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Home is where the Family is

Wednesday, October 21, 2015

WARNING: The first paragraph contains content that may have defeatist infections on the thinking capabilities of your brain. Kindly continue at your own risk!!!

They say happiness is a myth.
I totally agree with it. Because no one really belongs to anyone else and you are meant to be sad all your lives no matter how hard you try. One day you overlook your dearest sleep, putting in all your efforts to stay close to someone who matters to you and the other day you are warned to keep distances just because they are scared of what you feel for them. What to do now? I’ll tell you. Take a pen, an old notebook with pages turned yellow and a patch of coffee you spilled over a decade ago, a bottle of your favorite whiskey and then start bleeding blue.

But guess what, you already wasted a precious happy-minute of your life reading that! Now don’t blame me. I warned you already.

The Wrong Turn

Sunday, October 18, 2015

You'll walk away
Become someone’s new chapter
Or complete the unfinished one
Eventually, catch Alzheimers
Lose your memories
Forget all your happy hearts
And probably your priorities as well
But what I can assure you of is that
One day you'll come back
Back to the very same spot
Our paths diverged over
Thinking of merging two infinities,
Both half lived,
When our tomorrow was just a turn away.

But let me tell you of what
You'd need to know then
The path with footsteps that returned back
Will be the one you chose ages ago
While the one with rhetoric
Hollies, lilacs and maples
Will be what I never was destined for
But had to.

To the passersby, the path might
Seem something as close to perfection
As the one Adam and Eve once traversed upon
But trust me on this
That it would be the creepiest,
Bouldered and the most horrific path
To those who step over it.
A path painted with the colors of
Resentment, humiliation and self-pity
A path none ever reached their destination with.

But I'd be happy for you
I'd probably be a statuesque tree, A signboard inclined towards the right
Or even a dead rock over the berm
Looking over you from a distance
But you still won't recognise me
For the priorities that always took over.

Message in the bottle: Its just a poem. Don't catch Alzheimers please 😆


Friday, October 16, 2015

I just had this uncertainty in my mind
Ever since I met you
With a hope that you'd answer it someday
And maybe the day is today
That I'd been waiting for all long.

Would you, without doubting even once,
Close your eyes and step off the cliff
Or would you stab yourself over and over again
If that's what would bring me happiness?
Would you do that for me?

Oh! Hard, is it?
Yeah. I can understand.
Lets make it simple.
Can you live just because I want you to?
Even simpler? Alright.
Do you love me?
Trust me, I couldn't have been any more to-the-point.
And all I see is your gaze fixed to the ground
But believe me darling,
Love isn't an autumn foliage
You'd find lingering on the grounds.
It has its own ways and mights.

Anyways, let's put it this way
Does my presence makes you feel gay?
Do you feel alive seeing me happy
Everytime I find my reflection in your eyes?
Or does it count as
A yet another minute passed?
Still elusive? Really?
You got to open up girl
You got to clear away the clouds today.

Okay, let's try it one last time
But this time, do let me know what you think.
Would you, unafraid of its unravel,
Share a single thread of your favourite holiday sweater
If love was winters
And if the sweater was last of its survivors?
Or would you just refuse to recognise (me)?
Okay. Fine. I'll help you out.
All you got to tell me is this-

I know you are scared
I know you are afraid to step outside your safe-haven
I know your pulse goes faster
And I know you are not a sharer.
But did you realise your grip
Over my hand getting tense/tighter
All through this time
When all I was doing was
Showing you what you really feel?

Or was it just me?
Just me.

Growing with happiness

Monday, April 27, 2015

Have you ever felt lively at the sight of a beautiful laughter? A passionate hug? Care and concern? To be happy, one needs to be surrounded by happy faces all around. Happiness is when everybody at home is safe and healthy. While your friends are still by your side. It’s when you lose a match and are still glad you made it so far. Or when you celebrate the victory of your opponent. Happiness isn’t always when a girl sends you a friend request. Sometimes it’s in sending one too. Happiness is growing young at thoughts.

Every morning I wake up with making promise to myself that I would bring a smile to at least one face today. That’s my definition of real happiness. Because happiness, like infection, grows by sharing. Though this one is a good thing. So be the reason of your own happiness. Every time you feel dejected at the hands of sorrow, understand that not everyone is as blessed as you are. Isn’t that worth a lifetime of happiness? Stop expecting things from life celebrating all the blessings and let each new blessing come as a surprise to you.

I once read a book that said, “When the first baby laughed for the first time, its laugh broke into a thousand pieces, and they all went skipping about, and that was the beginning of fairies.”
And to me, that seemed to be so apt. A real laughter can bring back a dead to life and at the same time, it serves the proof that if there ever is a place called heaven, it is here on earth itself. Love, concern and compassion are real sources of gayness.

Sitting on a stone-made park bench with the one you have always loved but never dared to speak of your heart out is happiness. She, resting her head on your shoulder with a hope of support from your side is happiness. Trust me when I say, that’s the happiest you’ll ever be. Never let go of a chance to be happy and never let anyone be a hurdle to the path of your happiness. And if they do, they aren’t worth it.

Regrets and expectations are the only real obstacles and you are sure to reach heavens once you overcome them.

Walk hand in hand beyond the beach dun,
Dance. Dance by the light of the moon.

#CelebrateLifeAtIvy by owning a dream home at Ivy estate, an 85 acre estate with 34 acres of greenery and open spaces. Join the 1600 happy families already living here. Check out this walkthrough video and decide for yourself.

Apocalypse #NaPoWriMo #Day12

Tuesday, April 14, 2015

The stipulative definition of an apocalypse may vary from person to person and from time to time. Some say it is a disaster or any cataclysmic event that causes severe destruction. While others may name it the conflict between good and evil and of the end of the world. But what I chose for this prompt is 'A cosmic cataclysm in which God destroys the ruling powers of evil' for I felt the end of evil would be quite a theme, unusual and worth a thought.

And we will be born again
And yet again we will belong to each other
Just like we always were, though without a bond
The place may be different
The faces may be odd
But gone will be the days we always fought
Virtuous than ever
And composed like the surface waters

Even the sun would be humble now
And so would be the sting rays
But as fate may have it
I would still call it
The beginning to a new end

Just like a tiny pebble is enough to disturb
The tranquillity of a pond
So will the gladsomeness do to all of us
You never can say what might happen next
Maybe the earth goes flat
And of a sudden you fall off and are sucked in
By a black hole that never existed before

But what’s even interesting is
Not what happens there, but what will happen here
In this very moment
Will the earthlings be able to survive the end
Of devilry they have been habitual to all their lives
Or will they start a new apocalypse
Half-dead bodies, getting out on roads, hunting each other
Just to compensate the evil that once existed

ASUS Zenfone 2 Review

Monday, April 13, 2015

In the generation of nouveau technology where you cannot think of a day without the aid of gadgets and gizmos, a cellphone shouldn’t just be any device that merely helps you connect through the voice calls and text messages to far off places. Rather, they can be redefined as a mobile phone that includes advanced functionality like a camera for both photography and videography, playing audios, videos and perplexed games, checking emails, surfing internet and using the navigation system. What a ‘real’ smartphone means to Gen Y is what a good coffee does to a writer. To be precise, ASUS Zenfone 2 is what I have been talking of all along.

ASUS Zenfone 2 is a revolution when it comes to telecommunication and its advancements. Being the world’s first smartphone with 4GB RAM, it is definitely the first choice of every smartphone user. Powered by 2.3 GHz, 64-bit super quad core processor, Zenfone 2 is for sure to provide a 3 times better and smoother performance and gaming being up to 7 times faster. Gamers! Here comes the hidden advantage.

