Coffee Update #5

 

COFFEE UPDATE5

Welcome back to another one of my Coffee Updates! This is where I brief you with what’s up in my life, what I’m thinking, and what I’ve been up to recently.

So grab a cuppa and settle in.


 

If we were having coffee right now, I’d tell you that I am finally done with my 12th Grade Finals, or the Board Exams, as they are called here. They went on for around a month but I wrote my last exam a couple of days back. To be honest, they went very, very well. I feel I did well. I had English, Hindi, Economics, Philosophy, Psychology and Logic as my subjects for the last two years (Philosophy came in, in the second year; I had Math for the first year) out of which I think I found Economics and Hindi to be the toughest overall. Economics because there were a lot of chapters to study and remember stuff from, and Hindi because, well, generally I just found the chapters just really boring. We had short stories and poems and I felt that some of those short stories had a good message to give, but they were so awfully written. I mean, it just dragged on. Plus it was in Hindi, something I don’t read every day so it takes more time than it does with English. So many of those stories were written more than 30-40 years back and maybe this was how people wrote back then. In the end, it all went really well. Now I have a couple of months of just basic chilling out before the results come out sometime in the last week of May, after which its back to college admissions and picking subjects and courses and what not.

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Batmanvssuperman8191234If we were having coffee right now, I’d tell you that Batman v Superman – Dawn of Justice is releasing on the 25th of March, which is also my birthday. I know, right? I have been so hyped to see this ever since it was announced. Batfleck gonna be awesome. Now, yes the initial reactions of most of the people who watched it on its early premiere and stuff around the world, have all been negative. Everybody’s blaming Snyder for screwing up with what was supposed to be a monument of perfection. What people wanted to be a monument of perfection. It is understandable since so many have grown up reading the comics and watching on – screen versions of these characters and it is surely close to them. I haven’t seen the movie, so I don’t want to form any opinions right now, but it seems to me as if people need to appreciate it for what it is and not loathe it for what it is not. Its a huge thing that this movie got made in the first place. Seeing Batman and Superman in an epic showdown with such great graphics and stuff, thanks to modern technology. Who would’ve dreamed of seeing this on the big screen 10 years back? With such a great cast, no less. It is very easy to pick out faults in blockbusters like these and tout it around as a huge failure, but very few of us actually know what went on behind the scenes and why this happened. A friend of mine said it could be because of the owners and the people who bankrolled the movie, and could have maybe put some restrictions on the actual guys who made the film. Its not a completely outlandish idea. Despite all this though, I go in with an open mind and I am sure its going to be one of the best movies I ever saw on my birthday.

Batman-vs-Superman-Tell-Me-Shirt

If we were having coffee right now, I’d tell you that I am going to go away for a little vacation next week, with my parents and my little sister. The place is a few hours away from the city, and its not all exotic and shit, like most people like to do when they turn 18 or just give their 12th Board Exams, but it doesn’t really matter to me. I’ll be gone for two weeks and its likely that I won’t get a decent internet connection there so its also very likely that I won’t be posting anything for those two weeks or so.

If we were having coffee right now, I’d tell you that a few weeks back I found out about this book fair in the city where they sell books by weight. Most of the books are second-hand but in close to perfect condition overall, and they have fixed prices like, Rs. 100/kg for certain kinds of books, 200/kg for others and 300/kg for the rest. That right there, is an absolute steal, because these days even some two hundred page books cost Rs. 399 and Rs. 499. So I got myself a few kilos. We kinda reached late when it was about to close plus we had to get home and study because our exams weren’t yet done with, or I would have probably taken more. In any case, I’m going there again. Anybody in Mumbai want to check this out, its near the Churchgate station, on the east side, in a place called Sundarbai Hall. Its open every day from 10 AM, I think, to 6 PM till the 4th of April.


 

Aaaaand, that’s all I’ve got for this Coffee Update, but there’s sure to be a looot more in the next one, because that will be after I get back from my vacation outta town, so stick around for that.

I hope you’re enjoying these Coffee Updates, because I sure am enjoying writing them! Let me know if you did by liking, following and above all, by letting me know in the comments down below. I’d love to hear what you have to say. Any of you going to watch Batman v Superman? What’d you think of the trailers and the initial reactions? Lemme know! 😀

I’ll see you guys next time.

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Coffee Update #2

(Or the “I’m Back!” post)

If we were having coffee right now, I’d tell you that I’m officially back from my just-more-than-one-month-long hiatus now that my terminals are done with. Apart from the economics paper, they were all thoroughly awesome, and I am confident I’ve done really well.

A fan-made poster of the movie
A fan-made poster of the movie (Click to go to the artist, Jolan Rouchet’s page)

If we were having coffee right now, I would tell you that I finally got a chance to watch The Martian. Matt Damon has really climbed up my list of top actors after this one. Mind-blowing. You should definitely watch it, irrespective of whether you passed in science or not. If you’ve already watched, you could always watch it again. Seriously, its that good. Now, I could go on a full-blown speech about how that movie invokes some extent of euphoria and certain very over-the-top, universal goody-goody feelings in me, but I shall restrain myself. I could still change my mind though.

If we were having coffee right now, I would tell you that I very recently attended a live football match for the first time. I went to see the Indian Super League match between Mumbai City Football Club and Atletico de Kolkata at the D.Y. Patil Stadium on the 1st of November, a day after my exams concluded. My home team, Mumbai City, lost out 4-1, but the experience itself was enough to leave me more than satisfied nonetheless.

