Knitted Tales : A Collection of Emotions

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Knitted Tales : A Collection of Emotions is highly recommended.

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To Bee…. Teaser Tuesday #1

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

Teaser Tuesday

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

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

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

The Bees

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

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

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

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

Toxic People

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

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

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

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

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

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

We deserve to be happy.

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

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

Linking this to

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Be Yourself

Drabble

I looked up as a luxury car stopped near me.

A girl stepped out.

‘Why is she dressed like a hobo?’, I wondered.

She had that vibe of rebelliousness with confidence that shone through her.

I smiled as I could relate to that.

I grabbed a pair of scissors and gave myself a new look…. a bit of knee-exposed skin with some calculated tears, styled with the only pair of shoes I had.

I believe, clothes are not meant just to cover yourself, they are also meant to express yourself, not because you have to, but because you want to.

BarWoWe

Linking this to Wordy Wednesday at Blog-A-Rhythm

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Wasting Time Online

6 pm : I opened my laptop with the aim of writing a blog post. I have done just 3 posts this month and that’s playing a lot on my mind. I told myself that I have 2-home-chore/work-free-hours and I must make use of this time by writing the much needed post.

I opened my windows live writer and thought of probable topics to write about. I nipped two ideas in the bud. An email alert distracted me. I quickly changed windows to check the ‘could-be-THE-mail’. It was a promo mail from Flipkart sharing ‘Just a few hours to go for the Flipkart Republic Day Sale’. A saner me would have ignored the mail, but the real me clicked on the link and checked out phones, which I had no intention of buying. I then moved on to home appliances, furnishings, crockery… After quite a while, I realized that I am wasting my time and I must get back to work. I remembered that during the Vipassana course, they taught us that the important thing is to realize how soon one becomes aware that the mind has wandered. I was glad that I had this realization.

As I turned my attention back to the post, I thought hard for inspiration. But like that blank post page, my mind was blank too.

My fingers clicked on the Google Chrome icon on the taskbar and without a thought they moved towards Facebook. I scrolled through my timeline. Liked a few pictures and posts and went on to reading articles on Jallikattu to understand the controversy and then to  know all about Shahid Kapoor’s brother Ishaan who is making his debut in a globally acclaimed filmmaker’s next and that Akshay Kumar’s ‘Jabra’ fan cycled all the way from Haridwar to meet his idol. I wondered if any earth-shattering updates had appeared on Facebook since I read the article, so I went back to check my timeline real quick.

A small voice told me to get back to work, but the allure of “The way you clench your fist reveals these interesting things about your personality’ was too powerful. After nodding my head in agreement with the analysis, I saw a video of a guilty dog and that made me go all aww! and I clicked on some more related videos and spent a few more minutes watching the cute cats and dogs videos.

Another email about books on Kindle Unlimited from Amazon compelled me to check the titles I could read. My eyes looked at the racing clock and I admonished myself. But how could I resist the mesmerizing cake frosting video and then cool product advertisements on Facebook of onlyimported.com and propshop24.com had to be explored.

After adding a few products in my mental wish list, I looked at the clock. It was 8 pm. Arrrrghhh! What happened? Where did the 2 hours go??

I had spent 2 hours on the internet and had absolutely wasted the time I could have used for doing some productive work.

I have this realization that I waste my time online. And of late this has been bothering me a lot. But what do I do about it? Well, nothing most of the time.

But then today, I HAD to write this post. So, I simply

  • Closed the distracting sites (Facebook, email, Twitter, shopping sites etc)
  • Silenced the notifications on the phone
  • Gave myself a goal of finishing the post in 30 minutes

And voila!  my post is done.

I am wondering why didn’t I do this earlier?

I am glad that I achieved my goal today, but will I be able to stay away from this mindless surfing?

Do you waste time on internet when you should be actually working? If not, what techniques/methods do you use to be more productive. Do share your tips and suggestions. I am all ears and eyes too!

Mondaymusings

Mahindra World City, Jaipur collaborates with @zeejlf 2017 #MWCAtJLF

Five days of literary extravaganza with renowned authors and poets… Five days of fascinating discussions with literary heavyweights from across the globe. Yes, the world’s greatest and largest free literature festival, JLF starts today at Diggi Place, Jaipur.

