Coffee Update #9

Ah, it’s been a long time since I’ve been here! Yes, I know I’ve been gone a long time, but welcome back to another Coffee Update; allow me to catch you up on all that’s been going on in my life.

So, pick from our assorted collection of coffees and teas, and sit back into the chair.

If we were having coffee right now, I’d tell you that I wear a hat now. Yeah, I just made it sound like I went permanently blonde or I did laser surgery for body hair or something. No, it’s something less drastic than that, but still something that quite dramatically stands out when I walk past you. I’ve realised a hat gets so much attention when you’re walking in the street, although the fact that that attention quickly fades when people look down at my face is a different story altogether.

If we were having coffee right now, I’d tell you that you should try out something new. I’ve been going to the same hairdresser for much more than a year now, and recently I tried out this new place that opened up close to my house. I was extremely impressed by their work. Its pretty much an elite salon for the price of a mid-range one. I just hope it stays like that.

If we were having coffee right now, I’d tell you that my first year in degree college is over. I gave my finals about a month back. I feel good about these exams. Very good, in fact. There was a lot riding on them, and I put in a buttload of effort and time and I think I did well. We’ll soon find out!

If we were having coffee right now, I’d tell you that on my birthday over a month back, I received this beautiful diary. Its elegant and robust at the same time. I fell in love with it the moment I saw it. And I got this amazing shiny golden pen along with it! I’m rationing my usage of that pen since those things are expensive and I don’t want to run out of ink on that one within two months! But the diary, oh, the diary! I’ve been using it a lot. I’ve always been the guy who writes more easily on the computer, or phone, but this diary changed it completely. I’ve been writing a lot on physical paper now, when about two months back I found it uncomfortable. To the person who gifted that diary to me, I thank you 17 times over!

If we were having coffee right now, I’d tell you that I’ve been writing on my other accounts as well. I’ve been writing there a lot lately, and I’m surprised by the response I’ve been getting! I’ve been posting a lot on my Instagram account, which you can check out by scrolling to the bottom of this page. I’ve also been active on Facebook lately. You’ll find a Facebook icon in the top right section, right at the top of the blog page. Go check me out! Let me know what you think of that slightly different brand of writing I’ve got up on those two places!

If we were having coffee right now, I’d tell you that I’ve completed more than a year at the two year Yoga course I’ve talked about a lot here before as well. In retrospect, almost everything goes by faster than we thought it would, that’s just our flawed perception of time I guess, but again, this went by faster than I thought it would! I’m enjoying every bit of it, learning something new every day there. By far one of the best things I’ve spent my time doing.

If we were having coffee right now, I’d tell you that as a psychology student, I feel very good about the mental health awareness going around right now, if not a little impressed by the scale of efforts being taken by people. There’s been a lot of things that have coincided and have contributed to the overall cause of increasing awareness about this issue. There have been a lot of public incidents such as student suicides and whatnot, along with internet campaigns and outreach campaigns and even media has sparked off debates, such as with the recent TV show, “13 Reasons Why”. World Health Day also came smack dab in the middle of all this. While not all approaches to raising awareness may be considered ideal, just being able to spark off a dialogue about this issue is a good enough start. I also wrote something about the issue and published it on my Instagram on World Health Day. You guys can go check it out there, although I will also be publishing it here as a separate post.

If we were having coffee right now, I’d tell you to put down that coffee and first go check out the YouTube channel called ‘Nerdwriter1’. It is absolutely fucking mindblowing. The guy who runs the channel, Evan Puschak, is a goddamn genius to, first of all, come up with the concepts he makes videos about, and second of all, actually make such fantastic videos about it. He earns a lot of extra respect from me because he is an editing god, so yeah. Go check him out. You know what, I’m going to just put one video of his down here. One that I found really good. That’ll get you to check him out.

If we were having coffee right now, I’d tell you that I think life is an enigma. You keep scratching your head about which of the 1,00,000 will actually make the whole thing go, “Ting!” and then confetti pops out of nowhere and you get a chocolate cake handed to you by a guy in the best suit you’ve ever seen. That doesn’t happen. What does happen is that you get all that you need and the circumstances that shout out to you to notice it. Its up to you to look around and see that you have something great here, and if you step on the right tiles, you’ll make something greater from it, with time. I think I’m slowly learning to notice what I have and I know it’s all I need.

