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It’s been almost two months (like ages for me) that I haven’t written anything in my blog. It’s not like I haven’t tried. I started writing on many topics, like my recent days in New Jersey and New York, about how crazy and unjust as Indian fans we are, about one of my favorite TV character Mr. Brown (remember Mind Your Language). However, not a single of these topics has seen the last period. Don’t know why, but somehow I’ve lost the enthusiasm to write. May be I’m stressed out; there’s a lot reason to be so. But being stressed out really never bothers me. So, why now, still no clue. I think I’ve to try harder to bring back myself to my blog. There are lots of ideas in my mind to improve the blog, like adding a couple of new pages, updating the widgets, writing a post on something entirely new, and many more. I should have to focus on doing at least a few of these things in the coming days.

Also, I’ve to update my daily routine to a large extent. I’m like immersed in the world of crime and detection with series like Sherlock, Criminal Minds, Inspector Linley Mysteries, Dexter, Psych, and a few other similar ones. No doubt, I enjoy them very much, but it also affected me to some extent. Like, I’ve become obsessed with watching Criminal Minds. Every night, I didn’t go to sleep without watching a couple of Criminal Minds episodes. Unlike other crime and mystery series, this series is something which focuses more on the criminal psych, their background and the reason to become criminals, mostly serial killers. In a way it is disturbing. Sometimes, I wonder, how come a person can do such a heinous crime. Even I’d bad dreams quite a few times after watching such an episode. But still my obsession with CM has not lessened. This not only hampers my regular sleep but also affects many of my favorite activities.

I think I’ve to come out of these and the sooner is better for me. This is the first step of my quest to get myself back into normal blogging and doing my other favorite stuffs like, playing my guitar, a little bit of singing, and gyming for sure. No doubt I can’t escape from crime and detection series, but I’ve to keep control in myself and minimize the frequency.

A Nice Link

Recently, while surfing online, I came to know about a new site http://www.43things.com/. It’s a very simple site about setting your resolutions for the year ahead. Here, you can list your resolutions one by one, set timelines for their completion, and if require you can set reminders for those resolutions. Since I like to make new year resolutions most of the times, though I hardly follow up to check the fulfillment of most of the resolutions, this site grabs my attention at the very first visit. Also, this year I haven’t made any resolutions during the new year eve, so this site allows me to list some of my tasks (I wouldn’t say resolutions any more) which I’m planning to do during 2011.  I’m calling them tasks as being worked in a so called professional environment for more than six years, I’ve become quite comfortable in assigning, updating and resolving tasks :-). So, I’m hoping I will be able to complete these tasks listed in http://www.43things.com/ before the end of this years without any delay of the time line.

My movie watching habit has changed quite a lot since start of 2010 and I’ve become a bit selective in watching movies unlike I used to see whatever was served before in the past few years. So, looking back at 2010, I must say that I’ve watched quite a number a good movies, mostly from Hollywood. If you asked me what about Bollywood or why not Bollywood, then I’ll say I feel sorry for Bollywood. So many movies get released every year, yet only a handful of them are watchable. However, this is purely based on my choice and interest of watching movies and is definitely going to differ with many of my co-movie goers. So, when I’ll mention my favorite movies of 2010, feel free to pen them if they deserve in your opinion.

So, you just come to know what I’m going to write, right? About my favorite movies of 2010? But the list of my favorites is a long one as I became a bit choosy in 2010. Therefore, in this post I’m going to mention about the five movies that I loved most. The list starts with Inception and ends with A-Team. In between, lies Udaan, Due Date and How to Train Your Dragon.

Inception: Inception is the only movie that has made me think what the directors of other movies do to their films (this applies for most of the films I watched). It’s the kind of movie I’m expecting from Christopher Nolan after watching his previous based-on-comics flick The Dark Knight. I liked TDK so much that when I saw the first teaser of Inception, I was quite skeptic about its success. In fact I was least impressed the first time. For me to better TDK, there must be something very different, which was may be not imaginable for me. But Nolan proved me complete wrong when I watched Inception the very second day of its released. After watching the movie, I came out of the theatre with a heavy head with the thought “Am I dreaming?” Nolan bowled me over again after TDK with Inception with a kind of story and imagination that seeks some amount of intelligence and imagination from the viewers too (I’m being honest here, most of the Hindi producer/directors request the viewers to leave their brains out to watch their full on (??) entertaining movies). For me if you did not understand (I won’t say ‘like/love’ instead of understand, because there are people who used to dislike a good movie) Inception, then there is no fault in the movie: however, you must definitely check yourself :-).

