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#Shorts: Illusions

The empty garden was made more beautiful with the presence of his friends. Separation had made them fonder in his eyes, and not that they were here, they couldn’t stop talking. Back and forth; it was like a dance.

A minute later, he was reminded he was alone in the room, hoping for what had already been lost. He stopped staring at the wall and switched on the television.

Continue reading “#Shorts: Illusions”

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On New Opportunities

They said (degree) college life will be fun.

They were right.

They said I’d learn a lot there.

They were right.

They never said I’d learn so much so early! ‘Cause I have. I’ve learnt a lot. And very little has been from studying the subjects, ironically enough.

One opportunity I got at college was to take part in and volunteer to organise the fests that take place at college annually. I volunteered for two such fests, which took place during the past week.

I definitely learnt a lot just from working with so many people organizing something of this scale, but I think I was offered more to learn, because of the different experiences I had working with two different sets of people on two different things. The people I got to know, the things I got to be a part of; it was all worth the ‘trouble’.

One of the fests was organised by a department that I wasn’t connected with in any way because the curriculum I’ve chosen doesn’t include that subject. Had I not gone to that first meeting when they were calling out for volunteers, I would never have been part of this great event, and never would have gotten to know all of those wonderful people, just because I don’t share a subject with them.

Hmm. Funny how that could have worked out.

Now that I think of it, these fests were an awesome place to conduct a social experiment. I realise now that my perceptions of a lot of people changed over the course of the three to four months we spent planning for the fests. Some people to whom I was indifferent, I now really respect. Some who I really respected, I don’t as much, anymore.

I won’t say that this change in perception is solely because I got to know them better over time, because we all judge people and we have a perception in the first place because we’ve made a judgment of them. That isn’t always bad if you don’t consciously let that judgment get in the way of you interacting with them and working with them. I’ll admit there were a few incidents where I failed at doing that. I really did not like a few people I had to work with. There were moments where I consciously despised them and did not want to meet them at all. I ranted about them to my friends and parents. I got myself angry over them. I tired myself out over them. I’m just really fucking grateful to have my parents and friends around, because I would have been cribbing for much longer if they hadn’t listened patiently to my rants, and then given me a kick up the butt to get it together and do what I gotta do.

At the same time, there were so many more people who I’d love to spend more time with. There’s so many people who I have massive respect for and I always will. I had disagreements with a few people in the heat of the moment. I got pulled under the pressure a little and let go for a bit. I said some things to some people, and I shouldn’t have done that. I let them know of that, and I think my relationship with them is in a better place because of the past week.

The last week has been really good for me. I’ve done a lot of running around, both out on physical ground, but also up in my head. I’ve made a lot of new friends, and been a part of a few things at college, and had experiences I’ve never had before. Since the ‘first time’ only comes once, I guess I’ll never have those experiences again.

I wouldn’t like it to be any other way.

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Coffee Update #8

Heyyyy guys! Welcome back to another Coffee Update. This is where we grab a cup of coffee, or tea, or hot chocolate, as the climate seems to demand, and I talk to you about what’s up with my life right now. A bit of a vlog in a written form, if you will.

So grab a cuppa and settle down!


If we were having coffee right now, firstly, I would tell you that I can totally NOT get over this song, at all. I’ve played it, like 47 times in the last 5 days. Maybe an exaggeration, but that’s as accurate as it gets. The song’s too goddamn catchy. Ed Sheeran never ceases to surprise me. Go check it out if you haven’t heard it already! Here, I’ll just give it to you:

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Click on the image to go to the football blog I’ve started

If we were having coffee right now, I would tell you that I’ve created another place for myself to write! Some of you may have seen a couple of football-related posts on this blog. I realised that this isn’t exactly the place for those kind of posts, but I do have a great interest in football and, as it appears, some people think I write well about football. So I decided to create The United Writer! It is a blog where I write about football and Manchester United Football Club.

It’s hardly been about three/four months since I started the blog, but its already allowed me to get in touch with some great people in the football-related media community and interacting with others in a field of your interest is always a great experience. For example, the owner of one of the biggest football fan accounts on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter, got in touch with me, since (I assume) he probably liked my work. Now I write with him on his website! The name is Man United Zone, and you can check it out by clicking here: Man United Zone

I’m really happy with where I am, and I look forward to growing more, and in that quest, I can use all the help I get!

If we were having coffee right now, I’d briefly tell you about what’s going on with me academically. I had my exams for the first semester of my Bachelor’s course at college about a month back. We got the results for that, just today. I’m not happy with the amount of effort I put in, preparing for the exams. We haven’t received a cumulative grade yet, but going by the individual subject grades I’ve got, I’m pretty sure I’ll make an A, I’m hoping they bump me up to A+. Yes, regrets. Powerful thing, no?

