Spotlight on The Wedding Trousseau and Other Short Stories

Title: The Wedding Trousseau and Other Short Stories
Author: Ankita SharmaThe Wedding Trousseau...
Publisher: Humming Words Publishers
ISBN: 978-93-81560-26-6
Number of Pages: 127
Price [INR] : 180
Genre: Fiction

Blurb

The Wedding Trousseau and Other Short Stories is a collection of 11 tales inspired from various aspects of life and relationships. Some are inspired from real life incidents and people.

Small things of day to day life as well as unsaid and unshared emotions sometimes envelop deepest feelings. This book is an attempt in digging deeper and expressing them in form of stories.
While some stories carry a lighter tenor, others show varied side of human psyche and relationships as seen from a different angle.

The collection can be enjoyed by readers of any age group.

The Wedding Trousseau and Other Short Stories  is available at  Amazon.

Compulsion

Drabble

My eyes take in the decor of the room, as the lady of the house asks me to wait.

I notice something at the far end.

I avert my eyes.

It doesn’t matter.

Focus on the interview.

It does not matter at all.

deepbreathdeepbreathdeepbreath, I tell myself.

I twist my hands in my lap and glance away.

Do it, before she comes, a voice commands.

I restlessly look in that direction, once again.

I am torn between the two conflicting thoughts.

Aah! A satisfied sigh escapes me.

It does matter… The correct, perfect, alignment of things in a symmetrical pattern!

 

BAR WW PROMPT

Linking this to Wordy Wednesday at Blog-A-Rhythm

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Move On

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Our family friends lost their 20-something son in a road accident, few years ago. For the parents, this harsh truth of life was difficult to come to terms to. Yes, life seemed so very unfair and cruel. Their struggle with sadness, anger, hurt, pain, grief, tears continued for some more years. They took the death of their child to heart and could not cope up with their loss and succumbed to heartache and illness. Sadness fills my heart, every time I think about them.

Are we ever prepared for such changes in our life? I guess not!

We may never completely get over the loss of a loved one. They will always be a part of our life. But in the course of time, we have to come to terms with the reality – whether it is a loss of a loved one or a loss of a relationship. We have to move on, howsoever difficult it may be or howsoever long it may take. And that’s because, there is a limit to the grieving that we can do. This makes me think about something we learnt in science years ago…when we add salt to a glass of water, there comes a point where the salt will not dissolve into the water no matter how long we mix the solution.

The loved and lost ones may always occupy a part of our broken heart which doesn’t heal back up to full. That’s perfectly acceptable and normal. It’s like having a badly hurting ankle that never heals completely, and that still pains when we dance. But we dance anyway with a slight limp and the accompanying pain. What is important is learning to dance with the pain and accepting it without judgement.

Move on it's just a chapter in the past

Linking this to Write Tribe Festival of Words #4 Day 2 for the theme Creativity and Inspiration!

10 Yahoo Smileys I Miss Most

A warm welcome to my today’s guest blogger Chicky Kadambari. She is the first friend from virtual world whom I had the pleasure of meeting in the real world.  And she is also the first virtual friend whom I have met the mostest. Well, that’s because  we stay in the same city and we meet up frequently for chai and lunch parties for just the two of us!

 Kaddu, as she is fondly called, is a multi-talented and has diverse skills and interests. She is a Reiki healer, foodie, bibliophile, artist, amateur photographer and of course a versatile blogger. Her writings @ miss_teerious are fun and inspiring. I hope you enjoy her fun post today as much as I did.

Okay Chicky, the floor is all yours.

Ten on Tuesdays

Do you remember those good old days when we used to chat on Yahoo Messenger? There was a phase in my life when I used to be online on Yahoo Chat all through my waking hours. I had even installed a Yahoo Pingbox on my blog’s sidebar, so that my readers could ping me on Yahoo while they were visiting my blog! Planned an entire bloggers’ meet in New Delhi via that Pingbox! But, you know what’s the one thing I miss most about Yahoo Messenger? It’s those smileys!

Yes, there are so many new smileys now, both on Facebook as well as my “smart”phone, but somehow, none of these new smileys have been able to replace some of my most used Yahoo smileys from those golden days!

