Taking it Easy

For a couple of weeks now, I’ve been feeling pressurized to post something. Since I started this blog with one-post-a-week, I try my best to keep up with it.
But…

I thought back to why I started writing, why I started my blog in the first place.

Writing for me, is a form of expression, if it’s forced or copied, it loses its essence. So, posting ‘something’ for the sake of posting was out of question. What I post needs to be matter at least to myself and my readers.

Being (crazy) busy with work and ‘freelance’ work, and well, life in general, has me distracted from posting; and the duration of me being ‘on hiatus’ kept extending, until it was a constant nag in my head.

That’s when I realized it’s not something I ‘do’ because I’m told to do so, but because I like it. Same with freelancing, organizing your time and planning ahead is one thing, but beating yourself for not meeting your deadlines is something different.

I’ve seen many content creators that go through this debate. They either ‘give-up’ or turn the tide by taking the wheel in their hands again. Not posting for a while might affect your follower count, but those followers might leave even you are posting great content, so while, yes, analytics is important, it doesn’t mean that you have to constantly fret about it. Creating unnecessary content decreases the overall quality of your posts. So instead, take your sweet time in creating meaningful content is the better option, at least for me.

That being said, I’ll still try to post whenever I can but definitely will try not to stress over it repeatedly.

In the meantime, I’ll be happy to host Guest posts on my blog! – You can always email/tweet to me if you are interested.

 

🙂 FTK

New to Bollywood?

I’ve been an uber filmy geek, and specifically a Bollywood fan, ever since I was young. If you are new to Indian Movies, or are tired from your local movie choices and willing to venture into new lands, here are my Top 10 Bollywood Movies.

Note: The following are ranked in order of my personal enjoyment. It doesn’t not mean that they are the best in their respective genres neither does it mean that your opinion on the said movie should match mine in any way. 

 

Let’s get started:

 

#10: Hum Tum

This 2004 romantic comedy inspired by ‘When Harry met Sally…” It is funny and adorable, while predictable at times, it’s also the movie you’d want to watch on a girls-only movie night. It follows two seemingly opposite characters and how their dislike towards each other soon changes into friendship and then into love. This title translate to “You and Me”. [Watch on Amazon – Affiliate link]

 

#9: Aankhen

This 2002 heist thriller was like none other. Three men rob a bank. The plot twist? They are three blind men. This movie has two different endings, both being satisfactory in their own way. While I’m not giving any spoilers, the movie kept me on edge at all times. It’s a must-watch for heist-plot fans like me. The title translates to “Eyes”.

 

#8: Luck

This 2009 action-thriller was adapted from a Spanish Film, Intacto. The film starts of with introducing a bunch of characters and how ‘lucky’ they are. They are gathered to play a game of chance, where the looser would loose his life, and the winner would proceed to the next round. In each round I found myself holding my breath. While the final climax felt a little less impactful, the ending was overall satisfactory.

 

#7: Dhoom 2

This is the second installment in the Dhoom heist thriller-series. While the story is loosely connected to the first installment, it can still be watch independently. It includes fast action, though done a bit over the top, it’s still enjoyable, a romance sequence underlining the main plot, and some (attempt) at comedy. While I’m not a fan of Action-Comedy, the ‘action’ part of the series sell it to me. The title translates to “Blast”. [Watch on Amazon – Affiliate link]

 

#6: Ae Dil Hai Mushkil

This 2016 Drama movie is centered around a the topic of unreciprocated love. It includes several references from many difference Indian movies, which makes up the light-hearted first-half of the film, so it probably won’t be as funny to a new Bollywood watcher as it would be to someone who understands the source of the references. The second-half of the movie shifts gears and brings the ‘drama’ aspect to it. By the time the movie ends, you sit there with a heavy heart. The title translates to “O Heart, it is difficult”. [Watch on Amazon – Affiliate link]

 

#5: Veer-Zara

This 2004 Drama movie is considered a modern classic in the genre by its respective fans. The story follows an Indian Pilot and a Pakistani woman. Their journey and struggles are beautifully portrayed, leading up to the final ending scene, where love finally wins. I can safely say, I ugly-cried more than once while watching it. [Watch on Amazon – Affiliate link]

 

#4: Main Hoon Na

This 2004 movie encompass almost all genres, from action to comedy and even romance, all the while staying true to the main plot line. It’s great for family movie time or even with friends. The title translates to “I am here”. [Watch on Amazon – Affiliate link]

 

#3: Jab We Met

This 2007 romantic-comedy was liked by audiences young and old alike. It has palpable romance and good comedy in equal proportions making it a must-watch. The title translates to “When we met”. [Watch on Amazon – Affiliate link]

 

#2: Zindagi Na Milegi Dobara

This 2011 drama road film explores friendship. It follows three friends, with very different personalities, on a bachelor road trip across Spain. During the trip, they find courage to overcome personal differences and passion for a new goal to strive for. The title translates to “You won’t get this life again”. [Watch on Amazon – Affiliate link]

 

And finally, my all time favorite:

#1: Yeh Jawaani Hai Deewani

This 2013 romantic-drama revolves around friendship and relationships. The characters portrayed have relatable personalities and even the issues that rise up, aren’t too far fetched. The friendships shown feel real and will make you nostalgic of your university life. After watching this, you would want to organize a reunion with your squad too. The title translate to “This youth is crazy”. [Watch on Amazon – Affiliate link]

 


There you have it, my Top 10 Bollywood movies. I’ll probably edit this list as new movies add in.

Have you watched any? Let me know your thoughts!

 

🙂 FTK

 

Photo Credit: Visual Hunt.com

 

Travel Tips 101

“The world is a book and those who do not travel read only one page.” -Agustine of Hippo

 

Once I was an unplanned traveler, but never again. As I’m becoming more and more of a frequent flyer, whether it’s for business or vacation, here are my essentials.