Aaaand that’s it on this edition of the Coffee Update! You are officially all caught up with my life.

Hope you enjoyed the coffee!

I’ll see you guys next time!

Adios muchachos!

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:

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.


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!

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.

An Eventful Hour on the Bus

I had to wait for about ten minutes before the bus arrived. I was headed to the dentist.

Buses are usually full at that time of the evening. Between my home and my destination, a church was conducting a festival they conduct on a yearly basis for a few days and because of that, traffic was much, much slower than usual. Vehicles moved ahead by a metre or so every ten minutes; that slow.

When my bus arrived, I wasn’t sure there were any seats empty but I had to get in because I was running a little late, and I had to get through so much traffic. Upon climbing in, I realised I was right and there was no place to sit. So I just grabbed one of the handles hanging from the rod attached to the ceiling of the bus, and stood in the aisle, as a few of the other passengers were doing. I assumed I would eventually get a place to sit when passengers disembarked on the next stop, or maybe the one after that.

The traffic near the bus stop wasn’t that bad, but after a kilometre or so, it got worse, and even worse after that. Vehicles were virtually standing still, for as far as the eye could see. In the opposite lane, though, cars were coming towards us at normal speed and traffic was pretty manageable there, even after the arriving lane had been reduced from two parallel lanes to one; the other one being used to divert traffic from our lane and reduce some traffic here. Needless to say, it was working about as well as a band-aid on a fracture.

I just looked around, at the people in and out of the bus. There were a couple of college-going guys quite like myself, sitting in the backseat and talking about some games and apps on the App Store, their compatibility, and their opinions on the same. There was another dude sitting at the front of the bus yelling into his phone, speaking about how he was definitely not going to pay “that asshole” INR 25,000. You know, in India, places are so crowded and people are by default and quite literally, very close, the concept of ‘personal space’ isn’t as elaborate as it may be in other countries, like, say, the US. People don’t mind if there’s other people looking over your shoulder and into your phone screen when you’re texting your girlfriend. Hell, they’ll tell you if they think you should be typing whatever you want to say in a more “conservative” manner. At least its this way in Mumbai, and after that shouty dude finished talking on his phone, a bald guy sitting next to him asked him, “Aaj kal aisa hi sab chalta hai desh me, sab paise ke peeche! (This is exactly what is going on in the world today, everybody is after money!)” The two talked for a good twenty minutes before the bald guy had to get off at his stop. They even exchanged cards before doing so. Friendships on the bus.

The bald dude was the last to disembark at his stop and the bus driver immediately started the bus once he had. There was a lady about twenty metres away, running towards the bus just as he started it. He must have seen the lady, but since she wasn’t at the stop, he didn’t stop for her. Lucky for her, the signal ahead just turned red so she caught up to the bus there and climbed in through the front door, which, mind you, is strictly meant for disembarking and only senior citizens/differently abled people are allowed to embark from there. She looked really tired but angry. As soon as she walked up to the door, the driver told her to, “Please, get in through the back.” She just climbed in to the front instead and started scolding the driver for why he didn’t stop the bus for her when he clearly saw her trying to get to it, back at the bus stop. The driver explained that he won’t stop for every other person on the road, the bus stops only on signals and at bus stops. She then threw the ‘but I’m a woman’ argument at her. At that point her net level of respect in my mind and presumably in that of most of the people in the bus, fell quicker than Kim Kardashian’s reputation. After a while she realised her arguments were losing steam and now that the bus conductor and a couple of passengers had also chimed in with the driver, she acknowledged she was outnumbered and outmatched by sitting down in a huff.

I decided not to plug in my headphones this time, and in retrospect, it was a fruitful decision since I probably wouldn’t have been able to write this post as well if I had.

