Life-The Amish Way

As I read more and more about Amish, the fascination and intrigue kept growing. Last week , finally I had a chance to travel to Lancaster, Pennsylvania the Amish county to see the real people.

I had lots of information about Amish before I started my journey, a journey I never thought would come my way but life often gives surprises! So on a beautiful summer day in June,2017, I took Interstate 95 from New Jersey. As soon as the city ended, the beautiful green forests crept up by the highway. We had entered Philadelphia, Pennsylvania and the landscape reminded me of my place, full of green foliage. The drive was about 2 and a half hours, needless to say, I didnt realize how the hours went by.

Amish are of Swiss-German ancestry who emigrated to Pennsylvania in early 18th century. They are known for simple living, plain dressing and do not use modern technology including electricity, automobiles and telephones. They value rural life, manual labor and humility, what they believe to be God’s word.They have their own one-room schools and discontinue formal education after 8th grade, at age 13 or 14. Until the children turn 16, they have vocational training from their parents, community, and the school teacher. Because they believe, education until 8th grade is enough to do what they do for a living i.e .farming, carpentry, household work and other related works within their community. The population (which doubles every 20 years) of Amish as of 2016 was 308,030.
I got to see some breathtaking views of the place , mostly Lancaster county. Taking a guided tour of a place called ,’The Amish Village’ where they have tried to show a glimpse of Amish life was amazing. Then we went into the country side entering into some of the real villages and watching Amish work in their daily routine like in the farms or just riding their bicycles to run errands. The people I saw wore their traditional dresses with women in white bonnets and men in black or straw hats. Then I visited some of the tourist shops to get some souvenirs, the place has been marketed for tourism from 20th century and I guess, it has also become a source of income for the Amish and other locals. The beauty and the integrity of the place and the people has been intact and we get to see how these people have managed to live life without the modern day technological advantages.

I enjoyed the whole day in nature’s lap and promised myself to return someday…

Here are some of the memorable pics from the Amish County.

 

Murder AT Delphi

From Internet

I have been wanting to write my thoughts on this horrific incident which happened a couple of months ago at Delphi, a small town about 70miles away from Indianapolis. For some reason, this case really “grabbed me”.

Two teenage girls, 12, and 13 decide to go for an evening hike when their school is off for a day. The girls are dropped off near Monon High Bridge (An abandoned railroad bridge active from 1897-1956) at around noon by a relative and a time is fixed for picking them up later in the day. The girls do not show up at the designated time and are informed to police as missing by dusk. Their bodies are found next day less than a mile from the bridge on a private property, in the park.

Interestingly, in one of the girls phone , a video is found which is later identified to be of the suspect. So now, police has a picture and a video/voice of the suspect. The girl who was brave enough to capture the video is dead but the killer is still at large.Not many cases where they have voice and a picture but after about more than 1000 tips and the reward money going above $100,000 , this seems absolutely scary that the killer is out and about in public even now.

From Internet

NB- Above pictures were taken by one of the victims from her phone.

One of the other reasons , why this news caught my attention is how police has been dealing with it, its been more than 3 months, they have not released any information as to what were the cause and nature of injury to the girls or for that matter whether they have been sexual or non-sexual in nature. I cannot help thinking about this news item, if it had happened in India!

While , I keep the little girls in my prayers, I learn a valuable lesson- Never ever leave your child alone.

No, there is nothing called a ‘Safe Place’.There never was.

                                                               Google pictures

Badass Kangana

Google images

Idea to write something about the gutsy Kangana came when I read another post which said that the recent chat show on her  by Karan Johar was staged by Karan himself or the TV channel for their TRPs and that if Karan was indeed offended on Kangana calling him a ‘Movie Mafia’ and ‘King of Nepotism’, then he would have edited those scenes. The writer went over to say it was all for money and TRP and that Kangana deserved a 4th National award for her drama on Coffee with Karan.

Well, before the above mentioned writer could even blink an eye, Karan, opened his big mouth and said that, Kangana should leave Bollywood if she does not like it and that she has been playing the ‘Victim’ and ‘Women’cards all along her life in Bollywood. Kangana , as usual, gave him a slap across his face by saying that , she was now playing the Badass card and that Bollywood is not a small studio that he has inherited from his father and it belongs to everyone who wants to work here and she slammed up the whole fight by saying , now that he has adopted a daughter by surrogacy, he should be teaching her all the cards.

What I want to say is that if it had been a staged show, the later spat would not have happened. Kangana has come a long way , from rebelling against an over-strict dad , from living in a small city, to the struggling times  in Delhi to the wrong men of Bollywood, who of course she kicked out on time, and the sleazy actors who had a good time with her but chickened out when she wanted her relationship to be public. She has beaten all odds to be here where she is today. With 3 national awards and several back to back box office hits, she has proved that she is a hard working,honest and confident woman what we all should become. Sooner than later. She does not want to work with any of the Khans because she knows now scripts are written around her role and that’s a huge feat for a female actor in Bollywood.

She comes across as emotional, confident,brash at times but otherwise soft spoken girl who will treat you good until you rub her on the wrong side. You are a dead meat then….she will go tooth and nail to kick your butt and will win for sure because she had been nice to you while you were thinking of taking her on a ride.Look at her vocabulary now and you cannot believe that she has really worked hard on it. The way she trashes the mean and selfish people is amazing and the way she has risen in Bollywood without a godfather is unbelievable. People say she used Aditya Pancholi and Adyayan Suman. I hope they are able to help themselves first before helping anyone else.

Kangana Ranaut….way to go girl. Kick ass, badass, slut, witch….whatever they call you, you are a winner all the way!

And Im exasperated ,when I see women not supporting women….anyways.

Here wishing you a 4th one soon.

Break

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Its just a break….

Catching up with life, crochet, cooking, baby, hubs, friends, shopping….

Soaking up life….

Will be back shortly…..wait for me…

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Valentines’ 2017

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It was a lonely Valentine this year as hubs was traveling but not very lonely because I got to spend it with my baby. Just me and him , and his naughty antics which would make me insane on any other given day. But I enjoyed it on this special day as I remembered the time when I carried him for those not-so-enjoyable days, but overwhelmingly emotional days, when each day I would pray for him to be safe, growing inside me.

A mother-son relationship is simple and straight. Its about love and nothing else.

So we enjoyed the day with a trip to the park, some cake and ice-cream in the evening. Because , sweets aint a regular thing at our place.

Hubs had been calling us since morning, not a usual stuff. I’m sure , he missed his valentine son too!

So, celebrating it over this weekend , we and our little bundle , who is otherwise called a devil….

Happy New Birthday

Birthday Cake

Birthday Cake

Hubby sneaked in a cake to be lit at 12 am sharp. Son didn’t like it much, he just hated the color enough not to even taste it,discarding it at the first  sight! But he insisted on lighting the candles every time we got the cake out from the fridge , for next 2 days till it lasted!

Having a vacation courtesy husband’s off from work since Christmas. He is looking after the baby and I’m on a roll, doing my stuff!

Good beginning to the new year, hope it stays this way….all my life.

One of my friends husband wished me- Happy New Birthday…( happy new year+Happy Birthday) Lol

Wishing you all good luck and good health in 2017 and all your life.

Dangal- Movie Review

Dangal- Movie Poster

Dangal- Movie Poster

That gut-wrenching soul-chilling scream of the father to his daughter when she is about to lose the qualifying match once again, will always echo in my mind.

HARNA NAHI HAI GEETA…

And it is my take home message.

Though I do not identify with the gender stereotypes shown in the film because I come from a fairly gender neutral society but I realised how fortunate the girls from North East are. And that we should make the most of it (by pursuing our unconventional dreams and passions) because we do not have to fight with the society for the choices we make in our lives.

Since Aamir Khan competes only with himself, it was hard to pick any negatives from the film. I could only feel that this movie contradicts his earlier one ‘Three Idiots’ in terms of how much a parent should interfere in their children’s dreams for their future.

The newcomers have got the best of out of it, learning the art of perfection from the master himself. The charm, enthusiasm and freshness of the Fatima and Sanya will remain in people’s mind for long.To be able to portray the characters as wrestlers would not have been an easy task. It’s a treat to watch the passion and thrill in the girls’ eyes every time they are onscreen. I particularly liked the character of the cousin brother who sticks with them till the end and isn’t it lovely to have a brother who stands by you in all your fights.

Its normal for Aamir Khan to make a brilliant movie but what next…!

Ab Perfection ko kaise improve kiya jaye?

Baby no- 2

Dear Daddy...

Dear Daddy…

Just when I thought, I was done with making babies in this lifetime, I had to rethink ! As next 2 years of my life fast forwarded in front of my eyes, I could not help smiling, watching this beautiful Coke ad. Life will be chaos just once again. Messier, crazier and sillier….nonetheless I’m enjoying the smile I see on hubby’s face every now and then. Riaan does not know yet about his threatened position in the house…but I’m sure he will learn to be a good big brother soon!

Meanwhile, enjoy this lovely ad from Coke. They always make them awesome !

Flame

Shot by- AR

Shot by- AR

The first thoughts which come along in the mind with the word is a flickering candle or a lamp flame. In a dark night , just one flame is enough to lit up the room, to get everything done from cooking to reading. When I was young, I clearly remember studying in kerosene lamps whenever there was an outage , which was more than often but we never complained.

With the invention of inverters and generators,the usage of candles and lamps became less frequent. I don’t remember the time when it became a fashion to have candle lit dinners. Candles and their small yet meaningful flames lit across Jantar Mantar around the time when ‘Rang De Basanti’ was released. If I remember correctly, this trend started only after the film had a similar sequence. For every single time when people wanted to voice their opinion against the system, Jantar Mantar would be lit up in candle flames. Whether the issue was resolved or not , the mass had a way for their say.

