Year 2015: Story so Far

There were many happenings in the year 2015, and a lot of them haven’t been positive. There is the problem of seeing so many people who can’t respect the opinions of others when we are blogging. When outside the blogging, there is the problem of facing the relatives who ask the two big questions, which all of us Indians already know about. Life has been mediocre outside the blogging world or even worse, but as far as blogging is concerned, there were some positives throughout this year, most of them for which I am thankful to BlogAdda.

The best incident related to blogging happened to me in this March, in the month of my birthday itself, with winning the pass for the India Today Conclave contest, my first win from BlogAdda and it was huge. My post The Vision of a Lost Bat won the grand prize and my other post The World Remade was granted the runner-up prize. This was also the first time that I won anything for a post featuring the Vampire Bat. It was a perfect inspiration for me to blog at that time.

Then in May, there was the #DilKiDealOnSnapDeal activity from BlogAdda which made me feel that I could win more than one, and that my earlier victory was not a fluke. This second win made me feel better because it was something which I shared from my memories, and it is also something that I still cherish doing. My post Through the Sands of Time provided me my next win and it has also given me my first badge from BlogAdda. There is something about the badges from BlogAdda; with out names added to it, they look perfect.

Then in July, there the crashing into the winners of #CrashThePepsiIPL Contest. It was an interesting contest with different phases, and my post, Favourites of the List won in one of the phases there. I believe that it was in July that there was the #StressFreeMom Contest which had me winning again for the post All the Stress in the World and then again with #YoursHonestly Contest with my post A Letter on Integrity. It was the season of good things coming together at least in my blogging life.

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JSW #WillOfSteel activity was one of my favourite contests, and I consider it as an honour and privilege to have participated in it. That was a nice escape from writing reviews and reading what the blind fans have to write, because what we were supposed to do were to support inspirational people who have made a difference in the world with their will of steel; the kind which India can be proud about. I actually posted about two such individuals on two different posts, and it is my post Tea for Inspiration which won the prize from BlogAdda.

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Then there is the recent win which came at a time when I was hoping to win something interesting, and my post Colours and Variety had a chance there. I was thinking that I was losing my strength, and then there was BlogAdda with this prize. Bed Bath More Paint Me Wild activity was where I wrote about what I actually wanted with my home in a completely personal manner, and it felt good that this one won a prize which is bigger than the other ones in the second half of the year.

I also have to share about my other post The Undead Book of Life because I won movie souvenirs from the movie The Path of Zarathustra, once again through an activity from BlogAdda. I love this one a lot because this is a movie which I really wanted to watch, but it didn’t release here. So, I decided to be happy with at least those souveniors. In a world where there are abusers and haters who will never accept the opinions of others, one can only be happy about BlogAdda providing us with such opportunities and rewards, making 2015 a better year.

This post is a part of Write Over the Weekend, an initiative for Indian Bloggers by BlogAdda.

***The images used in this blog posts are from the activity pages at BlogAdda.

TeNy

Tribute to Haiku Queen

I have known only a few people during my early days of WordPress blogging, and even on the day of the third anniversary of Travel Diaries and the first of Movies of the Soul, I had only two as friends. For most of my blogging time, I have had only two people on my friends list in the social networking sites, and the second blogger to be my friends list was Maniparna. I have been reading her posts since early 2014, during those days when she had another theme and a pet blog dog called Gulgul 😀

I have been thinking about getting a pet for a long time, and then I noticed the blog pet – it caught my attention first; then everything else; not many people got a blog pet, and I have seen nobody else with one. That was my strange reason at that time, but there has been a long list of book reviews and haiku which I continued to read as her Scattered Thoughts went on to become one of the very first blogs which I read consistently.

Along with those writing skills, there is also something about her photography that you need to look out for. Even though I have never really tried to write haiku or book reviews with the inspiration from her blog, I have always been inspired by her fiction, and more than that, her supportive comments on my two blogs, Movies of the Soul and The Tea Cerebration(s) . She has more than one hundred and fifty comments on my blog, more than anybody else.

