Thursday, 26 September 2013

If only you were here…

If only you were here…

I’d love to cook your favorite chicken biryani’s and prove to be a caring wife.

I’d love to dress up more perfectly and beautifully, only for you.

I’d love to be your fan and umm… ahh… at your cooking experiments.

I’d love to spend my days and nights listening to you; and lessening your heartaches.

I’d love to take you out on a date and do the honors of paying the bill.

And, I’d love swap places: be the breadwinner and not just be the supporting force in your life.

If only you were here...

                                                 *    *   *    *   *


Yes, my hubby dear expects these aforesaid things from me; and I really wish to translate these expectations into reality sooner than later. 
The inspiration for these 100 words stem from the book P.S. I Love You. Started reading it a couple of days back and literally speaking, I'm loving it so far.

Monday, 16 September 2013

Truly Alive!

Prompt: Truly Alive

I was tense. The AC was on, but I was sweating profusely. My parents held my hands in support. They’ve been with me throughout this ordeal. From filing of the FIR, to police scrutiny to public questioning, not for once they showed any sign of helplessness, though they were heartbroken from the inside.

Today was the final verdict. I’ve been waiting for this day desperately…not just to hear the verdict, but to spit on the face of my abuser and hurl my choicest abuses.

“Hang till death” pronounced the judge

Overwhelmed, I let out a cry.

I felt Truly Alive.

In honor of Nirbhaya- Delhi Gang rape victim 

                                            *  *  *  *  *

The MET department had warned off heavy showers. But I dare not defy the bully boss. An important client meeting was scheduled. So, I pulled out my polka-dotted umbrella and summoned a cab. Reluctantly, the cab driver agreed to drop me, but at double the fare. By now the light drizzle turned into heavy showers. The roads looked drowned and deserted. Not a soul to sympathize with.

“Where are you?” barked the boss from the other end of the phone.

“At your grave,” I snapped back, and pushed open the door

The first showers were heavenly. I felt Truly Alive. 

100 Words on Saturday - Write Tribe

Sunday, 15 September 2013

How About Maintaining a "Gratitude Journal?"

Drinking Coffee with Malti Bhojwani!

My 2 cents:

#1 A brilliant, breezy read.
#2 A must-have book for self-help book addicts, quote addicts and super cynics.
# Keep your highlighter ready. It's an inspiration loaded book. In fact, positive thoughts and quotes ooze through the entire book.

Book review: 

If ‘The Secret’ is one of your all-time favorite books then you are sure to enjoy ‘Don’t Think of A Blue Ball’ by Malati Bhojwani. “Plug in” is the word for this book. Plug in with the universe, she says, to manifest your dreams. Plug-in to small pleasures of your life: don’t rush through them; be it bathing, gyming, yoga, etc. Even while getting a hair-cut done, you can be plugged-in. Instead of getting impatient and looking at the watch again and again, plug-in to relish the experience, she says. Now you may ask how do you actually plug-in? You can do it through different ways: through prayers, meditation, centering, and grounding and even by just connecting, shares Bhojwani.

Plug-in with complete trust.

Give up how and the when, trust that what you desire is magnetized towards you.

The Universe is never late, but generally, not early either. Why not early! To test our implicit trust, perhaps. If everything you asked for came to us immediately, you will never grow and develop.

Insightful lines… Yes, the book is peppered with such strong, thoughtful lines.

No doubt the book deals with the much-talked about concept of “Law of attraction.” But let me tell you Bhojwani handles the oft-repeated topic in a refreshing new way. This is one thing that drew me to this book. She says, if you only think of the negative and the bad, then you are definitely attracting all the bad and negatives in your life. For instance, when you start assuming that your spouse is in an extra-marital affair and start nagging about it, he/she may literally start cozying up with a colleague just to prove you right. When all relationships seem fake to you, even true relationships may turn their back toward you. Our negative mindset on different things, attract only negatives in your life. So, the author asks us to have implicit faith in the universe. Believe in the Law Of Attraction and think only positive to attract positives in life. The Voltaire’s quote in the book aptly echoes this philosophy: “Faith consists in believing when it is beyond the power of reason to believe”.

The only way to have what you want is to trust that you will have it and to expect it without a doubt.

So you got the premise!

