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The lyrical challenge ~ Day 3

The third and the final one. I’m inspired by everything that has an Arab touch to it so naturally music 🎶 comes first. One beautiful Arabic song that I came across a few months ago is “Be yourself – Kun aanta” by Humood.  Do watch the video until the end. You would love it. 😍 ♥

 

Be Yourself

In order to keep up with them,
I imitated their looks and exterior
So I became someone else, just to boast
And I thought that through that I’d gained a fortune
But I found that I’d lost, for these are mere appearances
No, no
We don’t need wealth
In order to increase in beauty
Our essence is here, in our hearts it shines
No, no
We will not seek to please others with that
Which we deem to unbefitting for ourselves
That is our beauty, rising and ascending above
Be yourself and you will increase in beauty
I accept people but I don’t imitate them
Except for what I agree with, to satisfy myself
I will just be myself, just the way I am, this is me
My conviction suffices, this is my certainty
No, no
We don’t need wealth
In order to increase in beauty
Our essence is here, in our hearts it shines
No, no
I won’t seek their acceptance
I’ll be whom I love to be

Why would I care about their acceptance?

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Bonjour!

To all my fellow – bloggers. I hadn’t been active since a couple of weeks. I did receive a few nominations for various awards but I’m really sorry for not acknowledging or posting it. Really thankful to each one of you who thought of nominating me. It means a lot.

I’m trying to get back to my routine – reading 📖 and writing 🖋. To start with I’ve picked these books and currently reading “Happy Dreams”

Wishing you all a wonderful week ahead.

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The lyrical challenge ~ Day 1

Thankful to my dear friend, yes my dear friend on WordPress, Aprendiz for nominating me for this wonderful challenge.

Music and especially songs have an integral part in my life. If I am asked of a closest lifeline it will be my favorite songs in the playlist with those uplifting words and spiritually fulfilling.

With that let me introduce you all to the song that I picked for Day – 1, “Arziyaan”

Arziyaan sari mein, chehre pe likh ke laaya hoon,
Tumse kya mangu mein, tum khud hi samjah lo…
Ya maula…, maula maula maula mere maula
All my desires, are written on my face
What can I ask from you, you interpret yourself
O lord… lord, my lord
Dararein dararein hai maathe pe maula
Maramat mukdar ki kar do maula, mere maula..
Tere dar pe jhuka hoon mita hoon bana hoon
Marammat mukdar ki kar do maula..
My forehead is scarred, O Lord (my fate is cursed)
Repair my fortune O lord, my lord
I am bowing at your doorstep, I have been destroyed and rejuvenated
Repair my fortune O lord
Jo bhi tere dar aaya, juhkne jo sar aaya
Mastiyan piye sabko, jhoomta nazar aaya
Pyaas le ke aaya tha, dariya woh bhar laya
Noor ki barish mein beeghta sa tar aaya
Whoever has come to your doorstep, whoever has come to bow at your feet
Everyone saw him dancing, drunk in trace
He had come thirsty, and you filled the river
In the rain of light, he was drenched and he swam out…

Sar utha ke maine to kitni khwahishe ki thi
Kitne khwaab dekhe the, kitni khosishe ki thi
Jab tu rubaru aaya…
Jab tu rubaru aaya nazarein na mila paya
Sar jhuka ke ek pal mein… ooo
Sar jhuka ke ek pal mein mene kya nahi paya

In arrogance, I had demanded my desires,
I had seen so many dreams, I endlessly tried
But when you appeared in front of me…

But when you appeared in front of me, I could not look into your eyes
By bowing head, in a second…
By bowing head, in a second, I attained all that I deserved.

Full lyrics can be found here.

And here is the full song :

The cover image is my click from my visit to Jama Masjid featured in the video.

And I nominate all my fellow-bloggers for this challenge.

Cheers 🥂

P. S. – While writing this post this song was playing in the background for me in repeat mode 😂 😍 😇

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A life beyond expectations

How many times in our lives do we end up in a situation, where we are compelled to think, “Wait, do I deserve this? What wrong have I done to anyone? I’ve always been kind to people and their needs, why can’t they think like me?”

How many times? I think the answer is, each moment of our life. It can place us in similar situations. Well, the good news is – if we want to get over this, we need to extend our kindness to people who are actually in need. Whom we can never expect to repay for what we do for them.

When we give to someone who we have never known, who we know can never repay us back – it naturally doesn’t make us expect. The expectations are what leads to disappointments. The people whom we touch through this kindness have only good words and blessings for us. That’s what is more fulfilling than any wealth in this world.

Have you felt the same way? Please do share your experience in the comments section below. I’d love to know your stories too and how you are bringing happiness into someone else’s life through your acts of kindness.

Wishing a blessed day ahead!

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An advice

Me: Why do I always have to face difficulties? There are people who have no struggles in life and they are free to choose a life of their choice.

Her: I don’t care what others do. If your life is a struggle, I’ll be proud of you because that is what will make you stronger, wiser and humble. On occasions, when you think of boasting about your achievements, think about your journey and be grateful. When you have kids, let them know what struggles were, so they don’t take life for granted. For every struggle you go through now will bring a brighter future.

