Sunday, December 29, 2013

My Growing Rendezvous with Films

It’s that time of the year again when we tend to look back on what has gone by in the past months and what new to expect in the New Year. Numerous blog posts about the best moments of the past year are surfacing online every moment. Facebook is giving out the opportunity to check out your ‘20 Best Moments’ from the last year. ‘In Retrospect’ and ‘Expecting a fresh beginning in the new year’ status updates are seeing a rise as we move closer to the end of the year. Think about it seriously- 2013 is going to change to 2014 but everything else is going to change as much as the change in today and tomorrow! Anyways, I have been thinking about some ‘Year End Entries’ and there seems to be only one major thing that has struck me- films- and about which I think I ought to write a bit.

You never know, someday some director might be seeing this for real on some reel! ;) Photo at Ramoji Film City, Hyderabad
So much has happened since the beginning of 2013. So many things that were normal for me, changed. So many unexpected new situations turned up. While on one side, this was a relatively bad year for my journalism-career, if there is one in the future (At the end of 2012, I stopped subscribing to a newspaper completely simply due to lack of time to read one!), my film-related career prospects did rise on a positive note, or so at least, I like to believe.

Sunday, December 22, 2013

The One Place I Call ‘Home’

What #4 Privet Drive meant to the Dursleys, what #12 Grimmauld Place meant to the Black family, what Bag-End meant to the Baggins and what Hogwarts meant to Harry...that's Jagriti Vihar for me...the only place I ever called 'home'! And leaving home knowing that I would never be returning there, that was not a good feeling...

As I left home for Delhi on the 19th of July, I was slowly accepting this hard reality. I spent those last few days clicking pictures and videos to capture as much as I could on my camera, for the sake of memories.
The beautiful entry gate of the colony that has now been run down, thanks to the widening of the NH 6.
Image courtesy: the facebook page that a fellow JVian created
Having lived at one place for over 17 and half years of my 22 years life, I have no recollection of any other place that my parents lived at. This was where I first entered school never ever giving it a thought that someday I would wave goodbye to this place.

Wednesday, December 18, 2013

The little ‘extra’ effort in Animation

In a couple of days my final exams for this semester would be over. That’s one entire semester gone by. One-fourth of the huge pie called ‘M.A.’ already consumed. It feels so mystic when thought of in this super-intellectual way! So what have I been up to in this new field that I entered about five months ago? Cutout, character, pixilation and sand animation- the big things done this semester. The things that kept me excited and going. Yeah I am going to show you some of the work I have done and promote some of my youtube videos. You have been warned! [:D]

Working on the Character Stop Motion Animation- Animation Lab, AJK MCRC, Jamia Millia Islamia, New Delhi
On that non-eventful September day, we were told to get some basic shape cutouts and cameras. And in 3 hours, we were to shoot our first stop-motion cutout animation- without telling a story. This is what the work done by my group resulted in.

Monday, December 16, 2013

Chance Encounters

It is surprising how living in a big city like Delhi allows for ‘running into’ people at the most random places. It’s even more amazing when these random people are ones you have lost contact with over months and years. And it’s so amazingly surprising when you have such a random chance encounter with someone who has till then been just an acquaintance and the conversation that follows is longer and more substantial than all the conversations you have ever had with them in all the years of knowing them.
I was wondering what picture could possibly fit with this entry.15 minutes on Adobe Illustrator results in this.
It happens so very few times that we actually think of the huge logistics (or lack of) involved in these chance meetings. No two parties decided to be at the same place at the same time, but they did decide their plans for their individual-selves which led to their chance encounter with the other party because the date and time of their individual plans clashed. This sounds so confusing, but it’s actually so simple. But then, it’s not actually so simple! The other day I was at the American Centre and that’s where a chance encounter led to the idea for this entry.

Sunday, December 01, 2013

Buying eyeglasses online, it's fun!

About 10 days back I attended a friend’s friend’s brother’s wedding reception in East Delhi and on my return home around 2 AM, I realized I had dropped my spectacles somewhere. They were supposed to be in my shirt pocket, but now they weren't! A frantic search returned no result and I got an excuse to go for another eye-test that I had been thinking was necessary since the past few months. The eye test revealed that my eyesight had not deteriorated and it was still at the negative 0.5, the same as two and half years ago when I initially got prescribed to wear glasses. The doctor had then said that if I put glasses on now, my eyesight would be restored to normal soon and I would no longer require the glasses! Huh! That hasn’t happened yet! Anyways, that’s not the point of this post.
I tend to go crazy sometimes when I have my semester exams starting in 4 days but I am waiting for another couple of days to start studying
and also yes, when I get a new pair of eyeglasses
The next important step was getting a new pair of glasses made. My father who has recently been overly-influenced by the internet for almost all his shopping needs, and my mother, who is highly influenced by my father’s over-influence of the internet shopping (or so it seems), recommended that I check and choose a frame I liked. I had my apprehensions. The site not only provides the first-frame-free to new customers, it also allows you to use your webcam to click your picture and try various frames virtually and choose the one that suits you best. This was fascinating and so I tried it!