Vignettes = Tough

What are vignettes? All I knew about them is that they’re those faded black borders that Instagram allows you to apply on your uploads. Well, today’s Writing 101 assignment tells us to write using vignettes, which apparently, are also short episodic scenes that together read as variations of the same theme.

Today’s assignment is tough.


I was confused at first. I didn’t know exactly what the assignment was asking me to do. I also didn’t understand the utility of this writing style. Yes, it grants repetition and therefore reinforcement, albeit of a dramatic kind, but I like to rely on subtlety in the kind of fiction that I like to write usually.

You know what? Today’s assignment is tough.


I’d never heard of this writing style before, nor do I ever remember reading anything written using this style. Maybe its just one of those things that are very rare. Like reasonably priced fast food these days. Sure, you’ll get fast food for ten rupees but then be prepared that that may or may not include diarrhea. I am NOT a fan of those odds. I am not a fan of this assignment either.

Because today’s assignment is tough.


So I recently wrote a preview to the new fiction story I’m working on. Its basically a small excerpt from the beginning of the story. I have promised my readers to publish a full chapter of it soon (I know, ‘soon’ is taking too long but I’m about to explain why, exactly). A funny thing happened the other day. I was talking to a friend and he told me he came up with an idea for a story. He thought it was cliche and really stupid. See, me? I don’t think there’s any stupid story ideas. Only stupid ways to present them. Every idea is a little baby in the beginning, it just lays there if you don’t help it around. You gotta feed it, make it bigger and stronger and then show it off to the world. So I told him to just tell me the idea irrespective of how it sounded. And it turned out to be one of the biggest coincidences I’ve ever been a subject to, in recent times. Turns out, that idea fits right into the story I’m working on. It supplements my story really well, and in fact, adds a great deal to the plot. Its an explosive idea, trust me. That’s why the story is taking a little longer than expected, since I am trying to integrate the two plots, make them cohesive while trying to split it up into chapters. You may have to wait a little longer, but I promise I’ll make it worth your while. So I was working on that story for a little bit today and then I remembered that I haven’t checked today’s Writing 101 assignment so I did.

That’s when I realised that today’s assignment is tough.

Well, that’s the best I could do with the vignettes. What do you think?

Why Do I Write?

I write because…

Writing gives me peace. It is a medium for me to speak my mind. It is a way for me to sell my wares, so to say. My wares, here, are the things that I write. It is up to my readers to accept it or not, like it or not.

I write because I have things I need to share with the world, with whoever is willing to read. I have opinions and ideas, advice and ideals. I probably have more than my conscious mind can accommodate but then that’s how it is.

I always wanted to be this ‘perfect writer’. A sort of amalgamation of the world’s greatest, the best of all worlds, but I now believe there are no perfect writers. Only perfect stories. That too, is debatable. Let’s just say that perfection does not exist in this gorgeously imperfect world, and chasing that elusive gem is futile.

So, I write because that’s what I like to do. It gives me great pleasure to know that I have a medium here to express myself and that there are actually people that believe in me, in my expressions. There are few honours greater than the faith of people.

Ever since I can remember, I wanted to be a ‘big man’. In Hindi, people say, “Yeh bada aadmi banega!” which literally means “He will become a big man some day!”. Instantly, even at the age of 7, I knew that that’s what I wanted to be. I wanted to be somebody who changes things. Who changes the world. There’s times when I look at the world and I can’t begin to imagine what a dreary place some of us humans have made it. Some “systems”, that are in place, bother me to no end simply because they are so illogical and contradict so many other very valid ideals that ought to be respected. That’s humanity for you. I’ve always wanted to change these things, but I’ve also known that it is a very far-fetched idea, despite my unabashed optimism. Let’s call it being realistic. I feel writing is the way for me to change the world.

I am a person very interested by other persons. Humans intrigue me. Psychology piqued my interest when I found out about it and I’ve always been very curious about the human psyche. I intend to pursue some sort of career in psychology and writing and am currently studying my way to that. I want to help people overcome the limitations of their mind. I want to help people out of the psychological abyss. I want to make the world a better place.

That’s why I write.

