Best Reads of 2017

“Whenever you read a good book, somewhere in the world a door opens to allow in more light.” β€”Vera Nazarian

Matilda

Anyone who reads my blogs knows my self-proclaimed love for books. I think it won’t be fair if I don’t write about my reading adventure in the year 2017. I am trying to increase my reading capacity day by day. I read 45 books last year πŸ™‚ which is not bad at all πŸ™‚ Most of the books that I read were there on my to-read list for quite some time, I also read some fresh 2017 published ones too. So without any further adjourn, I present my best reads list of 2017:

Little Women : I know most of you would be surprised seeing this one on my list, but let me explain to you, why I didn’t read this one in my childhood. First, English isn’t my first language, nor was it for my parents, so my mother was providing me Hindi classics for children when I was growing up. I wish, I would have read it when I was a child but it’s never too late to read a classic. Undoubtedly one of my favorite’s will surely keep re-reading it.

Animal Farm: Another one of the classics that I should have read long ago but I couldn’t. Such a brilliant depiction of the world when it was going through World War. But when you read it you will associate every single thing with it, you can’t believe that what was written in 1945 holds true to this date. More specifically in current world political scenario, this book becomes a must read for everyone.

1984: I must confess that I am not a big fan of dystopian novels. But this is the best dystopian book I have read so far πŸ™‚ So read it for the sheer pleasure of understanding a dystopian novel. By the way its part of the curriculum in American schools.

Norwegian Wood: This was recommended to me in the year 2011 when I was pursuing my masters. Being a student I use to read whatever I could find in college libraries or in other people’s collection who was kind enough to lend their books. Hence it went on my bucket list of reading ones. My stack to-read is so high that I somehow missed reading it for years. But in the year 2017, while browsing through my list, I found this one πŸ™‚ This book was my entry into Murakami’s world. I must say now that he is one of my favorite authors now, after all, I also read three more books by him, after this one in same 2017.

IBIS Trilogy: This Trilogy is full of history and beautiful stories πŸ™‚ If someone is interested in reading about Opium Wars but in form of fiction this is the book you should read. It gives you insight into an Indian, Chinese and British culture. The way these three countries were trading in opium and how this business leads to the one of the biggest business war of all times.

Crime and Punishment: This was my second read from Dostoevsky. I must say I greatly loved this one πŸ™‚ As it says your concise is more louder than the laws. It’s story of a murder and a murderer who fails at the hands of his concise and accepts his crime.

The Glass Castle: I am memoir lover, I always like to read a memoir over fiction. This was the best memoir that I read in the year 2017. It shows the struggle of a child with non earning, alcoholic parents. How she escapes the situation and turns out to be a big journalist in Newyork. The movie based on this memoir was released in October 2017.

Kafka on the shore: It is by far, my most favorite book of Haruki Murakami out of all the four books I have read so far. There is something so compelling and beautiful about this book, that lures you into the world that exists and the one which doesn’t. And there are no apt words to describe the feeling that Murakami’s books arise into you. As he says Things outside you are projections of what’s inside you, and what’s inside you is a projection of what’s outside. So when you step into the labyrinth outside you, at the same time you’re stepping into the labyrinth inside.”

From the land of the moon : A beautiful story written by the Sardinian author about her grandmother. The book has love, warmness, and the gamut of emotions in it. It’s a short read, for a day when nothing feels right, this book will surely make a way into your heart.

The death of ivan ilych: The book by one of the greatest authors of all time Leo Tolstoy. A beautiful work of fiction on death, what we think death is and what happens when it visits you and why do people change in time of death. You can find the glimpses of Tolstoy’s thought on God and right way to live which he explored in his biggest non-fiction book The kingdom of God is Within you.

Rosalia’s bittersweet pastry shop: A book that takes you on a journey to the mountains and islands of Sicily. Full of food-orgasm and the right amount of emotions and suspense in the story. A story of friendship, love, and pastries.

The Rickshaw Boy: This was my first read by any Chinese author. This book explores the life of a rickshaw puller whose sole aim of life is to own a rickshaw one day. It’s dark but has elements of humor in it taking you through the lanes of Beijing. The author Lao She is on my list to explore more of her works.

Interpreter of Maladies: Jumpha Lahiri is one of my favorite writer. This book is collection of different stories of Indian American’s. It explores the human emotions in different situations.As the author says β€œStill, there are times I am bewildered by each mile I have traveled, each meal I have eaten, each person I have known, each room in which I have slept. As ordinary as it all appears, there are times when it is beyond my imagination.” 

