Saturday, 27 May 2017

Playing Guitar with my son and niece

If you think love is the only thing that can sweep you off your feet, well, you are wrong. The heavy rainfall this eve has just given it a tough competition. And it was beautiful. The weather still is in good mood. No wonder I have a cup of steaming coffee resting by my side. Jealous already? You can get one for yourself too. 

So here I am tonight to share a heart-warming video featuring me, my son and my lovely niece. At my native recently when i was singing a song one evening on my Guitar, my niece joined me. I encouraged her to sing with me. My son too got towed along. Never knew this light but beautiful synchronization would end up in a desire to create a video of me playing with them. So one night after making pizza in dinner for everyone, we settled down in my brother's room. Two things - I was damn tired and, 2. my bhabhi (brother's wife) too was exhausted after a whole day work. I requested and she allowed us to hijack her room for some time. I am so thankful to my brother and Bhabhi. Brother recorded the video. 

Anyway, when I was done making pizza and changed into night suit, I asked kids whether we could make the video right now. Mind you! It was probably 12 at night. But bursting with childhood spirit, they said Yes. I was surprised nonetheless happy. I just pulled my hair into a neat ponytail and went out of the room for some work only to return finding my naughty niece raiding my make up box. She was applying lipstick. My mouth fell open. She is so small yet she was doing make up. Grinning at her enthusiasm, I too joined her although I said in the middle - 

Don't you think it's too late for fashion?

to which the girl said - 

Bua! Time does not matter when it comes to fashion. 

I was awestruck and impressed at the same time. The  we hurriedly raided my brother's room like some crazy musicians were trapped in the bodies of normal human beings. After one trial, we finally got around to make a perfect video. 

I must admit. This was the first time I enjoyed so so much playing on my Guitar. You should have seen how excited my niece was! You can see happiness dripping off her face in the video. My son too sang very nice and we all three crazy kids managed to end the day on an amazing note. But before I end talking here, here are some behind the scene pictures because real fun lies in being natural. Courtesy once again goes to my little brother. 

Friday, 26 May 2017

Rising to the glory - a teacher's job

This afternoon, I was watching TV. The Millers was on. Usually I like The Middle or Friends but this one seems to be funny too. So I started watching The Millers. The episode going on had an ostentatious woman teacher speaking loudly on mic reading to parents what her students had written for her on Valentine's Day. And probably every student had written very nice and appreciative comments about her. The ex-teacher (a woman again) was also present. As the current teacher went on rambling about her reputation among rows of parents, the latter was fuming and thinking why none of her students wrote anything nice about her ever. Furious and angry, the latter left the hall in the middle but not before turning on the fire alarm to dismiss the silly celebration the current teacher was having at her own dispense. 

Fast forward, the ex-teacher's three children (they were all her children, I suppose) started digging the school compound in search of time capsules in which their mother's students (in her time) may have buried some good things about her. They were taking a risk doing it but since there is none like a mother's love, any and every danger is welcome. At the end they all were caught and punished. Then once again, the ex- and the current teacher had a face off. The current teacher could not stop herself from reading the comments the ex-teacher's students had written. It was awful to say the least! The ex-teacher went all sad and seeing her miserable condition, the current teacher again started blabbering something something. And as they say, do not scare someone at the extent of ending it (no one says it but I just stole this dialogue from Mary Kom starring Priyanka Chopra. It's a good dialogue, I believe), the ex-teacher rose from her misery elegantly and pulled the attention of the current one. All three children were witnessing this all. 

The ex-teacher showed her letters and said that 'it was not her job to be liked or disliked by her students. Her job was to educate her children in such disciplined manner that would last for a lifetime'. In her letters, students did not make a single grammatical mistake. They were all error-proof while in the current teacher's, they were full of errors, a vivid reflection of bad teaching. 

The error-free letters gave the real power to the ex-teacher and she blew the current teacher with her tiny little lecture. And she was right. A teacher's job is not to be liked or disliked but to educate her students in the right manner, in a disciplined way and to direct their lives in the right direction.

At the end, the current teacher stood just speechless and I could tell the celebration in her had died somewhere.

The transformation

Having legs stretched after seven hours straight feels so relaxing. It's as if life is thrusting itself back in my body once again. The feeling of being at home finally puts me at much ease. 

I was at my native for last few weeks. Needless to say it was once again a golden period being able to live and breathe and talk silly under the protective shade of my parents. staying off all the household responsibilities is always mesmerizing. Yes! Daughters tend to get selfishly lavishly lazy in terms of cooking and cleaning and managing groceries once they are with their parents. With them, life is innocent once again. There is hope etched all over. But I do care for them. I have my own way, own tricks and turns, own handbook to do it. All in all, getting to the place where your roots belong is binding. 

When I unlatched my house door, I was welcomed by an upturned but dead cockroach right on the floor of living room. I smiled. Not because that was the sight I wanted to be welcomed with but to be able to be at home once again. I entered with all our luggage and then started the inevitable. Opening bags, taking out necessary articles, cleaning tables and kitchen, thinking what to eat at two of night, doing best to handle kid with his crying and howling because he is missing his maternal grand parents, getting washing machine loaded with dirty laundry, brushing teeth and a few more things. I amaze at the transformation I slipped into in a second. I am no more a daughter here. I am a housewife now who has a few priorities to sort out before she gets to sleep. But I don't mind. This is life. This is home.

So finally I ended up having dinner made up of total junk food. Once in a while is allowed. Besides, Maggi can be eaten anytime. There is no such law declared for Maggi to be eaten at any specific time. Blessings to Nestle! I wanted to put my feet up on the couch and slurp the noodle and watch TV but kid was still not okay. He was still missing everyone. So I dropped the idea of TV and went to sit next to him with my plate of steaming Maggi. It took sometime but finally he was settled and now is sleeping. I, instead of getting the opportunity to stare at moving screen, settled down with my laptop.

Eyes are droopy now. But weather is nice and pleasant. I like it. Back at my native, it was extreme summer. But here in Bangalore is different. I remember myself looking out of the plane's window at Bangalore. House were lit here and there and in clusters. They looked to me as if they were symposiums of fire flies gathered to decided which place to light up tomorrow. It was a serene sight. I continued reading my book on Kindle and thanked my husband profusely for giving it to me last year. Books truly are your best buddies. I enjoy reading on my Kindle very much. It is so easy, so very much convenient! 

Before I end, let me be honest. I too miss my parents here. But can't go like an open book about my sentiments just as my son. I have to be in control and reality check. Yet I miss them. It's alone here without them.

Now good night!

Tuesday, 23 May 2017

Amor Fati

means the love of fate or love of one's fate. In other words - 

When you embrace your fate regardless of its nature.

When you are ready to accept the fate - good or bad, beautiful or ugly, awesome or terrifying - every emotion starts to ooze a specific meaning, a special way of alignment to the course of universe, and no matter what or how it looks, nothing seems bad enough to reject it. It brings peace, yes but moreover, it magnifies the ability to look forward after a terrible loss. Accepting fate can also be rewarding.

The term had caught my attention on FB a few days back via a video. Usually I am bad at watching videos (I don't click on videos unless there is a gun on my temple) but the term was strange enough to catch my eye. Honestly, I thought the website has misspelled it or something so I started watching and turned out, the spelling was perfect. Amor Fati indeed is a term, an inspiring one on that note.

When you stop complaining and whining over 'Why Me?', the mind pulls out peace from hidden corners of your being. Acceptance makes you calmer, gentler and provides stability in challenging times though I agree it is not as easy as it sounds especially when there is a personal loss or financial crisis involved. Accepting the fate is a Herculian task but can be done some times, if not always. It helps in making the situation less revolting, offers less twisting to the persistent agony and the pacing across the room narrows down to an extent. As I said, stability.