Partnering for these five days at ZEE Jaipur Literature Festival 2017 is Mahindra World City Jaipur Ltd. (MWC Jaipur), a joint venture between Mahindra Lifespace Developers Ltd. (MLDL) and Rajasthan State Industrial Development and Investment Corporation (RIICO).

This association is momentous, as both JLF and MWC Jaipur share a landmark occasion. While Jaipur Literature Festival celebrates its ten-year milestone of celebrating ideas, art and culture, MWC Jaipur, is also in its tenth year of development.

Just as ZEE Jaipur Literature Festival 2017 shares its ethos of inclusive and transformative progress, MWC Jaipur is contributing significantly to economic growth and job creation in Rajasthan, at the same time ensuring that the all its stakeholder communities are benefitted as part of its holistic development journey.

As part of its efforts to encourage discussions on sustainable urbanization in India with a focus on economic, social and cultural progression, MWC Jaipur will be the Sessions Partner for the following sessions at the ZEE Jaipur Literature Festival 2017:

  • 19th January, 2017 – ‘Eternal Cities: Encounters and Inspirations’: Abhay K, Amruta Patil and Marcos Giralt Torrente in conversation with Rob Schmitz
  • 21st January, 2017 – ‘Naari Chetna: Naye Swar — Women Voices: New Writing from Rajasthan’: Manisha Kulshreshtha, Rajani Morwal, Tasneem Khan and Uma in conversation with Durgaprasad Agarwal
  • 23rd January, 2017 – ‘Rajasthani: Bhasha Ki Manyata’: C.P. Deval, Geeta Samour and K.C. Maloo in conversation with Nand Bhardwaj

Come, be a part of these sessions and join this carnival of the greatest minds.

Mahindra World City, Jaipur collaborates with Zee Jaipur Literature Festival 2017

My 2017 Book Reading Challenges

My 2017 Book Reading Challenges

I have always been a bookworm. Of late, I would describe myself as an obsessed bookworm. I thoroughly enjoyed my book reading challenges last year. And this year in 2017, I’d like to challenge myself with some more challenging reading goals.

Now, you may ask, why should I be taking up these book challenges when I love reading so much. Well, the thing about reading is that even though you may be obsessed about it, it is easy to let it fall by the wayside. In the hustle and bustle of every day work, chores and life in general, suddenly you realize that it’s been days since you picked up a book.

And for this you certainly need book reading challenges.

When you pick up reading challenges, you are consciously deciding to read and when you do that, you will certainly find time to read no matter what. Also reading challenges broaden your scope of reading as you get to explore a whole lot of books. From diverse genres and topics to variety of authors, from different characters in every book to distinct settings,  from short tales to really long ones, from classics to contemporary stories, from fiction to non-fiction, from memoirs and biographies to banned and challenged books, from books in various formats to books outside your comfort zone, reading challenges prompt to read all these and much more. Another interesting aspect of taking up reading challenges is that it makes your reading list so lively. And the fun of finding books for the various prompts and then the joy of ticking off the books in your planning sheets. Aah! It’s simply exhilarating.

This year, I am going to explore and soak in the amazing world of books by taking up the following reading challenges…

1. Goodreads : 

2017 Reading Challenge

Shilpa has
read 3 books toward
her goal of
125 books.
hide

2. HT Brunch Book Challenge : This is easy peasy. The challenge is to complete at least 36 books by December 31st, with at least six books by Indian authors, or those centred on India.

3. 2017 Pop Sugar Reading Challenge : I loved doing this challenge last year and this year there are 40 book prompts to help diversify PLUS an “advanced” section with 12 books for hardcore readers.

pop sugar 2017

4. The 2017 Audiobook Challenge : Last year, I explored reading with my ears and I loved the experience. Last year, I attempted the Newbie level and this year, I’d try to be a Weekend Warrior.