Little Fires Everywhere: One of the best book of the year 2017, Winner of good-reads choice awards 2017. A powerful story of motherhood, parenting, love, money, teenage and idea of perfection πŸ™‚ Its an edgy ride will keep you on toes until the end πŸ™‚

Lincoln in the Bardo: A Man Booker Prize winner of 2017, by George Saunders. This book takes time to understand as it moves between people in Bardo and people who are still alive. The book has its own vocabulary for some words like sick-box for coffin etc. A great work fiction on a true story.

When Breath becomes Air: A memoir of a neurosurgeon who is on the verge to complete his studying and start his practice but then instead of the dream coming into reality, impending death becomes his reality. The most touching thing about the book is we all work towards some dream or goal and then everything slips away in flinch of an eye when you just a mark away from it. To sum up the experience I would write the first question that the author asks from the book β€œWhat makes life meaningful enough to go on living?”

Hullabaloo in the guava orchard: This book is a delightful high on humor and entertainment. The story is full of surprises and will make you chuckle now and then. For more, read it for yourself.

Also there are two more beautiful books by my blogger friends which were published in year 2017.

Winning while Losing: This is a beautiful book about conquering your heart for your self again πŸ™‚ How to see light when you are in dark tunnel and how to uplift yourself and to win your life again. Jennifer’s journey inspires you on so many levels, as we all have been through our own breakdowns when life seems unjust and everything looks blurry and horrific, how do we overcome our daemons and become hero of our own story. It takes lot of courage to make yourself vulnerable in-front of strangers and put your heart out in a book.She has written it with lot of heart and warmth. The book is simple and you feel like she is talking to you, opening her wounds, for you to see that light enters through the cracks. The best thing about the book is it never become preachy. No where in the book she force her learning’s on you, instead she just let’s you know what helped her and it might help you.I loved reading it.The last line of the book by the author sums up it all “If you lose someone but find yourself, you WIN ” Beautiful and true πŸ™‚

Untangled: Why I keep saying memoirs are my favorite genre is because of books like Untangled by Alexis Rose πŸ™‚ Its not a usual nostalgic, happy memoir rather its story of resilience, courage and triumph πŸ™‚ After reading you story the first thing I did was I thanked GOD for bestowing me with such loving parents πŸ™‚ And now I know what we face in life are just challenges its you who is true survivor πŸ™‚ And I must say you are hell of a woman πŸ™‚ and your love life sets an example that westerners too have successful marriage πŸ™‚ I am glad that I came across your blog and connected with you πŸ™‚ I wish you healthy recovery and I know you will reach the pinnacle of your mountain trek

PS: Do tell me your favorite reads of 2017 πŸ™‚

 

 

Β 

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For the year gone by <3

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Sometimes its important to glance over the past and be thankful for what you got. Looking back at year 2017, I feel happy and thankful for so many beautiful and precious moments bestowed upon me πŸ™‚

  • The year started with my parents visit, this was their first visit to my place after i got married. I took some time off from work and enjoyed each and every moment of it.

 

  • In February, we celebrated three years of togetherness in Alibag, this was our first vacation after honeymoon πŸ˜€ other than that we spent most of our vacations going back to our hometowns πŸ™‚ It was a beautiful stay ❀

 

  • In March, we went home via Vadodara, where we met our friends. Watched our friend Ishan’s Oscar qualified short animated movie Schirkoa. The movie has so far won more than 25 international awards and has traveled from Europe to US to Asia. I saw my fully pregnant sister in law and got the chance to feel my little baby nephew πŸ™‚

 

  • In April, one of my office colleague got engaged and I got my first exposure to a full fledged Maharashtrian family function.

 

  • In May , my little nephew AMAY JOSHI was born. This was the most blessed and happy moments of the year 2017. And now watching this little bundle of joy growing up every single day, fills my heart with so much love and compassion πŸ™‚

 

  • In June, I finally wrote after six months. So the spell for writer block was broken πŸ˜€ You can check the small blog of mine here

 

  • In July, I wrote about my first encounter with death. I lost my grandmother when i was quite young and I had the vivid memory of all the moments I witnessed then, hence this was tribute to my granny’s memories.that I was planning to write for so long.

 

 

  • In September, me and my dear hubby turned a year older πŸ™‚ and we celebrated our day’s beautifully πŸ™‚ Also I attended Pune Literary Festival 2017 for 3 days, which was an amazing experience πŸ™‚

 

  • In October, we celebrated Diwali and Dusshera πŸ™‚ which was lot of fun and gave me few extra holidays πŸ™‚

 

  • In November,Β  we celebrated my another nephew’s 6th birthday πŸ™‚ which was lot of fun πŸ™‚ He is an avid reader now and I am spoiling him by giving him lot of books πŸ˜€

 

  • In December, we went home again, met my sister in law who visited us from Singapore after two years. I share a beautiful bond with her and spending time with her was the highlight of this month. The year ended with year end office party and some home parties πŸ™‚

I hope all of you had a beautiful year even if there were some hiccups in the last year, try to look back at some good moments that will surely make you happy πŸ™‚

And now I would like to wish everyone of you, A very beautiful and amazing NEW YEAR.

