December 28, 2014

5 Holiday Season Movies to Watch This New Year's

     With less than four days to 2015, I'm most of you are making reservations for a family dinner or confirming travel plans to exotic locations to usher in the New Year with the family. So for those of you that's going to be stuck at home and practically counting the hours to midnight alone or with a bunch of exhausted colleagues and friends just like I am, here are 5 offbeat Holiday Movies to see you through the night. This is not your run-of-the-mill Home Alone or Christmas Carol so make that cooker popcorn get cozy and exploit Netflix.

December 25, 2014

The Journey Begins for Sarvam!

         Here is an interesting track written and recorded by +Vignesh Ashok and +Raghav Viswanathan the extremely talented boys from Sarvam.
         Sarvam is a Chennai based Carnatic rock band that's cut their first single "The Journey" after years of prep and effort. Wishing them the best! 

Check out this bit of music on YouTube by clicking on the link below or the video above. 
If you like it share it because that's what good people do! 

Merry Christmas everyone!
Spread the love and peace!

Dear Sir or Madam, will you read my (e)book?

Dear Sir or Madam will you read my book?
It took me years to write, will you take a look?
Its based on a novel by a man named Lear,
and I need a job, so I want to be a Paperback Writer.
- Paperback Writer, The Beatles. 

    For me its never been a competition between eBooks and Paperbacks but rather a matter of convenience.

December 24, 2014

Aspire to Inspire! #bloggeraward

      A big big thank you to +Sandhya Suri who nominated me for the award. Great way to start off Christmas Day. I'm glad my blog inspires and here is hoping to contribute to society in my own little way.

December 17, 2014

Two Fruit Ninjas

          Like I've said before in a few other posts, having gone through Architecture School and being an architect, I have had and continue to have many adventures - some near death experiences (Check out Our Tryst with Death #collegediaries), some jaunt gone hilariously wrong and some experiences that just blew my mind (Check out Cause I love you just the way you look tonight ). I've begun to lose count of the number of times I've had to risk my life for a project.

December 14, 2014

Reel Life - Movies I Never Get Tired Of #IndiSpireSunday

        This list of right off the top of my head. My picks don't feature quintessential blockbusters as I like more serious cinema and get very critical of mainstream family entertainers. Read on for my reel favorites.

December 11, 2014

Playlist 2014 : My Favorites of the Year #TGIF

     Since I'm just one of those people who cannot live without music and is a slightly obsessive audiophile I just decided to do a list of my top 10 picks of 2014. Desi list to follow soon. Check these tracks out if you haven't already. 

#10 Shake it off - Taylor Swift

"But I keep cruising,
Can't stop, won't stop moving
It's like I got this music
In my mind
Saying, It's gonna be alright."

      Alright! #10 was a tough call between 'Let it Go' by Idina Menzel and Swift's single from her latest album '1989'. Nominated for Best Pop Solo Performance, Record of the Year and Song of the year at the 2015 Grammy Awards, 'Shake It Off' topped Billboard charts for weeks soon after it's release. This song, in my opinion, is a shift from Swift's usual country pop style and really manages to get anyone nodding along to its beat where ever it's playing. The song brings out so much positive energy and can lift your spirit if you're feeling a little blue.     

#9 Rather Be - Clean Bandit feat. Jess Glynne

"When I'm with you, there's no place I'd rather be."

   This song is from Clean Bandit's first album titled 'New Eyes' which released early this year, in January. I'm not really sure what the song is really about. The lyrics seem like your run-of-the-mill love song but the video portrays a crazy fan who hallucinates Clean Bandit members following her everywhere all through her day. Well, this is just one of those songs that you listen to while you're grocery shopping. 


#8 Waves - Robin Schulz Remix

"I wish I could make it easy,
Easy to love me, love me,
But still I reach, to find a way,
I'm stuck here in between
I'm looking for the right words to say."

        Waves, the remix, was the song I listened to on loop every evening when I sat out in the verandah and contemplated where I was going with my life, the things I needed to do, the things I'd done. It has a sort of mellow pace which just instantly helped me relax. I could say this about a lot of other songs but hey! its my playlist of 2014. 

#7 Maps - Maroon 5

"I wonder where were you, when I was at my worst
Down on my knees, and you said you had my back
So I wonder where were you?
When all the roads you took came back to me
So I'm following the map that leads to you."