The book revolves around beautiful concepts of Thankfulness, Appreciation, Gratitude, the Power Of Declaration, Universal Abundance and much more.  In fact, the book has inspired me so much that I decided to maintain a Gratitude Journal. Plus, the pithy catch phrases, analogies, anecdotes, quotes by famous authors and of course, the exercises given at the end of each chapter makes it a very interesting read. More than anything, the author’s habit of maintaining a Daily Gratitude Journal is my best take away from the book.

Final take: 4/5. Go for it.

A Perfect Book For Daily Dose Of Positive Thinking

Tuesday, 10 September 2013

Just Two Words Mattered From Him

It’s was extremely hot that night. Daddy and daughter had pulled out the mattress and had spread them in the living room. And within moments they were deep in sleep. Or where they? Ananya couldn’t sleep that night. Sitting at the edge of the sofa, she was contemplating. Should she or shouldn’t was not the question here? She had made up her mind. Her marriage was in shambles. She didn’t want to go back to my parents once again. She knew her hubby wasn’t asleep. So, she waited and waited…she knew her next move…she had seen it in crime patrol that toilet cleaner kills. And Gangster movie had reconfirmed her idea. Then out of the blue an afterthought strikes…Her parent’s house was the best place for it. Better do it there than here.

It was Sunday the next morning, in-laws had gone to Church. She didn’t go. Hubby was working from home, daughter was sleeping. Without saying a word, she started her Activa . She knew what she had to. Just a few blocks away and she started playing the whole picture in her mind’s eye. How will her parents react? Hubby and in-laws will be held responsible? She was okay with that? But then what about her girl? That too didn’t matter too her. There would be so many to look after her, she thought.

But within moments, she was back at her in-laws home. Saw hubby lying on the floor with BP shooting up. She poured water on his face and he was back to normal. “What happened?” She asked? "No nothing", he murmured. It was at that moment, she realized that along with her, he too was under tremendous pressure. “Why didn’t you stop me from going,” she asked. He gave her a painful smile and said,” I knew you would come back.” If she hadn’t?

Just two words: “Ananya don’t go was all that I wanted to hear from him. But it never came,” shares Ananya. “There’s was always this Big Ego Breathing Down Our Necks. Ego was taking our marriage down. And there were big adjustments problems. But after that aborted attempt, I never attempted doing that again,” reminisces Ananya. Today, she is happily married with a decade of happy experiences to boast of. When I ask her today, what made her return to her in-laws place on that fateful day, she just gives me a blank stare. Probably, suicide was not written for her.
Ego is exclusively responsible for breakdowns of many relationships, including marriages…some of which unfortunately end in suicide. Even in this 21st century some men, including Ananya’s husband, believe that adjustment should come from the women’s end and they won’t give in an inch. However, this doesn’t happen. Both parties should be equally involved to make a marriage work like other relationships. Every relationship is a two way street…except one.

World Suicide Prevention Day


Saturday, 7 September 2013

7 Bloggers Who Were The Wind Beneath My Wings!

A super short post: yes, I had reserved it for the final day.

For various reasons, one being sounding sycophant, I was wary of writing this post. But after reading, “Don’t Think of the Blue Ball” by Malati Bhojwani (as part of readerscosmos review), I knew in my hearts of hearts that what I am doing was right. Yes, the book pumped me up so much!

The premise of the book is quite promising. It talks about gratitude, thankfulness and appreciation for people around you. In fact, the author suggests readers to maintain a Daily Gratitude Journal, wherein they should thank all the people who helped them during the day. (Sadly though, am yet to come up with such a journal.) 

So much for the greatness of the book. Honestly, I always wished to thank many bloggers promptly and profoundly for visiting my small space for these last seven days (well, almost), by replying to their priceless comments, but I admit, I've miserably failed to do so. Time constraints…hope you understand. So, here I am thanking all my senior bloggers who helped me sail through this festival with flying colors. I would have gone only so far without their comments (precisely, I would have come up with just 4 posts, no more). A special thanks to Corinne for organizing the festival and suggesting fellow bloggers to comment on at least three posts in front of their links… that set me sailing…ended up commenting regularly on 10 to 12 blogs. Peanuts! I know, considering that some senior bloggers spread their fragrance across all blogs commenting and inspiring...thus pushing the envelope in terms of commenting.

There are many like me who are the ‘Children of the Lesser God’ in terms of language limitations, but a kind word uttered by a fellow blogger makes the whole world go round. Believe me!

