Wednesday, 14 December 2016

Thanks speech (the one actors give when they collect awards!)

Today I'm really thankful to the internet and technology for making it possible for small time writers like me to get their work published without a cost. Thank you for giving me the opportunity for running my own blog and making technology easier. Whoever created it, God bless you darling!

It is big thing for me because I've not explored the writing avenues yet and basically doing volunteering work which is getting published. I'm telling you if it was some regular job and I was being paid not adequately, how frustrated I would have been. But, writing doesn't do that to me. I feel at a comfortable place with it.

This blog is my place. I've the control of it and let me thank again the unknown techno guy who rendered this service. Had it not been for this place, I would have never known that I could write and yes, get some good appreciation from friends (and some not so good appreciation too). Still to discover what you've got, this was and would be the place.

I have written endlessly few mails to scoopwhoop, storypick and other bloggers and websites for getting an opportunity to write with them. Never heard back from them. I missed the interview at HT because of bad health. I mostly now apply to selected jobs as this is something that doesn't tire me and gives me happiness. How do I know this?

I recently got this opportunity to write an article for Katha titled "Importance of story pedagogy for children belonging to high risk groups." As most of my childhood have been spent on reading books and Katha being a pioneer publishing house for children books, I took up this task to write it. I kept waiting for feedback and when it did not reach, I thought may be I've screwed up. May be it was not written like they wanted. Yesterday, I mailed them to at least let me know what happened and what I got totally took me by surprise. So my article was published on Dec 1. This time I was the 20th person sharing it facebook! (Earlier I've had to share it myself!) I was telling my friend "Do you get it? They have the control and authority to publish it and they did it!" I got good words from the person to whom I made the submission.

Here is the link:
https://kathasanchar.wordpress.com/2016/12/01/importance-of-story-pedagogy-to-teach-children-belonging-to-high-risk-groups/

I want to thank almighty. I doubt and don't understand you at times thinking why this thing happened to me. But, I've to admit that had things not happened with me, I would have never looked for different opportunities and I would have never discovered what I do today. I've to believe that your plans are bigger than mine and there is no reason to think anything opposite than this. Also, I would like to thank my family and friends who always look up to reading what I write. Special thanks to my friend Akansha for her encouraging words and fellow writers, Rohit and Srilekha for being critical and frank. To Srilekha again, for editing stuff for me. To Katha Founder Geeta Dhamrajan for giving me this opportunity to write for their offical blog. To Udyam Prayas, founder Neeru Juneja for giving me the chance to design their newletter and I could further talk about it at Katha and grab their opportunity. :D






Monday, 22 August 2016

School of thoughts

Today, I had a chance to witness different school of thoughts present at one place. This opportunity was rare for someone like me who is lazy and refuse to give up her sleep for a morning walk.

Recently, I visited this Patanjali shop near my house so as to purchase honey. Honey has become an integral part of my on and off diet plan. I saw this ad of free Ramdev yoga camp at a near by park. As I'm trying to improve myself these days, I had a word with the lady and she asked me to come from Monday onwards. I couldn't wake up on Monday after repeatedly snoozing off the alarm clock.

Finally, I made an effort on Tuesday. I woke up at 6.00 A.M (Big Deal!) As I went to the park, I saw middle aged people in that yoga camp and couldn't gather the feeling of joining it. But, I decided, now that I've come, I must take a round of walk and then go back home.

As I took the round in the park, I found many yoga classes going around. The one in which there were only 4-5 men doing yoga. Then there was another, with two men directing each other. As I moved around, there was one group consisting of an elderly women and two middle aged women. The elderly women was guiding the other two and was doing a round about of her body. I also happened to check the one which I was supposed to join. They were lying on the ground and then they sat to do the the laughing exercise "Hahaha". Then, there was this group of 20-30 people, the biggest batch doing some natrajasan lying on the floor.  (See, I know some asans. :P) This group had people from all age groups. The group squadron leader (meaning the yoga teacher of course!) was giving directions in mike.

All these people were doing yoga. However, all had different groups. Different school of thoughts in one arena and in one park! As for me choosing from such a perfect competition, I think I will continue with the morning walks. Let's for once do a fake one "Hahaha"!!! :D

Sunday, 24 July 2016

Why must I talk?

Sometimes (well, not sometimes), one feels utterly useless to talk because talking most of the times doesn't solve anything. There is a couplet in Hindi by poet Rahim which seems to be lingering on my mind.


This has been my dp for a short span in whatsapp. Whatever is written here, I seem to agree to it. Now, I understand why do so many people lie? Lying brings tough times. The biggest trouble with lying is when you lie, you have to remember what you said, as quoted by English writer Mark Twain. But sometimes, lying is the easiest way to escape unnecessary judgments of people because sharing them may vent out your feelings. However, it won't solve the problem at hand.Sometimes, truth can bring jealousy, truth can reveal weaknesses and there are people out there to take advantage of that truth.

