Category Archives: Change

January goals progress check

One of my new year’s resolutions was to set goals and complete them. I have set a bunch of goals for the entire year but I think it would be smarter if I break them down month wise from now on. Anyway, this is an analysis on the progress of those goals during the month of January.

Reading:

Very happy with the progress of this. I have already completed reading The adventures of Sherlock Holmes, The Return of Sherlock Holmes and A Study in Scarlet. Currently reading The Sign of the Four. At the current pace, I should be able to read 10 new books by the end of June.

Blogging:

My blogging goals have been trugding along at an average pace. I had initially set a goal of publishing 10 articles in 30 days and then 20 posts in 30 days. I have so far published:

  1. http://www.bollykings.com/jaimal-odedra-exclusive-interview-don-2/
  2. http://www.bollykings.com/why-i-love-bollywood/
  3. http://www.bollykings.com/sunny-leone-in-jism-2/
  4. http://www.bollykings.com/student-of-the-year-hindi-movie-2012/
  5. http://www.bollykings.com/kahaani-hindi-movie-trailer-vidya-balans-next-bollywood-film/
  6. http://www.bollykings.com/players-movie-review/
  7. http://www.bollykings.com/ek-deewana-tha-preview/
  8. http://www.bollykings.com/ekk-deewana-tha-music-review/
  9. http://www.bollykings.com/talaash-movie-trailer-will-it-be-a-hit-or-a-flop/

The social engagement across Facebook, twitter and google was pretty dismal:

articles-on-bollykings

January Articles

I think this calls for changing the goals slightly. Ofcourse, right now my website is not ranking on Google so these statistics will also get affected. However, I still have Facebook and Twitter and if I can get something valuable there, I’m quite sure the traffic will increase. There’s no point publishing new articles if no one’s reading them. I should place more emphasis on achieving better reader metrics because that will also reflect improvement in my writing and marketing.

Fitness:

Fitness goals are also working along fine. I’m now not running that regularly because I’ve joined a local gym which I’m going to quite religiously. Slight change of fitness goals here too.

Financial:

This is the worst area. I’m not performing well at all financially.

I’ve landed one client (who also happened to be a relative) and completed making his website from which I will earn a cool 50$.

I don’t know how important this aspect is though because ever since I’ve moved to Delhi, I’ve noticed that I’m living a more frugal life. There’s no TV in my house which has culminated in lesser distractions and more reading. There’s limited internet access too so I don’t end up wasting time on useless things. There’s more walking, less eating out, more working, less worrying which is slowly improved the state of my brain. I think living a frugal life is a good thing but then a little more $$ in your wallet doesn’t hurt!

Some goals need improvement here too!

Other random goals:

I’ve started teaching one kid who’s in grade IV. It’s a nice experience, teaching someone. I think I’m learning from that kid too. Visited an NGO meeting also but haven’t got around to volunteering with them – their volunteer program is not managed that nicely because those guys are really busy with other important things.

Conclusion:

I think this was a decent month over all. I have made considerable progress. And I’ve tracked it also. After so many months, I’ve fought laziness.

Anyhow, I’ll go and jot down some goals for the month of February.

Unemployed in Delhi

Lord, thank you giving us the freedom of making choices so that we may plan our own lives.

It was about time I made some choices and stuck to them instead of jumping around like a wild monkey. With that intention, I had made the move from semi-rural Hapur to developed Delhi.

Its been four days since I shifted to the noisy, promising and ancient city. I’ve been roaming about like an unemployed duck looking for work to do and money to make. But I’ve been quite unsuccessful so far. Broadly, I want to:

1. Find a job (preferably part-time) as an internet marketing consultant in some company

2. Start working on my website more seriously

3. Tutor kids in Math, Science and English

4. Work on creating online math classes

5. Volunteer at an NGO.

These are the five areas of work which I want to involve myself in. Every single day. However, I still must admit that there is fear, doubt, uncertainty and a lack of aim as to what I want with my life. I really don’t know where or what I see myself as five years down the line. Yes, my life is that out of shape.