Is there any advice that you received which is close to your heart? Do share it here in the comments section below.

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I do not belong to this world!

“Because I live in the world of my imagination where everything looks exactly as I want it to be.” ~ A child.

What a child needs is something attractive (to them of course :)) and the moment they get hold of it, no one can stop them. My niece and nephew often reminds me of this and most recently through these artistic drawings that they mercilessly drew on the walls of their house. They definitely have a story for what they do but do they care about the outcome or how it looks. No. What keeps them going is the sense of satisfaction in keeping themselves active and engaged in their “adventures”.

Made me think, why spend money on wall paintings for my new house. Let me call these little artists and give them a day to fill the house with innocence.

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The White Mosque

While rushing to get captured with one of this background view, I fell down accidentally and sprained my ankle. And the pain spoilt the rest of my day, as I was not able to walk properly. Nevertheless, the feeling that I experienced at this place was worth the pain. And few of these captures will always remind me of my pain yet bring a smile on my face.

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It’s a small world

“What can I give?”. I had finished reading this book somewhere in later part of year 2016. This book was published by Srijan Pal Singh in the memory of his most loved teacher and India’s most loved personality, Dr. A.P.J. Abdul Kalam. When Dr. Kalam left us in July 2015, I really felt sad for not having got the opportunity to meet him at least once in my life because I knew he was one of his kind, a scientist, a successful former President of India, a teacher, a writer and above all a great human being.

Thus, when I heard first about this book, without wasting much of time I ordered myself a copy. Probably within a day or two of the receipt of the book, I had finished reading because it was so captivating and so much about a common man and his teaching for the people like us. Inspired by Srijan’s mention of the Kalam Library Project in the book, I was all energized to do something and be a part of this overall project and make a difference for the under-privileged kids. I had already started following Srijan’s page on Facebook so I could stay updated on the recent projects of the Kalam Center.

Once, I sent him an email inquiring about how I can contribute to their mission. He was kind enough to respond to me and provide me further contacts to get additional information. For some or the other schedules I didn’t get a chance to reach out to these individuals.

In one of the following weeks, I went to a cafe to have my breakfast after my French classes. As I was looking for a table, an individual who was seated at the corner table caught my attention. I stopped and thought, “Isn’t this Srijan Pal Singh?” I couldn’t believe my eyes. I was still confused and wondered,”What could he be doing in such a small cafe like this?” But I was confident that it had to be him. Since he was talking to an elderly lady who was sitting along with him, I thought I should just take my seat and order my food. Also, I thought I wouldn’t be a great idea going and talking to him.

But once again, I thought – this was a lifetime opportunity to meet the writer himself and who knows if I ever got this chance again. So I decided to talk to him and introduce myself. As he was leaving, I reached out to him and confirmed if he was the person I thought. He smiled and said yes. I introduced myself and asked how he was here. He said this had been the place where he used to hangout the most as he completed his studies at IIM- A. I told him how much I liked his new book to which he requested if I could write a review of the book as well so he can share with people. We exchanged few words and he left.

For me this was an experience of a lifetime. Out of nowhere there was this person whom I was recently talking to, in front of me.

If you haven’t read this book yet, you can get your copy here.

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Find reasons not excuses

A decade ago when I read the book, “Who will cry when you die?” by Robin Sharma, it had a lasting impact on my outlook towards life. For those who haven’t read this book, it’s all about living your life as if it were your last day. Ever since, I have read a few more books and anecdotes of people who have experienced unexpected death and how it changed them and the people around, their family and the loved ones.

“The Last Lecture” by Randy Pausch and lately “When breath becomes air” by Paul Kalanithi. Both of them suffered and died of cancer. Reading about them and their urge to live the life to the fullest in their last days makes me feel even more grateful for the time I have.

If we get a day to live, I think we should not regret the past and feel sad for our unfulfilled dreams. Regretting and being sad steals us of many happiness. Generally for many, an adventurous life is all about travelling and exploring the unknown. For me, there’s more to this –

When I live as if this were my last day, I won’t find excuses for things I want to achieve, instead this will be my sole reason to go for it. Maybe, it’s talking to my loved ones, learning a new language, learning to play a musical instrument, learning anything that makes me feel more confident and enriches my experience.

I clicked this picture of my favorite things. As I wrote, it’s never too late to enjoy the things that you always wanted to. For me it was going back to my childhood when I bought these soft toys whom I call Robbie and Rosie. Now they are at the mercy of my nephews and niece. Or, it was just filling a book with colors or jotting down my personal thoughts or my goals for me to look back how far I came in life.

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The Blogger Recognition

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Just a few hours ago, I posted my blog on the Liebster Award. Now, I am so pleased to write a post on “The Blogger Recognition Award”. The only difference is that I’m self-nominating myself 😛 because I was nominated for something else by a very creative and dear writer PoeticBells but I accidentally wrote on this one. However, I didn’t wanted to delete what I already wrote. Probably, this also means I should take a break from work 😛

PoeticBells, as the name suggests, the page is full of beautiful works of poetry. Indeed a dearly loved blogger. Do wait until my next post on Gettoknowmetag. 😛

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I think it just happened with a series of events that happened in my life. One of which was definitely my French classes. I did write a post on this few months ago. Do check this out. Apart from this, as I had mentioned in my earlier posts – being an introvert I thought this was the best way to express and connect with different people from around the world. Someday, I would love to publish a book.