Here’s my list of the 10 Yahoo smileys I miss the most:

Laughing :))

One of the most commonly used Yahoo smileys! Sometimes, used in succession… half-a-dozen :))s one after the other. For long laughs, you know! Take a look at the smiley though. See how the upper jaw moves to give the impression of actually laughing? Try to laugh that way now. Go on… try it. Hold your lower jaw still and try to laugh moving only your upper jaw. Can you do it? Hahahaha! :))

Tongue : P

Oh! That was such a cute tongue-face! It always reminded me of my cousin, Rishabh, who was a toddler back then, and often made this particular face, with quite astonishing similarity. In fact, there was a time when : P had actually become a part of my real-life vocabulary. I remember once telling someone on phone that – “Rishabh was doing a : P”! He he! : P

Blushing :”>

Look at those cheeks! Redder than the Grihshobha “sharam se laal huyi” column! This smiley was especially handy when flirting with someone. At times, it was used in conjunction with : P when, say you were chatting during your “drunk Kaddu” state (i.e. close to midnight), and you happened to make some really embarrassing typos and the other person went :)) on you! :”> : P

Devil >:)

The most I’ve used this smiley was during chats with Mahesh (a Reiki friend and ex-blogger). There was a special kind of fun in online leg-pulling of your chat partner, just so you could make this smiley at him/her. If we all hadn’t bid our farewells to Yahoo Messenger so long ago, I think I would have been using it the most on OB (the blog buddy I have bullied and ragged the most) in recent times!Nothing adds that final punch to your ragging better than this purple smiley with horns! What do you say? >:)

Angry X(

This was usually your chat partner’s reaction after you’d been pulling his/her leg for some time and had finally used that horny devil on him/her! I mostly used it just to create my “angry young woman” image. I think the only times I really meant this smiley was when Shreesh (an old Reiki teacher and friend) used to “put me on hold” during Yahoo chats, and then just… disappear! Hmmmmppphhh! X(

ROTFL =))

This was either used after a round of >:) and X( i.e. devil and anger, or just before a sequence of :”> and : P i.e. blushing and tongue-face. This is the one Yahoo smiley that I miss the most. Man! I think I’ve stopped laughing like that in real-life too now! I got to use it the most with Shreesh. He said the funniest things at times. While I happened to be in my “drunk Kaddu” state close to midnight, he used to be like that all the time! =))

Waiting :-w

I think I had to use this smiley only during chats with Shreesh! Didn’t I just mention how he used to put people on hold and then disappear? This is what us poor “people” did while we were on hold… we drummed our fingers against our monitor screen… while he attended his distraction and remembered (or not) to return on chat! :-w

Rolling Eyes 8-|

This one could represent one of several things… impatience, exasperation, disbelief. It was actually used quite commonly. I miss this one a lot too. Hasn’t anyone (Facebook or android) come up with a substitute for this? I actually have to write “[rolling eyes]” now, every time I want to use this smiley! [rolling eyes] See! 8-|

Confused :-/

Chats used to be (still are) very confusing at times, and not just because of the typos. That’s when this smiley came in handy back in the Yahoo Messenger days. It was so much easier to just type :-/ than ask “What do you mean?” I think this was another smiley I used the most during chats with Shreesh. He used to share some heavy stuff at times. Even after all these years, I still haven’t got a clue about some of that stuff! :-/

Wave :-h

And that’s how we used to end our chat conversations back in “those” days! All nice and proper… with a goodbye wave! :) I miss this as much as I miss the ROTFL smiley! It’s been so long since we waved proper goodbyes to our chat partners, hasn’t it? At times, I still use the characters on gchat or whatsapp or Facebook, even though they don’t convert into the actual smiley. But, it’s so good to find a Yahoo chat pro occasionally, who remembers what these characters meant!

And that brings an end to my list of the 10 Yahoo smileys I miss the most! So, on this note, I must bid you goodbye! :-h

Which one of these do you miss the most?

Here’s more in “Ten-On-Tuesday”!

What Did You Learn Today?

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As parents, the first question that we asked our children as soon as they returned back from their school must have been “What did you learn in school today?”  This would have continued until their  primary school.

As they grew older, we rarely asked this question, though they were learning new lessons everyday. In fact , we never ask ourselves the lessons life has been teaching us all these years. And this is when learning never stops and there’s no better teacher than life itself. In fact, it is the best teacher. live-and-learn

Unlike school, where we are taught a lesson and then given a test, in life, we are given a test that teaches us a lesson. I believe  they call them “life lessons” for a reason. We need to experience life in order to learn the lessons. And the more life we experience, the more lessons we learn.

For each one of us, life does not follow a fixed pattern. It is like a sea, with its waves and currents that are ever changing and  that keeps changing its paths and destinations. With each new path and each new journey, the lessons it teaches are immense and diverse for one and all. Of course, we can learn from the experiences of others too.

“What have I learned?”, this is one question that we must ask ourselves, everyday.

