Should You Expect Privacy in Public Spaces? #MondayMusings

Picture this…

After a tiring day at work with a splitting headache, you board the evening train to go back home, to find your elderly co-passenger listening to some bhajans on his phone at a decent volume. You look at the phone and will it to stop, but alas it keeps playing mata ke bhajans with the same gusto. You are tempted to ask the ‘Uncle ji’ to lower the volume or use ear-phones but his two smart and extra caring sons stop you from taking that ‘mean’ step. The thing is that the old man is not well and his sons are very attentive to his needs and that touches you. Also, one of the sons has helped you with your luggage, so you are kind of indebted. So, you refrain from doing  anything and just bear the annoying music while the pain in your head flashes hard and hot.

Thankfully, the music stops after an hour or so and everybody goes off to sleep. You toss and turn for a major part of the night because your date with the headache is still not over. You sleep for a while and are woken up rudely by the same bhajans of last night. You look at your phone clock and rub your eyes and look at it again. You begin to have trust issues with your phone so you look outside the window to confirm. It’s pitch dark outside and you kind of apologize to your phone and believe that it had shown the right time. It is the ungodly hour of 4.30 am!

You look around with disbelief. Not a single person in your vision area has even turned and everybody is sleeping peacefully. You try to stare in the old man’s direction, but he is busy staring at his phone screen.

Your brain is directing you to speak up and ask him to stop playing the bhajans but your voice refuses to cooperate. You resign yourself to this irritating situation and take out your Kindle to read. But the words do not register as a throbbing headache is developing beneath your temples.

When you reach home early morning, you fume and fret and pour out all your frustration and anger at the events of last night and early morning at your unsuspecting and sleepy husband. You make him listen to the piece of music that you had recorded on your phone.

Your husband, the good man that he is, makes appropriate noises and tries to smoothen your ruffled feathers but not before saying, ‘Your threshold of patience is pretty low.”

Now, I do not agree with his remark completely. But I’d like to ask you that when in a public space, is asking someone to turn their music down a bad idea? Is it ok for people to play virtual games on their devices with game noises kept on? Is it alright for people to play videos on their phones without using the earphones? Should you be listening to halfalogues of people making long personal calls when at a dinner table with friends or in a cinema? Or listening to people taking calls on speakerphone?

I know that these days mobile devices rule our lives but should that let us forget some basic aspects of decency and manners? I believe, playing music or talking loudly shows a certain selfishness and disregard for public spaces. It is being indifferent to the discomfort of people around you. I somehow feel that all this loud music /talks is encroaching your private space in public and it is pretty annoying, irritating and distracting.

Should you expect privacy in public spaces? What do you think?

Linking this to #MondayMusings

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What Happens When You’re Married for 20 Years!

This day, 20 years ago, KG and I, tied the proverbial knot. OMG! We have been married for 20 years!! 20 YEARS!?!ShowImage

No, I am not going to say, “It was just yesterday or that I married by best friend” or “I’d choose him in a hundred lifetimes.” Nah! Not me. I think, these words are perfect for Facebook updates. Oh, don’t get me wrong, we have had a pretty interesting and eventful marriage, so far. Touchwood! I won’t say all those things because I just prefer to avoid flowery and sentimental language. Yeah, that’s the real me.

Today morning, just like every other day, after having our customary tea together, KG and I got busy in the kitchen, preparing breakfast. Aaryan, our 15 year old joined us too. While, KG was making those perfect crispy dosas and Aaryan was shelling peas, I was doing something equally mundane.

Yeah, I agree with you, both KG and AG are poster-boys for domesticated men. It’s been a lot of hard work, but am truly glad to see that all my nagging and cajoling has paid off.

While I am talking about my boys who are a great help with housework, let me share something which I realized a few days ago. You know, there are quite a few things that I have never done in these 20 years of our marriage and making dosas is one of them. My love for South Indian food is legendary and we make dosas pretty frequently at home. And can you believe that I have never made them on my own, not even once. KG makes them, ALWAYS!! And this realization is making my heart go all awww!!