In other words, it can be carried around as  - Whatever happens, happens for good, Or, जो होता है , अच्छे के लिए होता है। 

We just need to find the needle of goodness in the big heap of haywire.

Sunday, 21 May 2017

Non-fiction to fiction

Every relationship is raw. No relationship can be strong enough to let it be, to let it grow on itself. We have to keep working on them until the last breath. So, every relationship is raw.

Repeating my own words here, uttered almost an hour ago. Life is a serious stuff, a melodrama...big one on that note. Many things in it keep it alive while just a few things can be enough to keep it on halt. And through both the things, we have to keep up with the speed of life; we have to stand on two little feet and keep going, keep sucking the essence of daily life in the hope of redemption, salvation or in simpler words, peace of mind. 

But I wish life could be a dream at our dispense. If the previous dream did not turn out good, well we could have another one, the favorable one tonight. Didn't want that heavy storm? Alright! We can have a pleasant refreshing rainfall instead. Didn't like those goons chasing? Okay! Let's run with unicorns and color changing butterflies. Was it a reflection of the horror movie you watched recently? Smile. We can have your favorite things donning tonight's dream. Wouldn't it be beautiful if life could be slides of a never-ending ppt where we could decide what would go next? 

The start of this post and the way it's going are growing different with each word. I am sliding from non-fiction to fiction. Dreaming something impossible. Dreaming...something that can keep us alive, that can make up for just the right amount of hope for a better tomorrow.

This one may not be a powerful post but it feels good, to write something here after so long. May be will write something else tomorrow. After all, the relationship between me and my writing is also raw. 

Monday, 15 May 2017

The elegant presence in my book club (The 500th post)

They say, where there is will, there is way. And I believe in them.

I am at my native (my home more than any house in this world) spending time with my parents, brother and other family members. Being away from Bangalore reserves few regrets for me. One of them is - my book club. I thought I'd miss it for an entire month until I went back but no. Since readers are everywhere, so do books and my book club. I started taking club sessions for my niece, nephew and kid.  These three nuisance somehow manage to help me invent my book club in a different but interesting format. We are just four but fun can be garnered with this small crowd as well. 

 Today was the second last session of this month. The most fun and biggest advantage running your book club at your native can be - that your parent/s can pop in anytime and be a part of it. So my mum dropped by unexpectedly this eve during the session and fortunately, we were having a relaxed session - Mind Spa on Monday. We read for thirty minutes followed by another thirty minutes of coloring pages. I was coloring with my nephew when my mother made an elegant entry. I asked her - When was the last time you did coloring? She said - Don't remember but it has been years! I invited her and she took my place. I was joyous seeing my mother being a part of my book club (which is an impossibility when I am in Bangalore).

She started coloring with my nephew and I could see she was enjoying herself with pencil shaped trimmed crayons and little coloring book. While my nephew went on coloring crooning an indecipherable song, mummy was too focused on the task at hand to look elsewhere.

My most fav picture of the recent

Saturday, 8 April 2017

The blue sky at night.

Life for a woman, at times, can be on a constant run. Another day has come to an end and it feels as if it has slipped away like a breeze (except that of boring afternoon. Why summer afternoons always have to be boring?). Stopped by the table to pick my medicine when, suddenly, I noticed something peeking from my balcony net door (Read further. It's not a horror story). I paused with the medicine box in my hands. Kid was waiting in the room but I thought to slip into the balcony for a minute. It was the shadow of moonlight falling onto the floor of my balcony that oozed the longing to steal a minute.

As I stood watching the sky, which might be peeking from every window and every balcony net doors of many houses at this point, the cool breeze calmed the rushed senses. Thankfully there was no lizard soaking in the moonlight. To my surprise, the sky still has a touch of light blue. It should be grey or black but no. It appears to me blue right now. It's nice! To encounter a little miracle, the blueness out of a predicted blackness. 

Kid is asleep now and now I am sitting in the balcony, stealing more one minutes. I am glad that my house is far away from the hustle and bustle of city. It's tranquil in here, the kind of solace a soul can ask for. It is good for so many things. It's going to be ten of night yet I can vividly hear two aunties chatting merrily while having their walks downstairs. I know them. Such little muffled conversations are like gentle little ripples in the ocean of peace. I know I should go to sleep too. Night always has to end to give a head start to another day. But I want to sit for longer, turning one minute into an eternity, may be? Only that it is not possible. 

Why? I ask. Why it is not possible? If you think freely, eternity sure is made up of these little one minutes. In other words, you can say, one minute is the unit of an eternity. So if I can't have a big sloppy overwhelming eternity at this time, I still can have little ones...little blue eternities. And it's enough. 

See! A peaceful surrounding makes you creative. Now let me say good night but not before I steal another little blue eternity. :)

Friday, 7 April 2017

If you can bring a smile and glow a heart with happiness...

You never go downstairs enough to have that walk. Terrace usually seems to do the job but sometimes when you have miss out on a neighbor you are expecting to talk to, the heavens slide down and you decide to amble on the earth.

And then I met three lovely aunties and we all got into a fun light conversation. The evening was sultry yet the laughter and unexpected companionship were embracing. In the middle of somewhere, one of those elegant ladies said,

"I saw her one day. She was running. When I asked, she said she was going to your book club. She looked so happy saying that." (Yes! That ongoing conversation was about my book club - Pick'A Book Club - For Kids - that I run from home, at home every Thursday.)

I heard in silence as the last comment drenched me with a strange kind of happiness.

She looked so happy saying that.

But it was only then when those ladies left for their homes and I re-picked up my ambling once again that the remark got my complete attention. It brought a little peaceful smile on my face. Often I am in the receipt of very positive feedback about my book club and the way I run it. Even this morning, a bunch greeted me. But the remark came from that neighborhood aunty got completely under my skin. It's probably the best compliment for my efforts and energy and thinking that I put for my book club.

I reminisced how usually I used to get bored when I had to attend my tuition and extra classes, when I was little. Kids usually don't like sitting and reading books. But it's not the same for my book club. Kids actually do feel happy when they leave their houses to mine, just so to read, eat something nice and get indulged in discussions, Guest Talks and other cool activities. The platform that I give them when the reading slot is over, they share their experiences too! And they look so delighted doing it!

It's true you can't make everyone happy but if you can bring a smile on a kid's face and glow her heart with the happiness, you know there is something real in life to cherish, to celebrate in silence and finally you light up with a smile yourself.

Wednesday, 29 March 2017

Be alone. Be found.

it's good to spend time with people but if you want to headhunt yourself, be alone, away from the crowd, from the people, from the noise. In silence rings the most rhythmic tune of life. In silence only can you find the balance which is impossible to pursue in the middle of constant buzz. When you are alone, you are actually not alone. I mean, you might be having the sound of fan running overhead, the purifier filtering water, people jabbing door bell over and over again ignoring you might be busy writing an important blog post, the whooshing sound of airplanes passing above your house...various muffled sounds, letting their presence distinctively felt. But still you sit, one leg over the couch and second down on the carpet and your eyes are fixed on the screen thinking and fingers typing at the same time. But it's still silence! Either when the fan is still doing its job recklessly and people might re-start flirting with the door bell. You sit with eyes closed thinking to write something all the while slowly turning in a sponge...absorbing the silence around. It's magical, I tell you. It's addictive, you already know it. There can be just so many things running in the mill called brain - people, incidents, phone conversations, in person conversations, memories, past, the upcoming travel, job, hobbies turned passions, the next day birthday party invitation, calories gained during the recent festival - these and many more keep traveling in a loop gradually forming its center - You. The more you think, the more you get closer to yourself, the clearer things become. Silence is not only a desire or a longing but it also acts as a clears your image to yourself. Many things start making sense and you abruptly, much to your disappointment, realize How idiotic I was during this and that moment. There can be moments of triumph as well such as Whoa! I did good here. Lots of things finally settle at their right positions (or you just got a new eye for them, whatever) and the picture (or pictures, if you are a high rated thinker like me) becomes more vivid. Suddenly it feels as if you are seeing the whole version for the first time. It's surprising because it's your picture. It has moments including you, the colors of your emotions, the rainbow of achievements, the amalgamation of wins and losses, the irregularity of your own nature...still it looks so different from the other times. It looks real! Authentic! Original! The only version you are supposed to extract, to see and to live with.