If we were having coffee right now, I would tell you that I am currently reading Jeffrey Archer’s ‘Not a Penny More, Not a Penny Less’. This is supposed to be an Archer classic, so I guess I am a little embarrassed for having not read it earlier, despite having read a lot of Archer’s work.

What would you tell me if we were having coffee right now?

When You Don’t Write

People sometimes think that writers have extraordinary brains, that their mind is constantly spewing up new characters, settings, plots, and they can write something novel every time they sit down to write. While that may be true for a very selective bunch of writers, I believe the most of us are humans. Like others, yes, writing is our job, and although its one that is also our passion, we do require breaks every now and then. So what do writers do when they don’t write?

They read, for one. I read when I’m not writing. That is probably 10% of what I do, though, when I’m not writing. I enjoy the little things. Like the fact that I just wrote my 101st post on this blog.

I also go to the gym, watch the telly, play a few video games now and then.

Its important to keep all parts of your body exercised. Writing is a way to work the mind, but physical exercise like walking, jogging, workouts at the gym and cycling is a great way to physically exercise the body. Its definitely good for your health and keeps you fit but it does wonders for your mental health as well.

I love to trek. Living in the city makes it difficult to do that half as often as I’d like. The family usually goes to hill stations like Lonavala during the holidays and there’s a lot of opportunities to trek up there so I make the most of those. I’d gone there earlier this year and I even made a post about it, and the admittedly crappy photos I took while there.

I like to cook as well. I don’t always get the proportions right, and that challenge is half the fun by the way, and I don’t cook a lot of different things but its a fun experience. Come over someday if you want to try my watery pasta, or overly cheesy cheese pizzas or puddle shaped rotis! “My mother and I tried making brownies once,” is what I’d say if you asked me “Do you bake?” The operative word being ‘tried’.

What do you do when you’re not writing?

Normal Conversation

Friend: So, what are you reading these days?

Me: Textbooks. I’ve been reading textbooks.

Friend: Your exams are a month away. Guy like you would top them even if you started a week before they begin.

Me: Sure.

Friend: LOL, seriously though, I’m sure you’re reading something good. Back to Grisham for good or still lingering on Baldacci?

Me: Yeah, there’s this real awesome book I know. You’d love it. Its the best work in crime fiction so far.

Friend: Best? Is it new?

Me: Very.

Friend: So that’s probably why I haven’t heard of such a book. What’s the name?

Me: I haven’t decided yet.

Me: (smirks)

Friend: (rolls eyes)

A Little Fleeting Moment of Happiness

Holy. Shit.

That was a very very delayed holy shit. This aforementioned little fleeting moment of happiness came a couple months ago but somehow I’m only blogging about it now.

So, the scene is this. I was reading David Baldacci’s book ‘Total Control’ (about which I wrote a post earlier), and then I looked him up a bit and found myself ransacking his website for tidbits about him and realised I can actually get in touch with him (which I presumed meant a live decoy computer programme created to sound creepily similar to him) via email. I also realised he is the kind of writer that doesn’t care much beyond writing, in the sense that he doesn’t do collaborations or mentoring or anything of that sort. He doesn’t even reply to his fan mail on his own, though I can understand how tedious that would be and hope he at least has some input on the replies sent by his secretary or whoever. Point is, I sent him an email where I might have gushed a lot about him, his book and his writing. And some might get the impression I was being too fangirl-y. But that’s not the point.

This is the point. I actually got a reply to the email, though not from Baldacci himself, obviously. But its still a big deal. Its a pretty big deal. I obviously have image proof so don’t start squinting or scoffing just yet.

Here.

image

See?

You’ve got to admit, though, that the John Puller thing at the end is kinda pushing it don’t you think? 😛

On Writing, and a Book I Recently Read

“A good book is an event in my life.”
Stendhal

In my case, most all books I read are events in my life. Except for my college textbooks, of course. So when I picked up David Baldacci’s ‘Total Control’, I expected to be thrilled. I went through the movie trailer-equivalent at the back and that hooked me on. I have always been too easily attached to books.

Coming to the book, I hadn’t heard of Baldacci ever before and I was surprised at the number of copies the author’s intro proclaimed him to have sold. Also, a review on the front cover ranked him better than the likes of Grisham, Ludlum and even Patricia Cornwell. That obviously did more than enough to add one more to the number of copies sold.

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My copy. The review beside the man's image isn't clearly visible. Image Courtesy - My Instagram.

I actually finished the book quite a while back. A couple days before I published Chapter 3 and 4 of The Traitor Series. Interestingly, I feel he writes in a way I would like to. A way that I feel I’m slowly getting to. I said ‘interestingly’ because the only other writer’s writing that I have felt about the way I have felt about Baldacci’s is Roald Dahl’s.

Roald Dahl is my all-time favourite. I discovered his books, I think, when we were given one from school to study and answer a few questions based on it. In the few years that followed this assignment, I read almost all of Roald Dahl’s kids’ books. Later when I was around 13 I read a couple of his other books for older kids.

When I read Total Control, I noticed that, frequently, the writer uses the starting of chapters or even the gap between scenes to jump right into some action. He also likes to give long, often hair-raising descriptions. Both, are something that I try to do. And this instantly drew me to his writing. I certainly look forward to reading more of his works and it definitely helps that Total Control was just his second published book.