For instance, today, I learnt that when you surround yourself with passionate people, your world changes. After all, it all begins and ends with passion. Passionate people believe and do the impossible. Their company lights you on fire and changes your reality! And am I glad that I met two such people today!!

This question, “What have I learned?” will help us to:

  • Evolve as better human beings.
  • Draw our learnings and lessons from everything that we experience.
  • Make the best of the tough times and grow from the trying experiences too.
  • Take the path of self-awareness and personal growth.
  • Focus on the positives which can be a big transformational aspect of our life.

So, what did you learn today?

Linking this to Write Tribe Festival of Words #4 Day 1, for the theme Creativity and Inspiration!

Tales of Taxi Travails

When the Radio Cabs came into our city, I must have been the happiest person. You know that I don’t drive!! With the arrival of Radio Cabs, I thought, KG could breath a sigh of relief as there’d be no more disturbing him from his work to pick and drop me all over the city. And of course, no haggling with the auto-wallahs who believe that going without the meter rate and charging exorbitant fare is their birth right.

The first cab service that I used was Metro Cabs. It used to charge an additional Rs 100 per ride. According to them our residential area is not within the city limits, which is not right as the city has grown far beyond that. Anyway, I didn’t mind the additional charge and was happy with the prompt service and cool comfort of the AC cab.

Then came, Meru Cabs, Ola Cabs, Taxi for Sure and now recently Uber, which I am yet to try out. They say, if there are more companies in the foray, it is great for the customer. Really?!

I travel for work quite a bit and use these cab services at all times of the day and night. Over a period of time, I tried the services of Meru, Ola and Taxi for Sure and I must say that I have had some really bad, sad and mad experiences with them.

Taxi cab sign

There have been so many instances when after receiving the cab/driver details 20 minutes prior to the scheduled time, the driver has said that he is off duty or is too far off from my location or simply refuses to pick up the call. Imagine the panicky situation when the driver does not take your call and you are frantically navigating the call to their office through the cheerful IVRS lady (Argggh!!) and the time they take to arrange for another cab and the time it takes for the new cabbie to reach you and all this when you have a early morning flight to catch and the husband is out of town!!

Recently, I had to catch a train at 4.40 pm. Since, I prefer to reach pretty early especially at Rlwy Stations/Airports to avoid any untoward incident like jams, one ways etc. So I booked a Meru Cab for 3 pm. At 2.30 pm, I got the message with cab details. I called up the driver, he asked for the directions, I explained it all to him and he said that he would take an hour to reach. I was shell shocked. An hour?! Yes, he was at the other end of the city. He advised me to book another cab. Very thoughtful of him! I called up the Customer Care and they shared the second driver’s details. It’s 2.50 pm by then. I called the second driver and he told me that he was sitting in the cab of the first driver and he wouldn’t be able to reach me as well. It was a true WTH moment! As I was painstakingly explaining my panic situation at the Customer Care, I kept getting calls from the first two drivers, asking me to cancel their bookings. In the mean time, the third driver gave me a heart attack when he informed me of his location. He was also at another end of the city. I was nearly losing it when the fourth driver detail that was shared with me was also a good 45 minutes away from me. It was 3.30 pm and I just couldn’t believe that I was still at home and was ping ponging between the Customer Care and the cab drivers.

I called up Metro Cabs and fortunately they had a cab near my location but it got stuck at a traffic jam just 3 kms away from my home. I heaved a sigh of relief when I boarded the train at 4.40 pm.  And was I glad that I had booked the cab for 3 pm and not 4 pm that day! In the mean time, the follow up calls from their HO about the cancellation, asking the same questions again and again continued,  as if it was my fault that I had booked and cancelled the booking four times!

Last month, the Taxi for Sure that I took narrowly missed a biker at the intersection during the early hours of the morning! And then one from Ola Cabs was just not able to understand the directions to our location, even the GPS in his car was unable to guide him and after struggling with him for 10 minutes over the phone, he informed that he was new to city.

Here’s another thing. You call up the Customer Care and request for a cab at let’s say 11 am. 8/10 times, the response I get is, “Sorry, all our cabs are booked for this slot. Would you like to book a cab for 10.30 am or 12 noon?!” I am yet to get insights on their style of operations when each of these cab companies have 200-800 strong fleet of cars at Jaipur city.

Another service that I use when outstation is Savaari. This is one service that oscillates between the two extremes. There’s no in-between for them. Either they have a flawless service or they do not turn up at all. This has happened with me twice this month!