So here’s goes the list of bloggers who I want to give a big shout-out for being with me for all these days. Thanks for being the wind beneath beneath my wings.

#1. Richa
#2. Roshini
#3. Suresh
#4. Vishal
#6. Me

Tussi great ho, tofa kabul karo

Others bloggers that I can bring to mind include: Smitha, Shilpa, Sugandha, Usha Menon, Jyothi Nair Mahabore, Diana, Susan Deborah, Karan Shah, Talya Tate Boerner,Shail,Kathy, Anu and of course, Corinne. Thank You All.    

Since starting this challenge, I've more than quadrupled the number of people who look at this blog. Agreed, that's still not an good number, but I did love all the attention that my blog was getting.  

Write Tribe Team...I doff my hat to you. 

Thursday, 5 September 2013

7 Abusive People That World Can Do Without!

As a kid if you had inquired from your Gran, what does a predator actually mean, she’ll have this to tell you “a predator is an animal that kills other species for prey; not his own”. But as the world progresses, you know your Granny’s explanation doesn’t ring all that true anymore. Today the word predator means more than just wild animals. So, if your kid questions you today, “mamma, what is a predator?” Definitely, you’d be in two minds before answering him/her. A WILD ANIMAL OR A WILD PERSON? Which is more truer in the current context?

In today’s context, predators come in the form of abusive parents, abusive children, abusive caretakers, abusive husbands, abusive in-laws, rapists, et al. In fact, anyone can don the garb of a predator anytime. Yes, today predators don’t live in jungles, they live amongst us only. SO BEWARE!!!

Predator No. 1 – Parents – When parents lose control over their temper and start hitting their kids mindlessly. The other day I read a story of this father who hit his 8-year-old daughter with a rolling pin so hard that she died. Yes, the incidents of child abuse are increasing day by day. Now, have I abused my kid today?

Predator No. 2 – Children – Parents tend to their children with all the love and care in the world. But these days children fail to reciprocate the good things that their now helpless parents had done for them when they were young. No wonder, there’s rise in number of old age homes in our country. Now, have I called up my parents today?

Predator No. 3 – Governess – If you are planning to hire a caretaker for your kid from an agency: beware. My bro had a bad experience. It so happened when my bro and sis-in-law left for the office, the governess had good 8 hours in hand to check all their cupboards and belongings. Yes, the camera was left on in their house, so as to keep a check on the caretaker. And who knows whether she’s was feeding herself on kids’ food while the kid went hungry? Now, did I check up on my caretaker today?

Predator No. 4- Rapist − Even before dust could settle down on Nirbhaya’s case, TV channels are now busying showing a rapist who managed to jump 30ft-high-prison walls of Bangalore Central Prison using bamboo polls and sticks. He’s already raped 11 women it seems. Now, he's freely lurking on the streets. Did I get for myself a pepper spray?

Predator No. 5 - Housemaids – Now and then you can hear stories of housemaids and drivers ganging up against their owners. They are not what they portray themselves to be! Check out their credentials before you hire them. Now, how many times I myself have failed doing that?

Predator No.6 - Colleagues – Office politics may be a bad thing, but more often than not, I’ve seen colleagues indulge in this insensitive behavior without the slightest twinge of conscience. No matter if all hell breaks loose on you, but for them it’s all about making the right noises @ the right places and do all that they can to pull the rug off your feet . Now, do I indulge in office politics, and find faults in my colleague for no reasons at all?

Predator No.7 – Abusive in-laws and husband – The other day an acquaintance informed me that her brother threw his wife out of the house. The couple had just entered in their seventh month of marriage. But, the incident didn’t surprise me considering the rise in divorce rates. Btw her mistake: she bitched about her in-laws on the new Samsung 3G mobile gifted to her by her hubby darling. And how did the husband come to about the bitching incident? There you guessed it!!!Yes, he had put some non-sense application on in her mobile that helped him record all her conversations with her family. The latest I heard was, the boy is wanting to divorce his wife. Now who’s at fault here? And who's invaded whose privacy? I keep bitching about everything in this world and that includes my in-laws as well. Aaarrrggghhh…
Now, if my acquaintance reads this? 

Hmm…too much of venting out…So guys, what kind of predators have you encountered so far?