In the world that survives on social media more than anything else, one needs to own a good mobile camera for better pictures to go good on Facebook, Instagram and what not. Pre developed is a 13 MP PixelMaster front camera that captures stunning, high resolution photos with absolutely zero shutter lag. Also, its LowLight mode captures up to 400% brighter photos at night or in low light scenes with the use of a flash. Not just that, it also comprises a 5 MP front camera for selfies and 3G video calls.

It has a 60ms touch responsiveness that serves better and smoother user experience.  And if you are a music lover like me, it has something for you as well. It is served with a SonicMaster audio system for crystal clear sounds. So now you can just put on your earphones and enjoy the richness of its superior sound quality.

It has a massive, 5.5 inch, Full HD IPS display with a screen to body ratio being as much as 72%. It also has an Ultra-thin (3.9 mm) edge with Intuitive controls engraved on the back. Not just that, it also has a Premium colors range that successfully suits the desires of every a person.

But guess what? It isn’t over yet as the best is yet to arrive. The major issue for every smartphone user these days is the betrayal of the battery life midway. Or, a poor battery life. But it isn’t the case with ASUS Zenfone 2.  With 18W BoostMaster adapter, the battery is juiced up to 60% in no more than a mere 39min span.

This post is written for ASUS India.

A Malicious Mischief #NaPoWriMo #Day11

I love you for not fighting with yourself
Every time someone let you down
For still being yourself
Every time someone doubted your potentialities
And for being a pivot the world balances over
You are the only place I would ever wish to be
Because that's exactly where my dreams breathe in
Dressed in the outfit of a Lorikeet
At a place where the compasses won't direct
And the maps burn away
A place where it would just be you and me
And a shikara
And probably a few golden swans
That would shine bright, but grayed by your presence
And though some day you may be invaded by someone better
In pursuit of what they call a glorious throne
I would still love you the same
Amid the embers of the shikara while it rains ashes
And I know heavens wouldn't survive either

Waterloo #NaPoWriMo #Day10

Sunday, April 12, 2015

Disasterous though it may sound
But I have made up my mind
Of waiting for an abrupt link
Unto the end of time and even beyond
Just to hold your hand
Whisper sweet nothings
To look into your eyes just to find myself
Lost amongst the constellations
Yet to be discovered
Though they would never be appraised
As much as a sight of you
Amid the millions of driblets
Suspended midair in the volley of monsoons
And maybe that's the only time
When I wouldn't want to end my life
Because I strongly believe that
It was all a pre-assessment of the unexplored
A quest for beingness risking all and everything
I could have had if it weren’t you
To be found across the river
And though I could have easily refused
To what was certainly beyond control
But guess what?
I still was sure to lose.

Flying High #NaPoWriMo #Day9

Saturday, April 11, 2015

You may be a trooper with rifle in your hands
Or maybe a lovelorn rambler
With a pen mightier than any sword ever made
What I can assure is that
You are as blessed as any fortunate person
You have ever been envious of
Just believe that
Broken hearts and shattered hopes
Don't really depict the coexistence of failure
Just like not all that looks good at face
Is good at heart; at soul
Its unto you to prioritise your whims
To stand affirm or confine yourself
To the darks of your hapless chamber
For irrespective of who you are
You are born to fly

True Love #NaPoWriMo #Day8

Friday, April 10, 2015

I wonder how it would be
to fall in love with a laugh
Rather than a human
Can a laugh betray?
Or even hurt unknowingly?
Is the bonding with another human
Really love?
Or a mere infatuation?

A laugh of sarcasm
A laugh that makes you shed tears
A laugh showing 'yes I can'
Walking against the embers
A laugh that doesnt cares about age
A laugh that looks equally peachy
On both blondes and brunettes
A laugh that adheres

A laugh depicting that 'yes, you can rely'
A laugh that makes even the oldest go young
Bringing back winds to the not-so-lively
Laugh, swift like a horse
Brave like a ship stuck in the middle of a storm
Delicious like a crunchy chocochip
Adorable like a newborn

Laugh is beautiful
Laugh is serene
Laugh is paradise
The one Gods died for
And devotees begged for
But in the end
I wonder if its really possible to fall
In love with a state of mind
That depends on another human
For its existence.

Have you ever been in love?
Or is it the infatuation you have
Been boasting over all your life?

Out of Empathy

Every time we come across a beggar on the road, especially the kid with flowing nose carrying a sack on his back, the first thought that arises in our mind is the failure of numerous policies by the government at the hands of poverty and lack of education. While some are privileged enough to get their education from top schools and colleges, there are others who are made to trade off their innocence for the sake of a one-time supper.

You may be startled to hear that around 39% of the world’s illiterate adult population (287 million) belongs to India. The stats are disgraceful. But what’s even shocking is that it sums up to 4 times the total population of France. As per the India4India survey, illiteracy is one of the biggest challenges facing our nation today. Just imagine what could have happened if the stats were not so shameful, when India already has such a huge share of renowned engineers, doctors and scientists in the best global organisations.

Here is a story from Varanasi, a well known city of Uttar Pradesh. Being one of the oldest cities of the world, Varanasi is rich in culture, tradition and history. But as they say that the lowly happenings often die a secret is all set to be true.

Act of God #NaPoWriMo #Day7

Thursday, April 9, 2015

April rains
Flicker the harvest
Doomed farmers

An American Haiku with
Syllable pattern as 3-5-3

Haiku is one of the most important form of traditional Japanese poetry. Haiku usually is a 17-syllable verse form consisting of three metrical units of 5, 7, and 5 syllables. American Haiku is a modification.

Identity Crisis #NaPoWriMo #Day6

Wednesday, April 8, 2015

Dear Flamingo,

I know I have been mailing you for the past 7 years
Each year, the same day, the same reason
For the day you salvaged me from my own beliefs
And everything I’m, I owe it to you

Grossed out by the way I was looked down upon
By the ones who tallied somewhat my own reflection
And dejection made each breath go heavier than the last
When I found my similitude at the unexpected
I was ugly – they said – I was unlike them

Imagining myself as being not-so-well-favored
But still an idol to his kids who imitated their dad
And tho' it sometimes brought me happiness
At other times, it burned the insides of me
Blackening – with its heat – the sidewalls of my heart

But you – being distinct – felt more alike
Than anyone else in the entire beingness
I was short – with ugly dark feet and suntanned body
While your legs were taller than the whole of me
And you were prettily pink all over
But we looked alike – you said – and that made me gay

Such is the therapeutic power of compassion
To plant happiness even in the most sterile of lands
Without expecting the yields turn in your favor
Because over the years I have realized
That there is nothing more dreadful as the loss of identity

The ugly-footed Duck

Bundles of Joy #NaPoWriMo #Day5

Tuesday, April 7, 2015

You are the light
And you have all the rights to spread around
All around the world
Just like hope does to a
Desperate heart
Fly high
And save lives
You are the probability of a midnight dream
The masterstroke
Against the waves of remorse
The only innocence that prevails
The melody of a bawling cuckoo
The smile of the constellations
Blitheness of the winds around
The flame that burns differences
Not hearts
You are the only life being fostered
The passion’s birth
The Christ’s festivity
Be alive
Keep soaring up
Like the free grains of sand winged
A mother’s lullaby
The farthest star
The nearest molecule
The bit of love in a devil’s heart
The only ray that blooms
The smiles of millions
Being Homes.