Levels for The 2017 Audiobook Challenge are :2016-Audiobook-Challenge

  • Newbie (I’ll give it a try) 1-5
  • Weekend Warrior (I’m getting the hang of this) 5-10
  • Stenographer (can listen while multi-tasking) 10-15
  • Socially Awkward (Don’t talk to me) 15-20
  • Binge Listener (Why read when someone can do it for you) 20-30
  • My Precious (I had my earbuds surgically implanted) 30+
  • Marathoner (Look Ma No Hands) 50+

5. Banned/Challenged Books Reading Challenge 2017 Banned Books: There’s something intriguing about the banned / challenged books. I have never read such books. I’d like to explore some of the books that created controversy.This has the following Levels

  • Read 1 book. You are an Ember. You’re small but mighty just waiting to burn the structure down.
  • Read 2-6 books. You are Creeping. You’re burning with a low flame and spreading slowly.
  • Read 7-12 books. You are a Blow-up fire. Sudden increase in fire intensity strong enough to upset control plans
  • Read 13+ books. You are Uncontrolled. Any fire which threatens to destroy life, property, or natural resources.

6. 2017 Diverse Reading Challenge : I liked the guided reading this challenge provides through its diverse prompts.This has monthly mini challenges:

  • January– diverse folklore/mythology (e.g. South Asian mythology, Russian folklore, Japanese folklore, Greek mythology, Chinese folklore, etc.)
  • February– POC Main Character / Biracial / Multiracial
  • March– main characters with a disability
  • April– mental health
  • May– religious diversity
  • June & July– sexuality and gender identity
  • August– non-Western setting
  • September– #ownvoices
  • October– Intersectionality
  • November– diverse retellings
  • December– 2017 Releases

7. eBooks Reading Challenge 20172017RC ebookThis is going to be my absolute favourite, for now-a-days, I want to read only Kindle books, though in this challenge one can read any electronic format of the book viz PDF, nook, plain text, EPUB, iBook, Mobi etc.Levels in this challenge are…

  • bit – 1 book
  • Byte – 10 books
  • Megabyte – 25 books
  • Gigabyte – 50 books
  • Terabyte – 75 books
  • Petabyte – 100 books
  • Empty the Cloud – 101+ booksI’d like to go for Empty the Cloud but may be I’d actually do the Terabyte, because I have a lot of paper books that are begging my attention.

8. Humor Reading Challenge 2017 : Humor Reading Challenge 2017No genre of books brings me as much joy as the books in the humor genre. I simply love reading the fun, funny, witty, entertaining and satirical books. I am aiming to reach the ‘Stand Up Comedian’ level with this challenge.

Levels for this challenge are…

  • Cartoonist: 1-5 books
  • Humor Columnist: 6-10 books
  • Comedy Writer:  11-15 books
  • Stand Up Comedian: More than 15 books

9. LGBTQIA Reading Challenge 2017 : LGBTQIA Reading Challenge 2017This one is a pretty unique reading challenge. For this one,

  • You have to read one book of at least 100 pages. 
  • Book should have a main character or significant secondary character that fits one of the Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, and Transgender, Queer, Intersex and Asexual requirement.

10. #ReadMyOwnDamnBooks 2017 : ReadMyOwnDamnBooksbutton

Aah! This is something I seriously need to do it. I have so many unread books in my library cupboard and Kindle. It’s high time, I finish reading them before picking up new ones.

The rules are simple…

  • You make the rules
  • Be as hardcore (or not) as you want

It’s going to be a busy reading year for me and I am really looking forward to read some good books. I can feel it in my bones that this is gonna be exciting. Wish me luck for my ambitious reading goals.

Are you taking up any reading challenges? Any tips/ suggestions you have for me as I chase my 2017 Book Reading Challenges. Do share in the comment box.

Taking Stock of My Book Reading Challenges 2016

Happy New Year, folks! I wish that 2017 is rich with the blessings of love, joy, warmth, and laughter for you and your loved ones.

I know, it’s been eleven days since the New Year has rolled in and I am late in waking up to this momentous occasion on my blog. But like they say, better late than never! Hope you are sticking to your new year resolutions and turning them into habits. I have set some goals and challenges for myself in the new year, but more about them a bit later. First, it’s time to take stock of the challenges that I took last year.

Last year, I set for myself some pretty ambitious reading challenges. Yes, I took 6 reading challenges. I took these various reading challenges because I am truly book obsessed and wanted to add variety in terms of authors and genres in my reading. So without much ado, let’s do a bit of review of my reading challenges of 2016.