Seclusion not only can be your next best pal but also can be the mentor, guiding through tough times by holding your hands allowing you to sulk deeper so that you can again be on your feet with a new abundance of energy, new hope, new thoughts and new decisions. It helps you in becoming you. It does not seek pretense. It simply stays by your side until  the crowd raids the space once again. But if you go through enough seclusion, the raid gets welcomed. Because now you know what you are. Because now you are - found.

Saturday, 25 March 2017

The real success lies in doing what you love

What's this thing with Bangalore? During day, it's hot but evenings are always pleasant. And don't ask about the nights. Cool breeze and oscillating trees will just steal your heart right away. :)

A few days back, I read an interview of someone. Although I am failing at the interviewee's name yet I can recall his final words of the session:

If you think doing corporate job is a symbol of success then you may be are at mistake. Success is doing what you love to do. 

A simple reminder of following your heart to have an enriched nourished life. Doing what you love is, you can call it, food to the soul. It nurtures the virtues such as self-preservation and the will to keep moving. When you do what you love, you are not needed to be poked and goaded and lectured for doing it. You just pick it up and start. It's a beautiful feeling! The motivation comes from within. The protest starts from the heart and finally makes up to the soul when the moment is filled with the desire. Not only the initiation becomes a lot easier but also the sense of achievement multiplies at a great level. In a short period of time, you naturally learn more than what you could learn from doing something that just does not feel right to the heart and yet you have to fall in line. Since Guitar is my passion, I learn new songs every week. The desire takes birth naturally and I just start and only stop when my hands have totally given up. Though I am still a beginner but hopefully on the way to become a pro one day. See! Dreaming big becomes easy too. 

Doing what you love is inspiring, motivating and the best partner in crime when you want to ignore everything and everyone in order to do it. So don't be afraid to pursue the story of heart even if it is a crime somewhere. You will be acquitted at the end.

Thursday, 23 March 2017

Forgive while you still can

You have no idea what kind of image my house is reflecting at this moment. Even though the maid is gone after doing a good cleaning and moping still it feels as if I am sitting in the middle of an earthquake. Too much mess gives me headache and I am having one now.  So I am just trying to keep it calm and doing what I love.

Sometimes when you are chopping onions in the daybreak in your kitchen, it is not surprising if one or two unpleasant emotions catch up on you. And then you start snorkeling into something you shouldn't - the years gone by - because you want to finish cooking while you are still sane. A few incidents flash across your focused eyes and you inevitably start wincing inside. They are the ones making you shift in the chair, drifting your gaze away, making you lick your lips that have suddenly gone dry, the slight palpitation of heart, the appearance of that burrow in the forehead, the longing for just stop feeling okay. The beginning of a frown occurs and your fairly good mood drains down the sink along with the dirt of vegetables recalling all those people responsible for it.

But you can't keep feeling like this, can you? No. So it's better to let some of these GO. What I am trying to project here is, that while it is not easy to forgive all the people who have hurt you but it's still feasible to forgive some of them. Say, there are total of ten people that irritate you at any given minute of the day. While you can't work with six of them, permit the remaining four and the stress associated to them melt away. Not an easy thing to do but worth giving a shot. At the end of the day, the stress may not have towed away completely but I can bet the solitude I am loving as of now that it would certainly reduce down to a certain extent, once and forever.

Read this post in Hindi on my Hindi blog: जाने भी दो...कुछ बातों को

Wednesday, 22 March 2017

Present is the souvenir of the future

Yesterday we were on a de-cluttering spree. As we kept unloading and scrubbing spaces off the unwanted items, a jute bag caught my attention. Upon opening it, I paused. The rest of the world settled in the background and I got fairly lost in the articles kept inside that bag.

It reminded me of a particular slot of time, passed years ago. There were glues, glitters, colorful cello tapes, hand made craft items such as envelops and paper bags, stones and buttons, colorful strips for paper quilling, tiny boxes, silky yarn, a few toothpicks, models to create more paper bags and envelops...a time restored in one bag with non-working zip. As I kept on exploring those items, I felt I was taken back into the time where I was something else...someone who was enthusiastic and optimistic for her Art & Craft Sale to work, to wow people. I remember I had made dozens of beautiful eye-catching papers boxes and envelops of various kinds, sizes and colors packed nicely in plastic wraps. Some festival was upcoming (probably Diwali) and I had decided to put my time for a good use by organizing a sale of hand made items. I had also put some more things bought from the market such as little lipstick cases, sets of gel pens etc. It had taken almost a month to get all the things sized up, cut, glued, decorated and finalized. And when the sale was up at my home and my neighbors and friends turned up, the appreciation and praise in their eyes were quite visible. I still remember how delighted I was during that 3 days sale. I was the lone staff and the manager of the event and it was alright. I was the one holding every piece of the sale together. Not all the items vanished from the shelf but yes, many of them did. People loved them and I loved the experience. I was neither an author nor a guitarist or a blogger that time. I was simply a housewife which still continues to be one of my identities.

Now after all those years looking upon these items, I was overwhelmed. Glues have dried out, one or two stones have fallen out from the packaged boxes, envelops have lost their shape (due to smothering space in the jute bag), silky thread has loosened out of the yarn, gel pen set is still intact (don't know whether it still works), stars, ribbons, remaining non-decorated empty many moments caught and preserved in these. Until I was done with every item, the peaceful smile never left my face. I realized it was the past I was holding onto, the best souvenir of the present. It made me acknowledge what I was, what I am now and what more can I be. Those twenty minutes of living up that piece of past was ethereal...soul touching.

Tuesday, 21 March 2017

आसमां से ग़र चाँद मांग लूँ
तो जन्नत में रौशनी कैसे होगी ?

सुबह से ग़र सूरज मांग लूँ
तो रात के सीने में शाम कैसे होगी ?

अनसुनी अनकही बातों का भी
काश कोई ग़वाह होता,
ह्रदय ही ग़र जो खोल कर रख दिया
तो ख़ामोशी की तलब कैसे होगी ?

यूँ तो वक़्त के झरोखे में बिखरे हैं कई मोती
कुछ मेरे तो कुछ तोहफे स्नेह के,
उन मोतियों को ही ग़र ना सहेज लूँ
तो यादों में पहल कैसे होगी ?

कहते हैं 'मनुष्य तूफ़ां है तो भावनाएं साहिल हैं'
लहरों में जो ना बहे तो किनारों पर हलचल कैसे होगी ?

मुस्कुराने के तो बहुत से बहाने हैं
कुछ साक्ष तो कुछ अनभिज्ञ,
होंठ ही ग़र जो स्वावलंबी हो गए
तो आँखों में चमक कैसे होगी ?

चुप सी चलती बेहोश सी ये ज़िन्दगी
हर एक आंधी को बाहों में समेटे,
तिनके ही ग़र जो ना सिमट पाएं
तो कहीं और बहार कैसे होगी ?

P.S. Could not put a title to this creation of mine but it'll get one, once I get it.

