So Much Going On!

No matter how much I say to myself “I won’t let life come in between my blogging…“, but unfortunately it always does. Life does come in between, and you’re left feeling guilty and shitty that you’ve abandoned the one thing in your life that gave you absolute JOY. I miss doing this. Hitting my two index fingers on the keyboard (yeah I type like a child) and pouring my heart out. Anyway, this is a “lame-excuse post“, a post describing the things that have happened to me and my family (don’t worry it’s all good news) over the last couple of days, and how I am always NOT-HERE anymore. Let’s get started, shall we?

1. MY BROTHER GOT ENGAGED!!

YAASS! The one thing my family was anxiously waiting for finally happened! We found my Bro’s Miss Right 😀 And God, she is…. AHMAZING. I couldn’t have asked for a better sister-in-law. She is not only a talented writer (anyone who can write well is a winner in my books) but she’s also THE most compassionate person ON EARTH. She has great taste in movies, music and novels (thank God for that). And she is gorgeous. My little future nephews and nieces are gonna be soooo cute 😛 Hahaha I’m really excited for the wedding. It’s gonna happen in next year’s February most probably.

She has already become my sister/best friend in this one month, and I absolutely LOVE her. I don’t wanna get into the specifics, coz she is like a really private person when it comes to her own life, so that’s why I’m not gonna reveal too much 😀 But just know this, me and my family are the luckiest people on Earth to have her in our family. We all love ya so much Amna, you dash insaan. :3

Love Ya

2. I GOT A GREAT NEW JOB!

Alhamdulillah I got a really cool kickass new job. Well actually two. The thing is, I got a really great offer from this company called RepairDesk; it was sort of a startup that sells point of sale systems for repair shops, and they were huge overseas, especially in the UK and USA. I loved the work there, and the team was such a delight to work with.

But then I got another job offer for a Social Media position from this bigger multinational company, called Cresset Technology. CressetTech is one of the oldest and biggest digital agencies in my country. And they deal with a heck load of huge clients, mostly the biggest fashion brands of the country. So they offered me better pay and more exposure, therefore I decided to pursue that instead. So now I’m currently working there. The work is so amazing, I’m getting to learn new stuff everyday. I really do see myself building a career here. Before this I didn’t know the F of Fashion 😀 but now I’m getting the hang of it and love the work they do. I sometimes feel like Anne Hathaway from The Devil Wears Prada 😛 Yes, I’m that clueless, but it’s so much fun 😀

Clueless Me

3. I GOT A NEW PHONE!

Well, technically speaking this isn’t a part of the lame excuse 😀 I just feel like showing off :’) Actually my previous phone Motorola Moto G was acting out and had become a pain in the arse, so my Dad decided to gift me a new phone. Yes, HE IS the best Dad in the world.

I selected the LG G3. And aahhh man, it’s the best decision of my life. I actually wanted a phone that took kickass pictures and this was the best in the market within the price range. Take a look at this picture I took. It’s like top notch DSLR quality, right? *beaming with happiness*

LG G3 Camera
*heavy breathing*

4. GETTING NEW DECORATIONS FOR MY ROOM!

Well, now because I have some spare money lying around I decided to spice up my room. I won’t show it to you until it’s finished so stay tuned :3

5. Well that’s pretty much it.

Told you, it’s a lame excuse post. These aren’t reasons enough to abandon writing. I used to think that when I start with my job I’ll get the free time to write at night, but right now my body isn’t accepting this new routine. I get home by 7pm and sleep by 11. In between I try to take out time to do some reading and spend time with my family. I’ll try my best to keep up with you guys on the weekends at least. Almost everyday I experience something that I wanna write about. I note down those ideas in my post-its, but then again, I never have the time anymore to dedicate half an hour to you. That’s so pathetic on so many levels. I’ll try guys, I’ll try my best. I miss you all so much.

