Sunday, May 31, 2020

WriterDuet: A Lucid Platform

I have been attempting to write a story in script/screenplay formats, and WriterDuet is the wonderful discovery that makes the whole thing look so much lesser of a mess to me in this first experimentation of mine! It is not for nothing that this writing tool is called as the 'Google Docs' of Screenplay. 

With automatic backups and sync, this platform is really cool to use. It acquires a sense of the flow of the sequences, and is very useful even for those attempting to write a full-length script for the first time. When used with a desktop version, the software saves the work neatly in both offine and online modes- making it a reliable platform that doesn't require you to keep hitting the save button. 

The features that appeal the most to me are the real-time collaborations allowed on the platform, and the neatly filed and comprehensive edited versions of the script with co-writers. It also has this cool provision to put up a mind-map of the scenes in the story, allows outlining, tagging, and taking notes while writing. Customizing your experience with the platform is a pro-feature of WriterDuet, but the free version in itself is great. 

The whole process is neatly arranged, and the space looks stylish and clean- you genuinely feel like writing when you open the tool! It's been one of the coolest finds, one that makes you happy to have found it at the right time! You can check them out here if you are interested- WriterDuet

Happy writing!

Saturday, May 30, 2020

Chimes With Tinkle

The month's copy of Tinkle arrives, and there is frantic page turning till the one-page Suppandi jokes are read, re-read as you double up with laughter, the happiness reaching your heart and eyes, and then you go to your Mom, Dad, brother and everyone else and share the joke, and they laugh too.

Tinkle is never read in a definite order by anyone. We all had our favourite picks and we went to those stories first. We couldn't help ourselves from getting to our favourite ones before we read the rest of it! So, here's my list of constant, evergreen, lovable superstars who gave most of us such a wonderful childhood with beaming eyes and riotous laughs!

1. Suppandi. There is not a single person who has read Tinkle and doesn't like Suppandi! His stupidity is just too adorable. And, baby Suppandi stories were just too, too cute and funny. Best, and the one that gets the first attention when a Tinkle copy arrives. 

2. Pyarelal and Lajo. These two kind-hearted village couple from Hastipur were my most favourite. I just loved the Pyarelal stories too much. And, Pyarelal to me was way too pyaara. I would love the way Lajo, fond for Lajiwanti, Pyarelal's wife, used to make him his favourite Jackfruit curry with so much zest, and I loved the way Pyarelal always talked to his wife about all the problems and they solved it together, and also how he always made small gifts for her like swings and garden. These characters were too genuine and innocently beautiful for me to not fall in love with!

3. Shikari Shambu. Dream of snoring away to glory, and hitting jackpot of luck, rewards and praise? That's Shikari Shambu for you. A sleepy and scared misfit forest officer always finds himself being praised and lauded while the wild animals he was supposed to trap keep running into self made traps as he sleeps before them. What's not to love about a good Shambu story!

4. Tantri the Mantri. Raja Hooja, the naive and laddu-loving desi king, and his sinsiter mantri Tantri is all that is necessary for a good entertainment. Seeing every planned plotting of Tantri to dethrone Raja Hooja backfire beautifully for reasons the crop up from nowhere was the best feeling ever! This was one hilariously fun series!

These were the absolute favourites, but I also used to like Nasruddid Hodja, Ina, Mina, Mynah, Mo, and Defective Detectives a lot. There were also many favourites from the stand-alone single stories that featured every month. The only comic series that I never liked, for some reason that I never figured out what, was Janoo and Wooly Woo

Tinkle was doubtlessly one of the best things we have grown up with! Have an old Tinkle at home? Pick it up, and read them again! If not, check out Tinkle Online!

Friday, May 29, 2020

Fairy Dust Of The Hoi Polloi

Abracadabra, whoosh, and an elegant, voguish wave of the mind-wand! That's all it takes to endlessly sprinkle the magic dust of the Hoi Polloi, and we have quite a few of them!