Tuesday, 14 March 2017

Books never let you grow old

It is always good to have extra time in hands and buy (or rather, secretly shop on Kindle when husband is not around) new books. The sensation you get just by the anticipation of getting new stories is unparalleled. Much like a kid wanting the day to turn into dusk and then scale towards the night so that he could be tucked inside the blanket and watch his grand mother read new exciting stories to him. In my case, I am the child and my Kindle and paperbacks are the grand mother.

As I am digging into the initial pages of Message In A Bottle by Nicholas Sparks, it feels so ethereal, it feels as if all those daily storms and hurricanes, global warming and pollution, twists and turns of routine life have come to a sudden halt, just so that I can read. Kid was doing his homework beside me when I opened my Kindle and it lit up to me, alike the grand mother's eyes, seeing her child expectant for a good story. And as I continued from where I had left off, I stopped after a page. Reading requires seclusion, tranquility of time. I slowly switched off my device and now waiting eagerly to have some peace unperturbed slot around. Books encourages the child inside you to stay intact. They never let you grow old!

I am glad to be a child holding a book despite the fact that I own a little library of my own yet it is beautiful to have a new one in addition. I am glad to be able to feel the excitement every time I buy. And I am super thrilled when I start digging into its pages. It's a precious feeling, I tell you. 
Be the kid and hold a book. I promise every trouble, every storm that you may have been facing these days will swiftly settle back and you will be endorsed in a world where there is no one but you and your wise witty grand mother, full of stories with endless journeys and charming people to meet.

Friday, 10 March 2017

Pick'A Book Club March Guest Talk

Yesterday we had Guest of the Month at our club. It was Mr. Ozwin D'Souza. He is a teacher and our neighbor, of course. Since March is burdened with exams and the deadly pressure, I thought to pick the idea for the talk something refreshing and highly engaging. It was - Mischief, Best Friends and Ideals. And you can imagine how much we must have enjoyed it. But before I say anything else, kindly have Ozwin's short bio attached with his picture.

So when Ozwin dropped by on time, kids did not show much of the enthusiasm. There is a thing about kids. They appear normal or rather, a little dull when you approach them but once you start making a connection with them, they change quickly and start liking you right away. The same happened with our guest. Kids were first silent and intrigued by the third presence (apart from them and me) but when Ozwin started talking about Best Friends, it took less than two minutes to get them talking back. And the way Ozwin started the talk, it was commendable! It became easier for kids to establish an instant connection with him.

Then the session which was planned previously to be precisely of 20 minutes got stretched into overwhelming forty minutes! There was just so much to share, so much to talk and discuss and have fun with speaking about mischievous things each one of us has done in the childhood; about best friends, having secrets with them and also about adoring our ideals in details. You should have seen all the children and their instant interest in speaking on the topic. It was magical! When I see them bonding well with our guest, I just feel so happy. There is no dearth in that. The entire session was special and our minds were refreshed. We thanked our guest for coming over and giving us his precious time. Kids went home delighted by the session. Later on, Ozwin and I discussed various topics over coffee. Another day came to a good end.

Wednesday, 8 March 2017

Celebrating Women's Day - The change I want

So today is Women's Day. First and the foremost, wishing all the women out there a very happy occasion. May we keep up with the virtues of womanhood which is strength, hope, love, care, integrity, earning credentials and the list is on...

Today, it does feel a little different. May be occasions/special days have a certain impact over the human psychology. I feel as if I have really drunk boost and actually feeling strong! I feel energetic even though I had slept less than four hours last night and did not have a nap the whole day. After so long I have also applied nail paint and it looks nice. Have also made a video featuring all those women who teach me important lessons of life and motivate me at various fronts but when I am posting it here, its not taking. I wonder why. Ungrateful blogger! Wishes showering from everywhere make me feel good and special though. I am grateful to them.

If you ask how does it feel like being a woman, I'd say - It feels rare and precious, beautiful and hopeful; sad too because of the crimes happening. Being a woman can also be stressing and daunting but then everyone has to go through such phases, more or less. Over all, it feels good to be a woman.

But I'd also like a change. I'd like to endorse girls' education. I'd like to abolish female infanticide. I'd like to encourage girls and women to speak up. I'd like men to stop considering women as toys or an object of their entertainment/time pass. I'd like to teach boys and men the importance of gender equality. I'd like to praise those women who have gone beyond their boundaries, have done beyond their best. I'd like to raise a toast to the courage and confidence rural women are now gaining. I'd also like to applaud all those men who are selfless and working for the betterment of the other half of the society. 

And I'd like to work towards one or all of the above.

So much on the name of wanting one change. But it starts from one, from the root level. If being asked, what change would you like to make to make this world a better place for women?

Monday, 6 March 2017

Everything comes at a price!

I am just done with my morning tea. Summer is here but somehow, the weather seems to be in a good mood since yesterday. It is still pleasant and no-sunny morning though I miss the sun, for the regular dose of my Vit. D.

They say work is very important. One benefit that you can garner from the statement is - that you get to enjoy leisure, you get to feel its tickle deeply. Because it's rare and so, precious. So sitting by my window looking out at trees gets me into some thinking. Trees - the natural but stubborn soldiers of our mother nature. They have to suffer so much for their growth. Even though there are four weathers by text book definitions yet our trees suffer many more than that - sudden rainfall in summers, snowfall in summers, sultry evenings, beautiful summer mornings, the brunt of human beings - they still grow, refuse to give up on their nature. But when those little buds appear on the nodes and afterwards, turn into beautiful flowers and leaves and fruits, all the harshness, the entire suffering suddenly looks worth, the price they paid in order to create beauty becomes worth.

Is it not a good example of what I had put as the title? That everything comes at a price? Look around or better, look inside and you will know. There is price to pay for everything but we should keep doing our jobs no matter how many weathers our eternal text book called life adds in the future.

Sunday, 5 March 2017

The Universe Between Us

When being in the crowd
then only you know the seclusion preferred
when being in seclusion
you realize the chaos running in head;
life is contradictory most of the times
gives easy times, and many limes
the solution might lie in being strong
fighting like a fighter, wounded like a lion;
everything appears to be a mirage
or may be we are living the one at large
before you know it's all a hallucination
puff! goes the sweet fancy imagination;
but the greatest truth lies in believing yourself
the time, the nature, the unparalleled universe
the one that lies in you, the one that lies in me
and the one that's resting between us many.

By - Priyanka Baranwal

Sunday, 26 February 2017

Runaway Train by Soul Asylum

The song is quite striking. Listen in the solitude and you would never want to come out. This can make you so beautifully distressed! I love the song, the lyrics, the history behind its making and the band, of course. It's one of those early songs that I gained mastery over very soon but could only record this eve. Sharing. Hope you to like it. If you do, write something nice but if you don't, well...what can I say? Tune in to the real one then. :)

Thursday, 23 February 2017

Fun February 2017

Today was the last session of my book club for February month. As I prefer to introduce a theme to every month, Feb's was G.K. (General Knowledge). By introducing a theme, you give children a fix direction. They head towards it and their development becomes guaranteed. Random growth is hard to observe and obtain. Hence, the idea of theme is well appreciated.

We did no silent reading today, much opposite to the routine. Kids came and picked a book from the G.K. section and then we read a bit of it aloud to everybody. It helps! The kid reading the book has to be involved with the text while others have to pay rapt attention. Because we do not stop just at reading. It gets religiously followed by question and answer rounds. I ask Qs. to them and then I see how much they have lent their ears to the book/s. It is fun as well as much interacting. If you ask me one thing that I have observed constantly in all my club kids, my answer would be - Kids love to speak! Give them a chance and you may not get your turn to open mouth. some times I have to tell them to pause so that I can put in a relevant point or re-order the discipline. All in all, it was a fun February. Pics are here - 

Wednesday, 22 February 2017

Is it okay to have less, even one friend?