Aah! How much I have digressed. So where were we? Yeah, in the kitchen! So, as KG was spreading the dosa batter on the pan, I told him, “I want a special gift from you today!”

Engrossed with his dosa, he asked nonchalantly, “What do you want?”

As a smile of an imminent victory was beginning to take some shape on my face and words were just about to gush out of my mouth, when he quickly said, “I am not giving you that.”

I should have had that expression of consternation or annoyance for he just dashed my hopes. But no, nothing of that sort happened for we both burst out laughing as Aaryan looked at us with confusion and dismay.

This is what 20 years of marriage does to you. You know each other so well that sometimes you can second guess what the other person is thinking and can finish each other’s sentences. I have lost the count of the number of times we both started to say the exact same thing at the exact same time. It’s like we can read each other’s minds. We know what the other person is going to say.Though, there are times when we just don’t understand each other. The earlier fuming and fretting over the differences has led way to understanding and respect for each other’s individuality.

Yes, that’s what 20 years of marriage does to you.

Oh, by the way, I was asking KG to quit smoking. I am pretty passionate about him chucking that stick and he is equally passionate about smoking that darn stick. *Sigh*

Sustainable Urbanisation through #10YearsofMWCJ

The five day, literary gala aka the kumbh of literary festivals, concluded last month. The 10th edition of the ZEE Jaipur Literature Festival saw over 400 leading writers and thinkers from across the world, debate and discuss intellectually and impassionedly.

Mahindra World City, Jaipur was the Sessions Partner for three key sessions at the ZEE Jaipur Literature Festival 2017.

Sanjoy Roy with Sanjay Srivastava signing the MoU

Eternal Cities: Encounters and Inspirations had Abhay K, Amruta Patil and Marcos Giralt Torrente in conversation with Rob Schmitz. They shared that cities can be a great source of inspiration and are man’s greatest creations. In fact, writers and poets often share about cities that inspire them in their works. The culture makes cities great and brings soul to cities which is in sync with the ethos of MWC.

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Mahindra World City is actively furthering the cause of sustainable urbanisation, through the development of green communities and creating new economic centers of Life-Living-Livelihood and enabling access to quality housing at affordable prices to a larger section of people.

Rajasthani: Bhasha Ki Manyata had C.P. Deval, Geeta Samour and K.C. Maloo in conversation with Nand Bhardwaj where they asked for constitutional status for the Rajasthani language from government.

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Naari Chetna: Naye Swar — Women Voices: New Writing from Rajasthan had Manisha Kulshreshtha, Rajani Morwal, Tasneem Khan and Uma in conversation with Durgaprasad Agarwal. The session shed light on aspects of gender equality and how family support could be a strong base for women empowerment.

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Mahindra World City, Jaipur promotes women empowerment in a big way. MWC believes that for India to maintain its growth trajectory, it is imperative that women have access to education, training programs and support systems. With this they can come out of the veil (parda) and walk the road to prosperity. Unfortunately, this access is not that easily available, especially in rural areas.

From Parda to Prosperity is an ongoing program at MWCJ, which was started 6 years ago for people of all 14 villages neighboring MWC, Jaipur. As they say, educate a woman and you educate a family. With a view to achieve inclusive development, MWCJ took initiative of bring out the talents hidden behind the veils. The idea was to provide vocational/ skill training as this would lead to boarder economic impacts in households.

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The focus areas of this women empowerment program have been – Education, Vocational Training & Socio-Economic empowerment of Women, Community Participation & Development. 

MWCJ has empowered 1125 women till date, 1075 women through 95 Self Help Groups and 50 women are employed at MWCJ and Campus clients.

MWC, Jaipur along with its partner NGO TBI has been conducting various training programs for the benefit of the unemployed youth, faculty members from institutions, and for the engineering students looking to take up entrepreneurship as a career.