Saturday, November 16, 2013

When the heart bled, eyes wept

Guest Post by Himanshu Dubey

c Sammy b Deonaraine             74(118)

So, this is where it all ends. Like all the good things do.

Image Source: Google Images
He will remain the most loved, most revered and definitely the most humble sportsman.

My passion for cricket has already seen a remarkable dip in intensity and it is only a few hours since He took the final walk back to the dressing room, waving his bat, acknowledging the vociferous crowd. 

Thursday, November 14, 2013

Surprises in the pages of today's TOI

As I got a chance to sleep till late morning today owing to the pre-Muharram holiday at college, and in a way surprisingly, a holiday for Children’s Day, I took a good amount of time in updating my current affairs by reading a physical newspaper. Yeah, the internet and my smartphone gave me an excuse not to subscribe to the daily morning papers! So I picked up The Times of India (TOI) and there I was, for a pleasant news reading time along with some pretty surprises.

The Times of India Isuue Dated 14-11-2013

175 years of TOI

I knew about the exact history of The Times of India thanks to my 'History of Print and Broadcasting' classes from the 1st year of BJ(MC). Holding the paper and finding the full page ‘Common Man’ picture and the short description, I asked myself, “Is today the 175th Anniversary of TOI?” If it is so, I wouldn't be surprised to find the lead story with a headline like ‘TOI completes 175 years in print’ or ‘Thanks for 175 years of support’. But no, would this paper be so selfish as to ignore the news and give itself the importance in the Lead Story itself? 

Tuesday, November 12, 2013

The Legendary Story of Room #303

It is the 25th of March, 2010. The time is around 5 PM. The last paper of the Board Exams had just ended today.

‘Before he leaves, all three of us must write down our names together somewhere in this room such that it remains imprinted there forever, for all the future occupants of this room,’ Bangali told me. Yeah, everyone ought to know the legendary story of the 3 people who once lived here!

Room #303, Boys Hostel, DPS Vasant Kunj, New Delhi

Right now, we were standing outside the hostel gates waiting for Hitman to get the out pass signed from the warden and come here to the car. His luggage was loaded. He came around soon. A slow round of goodbyes and hugs followed. He got into his car and left.

I knew it right then that I was going to miss this guy. What I didn’t know was that I wouldn’t be seeing him again...

Friday, November 01, 2013

Passport-less check-in ‘near Lahore, Pakistan’, Wagah Border

The ultimate and the most-eagerly looked forward to destination of my Amritsar trip was the visit to the Wagah Border for the flag lowering ceremony in the evening. We left our hotel at around 3.30 PM (which we realized later, was quite late) and drove on the straight GT Road (literally, not a single curve and you can cross the border!) to reach Wagah Border by 4.30 PM. Thanks to the previous day’s rain, we were told that the parking area was flooded and the cars will have to be parked on the side of the main road and the rest of the way till the viewing stands would have to be covered by foot. You would not need any kind of guidance to reach the stands. Just follow the crowd. Yes, it is a huge crowd!
Heading to the Swarn Jayanti Dwar, Wagah Border, India
As soon as we were standing in the long queue leading up to the security check, we realized two major mistakes we did: One, we hadn’t booked the VIP seats which we could easily have done at Amritsar and two, because we didn’t have seats booked and it was the Dussehra holiday weekend, we should have reached here at least an hour ago so as to get seats in the stands. The place was overcrowded today!

Sunday, October 27, 2013

That’s one hell of a (happy week) story to tell!

It all started last Saturday evening (19th October) after I returned home from my weekly drawing class at college. I wanted to go out and watch ‘Gravity’, the new Alfonso Cuaron film. I asked a few of my friends to accompany me. The problem was that nobody seemed to be saying a direct ‘No’ and instead a ‘May be’ was what I was getting as an answer. So that delayed me for each and every show of the film that PVR Saket had over the weekend. The moment I would decide that I was going to watch a particular show and I would check the seat status online, the show would seem to be getting housefull about 4 hours prior to the showtime. I got irritated. The online booking didn’t seem to be working for my VISA Debit card and I didn’t want to go to PVR Saket twice, once simply for booking the show tickets! And so, I finally dropped the idea and instead focused on completing my 200 sketches a week assignment which was to be submitted on Monday.