Just the last week we installed the POP statue of the great monk Swami Vivekanand in a corner of our house. We had bought it from Kanyakumari a while ago but since then, could not find a corner suitable enough to place the great visionary. Now that finally we have, it only looks beautiful and may I dare say, inspiring. Every time I see him, his life, his work ethics and whatever amount of rest of the knowledge I have of him inspires me. When I find something hard to do, I look at him and say, "If he could do this, I can too!" I will post a picture of us some other time. Until then, have one from the trip taken.

One of the incidents from our Swami ji's life keeps me real. It is so natural and shows the depth of his thought process so well that it's a no wonder he led an exemplary life gaining tons of followers all over the world. So the incident in particular goes somewhat like this -

Once Swami Vivekanand went on the world tour. Alone. When he returned, his friends (or may be colleagues) mocked him by asking - What did you get from such a big tour? Because he had returned alone. Being very precise and honest by nature, Vivekanand replied - I got a true follower.

Finding a true follower or in today's era, a true friend is no less than finding yourself. So yes. It's absolutely OKAY if you have only ONE friend. That one person may be hold the key to finding yourself, to the treasures of life that you can't dig alone, to find an equilibrium in times of happiness and grief. A true honest friend is like a whole grain; works on its pace but you feel fuller for a lifetime. So be happy, be light, make merry because you have what many people crave despite of being in the crowd of acquaintances.

Researches say that intelligent people tend to have less friends. Because the smarter you get, more selective you becomes. I hope I did not send you on a run to check on your friend list.

P.S. Since this morning I am having this stubborn headache, refusing to let go of me. But now as I am getting done here, it has dwindled down by a great extent. I want to credit the pleasure of Writing and not to the cup of tea I made right before I started typing here.

Tuesday, 21 February 2017

Speak it out to be heard.

Remember one of my recent posts where I had talked of my mother and how she drenched me with motherly warmth? Here is the post Soak into the warmth. Read it first because the one I am writing now is its sequel.

In a few relationships, you have to act more as a Giver. You don't expect much in exchange and keep giving your time and energy to those precious people. One of them are parents. You keep in touch even when they get surprisingly busy and also when hours turn into days and days turn into weeks until they find some time and make a call to you. In the meanwhile, you play the role of Jesus, forgiving them wholeheartedly. But sometimes you do get crucified! After all, everyone has a line of patience. Don't judge me as keeping quiet is absolutely okay. You only mean to give them free space after a while so that they can continue doing their work and finish them while, you, at your place and position, too are continuing with your work in order to meet the deadline.

So I simply allowed my mother to have her breathing space and let her finish her busy schedule. In simpler words, I stopped making calls and let her be. It's important! She called yesterday in reply to my missed call. Love sometimes comes out in grudges and grunts. I could not resist any further and complained that she does not have time for me anymore. No matter whether the world is tumbling up and down, she gotta have some time to talk to her only elder daughter. She listened and laughed. How else she was supposed to handle it?

By making a call to me...all by herself...without me reminding or placing a message.

So she called today on her own and then we talked. Somewhere i thought I did a good thing putting forward the complaint. I said and that was why, I was heard. She said, 'Now you can't say I don't call you. See! I got some time for you before I hit the treadmill'. She does not jog as I do but loves to walk. We talked for some time and Jesus was happy once again.

Friday, 17 February 2017

The Naked Face by Sheldon

Today I finished reading The Naked Face by Sidney Sheldon. It took me two weeks to finish it. If you see the book, you will realize that the book should not last more than four or five days, a week may be. But two weeks sounds a little stretched. But I enjoyed reading it. Took my sweet time and thought about Sheldon and his protagonist, Judd Stevens. 

It's a murder mystery. Someone is out to kill Judd but who? Who could that be? The whole story revolves around it, exactly the way our pretty earth takes an inspection of the glowing sun. Somewhere the book is interesting. Sheldon has managed it well but over all? I am not sure. I did not like the book much. It felt Sheldon has tried to create unnecessary mystery out of nothing. Using big words of psychoanalysis (Judd is a psychoanalyst) does not work. At least for me. Thankfully I am not on any panel to judge this book or else...Sheldon's next murder mystery would be aimed at Me.

The only thing I liked in this book could be - the characterization of Judd's various patients. Sheldon has created an eclectic collection for Judd who seems to understand each one of them. Their problems and how Judd sees them and does the analysis is good. He is patient, understanding and his patients' privacy is his ulterior motive. There Sheldon has scored some points.

Next is Bleachers by Grisham. Let's see how it goes.

Wednesday, 15 February 2017

Talk. Communicate. Express.

Before I put my wisdom tooth at work and initiate a conversation here, I just want to confess that the weather outside has become very chilly. The wind is restless and intends to sweep away anyone barring its way. One can't stay sans a jacket or sweater. Still, it's heavenly!

Now let's begin some serious talking. If I am to pull out a personal moment and pin it here, that'd belong to yesterday. Since a few days I had been sensing an invisible dusk of stress on my husband. I asked twice or may be thrice but each time the reply was casual. Finally I decided to put a stop to such casual replies (pun intended). After all, there is a limit to these. I am sort of frank in relationships and expect people to be honest too. So when I stayed persistent, the dam finally broke and everything that was packed behind it gushed out. We talked and talked for a long time...over the things that had turned into issues and also on potential stuff. Result? The dawn of content and relief.

Tuesday, 14 February 2017

Soak into the warmth

I was busy in my work this afternoon when my mother called. Since a few days she had been ardently busy and could not avail five minutes to talk. Since she is the busiest person I have ever come across in my life, I let her indulge in all the necessary tasks she meant to give priority first.

When she called today, I thought for a moment to place an affectionate complaint about her being busy and not having time to talk to me but I refrained. She called and that was enough!

No sooner did I put the restraining order over myself that she said,

"I was meant to call you since a few days but could not! I was not feeling good for not being able to talk to you."

I felt myself warmed by her words. I asked to verify (and also to listen once again),

"Did you really feel bad at the inability to talk to me?" She confirmed in a firm yes, soaking me completely in her warm words this time.

What can I say here about how I felt at that moment. It just felt I was alive once again.

Saturday, 11 February 2017

Do not give up to the failure

After wasting time skilfully (???) on Facebook after a loonngg hectic day, I am finally settled in the warmth of my blanket with a big piece of tranquility. By the way, I had one of a yummy cake this evening. No occasions. Got one as gift. So savored with family, society kids and a few friends.

Now staring at the screen thinking about what to write here, I finally decided to take help. Two minds get more ideas or that's what I believe. So my kid is sleeping next to me (or trying to sleep, you can say). I turned to him and asked to give me something from your day on which I can write as a blog post here. That post will be dedicated to you only. In a blink, he said - We should not lose ourselves to the failure.

Very good point. Upon asked, he said - 

'This morning when I went to play T.T. with my friends, I lost four matches but then I won the fifth one. When I lost one, I said to myself I'd work hard. When I lost the 2nd time, I said I'd work hard. When I lost the 3rd one, I said to myself I'd work hard but when I lost the fourth one, I said, Alright! Now I am going to play my best and finally won the fifth match.'

Great! I thought. Then I asked about his feelings, reactions, the stir one gets after a pile of failures. Did he feel any? He said, 'No. I just thought to myself that I'd work hard'. He continued:

'Then I played again in the evening and stood 2nd in the championship. If I had given up, I'd never be able to win. So I'd say, never lose yourself to the failure.'

Don't we all know this already? That giving up does not help? That determination, self-preservation and confident work wonders to win? But it was nice to hear from a kid. My Kid. 

Sadhguru of Isha Foundation says, We should not teach children. Instead, we should learn from them.

How aptly said!