Kinda Confused What The Title For This Should Be

Ever seen a platypus wandering in the desert? Or a man born in 1846 teleported to Times Square of 2015? Obviously not unless you ARE the platypus and the man out of time.

But have you ever entered the wrong room? Like, you have an exam, your Finals maybe, and you’re scared shitless, because, let’s face it, you’re underprepared, so you’re walking in the hallway, your head bowed down, skimming as speedily as it can over the book you hold in your hands. You bump into every other kid, but at least you’re not looking down to your phone screen, right? There’s a chaotic typical Middle Eastern bazaar kind of situation in your brain, with exam material shooting from one end to another, interspersed with thoughts about self-worth, including, but not limited to your attire at the moment, your hair, whether you’re giving off a too-nervous vibe, and tons of other stuff. Among all this hullabaloo, your brain messes up with your memory and serves you up with the wrong classroom number, which you obviously believe is right and walk into it. You don’t see your serial number on any of the benches. What are you now?

I’ll tell you.

Confused is what you are.

Believe it or not, that little thing above was all just an introduction, a prelude, a prologue to this post.

But yes, confusion is what I’m talking about. There’s a considerate amount of confusion going around in my life these days. And I think about it now and then. Sometimes it overwhelms me, but other times I’m like, “Yeah, I got this,” and then I sort out all the shit in my head but it gets un-sorted before I can say supercalifragilisticexpialidocious. So I’ve learnt I should write stuff down.

I’m 17 so you kinda get the different kind of things that may be confusing me.

I’m not naive to think that adults don’t get confused. I was that way a few years back but I get it now that there’s a few things that never go away.

But the 16s and 17s are a weird age. 18, 19 and 20 are probably thinking right now, “Oh, we gonna come in like a wrecking ball, yeah!”

I’ve seen posts on Facebook and stuff that go, ‘2015, go easy on me” or “October, please be gentle” and at first I’m grinning a bit and then later I’m like, the hell is that about? You want to do the exact same thing you did in September and you expect October to be easier. How in the world do you expect to have luck that outrageous? So yeah, your grades aren’t going to shoot up if you’re still playing Battlefield all day.

I kinda drifted away from the topic, confusion.

Basically, I was thinking about the blog, and writing in general and brainstorming today morning. And I was reflecting on the last few posts I’ve made, what I think works and what doesn’t.

And then something dawned on me. I don’t know if it can be classified as an epiphany but its definitely something. I was thinking that I created this blog for the primary purpose of writing fiction. I used to think that I will probably write something more than that but I always thought I would have enough fiction pieces to not need too much more to keep the blog ticking over. But I was wrong (yeah, pragmatic part of my brain, you can say “I told you so,” now).

However, that’s not necessarily a bad thing. One thing I understood right at the beginning is that this blog is something I want to have for a long time to come. I want to write, for a long time to come. I also understood that things like this evolve, over time, into what they are meant to be ultimately. What I didn’t understand however, is that what I’ve started out doing, may not be what I end up doing.

There's a lot of confusing stuff in the world, but the good folk over at 9gag just solved one of them.
There’s a lot of confusing stuff in the world, but the good folk over at 9gag just solved one of them.

What I mean is, I started out with this blog to write fiction, 90%. In the end the pieces may not fit that way. That’s what the confusion is all about.

I get the feeling that fiction is what I want to do. But at this point in time, its non-fiction that’s coming more easily to me. Maybe its just a phase, but its certainly made me think.

As I said, the 16s and 17s are a weird age, and I’m discovering so much right now. And I don’t mean discovering stuff on the internet, I mean discovering, coming to realisations, borderline epiphanies when I’m just sitting around looking into the sky, thinking. And this is going to happen a lot these days since my holidays have started and the number of things I need to do add up to a staggering number of nil.

You just witnessed an outpouring from my mind. You should probably sit down and process if you read this from one of those stand up desks I hear you people have at workplaces now. Contrastingly, you should probably get up and take a few rounds around your couch if you were sitting in the first place.

