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Living in the Material World


A couple of months back my sister lost her diamond set mysteriously. She had gone to another city for around 3 weeks and returned to find out her cupboard was unlocked and the casing which guarded the jewellery was empty. The police questioned the room-mates and the domestic help, but in the end the cased was closed and sent into a limbo.

For a few days my sister was inconsolable. Living alone in a foreign city, she had never had any hiccups until this. This incident provoked a thought in my mind. Is our love for objects so ginormous? I tried to calm her down by saying that it was just a materialistic thing, and we should not cry for them. Lord Buddha went to the extent saying we should not be emotionally attached to human beings, then the diamond set was just an inanimate object. In a few days, she got over it and my dad bought her a new set. I was happy that my philosophy worked.

A similar incident happened to a friend. He lost his laptop in college. He was totally devastated in the aftermath. He went into a depression. Listening to songs like ‘Who Wants to Live Forever’ and ‘Yesterday’ all the time. I know, even I can’t live a single day without my laptop, but I still thought, what is the big deal? How can people develop such a bond with things that are bought.

The other day I was staying at my brother’s house for the night and went out for a walk all alone. I had planned for a perfect night, with my book and i-Pod within my sight and Germany v/s Portugal just a few hours away. So while walking I was pre-occupied with exciting thoughts and was walking frenziedly. A few minutes later I randomly checked my pocket and had a mini cardiac arrest there and then. I had lost my cellphone. Now, this is not an uncommon event for most of the people, and usually in the end the cellphone turns out to be in some other pocket. That is what I expected for the first few moments, but it was clear that I had indeed lost it. Shattered, I went back into the house and tried to focus my mind on reading. I called my parents through the landline and said my phone’s battery was dead.

Now came the part of self-consoling. I ate a lot of ice-cream to ease out the stress, but nothing helped. In the end I switched off the light, laid down on the bed, put the earphones and started the mental strife. The brain, and the dark side of the brain, as I fondly call it, started the debate, making immaculate conclusions. It started with the lecture on materialistic things. I tried hard to make myself understand what I so neatly explained to my sister. But when the nail is in your heart, only then you can feel the real pain. I had wet my eyes and the heart ache was strong.

A cellphone becomes a daily part of your life. It is your closest friend, anywhere and everywhere. We almost care for it like it was a baby. Keeping it close and safe, charging it regularly, showing affection to it, shouting at it and finally using it to kill time. Hours after I had lost my cellphone I still kept looking for it to see the time, every slight vibration made me think it was it. All I kept thinking was about all the things I had lost with my phone. The numerous contacts, heart to heart chats, high scores in games and a perfect mp3 collection, they were all gone. It had become clear, materialistic things do become an important part of your life.

People mostly face these situations at some part of their life and it is always painful. For example people who lose their wallets, don’t exactly cry for their money, but for the loss of a friend who always stayed in their pocket. Losing a laptop now seems an occurrence so harsh, I’ll rather go for a death sentence.

Although it isn’t right, but loving the materialistic things is inevitable, unless you are determined to follow Buddha and attain Nirvana(I’ll prefer LSD). The love does not happen because you ‘buy’ these things with hard earned money, but because as time flies you develop a relationship with them and become dependent on them. When something becomes a part of your daily routine it is hard to imagine a life without it.

The pain is short lived and vanishes with a replacement, but the enormity of those heart aches proves that though we claim otherwise, we all are living in the material world, and it is hard to cut threads.

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Sound of Shaitan


Well, the blog’s film section is not ready yet, but after watching Shaitan, I ‘had’ to write a review. Because it has helped me judge my chances to be a film maker in the industry! So here it goes :-

Since the trailers were first out I have been waiting for the film. The song Bali, suits the trailer best. I did miss the first day first show and a few more days and shows consequently, but today I finally got a chance.

Shaitan starts with Anurag Kashyap giving a social message. Yes the ‘lazy ass ranter’, starts the film telling youngsters that alcohol, drugs, cigarettes etc., are bad for them. While if the dialog was start taking drugs, start life, the quote ‘well begun is half done’ would have been so apt. The scenes from the asylum give us a hint that the movie is on the insane end of brain, like most of Anurag’s films are. Then again we have typical scenes, fast introductions, normal ‘I hate my parents’ people and alcohol and drugs and a lot of drugs.