I haven’t found a job yet. Most of the openings that come through Naukri.com are in Gurgaon and I don’t want to relocate that far from Delhi. I’m not working on my website as seriously as I know I’m capable of but I do try and write a little on it everyday and I’m tutoring one class 4 child in Math, Science and English. Today, I even found an NGO where I can volunteer at though how I’m supposed to be doing it, I have not the slightest clue. It’s a non profit called  the Uday Foundation and they primarily focus on improving children’s health and rights.

I met a couple of people there today and the guy who was talking to me seemed enthusiastic and motivating. I hope the work will be equally rewarded. Like Sherlock Holmes, I want to find work where I work for work’s sake and not for the money, fame or friends. It will take me time to reach that stage but at least I’ve started. It’s better than sitting on my ass in Hapur and not doing much constructive stuff.

The only cautions which I must heed are:

1. Not get discouraged easily – This happened today. I went into some weird spell of disinterestedness and boredom smack in the middle of my conversation with the NGO guy and I had to snap out of it and maintain my focus. Again, when I sat down to write content for my website, I was highly demotivated and felt like giving it all up, felt it was futile. But again I had to remind myself that it was a valuable asset and it was my duty to take care of it. So I have to keep the momentum strong and inspired if I want to reach anywhere.

2. Not speak much but let actions show – I have to start becoming humble and modest about my affairs. I met a guy from college whom I’ve barely talked to earlier. He asked me what I was upto since college got over and I kind of started blowing my own trumpet. Later on, I felt like a cheap vain ass. And this has happened in the past so I need to keep away from such vain tendencies.

3. I must continue striving and keep my goals clear – All four actions above closely tie with my long term goals of working in the education sector

2012

15 Tips for an Ass-kicking and Jaw-dropping 2012

2011 is about to fold, never to return ever again. And it’s that time of December when one usually ponders about the year gone by. 365 is a lot of days! It’s 8760 hours. And that’s a whopping 525,600 minutes. What have you been up to for these 8700 hours, man?

2012

2012

Did you accomplish any major feat that got you and your friends so excited, you drank a whole bottle of vodka? Did you learn something so well that couldn’t stop boasting about? To top it all off, did you meet the love of your life?

In short, was 2011 a good an ass kicking, super ecstatic year with enough memories to last a lifetime?

Or was it a mundane, fixed, scheduled year. Much like 2010, 2009, 2008… and the many others already gone by?

Mine was pretty rough. And boring.

In the first half of the year, I was busy cramming stupid math theorems and vomiting out their proofs in long math exams. They got me pretty depressed. Then, I went from 1200$ a month to 10$ a month because I became super philosophical, idealistic and lazy. I lost faith in the ability of money to bring me happiness. I fought a lot with my girlfriend. And I didn’t learn one single useful skill apart from procrastination, complaining and loafing around.

However, what’s done is done. It’s going to be a new year and I will pick up some new habits this time. I’ve realized you cannot expect a really awesome life if you aren’t willing to work hard at it. Destiny is in your hands and all that.

So, here are 15 tips for an ass-kicking and memorable 2012:

Clean

To start with, I think we all need to do some cleaning around our homes and selves. Remove/Erase/Annihilate useless stuff to make space for brand new things. Start with:

1. Old clothes – I’m sure you have tons of things you haven’t worn in ages – get rid of them. It’s very very cold these days so be a human and donate them, it might save a life or two.

2. Unnecessary junk – Old CDs, DVDs, books that are uselessly gathering dust, electronic crap you haven’t touched in ages, etc. Life should be simple you know, things often complicate it.

3. Your hard disk – Have 22 GB of movies, 10 GB of  music and 2000 photos in your hard disk? Delete them and save yourself the trouble of data loss or virus attacks. I’ve suffered and it’s a total waste of space, time and energy. I deleted almost 60 GB of media yesterday and my laptop came back to life! Plus, with information overload all ready happening in this digital age, you’ll be better off with as little digital crap as possible.

