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Theme Reveal | #ATOZCHALLENGE

Theme Reveal | #ATOZCHALLENGE

30 days. 26 posts in 26 days, with 4 Sundays off, for obvious reasons – Exodus 20:9-10! what I mean is “It’s Sunday!”. Three years in a row. That would be something, if I manage to complete it. But when I first started this challenge, it was to see how well I work under pressure and with a deadlines to meet. Along with that, I wanted to understand what kind of a writer I was. The first year was a complete disaster. Believe me, it was. I am telling you to believe me, because there is no one else who could vouch for it. I will give you a moment for the sarcasm to set in. But, I don’t work well under pressure and don’t even talk about deadlines. The broken pieces of couple of things at home know the pain, I mean knew the pain.

So, having realized my true potential, I thought better not to indulge myself in this the last year. How did you know I was out of things to break? No, that wasn’t the reason, okay? But then as I was doing my bit of work in motivating the people who did sign up for it, I found a person who was mocking me for not taking up the challenge. First of all, I was all in support for the challenge, because it proves one’s agility, consistency and over all their skills as a writer and that was the reason I was supporting all the people who did take up the challenge. But then some smart-ass comes along to mock me for not taking up the challenge. I don’t really take people seriously. I mean I take people very seriously. Real seriously. Even though, I want to get them out of my mind, I just can’t. Manufacturing defect, Doctors on the internet have told so. Anyhow, I got real pissed. I started my own challenge – ZtoAChallenge, to counter the person who was doing the AtoZChallenge. Though it was a disaster, more disastrous than the asteroid that hit the earth a few million years ago that made an entire race go extinct- Yes, that bad. But, at the end of the month, I managed to do the needful, I completed the challenge.

I was a little surprised when a good friend of mine appreciated my attempt, however stupid it was. Well, that’s what friends are for, right? Why am I stressing so much on something that doesn’t even make much sense? Well, I have to reveal a blog-theme for this year, like always. And my usual go-to theme was Random. It didn’t even make sense to a lot a people (2-3 is also termed as a lot, in case you had no idea). This time I was planning something different. By different, you should already know it is a stupid thing already, especially when I say it. So, here it is : “Real Life Fiction”.  “What the fuck!?“, was the response I got when I told someone about it. “There are real stories, there are fictional stories, what in the gods’ name is real life fiction?” *Pats myself on the back for not considering a normal-simple theme which made sense*. 

So, I guess you are still in a bit of dilemma of what the hell it is. So, a could of years ago, when I had a friends group, I started writing about them, which was a way of telling how much I appreciate them and likewise. But then again, after the formal introductions of the people in my group, I jotted down a couple of things that happened that stood out. I made a story out of it. You could call it a diary sort of, but with a little added story ( I guess to make it a little more interesting ). And obviously, I changed the names. That’s why it’s called fiction, sort of it involves real life stories. And last year, I started off again with a new batch of friends. It’s again a recollection of the incidents that I need to write because the real life characters are kind of waiting for the stories to come out. “Why am I doing this”is the most obvious question. What if I told you that these people sometimes use the names I gave to them in the story in the life outside the blog? I considered it as my accomplishment, and it is a tribute to the people I work with and most importantly the amazing friends that they are.

However, this would me primary agenda of the theme. But 26 stories is a lot. I mean my brain can’t handle to recollect that many incidents. So, I was hoping to squeeze in the fictional stories that I had started a few years ago. I will restart them and hopefully finish them by the end of the challenge. *Fingers Crossed*.

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If you want a glimpse of what I was talking about all this time, follow the links :

a. The Lunch Box Journal 

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b. I still haven’t figured out the title for the story

– ak, MMXVII

The Lunch Box Journal

The Lunch Box Journal

Chapter I

It’s more cold this year than it has ever been“, one of the migrant to Bangalore told to a Bangalorean while rubbing his hands over a cup of Green Tea sitting at the cafeteria of an IT organization. It was always cool. That was one thing the Bangaloreans brag about all the time, besides many other things, the other popular being the fast traffic jams. There could be a traffic jam within seconds. Is that fast enough? But it would take hours to clear the same and much more time to travel 10 meters. The cafeteria is surrounded with building on all four sides, the ones with the glass planes, because that’s the default setup of most IT buildings, is it not? This particular IT office harbored a minimal crowd of over 5000 people. Well, there are much bigger and larger IT complexes.

The cafeteria always have the momentum, with people coming and going. But it is never dull. Even the weekends got company, but some people are still single. The fabricated glass kept the office key strokes inside and the outside chatter out. Even if it rained or if a big storm graced them, the people furiously hitting their keys would never have a clue unless they decide to take a break and come out of their boxed colonies.