Candles remind me of certain Diwali nights when diyas would get over or the oil would all be consumed before the night, when I opened a pack of them and put them across all windows and doors. They are less messy than diyas for sure. Birthdays are another occasions when you hunt for candles and blowing them in a room filled with lots of noisy friends and guests, hold special memories.

In terms of people, flames are always referred to ex! May be because , flames extinguish too fast. Although ex-flame always refers to an interesting, torrid and passionate affair even when it is remembered in a past tense!

The other flames that warm the heart and the entire surroundings are the ones that burn in the fireplaces during winters. Winters that are colder than a 1 degree or even lesser. I could understand the concept of a fireplace only in Shillong where each of the room has one and it has to be lit in the evening if one does not want to shiver in cold all through the night. Since India does not have the system of centralized cooling or heating, the indigenous methods like fireplaces work efficiently in colder places.

Last but not the least, each of the 10 evenings spent in Goa , 2 years back, were worth every single penny I spent on that trip. Thanks to the candle lit evenings which started as early as 6pm and carried on until mid-nights. Those wonderful nights are the one of the few extraordinary moments, I would wish to get  back to again and again…..and again!

Goa- 2014

Goa- 2014

 

 

Crush

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Because I was not allowed to have a boyfriend in school and college, I had quite an emotionally stable life. Come to think of it, not being in a relationship had been a bliss actually. But then, I had my share of crushes so to say. This guy, lets name him ‘M’ ,was in my class with same elective as mine so we almost attended all our classes together except the practicals. Even though , having an affair was a strict no-no from mom, I thought , having a crush was not a big deal as it did not have any strings and also mom would never come to know about it!

Slowly but steadily, the crush was getting harder and one of my closest friend decided to take some charge. She asked one of the other guys to ask M if he had a girlfriend and that I liked him. I was not very happy with this situation now because this was being forced on me and I was kinda happy in my cocoon and really didn’t want to know if M was interested in me or not. Also, M was quite oblivious of my feelings for him and I didn’t want to jeopardize , whatever minimum talking terms that we were on.

Anyways, the news reached me in a week , that M had a girlfriend already, back in his hometown and hence no further questions were asked. It would take quite a few days for me to come out of coma and I felt terribly guilty. Guilty of god knows what….! For the rest of the semesters, I chose not to tell any of my friends about anything personal and of course the equations with M changed for the rest of the years in the university. I avoided to look at M or talk to him anytime during the classes and non-class times that we classmates would get together.

About 12 years later I met almost all my school mates and college-mates on FB except M. It would take another 9 years for M to get into FB.

Just a couple of months back, one day I was looking through the probable friends FB suggests and when I found M’s profile in it, I found myself smiling. Since there were no pictures in the profile, I sent a message asking if he was the same guy that was in my college. In the reply , M just said yes and that he was roll number 54. Well, after a few weeks , he uploaded some pictures of him and his family on his account for all to see.

I was horrified to see what had become of a handsome lad in a span of 20 years. Here was a middle aged stout man with a beer belly ,his hair was all orange because of henna and I assumed it must have all gone grey and I was staring at a face which looked about 20 years more older than our age. I could not sleep that night…wondering about what must have gone through his life that he grew old so fast. Then I wondered , if I have also grown that old….then I also wondered why was I wondering about him. I had always maintained that age was just a number and its our attitude which actually matters but a look at M told me , may be it was not the case. I remember seeing him as a 20 year old guy and I saw him now 20 years later, I was ready to see some changes but not such drastic ones. I realized, if we abuse ourselves by smoking or drinking or by taking too much stress , it does take away years out of our lives. One has to keep fit and make sure we rally against nature by staying fit and happy.

M looked old to me that day and I felt as if I was looking at some ancient temple in Bali. In a flash, I was in the morning classes when I used to look at him during the first class of the day and felt cheerful for the rest of the week!! As I smiled and remembered the old times,I  took my jacket out for my evening 5 km walk.

Bali- Google images

Bali- Google images

 

Trust

trust-cropped

Small word , big responsibility , bigger repercussions if broken.

The only people who would carry on believing in us even when we break their trust, is immediate blood family. Rest everyone will, at the most will give you a second chance and then would either leave or chuck you out of their lives.

Trust is a huge virtue , being ‘true’ is the biggest portion of it. When young, we are being told to be truthful, honest and keep our promises. When we grow up, apart from these we also need to know the unspoken words and sentiments of the people we love, lest we hurt them unknowingly. This get complicated in today’s times.

A vast sea of promises, emotions and words play games between two people. It is up to the hard work of these people if they choose to go that extra mile to keep their friends, mates or partners happy. One of my friends casually mentioned a few years back, that its all about performance, professionally and personally too. Until then I had not known the value of the performance in personal life. I took all my relationships a bit casually and I didn’t know, I could work hard on it.

For me, all my relationships were equal and I didn’t treat anyone differently. I believed in equality but little did I know that each person is different and they ask for different things. Some need space, others security. Some are vocal about their feeling other are not and one need to know them better through their actions. Some would make you feel special and expect the same back, some would be just plain honest and simple, others would be diplomatic still be honest.

Trust in all cases cannot be broken, for it leads to a damage that cannot be mended ever. I still believe , if the core of our heart is honest and we make some extra effort to know the other person inside out, we would always see that thin line which we should not never cross.

Respect the trust that the other person has put on you. Leave before you have to break it.

Google Images

Google Images

Urgent

Omaha Shot by- AR

Omaha
Shot by- AR

The only time when things were urgent was when I was leaving the house, for the second time. This time , I had an air ticket to San Francisco. Unlike last time ,I was not scared of anyone to find me out in the city. I knew , as soon as I would check in the flight, I will become ever more elusive for rest of his life.

The scheduled flight time was 0245 hours and I had stayed at one of my friend’s house the previous evening. I had left him a letter saying that I was leaving the house. It was with a copy to police station and my lawyer. I had informed my kids many weeks prior to that. I didn’t get any call from him while I was at my friend’s house the whole evening. He always took time to take a decision and probably he gave it a night before he could decide to take any action against me. Little did he know that one night was enough for me to move onto the other side of the world.

For me that evening and that night until the aircraft started taxing on the runway, was the most urgent night of my entire life. I still remember, when I was walking towards the boarding gate , I met one of my trainees on the way and exchanged pleasantries with him. I urgently needed the TIME to just zoom past and the aircraft to be in air at 35000 ft.

That urgency, I felt that day still gives me goosebumps…and I have never needed it anymore after that uneventful night.

California Shot by- AR

California
Shot by- AR

 

 

Waiting

Google Images

Google Images

I realized the concept of waiting only when I read ,’ Waiting for Godot’ pretty late in life. I’m sure most of us don’t even know that such a philosophy exists.

So this means that all we do in our lives is, wait for something to happen. It does not necessarily mean that we don’t live in the present but that we always always wait for something to happen and focus all our energies towards it. For example in my case, first I was waiting for my soulmate to arrive in my life, when he did come, I was waiting for us to get married, when we got married I waited for the baby to arrive, then I wanted to move to US, now I want to get the green card, besides I’m waiting for my kid to join school so that a I can start working. Probably when we get the green card we will want to buy a house of our own and then move into a bigger house, simultaneously I would want the kid to take up a sport or a hobby as soon as he starts with his schooling. I would also be waiting for my older kids to finish their studies and and then wait for them to come to US to finish their doctorates or work for a good multinational company, then probably I would want them to get settled in life. Meanwhile, once I’m settled with a good job, I would like to get involved in a charity and sometime between all of these I would want my parents to travel to US  and live with us for a few months.

Phew….that was just a summary of the major things that I wait for in my life to happen, I cannot even talk about the smaller things! Samuel Beckett expresses this concept of life in his play called- Waiting for Godot. Though I had to read it several times over as it is difficult to get to the meanings that writer wants us to know, nevertheless, I did finally!

Why do we have to consistently wait for something in our lives? Is it because that is what is called ‘Life’ or is it because we cannot really focus on something which is happening in the current moment? Or is it because we believe that better things happen only in future and not in the present?

How would it be if present could become the best moment of our life and we do not have to wait for a future moment to be happy?

Highway 1 Shot by- AR

Highway 1
Shot by- AR

 

Daring

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The Rockies at Denver Shot by- AR

Daring is someone who is adventurous, brave, undaunted and carries heroism in his blood. Daring is braving icy cold weather when you have just a tee and shorts on. Daring is appearing for an exam without any studies, daring is taking on a project which you know nothing about, daring is bringing up kids as a single parent and daring is looking after your old parents rest of their lives. Daring is standing up for your own self and also others. Daring is kicking off your job when your self-respect is on stake. Daring is forgiving an old friend and initiating the lost friendship all over again.

We have been daring in our lives atleast a couple of times. The dare increases with age when confidence of losing decreases or rather does not matter any more. As we grow older, we realise that we need to be more brave and let our indomitable spirit lead us.

So many times we are pushed down by our own perceptions of things and other times it is the unwritten laws of society that we so idiotically follow. Only when we cross our lines of courage and determination, we realise that its actually boundless, our body and spirits. These limits that are mostly self- created or by our family. The key is to know that each one of us is capable of touching the sky regardless of our family background, class, gender, country or education for that matter.

Daring is letting go and beginning a new life, even when we don’t know whats in store for us.

Denver

Denver

 

 

Rekha And Amitabh

Google Images

Google Images

Of all that I have read and heard about this couple, it seems like they did have a chemistry between them, a great one, in fact. Rekha was infatuated, in love and wanted him all for herself, but Amitabh opted out. I don’t not think he would have confided to even Rekha about his feelings so declaring it to the world is out of question. Or may be he did and later on backed out. It seems for someone who wanted to have a good reputation and class and was so ambitious, having an affair would have been a crazy decision. May be Rekha was just his ego-trip….or something to spice up his life as with Jaya it was becoming kind of complex. It may also be possible that Amitabh didn’t even listen to his own self in this matter and that’s probably why he can be seen so discreetly quiet about the whole thing until today.

