Posted in CIVIL SERVICES GUIDANCE, POPULAR

Civil Services Exam: Daily Doubt Solving Sessions

Mt. Sinai Academy (1)

I’ve received a lot of questions in the past  across social media pertaining to different aspects of the Civil Services Exam. I’ve tried my best to answer them on social media as well on the email ids given by many of you. But my blog seemed the best medium to address them collectively so that more and more aspirants can benefit. Feel free to post your doubts in the comments section below and I will answer them one by one within 24 hours.

If your questions are not visible in the comments section immediately, do not worry. It only means that they are pending for my approval.

Looking forward to guide you a little better. After all our country needs dedicated bureaucrats. 

Make this year’s exam your greatest attempt. I wish each one of you my very best 🙂

ALSO READ >> Civil Services Mains: Mastering Answer Writing

 

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‘Game of Thrones’ – A Rip-Roaring Spectacle on Celluloid

Game of Thrones
credits: http://bit.ly/29UAIAi

With Game of Thrones Season 6 coming to an end, the world seems a boring place.

Game of Thrones is not a show; it’s an enchanting experience.  The first time I saw its pilot, I was spell bound. Six seasons later, I still feel the same.

There is an innate quality of spontaneity and unpredictability about Game of Thrones that makes it so intriguing. Every time you feel things will end a certain way, they don’t.  RR Martin is a true creative genius for creating a series that has the world on its toes. No wonder the illegal downloads for the show are highest the world over.

credits: http://bit.ly/29OKdkk
credits: http://bit.ly/29OKdkk

The amalgamation of the fantasy series – A Song of Ice and Fire with the on screen adaptation is just wonderful. R.R Martin’s marvel is as expanding and far reaching as Westeros itself. The show inspires new fans everywhere and has made a huge impact on the modern day populace. All thanks to R.R Martin and the show’s creators David Benioff and D. B. Weiss, Game of Thrones is now a household name across the globe. I am going to go to the extent of saying that GoT is one of the best fictional series in the history of television.

One of the things that strikes all viewers of GOT is the enormous world which Martin has created. With every passing episode new characters are introduced, new regions are unveiled and new accents pronounced. But that isn’t to say anything is included just for the sake of magnitude. Every new character added to the script offers something significant to the story. Speaking of new characters, I just loved the character of Lady Mormont in the latest season. I mean wow. The child actress has a done a phenomenal job in pulling off her role. Had it been in my hands, I would have made her sit on the throne.

Game of Thrones
credits:http://bit.ly/29ALHzB

Each element in the show has a quality of enormity to it and that is why nothing on the show ever gets unnoticed. With a narrative that continually manoeuvres us into thinking we know things €but end up with a feeling that we don’t, the show becomes an addiction with each passing episode. The sentiment that we’re close enough to the action to be knowledgeable, only for that to be stripped away every episode by some quite despicable antagonists.

Just when you begin to affirm that you’ve figured out a thread in the intense plot, you’re proved wrong by the show’s creators. Quite often the ‘good’ characters fall and ‘bad’ ones emerge victorious.  But one of the best things about GoT is that the concepts of good and bad aren’t polarized, but merge continuously in a beautiful, ordered chaos.

While some characters are pure vicious with no saving grace about them, GOT has also managed to create several great anti-heroes.  Arya Stark, Jaime and Tywin Lannister, The Hound, and Lord Varys – these are people who’ve done awful things .Yet the viewers feel an innate sense of sympathy towards them.

GOT can actually make one feel sorry for a character who tried to kill a child in order to cover up the incestuous affair he was having with his sister . I’m speaking of Jamie Lannister here. That’s how much finesse is there in the writing of the show.This is also the beauty of Got – The shock value is what keeps it going and allows the viewers to remain intrigued.

Game of Thrones
credits: http://bit.ly/29WB8rz

While ceremonious sword fights and tournaments are beautiful to watch, the most gripping moments in the show are the ones that are the most brutal. Remember the time Ned Stark’s head was chopped off? or the time when princess Shireen was burnt alive at a stake or when Arya got so close to her folks only to find her entire clan dead.  I’ve smiled, laughed, felt sad, wept, got shocked while watching GoT but never stopped watching.

