10 Reasons to Love Audiobooks

Ten on Tuesdays

As part of my this year’s Book Reading Challenge, I decided to go for the Audiobook Challenge 2016.  Audiobooks, as you know is a digitally recorded version of the printed paper book being read out aloud by a narrator. I dabbled into this format of book ‘reading’ earlier this year and I quite liked the experience.

Here are ten reasons to love audiobooks and why  you should listen to audiobooks…Audiobooks

  1. Listening while engaged in another activity : Audiobooks can be listened to while folding laundry, cleaning, cooking, gardening, traveling or just plain lounging… I am sure you can think of even more occasions and places when audiobooks can be enjoyed. Ok, it didn’t work for me while eating, because I missed a few words amidst the crunch of the salad.
  2. More time to ‘read’ : A crowded place may be a bit distractive to read a paper-book or eBook, but it is easier to listen to an audiobook even in a noisy place. Also you can listen to an audiobook when there’s no light or it’s lights out time. And you can listen to an audiobook when you don’t want to strain your eyes. So, you have more time for ‘reading books’.
  3. Convenience : Audiobooks are really convenient. You can have them on your phone, iPod, computer/laptop or tablet. Just like eBooks, the audio version is easy to  sync on multiple devices.
  4. Better listening skills : “I remind myself every morning : Nothing I say this day will teach me anything. So if I am going to learn, I must do it by listening. – Larry King” Audiobooks help in learning to listen and concentrate on verbal messages as you hear every little detail in audiobook. Listening to audiobooks makes you a better listener!
  5. Accents  and pronunciation : Listening to audiobooks makes you familiar with accents and pronunciation of words. I liked comparing the American  way of saying words to that of the British. Offhand I remember pondering over these words… civilization, harassment, example, can’t, mobile etc.
  6. Storytelling : You can listen to sample of an audiobook before buying and that introduced me to the style of narrator. I realized that a narrator actually sets the tone of the book and makes the story come to life. This made me aware of the art of storytelling. As listeners, you  hear the variations in the tone, different voices for different characters and actually think of the characters speaking to you. And all this makes the experience more vivid for the listener. Also, a voice communicates more than reading the words in the book and the best example of that is sarcasm and humor!
  7. Great way to fall asleep : I listen to audiobooks before going to bed and I found that it help me fall asleep better. Yeah, no kidding!
  8. Speed of ‘Reading” :  It doesn’t take as long to listen to a book as it would to read it. Yes, you listen to a book much faster than reading one. Additionally the feature to increase the speed at which the narration is read, allows you to cut down the reading time of a 2 hour book to 1 hour!
  9. Better medium to read certain genres/ books : Books with concepts or autobiographies or books which have great content but hard to read, make for good listening. I listened to Seriously… I’m Kidding by Ellen DeGeneres which has life lessons narrated by Ellen herself. I think, I found the book more interesting while listening to it because I am sure that some of the jokes shared in the book would not have translated well on paper.
  10. Greener option : Audio books help you to go green. Yes, you save trees when you choose audiobooks.

I am still a big fan of paper books though the scales are tilting towards eBooks now, but I find that audiobooks are a great addition to my reading life!

Have you ever tried audiobooks? What’s your take on this?

Linking this to…

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10 Must Eats in Kuwait

Ten on TuesdaysAs I travelled across the length and breadth of the  Kuwait city, (It’s a small city by the way), one thing that I found in abundance is the eating joints. There are rows of restaurants, food joints, small and simple eateries to high end fine dining, international food chains to good value mid-range options, lining both the sides of the roads.

Kuwaiti cuisine, they say is largely the one that is contributed by the immigrants from the Arab countries and South East Asia. So, Arabian, Persian, Bedouin, Pakistani, Turkish, Indian Iranian and Mediterranean dishes form an integral part of Kuwaiti food. Since, there are immigrants from all over the world in Kuwait, so there are a lot of American, Italian, Chinese, French, Thai, Japanese restaurants and food joints too.

Our local hosts have been kind and generous enough to take us around and giving us insights about Kuwait. Thanks to them, we have been able to explore the diverse flavours of Kuwaiti food.

Today, I share the list of 10 dishes that I tried in Kuwait and relished eating them.

1. Warak Enab : An Arabic dish, Warak Enab is basically stuffed grape leaves. The leaves are stuffed with rice, tomatoes, onions, parsley, fresh mint and slowly simmered in a bath of olive oil and lemon juice. The result is a smooth silky rich and a bit sour dish that simply melts in the mouth!

