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There’s not much that I have to say in this post. A new year is here, and for some reason I can’t shake the feeling that life is going to be very different here on out.

 

I don’t do resolutions too often because I have a track record of not sticking to them for longer than a week and I doubt I’m going to be making any now. But in the spirit of different, I’ve decided to start branching out from my usual fiction writing and begin dabbling in reviews.

 

Naturally, the question that arises is what shall I be reviewing. If you’d asked 15 year old me this question her answer would have quite simply been “books, duh.” But between now and then, things have changed drastically and I find that the number of books I’ve read in the past two years has been shockingly too few to review. So I turned to my other hobbies and there was a rather obvious answer staring me right in the face: anime.

 

There’s plenty of reasons why I’ve chosen to start anime reviews. A few weeks back, I found myself pitching multiple anime to my juniors and explaining the brilliance behind those shows. There’s a pretty large number of people on campus who enjoy this form of media and after coming to college, I found myself re-entering a world I’ve known ever since I discovered Cartoon Network. It’s also recently been brought to my attention that I’ve seen over 35 anime and while I still wouldn’t call myself an otaku, it gives me enough experience to safely start sharing my spoiler-free opinions. And since I’m pitching these shows to people and trying to convert them all the time, I just figured it’s time I started putting them down on paper (or webpages if you must) as well.

 

I’ll soon be kicking that off with almost everybody’s introductory and favourite show, so do look out for that.

 

I guess once and more importantly IF I get done with this, I’ll pick something else up and give that a whirl. I’m not much of a food reviewer though. I either like the food or don’t and don’t exactly have a sensitive palate that can truly appreciate delicacies, especially given my limited diet choices. So foodies, I’m afraid I must disappoint you there. I will however still steal your food if you don’t eat it quickly, so be warned.

 

Well that’s all there is for now. As the few people who’s still in the middle of finals (I know, I’m horrified too) I must head back to my prep now. In other news it’s my birthday tomorrow and then I have three papers back to back day after on so it’s going to be a fun week. I’m also starting a new job in 10 days and that’s something I’m really looking forward to. A new chapter thus begins and 2016 is going to be one hell of a ride.

 

Happy New Year everyone. I hope it’s a good one.

 

– Soon to be Birthday Girl

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Let’s See How Far We’ve Come

So it’s been over eight months since I last clocked into my journal. Eight extremely eventful months, which have brought their fair share of… well, everything. The last time I’d checked in, it was victory season and celebrations all around. Between then and now, there’s been losses, one exploding extension board, prompt based writing, employment, farewells, makeovers, success, four awesome Netflix shows, heartbreak, another victory, and five iPhone chargers (thanks, Apple). There’s been more than a good share of life changing events in this year and 2015 has been anything but boring.

 

But the highlight of these past month has easily been one event: TEDxBITSPilaniDubai.

 

Now, regulations require me to start by explaining that a TEDx is an independently organised event and NOT the same thing as a TED event. It’s an event where people from a small community come together to share in the ideas from their own community that inspire them. I could give you the whole marketing pitch for the event, but that’s really not the objective here. It also wouldn’t begin to describe the significance of the event in my life.

 

Being a part of this journey has been one of the greatest experiences of my life. The people I met, got to know, and the things they taught me are all but few reasons this ride has been an amazing one. What started off as a little WhatsApp group that buzzed all day long ended as the not-so-mini TEDx family that I don’t think I will ever forget.

 

It’s two days to Christmas and the year end is almost here. It hasn’t been the best of years, but I sure made some of my best memories in it. I’ve said good bye to more people than I wanted to, and come to know and cherish people I never imagined I would. I’ve made more than a fair share of mistakes but some pretty awesome decisions too (see TEDxBITSPilaniDubai). I disconnected with some and reconnected with others. I won more than some, but most days I’d lost more than I’d won. I also discovered how to make it snow on my blog and my life hasn’t been the same since.

 

I’m four days behind on my pre-Christmas ritual, still don’t know who my secret Santa is, haven’t begun gift-wrapping and the Christmas songs haven’t started blaring from my speakers yet. So, I’m making this a quick one and getting on with my to-do list before the 25th is upon us.

 

I miss you, Dear Friend, Panda and Goof. It’s not the same without you.

Thank you Supreme Leaders… and Sumeet. I’m going to miss telling you boys what to do.