Travel via taxis has evolved quite a lot in these past few years. GPS tracking, 24×7 Customer Call Centres, booking via phones, web and apps, bill receipts via email/SMS are great technological advancements. While one end of the chain is run by professionals, the other end has its roots in the the sector which is still unorganized. There is a need for the cab companies to address the problems at grass root level viz understanding of the local city locations by the Call Centre team as well as the drivers, non-availability of cabs at the time you need them, delays in reaching the location, rash driving to name a few.

Travel via Radio Cabs has made the commute easier for me within the city, there’s no doubt about that, but can it be without panic attacks and heart burns. I have more bad experiences to share than happy and satisfactory rides with the Cab Services. Here’s hoping that these are just some initial start-up problems and we will have smoothly operating cab services soon. Fingers crossed!

How have been your experiences with Radio Cabs?

Ways to Maintain Furniture

A home without furniture is incomplete. In fact, furniture is the first thing that we buy when we move in a house. After all, it provides us with a place to sit and relax, eat and sleep, work and enjoy… Our furniture takes up the majority of space and helps make our home feel lived in, welcoming and complete. And the best is that all this is #JustAClickAway.

Whether the furniture in our home is there for its functionality and/or beauty, it has to be maintained. After all, furniture is meant to be used and enjoyed.

Sharing today some of the ways to maintain furniture at home.

  • Leather Sofas and Upholstery : Leather sofas add a touch of glamour and elegance to our home décor. However, cleaning and maintaining these stylish and plush sofas can be quite a challenge, as we cannot just wipe them down with a wet cloth and they can be easily damaged by improper cleaning techniques. Every now and then, we must follow the tips given below to give a long and a clean life to the leather sofas :Durian Concord
    • Vacuum clean the sofa by using the soft brush attachment. Let the crevice tool attachment suck up the dust and dirt from all the crevices and seams.
    • Make a cleaning solution by mixing equal parts of water and white vinegar. You can also use  commercial leather cleaner.
    • Dip a soft cloth (a microfiber cloth is best) in this solution and wring it out so that the cloth is just damp and not wet.
    • Wipe the entire sofa with this cloth while rinsing the cloth in the cleaning solution when necessary. It is best to start cleaning from the top and work your way down.
    • Dry the sofa with a clean cloth.
    • For conditioning, mix one part of white vinegar and two parts of linseed oil or flax seed oil. Using a soft, clean cloth, apply this mixture on the sofa in broad, circular motions. Leave it on overnight.
    • Next day, buff the sofa with a clean cloth to restore its shine.
  • Wooden Furniture : Wooden furniture is most preferred for its beauty, durability, and workability. Right from utilitarian furniture like the dining table and bedroom sets to the ones that have aesthetic appeal like side/coffee tables to even the ones which have symbolic or emotional appeal like the storage chests, wooden furniture is part of our every day life. Whatever their nature or purpose, wooden furniture needs our care and maintenance too. Here are some of the ways to manage our wood furniture :

Durian Krish Bedroom Set

    • Wood furniture can be cleaned with warm water and mild dish soap. Yes, it is perfectly ok to clean furniture with water as long as you don’t soak it with water! Wipe the dirt off the surface with soft cloth or paper towels. Then dry off any residual moisture with another dry soft cloth.
    • Frequent dusting removes dirt before it has a chance to settle in and make itself at home. Dusting often keeps an oily build-up from forming on wood furniture.
    • Keeping the wooden furniture out of the sun helps it from fading and destroying over time. The sun’s heat may also dry out and shrink the wood, which will cause cracks.
    • Similarly, avoid placing wood furniture near heating units or vents. Dry heat will cause the wood to dry and shrink, leaving cracks.
    • For a quick-fix touch up, use the appropriate color shoe polish on scratches and chips, especially to make them less visible. Carefully using a matching-color felt-tip marker first will hide it even better.
  • Upholstered Furniture : Upholstered furniture is not only trendy but also has a great aesthetic appeal. It can be customised with endless options depending on our taste and preferences. But with time, fabric upholstery picks up grease and grime and starts to look dull and tired. We can reduce the amount of damage to these soft furnishings by taking a few simple precautions :

Durian Oakland

    • Vacuum the upholstered furniture daily/weekly for general cleaning. This also prevents dirt from becoming embedded into the fabric fibres. You can also use a brush to gently whisk the dirt away. Of course, use a soft bristled brush so that you don’t snag the fabric.
    • Arm caps and covers help to protect from soiling the arm rests from body oil/sweat.
    • Some seats get more usage than others. It is a good idea to keep rotating seat cushions frequently to prolong life and appearance of areas prone to wear and tear. Changing the cushions around from one part to the other will ensure even usage.
    • Depending upon the fabric label, wash or dry-clean the fabric upholstery from time to time.
    • Avoid direct sunlight as it can cause the fabric to fade and even fray. Proper ventilation can help protect from fumes from cooking or smoke which can also harm the upholstery fabric.
    • It is best to have a professional clean your upholstered furniture every couple of years for it shine in its original glory.