Blue Simple Quote Beauty Poster

 

PS : I read 45 books this year πŸ˜€ the best feat by so far πŸ˜€ I will write another post regarding my best reads of 2017 ❀

PPS: Do share your beautiful moments of 2017 and tell me how did you spent your new years eve πŸ™‚

 

 

 

 

 

 

BLACKOUTS

β€œBut how can one regret what, to the mind, has never existed? Even loss is an inaccurate description, for what loss is without the awareness of losing?”
― Nicole Krauss

We rely on our memory all the time, it’s one of the most magical process of our brain. Creating and erasing memory. Recently, I was watching a movie, The Perks Of Being A Wallflower, it’s an interesting movie, where in one scene Patrick friend of Charlie (the protagonist), raise a toast for him saying β€œHe’s a wallflower. You see things. You keep quiet about them. And you understand.” Beautiful and meaningful. But what struck me the most is Charlie’s blackout moments. There are few times when he faints and everything blacks out. So today my post is about BLACKOUTS.

I was in second grade, giving my Hindi language examination, I was feeling bit feverish and tired, as I have just returned from grandmother’s funeral. I stood up to handover my paper to my invigilator, I walked up to her, and as I forwarded my paper towards my teacher, I felt blurry, I saw two of her and suddenly everything starting revolving around me and whop I fainted. I think it took me 2-3 minutes to get back my consciousness, when I opened my eyes and looked around, I saw so many worried faces around me. I was offered a glass of water by someone and the peon was called up, to drop me home. I generally use to walk down, with my friends, but that day no one wanted to take a risk, neither me nor them, after all we were just bunch of seven-year old’s.

Walking back home was different, somewhere inside my heart, I felt happy, happy that I experienced something that elderly people talk about. Fainting, seeing everything in three sixty degree and then it turns black all around and you are no more in the world. That left a weird kind of impression on my mind regarding this fuzzy experience.

For next few years it never came back, but then I turned twelve, it started. It recurred in most bizarre ways. The frequency of my fainting on school grounds during my assembly hour was so high, that my friends use to keep opening their eyes to watch me and my teachers generally use to stand by my side.

Merida_faint

Out of these numerous fainting incidents in assembly hall, there was one which stands out, we were in tenth standard and our school has just upgraded our Friday uniform. Indian school generally divide school students into four houses(groups) just like Hogwarts. We too have four houses, and our new uniform was wearing your house representing color t-shirt with white bottoms. My house t-shirt was red color, that was our first day of wearing that new uniform. My mom pleated my hair in two ponies and when I entered my class, one of my classmate remarked that I rather look cute in the new dress and hairstyle. I smiled and thanked him for the compliment. The school bell rang and we all walked down, towards the school ground.

I was standing in my assembly line thinking about my first lecture, suddenly I started feeling severe pain in my legs. I felt sweaty and hot and before I could realize what was happening to me, I fainted. The story of my getting fainted is too obvious but it’s about the drama that unfolded while I was unconscious. Two of my friends between whom I was standing, tried to help, but then they couldn’t lift me up. Then two more girls joined them, still they couldn’t pick me up. They shouted for help from our teachers, one amongst them, then came running and held me up in her arms like a baby and took me to the sick room.

No one could understand why four healthy girls couldn’t pick up, one underweight girl. This was sort of quite weird. My friends stated that they felt as if they were lifting an iron statue of 100 kg πŸ˜€ But my stories of these blackouts doesn’t end here, it continues till the summer of 2011.

I was not feeling well since morning but I couldn’t skip going to college as it was our final semester examination day. My test went fine, we were almost near our girls hostel. Suddenly I felt severe pain in my legs and I sat on the ground, my friend held me in her arms and I hid my face in her laps, she asked me to move a bit in shade but I couldn’t, there was no power in me to oblige. My another friend came from behind and held my hand, they shouted for others to help. This all was happening in front of Head of Mechanical Department professor’s house. His wife saw us and asked us to move me inside their house, both of my friends held me form either sides, I walked but as soon as I entered inside the room, I collapsed. When my consciousness returned, the professor ‘s son was holding a glass of electrode for me. I took the glass from him, gulped it down and again laid my head in my friends lap. The college van was called, to take me back to the hostel. The funny part of the incident is when we returned back to hostel, and I was lying down on my bed and the two friends of mine were telling me what happened when I passed out, I realized that the other two friends of ours were missing from the whole scene while they were just few minutes ahead of us, when we left the college premises. After sometime the two of them returned and we asked them about their whereabouts. Innocently one of them said, we went to canteen and were ordering momos, when some one told us that you have collapsed, we came to professor’s house and no body let us in, so we went back to canteen to have momos and lassi( sweet yoghurt drink).