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She has commented more than one hundred times on this blog alone, more than double of those who comes second and third, and she has done that so consistently – now that is inspiration to come up with more and more posts. She was also helpful in helping my early doubts with the blogging sites. I have been a very doubtful person in the earlier blogging days, especially when related to BlogAdda and IndiBlogger.

She was also the first one to follow me on Twitter and also the one before everybody else to favourite on of my tweets. Yes, Twitter came very late for me, and my social networking idea was limited to Facebook and Orkut earlier – so needed some help with making an entrance into the world of tweeting. We have also been the runners-up of the Godrej Aer Pan India Blogging Contest, and that was the first contest which I had ever had won any prize for.

She has a long list of contest wins and runner-up trophies as you can see on her blog. For people like me who have a slow internet, her blog is also one of the fastest to load. Her work has inspired me for the last one year and a few months; she deserves to be nominated at WIN 15 and I don’t really need to hope that she nominates her blog in any of those categories there because I know that she already did that and also got her badge 😀 Here is one my favourite Haiku works at her place.

Uncle Dracula has said a quote about immortality which I shall not bring to anybody’s attention. Still, a few things are forever, and even though I shall attribute immortality more to the Team Vampire, there is nothing like a Haiku on a beautiful monsoon day with rain drops creating poetry. Long Live the Haiku Queen! Here is a tribute to the inspirational blogger, and Queen of Haiku! #YouMakeMeWIN

I’m blogging for #YouMakeMeWIN to honour a blogger who has influenced me and deserves to be nominated at WIN15.

*The Vampire Bat and the Vampire Owl sends their regards 😀

***The image used in this blog post is also taken from the WIN15 activity from BlogAdda.

TeNy

The Conclave Saga: Part II

#Conclave15 on the first day had its best moments with Sachin Tendulkar and Katrina Kaif, while Day 2 started with talks from Ambassadors of seven countries. The talk had a good number of points to note down, especially with the man from the United Kingdom. Still, it wasn’t really an interesting thing for me in totality. The conversation with Mehbooba Mufti brought a few things about Kashmir into focus, and it was another thing which was rather new to me – I shall stick to not writing about what is unknown territory for me.

The talk about “Make in India” had some charm, but was repetitive at times for me. Actually, I did find the talk about dissenters rather interesting despite having not much love for politics. And then there were Moni Mohsin and Shobhaa De with “Float Like a Butterfly, Sting Like a Bee” – this is a very good segment which you need to watch to enjoy the real splendour as it won’t do justice when brought about in third person. There is a clue, and it is once again the Malayalam movie Picket 43 which provides that.

This is from where the tweets, Facebook updates and even blog specials come.

This is from where the tweets, FB updates and even blog specials make it to internet.

Meanwhile, Viswanathan Anand managed to keep us interested with some memories about his games and a few nice Chess moves. It was once again and honour to see him and watch him play, even though I stopped playing Chess long ago – it was him who inspired me to try it for the first time. The talk about the Chess moves were getting a little bit too much for me, but with him around, things were to remain interesting.

The talk about terrorism from survivors who escaped from captivity was engaging. It is still not something that I would like to keep talking about though. Then there was AIB who came up with ideas on free speech and comedy. I haven’t watched their episode which caused trouble, but it was quite funny with them on the stage, even as there were some jokes which I didn’t really follow. Well, I have had my lack of knowledge on Bollywood related entertainment and the Hindi television channels.

You know that you need t see and listen to Viswanathan Anand.

You know that you need to see and listen to another legend, Viswanathan Anand.

The food related program was not something of my interest, but I did realize that the speaker surely got some nice ideas. Then came the moment of the day, and surely one of the best of this Conclave – or a collection of moments which were provided by Ranveer Singh who made an amazing appearance. It did make me wonder what he was going to talk about, and then he started talking, and performing – from that point of time, I forgot to tweet and post Facebook updates.