My two pieces of advice for new bloggers:

  • I think there are different phases in the life of a writer/blogger. As we begin we aren’t aware of the choice and likes of our readers. Despite that, don’t hesitate to write what you think or want to express. Write for yourself in the beginning. As you get to know more about the readers and their choices eventually you would realize your writings would have also changed without any efforts, coz you know what your readers want.
  • Observe – Whether you are reading a book, a blog, talking to people, travelling, driving, etc. observe it closely. You will find ways to connect and write something meaningful which your readers will be able to connect with.

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Here are the rules:

1. Write a post to show your award.
2.Thank the blogger who nominated you and provide a link to their blog.
3. Give a brief story of how your blog started.
4. Give two pieces of advice for new bloggers.
5. Nominate 2-3 bloggers who you believe deserve to be recognized. Comment on their blogs, to let the nominees know they have been nominated.

My nominees:

https://argentwritten.wordpress.com/

https://shaandaarjenie.wordpress.com/

https://thinkingclearly483645316.wordpress.com/

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The Liebster Award

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It has been raining awards lately and I don’t know where to start. I am so overwhelmed by the support of my readers especially to ApprendiZ for nominating me for “The Liebster Award”. Even though I was not one of those who ever had a liking for poetries during my childhood, WordPress has definitely started to change my outlook towards it. And ApprendiZ’s poetries are beautifully put together to reflect and express the simplest of our thoughts and emotions. Please do check out her page.

The Rules:

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Here are my answers to ApprendiZ:

⭐ Your favorite song and why?

This is a tough one since its never possible to chose one favorite. My selection of songs is largely based on my moods – but I can confidently say that all songs of A.R.Rahman are my favorite songs 😀

⭐ The most beautiful incident of your life.

My little niece. That was the best thing to happen in our family and my life.. She is everyone’s favorite and I’m loving the way she is growing up as a matured and fierce person.. I just don’t want her to grow up fast. She is 4 years old.. 🙂

⭐ Your definition of happiness.

Happiness is about loving yourself, pursuing your dreams without compromising on your relationships. Happiness is about spreading happiness.

⭐ If one thing you could change in the world what would it be?

I would put a magic spell that will remove all differences in human race. People later will only have one language – “Love”

⭐ Define life in a single sentence.

Life is a gift wrapped and breathed into us on our birth-day and each day in our lifetime it surprises us in special ways.

⭐ What is the dream you want to achieve no matter what.. your passion?

It’s a simple one.. to be fluent in French.. 🙂

⭐ Why do you like blogging?

Blogging is an excellent platform for people like me to put everything that’s going on in my mind and express through writing.

Few random facts about me:

  • I like reading books. I usually follow Bill Gates blogs to pick the books for my to-be-read. Till now, I have never regretted spending on these books based on his reviews.
  • I like to learn new languages. It’s been a year I’ve been trying learn French
  • When I travel new places, I make sure to find fridge magnets as a souvenir. People would hardly find me shopping at the malls 😀
  • Lately, I have also started gardening.
  • I am at my best when I am with my close friends and family. I would hardly speak up when there are too many people around
  • I try to take out time so I can spend some time with underprivileged kids. Recently, I got an opportunity to support in opening a library at a Juvenile Home
  • I keep my phone away when I am with my family or friends so I can spend quality time with them. Mobile phones are always a distraction as we are always curious to know what the message or notification is about.
  • People can’t really predict my moods 😛
  • Given an option to save money or live your life, I would choose the latter, because life is really uncertain. I would put in my best to follow my dreams and passion. I don’t want to spend my life in regrets.
  • I get goosebumps when I hear the call to prayer (Azaan)

On my favorite blog, I would rather go with the post, I really liked and felt connected with this poetry by The Stories In Between. This reminded me of my Grandma to whom I was very close.

Here are my nominees for the Liebster Award:

A Voice from Iran

Invest in yourself first

Explore with Kenneth

A Wayward Scribbles

Photo Sociology

I refuse to give up

Random thoughts

Brainy essays

Flying thoughts and memories

Here comes the Sun

Musings

My questions to the nominees:

  • Your favorite book and why?
  • A childhood memory close to your heart
  • What is your formula for life?
  • What is the misconception people have about you?
  • What’s your dream destination?
  • Why do you like blogging?
  • What is your advice to your fellow-bloggers on writing?
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Learn as you go

This holds very true for me. During my childhood or I can say until I started my job I had no fascination for books or reading. I was super confident that reading should be the last thing I would have considered as my favorite pastime.

But things changed in the last few years. Once I gained an interest in reading, I haven’t stopped since then. Started by borrowing books from friends initially and later started buying it for myself because I thought it was worth an investment. One after the other, my shelf was filled with all kinds of books from self-development, autobiographies, biographies, fiction, non-fiction and the list goes on.