Me and my other friends couldn’t stop laughing on this answer, when one of your friend is collapsing instead of worrying about her, you continued enjoying your meal πŸ˜€

Mine were simple fainting blackouts of few seconds to a minute or two. But their are more serious forms of Black Outs, especially with people suffering from severe disease or with addicts. There are instances where people totally forget a day or night from their life under the influence of drugs. Like in the book β€œThe Girl in the Train”, the protagonist Rachel’s memory is manipulated by her husband. She is an alcoholic and she often suffers from blackout, and her husband takes advantage of this and starts manipulating her memory and she starts believing his manipulated version and makes it, her memory. I think when this starts happening, it time for you to re-evaluate yourself and get some external help. You need to save yourself, from such dangerous situations.

With all these years of experience in fainting πŸ˜‰ I found something very fascinating about these blackouts, for few seconds or minutes, there is no memory created of what happens in your life. It seems like you lag by those few seconds of memory from the people around you. And now you rely on other people’s version instead of your own. Your perception of those few seconds is not your own but a borrowed one. As Mark Lawrence says in King of Thorns

β€œMemory is all we are. Moments and feelings, captured in amber, strung on filaments of reason. Take a man’s memories and you take all of him.”

When I think of blackouts, I think of how we cling to our memories. It’s like as if, few frames went missing from a storyboard. And now the story is there but you feel something is a miss. Or picture it this way, you are playing jigsaws and making scene from Aladdin flying on a carpet with Jasmine and you can’t find the piece of carpet’s end and beginning of jasmine face. How inapt and half that puzzle will look.

On other hand, you may think that if you don’t have the memory of it, how will you think that it’s a miss. To miss something, that something need to be there in your cache. If cache is blank, how long you may try to buffer it, it will return a blank page. Sometimes, some people are happy about blackout moments, as it erases some unpleasant moments from their life. Its like on which side you are, the one where the moment was part of a crucial point in your life or where the moment was like a thorn in the flesh. Like Juan Rulfo said β€œNothing can last forever. There isn’t any memory, no matter how intense, that doesn’t fade out at last.”

After all, To Each His Own.

 

 

Falling things ……continued – Part 2

There is something about rain, may be the petrichor, which throws you down, deep down in the memory lane and makes you nostalgic.

rainyday

I have lived most of my life in North western India, where it doesn’t rain much. Monsoon is not seen as a season, it last for few days or sometimes even not that. So, when I shifted to Pune, three and half years back, the continuous drizzling for four months took me by surprise.

Sitting by my window sill, with steaming cup of my favourite masala tea, I often think about my rain memories. Today I am going to share one such vivid remembrance.

It was pouring heavily, I was sitting by the window side of a small bus. It was an early morning ride, the dark grey clouds had decreased the visibility, maybe they too knew about the hollow darkness that was engulfing the sobbing women beside me. It was mid august, time for heavy rains in hilly regions. I was roughly a seven-year old kid, who couldn’t understand the gamut of emotions that her mother was going through at that time. I then couldn’t comprehend what has happened and the change this would bring to our lives.

It all started a month back, when one day our old tenant came to tell my mother that their was a phone call for her. These were days of early 90’s, when only few people had landlines phones at their home. I accompanied my mother to their place and to our surprise, it was a call from my uncle (my mother’s brother), it’s just been a month that we have returned from our summer vacations at their place, so a call meant that some urgent news had to be passed. And it turned out to be true, as soon as my mother grabbed the receiver, my uncle informed her that my granny was ill and has been hospitalized.

She kept the phone down and held my hand to go back home. I think that was the slowest walk my mother has ever taken. She was lost, she didn’t knew what to do. My father was on an official tour for twenty days to southern India, people were not that professional in those days, hence there wasn’t an itinerary that he would follow on his trip. This in turn meant that we didn’t have any number to contact him, nor any address to send a telegraph. When my mother was still thinking of a way to contact my father by some means, other problem came to surface. The Uttrakhand movement was at its peak, which was to have a separate state Uttrakhand for the people of Himalayan belt from Uttar Pradesh State. The buses were being burnt, police curfew was going on, no vehicle from Delhi was allowed to enter the state.

