Delayed Connection

Drabble

I’m sitting by the window, waiting for a piece of my young adult life to walk in through the door.

As if on cue, he’s wading through the sea of tables and fellow diners.

His eyes light up on seeing me and before the pleasantries, he gives his reason for being late, just like before.

We talk about a million things and fall into an uncomfortable silence when it’s time to leave.

And at that very moment, I realize that I’ve never stopped loving him.

I stare at him in shocked silence, when he says, “I’ve never stopped loving you.”

Linking this to Writing Wednesdays at Write Tribe. Today’s prompt is a Wordle consisting of 10 words. From these words, use a minimum of 4 to a maximum of 10 words in the post.

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The One That Got Away

Today’s prompt for #FridayReflections is…

“Then I wondered if everybody has that person that haunts them, the one that got away.”― Marlon James, A Brief History of Seven Killings

The first thought that comes to my mind when I think about ‘the one that got away’  is unrequited love. But it could be about the missed opportunities, or the relationships that didn’t work out, as well.

‘The one that got away’ brings to my mind the thought that a relationship or an opportunity should have worked but somehow it didn’t turn out as per the expectations and their paths diverged.

How would one feel about ‘the one that got away’? What would be the dominant feeling? Would it be regret or hurt or pain or doubt or…? Would the various ‘could have been’ scenarios create havoc in the head? Would the heart shed silent tears?

I remember writing a 100 word story on this very thought a few years ago, which I believe is apt for this prompt. So here’s a rehash of an old post…

Drabble

La douleur exqise*… the words that explained how he felt.

He knew that she would never be his. But when does love follow rules?

For months, he felt a heavy stone on his heart, with sad tears washing it.

The pain was killing him and he believed that he’d never get over her.

Then just like a new day, change came his way.

He realized that he was done with regrets. He had to move on.

He understood that some people can be a part of your history but never your destiny!

Slowly, he felt his heart begin to heal…

*La douleur exqise – It means, the heart wrenching pain of wanting affection of someone unattainable.

Linking this to #FridayReflections

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Drop the Dead Leaves -Thursday Tree Love #4

I saw this tree, earlier this week and it reminded me of this quote from Rumi… Be like a tree and let the dead leaves drop.

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Isn’t this message so simple yet so profound. As we grow in life, we gather so many experiences in the form of people, places and everything around us. As much as we may want to but all these are not just the good and positive. There’s the bad and the ugly as well. While we often look at positive things of the past with a smile, but we really hang on to the negativity of the past.

Our failures, our mistakes, our disappointments, and our hurts from the past are shackled around our ankles. They weigh us down, yet we hold on to them tightly.  Some of these painful memories are immortalized in our minds.

Last week, I was in the grip of a past hurt, which I believed was truly a thing of the past and would never be a part of my present again. And yet, it was there with all its power to distress and agonize me.

Why can’t we be like this tree and drop all the leaves of resentments, hurts, pains, miseries of the past? I know it’s easier said than done, but we must truly drop these baggages of the past. It’s a conscious choice that we must make.

In one of the meditation session that I was a part of, the guide suggested three strategies to let go of the past.

  • Acknowledge that we have some dead leaves to drop.
  • Consciously work on removing them from our life.
  • Reap the benefits of the progress.

The process of dropping dead leaves is a slow process but a progress nevertheless.

Yes, let’s be like a tree and let the dead leaves drop and bring about a positive change in our life.

Do you have some dead leaves to drop? How would you go about dropping them?

Linking this to Thursday Tree Love, a photo feature hosted by Parul Thakur. If you would like to play along, post a picture of a tree on your blog and link up. Let’s come together to appreciate the beautiful nature around us.

Beating the Block

55 Fiction

It’s time you updated your blog.

Blogger's Block

I want to but it’s a struggle. The thoughts are too foggy and the words are eluding me.

How about a story in 55 words? Certainly, you can manage that.

You think that is a cake walk?

Don’t give excuses, just start writing.

Ok, if you insist. Here it goes…

Best Time to Book for Indian Travellers Favourite Summer Destinations

Leading global travel search engine, Skyscanner has analysed two years’ worth ofclip_image001 travel search data from over 60 million monthly users to answer the one questions that always puzzles travellers: when is the best time to book flights?

A recent survey of Indian travellers revealed 72% do not know when is the best time to book flights. Skyscanner’s survey further unveiled 69% of travellers incorrectly estimate the best air fares can be found less than 12 weeks before departure, when in fact the best deals are snapped up by travellers who plan in advance. Traveller’s eyeing up Bali for their summer trip can save up to 51% on flight tickets by booking 25 weeks in advance or risk paying 27% more than the average fare when they leave booking to the last minute.