Udaan: Udaan is in the 2nd place of my list. Though it’s one of the very few Bollywood flicks that I liked this year, with its uncompromised script, impeccable execution, perfect casting, and soothing music, it stands very tall among its contemporaries. In one word Udaan is Brave. I don’t know much about poems or poetry but another word for Udaan is pure Poetry. To me, loving Udaan is a gradual process. When the music of the film released, I loved it instantly. As I continued listening to the songs, my interest for the movie and the love for its music increased in the same proportion. The music of Udaan is a kind of fresh sound (thanks Amit Trivedi once again for coming up yet again with some brilliant compositions), which you will not find in a typical Bollywood movie; in fact you’ll not find such music in a non-typical Bollywood flick also. The lyrics of the songs are not only awesome but also thought provoking. A simple sample is: (Bear with my Hindi and then my translation skills)

Subah ki kirno ko roke jo salaakhein hain kaha (Where is the barrier that prevents the morning rays)

Jo khayalon pe pehre daalein woh aankehin hain kaha (Where are the eyes that guards/shields the thoughts)

Par khulne ki deri hain parinde urke choomenge — asmaan asmaan asmaan (It’s only the wait until their wings get opened when the birds will fly and embrace/kiss the sky)

Watching Udaan, I felt the kind of happiness after a long time, which I felt watching movies like Forest Gump, Dorr, or Swadesh. The feeling is more than happiness or satisfaction, more precisely I felt triumphant after watching Udaan.

Due Date: I hardly remember the instances when I laughed out so loud while watching a movie. Due Date is exactly the kind of movie where I laughed without any inhibition. In fact, there is no option but to laugh watching this movie. Although the length of the movies is quite short and the number of characters is also not a large one, but every moment of the movie is fun-filled. Sometimes circumstances are unimaginable, yet funny to the core. The casting is perfect for the movie. I’m already a fan of Robert Downey Jr. after watching Sherlock Holmes last year and he did every justice to his role. I heard about Zach Galifianakis from Hangover fame. His role is so weirdly good in the movie that I can’t explain his antics in black and white. You have to watch Due Date to see what kind of hilarious chaos he can bring to the normal life of a person. So, if you want to have a good laugh with brains definitely, then go for Due Date instead of the sick Bollywood’s so called comedies.

How to Train Your Dragon: This is the fourth movie in my list and the last one that I watched in 2010. I like HTTYD because the dragons in the movie didn’t scare me instead I adore and love them. I also liked it because every minute of the movie it made me think of my little cute and naughty pet Dhun Dhun (a cat). Training the dragon in the movie seemed to me like training my cat in my household. So, liking HTTYD is pure personal feeling. If you have a pet, then this is a must watch for you. But if you have none, then go and get one first.

A–Team: I think I don’t have to tell much about this one. Most of you guys must be surprised by the inclusion of A-Team to this list. But once again, A-Team is pure personal and fun and nostalgic. I’m a fan of action movies from the time I knew about movies. So, for me A-Team has all the elements needed for an out-and-out action flick. It has some unbelievably breathtaking sequences, which I know were pure special effects. But they were made in such a way that I don’t have to think whether they are real or fake while watching, the movie. For me watching A-Team was my guilty pleasure of 2010.

I’ve been acting inert in my blog for quite some time. It’s more than a month. There’re many incomplete posts that I started at different times during this period. But somehow I wasn’t able to complete them and ultimately they didn’t got a life in my blog. But yesterday while visiting my dashboard in WordPress, I came across this interesting topic which motivated me quite well to become active in my blog. So, after again slogging a day, finally I’ve decided that I will rejuvenate my inner blogger and blog more often which I failed to do in my two-year stint of blogging till now. So, rather thinking about any topic to write for the blog, I’m going to start without any topic right now. I’ll post in my blog everyday about anything I like/dislike or whatever for all 2011 (the year starts late for me :-)). Though I’ve decided to write every day, I’m sure definitely there going to be some misses. So, I’ll try to write everyday and if possible sometimes even multiple posts in a day so that if I miss someday, it will cover up for that.

Right now I’m aiming to publish at least 100 posts in my blog during this current year. I know it will not be a cake walk for me but I’m sure it’ll be fun as I love blogging and at the same time, it will going to be a wonderful and stimulating experience. Therefore I’m promising to make use of the DailyPost, and the community of other bloggers with similar goals, to help me along the way, including asking for help when I need it and encouraging others when I can.

I also hereby take the opportunity to welcome new bloggers and surfers in my blog. If you are new to my blog or if you know about my blog already, I hope you all will encourage me with comments, likes, and good will along the way of my journey.

Today afternoon, I attended a traning session in our office. The session was on Assertiveness and it was one of the impressive trainings that I attended so far. The trainer was good and also the content quality was decent. One of the major reasons to attend this training was to evaluate my assertiveness and I think at the end of the training, I was quite happy what I got. Since I liked the training, I’d like to use my blog to share a few points that I understand/learnt there. So, here I go:

The basic human nature or attitude towards life can be typecasted as Passive, Assertive, and Aggressive, or may be a combination of any of these three types.

A passive person is someone who is very low on self esteem and like to shy away from anything that needs direct participation or responsibility. Such people like to live low key and usually depend on somebody else to make decisions for themselves. In most of the times they are unable to express their opinions or failed to make others understand about their feelings and needs. People with passive attitude are usually very soft spoken and in most cases they prefers a defensive body language or failed to exhibit any direct eye contact.