Ramblings #NaPoWriMo #Day4

Monday, April 6, 2015

My A-poem-a-day plan was interrupted by an exam that didnt go well so Im back again to doing what I never was so-good at.
Do read this one if you preferred someone to your own felicity. If you loved someone sufficient enough to let them go with all your heart begging her to stay but your eyes were red of effeteness.

Quite often
I feel like giving my life
A yet another
That maybe
Life breathes in
More oxygen
Than the body itself
And so I need to walk around
More often
Just to stay awake
That maybe
Was the answer to
All our arguments
That could have ended at
The blink of an eye
If only
I preferred weed
Over you.

You never could be
The best thing to have ever
Happened to me
Of all these years
- Or shall I say
Notebooks -
Of all these notebooks
Mostly filled with
Lines opposing each other
Right along
The one left black
Had always been my
Favorite pet
For it arose within me
A hope
A promise comprising you
And me
And still addictive enough
To make me fill it
Will the parallel lines
We always hated
But could never avoid
For your obsession to
The things that reflected you
(More than my eyes).

Of all the things
That ever happened to me
Trading off my heart
For a mere thought
An illusion
A blur image amongst
Smoke and drags
I often see bubbling up
Against the walls
That never fail
To tell me that I
Have been puffing all night long
Penning stillness
At what they call the devil's hour
Was what could make me
Sell all my desires
Of witnessing a skyline
With you by my side
Hand in hand
Growing older to
What could have served
The cover page
Of our lives
With an ending
We never wished to stimulate
For deep inside
We always knew how abominable
It was going to be
Not for you
But me
Not for the readers who
Will buy it in pre orders
But me.

But nights were meant to be darker
Just like devotees were
Meant to praise the beetleweeds
Stars were meant to be watchful
While moon was meant to yearn
For the sun that always burns
All for some unexplored reasons.

But for me
It has been you
Always and forever
Like the failure of a
De-addition center
To the desire of
Folding your eyes
For the one you never saw
Or heard from
In years
Remembering the last
Days of our togetherness
When all you wished was
That never opposed
The existence of
A yet another entangled
Between the two

I know this verse will persist in
As long as I feel
But sometimes
The real pleasures of life
Are in things that incinerate you
Unto the core of your heart
No matter what.

Misplaced #NaPoWriMo #Day3

Friday, April 3, 2015

And all that we deserved
In conquest of the forbidden fruit
Was but a knavery
A lie of belonging to the canvas half painted
With more spillovers than refined scribbles
Entwined – between us
Togetherness wouldn’t have worked out
So well as did the flavor of separation
For that’s what we deserved
Parenting the yeast of agony
That cloaked our love like it never was
And we went oblivious onto each other
Just like lonesomeness does to the stagnated ship
Caged into the antique beer bottle
Amongst the black holes
Of things that never should have mattered
Compared to the lure of our salad-days
For life isn’t a treasury of miracles
And neither were we the capsules of
What it needs to be
The opposite poles of the same magnet
With backs (still) supporting each other.

Angel of the Dark #NaPoWriMo #Day2

Thursday, April 2, 2015

Moving across the woods, caped along a hoody
Elegant enough to seize passersby therein
But still playful for her intents weren’t all that easy to perceive
Fair though she had been but an eternity of sorcery she was
Amongst the wolfs, she couldn’t have looked better

She was all-powerful like the blue blood of crepuscules
More sinful than the full moon charm in airs around
And the wicked curve adorning her face
Oh man, she definitely was up to something vicious
While her veins glittered blue in the not-so silvery moon

But whatsoever she was – she was real
For showered within was an ignition of golddust and lies
An equinox of romance, ink, confetti and stuff
Unleashing her own myths and burning them to what could have been
The birth of a new nightmare or an ever desired fantasy

Growing taller than Him #NaPoWriMo #Day1

Wednesday, April 1, 2015

Since its my first National Poetry Writing Month (NaPoWriMo), so chosing what would be the most probable theme to my first post was quite a task. It could have been the atrocious universe, global peace or even the girl next door. When of a sudden, something struck my mind. There is this one guy who deserves all the love and respect of the world, so maybe I should dedicate something to him.

My dad has been quite an inspiration to me ever since my childhood. From riding my first bicycle to four-wheeling. But I'm not sure if I ever did anything to make him proud of me or somehing that could atleast bring a smile to his face. This is the right time I guess.

As I looked at the crossing across our paddock
With a luster of arrogance through my grimace
For being undefeated working an illegal double dribble
Like the creator of this world I was
The handball being dearer than what gripped my right hand
A rough hold, firm, but gentle all at the same time
And you said my eyes looked appealing
And that I could now draw in more girls at the houseparty
For tall guys aren’t really left anonymous – anyhow

The house turned a villa with an extra floor over it
And the house got updated
The windowpanes, sidewalls and even the acrylic
The Red Maple in our backyard that grew taller
And the sun doesn’t sting our dooryard anymore
I want the same calmness in my eyes when I grow old
For yours were always calm and heady
And then, yours would be more prudent
Like the portrait of a wiser
But every time I watch you fix the light bulbs
While I keep standing alongside, supporting the footstool
Or when you beat me out at court games
I wished one day I grew taller than you dad

Labrador climbing over to grab attention that now falls stolen
And lo, the other grip would be treasured evermore
The one that grew delicate and lesser firm over the years
The face described by a hundred cracks that smiled
But I would still need your support as always
Every time I stumble by my absurdity
Every time I make a progress towards another fall
Because taller the shoots, earlier is the bend
And I would ask to be an inch shorter than you
And support the stool while you try to fix the light bulb
And be your kid always.

My 100th Blog Post

Thursday, March 26, 2015

So here I am, celebrating THANKSGIVING, on the eve of my 100th blog post. With a trifle over 60,000 pageviews, my achievement may come short compared to those more incisive and versatile bloggers in the arena, but when I take a deeper look within myself, remembering the thousands of words I had written so far, my journey from nothing to something has been quite a satisfaction, and definitely a handbook of lessons for times to come.

I started blogging 3 years back as a medium to express what I felt, what I thought I felt, what I should have felt and ultimately the things I never could feel. Though it all initiated with round-eyed rhymes, but I’m glad I got more greedier and expanded it to haiku, sonnets, articles, short stories and some flecks of photography and sketches here and there and entertain everyone who manages to find out some time from their busy schedules to take a look at my blog. I owe it all to every single person who ever meant to influence my life in some form or the other, either knowingly or unknowingly. Blogging didn’t just help me figure out the unrequited riddles, but also eased me up by giving gems in the form of fellow bloggers. Probably, that’s when I first learnt the importance of a proficient blogging circle.

Unforgettably, comments, like anchor, kept me stable even in the most rickety days of my life. Giving me hope to give it one last shot and eventually, I’m where I should have been. Love you all for being such great readers and supporters. Thank you for your moralses and feedbacks and I seriously wish that my blog keeps inspiring and entertaining you all through its course.

Image resolution: 5120×2880

Somewhere between each consecutive post, I grew not just as a writer but a person too (and definitely in age as well). From a clean-shaved toddler to a heavy-bearded graduate, I was called the guy who talked older than his age. There is yet a long way to go and even the ‘100 Post’ milestone feels like a new beginning to an adventure that is both thrilling and a fulfilling one.

But wait! The merriment doesn’t ends here. Just 5 days more and ALIBI, my debut anthology, turns 1. And I have planned to present everyone with a return gift as a matter of thanks for being a part of my celebrations. I have added a download link to the end of this post. Enjoy the free gift and keep visiting. Thank you again.