Kindness. The best of the lot. They say, in a world where you can be anything, be kind. Kindness is a wide umbrella that incorporates and overlaps with other key human traits such as forgiveness and helpfulness. You be kind, and you will see others being kind to you.
“But remember, boy, that a kind act can sometimes be as powerful as a sword.”Rick Riordan, The Battle of the Labyrinth
Patience. Be patient with yourself while learning, while listening, while being. Be patient with others, for it is when you are patient that you start to notice things and understand them they way they should be. 
“No, no! The adventures first, explanations take such a dreadful time.”
Empathy. Listen when someone talks, see what someone shows. You don't have to agree, but you also don't have to decide not to agree before even you give it a chance. When you don't like something that someone says, try to understand why they say it. This is a superpower that we have that has the greatest potential to bridge the gaps and play fair. 
“I did not know how to reach him, how to catch up with him... The land of tears is so mysterious.”Antoine de Saint-ExupĂ©ry, The Little Prince
Respect. This is the sine qua non to life- the most necessary of the lot. Without respect, there is nothing. No other virtue- not kindness, nor patience or empathy, nothing can earn you respect. Give respect and take respect- it's a no-bargain area. While we can manage to cross through a phase without kindness or patience, it is difficult to cross one without respect. And, self-respect and the value you bear upon youself is the core that makes us keep going. 
“Above all, don't lie to yourself. The man who lies to himself and listens to his own lie comes to a point that he cannot distinguish the truth within him, or around him, and so loses all respect for himself and for others. And having no respect he ceases to love.”― Fyodor Dostoevsky, The Brothers Karamazov
And, many more! Humans are creatures blessed with a range of emotions. But, like a fairy keeps away from mischief, so must we! Neither entertain mischief, nor pull off any. Let's do the world the good we can. And, we just need to sprinkle on the people we know everyday- mom, dad, siblings, friends, teachers, and acquaintances. That's really all that it takes.

Next time you dismiss someone's words, maybe show some empathy, respect? Go back and think why they said what they said. Maybe, you were wrong. Maybe, they were wrong. Maybe, they aren't empathetic, they why should you be- is that what you are thinking? Be kind and patient, they will learn, and so will you!

Thursday, May 28, 2020

Frayed, Yet Fond

Frayed, unkempt, seeming like a debris,
beaten and worn out from usage umpteen.
Tensed strands clenching on to save the free-
flying offcut; an unending attempt to keep.
Farther down my piece, another hole-
visible nibbles of yet another moth. 
Save me, before it eats me whole 
and I get thrown out without a thought.
Cool comfort you sought, and give- I did,
Now I need your thought and wit.
Without a thought? Parting hurts, 
such a loyal t-shirt I was! 
Save me, before situation asserts 
that I be thrown away to rot
-your closest since seventh class.
Remember, I may be frayed- but I was
fondest among the fond!

Wednesday, May 27, 2020

"I beg you- please, play me fair!"

My close friend, from school, and I were not really people who tensed up before an exam. In fact, we had a chilled out policy- if you studied there's nothing to worry about, if you didn't there's definitely nothing to worry about! So, we always took the exam in a very relaxed manner, and mostly never discussed the paper after the exam, because why trouble yourself realizing your mistakes! And, we had a standard reply at home. 

How did the Maths test go? It went great.
How did the Science test go? It went great.
How did the Social test go? It went great. 
And, English?  Great, of course. 

My brother was worse. If my mom asked him how he wrote his paper, he'd reply 'using my pen/hand'. So, there was never a debate about anything until the scores came, and then it was a one-hour talk till the report card went back to the teacher (hehehe).

During our Class XII was the first ever time we felt a little that we must be pretty serious about studying, and that too for around three months from January of the Board year, because if we didn't get through a competitive exam then the score would matter. But, once again, when I entered the University, I went back to the 'chill-policy'. I make a point to plan and study (like I talked about in my post on 5 things that help me in college), but I never get tensed. 

On this note, here's a fun poem by my close friend, Priyanka, that she wrote during our high school!

Every day we inch closer,
Thinking 'bout you 
makes my heart beat faster,
Just your name makes me jittery all over,
O Lord! Make the evening go slower!
You- I badly wanna forget,
But only stronger and stronger
in my thoughts you get, 
I beg you- please, play me fair,
Annuals, you are giving me a scare!

And, for a lot of people, exams do give a scare. It's nature to some people to get worried, but it can be consciously toned down by practice and an aware decision to try to stay cool whatever happens. However, this in no way means that you can fool yourself to think the scores will be fine, because they can't be fine unless you worked enough to deserve them. But there is only so much you can do on the day of the exam or one day before, and that is to stay calm and cool. Wrap up your books, have your meal, drink water, chill and write to the best of what you know. If not the results, at least your mind and experience through your exam will be much better!