The same trend appears for air fares to Indian traveller’s favourite summer destinations, traveller’s looking to vacation in Kuala Lumpur and Bangkok can grab flights for 35% and 33% less than the average fare, respectively, when booking 24 weeks prior to departure.

Skyscanner recommends booking 24 weeks in advance for travellers venturing to Europe or the USA for their summer vacations for savings of 22% and 18%, respectively.

Skyscanner also reveals the most inexpensive months to travel to visit some of Indian travellers’ favourite locations. November is the cheapest month to travel to Bangkok when flights 10% cheaper than the average fare, while visa-friendly Bali can be best enjoyed in April with a 10% saving on the average fare.

Commenting on the findings, Reshmi Roy, Senior Growth Manager, Skyscanner India said, “We hope Skyscanner’s data can provide travellers with clarity on how and when to get the best deal on flights and what to expect if booking is left to the last minute. After reviewing flight prices from the last two years, we can clearly see that it pays to plan. Booking at the right time can make a huge difference to one’s expenditure on their trip, up to 51% in some cases.”

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About Skyscanner

  • Skyscanner is a leading global travel search company, providing free search of flights, hotels and car hire around the world
  • Founded in 2003, Skyscanner helps over 60 million people each month to find their travel options
  • Skyscanner is available in 30 languages
  • Skyscanner’s highly-rated free mobile app has been downloaded over 60 million times
  • Skyscanner employs over 800 staff and has 10 offices across the world: Barcelona, Beijing, Budapest, Edinburgh, Glasgow, London, Miami, Shenzhen, Singapore and Sofia
  • Skyscanner is part of the Ctrip Group

For more information, please visit https://www.skyscanner.co.in/bttb/best-time-to-book-in

Surthrive -Thursday Tree Love #3

Last month, I was in Shimla and near our homestay I saw this unusual sight, which I was quick to capture in my phone. You can see here that a tree is growing through a wall. A wall, yes!!

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I am sure that its roots must be long and strong in the ground on the other side of IMG_20170612_091642the wall. But that’s not the point. The point is that this tree had obstacles in its way, well, it was up against a wall, literally and figuratively. And it is still growing. It is not merely surviving but thriving… surthriving that is. See, how tall, towering and green it is, and it’s contributing to the world around it, selflessly.

There’s a lot that we can learn from this particular tree. It’s about surthriving despite the adversities.

We know, life is full of challenges but how do we respond to these surprises that come our way? The problems that we face are not the problems, actually. The problem is the way we approach these problems. Do we allow the setbacks to pull us down and discourage us? Or do we use the problem as a stepping stone and move ahead anyway.

This tree reminds me of us… KG and I. These past few years have been pretty challenging for us, work wise that is. Today, when I look back, I realize that we did not get broken down by the adverse winds. We surthrived even in the most difficult of circumstances. Positive attitude, not playing the victim card, resilience, taking control of the situation, looking at solutions, never giving up were some of the things that helped us tide over the tough times.

Like this tree, we surthrived and I am so glad and proud of that.

How do you respond when life throws you a curveball? Do share your surthrival stories in the comment box below. I am all ears!

Linking this to Thursday Tree Love, a photo feature hosted by Parul Thakur. If you would like to play along, post a picture of a tree on your blog and link up using the linky. Let’s come together to appreciate the beautiful nature around us.

Anything But Books Tag

Shantala from Shanaya Tales tagged me to take up the ‘Anything But Books‘ tag. 

As the name suggests, it’s about answering the given questions but none of the answers should involve books. Sounds interesting? So, let’s get on with it…

Name a cartoon(s) that you love.

It’s without a doubt Tom and Jerry. I have grown up watching it and watched when AG was growing up too. I can watch it over and over again and still find it amusing and hilarious.  In fact, one can learn so many life lessons from them. But that’s another post for another day.

Oh, I like Shaun the Sheep and Pingu too.

What is your favorite song right now?

Kabeera from Yeh Jawaani hai Deewani. This song has been playing on a loop in my head since a week or so. Last week, my mother asked me about this song, when I was with her and she saw me sing it (rather tunelessly) throughout the day. I played it for her and next day she called me to say that she has been singing it all day too.

What could you do for hours (that isn’t reading)?

Play word games and puzzles on my phone. Currently, I have two of them, Word Cookies and WordBrain2. And there are no prizes for guessing that I am sort of addicted to them. I can also watch re-runs of The Big Bang Theory, F.R.I.E.N.D.S,  Two and a Half Men and some other comedy series. I can sleep or just laze around too.

