There are plenty of websites, books, audio recordings, and seminars available to get inspired. There is no single formula for getting inspired. To get inspired is a personal choice and depends on the individual taste. Like anybody else, I too need constant inspiration(s) to do things.

Some aspects are situational, bounded by the life we lead and the way it is presented at any given point. Rest, I go looking for something to do! However, without any bias, each person needs inspiration at some point in time, and here again, we interpret this word in different ways.

Are we running short of ideas? Do we lack the spark which we previously possessed? Are we on the look out for a change? How can we tackle the same problem with a different approach? How do we seek clarity from a clouded problem? How do we face our fears? How do we accept and manage our responsibilities? How to do just about anything for the first time and carry on doing it?

One can ask many more questions, and one of the critical solutions is to get ‘inspired.’ The best part of getting inspired is that it has no set patterns. The same story narrated by an adventurer to a large audience can be interpreted in many different ways and, in turn, get inspired or discouraged, entirely based upon an individual’s interpretation and application skills. This is the beauty of creativity – the same idea, when executed by different people, results in different scenarios, products…

“Inspiration to me is… anything that ticks me to take a particular decision, perform a set of actions or even think about getting to a destination – it is a journey of thoughts mixed with choices and actions”.


First and foremost, I look for a situation that needs intervention, a sort of inspiration that would help me resolve. Parallely ask, why do I need to fix it? I need not sit in one place and keep pondering. Just wanting to improve will present ways.

Why do I need to get inspired? I peg myself constantly with this question until I am satisfied with the explanation. Often, this answer sets the foundation for future elements. This exercise itself has inspired me many times just to take that hesitant first step. One can call it ‘introspection’ or ‘mindful thinking’ instead of just clocking in hours and then feel.. ‘what am I doing’? This helps me to be more aware of myself and have an opinion on my choices.

Being open-minded while absorbing the inspiration. I believe this is one of the tough things to endure. It is natural to relate any external talks immediately, solutions to our problems. Though it is difficult, I try to be as open-minded as possible! But again, I try!

Feel the situation from my point of view. It gets to me to a zone where there is this large pool of untapped thoughts that serve as inspiration within me. That is how I get inspired impromptu, i.e.; a simple act was done at a random hour. A regular task performed differently, or even an unrelated business or a task can act as a source of inspiration.

And lastly, the process of inspiration has two points. The start and the end (or in some cases, the end is never unless we deliberately put an end to it). I look for the journey from start to finish. This journey gives me a perspective and, therefore, some inspiration to keep it going, which I may not apply directly – but it all goes into my conscious bank. However, the lesson learned is that I undertook many tasks, and most of it I went on to fulfill them while a few I gave up at different stages of the pursuit. All these serve as sources of inspiration: How to do and how not to do.

To sum it up, getting inspired is a beautiful process. At this moment, unconsciously, subconsciously, our body, mind, and soul are getting inspired. Take a time out occasionally and live this chain of events that unfold in you – and you will be surprised to witness, inspiration is nothing but an exchange of experiences of any kind.

My Favourite Wife (1940)

Marilyn Monroe took the role in ‘Something’s Gotta Give’ to extreme heights before bidding a farewell to everyone from this world. Doris Day, similarly in ‘Move over Darling’ was charming and did justice to her role.

While one movie had to be abandoned, the other was seen as a good remake of this 1940 movie.

My Favourite Wife is the one in the discussion that gave the source to the movies mentioned above while being inspired by Alfred Lord Tennyson’s poem “Enoch Arden.”

This movie had a pre-cursor, plot-wise in the silent era, most notably D W Griffith’s epic ‘Enoch Arden’ in two parts made in 1911. Ellen Arden (Irene Dunne) is supposedly killed in a shipwreck seven years ago. Her husband, Nick Arden (Cary Grant), after having hoped all these years to see his wife come back, decides to have her issued dead in the court. This would ensure he could move on and marry Bianca (Gail Patrick) legally. Nick has two kids from Ellen.

Nick and Bianca get married and are on their way to their honeymoon.

Twist in the tale as Ellen appears after having been rescued by a ship from a distant island. She comes home and gets to know about Nick’s wedding and feels sad about him moving on with life. She decides to surprise him and goes to the hotel where the newlywed couples have booked their honeymoon suite.

The expression on the face of Nick upon seeing Ellen is a treat for audiences. He feels guilty about the fact that he cannot embrace his long-lost wife with the same compassion. At the same time, he cannot think about his newlywed status with Bianca.

Hesitation to come out with Bianca’s truth, he escapes from confrontation, and the scenes have been shot well, portraying Nick’s denial to face the truth. Nick is jealous that Ellen had spent the last seven years with a guy on that island. He was curious to know who that guy was. Ellen tries to camouflage this fact by introducing a dumb guy so that Nick doesn’t have an issue to get back at her. Incidentally, Nick, driven by jealousy, decides to find who that guy was. It turns out to be quite a handsome guy.