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2. Machboos : It is considered as the national dish of Kuwait. Machboos is a rice dish served with meat (chicken, lamb, fish). Basmati Rice is cooked with saffron and rose water. The meat is cooked separately and served on top of the rice. This is then eaten with a red sauce known as Dakkous which is made up of tomatoes, black pepper and garlic. The pictures here are of Chicken and Mutton Muchboos. An interesting dish, isn’t it?

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3. Jireesh (Yireesh) –This is another Arabic dish which is like our broken wheat dalia only cooked with chicken or lamb along with spices and tomatoes. I know the picture below is not that appealing but it can be an ideal comfort food.

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4. Kuboos and Hummus : Kuboos is an Arabian pita or flat bread made up of wheat flour and baked in hot oven. It is eaten with Hummus which is a very popular and traditional Middle Eastern dip or an accompaniment. It is made of chickpeas which are mashed and blended with spices and olive oil. I liked the way the hummus is served in dishes with swirls and hollow in the centre and garnished with different things viz chopped tomato, cucumber, coriander, parsley, caramelized onions or sautéed mushrooms.

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5. Fatayer Lahme, Fatayer Jibna and Fatayer Zaatar : These are stuffed Arabic breads. Fatayer Lahme is a bread stuffed with minced meat. Fatayer Jibna is a flat bread stuffed with cheese. And Fatayer Zaatar is a pizza like bread, the top of which is smeared with thyme, sesame seeds and some other herbs and spices. These can be shaped in the form of pastry pies and triangles or boats.

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6. Kushari : Kushari is an Arabic Egyptian dish made up of rice, lentils and macroni. It is topped with tomato sauce and crispy fried onions. Kushari is like our Khichdi minus the macroni.

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7. Shawarma : Shawarma is considered as the little piece of heaven here on earth. It is yet another Arabic dish. It has thinly sliced cuts of meat, like chicken, beef, goat, lamb,  rolled into a large piece of flatbread. It is eaten with with fries, salads like tabouleh, falafel, hummus or pickled vegetables.  I liked the process of making the Shawarmas. Raw meat is placed on large, rotating cones. As it rotates, the meat is cooked slowly on all sides by a heat source below. The meat is thinly sliced by a chef with a large knife. It can be eaten in a plate or as a wrap.WP_20160122_14_12_41_Pro

8. Kebabs : As I mentioned earlier, I am not an ardent non-veg food lover, but I do love the grilled non-veg dishes. I have had kebabs and grilled food at many places, but the ones that I had at this Kuwaiti restaurant were simply mind blowing. The mutton seekh kebabs simply melted in my mouth and the flavours were so rich. In this platter we had various varieties of juicy and delicious grilled chicken and mutton kebabs. Aah! I feel like having them again, now!

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9. Luqaimat : It is a popular Arabic sweet dish that is enjoyed during the month of Ramadan. These are sweet dumplings which are crunchy from out side (like jalebi) and soft from inside (like gulab jamun). Now, I call this as a double bonanza, because I  get two of my favorites in one dish.

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10. Balah El Sham and Katayef : I have seen and heard a lot about these sweet patties and pastries on Food Safari. And when I saw them at the buffet, my heart gave a whoop of joy. Balah El Sham are churro-like, Middle Eastern fritters which are crunchy on the outside and squishy soft on the inside. Katayef is a pancake pastry filled with sweet cheese and nuts and then fried or baked and served with a hot syrup. Needless to say that they are simply YUM!!

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I was just checking my notes and camera and there are still so many foods and dishes that I must write about, but I shall leave that to next time.

Have you tried these dishes? Which is your favorite Kuwaiti / Arabic dish.  Is there any dish that you would recommend me to try out in Kuwait?

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?)

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?

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”!

‘Smart’ Things I do with My Smartphone

cooltext468162920Ten ‘Smart’ Things I do with My Smartphone

Destination Infinity suggested that I write a post on things one can do with a Smartphone, other than making and receiving calls. So, here I am with the smart things I do with my Smartphone. Now, let me warn you that the definition of smartness may vary from person to person. So, my ‘smart’ may be your juvenile and vice versa, but we are not getting into that!SP

Usually, we use our Smartphones for making and receiving calls, messaging (SMS/WhatsApp/ChatOn/We Chat etc), emails, browsing the internet, listening to music, watching videos, calculating 2+2 (yes, I need it for that too), as an alarm clock etc. In this post I am not talking about these regular features but rather some smart things (smart as per my standards!) that I do with my Smartphone.