In this chaos, another call came, where we were informed that granny has gone into coma, nobody knew for how long she will survive. I think that phone call broke the single thread of hope my mother was having for her mother. My grandmother was just fifty seven, people don’t die that early, that too from gastritis, but you never know, when and how death can come lurking at you. And it had come for her too, taking away the darkness of the life and giving away the light towards death.

From then on every single night I heard my sobbing mother, not understanding her pain, but understanding enough to let her cry her heart out. Those were lonely nights, me holding her hand as always, asking god for a miracle to seize her falling tears. And then the news came that grandma has left us for a better world, with that my uncle’s waited for my mother for next two days, but the movement hasn’t slowed down and my father who wasn’t returned yet, somehow got in touch with us, he asked my mother to wait for him and don’t take the risk of travelling with two kids in such turbulent times. He promised he will be home in next two days. Without seeing her mother for one last time, my mother said her last goodbyes in her heart.

β€œ You can never understand the pain and regret of not saying the last goodbyes to your loving parent’s.”

She was her calm self, doing every single thing for us by day time, it was the dark night that she curved herself into a cocoon and would go back to her mother for her last touch.

After two days, as promised, my father returned, I think that is one of the few promises that he has given to my mother, was kept. The movement has slowed down a bit, and we travelled same day leaving my brother behind, as he was having his examinations, asking our neighbours to look after him.

The bus halted, we got down, the journey was of more than ten hours. There were puddles every where, no street lights even, we were making our way through the mud. My mother whose small sobs became louder, as she approached the house where she has spent her days with her loving mother. Each step made her recall the mother she would never ever see again. It was not my emotion at that time, it is now when I recall that day, I feel it in this way. Back then, I was so embarrassed my mother’s howling that I hid myself behind my father. I didn’t leave his side for very long. At that time I couldn’t unravel all the wailing around me. It was difficult to grasp why everyone was so gloomy, even my cousins, they were bit older than me, but they all were crying, but I was not, I couldn’t, may be they knew what death meant at that time, may be they were much more in love with grandma or may be they had the understanding of the pain, of a lost one, or lastly, may be they were just doing what they felt like because every emotion is infectious.

I never disturbed my mother in that stay of ours, I cling to my father, because as I child you start getting your parents and you have a choice to stay with the one who is most likely to be pleasant at that time.

That was my first experience of seeing death closely, I couldn’t grasp many things then but their were few that made an impact on me as a person. I somehow got that death meant invisibility from others, it meant leaving a hollowness inside a person for ever. And you become a memory to everyone else, a past that no longer exists.

I would sum up, with great lines from Bhagavad Gita, which speaks beautifully and solacingly of the immortality of the soul:

Never the spirit was born; the spirit shall cease to be never;
Never was time it was not; End and Beginning are dreams!
Birthless and deathless and changeless remaineth the spirit forever;
Death hath not touched it at all, dead though the house of it seems.

PS : For part I check this outΒ  Fallen Things

 

Remembering The Mind Benders – I

β€œThe dream begins, most of the time, with a teacher who believes in you”

teacher-student

A journey towards knowledge start from the day you are born. I realized this while watching my five-day old nephew, who was born six weeks ago. How, step by step you unfold the mystery of life, peel its hidden layers and try to live your own version of it.

The first step of this odyssey is about finding the right hand to hold your finger, who can help you understand the marvels of this mortal world.

Now imagine 25 years back, a two and half-year old kid with a worn out old school bag, standing at the door, waiting for the chance to enter in the universe of the insightful elite people.

Yes, that’s me πŸ™‚ and this is how my curiosity for learning, took me, to my educational Mecca.

Today out of all days, I have chosen as a day to write about people who have been my teachers, till now:) I won’t be writing it in a chronological order, as that would become too predictable for you to understand my life and also because some stories don’t have a clear beginning, middle, and end. Ambiguity is delicious,isn’t it?

So right here, I am serving this flavourful platter of my learning’s to you.

I was never an intelligent student, just an average one, neither too much noticed nor ignored. Still out of cream loving teachers, there are few who notice your strengths and pushes you towards the next plateau. Apparently, I too found, few such teachers, whose leap of faith in me, gave me better opportunities πŸ™‚

First and foremost for the teacher who introduced me to the charms of English. He was 5’3” tall, blazer wearing teacher, which was so uncommon in those days. He never taught us from book, instead he use to draw the story on the board. I was never his favourite student, nor do I think he ever noticed my existence in his class. But his passion towards language, made me passionate about it. Thursday, was a no lecture day, he use to pick up random novels and use to illustrate the stories on board. He is the best narrator I ever known. So thank you sir πŸ™‚ it’s because of those beautiful literary classes I am a voracious reader now.