He was dealing with coming of age in Bollywood. It is like going through the history of Bollywood in one of the best ways possible. I have been a Bollywood watcher for quite a long time, even though not that much of a fan now. I had recorded a lot of Hindi songs on tape and watched movies on the VCR during my childhood. I can say that some ultimate movies like Jaani Dushman: Ek Anokhi Kahani played very significant role in making me diverge away from Bollywood.

Ranveer Singh - such power and unlimited energy on stage.

Ranveer Singh – such power and unlimited energy on the stage. This was too good.

Ranveer’s story was more like how he grew up with Bollywood throughout his life and how he came up triumphant in fulfilling his acting dreams, and he presented the same with such an energy that we don’t see often. Well, this has actually inspired me to write a post about how I grew up with Malayalam movies, even though I have always been watching movies in more than one language. You can expect another post related to this soon enough.

Finally, there was that debate which ended things. With Chief Ministers from a number of states (this is surely going to help me in my PSC exams), the final conclusion was made that all states have to work hard in collaboration with the centre to achieve progress, and it is not a lone journey. There were many points made in between, as I ended up knowing a few more ministers, and this was a good choice of leaders they had there, I have to admit.

I am not going to forget these CMs for my PSC exams, that is for sure :D

I am not going to forget these CMs for any of my PSC exams, that is for sure 😀

I was blessed with a nice group of bloggers who gave me company at the Conclave. Shoma Abhyankar, Arvind Passey, Yogita Aggarwal and Shreya Das – I haven’t known them before the event, but I am glad to have had them with me for the Conclave. It was a pleasure to meet the four of them. I have never been to a blogger meet before, and may be this was one! Once again thanking BlogAdda! – http://www.blogadda.com for this wonderful experience, and thanks to Mayank and Sumit from India Today for the support. Now this journey of mine is also a certified Delhi trip 😀 I shall leave you with a link to the blog posts which we five had written on the topic “The World Remade”.

TeNy

First of the Awards

I am glad to announce a first time for this blog: Jay Shah (http://thoughtburps.wordpress.com/) has nominated my blog for  Very Inspiring Blogger Award! Yes, there have been a long list of awards for my other blog Movies of the Soul (http://moviesofthesoul.wordpress.com/blog-awards/) and also a few for my Travel Diaries, but this is the first one for this blog.

Well, this is an award about inspiration, and I am glad that even if I rarely get inspired myself, I still ended up being an inspiring blogger 😀 That should make this award more significant than most of the other awards though 😉 Here is the post concerning the same: (http://thoughtburps.wordpress.com/2014/12/22/so-glad-to-receive-very-inspiring-blogger-award/)

There is also a first in everything, which is why I chose to publish this one as a post rather than as the page like I used to do with the awards for my other blogs. Thank you Jay, for the nomination; you have a very inspiring blog right there 🙂

Here, I have to mention seven things about myself:

  • I have always believed more in death than in life, and I hope for a better world after death.
  • I am now at a new level of tea addiction which you might not want to know about 😉
  • I don’t usually trust people. It has never been my kind of thing; may be I can get a superpower for that.
  • I hate crowds. I would prefer to be left alone or with just a few people, because it feels better.
  • I don’t believe much in winning. I rarely give much value to it. Doing your part well is the better thing.
  • I have become a cricket hater from cricket lover, and the credit for the same goes directly to BCCI as it is now, and I thank them for saving lot of my time.
  • I am a jobless person with not much hope for getting to work in this birth or the next – not even in inferno or purgatario.

Here are the fifteen blogs I’d like to nominate:

  1. Maniparna (http://maniparna5002.wordpress.com)
  2. Namrata (http://namratakumari.blogspot.in)
  3. Gowtham (http://snapometer.blogspot.in)
  4. Kokila (http://sunshineandblueclouds.blogspot.in)
  5. Anita (http://anitaexplorer.com)
  6. Raja (http://rajareviews.com)
  7. Najm (http://angellicfrenzy.blogspot.in)
  8. Tara (http://crimsonapril.wordpress.com)
  9. Shaun (http://beyondboredom.wordpress.com)
  10. Sagarika (http://123sag.wordpress.com)
  11. Vartika (http://vartikaforu.wordpress.com)
  12. Shabab (http://vbothransh.wordpress.com)
  13. Vandana (http://vanduchoudhary.blogspot.in)
  14. Sucheta (http://suchetabiswas.wordpress.com)
  15. Ranjini (http://rangelz.wordpress.com)

Do share the award, and also try to:

  • Display the award on your blog.
  • Link back to the person who nominated you.
  • State seven things about yourself.
  • Nominate 15 bloggers, linking to them.