After wild parties, cranky dialogs and a couple of kisses, you reach the scene which has created the hype. The accident scene. And yes, the scene lives up to the hype, it is a great milestone in hindi cinema. But just a few moment more and you’ll have the moment. The moment you’ll scream , “What the fuck, this is the story of Paanch” and that would sure turn you off, completely! But as the film proceeds you do notice remarkable differences and slowly it attracts your interest. Then the fast paced action, the haunting music, Rajeev Khandelwal’s grit and Kalki’s neurotic expressions when she is high, makes you want to forgive all the negative aspects of the movie and makes you an instant fan.

Remarkable scenes :- When KC asks Amy to open a ‘joint account’, the accident scene(ofcourse), the crashing of the beer bottle and a tv set, by KC and Dash respectively, on the heads of two guys who were ‘teasing’ and ‘more than teasing’ their girls, Khoya Khoya Chand(thats already a rage), the shot where Inspector Arvind Mathur flashes from behind a bed and kills a junkie(though you can’t possibly save yourself from machine gun fires with a mattress and Amy’s hallucinations of her mom when she is high in the Church(thats Anurag Kashyap).

The weak points of the movie were :- Obviously the script, it could have been better. The director was confused whether he was making a thriller or a black comedy. The German girl wasn’t really German. Too much time wasted on the camera work and special effects.

The good points were :- The camera work, indeed. Cinematography. The music, especially Bali and Fareeda. The acting – all of the actors have done a very very good job, but special credits to Rajeev Khandelwal and Kalki.

In the end, Shaitan is a good film. It is definitely not great! And if you do think otherwise, watch Paanch. You’ll know what Bollywood really needs. You’ll know who Anurag Kashyap really is!

Rating 2.5/5

The Heart Symbol : Rare Facts


The heart has long been used as the symbol of  love and passion. 14th February, the Valentine’s Day, sees millions of cards, letters, balloons etc., with the spectacular red colored heart symbol. There maybe millions of ways to impress your partner but this simple red curve can beat any symbol of  love.  But ever wondered what the heart-symbol actually means? Or how the symbol originated? Well don’t get too surprised but the truth is in this post.

First of all we all know it is nowhere near the shape of the real heart, which has a ugly fist shape. Then we think why would the ancestors think about such an organ of our body which we never see in our lifetime.  So the best option available is that the symbol of heart represents a stylisation of the vagina or the inverted head of a male penis.

A perfect heart?

   

Inverted Penis

Yes, the heart symbol seems to have first represented lust before it became associated with love.  One thing that lays the base of this weird theory is the myth about the silphium drug, an ancient contraceptive. There are reports that its seed was perfectly heart shaped. The plant was considered so important during the Roman Empire that it was imprinted on the coins. The plant was ‘used up’ to extinction. Another fact that shoots up the importance of this theory, Silphium has similarities to the word Sylph – meaning slender and desirable young woman – a virgin.

Silphium Coin

Now the question, how come the word ‘heart’ got associated it with the symbol. For that we have a brittle explanation. Like the word heartwood is linked with the inner part of a tree, same way there are citations that ‘heart’ could mean ‘virginity’ in older times. Another example that proves the fact is the symbol of the cupid, a heart “pierced” by an arrow with tiny droplets of blood. The droplets of blood represent the breaking of the hymen and the loss of virginity. The arrow is also the definitive phallic component of the Male symbol – Mars – the erect arrow.  In plain language it is a vagina penetrated by a penis.

So, this theory is yet standing on wooden sticks, but it has some truth behind it. So next time you send a heart symbol to your lover remember you are giving an invitation for an intercourse! We’ll leave you with this quote while you think about this :-

“Love is just a system for getting someone to call you darling after sex” Julian Barnes

A Psalm of Life- H.W. Longfellow


A Psalm of Life is an amazing poem from H.W. Longfellow, which gives us an insight of what we are deep down in our lives and what should we do to sublimate all the evil within and lead a perfect life. A life which sets an example for the generations to come so that when they get ship-wrecked during the journey of life, they have our footprints to follow to the ultimate destination.

* * *

The Wonderful World

 

TELL me not, in mournful numbers,

Life is but an empty dream ! —
For the soul is dead that slumbers,
And things are not what they seem.

Life is real !   Life is earnest!
And the grave is not its goal ;
Dust thou art, to dust returnest,
Was not spoken of the soul.