  1. Read ebooks : This I explored recently. Though I had the Kindle app on my phone from the very beginning, but I used it to only download free ebooks from Amazon.com. These were the books which I never read. Recently, I had to read and review Sirens Spell Danger which is available only on Kindle app, so I had no choice but to use this app. And I was hooked. I loved the experience of reading this book on my phone. Am currently reading Unsettled and another one is in the queue too.
  2. Blog : When I am traveling, I use my Smartphone to blog. I have downloaded the WordPress app. This mobile app is simple and easy to use and lets me write new posts, upload photos, edit pages, and manage comments on the blog too.
  3. Check my Must Read Blogs : I use Bloglovin’ to read my favorite blogs on my laptop and use its mobile app on phone. This app I use, predominantly, when I am traveling.
  4. Twitter and Facebook : I love reading tweets whenever I get a few free minutes. It is my daily dose of news and entertainment. For me, Twitter is synonymous with my Smartphone. In fact, I rarely use my laptop for Twitter. I use my phone for Facebook as well.
  5. Scan on the Go : MD Scan Lite is a mobile document scanner, which I use frequently. I find this app vflat-icons-future-of-ios-design-smart-phone-appsery handy and is an extremely useful tool as it gives me the power to scan any type of document (bills/official letters/ pan card etc), transform it into PDF format and share it via Bluetooth, email, anywhere, anytime.
  6. Store and Use : Dropbox is a free service that lets you bring your photos, docs, and videos anywhere and share them easily. I have uploaded some important documents in my Dropbox which I can access and edit anywhere on my Smartphone. For a meeting, where I am not carrying my laptop, before leaving, I upload the document or PPT on the Dropbox and I can use it from the phone whenever needed.
  7. Memo : My companion to make lists, jot down thoughts, write something when paper and pen are not available.
  8. Chat: I used Skype for video and voice calls. But I have uninstalled this app now as it requires at least 27MB of free memory space. And it makes the phone system slow. So whenever I need to Skype, I use my laptop.
  9. Play Games : There are very interesting games for android Smartphones. I keep 2 games at the most on my Smartphone at a given time. I download the game, play till I get bored of it and then uninstall it and look for another new game…
  10. Time Pass : Depending upon the time availability, need and mood, I download, use and then delete various apps like Horoscopes, Newspapers, Weather, Truecaller, Indian Rail, Talking Tom, Zomato, BookMyShow, Quikr, Instagram, Flipkart etc etc.

A friend’s Smartphone stopped acting smart pretty soon. He went to the service centre and the guy there told him, “Sir, you have converted your phone into a computer”. He had loads of apps and movies and songs on his Smartphone. I love my Smartphone and want it to remain smart for a long long time, so I am crazy about its health. So, I do explore the interesting apps but I am quick to say adios to them too. I delete the unwanted, unnecessary apps as they usually slow down the functioning of the Smartphone and in doing so the phone battery thanks me too!

So, what are your other smart uses for your Smartphone?

Linking it to January 2014 Ultimate Blog Challenge and NaBloPoMo

To read posts by fellow friends and UBC and NaBloPoMo participants, click here Jairam, Kajal, Kathy, Michelle, Nabanita, Richa, Suzy Que, Sheethal. Yes, we can do we with some more cheering and support. :)

Images Courtesy : Google Images

What’s Up? I Mean WhatsApp

cooltext468162920Ten Things about WhatsApp on my Phone

WhatsApp, the free messaging application, must be the most used app on every smartphone. In fact it has become a social network of its own kind. It gives you the freedom to chat individually with a contact as well as to form your own chat groups.

So, we have various WhatsApp groups in our smartphones viz friends, girl friends, cousins, school mates, college mates, work mates, kitty party, neighbourhood etc etc. If you have worked in more companies, so more work groups and like wise you can have school and college friends batch wise. Phew… a lot of groups.whatsapp-logo

So many groups and so many people to chat with, here’s a sneak peak of what’s happening on WhatsApp on my phone…