Working on the Sand Animation, Animation Lab, AJK MCRC, Jamia Millia Islamia, New Delhi
Starting Monday through Thursday, we had a Sand Animation Workshop at college. That was going to keep us busy. One minute of animation with a 12 frames per second speed, that meant, 720 individual and unique pictures to be clicked! It turned out to be a real patience-test for us. The only thing that probably kept me going was, “Once I am done with this, I am going to proudly show it to everyone as something I have done”.  And those hours from 9.30 AM to 5 PM seemed to fly by fast, very fast, leaving us mentally exhausted!

And this led to an awesome week ahead…

Friday, October 25, 2013

Punjab-da-khana, 'Guru ka Langar'

So my last post about the Amritsar trip did turn a few heads on facebook, thanks to my using of Punjabi language in the title and my friends trying to correct it. What I learnt was- instead of ‘Weekend vich Amritsar di yatra’, the title should have read ‘Weekend ch Ambarsar di Yatra’. Thanks Megha, Megha’s Dad, Anirudh, Anirudh’s Mom and Dev for all the debatable corrections! :D
Our first Punjabi food stop- Bade Bhai ka Brothers' Dhaba, Near Town Hall, Amritsar
And now here I am for the second part of my Amritsar trip. Visiting Punjab and not savoring the delicious food? Well, that wasn’t going to be the case for us. Our first stop at Amritsar was the famous ‘Bade bhai ka Brothers Dhaba’ near the Town hall after crossing a temporary bridge made of soft drink crates to cross the flooded street outside. It was time for some authentic Punjabi food for us. Actually, almost all of us, because while we had the best Amritsari naans my youngest cousin chose to have a cheese pizza! Kids of today, haha…!

Monday, October 21, 2013

Weekend vich Amritsar di yatra

My Weekend trip to Amritsar
As the super cyclonic storm Phailin made its way to my home state Odisha, I set out on a car trip to Amritsar with my family. Even before we could reach the NH1/Grand Trunk Road, severe rain poured in and slowed us down. Google said the 470 km drive should approximately take 7 and half hours. From leaving home in Delhi to lodging in a hotel in Amritsar, it took us exactly 12 hours- 6.30 AM to 6.30 PM. Had we checked the weather prediction, we would probably have averted our trip plans. But because we didn’t, we were in for some pleasant surprises on our arrival at Amritsar.
The Golden Temple, Amritsar
Rain, rain, flood away
We reached Amritsar after sun down. Or probably it was the extensive cloud cover that led to the early shutting off of the natural light and darkening of the sky. Car showrooms of every brand lined up on both side of the highway as we made our way into the city. The last minute finalization of the trip had made sure that no hotel pre-bookings could be done online and we had to look for a good hotel on reaching the place. We managed to find a good hotel surprisingly soon but by this time it was certain that driving around and visiting places in our car in the flooded city would be impossible. Flooded, did I say? Well, yes! 

Friday, October 18, 2013

On my way home…

It is 2 hours past noon and even at this time of mid-October when evenings are already starting to bring the wintry feeling, the sun is blazing with all its intensity up in the sky and I am sweating profusely as I wait for my bus outside Pragati Maidan Metro Station.

Bhaiya, ek glass pani pila do”, I say to the young man in slightly oversized clothes standing with his ‘thanda pani trolley’ near the bus stop. As I gulp down two full glasses of cold water, I begin to wonder who I had just addressed to as ‘bhaiya’. On a closer look, it was apparent that this guy wasn’t anywhere near his teenage. I pay the meager two bucks that he charges and see a red 423 towards Ambedkar Nagar Terminal approaching. I run to climb aboard the a/c bus. There is a lady conductor. I get my ticket and find myself a window seat at the last row in the bus.

Monday, October 07, 2013

Of Choices, Decisions and their After-effects

There is so much going on in my mind. There is apparently so much happening in my life. There are so many thoughts I want to share. It feels as if these thoughts, mostly confused, are trying to force their way through the gates of my brain. The gates screech and move dangerously but refuse to open and let go. I don’t feel frustrated. I don’t feel irritated. But a sense of uneasiness and malaise prevails. I feel restless.

Tough ‘Futuristic’ Decisions

Monday, September 30, 2013

Why I went and saw ‘The Lunchbox’

Another movie that forces me to write a blog entry…Well, this time I had enough reasons to write about it even before watching it.