Not enjoyment, and not sorrow,
Is our destined end or way ;
But to act, that each to-morrow
Find us farther than to-day.

Art is long, and Time is fleeting,
And our hearts, though stout and brave,
Still, like muffled drums, are beating
Funeral marches to the grave.

In the world’s broad field of battle,
In the bivouac of Life,
Be not like dumb, driven cattle !
Be a hero in the strife !

Trust no Future, howe’er pleasant !
Let the dead Past bury its dead !
Act,— act in the living Present !
Heart within, and God o’erhead !

Lives of great men all remind us
We can make our lives sublime,
And, departing, leave behind us
Footprints on the sands of time ;

Footprints, that perhaps another,
Sailing o’er life’s solemn main,

Destiny Ahead

A forlorn and shipwrecked brother,
Seeing, shall take heart again.

Let us, then, be up and doing,
With a heart for any fate ;
Still achieving, still pursuing,
Learn to labor and to wait.

 

 

Henry Wadsworth Longfellow (February 27, 1807 – March 24, 1882) was an American poet and educator.Longfellow predominantly wrote lyric poems which are known for their musicality and which often presented stories of mythology and legend. He became the most popular American poet of his day and also had success overseas.

 

 

 

10 Tips For Novice Fiction Writers


1.What is the Hook of your Story?
The most important aspect of fiction writing is a hook. Your hook should be like an anchor in the ocean, you may move away from it but too far and you’ll have to bounce back! Write down the genre of your story on a page, then pick up the most important one. Remember it is upto you to decide what your story is.
2.Dont Write Long Introductions!
Prologues are a common part of novels since they started. It gives the readers a basic idea about what is in the book,before they turn the pages! But most of the readers skip that part.
One, because it flattens the excitement, two because it just adds to the bulk. You can get over this problem by writing an interesting prologue. Like telling about the features readers won’t find in the book or giving meanings of some concepts which arent defined in the book.
Like J.Tolkien wrote the appendix for The Lord of the Rings which made the readers clear about Elvish tongue and how few words have to be pronounced!
3.Who is the Hero?
This is another important thing to note while you are writing. Many novels have multiple characters,but the acclaimed ones are which show atleast one above all. Sometimes people write dark novels, in that case it is okay to have many heroes and the readers always end up with discussions about who really was the hero! So you have to be strict about the former or latter based upon the genre of your novel. Another rage among new artists is Anti-Hero.Well its good to have one, but in the end remember as you write think of your anti-hero as the hero.Whether he does good deeds or bad, he is smarter than the rest and he wins in the end!
4.Do not use Half-Knowledge
Most fiction writers are misled by the very word FICTION. They think they can use their imagination on every aspect of their work. But that is wrong, if something exists and you manipulate how it looks, your readers maybe infuriated. It altogether doesn’t make any sense to write something about which you have little knowledge. Do research on the subject if it is indeed necessary for you to write the thing.For Example-Paulo Coelho has every minute information about the topics he mentions and he willingly discusses it with the readers and thats what fascinates the subject!
5.Avoid GOT!
Novice writers are often led into writing the word got. It is a very common verb which can be used almost universally.But,more you use the word, the more readers conclude that you are not a professional.for example,this sentence is what most writers would tend to write:-I GOT on Horseback within ten Minutes after I GOT your Letter. When I GOT to Canterbury, I GOT a Chaise for the Town. But I GOT wet before I GOT to Canterbury ad I HAVE GOT such a Cold as I shall not be able to GET rid off in a Hurry.
The better version of this sentence would be:-I MOUNTED my Horse within ten minutes after I RECEIVED your Letter:as soon as I ARRIVED at Canterbury, I ENGAGED a Post Chaise for Town. I was wet through before I REACHED Canterbury and I have taken such a Cold as I shall not be easily CURED!
6.Depiction of Persons and Surroundings!
Most of the writers these days proceed in their work keeping in mind that one day a movie would be based on it. Thus they start giving minute details about the persons and surroundings. Some can do it very well but some are stuck up doing the same. For example Ayn Rand has used a very brilliant writing technique in The Fountainhead to describe the persons, she concentrates less on the environment on the other hand JRR Tolkien in The Lord of the Rings creates a scenery first and then minutely describes the character. Most of the writers are confused which trend to follow and thus they end up doing both of them. Thats not right,you should have your own ways since your first novel. Always be a trend-setter. Also do not describe the persons again and again,the readers are intelligent enough to remember the picture once drawn!
7.About Dialogues!
The writers read on various websites that repetitions aren’t good for a book, think of more and more words for each situation. That is correct but in case of dialogues SAID is the only word that should be used most of the times. Most writers end up using different verbs for different dialogues. That is okay upto some stretch but not beyond that.Don’t start digging up the thesaurus for synonyms of said. The reader would feel angry about opening a dictionary in the middle of an interesting scene!
8.How to Start?
This is the most common debate, even amongst non writers. It should have been in the starting but as most of you know a lot about this topic so I keep it at 8th. From when we were kids our teachers have been telling us to start a story, essay or anything by a phrase or a scene that catches the attention of the reader immediately. Same is the case with novels, keep your most disturbing chapter on the top.Like if your novel is about a fight between two groups, do not start with the conditions which led to the scuffle, rather start with the fighting scene, tell the readers what is happening on the field. Then later give the descriptions! Now the last 2 points would look naive to many, but they are important.
9.Give Time!
Now as the title suggests its about giving ample time to your novel. There are a lot of disturbing factors once you sit to write, like a call from a friend for usual chatting, your mom asked you a favor, a cousin came to meet you at your house, all these are important too but amongst all this give the time your book deserves. Once you are in a flow,don’t let anyone disturb you, because that is the moment when you write your best!
10.Use a Pen!
This point may confuse many of you, but this is an essential one. Writing your chapters with a pen is lot different than typing them into your laptop. One reason is that you may lose the files in your Computer and then have to brag about it. But the main reason is when you write with a pen,your brain synchronizes with your pen and regards it as an extension of your hand. As it thinks, it compels the pen to write. Whereas you lose ideas when you open your fingers to type, the neurons are shaken and they lose the signal. So always prefer a pen and notebook!