Papa bless. ❤

5 Lines (or Less) Movie Reviews: Oscars 2016 Winners Edition

Racism, sexual abuse and climate change; these were among the multitude of issues that were addressed in 2016’s Academy Awards ceremony. Despite the fact that this years Oscars were surrounded by the racial discrimination controversy (which was tackled throughout the event by the delightful host, Chris Rock.) it was the best Oscars ceremony I’ve seen in a long, long time.

Oscars 2016
Credit: http://www.facebook.com/TheAcademy

Why? Because my favorite movies won 😀

From Inside Out winning Best Animated Movie to Mad Max: Fury Road being the front-runner with 6 huge wins, and Brie Larson winning Best Actress for my personal favorite movie of the year: Room; the most awaited moment was when the Best Actor category arrived. Oh yeah. History was made, and the internet lost its mind 😉

I can NOT forget how hard I was clenching my fists when the Best Actor category came on, and my screaming, jumping, clapping and cheering on top of my lungs when Julianne Moore said these 7 magical words “And the Oscar goes to…. Leonardo DiCaprio.

Leonardo Oscar Win
Just look at him smile when he won. Just… look at him. :’)

This win wasn’t special to me because Leo is my favorite actor of all time. It was because this was an inspiring moment for me. I was rooting for him because that guy has taught us that what is the fruit of resilience. That when you love what you do and keep doing it with undying passion even though you don’t get the due-recognition you deserve (and have deserved for so many years), then it eventually pays off in the end. Leonardo DiCaprio’s career is an inspiration for us all. I know an Oscar (or any award or recognition) is not the determinant of greatness, but my tears of joy for that man were because all of us has a Leo inside us, and today he won; someday we will win too 🙂

Now let’s get to the reviews. So I won’t be talking about the movies I haven’t seen by now (DUH!) and have already reviewed, like my Mad Max: Fury Road Review  and Inside Out Review. For the rest of the 5 big winners, here is 5 Lines or Less. Get ready to see a lot of Potahtos being handed out!

Room:

Room
Credit: http://www.filmvilag.blog.hu

Room takes a gravely heartbreaking topic and turns it into a beautifully moving story of the relentless love between a mother and a son that transcends the worst of obstacles. Seeing the world from the innocent perspective of a brave child is not only sublime but also life-affirming. Brie Larson’s performance moves you to tears, and guys, keep an eye on Jacob Tremblay; one day he will be a force to be reckoned with.

Oscars Won:

  1. Best Performance by an Actress in a Leading Role – Brie Larson

Potahto Rating:

10 out of 10 Potahtos

The Revenant:

The Revenant
Credit: http://www.rollingstone.com

A grueling tale of survival and revenge, the Revenant reveals the power of human spirit and resilience in the most jarring and ruthless of conditions. It’s realism is shocking and jaw-dropping. A standing ovation to Alejandro G. Iñárritu for keeping the Art of Cinema alive with his unbelievably phenomenal direction and Leonardo DiCaprio for giving the performance of a lifetime that will be remembered for generations to come.

Oscars Won:

  1. Best Achievement in Cinematography – Emmanuel Lubezki
  2. Best Achievement in Directing – Alejandro González Iñárritu
  3. Best Performance by an Actor in a Leading Role – Leonardo DiCaprio

Potahto Rating:

9 out of 10 Potahtos

Bridge of Spies:

ST. JAMES PLACE
Credit: http://www.independent.co.uk

Isn’t it weird that a movie based in the era of the Cold War leaves you with such a warm feeling inside? Bridge of Spies has a LOT of heart! Every time Tom Hanks is on-screen, his positivism, his ethics and his bond with the (lovable) Soviet spy constantly makes you smile despite the fact that the story is set in a time where the tiniest of mistakes could result in nuclear warfare. Well, it’s a Spielberg movie, perfection was imminent.

Oscars Won:

  1. Best Performance by an Actor in a Supporting Role – Mark Rylance

Potahto Rating:

9 out of 10 Potahtos

Spotlight:

Spotlight
Credit: http://www.youtube.com (review by Kevin Falk)

Spotlight makes you feel uncomfortable as it shows such a side of one of the most respected institutions in the world that is unthinkable to the masses. It depicts the real story of how the media can be used for raising your voice for the good and bringing justice to the affected victims. Stellar performances, an audacious script and exceptional direction make Spotlight a worthy winner for Best Picture.

