All or Nothing Day

Did you know July 26th is All or Nothing Day?  I wasn’t aware of it till Heather Von St. James a  Mesothelioma cancer survivor, blogger, and mother, invited me join her and many others around the world in an All or Nothing Day (AOND) celebration.

Mesothelioma is a deadly cancer caused by exposure to asbestos. Long considered a miracle material, asbestos boasts excellent fire- and heat- resistant properties. This naturally-occurring mineral, is now known to be a human carcinogen (cancer-causing agent). To this day, asbestos has not been banned despite deaths and lawsuits.

Heather’s story of recovery is an inspiration, and I highly recommend you read more about her here. Heather is sharing her personal story of inspiration to help other mesothelioma victims around the globe and to help spread hope and awareness for others going through this, in hope that one day no one else will have to. Her story is one of faith, love and courage and living each day with a positive outlook despite the cards you have been dealt.

July 26th is All or Nothing Day, and Heather had to learn the hard way to live her life to the fullest. All or Nothing Day is about devoting time to live life meaningfully, to be bold, and to push yourself to do things that you’ve always wanted to do. So, here’s a reminder to live life, as you deserve to be fully alive. You have only one life to live, and you must live it now!!

Do stop  by Heather’s blog and read her inspiring story.

I am glad to be a part of this of this project to raise awareness as from awareness grows hope. Each voice could save a life!

My #Cherished Object

We make memories, every waking moment of every single day….the memories that warm our hearts and even those that make us sad. Most of these memories do not register deep and vanish before the end of the day. Some last for a few days and some fade away with passage of time. Some memories may return with certain triggers and some may never re-surface again.

Through the written word, memories can be freed from the head. I have stored them on and off in different diaries, notepads, gratitude journal and more recently this blog. But my favourite way of preserving our memories are photographs. The photographs capture a moment that has gone forever and will not come again, ever!

Every now and then, I open this drawer and look at the stack of Photo Albums.

DSC_0532

I pick up a few and flip through the album pages and let the memories dance live in front of me. I smile indulgently, I wonder at the changes, I look at something a bit lovingly… and mostly I am transported back through time and space to many old memories. In quiet moments, remembering and reflecting on these frozen moments, with loved ones or alone, is one happy and rejuvenating experience.

I cherish reliving these short flashes of life captured for eternity  and stored in these albums take me through different phases and various occasions of our life, with family and friends. Of course, most of the memories may not be captured in these photographs but these photographs act as trigger or a catalyst to rekindle some other memories too.

These photo albums which have memories from different phases of our life is my #Cherished Object.

This post is written for The Cherished BlogFest, hosted by Dan Antion, Damyanti Biswas, Paul Ruddock, Peter Nena, Sharukh Bamboat.

cherished-blogfest1

Be There

Drabble

Behind her she heard laughter. IMG_8956

Her throat constricted and unshed tears stung her eyes as she rushed out of the room.

She felt his presence as he sat down beside her on the concrete step.

He didn’t speak, and neither did she.

She met his gaze and saw a look of understanding and genuine concern.

And suddenly the dark clouds lifted and a ray of sunshine brightened the dark corridors in her heart.

Yes, sometimes you need someone to simply be there. Not to fix anything , but just to let you know that you are supported and cared about.

Linking this to Write Tribe’s 100 Words on Saturday  prompt : A free write using the opening lines: Behind her she heard laughter/ screaming… and 5 Photos, 5 Days Challenge for which I was tagged by Genevive Angela.

Image Courtesy : morgueFile

Hate Rains

Ten on Tuesdays

Rains! Ah! The Rains!! The sound of them, the talk of them, the thoughts of them and the memories of them, transport people into an altogether different plane. You see some with a blissful smile, some with that lost silly grin and some with that wistful look…

Some love the smell of rains, some love the freshness in the air, some the pitter patter of the rains, some love the pakodas and tea which are the mandatory accompaniments of rains, some love dancing in the rains… in short, Everybody Loves Rains.

But, I’d like to differ and suggest that You Should Hate Rains!
Hate rains?? Yeah, you heard it right…

Well, you know, I am sane (believe me, please) and I do have valid reasons to say a word as strong as ‘hate’ for rains.

Let me share my ‘Dhobhi List’ of why you should hate rains.
You should hate rains because…

  1. No matter whether you carry an umbrella or a raincoat, you still get wet. Now, if you wanted to get wet, you’ll not be using that umbrella or raincoat. Right?!falling_rain
  2. The lower part of your Jeans/Trousers/Churidars etc ALWAYS gets wet and dirty. And it’s so dirty, that the only sound that comes from your throat is EEEEEEEEEEEEEKKKKKKKSSSS! The stains on the clothes never vanish. Even ‘Vanish’ fails in its action! And that advertisement for ‘Tide’ is all crap!
  3. The washed clothes never dry and feel fresh. And are mostly damp. Yes damp, even after spinning it dry in the washing machine. One portion of your house/one room gets converted into a ‘Dhobhi Ghaat’ with a clothes rack or clothesline running from one curtain rod to the other with a fan at full speed to dry up the clothes.
  4. Your pet dog and cat stink. And imagine if they have ticks during this period!!
  5. Your hair is all dull, lifeless and frizzy. And you know, what wonders this can do to your look!
  6. The smell of the wet clothes laced with humid sweat of co-passengers in a bus or a train converts it into a musty, stuffy fume box!
  7. There are traffic jams or the traffic moves at a snail’s pace. And if you have KG as a driver, you can have a non-stop commentary on the driving skills of all the drivers on the road.
  8. If you cry in the rains, nobody can see it. And there are times, when you want ‘somebody’ to see you crying!!
  9. If you are stranded on the road, you jump or yell or use sign language like a maniac, but no bus, no taxi, no autorikshaw will ever go your way!
  10. You face God’s wrath in the form of lightning and thunder, from the heaven above and you also face the wrath of the Electricity Board in the form of power-cuts!