That way it was easier for him to save his marriage and the family. Rekha, on the other hand ,to some extent and more than one ways has acknowledged the love between them but has stopped short of saying anything in particular. That saves a lot of explanation for Amit and Jaya really!!

If you ask me, I would love to see Amitabh Bachchan kneeling down to Rekha and asking her to marry him when he is say 90. Telling her that he missed her and he should not have done it. That also means that I think Amitabh did have feelings for her but just didn’t have enough courage to get out of his marriage. Which was okay in those times. But I would love to see them together sometime in real life too.

One way they  gave  us the most enigmatic love story of Bollywood, and in others they lost some of the best moments of their lives that could have been…

After a long time, listening to this song.

Appreciate

Winterset- Madison Shot by AR

                                                          Winterset- Madison
                                                                 Shot by AR

It was not long before I realized , there were no more birthdays cakes for me. In fact, out of those 17 long years, I remember, only the initial few on which I got them.

When kids grew up, they started saving some money to buy me a chocolate and when I started working, my colleagues would get a cake for me.Future years would go on to make up for all my lost birthdays though. As later on my kids would even save some money to get me a cake and some gifts. I still remember, a card made by my son which said it was for the best mommy of the world.

But father of my kids who was also supposed to be my friend, lover and life partner, never cared. A few years down the line in the marriage, I also stopped baking cakes for him on his birthdays.  I could not care less too. Of course, I never wished him a happy birthday, I mean, are you crazy! Kids also never did anything special for him and his birthday would pass off just like any other normal day of our lives. So, after several years of cake-less birthdays , on one birthday evening , he got a cake for himself.

It makes me think now, how mean a person could become when he gets a birthday cake for himself but never for someone who he shares the house with. Can anything get worse than this in a marriage. It also makes me think, if my friends a,colleagues and kids were not there in my life, I would have died of depression and loneliness.

If given a chance again, I would follow Michelle Obama’s mantra,’ When they go low, we go high’. I would probably buy him a big black forest cake now. That’s a better way deal with someone who belittles you and has never appreciated you. What do you say!

Winterset- Madison

                                                                Winterset- Madison

Bold

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Sunset – Texas (Shot- AR)

And I thought I was a conventional girl. I grew up in a lower middle class family back in 80’s and my parents were both working. To be able to instill middle class values in my system , mom didn’t have to do much. It was a campus life and everyone else in it had the same set of values: middle- class. The school too didn’t have a dynamic population and we were cropped to think alike. In fact, I still remember there was just one girl in the entire school who wore skirts above her knees and dated boys. Until 12th grade my hair was cut in a bob lest I spend more time in front of the mirror than studies. But once I went to college, which was a residential university away from home,I grew my hair into a blunt. That is the only adventure I did in college. Mom still used to style my clothes and send me packets of them every 6 months. No, I never had any complaints about my dresses, In fact after 25 years of school, a classmate told me I was the most well-dressed girl of the neighborhood….phew…!

Okay , back to the topic. So, back in college,I thought myself to be a pretty conventional girl of 90’s. Skirt hemlines were never above knees. Mom had put strict restrictions about dating guys and back then it was never the ‘IT THING’. So , I never dated anyone, either in school or college. Of course , I had my share of crushes , but then they just remained crushes all throughout those years. Classes and hostel, hostel and back to classes was the routine and in holidays it used to be Granny’s house which was at about 10 kms distance.

I was the only one in the entire hostel who had a bicycle and I used to go to my classes in that while everyone else used to walk down. I didn’t think it was being bold and but thought I was just being pampered by my parents for living so far away from them. I think ,I always had some extra perks because of the extra income that Mom was earning for the family.

Now there were a couple of groups of girls in our hostel who were fashionably way ahead of me in terms of dressing sense but even they didn’t wear jeans or trousers or shorts skirts. These particular girls were more attractive in all terms and had no qualms about short term friendships or relationships with boys. Now-a-days it has a name -‘Friends- with- benefits’. I must say that I was not aware of such things then and that these girls were way ahead of my intelligence too.

My perception about myself was good. My grades were in between 7 and 8 and I think I was an average student and good character ed girl so to say. So, when parents decided that they had found a good match for me at 21, I was okay with it because I always obeyed them and I was told that I could continue my studies after marriage which of course didn’t happen. I would realize much later in my life that at that time of my life, I was neither a career-minded girl nor a strong- willed one to have refused to them lest I would hurt them.

Anyway, so much so for next 17 years. Then, I saw this conventional girl kicking her bad-ass marriage and a secure home with kids to free herself from all the shackles which were pulling her down all these years. Finally, I go out and find myself a guy and tell him, we are good to go. For marriage that is. So there I was, out in the world, once divorced and remarried and living according to my wishes finally.

All these years, I still thought I was a conventional girl, in terms of values that I held, the principles that I followed and of course the short term and long term decisions that I made every single day.

My dressing sense still remained simple, no hemlines above knees, no friends-with-benefits kinda relationships and a law abiding person at all times. So, when someone recently told me I was a bold person and not a conventional one, really gave me goosebumps. After a couple of sleepless nights, I finally realized that it is actually how something is perceived individually and boldness or any other characteristic for that matter does not have a contained meaning and can vary how it is perceived by an individual.

My perception of bold was different until today and I realized how one needs courage to be able to break free of a marriage.Especially in India, to be able to kick a marriage and fulfill your wishes is considered to be bold. Nobody dares it for society has unwritten rules and everyone meekly follows them however unhappy, discontent or sad it makes them. People may resort to extra-marital affairs but would not dare to get out of it. Now, that is what I don’t believe in.

I’m a conventional girl, I told you!

Elkhorn- Nebraska Shot by -AR

Elkhorn- Nebraska
                                                                                                                                                    Shot by -AR

Silence

Elkhorn- Nebraska Shot by -AR

Elkhorn- Nebraska
                                                                                 Shot by -AR

A million dollar word…Silence…!

Most of the times, it saves you a lot of energy, time and other expenses. But when you need to, you need to just get it out of your mouth and your system.

Haven’t we innumerable times vowed to ourselves that we would remain silent and would not utter one single word? But then, haven’t we found ourselves all fucked up from inside when we just hear all non sense and still do not fight back with words? Personally, I would not label myself a chatterbox or a talkative person. Having said that, I also am not a quiet and all-of-it-will-pass person. Till some years back, I was a no-nonsense person but now I have graduated to a-selective-fight-for-cause-only person. That saves me a lot of headache. Initial few minutes are difficult though, but then if we try a bit harder, its doable 😉 , being silent, that is.

Okay, so is it wiser to be silent or to be lets name….rise to the occasion? I believe, it really is better to keep quiet when the discussion gets going towards argument. I have started not to believe in defending myself unless its a dire situation. More often than not arguing has all the chances of taking it to another level ie., heated arguments.  Is it really worth it, spending so much energy and time on something when we can instead make use of our time in doing something more worthwhile. Even with a family member and a loved one…I have started believing that silence makes peace and does not let things go out of control.

Having said that, I must say that once in a while like in a couple of weeks though, you must speak up, logically though and for a reasonable cause. So that people wont take your silence for granted and think that things do not matter to you anymore.

So, be silent, listen more, see even more and observe in abundance!

PS- Silence should not lead to miscommunication though, stay careful.

Lake Tahoe Summer of 2013

Lake Tahoe
                                                                         Summer of 2013

Passionate

trees-railway_wallpaperswa-com_21
pas·sion
noun
  1. strong and barely controllable emotion.
    “a man of impetuous passion”

Traveling

Colors

Crocheting

Hiking

Writing

Nature

Style

Historical Fiction

Realistic Movies

Kishore Kumar

Chicken Barbequed

Nectarines

Tea Assam

Shoes

passion

 

 

Cake

His first birthday  just after the month we had met. I didnt know what to do, so I asked one of my friends. She suggested a cake and a bouquet of flowers should do. I finalized the order , a chocolate cake and a bunch of 50 red roses. I made sure it was delivered right at the stroke of midnight. I got a call back a little later. He had to lie to his folks about the sender, nonetheless everyone lapped it up and were amazed at the huge bunch of flowers. Thankfully , no one had a sixth sense! He loved it, he told me next week in person.

Would I do it again? 5 years down the lane, I paid a surprise visit to him in his office at Omaha, Nebraska. Took a cab, collected a huge cake and a bunch of yellow lilies and took off to his office, with the baby in my other arm. He was surprised and could not stop blushing! His colleagues welcomed me in the office and we all went to have a birthday lunch together.

His birthday is round the corner again…Im planning a bigger surprise this time….shhh!

homemade-chocolate-birthday-cake

 

 

 

Together

New Beginnings Shot- Selfie

New Beginnings
Shot- Selfie

To grow old together with the person you love, admire,look up to and most of all respect, is the ultimate dream.

We have been together since last 5 years, which actually seems just like a year or so. Courting years were marred by troubled marriages on either sides but we sustained it all by staying together as much as we could. Staying together ,like all the possible hours of the day except while being at work, really helped get us that feeling of togetherness. It also helped us build the trust factor for each other despite the havoc s we were personally going through for all the years.

That determination of staying together no matter what , brought us so close that when it was time to leave as work demanded, I almost broke down. But then, those 2  years of togetherness would supply a lot of comfort and would further provide me a solid state of integrity. The never ending six months that we stayed apart saw us get back together atleast three times in total. We, silently decided, this was not the way we were supposed to be. Traveling across the country to be with each other was taking a toll on both of us. Moving in, was the next intelligent step. So there I was, chucking my job of 7 years to be with someone I knew only for 2 years. But, it would be soon that we would realise the importance being together. The year, that we spent together, yet away from our individual homes, away from the comforts of known surroundings and people, in a different continent made us get more closer than ever. That one single decision made us realize the importance of how much we could sacrifice for each other, just to be together. That also told us, in its own unique way that we were incomplete without each other, cliche of sorts, but true for our story.