  • I guess, WhatsApp is mostly used for mass-texting jokes. I get a joke from somebody, I immediately copy paste it and send it other WhatsApp groups and friends. No, plagiarism never crosses my mind when on Whatsapp.
  • Same goes for the motivational pictures and posters. Sometimes, I wonder if all these good thoughts and positivity was practiced by those receiving these, our world would had been a much better place!
  • Then there is a daily exchange of Good Morning pics,  Have a Great Monday pics, Yippee, it’s Friday, Good Night pics… and even Happy Thursday pics!! Who creates all these images??thursday-post-card
  • A friend has subscribed to Santa Banta.com and thus has a never ending supply of jokes to send. Another one sends inspirational messages first thing in the morning. Yeah, such is the dedication to entertain and inspire friends.
  • There are videos of all kinds… inspirational, religious, funny, whacky, weird clips taken from the internet and shared on WhatsApp.
  • Some groups are so active with their chatter that your smartphone’s battery drains as fast as your dog will lick a dish. And the constant messaging tones do not allow you to concentrate on work at hand. For me, muting that group is the only option.
  • Some groups only focus on conversation. For example my husband tells me about his school group. Somebody starts a conversation and everybody types in their 2 cents and the conversation moves in 20 different directions amidst a lot of leg pulling and corny stuff, they all have a good time!
  • Also there are days when somebody initiates a campaign. Campaigns on WhatsApp?… Yes… ‘share pics of your kids’, ‘send pictures of the rangoli or decorations done on Diwali at your home’ or ‘share old pics from school/college’. So, one after the other people in the group dig pictures from their safety deposits. Amidst oohs and aawws, the pics are enjoyed. Of course, they keep eating into the memory of your smartphone, so cleanliness freaks like me love this task of deleting these pictures from the smartphone daily!!
  • There are certain typical characteristics of WhatsApp users… When I hear message beeps one after the other in quick succession. It has to be my sister. When KG sends a message to me on WhatsApp, I respond immediately and then he has to respond back too. I keep looking at the phone as I see ‘KG is typing…’ on my screen. Am wondering all the time what a lengthy message he is sending me. But this ‘KG is typing…’ continues forever. And despite gritting of teeth for umpteen times, I never learn and keep looking at ‘KG is typing…’
  • Edited to add (Thanks Prats for the suggestion) : Aah! The ‘Last seen at….” function of WhatsApp has the power to start a war. It’s a boon when you want to start a war with somebody… here’s how. You send a message to somebody and the other person didn’t respond to your message despite active on WhatsApp much after receiving your message. Pretty simple! And it can be a bane when you are at the receiving end! There’s this joke that thank God WhatsApp doesn’t have the feature of ‘Last seen with..’ Guess, that would be the leading cause of divorces!
  • Last week I decided to detoxify myself from WhatsApp and decided to curb the urge to see my phone every few minutes. And just today, I get a message from a friend, of course on WhatsApp, questioning me about my absence!! Now, when friends call, you have to leave everything and join them, where else… but on WhatsApp.

What’s up on your WhatsApp?

What Happens When…

Aaryan is back at his Boarding School

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  1. A Tired Me : The journey tires me! To give you an insight about the traveling hours…We start our journey by a Volvo bus at 9.30 pm on Day 1 and reach School at around 3 pm of Day 2. A quick lunch at the restaurant near the school, a quick settling of things in the dorm cupboard, a super quick bye (I don’t like prolonging it) and I am back at the Bus Stand to catch the same bus on its return journey at 4.30 pm. And I am back home at 8 am on Day 3. So a nearly 36 hours on the road. Yes, we have explored the other travel options and this is the best that suit us.
  2. A More Tired Me : The OCD for cleanliness hits me big time. The entire week that Aaryan was home, I practiced ‘let go’ of my mania for orderliness and the neat look of the home. And no, I don’t believe in taking it easy or doing a few things a day. So, the home cleaning spree took 3 hours today. And at the end of it all, I was tired like a monkey in the rain!
  3. The Silence : … I slept for 4 hours without any Haaaawww or Weeeeeeee or Huuuuurrrrrr from the Angry Birds, or the screeching of the tyres from the car racing games or the frequent closing of the fridge with a bang!
  4. The Silence… : The silence is deafening though. Am missing his chatter and presence already!
  5. Intercom is Silent too : There are no calls from his friends on the intercom. On Saturday, he had gone out with his Dad for a short while and I must have entertained some 15 calls from his friends.
  6. It’s Just the Same : The home looks just the same, the way I left it before I retired to the bed to ward of tiredness. Everything is at its place and the home doesn’t look that a mild hurricane has hit it! The kitchen slab is spotlessly clean too as there was nobody to do experiments with nimbu paani or make cheese sandwiches with sauce spread on the plate as a smiley.
  7. No Suggestions nor Requests :  Before the breakfast dishes were cleared from the table, he had suggestions or requests for the lunch and the dinner menu. And this filled me with so much of motherly delight and eased so much pressure from my grey cells. Today, the cook and I had finished our evening cup of tea and still both of us were indecisive about the dinner menu.
  8. No Instructions : KG jokingly seriously (aah… whatever) tells me that I come with an instruction manual, coz I am forever giving ‘tips, suggestions’ to the 2 men in my life. I guess, this time, Aaryan would have endorsed his father’s claim as I had so many things to remind/tell/ suggest/ ask him. While he is free from the frequent lectures, I am missing talking to him on ‘important’ issues.
  9. No Hugs and Kisses
  10. Aaah! I Miss Him…

Linking this post to the Ultimate Blog Challenge and October’s NaBloPoMo.