So behind every writer there is one wonderful English teacher who tugs and pushes,them in bringing out the best words. This is about my literature teacher who brought back the lost faith in my writings . She taught me only for a year or so. I remember writing since I was kid, but as I wasn’t a brilliant one, my articles were never published, instead I was told to improve. Until she walked down into my life. I vividly remember that day, she was distributing our unit test papers , she announced my name and came to my seat, handing me my paper, she said β€œthat was an amazing article”, I looked down at my sheet, where Excellent was written, just above my article. I don’t remember what I wrote or what topic it was but what I remember is her words. For the first time in my life, the teacher of the subject I adored, adored me back. That’s what restored my faith back in my writing skills, after umpteen rejected articles for schools,college and various other sites, I am still writing, so thank you mam for that strong and wonderful comment πŸ™‚

We had four houses in our school, mine was RED house. This one is for my house in-charge. This was my first in year in this school, I was 11-year-old, shy and uncertain kid. When one day while going back home, she randomly picked me out of student’s line, asked me to read few lines from my English book. Yes, that’s how I landed up with my first stage performance as Alexander-The Great . And from there on, started the series of participation in vocal extra-curricular activities.Thank you mam for giving me first stage appearance.

This one is for the teacher who not just helped me in winning the challenge my dad threw at me but gave me my national level participation in an event when I was just thirteen. Total Quality Circle(TQC) is society where group of people be student or working, pick up a problem from their workplace or daily life and present a presentation about how they dealt with it, what solutions they have now etc. Speaking in front of 2000 adults with your learned and practised lines, isn’t easy. Because the catch was Q&A session after the presentation where big company VP’s and CEO’s sitting in the jury could ask you any question. Thank you mam for giving me this opportunity which helped in understanding that nothing could be fully planned, uncertainty is life and its OK to be not good or perform bad at times. The most important one, how a team works.

I bow to my dance teacher for taking me under her wings. It was you who made me realize that I could dance like a pro. You took me through the wondrous lanes of classical and folk dances, it was because of you I feel free while dancing, like no one is watching. It has become my way of achieving catharsis.

A big hug for my maths teacher who irrespective of having 100% scoring students in her class, which was enough to get her best appraisal, worked on and with me, because of which I could across the hurdle of being on the side of 50% towards on another better greener side of distinction.

And a mammoth of gratitude towards my PT teacher for introducing me to yoga and meditation. It was your early morning, serenity surrounding, OM chanting classes that made me fall in love with mediation. I can recall that day fairly well when you asked all of us to do scale pose and except me no one could do it, well. So you called me in-front and asked me to show it to all πŸ™‚ This made me realize that my being petite is not awful instead it’s a blessing in disguise. It allowed me to think beyond what people could see. So thank you for showing me the power of mediation and yoga.

As life is not always roses you do tend to find thorns hidden in the bushes,but they too tend to teach you lessons. After all we can either complain because rose bushes have thorns, or rejoice because thorns have roses. Now I will talk about teachers who did right in doing some wrong to me.

Like I remember there was this teacher of mine, who, two times knowingly or unknowingly handed my trophy to someone else. This incident taught me that no matter what, no matter who, you should always fight and stand for your own-self, even against the highest of authorities.So thank you dear mam πŸ™‚

The one who always ignored me in my cooking class. Thanks to you mam I turned out to be a good cook not as per your expectations.

A certain gratitude towards my drawing teacher for constantly reminding me that my fingers aren’t cut off to draw. I finally completed my school with biology majors which is the subject with hardest, most detailed intricate art in sketching human body. I promise I drew every bit of it on my own, as matter of fact, my biology teacher was quite impressed with the colorful Palaemon (prawn), I drew on the first page of my biology laboratory file.

And last but not the least a big heart-felt thank you to my biology teacher(she is not the one I just talked above), who was unapologetic about calling me a failure ahead of whole class when in reality I was a second topper in your subject, in that unit test. Because of you I learned how much I hate lies and hypocrisy.

PS: While writing this post I realized that I should thank people from all spheres of my life, so this PART 1 was dedicated to my school teachers πŸ™‚ I would be writing in future about friends, college professors, bosses and office colleagues, relatives and family πŸ™‚

FALLEN THINGS…….

β€œLet him that thinketh he standeth take heed lest he fall”

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How often do you think about falling things? Things that get detached from its place of origin and fall to some other place, a place where they may not feel needed.

How a golden-brown leaf, smoothly swayed by the winds, fall on the pavement and over the period, they turn into pile of dead leaves. What about those black large serpents who slough their skins, leaving those colourless patterned moult to be collected by curious biologist or just decay away with time. Never to forget all-time classic example of a caterpillar hanging itself upside down from a twig and radically emerging as a butterfly.