Wednesday, 4 September 2013

7 Art of Living Lessons From Loved Ones Around!

Nope, I am neither a Sri Sri Ravi Shankar devotee, nor a fan of his Sudershan Kriya's. So, the similarity in the headline is a pure coincidence. (Or, maybe I’ve heard about his Art Of Living courses so many times, that I simply went ahead and named my post by that name.) However, it was a conscious decision, considering its aptness for my ramblings. Now, enough of digression and coming straight to the point.

Here I present seven of those chosen people from whom I am ‘Learning the Art of Living’ on a daily basis.

#1. The Art Of Staying Perpetually Sleep Deprived – My hubby specializes in it. Red eyes and drowsy demeanor defines him. His philosophy in life: too much of sleep is bad for health; sleep as much as you want when you are dead and gone. (Hmm…I ‘m trying really hard to walk on his chosen path.) But what should I do when my head reels and faculties fail to function? Oh! No. No. That’s doesn’t mean I’ll give up trying. Practice makes a man perfect.

But, I wonder will I be able to stay sane by being sleep deprived? Won't I be grumpy and growling all through the day. I need my 8 hours.Period.

#2. The Art Of Chillaxing – Aryan’s school van will be honking away in all glory, but Aryan isn’t bothered a pinch. He’s so cool about it and will descend the stairs in all glory. Hmm… a trait taken from his daddy dear. I shout out from the kitchen, "Aryan run"…but Aryan seems unruffled. That said, I like his attitude…commotions don’t confuse him!

I wonder whether I will ever be able to keep a calm composure like him? What if it’s not there in my gene?

#3. The Art Of Tolerance – I enjoyed the high of being a journalist, and thankfully my parents never stopped me from pursuing my passion. However, I learnt later on that my mom never really slept till I returned. Use to lie down on the sofa in the living room and kept praying for my safe return. Even during the 2002 Godhra riots I was very active on the field. However, this time she requested me to give a second thought to my job. Instead of empathizing with her motherly emotions I still continued on my job and made her go through the same nightmare once again.

I wonder, if I my child does the same thing, will I be able to take it? But, who said I need to be as tolerant as my parents?

#4. The Art of Cooking – My MIL is a master chef. Though she is a working woman, she doesn’t mind putting in hours in the kitchen and rustling up delicious dishes for the family. She has got the speed, stamina and more than anything else, the mind and the mood to do so.

I wonder will I ever be able to cook like her. Am I not better off reading than slogging away my spare time in the kitchen?

#5. The Art Of Faith − Both my mother and MIL never miss their daily prayers. A prayer can move mountains they say.

I wonder, will I ever be able to pray like them? No, it’s time-consuming. I keep remembering Mother Mary throughout the day. That’ll suffice.

#6. The Art Of Friendship – Deepa Sonu and I’ve been together since our nursery days. And honestly, it seems she has taken it on herself to keep the flame of friendship burning. I may forget her birthdays and anniversaries, but she remembers mine and always makes it a point to call me up and wish me. Of course, I need to learn a point or two from her on how to keep alive the art of friendship.

However, I wonder, will I ever be able to do that? No, I know it’s just a passing thought; I’ll be back to square one in no time.

#7. The Art Of Sisterhood − My sister is younger to me by a year. But she is different from me in all ways. More mature, more grounded, more caring and so on. Wish to know more about her…you can read it here…

I wonder, will I ever be able to be in her shoes? No, I’ve no answer to this.

There’s so much to learn from people around you. Even good books teach you a lot…not just courses and classes. What say? 

Tuesday, 3 September 2013

7 Of My Favourite Non-fiction books

Sir Francis Bacon rightly said: “Some books should be tasted, some devoured, but only a few should be chewed and digested thoroughly." Taking this analogy forward, here’s my take on food. "Opps…books".

Some romantic books taste like pitiful pieces of birthday cakes offered by that not-so-friendly neighbor: the taste lasts till the piece lasts; while some books are like sumptuous peanut butter cookies, too good too resist. (Just like the best sellers which you'd love to binge read.) And then there are some self-help/biographical/autobiographical books that taste like your mom’s favorite recipes, leaving a indelible mark on your heart, mind and soul forever. You love to savor them again and again and again.

So here’s goes my list of non-fiction books that I look up to. I’ve devoured these books at least a couple of times and won't deprive myself from indulging them ov'r and ov'r, given that they are inspiring and keeps my spirits high. The spark in these books, spark up my soul that tend to go on a sabbatical quite often.