Keep Blogging. May this New Year bring awesome results for you. Welcome 2015 🙂

Hope for Indian Football

Days have passed after Kerala Blasters FC overcame all odds as everyone desperately tried to make Chennaiyin FC win by whichever way possible – by giving cards to Kerala players and even sending one off even before thirty minutes had passed, along with allowing a penality for no good reason and even allowing a goal by hand when there was a good view for the referee. Even Chennaiyin’s owner was showing disrespectful actions, and the crowd was not that sporting. There was a high level of play from Chennai’s team, but no righteousness.

But still Kerala Blasters had progressed to the finals becoming the first ever finalists of the league, a position which was reserved for the teams which came first or fourth in the league. They had the power of poetic justice and karma which favoured the righteous who played the fair game rather than those who took another unfair path towards glory, not caring about sportsmanship. It struck lightning on those who played the rough game like what happened to Netherlands against Spain in the 2010 FIFA World Cup Final, even as the Orange team was better until then.

But that game had a better referee, but it was not the case here, as every step was taken to ensure that Kerala Blasters doesn’t win the match. But karma once again took over as Marco Materazzi ended up on the wrong side this time, with missing penality and getting a red card just before Kerala scored the winning goal. Yes, nobody messes with Zinedine Zidane and escapes, as the grand curse stays for a long time. They say that Luis Suárez bites, but there are worse things that happen on a football field, and I would consider being bitten better – ask the Vampire Bat (http://moviesofthesoul.wordpress.com/bathistory/)

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So what happened on the next day? It was Sourav Ganguly’s Atletico de Kolkata taking on Virat Kohli’s FC Goa. There were two teams who had their first leg as a draw. There was the team of a retired legend cricketer taking on the team of a future legend to take on the team of the immortal cricketer. This time, there is nothing carried over, and one match was to decide things. So, I decided to watch the full match this time without missing any second, as there was no tension for me with my favourite teams everywhere.

My belief was that it was going to be a fair game, and as both Goa and Kolkata had owners who believed in giving their best and as they have been the ones who showed their fighting spirits rather than showing off, I was sure that this one would be a better game of real and fair football even as I was not sure about the amount of thrills. Yes, Goa seemed like a better team, considering the second part of the league. But my love for the City of Joy was eternal just like my admiration for Sourav Ganguly.

But things seemed different this time, as there was no goal at all, compared to the seven we had seen in the other semi-final matches, and it had to end with a shoot-out. Surprisingly, the best from Goa missed the first kick and another one hit the crossbar, giving the match and a spot in the final to Kolkata which had all shots right into the goal. It would be Sachin Tendulkar’s team vs Sourav Ganguly’s team; a match between two teams which had the most attendance during their matches, a treat for the most passionate fans of the league. Yes, this is the dream final. Kerala gets recognition, Sachin is happy and Dadagiri never ends. This is a final in which both results can make me happy.

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Meanwhile, I really hope that the fans of the teams had showed more respect to others, and among the fans, I have found the North East fans the best. As a team representing eight states, I have found them to be better than most of the other fans who have been fighting and abusing each other. And John Abraham also deserves a lot of respect for supporting football in the right manner as the righteous as well as the supporting owner, and not being bad towards the rest. I wish NorthEast United FC the best of luck for the next season. May Indian football thrive, and so do the teams which play fair football.

*I am surprised that Amitabh Bachchan said in Twitter that many decisions were against them when everyone in the world felt that referee was the twelfth player of the Chennai team against the Kerala team of ten players. I wonder if Big B changed sides while tweeting it. ***All images used in this blog post are from the official page of Indian Super League at Facebook.