Friday, 10 February 2017

Let the seed be a seed

They say no one should be self-complacent; that one should keep asking for more, keep striving for more. It is, of course, said on a positive note so that one can have a healthy development, a better growth. 

But since there is no universal rule to stick to and also because a writer can poke her nose into like anything, may be once in a while, you should be self-complacent; that staying happy and content in having what you already have can be good for your health. May be for once in a while, having the sight of a seed is enough, no one should bury it, water it and allow it to grow into something else. The seed might be there because it is meant to be only a seed and it should not turn into a flower or a leaf, nor into a big entity such as a tree. If the seed is not getting nurtured, it may not slow its growth or cause it to die. If it remains what it is then may be...the life in it will stay intact forever, away from this world's prying eyes, curious eyes unnecessarily trying to classify it with meaningless species and sub-species. The seed, since it is in a pure however a defenseless state, has its own little world hidden inside. It has the energy of the sun to nourish a giant planet, it contains the life required to feel the magic, it carries a womb within that has the ability to keep nourishing itself. As a seed, it is in the most beautiful and purest form.

But what if it does not want to stay what it is? What if it wants to grow into something else? What if it stops being self-complacent? In favorable conditions, it will grow, yes. It will turn into a beautiful flower one day, may be a big thick tree too. The thing which was almost a small collection of a few pollen grains earlier is now the bearer of hundreds of flowers and millions of grains. It sees nothing but its growth...good healthy growth and that is now what makes it happy. Not the sainthood of complacency where it has the universe by staying just as a tiny seed. It started asking to show its universe and at the end, gets cut or may be burned in some violence or may be gets uprooted because of some catastrophe. This is the price a seed pays for asking more, for stopping to be self-complacent. Infertility is the price that the seed has to pay now. It has no more a universe, nor the happiness. As a tree, it sure has grown but such growth is only a mark of degradation, not the positive development it had expected.

You see, if the seed could be capable enough to handle its uniqueness and its brilliance, it would have sustained the yearning of growth, the relentless longing for more happiness, the cravings for the unexpected. It only needed to be self-complacent.

We all are the nurturers. We start watering and nourishing the seed we get never realizing the fact that may be...may be we should let the seed only a seed. It is meant for that only! Because the moment you start asking for sun, you will also lose the sky full of stars.

Thursday, 9 February 2017

Aditya's freedom from the pain and misery

Today in the wee hours, a happy kid of our society passed away. He was Aditya. I have seen him may be twice but had found him always smiling. My husband says Aditya loved to give Hi fives. All in all, the loss of such a lovely child is hard to express.

On the health note, Aditya was not a very lucky child. He suffered from Down Syndrome and had developed Cancer. Since 15 days he was admitted in the hospital and was recovering well until pneumonia caught him in its paws. The situation started to turn bad from worse and finally he could not cope up with anymore struggle and succumbed to the silence that his family is dealing with now. Just an hour ago we went to his house for offering condolence to his parents. Seeing their sad eyes and slouched figures made us shiver. I don't need to explain their situation here because any one can imagine. It's really really tough for them to spend days and nights now because Aditya was their 24/7 attention.

During our heartfelt mourning, Aditya's father whom we call Balamurugan sir, told us that pneumonia affected him a lot and then doctors gave him high powered antibiotics which his body found impossible to digest. As result, Aditya's lungs ruptured and became the prime reaosn for his untimely death. It was such a terrible thing to hear. Just last year in August, one of our neighbours' husband passed away due to the carelessness of doctors. Doctors gave him pain killer when he was suffering with heart attack. One should never give pain killers in heart attack. It's fatal! But destiny has its own plans. And none of us can have a say in it.

Now before I go to sleep tonight, I pray for the family to get strength to cope up with such a big loss. I feel utterly sorry for them. And if I am not taken on the wrong note, I am happy for Aditya to have finally found freedom a kid of his age deserves...freedom from all the pain and miseries, freedom from the painful procedure of chemotherapy, and the inability to live a normal life. Wherever he is spreading happiness and giving Hi fives now, I salute his brave soul.

Wednesday, 8 February 2017

Humans and Nature side by side

Last week I was downstairs to have a walk. Times such as walks and work outs demand concentration. So I become very silent and concentrated in such time span. During my walk and somewhere between the music plugged into ears, I noticed the sight ahead of me. It got me curious. I can tell you a thing or two about being a writer. No matter what you do or what you say, where you go or where you come back from, you always have a third eye...a second perspective to the situation. Though the writer's hat is invisible to others yet it is always there on your head.

This was the sight I am talking 'bout:

While for others, it is something to do with the clean pavement and lights and buildings but no. If you look deeper you will find a hidden picture in this.

The sight is lined by two things: Left side by the Humans while Right one by the Nature. So different from each other yet standing side by side...letting the road connect them. While Humans are the ones full of so many impurities; it destroys whatever beautiful it finds around, Nature does the opposite. It is pure, serene, always minding its own business. Always about providing and less about taking. While one stands the symbol of the cycle of life and death, the other can be called the unanimous synonym of eternity. The sight is plain yet worth thinking - humans and nature side by side, allowing their differences to connect through the road.

Tuesday, 7 February 2017

Outsourced motivation

This evening when I was done straining eyes on laptop, I decided to give the house a nice boost of clean up. The sight was such that it felt it was a dormitory of kids. Things scattered here and there, used plates, spoons, glasses staring at the ceiling (or may be to their God praying for the rescue team) on the coffee table and dining table, the swing burdened with cloths, TV remotes flung in places like they had just tolerated the torture of short, it was the space no sane person would like to see. Explaining the situation of my house, however I know, is not very wise to put forth a good image of myself here but as once my sister had said - a tidied up house is a sign of a wasted life - I can afford to live in a mess for a bunch of times.

So at the climax of the cleaning, I had a very interesting conversation with my son.

Son: Mumma! Would you like to be Rabindranath Tagore?

I: Tagore? As in the famous writer and a poet? Well, why would I like to be someone else. i'd rather prefer to be myself.

Son: No. You didn't get me!" He seemed quite persistent with his perspective while I was firm at my cleaning in progress.

"I mean to say, he has written 50 novels and more than 3000 poems. Would you like to be a legend as big as him?"

I: Sure. Why not? But do you think I can manage to earn a good reputation as him?

Son: Why not, Mummy? In fact, you can do better than Tagore.

A smile erupted on my face. "So you believe that I can match him?"

Son: Of course! You can, Mummy. I do believe you can do better than Tagore.

And my cleaning was done.

Quite an irony to what I had said here yesterday. Not everyday you have to find motivation from within. It can be outsourced as well. Like my dear son filled me with some this evening. I could surely use some inspiration.

Monday, 6 February 2017

Appreciate yourself!

Taking a break from ~ 9 hours of working on the story. And once again, I am writing. That's the curse of being a writer. Writing becomes the pain while it continues to be the cure. 

Anyway... So how is your Monday preparing to pass out? In glee with loads of work? Or sleepy. still struggling to open eyes? If its the former, if you had started another week on a good note by completing  loads of work, it's time to pat your back. It's time to appreciate yourself. After all, at the end of the day, we all seek a heartfelt admiration for our honest efforts. Not every time you should wait for others to make you realize your worth by a certificate, degree, an award,  or any such token of appreciation. You can be your own cheerleader, or a merciful boss!

This li'l post reads so simple but if you do pat your back, you will realize you are not just appreciating the efforts you have put forth in the entire day but also carved out the upcoming path easier to walk on. Once the self is motivated, tough jobs starts to seem less scary, piles of files look less daunting; the deadlines give fewer nightmares and going through another hectic week appears no big deal. So go on, get on the stage, steal the limelight and give that little speech you always wanted to deliver to instill some inspiration. Be your own super star, be your own face to face with success after performing splendid during the whole day. Applaud yourself for getting a day handled so well!