So, as Geet in Jab We Met would have said, “Aap convince ho gaye, ya main aur boloon??” (Are you convinced or should I say more?)

Acceptance is a Choice #1000Speak #MondayMusings

Good Times, Bad Times, Ugly Times… That’s Life! And such times come in everybody’s life.

We have had a phase when nothing seemed to work for our business venture. We did our best but it all back-fired. And while we were struggling to make it work, some of our ‘good friends’ left us. It was like a double blow. All this while, we believed that they were our best friends and that best friends stick by you through hard times.

We wondered how could our choices turn out to be so wrong. We became our biggest critic and engaged in self-pity and finger-pointing. We held ourselves accountable for the uncertainties and vulnerabilities that we were facing. Of course, they were our decisions… our choices…

Sooner than later, we realized that it would not do us any good to have these pity-parties that made us more miserable. We realized that all this self-blame was unnecessary and harsh. It was not helping us in any way and in fact, it was taking the wind out of our sails.

And then we came across, Deepak Chopra’s The 7 Laws of Spiritual Success, in which he Acceptance 2explains that we need to receive with open arms what happens to us, because if we fight and resist it, then we are generating a lot of turbulence in our minds. He explains that we might want for things to be different in the future, but in the present moment we need to accept things as they are. That’s the way we can make our life flow smoothly, instead of roughly.

And this made a lot of sense to us. We had already seen how it is to hold on to negativity. So, we had to opt for the second and the only option available to us which was that of acceptance.

It was time to accept things as they were. It was time to accept that all days are never the same and that things would work out, eventually.

It was a hard choice. Acceptance did not come easily to us. But when we did accept the reality, it gave us a peaceful state of mind, it made us see the positive. Owning and accepting our decisions helped us to move forward and helped us to make new and exciting choices.

Yes, acceptance is a choice.

We can complain about the rain or accept that it’s raining, find an umbrella and dance in the rain and/or sit in the balcony with a book and tea and enjoy it.

Acceptance 1

Linking this to #1000Speak a monthly linkup on the 20th of every month, which invites bloggers to blog about compassion/empathy, etc. This month’s link up is on the topic of Acceptance and also linking it to Write Tribe’s #MondayMusings

MondayMusings1000Speak

No Show

Double Drabble

The guests have started arriving. Mom and Dad are at the main gate, welcoming them.

Everybody is in awe of the grand decor. The wedding planners have left no stone unturned to give it a perfect blend of sophistication and uniqueness. Floral decorations, flickering candle lights and twinkling lights, curtains and backdrops, all in hues of red, blue, and yellow gave a warm festive look. Even the wedding throne chairs are in the same shades. How perfect and lovely!

But why am I not happy?

What if I don’t show up for my own wedding?

Oh, Mom and Dad would be devastated and people would say a lot of nasty things.

I know, it’s a tad late in the day. Some may call it wedding jitters or the excitement for the big day. But this little nagging feeling that all this is a mistake is just refusing to leave me.

Oh, I do know that anxiety and doubt are not the same thing.

I may be called dumb or coward.

But, I think, a real coward would be the one who turns up looking every inch a bride in all her wedding finery yet doesn’t show up in the marriage.

113-07-july-19th-2015

Linking this to Sunday Photo Fiction – July 19th 2015

What Comes First – Success or Happiness?

Drabble

Often we say, “I will be happy when…”

This ‘when’ could be a new job, a hike in salary or weight loss or a successful relationship…” Are we saying that the way it works, first comes success and then happiness?

Research shows that it’s the other way round. Happy people are more successful.

When you are happy, you will be more productive, creative, social and positive. And with all these success comes automatically.

Also, it’s hard to find happiness after success, as our goals keep changing.

Life is not a quest to achieve happiness. Happiness is found along the way!

I came across this infographic about happiness and success with reference to work place. But it applies to our personal life and relationships too.

What do you think, which comes first… Happiness or Success?

secret-happy-work-infographic

Linking this to Write Tribe’s – 100 Words on Saturday Prompt : Success first then happiness (Agree or Disagree).

The Secret

55-Fiction_thumb.png

Stories in 55 words?? It must be difficult!

Nah! All you need is an idea. Develop the storyline and let the words flow.

Usually, there are too many words which can be easily chopped.

But when they are not enough, add a few superfluous expressions and phrases.

And before you know it, it’s a 55-er!

Lessons from a Crashed Laptop

Life Lessons

9th July, 8.10 am… something unimaginable happened. My tech soul mate aka my Laptop died on me. That I was devastated,  was an understatement. I tried various plug points in the house to charge, re-inserted the battery, pressed the power button mercilessly, but the laptop refused to come to life.

I didn’t give myself the time to mourn, but simply galvanised into action. I made Sunita, my house help to rush through the chores and reached the dealer showroom where I had met-fallen in love-and finally married my tech soul mate. I thought, it must be the problem with the adapter power cable. So, I just had to buy the new one and believed that I would be re-united with my darling in a few minutes. But the service support detected problem with my laptop. Gasp!! Shock turned into momentary coma. While that guy was coolly replacing the new laptop cord in its box, I was impatiently waiting for him to revive my laptop. Finally, when he got my attention, I told him that I’d wait in the showroom, while he worked on my laptop. He smiled at me (I am sure, he must be wanting to laugh hysterically, though) and said, “Ma’am, this will take a day!” I couldn’t believe my ears. My world came crashing! I tried to cajole him to work on it faster, but he was firm.