TeNy

Not the Centre of the World

Some people think that they are the centre of the world, and everything should revolve around them. I don’t mind if they are made the sun and all the other lesser people who are the planets had actually wandered around, heating the tea on the sun’s head and drinking the supernova brand of the drink. I have had the privilege and honour of having a lot of such people around me, but there are only a few things which have surprised me more these days. *The images used in this blog post are from the wikipedia page of the solar system.

I don’t usually go to any forums, and I have kept that policy going for years. I am not that much of a talker, and interaction has never been my special ability. But one day, I became curious, and thought that I had to see what the fellow bloggers would be talking about, and then I realized that the blogger world doesn’t have that much of the radiance that I thought it had. Yes, I had believed that almost all the bloggers wrote for the same reason – to bring to light your ideas, memories and feelings (not considering previews, reviews and such stuff), but it turns out that it is not that much there.

I am so big, everyone else is so small; how can I not win a contest?

I am so big and awesome; how can I not win a contest? Some people choose to wonder.

Yes, it was the only reason why I started all of my blogs. My first two blogs were in blogspot which I used for my personal thoughts as well as about the world. I also had two other blogs which had fictional stories which I connected to my life as well as the movies I watched. Then I settled with four blogs at wordpress which I still have. I started the first one for my wander quests and the next one for my movie love. The third one was futuristic fiction in which characters reflected my philosophy, and this last one is about random thoughts.

Coming back to my point, don’t we all write to satisfy our need to write? I thought that it was why people started blogs. I agree that there are people who write to get paid, but isn’t the love for writing the most important thing? Then you ask about writing for contests. Well, we shouldn’t sacrifice our ideas for that. The participation should be because we have another challenging topic to write on, and not just for material benefits. When I am given a topic, I am happy that it is given to me. Even at the college, when I got an assignment, I was extremely happy.

Yes, we should expect the prize, whatever it is. But we can’t always expect to win something. You win something at times, and there are occasions when you win nothing after trying too hard. It is the way of life. Sometimes, you might end up winning nothing for years. But it shouldn’t mean anything. Participation is the most important thing and the one thing for which we should strive for, and the hope for prize should only inspire us – shouldn’t make us desperate, unless you are hosting the contest by yourself.

Respect the right of others to win and also the right of the sponsor.

Respect the rights of others, my dear pseudo-fire-starters – it is all part of the chain of events.

If there is a contest sponsored by a certain firm, it is your option to participate in it or not to. You might or might not win the prize. You should write because you got another topic brought before you and the prize is just something of a special motivation. Nobody owes you anything, and you don’t have the bloody right to come out of it with a prize, as if there is something like the certainty of death. I think that those who make ridiculous comments for not getting rewarded is no real blogger. Some people do talk about it in a respectable manner whether it is personal or objective – I respect that, but there are others. Your best reward should be your mental satisfaction and then the likes and those positive comments.

Yes, appreciation is a must. But it is not something that is gained by winning contests. It is something that is won in the long run by people reading your work and admiring it, getting mention for the huge amount of effort you have been putting into it for years. A contest will have its winners and it is their right to choose, and if it is a contest with a first come first serve basis an you were not fast enough, you have no right to blame anyone. Yes, one can protest, but in a dignified manner. We are not little kids looking to win prizes and cry otherwise. Even in some of the most difficult computer games, you win experience by just trying.

I have lost more contests than I have won, and I have often put my contest entries at the wrong place. But I haven’t complained and neither have I mentioned it somewhere. I should have contacted the support team of the website and asked them to change my entries to the right place. But no, I didn’t do that because I have self-respect and I understand that it is my mistake for which I shouldn’t bother the site’s team; and I can win something someday if I try hard – and I don’t consider my attempts a waste. I accept rejection because it is a fact of life.

