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!

Coffee Update #6

COFFEE UPDATE5

Hey-ho, welcome to another coffee update! For those of you new to this, it’s the place on my blog where I periodically update you guys with what’s up in my life. I’ve got a lot to tell you this time, so let’s get right into it.

Grab a cuppa and settle in.


If we were having coffee right now, I’d tell you that I got back from my holiday away from the city a few days back. We’d gone to Lonavala, which is about two and a half hours away from Mumbai. We stayed in a really wooded area, with bungalows sprinkled over the place. It was peaceful as hell. The food was really good as well. It was just generally a really, really refreshing experience. I needed that. Pune is another really old and historic Maratha city that’s about another two hours from Lonavala so while we were at Lonavala, we decided to check out Pune as well. So we went and did that for a day. I’ve been to Pune a couple of times but haven’t really seen it, extensively. We checked out temples and museums and a zoo. The zoo was particularly noteworthy because there were times in there, when I was really genuinely scared. I mean, they had truck-sized tigers and even bigger white tigers in these enclosures that had no sort of wires on them. Just good ol’ cement walls surrounding it all. I later noticed they’d dug deep trenches in the inside of the enclosures, between the wall and the animals’ ‘territories’ which were apparently supposed to be enough to deter them from trying to jump over, but I’m still not convinced. Either way it was the first time I saw tigers so close up. Just one word: majestic. Oh, and I got stung by a huge-ass honeybee, so that’s one thing struck off the bucket list I never wanted to have.

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If we were having coffee right now, I’d tell you that I have recently enrolled in a two year-long teachers’ training course at The Yoga Institute at Santacruz, here in Mumbai. It is a comprehensive course that teaches the student all about Yoga and its way of life, including the asanas and Pranayamas which are the physical aspect of Yoga, but also the teachings of Yoga, its philosophy and its views on Psychology, et cetera. Since I want to pursue Psychology as a profession, I feel doing this course would grant me a great deal of knowledge about the Indian view on the human mind, and would be a helpful to my career in general. At the end of the two years, I will be bestowed with a certificate saying I am a certified Yoga teacher, and will be regarded valid all over the world. I will have completed this course a year before I complete my Bachelors of Arts in Psychology. On the physical exercise front, I have also renewed my membership at the gym (it expired in January), and I just started going yesterday. Three months out of the gym and I feel the soreness again. Isn’t as bad as when I started going to the gym for the first time in my life, about a year ago but it’s there nonetheless.

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If we were having coffee right now, I’d tell you that I have a confession to make. The confession is, that I haven’t seen The Shawshank Redemption. Yet. It needed to be said. It’s the highest rated movie on IMDB for a reason, I guess. I’ll find out what that is, exactly, soon.

If we were having coffee right now, I’d want to ask you a couple of things.

  1. Firstly, I feel the blog is in need of a change of theme. Would you agree? Its not that I’m getting tired of having the same theme for quite some time now (because that happens), but that I feel there’s certain drawbacks of this theme. For example, there’s the matter of the sidebar. This theme doesn’t have an open sidebar, you have to click in the top-left corner for it to reveal itself. Whenever I try to picture myself as a reader of the blog, I always feel I wouldn’t always want to pull out the sidebar and scroll all the way down to it, because it is quite long. I may be wrong, which is why I need you, the readers, to let me know if the sidebar can sometimes get tedious. Themes with open sidebars are good that way, while you’re scrolling down the blog, the sidebar scrolls down along with you, so its in your vision, and you can always check out something that gets your attention. At the same time, though, one may feel the sidebar gets in the way of the subject matter, the post, that really matters. It takes away the minimal look a blog may have. I like minimal. Its why I went for this theme in the first place. I don’t know, I’m in two minds about this. You guys let me know what you think, though. It will surely clarify things for me.
  2. And, second, I recently tried my hand at a really different kind of post. Its been said many times that I am REALLY into movies and TV shows and stuff. I watch a lot of those. So this new kind of post, which I’m calling Rewind Reel, is based on movies. The premise is that I pick a random movie and I flip it on its head. That is, I reimagine it as it would have been if one is to watch it backwards, from the end to the beginning. Of course, 99.99% movies aren’t supposed to be watched like that so I use some creativity and humour I have been endowed with, to make sense out of reverse movies, and basically, entertain. Now, I haven’t really got a great response on that post. It could be because the movie I chose to inaugurate this new feature was a movie that I don’t think many have seen. I myself didn’t hear of it much after it had been released. Either way, please check it out whenever you guys can and lemme know what you think of it. I’d like to do more of that, and I probably will even if not many like it, but it’d sure feel better if people do like it.

Finally, if we were having coffee right now, I’d tell you that that’s all I’ve got for this coffee update and that I hoped you had fun chilling out with a virtual cup of coffee. Before, going, I’d ask you how you are doing. I’d ask you what’s going on in your life and how it’s working out. I’d also invite you for another coffee update, sometime soon.