Mahindra World City, is truly at the forefront of transforming urban landscapes by creating sustainable communities.

My Anti-Bucket List

Lists are my life-lines. I live my life in lists. To-Do Lists, Grocery Lists, Guests Lists, Wish Lists… and of course the Bucket Lists which has hundreds of things which I have not done and would love to do them before I die!vlsmY7tCuXHe (1) Recently, I came across the concept of Anti-Bucket List!

I liked the idea very much. I am all for exploring and experiencing the thrill and adventure of something different and new. But I am also clear about my likes, my preferences and I know my fears too. And I certainly have overgrown many things. Also I know that there are so many things that just can’t be done. 

So, here’s a list of things I hope to NEVER do before I die.

  • I will never color or dye my hair. I have earlier got my hair highlighted with red, copper and burgundy streaks a couple of times. But no more artificial colors for my hair. I am falling in love with my greys.
  • I will never deceive or hurt others or cheat on any one in any relationship.
  • I will never abandon family and friends during a difficult time in their life. Never ever. Have been there, so I know.
  • I’d never be a doormat in any relationship. I hope never to forget myself and my self-respect in any relationship.
  • I would never want to lose my passion for reading books.
  • I’d never eat any kind of bizarre food, even though I am getting a bit experimental in trying out new foods and flavors. But I’d like to stay clear of those animal brains, tongues, livers, worms etc. Ewwww
  • I’d never smoke or do drugs.
  • I’d prefer not to get addicted to anything. I should be able to stop doing something whenever I want.
  • I will never give up on my dreams. I may get flustered or uninspired at times, but never ever give up.
  • I’d never do extreme sports like sky diving, bungee jumping, para-sailing or ride on a roller coaster though scuba diving and a ride in a hot air balloon are in my bucket list.
  • I will never write a full-length novel.
  • I will never commit suicide. I have always wondered about those who do and it disturbs me to no end that they must be so sad and unhappy from life and its circumstances that ending their lives was the only solution or escape in front of them. No, surviving and then thriving despite the odds ie surthriving would it be for me, always.
  • I’d never learn to drive again. Have failed thrice and I have kind of made peace with this.
  • I’d not go for any body piercings other than my ears. I am indecisive about a tattoo though.

This list is neither comprehensive nor completely serious. I could have probably added more to this list, but a lot of them are things that go without saying, like I will never kill someone!

Now it’s your turn. What will you NEVER do? What would go in your Anti-Bucket List?

The Lost Cause

Drabble

They cried till they could cry no more.

The search for their missing son in the four corners of the earth was fruitless, no suspects were ever identified. patomskycr001-11

Seeing some commotion on their farmland one morning, they pushed their way through the crowd to find a circular spot which had turned barren overnight. In the middle of it lay their son, fast asleep with his head on his arm.

After their fifteen minutes of fame, the return of their son was a fly in the ointment for them.

When asked about his disappearance, he always answered, “I had gone home”.

Linking this to #BARWoWe

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Book Blitz : A Way Back Into Love by Veronica Thatcher

Blurb

Nothing is perfect. Life is messy. Relationships are complex. Outcomes, uncertain. People, irrational. But love…well, that makes everything complicated. And when you are caught in a tangled web of secrets, lies, and complex affairs, someone is bound to get burned. 

Emily Stevens is a spunky, spirited college girl whose life gets turned upside-down when she realizes she’s in love with her best friend of fifteen years, Derek Thorpe. As Emily prepares to confess her feelings to Derek, something happens one night which changes her life forever. Five years later, Emily finds herself in Boston, alone and heartbroken. Will she ever be able to forget the past? And what will she find when she returns home…to the man she left behind? 