Oscars Won:

  1. Best Motion Picture of the Year – Michael SugarSteve GolinNicole RocklinBlye Pagon Faust
  2. Best Writing, Original Screenplay – Josh SingerTom McCarthy

Potahto Rating:

9 out of 10 Potahtos

The Big Short:

THE BIG SHORT
Credit: http://www.collider.com

Financial analysts, housing bubble collapse, corporate corruption and a LOT of banking terminology sure sounded like something that’ll bore me to death, but surprisingly enough The Big Short was a delight to watch. Powerhouse performances from some of my favorite actors along with astounding direction and amazingly well-written script that even a lay-man can applaud, The Big Short is definitely among the best of 2015.

Oscars Won:

  1. Best Writing, Adapted Screenplay – Charles RandolphAdam McKay

Potahto Rating:

8 out of 10 Potahtos

Thank You 2015

[Note: Yeah, I couldn’t come up with a more clever way to title this post. Sigh. Please bear with me.]

We all know 2015 was a year filled with tragedies for so many people; lives were lost, people were banished from their homeland, families were torn apart. But this year also taught us the power of endurance of the human spirit. It taught us that people are still kind and generous regardless of what race, creed or religion the helpless belong to. It taught us that our enemies sure can hurt us but they can’t break us. So before going any further, look back to the year and focus on the positive. Focus on the GOOD in humanity. There’s plenty of it in this world 🙂

Now let’s get to why I wanna thank 2015, speaking from personal experience.

THANK YOU!

When 2014 was nearing the end, I was at the lowest possible point in my life, and I had no clue whatsoever that the coming year will prove to be by far the absolute best year of my entire existence. I was told since I was a kid that when it feels like life SUCKS – that it’s not giving you lemons, it’s throwing huge ass watermelons right at your nose – THAT’S the point where you should be relaxed that things are now gonna turn for the better. I didn’t quite believe it back then but now I’ve learnt that the best thing about a bad patch in your life is that it doesn’t last forever.

Mine didn’t as well, and I am eternally thankful for this year which has been the pinnacle of my personal growth.

Nah, I didn’t land a big job, or get thousands of followers on this blog, or did anything that quantifies material success. What I achieved was far more fulfilling than that. What I feel today, this satisfaction, this hope, this calmness, this can never be achieved by money or fame. Yeah sure, everyone has their own definition of happiness; if money and fame makes someone happy then good for them. Heck, for the past 4 years even I myself used to think of money and success as the ultimate answer. But this year changed me as a person. I am NOTHING like I was a year before, and believe me, that’s a really good thing.

My personal achievements in 2015 might seem laughable to some people, but let’s just say they’re a pretty huge deal for me. 🙂

Alright without further ado, here’s my year in review 😉

(oh snap that rhymed)

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I’m Walking on Sunshine (Woah Ooh)

This is exactly how I feel like whenever I get a blogging award nomination…

Oh yeahhh

No, not like that guy on the left or the woman in the back. I’m talking about J-Law’s FTW fist-bump. Woohoo! 😀

This time I’m nominated for the Sunshine Blogger Award. *applause!*

Image Courtesy: shoeaholicnomore.com
Image Courtesy: shoeaholicnomore.com

Gotta admit, I’m not really a “sunshiney-ish” blogger but I’m glad some of you think of me that way :’)

I’ve been nominated by (yet-again) Mr. Akhiz Munawar. Damn, you’re spoiling me, son!

I’m on a (Warning: too many adverbs coming through) drastically, painfully, excruciatingly busy schedule today, so I won’t be able to nominate others. I hate to break the chain on my end but I have to finish this post in about 5 minutes. And also, the people who I do decide to nominate tell me to not do that anymore because they’ve had too many 😀 See, I have such brilliant people in my WP Fam :’) Proud of them all ❤

So Akhiz asked me a few questions that I have to answer for this nom. Here it goes!