        Honestly, I just look for the map to get me to where I needed to be in the morning every day. Maps, written by Adam Levine, (my pick for man-crush-Monday every other week) for their album 'V' which released mid June this year, is the song that would play at full volume as I went about my morning routine. I would try very hard to sing at the top of my voice, in tune, to Adam's falsetto much to my mother's disapproval. She keeps saying that the cuckoos would drop dead from the trees if I kept at this every morning. Not that I can't sing. *hmf*  

#6 What are you waiting for? - Nickelback

"Don't you want to spread you wings and fly?
Don't you wanna really live your life?
Don't you wanna love before you die?
What are you waiting for now?"

     If Chad Kroeger tells me to go do what I've been putting off for various reasons I'm just going to get our there and DO it. Chad *drools*. Okay back to the music. 'What Are You Waiting For' is a lot like 'If Everyone Cared' or 'Perfect' by P!nk that just inspires you to do what you want and Be who you are no matter what other people think. Although I don't particularly fancy most of "No Fixed Address", their eighth studio album, 'What are you waiting for?' is that signature Nickelback number which just takes you back to songs like 'Photograph' and 'Into the Night'. 

#5 Magic - Coldplay

"And if you were to ask me
After all that we've been through,
"Still believe in magic?"
Well, yes I do."

     After 'Paradise', 'Magic' is one of those simply adorable songs recorded by Coldplay. The lyrics are quite simple compared to their usual deep abstract verses. The quirky video inspired from black and white silent movies just gives the song a story to relate to. Chris Martin makes a pretty neat antagonist too!    

#4 Love Never Felt so Good - Michael Jackson feat. Justin Timberlake

  "And the night through think and thin,
Gotta fly, gotta see, can't believe 
I can't take it..."

      I remember buying the single off iTunes the day it released in May this year. Michael Jackson's posthumously released album Xscape was one that I waited for with so much expectation. Love never felt so good had Michael's signature pop style and Justin did the song justice in my opinion. Who does't love a little MJ?  

#3 Happy - Pharrell Williams

"Because I'm happy,
Clap along if you feel like a room without a roof,
Because I'm happy,
Clap along if you feel like happiness is the truth..."

       Yes I clapped along for months on end to Happy and like a lot of people I was very heartbroken when Happy lost out on the Oscar to Let it Go. How can you not give Pharrell an Oscar when practically the whole wide world was singing his song and making videos, even at Palestine? I've probably rewound to Gru's 'Happy' moment in Despicable Me 2 a million times. 

#2 Jealous Gods - Poets of the Fall

"So I'll build a bridge between us,
Arcs of soaring rainbows,
Strength of Mother Earth,
For a brand new start." 

         I have to hand it to Poets Of The Fall for a song that absolutely BLEW my mind. From the lyrics, to the arrangement, to the very theme of the song Jealous Gods owns their listener right from the moment they press 'play'. Jealous Gods, in my opinion, is one of their best songs since 'Carnival of Rust' and 'Lift'. If Floyd hadn't released 'The Endless River'. 'Jealous Gods' would have been my #1.  

#1 Louder than words - Pink Floyd 

"Louder than words,
This thing they called soul
Is there with a pulse
Louder than words.."

        Pink Floyd does not fail to amaze me every single time. The Endless River might not be an Epic album like "A Momentary Lapse of Reason' or 'The Wall' or 'The Dark Side of The Moon' but it proves that even in the 21st century, Pink Floyd still produces music that is a class apart. 'Louder Than Words' penned by David Gilmour's wife, is a tribute to late Floyd keyboardist Richard Wright. The guitar solo gives me goosebumps every single time and it was an exhilarating feeling looking out of an aircraft window while listening to it. I sort of felt like the man in the boat rowing through 'the endless river' of clouds.    

Comment below and tell me your favorite songs of 2014 or your thoughts on the songs mentioned above and don't forget to +1.  For more posts subscribe to Van der Wrote by clicking on the links in the side bar. 

Desi list coming soon! 

Happy Holidays folks! 

December 09, 2014

The Bad Cookies - 10 People Nobody Needs

        If you have been miserable or partly miserable lately, I'm quite sure that some of these bad cookies will be THE reason for some or even all your problems. What do I think? None of these people deserve a place in your life no matter who they are and how long you've known them. Read on for the 10 people you ought to dump this December. 

#1 Agony Aunts 

       These could be friends or colleagues who give out more free advice than ladoos on Diwali. They're constantly tell you what to do about relationships, about life, about your appearance whether you like it or not. They judge you and everyone around them. They're self-appointed therapists who have to remind you how miserable you are every other day and remind you that 'they told you so'. Everybody is born with average intelligence and a conscience. We DON'T need yours. Thanks.  