See you guys on the other side.

What a Wonderful Year

(This post is not strictly a yearly review, but that is the first part of it. Its basically a post where I’m summing up a lot of stuff I’ve wanted to say since I last wrote.)

People don’t usually do a yearly review 11 days into the New Year. Unless I’m the person in question, of course, since that’s what I’m doing right now. ‘sigh’

Last year was wonderful. In totality, of course. There were times when I puked my stomach out cause #foodpoisoning. So yeah, that wasn’t particularly great. But I did get 3,741 views on my blog last year, more than 4 times what I got in 2014, so yay for that. I won’t go into the details of the views as I did for 2014 since that tends to get boring, so all I’m going to say is that I aim to better that tally in 2016. 177 views in these 11 days isn’t a bad start, I reckon. We’ll see how it goes.

I can now say I haven’t posted on my blog since last year. I’ll tell you why.

My preliminary examinations for Standard XII are going on right now. I took the Hindi examination about two hours ago. For those of you that aren’t aware of it, basically the prelims are like a drill for the real thing, the Board Exams, which begin on the 18th of February for me and run till the 21st of March. The paper pattern and portion for both is identical so if you are completely prepared for the Prelims you get a rough idea of how you’ll do in the Boards. Of course, nobody is ever completely prepared, but man is nothing if not hopeful, right?

For now, I’ve got Psychology up next in the prelims on Wednesday the 13th, so wish me luck.

I’m working on a couple of fiction pieces as well on the side. I wrote a preview to one here, and I came up with the other one just a couple of days back. Unfortunately, I don’t think I’ll be able to get any of that published before my Boards conclude (on the 21st of March, 2016) because that’s realistically the earliest I’ll get to properly work on it. I may draw up a rough plot or something of that sort before that so you could expect a preview or a prologue to be up before my Boards conclude, but I wouldn’t be too sure of that.

I intend to not go anonymous for the next two months buried under textbooks the way I was for the past month. I’ll keep posting something.

In other news, my gym membership ended so I now have nothing much to do between 3 and 5 every afternoon so I now have to use that time to study. Depressing, I know. And there’s no point renewing right now because I have prelims during that time and I will hardly have time to go there for one month during my Boards. It was good the membership ended before my prelims began though.

Star Wars came out and I still haven’t watched it. Yay. Bloody exams. I’m definitely going when my prelims, end. I’ve been trying to avoid spoilers for that for too damn long. Some idiot gave away what I believe to be the mother of all spoilers, don’t worry I won’t say it, in case any of you guys haven’t watched it yet either, but if that was a true spoiler then I now hate that person for the rest of my life. Not even kidding right now. There’s also ones like Creed and Bridge of Spies which I haven’t watched yet.

On that front though, 2016 is going to be arguably the best year yet. Okay, not arguably, unequivocally the best yet. All these come out/have come out this year:

And there’s a shitload more. Guess I’m going to the cinema a lot this year. Suits, The Flash and Arrow all resume their seasons in the last week of January as well so its definitely a packed year on the entertainment front.


 

BONUS! BONUS! BONUS!

So, after I’d already published this, I got a suggestion that I should have made this post a little longer and maybe written something along the lines of a list of noteworthy stuff I did in 2015. So I came back to edit the post, and therefore, here’s,

THE HIGHS AND THE LOWS OF 2015
(in no particular order)