1. Who is your favorite historical personality, your favorite saying by them?
Answer. Err, they’re too many, but I have to go with Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart, and my favorite saying of his:

“Neither a lofty degree of intelligence nor imagination nor both together go to the making of genius. Love, love, love, that is the soul of genius.”

2. Hope, Faith or Love? If you are given a choice to choose only one that will stay with you for the rest of your life which will you choose?
Answer. Faith. If you’ve got faith, the other two are right around the corner 🙂

3. What’s the biggest problem of your country and what’s the sure shot and effective/fastest way to solve it?
Answer. Evil politicians. Solution: lock them all up in a time capsule and open it in the 30th Century.

Nailed It

4. Your all-time Favorite Movie and Song?
Answer. Now that’s a tough one! I have to say, ummm, there’s a close tie between Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind and Forrest Gump. They hit me hard every single time! Can’t ever get tired of watching them.
As for the song, let’s go with “Holocene” by Bon Iver, “Song for Zula” by Phosphorescent and “Set Fire to the Rain” by Adele. Yup!

5. When you are angry how do you express it?
Answer. I don’t. Anymore. I used to, by lashing out at my close loved ones. But not anymore. I guess it’s just a side-effect of growing up 😕

6. Is John Snow Dead?
Answer. NO! A thousand frikkin’ times NO! Just like Glenn isn’t dead in The Walking Dead, my Jon Snow (or should I say Azor Ahai reborn) isn’t dead either!

Save Me Jon Snow

Great questions, mate! 😉

At the end I’d like to thank aalll my beautiful WP Family members who take out the time from their busy schedules and visit my boring-ass blog. You’ll never know how much this means to me… Okay, okay, want a clue?

*shouting* IT MEANS THE GALAXY TO ME!! 🐱

“The Girl on the Train”: A Study on How NOT To Write Your Characters

The Girl on the Train has been one of the most hyped-up books of 2015; having comparisons with intense psychological thrillers like Gone Girl. But let me just get one thing straight: it’s not the next Gone Girl. That’s false marketing/word-of-mouth. Yes, both had unreliable narrators, both revolved around a murder, but where ‘The Girl on the Train’ fails terribly is in its character design.

"The Girl on the Train," by author Paula Hawkins. (AP Photo/Riverhead Books)
Image courtesy: http://www.yahoo.com; “The Girl on the Train,” by author Paula Hawkins. (AP Photo/Riverhead Books)

Plot Synopsis (taken from Goodreads):

“Rachel takes the same commuter train every morning. Every day she rattles down the track, flashes past a stretch of cozy suburban homes, and stops at the signal that allows her to daily watch the same couple breakfasting on their deck. She’s even started to feel like she knows them. “Jess and Jason,” she calls them. Their life—as she sees it—is perfect. Not unlike the life she recently lost.

And then she sees something shocking. It’s only a minute until the train moves on, but it’s enough. Now everything’s changed. Unable to keep it to herself, Rachel offers what she knows to the police, and becomes inextricably entwined in what happens next, as well as in the lives of everyone involved. Has she done more harm than good?”

My Take on the Book:

Don’t get me wrong, I really liked reading this book (to some extent). I love meself some “whodunnit” stories, and I was glued to it for two days straight. I couldn’t put it down.

Page Turner

But there are two reasons why it was such a page-turner for me:

  1. It was undoubtedly an engaging read. Although very predictable (I had to literally dumb-down myself in order to maintain that element of surprise for the big “killer-reveal” moment) but nonetheless it kept me on the edge of my couch as it had a really fast-moving plot. I don’t mean to sound crass but murder mysteries are FUN!
  2. I wanted to get it over with. I was 100 pages into the book when I truly started to hate the characters and I was just too invested in the story by then that quitting was just not an option anymore.

