Trees of Faith -Thursday Tree Love #5

Trees of Faith Salasar Balaji Rajasthan

At Salasar Balaji, Churu, Rajasthan.

“There’s a reason we refer to “leaps of faith” – because the decision to consent to any notion of divinity is a mighty jump from the rational over to the unknowable, and I don’t care how diligently scholars of every religion will try to sit you down with their stacks of books and prove to you through scripture that their faith is indeed rational; it isn’t.
If faith were rational, it wouldn’t be – by definition – faith.
Faith is belief in what you cannot see or prove or touch.
Faith is walking face-first and full-speed into the dark.
If we truly knew all the answers in advance as to the meaning of life and the nature of God and the destiny of our souls, our belief would not be a leap of faith and it would not be a courageous act of humanity; it would just be… a prudent insurance policy.”
Elizabeth Gilbert, Eat, Pray, Love

Do you believe in the power of faith?

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

If We Were Having Coffee… 17th November

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If we were having coffee, I would thank you for taking the time to meet me here over a cup of coffee.  I hope you are looking forward to a relaxed weekend.

If we were having coffee, I’d tell you that I am suffering from that dreadful blogger’s blog. I have religiously stared at the blank screen for long periods of time, every day of the week, hoping for the grey cells and fingers to work in coordination. Alas! They refused to look in the same direction. I cajoled and begged them, but they haughtily turned their back on me. Left with no alternative, I wandered around with self-pity and despair and snapped at everyone I met. I drank gallons of tea and coffee to wake up my dead grey cells and aimlessly read posts on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter. When that didn’t help in any way, I picked up my Kindle and read.

If we were having coffee, I’d tell you that though I didn’t write a single word on this blog of mine, but I read a LOT of words. I have read some 95 books from January 2017 till date. I still have to read 30 books by December 31st to complete my 2017 book reading challenge target. It’s a bit challenging,  but am sure I will be able to do it.

If we were having coffee, I’d share that this week, I read a lot of my old posts. I observed that some of my posts are absolute gold (God, I cant believe that I had written them!) and most are absolutely cringe worthy (God, I cant believe that I had written them!) Do you love and hate your old blog posts?

If we were having coffee, I’d tell you that I had an amazingly unbelievable experience at the passport office last week. My passport was nearing expiry, so I went to passport office last Friday to renew it. I had got an appointment for 11 am. When I saw the queue, I had a mini heart attack. But was surprised to see that the entire queue for that time slot was sent at one go. Once we entered the office, there were half a dozen counters to cater to some 20-25 of us. In no time, I was guided from one officer to another and in flat 50 minutes I was out of the office. The officers were so professional, efficient and courteous that I was simply blown away. The icing on the cake was when I received a SMS at 4 pm stating that my passport has been printed and despatched via Speed Post. Yes, my passport got renewed in a day. And I got it in my hands on Monday. Now isnt that truly impressive!!

If we were having coffee, I’d wish you a great weekend while I’d go and pack my bags to leave for my work trip to Aligarh. It would be my first trip to this small city in Uttar Pradesh which is famous for locks. I don’t need locks but I am surely going to pick one or two.

If we were having coffee, we would have been draining the last dregs of our cups, and it would be time for us to say goodbye. I wish your coming week is better than the last and that you will stop by the comments and let me know what you’ve been up to!

Until next time… ciao!

Be a #YesMom – Say Yes to Immunity @Immuno_Boosters

Recently, I came across a video on social media that showed a social experiment where moms saw the effects of saying ‘no’ to their kids. I wondered, did those moms become Yes Moms and was it difficult to become a #YesMom after years of saying no? I was delighted to what came next…

This video made me think and reflect on how I speak to my child and what impact it might have on his young mind.

How many times a day do I say ‘No’ to my child? I think, a hundred times, at least. That’s because I am that over-cautious mother. I believe that I must deny his requests which has the potential to harm him. So, I use the word ‘No’ liberally every day. But I do realize that this may have a negative impact on my child.

We all know that ‘No’ is restrictive and limits the boundaries of a child, and ‘Yes’ is all about encouragement and positivity. But is it easy to say ‘Yes’ more often?

