27 February 2009

The Filler Posts

There's an oft told story about J.K. Rowling, which I'm not sure is true.

After writing four books in the Harry Potter series, all of which became best sellers, J.K. Rowling faced immense pressure from her fans, who eagerly awaited for Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix. The pressure was so great, that the author confessed to have thought of breaking her arm, in order to escape from having to write the book. She didnt do it though, and as was feared, the book didnt live up to the hype.

I used to think that this was a fake story. Think about it. Would you really believe that a billionaire author would contemplate breaking her arm due to pressure?

That's when I finished writing "Just A Bat And A Ball". And then I realised how horrible an effect expectations can really have on you. After writing the above mentioned post, which was quite well appreciated by you, I had to follow it up with something else. The result was "Brain Damage, Anyone?"

A friend of mine, who was impressed by "Just A Bat And Ball", politely informed me that the second post wasnt up to the mark. That's when I realised what I faced. From now onwards, I'd have to write every post as good as "Just A Bat And A Ball". Or would I?

That depends upon you. Bloggers are known to be paranoid about their readers, and I'm no different. It took me about five months, to build a readership that has 32 subscribers and an average of 10 comments per post. As my friend remarked, "If you put up more posts like 'Brain Damage', you might lose your readers."

Which brings me to my topic, actually. As much as I would love to write the most funniest, thought provoking and refreshing posts, one after the other, sadly that's not possible. Sure, there are several posts coming up which are quite good. But there's a method I use for the blog. Every good post is alternated with an average post. They're called 'Filler' posts. Why am I telling you all this? Perhaps because I secretly hope that you'll forgive me for wasting a few minutes of your time once every week. And also because I'm hoping you wont unsubscribe from this blog. You've been a great audience so far.

And if ever you find my posts unsatisfying, look to the top of the page. You'll find the 'Top Posts'. Read them. They're the reason you came to this blog in the first place.

Now, if you found this post worth the time, well, thank you!

If not, as I said....it was a 'Filler' post, wasnt it?

Top Rated Posts:

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24 February 2009

Brain Damage, Anyone?

Albert Einstein once said:

Put your hand on a hot stove for a minute, and it seems like an hour. Sit with a pretty girl for an hour, and it seems like a minute.

Though I'm surprised that Einstein used a 'pretty girl' to explain the Theory of Relativity, I now realise what he meant. The past few hours made me realize how slow time can move.

You've probably been in the same situation as me. The MSN Messenger is on, but there's hardly anyone interesting to chat with. Even the fellows you normally block arent online at that time. Your Gmail Inbox is lying bare, making you feel even more annoyed. If you've noticed, the kind souls at Google try to cheer you up, by offering you stuff to read else. Bless them!

But you know you're really bored, when you've finished refreshing your Facebook Hompage a dozen times. That shows how slow time can really go. Many a times I've waited for someone's status update, as though it's a long awaited letter.

I think I should be diagnosed with Brain Damage. Since you're probably too bored to visit the doctor, I'll give you a few symptoms. Diagnose yourself and let me know.

The Main Symptoms are:
  1. Opening My Computer, and visiting all the folders you have, interchanging between Backspace and Enter keys. Even the viruses on your PC knows something's wrong.
  2. Watching the clock, so much so that after a while, it seems as though the hour hand is actually moving fast.
  3. For Orkut users, a popular method. Reading every friend's scrap book. For those who've been diagonsed with severe brain damage, there's always cross referencing, whereby they read all the conversations your friend has with his or her friends about a third friend's farewell party....(you get the point, dont you?).
  4. For Facebook users, updating your status bar every ten minutes, to let the world know....you're still bored.
  5. For the Wiki users, clicking on any article, and finally clicking every possible link....until you finally wonder what Cellular Level Pulverisation actually is.
  6. For the Mobile phone users, searching your mobile inside out, in hopes of finding secret files or folders. Some even try to beat the world top score in Snake II. Others merely give miscalls to all their contacts. And then the process is repeated all over again.
  7. How could I forget. You must be doing this right now. Visiting every album in Orkut or Facebook, regardless of whether he or she is your friend or not.
  8. For the slightly retarded, there's always the favourite F5 moment. Meaning these guys actually press F5 (the shortkey for refreshing), in the hopes of finding something new on their Desktop.
  9. For the over expressive, typing out long, list like blog posts which actually dont make much sense at all...
  10. And the all time symptom....reading completely unknown blogs (such as these), since you've dead bored.
My friend, you're definetly Brain Damaged. Well, join the club!

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23 February 2009

And The Oscar Goes To......A.R. Rahman!

After months of waiting, days of praying, and several hours spent without sleep, it's finally been worth the wait. He's done it! A.R. Rahman is now an Oscar Winner!

This was the most awaited Oscar Ceremony for any Indian, for where else do you see an Indian being nominated for three awards in the most talked about award Ceremony in the world?

The nominations as you all know, were these:
Best Original Score - A.R. Rahman for Slumdog Millionaire
Best Original Song - A.R. Rahman for Jai Ho
Best Original Song - A.R. Rahman for O...Saaya

And the Oscar goes to...
Best Original Score - A.R. Rahman for Slumdog Millionaire

Best Original Song - A.R. Rahman for Jai Ho

Oscar winners normally generate a lot of publicity. This time over, you can be sure a nation of One Billion people will be in a frenzy. Watch out for the newspapers and magazines. And yes, for those of you who've chosen to sleep over one of the biggest cinematic victory for an Indian, there's always Youtube...