But what has this story to do with the quote I have highlighted in the featured image? Well, it has. Reading has widened the horizons of my imagination. Reading has helped me to be creative in my writing. To be a better story-teller. It has enabled me to look at every moment of life as an inspirational story that can be penned down to share with the world. I want to write more and more and learn during this process.

Last month, I was attending a corporate conference. The organizer asked a question to the audience, “How many of you think that life is simple, raise your hands”. I raised my hand and there were a couple of other individuals who raised their hands shyly. A lady sitting next to me said,”Guys, be practical. Life cannot be simple”. Probably she was expecting me to put my hand down hearing her words. But that boosted my confidence even more. Because I do think life is simple. Life in itself can’t be simple because of the challenges we come across, but the route we take can be simple without panicking in any situation.

I got this confidence after reading about so many people and their experiences, their failure and success stories.

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I recently finished a heartwarming book – “A Man Called Ove” and now reading “When breath becomes Air“.

I posted a couple of blogs in the last few weeks, if you haven’t got a chance to read here they are:

Captured in one frame

You are lucky for me

The Journey called Life

An unavoidable phone call

Happy Weekend, everyone! 🙂

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A story..

“I stepped into the room along with a few girls and walked straight to the front row where we saw some vacant seats. A session it was I had heard but I can’t quite remember the agenda of the session. It was a full house and I could see the presenters getting ready. Within a few minutes, there was silence and the lead presenter started off with his opening remarks. “Thanks everyone for gathering here – we will all go to another place where we will conduct the session and also do some activities”

“Oh, oh, wasn’t this supposed to be that place?” – I thought. While I was still thinking, I could see the crowd already moving towards the venue. I kept waiting to find a familiar face with whom I could reach the destination, since without a vehicle it would have been difficult to reach on time. I came out and saw there were no one left, it was just me standing and thinking about the way to reach.

“I wish Charlie could come and drop me at the location” – I said to myself. The next moment, there he was with that enchanting smile. I couldn’t believe my eyes, I called him at the top of my voice, “Charlie, Charlie, please help me. I need to reach that place as soon as possible”. He didn’t utter a word, but signaled to hop on to his bike. On our way, I kept enjoying the beauty, greenery, and the calmness of the city.

I didn’t realize when we reached the location. Just as I was thanking him for his huge help, a little girl came to me and requested,”Can you help me climb the stairs? There is a class going on and I need to reach at the earliest?” I observed her closely – she had difficulty walking because of her twisted ankle. I waved a good-bye to Charlie and held the little girl’s hand and climbed the first step. I heard a rattling noise. When I looked back there were over 10 more children with similar difficult moving towards the stairs.

I helped them reach their destination and seated them for their special session. Before I could reach for my session, I looked out of the door once more if I could get a glance of Charlie. And there he was, at an elderly lady’s assistance. Once again, I called him and waved him good-bye.”

I woke up to the sound of my alarm and realized it was all a dream – being a part of a big crowd, getting the opportunity to meet Charlie in person and also giving someone a helping hand. The feeling might probably be difficult to put in words, but I felt lighter and happier.

I am sure by now the reader is interested to know who Charlie is? He is definitely not a superhero nor is he a supernatural figure.

He is the protagonist of the 2015 Malayalam movie – “Charlie“. He is depicted as a carefree person who is always found to be helping the needy, giving them reasons to live a fun-filled and meaningful life. His energy, his enthusiasm is contagious. If angels do walk the earth then they probably take the form of such human beings. You don’t need divinity, all you need is a big heart to love and lend.

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Cheers!

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The Sunshine Blogger Award

I am pleasantly surprised and grateful to James A. Best- Author for nominating me for the Sunshine Blogger Award. This is the first time I’ve been nominated for this award and it really feels good to know that my readers are appreciating the content. Do check out James A. Best- Author ; he has got some interesting content out there. I really like his candid way of writing and narrating the events. Also, he has authored two books already. So don’t miss it!

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The Rules:

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  1. Thank the Blogger who Nominated you in the post and link their blog.
  2. Answer the 11 Questions asked of you
  3. List The Rules and include the Sunshine Blogger Award Logo in your post

My Answers are :

  1. A dog or a cat? – A dog
  2. Your favorite Novel and why?: “The Kite Runner” – It is tough expressing why this is a favorite but all I can say is I was in tears for a couple of weeks thinking about the sequence of the events and the miserable life of people who have to actually go through this pain of loss of their loved ones and the place they once called home.
  3. Your favorite movie of all time? Bangalore Days. This is a Malayalam movie but do watch it if you happen to get it online with subtitles. A very heartening story of three cousins and their days in the happening Bangalore City in India.
  4. Your ultimate dream to achieve in life? – To learn as many languages as possible
  5. Barbecue or open pit fire to cook? Barbeque
  6. What would be your all-time favorite concert to see?A.R. Rahman’s
  7. Best part of your day and why? – Night, that’s when I spend some time writing before I go to sleep.
  8. If you could go to one place where would that be? France
  9. What is your favorite blog of mine? And why? – This Heat is Sizzling. I could absolutely relate to the events described, there are so many thoughts that flow through our mind daily – I really liked the way you put it across in writing and described it so well.
  10. Why do you enjoy writing your blog ? – As a person, I am an introvert – there are lots of ideas and thoughts that are waiting to come out. I recently realized the best way for that is writing and connecting with the world. Writing has become more of a habit now which I don’t want to part with. I am free to express what I think, what I like or what I want to tell the world. That’s the part that I enjoy the most.
  11. What does the Sunshine Blogging Award mean to you ? Sunshine comes with hope, light, and energy. The words we choose can play an equal role in someone’s outlook towards life. If we as a writer can do that, then our mission is accomplished. Receiving or giving out these awards is a good sign since we believe in each other’s work and are filled with positiveness.