Grab your copy @ Amazon.in

About the author

Veronica Thatcher is an exciting new contemporary romance author. Ever since she was very young, she’s dreamed of becoming a doctor when she grew up. While still forging ahead with that, majoring in pre-med in college, she unwittingly stumbled upon a new dream—becoming a published author. Some may call her an introvert or a wallflower, but she has always found she could express herself better in written, rather than spoken, words. However, never in her wildest dreams had she envisioned she would pursue writing as a prospective career, not just a hobby. Her love for writing goes hand-in-hand with her love for a good romance novel—whether it be a feel-good, sweet romance or a dark, suspenseful one. 

When she’s not studying, reading, or writing, she is usually found blasting her favourite songs, sometimes singing and dancing along to them. She dabbles in a number of activities, including painting, karate, singing and dancing. She is a huge chocoholic – probably the biggest – and she is an ice-cream junkie too. She considers herself technologically handicapped forever and has no shame in admitting that. She also deems chocolates her boyfriend, Patrick Dempsey the love of her life, and Friends her life!

Her first book, A Way Back Into Love, is slated for release in February 2017, and she hopes readers will enjoy it as much as she enjoyed writing it. 

You can stalk her @

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Ouch! That’s Awkward! Teaser Tuesday #2

After I finish reading my current book, I’ll be picking up Our Socially Awkward Marriage by Tom and Linda Peters. Raw and personal, this book of essays was first inspired by Tom’s challenges with Asperger’s Syndrome, but the humorous bite-sized stories apply to any kind of interpersonal communication.

I’ll be reading this book containing funny and heartfelt true stories from inside an Asperger’s relationship as part of my Humor Reading Challenge.

Our Socially Awkward Marriage

Tom came to the bed fretting.  “What’s wrong?” I said.

“The tile pattern in the bathroom floor.” he said. “I cant figure out where they started it.”

Teaser Tuesday

If you fancy joining in, here’s how…

  • Grab your current read
  • Open to a random page
  • Share two teaser sentences from somewhere on that page
  • BE CAREFUL NOT TO INCLUDE SPOILERS!
  • Share the title and author so other TT participants can add the book to their TBR lists if they like your teasers!

Knitted Tales : A Collection of Emotions

Title: Knitted Tales : A Collection of Emotions Knitted-Tales-by-Rubina-Ramesh
Author: Rubina Ramesh
ASIN: B01M6UV0DK
Number of Pages: 89
Price [INR]: 120 (Kindle)
Genre: Fiction

What forces an innocent girl to become a sex symbol? Her desires? Or cruel fate?
Is a lifetime enough—for avenging a betrayal? How do you hide secrets that never stopped haunting you?

Can vengeance and secrets of your past devastate your present? How can long-buried crimes of yours suddenly raise their head? Can sinning be saving?
Is your spouse your soulmate? What if they never understood your feelings? Can you still live with them?

Lastly, does life give only two options? Live or die? What if there is a third?

In her anthology, Knitted Tales: A collection of emotions, Rubina Ramesh tries to find answers to these questions that are often from the heart and yet make the mind ponder over the solution. Or is it the other way round? Either way, Knitted Tales is a bouquet of emotions that is bound to touch both your head and your heart.

Knitted Tales : A Collection of Emotions, is Rubina Ramesh’s debut collection of twelve short stories. Every story in this anthology is packed with a  quiet power, richly drawn characters and compelling explorations of human emotions in typical and unusual situations.

One of the things I appreciate about short story collections is the variety that they innately offer and that is especially true in Knitted Tales. Not only are circumstances and scenarios presented in this collection wildly different from each other, there is also a great diversity in the backgrounds of the characters around which the stories center. So there’s murder, reincarnation, drama, racism, mythology, unrequited love, social issues and even every day life. All the stories are artfully crafted to evoke myriad of emotions and feelings.

It is indeed impressive that Rubina has succeeded in fleshing out details and plot into the parameters of short fiction. The characters are well drawn and come alive and stay with you just as if they were developed in a full-length novel.

Another interesting aspect of Knitted Tales is that all stories were successful in catching me off guard. There were such impressive plot twists that I just didn’t see them coming.