But before you do, make sure the stage gets empty by the next morning and that you have to fill it again with another day of hard work. You again have to live up to your expectations. 

So this was my little speech for today. After all, I too had a hectic day, had I not?

Saturday, 4 February 2017

Pop a question and enjoy the rest

Few days back, I wrote a post on Why smart phones are called so? The thought was spontaneous but worth thinking over.

Yesterday I popped the same Q. to my bestie over the phone. If I can say one thing about the conversation that followed, it was quite entertaining. This morning I asked the same to my husband on the breakfast table. He too went way deep to answer and this conversation too was a good show for me to sit back and enjoy.

If you give the Q. a minute, it will amaze you by its simplicity and complication at the same time. If you wish to know what was there in both the conversations I mentioned above that I enjoyed so much, ask it to the closest familiar person, and you will know. Let me give you a heads up until you find one.

First and the foremost, he will scrunch his face, thinking over the category of the Q. (like weird or interesting). Second, the answer will comprise of two most basic logic - that phones are compact, easy to carry, and they have calling facility. These two will be the foundation of their argument. Funny thing is, people usually have the tendency to wrong you at the first chance. Somehow they try hard to find ways to oppose you and then try harder to convince you. This Q. in particular can be very fun and a good investment of time in understanding human psychology.

Earlier, computers were monstrous when it was made. Now they are impossibly sleek and a hell lot faster. Kindle is an amazing device, a true friend, fulfilling the need of every sentiment that a book lover feels while reading. Tablets too provide the same features as phones, including calling facility. Yet it is called just a tablet. Other electronics too have their own Opera to sing for but... Then why phones are smart? Why the privilege gets restricted to them only?

A little advice: think through before you ask. You don't wanna lose and definitely wanna enjoy your own invented show.

P.S. When my bestie sided with Apple brand, I agreed saying that yes, if you want to say iPhones are smart phones, that's justified. Because Siri works like a human being, and not a machine. Apple has those features that make their phones genuinely smart. Therefore, in the herd, Apple steals the show and its phones validate the term smart phones. Be flexible when it's required and appropriate, if you want the discussion to be a pleasant experience, where you are in control of your show.

Friday, 3 February 2017

Pick'A Book Club's First Ever Guest Talk

Yesterday (Feb 2nd, Thursday) in our book club, I had invited a special guest under its Guest Feature. Just as one book cannot give you all the knowledge, in the same way, I can't teach my club kids everything that they need to learn. Interacting with different minds, experiences and thought process give kids a huge plunge in their development, and that's the motive of our club: a healthy development.

Post some pondering, I finalized on Shanta S. Rao Aunty living in my block. She is an old lady but very jovial, friendly and with rich experience. I needed to introduce a face to which kids could relate easily and she seemed to be perfect for it. But before putting up the request, I was kind of skeptical whether she'd accept it. Task was easy but people are actually very shy in coming forward but much to my delight, Shanta Aunty immediately accepted my request to come and give a motivational talk on - 4 global faces that inspire us. We discussed the idea in length and at the end, she became the first ever Guest at our club. I was excited and much looking forward to the session.

A short bio of Shanta Aunty

The theme for February, Kids and I have decided - Knowledge is Fun i.e. we are supposed to read General Knowledge books (kids hardly lay hands on this section). On usual time the session commenced. Kids enjoyed book as well as the newspaper reading. Afterwards they had snacks. I keep it healthy and tidy to eat. When I told them we are having a guest today, they were confused and excited both at the same time. Because it was the first ever time when a third person (apart from me and kids) was joining us. I explained. Then Shanta Aunty came...with a box of sweets! Such a lovely gesture by her! I loved it! It wasn't necessary or told but her action shows how much considerate she is towards the kids. Then kids enjoyed the sweets along with rest of the snacks. And then started the fun.

Why smart phones are called so?

There was this idea for tonight's post but I seem to be forgetting it. With no additional grey hair in sight, I wonder why it's happening. Anyway, let's talk on something else.

Smart phones.

The name actually gets me curious. Why a simple device is being called smart? We have laptops and tablets, Play stations and Kindles. They are pretty smart as each of them offer an spectacular use of time but still they are the victim of some unknown prejudice. They work smart yet they are not being called Intelligent Laptop or Fun Tablet, Perfect Play Station or Kool Kindle.

When I come to think of it, only phones are being called smart because of one reason - That human needs it more than it needs us. That's why it is smart. Without getting under suspicion, phones are making us addictive and once it is done, the human gets dumb and it becomes smart. As simple as that! After all, it can never get a hang of us and thus, dumb.

I see around and find not only strangers but also closest of people hung up on their smart phones. And their addiction is way over the line. It's infuriating! And they also have a pile of complaints as well. Such as - burning eyes, eye sight problems, inability in sleeping, lack of love and understanding in relationships, growing distance, headache, heart ache, numbness in muscles, lowering I.Q. and so on. They know it's because of their phones yet the addiction has gotten so much under the skin that it has become almost impossible to get rid of the bad habit.

Wednesday, 1 February 2017

The silver lining of every relationship

Each relationship has a highlight, or you can say, a silver lining that shines when grey clouds are hovering and the sky has nothing to offer but thunder and chills. In simple words, every relationship is based on a particular trait, that makes it strong and binds the people in it together. A mother and daughter relationship is more about sharing; a father and daughters' is about protection; siblings offer a pleasant time while friendships are based on mutual respect and sharing space.

But the very foundation gets vague and versatile in nature when it comes to couples - married as well as live in. Every other relationship may fade over time but when it comes to the one you love deeply, it gets tough to identify the nature of the relationship. Sometimes it feels it is made up of love while at other times, it can be about respect, understanding, communication...and so on. But if both the ends are willingly tied together, it means there is something, a silver lining that gleams during the dark times. It saves the relationship from getting charred away from the lightning and thus, works as a guide taking them in the right direction.

Therefore, it is significant to discover what is it that your relationship with your beloved is based on? What is it that ties a connection meant never to be severed? Once you discover it, it helps during dark times, tumultuous days. It helps to build a new boat from the same foundation to sail through another wind storm. That particular trait of your relationship brings the necessary balance and becomes your identity as whole.

My silver lining with my blog is purely based on understanding. It gives me space while I try my best to fulfill it responsibly. But right now, I am so drunk with sleep after working on the screen through the day that it's become hard to keep my eyes open. They are burning! While I have promised to write another blog post tomorrow, it's time to see stars and moon in the dreamworld.

Monday, 30 January 2017

Lost and Found

Human life goes on and so does go on a million things alongside. Among these, it's hard to realize when the one gets lost. That leads to the big Q. - Can the lost one be traced and finally found?

In the density of grey clouds
Lost a star its ability to astound;
Behind the curtain of city's air pollution
How much possible is to breathe and run?
In the illusion of a mirage in the desert
One finds Hope hanging for a second;
Amid rising buildings, egos and clarity
is hard to trace the subtle gravity;
In the generosity of a chilly morning
warmth of a sun ray gets missing;
Within the layers of the bed sheet 
is present the human but not the heat;
The pen is filled with ink
but words are invisible, hardly spilled;
Pay checks are pleasing 
yet money can't buy everything;
Everything is present, everything is there
but why does it feel ludicrous, each emotion exposed and bare?
Simply b'cause one can't find the extent of destruction
until the one starts re-construction;
But in the middle of rubble, dust, cement and ground
Can the lost one be traced and finally found?

By Priyanka Baranwal

P.S. All the poems written on my blog are purely imagined and composed by me until I mention otherwise. Some of my creations end with my name while some have their own endings.

Friday, 27 January 2017

Hard work counts!

