Tuesday, 28 October 2014

Life Happens At The Crossroads

Incredulous as it may seem, but life happens at the crossroads. Every road has something in store for you. 

One can take you to where your dreams lie, but it's fraught with uncertainties and failures. But this is your dream path, a path if takes its course, you have the opportunity to turn yourself into a dream man/women you always wanted to be. Nonetheless, the path is less traveled and you are quite oblivious to the mishaps and misfortunes it throws your way. You may stumble and fall umpteen times. But didn't they tell you that it's in falling that you rise like a star. I know it's easier said than done. A road less traveled is traveled less for a reason. Being a magnet of uncertainties, only few have the nerve to go through it all...sweat, blood and tears. And only a few have the courage to have their hearts cracked over and over again.       

The second one can take you to where your family and friends want you to be. Secure and safe, your life is more or less certain over here. You don't have to test the waters here. Someone is already ready to share your burden willingly. And there are people to support you.You don't have to undertake the journey on your own. Since you are following the most treaded path. But will you ever find happiness taking this road? 

The fact is people who have reached glorious heights were courageous people who let go off the certainties in life. Am i courageous enough? Or better to put it this way. Will i ever have the courage to let go off the certainties and take the road less traveled and live my dreams.

 Wednesday Prompt by Write Tribe:
Creativity requires the courage to let go of certainties ~ Erich Fromm

Wednesday, 22 October 2014

Indiaaaa India

There is India on everyone’s lips these days. Gone are those days when Indian’s were considered slaves, snake charmers, and second class citizens. Gone are those days when the color of the skin determined his/her social status. Gone are those days when Indians were considered pushovers.

It was not long before when David J Schwartz in his book “ The Magic Of Thinking Big” addressed Indians as second class citizens.   

This was author’s take on Indians at large
"If Thinking Big accomplishes so much, why doesn't everyone think that way?" I've been asked that question many times. Here I believe is the answer. All of us, more than we recognize, are products of the thinking around us. And much of this thinking is little, not big. All around you is an environment that is trying to tug you, trying to pull you down Second Class Street. You are told almost daily that there are "too many chiefs and not enough Indians." In other words, that opportunities to lead no longer exist, that there is a surplus of chiefs, so be content to be a little guy.

Hopefully, the author is still not struck with his standpoint and changed his opinion in the recent times. Today, Indian food, fashion, not least of which is language, are going places.


Recently top-notch fashion designer and founder of lifestyle brand Tommy Hilfiger corporation, praised actress Sonam Kapoor for her exquisite taste in designer clothes. In fact, international fashionistas have always gone gaga over Indian attire and saree tops the list. 

A sneak peek on Saree-clad Hollywood Celebrities.  

Noami Campbell

Elizabeth Hurley

Julia Roberts in Eat, Love and Pray
Angelina Jolie

There is no denying that colourful Indian sarees, lehengas,salwar and churidar suits are favourite add-ons in their wardrobe.

Not just fashion, even Indian food is receiving rave reviews across the globe. Not long back, chef Floyd Cardoz won the Top Chef Masters Contest for ‘semolina pudding'. Yes it’s our most -ignored upma. Today, Indian food items stand at par with Mexican, Thai and Italian flavors in terms of popularity. Indian spices, flavors and tastes are no longer branded as exotic but the most-sought after. In fact, there’s a greater demand for authentic Indian food and not their watered down versions.  

Krisitna Brown, a U.S. based consultant, had been staying with us for a month or two. And what we could gather from our top management level friend is that this female is fond of green chilies. And she has them in raw form. Are your eyeballs still there? Or has it popped out from the socket? Mine did, when I heard this.  
OMG!OMG! How could she? I said, Even a regular Indian finds chilies to be an antagonizing stuff, how she could have them raw? And not just chilies, she is in love with Indian food and has them often, though in moderation, for it may upset her tummy, my friend added.


When I heard Mr. Prime Minister speak in Hindi during his visit to the United States, a muscle jumped in my jaw. Man, this man has the nerve, which none of former prime ministers had. I doff of my hat to you Mr.Modi. Not just fashion, food, dialect, in fact there are so many other fronts that the world is looking towards India to connect with. Hollywood for one, has been inspired my India significantly. The background settings of so many recent films are a testament to that fact.

I am participating in the 'More Indian than you think' contest being held @ Indiblogger. Check out http://bit.ly/MITYTIndiblogger
Images from Glamglaz.com

Sunday, 19 October 2014

When My Two Hearts Go Walking Around

"Making the decision to have a child - it is momentous. It is to decide forever to have your heart go walking around outside your body. ” 

couldn't agree more with Elizabeth Stone. I don’t know what the author of the ‘A Boy I Once Knew’ had in her mind when she came up with heart-tugging line. I've two boys. And both are down and out with cough and fever every now and then. I sometimes blame myself for their terrible state of affairs. I haven’t had enough breast milk to feed when my elder son was an infant. And the worst part of it was that I was too busy to feed him the little I had. And I don’t know whether his falling ill now and then could be directly related to this – weak immune system because of the absence of mother’s milk.

History repeated itself in case of my younger son as well. Ayaansh is 10 month old and I feel miserable sharing that I couldn't feed him as well. In fact, in his case I had no milk. Now considering that both my sons have weak immune systems (that’s what I assume) I feel wretched many a times, blaming myself for their plight.

Aryan has done both extensive Ayurveda and Allopathy courses to get rid of his chronic cough. And with God’s grace he’s recovering it seems. And i hope the upcoming winters doesn't throw up anything otherwise.

In case of both my sons, the first thing that I do when the demons of cough and cold strike are to try and diminish them with a series of age old, effective home-remedies, starting from Basil leaves to Ginger.