A lot has been said and written about Ritesh Batra’s ‘The Lunchbox’ over the past couple of weeks. Not many people in my circles had heard about the film before it released last week. Most of my college mates at MCRC said that since the film had Irfan Khan, it ought to be a good one. Not many were aware that this is one multi-award winning film which till a week back was contending to be India’s official nomination for the Best Foreign Language Film Category of the Academy Awards, but lost to ‘The Good Road’. Hardly anyone knew the reason why I wanted to watch this film in the first place.

With a packed college schedule every week (and half the weekend a.k.a. Saturdays), I went and watched the film with a few friends on Thursday evening. As I took my seat in the houseful show, I told my friend, ‘Look out for some known people’s names in the opening credits’.

Wednesday, September 18, 2013

No, this ain't my third editorial

It’s a warm September evening and it’s starting to grow dark. I wave goodbye to my friends at the Uttarakhand Dhaba and start walking back home as they walk in the opposite direction to catch an auto. With just a few steps taken I turn back and look at them, half-expecting them to do the same. They are walking away. I am back on my track but my frame-of-mind and thought process has changed in those few moments of ‘looking back’. I am wondering, is ‘looking back’ and cherishing moments such an important part of my life?

With my college mates. Taken at the last-leg of our college trip. Picture dated 08-January-2013. 
I climb down the steps of the citi-fi complex and head straight into Madangir, my home since the past two years. I pass the now demolished ‘Ramu tea-stall’, the one spot where all my smoker friends at MBICEM can be found during the lunch hour. Ramu had been the one, two years ago, who my father and I had enquired about MBICEM from, when we first came to look for the ‘Madhubala Institute’. We had been directed to a pale-yellow building at the far end. I had told my father, “However good the college might be, after DPS, I am not coming to a place like this.”

Friday, August 30, 2013

Who said ‘Jobs’ is a Job-done-Bad?

Just keep going. Show me more. Don’t end. Let time run slow. I prayed, gripping myself at the edge of the seat and watching intently.

And then I saw him sitting there, in front of the recording studio microphone. I almost left a chuckle. I knew exactly what he was going to speak. As he started speaking, I recited the entire dialogue in my head- some of my most favorite lines ever written…

Lack of context? Umm… Let me rewind.

Time: 6 hours ago
Location: Animation Lab, AJK MCRC, Jamia Millia Islamia

It’s the tea break in the afternoon session. I am checking my facebook updates. I find this update from PVR Pictures announcing the reduced show rates on Thursdays at the various PVR Cinemas in Delhi/NCR. An evening show for just 125 bucks at PVR Premiere, Select Citywalk, Saket? Wow! But how? I check the show timings and seat status. There is availability and there is a show for Jobs at 6.15 PM. Can I make it after leaving college at 5? I ask a couple of my friends, if they were free, and/or if they were willing to join me. Not getting a positive response, I drop the movie idea. Anyways, I won’t be able to make it to the theatre, book tickets and be seated in just an hour, I thought. How wrong I was…things were going to be so different this evening!

Wednesday, August 21, 2013

The Voyage of the Ship of Theseus

If I remember correctly, it was almost a year back, in September 2012, my friend and I were working on the Take '12 TV Episodes for the Film Society of my college, when he showed me the trailer of an upcoming film. He showed it to me for the amazing editing concept applied in it and for the unusual production house name- Recyclewala. The trailer had some very quick cut shots. I could hardly grasp the meaning of the entire thing. What kind of a film is this and who is going to watch it? I thought. It was the trailer of 'Ship of Theseus'.

A long time has passed since then. A couple of months ago the release date for the film was revealed- 19th of July. 'Ye film to dekhni hai...' that was the buzz amongst my film-loving friends at MBICEM...I recalled my earliest encounter regarding the film. And I was certain that I was going to watch this film, however not-cheap and not-spread it might be. So as soon as I reached Delhi, a week after the film's release, I was checking the showtimes and prices. Considering it was a limited theatre release, there weren't many options where I could watch it.

Friday, August 09, 2013

Welcome to Master’s

You realize you have ‘grown up’ when suddenly you are using a sketchbook instead of your laptop, using colour pencils after spending years with oils and canvasses, and the film that is screened for you in class is Toy Story! Aaah…Welcome to Master’s!

“Have you seen Toy Story?” the professor asked me.
I replied in the affirmative.
“Still you must watch it again. Please enter your class for the screening.”

Having just seen “The Pixar Story” a few minutes back, I was all the more interested in watching Toy Story, the world’s first ever 3D computer animated feature film and of course, a product of ‘the’ Steve Jobs company.

Main Building- AJK MCRC, JMI. When I wrote my previous blog entry and realised that I do not have any photo of my college to include,
I made sure on Day 1 that I click this picture.
This was a couple of days back, on my Day 3 as a student of AJK Mass Communication Research Centre (MCRC), Jamia Millia Islamia.

