General

2017 – The year that was…

“सफलता उन्हें मिलती है जिनके सपनो में जान होती है, और नोट उनको मिलते हैं जिन्की बैंकों में पहचान होती है।” was exactly how the year (2017) started post the #Demonetization effect.

Moving on, Idea and Vodafone announced merger. And in his new role, Arnab Goswami launched a new channel Republic. Well, he only changed his company, not his signature as he still rips off people’s clothes in his News hour debate.

AAP lost the Delhi MNC elections despite warning people that if some other party (read BJP) wins, their kids will get dengue. Moreover the iconic blue Wagon R of The Insignificant Man (Mr. Kejriwal) that was stolen, made Delhites rethink of their votes. It looks so funny that he wanted to replace RaGa as the National alternative, turned out to be National joke instead!

Sonu Nigam’s Azaan tweet sparked controversy. After all the drama, he ended up shaving his head. People sang I’m in love with the ‘shave’ of you for Sonu.

Star TV won IPL media rights for the next 5 years – stamping their monopoly in Cricket. This also means that Sooryavansham will continue to be showcased on Set Max every week.

Helpless by not being able to beat the competition, Indigo Airlines ended up beating their own customers.

If the 2015 webisode of the roast comedy show was not enough for a controversy, the ‘dog filter’ on NaMo created a bigger fiasco for AIB.

‘Baba’ black sheep Ram Rahim got sentenced. And his master mind helper Honeypreet Insan also got arrested. Undoubtedly the best #DeHoneytization effect for the Nation.

If you own a bar on the highway, you’ll be behind bars – #HighwayLiquorBan.

Kohli jumped to 2nd spot in ODI tons behind Sachin. With 50+ International centuries (32 in ODIs alone) and back to back double hundreds with 2500+ runs in a calendar year – made him roar louder. मेरा aggression ही है शासन goes so well for him.

India might have lost to Pakistan in Champions Trophy Finals but regained #1 spot in Tests. After Hanuman Ji, it was Rohit Sharma who scared Sri Lankans with his attack. Now with Dhoni having played 300 matches, people are more concerned about his career than their own.

2 spats that dragged endlessly: Kapil SharmaSunil Grover and HrithikKangana. If Kapil Sharma’s blunder to fight with Sunil Grover was not enough, he came up with a movie like Firangi. We also came to know that Hrithik does not like the song Bole chudiyaan, bole Kangana anymore.

Cinematic brilliance like The Ghazi Attack and Bahubali 2 were magnum opus. Films like Toilet, Newton, Bareilly ki Barfi, Shubh Mangal Savdhan and Tumhari Sulu that scored well in the box office highlighted the importance of scripts. With Twitter increasing it’s character limit to 280, film Directors can now send the entire script to Salman Khan on Twitter!

Ironically, with a fused Tubelight Salman became rich. Unfortunately with another howler, Bhai fans were overjoyed that Tiger Zinda hai और हम शर्मिंदा हैं.

We still wish – Harry had not met Sejal and Raees and Sarkar 3 were not that awful.

Prahlad Nihlani was rightfully sacked as the Chairman of CBFC. The ‘sanskari’ Sir Ji had a problem with the word ‘intercourse’ to be used in Jab Harry Met Sejal but did not mind showing a similar act in his produced film Julie 2.

In other news, Talwars were acquitted and McDonald’s closed 70% of their outlets in NCR. What also made news was an ‘I’ that made Rani Padmavati change her name (proposed new title – Padmavat).

Virushka bagged the ‘shaadi of the year’ award.

Indians paid as much as Rs. 76K to see Justin Bieber lip syncing! Moreover, the Captain of our Cricket team (Kohli) drinks water worth Rs. 600/- per liter. And then we are called poor (as per Snapchat’s CEO, Evan Spiegel).

So, not out at 70, this year our Nation witnessed everything; Blue whale mayhem, Delhi smog, Bangalore Rains, we survived all the pains from earthquake to cyclone Ockhi to Kejriwal. From surge pricing to cashless transactions to colorless Holi to almost a cracker-less Diwali – we’ve seen it all. Next is what?

Game on 2018 – Bring it on!

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Health & Fitness

Digress from Stress!