Some of the home-made remedies that I try often when my sons face difficult times:

Basil Leaves and Ginger Syrup – A few basil (tulsi) leaves and a piece of ginger is pounded well using a mortar and pestle. Squeeze the juice out using fingers. Mix a little honey in it. You can give this juice 4 to 5 times in a day.     

Pomegranate Juice – Boil the dried skin of pomegranate fruit. Keep it boiling till the water is reduced to half. This is effective when the kids are down with diarrhea.  

Ginger and Honey Syrup – Pound ginger and mix a spoon full of honey in it. This gives relief from cough and cold. You can even replace ginger with Tulsi leaves as well.

Dabur Honitus- Both syrup and cough drops are helpful.  

Pankajakasthuri – This ayurvedic powder is available at all ayurveda shops. Again this powder helps fight cough and cold.

I on a personal level try to avoid allopathy treatments as much as possible, for downing drugs is not good in the long run they say. For me Ayurveda is the go-to medicine to keep my hearts up and running all the time. 

Check out https://www.liveveda.com/daburchyawanprash/ for more info on Ayurveda products to lead a better life. 
I am participating in Indi-happy hours hosted by Indiblogger. 


Thursday, 16 October 2014

Stephen King’s Writing Tips that I Admire The Most

I am no Stephen King fan. It’s mainly because I haven’t made any serious efforts so far to read his books. May be in the future. Whether we read him or not does not take away from his geniuses as a gifted writer. He churns bestsellers in bucket loads. In fact, if there’s any real university in creative writing, it has to be his. His book on writing is an eye-opener. That’s that. (I deeply desire to have a shred of his geniuses in me, if not more.) So it really makes sense for an amateur writer like me to ape his writing habits, and to pay rapt attention to his writing tips.      

 Some of his smart writing tips that I prefer to dump in my dumb brains:

1] Read, Read, Read, Write, Write , Write
2] If you don’t read, you don’t have the tools to write
3] Don’t overly get caught up in grammar.
4] Master the art of description
5] Take your writing seriously or don’t write
6] Write every single day.

Though all these quotes may sound easy, but we writers know that’s it’s a struggle to practically implement these habits on a regular basis. You need an iron will to put them into action. But then are writers like him who do it, come rain or shine. Little wonder they have become the stars in the literary realm.

Monday, 13 October 2014

A Goldmine of Books

I need two shots of energizing prose, early morning, everyday, to get that evasive blood coursing through my brains... and I am set for the day. For those additional kicks, I manage to steel some moments for more of those seductive shots during the office hours and then later in the night.  

And my go-to place for these adrenaline pumping shots are www.bestlibraryspot.net and www.ebook2u.org

No more shelling money on library registrations and flipkart for books

The site is a literally a goldmine of books, from romance to thrillers, from YA to sci-fi, from crime to chick-lit, you just name it. And more importantly, all the books are from very popular writers - right from Stephen King, John Green, John Grisham, Jeffery Archer to Suzanne Collins - can be easily found here.  

Currently I reading Gabriel’s inferno here by Sylvain Reynard. It falls under the romantic genre and I am lovin’ it. In fact, I am so consumed by it that I end up thinking of it day and night.  Some reviewers even consider its writing style better than Fifty Shades of Grey.(Now that's a hook for you to latch on.)

Coming back to where I started, both the sites are a Treasure Island for books. And it won’t be wrong to say that these sites are the best thing that happened to me this year. If it were not for these sites, I don’t know how much would i have missed on the literary front? I would never discovered Reynard and his works. And yes I am really excited to familiarize myself with other authors as well.  

Besides all these very no-nonsense points, the other important fact about these sites is that you don’t have to spend so much on books anymore. If you’re already spending thousands, a few hundreds would do from now on. Or that what’s I believe. In fact, when I found John Green’s ‘Fault in our stars’ here, my heart skipped a beat. In fact, it slowly leapt out from its place to shout “Eureka. Eureka, i’ve discovered something". 

A thousand thanks to all the authors who had the heart to give their books absolutely for free here.

Only meant for your ears: I steal every idle moment in the office to catch up on my reading here. (Books are not allowed here. I hate my office people for introducing such nonsensical dictum.)

Are there other sites for online reading? Do share them in the comment box.  

Sunday, 12 October 2014

Does Your Money Plant Attract Money? (Mine does so, or that's what i love to believe)

That’s the money plant we have in grown in our balcony – our source to richness and prosperity. (At least that’s what my mom-in-law believes.) Even Feng shui experts seem to support her claim and so there might be some truth in what she says. And as you as can see it, it’s flowering unabashedly.  Looking forward to those days when it will entwine around our clothes line and make it heavenwards. (Okay, towards the terrace.) 

Here’s some unheard off take on Money Plant that I found during my short research
It’s has two scientific names Epipremnum aureum and Scindapsus aureus.

As per Feng Shui principles, no other indoor plant can match money plant in terms of purifying the atmosphere. It specifically aims at purifying the air polluted by modern furnishing made of synthetic materials. More importantly, it energizes home and increases oxygen inflow.

In fact, Feng Shui experts have so much belief in the goodness of the plant that they recommend to keep one each at your computer corner, television and for that matter even near your WiFi router. And more than anything else, the plant is said to usher peace in the family by doing away arguments and sleeping disorders. 

Other Crucial Highlights   

  • It’s indoor plant capable of growing even in a water-filled bottle or a container without any soil. 
  • Just keeping changing the water at frequent intervals, and this would ensure that your plant survives for a reasonable time.
  • No special nutrients need to be added for its survival. Just naturally found salts in the water is enough. 
  • It grows well with bright filtered light. However, in case of less or more light, discoloration of the leaves take place.

  • Giving money plant or its cutting to others might tank your wealth/income.

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...