I liked the author’s diverse voice and style of expression in each story. The language is simple and smart which made me breeze through the 89 pages that make this collection.

You may indulge in this collection of short stories all in one sitting or savor one at a time. The reading experience would be enjoyable either way. If you do not regularly read short fiction and are curious to explore, Knitted Tales is a good place to start.

Knitted Tales : A Collection of Emotions is a wonderful collection of stand-out stories and it would be impossible to pick a favorite from this collection.

Knitted Tales : A Collection of Emotions is highly recommended.

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To Bee…. Teaser Tuesday #1

Last week, I saw the Teaser Tuesday meme at Tulika’s Beat About the Book blog and simply loved it. And I had to join in.

Teaser Tuesday

Teaser Tuesday is a weekly meme hosted by  A House of Books and has pretty simple rules…

  • Grab your current read
  • Open to a random page
  • Share two teaser sentences from somewhere on that page
  • BE CAREFUL NOT TO INCLUDE SPOILERS!
  • Share the title and author so other TT participants can add the book to their TBR lists if they like your teasers!

The Bees – A Novel by Laline Paull is currently on my Kindle. I have just finished two chapters and I already hooked to the story. I am reading this book for the prompt, ‘A book from a nonhuman perspective’.

The Bees

Here are my two teaser sentences taken at random from this book…

“You wept,” he said. “I heard you. Are you sick?”
“For love,” Flora said.”

These words have piqued my curiosity and I am keen to read all about Flora 717, a sanitation worker bee who is bigger, darker, smarter and more talented than the rest of her clan and this is dangerous. She even breeds and everybody knows only the Queen Bee has that right. So, there is a lot of drama and action as bees live by the rigid hive rules of Accept, Obey, Serve, even when it hurts. This book would also take us in the fascinating world of a bee society and its structure and lot of facts with bee psychology too. Now, isnt that super interesting!

What’s on your current reading list? Do share in the comments section below. And if you can join in for the Teaser Tuesday, it would be fab. Go on, find something enticing from your book and link it up at A House of Books.

Toxic People

Few days ago, I was reading about a story of crabs confined in a bucket. Individually, the crabs could easily escape from the bucket, but instead they pulled each other down which prevented all of them from escaping.

This reminded me of the people who under the garb of friends and relatives pull us down in our life. A chat or a meeting with them leave us drained and add so much of stress in our life. They suck the life out of us. Do you know, they have a term for such people. Yes, they are called toxic people.

  • These are the people who are constantly complaining about everything.
  • Their compliments somehow also take you a step down.
  • They are fiercely competitive and are always trying to one up you.
  • They are judgmental.
  • Giving unsolicited advice is their birth right.
  • They can make you feel bad about anything.
  • They gossip with you and then about you with others.
  • They have this I-Me-Myself syndrome.
  • They often tell lies and bend the truth about anything and everything.
  • They believe that they have been wronged by the universe and wallow in self pity.
  • They are manipulative and practice ‘divide and rule’ with everyone around them.

I sometimes wonder if they are our friends or enemies? Of course, they are not out rightly toxic, as they are subtly draining you and dragging you down. The truth is that all these unhealthy relationships do add stress, anxiety, hurt and even guilt in our life. They rob us of our happiness and all this may turn us into a toxic person too. Yes, negativity is contagious.

Removing them from our life and staying away from their drama is the best solution but somehow it is not possible always. Limiting our interaction with toxic people is in our hands. And when we are with them, we should consciously not share our dreams or secrets with them. While we need people in our life, we certainly don’t need all of them. We need to let these emotionally toxic people go from our life, without feeling guilty.

We need to focus on taking care of ourselves. We deserve to surround ourselves with people who accept us unconditionally, support us, encourage our ambitions and dreams, and make us feel happier simply being around them.

We deserve to be happy.

Don't let negative and toxic people rent space in your head. raise the rent and kick them out! (1)

What are your experiences with toxic people?  How do you cope with their behavior?

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