#2 Les Miserables 

        These people just fell out of a Prime-time Soap Opera on TV. They always manage to ruin a special moment or a nice sunny morning by turning on the tear tap and you are simply obliged to listen to them cry about their sick dog, their dead great great great grand mother who they never had the chance to meet but made wonderful sweaters. Please just do us a favor and climb back into the TV.  

#3 The Problem Magnet

        Those friends you have to constantly bail out of a sticky situation. You've had to bail them out of jail for drunk driving, smoking pot, for eve-teasing, from local pawn brokers and even scary looking goons. These guys will be ever so grateful to you but no sooner do they get out of one problem there's another waiting for them right round the corner. Over time you will find yourself dragged into issues thanks to them. There's a reason they say "Don't trouble trouble until trouble troubles you". 

#4 The Evil Masterminds 

       This is that category of people that can talk a crowd into supporting their own cause. You generally can't tell that you're being arm twisted into doing something you had no intention of doing in the first place and by the time it hits you, it's too late. You are already in too deep. Evil Masterminds are constantly scheming and never want anything good for anyone and can make friends into enemies over night. These people are not the pleasantest company. Keep a VERY very safe distance. 

#5 The Freebie Friend

       These people just never seem to own anything. ANYTHING! They will borrow money, books, stationery, clothes and at times even your work. You've probably figured out by now that anything borrowed is never coming back. Consider it gone, money and all. These artful dogers always seem to be in such hardship that they cannot return a few hundred bucks because they went bankrupt buying a new plasma TV. For once its actually OK to extract your pound of flesh, else don't complain.  

#6 The Frenemy 

        Well its not going to be easy to just let these people go but frenemies in reality make you more unhappy than happy. They are nice people but to them you are competition, in every single way imaginable. They like spending time with you but every minute is spent assessing how well your doing at work, how good you look, how you host a social gathering because they want to do it better, a hell lot better. Why? They can't really help it. So do youself the favor and just LET IT GO! Elsa will be very proud. 

#7 The Jabbernaut 

        Have you ever found yourself wasting so much of your time listening to one person talk and talk and talk about nothing in particular? They will talk to you about the weather to the kids in Africa when you really ought to be getting some serious work done. They feel this incessant urge to say something almost as if silence to them is like a sign of impending doom. You find yourself leaving most of the talking to them because you have nothing to offer to the conversation and you oblige them because you dont want to be impolite. Do yourself the favour and just change your seat. 'Creative energy' is always a good excuse.   

#8 The Gossip Junkie

       New people on the block? Neighbour killed off her husband? Servant ran away with the employer? Want to know whats trending on the grape vine? Your gossip junkie will provide you with an all access pass into the lives of practically everyone you know, provided you have an opinion to offer. This can become a nuicance, these nosy parkers. They probably know more about you than yourself. Unless you really care about who recently got a nose job you seriously Do NOT need these guys hanging around. Never know when it will blow right up in your face. 

#9 The Flashbacks

        The people who never did you any good in the past who seem to make reappearances every now and then only to cause more turmoil in your perfectly okay life. Ex's - Ex-lovers, ex-friends, ex-bosses, ex-everything. X them out. Enough said.  

#10 The M.I.As 

      These are friends who are never really there when you need them. They are friends who never answer phone calls, reply to texts or show up at lunches and go off grid . Yet, they always seem to resurface when they need something from you. They are non-existant most of the time and its best it stays that way.    

If you think these people dont derseve any space in your life comment below and +1. For more posts subscribe to Van der Wrote by clicking on the links in the sidebar.

Happy Holidays!  

December 06, 2014

Refresh Page - 8 Things I would like to dump this year

      As we proceed into the lovely holiday season its time to make those new year resolutions which we all toast to and then forget about immediately the day after just like all the events of the night. Then that kill joy teetotaler buddy will re-enact all the important moments that you deserve to remember which just has to include your resolutions. But this year I have a blog post to remind me. Great. Just Great. 
     Well, lets start that count down without further a-do.

#8 Procrastinators. Unite. TOMORROW. 

          I just have to get round to attending to stuff more immediately than usual. I am a stickler for deadlines when it comes to work but it simply just does not apply to anything else. Procrastination and terrible memory are best friends. The consequences of which can be disastrous. I was supposed to pick up a present for a friend after my trip to Delhi. I put it off until the last day. Then I thought : Hey, that's what all the shops in the airport are for. Then I forgot. Again. Oops!