I haven’t done particularly badly, but I’m going to try and not make the same mistakes again. I tend to do that sometimes, and I really don’t like it when I do.

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If we were having coffee right now, I’d talk to you about Sherlock for a little bit. Holy shit, Cumbersandwich you beautiful, beautiful man! What an absolute gem this show has been. It seems pretty clear they’ve prepared for the end, and this was probably it. I think it’s a great end to a great show, and it would seem unnatural to drag it on further. It was a pleasure. I shall miss the two year long waits for new seasons.

If we were having coffee right now, I’d just like to thank you. For being here, reading and listening, with us separated only by something as trivial as a digital screen and maybe a few hundred miles, at the most.

I write because I like to share my thoughts here. Right now, I appreciate anybody who’s reading this, and even those who choose not to.


So, well, that’s what’s up! You are now officially updated with some of the stuff I’m dealing with at the moment! It was great catching a quick coffee with you peoples, I’ll see you soon.

Until the next post,

Adios muchachos!

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People are Good

A week ago, I was on my way home from college and I had to make a minor detour to grab a few medicines for my grandfather. It was a Saturday, and the shop hadn’t opened yet. The tailor in the adjacent shop told me I should wait for another fifteen to twenty minutes; the medicine store owner should be here any time now, he said. So I stood on the pavement outside the store and I waited.

I was just looking around, observing things (my phone was precariously low on battery). I noticed a few students from my college walk by, people who I’d seen at college but didn’t consciously remember doing so. They looked quite different from the last time I met them. One had a distinctly different hairstyle now. It was only 10:30 and people were already lining up at the liquor store that had not opened.

A bird almost pooped on me. I was lucky. For now.

Among all this, two connected incidents stuck out to me. Not that they were dramatic paradigm-shifters or eye opening or anything, but they stimulated a thought process to which I have kept returning over the last few months.

Continue reading “People are Good”

Why I Greet People With a Salute

(And why you could too)

A lot of my friends know I do this. Whenever I meet them, whether it’s when we see each other during the first lecture of the day at college, or when we catch up with each other in the canteen, or when they open the door to me when I go to their house to hang out, I greet them not with a handshake, not with a nonchalant, “Hey, man,” or an embrace, but with a salute. Of course, I do partake in handshakes and nonchalant versions of, “Hi,” and hugs (hugs are the best, especially if it’s with a dog), but more often than not, it’s a salute. Here’s why.

 

Continue reading “Why I Greet People With a Salute”

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Enjoying The Ride

Life is like playing a violin in public and learning the instrument as one goes along. Wise words. Not mine, Samuel Butler’s.

When I was young, no, younger, I was diagnosed with a kind of leukaemia. I was too young to understand what that meant for me, so the obvious next step in my mind was to get rid of the illness. And that’s what we did for the next couple of years. But there were times when I remember thinking, why me, why not any of the other 20 kids in my class? Why now? I didn’t understand the potency of what I was asking myself.

This is true to an extent for all of us. We all at times, question circumstances, and not to be outdone by others, some of us question life itself! And that’s pretty natural since we don’t understand what’s happening, why it’s happening, why it’s happening now and why it’s happening to “just us”.

Not everything makes sense in life. But maybe, not everything has to. Life doesn’t have to answer to us. All life does is get us from point A to point B. We are merely passengers.

And since we are passengers, we might as well enjoy the ride.


I’ve mentioned quite a few times that I’m doing this 2-year long yoga course at The Yoga Institute in Mumbai. One subject we study there is Public Speaking. The course trains us to ultimately be qualified enough to teach Yoga, so speaking in public is obviously important to be a teacher.

The subject includes assignments where we give speeches every couple of months for incrementally increasing time limits. What I’ve written in my post was my first speech I gave. It was 2 minutes long.

Let me now address the elephant in the room. Yes, its been very long since I last wrote here. I know. I could excuse myself by saying I was very busy, or that I didn’t know what to write, or I could attribute my absence to writer’s block or innumerable other things, but then I would be lying. So I won’t say any of that. All I’ll say is that I’m going to try my best to work through my shortcomings when it comes to writing because writing is one of the few things I can see myself doing for the rest of my life.

Thanks a lot for reading through this, because it means a lot to me. I’ll see you guys next time.

Two Miles An Hour

One morning a few days back I was coming home from college since a couple of my lectures had gotten cancelled.

Now that’s not really out of the blue (teachers don’t turn up to class some days, some days they turn up but not many students do, or they’re “cancelled” because I don’t go) but this time they’d been cancelled because the seniors were having their exams and they’d occupied most of the available classrooms.