Cuisine Delights #Farmoresingapore

Wednesday, March 25, 2015

Singapore, to be sure, is by far the most prominent pick for the dream destination of all travel buffs. Not only Asia, but its tourist attractions, orbital, multi-lane expressways, scenic stops as well as the scrumptious cuisines have pulled in people from all over the world. As luck would have it, I got a chance to visit the world’s most desired tourist destinations on a family trip a few years back.

The road route from Malaysia to Singapore is an absolute marvel. Fast-moving and naturally-scenic roads and highways aren’t something one can usually see in Far East. Ships and dockyards welcomed our way as we entered Singapore from Malaysia. Though there was good amount of traffic on the road, but the local monitoring and maintenance systems, in either case, turned it into fast-paced.

It had been raining since morning. As the hotel drew closer, the smiles on our faces started fading away as we were apprehensive of sight-seeing in such heavy rains. The locals ascertained us to not to worry as it was normal there. We had our breakfast buffet at the hotel itself. The best thing about breakfast of our hotel was that they served everything but the stuffed Indian food. Fresh fruits, cereals, toasts, rice, tea-coffee-milk-juice as per your own requirements. We finalized only the breakfast in our tour package. Being foodies ourselves, we wanted to feast our eyes with their food cultures and relishing our taste buds. “Being in Singapore, you need to worry about food.” The guide assured us that no matter where we are in Singapore we are likely to come across some great food courts and restaurants in the locality. Singapore being an island country, the best had to be its sea food. I was astonished to see the variety of food available there that included the Chinese, Malaysian, Indian, Japanese and Middle East cuisines.

By the time we had our breakfast, our cab arrived. So while we were rubber-necking, it started raining heavily, yet again. We visited the Singapore Flyer and the Oak Meadow Park having our ordinary snacks all along the way. Our next visit was to the renowned Merlion Park and we were genuinely charged up. The Mythical Merlion is a symbolic icon on the banks of Marina Bay and the catch is just stunning. It was raining buckets as we reached. But still we made haste to at least have a selfie with the Merlion. Alas, it was covered and was running some renovation. We were disheartened. But to our luck there was also a miniature version of the same; The Merlion Cub. We took a pic alongside it and then headed to the wonderful food courts around and we ordered some. Sitting alfresco, we had our meal and relished the panorama of the Marina Bay Sands (a 3-towered hotel and also the World’s second most expensive building) capped by the SkyPark (the ship shaped vanishing end pool) across the Marina Bay.

There is something no man has developed resistance to, as yet. Something that makes even the most herculean prostrate in submission. And that’s what our next stop was. Our guide also took us to some heavenly chocolate factories and outlets. What could be better than some cheap but savoring chocolates? We bought our quota of chocolates, filling bag after bag, also taking some for our friends and relatives. My dad had no idea walking back with cheap, but yummy delights could cost him so much.

For dinner, we went to Serangoon Gardens. It is famous for its abundance of restaurants, quirky bars and hole-in-the-wall coffee shops that attract not only its residents, but also foodies and tourists alike. One of the most prominent hawker centers in Singapore, the space is almost always bustling with crowds. Almost all Singaporean street favorites are represented here, many in multiple guises. Also, they have reasonable prices and do not skimp on taste in the expensive Singaporean Cuisines.

The following day, they took us to visit to the far-famed Singapore Zoo. It was raining uninterrupted. For those who are planning a visit to Singapore, it may come up as a surprise to you that there are areas where it rains of a sudden for most part of the day. They have specially put up the sign boards displaying “heavy rain zone xyz meters ahead”. And so I thought our zoo trip too would be ruined. But for our luck it didn’t rain while we visited those unruffled-beasts. Soon after the tram car dropped us after taking an entire round of the massive 69 acre zoo, it started raining heavily. So the animal show was called off. We sat there and had a hand at the local café foods.

The evening itinerary comprised of shopping at the local market. In Singapore’s shopping centers and malls, there are also eateries for the foodies, cinemas for the movie buffs, and lots of shopping bargains for the shopaholics. With 22 shopping malls, and 6 departmental stores all along a single road and still counting, Orchard Road is the ultimate shopping haven. One mall rolls into another; linked underground. We went to the Mustafa Centre for electronic and Orchard Road for other shopping and stuff and then straight headed to the ‘Food Festival @Little India’ to have a hand at the Singaporean made Indian foods. We were first served with pre-meal double-boiled soup. Next came the chapatti, daal, mix veg, cheese-chilli and some ‘Jain Foods’, not forgetting Kheer and Ras-malai (the North Indian sweet dishes).

Choosing one out of several appetizing meals for a foodie is so rude and impolite, especially when you have literally tried around half of the favorites by the StayFarEast. When there is Eggs Benedict and Kong Bak Pau (Asian sliders) by 40Hands café, or the Madeleines and Hazelnut Coffee Muffins by Chye Seng Huat Hardware and when there are abundance of restaurants, quirky bars and hole-in-the-wall coffee shops that attract not only its residents, but also foodies and tourists alike. The one I savored the most was the oyster omelet – briny whole oysters tossed together in an egg batter then pan-fried to perfection. Ang Sa Lee Fried Oyster draws longs queues – little wonder, since its version of the dish is crispy on the outside, and fluffy on the inside.

We north Indians are really obsessed with parathas. And before our trip we were concerned of how we’d survive without our own food there. A day without parathas and we feel homesick. But to our surprise, this desire too was easily accomplished by the Singaporean cuisine. The Roti Paratha House’s Chicken Floss Paratha with sinking your teeth into fluffy and light shreds of dried chicken and The Paratha Place’s Paratha Benedict we’d see Paratha topped with poached egg, turkey ham and Indian hollandaise sauce. East meets west doesn’t get any better than this. And then went to have another one of those Chye Seng Huat Hardware’s Hazelnut Coffee Muffins. Because once a foodie always a foodie.

Sooner or later, everything good comes to an end. Along with such a rattling trip, I thought the great grubs too would come to an end and I will go home with the remnant memories alone. Sadly, I still wanted to savor some more cookeries. I thought I wouldn’t be able to. But hey! The Singapore airport has some of the best shopping brands and food courts you will ever come across (and that includes chocolates too).

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Tuesday, March 24, 2015

No human ever born has been born without the apprehension of food. The mere sight of food is enough for us to decide what would taste good and what not. In short, ever human is a born foodie. And so am I.
KELLOGG’S WAALE GUPTAJI prepares some wonderful mouthwatering recipes and they sure know how to whip up the perfect breakfast for any occasion. I checked around a hundred and sixteen/seventeen recipes and I’d definitely love to visit their house for my nashta (breakfast) of NUTTY CHOCO BERRY CORNFLAKES and FRUITY YOGURT CUP.
NUTTY CHOCO BERRY CORNFLAKES, as the name states, is an irresistible blend of raspberry and chocolate that, by all odds, creates a breakfast like no other. Raspberry jam, crunchy chocolate chips and mixed roasted nuts serve the flavor that you’d have never tasted before, not forgetting the crispy cornflakes. What’s more shocking that I came to know about is that it takes a mere 2 minute effort to prepare this heavenly dish.
Being crispy and delicious at the same time is what they say is the purpose of this recipe. Your eyes will bulge the moment your taste buds relish it for the first time.
Along with this, my semi-liquid, but yet healthy part of the breakfast would be FRUITY YOGURT CUP. It’s a mouthwatering cup of nutrition in a single blend. Just like the previous one, it too takes around 2 minutes for preparation, but the results are just APPETIZING.  It is healthy fruits and curds mixed together with a little pinch of the vanilla essence. Also, cornflakes is something that should never be missed in the Gupta family’s breakfast.
Fruits and curd being healthy and light, serve the purpose of what we call a perfect breakfast. Being a north Indian, this is what should go and replace my morning supper in place of the stuffed prathas. Also, the prathas consume way too much time compared to this and are also too ghee-ed. But these recipes, on the other hand, are just perfect for people of all age groups. Even if you are a regular gym attender, you would be already aware of the importance of such a healthy and nutritious diet. Breakfast could never have been any healthier.
Using just the things we come across in our everyday lives, not buying anything specific for a healthy diet. GUPTAJI, for sure, is born with magic in his hands. So if you too are health conscious just like more of the other subscribers of Guptaji, do have a look at the list of his recipes and choose what suits your needs of a perfect nutritional diet just like I chose NUTTY CHOCO BERRY CORNFLAKES along with FRUITY YOGURT CUP.