1. Goodreads 2016 Reading Challenge

I planned to read 150 books and I actually did it.

2016 Reading Challenge

2016 Reading Challenge Shilpa has completed her goal of reading 150 books in 2016!

150 of 150 (100%)

view books

2. HT Brunch Book Challenge

It was a simple one. All one has to do is read at least 24 books before the end of the year and at least three of those 24 books must be Indian.

I read 30 books for the HT Brunch Book Challenge. The first book that I marked for #BrunchBookChallenge is eluding my memory and records too, though.

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3. Pop Sugar : This one was pretty interesting, creative and challenging. I simply loved finding a book for each of the prompt and then reading it.

Pop Sugar 2016 Reading Challenge

These are the books that I read for the various prompts…

1. A book based on a fairy tale Cinder (The Lunar Chronicles Book 1) – Marissa Meyer
2. A National Book Award winner Harry Potter and The Chamber of Secrets – JK Rowling
3. A YA bestseller Looking for Alaska – John Green
4. A book you haven’t read since high school Charlie and the Chocolate Factory – Roald Dahl
5. A book set in your home state Fighting for Tara – Sunanda J. Chatterjee
6. A book translated to English The Autobiography of a Sex Worker – Nalini Jameela
7. A romance set in the future Cinder (The Lunar Chronicles Book 1) – Marissa Meyer
8. A book set in Europe The Girl on the Train – Paula Hawkins
9. A book that’s under 150 pages Tumor – John Grisham
10. A New York Times bestseller Seriously… I’m Kiddiing – Ellen Degeneres
11. A book that’s becoming a movie this year The Best of Me – Nicholas Sparks
12. A book recommended by someone you just met Karna’s Wife – Kavita Kane
13. A self-improvement book Don’t Lose Your Mind, Lose Your Weight – Rujuta Diwekar
14. A book you can finish in a day How I Braved Anu Aunty and Co-Founded a Million Dollar Company – Varun Agarwal
15. A book written by a celebrity Yes, My Accent Is Real – Kunal Nayyar
16. A political memoir I Am Malala – The Girl Who Stood Up for Education and Was Shot by the Taliban – Christina Lamb and Malala Yousafzai
17. A book at least 100 years older than you Anne of Green Gables – Lucy Maud Montgomery
18. A book that’s more than 600 pages She Walks, She Leads – Gunjan Jain
19. A book from Oprah’s Book Club Love in the Time of Cholera – Gabriel García Márquez
20. A science-fiction novel The Martians – Andy Weir
21. A book recommended by a family member One Indian Girl – Chetan Bhagat
22. A graphic novel Sick of Being Healthy – Monica Gumber
23. A book that is published in 2016 Tales Of Sunshine – Sundari Venkatraman
24. A book with a protagonist that has your occupation Frindle – Andrew Clements
25. A book that takes place during summer Seducing Summer – Serenity Woods
26. A book and its prequel No Place Like OZ and Dorothy Must Die – Danielle Paige
27. A murder mystery Love on The Rocks- Murder On The High Seas – Ismita Tandon Dhankher
28. A book written by a comedian Unladylike – Radhika Vaz
29. A dystopian novel Maze Runner- Parody – The Dazed Runner – The Parady Brothers
30. A book with a blue cover All Aboard – Kiran Manral
31. A book of poetry Kidnapping Time in 88 Seconds – Laura Patricia Kearney
32. The first book you see in a bookstore Sidney Sheldon’s Reckless (Tracy Whitney #3) – Tilly Bagshawe
33. A classic from the 20th century Right Ho, Jeeves – PG Wodehouse
34. A book from the library On Love and Sex – Khushwant Singh
35. An autobiography Cracking the Code- My Journey in Bollywood – Ayushmann Khurrana, Tahira Kashyap
36. A book about a road trip Hot Tea Across India – Rishad Saam Mehta
37. A book about a culture you’re unfamiliar with Princess –  Jean Sasson
38. A satirical book Shopping at Tesco – Sarah Ryle
39. A book that takes place on an island A Midsummer’s Equation – Keigo Higashino
40. A book that’s guaranteed to bring you joy Alice In Wonderland – Lewis Carroll