Unable to bear this, he expresses his irritation to Ellen. In the meantime, Bianca is confused as to why she isn’t able to live with Nick and keeps wondering what’s going on in Nick’s mind. He tends to avoid her whenever she tries to get close to him or when she is in a mood to make love.

Out of two wives, Nick has to make a choice. He chooses his favourite wife, and that being Ellen. One can sympathise with Bianca as I feel she has been wronged here. But, since this being a movie on the lines of screwball comedy, one can imagine having characters like Bianca.

Irene Dunne and Cary Grant match their previous success on a husband-wife theme, The Awful Truth. In particular, Irene Dunne looks fresh, and one cannot believe she was older than Cary Grant in real life. The scenes involving the hotel manager and the judge are mind blowing-ly funny. Randolph Scott plays the role of Steve Burkett, who accompanied Ellen on the deserted island.

Directed by Garson Kanin, this movie was initially slated to be directed by Leo McCarey. A freak accident prevented him from executing and hired Garson Kanin to do the honours.

The movie was a success and managed to receive three Oscar nominations for Best Art Direction, Best Music – Original Score, and Best Writing – Original Story (looks like by altering story and some of its elements from another play are considered original).

In Name Only (1939)

Fishing on a sunny afternoon can be quite a pleasant thing. It is quite relaxing. The fishing rod’s string gets stuck to one of the tree branches, and it isn’t enjoyable anymore. A good-looking stranger comes to the rescue, and there it began the story of ‘In Name Only.’

Julia Eden (Carole Lombard) is fishing with her daughter Ellen (Peggy Ann Garner) when the string gets stuck. Outcomes Alec Walker (Cary Grant) to offer his help. He is the son of the fishing estate owner. He strikes a conversation with Julia, and they both seem to have an excellent time chatting up.

It isn’t surprising that they fall in love with each other. Relatively easy to fall in love. Alec Walker is the son of a wealthy man who has an excellent reputation in social circles. Alec is unhappily married to Maida Walker (Kay Francis), which is one reason to fall in love with Julia. Julia and Alec keep meeting often, and it is clear the liking they have for each other.

Julia is unaware of Alec’s marital status. It takes a car accident and Julia’s sketchbook in the car for Maida to know about the other lady’s presence in Alec’s life. Who is Maida? She is a good-looking lady, a very calm, gentle, loving wife, and a daughter-in-law. That was the impression she had on Alec’s parents while having no such affection towards Alec.

Marrying a wealthy man’s son and being among the top in social circles can be quite an incentive, and she wasn’t the one to let go of this at any cost. She wasn’t in love to be married to Alec and wasn’t prepared to give up even when Alec wasn’t interested in her.

She makes quite a scene of Alec’s attraction for Julia and refuses to give divorce when Alec asks for one. Instead, she decides to be with Alec’s parents to have their support against her husband, their son. Julia is in love with Alec and is looking forward to being with Alec.

Once she gets the message from Maida and, coupled with Alec’s hesitance to break the social norm and accept her in total, she decides to give up on the relationship, thinking it has no future. Alec is in the middle of a deep emotional crisis, and he decides to become a recluse and stays in a hotel.

He gets drunk on a winter night and manages to get ill (pneumonia) as he doesn’t pay any attention to the cold winters of Christmas. He is admitted to the hospital. To restore Alec’s zeal, Julia decides to comfort him, falsely assuring him about them getting together.

Maida steps into the room, and Julia, while trying to block her, gets into a confrontation with her. Maida confesses openly about her intentions and states the reason for getting married. She even claims to have sacrificed her love to marry Alec and for the social status attached to it. This was overheard by Alec’s parents and recognises what kind of illusion they have been all this long.

One of the fascinating aspects of this movie is the intense portrayal of all the main three characters. Kay Francis impresses with her impish tricks, while Carole Lombard exhibits the other extreme of a lady pristinely in love. Cary Grant plays the lovable, irritated guy who manages to pull off Alec Walker’s role with subtle sophistication.

Directed by John Cromwell, the story of this 1939 RKO release is inspired by Bessie Breuer, an American writer’s debut novel ‘In Memory on Love’ (1935)

Its a Wonderful Life (1947)

I always wondered why life has a lot to give to us when least expected. Is it its way of testing one’s response? In any case, this movie gave insight into how situations pan out, which are very different from one’s dream.

