Listen to the Nerds!

The TV show which I was most reluctant to watch had always been ‘Friends’. I was unnecessarily living under a rock for many years and thought that since everyone is watching it, I must rather stay away. Unnecessary egoistic struggle. I eventually caved in and watched it a few years ago because the pop-culture references to it never stopped going away. I have started rewatching it now with my wife as the need for humor has never been higher in recent times and I believe that ‘Friends’ is something you can always trust to bring a chuckle to you.

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So I recently watched: Netflix’s Black Mirror: Bandersnatch

bandersnatch

bandersnatch

So I recently watched: Netflix’s Black Mirror: Bandersnatch.

Bandersnatch is probably a first of its kind Interactive Movie, like a computer game, in which the viewer can choose the actions of the protagonist and some other characters by choosing from 2 options. That choice changes the outcome of the scene and it could lead to a different movie ending if you had chosen something else. It has been made in such a way that based on your choices, it can go from a sad morbid ending, to totally whacky scenes, and to a slightly different sad morbid ending, to something which might not make sense at all.

Although the premise of the movie is not as interesting as other Black Mirror episodes, it is certainly a movie from the future. The mere concept of allowing viewers to choose the actions, couldn’t have been possible with traditional TV or Movie experience. Netflix and other streaming services allow it to work and full credits to Netflix for bringing this up. It might set a trend of more such movies, I hope.

Black Mirror, in general, has always come up with something which makes us rethink the way technology has been moving ahead and how much dependence we have got over it. Bandersnatch uses this concept in a novel way and it even indulges us in making the viewers think about their own choices. As I said, the story of this particular movie isn’t very intriguing but I wonder how much of an effort they must have put behind it. I finished one ending and before I could click to go to credits, it gave me another choice and like a rabbit hole, I kept on going on and on for another 30 minutes. This movie was originally supposed to be 1 hour 30 minutes but you can surely keep it going for some more time. I am sure, others would experience the same curiosity. You may keep exploring more endings on Reddit and you might never give up. If you have time, of course.

Well, the minimal poster I made above represents the choices flowchart.

I wonder if there are actually any books which make the readers do the same. As in, say at page 50, one character has a choice. The author would have written there if the character makes choice A, directly jump to page 78 or if the choice is B, ignore the pages 51 to 81 and start reading 82 onwards. Now, that would be really mind-boggling.

Moral of the story remains the same, in life too, we make choices and most of the times, the outcomes end up being different. Since we cannot change the past, we have to live with it. But there are still some choices, we can go back to. Again, that depends on what you choose at that point in time.

Happy decision making!

 

Happy Birthday Minimal Movie Posters India

Thriving Minimal-ly since Jan 2012

On January 5, 2012, I published a minor unnoticeable poster of Mr. India on my blog and shared the link on Facebook. Some of my friends liked it and shared the post with others. That encouraged me to make few more posters the next day. Then some others started to contribute. Then it went on and on and on. I have written enough about it already here, here and here (there is no third link but triads look good, is all).

I also, just want to say the following:

Main akela hi chala tha janib-e-manzil magar
Log saath aate gaye aur karwaan banta gaya
– Majhrooh Sultanpuri

मैं अकेला ही चला था जानिब-ए-मंज़िल मगर
लोग साथ आते गये और कारवां बनता गया
– मजरूह सुलतानपुरी

میں اکیلا ہی چلا تھا جانبِ منزل مگر
لوگ ساتھ آتے گئے اور کارواں بنتا گیا
– مجروح سلطانپوری

(H/T to these folks for the above)

Anyway, this is going to be a very short post because today is the birthday anniversary of Minimal Movie Posters India. I would like to thank again all the people who have made this community a successful one. All the contributors, the people who liked and shared the posters, the friends I made through this, and the media people who published about MMP on Newspapers and sites.

Happy Birthday MMP India

Happy Birthday MMP India

Minimal Posters don’t go viral anymore but the community is still thriving and pushing out content regularly.

Here are some numbers, for stat nerds:

  • 800+ Posters
  • More than 20 Contributors ranging from Age 16 to they-didn’t-reveal-their-age
  • Indians from all over the world contributed
  • 10,000+ followers overall (it is a big number. I think.)
  • Over 2,50,000 page views

Way to go!

How PowerPoint became my favorite tool to make posters?

We don’t ask the sewing machine’s brand when we see a beautiful dress.  We don’t ask the oven’s make when we relish a lovely pizza. We don’t ask which pen was used to write the manuscript when we read an un-put-down-able classic.

But we do ask the make on certain occasions. For instance, when we see a brilliant photograph, most people would ask, which camera is it? Also, when I have made some posters, people have asked me which tool have I used to make this poster.

Problem is nobody believes that graphic design or photography is an artform. *coughs* Not that I am an artist-artist per se, by any stretch of the imagination, but I have been asked this question a lot.

Which tool do you use to make that poster? Do you use Photoshop? Do you know Illustrator? Corel Draw? Some advice on how to use them, please? You must be good at drawing.

Well, I do know Photoshop and Illustrator and InDesign and stuff but how does that matter? And, No, I am not good at drawing. I am just a last page of the notebook doodler like most of the people.