Also, check out this cute fan-poem we wrote as we resided in the world of Harry Potter around Class VII: If you go to Hogwarts... School and school friends bring way too many happy memories for me!

Tuesday, May 26, 2020

Atomic Habits

Title: Atomic Habits: An Easy & Proven Way to Build Good Habits & Break Bad Ones
Author: James Clear

We all have numerous habits- some good, some bad. And, all habits have an effect- sometimes for the better, and sometimes for the worse, depending on whether it is a good or bad one. While we inch through life, we have goals that we try to achieve through processes, and the processes incorporate a lot of our habits. James Clear, in Atomic Habits, talks about practical ways to make some good ones, and break a couple of the bad ones. 
"Can one tiny change transform your life? It’s unlikely you would say so. But what if you made another? And another? And another? At some point, you will have to admit that your life was transformed by one small change."
This the crux of what the book is about. The author goes on to break down habits to their very fundamentals, and show us that it is the thousands of small habits done over thousands of times that yields what looks like a big achievement. Breakthrough moments are often the result of many previous actions, which build up the potential required to unleash a major change. And without such a build up of potential, it is rarely possible to bring any major change. 

The book is extremely practical, and the ideas it talks about is not something that we don't know already. It is something that we all know and yet fail to do. And, the book seeks to give you pointers on actually doing them. Habits are necessary for everything- from businesses, to parenting, to self-maintenance, to your professional work, and social life, they play a strong role in every single facet of your life. 

I loved the way Clear has brought down the concept of habit to 'identity'. Associating a good habit with your very identity makes things much easier and more natural to maintain such habits. I can absolutely understand this at my personal level, for example. Sandhya has a reputation or identity, over the years, for being punctual, not gossiping, sleeping early, waking up on time, etc. Now, these comments about my good habits are most definitely associated with the very identity of my personality by both myself and the people around me- and this makes me motivated to keep it up! More than the identity in other people's eyes, it is your own that makes you stick to your habits. When I tell someone that I hate when people are late, and I am proud of myself being punctual, I can never go late myself. It is as simple as that. 
“If you’re proud of how your hair looks, you’ll develop all sorts of habits to care for and maintain it. If you’re proud of the size of your biceps, you’ll make sure you never skip an upper-body workout. If you’re proud of the scarves you knit, you’ll be more likely to spend hours knitting each week. Once your pride gets involved, you’ll fight tooth and nail to maintain your habits.”
But, as much as such reputation and pride can make you stick to good habits, it can do the same thing to a bad habit, too! And, that is the catch. James Clear once again gives great actionable insights on how to wean away from destructive habits. Just like one day's workout will not result in a toned body, going five minutes late to a class may also not have any immediate negative effects. But, over time both these habits will have the cumulative effect of having been done a thousand times over when it seemed like they didn't matter. 

I loved the way James Clear has tried to explain all the other concepts associated with habits, like identity, practice, disappointment, and the rest. I think for those who have long pending lists about a habit they wanted to inculcate, this is a book that you can actually try out like a thoughtful workbook!

It was a great read, and I really enjoyed the way it expressed simple and necessary ideas with such freshness, clarity and diction!

I have previously written about how my own blog looks as beautiful as it is today because of what became a habit through several years, in my post The Power of Habit! Think about your habits- both the good and the bad- and evaluate them for yourself, whether or not you read this book!

Monday, May 25, 2020

Slam Book (More Like Sham Book)

Slam books were a thing when I was around Class V/VI. They were important because it shows how much you knew about your friends, and also because generally it was a cool thing for a kid to have around that time. Eleven year old Sandhya also obviously kept up with the trend and owned one!

For those who aren't aware what a slam book is, here's the Wikipedia definition:
"A slam book is a notebook (commonly the spiral-bound type) which is passed among children and teenagers. The keeper of the book starts by posing a question (which may be on any subject) and the book is then passed round for each contributor to fill in their own answer to the question." 
What lies we all wrote! We all wrote anything and everything that made us look that much cooler. I still have my slam book where so many of my friends have written the weirdest, funniest things, and we have a good laugh over it now and then! Slam books can be a treasure to rediscover the most bizarre dreams we had as children. Not one entry said they wanted to be an engineer, or doctor, or lawyer slogging off in a nine-to-nine workplace. I had friends who had dreams of becoming artists, painters, singers, dancers, magicians, scientists, actors, writers, businessmen, fashion designers, models, astronauts, wizards, and what not! Just a look at it makes us smile! 