By adopting simple practices regarding the use, care, and maintenance of  our furniture, we can make it look as good as new for years to come.

My Airtel App : For Ease and Convenience

With a lot of work related travel, I have a pretty hectic pace of life. Recently, I came to know that Bharti Airtel has introduced My Airtel App for Android phone, which lets you access any Airtel service from wherever you are. Now, that’s something I need the most. We use Airtel’s Fixed Line and Broadband service for our office. So, I decided to check out this app.

Once I downloaded the app through Google Play store, which was like a breeze, I found that this app is a simple way to manage all Airtel services viz Prepaid/Postpaid Mobile, Fixed Line, Broadband, Digital TV Connections. Though this app, I could check outstanding bill and un-billed amount, recharge account, make payments, activate or deactivate any VAS service like astrology, jokes etc. Users can also raise requests/ complaints and track their status. Customers of company’s DTH service Airtel Digital TV can also order movies and games via the app.

As I explored the app a bit more, I quite like the interface and the ease of navigation.

Here are some of the features that I liked about My Airtel App :

  • I Want To : This feature allows me to make Bill Payments, Recharge, Buy Packs, Record a Program, Order Games, View Balance, Data Consumed  and Check Recharge History.

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When I clicked on Pay, the bill details of our Office Fixed Line number and DSL account no. showed automatically on the screen. I could view the payment history, bill summary and email bill to my registered email id too. However, the only payment option that appears is through Saved cards. And since, I don’t have any saved cards on my phone, I navigated the payment option through the main menu and I got the message “Something seems to have gone wrong/ Please try after some time”. Repeated attempts met with the same message. Will try it again a bit later.  The website claims safe and  secured payments because of the PCIDSS certification with real time bill tracking, which gives me a lot of comfort and convenience. So, I am hoping that it’s just a temporary network/system error/glitch which gets sorted soon and I am able to make my payment through this app.

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  • Shake Your Phone: This is another interesting feature of My Airtel App. Yes, all one has to do is shake their phone to get exclusive offers across categories like shopping, food, wellness, entertainment, from popular brands like Yatra, Pepperfry, Goibibo, Jabong, Zovi, Cafe Coffee Day, Archies, Foodpanda, Travel Guru etc.

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  • Other Services : 2015-05-15 00.05.52There are a lot of other services that one can enjoy through My Airtel App like
    • Add or Remove Airtel Services
    • Explore Wynk : Browse, search, stream and download songs
    • One Touch Internet : Easiest way to learn internet for Airtel Prepaid Users
    • Airtel Live : One stop shop for all content viz latest songs, music videos, online games, movies. It also can be used to watch TV shows, play contests and get cricket updates, alerts & more.
    • The app now also offers notification alerts for low balance, low data, pack expiry and due date for payments.

I found the My Airtel App to be a simple, easy and user-friendly app, to manage all the Airtel services. That I can do all this through my smartphone, anytime and anywhere and is right in my hands all the time, is a big wow and adds a lot of convenience in my hectic schedule too! My Airtel App certainly makes my life a bit simpler and easier.

You may also check out more details at http://www.airtel.in/myairtel

My Preferences… Book-wise

After writing and posting every day (well almost), last month, I decided to take it a bit easy in May. Only 2 posts in 10 days is a testimony of the fact that I took it a bit too easy. Today, when I was keen to write something, a cycle of a blank page followed by keying in of a few sentences which were erased soon by the backspace key followed by a blank page stared back at me. It seems that the grey cells have gone for an extended vacation. For such dull and uninspiring days, Memes work best for me. I came across this fun and interesting Book Preference Meme, here. So, here I go with my preferences… book-wise!

  • Science Fiction, Fantasy or Horror?

I read all these genres. But if I were to pick one from these three, then it would be Horror.

  • Hardback or Trade paperback or Mass market paperback?

Trade paperback are easy to carry and read. Though Hardbacks look great in my library cupboard.

  • Amazon or Brick and Mortar?

Amazon without a doubt!

  • Barnes & Noble or Borders?

Barnes & Noble. Have bought books and CDs for Aaryan from this giant. Borders has closed down now and they never had a store in India!

  • Bookmark or Dog-ear?

Always a bookmark. Hate Dog-ears!