When Ned Stark’s head was chopped in Season 1, I was devastated and pondered what’s left to watch now? How could they do this?  Yet I watched season 2 and went on to season 3 where the red wedding happened and again I felt devastated but continued watching to finally see Jon Snow murdered in cold blood in season 5 . My god it seemed like one of my own is dead but I continued watching just like millions of GoT fans across the planet. This is how much the show means to me.

sex in game of thrones
credits: http://bit.ly/29IIsHG

GoT has every visual element that pleases the senses and the mind alike – character portrayal, storylines, intrigue,  magic, picturesque landscapes, spectrum of accents, birth, deaths, rebirth, fear, love, lust and raw sexuality. Sexuality as an elements stands out throughout the series and there’s nothing offensive about it, yes I said it out loud.  ( By the way here’s some sex trivia – Sibel Kekilli, the  actress who plays the role of the pretty Shae, is actually a former porn star. Her stage name was Dilara,  in case you were wondering). 

GoT has managed to portray both raw sexuality as well as the strongest female protagonists in one show. I can’t think of another show that features more strong female leads than GOT. Brienne of Tarth, Ygritte, Arya and Catelyn Stark, Margaery and Grandma Tyrell Daenerys Targaryen, Cersei Lannister

Then here are also a whole lot of supernatural and magical elements in the show that are to die for – Direwolves, dragons, whitewalkers (my god the night king is sexy),warlocks, giants, mammoths and so on. In Westeros, magic is a powerful force even though a lot of characters don’t believe it exists only to get affected by it in the end.

Game of Thrones
credits: http://bit.ly/29OIRGg

I am a die hard fan of the show and I’ll always be. However, this season left me a little disappointed at certain moments. Now, I am partly to be blamed for this since I knew most of the spoilers. The bigger reason however is that this season was not based on A Song of Fire and Ice by RR Martin. He is yet to write the next book in the series. Martin had long ago provided with a  blueprint of the major arcs of the story, but the creators can no longer rely on the books scene by scene.

Game of Thrones is truly the show of Benioff and now. This is both a good as well as a bad thing. Good because we’ll have new minds relying on their creative juices and bad because it will be challenging to match the creative genius of a writer like RR Martin . If it wasn’t for him, we would never have the TV series in the 1st place .No offence to the show’s creators but they managed Season 6 on their own and it hasn’t really provided the shock value of the former seasons. Also, the pace of the show was too fast and too slow at times and the characters too extreme. I’ll put it this way – It took Season 6 too long to get interesting and when it did the season got over. In the words of Kasia Delgado, “The drama is in danger of believing its own hype.”

I hope my favourite show picks up from where RR Martin left it and concludes (whenever it does) leaving us all in awe of it.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Posted in POPULAR

Startups will Transform the way Markets Function in India!!

 

DO YOU HAVE THE NEXT BIG IDEA -
Created by Akriti Mattu

The journey from , “I want to be a doctor/engineer when i grow up to i want to be an entrepreneur ” has been a really long one for a lot of people in a country like India but finally worth it. All it takes for someone to bring about a revolution or even a small change that impacts people is an idea. An idea that springs from the deepest layers of one’s creative psyche, an idea that recasts the existing patterns and most importantly, an idea that sells. From 3,100 startups in 2014 to a projection of more than 11,500 by 2020, this is certainly not a passing trend. It’s a revolution, a reformation and a revamp for the Indian economy. It will change the way the markets are working today in India.

From recharging your cellphone via Paytym to finding the most hip restaurant via Zomato, from getting food delivered at your doorstep via Swiggy to getting organic breakfast via Brekkies, from ordering a cab via OLA to booking tickets online via Redbus, from ordering books online via Flipkart to disposing old books via BuySellBooks, from searching a new home via NestAway to disposing old stuff via Priti International, from e-learning programs via ChalkStreet to e-mock tests by MockBank, startups are taking over our lives productively and making them convenient. I mean right from some cutting edge technologies to earning ‘cash from trash’ literally, startups are doing it all.