When Happiness is a Verb

Saturday, March 21, 2015

  • Happiness is travelling
  • Happiness is an unexpected text from a friend when you are feeling low and all you want is someone to punch you for being uncool when you have such groovy friends with you
  • Happiness is meeting friends after years and having tea and pakodas like you used to have when you were kids
  • Happiness is receiving a GOOD NIGHT text when you feel insomniac
  • Happiness is when a new born baby responds to your smile with one of his own
  • Happiness is your dog welcoming you every evening you return from work
  • Happiness is receiving a voice note on WHATSAPP
  • Happiness is being a part of your school cricket team
  • Happiness is when a new tooth suddenly starts appearing after the previous one fell down
  • Happiness is getting books (and by books I mean novels, not technical stuff) on your birthday
  • Happiness is when you ramble carefree because you know your family will handle all your problems no matter what
  • Happiness is your first ride
  • Happiness is when your height traverses that of your parents’
  • Happiness is late night Coca Cola and Kurkure in hostel
  • Happiness is your first salary
  • Happiness is when a beggar kisses your hand in return of a one-time supper
  • Happiness is when India wins against Pakistan (cricket match)
  • Happiness is getting proposed by the one you love
  • Happiness is when you know your parents are proud of you
  • Happiness is having a new haircut
  • Happiness is realizing how melodious the silence can be at times
  • Happiness is having facial hair
  • Happiness is when you start receiving invitation cards under your name
  • Happiness is sharing your problems with your pet rat
  • Happiness is getting tagged as a good friend
  • Happiness is purchasing a gift for your family with your first salary
  • Happiness is when you don’t meet your friends for years and still know in your heart that they won’t leave
  • Happiness is growing old with your loved ones
  • Happiness is getting mocked by your best friends
  • Happiness is when your friends call HER by your name
  • Happiness is being praised for your works
  • Happiness is watching “Impractical Jokers”
  • Happiness is realizing how beautiful your smile is
  • Happiness is when your friends trust you even if your decisions seem to be against their welfares
  • Happiness is being the dearie (laadla) of the family
  • Happiness is a new comment on the blog
  • Happiness is the aroma of soil after a heavy downpour
  • Happiness is being the reason to someone’s smiling face
  • Happiness is peddling your bicycle faster than a car
  • Happiness is watching your father being sarcastic
  • Happiness is understanding that you cannot win always and blackballs are equally significant
  • Happiness is getting a free voucher
This post is written for Coca Cola India

For the love of FIRSTS

The FIRSTS are always the most memorable. Be it the first bicycle ride, the first school trip, first love and so on. Firsts have always attracted me the most for there is always a first time. After I returned back home after riding a bicycle for the first time, my parents thought I just had a nasty fight with a friend and further scolded me for the same. The first time I went on a school trip, I felt it was the most beautiful day of my life and that after the trip, my life came to an end and the first time I fell in love, it changed my life forever.

I remember there dominated a landline at our home for decades. The bulky, unportable and dull-voiced telephone set that used to lean against its seat like an obese tycoon does to his throne no matter what. We often used to see gringos using a wireless phone with an antenna over the TV. It was only later when dad bought it that I came to know it was called a Cordless. Buying a cordless felt ne plus ultra as we were the only ones in our locality to have been owning it. We could use it within a few meters from the torso. We thought it was the final of developments in the telecommunication field and we were finally owning it.

Our suppositions were proved awry when years later, mobile phones were first released in India. Our first mobile phone owned by dad was a deep-chested, heavy, black and white Nokia 1100 worth Rs 5000 gifted by mom. It brought along a majestic feel with it. We could now talk to anyone, anywhere and anytime. The game of snakes was sheer delight and I often used to play it sweeping under the rug. I oft wondered when I’d have a mobile phone of my own.

By the time I reached college, transformation came by and I got a 1 sq. in. screened, Nokia 2626 and it felt like a real masterstroke. It was somewhat similar in size to my dad’s phone though mine was a COLORED one. Never thought one day we’d be talking to our girlfriends over the phone. I once thought of transferring some data to the phone that comprised of a 50kb pic of mine and a ringtone of my favorite song. Such trivial free space was all I could manage. An inbuilt radio was the real source of entertainment. And even that felt great. My first personal phone. Back then, I was staying in a PG with 6 other guys of the same age group. On weekends, we used to sit together while working on our assignments and practical files turning on the radio in my new phone. Unbelievable that I used to flaunt over a phone that supported no memory cards and had an internal storage capacity in kbs.

Story of Tublu: Book Review

Monday, March 16, 2015

Title: Story of Tublu
Author: Jahid Akhtar
Publisher: Lifi Publications, New Delhi, 2015
Pages: xii + 204           Price: Rs200

Cover: Beginning with the outward appearance of the book, the cover looks genuinely enthralling. A boy and girl, probably Tanmay alias Tublu and Sujata alias Maina, walking hand in hand and a diorama of some place, in all likelihood, Maina’s hometown in the state of Assam.
At the same time, the title is equally appealing and really ties in to the cover picture. The moment I came across the cover for the first time, I made my mind of reading it there itself.

Blurb: Devastated by floods, Bipin and his little boy Tublu move to a faraway land, where they meet the Sharmas. This marks the beginning of a long and enduring relationship between Bipin and the Sharmas, and the growing friendship of their children Tublu and Maina. The book captures the journey of this friendship through childhood to adolescence and into adulthood. From some interesting school and college humor, the story progresses on and develops into a mature narrative. As years pass, Tublu’s plain and silent crush on Maina develops into deep love and longing which bears the potential to conquer all of life’s challenges. The story has its share of drama, that entertains; humor that makes one reminisce; love, friendship and emotions that define the amazing journey that is, life.

The Story:
After sharing his moments-of-delight over his blog for a few years, this is Jahid Akhtar’s debut novel. In spite of that, the author has done all the justice to the story. As the story sets out with Tublu and his father wandering in search of some ray of hope, they come across Mr. Sharma who is the Principal of a renowned school who turns their godparent at every turn, that is to say for food, shelter, job for Bipin, not forgetting Tublu’s education which further leads to a better future later in the story.

Tublu and Maina share a keen bonding ever since their childhood. And though his feelings for her had always been more than mere friendship, but he doesn’t shares his heart out until long. Later, as they leave the place for higher studies, a perfect comparison of their lives has been made. Meanwhile, Maina’s brother, Paplu gets a job in the US and eventually decides to settle there and gets married to Michelle.

