#ColgateMagicalStories : Weaving magic and dreams to stories

I still remember those childhood days of mine, when watching Discovery channels’ shows on Nasa and moon missions were the favorite pass-time. These shows use to fill my my naive mind with thoughts of new universe and aliens and stories of other far off planets. Letting my imagination run wild at times, made me ask questions which no adult had answers to. Sometimes, these fantasies made me scribble stories about the amazing life of these outer space planets and creatures that inhabit them.

When we are kids, everything seems feasible. This is the best part about childhood and the real reason why kids are so much creative and have amazing out-of-the box ideas. One such opportunity, which seemed straight out of my childhood  captured my attention a few weeks ago, when Blogadda and Colgate tied up to create an unique campaign called #ColgateMagicalStories. This included trying the freshly released colgate packs with the new bloomers to carve out a story about Magical Space Adventures.

The Colgate “Magical Space Adventure” has three different sets based on the ‘Magical Space’ theme to cut, play and learn – explore the mystical Alien Planet, float around the zero gravity Space Walk and experience the thrilling Space Launch. With more than 15 space characters, these packs will take kids on an adventurous journey into the magical space world. These packs are an opportunity to learn while having fun. The kids can create their own secret universe thereby expanding their creative canvas.

My Cute 8 year old Niece and I sat together opening these packs of Colgate arrived in the morning mail and cutting out the packs, she assembled those 3-d structures of Aliens, space-ships and rockets while naming those aliens straight out of  Star Wars saga. The kids of this generation are far too smart and quick , I wonder when she watched Star Wars and learned those character names.

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As per the story weaved by Ananya, first image is about the  bad aliens who come from a planet where the king sends their foot soldiers with ghost type aliens to capture and bring other planets for the king Galactus to control. He is a power greedy king who wants to be the master of entire universe. Those planets who choose not to obey him, he destroys them through the aliens with the ability to carry out poisonous gas attacks.

While the second image details a planet called Captiva where these bad aliens and foot soldier land to find out that inhabitants of Captiva are well prepared for a trans-galatic attack.Even before the gaseous alien could begin attack, the orange soldier- Obuoy, fights the foot soldier with his years of training and fire weapon experience. While the team of robots – Circular robot Gyro and Green Army Robot – Big Head eliminates the poison from gases of the alien. To send a message to the Galactus, to never return back to Captiva for such an attempt again, Obuoy sends his these dead attackers in their spaceship back to Galactus.

I was simply spell-bound to hear how my 8 year old niece came up with such a logical and coherent story which used all the characters and ended on a positive note. She has a real potential to be a great story-writer someday. As soon as I praised her for her efforts, she started dancing and soon ran away to find some other source to keep her  engaged.

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“I’m blogging my #ColgateMagicalstories at BlogAdda in association with Colgate.

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Idea Caravan: Innovative Ideas Towards a Brighter Tomorrow

At the bottom of every human thought, deep down the volumes of reflection communicated and beneath the contemplation of any genius, there lies an idea still waiting to emerge, a unique viewpoint, which is nothing else but a union of beliefs that was not perceived to have any existing relation till that point in time.

The only people who can ever make this sudden marriage of ideas happen are those who care about them like a mother does for her child. When you meet such a person, who values his idea above everything else, question him why is that something supposedly so important to him, just ask him to explain. He will tell you about his experiences, moments of revelation and facts about reality that doesn’t matter to anyone who isn’t him. He will describe in infinite details deep personal stories, and it will all be autobiographical; he will simply let you know that who he truly is,  by discussing something completely unrelated to his life. Something that happened to him and changed his whole life. This is what a True Idea, whose time has come does to a mortal soul.

If Newton never told anybody about the law of gravity, if Edison would have only lit his own house, the world would have remained untouched by their brilliant ideas and minds. Powerful ideas of today are the true investments for a better tomorrow. Franklin Templeton Investments had partnered with the TEDxGateway in Mumbai December 2012, with this very belief.

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These ideas of today evolve, get refined and modify with the passage of time to become the reality in future. After watching videos of 18 such path breaking ideas from a variety of domains, it was real hard for me to single out which one to elaborate on.  So, I ended up choosing the one, which relates in some way or the another to the life of every student. The Concern of Exams.