UBC Day 30 : Don’t Want to Write Today

cooltext46816292010 Reasons Why I Don’t Want to Write a Post Today

  1. There is no internet in office. Airtel guys are taking their own sweet time to rectify the issue. And I don’t know how to use my laptop without the internet. Sad smile
  2. Of course, I can write a post at office and post it from home, but I don’t want to do that, because, I don’t want to write a post today. Smile with tongue out
  3. I have got a fabulous idea for tomorrow’s post… the last day of UBC. So, my brain cells are actually engaged there. Thinking smile
  4. No, I am not suffering from the fatigue of everyday blogging. I am just implementing a lesson I learnt from SuKu today. It is good to be a sloth sometimes! Winking smile
  5. It is raining and the view from my desk at office is compelling me to look outside than on the screen of my laptop. Smile
  6. I have downloaded a new word game on phone and bettering the score and earning trophies is more fun than writing a post. Devil
  7. The Write Tribe Whispers will start from 1st August. Richa is kick-starting it with her story and I am second in line to carry forward her story. Now, I have never written a 400-500 word story. I can think fiction only in 55 or 100 words. A 500-word fiction seems like a herculean task at the moment. Also, I feel, Hema who is third after me, would be building on my story, should get a reasonably good drama. So, I am all jittery about it.Confused smile
  8. I finally picked up a book and it is not allowing me to disengage from it.Nerd smile
  9. I will be receiving some exciting news anytime now. The anticipation of that excitement is too much to handle at the moment. Don't tell anyone smile
  10. And the last reason for not wanting to write a post today is simply because I don’t want to write a post today! Open-mouthed smile

Thank you Smita for the idea!! Smile

UBC Day 24 : Commenting Commandments

Here’s a Ten on Tuesday on a Wednesday!! Of course, I can do that! 😉

cooltext468162920Ten Commandments for Commenting

There is a similarity between blogging and a stage performance. In a show or a live performance, the appreciative applause, claps, whistles, catcalls, shouts, and sometimes rotten eggs, tomatoes and shoes are the barometers of a performance. When these whistles, catcalls or rotten eggs translate into words, they are known as the comments on our blogs.

Oh, there is no denying to the fact that we all love to receive comments on our blogs. Yes, even those, who say that “I write for my own self”.

We love to see the growing number of comments on our blog posts. A comment has the power to uplift our mood or to give us that happy feeling… or it can also make us cringe or even grimace! I am sure, we all have experienced these at different points of time. Based on observations and experience of reading and commenting on various blogs, I share the Ten Commandments for Commenting.

  1. Thou shalt read before commenting. You will not comment after just seeing a picture or the title of the post. By commenting without reading you are fooling nobody!
  2. Thou shalt comment sensibly. Your comments on a blog are like your business cards that you leave behind. They speak a lot about you. So, exercise your choice responsibly.
  3. Thou shalt add to the conversation. A ‘Good post” or “Agree completely” are the things of the past. Sharing what you liked about the article or adding an example from your own experience is a good idea.
  4. Thou shalt stay on the topic. Ok, you may like to comment about the grammar or the spelling errors, but it is important to connect with the post and be on the same topic while commenting. Starting your own discussion which is irrelevant to the post is not done.
  5. Thou shalt write comments that are easily comprehensible.  Since, one can’t see your expression or your tone while you are commenting, it makes sense to comment in a language that is easily understandable. Using short forms of words like ‘l8r’ or ‘beta’ or commenting only with emoticons can be avoided.
  6. Thou shalt respect : You have all the rights to disagree with the views shared. Agree to disagree, respectably. Remember, when you’re commenting on a blog, you are actually a guest in their home. Your comment on a blog should be akin to your discussion you have with your friends while chatting over coffee.
  7. Thou shalt be creative : Agree sometimes, it is very easy to give in to simply write, “Beautiful post!” or “A great post.”, as you can’t find something better to comment on a post. That’s the time to don your creative hat! You are a creative blogger, isn’t it!?
  8. Thou shalt refrain from overdose of flattery. I guess, this is self explanatory.
  9. Thou shalt not spam. Please (see, it is a request!) refrain from sharing ‘Vote for my blog here’, ‘Read my latest post’ or ‘Visit my site’.
  10. Thou shalt proofread. It is better to fix the typing errors while commenting. Remember, your comments are your business cards…

Agree with these commandments??

Let your comments flow! 🙂

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