Dejected and depressed, I called my real-life soul mate aka KG, who was out of town and in midst of some meeting. I shared the tragic and heart-breaking news with him. As I was going on and on about how such a thing could happen and how grief-stricken I was. KG suggested that I call our friend J and ask him to send his kids’ laptop to me. I called J immediately but his number was busy. While I was fidgeting with my phone and giving time to J to finish his call, he called me. Before I could say anything, he said that he is arranging to send the laptop. It took a few seconds for the brain to comprehend his words. As I was gushing with gratitude, I smiled at what KG had done. He knew that without my laptop, I’d be like a fish without water, so he called J himself and made it easier for me.

Soon enough, I had a laptop in my hands. I consoled myself and wished and hoped and prayed that I am united with my own laptop soon and started the laptop J sent me. I inserted my internet data card and it refused to work. I applied all my tech know-how to get the internet working on this laptop but to no avail. I called the customer care and spent an hour on phone with the various executives but the result were the same.  Finally, a tech support was assigned to visit home by evening and sort the issue. I thought, till he comes, let me check my Facebook, blog or surf in general on my phone. And guess what, the Murphy’s Law came true for me. Yes, everything does goes wrong all at once! The internet on phone was terribly slow and even Whatsapp messages were not getting delivered.

By this time, I was heartsick, fed-up and frustrated. I decided to snap out of this state and got ready to visit my Mom and Dad. They were thrilled to see me and the Kadhi-Chawal that Mom had made for lunch instantly made me feel better. There’s nothing like mom’s cooking to comfort and cheer you up. Rest of the afternoon was spent in chatting and relaxing with them.

In the evening, the tech support guy sorted the internet problem and I thought that the bad day was behind me.

I started writing a post for the blog and the laptop shut down on its own suddenly. It was a WTH moment! I looked at the laptop incredulously. This was the second laptop in a day that had died on me. Unlike my laptop, J’s laptop did wake up from slumber, but it continued to behave erratically. So, though, I had a laptop and a working internet, but I couldn’t do anything, not even lurk on the Facebook.

I just gave up on my tech world and entered the calm and often ignored space aka the kitchen. Next day was the birthday of our friend’s daughter and I thought of baking a cake for her.

I actually prayed before gathering the cake ingredients, that nothing should go wrong now, given the bad day that I had had since morning.

And… nothing went wrong!

I  graduated from making the regular tea time cakes to an innovative cake, that day. Yes, I made this gravity defying cake. Isn’t it cool!

20150710_155446

The Gems are  a little less in this picture, but I bought more and added to the cake later which gave it a well full of Gems look. The birthday girl loved her gift and all the others at the party were in awe of it too.

So, for a day and half, I was forced to refrain from using laptop and internet. I realized how dependent and addicted I am to my gadgets and that I share a very unhealthy relationship with technology. How miserable I was when my laptop crashed. How weird it was that if the internet was not working, I didn’t know what to do with the laptop. Without my phone, I’d be restless. Though I wouldn’t be expecting those earth shattering or momentous emails or messages on phone, but every message notification makes be go and grab my phone.

This day and a half made me realize that though gadgets have become an integral part of our lives, but there’s more to life than Facebook, RTs on Twitter or blog or silly messages on Whatsapp. It is important to take a break from the technology especially social media which takes away most of my time. It is important to enjoy and savor life outside the tech world. I have heard and seen a few blogging friends do the digital detox. And I think, I need it too. I think, I need to find the balance in appreciating and using technology the right way, but still knowing when to turn it off to experience life to its fullest.

I know, a digital detox would not be easy initially but I know that it would be rewarding for both me and my life.

Do you share a healthy relationship with technology?

spicysaturday

Eat Healthy, Stay Fit

It’s that time of the year, when people get desperate. Desperate to get slim and thin. Yes, it’s the time to shed the layers of winters and don the swimwear and summery clothes. So, we see folks around us subjecting themselves to deprivation diets or fasts or crash diets. Many do not know that these crash diets and nutrition restrictions, inadvertently result in more harm than good.

Crash diets do not work because they work on the principle of fooling the body, but the body is very smart and doesn’t buy it. Research suggests rapid weight loss can actually  slow down the metabolism, leading to future weight gain, and deprive the body of essential nutrients. What’s more, crash diets can weaken the immune system and increase the risk of dehydration, heart palpitations, and cardiac stress. Of course, a crash diet once won’t hurt the heart, but crash dieting repeatedly increases the risk of heart attacks.

The key to losing weight or getting in shape or just living a healthier life is a combination of balanced healthy diet and exercise.  Eating a balanced healthy diet provides a variety of benefits.

#Helps to Stay Energetic and Productive

Just like a car, the body needs quality fuel to run efficiently. What and when we eat can have a profound effect on our energy levels. Keeping our body fuelled with the right proportions of vitamins, minerals and nutrients can give the energy we need to make the most of our day. Research has found that eating unhealthy foods puts us at a 66% increased risk of productivity loss. Eating a healthy, balanced diet to make sure our body and brain has the fuel it needs means more energy and increased productivity at work.