If impatience is considered as the first folly of the youth, not having a healthy mindset would surely be the second. And then what follows all this is regreta feeling that has to be the biggest manufacturing defects in humans.  I started this year on a very motivating note – eat healthy, indulge in some exercises daily, et al. Largely, everything was normal until one day I experienced slight pain in my lower abdomen. When it persisted for some more time was when I decided to go for a check-up. And the verdict was a revelation – I was stressing a lot! After meeting the Doctor, I was advised to change my lifestyle which is when it occurred to me – I don’t have a lifestyle 😀 and my mind instantly smelled hell…. ❗

Stress_1

Flashback to few weeks earlier: The management in my office was making radical changes in every department before the start of the Financial year and hence my job responsibilities curtailed drastically. I did nothing in particular and did it pretty well. 😐  For a large part of the day (which continued for weeks) I was idle – which is what gave birth to a lot of thinking. When I did not realize the shit I was into, it was amazing to witness the brain connecting one thought to another until it got to where it shouldn’t be. But all this thinking wasn’t progressive and only resulted in a lot of negative thoughts. My dark circles grew bigger than my friend circle which wasn’t good for the inner self.

Present: That weird feeling of being stressed wasn’t good but I had no one to blame. After all I had created my own storms and I shouldn’t get pissed when it rains. So as an old saying goes, Experience is like a comb that life gives us when we are bald; this problem called for immediate attention and action. I turned up to my Godmother for some advice and pep talk and the brilliant wisdom from her was – it is the choices not chances that determine your destiny. Any change doesn’t happen overnight, only pimples do and hence it was time to come up with few changes that I implemented immediately (not in that particular order) 💡

  1. Choose happiness – Try to be in the company of people and places that make you happy. Just like talking to my parents or a quick chat with my mentor charges me up as they all radiate positivity; likewise a drive on my favorite road makes me happy.
  2. Me time – regularly practice that activity which you love doing. If music is my favorite place to hide, I ensure that I listen to it at some point of time in the day.
  3. Think positive – the most important aspect. If I see myself down, down is where I’ll be. I have been a firm believer of positive thinking and I am sure it can do wonders for me again.
  4. Prioritize – Multi tasking will only enhance your ability to screw up everything simultaneously; so be wise – prioritize.
  5. Love allNo connection with tennis here 😛 but yes holding grudges with someone and keeping negative thoughts inside will only haunt yourself. Vent it out somehow and get over it.

I might not have beaten the stress completely, but I surely have the arrangements to have it beaten eventually. I am practicing what I just preached (above) for a happier self. Signing-off now with what I learnt in this stressful outing: Don’t take life too seriously. You’ll never get out of it alive. 😆

slow down, relax, de-stress concept

 

General

I got nominated for the Liebster Award 2018!

Liebster award

Life surprises you in so many ways. I never missed a notification on my cell phone from the social media but the day I turned them off to avoid distraction, I was pleasantly surprised to be flooded with tags and mentions all around. Surprisingly, I was extremely fortunate to be nominated for the Liebster Award 2018 by Neha Sharma – one genius woman who is a perfect blend of creativity and discipline. Being an avid traveler and a person who believes in inspiring people around her, she brings these traits in her 2 blogs – Nomadic Dreamz, which is all about travel and To Better Lives which talks about happiness and all the related traits that aim for a better lifestyle. So, an award (nomination in this case) is always special, but if that comes from your mentor cum friend, it becomes a reward.

About me: I’m an infant in the blogging world. Every fortnight, I express myself in ItsOnlyWords which is not comprehensive; however at the end of every month I review the Bollywood films that I have seen in that month. With this blog, I aim to improvise continuously and take it to the level of some brilliant bloggers out there.

About the award: Liebster is a fun way to recognize and support upcoming blogs, increase your audience and also get to know some fellow bloggers around the world.

Rules for the Liebster Award 2018:

  1. Thank the blogger that nominated you and link back to their blog (dofollow link, not nofollow).
  2. Pay it forward by nominating in turn 5-10 new bloggers that you appreciate. Of course, leave a message or comment for them to know they’ve been nominated!
  3. Answer the questions given to you, and write some of your own for your nominees to answer.
  4. Link your Liebster Award 2018 post to this post by the Global Aussie, and leave your blog post link in the comments section of this same post.