  • Asimov’s Science Fiction or Fantasy & Science Fiction?

I haven’t read Asimov, so Fantasy and Science fiction it will be for me.

  • Alphabetize by author, Alphabetize by title, or Random?

Random

  • Keep, Throw away or Sell?

Keep. Will never be able to throw away a book. And never sold a book too.

  • Keep dust-jacket or Toss it?

Keep. They look great!

  • Read with dust-jacket or Remove it?

Remove it while reading!

  • Short story or Novel?

Both, depending on the mood and time.

  • Stop reading when tired or at Chapter breaks?

For a not so great book, I stop whenever the words stop registering. But with interesting books, I always stop reading when the chapter ends.

  • “It was a dark and stormy night” or “Once upon a time?”

It was a dark and stormy night… comes with a lot of interesting possibilities.

  • Buy or Borrow?

Buy, always! Since I don’t lend my books, so I don’t borrow either.

  • Buying choice: Book Reviews, Recommendation or Browse?

Usually book reviews from fellow blogger friends.

  • Collection (short stories by the same author) or Anthology (short stories by different authors)?

Collection, as you are familiar with the author’s writing style. In an Anthology, there could be some black sheep but then you get to read some amazing new authors/stories too.

  • Tidy ending or Cliffhanger?

It doesn’t matter as long as the book is well written.

  • Morning reading, Afternoon reading or Night-time reading?

Anytime is a good time to read books.

  • Standalone or Series?

I prefer standalone books. I don’t mind series though, but then I prefer to read the series in quick succession without much time gap interval.

  • Favorite book of which nobody else has heard?

Nobody? Now that’s a bit far-fetched!

  • Favorite genre series?

Harry Potter series. That reminds me that I must pick this series once again and read all at one go. I also liked Clifton Chronicles by Jeffery Archer, though I have read just 2 from this series.

  • Currently Reading?

The Wedding Trousseau and Other Short Stories By Ankita Sharma and Story of Tublu by Jahid Akhtar. Both the books are written by fellow bloggers.

What are some of your preferences book-wise?

AtoZ Reflections #AtoZChallenge @AprilA2Z

A-to-Z Reflection [2015]

This year, it was my third April A to Z Challenge. After writing on random subjects and long posts in the first year and a theme based 55 word stories in the second year, I was clear that I would go with a theme based 55 word stories this year again.

Fellow bloggers in our little blogging group were sharing their count of scheduled posts as early as March and I was totally cool with my zero score. I don’t know what gave an otherwise worrying cum panic attack queen me, such a carefree attitude and not getting worked up.

Towards the end of March, when I got to know my travel plans for April, my cool demeanour did a 180 degree turn. I was scheduled to be out of home for more than a fortnight in 4 different trips! Given the places I was traveling to and the super hectic schedules that I would be having then, my panic buttons were pushed to the maximum. While, I work well under pressure but this time the pressure got to me. I struggled to get the first few posts live on my blog. But then, I somehow managed to schedule the posts for the days I was traveling.

One day will be forever etched in my memory… It was April 23rd and I was leaving for Rishikesh later that night. That morning, in a span of six hours, I wrote six 55 fictions for alphabets U to Z. And it was an exhilarating moment when the story for letter X was written in flat ten minutes. I actually patted my back!

Flocking at fellow bloggers blogs and reading what they shared from A to Z is something that I liked the most. It was amazing to see such diverse themes and varied styles of writing. My reading plate was full of fun, interesting, insightful, inspiring and some beautiful writings. April A to Z challenge is a perfect time and place to explore some new blogs too. And I am glad that I came across some pretty wonderful blogs. I am hoping to read them regularly.

While writing, reading and commenting kept me busy from morn to night on non-travel days. The story is entirely different when I was out of home. The places that we travelled to this time had internet connectivity ranging from zero to poor. At some places, even the phone didn’t work. So, the first day at these godforsaken but very beautiful places, I fretted and fumed, silently.  So desperate I was to read and comment on blogs of my friends through my phone, that at a camp site, I even climbed 40 steps to get on top of a water tank. Yes, you read it right… a water tank!! While two colleagues were coolly talking to their loved ones on their phones, the signals on my phone refused to oblige, even at that height. It was then I practiced my favourite mantra… Let Go. I used my smartphone as a clock and an alarm piece then on, and all was good. But once, I returned back to civilization, like a starved soul, I devoured reading, writing and commenting sometimes till as late as 3 am, much to the chagrin amusement of my husband!.. Naah! He just gave up on me!! 😉