# Assists in Weight Loss

The drastic or deprivation diets do appear to be attractive as they may bring results faster. But the chances are that they won’t work for a long-term as it is almost impossible to maintain the lifestyle that comes with them. Once we have stopped the crash diet, we are likely to put the weight back on (and sometimes even more than before) if we return to our old eating habits. Instead, by changing to balanced healthy foods and exercise, we are more likely to stick to our new habits, thereby keeping the weight off long-term. It is this diet that often makes maintaining a healthy body weight a bit easier.

# Keeps the Immune System Strong

Immune system is considered to be the soldier of our body, as it protects you from all kinds of illness. A good healthy diet is fundamental to good health and a strong immune system.  In case of severe or crash diet , the vital nutrients will become scarce, and thus affect our immune system.

Deemed as a top health food across the globe, honey is a wonderful creation. The health properties of this thick golden liquid have been valued since ages.  A tea spoon of honey every day is a great source of energy, helps in weight management, is a healthier substitute to sugar, aids in digestion, helps in relieving cold and cough and is useful for the skin because of its moisturizing and nourishing properties.

Let me share a super quick healthy recipe with honey for a healthy you.

ALMOND HONEY MILK1

Get the goodness of Honey with a daily dose of Dabur Honey Diet. Attune your mind, body, and soul to healthier lifestyle options. Eat Healthy, Stay Fit

A Woman’s Best Friend

I love accessories. I’m a girl. I love shoes. I love handbags. Petra Ecclestone

No look is complete without accessories. A handbag is arguably the most important accessory for a woman. It’s her best friend. It is her saviour at times. She carries the world inside it! And most importantly, they also help her make a personal style and fashion statement. A handbag, today is not used just a functional and a practical thing to carry the wallet, keys, phone, and make-up accessories. But it is used in making a personal statement and even as a status symbol. Remember the buzz Hina Rabbani Khar’s Birkin made when she was in India!

Handbags are used by women on daily basis and are also sometimes switched throughout multiple occasions. This absolute essential accessory comes in a variety of shapes, sizes, styles, colours and fabrics. A single style of bag is not adequate for the different styles of dresses we have in our wardrobes. Also, one bag is not suitable for the various occasions. We have one for each occasion, either it’s party, travel or business.

Here’s my list of absolute favourite and must-own handbags for every fashion conscious woman, which by the way are available at Limeroad.

Everyday Purse : This is the first must-have bag. A bag that is ideal for going to work or for grocery shopping or just about anything. It contains everything that one may need – phone, money, cosmetic and beauty accessories, sunglasses, book or a kindle, keys, notepad, pen, documents and your personal bits and pieces… Having all these little things is very comforting. Isn’t it? It gives us the feeling of being prepared for anything that the day might bring! It is usually with lots of pockets and compartments, so that all the essentials fit in well. This is one bag that is used the mostest. So, neutral colours like black, brown or navy blue are most suitable. Also it should go with all the dresses in the wardrobe.

std_0-1427884122

Clutch : A clutch works well for a casual and chic look. It is best for a evening party as well as for a date and even for a wedding. It goes well with a saree and even with an evening gown. It isn’t a big bag but should be big enough to carry MILK. Yes, that’s Money and Mobile, ID, Lipstick and Keys. It can be in neutral colours or something with glitter, flashy metals, sequins or shimmer. Click here to check out the various Fashion Accessories online in India.

std_0-1404561550

Tote Bag : Tote bag is a classic bag that can never go out of style. It is ideal for beach, weekend trips or shopping. It can be carried to college with casual jeans and t-shirt look or to work, with an all-formal look. Tote bags are big, so everything gets thrown into it easily and if in canvas or cloth, they can be thrown even for a wash. When over the shoulder, tote bags usually fall around elbow length. Spacious and comfortable, a tote bag is a suitable option with almost every attire. The best part about this bag is the variety that is offered. The different textures and colours  make them attractive and exclusive.

std_0-1408794641

Satchel Sling Bag : This is the perfect combination of style and function. It can hold a book , laptop or any other day to day items with style. It is a bag with long sling/strap and is worn on one shoulder with the strap winding around the chest. It is often called cross-body bags because of how it is worn. This bag is apt to go with any casual attire.

pri_225-1417271511

Wristlet : A wristlet is a small handbag with a short carrying strap resembling bracelet and it can be worn around the wrist. It holds very little – usually less than a wallet. It keeps all the valuables really close at hand and is convenient and stylish at the same time!

std_1-1398246369

Weekender : The weekender handbags are a must have bag type for the women who are on the move. It is ideal for weekend get-aways. It is a large bag, which can carry almost everything one needs no matter the occasion. It is sometimes used as gym bag, diaper-bag, duffel bag, backpack for hiking, camping, travelling and sometimes the carry-on bag.

pri_225-1421161072

Which is your favourite handbag? How do you perceive your handbag? Is it basic and functional, personal style statement, fashion accessory, status symbol? Or all?

Most Annoying Co-Travellers

cooltext468162920_thumb5Travel. Aah! The very word conjures such exotic imageries of majestic forts and palaces, impressive museums, serene resorts, pristine beaches, captivating cultural heritage, unique experiences and the much needed escape from the routine… But before you get to such dreamy locations one has to travel for miles and miles together… together with your inner self, family, friends and fellow co-passengers.

During my years of travel both for work and pleasure, before I reach my destination – exotic or otherwise, my trip usually turns out to be a long, very long trip. No, don’t get me wrong, I don’t have a penchant for taking the longest possible routes, but it’s just that I have a penchant for attracting bad travel companions.