  1. I watched The Avengers: Age of Ultron, and was left slightly disappointed.
  2. I obtained 75% in my 11th Grade final exams, which isn’t something to exactly write home about, but it is if you think about it since I’m in the Arts stream, and it is even greater considering the amount of time I spent in the 11th, not studying.
  3. Jai Vyas Writes completed a year of existence.
  4. I turned 17.
  5. I joined the gym
  6. But did not manage to reach the goals I set for myself initially (of gaining 10 kilos in 8 months). Maybe I’m just a hard gainer or maybe my goals were unrealistic or maybe I didn’t go to the gym enough or maybe its all of that and maybe even more. I’ll figure it out.
  7. I got hooked on to House of Cards.
  8. I made some great friends in college.
  9. I learned that I’m not photogenic. At all.
  10. I said goodbye to Maggi and then a few months later, welcomed it back with open arms and clean bowls.
  11. I ate eggs for just the second time in my life and puked for a day. Its all good, though.
  12. I finally opened up relatively publicly about the fact that I’m a cancer survivor.
  13. I took part in some amazing writing courses online that taught me a lot about blogging, writing, and myself.
  14. I made a lot of new friends on WordPress and encountered some mind-blowing coincidences while doing so.
  15. I joined Quora, and within six months, became a most viewed writer in multiple categories. #sorryforbrag
  16. I went to see my first live football match in the Indian Super League.
  17. I got rid of my braces.
  18. I had bad days. Lots.
  19. I started listening to blues music and a lot of old-timey music. RIP David Bowie.
  20. I read Mein Kampf. I may not respect that dude for the shit he did, but some of his ideals were understandable, in the very least.
  21. I attended the Times Litfest (Literary Festival) where I attended several talks, intellectual debates, music shows, etc. of several intellectuals, celebrities, etc.
  22. I saw a play called The Jury, at NCPA, Mumbai’s best place to watch a play. Probably one of India’s best for sure. It was probably only the second time I’ve been there. To be honest, I did get free tickets, so…
  23. I experienced an Equal Streets campaign where for a certain number of weeks in the year, a stretch of street was shut down for vehicles and was opened up to the public to use as they like. We used it to cycle, play football and stuff. It was a nice experience. I look forward to it returning.
  24. I painted tiles with my sister.
  25. I realised my laptop is slowly dying.
  26. I went on a photography spree in South Mumbai one day. We clicked photos of the Gateway of India, the local railways, kids playing cricket in Oval Maidan, and a lot of other stuff. You can check it out here.
  27. I started playing Football Manager.
  28. I feel I’ve become more open as a person. My personality has been moulded by the people I’ve met and the situations I’ve been through. If you would have seen me in mid 2014 you would have seen the quintessential reserved nerd. I’m still that guy, but I’m more.
  29. I failed in Math once in the 11th Grade. It wasn’t as bad as I’d thought. I did drop Math in the 12th and took up Philosophy instead, though.
  30. The same night I saw The Jury, I ate some life-changing kheema pav. My mom and dad may not completely approve initially, but they’ll come around.

There’s obviously a lot more, but I think I’ll save some for my autobiography. It shall be called ‘Tall Tales of a Short Guy’. You can expect it to come out in the spring of probably-never-going-to-happen.


 

I hope all of you had a rip-roaring 2015, and believe that we’ll all have an amazing 2016 as well!

“Listen.

I wish I could tell you it gets better. But, it doesn’t get better.

You get better.

— Joan Rivers

See you guys next time! 🙂

Jai Vyas Writes, A Year On

Its been a year on WordPress and Jai Vyas Writes. More than a year actually. It was a year on the 3rd of May.

Wow.

Seriously, it feels surreal to have actually made it through the first year and have actually done pretty well, I suppose. Let’s have a look back shall we, since that’s what these posts are more or less meant for?

I’ve written 77 posts in the past year, 78 counting this one as well. Thats like 6 and a half posts every month. I’ve had 112 comments on all my posts combined and I’ve had a pretty staggering 1,891 views on my blog. That’s outrageous! The real bomb, though, is that I got 923 of those in the 8 months of 2014 after the creation of this blog in early May, and the remaining 968 have come in 2015 so far. I know, right?!

Enough with the stats, though. This blog has been so much more than the numbers for me. Its been a process of discovery, really. A sort of education. I’ve grown as a writer, an entertainer to those who read what I write. I feel an identity to my writing, and though it’s not perfectly moulded yet, it’s getting there. I’ve learnt so much more about blogging and writing from the various courses I’ve taken up on WordPress (at The Daily Post, which I have to say, is a wonderful place for writers and bloggers, and the minds behind it are wonderful people and great writers, and have been a huge help) and elsewhere.

6-Things-We-Can-All-Learn-From-SuperheroesI have discovered so many other bloggers from around the world, with similar interests as mine, with amazing blogs and each with an individual style of writing, each of which are equally attractive. Not only have I learnt a lot from them and had a lot of fun reading what they write, but I’ve made friends, which I think is the best part about blogging. Funny thing is, I never thought it was a possibility when I started out. We’re all like a humongous family, us bloggers.

I never thought I’d get this far. There was no plan, really. I guess I’ll have to make one now. I look forward to a second year here, a little older, having made a few mistakes, but a little wiser, I believe.

Cyber Hub

Today’s Blogging 201 task tells us how we can make our blog a hub, a sort of headquarters where all our other cyberselves (like the ones on Twitter, Facebook, or Tumblr) are redirected and channeled. It is very interesting stuff but incredibly difficult to balance.

I already have a Twitter and Tumblr account, and a Facebook page (the links to which are available in my sidebar and also in this post). I’ve decided to take the advice of this article and personalise the way I publicise my posts on various social media. I guess it adds that little human touch that connects to people. It also means more work but I’m ready to do that.

I’ve also decided to finally take out some time to personalise my presence on other social networking sites and tailor the look and feel of those to the brand I intend to project collectively through this blog and social networking. If you follow me elsewhere, you’ll soon see the changes.

I’m still working out what platform I’ll be using for what exactly, and whether I’ll be able to use all of them equally well, but I’ll work it out soon.