 

Preparing

  1. Know about the city. It doesn’t hurt to read a bit on the nuances, mannerisms, and do’s-don’ts of the place you are about to go to, especially if the culture is very different than what you are accustomed to. Also, watching the local news of that city is helpful.
  2. Check out the surrounding area of the place you would be staying at. Trust me, Google Maps will be your best friend.
  3. Keep a small journal to jot down small details about anything from currency exchange rates to the weather report, power outlet types, emergency contact numbers, etc.

 

Packing

  1. Make a list of the outfits you plan to wear. I also like to pack an extra spare outfit.
  2. Travel kits are always handy.
  3. Basic first-aid kit is a must, because accidents can happen.
  4. Keep a spare padlock and a universal power adapter in your carry-on luggage.
  5. If you are carrying cash, it’s better to distribute it in different bags as smaller amounts.
  6. If you are carrying a card, have a spare with you, in case it gets denied.
  7. Makeup essentials, a tiny perfume bottle, and facial wipes, to freshen up upon landing.
  8. Make sure you have all documents, passport, etc. and carry extra copies of them as well.
  9. I usually throw-in a book, because you never know what movies they have on the flight.

 

Upon Arriving

  1. Keep few hours spare on your first day upon arriving. Get to know the people and the area. For example, if the people have dinner by 7 pm, it is likely that most diners would be closed by 9 pm. Change your itinerary accordingly. If you are there for business purposes, keep margin for traffic, it wouldn’t be nice to arrive late.
  2. Also, find out about cheaper modes of transport. When travelling in a taxi, Uber, etc, check on the child-lock prior to sitting in the car.
  3. Deposit your important documents in a safety-box (if the hotel has provided it), and lock your luggage whenever you leave the room.

 


That’s it for my essentials (for the time being, I’ll add to it if more come to mind.)

Special thanks to Ahmed, Suaad, and Leena for contributing to this post.

 

Photo Credit: Visual Hunt .com

 

🙂 FTK

Frappuccino a Day, to Keep the Sleep Away

I usually drink coffee twice a day, but during exams or during other time-pressure, that number usually doubles. So, one day, on my way to the nearest branch of Starbucks**, I decided I’d try a new flavor of their Frappuccino® Blended Beverages everyday for a week, and I was able to study at night without falling asleep.

The full menu is here.

Here are the ones I’ve tried at least once, ranked from my most favorite to least:

  1. Coffee Frappuccino® Blended Coffee: This is my to-go order, and my most favorite to-date. (Nothing better than good ol’ traditional Frap.)
  2. Peppermint Mocha Light Frappuccino® Blended Beverage: I’d say this was my second fav. (It’s mint-choco, how can you not like it, add to it coffee – why hadn’t I tried it before!)
  3. Java Chip Frappuccino® Blended Coffee: Drink this if you are craving a LOT of chocolate.
  4. Pumpkin Spice Frappuccino® Blended Beverage: I just had to try it, and I was not disappointed, but I probably ordered it one or two more times only.
  5. Salted Caramel Mocha Frappuccino® Blended Beverage: Yum! Though, I didn’t eat anything for 6 hours after drinking this though, it felt like I’ve eaten a meal.
  6. Mocha Frappuccino® Blended Coffee: A bit too chocolaty for me.
  7. Green Tea Crème Frappuccino® Blended Crème: Not a big fan, and honestly I can’t recall the taste.

 

As for the service, I went to a total of 4 different Starbucks outlets surrounding my block, while the service was great, the baristas seemed unsure at first and confirmed the recipe (for the Peppermint Mocha and Green Tea Creme) with another barista before preparing my drink.

 

**This is not a sponsored post, it’s just me sharing my love for coffee.

 

Photo Credit: VisualHunt.com

🙂 FTK

My Year in Review: 2017

I don’t usually do New Year’s Resolutions, but I did want to achieve several personal goals for myself in 2017. While, some goals were achieved and some not, this year had been another roller coaster ride all in all, (although nothing can be compared to the roller coaster of the past year when I kept hopping from US to home and back, meanwhile juggling work and studies).


Lessons Learnt

  • Block the negativity: I would take any action, comment, etc. too personally, even if it wasn’t directed towards me. That would keep me irritated half the time, and the other half would be spent in self-deprecation.  But, then I thought, why the heck do I do this to myself, and started to let-go. And, it became easier with time.
  • Mental Health is important: I overthink almost by default, but that doesn’t help me. I end-up with headaches and sleep-less nights. I stress over something so much that I’m not able to use my head in anything else. To reduce my overthinking-induced-anxiety, I started writing down what bothered me, and prioritizing the issues and then finding a solution to it, wherever applicable. I also tried Mindfulness to sort through my loud thoughts.
  • People change as times change:  Obvious, yes. For me, it was the notion of accepting that change in others and supporting them, and with that, I also changed (hopefully for the better).
  • Live in the moment: As I’m growing older, I can’t help but notice that years are flying by. While I’m trying to prepare and plan my future goals, I’m thrown off-track by the uncertainty of it all. So I stopped fretting over it, instead, I do what I think is right, and well, just go with the flow (but control the general direction of it).
  • Try new things: So, one day you won’t say “I wish I had–” or “I always wanted to–“. Instead say, “I wanted to– and so I did.”

 

Going Forward

I would like to:

  • Motivate others.
  • Think more positively.
  • Evolve as a better person.
  • Tick of more bucket-list items.
  • Care less about the things that matter less.

 


So, here’s to another year of laughter and dreams, Happy New Year to All!

🙂 FTK