Sri Sri Ravi Shankar,  the Art of Living guru says share your happiness with everyone but share your sorrows only with the divine. Hiding is as good as lying. It is high time that we sympathies with the liars because people know who matters and who is going to stay forever. So, why give away unnecessary details to people who are just like waves and even more so, they have their own turmoils to pay heed to. Don't be an agony aunt my dear friend because frankly lying is the new truth.

Sunday, 5 June 2016

Ask for more!

Never ask for less if you can ask for more. Why ask God for a clerical job when you can ask for officer's post. Why ask God for a last message from a girl when you can pray that she messages you everyday. Why ask for 10% increment when you know you deserve more. Ask more and don't stop asking.

This is one of the greatest lessons I've learnt recently. I could ask more but I asked easy things, ones which were possible and got them in return. Some of them did not even make sense. How I wish I had asked more. I thought things to be not achievable. I believed them to be of not my reach and then, I landed up with mediocre things. I could have got better had I at least asked for them. . Nonetheless, I'm grateful for things I've got. I'm just thinking that if the those things if they were possible, better and best things could also be possible.

Or is it the law of diminishing marginal utility, friends? Because, I've got what I wanted it's actual possibility is giving me lesser and lesser satisfaction. So, I think I could reach more and change my bundle of utilities and attain a higher satisfaction.

Wants are unlimited. Resources are limited." This is the first thing to be taught in economics. Should our dreams and desires be unlimited, given our actual world? Are they achievable? Should we be realist or dreamers?

I'm just thinking economics and philosophy together. Well, education has definitely made me do some critical thinking about life. Anyways, I think from now, I will ask more. I will ask about things I'm sure about so that it does make sense. I will ask things that I will grab once I get them.

Folks, please share your thoughts if the author should ask for more or is the author being greedy and should settle her mind with what she wanted? For now, these thoughts seems to be lingering in her mind.

(No hashtags)

PRAY. ASK. LIVE. BELIEVE => MORE
MIRACLES DO HAPPEN ONLY IF YOU ASK FOR THEM TO HAPPEN.

Sunday, 8 May 2016

How Blue is my Sapphire

edited by Srilekha Kannepalli

The young lady was taking the elevator. She was 27 years old, dressed in corporate attire. She glanced at her watch and noted, 'Not a bad day. It's 8:00 p.m. here in NYC. I will go up to my apartment and call up my mother and chit chat on the happenings of the day. Mom must be awake by now in Delhi.' She has had a busy life. There were hardly any friends with whom she socialised. Everyone has been so busy, some married and some caught up in their careers. It is said that 'life comes a full circle.' But what is never told is how it is such a vicious cycle. It makes one realise that we need to prioritise and just spend time on those things and with those people who matter the most.

The door of the elevator opens on the first floor. She happens to see a familiar face enter the elevator and quickly gazes down, not too sure if it is him. She looks up again only to get a smile from the stranger and to her dismay, it is him indeed. She puts on a tough smile, the one you give to your colleagues, the way you say, 'I'm doing fine' to every 'How are you?' question put to you. The guy was tall and a little darker than her fair brown complexion. He was wearing jeans and a white t-shirt. His face did not have the same glow that it had in his younger days. But when he looked at her, her heart beat was as fast as it had been in her teenage years whenever she happened to see him. She did not expect him to remember her and was startled when he started speaking to her.

“Hi! How've you been?” he asked.
“I'm fine. How are you?”
“I'm good. It's good to see you. It's been a long time.”
“Indeed. It's been thirteen years.”
“Oh! I thought it was more.”
She smiled again. In her mind, her reply was, 'Only if you cared to realise that I was away from you, would you know how many years, how many months, how many days, how many hours, how many minutes, how many seconds it has been.' She wanted to cry but couldn't. She wanted to hug like how old friends do. But, it was difficult to think of him as a friend.

They met every day in school. They had played together in childhood. It started with being acquaintances. It was hard to remember when she started liking him. May be the growing up years or may be when she saw many of her girlfriends getting into relationships. There wasn't exactly a name that one could give to their relationship. They never gave each other gifts. They never wished each other on birthdays; rather they were competitive in nature. They loved to outperform each other only for the sheer joy it gave them. She enjoyed those petty fights with him to prove to him that she is better than him. He too used to do the same. She had started realising how special he was to her more than a friend. She started noticing him as a boy, a boy she would love to spend the rest of her life with. Puberty hit her hard, her behavior changed and it made her irritable. She wasn't able to focus. She did not understand that how one boy could occupy her mind. She grew confused with her feelings towards him. She wanted to get away from them. So she started to ignore him for most part of grade 9.