Till a couple of years back, I have often picked up the slam book to trace the phone number of a friend not on social media. All the numbers that I used to have in the slam book were landline numbers since we never had a mobile till class eleven or twelve, and most of the landlines still work!

I have often heard that slam books were also used as a medium to write mean, anonymous comments about other kids, and thinking back it is true that such a thing could have been possible. However, I am glad and thankful that no such bullying ever happened through a slam book to me or any of my friends when we were kids. 

To me, slam books are a happy memory that take us back into the slap-happy dreams of ourselves ten years ago!

Sunday, May 24, 2020

Ralph Breaks The Internet

Movie: Ralph Breaks The Internet (Wreck It Ralph 2)
Genre: Animation
Directed by: Rich Moore, Phil Johnston
Written by: Phil Johnston, Pamela Ribon
Music by: Henry Jackman

Vanellope von Schweetz is bored of driving around the same old tracks, and being the same old star racer in her game, Sugar Rush. There is a new plug-in to the surprise of all the game characters in the arcade- 'WiFi', but they are strictly forbidden to enter that zone. In a misfire when Ralph creates a new track for Vanellope to make things interesting for her, a desperate human player of Sugar Rush at the arcade turns the steering wheel a bit too much trying to control Vanellope in the game, who had ditched the original track to explore the new one by Ralph. 

Sugar Rush is an old game, and the human girl finds out that the only one final steering wheel available is on eBay. The owner of the arcade decides to unplug the game as the steering wheel for the game is much costlier that what the game makes in a year at the arcade. Ralph and Vanellope decide to enter into the Internet through the WiFi zone so that they can buy the steering wheel from eBay and save Sugar Rush.

I'd have loved to say that is all the movie is about, but that's not all. The first half of the movie was extremely entertaining, with some very relatable and hilarious personified depictions of what we come across on the internet while browsing like pop-ups, suggestions during search results, advertisements, 'trending' videos, and several other things. But, towards the latter half of the film, it slid into what was more a fight and insecurity about friendship. That was still fine. Towards the very end, it was just Ralph and Vanellope taking turns and competing to be sad for not being a good friend to each other. 

Those who have watched the absolutely brilliant and fun first part Wreck-It Ralph: you'll know the premise in which the theme of friendship has been used in this movie. However, it was plainly weird sentiment rather than any concrete story or plot towards the end. Even with such an interesting and promising start, and steady build up of what seemed like a nice storyline, Ralph Breaks the Internet somewhere lost its story towards the end, and held on to a single point, leaving other factors hanging. 

It was an okay film, but nowhere close to the amazing Wreck-It Ralph. So, if you are watching it after the first part, don't carry over your expectations from there!

Saturday, May 23, 2020

Zumba: Party-like-Workout, or Workout-like-Party?


All of us like to dance. All of us. Maybe, some may like to portray that they aren't really interested in dancing because they may be scared they aren't good at it, or they may not be comfortable enough to dance in front of other people. But we all shake a leg in private just as soon as groovy tune reaches our ears. Dance is literally as basic as the body's reflex to music. Then why not dance your way to glory (I mean a glory, healthy life)

I discovered Zumba around Class X thanks to a family friend and doctor. I went as a bubbly, chubby, pretty and plump kid to The Swingers Dance, and I absolutely, absolutely loved it! For the first time I felt like a proper heroine dancing, with no inhibitions, no judgement, as I danced away like crazy to my heart's content, dubbing the songs and matching them with the co-ordinated and easily choreographed steps, as I admired myself dancing, throughout the workout, in the full length wall mirrors in the studio! Until then, I had never taken much to keeping fit, and when I went for the Zumba classes, I didn't even realize that I was doing all this to lose weight!

Not even once. Not even once did I feel like not going or skipping. It was in fact the opposite. I used to be so enthusiastic about them- because why not, I was going to be the star of the day with some killer expressions and uninhibited dancing! Zumba classes were a major stress-buster and so much fun. The oodles of weight went away without even me thinking one moment about it. And soon, people started asking me. Wow, you've lost so much weight, what did you do? But, the issue was: when I told them Zumba, they eyed it like a workout, which it didn't feel like to me. 