The scientific term for this detachment is Abscission. But as you know I am more inclined towards the philosophically side, I would leave the readers to study about the process all by themselves.

So now you all must be thinking why suddenly after 6 months of disappearance from this blog and writing, I chose to write about falling things.

My reason for not writing anything from past few months, wasn’t a writer’s block. It was sheer laziness on my part. I am a lazy person in general and upon that an extremely lazy writer. But I was reading continuously like always, it’s the only thing I still manage to do despite being a certified lethargic person.

In this pursuit of reading like a manic I came across a beautiful book called Norwegian Wood by Haruki Murakami. There was something so engulfing about the book that it stuck with me, especially the below quote:

β€œDeath is not the opposite of life but an innate part of it. By living our lives, we nurture death.”

This stayed with me for quite some time but then life took on and I forgot about it, until I laid my hands on another book β€œWhen Breath Becomes Air” by Paul Kalanithi. Now in this book the author is not watching others death but is the one who is dying slowly. It’s about what makes human life meaningful, even in the face of death and decay.

His words pierce through your soul, making you think that β€œeveryone succumbs to finitude” and β€œyou are not the only one who reaches this pluperfect state.”

We all understand death, some in practical way others in a much more analytical way. It’s just that we never acknowledge its presence in our day-to-day life. We tend to hide the mysterious layers it hold inside itself. Until one day it stand across us, making us succumb to its wishes and asking us to accept it in our life.

As J.K Rowling said β€œDeath comes for us all in the end.”

PS: The seed of this thought was sown by the droppings of latex on my hand while I was riding for my office. The white liquid made me think of Abscission. Hence you are reading me πŸ™‚

PPS: I know I have written a very small write-up on such a deep thought. The reason, me being my rusty due to such a huge gap. But I promise I will get back on this some other day with much more sense and talk.

 

 

 

Birthday wishes for the courageous girl

“Sometimes just saying Happy Birthday isn’t enough “

Today is my beautiful friend, with a wonderful heart Courage Coach’s birthday. So I am going to share our journey being friends.

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So one day on 15th October 2015, I saw a message notification on my blog series Summer Diary by this charismatic lady πŸ™‚ Here is the first comment she left on my blog.

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She arrived on the 8th chapter of the series and she bowled me with her interest in my blog by reading all the previous chapter of that series on the same day. Her each comment was much warmer than the previous one πŸ™‚ It’s there she took my heart way with her magnanimous nature and generosity.

We started off with as WP friends, then one day she asked me whether I could fit myself in her Indian travel diaries πŸ™‚ I happily obliged and she came to visit me in Pune. I can never forget the day I first met, she arrived around at 10 pm at her hotel and I was waiting for her call, she called me and ran off with my hubby on his super bike πŸ˜€ to meet her. I remember, how warm her first hug was πŸ™‚ Jenny you have most kind eyes πŸ™‚ Your eyes are the mirror to your soul. We had a blasting weekend πŸ™‚ Jen you were sport πŸ™‚ eating all my homemade Indian dishes and praising me for it πŸ˜€

We were like house on fire πŸ™‚ two loquacious people sharing their life, experiences and cultural differences. It was such an insightful meeting

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Jen and Me

Today on your special day honey I would love to thank you for all the love that you shower on me

On this birthday I wish you all the success for your upcoming book πŸ™‚ A stronger heart to deal with all small issues in your life πŸ™‚ And hell lot more people to fall in love with you madly, deeply and truly ❀

Here is your bday cake honey ❀

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PS : We will celebrate your bday once we meet in feburary

PPS: Have a awesom day with kids πŸ™‚ I know they will love the plans you have made πŸ˜‰

What you don’t know??

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When a few moments ago, she burst into loud laughter,

People around her thought, she is blissfully happy.

What you don’t know, is that the night before, she has spent sobbing, for her lost mother.

She married the guy of her parents’ choice,

All of their friends thought, she ditched him for a better guy.

What you don’t know, is that the guy never agreed for a committed relationship, it was she who kept relying on him, thinking her love will make him think otherwise.

She entered into room as if she owns it,

Stirring the souls around her, making them feel nervous.

What you don’t know, is that she don’t want you to look into her eyes and know about her anthropophobia.

Tears welled up in her eyes while reading an email,

Everyone looked at her with sympathy, thinking that she might have received a break up apology from her partner.

What you don’t know, is that she has been finally admitted to her dream university on a scholarship for masters.

She was crowned as the Most Desirable women of the country,

The young crowd looked at her with awe and wonder.

What you don’t know, is that she was left outside a church, an undesirable girl child, by her own parents.