Here are my nominees:

https://mydreammywords.wordpress.com/

https://thenaturallysmartlife.com

https://gayatrilavanya.wordpress.com/

https://lireditelle.wordpress.com/

https://argentwritten.wordpress.com/

https://poeticbells.wordpress.com

https://dreamswhichbecameacurse.wordpress.com/

My Questions for the Nominees:

  1. Your favorite novel and why?
  2. Your favorite movie of all time?
  3. Your ultimate dream to achieve in life?
  4. Movie or concert?
  5. Your favorite actor?
  6. The best part of your day and why?
  7. If you could go to one place where would that be?
  8. What is your favorite blog of mine? And why?
  9. Why do you enjoy writing your blog ?
  10. What does the Sunshine Blogging Award mean to you ?

Looking forward to the blog posts and the interesting answers 🙂

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I write.. 

Now that I have started writing, I still can’t believe in those two words “I write”. A year back, it never seeped into my mind to start writing. And now, with every new post of my mine I can see myself improving gradually. I’m not competing with the world. I’m competing with myself.

There is that version of me who can be a good story-teller, share and express own experiences. And I’m in search of that.

In this journey, I’m not alone. I have my fellow – bloggers who do not fail to impress me with their creative writing.

I write! Writing has changed the way I read. The earlier me wanted to just read the books. Now, I want to completly immerse myself into the author’s journey. I look for minute details of expression and emotions gone into it.

Writing is in the process of bringing out the best in me.

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The magic lamp

Yes, that’s right.

Alladin’s magic lamp from Arabian nights.

The lamp that comes with a bonus of a genie that can fulfill your wish.

The lamp that I bought as a souvenir from my trip to Dubai.

Now, peacefully resting on my desk,

Shining all the time.

Everyone who stops by my desk,

Can’t control themselves from giving a try to rub the lamp,

With an expectation of a genie coming out of it.

Makes me think, no matter how old we are,

We still have a heart of a child,

We stop to think like adults,

And be that silliest person anyone can be.

Think  how awesome that would be,

A child in an adult’s body 🙂

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Wise words

In those moments, when everything seems to have come to a pause, out of nowhere we find these words passed on to us, by our loved ones and our well-wishers. These are the words of hope which for many of us also changes our outlook towards life.

From my last post, I invited my fellow-bloggers to share an advice that’s close to their heart. Thanks to everyone who took time to comment and share their experiences. And also to everyone who appreciated the content with their likes 🙂

I am sharing the individual content here for all my readers. Do check out their blogs too, if not already. There are some excellent pages out there which you wouldn’t want to miss.

ApprendiZ

“What doesn’t kills you only makes you stronger…..
It’s life and surely there’ll be adversities, but life won’t be thrilling enough without these….so feel blessed to have everything and never quit because only the fittest would thrive and survive and progress….”

Sifar

“Out of a lifetime of personal and professional advice, one that helped me most came from a dear friend that if you really want something give it your all. Don’t give yourself excuses because the wins and losses are only yours.”

Barkaat Fatima

“‘Regret hurts more than failures so stopping thinking about people and give your best for you should be able to face yourself at the day without any guilt.” This one advice made me strong enough to take decisions in life.

Nathi: A Wayward Scribbles

“The best advice I received was to expand my horizon, to let people in and that there are people out there who truly love you. Besides, during a depressing period of my life, a friend of mine assured me, “Help is available, buddy. You just need to ask for it.” These were the words that kept me going and help me see the light at the end of the tunnel.”

Thank you for reading and do share your experience in the comments section below.

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Happy weekend

It’s the end of the day. I am on my way home, after work. Holding my phone, wondering what should I write? Somedays when I am not prepared I’ve noticed that so much of thoughts and ideas run through my mind on my next blog post.

But often I regret for not having a book to note them down at that point in time. What happens next? The thought and the idea is gone.

Writing has become a passion for me now, though I realize not all days can be alike. Writing cannot come by force. The words have to just flow giving the concept life so that it can strike a chord with the readers.

So many times, I am bowled over with the content by my fellow bloggers. Everyone have a unique style and stories to share.

Thus, when I feel I can’t write, I spend my time reading so that I can learn from the rest.

Have you ever faced a similar instance? I’d love to know how you overcome and spend time writing.

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A Summer memory

A lovely post by Lavanya.