April A to Z Challenge is all my time favourite challenge. And the one this year has been extra special. It gave me a platform to connect and network with some really amazing bloggers from around the globe.  AJ, Beloo, Cat Graham, Debbie, Eli, Elly, Eloquent Mind, Genevive, Inderpreet, Janaki, Jyotsna, Kadambari, Kathy, Keith, Lata Sunil, Lisa, Little Princess, LuAnn, Nisha, Parul, Prasanna, Rachna, Rajlakshmi, Roshni, Ruchi, Sanch Living Life, SG, Shailaja, Shalini, Shantala, Sheethal, Soumya, Sulekha, Sundari, Susan, Suzy, Swathi, Tulika, Ma’am Usha Menon, Vidya, Vinitha, Vinodini, Vishal, Vinay

And also that I really pushed myself this April. There were so many obstacles, so many challenges and that I conquered them all and posted all my posts at 12.01 am for each alphabet every single week day, fills me with pride and satisfaction, even today! April A to Z Challenge 2015 has been a great therapy!

A BIG THANK YOU to all who were part my A to Z journey which was full of feelings and emotions this year. Your support and encouraging words has meant more to me than you will ever know and I’ll cherish that forever!  ♥

Z is for Zen #AtoZChallenge @AprilA2Z

My theme for this year’s Blogging from A to Z April Challenge is Feelings and Emotions from A to Z in 55 Words. Today, Z is for Zen.

Z

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I looked in the mirror and saw a woman with fine lines and wrinkles, freckles and scars… the bulging waistline and hips… oh well!!

Of course, I don’t measure up or maybe, I measure a little too much!

But this is who I am and love me for me, and not for somebody else’s standards.

Y is for Yucky #AtoZChallenge @AprilA2Z

My theme for this year’s Blogging from A to Z April Challenge is Feelings and Emotions from A to Z in 55 Words. Today, Y is for Yucky.

Y

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After a long day of sightseeing I was looking forward to some comfort food.

The tantalizing aroma and our host’s promise of their signature dish made me lick my lips in anticipation.

With a flourish, he kept a plate of Sardinian-flatbread and cheese.

It was maggot-ridden, weeping stink bomb in an advanced state of decomposition!

 

 

 

Casu Marzu 1

Read more about Casu Marzu, here!

X is for Xenophobic #AtoZChallenge @AprilA2Z

My theme for this year’s Blogging from A to Z April Challenge is Feelings and Emotions from A to Z in 55 Words. Today, X is for Xenophobic.

X

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My uneasiness was mounting with each step that he took towards me.

“I AM stupid. Why did I take this route?”

“Look away, look away”, I kept chanting.

My pace matched my heart rate.

I felt for the cigarettes in my pocket.

The smell and taste of the smoke belonged to the world I knew.

*Xenophobia is an unfounded morbid fear or hatred of strangers or foreigners.

W is for Wicked #AtoZChallenge @AprilA2Z

My theme for this year’s Blogging from A to Z April Challenge is Feelings and Emotions from A to Z in 55 Words. Today, W is for Wicked.

W

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You must learn to let go.

You must realize that some people are a part of your history, but not a part of your destiny.

You can’t move forward if they continue to pull you down.

It is perfectly ok to burn a few bridges… That would keep the freaky lunatics from coming after you!

V is for Void #AtoZChallenge @AprilA2Z

My theme for this year’s Blogging from A to Z April Challenge is Feelings and Emotions from A to Z in 55 Words. Today, V is for Void.

V

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The days passed in a dream. All she could do was think of their reunion.

Aah! The anticipation of the magical moment… it drove her crazy!

He hugged her warmly while she hugged him back fiercely, strongly and closely!

Wanting him to fill into the empty gaps that someone had once left in her heart.

Join me in enjoying blogs from fellow A to Zers… Vinodini, Vinitha, Vidya, Vinay and Vishal today! Do share some blog love with them too! :)

U is for Unhappy #AtoZChallenge @AprilA2Z

My theme for this year’s Blogging from A to Z April Challenge is Feelings and Emotions from A to Z in 55 Words. Today, U is for Unhappy.

U

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Every now and then, I close my eyes and you’re all that I see, smiling at me.

Every now and then, I look at our pictures and remember the frozen moments of our life.

Every now and then, I remember our love and think of all things which could have been but never will be!

Join me in enjoying blogs from fellow A to Zer… Mrs Usha Menon today! Do share some blog love with her too! :)

T is for Tantrumy #AtoZChallenge @AprilA2Z

My theme for this year’s Blogging from A to Z April Challenge is Feelings and Emotions from A to Z in 55 Words. Today, T is for Tantrumy.