#7 Dil pe mat le yaar!

         I can be quite touchy about certain things. What annoys me most is when people tell you not to take offence and tell you something very offending. If I had to keep taking all the offence then there wouldn't be much offense left for the rest of the world. So I've decided to let go and just Chill maadi.

#6 Live. Large. and Lager.

         Life can change for the worse without warning. I've decided to stop worrying about tomorrow and just enjoy the moment and down that lager. Who knows how long the good times will last? Because YOLO. (Gosh, I've been wanting to say that for a while.) 

#5 Hit the road Jack, Don't you come back no more. 

      This year I plan to dump all those people who constantly extract what they want from you and don't have an ounce of gratitude. So it's time to dump the 'users', the 'overly needy', 'the tear machines', the 'borrowers' and the rest of the variety of annoying people. They're a waste of time and energy.   

#4 Baggage. 

      There's a logical reason behind airlines having baggage limits. If an aircraft got too heavy it probably just wouldn't take off at all. I think the same applies to our brains. Here's to deciding to 'carry on, carry on, like nothing really matters'.  

#3 I believe you. Kasam se! 

      A lot of incidents in the past have just made me trust the human race as much as I trust pop-up messages on websites claiming I won half a million dollars for being their millionth visitor. I cannot seem to be able to trust a person without a long psychoanalysis test running in my head. I think maybe I should just learn to be slightly more instinctive . 

#2 Thou shall not be judged based on your musical influences. 

      If you could sing the Bohemian Rhapsody fully, along with the backing vocals and the falsetto I would have already asked you to marry me. That also just reduced my chances of finding a suitable partner by at least 60%. I would certainly appreciate a good rendition of Beiber's 'U Smile' or 'Pehla nasha'. I promise not to judge. At least you tried. I promise to stop judging accquintances based on the music they like.  

#1 Empty recycle bin.  

       No this isn't something philosophical. I really need to clear out the temporary files on my computer for all practical purposes. I will remember to do it when I come back to read this post. Now you know why #8 is a REAL problem. 

   If you liked this post or have more ideas on things we need to dump comment below and +1. For more posts do subsribe to Van der Wrote using the gadgets in the sidebar. 

December 01, 2014

Reasons To Love December

     It's finally that time of year. Time has flown. It feels like yesterday that I sat in a room full of random people with a friend waiting to usher in the new year. What's not to love about the holidays. Here are my reasons as to why we should enjoy this season. 

#1 Holiday Time means Family Time.

It's that time of year when the whole family gets together. The house is hustling and bustling with relatives, catching up and bonding. Nice family dinners with fine food. Best part? The NRI aunts and uncles bring you all the goodies you were secretly waiting for all year. Finally, you can click selfies with your new iPhone or play Assassins Creed on the latest model of the Xbox.     


Who doesn't love a year end clearance sale? Every shop front in every mall is plastered with the famous pointy bubbles - up to 60% off, 'Buy one get one free', '3 for the price of two'.The only time of year when we can get our hands on high street brands for knock off prices. Like it matters that the style is last season, we all still love a nice piece from Aldo. 

#3. Dress in your best. 

December is full of parties, dinners, brunches and movie dates with family and friends. Such a good time to get out all those nice outfits you hoarded all year and turn December into your own personal Fashion Week. It's mandatory to look amazing in all the holiday photographs. Else how will people know you are having a blast? 

#4 High 'Spirits'

Winter is that time of year when Jack, Johnnie and Captain Morgan are your best friends. The family dinners accompanied by the Moet & Chandon, office parties with the scotch, no one can blame you for being in such high spirits. December allows you that margin to shamelessly down Bloody Marys without being judged. Why? Because we are celebrating! Celebrating what? Everything!  

#5 Peace. Goodwill. Cake.   

Holiday season is when we all feel the sudden urge to forgive and forget and make peace offerings to all of those people we didn't speak to all year. Suddenly we feel like unblocking people from social media, getting back in touch old friends. After all, December is all about bringing peace, joy and goodwill and not to forget the yummy plum cake. 

Here's hoping everyone enjoys their Holiday Season this year. 
Live it up because life is short or just simply because it's DECEMBER! 

If you liked this post or have more reasons to love December leave a comment below and +1. Subscribe to Van der Wrote  by clicking the link in the sidebar.