Togetherness, in its own beautiful way has made our story. So the message out there is, go for it, if your hearts screams for it.

Make your own destiny with your beloved. You will know it how it turns out to be, only if you try it.

Cheers!

 

 

 

Recharge

 

Sunrise- Dallas Shot- AR

                                                                           Sunrise- Dallas
                                                                                 Shot- AR

Need it every once in a while especially with a toddler at home. Last 3 months were super hectic as we were relocating to US. Hubby came first to arrange for house and stuff before we arrive lest we are troubled. But the pain of separation for both, the wife and tHE son was much more than expected. Nonetheless, we roughed it out and were worn out after the journey across the continents.

To add to it was the missed flight at Heathrow and then to top it up was delayed baggage once we reached back. Yes the entire baggage was left at London, talk about the efficiency of airlines. Shopping for everything, jet lag, the toddler creating chaos, body ache and the need to rewind for the entire loop from last 3 months was necessary.

It took a whole 10 days to unwind, recharge and rejuvenate. Few shopping trips for the new home, some extra long hours of sleep, and extra cups of good old Assam tea helped. Hubby took care of the little devil with some extra trips to playground so that I was not hassled with his tantrums.

And I’m all set…for the American Dream!

Sunset by home Shot- AR

Sunset by home
Shot- AR

Moon

 

moon-gif-6

Love it, when its full, love it when its new and love it when its half…. The shine of it when glitters over the sea and over the silver sand is plain awesome. It lights up the whole ocean and forces us to rejoice in the wonders of it.

Of late , have not got enough time to recuperate in the lap of nature but I still remember when I would sit in the balcony on a full moon light and immerse myself in the silver glow of it. Taking a walk on a full moonlit night by the beaches of Goa is ethereal.

Its amazing how moon has become a part of our lives through folklore, legends, festivals and dreams. Its imperative that we give so much importance to moon as it is an integral part of cosmos and more importantly of our planet. We see it every day and night barring a few hours and brilliance of its glow is unique and cosmic.

So, when I see the moon gleaming its shine from my window ,down to my bed, I only get mesmerized and wish it could stay longer.Its beauty is in its constant-ness, though everything in this world is bound to leave or go away, we can bask in the glory of a lifelong relationship with the moon.

Confused

Google images

Google images

Some people are perennially confused about the decisions they have to take in life. Some are momentarily confused while others remain firm on their decisions, having clearly seen the outcome of their decisions long before they make it. I come in the third category, although I make my decisions spontaneously but I do not regret them at all. I make peace with the bad outcomes beforehand , if any and move ahead with them. Most often than not, I tend to be happy , more so because I have had already made up my mind not to fuss or sulk even if things do not go my way.

I guess, my secret of making decisions promptly is listening to my heart rather than the mind. I do get confused about which flavor of ice-cream to choose or which shade of red lipstick to apply but then these are insignificant issues. I, then take 2 or 3 flavors of ice-cream scoops and choose a pink lipstick instead!

Some of us are confused about whether we have gotten over our ex or not . They believe they do, but then, invariably they mention and think about their exes in their everyday activities, conversations and often write about them in their blogs too!

I think its an unnecessary exercise to keep your past in your present especially if there is no hope of getting back to it at any point of time say if the ex has been really bitter about you and left in an awfully disgusted manner from your life.Why are people confused about important things like life, at all?  Don’t we all know that whatever happens , happens for good and the best way to move ahead is to look for a clean slate and begin all over again!

Being confused also states a vital fact about oneself – that one has not been taught to be firm while growing up and that one has fears of losing things and hence is scared to make firm decisions. Well, time to adapt because , its the survival of the fittest after all.

All the best!

Caught and shot- AR

Caught and shot- AR

Obsessed

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Well, I consider myself to be obsessed with freedom, straightforward communication and honesty. I have never come across anybody like me but yes, everyone, I’m sure is obsessed with something or other and if you aint then you lack spirit of life. Excessive obsession when hinders normal life, is termed as OCD but who cares as long as one is enjoying his life! Being obsessive about a certain thing in life gives you reason to live, to persuade one-self and to relish the joys of achieving that perfection which one craves for.

Some people are obsessed about health, some about neatness, some fuss about their loved ones and some really worry too much about being organised. Some women I have met, have been meticulously obsessed with keeping the house in a very certain way like pillows and cushions upright, tumblers sparkling clean, beds made 24/7 with curtains drawn or pulled apart at specific times of the day, some of them have been crazily involved in the lives of their husbands and kids (even when they are in their late teens).Some are crazy fashion addicts as they have to dress in a certain way for every occasion formal or informal.

Obsessions are involuntary thoughts, images, or impulses that occur over and over again in our minds. These obsessive thoughts are often distracting and when you turn them into a routine behavior and ritual and are considered harmful, they become compulsion and they then classify themselves as Obsessive Compulsive Behavior.

There is a line between healthy behavioral routine and an obsessive behavioral routine and we need to identify it so that we do not get trapped into a vicious cycle of obsessiveness which is alarming for us and people around us. Although the behavioral pattern of each individual is different and may have massive margins of variations, say for example, cleanliness for one person could be just sweeping or vacuuming once in a week but for another it would be like every time he sees dust on something he feels a need to wipe it clean. Both are healthy habits but it becomes dangerous when the later would put aside important jobs and would spend major time in cleaning the dust because he just would not be able to concentrate on other chores until he gets rid of the dust. To me, that is obsession.

Also,one of the major things that qualifies as obsession and is totally unhealthy for our mind and body is the inability to get over an ex. When one stalks, thinks, imagines so much about the ex that he does not live his current life, its obsession….dangerous obsession!

Obsession is good when it is used positively to get a goal in life such as a career goal or a health goal or simply when a goal for a social cause is set in one’s life. For me, I’m obsessive about having greens every day, going for hikes once a week, going real out of the way to help friends and setting day-to-day goals to get a most productive day.

Okay I missed it, some people are obsessed with food and others making money…!

PS- I’m obsessed about Mathew Mcconaughey and that’s because he gives 100 % to his work. He inspires me to work harder for everything that I undertake.

matthewmcconaughey

Apology

Sorry....

Sorry….Its not so hard

Small word but the most powerful one to make or break relationships, personal or professional. One word ,which if you genuinely feel , would change you forever towards some event or person or you.

Sometimes we make mistakes and sometimes we don’t, in either case when things go wrong one of the persons need to step back so that the relationship is not damaged. Most of us are caught up in out sweet little ego trips and are unable to render an apology, whether or not it is due. Over  a period of time and experience I have also realized that people forgive and forget easily if you apologize even when it was their mistake. Most of the times , its our ego which stops us from bending down but then why not if the person is an integral part of our life.

Sometimes I do remember the people I have lost because I burnt the bridges after crossing them. At times I miss them and wished I had apologized , they would have still been there in my life….

Life is short and crisp….no time for any ego trips really, lets just try to hold all the good people rest of our lives.

sorry handwritten

 

Dramatic

drama

Dramatic is Rakhi Sawant and the show called Big Boss. Dramatic is when you think you are are normally overwhelmed at some development in your life but the other person says,’ Cut the crap’!

Dramatic is when you have to be formal at some event or to someone, forcefully. Dramatic is, all the Indian soaps along with their soul stirring music. Dramatic is when you have to cook up a story to get work done in government departments in India. Dramatic is when you have to explain something which has not happened in real life but you have to because your boss will not sanction your leave otherwise.

Drama is bollywood movies which makes our lives so colorful.Come to think of it, without drama , life is lifeless and almost impossible.On this note, lets watch this one peppy number…Parineeti is one of my favorite new gen actor.

Broken ties

Aai Google images

Aai
                                    Google images

The first time Aai came to stay with us was for 2 months in January 2016. Because her son had stayed out all these years after school she never could stay with him.It had been more than 15 years that she had ever stayed with her son for so long. her son would come over to his mother a couple of times in a year or on a special occasion like diwali but had never stayed for more than a week. Aai longed to live with her last borne and hence as soon as her son arrived in India after a year of staying abroad , he sent for her. this time it was special, he had been blessed with a baby boy and Aai was more than ecstatic.

Aai was not keeping too well this year. she kept sleeping at odd hours and was tired all the time. she would not get into the kitchen for any purpose even to make goodies for her son nonetheless she tried playing with her grandson. Later on she would know that she was misdiagnosed for thyroid and was taking wrong medicines for a long time. after a couple of weeks of staying at her son’s place, she confided that in spite of her health, she liked staying in Hyderabad. She also started to confide in me. The bond between two women had started to begin and we would sometimes talk late into the night. Most of the times I would be asking for her secret recipes and the ones that her son loved while he grew up, sometimes the conversation would lead to people. people who were no more there in Aai’s life, her husband, her previous daughter-in-laws. Aai had 2 sons and unfortunately both were divorced and fortunately had remarried. She said at times she got concurrent nightmares about the divorces of her sons . She confessed her fear of her sons being cursed for their marriages.I would quietly would listen to the never ending tales of her and would encourage her to get out for morning and evening walks more often. She mentioned that she had one major regret in her life, that her younger son would not share much with her unlike her older one. I attributed this trait of her husband to the fact he had mostly stayed away from the house after school. Aai said , her son had been seeing his first wife for more than 5 years but he never mentioned it to her or anyone until they were ready for marriage. Although there were disagreements in the house about his choice of girl but eventually all agreed. Aai said , she had told everybody that she does not want to lose her son and its better that everyone accepts the girl and it really does not matter even if she was from another religion, caste, creed or state. Their family belonged to the upper caste in Maharashtra, the Patils, the warriors from the clan of Shivaji and were staunch believers of caste system since time immemorial. It was actually a matter of great disgust to everyone in the family that her would-be daughter-in-law was from another religion and caste. Somehow the family gulped it down with a pinch of salt as they didnt want to lose their son who they already saw so very less.