Lucid Lavanya

So it’s summer time and I’ve visited my maternal grandmother’s house for vacations. This used to be a constant ritual in summers during childhood and one that I longed for since the moment I used to come back home. After all it meant meeting my cousins. And for someone who’s a single child, my cousins are like my own brothers and sisters. I love them to death and wish we could stay together longer.

One of the things we used to do at the house is play a game called Jurassic park. It’s a board game in which we need to escape the land of dinosaurs and fly away in a helicopter. Like any other board game it’s a really long, and I mean really really long game designed to keep us in check for the day. A quite mindful game given to us by our mama (uncle) I…

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Wonder

No, not yet. I’ve being waiting but haven’t been nominated for “Quote of the day challenge”. 🙂

Although, I do wanted to share this quote from a book that I’ve being reading, “Wonder” by R. J. Palacio.

It’s kind of interesting why I chose to pick this book for my to-be-read list. I was in this book shop where I had picked a couple of books to read. While I was rushing to leave, something caught my attention. A yellow book cover with an interesting image of a boy. I knew that moment, I had to buy this.

I won’t get into the book review coz I would encourage everyone to get your copies too. It’s worth it. A very heart-warming story.

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The boy who never grew up

And one thing I can say for sure is over these years no one has ever been able to replace the charm and innocence these characters bring to us. Kids love them, I still love them. And I have stored all the books so that one day my kids can have an access to these too

via The boy who never grew up!

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An innocent blackmail

Big brother: Please give me that toy. It’s mine and I want to play with it.

Little sister: No, It’s mine. I won’t give it to you.

Big brother: Think again. I won’t allow you to watch TV. I won’t let you watch Doraemon or Pokémon.

Little sister: Please take this. When did I say it’s mine?

Big brother: That’s like a good girl and my sweet sister

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For you a thousand times over! 

Often we end up into situations where we don’t feel confident in our own potential. But there is a voice that keeps reminding us of our worth and don’t fail to encourage no matter what.  That voice is not our heart or our soul, it’s that friend who is with us through our thick and thin.

Hassan the quiet and the most important character from “The Kite Runner” is a reminder of that friend who genuinely mean when they say or feel – “For you a thousand times over”.

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The last leaf

A short story by O’Henry. This was also a part of our English curriculum. My memories as a student have always been vague as I was never interested in studies. Surprisingly, there are a couple of stories from the English textbooks that I can recall. I would rather say, I don’t just recall but also think it still drives my approach toward different circumstances.

The Last Leaf is one of those. It is a story about a young girl Johnsy, who is struck with illness and is not able to recover due to her lack of willingness. The falling leaves of an ivy wine tree near her window in the hospital turned out to be her reason. Day by day she counts the number of leaves left and is confident that with the last leaf falling she also has to die. Her mother Sue worried about her condition reaches out to old Behrman. Behrman – a failed artist. Despite his 40 years in the field, he was still not able to create that masterpiece which he always wanted to.

Hearing Johnsy’s imaginations and Sue’s worries he gets ready to help her. While Johnsy is asleep, Behrman goes to the other side of the window and takes his position.  A cold rain was falling with some snow.

The next morning, Johnsy insists her mother open the window shade. Sue obeys. To Johnsy’s surprise there stood one ivy leaf without being affected by the rain and snow. Later that day, the doctor says he is positive now of Johnsy’s recovery since she was responding well. He leaves the room referring to another patient that he had to attend. It was Behrman struck by Pneumonia too. His chances of living narrow.

That afternoon, Sue came to Johnsy’s bedroom and said –

“I have something to tell you, white mouse. Mr. Behrman died of pneumonia to-day in the hospital. He was ill only two days. The janitor found him the morning of the first day in his room downstairs helpless with pain. His shoes and clothing were wet through and icy cold. They couldn’t imagine where he had been on such a dreadful night. And then they found a lantern, still lighted, and a ladder that had been dragged from its place, and some scattered brushes, and a palette with green and yellow colors mixed on it, and – look out the window, dear, at the last ivy leaf on the wall. Didn’t you wonder why it never fluttered or moved when the wind blew? Ah, darling, it’s Behrman’s masterpiece – he painted it there the night that the last leaf fell.”

Such a touching story! Behrman’s masterpiece didn’t lead him to gain wealth or fame but saved the life of a little girl. Gave her the hope to live and in the process lost his own life. In our own lives, we are tangled in the web created by ourselves and make them our yardsticks to measure our success. Success is not about our capability to fulfill our materialistic wishlist. If today, we are able to give a ray of hope to someone, that comes back to us in the form of self-contentment and gratefulness.

Let there be a little bit of Behrman in each one of us!

Here is a picture from my own garden of the Arabian Jasmine. Every time it blooms – it gives me happiness. And the bud? It symbolizes hope, isn’t it?

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An Instrument of Peace

At 8.00 a.m. in the morning, we had to be ready for the assembly that started with prayers followed by announcements, news and prayer requests. I remember being dropped by our school bus half an hour early to the school time that allowed us to take copies from our friends to finish our homework before the school day started. There was always a sense of urgency to finish them on time as we never wanted to get those red remarks in the school diary. 