Here are my replies to the questions that Neha asked:

  1. If a new Superhero were to be created with you as inspiration, what would he/she be called and what would his/her superpower be?

I like playing with words, so the superhero would be known as Punny Man. His super power would be to save the world with words.

  1. What made you start blogging, and what kept you going?

Writing makes me happy. I feel that the best way to express myself is to write – hence the idea of maintaining a blog. I have been lucky enough to get the support of everyone who read my work. People always motivate me to write more – something that keeps me going.

  1. If you could get a wish today, what would you ask for? This isn’t Ms. Universe so it’s fine if you don’t pick world peace 🙂 

I would ask for 1 new wish every day. #BeingGreedy 

  1. Imagine your Twitter account as a person. Now, describe him/her using one sentence.

Comically fidgety – one who is always as uncomfortable as a bum on a porcupine!

  1. If you weren’t a blogger, what would you be?

Definitely a movie buff who can be found at the movie theaters every Friday. 

  1. Describe yourself using only words that start with the first letter of your name!

Maniac, Musicophile, Modest, Mischievous, Motivated.

  1. If x is the average (arithmetic mean) of m and 9, y is the average of 2m and 15, and z is the average of 3m and 18, what is the average of x, y, and z in terms of m?

Sorry, I broke up with numbers way back. We were just not made for each other. 🙂

Here are my nominations for the Liebster Awards 2018:

  1. Nikita at Stumbling Around Delhi
  2. Vibha at Life, A better and sweet symphony
  3. Ananya at OngoingInJournal
  4. Akriti at Psyched In The City
  5. Shipra at WanderingOffTheMap

My questions for you are:

  1. If you can be invisible for a day, what would you do and why?
  2. A movie character that you would like to be/ play in real life and why?
  3. Your strangest talent?
  4. If you created your own country, what would it be called and what would be the most unique feature in it?
  5. An adult problem nobody prepared you for?

Hope you enjoyed answering these questions as much as I enjoyed thinking about them. I will look forward to reading your posts in turn. Do comment here for a reminder when your post goes live.

Cheers!


 

Cinema

Cinema talks #3

Raid

Raid was never supposed to be a massive crowd-puller but its trailer hinted of the film being slightly different. The title itself brought comparisons with the 2013’s Special 26 where a series of raid operations were portrayed. And since the film claimed to be inspired from the actual incidents in the past, the interest seemed to have hit the right chord.

Ajay Devgan can finally breathe! After Baadshaho and Golmaal Again failed to make an impact, Raid brought him back with the no-nonsense role he justifies best. The script of the film was simple, yet entertaining. Unlike Special 26, this film had just one raid operation and that is where Raj Kumar Gupta proves his mettle yet again (post Aamir and No One Killed Jessica). A special mention over here has to be given to the very versatile Saurabh Shukla; he tickled your funny bone with Jolly LLB sometime back and changed himself completely to play the devious Tauji here. He countered Ajay Devgan everytime – be it with expressions or delivering some funny one-liners (with a straight face) like तुम्हारी पुकार सुन ली हमने – अब प्रकृति की पुकार सुन लें? 😀

Raid might not be remembered as a cult thriller; however it had its own shares of elements that pleasantly surprise you. With actors of good grade and a script well made, this flick is interesting for every penny paid. ⭐

General

An ode to Women!

Womens-Day-2018

After reading my first blog, my Dad’s lil’ disaster (my sister) alleged that in applauding the deserving set of people in various domains, I had not mentioned about the accomplishments of any woman from any field. The influential women, who have carved out a niche for themselves in almost every domain, deserved some mention. I dawned upon the fact which was sadly true but never intentional and hence the idea of dedicating a write-up on Women; and what better to do it on International Women’s day!

Women – you can’t live with them but you can’t live without them either! At least I can’t; for I have some immensely important and powerful women with me:

Since inception, the two central women in my life have been my Ma and CineMa!

Having a sister has ensured that there will always be a little bit of childhood around me.