I have come across some really weird, annoying, pesky, cheeky, pain in the you-know-where, fellow travellers who make me wish /urge/implore/pray/crave for the journey to come to an end, soon, real soon. Wanna take a ride with me? Fasten your seatbelts as I take you on a ride that never ends…

  • The Chatterbots :  Travel alone may translate into quality Me-Time for some of us. It’s the time when you want to sit back and read or just watch the world pass by literally and figuratively or simply doze off. But can you do that in peace? Nope. Thanks to the chatterbots who have to tell you their opinions on the state of affairs of the country  or how Dhoni should lead or why Salman should never be jailed or simply dig information about you. Subtle and not so subtle cues that you are not interested does not reach them, at all. Last month, an elderly man cribbed for 3 hours non-stop, how his daughter-in-law, an oncologist in a leading hospital, is not a good mother! Sigh!
  • The Audio Numbs : These are the people who can not just keep it down… the  volume, I mean. They have to talk loudly and incessantly on their phones or listen to music without the earphones or play games on their devices with the gaming sounds at full blast. Once there was this guy who called almost all the contacts in his phone book during the 5 hour journey from Jaipur to Delhi. During these 5 hours, everybody in the bus got to know about his wily boss, loving and not so loving family members, his travel plans and recent parties and meetings with friends, cute antics of his children, gossip from his office… Aarghhh!
  • The Negligent : Some people believe that travel time is the time to let one’s hair down and no rules/regulations/word of caution or piece of mind should be ever exercised. This is especially true for their children. They should be allowed to behave uninhibitedly. So, the children are allowed to run up and down the aisles throughout the journey in flights and trains, often yelling and screaming in glee – even during the time when it’s time for people to sleep. Grrrrr…
  • The Seat Switchers : Yes, joy multiplies when you are traveling with family and friends. Sadly, some didn’t had the time to plan their trip well or in advance, so they have seats in different rows or coaches. No worries, they can always exchange seats with you. Now, as long as they are requesting and as long as they are ready to accept a firm no, it’s cool. But it gets a bit ugly when the seat switchers believe that they are entitled to a seat exchange. It does not matter to them that a side lower seat near the door of the train coach would not be considered as a good bargain by anybody who wants a peaceful journey. Humph!
  • The Armrest Hoggers : These people live life king-size, quite literally. They believe that they are sitting on the sofa of their living room when actually they are on the seat in a public transport. It does not enter their thick skin that they are encroaching your personal space and that you have shrunk yourself to the far end of the seat just to avoid an unpleasant conversation. Last time, I had to give an earful to somebody just because he could not contain his arms in his designated seat. Gah!
  • The Mannerless : Kicking seats from behind, putting their legs up on the top of your seat or the side window, throwing the empty chips packs or soda cans below the seats or keeping their slippers and shoes in the basket which is meant to keep water bottles or newspapers etc speaks of their mannerisms and upbringing.  Journey to the hills cause travel sickness in quite a few people. So, during one of my visit to Shimla, the conductor of the RSRTC Volvo bus distributed vomit bags to people who believed that they’d feel queasy. Despite the instructions of the conductor that each person will have to dispose off their bags personally, my co-passengers coolly left their liquidy bags in the basket of the seat ahead of them. How overly gross, insensitive, annoying that could be! EWWWWW!
  • The Super Active : As soon as the seatbelt sign is off, these people have to get up from their seats and roam around. They have to step on your feet every time they make their way past you and they are nonchalant about it. Aaah!
  • The Lovey Doveys : Public displays of affection can seem innocent to couples in love. But other co-passengers may see them very differently… Gawd!!
  • The No-Control-Over-Body-Processes: Snoring, drooling, sleep talking, flatulence… less said , the better! Gosh!
  • The Fighters : No, they dont fight for any cause, but love picking up fights, arguments with anybody and everybody. And if they are under the influence of alcohol and/or if their kith and kin are who’s who, God only can save you. Once, two guys in my train compartment, got into a verbal duel over a petty matter which turned ugly with both slapping and fist-fighting! Oops!

Have you travelled with some annoying co-travellers? What’s the worst behavior you’ve ever put up with co-travellers?

Mr. Imperfect Series

Title: Mr. Imperfect SeriesMr Imperfect Series
Author: Aditi Chopra
Publisher: CreateSpace Independent Publishing Platform
ISBN-10: 1503044610
Number of Pages: 190 (Estimated)
Price [INR] : 250
Genre: Fiction, Contemporary Romance
Type : eBook

Three intriguing women, Three Imperfect men, Three fascinating stories!

House of Love
Real estate agent Nikki Desai has a rule of not dating her clients. When she hosts an open house on a cold Dallas afternoon, she didn’t know what was in store for her. Much like Dallas’ unexpected weather, Karan Malhotra, a business consultant, walks into her life and challenges every belief she holds close to her heart. Karan manages to cajole Nikki, but is she making a mistake in breaking her rule by dating Karan?

Arranged Marriage
Arranged marriage – where love happens after marriage or does it? Ishan, a NRI from Dallas, Texas visits his home country, India and gets entangled in his parents’ plan to get him married. Sonali is a simple girl from a small town called Meerut and has no desire to leave India. However, she reluctantly agrees to marry Ishan. But when she settles with him in a foreign country, she is completely lost and homesick. Will Sonali find love in a conventionally arranged marriage?

Love Tango
Maya Sarin is sensuous and enterprising. She runs a dance school in the suburb of Dallas. Tahir Ali is an aspiring author who owns a Mediterranean restaurant in the area. When his regular dancer bails out on him, he rushes in Maya as a replacement. Maya is the inspiration that he had been longing for; she feeds his creative soul. Do they have any future together? Explore their passion and intrigue in Love Tango.