At 8.00 a.m. in the morning, the entire school stood still because it was time for prayers. From a very young age, I was always attracted to a conversation with the Invisible, but standing alongside 60+ students with joined hands never gave me that feeling of being prayerful. 

“Make me an instrument of your peace”, used to be a frequent song played during the prayer time. I loved this song, I still love this song – but probably I never understood the deeper meaning of it until later when I heard it on YouTube recently. It took me back to the memories of my school. Looking at where the world is heading into – constant chaos, hatred, destruction, and distrust – each of the word adds so much meaning. If there would have been something called a “World Anthem”, I would have proposed this song for the same.

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140 and counting

It has been over seven months since I officially started putting my thoughts through this blog page, even though I had created this account four years ago. It is well said that, “Everything has a time”. Even if that’s about exploring something new as your passion. The first time I started writing, I’d be honest I was indeed afraid to post something on a platform like this which is visible to people around the world. I was worried if my content  will be relatable to the readers here. Nevertheless, I thought to give it a try and wrote my first post which was more of a personal experience which is very close to my heart.

Even though the views were too low since I didn’t had much followers, I think giving it a try gave me that confidence to write more. Writing helped me know my inner self. I realized that there is so much I want to express and what can be better than a place like this where there are millions of like-minded people with excellent talent when it comes to writing, story-telling and sharing their wisdom.

Thankful to my 140+ fellow bloggers who have shown their interest in my content by following my page. I’m not yet quite where I wish to be, but I am sure these baby steps will eventually bring out the best in me. I am an active learner, thus I have something to always take away from what I read whether that is from the pages I follow or the books I read.

Here are some of my recent posts, in case you haven’t got a chance already:

Find reasons not excuses

A billion dollar smile! 

A story..

Learn as you go

And a picture from my 2014 trip to New York

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Wishing everyone a happy weekend.

Cheers!

~Ayesha

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A billion dollar smile! 

When I go to spend time with special children – my camera would be the last thing I’d take since I believe that deviates us from our prime objective of giving our 100% – love and attention.

This time it was different. Unexpectedly, I joined my friend to celebrate Holi with these special children and the beautiful girl in the picture below insisted to take a picture of her.  This was my first selfie in an event like this. Fulfilling her small wish gave me happiness. She absolutely enjoyed seeing herself in the pictures.

While leaving,  I gave her a hug.  She stopped and asked,  “Before you leave,  tell me what is your name?”

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You are lucky for me

“Hey, listen” came a voice from the front as I was walking towards my office. I looked up and found a woman in her middle age carrying a basket full of fruits. Assuming she was calling someone walking behind me, I ignored the call and moved forward. 

“Hey, listen – I am talking to you.” This one came directly for me. I stopped and asked, “Are you talking to me?” “Yes, I am, I’ve been calling you since I know you are lucky for me” – said the woman. 

“Lucky? How can I be lucky for you?” “Because, today is New Year and I am looking for someone who can help me start my business well and I think you can be lucky for me. All you have to do is to wish me New Year open heartedly, take some fruits from me and give me whatever you deem fit for the same”

“But.. but I don’t need any fruits right now.”, said I. “That is fine, you can give it to someone else but take these fruits from me” came the response. 

Nonplussed, I said – “Okay, give me some grapes and pomegranate, how much does this cost”?

“Well, you can give me Rs.200 for one box. That’s what they charge in shops”. She took out two boxes of grapes and handed over to me. “I just need one box, please”, I clarified to her. 

“I told you, you are lucky for me. So please take these two boxes, I’ll also give you few pomegranates free of charge” – said the woman. 

Even before I could say anything, I was standing with two boxes and some pomegranates in my hand because I knew there was no escape. I handed over Rs.400 and continued to my destination. 

All the time on my way back, I kept thinking – maybe she was just applying a marketing strategy or maybe she was genuinely looking for someone to start her year well with some good business. Nevertheless, the cost occurred was worth it, since what I got from her was healthier than what I would have spent in a restaurant for a burger or a pizza. 

And above everything else, I was satisfied thinking about the woman and the stories she will get to narrate at home.

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Une conversation

For those who have already viewed my post “A conversation“, I have tried to come up with the French version of the same. Being a beginner in French, I am trying to put this more into practice so I don’t forget what I learnt. But I’ll be honest, I had to take help from Google translator too.  Feel free to suggest corrections if any in the comment section below.

Moi: Dans mes rêves ces jours-ci, j’ai vu des célébrités que j’admire. Qu’est-ce que ça veut dire?

Mon amie: Peut-être, il y a des choses plus grandes qui t’attendent.

Moi: Vraiment? Tu penses?

Mon amie: Oui, mais ne faites pas de cela un critère pour votre succes

Moi: Que voulez-vous dire par critère de réussite?

Mon amie: Je veux dire, ne pensez pas que si vous ne pouvez pas rencontrer ces célébrités, votre vie ne réussit pas. Le succès est lorsque les personnes qui s’occupent de vous et que vous aimez, se multiplient, ou avec ceux qui existent, le lien s’approfondit.

Vous faites des actes de bonté et êtes bénis par les gens même si vous ne savez pas. C’est le succès. Les gens que vous rencontrez sur votre chemin sont vos célébrités et pour ceux que vous apportez de l’espoir, vous êtes une célébrité pour eux.

