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Showing posts from 2018

Riding Away

A couple of weeks ago, I undertook a gargantuan task: I decided to teach my mother to ride a bicycle. Somehow, during her more youthful years, she never found time to pick up that particular skill, and now she is to rectify this deficiency.

My own bicycle is sized for adult males and as such, it's a little big for Mom. In order to enable her to reach the pedals, I walked down to the nearest pedl.in stand and brought her a smaller bicycle. Pedl.in, for those of you who don't know, is a company run by Zoomcar which lets you rent bicycles for a couple of rupees an hour. It's great, because it spared me having to go around the neighbourhood in search of a bicycle that Mom could use.

Once I brought the bicycle home, the real tribulations began - for Mom, that is. I simply stood on the side of the road and took videos of her travails to contribute to the family albums. I don't know how many of you recall the experience of your first bicycle ride. I remember mine with real c…

The Game

I've a bit of a confession to make: I still play Minecraft off and on (I can hear all the hardcore gamers laughing from here). I even quite enjoy playing it.

For those of you who don't know, Minecraft is a game about placing blocks to build structures in an infinite, 3D world. Basically, it's a discount LEGO set for computer-literate people. Much like legos, if you play it after you turn twelve, people assume that you're mentally incapable of dealing with anything more complex.

I hate the idea that you become to old to play a certain video game. Unless something involves physical activity that'd be impossible to perform once you cross a certain age, I don't see why it should be age-restricted. I'm seventeen years old, and if I want to spend a night binge-watching Tom and Jerry and consuming obscene quantities of potato chips, that's my god-given right!

I think people tend to assume that Minecraft is a simple game. Once you've built a squattish, squa…

Growing Pains

First off, I'd like to apologise for my (latest) absence from the blogging scene. Exams, studying and my own laziness have conspired to keep me from writing for nearly a month - but no longer!

Writing this post, in particular, is really painful for me. Not because of the subject matter, or because writing posts requires me to constantly bludgeon my poor, uncooperative brain for ideas - although at least one of those is a factor - but because I just joined the gym again, and my trainer seems to have no intention whatsoever of going easy on me until I get back into the swing of things.

On Monday, I had an arm workout. Today is Friday, and my eyes still well with tears every time I try to stretch my elbows. It's not even a one-time thing. Every time I come home from a workout, some part of my body is incredibly sore. Honestly, sometimes I think the only thing keeping me regular to the gym is some inherent masochistic streak.

The funny thing is that I don't mind it hurting. I …

Bruschetta

I don't know if you know this, but I love to cook. Like, love to the point where I'm not allowed in the kitchen during exam season because it's too distracting. I suspect that it's got something to do with the fact that I love to eat, and if you want to eat food that you like, it tends to help if you know how to make it.

The real challenge with cooking isn't really the actual cooking - that's the easy part. No, the hard part is finding something to cook. The problem is that I have a device with internet access, and that means I have access to a virtually infinite recipe pool with recipes of widely varying quality. My solution to all this is to find people - YouTube chefs, Taste.com writers - whose recipes tend to turn out well. Of all the recipes I've pulled off the internet, though, my favourite has to be this one seriously excessive bruschetta recipe from Gennaro Contaldo.



The recipe is from a video on YouTube, and unfortunately, the actual measures that …

Exam Fever

As anyone currently in the twelfth will tell you, with varying levels of dismay, the final exams are right around the corner. Parents everywhere are seizing their children's phones and taking time off from work. Panicked screaming ensues at intervals.


I don't believe there's a person on the planet who genuinely enjoys exam season. Actually, I take that back - there's no one in India who enjoys exam season. Partially, I think this is our own fault. Exams are the most important things in an Indian student's life, so parents seem bent on bottling up all the worry and concern they have about their kid's education and allowing it to spew forth in a torrent of "No more video games!" and "Delete WhatsApp!" commands during the two months surrounding the exams. Small wonder, then, that at 17, I believe the purpose of exams is to seasonally blot the sunshine from otherwise happy lives.

This whole exam fever thing does have some upsides. Okay, one - it…

Learning to Learn

There's an interesting concept that's gotten a lot of traction over the past couple of years called "meta learning".  It's a term coined by one Donald B. Maudsley, who defined it as "the process by which learners become aware of and increasingly in control of habits of perception, inquiry, learning, and growth that they have internalized". Translated from Sciencese, Maudsley is talking about how we figure out ways to become more efficient at learning new information.

HR managers (you know, those overpaid dimwits you complain to about your coworker stealing your lunch?) like to call it "learnability". Most people with real jobs don't call it anything at all. In reality, though, it's an extremely useful thing to understand, together with the techniques you would use to get good at it.

Myself, I'm a decent-ish learner. Mostly, that's because I've had to learn things on my own quite often - I had to teach myself web design, app…