4. Your mind – Before you go ahead and learn new things, I suggest you clean the old shit lodged in the deep recesses of your dirty mind. Clean it, purify it, breathe new life into it. Your brain is what sets you apart from other life forms. It deserves to be treated well.

Done it? I am sure you feel good already! There are lots of people who live with not more than a handful of items in their lives. In India, we call them Sadhus. Abroad, they call them minimalists. I’m not telling you to sell everything and become a monk. I’m merely suggesting that you donate, sell, give away, a few things which you haven’t used all year.

Learn

Now that you’ve made some much needed space, it’s time to fill the vacuum with better stuff. Stuff that adds to your personality and makes you cooler in some way. It’s time to put that brain to some productive use!

You could start by learning:

5. A new language – Girls totally dig it if you can speak phrases like “Tu madre es loca” at the drop of a hat. Learn a new language, there are plenty of language learning websites online.

6. A new instrument – Not necessary musical. It’s fun though. You could learn to play a harmonica, tuba, guitar or sitar. Or even your own vocal cords (it’s called singing). Obviously, learning online is not as fun as learning with a real tutor. But when you live in small towns where there are no good teachers, it’s the next best option.

7. Inspiring quotes or passages - If you’ve passed college, I quite sure you haven’t really put in effort to memorize anything. If you don’t exercise your memory, it can rust pretty darn quickly. Learn inspiring quotes and passages to keep the machine well oiled. An added bonus will be the inspiration that these time tested words of wisdom impart to you.

8. To cook – Ah, the simple joys of cooking. After a few weeks, you will think ten times before cursing any food on your plate. Be grateful, your stomach is full.

9. To write – Words are one of the most powerful things in the world. They can make (or break) you if you know (or don’t know) how to use them. What Gandhi said had already been said thousands of years back, yet it freed a country. It was merely because he knew how to use them.

Words are powerful. Learn to use them. Learn to write better. It will help you in writing better exams, job applications, love letters, business letters, cooler status updates on Facebook, or whatever it is.

When I was studying Math in college but outside of it, I learnt plenty of things too. Writing was one of them and am I glad I learnt it a little bit? It has made a big difference in how people perceive me.

Apply

Learning is not for everyone. It’s too time consuming, laborious, and if you’re doing it alone, boring. You need be extremely motivated to learn something properly.

However, applying what you already know is relatively easy. It’s a simpler form of learning. It’s the practical side of learning. It’s what they don’t teach us in school. Here’s how you can start applying basic knowledge of science, maths and English to learn new things:

10. Make something useful – It could be a solar cooker, recycled paper, DIY furniture, or whatever. Just search for it online and I’m sure there will be plenty of things you could make using simple materials, tools and skills.

11. Teach – My high school English teacher used to say that when two candles are held together, the flames burn brighter than they would if held alone. Similarly, if you share your knowledge, it only increases yours and your students knowledge.

So go out and teach for a few hours in a week. It’s going to make a difference.

Health

We all know that health is important yet we seldom take care of it. Why don’t we? Most of us feel that it’s time consuming – you have to take out time for exercise, control your diet and go crazy on bad tasting food.

However, staying healthy is much more simple. Follow these dead simple tips throughout 2012 and notice the difference in your physical, emotional and spiritual health:

12. Drink more water – Seriously. [box type="note"] There are one billion people in the world who don’t have access to safe drinking water. I’m quite sure you’re not one of those.[/box] Drink as much water as you possibly can right now. It’s the elixir of life – drink it while you can. It’s good for your hair, skin, bowels, brain growth, muscle growth, mood, sex life, breath, eyes and every possible thing in your body. Drink a glass of water every hour or two.

13. Eat more fruits – They are the most spiritually beneficial foods. Bananas make you happier by balancing serotonin levels (it’s a chemical in your head which makes you happy/sad). Apples keep doctors away. Strawberries, grapes and peaches are excellent aphrodisiacs. Instead of popping multivitamins, pop more fruits, they are loaded with vitamins and minerals.