As a kid, she never knew that nothing lasts forever. Her father got transferred to Mussoorie from Delhi when she completed her 9th grade. She left without a word. Life got busier than ever with the boards ahead and a career to ponder upon. Her mother had always advised her: “After you open up to the world, there is no turning back.” It was the reason she did not open a Facebook account. She knew that if she would, she would see old pieces of her life that are no longer a part of her. It would only lead to complications. It would only make her feel that how things have changed and how people have changed.

She came back to Delhi for college. Soon after she graduated from college, she had opened a Facebook account and contacted some of her old batchmates; but she never had the courage to contact any of those with whom she had shared a good relation. None of them had contacted her after she had left, even though they had her phone number. It pained her to see them online but not to be able to speak to them. However, wherever she lived and whatever she did, she had that guilt for not behaving her normal self with him in the days before her departure. The regret got even more for not being able to say goodbye. She always thought that maybe there would be another chance to meet him. Maybe this hadn't been their final goodbye.

She was so caught up in her thoughts that she did not notice the elevator stop. They both got off the elevator on the 10th floor. She had a lot of questions to ask him like 'Why he didn't contact her? or What was he up to in his life?' But then, all that seemed meaningless. She was quite unsure of her feelings. 'Was it painful to see him or was she happy that finally she met him?' Right now she had to get hold of her thoughts.

After a long pause, he asked her, “What's up? What's going on in life?”
She replied stiffly, “I'm here on business.”
“Cool!”
“What are you up to?”
“Oh! Me? I work for a PR agency here. Well, that‟s my bread and butter and may be more. It‟s such a surprise to see you here.”
He seemed very puzzling to her.
“It‟s a surprise for me too.” 'Was it mere coincidence or fate that they met here?'
“You've turned into a beautiful woman and I‟m not saying just because it is you.” He said grinning at her.
“Thanks.” She couldn't help but blush at the compliment. She thought of being calmer in front of him, lest she would look like a complete idiot swooning over his lovely smile.
“What are you doing here?” she asked. She wanted to know if he was living in the same building.
“I'm here to meet a friend.”

She had a sense of relief that he did not live here, relieved that there would be no daily tension and the constant butterflies upon seeing him time and again. Then she heard someone was calling him. She saw a young woman in her early twenties coming towards them and saying, “Hey, where were you darling? Why didn't you pick up my call, baby?” Suddenly she felt jealous of the woman and hatred welled up in her. Bitter though she had been in the recent years of her life, she cordially said to him, “I guess you've an important engagement. I got to go. It was nice meeting you.” A man of few words, as he always had been, he gave her a breathtaking smile. She too smiled.

She turned and went towards her apartment. As she turned away, there was a drop of tear and a heart mixed with sadness, relief and gratitude. There were so many things running in her mind at the same time. Seeing him again brought up old feelings and just for a sliver of a second she wanted to be with him. She wanted to speak to him and tell him what all had happened to her after she last saw him. She wanted to share her happiness, her turmoil, her insecurities, her fears and her love. Yet what she could see today was how things have moved on.

Time is not stagnant for anyone. But how has she held on to her memories. If fate had been with her today, the chance meeting could have blossomed into the love that she dreamed about in school. The thought that she has lost him again, made her feel sad and weak. He had never kept in touch with her though they had a wonderful past together. Expectations have always hurt her more. She realised that she had built expectations from a man who doesn't even know her reality of today.

It was her nature too that she did not convey her feelings to people. She believed people are best to be kept as memories. In this curious world, he too had not become a caring friend to her. Cautious of her actions as she always had been, she returned to reality from the world she was fantasising. While closing the door to her apartment, she told God in her thoughts, 'All of us live with our past. All of us allow it to shape our future. But some of us know how to shrug the past. I think that is who I am.'




PS: At times, one strikes a chord with the words of others. The story was originally written a month before the time when the author read a prompt in the Write India campaign by Times of India. She felt that the prompt indeed matches with the story and even the title. So, this story has been republished on 26 July '2016 here after much editions with the help of my dear writer friend Srilekha who I adorably call as Sri. No no, we didn't get a chance to win and publish it into a book. But then, the online reach in this virtual world have certainly kept our hopes high. Signing off as I can go on writing..

Monday, 7 March 2016

Life of a social butterfly

WARNING: READ WITH CAUTION!

Hi, I'm Jane. I've lots of friends.I have over 3000 friends on facebook and over 6000 followers in twitter, facebook and other social platforms.  My birthday goes on for days. One for the neighbourhood folks, one for the kitty folks, one for the college, one for the coachign, one for the school, one for the offcie and why one, I've multiple groups like sub groups in groups. I'm much popular everywhere.