Juan

50 Facts about Norpals


1) Your favorite movie is The Dark Knight, although you don’t know how to speak English.

2) You updated sad comments on social networking websites when you came to know the Joker died and then expressed happiness when Joker won the Oscar, but when someone talks about Heath Ledger you try to change the topic.

3) You never watched Slumdog Millionaire but you hated it because someone said they showed poor side of india in the film.

4) You woke up early to see if A.R. Rahman won an Oscar, after he did you started hating Jai Ho.

5) You like watching Friends, although you could never completely understand what their jokes meant.

6) A Walk to Remember and P.S. I Love You are your favorite romantic movies although you never had the courage to watch them.

7) You are obsessed with the movie 3 Idiots.

8 ) You watched Titanic just to see Kate Winslet nude or because you heard Leonardo de Caprio was cute.

9) Your favorite actor is Jack Sparrow, but your friend just told you his real name is Johnny Depp

10) You haven’t watched Twilight but you hate it because someone said Edward Cullen is gay.

11) You love The Lord of the Rings, although you were so lost in the spectacular visual effects you forgot to listen to the dialogs.

12) You watched Inception on the first day of its release, because you liked the trailers. You didn’t understand it and hated it. Then when it recieved so much critical acclaim it became your favorite movie!

13) You said you were upset because Chris Nolan was snubbed for the Academy Award nomination for Best Director, but personally you were very happy.

14) You hate Karan Johar but Kuch Kuch Hota Hai is your favorite movie.

15) You love SRK.

16) You have a Selena Gomez image as your profile picture most of the times.

17) You nearly puked while watching it, but Wrong Turn is your favorite horror flick.

18) You like How I Met Your Mother only because Barney Stinson teaches you the cool way to pick up girls.

19) You don’t know the meaning of ‘pikey’, but Snatch is your favorite black comedy.

20) You get so excited when you hear the word FUCK in a movie.

21) You have watched all parts of  American Pie and are proud of it.

22) You don’t know what is a Leg Glance, but Sachin Tendulkar is your favorite cricketer.

23) You have a Roger Federer image as your wallpaper, but you don’t know what an Ace is.

24) Your favorite football team is Manchester United, but you don’t know that Christiano Ronaldo doesn’t play for it anymore.

25)  David Beckham is your favorite footballer, but you don’t know he played for your favorite club Manchester United some years ago.

26) You hummed Waka Waka all day during the world cup, but never knew most of the song was written in Afrikaans.