Love is blind but marriage is a real eye opener. I was a firm believer of the philosophy “a happy woman is a myth and a happy man – a fairy-tale”. Marrying my friend was a magical move to change this mindset.

In my professional life, I don’t have a Godfather; rather I’m blessed to have a Godmother who has been instrumental in giving me innumerable pearls of wisdom.

From my best friend, who suffers from the same mental disorders as me, to some of my biggest critics, I have had some interesting women who have played a very valuable role in my life.

And not only in my life; you look around in any field, any sphere, any domain – women have carved out a niche for themselves. I think we need to change the phrase म्हारी छोरियां छोरों से कम हैं के? (Are our daughters inferior to our sons?) because women have out-shined in every field:

Girls outshining boys in Board exams is a ritual now. Super Mom Sonia Gandhi created Weapon of Maa’s destruction (RaGa) and Kejriwal’s Mom made the creature of frustration. Sushma Swaraj has always won hearts helping so many people at the last minute. The Nation loved Smriti Irani when she belted Rajdeep Sardesai in that epic interview. The myth that only male directors can make good films was busted Meghna Gulzar, Gauri Shinde and Zoya Akhtar. A bigger illusion that only good male actors can run a film has been broken time and again by Kangana (Queen), Sonam (Neerja), Alia (Udta Punjab & Highway) or even Vidya Balan (Kahani/ Tumhari Sulu).

FinalCollage
From movies, sports, business, finance to social service and in my personal & professional life, these women are going places. They have carved out a niche for themselves in every domain, breaking every taboo and showing to the world anything is possible.

P.V. Sindhu and Sania Mirza have done enough to encourage the Indian parents to push their daughters to take up a sport. Mithali Raj did not become a role model overnight. The only female cricketer in the world to cross 6000 ODI runs had to work hard for decades. As a result of her hard work, she became the 1st Captain in the history of India Cricket to lead the National team to an ICC ODI World cup twice – in 2005 & 2017. Right from Karnam Malleswari, to Sakshi Malik, PV Sindhu to Mary Kom to Saina Nehwal – we had these women who won us Olympic medals. And just in case any man was giving himself airs on muscular strength – there’s VJ Gurbani Judge (aka Bani) who has been lifting weights and ultimately lifting womanhood in a beautiful and strong way. And to put an end to this debate over the differences between male and female muscular strength that has raged over the years is a simple biological fact – a woman can bear children.

giphy

It’s time now to end talks and show some productivity towards putting an end to this gender inequality. Body shaming a woman on the social media became every man’s rightful duty! Besides rape, there have been some criminal acts in the past. In India, women don’t marry a man, they marry a son and hence dowry has been the root cause for domestic violence. Female infanticide prevailed even in the new millennium! Women are still not paid the same salary as men in many parts of the world! #MeToo was not just a hash tag to demonstrate the widespread prevalence of sexual assault and harassment; rather it was a powerful slap to all the men – only if they realized the magnitude of the problem!

Treating women with disgust has to end. It’s ridiculous that people start blaming Anushka for Virat’s abysmal performances. On the flip side, why don’t you praise her when he scores a century? Most recent example, during the first test with SA when Kohli departed cheaply and all hell broke loose on Anushka.  On the contrary, did anyone praise Nupur (wife) when Bhuvaneshwar Kumar showed an all-round performance in the same match? This is the irony – you blame women at times when she is not responsible and never appreciate for the better acts from her end time and again. And that’s where I feel that the mindset only needs to change in celebrating Women’s day only once a year – it should be a recurrent celebration.

To conclude – dear men, we don’t get things easily – marks, ranks, appreciation, increments, girls – nothing is easy for us; so why complicate things further? Why bully a ‘Wonder Woman’ forcing her to be a ‘Gone Girl’? And if you really want to have a battle of the sexes, try to beat them in politeness and that will be one of the greatest victories that you can gain over them. So, love them, give them respect and distance yourself from getting involved in unnecessary controversies for she is the one who can either make your Aww-roscope or a Haww-roscope. Choice is yours! 😀

Cinema

Cinema talks #2

CT2 collage

Feb. ’18 brought Friday cheers for me. Rarely have I been lucky enough to watch a film every weekend and a month which also had the limited overs cricket series of India’s tour of South Africa – imagine how busy I was! 😉

Here’s Cinema talks #2 – monthly series of my film reviews..