There are also numerous friends, likely the true ones, which Tublu makes all through the story demonstrating how a human’s relationship with someone can bring a vital change in their lives. Life is indeed a journey with its shares of ups and downs. Mr. Sharma develops cancer and the entire story takes a big twist there. Everyone is shattered and compromise their happiness to his only to find their problems multiply in the later part of the story that also includes Maina’s marriage to another guy she doesn’t really feels for.

This story is a wonderful rollercoaster ride from puerility, childhood infatuations, innocent talks, the love disease, hesitations, college and hostel life, drawing together to one’s parents, to being adults and eventually being parents themselves in the span of 204 pages, which makes it a perfect read for people of all age groups.

The writing was simple beyond words. And that’s what makes it a fast moving, light and easy to digest story one can easily enjoy it in a single sitting. Everyone, at some point of time, finds himself reading his very own story. Every time Tublu hesitated to talk his heart out to Maina, I could feel a gulp stuck in my throat.

PS. I know I’m not the first one to say this but, yup, avoid the ‘Forward’ or you already would have read a couple of spoilers thus damaging the eagerness which would have served a better suspense.

About the Author: Jahid Akhtar is a software developer by profession. He was born and brought up in Assam and resides in Bangalore with his wife, Anjali and their little daughter, Jia. Jahid enjoys writing about some unforgettable moments in his blog titled Flashbacks.

My GOODREADS rating is 4 out of 5 and I’m so glad I read it.



Do let me know how you felt about it. FEEDBACK appreciated!!

Impractical JOKERS

Sunday, March 15, 2015

They say that everybody is born with those mercies bestowed upon him, who make you feel blessed with their cold shadows even if they themselves were sticking out in the burning summer sun. They make you believe that no matter how dusky the night may be, the sun never misses a day. It will rise up like always, though there may be some days overcast by the clouds of devilry.

The list of friends I have already lost in this life is endless. And though, I don’t hold any grudges against any of them, but somewhere deep within, they have created a cicatrix that can never be made up no matter what. And ironically, the void has added up to the heaviness. But what’s affirmative is that not all fish belong to the same pond. Some come all the way from the elixir-waterfall of the heavens to help you swim in the ocean of sufferings.

Every time I was engrossed in my thoughts, disheartened by the rues of life, there was one person I always found by my side without fail, like the invisible, but eternal part of my life.  Jasmin. It’s hard pointing out a single incident when she turned out to be a blessing to me and I know, a mere blog post won’t be enough to counter the good she has done to me, but I won’t let go of this chance of thanking and dedicating something to her.

It was one of those days where nights were the devil’s hour and were, for sure, called longer than the dawns. Where silent winds of the dark sounded like the hauntings of the past. Deluged with the thoughts of self-hatred and calling on the carpet, I felt it would be the longest night of my life. Trust me, the no-reason downheartedness is one of the most elusive things to face. And I could feel the heaviness of my heart increase with every breath I took. But for her, it was another one of those CID vs Rajnikant Jokes.

A few gibbers and jabbers, and I was back to being the half-baked jerk I always have been. As if in a moment, she pulled the right nerve that was needed to heal my sickness. And I could literally put a smiling smiley after every text I messaged. Humiliating each other for no practical reasons and greeting their presence the very next moment. Jokers, indeed. This world is definitely a happy place when you are surrounded by people who care for you.

Jasmin- She is a school friend, and though we haven’t met in person after that, but that wasn't a limit to the wonderful relation we share. Glad to have a sister like you.

This post is written for Housing.

No more a Mechanchi

Tuesday, March 10, 2015

Sometimes, few decisions sound so against the popular societal beliefs that you feel like shutting them down there itself rather than them being implemented or taken on. But we often forget that we are always going to find people who criticize our decisions no matter what we do or wherever we go. And then it’s unto us to decide our priority whether we want to make it happen or being on the safer side and following the crowd. Going by the book may more invulnerable, but regrets is what will stay on once you skip over the chance. So choose rights over wrongs, no matter how inappropriate you may seem.

I remember the day I cleared my first campus placement interview. Running out of the room across that corridor, not remembering when the last I had been so happy. My document file in my hands and me legging it all across the campus as if someone just put my back on fire. A mechanical graduate from an ordinary college couldn’t have expected anything better than a job in designing field. Being the only one amongst my friends to be placed, it felt cracking. But sooner than later, I started feeling uncertain about it. The line of work was great but it wasn’t something I was interested in. By the final year, I knew I wanted to take writing, or poetry to be precise, as my full time profession.

Initially, I bandied about it to my friends. I must not let go of such a rattling job, for not all are fortunate enough to get it- is what everyone said. Advising me to keep up with the job and continue writing as a part-time hobby. And my family was no exception.

Choosing the job with uncertain pay (though more interesting) compared to a high-salaried permanent job wasn’t easy. Especially when your family and friends were against the mere thought of it. And at times, even I was unsure if I should do this. But one thing I was sure of was that I couldn’t do the two things simultaneously especially when the mere training was to span over a period of 6 months with a minimum of 12 hours per day.

Sometimes you are too scared to take a leap but an action is all that’s required for you to realize you too could fly. And I flew. At times, the boldest you need to go is a silent whisper to the self, saying, “I have to do this.” It’s just months since I completed my college, and I have already been published in four anthologies with a couple more on their way to getting published sooner than later.

So, do what you think is right even if the entire world seems against you. Even your family, friends and acquaintances can be wrong sometimes, but ultimately, it’s you who has to make the final decision. And you will find yourself transformed in the course of action. Passion cannot be kept in cages. The sapling somehow finds its course from within a rock.

This post is written for Housing.

For a Happy Child

Friday, March 6, 2015

Having four maternal uncles and an aunt living in the same town and that too in a joint family, visiting them has always been a delight. I have had the privilege to attend their marriages and also witness them become first time parents. And so, I have seen a dozen of my cousins grow up in front of my own eyes, and every time I visited them, in my own arms. Lately, one of my cousin was blessed with a baby girl, further summing up to the lot. And in all these years, I have realized that there’s absolutely nothing like seeing little ones dissolve into irrepressible belly laughs. These bundles of joy are no-doubt the best creation of god.

Here is a list of some of the sweet, silly and funny things that never failed to add a smile to their chubby faces.

Making unusual sounds, even burps, works well. It is one of the most common tricks to make them happy.
Make funny faces.
Kids like observing animals. It could be a pet cat, a dog or even stray sheep and cattle.
Their hands and legs automatically move to the beats of loud music. And trust me, they never dance without a riant face.
The spoon turned a plane, every time Di fed me with veggies.
The sure shot is that whenever you look at stranger kids in bus/train with a smile, they stare for a moment and then smile back as if they just met the best person of their life.
Toys with motion.
Lying on the bed, making them sit on your feet and swing your knuckles up and down.
Tickling their feet, armpits, or booing their tummy and get rewarded with uncontrollable giggles.
Picking me in arms is what used to please me when I was a kid.
Pick them up in air and spin around.
That moment, when you are trying to make your baby giggle and he already knows what’s going to happen next and starts laughing beforehand, is something that will make you grow younger by a decade.

There is also something that you need to keep in mind, something they won’t warn before they pee or poo in your hands. So a diaper that could keep his full tummy dry is probably what kick starts his happy mood, and save your hands from getting poopified. However most diapers only focus on being leak proof and ensure dryness on the outside, thus providing discomfort to the kid. Something that could also maintain the dryness of the baby’s skin is the real need so he can enjoy the most magnificent days of his life without any visible hitches.