The fear and anxiety of being judged is inevitable in life and the burden of scoring high marks that our current examination system has build upon students has added to this. It takes away from them the privilege of choosing their own direction in life since the amount of time a Class 10th or 12th student spends towards his school, coaching etc bereft him from the pleasure of pursuing his dream.

All what I can recollect from my Class X days is constant babbling of my peers, parents and teachers that how important is the Board Examination and my hectic schedule from school to “so-called” tution classes to ace in the rat-race. 6 Years hence, I realize how much over-rated it all was. Being somewhat smarter than peers, I performed academically well, but that year was really burdensome for a few of my close friends. With CBSE changing course books, complex marking schemes and a mammoth syllabus for each subject, children are unsure what to study, how to study and from where to study. Adding to trouble is the constant pressure from aunt’s neighbor’ son who scored 94 percentage last year 😛

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With the integration of technology in almost all aspects of our daily lives, pedagogic education is an area which is merely coping up. Though advent of Smart Schools and making Life-Science subjects more pragmatic is widely praised as a leap for the crippled Education system, yet the ground level reality has hardly changed. Concern of performing exceptional during those 3 hours is still intact.

To tackle this problem, the need is to focus on productivity. Study the topics which are more important and practice the problems which appear more often  than others. This need of the hour was well identified by Angad Nadkarni, a 4th year student at BITS Pilani who used Supervised Machine learning ( an emerging field in Computer Science) to analyse large volume of question papers to identify patterns in them, cutting out the noise.  Check him out, presenting the idea at TEDxGateway in the video below :

To me, this video comes as no surprise. As a computer engineer, I am aware of the expanse of data mining algorithms and its array of implementation in the industry for several purposes. These Machine Learning techniques are practiced even by Stock brokers, for analyzing trends of fluctuating stock prices. The idea is not new but the implementation definitely is. Almost every one leaves out the part which is tougher to grasp; when in graduation the number of exam skyrockets. Going through previous year papers and then narrowing down to conclusions manually is a tedious task in itself, digitizing this labor is a praiseworthy effort. The statistics that show which questions are relatively complex by integrating the viewpoint of other users, can help save a lot of time as the students now know what all topics are not to be devoted attention to.

Angad is currently working on an idea focused on removing the information imbalance in the current education system, and creating a tool and platform for every student in India to get access to the best intelligence and resources in one click of a button.In the realm of ideas everything depends on enthusiasm while in the real world all rests on perseverance. Angad has come a long way making his idea realistic. In Jan 2013, along with Samudra Bhuyan ,a 28-year-old GMAT instructor as co-founder, he started his exciting entrepreneurial journey, calling it “Examify“. Balancing his duties as the CTO of a web company while juggling with academics in one of the finest Engineering College of India, is a live example of how immensely has the idea affected his own life.

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Current Examify team

It is easy to walk the ordinary road but it does take something to walk the road less traveled. These 5 Bravehearts of Examify have chosen to spend their valuable time in developing a product that will soon be an innovative reality to assist weak students who don’t have terabytes of memory in their brains and lightning fast processors to assimilate and understand generally esoteric theories and conventions.

On the other hand, It proposes a rather interesting and challenging task for the teachers/exam setters to end this trend of cramming books for securing the passing marks. This belief, of a reform being necessary now among the education authorities might lead to a revolutionary change in our education system.The intellectuals would begin to design more innovative and out of the league exams to surprise students that would rather invoke their thought process, hence again rendering the exams unpredictable. 

Irrespective of how this idea affects the people, the implementation of this concept will only make our society a better place.

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Recommended Reads:

 1) http://www.nextbigwhat.com/bits-pilani-successful-startup-machine-297/

2) http://blog.examify.com/why-studying-for-more-time-is-actually-useless/

3) http://www.hindustantimes.com/India-news/NewDelhi/Online-app-that-hacks-your-exam-with-just-a-click/Article1-989263.aspx

Tchao !!!!

#SoldierForWomen – A Story of Courage

Ralph Waldo Emerson said – “A Hero is no braver than an ordinary person, but someone who has been braver five minutes longer”. In those situations when crisis hits, those five minutes are enough for chaos to take over a sane person’s need for self-safety to triumph, even over other person’s life.