Wednesday, July 31, 2013

Taking this ‘weird’ first step into my Master’s

On 23rd July, I went to Jamia to complete the admission formalities there. While going around the campus, a funny thought occurred to me and I told my sister, “Yahaan itna ghumna pad raha hai ek kaam karne ke liye, MBICEM mein to ek hi room me baithe sab kuch ho jata tha” (One has to walk so much around the campus to get work done here; at MBICEM everything could be done inside a single room).

A college with a huge campus- that’s what everyone wants to have once they are done with the 12th boards. When I entered MBICEM, I was in a college but not a campus anywhere close to ‘huge’. Over the three years that I have spent there, I have fallen in love with the MBICEM building- ‘the’ campus. Small, yes. And that’s the best part of it. I already miss it and although college officially ended almost 2 months back, I have frequented my visits there simply because I love to spend time in that building with the people there.

In just a few hours I would be entering a whole new college. I guess I should call it ‘university’. I am a Master’s student now and I would be entering one of the best Mass Communication institutions of India. It is a weird feeling. Frankly speaking, I don’t want college to start now.

Monday, July 15, 2013

Because Hirakud, the World’s Longest Dam, seeks a little attention

After over two weeks of trying to convince my mother that I could drive on a hill, this weekend I drove to Hirakud Dam. I have been here innumerable times during my school days and frankly speaking, there is nothing I don’t remember about it. This time since I came home, I had this urge to drive to the Hirakud Dam and climb up the Jawahar Minar and click a few photographs of the longest man-made dam in the world.

A panoramic shot of the Dam Memorial on the left and the Hirakud Dam on the right. Photo: Nokia Lumia 510- 13.07.13
We left home in the afternoon. My mom was certainly not confident of my driving. Every time I turned my head to look out of the car’s window and talked about monkeys around, she reminded me to blow the horn and concentrate on the road straight ahead with its many sharp turns. Even after a lot of resistance from my mom, I drove the car straight uphill to the Jawahar Minar, at one end of the Dam, and the one I have always visited.

Saturday, July 13, 2013

The ‘VIP’ Experience at NIHFW & EU Workshop

Recently I participated in a workshop conducted by the National Institute of Health and Family Welfare (NIHFW) in collaboration with the European Union (EU). It was a pre-testing workshop for a new Post Graduate course that the institute plans to start in the coming months. I have participated in various workshops previously but I knew it from the beginning that this was going to be something different- a new experience. Although I had no clue exactly what ‘pre-testing workshop’ meant, I understood this much- we are going to be dignitaries in this workshop and that’s reason enough to be part of it! I was already imagining myself in a post-conference dignitary group photo that I had seen so many times with other people including my father and grandfather.

The NIHFW Campus at New Delhi; Photo Credit: Me (Nokia Lumia 510)
Five of my friends and I reached the venue on the designated date and time. The workshop began. I am not sure what details of the workshop I can/should reveal and so I would limit this post to some incredible moments and experiences my friends and I shared during the four days.

Tuesday, July 02, 2013

The Extraordinary About Dan Brown's World

“Why does this story seem to be pacing so slow?” my sister enquired gazing up from her book.
“Haha…that’s because all of Dan Brown’s novels are set within a timeframe of less than 24 hours!” I said.
“So is this something like One Night @ the Call Centre?”

I laughed at her ignorance and welcomed her to the world of Dan Brown. She had just started reading The Lost Symbol, her first Dan Brown novel.
Dan Brown with his latest book Inferno. Source: Google Image Search
I remember reading my first Dan Brown book some 5 years back- The Da Vinci Code. I was on page 182 where Robert Langdon and Sophie Neveau are in a cab and going through a park (if I remember correctly) when I had switched on the TV and had accidentally landed on the channel where the movie based on the book was just starting. The book was shut and I saw the film, not bothering to open the book for many months after that. It was Angels and Demons that was the first Dan Brown book that I read completely, sometime in my 12th.

Sunday, June 30, 2013

Times at the First Frame 2013 Office

Last week, a couple of days before I left for home, one last task remained to be done being a student of MBICEM. More importantly, being a part of First Frame 2013- Fifth International Students’ Film Festival. After the successful completion of the festival in April, my friend Sahil and I were given the task of submitting a report of the entire festival- a document summarising how everything took place. Considering the grandeur of the festival, we were in no mood to submit a boring file filled with a thick set of printed sheets. We took it upon us to design a whole new document with newly written content and submit a ‘grand’ report to the Director. I joked, Let’s do this and let’s make this huge, 10 years down the line this report might get shown to the new First Frame Team and they would be told, ‘This is how the 2013 team worked and revived First Frame!’