14. Chew your food properly – This is one habit which you seriously should consider taking on. It will help you control your weight and derive more benefits from the food that you eat. You see, when you chew food, it breaks down essential nutrients, proteins, fats and carbs in your mouth making it much more easier to digest.

Instead of gobbling food, chew it till it becomes watery.

15. Meditate - Spend some time in silence, thinking about uplifting things. Practice an attitude of gratitude. Repeat something positive in your head. The Bhagvad Gita says meditation is the surest path to eternal ecstasy. Doctors say its great for your overall well-being. Meditate.

Of course, there are plenty of other things that you could do in 2012 and still have an ass kicking year. The point is, you have to do it yourself and you have to do it now. There’s never a good time.

 

Is High School and College Education a Sham today?

Two extremely thought provoking videos I found over at Youtube which made me  question about the value of a college degree these days.

What with all the talented people with degrees roaming about headless and jobless and crooks ruling the world, I think it’s time educators, students and their parents rethink what education means and how to ensure their kids get the best kind of education.

Sure, all schools and colleges are not bad. But, do they guarantee an open, creative mind, fit enough to solve the challenging problems of today? Is text book teaching, OHP sheets, assignments and tests enough to meet the needs? Are they truly giving us a holistic, organic education?

And above all, is it worth the investment when there are relatively cheaper alternatives such as the internet and nature (nature can teach us extremely powerful lessons, cynic) available? Are we turning out to be independent thinkers or mindless slaves? Aren’t we working away all our youth and energy over mundane, boring tasks sitting on desks that only add to our problems, confusions, depression and misery? Shouldn’t we be enjoying life right now instead of after 5 years?

What is it man?!?! What the hell do they want from us?

Who is this ‘they’ anyway? Society, parents, friends, ghosts, ourselves?

Ken Robinson tells us how schools kill creativity

A video by inflation.us on the misconception of college

what do you think?

Changing the world, one person at a time

It seems old Mr. Gandhi was right. Be the change you want to see. I want to change the world. At least do whatever I can to make this pathetic world beautiful again. But change begins from you – this is one vital lesson which I have learnt so far in my sabbatical.

I hadn’t realized earlier that to change the world, I would first have to change myself first. I would go about preaching this and that to friends and family, not knowing that what I was saying was falling on deaf ears. Ignoring all my own shortcomings, I would try to change other people. But that approach failed severely.  I was dazed and confused.This new approach of leading by example seems more practical.

So I’ve been changing myself, one habit at a time. Changing habits is a little difficult once you are 21 years old.

Reading!

Moving on, one of the habits I have changed is that I have started reading books again. Its been about a month and I can already feel the impact its having on my ideas and writing. Here’s my current reading list. Please do suggest books if you’ve come across any remarkable pieces of writing.

Thanks a ton to the following people (for now. there are tons of other people in the offline world who I have to thank) :

1. Mridula ma’am – You inspire me like anything.

2. Manasi P – For suggesting I read again. You’re an intelligent girl. Please don’t be lazy.

3. Apurva T – For being there for me when I needed you most. For all your love.

4. Awijit P – For being a true bro inspite of everything. You’re the man!

Enough of this negative shit – Time to rise up again

Anything that goes up must come down. I have been living in perhaps the lowliest levels of human existence where everything seems to be bad and negative for nearly 2 months now. Its about time I came out of it, And I don’t need some psychological counselor telling me how to live my life. I have so many other loving people around me who do it day in day out. I have perhaps the most ideal support system any one could ask for. Enough of this depression seriously!

I saw ‘The Secret’ today and nothing in the movie was new to me. I have read the Upanishads a little bit and the Brihadaryanka Upanishad has a beautiful quote in it:

You are what your deep, driving desire is. As your desire is, so is your will. As your will is, so is your deed. As your deed is, so is your destiny.