Such an ordinary person who doesn’t put his own safety on the priority list, in that moment and stand up against wrong is someone who can be called a real Soldier. A niche segment of such heroes, who stand up and fight, so that the masses can carry on with their daily lives, may be residing in your next door flat, probably he is your co-worker or he may be the guy who delivers your mail. Yet, our conservative society never let these superheroes come out of the caves of anonymity they dwell in, while the gaudy images of Bollywood celebrities continue to flood Page-3.

To bring forth, such soldiers who stood for women and helped them out of complicated situations, Blogadda has unveiled an unique initiative – “Soldier for Women Campaign”, where stories of such soldiers will be compiled in a special E-book, with a blade of honor and certificate being awarded to them, so as to salute their outstanding courage.

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Here goes my contribution to this nation-wide moment. An incident from about a year back, at Ranthambore National Park, Sawai Madhopur, Rajasthan. Ranthambore National Park was the most renowned hunting ground of Maharajas of Jaipur, till recently when it has evolved into a major wildlife tourist attraction spot that has pulled several photographers and wildlife lovers to this destination.

 The park is majorly famous for its tigers and is one of the best locations to see these majestic predators in their natural habitats. Except for these diurnal giants, population of the park is dominated by Striped Hyenas, Sambar Deer, Cheetal, Indian Foxes, Mongoose and a few variety of Vipers and Pythons.

It was the 2nd week of May last year, when I, along with my cousins planned to have an adventurous sight-seeing of this wonderful place. Only memory of those three days, I have left, apart from that elated moment of tiger sighting was of dryness and sweat that Rajasthan welcome its visitors with. There was no sighting on the first day and the second day was lost to rain. It turned out that, I wasn’t the only one looking for the big cats. There were two other groups, as well.

All the groups were part of a caravan of three jeeps being sent on Route 5. Just within an hour or so of travelling, we were into deep woods and had already run into nearly a dozen Peacocks, a few Hyenas, and as three more hours passed, we had encountered nearly all creatures of jungle, including the rare sight of a Viper and Indian Grey hornbill.

It was afternoon already, that suddenly chaotic humdrum of monkeys’ gibber started from behind the Pine tree and soon it was followed by flying birds’ chirping as if some storm had approached. Someone from the other jeep shouted, that he saw a female tigress, a hundred meters from there.

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All our jeeps turned and moved hastily towards the indicated place. Amid that chaos and excitement, which has suddenly developed, a women in Jeep 2, who was trying to capture some beatific creature, fell off from the accelerated vehicle. All the eyes that were glowing from the hope of getting to see the feline were now, looking into a ghastly scene. Another tiger came into sight and to everyone’s horror was exactly behind the fallen pine, not more than 50 meters from the unfortunate lady.  Excitement turned into fear and a chill ran down my spine, as what I saw there, was enough terrifying for me to be put into words. The lady was agonizing in pain from the fall, unaware of the threat.

At that very moment, I saw a real soldier, a man with enough guts to be called a hero. The stranger jumped down from the jeep and without caring about his own well-being, went to the lady and somehow managed to drag her back to the jeep, avoiding the sight of the feline.  I have heard a lot about brave men and their tales of glory, but it was the first time in my life, that I witnessed a real life hero. Through this post, I pay my tribute to that soldier.

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# This post is a part of #Soldierforwomen in association with BlogAdda.com

(Serendipity) : My entry for the Get Published contest

How frequently does it happen that you wake up at 11 for a 10:30 am bus and still manage to catch it, hardly in these overcrowded chaises brimming with detest full creatures, you ever find a space to fit your ass in. But when you lucky enough to manage both on the same day, you know it’s a manifestation of escape from tedium, you know its one of those days when everything around you presages something remarkable.

 It was in this commotion that a fragrantly smelling cuddle some “F”( 20 or 22 perhaps), with enigmatic blue eyes, killer curves, and a smile cute enough to make snow-white  jealous, entered through the front door and all of a sudden the entire chaos was pacified, the multitude was lost in her smooth untangled hair and She was the object of desire for every single “M” in the compartment. “Meenu“-the key chain on the lustrous shopping bag read.

