Internet Takeover

The fact that I’m a kid with a laptop in the twenty first century means that it’s normal for me to be interested in the colourful annual carnival that is the Teen Choice Awards.

Now, for those of you who are above nineteen years and/or actually have a life, the TCAs are basically the youth’s answer to the Oscars. Except it’s not limited to the acting industry. And that the winners are decided purely on the number of public votes they collect. And that the trophy is not a sleek, shimmering silhouette; it’s a five-foot tall surfboard [so I guess not so much like the Oscars after all].

This year’s TCAs just wrapped up and because of a multitude of reasons, I couldn’t catch it live on the telly. I wasn’t going to stay deprived for long, though, and so the day after it aired, I was scouring Google for answers; how did it go?? Who took home the most surfboards?? WHO WON CHOICE SOCIAL MEDIA QUEEN?!

As I scrolled down page after page of search results, a name that kept popping up as one of the night’s big winners was “Lilly Singh.”

If you don’t know what the TCAs are, chances are you don’t know who Lilly Singh is, so let me bring you up-to speed; Lilly is a YouTuber, a professional who makes a living through filming five-minute long videos and posting it on YouTube, a video-sharing website.

If it’s a bit of a shock to you that putting together a couple of minutes of footage twice a week can rake in enough bucks to have a roof over your head, let me assure you that Lilly –and her colleagues- are doing much, much more than earning their daily bread.

From writing books with staggering first-week sales to performing on sold-out world tours to releasing bestselling documentaries, YouTubers are a new breed of businessmen and women, hungry to break through social barriers and keen to have a blast while doing it.

The very idea that you can forge a successful career through making videos with your computer’s webcam is by itself a novel one and if you add the influence and the fame that comes with it, there’s no reason why YouTubers shouldn’t be every bit as powerful as they are today.

In fact, it’s gradually boiling up to the point where it’s beginning to seem like YouTube really is taking over the world.

From appearing on global talk shows to having their faces plastered on billboards all over, YouTubers are reinventing celebrity. They’re real and accessible, yet strutting down red carpets every Friday night.

Having a million subscribers is no longer a big deal, having a billion total views is now the norm.

Their numbers are continuously surging, their reach is constantly growing.

Honestly, I’d be surprised if YouTube didn’t take over in the next couple of years.

But for the time being, let’s sit back and toast to Lilly Singh’s big night; may there be many more Teen Choice Awards to come [and, hey, maybe even an Oscar or two].

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Mom’s Day

I’m sure that you’ve read a thousand and one articles on how important mothers are and what an essential role they play in the family and how society as we know it would crumble without them and so on, so I won’t drone on that.

I’m also pretty certain that you’ve read at least a dozen Mother’s Day articles on May 8th alone, so I won’t go on about how it’s important to make your Mom feel special throughout the year or how she loves it when you spend time with her and that sort of thing.

I mean, it’s pretty clear that you SHOULD make her feel good not just on May 8th but throughout the year, right?? It’s obvious that she deserves a break after all she does for your entire family and that she shouldn’t have to work half as hard as she does to get just one day off, so I won’t bore you with a paragraph on that.

And, hey, there’s no doubt that the one day she DOES get, she ought to be pampered and allowed to live like royalty and do whatever she pleases. It’s as plain as day that that day should be solely dedicated to making sure that she gets the holiday she’s been working so hard for, but you already knew that, so I won’t mention it.

For obvious reasons, mothers love it when you take over doing the odd jobs around the house for the day, so she can put up her feet for once and rest a little bit so it makes perfect sense that you grab a broom and a dust pan and just DO IT, but you probably already figured that out so I won’t talk about it.

And who doesn’t know that Moms love presents [especially the cute little heartfelt ones that remind you of her] so this would be the ideal time to shower her with a bunch of them?? Of course, it’s common knowledge that handmade cards are cherished and so you should definitely make a lot of them and slip ‘em her way throughout the day.

All of this is painfully obvious so I won’t spend my time writing an entire article about it.

I just want to wish a very HAPPY MOTHER’S DAY to all the beautiful, beautiful Moms out there. Thanks for always picking us up and tolerating our tantrums and pretending to like the Breakfast-In-Bed that we put together every second Sunday of May.

Have a good one!! [because it’s back to work from tomorrow!!

I’m kidding]

You Win Some, You Lose Some

I’ve got four words for you; India vs. West Indies.

I know, I know; everyone’s still reeling from the shock of it all, wondering whether it really happened. I know I’m still miserably walking around, hoping against hope that I’m going to wake up and realise that it was all some sort of twisted dream.

If you are among the 5% of people in Goa who are NOT into cricket and have no idea what I’m going on about, then let me explain as briefly as possible; India had a semi-final match against the West Indies on Thursday night and India lost [that was a harder to write than you’d think].

It may not seem like that big a deal, but you have to keep in mind a couple of things;

First of all, almost all Indian cricket buffs [and casual viewers like myself] had more-or-less taken it for granted that India would go on to win the entire World Cup and why not?? India entered the tournament backed by a recent win in the Asia Cup and a pretty great winning-streak.

To add to that, the West Indies’ power hitter and MVP, Chris Gayle, was bowled out after scoring a mere handful of runs, which drastically increased both, the odds of India winning as well as the hopes of the Indians watching.

So it seemed pretty obvious to the masses following the match on both sides of the Indian Ocean that Captain Dhoni and team had this one in the bag.

Unfortunately, the night took a shocking turn that left us Indians swearing at our TV sets, surprise and incredulity etched onto our expressions.

More than anything else, it was the sheer unexpectedness of it that felt like a kick in the stomach; even with my limited knowledge of the game, I’d been so certain that we were going to win, whatever it took. So HOW did we lose?

What I [and about half of the Indian population] am facing, Dear Reader, is something I like to call the Gold Medal Paradox.

In simple terms, it’s when one expects a situation to roll out a certain way just because it has in the past and let me assure you that I [and about half of the Indian population] could not be more wrong.

For example, just because you’ve always won gold medals at karate competitions, doesn’t mean you’ll continue to always win gold medals at karate competitions [hence the name of the phenomenon; the Gold Medal Paradox].

Just because India has won a majority of the previous matches this year doesn’t mean we’ll remain on top for the rest of 2016.

Change is inevitable and nobody can be the best or the worst forever. Remember, Dear Reader, life is a fickle thing and everything we take for granted can change in snap of a finger. All that is in our control is the way we respond to that change; whether we allow it to eat us up or whether we fight back and give it our all at the NEXT karate championships.

So the next time you find your class rank slipping, don’t beat yourself up too much. Just regroup, recover and give it your all at the next pop quiz. You never know; the next A+ paper could be yours! On the other hand, the next time you bag the number one spot on the “athlete of the month” list, don’t get too ahead of yourself. A twisted ankle is all it takes for that title to be snatched away [and that’s a lesson I learned the hard way… Ouch!].