Padmaavat

First things first – Sanjay Leela Bhansali’s (SLB) films are visually delightful and Padmaavat is no different. The sets created of this Bhansali land will get you out from the Maaheshmati kingdom (Baahubali series). But if costumes and sets alone decided the fate of any film, many Bollywood directors would’ve failed miserably.

Don’t be surprised if somewhere you feel that the film should’ve been titled as Khilji instead of Padmaavat because Ranveer Singh has nailed the role of the bad-ass villain – he has delivered a masterstroke and has left no stone unturned to make you hate him in every scene. Shahid tried his best to impress as the King but was overshadowed by Ranveer. Sadly, Deepika was let down this time by the director himself. Touted as the most beautiful woman, she looked very ordinary. Ironically, Aditi Rao Hydari (as Khilji’s wife) looked way prettier. And then, right from his entry scene till the end, Jim Sarbh (as Malik Kafur) was the 2nd best character after Allahuddin Khilji. You would surely want to see more of him now. The film, however needed some serious editing – running close to 3 hours, it tests your patience. Moreover, the decision to also release it in 3D is beyond understanding.

So, had it not been for the extreme reactions from some retards, this flick would’ve been just another SLB show. In a way, team Padmaavat should thank them for the publicity of this strictly-one-time-watch hyped cinema.

PadMan

After a period film, next was a film made on periods. In the past six months, this is the 3rd film where Bollywood has focused below the belt. Toilet had a feel of the National concern; Shubh Mangal Savdhan beautifully handled a sensitive topic and now PadMan – which educates that periods are not a taboo.

Like any R. Balki film, PadMan too, had all the ingredients for a perfect recipe – a decent script, mixed with good acting and garnished with frequent emotional kicks. And Akshay Kumar seems to be hitting the bull’s eye every time now – family entertainers with good content, subtle message and sublime acting – all of which makes the viewers wait more for his films.

Aiyaary

Neeraj Pandey is a master in the espionage thriller genre. Even before its release, the film was in the news – be it for multiple changes in the release date or at the time when it failed to get the clearance from CBFC which stated that the Defence Ministry wanted to review the film knowing that it is made on Army backdrop. But, in spite of being in unwanted controversies, Aiyaary would not fall in the league of Pandey’s cult thrillers of the past.

The film started perfectly crafting the plot for a perfect 1st half. It’s from thereon that slow pace and weak editing distract you from the main issue. The last 30 minutes was where these unwanted scenes wreck the film; a turmoil which even the heavy star cast wasn’t able to save.

Ordinary is not what you expect from a Neeraj Pandey film but then expectation is the mother of all frustration.

Sonu ke Titu ki Sweety

Please don’t judge me for watching this film. Sometimes things are by force and not by choice, likewise I couldn’t say no to my sister who has immense craze for illogical flicks! 😛

If Neeraj Pandey failed to meet the expectations as his earlier works, Luv Ranjan too joined the league. This film is no where relatable to what his earlier works were. The theme of Bromance vs Romance was an interesting concept only if it was backed up by a good story line. You feel odd looking at the crazy ways a guy is adopting to save his buddy from getting married with the motto शादी मतलब बर्बादी. What also lacked here were the punch lines that could’ve tickled the funny bone. One rare sight was to watch Alok Nath in a cool granddad avatar – he made his presence felt. The sexist humor however is pulled very well which was just a part of the film but the spirit of friendship that was not properly tackled disturbed the heart of the film.


 

Health & Fitness

Weekend Yogi

Why couldn’t God make six packs the default standard in every man? Did we need to store fat in the silliest of places? Meet Manas (I), the man who puts pro in procrastinate; where like every year, this year too, my only combat is with the body fat. I pledge to become fitter, more active and join the gym.

 Flashback: The same resolution was there in Jan. 2017 too; when I had recently ended my stint as a bachelor. It’s true that loneliness and cheese burgers are a deadly combo but when you can pinch an inch even on the forehead, you realize that the body is asking for some care. To be honest, the cold weather then made my resolution go for a toss and the healthy mindset was ignored. I got back on the see-food diet – I saw food and I ate it. I even became a light eater – as soon as there was light I started eating. And when someone pointed out on those love handles, I brushed aside all such negative comments by labeling myself as festively plump, not fat!