What is something you love to do that your followers would be surprised by?

I love Googling for anything and everything. Why a particular medicine is prescribed, how to replace the printer cartridge (yeah, I am too lazy to look for the instruction manual that came with the printer, are potatoes good for weight loss, are potatoes bad for weight loss, (because Google gives pros and cons of everything), drinking how much water is too much, GST and common man, Punjabi alphabets… these are some of the things that I have asked Google the God since morning. Some of the things I search are really dumb, but I am cool with it, because nothing is dumb for Google.

What is your favorite unnecessarily specific thing to learn about (this can do with books, I guess)?

Unnecessarily specific!! Huh!?! I don’t know how to answer that! But I would like to learn photography (and use the full potential of the DSLR that I have!), learn and practice The Artist’s Way : A Spiritual Path To Higher Creativity, get better and consistent at meditation and Reiki…

What is something unusual you know how to do?

I have this unusual talent of putting my foot in my mouth.

Name something you’ve made in the last year (and show us, if you can).

Tea-Time Cakes. I think, I am getting good at that, considering that I learnt to bake pretty late in life and had a disastrous start!!

Banana Walnut Loaf

What is your most recent personal project? Screenshot_2017-07-04-14-13-31-521_com.walklogger.pedometer

Recent project?! Hmmm… Well, that has to be the walks in the evening. Three days ago, a RJ on FM Radio informed that 1st July marks the second, second half of the year day. He said that it’s a chance to step back, evaluate your year so far with your goals and objectives (never mind the new year’s resolutions which likely didn’t last until February…) and to take action to get back on track if necessary. Inspired by this words, I took to walking despite the aches and pains and 100 chores staring at me. So, that’s the recent personal project, hope it lasts for a while and becomes a habit. Fingers crossed, tightly!!

Tell us something you think about often (maybe while staring out of windows).

What to cook for the next meal?… this one is going strong right now. I think a lot about my boys. The to-do lists and plans keep running in my head. Sometimes, I travel down the memory lane and re-visit some old memories and events of the past. 

Give us something that’s your favorite, but make it something oddly specific, not like your favorite food, but like your favorite food when you’ve been studying for hours and forgot to eat. Or, you know, something like that.

Uhh…First there was a question on unnecessarily specific and now it’s on oddly specific!! I wish I could answer it related to books. I am telling you about it, anyway. Yes, it’s sometimes fun to break the rules. You know how passionate I am about books, so I keep buying them every now and then. And now I have so many of them lying unread in my cupboard that I have taken this reading challenge of #ReadMyOwnDamnBooks 2017.

But since, talking about books is officially not allowed, so let me think of something else. Aah yes, I love watching good movies without any interruptions and channel surfing, which is just not possible with my boys. Both have this uncanny habit of switching the channel as soon as there’s an ad break. Both of them can watch 3-4 movies at a given point of time. And this is something I can’t handle. So, I record the movies that I really want to see. The idea is to watch it in absolute peace and enjoy the movie completely. Now the best part is that it never happens. The list of recorded movies is growing and I just don’t get around to watch them.

And with this we come to the end of this tag. I loved doing this, hope you enjoyed reading it too.

If you find this interesting, do take it up and let me know. Would love to know more about you! Cheers!

7 Reasons to Express Gratitude

We know that root of all joy is gratitude. We know that we should be thankful and grateful for all things and experiences in life and that we should express it on a regular basis. While the aim should be to make it a way of life but it’s easier said than done.

Whenever dark clouds of misery and challenges surround us, gratitude is far from our thoughts as feelings of anxiety, annoyance and irritation take over. Like for example, KG has been working on a project that finally took off after a lot of delays. Things were moving in the right direction and then suddenly, last week it came to halt. All his efforts ended in a smoke. We were truly disappointed and disheartened.

Can we really express gratitude when the project we were coveting did not work for us? The answer is, yes, we can! As I asked KG about his next plan of action, his first words were, “It’s good that this project ended at this stage, if it had ended a bit later, things would had been disastrous. We have learnt from this experience and now know what we should not be doing.” And I was truly grateful for his positive attitude and willingness to move ahead despite the setback.

Gratitude is an affirmation of goodness. We affirm that we have good things and experiences in our life. But this does not mean that our life is perfect and is free from pain, misery and failures. Gratitude encourages us to look at some goodness in our life, despite the challenges.

Gratitude

Here are 7 reasons to express gratitude and why we should make it a habit.

Reason #1 : Gratitude Improves Relationships – Feeling grateful helps us to identify people who are responsive to our needs, and helps to bring us closer to them, thereby improving our relationship with them.