Thank you to the best TEDx speakers I could have asked for, not just for being the inspiring wonderful people they are but also for NOT being a 15 year olds with a superiority complex (long story).

But most of all, thank you to every single person who helped make our event a success, and to everyone who got me to this point today.

 

A quick sneak peak at the stuff to come next year: start of the twenties, a super awesome internship, (ideally) the greatest story to be ever written and hopefully more re-connections and second chances. Maybe I’ll even start blogging regularly, learn to parallel park and win an all expense paid trip to Italy.

 

Happy Holidays everyone. Try not to short circuit your connections lighting up that tree and keep an eye out for a blue police box.

 

– So not prepped for Christmas

 

 

‘Tis the Season to be Winning

So last month I’d posted about how I won the OUP Short Story Writing Competition and I remember thinking I’d be riding that high for a long, long time. But it turns out, that April has been a pretty eventful month too and the celebrations just don’t seem to end.

Well, to begin with, about a month ago I took part in the Canadian University Dubai 100 Word Creative Writing Competition (because: Dear Friend). I’d uploaded my entry, Neighbours, almost soon after and it turns out it won the 2nd Place in the University Category. If you’d like to check it out, click here.

 

Last week brought in another long list of wins, more for my super awesome team and friends at MixedBag Productions than anyone else. Our first ever noir and comedy short film Oh Shit! made a clean sweep at First Cut, the short film competition at our college’s inter-college cultural festival Jashn ’15. The film won in seven categories including Best Film, Best Director, Best Screenplay, Best Cinematography, Best Editing, Best Background Score and Best Actor. All credits to the brilliance of Panda and Goof, who’ve slogged relentlessly and never given up on what they love. Do check out Oh Shit! on our YouTube channel.

(Disclaimer: this video is neither PG nor mature. Mother, you have been warned)

 

My first ever original stageplay An English Beef (thank you for the title Goof) also won the first place, Best Writer, Best Actor (Female) and Special Mention (Male and Female) in Proscenium at Jashn ’15, which is pretty cool.

 

I’ll soon be taking up the daily post’s daily prompts challenge, hopefully at least once a week and maybe the trifecta prompts as well so do look out for those. Till then, I’ll deliver on those promised treats.

 

-Definitely going to be broke

Achievement Unlocked: Published Author

 

Last November, on the constant urging (read: nagging) of a dear friend I took part in the fourth Oxford University Press Story Writing Competition which is organised by the Emirates Airline Festival of Literature in partnership with, well believe it or not, Oxford University Press. The theme was ‘The Next Best Thing’, chosen by children’s author and illustrator Sarah McIntyre at the 2014 Festival. The competition was open to all students currently residing in the country and entry was free (stress on free).

I thought ‘What the heck, let’s do it’.

Three miserably failed drafts later, I thought ‘What the heck?!’

So after a lot of grumbling and whining and griping about the title with the dear friend, I finally decided to suck it up and write something and try to make it the best I could.

Apparently it became the best in the country.

Okay, half-lie. The best in one category in the country.

In Jan I learnt that my entry had won me the first place in the 18-25 age category. And that’s where it got good.

As part of the reward, my entry was published along with the other prize winning entries in a book. An actual book. Not an online journal. A good old fashioned book. On paper and stuff. With my name. And my picture. I’ll stop now.

On a more serious note, this might just be the biggest milestone in my life yet. The OUP short story competition was my first shot at a competition outside of school/college and to win any kind of competition on my first attempt at writing competitively outside the tiny ponds I know so well is not just flattering, but also a push to keep on writing. It’s even more flattering since the competition was on a national scale and there were almost a thousand entries. And while some might argue that I was already a published author since I’ve been writing for school/college magazines since 12, it really isn’t the same. To have my writing critically appraised by someone established in the field of literature and deemed worthy enough for the first place is a huge reward in itself.

On March 7, the last day of this year’s festival, the results were officially announced and I am now officially a published author. Who got to shake hands with other published more well known authors (read: John Dougherty). And life as a published author is goood.

Dear friend is also a published poet now. Dear friend stood third in the 18-25 age category of the Taaleem Poetry Award. Dear friend is really good and if you ever feel like going through her work do check out tinypurpleme.wordpress.com

I’ll soon be uploading my winning entry, titled ‘The Next Best Thing’.

Signing out of my irregular journal till then.

-Kind of definitely a writer

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