Lets respect the fact that there are contests. There could have been life without it. I shall write on a contest as long as the topic has even a small thing of my interest. There is effort taken to publish a post, and I love to take that effort, because I am a blogger and this is what I do. There is no waste here and I choose not to hide my thoughts for a prize. I am a blogger because I write unconditionally. Even when the need for appreciation keeps honking at me, it is my pledge and my privilege to keep writing even with none. It is something that I have promised myself, with the certainty of a vampire drinking blood and a zombie eating brains.

As Indi(an) bloggers, We Blog, Therefore We Are – right? I choose not to challenge my existence. I also choose not to interfere with your choice. Keep blaming your stage, my dear performers; if you need to – but I don’t consider it a righteous move.

TeNy

When Nobody Knows

I am pretty sure that a lot of people have prayed a lot for the Indian cricket team to win the World Cup. But among the things I have wanted the most was for India to win the Davis Cup – yes, Indian football team qualifying for the FIFA World Cup was a necessity, but I had always hoped for a tennis achievement more. This love for tennis had kept me trying to play tennis shots in badminton even as that reinforced the fact that I will never play tennis in my life.

That brings back to the topic – who would I want to win the Davis Cup as it was kind of impossible for India considering the absence of a big tennis player in the ATP division. There might be just one win in the doubles, which would have been quite easy at a time when Leander Paes and Mahesh Bhupathi were at full flow. But then, there is the other option, to watch Switzerland win the Davis Cup, something which happened yesterday at the same time as the ISL match between Mumbai City FC and Chennaiyin FC was going on.

Federer and Wawrinka - redefining Swiss tennis (pic from ATP site)

Federer and Wawrinka – redefining Swiss tennis (pic from ATP site)

I switched on the television and checked some of the so called big news channels starting with Indiavision. I waited till the sports news and kept staring at it, but it seemed that nobody knew there was such a tournament. For a tournament that happened at night, they don’t feel the need to show the news about it in the morning. It made me wonder where our journalism was heading. This is exactly why tennis doesn’t have that much of an impact in India.

Fed-rinka in action in France (pic from Reuters)

Fed-rinka in action in France (pic from Reuters)

Czech Republic did win the Fed Cup earlier defeating Germany in the final, but it is clear nobody cared about it. I would say that most of the people don’t know that there is a woman’s equivalent of the Davis Cup. The media might also need some classes about the same, as they keep searching for cricket even in the ISL. The final didn’t end up being the close contest that I had expected it to, but I am an admirer of Lucie Safarova and is glad to see her team win, as I feel that she has under-achieved. I am surprised that Sabine Lisicki didn’t play a singles match though.

The Swiss Davis Cup team (pic from daviscup.com)

The Swiss Davis Cup team (pic from daviscup.com)

The total number of quality female players in Germany was surely high, but the two players, Lucie Safarova and Petra Kvitova ended up being too good. These two were far ahead of the rest of the players from Czech Republic as out of the top twenty rankings, the next available players was under rank 150 while Germany had a better team in totality. The same is the case of Switzerland and France in the Davis Cup. Roger Federer and Stanislas Wawrnika being way ahead of the others who are ranked below 200, and their opponents having all their five players in the top thirty.

The Swiss players with the Davis Cup trophy (pic from ndtv)

The Swiss players with the Davis Cup trophy (pic from ndtv)

This is a great win for Switzerland, and a wonderful addition to the list of great achievement of Roger Federer who had been fighting a lone battle for a long time before Wawrinka came into the picture – what an year for him too, beginning it with the Australian Open title and ending it with the Davis Cup trophy. The way in which they have managed to get rid of the rift between the two and come together to play for their nation, and how Federer managed to be fit for his country – all these are worth the appreciation.

But do our media know any of this? I have always considered Davis Cup with a great level of esteem. It is more equivalent to the World Cup than anything else, and it is the duty of the media to broadcast it and provide enough information about the same. The same is the case of Fed Cup which is more like a mystery around here. I wouldn’t be surprised though, considering the cold way in which they report Wimbledon. I hope that the senior Malayalam news channels and newspapers take tennis more seriously (a corner in the sports page is not enough for big tournaments), and it can only help the growth of tennis here.

TeNy