Coming back to the senses, after being lost to that smell that was made ubiquitous by her entry, i returned back to the third quarter of book in my hand, which i was resolute to complete. A few minutes passed, Irwing Wallace was compelling enough to make me immerse back in his work of fiction. Aroma still filled the surroundings, but the thoughts of the charming lady were gone, mesmerized first by the book, then by that work of art and then again by the piece of literature in my hand, i was happy with the beginning of the day. I plugged in my ipod, disentangled the wire and tuned to the playlist that read favorites.

“Do you mind if I sit here”.

“Excuse me…. I am talking to you. Can’t you reply me back….”

Shocked, flabbergasted and fascinated at the same time i looked up from 10th last page of “The Almighty” and realized that the faint voice mixing with the Adele was of the pretty lady smelling  lily.

Mesmerized, i looked in her eyes, sparkling emerald they were.

“Are you going to Shimla ?” asked the amorous damsel.

“Yes…yeah. You too ?” I replied excitedly.

“I couldn’t get the train ticket due to my brother’s laziness. I tell you he is such a pathetic person, i can’t rely on anything done in time by him. I was to leave with our “famous five” girl gang yesterday and now i am not just a whole day late but stuck in this moron filled bus.” the loquacious voice uttered.

“Do you mind if i sit here” ?

It was simply a matter of sheer luck that the seat adjacent to me was the only one unoccupied.I knew from the beginning that today wasn’t like the every other day. It wasn’t the beginning of always but of something new and better which was going to be cherished for long.

Partly enchanted and partly overjoyed i told the verbose “F 20-22” that it would be a pleasure to have her as a company for the journey. Have i mentioned she smelled “Lilies”. 🙂

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Please Promote this idea of mine, here:  . I may get published. Please !!!!!

This is my entry for the HarperCollins–IndiBlogger Get Published contest, which is run with inputs from Yashodhara Lal and HarperCollins India.

The Private Letter

 

 

 

 

 

 

Dear God,

 

Hiii…!!!  How’s u??

I m f9 and hope that ball is rolling well in ur court too.

 

Sry god, for the same starting statement again . u see, now, I don’t have anymore of those English classes naa, so a bit out of practice

                                                                                                                   

Now, don’t tell me, that u forgot!!!    

“School’s over” god… 😦

                                                                                              

Leave it nyways…

Ya..tell me..What’s happening round these days , up there ?

Hey…I know….I Know, you also caught in the Fifa fever naa… That Waka Waka and Waving flag is everywhere…

Shakira roxs god, but don’t send any more like her on earth…. Come on!!! show me your creativity man, I know you could come up with something more interesting 😉  ( Now, that also doesn’t means that u start sending more of Rakhi Sawants  ;))

 

i hope internet works up there as normal as here on earth.. n hope u having a gud speed connection..(after all u r GOD!!!) , if not then please upgrade.. its very tough to survive with slow speed ( Ask my condition now-a-days 😦 )

 

Hey God, just heard that u hv given net connections to “Apsaras” also, nd that too through via ur own personal server…Haan..Haan.. tell me, tell me.. What do u thought , I won’t come to know… Mr. God, I am keeping an eye on all your “Evil intensions” 😉 .

 

 

Just wanted to ask if it is through Wi-fi or u are still living in “Dwapar Yug” with that LAN connection jhamela nd all…In case, you are using Wi-fi, then please tell authorities of JIIT also to come up with it in hostels…. Think bout me god…mera LAN port ya cable kuch na kuch to kharab rehta hi hai, you know that naa..

Hey, u seemed tense!!  don’t worry…I won’t disclose ur “Apsara’s vala secret” to anyone on earth. That’s what friends are for… 🙂 But u got to do me a favour in return (myself getting mean now-a-days)… Plz god, arrange one of them (apsaras, off course) for me too…Plz, Plz,Plz… Just try and talk to them, probably some of them might already be knowing me, after all I m such a good friend of yours, isn’t it ?…  Mutual connections, you see 😉

 

Hey, wait… Now, I know that i m asking a hell lot, but plz see to it , if u could manage 2 more of them for my friends also…”Madhur goel” and “Rohit sharma” .Plz god, show some mercy on me, i can’t tolerate their discussions on “Being single or Being commited” anymore… lol

 

Oh Ya, forgot to tell you… I have adopted a virtual turtle sometime back, though there’s a bit of confusion regarding what to name her, but one thing’s for sure… she is really very cute…These websites have so nice graphics, I tell you… Give it a try, here’s the link… www.adoptme.com.