Saying ‘Yes’ when the child wants to eat ice-creams first thing in the morning or gets soaking wet while sprinkling water in the garden or doesn’t want to eat fruits and vegetables, can be challenging. That’s because I worry about him getting sick. Since his immunity is still in the growing stage, my child is vulnerable to infections. Poor immunity with frequent infections may impact his physical and mental growth, hence I resort to saying ‘No’.

A healthy body begins with a healthy immune system. A regular balanced diet is the best way to help prevent disease and infections. The food that my kid eats may not be providing him with the nutrients he needs to have a strong immune system, this could be because of food adulteration or fussy habits. Thankfully, I came across a nutritional supplement which I believe can plug these dietary gaps and build my kid’s immunity.

ActivKids Immuno Boosters from Cipla is a unique nutritional supplement for kids that helps build their immunity. It is available in a tasty choco-bite format (you can give this to your kid as is!) which gives up to 100% RDA (Recommended Dietary Allowance) of key Immunity Nutrients:

  • Vitamin A – Anti-infective vitamin
  • Vitamin C – Anti-immune stress vitamin
  • Vitamin B9 – Anti-cold vitamin
  • Iron – Anti-microbial mineral
  • 7 essential nutrients like B1, B2, B3, B6, B12, D, Zinc

The nutrients present in ActivKids Immuno Boosters help build Immunity in the following ways:

  • Provides immune strength to fight germs
  • Helps in blood formation
  • Helps in formation of immune cells
  • Protects body cells from damage
  • Strengthens skin’s defence system

Each choco-bite contributes to less than 1% calorie from sugar of the total daily energy requirement and thus presents no risks of dental caries and high calorie intake.

ActivKids Immuno Boosters is available for kids for two age groups of children, 4-6 Years and 7+ years.

After watching the video, I decided to give it a try. The nutrients in ActivKids Immuno Boosters will strengthen the immune system of my child and I may not have to worry or stress about keeping him infection free and healthy.

So I started my #YesChallenge journey by building strong immunity for my child, I would definitely advise other moms to take up the #YesChallenge for positive and liberal development of your child. Yes, my child’s immunity is something that is always on my mind and I’m sure it is the case with all of you. Which is where nutrition become very important and can make a whole gamut of difference. But with ActivKids Immuno Boosters in your pocket, you can now keep saying “Yes” while knowing that your child’s immunity has been strengthened.  

I have joined the #YesMom brigade. You can be a part of it too. Let’s bring about a positive and healthy transformation in not only in our life but that of our children too. BE A #YesMom TODAY!

Do share your #YesChallenge stories with me in the comment section and you could get a chance to attend #YesMom day with Mandira Bedi.

 

If We Were Having Coffee… 7th November

 

Coffee Chat

If we were having coffee, I’d welcome you to another round of coffee catch-up here on my blog. There has been so much happening in my life these days, and I’m sure a lot is happening in your life too!

If we were having coffee, I’d tell you that last weekend, I was at Vadodara for work and met a dear blogging buddy, Vinodini Iyer. You know, the switch from the virtual world to the real world was so smooth for us. We met at That Place and we were so comfortable talking as though we had known each other for years, which we actually did!!

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If we were having coffee, I’d tell you that I have met quite a few blogging buddies. I have met Vinita Apte, Tulika Singh, Sulekha Rawat, Shalini Baisiwala, Nibha Gupta, Rekha Dhayani, Kajal Kapur in their respective cities,  Swathi Ram and Chiky Kadambari at Jaipur and have even met Scorpria in Kuwait. I have met Shailaja V, Vidya Sury, Sid Balachandran, Roshan Radhakrishnan, UK, Vinita Bahl, Ritu Lalit, Seema Rao, Maitreni Mishra, Rahul Prabhakar, Meenakshi J Iyer, Sonal Mathur, Pawan Soni, Arvind Passey and many more during the various Blogger Meets.

If we were having coffee, I’d share with you that it is always exciting to cross the border from virtual to real world. There is a bit of apprehension and a lot of anticipation. The thing that plays on your mind is that will their style of communication and personality, match with the one that shines through the words on their blog?

If we were having coffee, you would like to know my experience of meeting bloggers in real life, right? Well, it has always been like meeting old friends. I would say that the virtual blogging buddies are friends for two reasons. (1) Because they are lovely people and that is why we connected in the virtual world and (2) because we share the same passion of blogging. On our blogs we share our deepest and truest self, which we may not be the case with most of the people around us in real life. Since we have been reading each other for long, we are able to relate with each other and that connects us more strongly.