With almost two months of hard work put in, the report was completed in all respects in the early morning hours of Friday, 21st of June 2013. Considering that this would be my last day at Delhi when college was open, Sahil got the document printed from Nehru Place the same day and we went to college to submit it.
Sahil and I with the First Frame 2013 Recipe Book
As my friend Divya, a member from the First Frame Core Team, saw the document, she wanted to read each and everything that was written here. I told her I would email the content to her. As I was going through the entire 22 page word document, I thought there were a few parts which I should share with the world. These are certain things that anybody who was associated with the festival, specially the members of the core team, would deeply relate to and would, hopefully, enjoy reading. The video at the end of this post ought not to be missed! ;)

Thursday, June 13, 2013

Post #200, Year 6 of blogging: A Deli-licious Day at KFC

As I start writing this new blog entry, a few things strike my mind- One, although I have had a smartphone for 6 months now, this is the first time I am writing an entry on it. Two, I am sitting at a very special place right now and the very specialty of this place urges me to write about it immediately...

It’s 5.30 PM on the 12th of June, 2013 and I am at the KFC restaurant at the Vasant Square Mall in Vasant Kunj, New Delhi. I was around for some stationery shopping and a grumbling stomach led me here. I have been here so many times before...with my family members, my friends...But somehow never before today I wholly appreciated the beauty of this place. And no, this beauty is not about the place. This is about the people I see here. Today for the first time I came to this KFC alone. As I entered, I saw the special notice board saying that this is a special KFC. I have known this for some time now.

The board outside KFC, Vasant Square Mall, New Delhi
Considering it was a weekday and not the usual peak hour, there wasn't much crowd and I was right at the start of the queue. As I placed my order, ‘pointing’ at the various items on the menu and hand-motioning to say that it would be a ‘Dine-In’ order, I think of the big specialty of this place: It is all the people who work here at this restaurant. None of the employees on the counter can speak or hear!

Monday, June 10, 2013

This ‘Growing Up’ thing

I was on facebook and got to know about a few of my batchmates who are starting their first jobs from today. I had two conflicting thoughts at once:

One, having worked in corporate media organizations as part of our summer training over the last two years, learning that someone is working somewhere is a normal thing; no big deal.

Two, realizing that this is no longer an internship but is what they call ‘The First Job’ makes the situation different. I mean are we already so grown up that we are actually starting the thing that we would be doing for the next 39 years or so? Wow!

Half of my batch at MBICEM. The other batch seems to have been in a hurry to leave! :D
My graduation has ended. College has ended. I never had the it’s over feeling. I haven’t felt it as of now and I seriously doubt if I am going to have that feeling anytime soon. Probably it’s because I know that I am just changing my place of study. I am to go into yet another college within a few months. Probably when I am done with my Masters and start looking for a job, that’s when the ‘College is Over’ feeling would sink in. I would be a grown-up then.

Friday, May 24, 2013

This compulsive urge to Live the Moment...

I woke up at 10 AM. The increasing day-time temperature made it impossible to lie down on the bed. I checked my phone- WhatsApp, FB updates and Hike. I sat down and thought to myself- Unlike yesterday when I did absolutely nothing throughout the day, I am going to spend some time outside this furnace, at some air-conditioned and fun location. Today is Thursday. PVR Saket will have all shows at Rs.75. Let’s go for it. I texted a few of my friends to see if they were awake and willing to join in the movie plan. A few of them agreed. Considering the rush that the booking counter sees on Thursdays due to the cheap tickets, we left early to collect the tickets. We got them. And so, we saw the 1.30 PM show of ‘Aurangzeb’ sitting right in the front row of the biggest auditorium at Saket. Craning our neck up was a little uneasy, but the unlimited leg-space available, compromised the issue.

I updated my facebook status: “This is gonna be an unforgettable movie experience sitting right in the front seats...hahaha… Shahjahan ka beta…duplicate Taj Mahal ka creator…Aurangzeb! :D”

As the movie came to an end around 4, I got a call from my good friend Ankit so we could plan something for the birthday of another friend. We decided to meet at CP and I took the metro to reach there by 6. We were joined by more friends, acquaintances, friends of friends. Lots of awesome food, fun and party later, as we bid adieu to the birthday girl around 8.30, we thought of planning something, doing anything apart from going to our homes and sleeping. And so it was…

Wednesday, May 15, 2013

A Letter to all my friends at MBICEM

A few confessions as we bid adieu to our three years of togetherness...