#1. The Last Lecture – Randy Pausch

I believe that leaving a legacy for your kids is important. If kids could find a benchmark in their parents, nothing like it... it can be in the form of books, research and even blogs for that matter. (Easier said than done, I know.) However, Professor Pausch, before his death, ensured that his kids had a legacy to look and live up to. When he had just six months in hand (being a cancer patient) he went around giving inspiring lectures and creating CDs for his li'l’ kids; no, he didn’t spend his last days talking to them, but focused on writing this book and delivering inspirational lectures. (His kids were too small to talk to, much less inspire.) His only mission during his final months was to leave a legacy for his kids like his father did. Pausch’s father had captured the famous historical event of Neil Armstrong stepping on the moon from TV and got it fixed on his wall to inspire his son, simply because he wanted his son to aim high. Pausch simply emulated his father's deed.
My take: Wish to inspire yourself or your kids, go for it.

#2. Battle Hymn Of The Tiger Mother – Amy Chua

As an ambitious mother, the book struck a perfect chord with me. Along the way, however, I did wonder that Chinese way of raising children was not very different from us Indians. (Little wonder, China gives competition to the US hands down, be it Olympics or businesses: thanks to the terror unleashed by the Chinese mothers on their children). Chinese mothers go to the extremes while bringing out the best in the children. I did not just read it, but insanely applied the same logic in real life situations as well. Obviously, Aryan my son, bore the brunt. Strict study schedules and play schedules and extra-curricular schedules were charted out for him. But now, I’ve myself have grown tired of all this s.... Anyway, the central idea of the book was: the more the efforts you put in, the more the scope of  doing well in life. Point taken.
 My take: Don't follow it blindly, use your discretion.  

# 3. Man’s Search For Meaning – Victor Frankly

Interested in reversing your shameful past, this book will help you do so. One soul-searching line from this book that appealed to me was: “Live as you were living for the second time. Present is past and the past can be amended.Frankl’s shares his story on  starvation, violence, cruelty and his epic loss in the German death camps.  
My take: Seeking out your “Why in Life,” read this book.

#4. The Magic of Thinking Big – David Schwartz 

The book is sprinkled with ‘pep-talk’…talks that has helped me built up on my confidence level up. The "sell-yourself-to-yourself" commercial given on page 165 is something that could set your confidence levels soaring. The page contains an amazing write-up on building self-confidence. Just one write-up and I am all taken? No, No. I repeat, all 365 pages are big confidence boosters.
My take: Feeling low at your work-place, go for it.   

#5. The Greatness Guide–1 - Robin Sharma

‘Self awakening,' one word that defines Robin Sharma’s incredible book “The Greatness Guide”. And ya, be mindful of your reading habits, as each chapter starts and ends ASAP. Chances are there that you will drive yourself to complete the book in one or two sittings. However, it is only when you read, re-read, chapter by chapter, line by line, and word by word that you get to understand that the book is an absolute stunner-a fodder for personal and professional growth. In short, AN INSPIRATIONAL POWERHOUSE, AN ABSOLUTE FOOD FOR THOUGHT.
My take: Absolute office bible.

#6. Lean in: women, work and the will to lead – by Sheryl Sandberg 

The stork is re-visiting. The guilt of a working mother had started re-surfacing. So without giving much weight to my now-on, now-off guilt-ridden mommy thoughts, I ordered this book from Amazon. Thankfully, it turned out to be an amazing read: stuffed with all the inspiring ingredients to put working mothers' 'work-life balance fears' to rest. Every women should read this book.

My take: Wish to work after having babies, go for this book.


#7. No Easy Day - Mark Oven

I’ve heard of U.S. Navy seals so much that I couldn’t resist myself from buying this book. And, yes, the book has managed to satiate my appetite (in fact, it has whetted my appetite further for more war books.) The book not only gives you minute-by-minute details of the Abbotabad incident that led to the killing of the world’s most dreaded terrorist, right under the nose of Pakistani military, but also talks at length about the seals’ ruthless lifestyle. This semi-autobiographical book by Mark Owen is indeed a must-read for non-fiction lovers.

My take: Go for it, if you want to enter into the ruthlessly pragmatic world of the U.S. Navy Seals.

Is non-fiction your cup of tea? Go ahead, tell me about your favourite non-fiction books. 

The White Tiger - Aravind Adiga

This Booker prize winner was on my bookshelf I don’t for how long. Attempted reading it before, but then dumped it because t...