Waiting to know your comments....and yes, Jai Ho!

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18 February 2009

Just A Bat And A Ball

My 11th Grade, Final exams are finally over. And since I'm assured of passing with decent marks, there was enough reason to smile. But something my friend said triggered this post.

As we were laughing in the bus, he remarked, "Dude, do you remember how it was for us at the beginning of 11th?"

I did remember. And it brought back a lot of memories...

At the beginning of my 11th, I had reached the end of my 6 year long life at my previous school. That meant I was leaving behind the best school, best group of friends, and above all, a sense of happiness and comfort. And what did I have to look forward to? Nothing. Nothing other than studiying.

People - including my parents, over zealous teachers and pessimistic classmates - kept reminding me about how much I had to study, how serious I had to be in life, and just how useless it would be to go in search of fun and happiness.

So what was I supposed to do? That's when I thought of the "Bat and Ball" story. It's completely fictional, though it can obviously happen for real. Read the story, and hopefully you'll understand what I mean...

An year ago, I had to go to my ancestral home in India, and stay there for an exceptionally long two months. I had nothing to do, except walk around the house and spy on my neighbours. That's when I saw something interesting in the house next door. An NRI family had arrived, among them a kid of about my age. He seemed really frustrated that the house had no television, computer, MP3 player - heck, it didnt even have regular electricity supply.

So I spent two weeks, watching the kid from my first floor bedroom window. He was lying in his room, having nothing to do at all. There were a few dusty books in the room. And two other things. A cricket bat, and a cricket ball.

The kid got so used to the idleness, that he didnt mind it after a while. Finally, he left with his parents, after wasting his two week vacation.

Next up, was another kid, probably a cousin of the first. He reacted in the same way when he came to know that there was no modern entertainment facility around. But this guy, being a bit more sportive, decided to toss the ball around, and hit it. That is, until he broke a vase. That stopped his cricketing exploits. He too was glad to leave three weeks later. Though his vacation was probably boring...

Finally, the third kid arrived. This guy seemed different from the rest. Sure, he did fuss about the same things as the other two, but there was a difference. On the second day of his visit, he picked up the cricket bat, tossed the ball in the air, and a smile formed on his face. He then did something that surprised even me.

He went to the neighbouring houses, and asked if there were any kids of his age, who were interested in playing. They were a bit surprised, and besides, they didnt have any stumps. Didnt matter for the kid. He asked them to meet him in the field behind his house.

Within an hour, about 16 guys, including me, were playing cricket. It was funny, because we used coconut barks for the stumps, and the players were either too small for the bat, or too big. But surprisingly, we played. Till Sunset. And what was more, we decided to play the next day as well. In fact we all played for the next two weeks. It was the best two weeks of my vacation.

I thought about this later. And here's what struck me.

The world around us, is filled with the three type of kids. There are some, who complain about how unlucky they are, and do nothing to change the situation. Then there are some, who try to make the best out of their situation, but loose hope after a while. Finally, there is the third kind. The people who set out to change their situation, so that they end up creating memories, fulfilling dreams...and in simple terms, stay happy.

My friend told me the following, just one week after entering 11th grade.

"Musthafa, life is so shit. I mean, we're in a school where we've got to study all the times. They dont have any extra curricular activities for us. We cant hang out anymore. Parents are so strict. The teachers are so harsh. No chance to have fun....life sucks!"

Sure, sometimes life does seem to be crap. Because, like the three boys in the story, we dont get a computer, television, or even an MP3 player. But you know what? Sometimes in life, all we need to have fun....is a bat and a ball.
Please do share your comments on this topic. I'm hoping we can have a discussion here...
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The next post will be on Saturday, 21st February.
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01 February 2009

My Letter to Roger...

Dear Rog,

I was told not to write a letter to you. But after what I saw on Sunday evening, I decided you needed my help. Dude, what's wrong with you? The way you cried, it looked as though you'd played your last match against that weasel Raffy. And I heard you were moaning in between your crying, that Rafael Nadal is better than you. Did you actually say that? What's wrong with you?

Okay, so he won the Wimbledon last year. And maybe he can defeat you in the French Open with his eyes blindfolded. Still, that doesnt mean you're not good yourself, does it? What did McEnroe say? You're the best in the world. Now that's a compliment, isnt it?

And hey Rog, even if it is time for you to retire, it's not like your in the dumps, is it? Atleast you're not balding like Pete, or Agassi. And the ladies really adore you, you know. You're way more cute than Rafael Nadal. But try to work on the biceps if you can. It helps.

Cheer up mate. It's not like the end of the world. And one more thing. Never ever cry like you did after losing the Australian Open. Not unless you win the Wimbledon this year (which, I should admit, is going to be hard, since Nadal's gonna be there as well). Still, take care buddy!

You're Pal from Qatar.

 P.S.: With all due respect to Roger Federer and Rafael Nadal, this was just a fancy letter I thought of. Besides, I really do feel bad for Rog. Poor chap! And one more thing....though transmission is supposed to suspended....I might post something once in a week or two weeks!

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