An assertive person is high on self esteem and understands well about his capabilities. They never shy away from their responsibilities and are alwasys ready with their opinions. They also like to make their own decisions. However, if convincing enough, they will not hesitate to abide by someone else’s decision. They are logical and try to understand the pre and post effects of their actions before acting on something. Assertive people are also very good in listening and understanding others and they can present their opinions, needs, or feelings in a very clear and direct manner. Assertive people have an open body posture, they speak very clearly and confidently, and they like to keep optimum eye contact while participating in a conversation.

Aggressive people are those who like to dominate others be it with their attitudes or their actions. They always like to control others and do not miss any opportunity to criticize or blame others. They want people to follow what they like and get frustrated or angered if somebody opposes their decisions. They never rely on others or think about the repercussions of their actions. Usually an aggressive person talks in a very loud and demanding voice with direct eye-contact, which might sometimes transformed to a continuous stare or gaze to make people they are talking uncomfortable.

Apart from these three basic human nature, another important point that was discussed in today’s training was ‘how important it is to say no to someone yet keeping yourself assertive’. In other words, how to not say “no” when it is needed to say so. Being assertive doesn’t mean that a person never say no to anyone. An assertive person might not agree to someone else’s opinion or dislike a proposal of another person. But the beauty of assertiveness blooms when that person is able to convey that without attempting to hurt or making the other person feel low. In such situations, a direct “no” might offend the other person. Therefore, it is very important for an assertive person to chose his/her words in communicating with others. An assertive person tries to create an environment where not only s/he can win but also the person against him/her can feel the same. More precisely, assertiveness in people can bring in win-win situations for all.

Khichdi – The Movie

Yesterday night we watched Khichdi – the Movie. Me and my wife are great fan of the TV series based on which the film has been made. However, somehow we didn’t get the chance to watch it in the theatres when it released last month. But a couple of days ago I got the DVD while shopping in a supermarket. So, yesterday after dinner, we sat down to watch the movie. This is not a movie review, but just a write up I felt to write after watching the movie. So, there’ll not be any hint about its story at all.

First of all Khichdi is an out and out laugh ride, with very decent humor. There is no double meaning, no abusing, except the regular victimization of Babuji, the Kurkur Kumar. From its transition from a popular lostsitcom to the large screen, Khichdi hasn’t lost its credibility in delivering the millions of laughs for which we love the series so much. However, casting a new actor as Jayshri instead of the series’ regular and popular Jayshri ben, I think producers took a bit risk, which however was well-tackled by the new actor. Rest of the characters, Hansa, Praful, Babuji, Himangshu, Chakki, Jackie, and a hoard of Parminders performed shamelessly 🙂 good to make you laugh your heart out. The best part of the movie is when we’re watching it, it’s like watching the the series in TV once again. The one lose end of the movie is its story, which I felt could have been made better. But no complains from my end at all. I enjoyed watching the movie and would like to recommend anyone who likes to enjoy a good comedy movie with family.

By the Water Cooler

This incident was one of the very first, in fact the 1st experience of mine in a corporate environment. It was not that hilarious or serious but whenever I think about the incident, I become nostalgic and a little smile (you may call it a grin) appears in face. So, here I go.

It was the early days of October 2004 when I got the call for the final round of interview of my 1st job. I am a very much unambitious kind of person and on getting the call for the final round the 1st question came to my mind was on what basis I cleared the previous round, I didn’t have clue (still…). But whatever, getting the call was the greatest thing for me and I was there in the organization in front of the interview board on time. Then interview was very normal apart from the questions they asks me like “What is the capital of Myanmar?”, “Which country produces tea most?”, “What is the capital of Hungary?” (to check my international knowledge), etc. Most of the questions were of the same kind, which I didn’t have to bother much. Coz I answered the ones I know immediately and confessed and apologized for my inability to respond to the rest. But overall, I thought they are OK with me (then also my mind was asking, why me? why me?).

Next, came the biggest question of my life at that moment, “What is your salary expectation?” I didn’t have any clue. I was at the final round of my very 1st job, I didn’t have any prior experience, even I didn’t consult with any of my seniors or working friends regarding this salary thing. The main reason might be my low expectation to get the job or finding any valid reason for them to hire me. I tried my best to explain that I didn’t have any high expectation, in fact I didn’t have any expectation. But they insisted that I had to tell them my salary expectation.

Then I thought, “Let’s give it a thought :-),” and then calculated my expenditures per month for the last 3 months’ staying in Delhi and ultimately figured out that if I get 5K I’d be more than happy (the grin again appears). When I let them know my so called more than happy expectation, they really surprised me by telling me that I’d approximately get around 8-9K per month including the incentives. So, I was very confused as my more than happy was 5K. So, when I came out of the interview room with my offer letter, I was very very and more and more than happy.

Nowadays, I really missed that kind of happiness, though I earn much more than that since it was almost 6 years of my career. But then, with time and experience, my expectations has increased manifold and those moments become a part of my nostalgia, thinking and asking myself “Am I the same guy 6 years ago, or have become someone different?” What about a heavy duty line to end my post? Ahem, It’s called LIFE.

Friends, I’ve published this post as a part of a competition initiated by Mumbai-based blogger and author Parul Sharma to promote her latest release By the Water Cooler. Please click here to know more about the contest as well as to have a glimpse of Parul’s latest release.