Zumba classes in India are fun- they mix the right amounts of fun Latinotics, salsa, bachata, jazz, reggae, and peppy Bollywood with bhangra and other desi steps, all in the same spirit. The only place you can dance without a second-thought for Chikini Chameli and be its heroine is in an absolutely fun Zumba class! Zumba is in between aerobics and dance. It is more dance than aerobics. It is designed to make you feel great while doing it, and the music drowns your consciousness about the effort and pain during the workout. 

I think Zumba is an excellent option, especially for women. And, I say this because I have done Zumba for three years. It is the kind of workout that I know is my type. What seemed like a party produced such brilliant results, and over time I did become naturally health conscious. If you have a fitbit, or any other calorie counter wearable, do use it, it's great encouragement. I have a Ticwatch now, and I use that for my activities too. 

To those who are thinking about Zumba, and to those who have never thought about Zumba as an option: don't think, just do five sessions for a start before you think anything about it. It's way too much fun and it gives you mind-blowing results. How I am today is proof to that. 

Tip to those who already love Zumba: watch the mirror and yourself when you dance for songs you already know the steps for! You just tend to do it that much better!

Have fun (even while working out)!

Friday, May 22, 2020

The Devil's Advocate

Title: The Devil’s Advocate: A spry polemic on how to be seriously good in court
Author: Iain Morley

What does it take to argue a case in court? Is it a ‘born-talent’, or can it be learnt? Is studying the law, and knowing it, enough to win a case? Advocacy is an art, not science: says Iain Morley, and it is to be honed through practice of litigation, like a skill that one is passionate about, learning and bettering oneself with every case. 
“And by ‘practise’, with an ‘s’, I mean the verb for getting up and repeatedly doing a thing until you get good at it – note the different spelling from ‘practice’, with a ‘c’, which is the verb for carrying out a profession.” 
The book is called The Devil's Advocate because it may make you see advocacy from a new perspective. It makes you see what makes a difference in court, and what makes a difference in how you think while looking at a case. The book is majorly from the perspective of countries that follow an adversarial system of justice, like India. In such a system, the fight is about whether a set of proofs find a particular person as guilty or not guilty. Going to the bottom of the truth is not kept as the ultimate aim, and our courts only try to draw that much truth that they perceive from the available evidence. 

So, for an advocate in such a system it is all about the test of the evidence adduced and how to control the evidence that emerges in court, and not necessarily the truth. Perhaps it should not be like this, but in reality this is what happens. Therefore, advocacy in an adversarial system is all about using ‘persuasiveness’ to win within these rules. Somewhere inside us a voice might say: perhaps it shouldn't be. But it is. And, the advocate’s goal is to win.
"Every advocate is a salesperson, selling a client's story."
Iain Morley, very precisely and in a way that doesn’t exhaust you but still makes you think, has designed his book in small capsules of thought-provoking interpolations on truth, the psychology of the tribunal, the poise of an advocate, persuasiveness, questions in a case, witnesses, examinations and cross-examinations, the closing speech, and many other such key factors. The book seeks to make you think on those aspects rather than force any lesson on you. As Morley puts it:
“You won't agree with everything you read. Good. At least you are thinking. Thinking about advocacy. About what works and what does not. And why.”
It is a great book, and the best part is the format in which it takes you through the outlines of advocacy. The book recommends itself to any lawyer with 0-5 years of experience, and that’s why it’s a great book for law students-irrespective of whether you are considering litigation as a career or not. I think it’s one that stimulates a certain kind of thinking in the readers familiar with the law. 

I loved the book! I especially loved the chapters on persuasiveness and cross-examinations. And, I think I might go back to it at several points later, just to skim through and keep the ‘thinking’ alive!

Thursday, May 21, 2020

Point Of View

It had been several months since I properly kept the balcony open. After investing an hour on dusting, mopping, and sweeping it clean, I dragged up a comfortable chair, and sat out in my balcony, gazing idly at the idleness. We, as a society in general, were suffering from an enforced, pensive idleness due to the outbreak of a pandemic. I stared at the poster of Neeti Jewellers on the two barricades placed to restrict movement in and out of my street. We heard that morning that the number of cases in our street had increased, and so they came and blocked the entrances to our street with the movable barricades. 

Sitting across my balcony, on the apartment opposite to mine, was a small girl who looks about eleven or twelve. I broke into a smile as our eyes connected. 

‘Tell me if you like the book after you read it,’ I called out to her. 