Aai’s health and the bond between us started getting better, she started confiding more in me. It seems , she never liked her son’s first wife for she dressed like a man and had no mannerisms of a daughter -in-law. She was totally overweight and would do nothing about her health. Aai also mentioned how she would make beef and meat disrespecting their family values of being vegetarians and that she would argue with her son about how she cannot leave eating meat ever. Aai resented these arguments between her son and his wife and knew she could not help the bitterness everyone in her family was facing whenever her son and his wife were visiting them. Aai resented the fact that her daughter-in-law never put Bindi or Sindoor or wear a Saree even on festive occasions and that she was always in salwar or jeans even if people came visiting them. On their first diwali after the wedding,Aai said her daughter-in-law went to sleep at 6 in the evening when it was time for lighting the diyas. All the relatives who came to wish for diwali were surprised why the bride was sleeping on the eve of diwali.

One time, Aai had been visiting them along with her older son. Both the sons were sleeping in the hall on a makeshift bed as Aai was asleep on the double bed in the master bedroom. Her daughter-in-law was supposed to arrive by an early morning train from Mumbai. When Aai got up in the morning she was shocked to see the daughter-in-law sleeping with her husband even while he was asleep with his older brother. ‘She does not have any sense , she is not of good character’ , Aai had concluded to me.

It was very difficult to comprehend why would someone hurt everyone in the family at one go. Why someone would or could slap their spouse, or even why they would carry on their ego trip when it was supposed to be a love marriage. Sometimes, when there are no answers , time decides to deal with the unwanted things. And so whatever had happened, did happen for good, I told Aai.

Aai visited us again this month for we were traveling abroad to settle down once for all. She looked good healthwise and mindwise. She told me to take care of her son and grandson. As I held her in a tight embrace, she got all her answers and I was content to see her equally content face.

Peace Google images

Peace
     Google images

Pleasure

Hogback Covered Bridge

                                                                 Hogback Covered Bridge

To be able to do the things that you love to do…is pleasure to me. People may have different pleasure depending upon their habits or hobbies.Habits like getting up late or smoking etc are not good for health yet they give pleasure to one who is habituated.

Come to think of it, pleasure by itself may only last for a few moments but it creates a good and lasting mood and memory of that good time which motivates us to look ahead with zest. Now a days with mostly hectic weeks ahead, we look forward for a pleasurable weekend which would unwind us.Sometimes even a good coffee gives us that break!

For me painting, writing, going for a 6am walk , reading a historical fiction book or having a phone conversation with an old friend is pleasure. Pleasure is driving Mom and Dad around for their regular errands or just cooking them a good meal when at home. Taking Riaan to the park or simply for a mid afternoon walk when he can go crazy running around is pleasurable! Pleasure is spending a week in a shack, losing track of time in the beaches of Goa.

Of course , nothing can beat the pleasures of grooving in a night club leaving everything back at home. But that’s been a while and Im not very hopeful of those good ol’ days coming back anytime soon!

Nonetheless, I find out something pleasurable to do every single day because life is short and we ought to relish every moment of it.

Goa Shot: Ani

                                                                                         Goa
                                                                                    Shot: Ani

Clouds

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The most amazing things in the sky- Clouds of course after Sun, Moon and stars. But if sky was not there we would not be able to see Sun and the stars? Isn’t it? May be not because to us what seems like a container for sun, moon, stars and the clouds, is actually a void. But the beautiful way these are seen to us is all because of this nothing called sky.

So this post is about the amazing clouds which unlike Sun, stars and Moon change their shapes every moment They are different in every part of the world. There are cotton clouds in California where I lived for more than 2 years, almost clear skies in Mid west America and grey ones in Hawaii. In India, the clouds change as per the seasons. You would hardly find any during the heat wave in the northern part of India and its almost the same in western and southern India. The east however is different, the rain clouds come rushing every now and then barring in January.

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Having lived in the North India for most of my life, I have learned to look for clouds when the heat becomes unbearable! The Rainy seasons brings about water laden thick dark clouds which are also called as Cumulonimbus scientifically. That reminds me , I did have Meteorology in graduation in a few of my semesters!

I love the home clouds in Hyderabad too. For they are abundant through most of the year barring a few in summers. During rains like from May onward, thick clouds gather over the sky all day and night. Sometimes they move fast like a scene in a time lapse clip but what I like about the is the glow they have after dark. Its enough to lit up the balcony and makes it a dream like scene.

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The most awesome experience was the San Francisco evening cloud cover. everyday as the clock struck 4 in the evening, a thick cover of clouds would cover the city. The traffic lights and the headlights would have to be on to drive in this fog. The clouds would cover the ground and so was called fog cover also.

Clouds make an important part of my life really. On a gloomy mood, the grey sky gives me a break to come out and sit in the balcony and check out the moving clouds. Sometimes looking at the clouds I even try calculating the time they would take to make it over my balcony! I can feel that this fascination for clouds have transpired down to next generation. The first thing Riaan points out after rushing out to the balcony are the clouds!

4 (1)

Lessons from Punjab

Vill 1

This post is for the amazing people from the fabulous state in the northern part of India- Punjab

Since Dad was in Air Force, I always had Punju schoolmates. And then best of the lot  came along while in Fauj for next 15 years. They taught me to work hard and party harder. Slog in the kitchen making breakfast-lunch, take care of the kids and then wear your best dress and stilettos to get out for an evening drive at 80km/hour in whatever car you have! Go to Gurudwara every Sunday and do seva and then get in the party mood in the evening with your close friends.

canal

People from Punjab are known for their sheer hard work, honesty and happy go lucky personalities.So much so that the entire race can be generalized for these characteristics! I had a chance to be in this lovely state for a few days way back in 2000 and I really saw what I had heard. The crops are grown almost whole year. Rice is followed by wheat, and I’m sure, my state where the staple is rice, cannot grow as much rice as they grow in Punjab. Punjab essentially being in an arid region,  is capable of only growing wheat, bajra, maize, sugarcane, barley etc , but it produces Rice like a subtropical region would do. Its only because of the people and their capability of putting up hard work through the year.

Punjabi_jutti_at_Dilli_Haat

The colorful dupattas and jutties hung in the small shops, the sprawling canals for irrigation, mercs and limosines zipping down every now and then on the country roads and the jovial spirit of the people taught me a lot about them. Unlike most of the states in India, Punjab has managed their water well by Bhakra Nangal, the dam.The canals have been neatly drawn from the dam and  integrated within the fields to give continuous supplies of water.There are mall like shops in the middle of villages supposedly made and owned by NRI’s which caters to the young and young at heart!! The younger generation have been indulging in music and singing from a few decades now and they are doing really well. Come to think of it , I think only bhangra music goes with rap and pop like no other regional stuff does. They have been blending it really well- I really love listening to the foot tapping numbers by Honey Singh!

And of course the food which is yummy! From Makke di roti to Chole Bhature , from Amritsari Fish to Tandoori chicken, from Lassi to Dal makhani…they have been world’s favourites! Punjabi kudis have dominated Bollywood as well as the woods of the south and lets not even talk about the handsome Punjabi hunks! From time immemorial Bollywood has been boasting of some good looking people that only are bred in Punjab!

saag-roti-punjab-food

I started to think about  writing this post when a particular incident came to my mind from last year. Riaan was about 5 months old and we went to visit the San Jose Gurudwara one day. Its perched on a hilltop and is amazingly made, as all Gurudwaras are. There were 2 weddings going on while we visited the place. One seemed to be of an affluent one, most likely of some well settled business man’s daughter as the bride and the groom were getting their pictures clicked with a bunch of bridesmaid wearing purple dresses. Another seemed a simple one where the ladies were taking the bride to the main temple for the rituals. Having enjoyed all this we went to the inner part where the Granth Sahib is read and spent sometime there. After that we went to the Langar section where food is served 24 hours a day. Just when Riaan started to get restless, an old lady sitting next to us offered to hold him as we had our food.

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As the conversation started she introduced her grand daughter to us, a girl of about 14 or 15 years. She told us that they drove about one hour to be here and that they make it atleast once in a month.To me they did not seem to be from a much affluent status, but they were here in California to realize their American Dream. I’m sure they worked in some southern California orchard or vegetable farm because they still spoke in Punjabi and were dressed still like farms folks do back in Indian villages. And while visiting Fresno a couple of months later I saw a Punjabi family getting back from the grapes orchard, and hence I could relate. As we drove back from the Gurudwra, I was forced to think about this family who must have left everything that must have been owned by them back in Punjab and though they didn’t know even Hindi (forget about English) and they were here. The faith that they must have had in their hard work and mental/physical capabilities were way too high for anyone from any other state in India. I could foresee the kids and grand-kids of this family doing well in coming years. And by another 30 years, the generation would be affluent in all senses!

So what is it that make Punjabis so strong and sturdy? Do they have it in their genes? To rough it out and get the best of the life possible for themselves and their kids? Oh that’s not a question really !! They have it all…whatever it takes to live the life to the fullest.

Lessons from Punjab- Work hard, Eat , Pray and dance to live life!

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Gurudwara San Jose

 

 

Movie Review :Udta Punjab

Google Images

Google Images

Udta Punjab : Shahid is his usual self, well-balanced in every act. He plays the role of a spoilt and narcissist popstar from the current generation and he sure rocks in it! Kareena lacks grit and intensity in a role that ironically, is the voice of the film. Diljit Dosanjh more than makes up for her and other loopholes of the film which are,of course just a few. Kickass performance by Alia as she shuts her critics up and gives a tight one across the faces of all the Morons who troll her for nut’s sake. She has undoubtedly got the legacy of her father in terms of understanding her character in this film. The otherwise sophisticated, Alia breaks out of her comfort zone and flaunts her prodigious potential. The impact of her powerhouse performance stays with you long after you leave the theatre.

The story is appallingly beautiful which is set in, apparently the most fertile, culturally rich Punjab, a state which can also boasts of the most hardworking people in India. The film shows how drug menace has seeped deep into the system and has sadly taken away generations of youth who, could have been the best entrepreneurs, farmland owners, businessmen or simply musicians. The movie shows how the pillars of the system who are supposed to take a state ahead have corroded it dangerously and how it has affected thousands of families in Punjab.

The Bombay High Court has done a marvelous job by letting us watch the movie, that is , the way it was made. Abhishek Chaubey has done a commendable job, again.

PS- An ASI has never looked as handsome ever 🙂

A 4 out of 5 and a must watch!!

Erased Memories

Google Images

Google Images

Year 2002 to 2009 :I had a lot of wonderful memories of this city. This city, which was my home away from home for more than 7 years .Having left my home just after school was very unnerving. But before I could know, I was doing my graduation, post-graduation and M.Phil in this city. Hyderabad started to feel like home also because I met my guy here. Although we had met online, it felt like we had met in this city. After I finished my M.Phil, I picked up my first job here. My boyfriend studied in another city and he would come to see me every once in a while and we would spend some good time around the city, eating, watching movies and just seeing places around the city. I still remember my Mom and dad had come to drop me when I was just 18 and now 7 years down the lane, I was on my own. I had made some good friends here during my college days and later when I was working. Some of the most important memories of my life have been made in this city. I learned to cook, travel and be all by myself in this city. I learned to love ,write letters/mails and read in this city. I learned to be independent in this city.

Year 2010 :Fast forward 1 more year. I had a perfect life.Married to my boyfriend, I was now living in a metro and was pursuing my doctorate from a prestigious university, had made lots of friends, had a husband with a decent job, a lovely all-furnished flat and ample time to write and visit restaurants to write reviews of the food I ate. The humid weather and travel time to university was a bit cumbersome but nonetheless I enjoyed it because for a moment in life I had everything. I realized, I didn’t miss my city as much now.

Year 2013: It was when my marriage broke down and my husband left me for another city, that my world came crashing down. Suddenly I was all alone in a new city again. It felt like I was once again a 18 year old, left in a new city to fend for myself, study and live my life all by myself. After 2 years of living in another city and country when my husband finally told me that he wanted a divorce, I sat in the shower for long. My mind raced back to the memories of Hyderabad where I had met him for the first time. All the lovely memories I had of that city including my college days came flashing in front of my eyes. They were fond memories and I had spent about 10 years of my life there.

Year 2016 : Fast forward 3 more years. I hate the city that I grew up now. I cannot stand if someone even mentions the name of it. I have tried chucking out that part of my life from my memories. 10 years is not a small time to forget but I could not live with those bitter memories anymore. It is strange how the fondest memories of a city can turn so indifferent now. It is strange how a city can take half of your life and then gives you so much pain in return.

I cannot forget this place even though I hate it so much now.Life is a quicksand, I was not prepared for it.
Lesson learnt: Appreciate what you have for you may lose it anytime.

PS- Purely fictional work, any resemblance to anybody living or dear is purely coincidental!

Google images

Google images

Movie Review- Sarabjit

Dalbir Kaur- Sarbjit's sister

                           Dalbir Kaur- Sarbjit’s sister

Sarbjit: A tale of an unlucky lad who spent 23 prime years of his life imprisoned in a dingy 4×4 ft prison cell in Pakistan,of how siblings can put up a resilient fight for each other, how even after almost 70 years of independence we do not have any system in place, whatsoever and most importantly a tale of hope when there is none.
Randeep Hooda manages to steal the show.The movie should have had Sarbjit as the central character instead it is Dalbir Kaur, his sister. Aishwarya Rai Bachchan as Dalbir is a failure, she could not get into the skin of the character till the end. She does not have the look and the body language of a Sardarni from rural Punjab, but her effort to get there becomes so distracting that it eclipses almost everything else in the film.The entire project seems to be designed to ensure that no one overshadows her, which is self-defeating for a movie!
Hooda sparkles amongst all this and lets us forget that he is only acting. Richa Chadha as Sarabjit’s wife is a mute character throughout but in the only scene where she is allowed a dialogue, she shines brilliantly. Darshan Kumaar is the fresh breath of Bollywood.He does his minuscule job perfectly as Sarbjit’s lawyer in Pakistan.
Overall, Omung Kumar has only done the job of telling the story of one person and it is not good enough to do anything for the release of the rest 400 odd prisoners still in Pakistan.
Lastly, Aishwarya Rai should do only Cannes and Bollywood should give more power to real actors. Predicting next nationals for Randeep (and Richa hopefully)!
Watch it for Sarbjit, the lost soul.

Sar

Google Images

 

Z for Zoroastrianism

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“Zoroastrianism is the oldest of the revealed world-religions, and it has probably had more influence on mankind, directly and indirectly, than any other single faith.” Mary Boyce.

The religion was founded by Zarathushtra in Persia .It may have been the world’s first monotheistic faith. It was once the religion of the Persian empire, but has since been reduced in numbers to fewer than 200,000 Zoroastrians today. With the exception of religious conservatives, most religious historians believe that the Jewish, Christian and Muslim beliefs concerning God and Satan, the soul, heaven and hell, the virgin birth of the savior,resurrection, the final judgment, etc. were all derived from Zoroastrianism.

Zoroaster lived in Persia, modern day Iran. Legends say that his birth was predicted and that attempts were made by the forces of evil to kill him as a child,a common theme found in many religions of the world. He preached a monotheism in a land which followed an aboriginal polytheistic religion. He was attacked for his teaching, but finally won the support of the king. Zoroastrianism became the state religion of various Persian empires, until the 7th Century CE.

When Muslim Arabs invaded Persia in 650 CE, a small number of Zoroastrians fled to India. Today, the group in India is the largest concentration of Zoroastrians in the world. Here, they are called Parsis. Those who remained behind in Iran have survived centuries of persecution, systematic slaughter, forced conversion, heavy taxes, etc. They now number only about 18,000 and reside chiefly in Yazd, Kernan and Tehran.

Zoroastrian places of worship are called Fire Temples. In the temples, an eternal flame is kept burning with sandalwood and frankincense.

Zoroastrians do not convert and consequently Zoroastrians are born to the faith. If a Parsi woman marries outside the religion, her children cannot be Zoroastrians, but if a man marries outside, his children can become Zoroastrians, although his wife cannot.

There are three basic moral principles that guide the life of a Zoroastrian:

  • Humata, “Good Thoughts,” the intention or moral resolution to abide by Asha, the right order of things.
  • Hukhata, “Good Words,” the communication of that intention.
  • Havarashta, “Good Deeds,” the realization in action of that intention.

Zoroastrianism places great emphasis on purity and not impair any of the elements of Zoroastrians’ creation. Hence traditionally, neither burial nor cremation were practiced by Zoroastrians. Dead bodies were taken to a Tower of Silence and laid out under the sun, where vultures devoured them.The doctrinal rationale for exposure is to avoid contact with earth or fire, both of which are considered sacred.This ritual is still followed and dedicated tower houses are constructed away from the cities.

According to the Zoroastrian tradition, after the death of the body, the soul remains in this world for three days and nights, in the care of angels. During this period, prayers are said and rituals performed to assure a safe passage of the soul into the spiritual kingdom. On the dawn of the fourth day, the spirit is believed to have crossed over to the other world.

Parsis’ are the actual minority of India as their population is decreasing by fast. They are concentrated mostly around Mumbai and a small percentage is present still in Gujarat where they initially landed.This is due to people getting married late, not wanting to have kids and also due to their ritual of marrying within their own community. Something needs to be done to protect them not because they are a religion but because they are peace loving , hardworking , industrious and not-crazy-about propagating their religion people.

Raja Ravi Verma: The Parsee Lady

Raja Ravi Verma:
The Parsee Lady

Y for YOLO

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After all, you only live once. Might as well live it up while you can, right?

I have been a rebel, right from my childhood days. I like to do my things and do not like any resistance. Having been brought up by working parents and very strict ones, I still managed to rebel out and do things that I wanted to do. Back then there was no mantra for living life that way. It was simply called bad behavior and that I must learn to listen to elders. Slowly and steadily my behavior was accepted and I was allowed to decide for myself. Why, because I would simply not bow down for anyone.

A friend of mine recently posted a picture on social media of the supermarket shelf while she was shopping, and it contained only one box of a certain yogurt her kid eats. She and her husband both commented on how they now have to get this box. This is consistent with psychology indicating that as things become more scarce, they become more desirable. And indeed, this is the case with life as well. Research shows that when reminded of death, people become more aware that life is scarce. In turn, this causes people to believe that life is more meaningful.

While I was on the crossroads of deciding about my divorce , my childhood friend told me, “If you don’t do something then you will never know what you would be losing out in your life”. He had a point and I realized how could I be shackled by something I was utterly unhappy with.

Somehow, I have been a recklessly-impulsive-heart on the sleeve person and I have never looked back once I have decided something. Life with Ani has calmed me down a bit I still remain the same person. I always advocate- “Go by your heart” to all my friends, colleagues and siblings and kids.Mostly because , its your life and no one else should be deciding for it. And also because You Live Only Once. And there are no second chances here !

Cheers for this beautiful thing we all have in common- LIFE!

Google Images

Google Images

X for X-Chromosome

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Well, I was frustrated looking out for X words to write this post when I struck gold!

X chromosome-a sex chromosome, two of which are normally present in female cells (designated XX) and only one in male cells (designated XY).

The basics-Men inherit the X chromosome they have from their mother and the Y chromosome from their father, while women inherit one X chromosome from the mother and the other from the father.

X inactivation-Every woman carries a double dose of the X chromosome, whereas men carry one X and a Y. Women don’t express both copies of the X chromosome in their cells: in each cell they shut one copy down (the ‘inactive’ X) and use the other.

Specifically, there is a gene on the Y chromosome called SRY that makes the big difference. This gene tells a baby to be a boy. Without the SRY gene, babies develop into girls!

But also know that the SRY gene isn’t enough.  There are lots of genes needed to make a boy. The SRY gene just starts something called a gene cascade which in another words, an avalanche to begin the entire process of making a baby boy. The SRY gene turns on some boy making genes that turn on some more boy making genes and so on. Eventually you get a whole different set of genes working differently than they would without the SRY gene there.

Conclusion is that in all the babies are programmed to be female babies and this gene (SRY) on Y chromosome initiates the whole process of turning the baby into a male baby.

So much so for biology….

Well…now I know there’s a lot of hard work that goes behind in the background!!

And thats precisely why they say, “Mubarak ho…ladka hua hai!! ”

Riaan @20 days

Riaan @20 days

W for White

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White is my all time favorite color. I’m sure it would be for so many others. So I did some reading as to why out of so many colors, I get attracted to white, I came across some interesting stuff!

White as a color depicts clean, pure and neutral state of things. A white picket fence around a house depicts a safe and a happy home.

The color affects us immensely as it is shown to aid mental clarity, clears clutter and evokes good thoughts and enables fresh starts.  The color meaning of white is purity, innocence, wholeness and completion.

In color psychology white is the color of new beginnings, wiping the slate clean, so to speak. It is the blank canvas waiting to be written upon. While white isn’t stimulating to the senses, it opens the way for the creation of anything the mind can conceive.

White contains an equal balance of all the colors of the spectrum, representing both the positive and negative aspects of all colors. Its basic feature is equality, implying fairness and impartiality, neutrality and independence. It is interesting to note that babies come into the world with a perfect balance of white, ready to imprint their lives with all the colors of the spectrum from all their life experiences.

The color white is cleanliness personified, the ultimate in purity! This is why it is traditionally worn by western brides, and the reason why doctors wear white jackets.

White offers purification of emotions and, ultimately, our spirit, refreshing and strengthening our entire energy system.

There are very few negative connotations to white, like in the west, too much white can be cold, isolating and empty. It indicates a feeling of detachment or offers very little stimulation for the senses.

In some other cultures it is related to death and mourning and ultimately means the beginning of another life, moving forward to a new life, so the color psychology meaning of new beginnings still holds.

White may indicate the completion of a cycle in your life – you may find you have a desire for white clothing or white in your surroundings at a time when you are moving in a new direction in your life – like moving house, or a an overseas trip or when seeking a new relationship or a new career.

White is pristine and immaculate. No wonder my wardrobe consists of lot of white!

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V for Vacation

                                                                            The Carribean

Vacation, the most pleasant word of all times!

I took my last official vacation in Goa back in 2014. It was for 10 long days and I really relaxed and sunbathed in cool waters of Goa. Goa was pleasant in March and so we could roam around in a scooter comfortably along the entire length of it. After 2014, life has been pretty hectic. Though I have been on an extended sabbatical, its not so vacation like anymore 😦

1.Vacations are stress busters-Getting away for regular vacations and leaving our every day stresses give us a break from the constant high levels of stress hormones and a chance to repair some of the damage.

2.Vacations improve sex life-Is there really a thing as “vacation sex?” Studies have shown that people who vacation regularly reported feeling sexier, with greater romance in their relationships – which equates to better sex and hence better relationships.

3.Vacations makes us more productive-People feeling more creative after taking time off, and are more satisfied with their jobs when they took regular vacations.

4.Vacations makes you thinner and hence look younger—People who vacation on a regular basis feel more energized.  They were also found to have improved glucose levels and even had some weight loss around their waists.

5.Vacation makes you happier-Of course the excitement and planning for the vacation is always thrilling in anticipation of the actual vacation days which makes you release happy hormones.

6.Vacations makes you open to new perspectives-Whether its a beach or a foreign country or driving through the heat of Las Vegas, time from work gives you an excellent time to reflect and open yourself to new possibilities. At such a period away from work you can see the world from a holistic angle rather than a lopsided angle. We could be reading a business book, learn new cultures and change our perspective which may help us gain better vision as w return to your every day job.

7.Vacation gives us family time-Quality of life is depends upon how you appreciate yourself and those who are around you. It could be with yourself, family or friends; but only vacations from a busy schedule offers you time to appreciate the people around you. Time away fro busy schedule gives us an opportunity to think about those things that matter, whether it is by reflecting or planning, vacation gives you a sense of peace and warmth you will never get in a workplace environment.

Above all the brain does better with rest, and so does the heart. Mental and physical fatigue causes stress, sloppy decision-making, and carelessness.And in the meantime life slips away.

So me going to plan for my next one…are you?

Greece

                                                                                         Greece

U for Unconventional

Unconventional-TraitsGoogle says,” Unconventional” is not based on or conforming to what is generally done or believed.

The first thing which comes to my mind is the protagonist of The Fountainhead. Second, is of course myself and of late I cannot help but think of Kangana Ranaut being the most unconventional person of recent times.

For one, she is a small town girl from Himachal Pradesh unlike a city bred person who has been there and done that and also does not have godfather in the industry that she works in. Then, she has unconventionally famous truly curly hair which she has always loved to flaunt (she had turned them into a bob now , again unlike long tresses of rest of the Bollywood girls!) Her body is like a ramp model unlike conventional Bollywood actors. Third, when everyone had written her off and critics said she had been type-cast doing neurotic roles, she proves everyone wrong by giving hits like Tanu Weds Manu and Queen. Fourth, in a male dominated work place she has got the guts to take the bulls by his horns (read Hrithik Roshan), fifth, she is not ashamed of having relationships or of any other stuff which are still a taboo in a patriarchal society…..this list would be long I guess! The best was when she went on to wear an off shoulder gown to receive the National award for best actress from Mr. President. This occasion, until her had been reserved for wearing one’s best traditional Indian attire. Kangana broke all traditions at Rashtrapati Bhawan and thereby confirmed that you can be unconventional and successful and in that order.

The stuff that she talks about on national television with Barkha Dutt speaks volumes about her unorthodox attitude. She rubbishes everything that has been said and done against her. Success and sarcasm are the two great tools to work around with , she mentions. She dares to unfurl the curtain on this actor when he had been playing a good-old-mamma’s-boy all these years. Kangana may not be a conventional Indian beauty but what makes her outstanding amongst others is her being unconventional. Paradoxical yet a very amazing situation which confirms the fact that we should not be afraid of being different from others.

Just stay focused and enjoy being what you are!

Kangana-Neeraj-Priyadarshi

 

If they are sincerely seeking an apology then they must help me understand their perspective because blackmailing or threatening won’t work with me. Though my legal team is taking strict action against blackmailing and threatening me but as a girl it doesn’t scare me. You won’t get a sorry by threatening me or circulating my love poems, letters or images. I am not ashamed of anything, not my past, not my affairs, not my body and most definitely not my desire. So slut-shaming won’t work either.”- Kangana Ranaut

T for Tea

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Name :Camellia sinensis

Common name: Tea

Types of Tea- White, Yellow, Green, Oolong and Black.

5 significant components of tea:

  1. Essential Oils = aroma
  2. Polyphenols = antioxidants
  3. Phytonutrients = vitamins, minerals, amino acids
  4. Enzymes = promote tea leaf oxidation
  5. Methylxanthines = stimulants and muscle relaxants (Caffeine, Theophylline, Theobromine)

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Benefits of Drinking Tea :

  • Tea (Black and Green) contains important antioxidants. These phytonutrients may contribute substantially to the promotion of health and the prevention of chronic disease.
  • Compounds in tea other than flavonoids support the human immune system.
  • Preliminary research suggests that drinking tea may have effects on body weight, fat accumulation and insulin activity.

So much so for the knowledge, we should be thankful to the British who had the foresight to introduce the tea plant in our country and build the whole ecosytem of growing up tea in Assam.  The laborers are specific for this task and they were brought from Orissa from a special tribe to work in Assam. They were trained and rehabilitated in Assam about 200 years back. These people, over a period of time have become an important part of culture of Assam. No other people can replace them literally.

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Who does not like to drink it in some form or other. Its a refreshing drink when mixed with ice and lemon, a morning drink with milk and cardamom, green tea can be sipped throughout the whole day while at work and black tea to keep the sleep at bay. Now a days you will also find fruit flavored tea which is popular in middle eastern countries like Turkey. The kind of tea we get in India is special-Milk and cardamom or ginger.This is rarely taken in any part of the world but that is my favorite.

Having done my major in Tea Science while my graduation, I feel relieved that I could write atleast these few words on tea!I only wish if I could have worked on my specialized subject someday…!Anyway…a cup of tea to go back to humid and warm tea gardens where once I did my practical classes!

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S for Saturday

 

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Growing up in 80’s and 90’s we had 6 days in a week. That is working days and Sunday used to be reserved for all the amusement we could have. Life was fun then and we never complained about that only day off in a week. We would do all that we could do in that one day and in the evening catch a movie on DD too! I could not imagine that after a decade or so we were going to have 5 days a week. But how we have people whining about being overworked and tired the whole week through. Having said that , I make sure that I plan for my weekends ahead and treasure them thoroughly.

I reserve my Saturdays for mostly outdoor activities ranging from hiking, trekking, shopping, watching a movie etc and then catch up with all the sleep and some family activities on Sunday!

So typically my weekend has a schedule which  make during the week (which is critical) else I end up mindlessly watching television or browsing the internet. Planning lets you savor the joy of anticipating something fun; psychology says we’re often happier anticipating an event, like a vacation, than we are during or after it. My weekends need to feel different than the weekdays which means I do a different kind of labor/activities which  allows my mind and body to recover from the typical stresses I undergo during the week. Like, spending time with my plants, doing crochet for an hour, paint the glass bottles or simply clean a corner which has been pending for long. I make sure to have-

Max Mornings- Getting up earlier than the rest of the family is great for personal pursuits like an early morning walk, reading a favorite author with the cup of tea or getting together things for a later in the day activity like a hobby.

Family Rituals- There is a designated Pizza night on the weekend. Happy families often have special activities on most weekends that does not require special planning like Friday night pizza or Sunday morning pancakes. Because these habits are what become memories later.

Sun Siesta-It’s not just for toddlers. Having a nap time in the mid-afternoon ensures that your body rests and recuperates.

Plan Chores- I designate a chore time, on Saturday. so that they get done quickly and I can move on to the fun things of the weekend.

Tech Sabbath- A stretch of time apart from the computer, phone, and work stresses creates space for other things in life,I put up a specific window of an hour or so to sort through my inbox, rather than periodically checking and writing back to emails all day long.

Well, a weekend well spent is eventually a life well spent. Cheers for the rest of the counted weekends of our lives!

 

Movietime

Movietime

R for Romance

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                                                                             Google image

For a die hard romantic like me, R had to be for Romance!

That it was something which was taught in Masters was quite a news for me! Romance, I always thought was what was being shown in Bollywood and Hollywood and of course college teaches you all kinds of things related to it.

Wikipedia says : Romanticism (also the Romantic era or the Romantic period) was an artistic, literary, and intellectual movement that originated in Europe towards the end of the 18th century and was at its peak from 1800 to 1850. Romance is defined as, “Love emphasizing emotions over other things.”

Romanticism is :

  • Imagination
  • Intuition
  • Idealism
  • Inspiration
  • Individuality

No other period in English literature displays more variety in style, theme, and content than the Romantic Movement at the turn eighteenth century.Romanticism, is a large network of competing philosophies, agendas, and points of interest. In England, Romanticism had its greatest influence from the end of the eighteenth century up through about 1870. Its primary vehicle of expression was in poetry, although novelists adopted many of the same themes. Contrary to the English , American literature championed the novel as the most fitting genre for Romanticism’s exposition. In a broader sense, Romanticism can be conceived as an adjective which is applicable to the literature of virtually any time period. Hence anything from the Homeric epics to modern novels can be said to have the stamp of Romanticism.

Romanticism is concerned with the individual consciousness and especially the individual imagination. “Melancholy” was quite the mantra for the Romantic poets and altered states of consciousness were often sought after in order to enhance one’s creative potential.  Nevertheless, writers invested more in social causes as the period moved forward. Due to Industrial Revolution, English society was undergoing the most severe paradigm shifts it had seen in recent times. Early Romantics poets yearned for an idealized, simpler past. In particular, English Romantic poets had a strong connection with mythology and medieval times.

The styles and values of Romantic period still exist for example:

  • Feelings ,emotions and imagination take priority over logic and facts.
  • Belief in children’s innocence
  • Nature as beauty and truth
  • Outsiders as representatives of special worth (excluded by rigid society or irrational norms
  • Nostalgia for the past
  • intensification and extremes
  • Common people idealized as dependable source of true common sense and sentiment
  • Idealized or abstract settings; characters as symbolic types
  • Gothic as nightmare (world of intense emotions and complex psychology)

Any of these qualities can be associated with Romanticism, but none of them defines or limits Romanticism absolutely. Sometimes they may contradict each other.

So much so for actual Romanticism or the beginning of Romance. By the turn of 19th century , with the invention of films, Romanticism took an entry to show itself live on screen. Since Romanticism makes you think as the protagonist, or as the creator of the romantic piece (Poetry, art, movies or prose), it made people to be imaginative or be creative . The Romantic poets were regarded as innovators in their own imaginations as opposed to realism. The real problems of life in the world seemed to be pushed aside and hence in coherence with the romantics of the present age.

Nonetheless, its is absolutely necessary to be a romantic even if you are a scientist because only then you would imagine and create things which would let others to look into your thoughts/innovations. Romanticism gave birth to think differently and produced protagonists as heroes of the society who would bring about the much needed change. Falling in love in contradictory situations is a small part of romanticism as I observed while reading about Romanticism at large.

Thanks to Bollywood for such an ample dose of romanticism at all times and for giving us heroes, winners and pragmatic thinkers who believed in changes!

Google images

                                                                    Google images

NB- Knowledge extracted from Internet sources.

Q for Quality

Caught : A & R

                                                                           Caught : A & R

If a job is worth doing.its worth doing well. Quality of the work done characterizes the person who has done it. Sometimes if I did not like the day-to-day chores , I would do it for the sake of doing it. Lot of years later in my life I would realize that every single task that we choose to undertake ought to be done well. It then becomes a habit and you are known for your work- excellent work.

Also the satisfaction of doing a work well is tremendous and stays with you for long and it ,time and again fills you with inspiration and contentment. When it becomes a habit ,one inspires others to strive for excellence whether or not its a job that you are paid for or is a mundane job of our regular life. I have known a handful of people who are know for the quality of their work. They do not care what work it is or for whom they are working, they would give their best shot in everything that they do.

I think its an excellent virtue to be incorporated in our value system as the returns are high and long-lasting. Basically ,we need to work on the quality rather than the quantity of the tasks.

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                                                                             Caught : A & R

P for Pristine

Merced River

Merced River

One of the most pristine places I visited is the Yosemite valley in California. Thanks to John Muir, a Scottish-American naturalist, author, environmental philosopher and early advocate of preservation of wilderness in the United States. His activism helped to preserve the Yosemite Valley and Sequoia National park and other wilderness areas in the United States.

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I made sure I visited this valley days before we were moving out from California to Mid-west. It was difficult with an eight month old in the lap nonetheless it was a promised land.

As we started to drive in through the highway leading to the valley, the beautiful meadows gave us company for a long stretch.A couple of small towns and we had reached the hills from where we would ultimately descend to catch the glorious Yosemite. It was a pity though that we could not camp in there however even the day trip had too much in store for us.

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The national park is characterized by two Two federally designated wild and scenic, the Merced and the Tuolumne, glaciers, wilderness trails, several gigantic granite peaks and some ancient giant sequoia trees.

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I took some of the most serene and pristine nature captures of my life in Yosemite. I only wish we  could protect all such natural places in India too. Too much of population, pollution and commercialization is destroying the most precious thing we have- The pristine nature.

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O for Ocean

Ocean 2

After a lot of thought provoking sleepless nights I stumbled upon the name – Ocean. Though I was in the middle of my pregnancy but the name stayed with me. It was unique and sounded nice , I thought. Never told anyone that I had to fight to keep this name!

For a long time he was the youngest of the family. My heart & soul, Ocean kept me occupied during the most difficult times of my life. His smile, his baby acts, his innocence and most of the times his understanding of things surprised me. Ocean was always older than his age. Always taking right decisions and making us know the other side of the issue,he cared for everyone alike. He is a crazy Barca fan and Messi is his God. Always quiet and calm , Ocean never flares up unlike Naomi. He gave meaning to my life when it had hit rock bottom. Currently in his final year of school, he remains the most balanced and peace loving soul in either side of the families!

N for Naomi

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Quirky and ever effervescent, Naomi revels in her melodramatic perspective towards life. For her life is huge stage and being dramatic is a necessary tool for survival. You will always find her reading or debating, her two passions. She is currently doing first year  Masters in Political Science from JNU although she has always maintained that she is a literature student at heart.

A fighter, a leader and the ever so popular girl wherever she goes. She revels in the magic of her own charm.

Naomi is biblical character and also is a name in Japanese meaning- pleasant.

Naomi is my first borne angel.

M for Mantra

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Everyone should have a few to run their lives effectively:

  1. My life is special. I live my truth. I nurture my spirit. I celebrate me.
  2. If you never try, you will never know.
  3. Once you take a decision, the universe conspires to make it happen.
  4. Stand up for what you believe in, even if you stand alone.
  5. Positive mind, positive vibes, positive life.

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K for Kishore Kumar

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The crisp voice of Kishore kumar is not only magical but astonishing! His songs can be enjoyed in a party or in solitude as well. This one voice for sure has made millions of heart swoon over and over for its melodious and romanticist tone integrated so well in it. Kishore Kumar gave voice to every superstars/stars for so many decades. When nothing is working in your life listen to an evergreen Kishore song….like Pal pal dil ke pass,Kisi Shayar ki ghazal…dreamgirl, Roop tera mastana, Raat Kali Ek Khwab me aayi, Ek main aur ek tu,O mere dil ke chain, Dil kya kare, Aise na mujhe tum dekho, Aane wala pal….the list would probably never end!

Its that voice that dreams are made of. Its that voice which gives goosebumps and forces one to dream about his beloved. They say Kishore seemingly had an eccentric behaviour and was paranoid about the payments for his work but aint all the geniuses are eccentric! Without Kishore Kumar bollywood would have been incomplete and the romance in our lives would have never been the same!

Here is one of my favorite Kishore song…

J for Jolene

dolly-parton

One hell of a beautiful song by Dolly Parton. This single, by the country singer from Nashville, was released in October 1973 , as the title track from her album of the same name.

It was 5 years back that I actually heard this song playing at Mocha, Delhi and then it kept playing in my mind again and again for a week and that’s when I decided to search for it on Google with just the word “Jolene”. When I told Naomi about this song, she said, “I do not like that song cause I’m kind of Jolene in my real life!”

Dolly Parton revealed that Jolene was the name of a young fan she met during one of her concerts. She liked the name so much that she decided to write a song for this young girl. Dolly chose to bind together a real life incident of her life to this song and hence Jolene- the sweet song was created.

The song goes on to explain how Jolene, a stunningly beautiful woman with auburn hair is trying to steal away the singer’s lover. As she begs Jolene not to take away her man, she realizes, he too is besotted by Jolene. According to Parton, the song was inspired by a red-headed bank clerk who flirted with her husband Carl Dean at his local bank branch around the time they were newly married. The song became Parton’s second solo number-one single on the country charts after being released as a single in late 1973.

The song has got an evergreen melody and also a real life feel to it. If you have not heard it before, its time 🙂

 

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