Reason #2 : Gratitude Improves Performance and Productivity – When we hear words of gratitude, we are energized and motivated and that reflects in our work and life in general.

Reason #3 : Gratitude Blocks Negative Emotions – We cannot feel resentful and grateful at the same time. They’re incompatible feelings. If we are grateful, we can’t hold grudge with someone for having something that we don’t.

Reason #4 : Gratitude Uplifts the Soul and Spirit– Gratitude is good for mental health. It boosts happiness and improves overall sense of well-being and quality of life.

Reason #5 : Gratitude Initiates a Chain Reaction – Gratitude transforms the giver as well as the receiver. Thanking others makes them feel good about the kind acts that they’ve done, so they want to continue doing them, not only for us but also for others.

Reason #6 : Gratitude Makes You Resilient – If we have grateful disposition, we would be bouncing back from sufferings and miseries pretty quickly. And this happens because a grateful person has better perspective of interpreting the adversities of life, so he can pull himself out of anxiety and stress, easily.

Reason #7 : Gratitude Increases Our Appreciation For Life – Dalai Lama has said, “Every day, think as you wake up, today I am fortunate to be alive, I have a precious human life, I am not going to waste it. I am going to use all my energies to develop myself, to expand my heart out to others; to achieve enlightenment for the benefit of all beings. I am going to have kind thoughts towards others, I am not going to get angry or think badly about others. I am going to benefit others as much as I can.” When we are grateful for waking up and breathing and realize that there are so many who just lost this blessing of breath, we truly live and celebrate our present.

Is expressing gratitude a part of your life? How has gratitude brought a change in your life?

Linking this to the second edition of  BAR-A-THON by Blog-A-Rhythm and Vidya Sury’s Gratitude Circle

Theme – Seven

Day 7

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7 Reasons to Let Go

As we travel along this road called life, we accumulate a lot of baggage. Baggage that weigh us down and prevent us from enjoying the journey. These baggages are in the form of failures and struggles in the past, unhealthy relationships, resentments, hurt, negative experiences, expectations from others, fears, insecurities, guilt, grief, regrets etc. Even though we know that all these weigh heavily on our shoulders and that they are holding us back, yet we cling to them, sometimes desperately.

Let Go

I have carried some heavy baggage for a while.  I have lived in the past for a long time. I have nurtured the hurt and resentments so much that they made me bitter. During a chat with a friend, I was going on and on about the past unhappy incidents and experiences. She listened to me for a while and then just said, “Can you stop living in the past and let go of all the anger and resentment?” I looked at her incredulously. I knew she was tired of my whining but I saw a lot of merit in her words. I consciously stopped myself from thinking and talking about the things that pulled me down. The harder I tried, better was my state of mind.

Of course, it was not an overnight change and it was tough and challenging to let go of the past, but I can say with conviction that the benefits outweigh the effort, truly.

You can't start the next chapter of your life if you keep re-reading your last one

Today, I’d like to share 7 reasons to let go, which I have learnt from my experience.

Reason #1 : You’ll Find Peace – The biggest benefit of letting go is the peace of mind which reflects in every sphere of life.

Reason #2 : You’ll Create Space for Something New and Better – You cant move ahead, if you keep looking back. You will stumble and falter and miss the new opportunities that would be coming your way.

Reason #3 : You’ll Experience Freedom – If you were to hold a heavy bag on your head for long and then you were to keep it down, how relieved you would be. It’s the same with letting go of baggages and burdens.

Reason #4 : You’ll Bounce Back from Adversities Easily – You have been there and done that. Whenever the new hurt, failure or negative experience finds a way in your life, you know how to put it behind you.

Reason #5 : You’ll Grow as a Person – The past experiences help you to learn, grow and mature. It also gives you new understandings and perspectives on life. You will grow up to be a strong person.

Reason #6 : You’ll Learn to be Grateful – When you are letting go of the past, you are accepting it and are grateful for the learnings you have had from the good as well as the painful experiences of life. You realize that these experiences have added value in your life and shaped you as a person.

Reason #7 : You’ll Learn to Love and Value Yourself– Letting go of the past makes you realize that you can’t go back and change the past, but you can choose not to suffer now, and take responsibility for yourself and your future. 

Letting go is not a one time affair, with a permanent results, but a constant state of being. Letting go is not ‘getting rid of’ or ‘throwing away’ of the past but putting it aside and recognizing that  we are no longer attached to it.

Letting go is about moving forward with hope, anticipation and excitement for positive and new things in life. So cheers to freedom, peace, contentment and love.

Linking this to the second edition of  BAR-A-THON by Blog-A-Rhythm

Theme – Seven

Day 6

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