This is a story of George Bailey (James Stewart) and his altruism. He always dreamt of traveling places. However, due to his father’s sudden death, his plans had to take a back step. Instead, he takes over his father’s loan and building company. Mr. Potter’s (Lionel Barrymore) malicious intentions are always cut short by Bailey’s love and affection for his town and the people.

To give a glimpse of what this movie is about:

Few days before Christmas, disaster strikes, and some part of the company’s money is lost when Bailey’s uncle was depositing in the bank. Mr. Potter, who was well aware of the possible consequences, would hide the money. Fearing about his company shut down for money loss, a frustrated and clueless Bailey contemplates suicide.

His years of goodwill ensured an angel named Clarence, who wants to earn his wings, comes to earth. He shows Bailey how his town as if he hadn’t been born. The city would have been in chaos under Potter’s reign. His family members are either dead or led a life of misery.

This probably made Bailey understand the positive impact he had on people’s lives and re-consider his suicide, and realize what a wonderful life he has had. He did want his life back, and more than ever, he wanted to live again.

This was the first movie I had seen of James Stewart and that of Frank Capra, and it happened to be the starring debut for Donna Reed, who plays Mary Bailey.

The movie has many claims and is widely rated as one of the top films never to have won Best Picture Oscar only behind Shawshank Redemption. On the technical front, this film did innovate a unique method of creating snowfall.

Personally, this movie was one of the first Black ‘N’ White films I had seen as a college student. It did have a positive impact on my life then. Four years hence, I still feel the same vibes when I think about this movie.

In the last scene, when Bailey’s daughter is very apt looking at the situation he had to deal with the angel.

At his home when the party is on, sound from Christmas bells…

Zuzu Bailey: Look, Daddy. The teacher says, every time a bell rings, an angel gets his wings.
George Bailey: That’s right, that’s right. Attaboy, Clarence.

A Writer’s Mis(s)-Inspiration

I do have a belief in the concept of “Change.” Having a perception-oriented world around you, it’s always hard to conclude whether things are for better or worse. In any case, the experience is attached irrespective of the state of mind we are in.

I had an opportunity to meet a person while I was flying from New Delhi to Bangalore. He had everything going for him, a decent family and steady romantic relationship, and a great promise in his career. He told, it wasn’t stable concerning his girlfriend, and it took them three years and two breakups to get to this steady state.

One of the things I got to know was his talent for writing essays on philosophy, cars, music, and relationships. He doesn’t have a blog to address them but maintains a notebook to pen his thoughts.

He showed me the book, and it was empty for the last few months. He says he has become too lazy to write these days. Fair enough, responsibilities on the career front were stopping him to an extent. But, at the same time, he was frustrated that he wasn’t able to write.

He was kind enough to let me read few articles. According to my, the best ones were scattered here and there. Some of them showed his unintentional writing, I mean, writing just for the sake of it, not having a soul.

I pointed this to him, and he did agree.

Now the next question. “Sir, what has been the greatest source of motivation or, say, the inspiration to write such things?”

“Pain….. It’s something which is very much required to bring out the best, at least for me. When I look back, I feel my creativity was best when I had a hard time with either my family or with my girlfriend. I wanted some stir inside me to bring out the feelings and be honest; my best writings were when I had something inside, some uneasiness. When I wasn’t with my girlfriend, I thought that period to be a great motivating factor because I loved her, and I couldn’t convey and convince how much I missed her. All this energy was put on my writings, and friends said it was well written, that included my girlfriend too.”

Aren’t you harsh on your girlfriend by concluding like this? I asked
“Initially, I did not think this to be the reason. But, if you look back, my best writings came when there wasn’t any clarity in our relationship. Now it’s clear much clear than what it was. You know, I don’t mind this writing. I don’t want to hurt my girlfriend by telling her what I feel and the reason for my inability to write anymore the way I used to.”

At this point, I wasn’t convinced with his argument. It was a sign of him losing his touch since he feels he doesn’t have anything to say to her about how much he cared and loved. I was wondering how his girlfriend would react if she finds out about this.

Usually, I don’t interfere in people’s way of working or living. But at that time, I felt I had something to say. Also, he did ask my opinion. I chose not to be a diplomat.

“The path of self-discovery is exciting. When we decide that this is the person, we stop our discovery channel and instead switch to exploring the person regularly. This can be a judgmental call, and one has to back oneself and be convinced. It depends on what you expect from a partner. If it doesn’t match in the first step, is there any point in exploring?”

I continued, “When you say you are very at peace with yourself after getting back with your girlfriend, then it’s a positive sign. Life isn’t all about writing masterpieces. If your girlfriend’s distance away was your main source of inspiration, then think about the kind of inspiration she can be now that she is even closer. I am sure she doesn’t want you to be upset because of her. I understand we do have our ways of getting inspired, but it isn’t the right way to judge or conclude. If I were in your position, I would have expressed my feelings to the concerned and would find newer ways of looking at things.
In a way, this gives you a chance to write about things differently rather than looking at the same monotonous routine. It’s time you accepted the reality and allow the change to interact with your writing and analytical skills. It’s time for a change in the way you looked at things. You asked for my opinion, and I have given mine.”