It was midweek as the atmosphere settled in the office chatter, like a slow rhythmic music in the background. And then there was this group of people just heading out for their usual lunch date.

Neil stood with his blue box. No it wasn’t a covert operation and this blue box didn’t contain great many secrets, except perhaps that secret ingredients in his food that just his mom knows, a very big secret. He stood over an array of empty chairs facing each other. And no, it wasn’t a business meeting. He was just saving seats for his colleagues. Not to brag too much besides the fact that he is a good athlete, that he participates in Marathons and is creative inside out, he also has a very good eye. So, this selection of these seats is strategically done to achieve one purpose – Maximum exposure.

Gautham sat with his half fried rice and was complaining about the music that was playing on the stage behind. He was very much particular about the quality of sound, and was just disappointed at the people behind the sound console pretending to know how to handle music, which he knew they didn’t. Everyone could hear the dismay in his facial expressions and well. And also the uneven blaring music that made people jump in their seats. In lieu of the music, he has been very good with hands, literally. A couple too many times, they did the magic on the singing floor when he provided the music to some of the great melodies every sung, by another equally talented artist in the group. Though sometimes, he lends his voice but is still pissed at not getting the right recognition for the talent he possess at the very office campus. But he will sure make his mark soon, perhaps not inside these glassed walls.

Madhav sat with his smoking hot plate with some Chinese delicacies. He probably is the most decent guy, calm and composed. Perhaps, its the same calm that one keeps hearing about in the phrase, “It’s always calm before the storm”. Perhaps, it would be better if no one gets to meet this so called ‘storm’. But in general, every group has that one guy who is more decent than the rest of the others. Well, this group has one too.

Sameer was profusely sweating while he was having his lunch. Why because of the mistaken capsicum. He wiped his face with the kerchief in his other hand but only after he corrected the grammar saying, “It’s not Why because, since both mean almost the same”. Being the President of the well known Rotary club that involves bettering people at communication, not only at a professional level, but also at personal level, it was kind of his job to correct people, no offence at all. It has been a great achievement for the fresher that he is. Well, that is what he is mistaken for most of the time. Why, because. Because of his charming young looks or may it is just the Ponds Age Miracle.

Akhil opened his ‘healthy – vegetarian’  lunch box freshly heated from the microwave labelled “Non Vegetarian”. A head bath a day keeps anything and everything away anyway. But he had to open his phone to attend a call from another concerned individual who seems to be more concerned about him. No wonder he is the lucky guy and the whole group is proud of him. Actually, the group, plus one more person are proud of him for his singing skills. He is (one of) the artist of the group. The singer and probably the most talkative of the lot, after Aryan ofcourse. He is always on edge. He does his Google research and if at least once he gets hold of something and believes it, he will give anything to prove that said point.

Aryan settled down with his Scrambled Egg Biryani Rice, for like the tenth time in the same week. He does say that he isn’t a fan of egg when asked about it, but he also doesn’t get bored of it since that’s what he has been having for months at a stretch, though there have been certain change in the lunch menu in between but it always ends up with the same thing. Besides being persistent at eating the same thing almost everyday, he is a self proclaimed photographer (bleh!) who keeps posting photos taken ages ago confusing people into thinking that he was there just the weekend that passed by. Basically he is a calm guy, but not as calm as he is pretending to be. He writes sometimes and it’s more devastating than him being calm.

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5 o’clock”, Neil said and everyone turned their heads, as if it was a dance sequence or as if it was premeditated. If anyone was onlooking at this they would definitely come to know what these guys were upto. That was when it was decided to make a rulebook for “watching” and also the need to change the most common military lingo of direction.

To be continued…

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P.S. This was the much needed character introduction, aimed to better understand the people, erm characters of the “story”,  briefly. The details will follow through in the preceding posts. It is a journal of a guy, accumulating the stories happening around him, at office and outside as well. I can’t promise that it will bean absolute fun, but bear with me, I will try my best to make it more fun.

Blogging Goals 2017.

Blogging Goals 2017.

Writing has been a part of my life. I will admit, I am not a great writer, or even a good writer. I just write, whenever and whatever. Please note the “whatever” part, because that’s what is 90% of the posts.  This guy is close to 700 posts and how many do you think he will point out as the best. I am glad some people do drop by and read. I am grateful to them. And I am eternally grateful to the people who believe that I am a good writer. The irony is that my friends, the people I work with believe that I am good at it. This reminds me of the recent episode where my dear colleague, more of a friend, asked me to join the essay writing competition. I was kind of hesitant (And we thought he was good at writing, didn’t we?) for reasons unknown, wait, there was one reason I keep telling myself that I don’t work under pressure and writing comes naturally to me and hence such external forces such as contests and topics and prompts and essay writings competitions fail to influence my creative side of writing. These are all lies I tell myself to somehow validate myself for not being able to write the way I want to write.