While I am glad that I was able to read for all the prompts for this Pop Sugar Reading Challenge, there are a few gaps. For instance, I realized just now that I had marked Cinder under two prompts in my excel sheet. Wish I had looked at this lapse a bit earlier. Also, She Walks, She Leads by Gunjan Jain had 584 pages, so I missed the 600 mark by 16 pages. I had planned to read (re-read actually) Gone With the Wind by Margaret Mitchell for the prompt ‘a book that’s more than 600 pages’, but then I just didn’t had the time towards the end.

From this challenge, I realized that dystopian novels are not my cup of tea, for I started and abandoned 3 dystopian novels and finally settled for a short one ‘The Dazed Runner’ in this category. 

4. New Authors Challenge : As part of this challenge, I had to read 20 New authors. The guideline was that the authors must be new to you and, preferably from novels. Given below are the 20 New Authors I read for this challenge.

20 New AuthorsYou are the best wife - Ajay K PandeyThe Other End of the Corridor - Sujata rajpalThe Dance with the Corporate Ton - Lata SubramanianFalse Ceilings - Amit SharmaThe Not People - SonaraThe Story of a Sui

5.  2016 Outdo Yourself Reading Challenge : 2015-Outdo-Yourself-Reading-ChallengeThis was hosted by the lovely and inspiring Corinne.

This challenge had 4 levels :

  • Getting My Heart Rate Up: read 1–5 more books (or 250–1,499 more pages)
  • Out of Breath: read 6–10 more books (or 1,500–2,749 more pages)
  • Breaking a Sweat: read 11–15 more books (or 2,750–3,999 more pages)
  • I’m on Fire!: read 16+ more books (or 4,000+ more pages)

And no marks for guessing that I was on Fire for this one!

6. Audiobook Challenge 2016 : I wanted to explore audio books and challenged myself to check out 5 audio books last year and I heard 6.

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It is good to have an end to journey toward; but it is the journey that matters, in the end. I had super fun reading books for all these challenges. I loved the whole process of planning and looking for books, their reviews and then buying them too. I maintained my reading progress in an excel sheet and reviewing it from time to time inspired me and pushed me to go for the finish line. While I read with a leisurely pace all through the year, the months of November and December saw a peak in my reading life. I read nearly one book a day and sometimes even two. That I was in Kuwait during Nov-Dec and had a lot of free time after work (no household chores and cooking) made this reading spree possible. Achieving my reading goals of 2016 has made me happy like a kid in a candy store, I mean a book store!!

My last year reading journey has re-defined my reading habits. The scales have tipped in favor of Kindle books. Yes, now I don’t want to read anything that is not on my Kindle. Audio books have got my acceptance too and the physical books are last on my preference list. This is a shocking realization even to me for I took a long time to warm up to Kindle books. Aah! The winds of change!!

Well, that was my last year in books. How was yours?

#UnwrapChristmas Doing a Little Something Extra

It only takes a spark to get the fire going.

And soon all those around can warm up in its glowing.

That’s how it is with God’s love,

Once you have experienced it

You want to sing

You feel like spring

You want to pass it on…

A few of us gathered together for Secret Santa tidings, divided by names and united through a common Christmas spirit of sharing. And it is in this spirit that we bring this blog chain to you.

I am thankful to Sushmita Malakar for passing on the baton of spreading Christmas joy and spirit.

It is here through words that I unwrap Christmas on my blog for you.

hamilton-wright-mabie

Christmas is the season of giving. I am seeing decorated Christmas trees with presents underneath them all around me. I am reading about friends who have been busy buying and wrapping gifts for their loved ones. Christmas cards have been written with love and posted all over the world. Surprise gifts are being sent by Secret Santas to completely unknown people.

This tradition of giving gifts on Christmas is not about money but about the thought behind selecting that gift. Each gift communicates something from the giver to the receiver.

There are those perfect gifts that meet some needs and they say, “I know you and care about you.”

There are those gifts that surprise the receiver and they say,  “I wouldn’t miss an opportunity to do things that would light up your face and brighten your day.”