27) Your favorite books are, One Night at a Call Center, Five Point Someone, Three Mistakes of my Life, Two States. The love making scenes in the books make you want to jerk off!

28) After watching Harry Potter’s movie series, the books automatically became your favorite.

29) You never knew who Michael Jackson was, but you were sad when he died.

30) You don’t understand a single word Eminem says, but Love the Way You Lie is your favorite song.

31) You want to look like an Emo, but don’t know that Emo is infact a type of music.

32) You love listening to metal songs and your favorite band is Linkin Park.

33) You hate the blacks, but Jay-z is your favorite singer.

34) You hate Pakistan and Pakistanis but Atif Aslam and Rahat Fateh Ali Khan are amongst your all time favorite singers.

35) You love Green Day but don’t know what Punk Rock is.

36) You haven’t heard any song by Justing Beiber, but you hate him because everyone does.

37) You love Rap and Honey Singh is your favorite.

38) You played Farmville so that you could impress your female friends by sending them points.

39) You were addicted to Yahoo Messenger falling in love with every girl who cared to chat with you.

40) You add the smiling smiley after every line.

41) You don’t have any passion in life, you do everything just for the heck of it.

42) You are usually sad, because then people care more about you.

43) You prefer writing “ME” as “MAH”, “THE” as “DA”, etc.

44) You like to update your Facebook profile with such lines :- If uR frUstAtEd oVeR sUmoNe..dUn bOthEr uRseLf muCh….lEt uR emoTRionS floW ….JS SpiT uR anGer n DAt pErSons’S facE…n dA feElin u gEt…iS amAzIn..

45)Your messages are full of lol, rofl, lmao, roflmao, etc., because those are the only English words you know.

46) You don’t enjoy with your friends but “njoi wid ur frnz…..”

47) You wear T-shirts and Jeans and then hold debates how western culture is spoiling your nation.

48) You are an atheist only because it sounds cool.

49) You are an active part of Save Animals Association, but you wear shoes made of leather and a coats made of fur.

50) You like everything I write related to Norpals, but don’t know the stuff is intended for you!


Baseless Dreams


“One fine day my son will be the king”,

smiled the beggar as she kissed her little one,

and the big dreamy eyes of the child,

saw himself as the owner of the throne.

“Baseless dreams”,

said the old man pointing his stick,

laughing and crying at the same time,

“Child,be the king before I become too sick”

these baseless dreams were dreamed by many mothers,

but this mother-son pair was unique,

for them dreams were not baseless,

they believed in the myths of the Greek.

the king of their lands was a mighty person once,

but light of power made him mad,

his sword swayed his mind and heart,

everybody said “The kings is bad”

and this little kid grew,

with a crown on his head(dreaming),

he worshipped his dream,

his bond with it was amazing.

He grew and joined the king’s warmen,

and seeing his special skills,

the majesty himself trained him,

to slit the throats,

to ascend the tall grills.

The boy made him win many conquests,

he was trained just as the king,

and one day to the depressed soldiers he told,

he told them everything.

“I will be your new king people”,

and he said that with his eyes full of gleam,

cruelty of this cruel king will end,

but the soldiers laughed “baseless dreams”

this time the boy was really hurt,

“this is it,the time is here”,

he entered the kingdom’s decision room,

and he was welcome with cheers.

“ask my son,ask for whatever you want”,

and this king shall give it to you,

“all I want my Lord, is a fight,

and my Lord I want that fight against you”

“Promise me as a true king”,

“promise me that whoever wins the battle,

shall be the true ruler of people,

and the other shall shatter”

The king had no choice but to agree,

for the boy had made him promise,

both the warriors made their swords alive,

and flattered the weapon with a kiss.

they fought and the public watched,

“Baseless dreams”, said the norpals,

the fight was fierce, swords were loud,

people watched the show, there was a stir in the crowd.

In the end he won,

he who deserved it,

the one who had the power to dream,

the boy with the true grit.

the king wasnt killed,

rather he just faced death,

as he lied under the pointed sword,

the bravery of the boy made him melt.

the boy was made the next king,

and the news rushed through the town,

the boy became the new king,

he bore the emperor’s crown.

he called a counsel for li’l kids,

all with big dreamy eyes,

one day all of you will rule,

one fine day all of you will rise.

remember no dream is worthless,

no dream is too big,

there is no such thing in this world as,

“BASELESS DREAMS”!

 

Juan