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I remember when I was unaware of writing and was introduced to blogging, I drove inspiration from one person who clearly blew my mind. I was made to believe that I was good at English somehow. I didn’t fare well in the English exams, mostly with Aptitude, err, what’s it called?…with grammar and comprehensive and all that stuff?, but I was part of the English study group in my high school which was consisted of top few members who fared in the surprise test that was conducted and I had just the passing score while others had almost double mine. But it did make me feel like I was good at English, which, please back me up, I am not. Thank you, you all agree too. A year later I participated in a writing competition, because you know “I was great at English” and the topic was given on the spot. Now, since I was good at making stuff up, which I had been doing in the exams, where I extract key words from the question and form some sentences, which never make any sense, but somehow bring it close to a 5 mark or 10 mark answer. What I knew didn’t matter, how long I wrote mattered! I used the same concept here, but then again I felt I was more comfortable at writing without preparing for what I need to write. On the spot was my forte. Even when I had a great thought. I didn’t want to drag that thought any further, because if I did that, I won’t be able to remember that whole thing and would definitely fail at reconstructing the awesome essay I wrote in my mind while commuting or sitting in the class. So, I just tried to remember the topic I wanted to write on. And over the years, that has changed so much – my writing and my take on writing.

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8 years, almost. That long I have been writing, blogs and dairy and whatnot. Now, we might be wondering that eight years is a pretty long time and probably this guy is a veteran in blogging. But lol, he don’t know shit about it. I have come a long way, blogging wise and writing wise  (Ahem what writing wise? It is much worse than you started with!).  But I am still not there where I wish I want to see myself. Don’t get me wrong, I love writing, but over the years instead of improving I kind of got side tracked. I may blame it on some or the other thing, but the main culprit of all mishap is I and I alone. So, I have come up with a resolution, a resolution for improving myself and my blogging.

a. Fiction- Stories, Flash Fiction, Micro Fiction, all sorts: I have always been fascinated with the stories people weave. I mean how, how do they even do it!! I am just spellbound at everyone who write fiction. You see I have tried writing fiction and I have this habit of detailing things. I can imagine things to an extent but beyond that, I gave this lame excuses such as “I haven’t seen that”, “I haven’t experienced that”, “I don’t know how it feels”. The basic idea of a write is to create the unreal, like all I mention in these excuses.

b. eBook : I want to write a eBook, mostly on the above genre. I have always wanted to write one. It need so much dedication and patience and commitment that I can’t even begin to explain. And that is why I want to write atleast one eBook. Now, one of my BlogBuddy members advised to give realistic numbers. Hence one eBook, with a common specification of 50000 words, the NaNoWriMo standard.

c. Drag people, to blogging : I have time and again informed, advised and pleaded(yes, I have done this as well) people to write. I understand that writing is not easy, it’s not easy for me either, but somehow I got drawn to it. Each of us have the knack for writing and I believe that with proper motivation, we can bring out the writer in all of us. Hence, I want atleast one person to start up a blog and write.

d. Challenges and Contests : I wish and hope to participate in all blogging challenges. And about contests, I know I am never going to win, but I still want to give my best and hope to win something.

e. Experience : I want people to enjoy what they see before they even read. I want to improve my outlook and the user interface. So, I will try to make it advertisement-free, easy on the eyes and smooth navigation, on all devices.

f. Photography : I have another blog, a photography blog. I have a domain for it, I have everything set up, but no posts at all in it. Probably, I will pick it up, improve and share not just the photos, but the story behind it, if there one or else create one.

g. Travel Blogging : I don’t go to many places, but the one or two new places I visit, I don’t mention about that in the blog. I may post the photos on Instagram, but that’s it. I would like to re-experience it in my blog, so I want to share my travel experience.

h. Enhance : Last, and the most important one- revamp my writing. I know I have a unique way of writing, that it shoes away all the people( I know you all are nodding your heads, don’t you dare lie now). Keeping that in mind, I would like to attract people rather than keeping then to wonder “what the hell am I even reading?”. I know, I bring that kind of response because I write mostly abstract, trying to hide the actual intention between the lines and end up messing it up completely. So, a changeover in the writing style is a much needed makeover.