This is what the secret is all about. They talk about the law of attraction, what you think is what becomes. Think good and good will happen, think bad and bad will happen. This is common sense to many but when your mind is warped in twisted ideas and thoughts about life and people, you begin losing it slowly.

I am more than sure that my depression came in because I became complacent in my life. When I was active and participating in various things, I was actually accumulating good merit (karma). But then the high of it all peaked, and I became complacent and satisfied to enjoy my pleasures. Selfishly enjoying what I had earned through months of hard work. Little did I realize that I had stopped from performing good deeds, I had stopped performing my duties. And slowly slowly, know that my accumulated merit began getting exhausted. Finally, in a few months, I experienced the peak of the lowliness which comes from an idle mind – negative shit.

But I think and feel that I am coming out it now. Seriously.
So, I will quit blogging about the bad stuff in my life. I will start blogging about the little good (I think its little but I am sure that a Tsunami victim in Japan or a terrorism victim in the middle east or a poverty stricken malnourished kid in India will feel that I have the best of this world). So I am actually being really really stupid by not appreciating and being thankful for my blessings. And I shall start with it right now.

Things and People I am grateful for being in my life

1. My parents and family. They are the best. They have supported me in good and bad times alike.
2. My girlfriend. She’s is one of the finest women on the planet. (all three of them ;) ) She has seriously taken a lot of shit from me and been so understanding, its not even funny. I’m not sure if we’ll be together forever, but I better cheer up and enjoy the present!
3. My self-dependent lifestyle – when people work hours daily, commute huge distances, and slave away with no tomorrow just so that they can live independently, I do it sitting on my computer. that too at such a young age. I run a movie blog which makes a size able income. I know I can scale things up if I want too.
3. My health – I have been blessed with perfect health. Every one has their failings and I have mine. But physically, I think I have everything. (Though I could do without the pot belly).
4. I am also thankful to God for a nice green house to live in where the water is clean and the air is pure and there is food to eat all the time. People are dying of hunger by the million every year!

There, I think I have covered the most important things in my life at the moment. Can’t really think of more stuff right now for which I am grateful though I am sure there are plenty of other things which I have and which other people would die for.

Time to be positive again, mate. All this fear, guilt, anger, sadness, hopelessness, is a frikin waste of time man when the world out there is so beautiful. It will take time to be happy and cheerful again and it will also take time to pin point exactly where I went wrong (I think it was the selfish indulgence).

Yet another new year..sigh!

Yet another new year has come and today is only the third day. I am feeling quite good about the year but won’t keep my hopes too high – they tend to not meet my expectations.

I plan to do a lot of things in this year but won’t spell them out, lest you cast a black evil eye on them. I just hope I get through that Teach For India thing – it will open a huge window of opportunities for me!

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At a funeral of a loved one…

November was a shitty, shitty month.

I had my department fest going on, which was itself a major pain in the ass. There was YP ka whole mess going on which I was trying to juggle with my college studies and tutions. And there were things happening at home, which I had no clue about till I got back.

1st November, my beloved dog, Gizmo, died, all of 7 months, 12 days. A very lovable labrador, I could not bring myself to believe this because I was really looking forward to his company after a whole month of not being licked by him early in the mornings, sleeping with him late in the afternoons, and playing really frantic and excited football with him in the evenings. Of course, it would be papa who made his daily snack of scrambled eggs and paranthas and other thingummies. Shit, I can’t even recount the dozens of naughty habits with Gizmo lightened our life in such a short span. It was like mum and dad had a new son to live with when me and my brother were away for studies. And now I won’t have any Gizmo stories to tell me friends either :’(

And all this ended when Gizmo contracted that horrible disease called Parvo. He had a habit of eating shit – monkeys, pigeons, anything. And since my grandpa was really ill, my dad could not take as good care of him.

And I got this news when I had gone to visit my grandpa, who himself was in a critical condition in a money-making hospital.