When it comes to the cities where the startups that get funded are based, Bangalore leads the charts with $2.43 billion. Investors in India are becoming experimental, yet extremely well-informed decision makers.   NASSCOM has come up with an excellent initiative called “10,000 Startups”, which aims at scaling the startup environment in India by 10x. The program is supported by Microsoft, Google, Intel, Verisign, and Kotak. 10,000 Startups aims to enable incubation, funding and support for 10,000 startups in India over the next ten years.

Experts have begun to say that in the future, there will be no separate category called startups. All companies will be like startups because they will become the norm. The pace of innovation will become so fast that all companies will have to be agile and emulate startups. Not to sound political, but the Prime Minister of India recognizes the importance of start ups and has launched campaigns like ‘Make in India’ and ‘Startup India’ . So when the PM of India understands the importance and future of start ups in a young economy like India, so should a professional like me.

Posted in POPULAR

Zing it with a Smiley .. :D

com.futureprints.smiley

Consider this –

Boy – ” Hey gal, you wanna hang out tonight ? ”

Girl- ” No way !! ”

Now consider this –

Boy – “Hey gal, you wanna hang out tonight ? 😀 ”

Girl – “No way 😉 ”

Notice what’s different in the above two conversations ? In the former, the whole connotation of the tone is blatantly rude, while in the latter, there is a subtle flirtatious undertone. All that made a difference above was the insertion of one small emoticon at the end of the sentence.

Emoticons or Smileys as they’re popularly known are the new ‘lingo’ of our generation. They actually make up for extremely riveting conversations online . They facilitate to play up the nuances and therefore you can interpret whatever you feel like as per your convenience , without it getting offensive. You can actually spare yourself a lot of trouble if you can nail the art of using emoticons. Every time a text on Whatsapp get awkward, a message on Facebook gets impinging or a DM on Twitter gets coquette – USE smileys . Trust me, you will easily laugh your way out of it, without being offensive or being misunderstood ( Dear couples, kindly pay heed 😀 ).  Personally, i can have entire conversations only using smileys. They’re fun plus a single smiley has the power to carry the exact force of emotions and thoughts. One can cut down whole stanzas using emoticons, and yet convey the same meaning, some times even better. That’s the reason online conversations are easy.

I stumbled upon this article recently where i found out that this whole cult of using emoticons has gone so viral that in South Lanarkshire there are 226 Vehicle Activated Signs that don’t just tell drivers their speed, but show them a smiley or a sad face, depending on whether they’re under or over the limit. All thanks to these little faces, the number of people exceeding the speed limit in the Lanarckshire area fell by fifty three percent. I guess this whole emoticon buzz is here to stay, so try to be a part of it. Have some fun since this world lacks a sense of humour. It really does. Having said that , don’t make everybody a part of your emoticon world. Don’t let the creeps in.  ‘ Limit your access’ as i always say.  Just let the best be a part of it.

P.S – This post is inspired by & dedicated to an ‘epic’ convo with an ‘epic’ friend 🙂

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Photo Credits :

(http://soft.mobile-master.org/wp-content/uploads/images/9952.jpg

https://akritimattu.files.wordpress.com/2014/09/0smiley10_sl-designs.jpg)

Posted in POPULAR

Comic Strip – Nope ! This One’s a Piece of Art !!

“Life’s too darn short to waste time trying to please every meddlesome moron who’s got an idea how i ought to be. I don’t need advice. Everyone can stay out of my face. Resolutions? Me ? Just what are you implying? That i need to change? Well buddy as far as i’m concerned, I’m perfect the way i am ” 😀

Now this is exactly what i believe. But these are not my lines. These lines are from a hugely famous comic strip – ‘Calvin and Hobbes’, which have me literally glued to them these days. I’ve not really been a fan of comics, not even when i was a child. However recently, i happened to go through a few  ‘Calvin and Hobbes’ comic strips and I loved them. Just loved them.

Calvin is a six year old boy (he does grow as the series proceeds). He’s a smart kid. In fact way smarter than his age. Hobbes is his beloved tiger friend and as i see it, represents Calvin’s conscience. Personally, its easy for me to identify with Calvin who constantly feels out of sync with the rest of the world, and thus retreating to the world he creates for himself in his mind. Calvin  truly expresses the idea that even without being preachy, priggish and mushy, it’s  okay to be different.  It’s exhilarating to see a comic strip that gives a subtle message about the world around.