If we were having coffee, I’d ask you if you have met any virtual friends and how was your experience?

If we were having coffee, I’d tell you that last week I have had two separate incidents where my real life ‘friends’ acted like ravenous wolves in sheep’s clothing. And that they have been acting nastily on and off has truly saddened and disheartened me. All this while, I tried to brush their bad behavior under the carpet, but now, I believe I need to let go of such toxic relationships for my peace of mind. Easier said than done, I really need to do that!

If we were having coffee, what would you talk about? Please share a snippet of your day/life with me below in the comments!

If we were having coffee, I’d thank you for joining me here today and hope we meet soon again. Until then…

#RiotGrams October 21-31, 2017

And this is the last and the final edition of my posts on Instagram for the Book Riot Instagram Challenge #RiotGrams. This was my first month long challenge on Instagram and I loved the experience. 

Each day was met with excitement or a groan. Books for some prompts were available with me and some weren’t. So, I had to literally look for the books and buy the Kindle versions. Yes, I am pretty committed that way! And I’m proud to say I did not miss a single day of this month long challenge! 

The part of this challenge was to discover such diverse books. For instance, I have made a long list of Great Book Club Reads and Chilling and Thrilling books. This challenge has increased the length of my TBR list which is already a foot long.

Also, a challenge like this is a great way to start using Instagram especially if you are a newbie like me. It pushed me to be more creative. and generate content for Instagram. And best of all, I’ve made a lot of new connections with some lovely folks, from all over the world.

Check out my take on the bookish prompts from October 21st to October 31st, 2017.

Excited by the success of this challenge, I am taking up Fat Mum Slim’s November Photo a Day Challenge which starts tomorrow. I would love to have your company for this challenge, after all, the more the merrier. You may like to check out the details here or here.

Are you game for Fat Mum Slim’s November Photo a Day Challenge?

Which one is your favorite from this lot! Which books have you read from the collection here. Do share in the comment box below.

If Were Having Coffee… 31st October

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If were having coffee, I’d wish you a hello and thank you for stopping by for a cup of coffee and some conversations here.

If were having coffee, I’d tell you that today I woke up feeling, “Aah! I don’t want to get out of bed and I don’t want to do anything!” Actually, I had this feeling yesterday as well. Yesterday, I thought, that this was due to the weekend work trip. So, I spent the entire most of the day, relaxing and reading in bed. I thought I deserved the day off for I had worked hard the previous day and that too on a weekend. I had a good time catching up on my reading and generally lazing around. But at the end of the day, there was this little feeling that I didn’t do anything meaningful.

If were having coffee, I’d tell you that his lack of motivation today morning despite all the rest yesterday bothered me. I ignored the long To-Do list which was staring at me and called up KG who is away for work. Among other things, I told him about this lack of motivation despite a hundred tasks looming large over my head. He coolly told me, ‘there are always 2 roads in front of you but you can only take one road. Decide for yourself which road you want to take today, the one leading towards productivity with satisfaction at the end of the day or a lazy day with instant gratifications but disappointment at the end of the day.’ And suddenly, it was clear to me about the road that I would be taking today.

If we were having coffee, I’d share that isn’t it wonderful to find that talking to someone outside of the situation can help sort a lot of things which you are not able to do with self-talk. Thanks to KG’s wise words, I ticked off a few things from my list and that included this post too.

If we were having coffee, I’d tell you that I will be completing my Instagram #RiotGrams challenge today. It was lovely looking for books for the various prompts and sharing everyday and of course connecting with hundreds of other book lovers and their books. I will be posting the third and final round-up of this month long challenge on my blog in a day or two. I hope you have seen the earlier 2 posts here and here.

If we were having coffee, I’d ask if you’d be interested in Fat Mum Slim’s November Photo a Day Challenge? The prompts for the entire month are given in this picture below.

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Playing along is really simple! Just look at the list each day and take a photo using the prompt as inspiration. So, for example, Day 1 is BLUE, so all you have to do is take a photo of something BLUE! You can do it on Instagram and Facebook and also on your own blog. You can check out all the details here.

I would love to do this November Photo a Day Challenge but only if I have company. So does this interest you? Let me know.