Thankfully, towards the end of last year I had a back spasm, something that was not justified for my age. The severe pain shook me with a realization that the body is screaming for attention, only if you don’t want the medicines to take care of you.

I then started with walks, coupled it with light stretching exercises and even jogged. The plan was to get the body activated before I hit the gym. My Mom then suggested joining Isha yoga classes. And from the first week of Jan. for every weekend thereafter, I became a Weekend Yogi!

Present: At Isha, I enrolled myself for Angamardana – a series of aasanas that aim to provide expertise over the limbs. The primary reason for choosing Angamardana was strengthening of the muscles, esp. the spine. It is never recommended to exert the body physically when it has been rusted for long, so a session of this sort was an instant help to the basic energy system. In the initial days the muscles did feel some strain, but that was a sign of being on the right path. One great thing about Angamardana is that it can be practiced anywhere, even during travel; all you need is a peaceful environment. How to breathe during every aasan, how much to exert at what stage, at which level should the intensity be increased – all these aspects were slowly practiced in small duration. But the real game changer (also my most favorite part) was the day when I was introduced to meditation.

AngBlog
Various aasanas taught in Angamardana.

Meditation is one of the easiest things to learn but extremely hard to practice. The first time I had an encounter with this mental exercise, it forced me to identify my own mind and emotions. The drill was simple – we had to close our eyes for a minute and think NOTHING! It was a challenge. Our brain is flooded with hundreds of thoughts; and when you indulge in such a peaceful act, you realize that the mind is exhausted with endless useless and unwanted thoughts and opinions. The shocking realization was hard hitting – if this is the state of mind at one particular moment, imagine its plight on a daily basis!

With repeated sessions of meditation, the mind was slowly trained to take over all the negative emotions. I realized its importance – had I practiced it regularly, the clarity of thoughts and the consciousness would have been at a different level. The results were quick – I became more aware about myself, there was an increased focus on discipline, the stress was reduced to an exorbitant level, I felt more stable emotionally and above all this, it made me think more clearly. I couldn’t agree more to what I read somewhere – if your mind is a muscle; meditation is the way to take it to the gym.

So, that was my start as a Weekend Yogi. Having realized its importance, with a better time management, I wouldn’t want to give it a miss even on the weekdays now. I’m still contemplating whether to take help from the machines to shift the fat from all the unwanted places (read belly) to where they deserve to be most (read biceps) or just stay active enough – both mentally and physically with Yoga. But my uncontrollable urge to become as thin as a husband’s promise might make me hit the gym sooner or later.

Cinema

Cinema talks #1

Film review – Mukkabaaz

Anurag Kashyap (AK) is back and how! His last 3 directions (Ugly, Bombay Velvet and Raman Raghav 2.0) failed to create an impression despite being highly anticipated flicks. But Mukkabaaz is a great punch to all the critics who had labeled him as a faded director with the hat trick of flops.

The film is brilliantly researched – the character names, dialect, and the mannerisms are so aptly depicted. Just like any other AK film, some of the scenes and dialogues are hard-hitting. Where on one had you would feel bad with a dialogue like “Boxing पे पिक्चर बनेगी तो 40 lakh कमा लेगी लेकिन साला Boxing का match देखने 40 लोग नहीं आएंगे” , on the hand, a line like “उनके हुक्के में तम्बाखू कम है” to talk about impotency would leave you in splits. Naturally, such is the nature of any film made by Kashyap.

The performances are the backbone of this film. Vineet Kumar Singh will earn accolades for his preparation and role of a boxer.  Jimmy Shergill has done everything to make you hate him as the villain. The newbie Zoya Hussain impresses as the mute girl and then Ravi Kishan rules in every minute of his short role. The songs are catchy with some brilliant lyrics and the music is already a hit with a particular audience.

So, if you are an Anurag Kashyap fan and esp. from UP, this film is not to be missed. The पैंतरा  from the trio (Anurag, Vineet and Jimmy) packs a powerful punch and make Mukkabaaz the champion of the ring.