So, recently my 7-year-old Dell Studio Laptop died. (I hope it will rise like a Phoenix again) But because of its motherboard failure, I am unable to use it to do any graphic designing work. So, should I hang my boots and stop doing things I like to do as a hobby? No, I turn to the next best thing available. No, it is not a Graphics Editor Software. It is not a high-end pen tablet where you just think of something and voila! it appears on the screen.

PowerPoint

PowerPoint

I switched to PowerPoint. The good old slideshow software which most of us just hate because of the bad quality presentations we all have to go through at some point or the other in life.

PowerPoint is amazing. It is, of course, the most basic thing available which doesn’t give you much option to edit and exactly for that reason, it is the most underrated piece of software. I have used PowerPoint to make Posters and Logos. Recently, mostly for my Toastmasters Club’s Weekly Invitations and some logos for friends, but for a normal person, it can do a helluva job easily.

Just drop some background images, which you can easily find from allthefreestock.com. Add some text in a font of your choice from dafont.com. Add some icons from thenounproject.com. What else do you need? And if you indeed want to edit something, feel free to hop over to pixlr.com/editor/ which works great like Photoshop.

Considering you’re not a high profile graphics designer, like 99% of the world. These resources can get you what you want, with just PowerPoint. And there is no tutorial needed too!

Here are some of the posters I made. Solely using the above-said resources.

 

Featured Photo by Igor Ovsyannykov on Unsplash

Mr. India

Toastmasters Speech # 3 : Impact of Hobbies / Hobbies do wonders

Imagine this scene.

It is a usual Monday Morning and your mood is right up [gesture low hand pointing to the ground] here.

You come or rather drag yourself to your workplace and a Colleague asks “Hey man… how was the weekend? Anything interesting?”

Most of us just shrug and whimper with a dull reply, “The usual”.

Happens, right?

I’m sure that you wouldn’t have shrugged if you had spent your weekend doing something which you enjoy.

Mister / Madam Toastmaster Fellow Toastmasters Distinguished Guests

Larry Page, the co-founder of Google, once said,

“You never lose a dream , it just incubates as a hobby.”

Today I would talk about Hobbies. Hobbies are activities which you “USED” to enjoy doing in your leisure time. But now you are simply “BUSY”.

Most of us do have something or the other as our hobby. Everyone likes to do something when they have nothing else to do right?
Some like to solve puzzles or crosswords, some like to sing or dance , some like to read and some like to play. Some like to do Gardening. Some like to cook.

And then there are some, who just like to eat and sleep or ‘Netflix and Chill’. And they’re , indeed, living the best life.

HASHTAG #SARCASM

Do anyone here like to share some of THEIR hobbies? Anything unique?

See, We all lead a very busy life. So we need something to unwind ourselves. To take us to back to our roots. To do things which makes us feel happier. Don’t we?

Today, I would share with you the impact of hobbies which I had on my own life.

I Like to indulge in visual arts. As in, I sometimes Draw Cartoons , Click Pictures , Spend Hours on Photoshopping them. Also I create Posters , Design Logos and so on on so forth.

5th Jan, 2012, a hindi movie “Mr. India”, was being shown on TV. I used to love that movie as a child. So I decided to create a small poster for the movie. Just as a tribute.

Mr. India
Mr. India Minimal Poster

This shows Anil Kapoor and Sridevi through a red glass. Those who have seen the movie would get it easily. Those who haven’t , just hold on. This is a Minimal Poster where very little or just the core of the story is shown.

What happened after, is that I shared this on my blog, Facebook and Twitter and got a very positive response. This prompted me to create some more posters for some more movies and TV shows. I enjoyed making them and my friends continued with the praise. I wasn’t doing anything special . I was just passing my time by creating minimalistic tributes to the movies I had enjoyed myself. Just to feel nostalgic .

Slide3
Some of the posters

Then I created more posters . Now in non-Hindi languages as well. I’ve created close to 200 posters by now.

When the blog got popular, it finally got noticed by some movie makers and then some journalists. Then this started happening.

Newspapers and Magazines
Newspapers and Magazines articles

I got popular.

I got interviewed many times. My posters have been published in numerous newspapers and magazines. I am not saying that I am very good at it. Far from it! Just that I kept pursuing my hobbies and others liked that. It made me famous and gave me something to brag about and encouraged me to keep doing it over and over again.

My point is , who knows where your hobbies could lead you to. You are doing it just for fun . But you never know , what impact could they have on you and people around you.

Thus, I would just encourage and request you all to take some time out and do what you like, other than usual working for 8 hours a day.

Take out that old guitar which you always wanted to play but never took time out. Go join some dance classes and start flying again. Lately, there has been no Philately but who is stopping you from collecting stamps again. You like to cook? Be better at it and who knows you could land into Masterchef one day?

Even if you don’t, at least you’d have spent your time in doing something you liked and enjoyed. Isn’t that good in itself?

I would depart with the following quote from Warren Buffett, often called the world’s richest man,

“Whatever YOU like to do , make it a hobby and
whatever the WORLD likes to do , make that a business.”


Here’s a rehearsal recording of the speech: