11 Things Every Woman Should Write Down.....

There's no better way to celebrate the rich, full life you've lived so far—and the big, bright future ahead—than telling your story!


The ever diligent Shilpa (Yo that's the word I associate with you, Shilpa) has tagged me in her post to complete this very interesting list complied by Oprah  -  11 Things Every Woman Should Write Down Before the Year Ends!

Go on, read my story so far...

1. What Younger You Would Like About Present You

For having a 'life' .. a life beyond the every day rut of living. A life revolving around books, friends, blogging - how these simple things make a huge difference to the quality of life!  Another facet I am truly proud of is the fact that I am somebody many would think twice before picking a squabble with!

2. The Watched/Read It List

Courtesy Goodreads, today I have the complete  list of books I have read through the year and a even bigger list of "to-read" books. Go on, visit my page to see what's on my bookshelf this year! Though I have managed to read only 34 of the 50 books I signed up for, it was a beautiful journey of books this year!

As for movies, I already have a list of movies I am hoping to watch the coming year !


3. The Mistake You Never Want to Make 

A mistake I was very close to making, but then as usual the fate had the last laugh! To bring a child to the world for sake of society and not cause you want to bring a child into the world. I see many couples popping out a child within a year or so of marriage - its almost as if producing a child is the one and only obligation in marriage! No child really deserves it.....

The irony though is that today I am more than ready to welcome a child into our life but we have been having no luck in conceiving one :-/

4. Your Ideal Outfit

Am sitting at home writing this post in my comfy PJs ... indeed my ideal outfit ;). But on a serious note, I would love to have more of western formal attire in my wardrobe - well blame my 'personal shoppers' (read my sis n Sabs) for the lack of it :-P


5. A Deep, Dark—Shhh—Secret

Let it remain that way huh ;)

6. The Most Unexpected Compliment You Ever Got

This must be somewhere in grade eight or so. Nobody until then had ever complimented me for my "looks" - instead in their foolishness had made me an awkward and conscious teenager. So it was a pleasant surprise when my class teacher signed my autograph book complimenting me on my radiant smile . I still remember the exact words she wrote! Haa the difference a simple compliment makes to a teenagers psyche

7. That One Quote

When life hands you a lemon make lemonade (or better still get some tequila!).

8. The Best Surprise You've Ever Had

Must be indeed the peter pan of my life - my husband. He truly lives up to the adage "Like father, Like Husband" ;). What more can a daddy's gal want... especially considering I  married him a couple of months after I lost my daddy!

9. Your True Happiness 

Lies in the small things in life....

 The simple pleasures of reading a good book, watching a good movie, of traveling, of rustling up a good meal together and of good times! By no standards do we lead a fancy life - I dream of traveling around the world, of a better home, of a decent bank balance and a complete family. But as my peter pan says "It's the journey, not the destination, that really matters"!


10. Your Favorite Failure

For having ditched the damn software engineer job. Funnily I was good at it, but always knew at the back of my mind that it's not what I want to do! Today my job doesn't pay me half as much as a programming job would have -  but  I know, I have made a change for good! Though honestly there are times I regret it -  for the extra penny it would have paid along with the foreign assignments!I Am still optimistic that time will erase this teeny-weeny regret a day soon!

11. An Amendment to the Bucket List

Ho the slacker in me would love to slash out a few items in my bucket list - to read and write Malayalam(my mother tongue), to give driving another shot among other things - but lets leave the list as is for now - shall we?

An interesting questionnaire rt. I will tag Cory who originally shared this list with us.... I am sure she will have a v interesting story to share with all of us!

With this, I bid 2013 a warm adios and welcome 2014 which am hoping is a more happier and fruitful year......

Dreams – Festival of Words – Day 7

Started from Memories – Festival of Words – Day 1
Contd from Here

“Twenty years from now you will be more disappointed by the things that you didn't do than by the ones you did do. So throw off the bowlines. Sail away from the safe harbor. Catch the trade winds in your sails. Explore. Dream. Discover.”  
                                                                                                                           ~~  Jackson Brown Jr.

Aalamma couldn't help smiling at the bewildered expression on Nathan's face as she walked back to her room! But she knew, he would never believe her staggering-than-fiction story.....

How could she tell him that she was the one who had set off the the singing recitals in the cafe down the road or even the fact that she called this home stay her home a few decades ago! Would he empathize that the "pent house" he discouraged her from taking is where all her happy childhood memories with Nanny were preserved till date and that she would have paid any ridiculous amount for that  ancient copy of "Pride and Prejudice" cause the cover page carried here dearest Dada's writing.....

It was a winter afternoon like this that she moved far far away from her dearest Niligiris to Panchgani with dreams for her unborn little girl. Sigh! her little girl who has now flown away from cocoon to find her own space n this big big world..........

Today its forty four year since Aalina became Aalama to fulfill the dreams she had dreamt for herself and her little one........

Linking this to  Dreams – Festival of Words – Day 7

And thus we come to the end of story and the WT Festival of Words - what a journey its been!

People – Festival of Words – Day 6!

Started from Memories – Festival of Words – Day 1

 Contd from Here




“The most beautiful people we have known are those who have known defeat, known suffering, known struggle, known loss, and have found their way out of the depths. These persons have an appreciation, a sensitivity, and an understanding of life that fills them with compassion, gentleness, and a deep loving concern. Beautiful people do not just happen.”
                                                                                                                              ― Elisabeth Kübler-Ross


Alina's heart wringed in grief  as the train slowly chugged away from her tiny hill station - a place she's never stepped out of all through her twenty years. She held her hand protectively over her now bulging tummy as if that would save her unborn child from this cruel world... how she wished she had somebody who could hold her hands and walk her through difficult times!

Sitting beside Alina was her Nanny - who at the grand the of eighty didn't think much about relocating half the way across the country just to give Alina another chance in life!  In all her wisdom, Nanny knew that making a clean fresh start miles away from home was the only hope for Alina and her unborn baby to move on with life. It still amazed Alina how her uneducated Nanny pulled strings with local parish and managed to get her a job as a music teacher in a prestigious residential school at Panchgani.

As she absentmindedly popped in the peanuts her Nanny handed her, Alina couldn't hep going back to the question that's been troubling her for past few months - who could be the father of her unborn Child? Could it be Jack the Jazz player at the cafe or Mike the art teacher at the local school or James the holidaying Irish gentleman or could it be the local Muthusaami or somebody else all together!

Aline rued how she let herself loose at the alcoholic binges that followed the musical recitals at the cafe!  When and how did it start including getting into bed with random people she wondered. All the good times ended with a bang a few weeks ago when she found she was pregnant.......

To Be Contd.....

Linking this to People – Festival of Words – Day 6

Travel – Festival of Words 2 – Day 5

Started from Memories – Festival of Words – Day 1

 Contd from Here
 
Not in a mood to do the touristy things when at Ooty? Worry not - how does a Winch ride across seventeen Kms of  undisturbed sholas and wildlife habitat sound? Or maybe spend the morning with the planters in the Tea Estates - from plucking the leaves to tasting the freshly brewed tea! Or how about spending the evening in company of the Local Toda Tribes - with a free lesson in the famous Thoda Shawl weaving thrown in and even sample their cuisine! Sounds very interesting right.....


 Nathan was impressed with himself for having come up with this interesting iternary for Aalamma. He had been for last couple of days to get her to do "Touristy Things" - sail down the ooty lake or a morning walk in the famous botanical garden. But everytime, she declined it with her characterestic shake of head. "Maybe she is too old to do these touristy things" thought Nathan and in a sudden brain wave came up with this innovative plan - it seemed to him that it would appeal to Aalamma at every level!

So Nathan was pretty heartbroken when Aalamma almost laughed out loud reading his plan before declining it with her now irritating head shake! He was at his wits end - she seemed to hang around the home-stay through the day and in the evening go to a hip-n-happening cafe frequented by the visiting foreign tourists! Aalamma seemed such a misfit in that surroundings that Nathan couldn't just wrap his head around the idea......After all how could a place overflowing with booze and loud music  interest a sedate Indian grandmother!


To Be Contd...

Linking this to Travel – Festival of Words 2 – Day 5

Music – Festival of Words – Day 4

Started from Memories – Festival of Words – Day 1 
Contd from Here 


 


"I Swear"

I swear by the moon
and the stars in the sky
and I swear like the
shadow that's by your side........




Aalina sighed as she finished another rendition of this soulful song -   her Dad's favourite - to a room full of hooting crowd. She was thankful to her father whose love for music she had inherited. Also it was her only source of bread and butter after her parents tragic death in an air accident a few months ago. Soon she was swindled off her inheritance by "well-meaning" relatives. Thus at the ripe age of sixteen, Aalina had to fend for herself and her old Nanny.

A cafe down the road which was  favourite haunt with the backpacking foreigners offered to pay her a decent amount for evening musical recitals. It seemed a God sent opportunity then - she could do something she  loved and make some quick buck out of it! And the crowd loved her right back - what was not to love about a young chirpy girl whipping out their old favorites........

Haa those long soirees of never ending music and beer with audience joining in for impromptu jamming sessions were strangely liberating.....

Contd Here...

Linking this to  Music – Festival of Words – Day 4

Books – Festival of Words – Day 3

 Started from Memories – Festival of Words – Day 1
Contd From Here....


 It is a truth universally acknowledged, that a single man in possession of a good fortune, must be in want of a wife. However little known the feelings or views of such a man may be on his first entering a neighbourhood, this truth is so well fixed in the minds of the surrounding families, that he is considered the rightful property of some one or other of their daughters.

 Nathan looked up from his desk, as Aalamma all of a sudden started reading out lines from a random book(or so he thought) she picked from the adjoining book shelf. He was pretty sheepish, when earlier in the day he explained to her that contrary to what was in the brochure, this home-stay did not really have a library so to speak. It was just a random collections of some sleazy magazines that the customers randomly left behind and a few classics which seemed to be older than the home-stay itself!



Thus Nathan was pretty flummoxed when he saw Aalamma's eyes brighten up as he walked her to the partly hidden book aisle. Her eyes almost glossed over as she picked one of the books and started caressing the book as if it was some long lost lover!

Nathan didn't know what to make of it when she almost hugged the ancient copy of "Pride and Prejudice" to her heart and offered to pay him whatever price he quotes.....

Contd here...

Linking this to Books – Festival of Words – Day 3

Food – Festival of Words – Day 2

Contd From Here...



Aalina finished doodling the recipe of her fav snack in her school scrap book.This simple dish - her Nanny's specialty - has  been her favorite dessert from the time she could remember.  Even as a kindergartener, she couldn't help noticing the difference in their daily menus. The sambar, rasam and poriyal her nanny relished was frowned upon by her mom. Unfortunately for Aalina, the pork ribs, steaks, soups her parents seemed to prefer was definitely not her favourite.....

An only child, in this huge palatial bungalow tucked away in the tea estates of Niligiris - Aalina was home-schooled by her parents.They were stickler to conversing only in English even to her Nanny who was conversant only in the local dialect. Aalina wasn't even allowed to be chummy with children of local Tea Planters! The only solace she had were her books that Aalina obviously devoured! When the loneliness got onto her too much, she sneaked away into her Nanny's tiny room in the terrace where the simple yet hearty food warmed her soul. Evenings spent tucking into "Naadan Chicken Roast", sipping the hot pepper rasam as she flipped though her favorite book sitting in her Nanny's Veranda was her favorite childhood memory till date! The fact that it railed her mother, gave the teenage Aalina an extra "kick" to do it all the more

It was a while before Aalina realized that all all this was  a vain and desperate attempt by her parents to hold onto their British Lineage. She couldn't always help wondering how different her life would have been if her parents were alive a few more years......

Contd Here.....

This is part of Food, Food – Festival of Words – Day 2

PS: This doodle is courtesy the livewire of VaayadiPennu

Memories – Festival of Words – Day 1

Holiday and 'Memories' ought to be synonymous.....

Those long walks in midst of tea estates, sprawling around your own 'private' waterfall, walking hand in hand with your sweetheart as the light mist caresses you, trekking up to the hill top for the sunset, curling up with your favorite book at the nook-corners of the gardens , Cold beers to warm you on the crispy cold nights and the delicious local cuisine which spoils you with choice!  Life doesn't get better than this .. does it?

  Thus read the brochure of 'Memories'. Despite the tall promises in the brochure -  the place was  in reality a rundown home-stay tucked away in the heart of Niligiris. Nathan, the manager had his hands full during the weekends when this place was crowded with backpacking youngsters on a shoestring budget. Nathan looked up as yet another tourist walked into the reception door - for a moment he was nonplussed to see a middle class Indian lady in her 60s travelling solo ! He was all the more dumbfounded when the lady requested for the "Pent House" - Nathan rushed to explain that this was located right next to their open-air disc that was open until wee hours of the night and may not be the best of the choices. He even tried coaxing the lady to book into the next door "Murugan Guest House" which he assured her was a better choice for err... a senior citizen!

But all Nathan could do was shrug and complete the check-in formalities for Aalamma, as she was very firm in her choice of room! As she walked up the creaking stairs, Nathan couldn't help wondering why this old lady was so insistent on choosing this rundown home-stay and that too a room on the terrace when he had given her a choice of much more comfy room on the ground floor.....

Contd Here....

This is submitted as a part of Memories – Festival of Words – Day 1

So, you think you know it all......


Today’s my second month as a missionary in this African village. I have been trained in spirituality, medicine, culture at an NGO that has been sending out missionaries like me across third-world countries to uplift living conditions!

So why do I fumble for an answer when the old village chief asked, “So, you think you know it all! How can you tell us that going to a church, adapting modern medicines, speaking English are hallmarks of civilization while we have been content and self-sufficient for generations speaking our native language, worshipping nature - relying on her for our food, medicines?”

This fictitious post is in response to Write Tribe's 100 words on Saturday for the Prompt “So, you think you know it all".

PS: This post is highly influenced by the book "The Color Purple" by Alice Walker. A book I have immensely enjoyed but will not even attempt to review cause the story has multiple layers running in parallel. Enjoyed it immensely and a book I will highly recommend.

Grateful.....

...A prayer on my lips, I send up a prayer of thanks to the forces up above for preventing a disaster from happening! I cant even begin to think what would have happened if the battery had exploded when the phone was in his hands or close to the ears! Thank You is all I can say.......

Shared Below is Hubbs FB status today - this incident happened just a couple of hours back....

******************


ATTENTION Samsung S4 USERS - I had a very narrow escape today . I felt my Samsung S4 grow very hot and immediately opened the mobile and put the battery on the table. It exploded right in front of my eyes and started spewing smoke resulting in a fire alarm in my office building. The room could not be entered for a while due to the toxic fumes. I am really lucky to have escaped otherwise the results could have been catastrophic. These phones are dangerous....... Look at the state of the battery....... Had I not taken the battery out even the phone would have melted and burnt me.

When You Love.....

Mia couldn't help smiling at herself as she served Manas his dinner. Her mind went back to her university days....

A v vocal feminist those days(not that she's changed much), Mia found it v hypocritical that her mom - a strong feminist herself who gave long sermons on gender equality through the day  -  always put her dad's needs-wishes before hers! Right from making morning tea just the way he liked to laying out his office wear to serving him hot phulkas straight from the stove! Her mom's indulgent smile every time she threw a tantrum over this only infuriated her more.....

Today two years into her marriage, she realised what her mom has always been telling her "When you love you wish to do things for. You wish to sacrifice for. You wish to serve."

WT
This post is written for Hemingway this Wednesday at Write Tribe
  I chose the quote “When you love you wish to do things for. You wish to sacrifice for. You wish to serve.”   (A Farewell to Arms

PS: As a friend mentioned - "The difference is when someone thinks he / she is entitled to something and when things are done out of love"
 

Book Review - Diffcult Daughters(Manju Kapur)

The book "Difficult Daughters" by Manju Kapur revolves around a large family  living near India - Pakistan border. Its set around the partition period. Protagonist of the book - eldest daughter of the
family -  decides not to take the trodden path of early marriage and motherhood.

She has fallen in love with a married professor and in a bid to stall marriage, embraces education.But no where in the book does her passion for studying or later teaching comes thru - her life seemed to revolve around the adulterous affair with a spineless teacher! Even later, when he takes her in as his second wife, the story focuses on how his  first wife and MIL makes her life miserable!

My grouse with the book boiled down to this - the author is painted a not-so-rosy future for a girl who decides to follow her heart as compared to other sisters who take the trodden oath of arranged marriage and seemed to lead a happy life! Errr is this really what we want to tell our women? Or did I somehow miss any subtleties in this story...

Having said all this, I will credit the author for how well she bought out the pains of  partition - even without going into too many gory details she bought the horror it played in daily lives!

My overall Rating - 3/5!

On The Last Day...


I had woken up with a light heart for I knew it was my last day there! The admission with scholarship at  Ismalia university seemed God-sent opportunity to escape the physical and mental trauma at my in-laws place.

But my hear skipped a beat as I absently leafed through the medical report – a mandate for my admission! The “positive” against the “Pregnant” column was all it took to change my heart… 

Its only today – five years and three children later - I realize that all these “pregnancies” were premeditated by my MIL and husband to stop me from flying away…

This is my entry for "100 words on Saturday" for the prompt "I knew it was my last day there"! I have always wondered how a school acquaintances pregnancy announcement always came on the heels of her wanting to break out from the marriage...

Be Safe!

Come October and am all set making plans for our annual vacations - I at times feel "planning of Holiday" is as much fun(if not more) as the actual holiday!

The other day, as we sat in the office cafeteria discussing our holiday plans, a friend was v excited about her upcoming solo trip - a 15 day long backpacking trip across Kerala. She was doing the usual touristy places of Kovalam, Munnar, Wayanad but also wanted to do a few off beat places too. Though it being a solo trip and  first time she was in Kerala, she wanted a few safety tips. These were the ones I could think top of my head then! Please feel free to add any:

  1. Skimpy dressing (shorts, skirts below knee) is a big No especially outside the touristy centers. A swim suit maybe ok in a Kovalam beach frequented by foreigners but will be a strict no at other beaches!
  2. Be wary of the "Lodges" that pepper the tourist centers. Though economical and centrally located, do a thorough research before zeroing down on any
  3. Make sure you inform your family or friends about your daily itinerary including the hotel you are staying at! This way they will be able to swing into action if they do not hear from you at regular intervals.
  4. Especially in Kerala - except the v touristy centers - the entire state goes off to sleep as early as 10 PM. So in case you intend to return late, ensure you have made proper travel
    arrangements!
  5. While traveling solo, use public transport - they may not be half as comfortable as a cab but you are definitely more safe!
  6. Use a GPS or have a rough idea of the route especially when using cab services. This way, you know of any deviation en-route. Do not hitch rides to save a few pennies!
  7. Be cautious in dealing with opposite sex - drivers, lodge owner etc. Do not be over friendly - be safe than sorry.
  8. Install a safety app like "Smart Suraksha" on your phone - at the press of a button, it will alert your family and friends if you are in danger.
  9. Keep a few emergency phone nos including that of local authorities in your speed dial.
  10.  Always remember the basics of personal deference - carry a pepper spray, minimal jewellery, sufficient cash, not wandering away in nights and be safe! Keep your wits - trust your intuition!Be Safe....
I am sharing my Smart Suraksha Tips at BlogAdda.com in association with Smart Suraksha App.

Stay Safe - Smart Suraksha!

Thus came to end another day at office. The time was 10:30 in the night. By the time, office cab would drop me home - where baba would be waiting up no matter what the hour - it would easily be midnight! Nothing depressed me as the v thought of it - will a day come when I would reach home in time for at least dinner if not evening chai!

 As I walked towards the waiting office cab, my eyes looked around for Ismail - a regular companion on the route. My heart sank when I realized he is on leave - the new office rule mandated that if a female employee is travelling lone, she should be accompanied by an office guard. This was easier said than done - due to the shortage of guards this sometime meant a wait time of one hour! The prospect of reaching home after one in the night made me hyperventilate. I slowly walked up to Basu - the regular driver on our route - and asked him to sneak away via the back entry without the supervisor noticing us. Baba's warnings of not to travel alone rang in my ears but considering the roads will still be packed and also Basu is been our cab driver for past few months I decided it was a risk worth taking!

As the cab hit the ring road and the cool night air caressed my face, I at last started relaxing. Baba’s phone is been busy for last few mins - Mai must be on the phone with her sisters. As we entered the city, the roads were once again jam-packed! Basu as usual took the inner by lanes – it went through dark deserted streets but would at least save us a good 30 mins! I sat back and soon got lost in the late night FM music.....

Even when Basu slowed down near an open ground, I didn’t think anything was amiss! But the moment he jerked to a stop and accosted me out I realized it was too late... My screams would go unheeded and there was no way I could make a quick call or send a message asking for help! It was then I wished I had Smart Suraksha with me which at the press of a single button would have sent out message of help to five pre-chosen contacts from my contact list along with my current location!

While this is a fictitious story, In today's IT industry where late night shifts is more of a rule than a exception and considering most of us carry around a smart phone, it makes so much sense to install a app like Smart Suraksha on our phones!You can read more about it here.

smart SURAKSHA - screenshot

I am participating in the Seeking Smart Suraksha contest at BlogAdda.com in association with Smart Suraksha App.

The Green Fingers!



Every once in a while, I rue my lack of green fingers! No plant (not even a money-plant) has survived under my TLC! But I have a trooper of a friend who despite the bout of failures gifted me a Tulsi sapling nurtured by her mom.

Maybe cause of aunty’s green fingers, this sapling soon grew tall, bushy – though the lack of new flower buds even after weeks disheartened me!

So imagine my surprise, when today I was unexpectedly greeted with the sight of my Tulsi brimming with flower buds :-D. A small achievement but something am definitely delighted about!

This post is in response to the 100 word prompt "Every Once In A While" on WT.... A "Shady" post for my fav "shady" gal who contributed this prompt ;)



My savior in her small balcony that she has converted into a mini forest now :)

Blog Action Day - Dark is Beautiful!

Anisha woke up with a flurry of excitement - after all, this was the day for she had been practicing for the last few weeks! Today was the audition for class 4 students and the best of them would be chosen to play the role of Mother Mary - a privilege, her mom told her!

She was one of the first to reach the venue in her pearly white costume. Despite the butterflies in her stomach, she mouthed the lines with perfect diction and drama just as she had practiced it! Anisha hopped and skipped her way back to class sure that she had the role in her bag! 

Next day after school assembly, the class teacher assembled the entire class to declare the results of the audition! Anisha fought her tears as the teacher announced that her arch-rival Nisha was chosen to be the Mother Mary - simply cause she was the "fair beauty with the chiseled face" - just perfect to play the coveted role! Anisha along with other dark-skinned girls of her class were chosen to play the motley role of a shepherd! 

Thus at the tender age of eight, Anisha had her her first encounter with discrimination based on color - a uphill battle she had to struggle against all through her life! 

While this is a fictitious story, this could be the story of many a dark skinned girl in India! This is so ingrained in most of us, that a jibe on our color is simply laughed off! I should admit that I am equally guilty of ribbing my sister many a times about her darker skin tone. I did not even realize that am violating a very basic human right..... 

I am glad that "Dark is beautiful" campaign is making waves and maybe in the next generation, a little girl's self esteem isn't based on her skin colour alone! Maybe she will realise that her "Dark Brown Chocolate" colour is as delicious (if not more) as her "Fairy White" companions!



I am participating in Blog Action Day. Blog Action Day is a free annual event, that is organised since 2007. Its aim is to unite the bloggers from all over the world, by posting about the same issue, on the same day, in order to raise awareness and trigger a positive global discussion around an important issue that impacts us all.  Around 1, 717  blogs from 124 countries, across 26 languages have registered to take part in Blog Action Day 2013.  This year, the focus is on Human Rights.


BAD2013smlogo

Dussera - Chennai Style!

This year we happened to spend Dussera in Chennai. In this part of the country, this festival is associated with Golu(Doll Arrangement). Every couple, is gifted a pair of wooden toys on the eve of their marriage and to this they keep adding new dolls year on year.

A typical Golu!
While in many cases Golu seems like dolls arranged thoughtlessly row after row, look closely and you may be surprised! Mind you, usually the girls of the house put random dolls together to create these scenes.....

A village house complete with temple and Kids playing Caroms

A temple scene complete with devotees and Horse men!
A Musical Recital In Progress
Grain Merchants - Don miss the Money Box
A scene straight From South Indian Wedding
Post Marriage Procession :)

A Haiku...

Have you checked out the latest challenge at WT? This time its a haiku contest.... all you have to do is pen a Haiku around this pic



the blooming berries
nurtured by sun, rain and love
planters eyes aglow

Go ahead submit your Haiku. You may end up winning a framed copy of this picture from the photographer himself(A co-incidence totally that he happens to be my beta Half ;) )

One Lovely Blog!

Just the other day I was reminiscing fondly of how almost all the posts here are in response to a WT prompt, when today a fellow triber bullies me about it ... Now tell me with friends like this who needs enemies ;) But errr today's post while not in response to any prompt is courtesy another lovely blogger I met via WT. She awarded me with a "One Lovely blog" award :-D. Talk of nice people huh ;)


As a part of this award I am required to mention eight things about me, share five writing quotes and nominate five bloggers for the awards.

 Now cause I think I have already exposed my heart and soul  on this blog ;), I delegated this task of coming up with eight things about me to a person I consider my "Soul Sister". These are the eight things she came up impromptu about me:


1. Outgoing
2. Strong Willed
3. Book Worm
4. Sensitive
5. Sympathetic
6. Intransigent
7. Obstinate
8. Overprotective(!!!)

Just ignore last 3 points, am a sweetheart alright ;)

Now for my 5 favorite quotes

“Every true love and friendship is a story of unexpected transformation. If we are the same person before and after we loved, that means we haven't loved enough.”
Elif Shafak, The Forty Rules of Love

 “And, when you want something, all the universe conspires in helping you to achieve it.”
Paulo Coelho, The Alchemist

“Never argue with an idiot; he will bring you down to his level and win from experience.”
Brad Slipiec

“You don't love someone because they're perfect, you love them in spite of the fact that they're not.”
Jodi Picoult, My Sister's Keeper
 

There's Giving someone space and then there's giving them so much space they end up thinking u don't care....

  ― Susan Lewis

 

 

 Now to pass it onto 5 lovely people whose blogs i enjoy reading

 

Pixie - Err honestly more for the online camaraderie that she brings along everywhere

Santulan - Despite the happy go lucky guy he comes across as, his writing has a surprising depth to it!

Philosopher Stone - The serial writer at WT :)

Vaayaadi Pennu - Well for nothing is she my 'Twin Soul' ;)

Throo Da Looking glass - ;). Honestly for those lovely lines that follow every picture of his!

Free Write - Amms in Bangalore!


"Free Write" was the  prompt for the week at WT.

What is a free write? It is essentially writing without conscious thought.
Most free writes go like this: You write down whatever comes into your mind for 15 straight minutes either as a word purge (no topic at all) or on a prompt. You could read more about it here


Write Tribe

Now writing without a prompt would have been disastrous for somebody as fickle-minded as me! So while I was clear I would be writing about my niece, I let the words flow. Here is the final draft with not much of editing. Tell me how you liked it!

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 Last week was dedicated to my little niece who was here on a short vacation. Through her, I lived my dream of  a complete family - “Ma, Pa N the little One”! Just drove home the fact that am more than ready to start a family ~~ Hoping it’s a day soon!

Another facet that her visit reaffirmed is my love fo weaving stories and I couldn’t have asked for a better audience than the little one. We spent a day each at Thar Desert, Ooty and even experienced the bitter Chicago winters. We woke up to morn yoga on Goa beaches, had a nice continental breakfast, sunbathed with Mr & Mrs. Adam before flying down to London to meet the queen ;).  And when all this traveling was getting to us, we had a career makeover and became a fisherman and farmer in turns :-D. Her incessant question of “So where\What are we today” even when she wakes up in the middle of the night is all the ego boost I needed :-D.

A Day in Thar!

Today after she’s left, I miss the daily thirty mins late night session in the park – just her and me swinging gently, weaving these stories and getting lost in far far away lands … bliss!!

Now for all that she enjoys this story telling sessions, I wonder why she hasn’t yet taken to reading - this when her house is filled with Amar Chitra Kathas and many others. Is it cause nobody has taken the pain to read it to her? Maybe she should have started with something simpler – something she enjoys and then slowly upgraded the reading standards! Her frustration when I insisted that she reads “Charlie and Chocolate Factory was obvious – does she feel reading is a chore and so doesn’t really enjoy it?

Amms, I miss you darling… muah!

If only you were here...


They start their life together a few decades ago - young, clueless, stars-in-eyes! Life seemed a bed of roses until well “life” happened – they toiled to build a family together, to make ends meet facing the everyday challenges! But for them, this struggle – this journey was worth all the trouble simply because they had each other….

But today in the twilight of his life, despite the relaxed routine without the ensuing daily struggles and company of doting grandchildren, he was filled with a sense of incompleteness. The only thought constantly looping in his mind is “if only you were here”…


100 Words on Saturday - Write Tribe

Today my mother lost one of her best friends to cancer, a few months ago she lost he fav BIL to heat-attack! Death is a sad reality that snatches away our loved at the most unexpected of the times. The pain of the one being left behind...

Here is hoping that we get the chance to drive to the sunset of our lives with our better halves for company - Amen!

Colors of Aarthi.....

Aarthi was dressed in a peach sari that perfectly complimented her toffee brown complexion. The simple string of white pearls added to her delicate-feminine look - a far cry from the tomboy she is known to be!

She knew her attire will win over the nerdy Venkat – her to-be fiance she was meeting for lunch. But as Aarthi gawked at herself in the mirror, she realized she hardly recognized the girl staring back!

Few minutes later, Aarthi felt truly alive as she stepped out dressed in her favorite Orange tee, blue jeans with a sling bag to complete the look.

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This fictions post is in response to two prompts 






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What happened at Midnight? ** Day 7 - Festival Of Words **

"Write Tribe" the amazing write club am a part of  is hosting its first festival of words from 1-7 Sep on the theme "Seven". You could get more details about it here....

Am choosing to write of the seven loves of my life....
 

Today on the last day of the write Fest, I bring you a piece of fiction simply cause it was at WT that I realised I can write fiction(!). Today I enjoy it so much, that every time I "people-observe", my mind goes into a overdrive trying to weave a story around them :)

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Mukundan - the SI of Kulmee rural police station - has been hiding amidst the bushes for last three nights. There has been a spate of serial murders in the village for last few weeks and everytime the police  had fished out the body from the lake on the village outskirts.

 It was the middle of the night - The entire village was fast asleep. Mukundan struggled to keep his eyes open when he suddenly heard a rustle. As he looked up, he saw a young man stealthily  moving about like a ninja with a bandanna tied across his head. Mukundan ducked deeper into the bush and kept him within his sights As he looked on, the young man looked furtively around and carefully took out a wrapped package. Just as he was about to throw it into the lake, Mukundan pounced on him and ........

The next morning, police woke up to the news of yet another dead body found in the lake.... the police divers went deep into the water and bought to the shore the body of a man  with a bandanna around the head.....

Happiness is..... ** Day 6 - Festival Of Words **

"Write Tribe" the amazing write club am a part of  is hosting its first festival of words from 1-7 Sep on the theme "Seven". You could get more details about it here....

Am choosing to write of the seven loves of my life....

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  •  I wake up in a evil mood and try pulling a fast one on a friend! For the heck of it I predict that she will be "Engaged" over the weekend! N guess what happens - thou now am ruing the fact now cause  somebody is so busy day dreaming n doesn't have time for mere mortals :-/
  • I have sent up prayers hoping for a strangers marriage to break up soon! Don look flabbergasted... It so happens that a friend of mine realized wee bit late that she is in love with him and v conveniently that fellas marriage is on the verge of divorce ;)
  • A little gal all of 6 years saves a cupcake from her share, just to give it to her 'favorite aunty' :-P
  • A friend who will come all the way over just to meet you
  • Friends who will play the fool, who will willingly give u a shoulder to cry, who tempt  you so much with their their menu until you decide to move your lazy bum ;)

But well you may say this is what friends are for! Just that you do not know that they are all 'virtual' except a few I have met here and there.....

I have been blogging for a while but what I wasn't a part of is the commodore of fellow bloggers! But well all that changed with WriteTribe - I found not one but several bloggers there with similar wavelength and what a boisterous time ensued!!  Today most of them are way beyond 'virtual' friends and are what I consider close friends :)  Funny, no-nonsense, drama queens, book words, movie aficionados, foodies - they come in all flavours and ensure that there is hardly a dull moment online or offline!!

Corinne - Thank You for bringing all the nuts together under one roof and opening up this new world to me :).

As for the nuts, well you know who you are dont you :-D - Thank you for being a part of my life and believe me you, just your presence has seen me through some tough days........

As somebody shared on my my FB timeline yesterday....

A Bangalore Getaway ** Day 5 - Festival Of Words **

"Write Tribe" the amazing write club am a part of  is hosting its first festival of words from 1-7 Sep on the theme "Seven". You could get more details about it here....

Am choosing to write of the seven loves of my life....

 A weekend getaway once in 3 months and a big bang holiday once a year is my idea to refresh the body and soul ;). But there are days, when I want to get away from the daily trudges of city life even if its just for a couple of hours....

Thus one Sunday, we went on a trip to this quiet and peaceful lake called Thattekere which is an offbeat picnic spot in Bangalore part of the Bannerghatta National Park.  The lake was supposed to be a haven for bird sighting  sighting but all we could see were painted storks and few other birds. But err I wasn't complaining - Imagine we were the only souls around - surrounded by pristine, literally untouched nature and a large waterbody to gaze n introspect on life!

But an hour or so later, a few forest officials came marching and chased us away - supposedly this spot requires forest permit for access! They even threatened to seize our cameras. :-P.

Though let me tell you the short time we spent there cleared away so many cobwebs from my mind :)

All I need is a book in Hand......


Food Stories ** Day 4 - Festival Of Words **

"Write Tribe" the amazing write club am a part of  is hosting its first festival of words from 1-7 Sep on the theme "Seven". You could get more details about it here....

Am choosing to write of the seven loves of my life.... 

If you been in this space for sometime you know that food is my one true love! But when somebody taking the effort to cook up a dish simply cause u like it - it speaks volumes of their love for you!  So every 3 months, Pheno's 87 year old Grandmother religiously sends across home made(by her!) "Idli Podi"(Locally called "Gun Powder" as it can be explosive to your taste buds :-D)  simply cause it's his favorite.

Off late, she's been bed ridden for few months due to a recent Gall bladder removal surgery that she had to undergo and is now barely on her foot! But when she heard that we have exhausted our stock of her "gun powder" absolutely nothing could deter her from dragging herself into the kitchen and hand roasting-pounding until her signature "podi" is ready exactly how her grandson loves it!! If this doesn't speak of her love for him I dono what does.....



Thou it ought to be a family "secret", I will be generous enough to share it with you ;)

  1. Boiled rice           1 cup
  2. Urad dal              A handful
  3. Chana dal            as above
  4. White til               one level table spoon
  5. Hing                    half tea spoon
  6. Whole pepper      1 teaspn
  7. Red dry chilly       12  ( more according to taste)
  8. Jeera  :                 half teaspoon
  9. Salt                      2  teaspn(  or accrdng to taste) 
 Method:
Dry roast  items 1   to 6  except  hing  till  nicely  fried (Rice should  be  crisp). While frying red chilly use a little oil. Hing and salt can be added while grinding. You can also roast curry leaves and add to it. Allow it to cool. Grind coarsely. The powder should not be very fine. 

Day 3 - Let's Go!! **Festival Of Words***

"Write Tribe" the amazing write club am a part of  is hosting its first festival of words from 1-7 Sep on the theme "Seven". You could get more details about it here....

Am choosing to write of the seven loves of my life starting yest...

Phenomenon is one of those who believes journey is as important as the destination.... so "road trips" are a given in most of our hols! Today, five years down the line I have come to enjoy these long as much as him.... Its uncanny how all the biggest problems seem to fade away into inconsequential as miles tick away......

Here are a few pics from our recent road trips
clicked along the route....

Route Less Traveled...

Imaging driving thru a water fall :)


Half submerged temples on the way..


Coconut Trees swaying to the monsoons - Nostalgia re-lived!
Unexpected sightings like gives me a heart-attack cause the driver forgets he is driving!!

Driving thru Eucalyptus Groves....... A pleasure to city-tired eyes!

Mover over CCD - Nothing to beat the original Degree Kofi!