Hello doston,

The urge to write a lot but having no words to start with- that’s the precise thing happening to me right now. It’s almost 3 AM and I am having a completely sleepless night. No, this time it has got nothing to do with any ‘work’ I am doing. I am done with all work. For three years, that’s solely what I have been doing and I think I have had enough of that. Right now, even the utterance of the word ‘work’ seems to irritate me to the core. So why this sleepless night? Well, with college life at the verge of approaching the doomsday, I think I might not be the only one facing this trouble right now.

27.08.2010: The first ever photo that I clicked at MBICEM
We had an amazing ‘Retro-themed’ farewell at college last week. On returning home as I opened my facebook account, I had an unread message from a junior:

“Antarik! I m waiting fo ur blog abt today.... hw u felt... plssss

I knew I was going to right about it. Sooner or later. Non-completion of my final project film was what got me delayed. I kept telling everyone, the very fact that college is over has not sunk in yet! When it does, you can expect an array of blog entries from me!

Friday, May 03, 2013

The wish-versus-do list when you are ill

  1. You are suffering from food poisoning, have been on bed rest for four days and are restricted to a diet of boiled rice and fruits
  2. You get the entire 24 hours of the day for things that solely you want to do
  3. You sleep for 12 of the 24 hours because that feels like the easiest thing to do
  4. You want to go out, meet your best friend who is in town, but can’t because you are too weak to even move and your kidneys wouldn’t obey you if they decide to let go of the motion
  5. You want people to call you up, may be meet you too, but you smile with the once a day WhatsApp message or text you receive from them, because you feel at least there are some people who have you in their thoughts at some times
  6. You use your smartphone for the only smart job it does in the absence of a good network connection- setting the alarm
  7. You want to see Bombay Talkies, a film you have heard so much about, attended discussions about, but can’t because you are too weak for that too
  8. You want to have all the amazing food available in the world and kill that bug in the stomach which is restricting you from doing that
  9. You have to produce a radio show, prepare a production book, make your film’s trailer and poster and submit it immediately for your final college project or be prepared for an extra year at college
  10. You want to kill your laptop because the film that you are editing (your first one as a director) wouldn’t get exported out of Adobe Premier Pro since the last 24 hours due to technical reasons that are beyond your understanding
  11. You want to show your edited film to someone who might actually have interest in it, but find no audience
  12. You have a 200-mark exam coming up in two days for which you need to re-study 23 subjects that you have studied over the three whole years of college

Probably what you can do is
  1. Switch on the TV for some entertainment, accidentally start watching the National Film Awards, switch the channel to Arnab’s Newshour Debate and ultimately let your young cousin snatch the remote from you to watch Doraemon, Ninja Hattori or some other stupid cartoon
  2. Talk on the phone with some of your friends but alas, Airtel signals do not seem to be able to penetrate the walls of your residence except that one square metre area beside the TV in the drawing room
  3. Browse through facebook and find it the most boring job to do and browse through facebook a little more
  4. Start a conversation with that random friend who you have not bothered to talk in months because you had no time
  5. Think how your last week of college is going to be and wonder if your health and work would allow you to enjoy that
  6. Pray for your fast recovery and think what could compensate the time you have lost in completion of the tasks you have and how to get rid of the pile up of work in the short time left
  7. Write a blog entry, think that it would while away some time, realize that what you are writing is sheer stupidity but still post it and expect people to read it and comment on it

Or probably, the best thing to do, when you are ill is to just let go off all work, all worries and rest as the king, come what may!


Sunday, April 28, 2013

Damn this Code F2 Fever!

Truly, this is a fever. A serious fever. A fever without any possibility of complete cure. A fever that is probably not medically known but has deeply affected me. A fever which has changed the way I think. A fever that till a few days back, I was proud to have, and now I just want to run away from. This is the Code F2 Fever!

Photoshop is fun if you know how to use it. Else, simple editing like this one can take 40 minutes and give you a real fever!
I wake up late. I brush and get ready and feel like doing nothing. My stomach demands food and I forcibly have some. I sit in front of my laptop, switch on the internet, open facebook to check the notifications, keep refreshing various pages, close the internet thinking that I should be doing something more useful, stare around and find nothing, switch the internet back on, spend hours wishing for time to fly.