Mr. Imperfect Series has three love stories based on Non-Resident Indians living in Dallas. Nikki, Sonali and Maya are strong, independent women who meet Karan, Ishan and Tahir respectively in three different stories namely House of Love, Arranged Marriage and Love Tango.

Nikki is a real estate agent, Sonali is still figuring out her destiny and Maya runs a dance school. The stories are connected by the lives of these women who come across their ‘imperfect’ partners from different walks of lives. These women have very distinct and unique identities. Their individualities influence their choices and their relationships too.

The three female leads have quite a few commonalties too. They are clear and forceful modern women yet rooted to the Indian traditions and value systems. They know that they have a few shortcomings and are willing to overlook the same in their men too. How they connect and how their relationships develop over a period of time is another highlight of the book.

I liked the glimpse of Dallas and Alaska that the author gave through this book. The insights into the running of a dance school, Mediterranean restaurant and real estate business are interesting. The characters, their conflicts, their decisions, emotions, actions and responses have been explored and captured well. My only grouse is that the stories got over too soon and may be they could have a bit more of sizzle.

The stories are  standalone ones and are independent of each other and can be read separately as well but all the three stories are inter-connected by characters, places and events.

With interesting plots and easy to read style of writing, Mr. Imperfect Series is a nice breezy read.

Rating : 3 Stars

This Tour is Hosted by

Facebook | Website | Blog Tours | Twitter | Pinterest | Linkedin

Just Another Day

55 Fiction

I was beginning to fume but his smile disarmed me.

In three long strides he came towards me.

As he stood behind me, our eyes locked in the mirror.

I felt a tingle of awareness as he ran his hand softly through my hair.

Looking all business, he asked, “Haircut or just some trimming ?”

Would You Rather…

It’s that dull and uninspiring day when I want to write and am not able to write. Memes are my best friends for such blank and boring days. Would You Rather Meme from the Sunday Stealing came to my rescue once again. So, here I go with their Qs and my As…

1. Would you rather go to a movie or to dinner alone?

I’d rather go to a movie alone but have actually had dinner alone in restaurants many times. That usually happens when I am traveling for work. A few of my friends told me that they’d never eat out alone. Surprisingly, it never crossed my mind to be self conscious about it.

2. Would you rather always say everything on your mind or never speak again? 

Say everything on my mind. Keeping it bottled up inside will suffocate me and will add to the burden on my heart and head. Saying it aloud removes confusions and misunderstandings and may even clear the air with the other person.

3. Would you rather make a phone call or send a text? 

Predominantly would send a text, but don’t mind picking up the phone and talking too.

4. Would you rather read an awesome book or watch a good movie? 

This is a tough one. I’d love reading an awesome book and watch a good movie too. But if I have to pick one, then a book would be my first choice!

5. Would you rather be the most popular person at work or school or the smartest? 

Definitely, the smartest. Being wise and smart may bring popularity too, though being popular is not on my agenda.

6. Would you rather put a stop to war or end world hunger? 

Though both should not be there. But I’d go with ending world hunger.

7. Would you rather spend the night in a luxury hotel room or camping surrounded by beautiful scenery? 

Camping with family and friends.

8. Would you rather explore space or the ocean?

I’d like to explore the ocean. The marine life and its myriad flora and fauna fascinates me.

9. Would you rather go deep sea diving or bungee jumping? 

Deep sea diving . One of the reasons would be to explore the mesmerizing marine life and the second is that I love swimming.

10. Would you rather be a kid your whole life or an adult your whole life? 

This is a tough choice. I have enjoyed my childhood and being an adult is one happy ride too. I’ll opt for being an adult my whole life, though.

11. Would you rather go on a cruise with friends or with your spouse? 

At this point of time, definitely with spouse. God, we both need a break from our hectic pace of life. But we love travelling with friends too.

12. Would you rather lose your keys or your cell phone? 

Keys. These can be replaced. On second thoughts, I don’t mind losing my cell phone too. Have back-up of all the phone data plus I need a new phone.

13. Would you rather eat a meal of cow tongue or octopus? 

Neither. But have heard that octopus is delicious.

14. Would you rather have x-ray vision or magnified hearing?

X-ray vision sounds very exciting.

15. Would you rather work in a group or work alone?

Have worked in teams and alone as well. Between the two, I like working alone. Gives me all the freedom and peace of mind too.

A Journey into Myself

Drabble

For years, I had put the blinders on, as I continued to live up to the expectations of others.

All these years as I pleased people, was I actually living?

I think, I was merely existing or was I, in fact dying inside?

They say a setback is a setup for a comeback.

Like the phoenix bird, I had to rise from the ashes and believe in myself and love myself to become a new me.

I am going to fly as high as I can, go far as I can, on a long journey … a journey into myself.

the-journey-begins

Linking this to Write’s Tribes 100 Words on Saturday – Picture Prompt

Quote Challenge : Day 3 of 3

It’s the final day of the 3 Day Quote Challenge.

This is one quote that inspires me and gets me going when faced with challenging situations.

OK-in-the-end

We all go through trying times at various points of time in our lives… a tough time at work, losing somebody we loved, an illness, a failure in a project, a bad relationship, a betrayal, an accident… These tough times can knock us down, demoralize us, frustrate us, depress us and make our life very stressful.