‘Calvin and Hobbes’ is not just a comic strip replete with third degree jokes. It’s a piece of art and it’s creator – Bill Watterson is the ingenious artist.

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Photo Credits :

(http://2.bp.blogspot.com/-1mJyWGRkgsE/U75RmgdrkBI/AAAAAAAACR0/dL2S2m9nDxg/s1600/calvin-and-hobbes.jpg

,http://www.picturesquote.com/wp-content/uploads/intelligent-quotes-about-life-calvin-and-hobbes-live-by-quotes-42324.jpg)

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Sole Struck !

There’s something about heels that makes them so fascinating and so desirable to women – actually to men too. The mere site of stilettos or pumps, sort of gives you the enthralling experience. I mean even the word, ‘stiletto’ sounds so sexy, so leering.

High heel levitates the woman who wears them as if she has been put on a pedestal. Not that it’s the only thing that counts. But it just adds up to the overall personality. Stilettos, i feel  are the only object to gain the highest level of popularity in the fetish world. This is partly due to the fact that high heel shoes are like works of art in themselves, like small sleek curvy exotic sexy sculptures. They have always been in style. In fact they even find mention in the age old story of Cinderella. I’m not a huge fan of the that tale or of Fairy tales in general but the picture of those shimmering heels even in my story book as a child was so damn riveting. The clothes we wear don’t have the visual fetish appeal without the wearer’s body filling out the curves, but shoes stand on their own as coveted fetish objects. There are countless people who collect exotic high heel shoes worldwide and therefore, the day I decide to make a trip some place exotic – I’m putting my money in buying some really trendy ‘pairs’ of high heels. I’m sure I’ll never have them enough though. What more do i say. Simply obsessed !!

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Photo Credits :

(http://www.global-wholesale.net/Fashion-Style-Flower-Fish-Mouth-High-Heels-Shoes-Blue_g25600.html

,https://img1.etsystatic.com/013/0/5427660/il_570xN.413494665_k8ry.jpg)

Posted in PERSONAL, POPULAR

‘THE’ Band

There is not much to say when you feel numb except for listening to ‘THE’ band – Pink Floyd!! Its been a while since i listened to Floyd. So did that today, and sort of connected to it emotionally. Not many people know that i’m a huge fan of Floyd . Its a personal thing. There is this connection. I bond with their lyrics, especially with tracks from the albums i love  – ‘The Dark Side of the Moon’ , ‘Wish You Were Here’ and ‘The Wall’. Its like every album by Floyd has a story behind its creation. I”ll admit it, I LOVE Floyd. I love their lyrics, I love the rhythm, everything.

Its actually hard-pressing to find a band that has had as many genre names attached to them as Pink Floyd. Floyd’s music has been called pop, psychedelic, progressive rock, space rock, stadium rock, theatrical rock and self-indulgent. Whatever you call Floyd’s music, there is no denying the impact they’ve had on the entire music industry. They perfected what others had started, and they created their own place in music by doing what they felt was right.

Every song by Floyd,  in the albums i mentioned above  easily ends up in the top slot. But I choose “Wish You Were Here” above everything else because it’s the strongest distillation of the traits that made this band great. ‘Wish You Were Here’ finds all of Floyd’s finest attributes present and in perfect balance. With lyrics like – “Did you exchange a walk on part in the war for a lead role in a cage? How I wish, how I wish you were here. We’re just two lost souls swimming in a fish bowl, year after year, Running over the same old ground. What have we found? The same old fears. Wish you were here” Floyd nailed it.

For all of Pink Floyd’s relentless progressiveness — the super huge songs, the rock operas, the music concrete influence, the zany stagecraft — they would have never have achieved so much if they weren’t able to reign the weirdness in and write pristine songs. Actually, “They write great songs” is perhaps the worst  music cliche for any band , but for Pink Floyd, its inescapably true. It is.

I love Floyd and  have this basic rule for all the times i dedicate myself to Floyd, which is –

“When i listen to Pink Floyd, everybody else around should shut the F up!!”

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Photo Credits :

(http://jahnews.nl/uploads/posts/2013-01/1358271899_tumblr_mddz4uy8pj1qgocy3o1_1280.jpg)