If last few years could teach me one thing
that would frankly be - 
Hard work counts!
while luck hardly matters;
Prayers seldom come handy
if there is dearth in efforts
but if there is an abundance of the latter
you would save much time on prayers;
So work hard, put in more efforts
challenge the self, raise the bar 
handle the nerve, kick the hurdles
call upon the monster, fight the demons;
Do these and a little more
life is insatiable, always wanting more
Suck up all the hatred, the loneliness
and give in to the dream called Success.

Thursday, 26 January 2017

भारत की अद्वितीय स्वर्णिम गाथा

देश का संविधान रचा गया इस दिन 
अधिकारों को वाणी का प्रदान हुआ,
जो देश था कभी ज़जीरों में जकड़ा हुआ 
आज है आज़ाद, बुलंद मुस्कुराता हुआ;

मुस्कुरा रहा आज हर वो नागरिक 
जिसे गर्व है अपने भारत की मिट्टी पर,
फ़िकर बस इतनी सी है, दोस्तों!
आँच ना आ जाए संविधान के मान पर;

जो आसमां तेरा है वही मेरा भी है 
जो धरती तेरी है वही मेरी भी है,
तो चलो मिटा दें भेद-भाव के जंगल को 
न रहे कोई फ़र्क पुरुष और स्त्री के अधिकारों में,
समर्पित कर दें खुद को 'जय भारत' के नारों में 
और भारत की अद्वितीय स्वर्णिम गाथा में। 

- प्रियंका बरनवाल 

गणतंत्र दिवस की हार्दिक शुभकामनाएं

Wednesday, 25 January 2017

Your face is a treasure

Tomorrow is January 26th or Republic Day. The best thing about the day would be that it is also the day of my book club. We have the lucky opportunity to celebrate the occasion on the day itself and not previous to it (like we did for Christmas and New Year). I have planned special session for tomorrow. We will have book reading, some exciting craft work, special snacks and then a fun assignment designed and given only for the occasion. I hope kids to love it.

Talking about kids, let's talk about mine and something that he told me yesterday. I was busy in kitchen when he asked whether he could say a paragraph in Kannada. I said, alright and he did spoke a paragraph in good length, comprised of 7-8 lines. I was impressed with his progress however could not understand a single word. I asked and he patiently told me the meaning of each line. Put together and this will the gist:

Your face is a treasure. You have two eyes, two ears, one mouth, and one nose.

I said, yes but why our face is a treasure?

Because if you loose any of it, you can't get it back! 

Nice! That was indeed a pearl of wisdom shared by my kid. Now we know we all travel with a treasure and we must take care of each of them well.

Tuesday, 24 January 2017

Why parents should learn the other half of the equation?

Parents. One word can swell your heart with the rainbow of emotions. No matter what you do or where you are, what you think or what you speak, which direction you go or have taken a deliberate pause, parents are always love you, to support you, to lull you equally through successes and failures with their warm words and everlasting encouragement. There is just no end to the happiness and love shrunk in just a single simple word - Parents.

As a daughter, I adore mine. They have been there with me when everyone was there and they have also been there with me when no one was there. Weathers came and go, harsh times hit and left, memories turned good and bitter, I have found my precious set with me. And that's just more than what a kid can ask for!

By nature, they are Giving. So as a daughter, I am naturally much more in the receipt of their love and support than my brother (Poor him! Tch!). They just need an excuse to Give. Mine are pretty generous and sometimes it gets a little too much! I don't know how much I'll be able to explain my point/perspective here or at what extent you will agree with me but it is true! They only know how to Give while they should also learn how to Take/Accept. As a child, we surely want to show our share and level of love, support and understanding and it can only be a possibility on a fewer occasions. The child too can want to Give but not only Take. As for me, I love them too and that is why, I believe, they should also practice the act of accepting things from their children. By doing this, they will only be respecting your thought and the hidden warmth.

Parents must learn Accepting can make their child happy

Monday, 23 January 2017

Why we don't do what we like to do

It is often said - try other than your interest. But sometimes, the scenario flips and we hardly do what interests us. There are multiple examples to this. You know you love traveling yet you stick to the four walls of home. You love gardening yet the space outside the porch is yet to be filled with dirt and mud. You love reading yet you don't find time to hold onto a book. You enjoy fitness but hardly hit the gym or the nearby Yoga center. And the best one - You love talking to loved ones yet they complain you don't place a call to them anymore. Regular things yet we hardly do it. Why? Well, the question intrigued me a few days back and after discussing it with my bestie, we came up with 5 reasons backed up with some good logic.

1. Habitual Issue: Researches say that it takes almost 23 days for a new thing to turn into a habit which means - to get a new thing turn into a daily thing, it has to continue for at least 23 days. That's quite a lot but considering how long a life can be, it's fairly doable. We eat, brush, shower, talk and do other things without much thinking because they are our habits. But when we like a new thing, it still struggles to become a habit.

2. Comfort Zone: I love visiting places but if you ask me for a trip or a day out at a good resort, I will chicken out. My first reaction would be - Why and what for? What's the need? Let's stay back home. But the moment wind hits my face through the car window, the trip suddenly becomes the best thing to do. Getting out of the comfort zone is a challenge and that makes up for a pretty basic reason why it's hard to do what we like to do.

3. Surroundings/Parental Pressure: My bestie admitted that because of the parental pressure at a certain level during her childhood/teenage, she could not do things that she actually liked. She was good in academics but when it came to watch TV shows or talking to people or joining hobby classes, it was out of question. So surroundings affect us at a great extent. This also bars us to introduce new things in the daily routine.

That's the relationship with a new thing

Thursday, 19 January 2017

Aceept the way life is.

With Priyanka Chopra winning People's Choice Award for the second time and then the interview where she was asked whether she is scared of newly elected Donald Trump as US president, she has said to be nailing it everywhere. Any news related to her wits and she nails it like anything. It has started to feel like whether she has humongous nails to prick and trick everything. Don't get me wrong. It's just a compliment for her admirable personality. I am a big fan of her.

A light prelude was needed to commence something here. 2016 did not end up on a good note for several reasons and one of them was - the death of my bestie's mother. As it turned out, my friend was unable to cope with the sudden loss. The evening she told me was Thursday, the day of my book club. Right after two minutes of its beginning she called to tell me the news. She had clearly forgotten about my club. I listened in horror and tried my best to soothe her. I too was going through some difficult times at that stage and could easily relate with her pain and the agony. We talked for five minutes and then I had to resume my club. I can't ignore it.

She still is finding it extremely challenging to go about daily struggles. We talked and chatted whenever it was possible. She lives abroad or else we'd have been together through such difficult times. Every time we talked, she was sad and withdrawn, had forgotten the simple act of smiling. I kept feeling bad and was guilt ridden of being unable to ease her pain. But a few days ago when we talked, I found her smiling and laughing. I was surprised nonetheless delighted to see the transition. I asked and she said -

No one can forget their mother. Take it 30 or 60 years, those memories will stay with you no matter what. If this is going to happen then I need to accept it and try to live. Being sad is not going to help anyway, especially when you have a family!

What a beautiful sentence - I need to accept it and try to live. Only she knows the pain she has been going through yet she spoke with such positivism. Now she talks, smiles and laughs during our conversations and says I am her life-line. Well, the thing is mutual. But the relief I get by getting to see her trying to put two and two together and make each day wholesome by fulfilling responsibilities is inexplicable. I know her brave face is only a mask over an aching heart, her smile is only a souvenir of moments she spent crying for her mother, and her laughter is nothing but another push to make another day livable but that indeed serves the purpose of handling the tragedy well within the perimeter of human capacities.

Peace of mind is so much needed to live and I wish a whole lot of it for her.