There are gifts that are meant to bring cheer and happiness and they say, “I want you to have the best that life can offer.”

There are these gifts that makes a person feel special and they say, “You have made a difference in my life and I thank and cherish you for being you.”

There are those gifts that come with a personal cost or sacrifice in terms of efforts or time and they say, “I value you and our relationship.”

Christmas is doing a little something extra for someone. So, what’s that something special you are doing this Christmas?

You may do this little something extra by donating towards giving children a home by supporting Divya Disha. If you need any information about this cause, please feel free to ask Corinne Rodrigues.

May the spirit of Christmas fill your life with joy and peace. Best wishes to you and your family during this holiday season. ♥

UnwrapChristmas

I now invite Ankita Shukla  to spread the message of Christmas on her blog.


If We Were Having Coffee… 17th December

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If we were having coffee, I’d wish you a cheery hello and ask you about your week. Hope you had a great week. Saturday is here and you must be having a relaxing weekend.

As for me, I am tucked in a cozy quilt with a hot cup of coffee, and I am all set to have a chat with you. You must pardon me if you see me soaking in the beauty and the tranquility of the deep blue Arabian Gulf. Yes, I can watch the small waves lashing the shore with an occasional speedboat zipping past my view, from the comfort of my bed.

DSC_0462 

If we were having coffee, I’d tell you excitedly that I met a blogging friend in Kuwait earlier this week.

Now, there’s nothing new about meeting virtual friends from the blog world in the real world. After reading fellow bloggers’ blogs where we share our lives, passions, interests, fears, insecurities and much more, we get a peek into their lives. Their messages and comments of support and encouragement, affection and smiles, truly warms our hearts.

If we were having coffee, I’d ask you that have you observed that finding another person who has a set of thoughts and beliefs that gel well with your sensibilities, or reading their well thought-out comments are enough to develop feelings and a sense of relationship with someone you have never met. A few exchanges in the virtual world are enough to give you the feeling that you ‘know’ that person. Of course, there have been instances, where a single comment has made me edge away from that person.

So, it is seems natural to take these virtual friendships to the next level by meeting in real life! Isn’t it?

If we were having coffee, I’d tell you that I have met quite a few bloggers in real life. And meeting them was like we had known each other forever.

So, when I met this blogging buddy in Kuwait, it was just the same. Moments after greeting each other we were comfortably talking as though we’d known each other for years. But here’s the catch. We had known each other not for years, not for months but….for just a month. Yes, you heard it right. We started visiting each other’s blogs during the November NaBloPoMo and a month later, we met in real life. Yes, I met the lovely and amazing Scorpria from Alphabet World!

In one of her blog posts she mentioned that she is in Kuwait and then I told her that I’d be in her city for some time. And that started it all first through comments on blogs and then emails which later moved to WhatsApp messages. And when we met, we talked non-stop about so many things and got to know so much more about each other. Yes, we also shared that this was the craziest meeting ever and how our family and friends were apprehensive of our meeting. And how we had to field their questions like “Would it be safe? What would it be like to meet someone you’ve only ever ‘spoken’ to online? Would you still like them? Would you get along?…”

For people who are not from the blog world, it is hard for them to understand that we bloggers are normal ordinary people with regular lives. But I totally understand their trepidation and concerns.

If we were having coffee, I’d tell you that the best part of meeting Scorpria was that she invited me as her guest to ‘An Evening of Christmas Carols’ which was hosted by the British Ambassador to Kuwait at The British Embassy. It was all the more exciting for this was probably my first and the last time to be at any British Embassy. LOL!

I cant tell how nostalgic it was to listen to the Christmas Carols which I had last heard and sung in school decades ago.

If we were having coffee, I’d tell you that it was kind of bummer that we couldn’t click a picture of ours. And that’s because phones were not allowed at the event and we both left our phones back in our rooms. We are hoping to meet again before I leave from Kuwait and I am sure we would not stop at clicking just one picture.

If we were having coffee, I’d take your leave, for tomorrow is a working day for me and I need to prepare a few things. Here’s wishing you a fabulous week and see you soon again! Take care!

Linking this to #weekendcoffeeshare

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