This post is a part of Indiblogger contest for Pampers

Write and Wrong

Thursday, March 5, 2015

In my 3 years of ‘playing-it-like-a-blogger’, there have been days when I almost pulled the plug on writing, as if it was an illness I was going about. Not that the words wouldn't come, or it wouldn’t satisfy me, nor had I started scorning it. Writing (poetry) demands isolation. Re-living all the moments that strip the skin off your body, layer by layer, and with depth, amplify your squalls, like it wasn’t the paper the pen was moving on, but the heart.

Writing, to me, was a way to exempt my heart of all the heaviness. It was like painting her over a blank canvas with closed eyes. But after it grew into a passion, I was impelled to dig deeper into my anxieties for every single word of rhymes I penned down. But still I got to conceal my rues, and practice faking in front of a world that doesn’t cares.

Soon, I began looking upon writing as a curse. I thought writing is something that causes misery and it times, destruction. I remember discussing it with Roshan that maybe it’s time for me to bid my final farewell to writing. I know there are about 2 billion songs written over heartbreak, but trust me, there is not a single that can literally help you get over it. I mean, I loved writing, but the aftereffects were miserable. And now, I thought I just wasted all those years doing nothing.

The other day, I met a good friend of mine who has just cleared his Bank PO exam after spending 7 irreversible years of his life studying machines and mechanical technology, with specialization in ‘tool and die’. It was his passion.
“So how’s your writing going on? Just heard that you got a book published.”
“Fine. But writing isn’t something you can rely upon. It can lead astray just any moment.”
“At least you do what you love.” he said in an exanimate voice.

And those words off his mouth kept ringing in my ears long after we went forth. I realized that maybe I was taking matters in earnest. That I ought to relish and be thankful for the marvelous ability I was bestowed upon with. Not everyone gets a chance to do what they really love doing. Something that gives them happiness. Maybe all I needed was just to switch my paradigm and consider those winks as the sweet old memories that will only add up a smile every time I think of them. People come. People leave. Loss is inevitable. But it is up to us how we look at things. Everything that happens is but for a reason, and the reason is ‘refinement of our future’.

This post is a part of Indiblogger contest for Housing.

The Perpetual Creator

Tuesday, March 3, 2015

Ever since its first birthday, this planet has seen knavery, bloodshed and cruelty. Killing others for food, self-defense and even blood-sports. Perhaps, life wasn’t so easy amidst the mashup. Going forth, leaving no stone unturned in search of food, hunting like falcons, getting back safely and at times, getting traced. What would a pigeon surrounded by cats do? Being amongst flesh-eaters won’t make one a compassionate being. If that higher-up image would have had enlightened his so-called children that beasts too feel the pain just like we humans do, maybe, just maybe, we would have respected life a little more.

Lately there has been a news of beef being banned in Maharashtra and the entire social media was like “Hell no! We’d starve to death now”. But as they say, “There’s nothing wrong with the world”, for God himself is responsible for its present condition.

So the first thing I’d do as god is to make every person short lived, just like the dreams of today’s world. Also, they’d be well aware of the time they are going to die. And they’d even have a deed-indicator attached to their foreheads, flashing the rating of their deeds just so they may furbish up their quota of karma for heaven’s desire.

Probably, I could just start my own BPO service so people may get in touch with me (through the men I hire) every time their prayers go unheard. And voila, this may even solve the current unemployment problem of the world. Or maybe just like the politicians these days do in electoral campaigns, meeting everyone in person, comprehending their conundrums and promising to unriddle them.

Some of the admirations you could come across in my reign:
  • Your grandma sending you cute selfies for you taught her how to take photos with your cellphone the last time you two met
  • Your dog fetching you the morning newspaper
  • Or you could probably get photobombed by Johnny Depp
  • Every day, you’d have a choice to select the genre of dream you wish to see that night
  • You could catch a penguin running behind your car
  • Winning a lottery over the ticket gifted to you by Santa
  • Or even receiving a phone call from Emma Watson herself

Apne parivaar ko apne dum pe jeena sikhao!

Sunday, March 1, 2015

PS. Based on a true story. 

Abhay has been studying in boarding school ever since he was 10. Col Brown Cambridge School, Dehradun was a renowned one.

Travelling 370km just to drop your son to his school every month would have been really hard. But Mr. Shukla showed perfect. As if it didn’t really matter to him. Or pretending he was strong enough. But what he never missed was driving his son 370km across the curves of hills and mountains.

They weren’t allowed to keep cellphones with them in the hostel. And anyone found to have one had to face their wrath. So the only way to talk to your family was the landline in the administrative block that you were allowed to use only at weekends. Though some kids managed to secretly keep a cellphone in Mrs. Grimpson’s tombstone, shrouded not just from the school and hostel officials, but also from their parents. It wasn’t to keep in touch with your family whenever you missed them badly, rather, to play mobile games. 

But, Abhay was a delicate tot. He had that photograph of him with his family stuck at the side wall of his cemented bed as he didn’t need to wait for a particular moment to miss them. All through the week, he used to eagerly wait for Saturdays, encircling all Saturdays in the pocket-size calendar with Sai Baba’s pic that his dad had given him at the time of joining.

Ironically, talking to his dad made him even more doleful. All his dad talked about were the ordinary parent-talks like how was he performing in his class and if he needed money and so on. And he wondered if his dad really cared much for him. He remembered he had often seen his mom cry whenever it was time for him to get back to hostel, but his dad, he was firm like a broad mountain; the real life symbolization for “Men don’t cry.”

Time passed, though with a snail’s pace. And with time, he got his hands at taekwondo, judo, karate and boxing and there wasn’t a single sport he didn’t play every evening. Playground became his new compadre. And soon, his house was filled with district, state as well as national level awards and medals. By the time he completed his matriculation, he could have opened his own trophy store if he wished to.


Today is his day of driving his son to the boarding school for the very first time and his heart aches. Standing at the main entrance of the school, he could see his son all mousy and timid. When everyone was waiting for Abhay to get into the car and drive them back home, he goes to his son for his final fatherly words.

“Listen son.” He says, “I know you’re scared inside. But believe me when I say you are strong enough. Today, your feet may be feeble and refuse to carry the anguish of this detachment, but one day, they will be strong enough to carry the load of a family with a son in boardings.” And continued, “And one more thing son. There’s a cemetery behind the school premises. Mrs. Grimpson has a surprise for you.”

This post is a part of contest for HDPFLife.

Get a better Car with Quikr NXT!

Saturday, February 28, 2015

Lately, I have been thinking of upgrading my Alto with a Hyundai’s. I have been really obsessed with their products, especially Verna. But the barrier was deciding the right selling price at which I should sell it so as to get a good response from buyers and not sound high priced.

Taking heed of my problem, a friend of mine told me about MSP (Maximum Selling Price) Calculator, a new concept by Quikr for finding out what the reasonable price of a used good should be. And since no one (not even the site owners themselves) has control over the variables, so the output price is genuinely reliable. So I finally decided to sell it over Quikr.

Since I now have a roundabout idea of what the exact selling price of my car should be, I can find how much I need to pay from my pocket for my new car. Next I posted an ad on Quikr using the Post Free Ad option. Rather than giving my number publically, I can set it to private and rather use the Facebook type chat system across Quikr’s mobile app, mobile site and even the desktop site. This feature has truly transformed India’s online classifieds market as it enables users to communicate with each other at their convenience and request more details about the product or service they are providing, without requiring a single phone call. Trust me, the phone call system was truly a pain in the ass. Getting calls from expected buyers every now and then and when most of them were just passing their time.