Insta pics and insta likes are what I vouch for. Throwbacks and hashtags are the order of the day. I like those pout photos of mine. I look so cute in them that I feel like kissing myself!

Putting most of my pics on insta, I make sure I look good. I've straightened my hair. I love deep red lipsticks. If I go out, I've to put a check in and tell everybody that I'm having such a good time!

If I buy a branded stuff, I've to show to everybody on facebook. If I eat something delicious, everybody should know it. If I go especially to a foreign location, the check in is mandatory. After all, everybody should know that I'm doing great things.

I'm so busy that I don't have time to get bored. My weekends are packed with plans with my friends. I can't live even for a second without my phone. When I switch off my internet and when I turn it on, OMG!, I've 500 messages from my whatsApp groups and my friends. I'm their counselor. We gossip and discuss things and I'm the life of everybody. So, I've to be available for them all the time.

So my activities suggest that I've so many things about myself. These are the things that are part of my life and this is what I am. My life is fun. And yes, this is the life of a social butterfly like me.  The dictionary meaning says it all that it means someone who can fit with all, make friends and be friendly with everyone.

But, do you guys know that I'm very lonely! I do these things because I've seen others doing it. I do these things because I don't want to look like being left behind and most importantly, I do these things to look happy. Happy than I am usually.

I mingle with all because I don't want to get bored but be called up everywhere. I mingle because I don't get time to think off about things that disturb me otherwise. I mingle so I don't look like a boring serious person. I talk because I want to show my visibility even if what I utter is sheer non-sense. I work because I can't stand a single day sitting at my home.

I know myself that most people aren't of any use or they won't be there when I would need them but only because even they don't want to get bored. For this sake, I have a soft spot for fake people for that's what I am myself so that I don't get or even worse, perhaps, look like a bore.

Please forgive me oh lord, for being so.  #Earnest #Confession #Throwback #Tuesday #Instapic #Instalike #funlife #friends #forever

PS: Normal English looks so boring and my grammar is weak! :P

Sunday, 21 February 2016

Is it renaissance or chaos?


India is a bizarre country. Every nation has it's own problems and we have ample. Still today what we see is channelising all our energies into absurd issues and controversies.

Recently, we have witnessed a college student from JNU being summoned on charges of sedition against the nation. I have not read or followed this news much. But, out of my online activity, I've observed that some people are defending him whereas some are against him. Who is garnering the attention? Who is using it as political gain?

We have issues like poverty, illiteracy, sanitation etc. We have issues relating lack of fulfillment of basic needs. We are way backward. We have lopsided growth. Yet what gathers the eye of the nation are people protesting inside their university campuses challenging their country and its judicial system.

On the other hand, we find young people in their 20s when they have attained the age where they could stand on their feet, fighting and hell, committing suicides for getting benefits of reservation in employment and education. They have such sense of disbelief in themselves. But, what could they do when the govt and the opposition have topics like beef eating, opinions on intolerance to ponder over that they find no time in addressing the real issues like unemployment, shortage of quality higher education, farmers' suicide to mention a few.

My young countrymen have put their self belief and confidence into gutter and have put their aggression into such issues. Sure, our demographics are such that maximum population of ours is youth lying between the age of 18-35 and yes, it is the age of critical thinking and rebelliousness. However, it doesn't mean we our self put ourselves into such chaos where no body can function. Let alone our govt, it impacts our economic activity when we do not work. It impacts us even more when our real issues of development are buried in graves, eventually.

And for everything, we even have media to be blamed, which portrays the issues that we raise time and again rather than the real issues. But it does depicts reality and it makes your opinion. Does this mean that these are the only issues of our country that should boil your blood?

Furthermore, we even want our PM to intervene and say something. We've functionaries for each and every issue of the country but we still want our PM to respond. He is no God. And even, God doesn't come and respond to you in times of trouble. So please, help yourself!

For a country to prosper, every view point is important and be it our personal choices. We cannot and should avoid interfering in someone else's belief. After all, can everybody be made happy?

Once someone told me that God really resides in India. It's a shakti only that keeps it going. Oh God, even I need a shakti  now before I start disliking my birthplace.

Be With Me.
Love,
Madhurima


PS: Madhurima read the book "the Secret". She is thinking if she should stop following any news like the book tells in one of it's pages?
Please give your calmness tips to her and her countrymen. "I'm offended" people, kindly excuse!

PPS: PS lines have been shamelessly learned up after following " the calmer you" column of Sonal Kalra at HT City, on and off from several years.

Always know the meaning...