Once you’re done, do let me know if you guys have ever been through stuff like this? Epiphanies, confusing thoughts, too much time on your hands, whatever, let me know about it 😉

On Society, Prejudice, Judging and Introversion

Modern society gives rise to a multitude of problems, psychological and other. Sometimes these problems find their place in a person’s mind right when they’re kids and other times it happens when they are older. Its not easy to find them and even harder to accept their existence but once you have done so I believe its a little easier to get rid of them.

Not many ever realise they had an issue in the first place until they’re quite old. You’re told to have good habits right from your childhood. The same goes with these ‘issues’ and ‘problems’ I talk about.

I’m not saying I’m perfect. I’m not trying to sound like an arrogant little prick preaching to the world, how to be a better person. [Arrogant little pricks are the last people you would like to take that kind of advice from.] There are swathes of people that we see everyday. Many of these have, sometimes astonishingly perceptible flaws and though none of us mean to judge, these character-blemishes can sometimes be very bothersome. We sometimes find people that we just cannot stand, yet we have to deal with them every single day. They might be co-workers, mutual friends, neighbours, a bus conductor of the bus you travel by everyday or even your boss or a teacher.

There’s a guy I’ve met at college and I have the unique and generally-displeasurable pleasure of sitting next to him everyday. [I have just begun college so please bear with my repeatedly writing about college.] So, the guy seemed like a pretty decent guy in the beginning; kinda shy like me, doesn’t talk much to pretty much anybody, serious enough about studies but at the same time not a nerd-y guy. Turns out I was wrong about him.

But now we’re “friends”. And I’m stuck.

You see, here in India, not many guys opt for Humanities or ‘Arts’ [as it is called] voluntarily. Most guys end up in Humanities since the percentage required to get into it is comparatively less than Commerce and Science [though it goes up to the early nineties in the best colleges]. Plus, people from minority classes like Maharashtrians or Muslims, for instance, can get into any college simply on the basis of their being a minority, irrespective of their percentage. This invariably fills a college with people with a low intellectual level.

I am at one of the best colleges for Humanities in Mumbai but this college has a minority reservation for Maharashtrians who are basically from a lower education Board than I’m from and so its difficult to get along. There’s barely twenty guys in all my class and the rest of them [about 70 (its a huge classroom)] are all girls; as I said, not many guys opt for Humanities because it is thought that girls take Humanities because Science and Commerce is too much for girls to handle (goddamn traditional beliefs, I know).

So anyways, I started by talking about the problems modern society gives us. One problem that I have is shyness. I’m not blaming modern society for it because its not its fault, I’ve always been shy. But you know what? This blog actually helps a lot with that and I can say with conviction that I have actually changed as a person since I’ve started writing this blog. Again, I won’t say that its just the blog that’s helped; I have taken active decisions to try and be less shy, talk to people around, look confident and try and be confident and that’s helped too.

I recently saw this video on TED (below), in which the speaker Susan Cain talks about introverts and how they are not given importance by society.



I was also recently browsing stuff on StumbleUpon and I chanced upon an article on LifeHack which debunked a few common myths about introverts and I completely agree that these myths are really myths and a lot of people feel that way about introverts and I know because people have said some of these things to me. For example, recently at college I was introduced to a friend circle of my friend and we spent an hour or so between classes roaming the campus and I didn’t speak much because they weren’t really my type of friends and I respected this friend so I didn’t get out of the group either. When they didn’t see me speak much and just keep listening, they all went, “Oh he’s such an introvert he doesn’t say anything ever!” and stuff like that.

You can find that article here.

Well, I was just going with my thoughts when I started writing this and now my thoughts aren’t taking me anywhere really, so I’m just going to end this by saying that we all have our issues but we must learn to acknowledge them and learn how to deal with them without being a pain to others around us.

As far as introversion is concerned, I really think people need to start understanding what it is all about, I mean literally everybody I’ve met, has asked me at least once, why I don’t speak much. Even some friends I’ve known right through school have said that to me. When somebody says that to you, you just lose interest in talking to them, because you know that they don’t understand you. When somebody says something like that to an introvert, they obviously have a jumbled-up head; that’s how I think most people who talk that way are. They confuse things for themselves. But they hardly ever get that.

Peter Griffin really nails it.