She smiled briefly with a coy nod, then turned her attention back to the copy of Burnett’s The Secret Garden in her hand. I smiled again, this time to myself. I had read it too, must have been around when I was her age. I went back to staring at the Neeti Jewellers poster, but this time lost in my indecisive thoughts on whether I should go get a book for myself, too, or whether to continue staring at the deserted street. 

The sound of a four-wheeler made both me and my young friend across the balcony turn towards its source. A car was coming from the other end of the street. As it came nearer to the barricades, it slowed down to a halt, and a young boy got down from the car to scan the barricades and check if they can enter our street.

'Excuse me, hey, they have blocked it because there are a few infected houses here,' I called out to him. 'Where do you have to go?'

'We need to go to Arcade Flats, is it too far out?' asks the young boy. 

'Not really, right over two blocks away. You could park your car, and walk up,' I clarified to them. 'Try not to touch the barricades while you go, they may not be safe.' 

The young boy went back to the car, bent down to the level of the window and had a word with the other man inside, must have been his father. After what seemed like a brief argument that they had, the young boy, with a slightly put-off face, dragged the barricade to the side to make space for the car to go. I looked at it with surprise and bemusement. The young boy got into the car, and they took off only to stop in front of the flat that was two blocks away from mine. I looked across my balcony at the little girl, and she looked at me. 

I gave a smile that read 'hopeless', but she looked indecisive. 

'What happened?' I asked her. 

'The barricades,' she says, pointing to them. 

'I know, I told him but they still went through. I also asked him not to touch it and that's exactly what he did! They wanted to go in, I think,' I replied to her. 

'But they didn't move it back,' she replied simply, and after a couple of seconds, went back inside her house.

I sat there looking at the pushed-open barricades. While I was still thinking about how I hadn't thought what the little girl did about the barricades not being moved back, the little kid and her father came out from the gate of the opposite building.

'Stay there,' he instructed her, and went towards the barricades. His hands slipped into a make-shift polythene cover, he dragged back the barricades, took a rope from his pocket, and made a loose knot connecting the two barricades. He then removed the make-shift glove-covers and threw them in the street dustbin nearby.

I allowed myself a smile. 'That's a good idea, uncle, but what if someone needs to go through?' I called out. He looked up and gave a short laugh.

'She wouldn't let it stay open, it's a loose knot and I thought the rope is a better deterrent while looking at it from the car, they might not try to take it off unless necessary,' he commented, and walked back in with his little girl.

While I had focused all my bemused thoughts on how the people in the car still went in despite me telling them that it's just two blocks away, the little girl's thoughts had been on a more useful place- to ensure it's shut again so that more people and cars do not pass through. My abstract thoughts led me to realize how small changes, in what and how we think, can do much more good than just pointing fingers at something wrong. My thoughts were more accusive, while her little brain was proactive. Both are right thoughts, but hers was more useful.

I smiled again. Kids had a lot to teach us, and a world with such thoughts might be a better place for all!

Wednesday, May 20, 2020

Lessening Our (Great) Expectations

'If you get too excited about something, then it might not happen.'

I have heard this a lot since when I was a kid, and many times it seemed true. You get so excited about something, you definitely want it and you know you'll get it, you are jumping with joy before you even get it- and then, it doesn't happen. You are left with nothing but vehement and unstoppable tears for half a day and a bad mood, that's all. The statement seems true. 

Didn't it really happen because of the excitement? I don’t think so. It seems closer to the other popularly quoted phrase in parlance, the Murphy’s law: "Anything that can go wrong will go wrong". What has personal excitement got anything to do with the happening or not happening of a certain event? It’s a phrase that focuses more on the effect of these two factors rather than the direct interlink between the two themselves. Take a look at this 2x2 box:


I think, when people around me told me not to get over excited about something or it wouldn’t happen, they were trying to prepare me to land softly even in a worst case scenario when it mightn't happen. Lesser the expectations and excitement, lesser the disappointment if the result doesn’t turn out what you imagined it would be. Rather, minimize your excitement and try to be open about the result. 

An important concept that I learnt over the years is to be excited, but grounded, about the process of doing something, but consciously bringing down the excitement about the result. Excitement and expectations are inherently connected, and the lower they are, the better prepared you’ll be to get what you want! 

Endnote: So, shouldn't we be excited? Of course, we should be! Excitement is a great feeling and a very natural one! What we must try to avoid is over-excitement to the point that we can't see the possibility, or ignore the possibility that we see, of something going wrong.