss and Crash Course, Hank Green – it’s difficult to explain what he actually does, because he is an entrepreneur, musician, and vlogger, creator of VidCon, and hosts Crash Course, SciShow, SciShow Space, hankschannel and much more, Katherine Green, Michael Aranda and a lot of others whom I don’t recognize but I am sure are all awesome people.

This isn’t a sponsored post but rather a shout out for the brilliant (voluntary) work they are all doing. Even the packaging and shipping of perks to the donors is being done by volunteers.

To donate or not is your choice but I can ensure you it’ll be a lot of fun to go on to the livestream and simply check out the wonderful work they are doing, which is better explained here.

And as they say in John’s home town, Don’t Forget To Be Awesome (DFTBA)!

Graciously Yours!

P.S. : At the time of this post going online, Project For Awesome 2015 has raised $562,891 which when matched by donations from Google and the Green Brothers, amount to a whopping $1,346,611!

Green brothers and team, you’ve shown me the power of individuals and social media! Thank you.

Hurry over! Only 9 hours, some minutes left before the project ends.

Screaming in horror. Almost.

 

This is a rant post. Don’t blame me if you feel like screaming in horror after reading this. Read ahead at your own risk.


 

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What’s real about pictures anymore?

So Google tells me there are selfies of various kinds from #Ussie, #Uglie (Why? Oh why?), #Belfie, #Helfie, #Delfie, #Felfie, (I swear I am not making these names up.) #Wealthie and I’m tired!

Adding to all of those trending hashtags is a new way to click selfies – with the Vibe S1 (I am not sponsoring the product. Geez.) which will let you change the backdrop of your selfie. Wait, what?

So apart from the fact rumour that most selfies are staged and photoshopped and airbrushed and filtered and doused-in-all-other-photography-technology-related-words, we can now change our selfie backdrops.

Wanna bet which is going to be the most trendy backdrop? The Oscar red carpet pitched against the Eiffel Tower of Paris with your loved one? Or will it be snow capped peaks competing with the Victoria’s Secret runway? Who wants reality anyways?


 

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Intolerance? Us Indians? Nah. Never.

For all those unaware, India has been discussing exactly how intolerant we are, as a country, for the past couple of months. Bans are trending, people are giving back awards felicitated on them by the Government (irrespective of the fact that the awards were given by political parties which are currently not even in power), people are being killed for their eating habits, politicians are rallying for food choices and animal (read : cow) protection like never before.

So Aamir Khan said this “Kiran and I have lived all our lives in India. For the first time, she said, should we move out of India? That’s a disastrous and big statement for Kiran to make to me. She fears for her child. She fears about what the atmosphere around us will be. She feels scared to open the newspapers every day. That does indicate that there is a sense of growing disquiet.”

So who really was afraid of India’s increased activities of intolerance? Kiran or Aamir? From whatever little English I understand, I think he just conveyed what Kiran said. And probably what millions of us say in the confines of our homes and safe havens of our thoughts. But refuse to admit openly. Because we are tolerant.

And for a country which is bashing Aamir for wrongly calling intolerant, are we in reality being tolerant towards his right to free speech? Latest updates show he’s being asked to leave India and his religion (of course!) is being held responsible for his thoughts (which, surprise, were actually Kiran’s thoughts.) Why did we not rise in defiance the same way when politicians said the most disgusting things about women being responsible for being raped and calling rape a ‘mistake’ which boys are allowed to commit? Why did we not ask for them to be thrown out of the country or ask for their resignations? Oh, right. Because WE ARE TOLERANT.

By the way. #IStandWithAamirKhan.


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Are you bleeding? Get out. Oh, you can’t bear children? Get out.

With due respect to everyone’s religious sentiments, why would you infringe on a woman’s privacy and her faith in such a drastic way? For a country which celebrates the union of the fertilized egg and sperm in the grandest ways possible, we do treat the unfertilized egg as harshly impure. In spite of science having busted the menstrual taboos and myths over and over again.

#HappyToBleed, yes. Always.


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NYC subways have rats! Eeks.

Another selfie news? No, no, not at all. Didn’t you notice the most important bit of information in this piece? Even NYC subways have rats! Time we globalized the Clean India Campaign?

Oh and confession time. I did scream at horror at what the rat did. Almost.


Graciously Yours!

P.S. : Do share what you think after reading this. I really, really want to know if you screamed.

My crazy is still sane.

Yesterday, the papers carried this shocker :

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On days like these, I realize my crazy is still sane.

And then I recalled there are more of such shockers on the internet. These are some of my favourite ones.

Next time you go for a paint ball session, wear this. You can carry all your artillery in there! And everyone’s going to be so astonished that in all likelihood they’ll forget to attack you.

Warning : You may get your fifteen seconds of fame on the internet, in a not good way.


I hate my legs. They’re too thin. Or too fat. Or too straight. Or too crooked. I’ll let the entire world know how much I hate my legs. Whoever could have come up with these?


I admired her character in Las Vegas. Remember Sam and her sharks? I wonder if she had two stylists. One must have insisted on a gown, the other on pants. And another must have combined both options. Oh that makes it three stylists! Damn you, maths!


Most girls seem to have stuff spilling out of their bags. Not every girl has Hermione’s luck (Click here for reference). Chanel (I did not look up the brand logo on Google. Or may be I did. Shh!) here tried to do some magic! Voila. That’s your drunk godmother’s work, Cinderella.


Christmas Trees in orange. For wear. Free. (Because no one else must have bought it.)


The fashion designer hates this model! Karma will get back at you some day, designer!


Disclaimer : None of these brilliant ideas are mine. Note the sarcasm.

Graciously Yours!

Picture Courtesy : Pinterest.

P.S. : Which fashion trend do you find most blah?