If we were having coffee, I would tell you that it’s getting late as I have to catch up on the other items on my list. It’s been good to chat with you and get this ramble off of my chest. Thank you for listening. Wishing you a wonderful week.

Until next time, take care of yourself.

Linking this to Day 9 of the Write Tribe Problogger October 2017 Blogging Challenge#writebravely #writetribeproblogger

He Provides Meals to the Poor for Re.1 #WATWB

At one time or another, most of us have had people from earlier generation tell us clichéd stories about how much they could buy for Rupee 1. Today, you can’t really buy much of anything with Rupee 1 – except for the candies may be.

Though Rupee 1 coin is still around, but it seems to have lost its worth. So, when someone sells a full meal for Rupee 1, are you shocked or surprised or impressed? I guess, all!

Venkatraman from Erode, Tamil Nadu provides meals to the poor for a token amount of Re. 1. He offers around 70 meals every day including dishes like rice, curry, idlis and dosas through his self-run Sri AMV Homely Mess. Venkataraman Erode

Venkatraman has been providing these meals since 2007 to the patients and their caregivers of the nearby Erode General Hospital.

It all started because of a single woman who unwittingly made Venkataraman aware of a very harsh reality.

“A lady came to my mess to purchase food for herself and her husband who was admitted in the nearby government hospital. She wanted to purchase idlis, which I sell six for Rs. 10. But they were unavailable that day so I asked her to take dosas instead,” narrates Venkataraman, remembering the lady who became the starting point of his journey.

She refused to purchase dosas, because they were sold three for Rs. 10, and that would not be enough for her family. Touched by her dejected expression, Venkataraman gave her six dosas for the same amount.

But this wasn’t the end of the story. The incident, which would have been easily forgotten by many restaurant owners, stayed with Venkataraman. He realized that some people were dependent on an amount as small as Rs. 10 for survival through the entire day. He knew he had to do something, to the best of his own ability.

Watch Venkataraman’s awe-inspiring story here…

You may read more about him here.

Venkataraman shows us that you don’t have to be rich to help someone. You can show compassion and kindness even if you are struggling yourself. And that ordinary people can do extraordinary things!

Giving back is as good for you as it is for those you are helping, because giving gives you purpose. When you have a purpose-driven life, you’re a happier person — Goldie Hawn

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This post is part of the We Are the World Blogfest, a monthly event created by Damyanti Biswas and Belinda Witzenhausen to showcase stories of hope and light. This month I’m helping Belinda out as a co-host, along with extraordinary bloggers Guilie Castillo, Sylvia McGrath, and Mary Giese—please hop over to check out their WATWB posts as well as from other WATWB participants for a dose of feel-good to last you a whole month. You’ll be happy you did 🙂

Click HERE to check out the intention and rules of the blogfest and feel free to sign up at any time. You are always welcome!

Linking this to Day 8 of the Write Tribe Problogger October 2017 Blogging Challenge#writebravely #writetribeproblogger

Books & I… A Book Lover’s Tag #WriteBravely

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I found A Book Lover’s Tag on Myths of the Mirror. There’s nothing like chatting about books and reading habits. I can talk about books till cows come home. I can see that you’re interested too, right?

So without further ado, let’s get started with the Q & A session which is all about books.

1.Do you have a specific place for reading?

I don’t have a specific place to read, though I do have a favorite. I read when alone at a restaurant, while waiting somewhere, in train or a flight…

My favorite place to read is in bed and that makes me a Librocubicultarist.

2. Bookmark or random piece of paper?

Bookmarks definitely. I have a whole lot of them, thanks to online book shopping stores. Though sometimes boarding passes, bills etc are also seen in my books.

3. Do you eat or drink whilst reading? SAVE_20171024_093326

Yes. It is easy to eat and drink with Kindle. It can lie on the table while you eat or drink. Eating with a physical book is difficult and I hate spoiling it with stains.

4. Music or TV whilst reading.

None. I like absolute peace and quiet when I am reading. However, I have got used to the TV being on in the background when I am reading and can cope with that but not if it is too loud and that’s because the boys have only TV on their agenda when they are free and relaxing.