She was being prosecuted for the murder of her husband.

The angry mob was pelting stones on her for the heinous crime, they thought she had committed.

What you don’t know, is that she caught her husband trying to rape their 10-year-old daughter, to protect her child, she took the life of the man she once loved.

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PS: Don’t ever judge people on your assumptions,never ever. You can never understand someone’s struggle or story until you wear their shoes.

To the woman, who changed my life

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β€œHowever, how tightly you shut the door, there are some people who just walk in and change your life forever.”

This is how you entered in my life, breaking the walls, I erected, with so much zeal, to protect myself from getting hurt.

I can never forgot the day I first met you. How apprehensive we were, just talking for formality and not even making an eye-contact. I being the judgmental one, found you quite dull and boring, you on the another hand found me arrogant and unkind. It took us a whole month to accept our existence in each others life.

The seed of friendship got sown when our first internal examination date, unexpectedly stung us. Unprepared and alarmed, I found solace in your company. I can vividly recall that barren common room with a brown leather sofa sitting in the corner and a small gray television mounted on a small table. Each day we use to sit in different sections of the room by dragging that sofa in diverse directions according to our moods. We studied less and chatted more, making that room our temporary home.

For the first time in my life, I decided to go for common studies as that was my only chance to clear mathematics examination. I can never forgot, how seriously you took the role of a teacher. How perfect you were in your job, taking me through those horrendous mathematics lanes. Alas! I was of no help to you in computers as you were already good in it.

In middle of these examinations my first hostel birthday came and you never left my side on that day. You always took it on yourself to make my special day more special. My each birthday, that I spent with you,was splendid than the last one. You have a talent of making feel beautiful inside out.

Do you remember, how we started our beautiful ritual of having meals from same dish.

How, while standing on those long queues of hostel mess once, the idea to share the food from same plate struck us. That small idea became a habit. Never ever, we dared to break our beautiful custom, not even, outside our hostel premises.

Sometimes when I sit alone and ponder, the flashback takes me to those nights where we use to carp about every single person we knew in our college. How much fun it was, to be our real selves with each other. Those beautiful moon lit nights where sitting on those yellow balcony walls, we weaved dreams of our future. The fantasy world where everything would be of our choice. You know, I still linger on that memory where one day you lovingly promised me that no matter what, our friendship will last longer than us.

You know what was the best part of our friendship, that no matter how huge our differences may be, how shitty we had fought, how strongly, we may have disagreed, but in the end, we always found a way back.

The three years of our togetherness passed so quickly and even before we could realize, the depth of our love, the time came, to move over to a new destination. Destiny took us in different directions, yet no one ever came close to what you were to me. People entered in our lives and left, every time strengthening our relation, making us believe nobody would fit into our shoes.

We evolved together from girls to women, from daughters to wives, from friends to best friends. When I look back at my college life, I find many small regrets but I neglect them all because if I haven’t ended up in that college I would have never known that a friend like you and a friendship like ours could exist in this mortal world.

Now when we are a decade old, we are in different stages of life, we talk not that often, meet rarely but still when I think of a friend, you still top that list. It’s you who taught me the real meaning of friendship. It’s you who showed me that friend’s could be selfless. It’s you who revealed it to me that you can put your friend’s interest before yours. It’s you whom I still need in my low times. And I know, it will always be you.

PS : Darling this my token of love for being my best friend for a decade and ever.

Yours loving best friend

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Quote Challenge – Day Three

I have been nominated for 3 Day Quote Challenge by Deepika , She is published author of Dance Dream and two days ago her new book Ethereal : The Dawn of the Blue from her Ethereal seriesΒ  got released on kindle and the paperback is out in USA. She is one of my closest blogger friend , who never seizes from motivating me to write moreπŸ™‚

Thank you so much❀ for pushing me to come out of my laziness shackles and take up this challenge.

My theme for this challenge is quotes on women by some really phenomenal women around the world. I took up this theme because currently in India, we are observing Navratri Β a festival dedicated to the worship of the Hindu deity Durga.

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Here are my three favourite quotes for the dayπŸ™‚

β€œNo one knows what you have been through or what your pretty little eyes have seen, but I can reassure you ~ whatever you have conquered, it shines through your mind.”
― Nikki Rowe

β€œEverything is within your power,
and your power is within you.”
― Janice Trachtman

β€œShe made broken look beautiful
and strong look invincible.
She walked with the Universe
on her shoulders and made it
look like a pair of wings.”
― Ariana Dancu

PS : Please people don’t forget to grab your copy of the first installment of this fantastic seriesπŸ™‚ I am reading mine right nowπŸ˜€ you go read yours πŸ™‚