So, since I’d left earlier than I normally would, I decided to take the scenic route and come home real slow, ideally while having a hot samosa pav and sipping something chilled. I took just the samosa pav instead. Now, in this scenario, I’d normally take out my headphones and put on Twenty One Pilots, or Queen, or some instrumentals. Or put a little of all of those into a playlist and hit play on that. But that day, when I flipped my backpack towards the front, unzipped the front pocket and let my hand plunge into its depths, I realised I’d forgotten my headphones at home.

What I did instead, was have a really slow walk. Like reaallllyy slow. Like, two miles an hour. And I actually had more fun than I’d anticipated. As it turns out, what would have been a 25 minute walk with my headphones on and me walking at my normal pace, became a nearly one hour walk without my headphones on and me walking slower than usual.

As I walked along, and noticed all the trees and their green leaves moist with the rain, something I’d hardly noticed earlier, and snickered at some of the buildings with really whimsy names, and some stray dogs I’d never seen before, I noticed that people were noticing me more too. In a city like this, where most people on the streets are in a hurry to get somewhere, you don’t see a random teenager just walking as if he has nowhere to get to, nothing to do except intently look at the stuff that’s going on around him. I distinctly noticed people giving me weird looks as they walked past me. Many elders tell us to ‘slow down’ once in a while, ‘put the phone aside’, ‘take those things off your ears’, and then when we do, they look at us in a way that almost makes us want to go back to doing all of that.

So, I’ve got a task for you: Take a slow walk. Like, reaallllyy slow. NO HEADPHONES. Just you. You’d be surprised by the stuff you’ll notice.

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Not a Lot of Words

CHAOS

“Chaos. When you can’t wake up before 9 but college starts at 7. When you want Coke but get Pepsi. When there’s no Maggi. When you run out of [characters]”

BLISS

“The wife’s skull cracked open. Brains everywhere. He felt bliss.”


Continue reading “Not a Lot of Words”

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I’M A YOUTUBER!!!

Okay, well maybe we can tone down that excitement a little, but yeah, I’m now on YouTube.

I’m an actual person who actually sits in front of a camera and says stuff to it and then uploads that stuff on YouTube. Its fun.

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A post or two back I said how I was working on creating content, and working the basics out for setting up the YouTube channel, and I didn’t say much as to what it is about since things were still finding their way then and I wasn’t sure myself if all that was going on then was how it was going to stay.

Well, since the channel is finally up, and we know fairly well what we want and don’t want, I can tell you more about it.

Firstly, the channel is called ‘Look What The Hat Dragged In‘ (you can click on the name to go to the channel), and its created by Aditya Deshingkar (who goes by the name ‘Deshingz’ in our videos and on our social media accounts), Rohan Marathe (who is our cameraman and part-time video editor) and me (going by the name Vyas, in our videos and on our social media accounts). Rohan is a college friend of mine, who I’ve mentioned on the blog earlier, and Aditya is someone I met through Rohan. Interestingly, Aditya was actually in the same school I was, just a few classrooms away, but we never met. I didn’t even know about an Aditya Deshingkar. To be fair, I wasn’t the most sociable guy, but its still interesting. In the image right at the top of this post, the dude on the left is me, and the dude on the right is Aditya.

Now, before I head into what my channel is about, let me tell you that it is nothing like this blog, which is why I’m finding the channel to be a great experience. Its something entirely new, the likes of which I’ve never done before.

The channel basically revolves around comic books, and comic book characters, and their on-screen versions in movies and TV shows. It is intended for people who are interested in these things, may or may not have seen some of it here and there, but for the most part don’t know much about these characters and their roles, etc, in movies and TV shows. It is the Golden Age of comic books with multiple comic book based movies and TV shows being released each year, and it can get hard to keep up with everything, even if you’re like me and don’t have anything like a ‘job’. So, what we aim to achieve with this channel, is to tell people that fit into this category, about some of the basic make-up of the characters involved in movies and TV shows and essentially brief you with all you need to know and expect from them, before you head into the movie theatre.

So, why the name, ‘Look What The Hat Dragged In’? Well, that’s because, first of all, its a pun, and puns are fun. But more importantly, its because we have chosen an inanimate object such as a hat, to be the decider on which character we pick next and discuss on the channel. It lends a certain uncertainty and therefore suspense, which is always welcome. Suspense is what keeps one hooked.

How the hat works, is that we choose a certain movie or TV show that we want to begin discussing. For example, on the channel we are currently doing a mini-series about The Suicide Squad movie that releases in early August this year. So after we chose this movie, we talked about what it is exactly, and gave a sort of introduction to it (which you can check out by clicking here) before we jumped into the characters. After this was out of the way, we pulled out the hat, and throwed 8 pieces of paper into it (each representing one major character of the movie) and randomly picked a piece of paper. You can click here to check out which character the hat chose, which will be the first character we talk about in the mini-series (this video of us discussing the first character should be out sometime tomorrow).