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“All the Bright Places” – A Book That Broke My Heart

You know one of those stories when you read about the love between two people and it just gives you this fluttery feeling, that little twinge in your chest, a small skip of a heartbeat. A kind of love that you know will not and can not happen in any stage of your life (sorry, I’m talking about myself here), but when you read about it you can literally FEEL that love inside your heart. And when the story is finished you just lie there, crying, holding that book close to your chest, and staring at the walls feeling absolutely shattered. All The Bright Places was that kind of book for me.

All The Bright Places Cover

Book Synopsis (taken from Goodreads):

“Theodore Finch is fascinated by death, and he constantly thinks of ways he might kill himself. But each time, something good, no matter how small, stops him.
 
Violet Markey lives for the future, counting the days until graduation, when she can escape her Indiana town and her aching grief in the wake of her sister’s recent death.
 
When Finch and Violet meet on the ledge of the bell tower at school, it’s unclear who saves whom. And when they pair up on a project to discover the “natural wonders” of their state, both Finch and Violet make more important discoveries: It’s only with Violet that Finch can be himself—a weird, funny, live-out-loud guy who’s not such a freak after all. And it’s only with Finch that Violet can forget to count away the days and start living them. But as Violet’s world grows, Finch’s begins to shrink.”

My Take on the Book:

When I read this blurb I knew it that it’s not gonna have a happy ending. This isn’t a spoiler, it’s just very very extremely obvious.

Let me make one thing clear; All the Bright Places has A-LOT of similarities with The Fault in Our Stars. But this time instead of battling with cancer, our protagonists are battling with depression and mental illness.

Gus and Hazel Crying

Now you might be asking, “So why should I give a damn about this book when I know it’s exactly like TFiOS? Nothing original there!

Even though it has a lot of similarities with it (two broken people – who are very witty, charming, their literary taste and IQ level is spectacular – find love and hope within each other), but ATBP is still unique in it’s own way.

“The thing I realize is, that it’s not what you take, it’s what you leave.”

The love story felt… how do I explain this… deeper? Better? I don’t know why but to me Theo and Violet felt more in love with each other than Gus and Hazel.

And now the John Green and TFiOS fans will be like *gasp* “BLASPHEMY!!!

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200 Followers (and counting) :D

Whenever I use smileys in my post title then please don’t judge me as a school-going teenager; just consider that I’m being super excited right now 😛 I had a gruesomely busy week and I couldn’t even open my laptop for a few days so today when I finally checked my notifications I read WordPress telling me “You’ve received 200 follows on Couch Potahto”.

Two. Hundred.

Tina Fey - 30 Rock

That ain’t a big deal for most people; the blogs I follow have HUNDREDS AND THOUSANDS of followers, but that never intimidates me. I know blogging is my hobby and I love to write when I have the free time, I don’t take it too seriously, but I never thought that a simple hobby of mine would lead me to meet the most amazing people on this planet earth!

Why this means so much to me?

You see, a ‘Follow’ on WordPress (or any other blog site) is quite different than a ‘Follow’ on Twitter or a ‘Page Like’ on Facebook. On Twitter or Facebook, this is like saying “Yeah I like your stuff, will check you out again“, but on a blog a follow means “I would like to build a long lasting relationship with you.

And I’m proud to say that I have found such people all across the globe that I now consider a very crucially important part of my life. They are now like my own family. I’m invested into their lives. I get excited when some of them are about to get married (and I wish I could catch a plane and be a part of it, seriously), I read about their daily routines just like siblings like to hear each others daily updates, I listen and heed to their advice, I laugh at their silly jokes and stories, I feel their pain when they feel down, I think about what they might be up to when I’m busy in my own life and I’ve actually saved the time-zones of some major cities in my phone just so I’m aware of their timings (see proof below) 😀

Timezones 1 Timezones 2 Timezones 3

I’m sorry if I’ve missed someones, I might not be sure of where you live 😛

Long story short, you people are AWESOME, and I’m sorry if I don’t say this to your face but I love you all. And to the ones who do follow me but don’t visit my blog much, I know my posts aren’t that interesting to read and I’m a shit writer but I hope you’ll come around 😀 *fingers crossed*

I hope this family keeps on growing ^_^

Benedict Cumberbatch- Thank You