Monday, April 08, 2013

4 months with First Frame 2013…It’s a long period…

Two days back, for the first time in 4 months, I thought of changing my laptop’s wallpaper. 4 months… it’s a long period…

First Frame 2013- Core Team. Photo Courtesy: One of my good photographer friends at college
I am sitting here in front of my laptop and am staring stupidly at this blank word document. For the past 4 days, the only thing that I have done when I have switched on my laptop is opening facebook, checking my email, making innumerable Google searches for the same keywords and that is it. And this happened to kill the time that was left after I slept for 12 hours a day, met friends and spent hours chatting at the DLF Place Eat Food Lounge each day and waiting for some kind of update on Whatsapp. Suddenly there still is so much time left…

Sunday, March 03, 2013

The past few weeks have seen a new trend rising on facebook. Every college and school now has a ‘Confessions and Compliments’ page where the students of the particular institution anonymously spill their hearts out in public. Seeing the trend, I wanted to start one of these awesomely interesting pages for my college as well but thanks to all the work relating to the upcoming film festival- First Frame 2013, I didn’t want to over spill my plate. So the other day when some anoynmous college mate of mine made a similar page for our college, I was glad. And so was born the MBICEM Confession and Compliments page. Undoubtedly, the page became an overnight hit with every student taking a dig on all possible people in college.

That’s not the end of the story. And this is not the point of writing this post.


Sunday, February 24, 2013

“Let me tell a story…”

This article was first published in Jhankaar 2012, the annual printed literature of MBICEM in February 2012. The reason for this being put up on the blog today? Well, today is Steve Jobs's birthday and a year ago on this day, the crazy achievement called Jhankaar 2012, had been successfully achieved by the inspiration of the late Apple co-founder.

On October 5th 2011 when Steve Jobs, one of the most iconic men in the field of technology, breathed last, I was busy preparing my own broadsheet as a part of my college assignment. Influenced by the gravity of the big news that took the world by storm, my team-mate inquired, “Shouldn’t we take Steve Jobs news as our lead story?” I did not take a second to turn down her suggestion. I responded, “Every other team would be doing the same thing with their newspapers, and so let’s not do it. It would set us apart”. What I didn’t know then was, two months later I would be looking for a chance to preach this icon’s ideas and his ‘Think Different’ thought-processes to an extent that all my talks would begin with something or the other from the life of ‘my’ icon.
The ferro printed copy of the Steve Jobs article page on Jhankaar 2012
When I gave a presentation in my class recently, I was dumbstruck at the fact that only few were aware of the wonderfully inspirational life of Steve Jobs. Adding woe to it was the fact that although we all are so familiar with some of the Apple products- the iPhone, iPod and iPad- we know almost nothing about the creation of these magical products; starting right from the full-form of the small italicized ‘i’!

Sunday, January 20, 2013

Inside the Rashtrapati Bhawan

When I returned from my college trip a few days back, my uncle and aunt had a surprise waiting for me- A visit to the interiors of the Rashtrapati Bhawan. I have seen pictures of a couple of friends of mine in the media who have visited the place and seeing their photos has always been a mark of envy. I had never imagined that a ‘tourist’ visit like this to the Rashtrapati Bhawan is allowed or even possible. I desperately looked forward to the D-day.

Rashtrapati Bhawan Visit: Forecourt Area (1)
When I met a few friends of mine a day before the big day and gave them this news, the reaction I got was expected: Aaj se tu mera dost nahi! Haha… I convinced them that we can make a plan, get the permission and visit the place anytime over the coming weeks, but they had the obvious feeling of envy.

Thursday, January 10, 2013

To the Golden Land of Thar

Note: Did a shorter version of this as a travelogue for my college magazine's upcoming edition.

Two days back I returned from my 'educational' college trip to Jodhpur and Jaisalmer. Considering how long we all had waited for this trip, the destination and the time spent together were both of utmost importance for all of us.

Location: Mahadev Resorts, Sam Sand Dunes, Jaisalmer

The 'Call for Entry' Ad for First Frame 2013. For details please visit:
Till a day before leaving for the trip, my sole concentration was on getting all work completed for the international students' film festival 'First Frame 2013' that my college is organising in April. We had to put up the blog, get the content ready, release the initial 'Call for Entry' poster, look up the entire festival history, prepare the initial showreel and start promotional activity on facebook and twitter so as to meet all the set deadlines. Almost everyday since my exams ended, I used to spend hours in college, getting things approved and discussing the whole thing. No doubt, when one of my faculty asked me how excited I was for the trip, I replied, "Maam, for a change, the trip has taken a backseat on my mind and it's just First Frame that I can concentrate on right now". And so it was, till a few hours before the trip began from Old Delhi Railway Station on 3rd January.

You are wearing at least 5 layers of thick sweatshirts, pullovers and jackets while you board the train, and by the end of the 10-hour overnight journey you just have a t-shirt on. That’s when you know that it’s time to take a break from the shivering Delhi and be welcomed by the warm and pleasing air of the Royal Rajasthan.

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