What Does Focus Even Mean?

Close your eyes.

Take a deep breath.

Relax.

Focus.

Teachers and invigilators tend to say things like these before an exam begins, in an effort to give us a pep talk to instantly calm our frantic nerves, all those neurons revising last minute details. They try to motivate us to write down every single answer that we didn’t even study while preparing!

When it came to me, however, I never really understood what they were trying to achieve. I mean, I never really got what they meant when they asked me to focus. They say focus, I ask howww? What do you mean?! How should I focus, what should I focus on? You know?!

And so, today I’m going to try and answer the question: What does focus even mean?

It was about a year back that I began to understand what focus might mean. I was in the middle of this intracollege writing competition and I had advanced to the final round, and it felt like everything was falling apart because I had no creative clue of what to write next. I don’t know what wise old neuron gave me this idea, but I began focusing on my breath.

I remember being told right from my childhood, that whenever you feel angry, anxious, nervous, scared, just close your eyes, count your breath, focus on it, and you’ll calm down. Since I had nothing else to do, and nowhere else to go, I decided to do this. When I opened my eyes a minute later, I saw this third year student, who was supervising the event. She looked at me with her eyes wide, as if trying to say, “Time jaa raha hai, aankhein bandh kyu kar rahe ho! Likho jaldi! (You’re running out of time, why are you sitting with your eyes shut? Quickly, write!)” I smiled at her and for the next 15 minutes, I tried my best to write down whatever best I could come up with.

Later, I found out I won the competition. I’d never gotten to the point of hoping to win it, because in that moment, all I was doing was breathing, and acknowledging that process.

Of course I sound all wise right now standing here, but its something I just happened to do, and it worked. Since then, any time I begin to feel overwhelmed, I just breathe. I don’t know, maybe that’s what focus means, or at least that’s what it means to me. So, today I want to ask you, what does it mean to you?


Remember, a few months back, I shared a post with you, which I said was a speech I gave in my Public Speaking class? Well this post was the latest speech I gave in the class.

I hope you liked it! If you want to read more of what I write elsewhere, or just see the stuff I do in life, go check out my Instagram and Facebook. You’ll find the links at the bottom and top of my page, respectively.

I’ll see you guys soon!

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”

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.

Naked With Black Socks

(Or the tale of how stupid I can sometimes be)

Okay, picture this:

Stage in front of you. People in the audience expectantly looking at it (okay, those people who aren’t staring at their blue-light emitting smartphone screens). You standing by it, or behind some curtains or something, dreading the time you have to go up there. Your heart is pounding, you’re probably sweating more than usual, maybe trembling a little, maybe yawning more than usual as well. But you’re still trying to keep a smile on your face (that’s probably gone white by now).

See the picture?

That was somewhat the picture I was a part of today. I wasn’t the only one though, it was a lot of other students as well, during our Hindi examination, which was orally taken. Okay, maybe I exaggerated a bit up there, since the audience apart from our subject teacher, was comprised of fellow students who understood our predicament if we fumbled a little up on the stage.

So, we were supposed to give a small speech of sorts, on any subject under the sun (or beyond it, for that matter), in Hindi, ideally with perfect pronunciation, enunciation, and clarity. Beyond that, the examiner usually expects a little over-the-top, nerdy vocab if he’s to consider scoring the speaker anywhere near the 90% mark. You don’t use at least 4-5 big, long, royal-sounding words, then don’t expect a great score. Once that was done, he also asked each of us basic questions like where we lived and what our native place was, including questions from chapters from our textbooks.

Now I’d gone prepared with about a 2-minute long speech, I figured I’d improvise if he asked for more, but that hardly ever happens because they usually get what they want in a about 5-7 lines of speaking itself, and that’s exactly what happened. So that was all good.

Now, I don’t usually get flustered in the face of public speaking. At least not as much as most others. I’ve done it a lot all through school. In fact, I used to volunteer for such things. My dad’s profession involves him to do lots, and lots of public speaking. Hell, that’s what his job revolves around, so he’s told me a lot about it at times I’ve been scared to do it. However, when I had to go up to face the examiner’s questions, I was kinda nervous since he was going to ask us questions from chapters from the textbook, and I hadn’t really revised this a lot, going into the examination. Let’s just say I wasn’t confident about it.

So, he says, “NEXT,” and that means I’m supposed to go up. I walk up to his desk, sign on the sheet we were all supposed to sign on (which denoted our presence for the examination), and waited.

He began with the easy ones like my name and where I lived. But here’s where it got interesting. He asked me where I studied.

And I said…

“At home, at my desk.”

Yeah, I actually said that. Not even kidding right now.

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I did realise that I was supposed to answer with the name of the college I studied at and said it too, but, well…

So, yeah. That happened.

In my defense, I do actually study more at my home than I ever have at college, because there hardly ever are lectures to attend/interesting enough to attend.

Interesting thing though, I was worried about how I’d do at the questions he asked me from the textbook chapters and not about the rest, but I did really well at those questions and instead messed up at the basic stuff. Its all good though, I did really well at everything else in the examination and there were people who goofed up more exponentially than I did and I take solace in that fact.


 

So, have you ever had this kind of experience? Did you screw up publicly like this, and have despised yourself for doing that, ever since? Let me know, so we can laugh at each other’s momentary lapse in, well, intelligence.

Until next time, folks.

Post inspired by the following daily prompt – Naked with Black Socks

 

The Chewing Gum Conundrum

You know how there’s always those things that you can never find even when you look for them all over town, literally? But then those elusive little things end up with you when you least expect it. Take, for example, those chocolates that your aunt brings back with her when she goes abroad, or those bookmarks your dad got when he went for a business trip somewhere. Once you’ve eaten all of the chocolates and bookmarked the shit out of those bookmarks, you want more. So what do you do? You go look for it, in every store you can think of. Even the most fancy ones, but you don’t find it anywhere. Step 2: Throw stuff to express frustration. Step 3: ? Step 4: Rule the world!(?)

You know, back when I was young we used to have these chewing gums with a cartoon character drawn on both sides. One side was red and the other was yellow, and in thick black outline, a cartoon character that suspiciously looked like a cat and dog hybrid, was drawn on both sides. When you opened it, you got a silver paper in which the gum was. It was really big and juicy for my kid-small mouth then. I didn’t learn how to blow bubbles with gum until I was 12 or 13 (shame on me, I know) so I just chewed it for hours until it tasted completely hideous. It was a great pleasure. I saw these chewing gums till maybe 3-4 years back and since then they’ve completely disappeared. No shop keeps them. Blame it on globalisation, all these fancy new chewing gums coming in from fancy countries with their fancy wrappers, displacing really good local goods.

Anybody find those chewing gums, you tell me first. Got it? This is some important shit.