We may face these challenging times, for a few days, or few weeks or few months or may be years together!! But of course, these tough phases never last forever. They do pass away and give way to the good and happy times, sooner or later and the cycle of life continues. We should remember that everything will eventually turn out well as long as we do what is necessary to make the best out of every situations in our lives.

Thank you Soumya for nominating for this inspiring challenge.  And now I nominate Destination Infinity, Inderpreet and Sundari. Looking  forward to read your take on this challenge!

This is what the 3-Day Quote Challenge is all about.
1. Post one of your favorite quotes (different quote on each day) on three consecutive days. The quote can be from your favorite book, author, or your own.
2. Nominate 3 bloggers to challenge them.
3. Thank the blogger, who nominated you.

Quote Challenge : Day 2 of 3

Soumya from Life of Leo has nominated me for the 3 Quote Challenge. Today, I share my favourite quote for Day 2.

ZZ1

This is something that I have experienced so many times. A kind word by a friend, a warm smile by a co-passenger or just a patient ear has done wonders to my day. It is true that one small, thoughtful gesture can make a big difference in someone’s day/life. It can can have a bigger effect than we could ever imagine.

I remember reading this on Corinne’s blog…A man who jumped off the Golden Gate Bridge, left a suicide note “I’m walking to the bridge. If one person smiles at me on the way, I will not jump.” Sadly, no one smiled! This is something that will stay with me for a long long time. Wish, somebody had smiled at that man, that day!

Also, I believe in the law of karma, which says that what goes around comes around – and with kindness it really does. Research has proven that being kind to others increases our own levels of happiness as well as theirs. So, keep on increasing the karma points in your life and encourage someone who needs it, be generous with compliments, say something nice to someone, be someone’s cheerleader… and make a huge impact on someone’s life.

Thank you Soumya for nominating for this awesome challenge.  And now I nominate Genevive, Rajlakshmi and Ma’am Usha Menon. Looking forward to read your take on this challenge!

This is what the 3-Day Quote Challenge is all about.
1. Post one of your favorite quotes (different quote on each day) on three consecutive days. The quote can be from your favorite book, author, or your own.
2. Nominate 3 bloggers to challenge them.
3. Thank the blogger, who nominated you.

Quote Challenge : Day 1 of 3

I am a quotes person, have always been one. Since school days I have been scribbling interesting thoughts and quotes, dialogues / lines/ passages from books in notebooks. In fact, I still have a few of the notepads and diaries with me from the good old days. Though now, I just save them on my laptop.

It is amazing that how quotations can pack so much wisdom and insights  in a few words. These are words that make us reflect on life and its nature and challenges. These are the words that have been expressed by others but resonate so deeply with us.

Some quotes stick with us forever and some validate and reveal what we believe in. Quotes usually leave a lasting impression on us, so much so that these words become a mantra for us to follow. They express the experiences of life.

I was seeing some blogging buddies  doing the 3 Day Quotes Challenge and I was keen to do it too. As I was looking up for the rules for this challenge, I got tagged by the vivacious and versatile Soumya.

For Day 1 of this Challenge, I have chosen a quote which has become my favourite mantra. Yes, it is about Letting Go! I have struggled for quite some time to let go of certain things and experiences in life. Learning to let go was not easy, but I realized that it was necessary for my own well being. So this quote is one of my favourite.

you-cant-start

This quote signifies that during our life’s journey we tend to become attached to things, relationships,  circumstances or incidents of life. We pin our happiness to these things and hold onto them for dear life. We do not let go of these attachments, even if we know that they are not good for us or not meant for us. When we refuse to accept the reality, we feel conflict in our hearts and in our bodies, which results in anger, hate, stress, fear, jealousy, discontent, emptiness…

Letting go of old things, relationships, beliefs, or ideas that no longer serve us any good should be the way forward. If we focus on what was in the past, we will never be able to see what lies ahead. Letting go’ is not ‘getting rid of’ or ‘throwing away’ of the past but putting it aside and recognising 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.

Thank you Soumya for nominating for this fab challenge.  And now I nominate Suzy, Elly and Swaram. Take it up, ladies :)

This is what the 3-Day Quote Challenge is all about.
1. Post one of your favorite quotes (different quote on each day) on three consecutive days. The quote can be from your favorite book, author, or your own.
2. Nominate 3 bloggers to challenge them.
3. Thank the blogger, who nominated you.

Say Goodbye to Smells and Odours this Monsoon

The monsoons are here again! There’s nothing like waking up to the sounds of the rain, the  fresh, earthy smell after a rain shower, the lush green plants and trees after they are bathed in rains that fluctuate between drizzle and torrential downpour… Aah! There’s something magical about rains.

Rains

But there’s something unpleasant about the rains too. Yes, the  damp smell that comes with the monsoons can be a big mood dampener too. The dampness brings out a musty smell inside our homes.  The walls, cupboards, carpets, shoes, bathrooms emanate stale smells. Even the car interiors are prone to a mouldy odour.

And that’s because the monsoon air is humid and this makes the air inside the house moist and warm too, which incidentally is the perfect environment for the fungi- mildews and molds to grow and thrive. The bad smell is caused by mold and mildew building up and releasing foul gasses. A combination of moisture, lack of air circulation (stagnant air) and darkness lets the mold / mildew and odor to grow. This odour is not only annoying but is detrimental for health and can cause allergies and breathing problems too.

Simply drying/vacuuming/ airing out the area of the house that smells musty may not be enough to completely eradicate the smell. Fortunately, there are simple and easy ways to combat this problem of bad odour inside our homes.