 

You advised me about studies in ur last letter…u sounded like my mother…Yet, result stinked this semester, ur every single advice went in vain.. I’ll try to study from the next time…( mind it.. i said  I’ll try, no assurances 😉 ).

 

Anant rocked god…got 9.4 this semester…Inform him in advance that I won’t leave him with a small treat this time …

 

Well, there had been  a lot of me, me and me in this letter …. U should also express yourself…In ur reply do tell me..what’s happening beside earth… like how’s Pluto feeling after not being a planet anymore or if those doomsday talks are true or not…

 

I was just wondering that if the whole universe is really goin to end, then you would also be jobless naa…Think once… No more humanity to offer your help, No more prayers to be answered, and most importantly no more letters to be replied (I would also be dead naa, you see I can’t betray rest of the human beings, just because you r my friend ).

 

Tell me , tell me… what would you do then..ny future plannings..??

 

ha, ha, ha… when nothing is going to survive except you, then what future and what planning… rofl !!!

 

Life’s ironic. Isn’t it?                        

Just to keep ur own future f9, u urself have to cancel that doomsday plan of urs!!!  otherwise God won’t have nything left to do… imagine!!!

I’ll die out laughing.

 

I know…I know that, now u would be thinking that sumit is such a farsighted thinker, such a genius… he saved me from being jobless. He opened up my eyes…

 

It’s not that I m short of appraisals, but anyways…Thanks for ur compliment god , and ya…do tell my readers also to comment on blogs… believe me I won’t complaint to you even if they criticize, but they should at least comment…

 

Maa shouting for dinner … got to go…otherwise my doomsday is near..

 

Awaiting ur reply.. and ya..do remember our “secret deal

 

Take care of this world…!!!

 

Your very own stupid,

Sumit

 

I took the good times, I’ll take the bad once too…

“Certaily there are Good and Bad times, but our mood changes more often than our Fortune”

 Past one week , I would say was not that gud to me… Without anyone’s genuine mistake, my laptop’s hard disk got crashed, tried nearly every single computer repair shop in the town to get the data recovered, moving from shop to shop in the blazing sun, but all efforts in vain. In the whole process I even ended up breaking my new cellphone too and even got a bit bruised.

 Every one said,what was the need for that , how important that data could have been, probably you could recover everything from friends when you reach the college…To all such consoling statements made to me, I replied by just nodding the head a bit and   giving them that fake little smile…

But inside it was like a gust of emotions flowing –those of self-regret, negativity, a lot of pessimism and by lot, I meant really quite a lot, it was like I didn’t received any call for 3 days, not even spoken to family , expressed my anger of god knows what, on many well-wishers .

But the hell why??

 What that damn I have lost… probably a 80 Gb movie collection many of which were not even worth watching, some 10-12 Gb of hindi and English songs which probably I  never even listened…( In the end it was only those 20 odd songs only I ended up with every time)… those series of naruto and deathnote… Some documents, project reports, presentations (They also would come back, thanks to gmail’s sent items), though there were some personal pics which are permanently gone but yet the felling I am having now is worse than it should have been…

 I have always been careless throughout my teens, i have broken a lot many things before, and by now, I am addicted to loosing, breaking and ruining up things but this time particularly i am feeling really hurt as if being dumped in a relationship.

Time heals all the wounds, but mine is just a bruise…yet its not getting healed has left me wondering, what name I should give to such a strange feeling…. any suggestions????

 

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 PS:  I would be blogging with something more interesting than this soon.

PS:  No offences meant, all your comments are still welcomed…

 

A Nostalgia Is Still Alive…

Another astounding year of my life passed, two awesome semesters ended, numerous new friendships got born, while the sands of time graved several old ones.

I am just 19, I won’t say that I have a great experience of life to say those things which philosophers write books about ,spend several of their years searching…and then researching…though i may not have gone through many such explanations of life but but yet i believe that it is simple enough to call life a journey….