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So, if any of you are even remotely interested in comic books, comic book characters, or their related movies and TV shows that are flooding into theatres and on our televisions recently, you can go check out our channel here: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UC6BB4tVc82GNzZcqKz5lP9w

We also have set up social media accounts, where we regularly post comic book related stuff, including snapshots of comic book frames, iconic/funny/amazing incidents from comic book movies and TV shows and various quotes and GIFs of the same.

You can check out our Facebook page here: https://www.facebook.com/TheHatBros
And our Twitter handle here: https://twitter.com/deshingzandvyas


Aaand that’s it for this time, I hope this new venture appeals to some of you, because I sure am having a lot of fun at it. Do tell your friends about our channel, maybe some of them are interested in comic books too.

Thank you very much!

Until next time.

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Coffee Update #7

COFFEE UPDATE 7

Oh, its been way too long since I’ve written anything on the blog! Its good to be back.

So, welcome to a seventh edition of the Coffee Update. I felt it was a good time to do this since I’ve been off the blog for a long time now, and I thought I should say why, along with a few other things that have gone down in recent times in my life.

Settle down, grab a cuppa and join me at this Coffee Update.


 

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Big Dave parading the FA Cup trophy around Wembley Stadium.

If we were having coffee right now, I’d tell you how Manchester United won the Emirates FA Cup. Hell yes! Probably a few of you aren’t into football (soccer), but for me, as a Man Utd supporter, it was a hell of a moment. Amazing game, amazing players, amazing match-winning goal, amazing atmosphere. Amazing day. I totally freaked out when they blew the final whistle at the end of the game, because there were honestly a lot of minutes in the game when I thought we were going to lose. But we didn’t.

If we were having coffee right now, I’d tell you that my 12th Grade Board Exam results were declared a few days ago, and I secured 81.2%, which in all honesty is underwhelming for me. I did secure about 89% in the 10th Grade Board Exams, under a much tougher curriculum. You could say I had more time and outside help then, but its still not an excuse. I should have done better. Thankfully it isn’t going to have much of an impact on my immediate future academics, because I am guaranteed admission to senior college, at the same college I was for the last 2 years. It was a great thing that I did get 89% two years back, because only then did I manage to get into this college, which is according to me, in terms of academics, probably one of the top 3-5 colleges in the city. Now, I intend to major in psychology at the end of my 3-year course that will begin in a month, give or take, and a lot of people have told me that the psychology teaching faculty at the college is arguably the best in the city, so I am indeed very grateful.

Finally, if we were having coffee right now, I’d say I need to tell you why I have been away from the blog for a while now, and why that may happen again. No, I did not take another holiday. I am actually working on a sort of similar project as this blog, with a couple of friends. This project is actually much more elaborate than this blog. Two of my friends, Aditya Deshingkar and Rohan Marathe, and myself, are going to, in the near future [which is probably (hopefully) the next one month], create a YouTube channel, and a connected podcast channel on SoundCloud. We are currently setting the groundwork for both, which includes creating a set-up for the videos, making test footage, creating artwork for the channels and whatnot. Its a lot more work than I probably ever have put into a project, but its fun because its a project that I really want to put my hundred and three percent effort into. Since it involves putting in a lot of time and effort, it becomes difficult for me to set apart time for the blog as well, since I also have that two year long Yoga course that I talked about, and that takes roughly 4.5 hours of mine every Saturday, Sunday and Monday, and the gym takes about 1.5 hours about 5 days a week. I am assuming that once the channel and everything is up and running, and the basics templates and frameworks are in place, it would probably reduce some of our work.

So for those of you that would like to know, our YouTube channel is going to revolve around comic books and movies and TV shows based on comic books. This mainly means Marvel Comics and DC Comics, which includes iconic characters like Batman, Superman, Spider-Man, Iron Man, Daredevil, Wonder Woman, The Flash, and many more. What we are going to do, is talk about one randomly selected character in each episode on the YouTube channel, and give the viewers some of the basic info about the characters in their on-screen version (which means, as they were portrayed in TV shows and movies). We will, of course refer to the comic book versions of the characters as well, as and when required. Each video will more or less be for five minutes.

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Grant Gustin portraying DC Comics’ pivotal superhero, Barry Allen A.K.A The Flash

The podcast is going to be a little different. For one, its going to be much longer; you can expect it to be anywhere from 15 to 25 minutes long. On the podcast, we shall be sticking more to the comic book version of the character we picked in the YouTube video, so this will give you a more deeper insight into the character as he or she originally was and is in the comics.

So if any of you are interested in stuff like this, then stay tuned I will sneak some info about this out to you once we have something up or anything of that sort.


Aaaaand that’s all I got for this Coffee Update, I hope it wasn’t too long that your coffee went cold.

Until next time.

JV out.