Last week, when rain Gods finally decided to bless our hot state of Rajasthan, both KG and I were traveling. So, when we entered our home which was closed for a week in our absence, we were greeted with that musty smelly air.

I tried the Ambi Pur Air Effects Air Freshener – Blossom & Breeze variant. It is a handy andAmbi-pur easy to use pack. As I sprayed the air in a sweeping motion throughout the  house, a mild yet pleasant smell filled our home. What I liked was that this smell was soothing and calming and not overpowering. Strong and overpowering aerosols trigger a non-stop sneezing fest for me.  So, this mild and soothing smell gets a thumbs up from me.

True to its words, Ambi Pur Air Effects Air Freshener, eliminated the odours and freshened our home.  It appeared that it actually swept away those stale and stifling odours as a fresh scent lingered behind.

Later in the evening, when we cooked our dinner and the house was smelling of the strong garlic tadka, I sprayed it once again and in no time we were able to get rid of the odours.

Ambi Pur Air Effects Air Freshener can be used to get rid of any trace of the intrusive paint odours or wet dog fur smells too. The fact that it lasts for 4-5 hours is a bonus too.

Priced at Rs. 220/-  for 275 g , Ambi Pur Air Effects Air Freshener is available in stores and online too. So keeping the house fresh even on the most humid days is no longer a challenge. Say goodbye to odours and smells this monsoon and bring in the freshness with Ambi Pur Air Effects – Blossoms and Breeze Air Freshener.

Ambi Pur

I am blogging for #SmellyToSmiley activity atBlogAdda.com in association with Ambi Pur

A Little Hope Goes a Long Way

Drabble

Do problems ever come alone? I guess not! They always came like bundled offers… ‘Feel terrible along with terrified’ or ‘Get scared and get scarred too’.

It is so easy to have pity parties in head and drown in sorrows and setbacks during these trying times.

In these darkest hours, a simple act of kindness, a helping hand , a smile from a stranger, an ear to listen, or a comforting word, can give hope that one needs so badly.

And this little hope goes a long way, just like this candle, dispelling and defying darkness in this room, singlehandedly!

parul-photo

Linking this to Wordy Wednesday at Blog-A-Rhythm

bar_ww_badege

Spotlight : The Dove’s Lament

….. IS A JOURNEY THAT TAKES YOU AROUND THE WORLD, BRINGING TO LIFE THE HUMAN SIDE OF CONFLICTS THAT TEAR PEOPLE APART.

Excerpt

The haunting images of people falling dead, as the flames of life were extinguished in a puff of smoke, danced before my eyes. I wanted to run.I wanted to shout. I wanted the pain coursing through my veins to end in a deafening blast. I wanted the dead back. The silence around was too loud for me. I couldn’t cope. Slowly, my dead-still surroundings started stirring and I became aware of the voices around me … some begging for mercy … some calling out to their loved ones … and what seemed perhaps, newly orphaned children crying piteously. I heard Death’s cape swish and flap in the sick winds that Murder blew. Images of corpses with a permanent scream locked into their faces were etched in my memory forever.

‘Habimana, Habimana, are you one of those faces?’ No!

It cannot be.

Pain shot up my left arm.

I fell back in a stupor.

Habimana … I know you are not dead … I will find you,

wherever you are …

Blood dripped somewhere.

Blackness.

Buy @

Amazon.com | Amazon.in | Flipkart

Watch it

 About the Author

Kirthi Jayakumar is an writer, artist, activist and lawyer based out of Chennai, India. She is the founder of The Red Elephant Foundation and the A38 Foundation of International Law. Driven by the goals of peace and equality, Kirthi indulges in different mediums to express her dreams for the world around her. An optimist by ideology, an idealist by thought, a humanist by religion and an equal-ist by tionality, Kirthi is a global citizen. Her first book, Stories of Hope, earned her a nomination as one of among six Indian authors to watch out for, alongside the likes of Devdutt Pattanaik and Lavanya Sankaran.

Stalk her @ Website | Facebook

Hosted by

Keep Moving Ahead

Double Drabble

109-06-june-14th-2015

Neither of us ever expected that we’d meet at the Clock Tower on the sea front that day.

As you sat on a bench opposite mine, I glanced up at you momentarily from the book I was reading. And you looked up from your phone at the same moment too. Our eyes met for a minute longer than necessary, as they appeared to communicate more than a subtle curiosity.

As soon as I saw you, I knew I had known you before. And soon enough we got chatting, sharing, exchanging our life and its stories. It was such a meaningful encounter.

Although our respective worlds beckoned and we parted ways. But not before deciding to gift each other the joy of a beautiful relationship by meeting every year at the same day at the same place.

Today’s is that day again. And you have not turned up yet again.

It is easy to feel hurt or betrayed. But I am not going to get swayed by that nor will I look forward to any apologies or explanations or regrets.

I’ll be just like the sole witness of our meet-up, this Clock Tower and do what it does. Keep moving ahead.

Linking this to Sunday Photo Fiction – June 14th 2015

Tough Times Refine You

Drabble

fruit-man

Loaded with fruits of the season, I’ve been seeing him make rounds of our colony, since I was a child.

His face glows with a saintly sheen and a smile dances around his lips, always.

And that’s when his life has had more tragedies than one can ever imagine.

I once asked about how he manages to smile despite all the setbacks.

He said sagely, “You have to be knocked out a bit by life to see the point of simple joys of sharing smiles with strangers, petting a dog, uneventful days… Tough times not only define but refine you!”

Linking this to Write’s Tribes 100 Words on Saturday – Picture Prompt

100 Words on Saturday

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...