T

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They mock her. They laugh at her.

She pleads. She screams.

“You’re no good”, they tease.

“Is it my fault!?!”, she grieves.

She clears her throat, flexes her fingers and tries again.

They wait in anticipation but turn around and stare blankly at her yet again.

Aah! The hysterics between the writer and her words.

S is for Sarcastic #AtoZChallenge @AprilA2Z

My theme for this year’s Blogging from A to Z April Challenge is Feelings and Emotions from A to Z in 55 Words. Today, S is for Sarcastic

S

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“Where are you? Why are you doing this to me?

I tried to reach you several times.

You aren’t ignoring me, right!?!

I called and left voice messages on your phone.

I even poked you on Facebook.”, she complained petulantly.

“I would have responded, if Facebook had a STAB button”, I muttered under the breath.

Join me in enjoying blogs from fellow A to Zers… SanchShailajaShaliniShantalaSheethalSoumya, Sue McPeakSulekhaSundariSusan ScottSuzySwathi, today! Do share some blog love with them too! :)

R is for Relief #AtoZChallenge @AprilA2Z

My theme for this year’s Blogging from A to Z April Challenge is Feelings and Emotions from A to Z in 55 Words. Today, R is for Relief

R

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A cold tingling sensation engulfed me.

I knew, if I turned around, I would regret it.

But I turned anyways.

There he was, smiling menacingly at me.

I ran towards the door, but I never got to it..

Heart pounding in my ears, I open my tightly shut eyes…

Aah! It was just a dream!

Join me in enjoying blogs from fellow A to Zers… Rajlakshmi and Ruchi Singh, today! Do share some blog love with them too! :)

Q is for Quirky #AtoZChallenge @AprilA2Z

My theme for this year’s Blogging from A to Z April Challenge is Feelings and Emotions from A to Z in 55 Words. Today, Q is for Quirky.

Q

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I had to have it right NOW!

I emptied my bag and rummaged through the glove compartment, but it wasn’t there.

The craving was so strong that I could not get it out of my head.

On reaching home, I slammed the car’s brakes and rushed into the bathroom, to eat my favourite… toilet paper.

Based on a news article I read recently! Check it out here.

P is for Proud #AtoZChallenge @AprilA2Z

My theme for this year’s Blogging from A to Z April Challenge is Feelings and Emotions from A to Z in 55 Words. Today, P is for Proud.

P

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She stares at me with hurt written all over her face.

A lump rose in her throat and her body shook involuntarily.

Tears sting her eyes as she silently pleads to stay back.

A part of me screams, “We’re not meant to be!”

And a part of me smiles that she loves me despite everything.

Join me in enjoying blogs from fellow A to Zers… Parul and Prasanna  today! Do share some blog love with them too! :)

O is for Obsessive #AtoZChallenge @AprilA2Z

My theme for this year’s Blogging from A to Z April Challenge is Feelings and Emotions from A to Z in 55 Words. Today, O is for Obsessive

O

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I roll my eyes, when you mess it up.

I cringe, when you miss the basics.

I judge, when you’re unreasonably rebellious.

Why don’t you understand, it’s all for your own good!

“Your a freak?”, you spat it out.

Aah! The apostrophe and E is ignored, again. You must be banished to the extermination camp.

N is for Naughty #AtoZChallenge @AprilA2Z

My theme for this year’s Blogging from A to Z April Challenge is Feelings and Emotions from A to Z in 55 Words. Today, N is for Naughty

N

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“What do you mean you are bored?

Being bored is a symptom of a closed mind. You are doing great harm to yourself this way!

Break free from the regular. Reignite the flames of excitement”, he advised sagely.

“Come, let’s do some ‘we shouldn’t be doing this’ things”, he added with a mischievous grin.

Join me in enjoying blogs from fellow A to Zers… Nibha, Nisha and Nancytoday! Do share some blog love with them too! :)

M is for Misunderstanding #AtoZChallenge @AprilA2Z

My theme for this year’s Blogging from A to Z April Challenge is Feelings and Emotions from A to Z in 55 Words. Today, M is for Misunderstanding.

M

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With his pen hovering over the notepad, the waiter asked, “Super Salad?”

I said, “Sure, why not!”

He gave me a frosty look and repeated with emphasis, “Su… per… Salad?”

“Yes, I’d like a Super Salad!”, I answered pleasantly.

He looked daggers at me, when my friend nudged and whispered, “He’s asking, Soup or Salad?”

Join me in enjoying blogs from fellow A to Zers… Monica Deshpande and Mayuri today! Do share some blog love with them too! :)

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