I now know how much I can expect to be paid for my over-the-hill car. And how much I can invest in buying a new used car from Quikr itself. So I just had a sneak peek at the buying option.

Next going to the Quikr’s buy option. >> Cars and Bikes>> Cars>> Select Brand>> Model>> Year>> Fuel Type>> Calculate

From the product options I now had, some had put up a high price on their cars. Maybe they had not used the MSP feature and I realized how great I felt for I had used it. From the thousands of products that filled my PC screen, I chose I handful of products that befitted my requirements and seemed in a good working condition.

I contacted all of them individually with all my queries and dubieties. Chat is such a convenience for people like me who are online for most part of the day. Just as convenient as Facebook or Twitter.

Within a couple of days, I had my old car sold, and new car standing outside my house. I wonder if there is anything as convenient as some Qui(c)k(e)r shopping.

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Compassion is here to prevail #1000Speak

Saturday, February 21, 2015

Lavishness is too mainstream. Empathy, love and compassion are the basic amenities of life today. Where compassion is an inner air conditioning. Like what keeps us hopeful in extreme hardships and in days of dismay. Suddenly everything is cool and beautiful, and nothing can disturb you, and the whole existence is transformed into a friend you always were in hold of, but never credited. Never let a tear shed because of you. That’s the worst you can do to a world who deserves more of those with a heart that doesn’t just pumps blood inside their system.

True, I cannot satisfy every individual, but maybe I wasn’t meant to be. Maybe, life was meant to be this way. Hard, rough, with more fallouts, than jeepers. But is this what you wished to hear in days of asperities or would this have unriddled your problems or cut down the burden off your shoulders?

I want to be someone’s hope. And I know, I don’t need to be a millionaire to be someone’s hope. All through these years, I have learnt that I got to close my eyes to hear a cry. Eyes betray. Follow your heart. Compassion cannot be halfhearted. For this world is what I am. Woeful, infirm, miserable and in need of symphony.

Perhaps one did not want to be loved so much as to be understood. And by the time you hear the silence of what the lonesome sand grain has to say, this world would have already been exempted of a burden that once existed.
Clothe yourself with compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness and patience. They won’t take a peel of your body, and still the deepest one can go. We don’t have to be alike to soothe someone. All we need is to care for one another and let love prevail.

The love in your heart
Wasn’t put there to stay
Love isn’t love
Till you give it away

Before anything else, all one needs to understand is that ‘Compassion’ is a verb. And it isn’t something you learn of religion. Compassion is what you learn even before you take your first step without aid. It’s what you have been fed in your mother’s feed, or your dad’s lidless nights when you didn’t sleep, or when your first pet died and you didn’t eat for days. We are more likely to be pulled towards people with compassionate hearts, polite tongue and a generous mind. It’s what meets the need of every single being who ever existed on this earth. Compassion brings us to a stop, and for a moment, we rise above ourselves.

Hurt people hurt people. That’s how pain patterns get passed on, generation after generation. Break the chain today. Meet anger with sympathy, contempt with compassion, cruelty with kindness. Greet grimaces with smiles. Forgive and forget about finding fault. Love is the weapon of the future.

Compassion happens when you stop long enough to connect with someone else and let their plight sink soul deep… which in turn fuels a desire to help. Too often we underestimate the power of a touch, a smile, a kind word, a listening ear, an honest compliment, or the smallest act of caring, all of which have the potential to turn a life around. Don’t forget how much you yearned for a shoulder on those watchful nights when you fell too short of being heard. That’s exactly what a million others face this very moment.

Keep speaking as long as you have voices. You never know which word off your mouth helps regain this world’s benumbed senses.

You’re not what I was meant to be
For I’m not what I should have been.
A hand, a shoulder, an adhesive
Or even a blemished path to the finish line.

Compassion is what I’m
Compassion is what predefines me
For, I’m a paltry of an oblivion, you didn’t want to be
I’m your footmarks
That are there to stay long after you’re gone.
I’ll shed my tears every time you’re sad
Worrying for the times you fall flat
Neither are you what you always wanted to be
Nor am I what others expected of me
For I’m a human, and Compassion starts with me.

We do belong somewhere
Maybe a place, a city, or a nation
Or maybe a planet yet to be discovered
But what if we were already where we belonged

On February 20th, 2015, over 1000 of us will raise our voices through our writing & thoughts, and flood the blogosphere with
wave of #Compassion. Join the 1000 Voices Speak for Compassion group on Facebook. Check out more posts by visiting the creators, Yvonne and Lizzi.

The Proposal

Saturday, January 24, 2015

I and Priya have been best friends for the past 15 months or so and this Valentine’s Day, I have planned to finally propose her. Confessing your love is something that makes even the bravest go poltroons. So rather than speaking up my love, I have plotted something witty, something extremely special for her. So unique that all through the time when we’ll be together, she will keep thinking “He is going to propose. He is going to propose.” But I won’t until the very end when she starts yenning to hear the three magical words. And it would be great if you could just chock it up in your divulging belly.

First I’ll send her a voice note on Whatsapp saying, “The world is at risk. Grab your essentials and be ready to meet your associate, a stunningly charming guy who’d be waiting outside your home at 6:30 in black tuxedo. The future of this world is in your hands.”

She’ll come in her favorite red Midi, I’m pretty sure. And while she would be thinking of asking about the urgency, I’d cut in between and put my hand in front of her.
“Choose one of these (smooth stones).”
I’d shake off the stones and ask her to get into the car. 
“What was that?”
“That was a memento. A special one.”
“But you threw them.”
She might even think I’m weird. But all I’m is a lover and if that necessitates weirdness, then yes, I’m the weirdest.

We’d fight over the music, as always. She prefers Diana Ross. And then we’ll finally set to ‘Tender Heart by Lionel Richie. “Wow! She looks so beautiful.” I’d think in my mind.
“You have left a patch of your makeup powder on your cheek” I’d say teasingly. All that a girl fears is her makeup getting revealed.
She’d then try cleaning it herself and finally say “Is it done?”
“Not yet. Try the sun visor.”
She will pull down the sun visor to use the mirror and my angel be showered in rose petals, the ones I would have placed behind the sun visor.
She’d be expecting a proposal. But I won’t. And finally she’d break her silence and ask, “This too might be a memento, right?”
“What are you talking about? I didn’t do that. I wonder who placed them there.”

We’d next drive to the City Fort. After roaming in the fort for some time, I’d take her to the tableland where Diana’s ‘Love is all that matters’ will be played as soon as we reach. (The officials are really wonderful people I tell you.)
“Why are we here?”
“I wanted to dance with you.”
“Here? Now? Are you crazy?”
I’d grab her hand with one hand and waist with the other. And we’ll dance. And dance. And dance. Expecting her to rest her head on my shoulder. Or chest. Did you notice I didn’t propose her yet?
And when the things seem to get in place, I’d bring out the tiny gift I would have purchased for her.
“A stone?”
“A special memento!”
“What’s so special about it?” she’d say disinterested.
“Turn it over.”
"I Love Priya" it read.
She would go speechless. And we’ll keep standing, staring at each other.
“But how… how did you know I’d choose this very stone?”
“I got it engraved on all those stones by a jeweler. So whichever stone you’d choose, something similar is what you would have got. But I just wanted you to be a part of this plot I set on you.” 

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