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A special thanks to Blogchatter for an advance notice asking bloggers to set the goal in advance ( a month in advance) and also it’s Blogbuddy initiative, I get to meet some amazing bloggers and be a part of the group. 

blogtrottersBlogtrotters, Blogchatter 3.0

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NaBloPoMo November 2016

I am participating in #NaBloPoMo (National Blog Posting Month) and this is Day #29 post.



P.S. The italicized comments in between are written by me. Who am I? I am the “voice in the head”, also used to be known as “The Guy in the Hat”. I pop up anywhere and everywhere, just keep a lookout for me.
P.S.S. This ak guy has no clue about this. So let’s keep it that way, shall we?

Jack Reacher: Never Go Back

Jack Reacher: Never Go Back

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Jack Reacher Never Go Back
Rating : ★★★✩✩
Jack Reacher, a myth to many, a friend to few and in himself a drifter, moving from place to place. He is an ex-Army Major and retired from military because as he says, “One day the uniform just didn’t fit him”. He is ruthless, he is fearless and he is resourceful. He works alone and he is very good at it. And most importantly he gets the work done. And if he believes in one thing, he goes to lengths to make it happen or make it right, in most of the instances. When they adapted the book into a movie, they did a commendable job the first time, because bringing life to a fictional character is never too easy. In the movie, Jack Reacher, almost a myth, was trying to settle an old score. Or as he would say, keeping his promise. The first installment was a power packed, well executed screenplay and had a great narration.
I have been a Jack Reacher fan, I will let it out first. I have read a couple too many books and I intentionally didn’t read this book. Before the first Jack Reacher movie, I had probably read one book because I didn’t know there was a movie on it and Tom Cruise was the lead in it. But after watching the movie, and thankfully still haven’t read the book then, it got me more intrigued in the character even more. I bought a couple more books and started reading them. And gladly I didn’t read Never Go Back. I want the suspense, I want the mystery, I want to not know what’s happening. I would read the books later, but never before because for the very obvious fact that I can’t enjoy if I knew what was happening. This is the reason when my friends ask me what happened in some of the TV series that we both are watching, I would decline to reveal it, because knowing spoils the fun, and it really isn’t pretty when we keep on thinking, “So, ‘that’ is going to happen…will it happen now…ok…ok…it will happen now… not yet.. ok, now it definitely is the right time… sigh, that’s it? “
Jack Reacher: Never Go Back, starts of with a very brilliant opening scene. It will keep us at the edge of our seat right from the opening act. The same thing is shown in the trailer as well, just so that I am not adding much of the spoilers here. As the movie progresses and as evident from the trailer that something happens to Major Turner, played by Cobie Smulders, the lovely Robin Scherbatsky of How I met Your Mother, the brilliant Agent Hill of the Avengers, a treat to the eyes, always. So, Agent Turner is in trouble and Reacher is not so convinced with the reason that was provided for her arrest. Reacher takes it upon himself to find the reason why she was framed, for the good guy he is. And in the process of trying to find answers and the reasons, they try to frame Reacher as well because that’s what they would do to nosy people. But Reacher being Reacher, they can’t touch him, until they find his weak spot. Wait, weak spot? Jack Reacher is a drifter. He doesn’t have friends or family to worry about. He is invincible and he knows it. But that’s where there is a twist in the story. Reacher apparently has a daughter and now her life is threatened. Reacher is a little out of balance upon coming to terms with the new information. He had never worried about anyone else. And somehow it turns out to be a problem.
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For Mr. Hunter what starts as a contract to kill  who was killing everyone and framing Reacher, turns out to pride his ego as the plot thickens gradually, because knowing that Reacher is too good at his job did burn Mr. Hunter’s ego. He even threatens Reacher’s daughter to pride himself as the most badass. And what starts as a mission to free Major Turner turns out to be a big government conspiracy. The movie revolves around Reacher, Major and his daughter. But like the books that I have read, the unraveling of the biggest conspiracy isn’t as appalling as it should it. You won’t feel the adrenaline pumping, or you biting your nails as it happens. No. It looks like a walk in the park. Literally walk in the park. The conspiracy is unveiled and the culprit is being caught, but then Mr. Hunter is not yet done. He goes after the girl to break Reacher down. The problem with every villain is that they just can’t pull the trigger. If it is any normal person, BHAM, he is dead. But when it comes to killing the heros or heroines or their kids, they hesitate to do it. And that is the hero’s queue to take him down.
In short, the movie is good, the screenplay is well executed, the characters are great, the story progressed quite smoothly. And most importantly, the suspense of what will happen and the reason so as to why will keep people intrigued. A must watch one time movie,  for sure. 
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