A journey that begins with an infant’s cry, moves on with his stupid games  in  the mud, then that infant grows to a child with that hefty schoolbag over his tiny shoulders, unwilling to school… time passes by and in the life of that same schoolboy comes another day… all those strangers(he call friends) meet him for a last time, hug him tight and just before anything gets said  some unexplicable feelings  (he call emotions) takes him all over and all what remains is simply another strange feeling(this time named fear)…. the fear of not getting to wear that same old school-dress again, the fear of not having that bell for recess anymore, the  fear of not getting to see his first crush anytime again…..

But the journey of life never stops, it again moved on… that time also passed…There was another dress awaiting him in JIIT, probably even another crush,(though he still feels that there should be a bell for  lunch break here in college also, but never mind :P)…. Yet, somewhere deep inside his heart a nostalgia still remains alive, it still doesn’t vanishes, it still is in search for its suitable grave….(And the boy hopes that this nostalgia that the “Stupid Sumit” talks about, remains in all of your’s heart, though by now buried in some place too deep, but yet remains at some place… probably alive and still beating)….

Let me share all of mine and probably yours too, before they find their grave in the cemetery of my heart ( If they ever could do so….)


The nostalgia of that peculiar smell of sand you could get only on a rainy morning, of that sweet  fight with your mother for that bath from the god’s own shower, of that dance of victory in the rain and of that return to mother crying over those bruised knees…

The nostalgia of letting go that wrecked school bus and then saying to everyone  ”Ahh.. bus…..Naa. it  didn’t arrived, might be a holiday probably”, and nostalgia of burning crackers in the class, and then asking for the everyone’s support , in the name of “class unity”, or of that wait for that once in a week games period, and of that fultuu-masti with Acamma mam and then being thrown out for class for the same…..

We all seem to be going through a period of nostalgia at some point of time in our lives, and everyone seems to be thinking that yesterday was better than today.

But, I don’t think it was, and I would advise you not to wait for ten more years before admitting that today was great.  If you’re still hung up on nostalgia, like i was, sometimes back, then simply pretend that today is yesterday, just go out and have one hell of a time.


I don’t know, if any one of you reading this would call me insane for penning it all down, but no problem you can do so…..

I dedicate this post to Puneet Pannu mam in answer to the question she asked everyone in first PD tute… “What do you think life is, answer in one word”…. I wasn’t able to say anything at that time, but for now… mam this is my answer, i would call it a journey…though the explanation got quite strange or probably complex… but hope that  you will understand………

ABSTRACT

I was’nt blogging for about past one and a half week or so…  it isn’t so that anyone of you will be awaiting my so called   “blogpost” but i yet feel  like explaining it , because u see the reason was related to projects and presentations… (Kabhi padai ki vagah se agar koi blogger blogging chod de, then it is definitely something strange).

Actually , i think that i should be searching matter for “Julius Ceaser” now,  our topic ….We got to deliver the presentation in 2-3 days ..HELL !!, i don’t even remember the day ;P

naa … leave it. Let ceaser rest in peace in his grave and my group mates work, while i m back with something new… This time i would call it “Abstract”.

The story starts a few days ago , i was sitting ideal, trying to figure out what to start with( when you have so many useless projects, u definitely need to figure that out)  and being completely confused,   choosed  to view one of those several wallpapers , I had in my collection titled “ABSTRACT”…

Then suddenly one of my friend who was just passing by , altering his so called “destination path” came  to me and said  “Sumit…Can’t you find anything interesting to put on your desktop”, and the other guy with him(even i don’t know who the hell was he…) said expressing his sympathy to me.. “I suppose you really need Kirsten Stewart wallpapers, get them from me on IP, u know my IP name na… its  *****.

I know sometimes things definitely go quite a bit abstract in my case (Believe me, still a pumpkin doesn’t look that bad on desktop) , but fine this is what i m . I enjoy myself the way i m …Every person in this world likes what he likes, there doesn’t exist any reason for that, Mona lisa’s smile has different meaning to everyone,  yet why do some people feel like imposing their choices on others…Like they are the only ones who know everything…There’s no point complaining.. leave it anyways….  its probably only the god might know the reason.

But there is one thing I definitely know… how to answer such people even without wasting energy to open your mouth…Very  simple … Open ur IP messanger, select that ***** and send him your 50 MB collection….of Kristen Stewart wallpapers…..

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