He was surprised and suspiciously looked at me and asked me, “Have you ever gone through something like this?”

I was made to shut within no time. But I did reply, “It doesn’t matter whether I went through this all. I can say, at least I wouldn’t blame anyone but me. I have decided for the little skills I have, it’s my responsibility to find constant inspirations to keep it going. It’s tough at times, but the beauty of nature and life is such that it will give many sources; it’s only up to us to choose.” I hope this answers your question.

I didn’t realize Bangalore was such a short journey. He was in a hurry, we exchanged numbers, and that was it. And before saying goodbye, he said, he will look into whatever I had said.

In the end, it didn’t matter; whether it was because of me, he got back to his writing ways; I hope he feels excellent about writing again without having to blame someone else.

Remember Street Hawk??

In 2006, Anucheth and I had the privilege of hosting a quiz to select the best team in college. It’s called ‘Funda-mental.’

Any fact, which was appreciated, would just be acknowledged as ‘fundae’ with a generous clap. Being a part of RV QuizCorp and its rich tradition was only one of my dreams. It did come true.

Ask any quizzer when he sets the questions; all he wants is his questions to be appreciated, never mind it being cracked by the junta. And he must be able to keep the audience involved.

My favourite topic was Sports, Entertainment (remove some rock music) and India. I didn’t mind myself being binged with facts that came my way. There was enthusiasm to know more in the avenues, which I was good at. Along the way, this also became a great way to burgeon my quest for learning more facts across the world.

When I was conducting a quiz, all I wanted in return was a clap from the junta and appreciated the questions or so-called ‘fundas.’ This was the ultimate reward not just for me but also for all my fellow quizzers.

To come back to the history of QuizCorp, I don’t have much to say. Many legends from India have come and competed in the quizzes hosted by RV College because we made quizzing look more exciting and enjoyable. (http://www.rvquizcorp.com/)

In 2004, I participated in my first fundamental. I, Viren, and Keith, after a 16 round marathon quizzing, finished second overall. (It was a surprise; big occasions always brought the best in me). It was indeed a big thing as there were many good quizzers around us. At times, I always felt it was in me to step up or step down in company with my teammates. I was never good at solo quizzing except for sports.

Team spirit brings the best in me in terms of cracking the fundas.

The tradition was: The winners of fundamental get to host the next edition. Sadly, for two years after 2004, it never happened.

So, I thought, maybe I will start this thing again. Anu was more than happy about this. To me, he is the best quizzer I have seen. I have seen many seniors who come close to him or probably are ahead of him in some respects, but in what I have seen, I have never witnessed the sheer ruthlessness he exhibits when it comes to solo quizzing and any quiz, for that matter. (He used to crib about Sports and India at times, but most times he got it right whenever required)

Coming back to the pivotal point – Since a kid, bikes fascinated me, and I was cloyed with bike shows that came on TV. One happens to be Street Hawk starring Rex Smith.

It started in 1985, but my memory points to late 1992 until 1993 when I watched this show on Doordarshan. It was on Saturdays @ 930 pm, no matter what, I never missed this show.

Sadly, this show ran for 13 episodes only. One of the reasons can be pointed to David Hasselhoff’s convoluted machine called ‘Knight Rider,’ the one that could talk.

That show never appealed to me, and for me, Street Hawk is way above Knight Rider.

While setting any quiz, I make sure I dedicate my favourites in some way or the other. I wanted a question on Street Hawk for this edition of funda-mental. I had the photos of the bike designs, but I knew deep down this would be ‘arbit’ (too vague to crack).

One of the highlights of Street Hawk was its intro, which always stayed in mind. There it was, one I wanted to put it.

I played this to Anucheth; he was like, Man, where did you get this.

There you go, I knew this question would be a hit. More importantly, I wanted to bring back the lost memories of this great show among the junta.

Very few cracked, but all appreciated this question.

Appropriately, this Quiz was titled ‘Dedications’ – Dedication to all the Quiz Corpers.

That day (12th Sep 2006), Anucheth started downloading this show. It was seven and a half GB. He tried for a year until his computer gave up last month when he had to change his entire system.

I know, he wanted to present the entire show as my birthday gift; at least that’s what he claims. Never mind, I am going to buy this DVD, and this will be placed in my collectibles.

To end, check out the video and of course, the theme for this, which continues to be my track when I want to get ready for more significant and greater challenges ahead.

The theme is by Tangerine Dream.