5. One book at a time or several?

A thriller or an interesting book is usually one at a time. But sometimes depending on the genre of the book, I do read multiple books. For example, I am currently reading Eats, Shoots & Leaves, a non-fiction on punctuation, which gets a bit overwhelming when I am reading it at a stretch; Enid Blyton’s Malory Towers, which is a bit slow for me and a Calvin and Hobbes comic which I am reading on my Kindle for PC.

6. Do you prefer to read at home or elsewhere?

I love reading at home in my bed, but I read anywhere. If it was only place to read for me, I’d barely finish a book.

7. Read out loud or silently?

Silently always, though it’s pretty loud in my head.

8. Do you read ahead or skip pages?

Usually, I read page by page unless a part of the chapter really drags. In such a case, I flick through the pages that follow until the story picks up again. I am guilty of reading the last page (and then going back) when it gets too much to handle especially in a thriller. IMG_20171003_101122_658

9. Break the spine or keep it like new.

Oh, I can never spoil my books and they look as good as new even after I have read them.

10. Do you write in books?

God! No! Never! Who does that??

11. What books are you reading now?

On my current reading list are

  • Eats, Shoots & Leaves: The Zero Tolerance Approach to Punctuation is a non-fiction book by Lynne Truss
  • Malory Towers Collection 1: Books 1-3 by Enid Blyton
  • Attack of the Deranged Mutant Killer Monster Snow Goons (Calvin and Hobbes) by Bill Watterson
  • The Diaries of Adam and Eve by Mark Twain

12. What is your childhood favorite book?

Nancy Drew mystery stories by Calolyn Keene.

13. What is your all-time favorite book?

This is a tough question as my favorites have changed over a period of time. But if I have to pick one, it would be Sidney Sheldon’s Master of the Game. As a teenager, it was my first Sidney Sheldon book. The romance, drama, dark secrets, murders, lust, greed fascinated and intrigued me.  It was a big fat book and when I finished reading it, I remember having separation anxiety. I am thinking of re-reading it again.

That’s it for now! You can share your thoughts about my answers in the comments, or take up this book tag yourself – let me know if you do.

Happy reading and book tagging!

Linking this to Day 7 of the Write Tribe Problogger October 2017 Blogging Challenge#writebravely #writetribeproblogger

#RiotGrams October 11-20, 2017

As you know, I am doing the Book Riot Instagram Challenge #RiotGrams this October. This is a challenge to showcase books for the various prompts all through the month. It’s a great way to connect with fellow book lovers and know their choices and recommendations.  Another thing that I like about this bookish challenge is to see some very stylish and tasteful pictures. And I believe that is a wonderful way to observe and learn some photo skills. No, you aren’t going to see some dramatic changes in my photo skills.

I did a round-up of my posts from October 1-10, 2017 here

Today, I am sharing my entries for this challenge from October 11-20, 2017.

Hope you enjoy checking out my take on the various prompts!

October 13 : Mugs, Tees, Totes, Swag. This prompt has made me wonder if I am a true book lover!! I pride myself on being a bookworm / bibliophagist but I dont have a single bookish mug or tee or pen stand or cushion or a tote bag. Oh, I had a tote bag which had "The Bag of Small Things' printed on it. (For the uninitiated, it was inspired by Arundhati Roy's book, The God of Small Things). But looks like it is lying somewhere in husband's office. All this is going to change now for my next buy would be some bookish merchandise. Thankfully, I have this mug which came with the review copy of The Calling by Priya Kumar. Do you buy bookish merchandise frequently? What all you have in your bookish treasure chest? #riotgrams @bookriot #readersofinstagram #Bookaddict #bookstagram #bookworm #bookhoarders #ilovebooks #bibliophile #readingmylife #readmorebooks #challenge #bookish #octoberchallenge #bookishmerchandise #mug #totebag

A post shared by Shilpa Garg (@shilpaagarg) on

Got any favorites from these 10 posts? Have you read any book from the ones showcased here? Do share in the comments section!

Their Hysterics #WriteBravely

55 Fiction

She fumes, she frets.

She pleads, she screams.

All they do is mock and tease.

‘You are no good’, they screech.

She implores them to dance across the space so that she could pass their beat on to others.

But they turn their back with disdain!

Aah! The drama between the writer and her words.

Linking this to Day 6 of the Write Tribe Problogger October 2017 Blogging Challenge#writebravely #writetribeproblogger

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