Moi: Parfait. Je n’ai jamais pensé de cette façon. Vous êtes un excellent interprète de rêve.

Mon amie: Non, je suis un conteur d’histoires. 🙂

Image credits: Google.

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Captured in one frame

My love for music,  my role model and my roots.

A.R. Rahman “Encore” , an experience of a lifetime and a dream come true.  So awestruck by the beauty of the sets and above all the patience with which the concert was performed  by Rahman Sir.

I could see him doing everything at a time – playing music on multiple instruments,  singing and with a smile on his face cheering up each and everyone of his crew members.

Makes me feel he is not just an extraordinary person but an institution of learning to be a better human being. Wonder how much people associated with him have learnt all through these years.

Long live Rahman sir and his music.  Jai Ho!

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An unavoidable phone call

How often does it happen while you are travelling using a public transport that you are compelled to over-hear a conversation not because you want to but you have to because of loud fellow-passengers. In one of my commute days, I happened to overhear a phone conversation between a Mom (my fellow passenger) and her son (which I guessed from her talks). This is how it goes. This might probably remind one of your conversations with your parents 🙂

Mom: Hello!

Son: Hello Mom, how are you?

Mom: Forget about that, first tell me why didn’t you pick up dad’s call in the morning.

Son: Aahh.. hmm..

Mom: He has been trying to reach you from last few days. Why don’t you respond?

Son: Mom, I’m so so sorry. I.. I was was just having a severe headache.  So I was taking rest.

Mom: Severe headache? Do you have a migraine or what? You should have picked up his call. He does night shift and keeps himself available before 6.30 a.m. so that he can talk to you before you leave for college. And you.. you don’t even bother to respond neither on phone calls nor his Whatsapp chats.

Son: Mom…. I… didn’t I tell you last time my net isn’t working.

Mom: Net isn’t working? Whom do you think you are trying to fool. I can see you post daily on Facebook.. Commenting on the pages of political parties.. But, why are you following these pages.. Why don’t you keep yourself away from all this? I want you to focus on your studies.

Son: Silence…

Mom: Ok, so how’s everything else? What time is your college? Are you allowed to take mobile phones? Ok then take care son. Will call you in the evening.

PC : Google

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Listen only mode

When we think about effective communication, the first thing that comes to our mind is active listening. It’s only when we are attentive to what other person says, we can respond back accordingly. This probably holds true for personal and professional life.

In our relationships though, active listening can never happen literally. Which means, if you are waiting for your loved one to express or say what they feel for you that can not happen always. There are times when we want to express and then there are times when we just express our love through our actions and deeds more than talking.

Thus, it’s important that we keep ourselves in the “listen only mode” in order to observe the beauty of people who are a part of our lives and not overlook any cues that are unintentionally given to us expressing their love and care.

Image credits: From Google.

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Here’s a recap!

Few major developments in both my personal and professional life has been keeping me away from the little bit of writing that I used to do. Apart from this, I recently joined an NGO. To be a part of an NGO was always a dream which has now started becoming a reality. My schedules including my commuting hours never made me think of anything else than just going home and taking some rest or do some reading while I am travelling.

It’s been great so far. I’ve met some kind people who have been putting in tireless efforts to create meaningful environment for the community. I am really looking forward to be a witness of many more success stories by this group of enthusiasts.

I’ve also partnered with a wonderful young woman to start a Kalam Library for the Juvenile Home in Ahmedabad. We are really hoping to see this active by the year end. So wish us good luck. Fingers crossed 🙂

If you missed to check out my recent stories – there’s still time 😀

I’ll make you smile

I do not belong to this world!

It’s a small world

So here is what happened next

Happy Reading! Until next time.

~Ayesha 🙂

Image credits: Goes to myself. I clicked this picture during my last visit to Udaipur.

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My new workstation!

I moved to a new workstation this week. And the best thing about it was to get additional space to hang these beautiful souvenirs that I bought from my trips earlier this year. The first one is a Lohe Qurani from Hazrat Nizamuddin Dargah, Delhi and the other is a Kathputhli (string puppet) from Udaipur, Rajasthan.

I am glad they finally found a new and comfortable place, from where they will continue to remind me of my travel experiences and fill me with joy! 🙂

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I’ll make you smile

As a person, I’ve been an observer both in my personal and professional life. I like observing people and adopting the positiveness from them. And now been a blogger, there is always an urge to also share this positiveness and the inspiration that I get, to my readers as well.

So let me introduce you to this little baby and her mom with their enchanting smile.  I met them during a recent trip. I was really awestruck to see the mother at work with the baby tied in a handmade sling and she managed it so flawlessly.

Often when a challenge comes our way, naturally we get bogged down by the situation failing to carve out a direction for ourselves. But this capture proves that there can be no roadblocks in life, all we need to do is to put our energy in finding solutions to pursue our dreams.

Have a great day!

Cheers!

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A flashback

It has been over 3 months since I started spending my time here – reading blogs and writing some. It has been a learning phase for me so far understanding what content to choose, that should be a combination of mine and my readers’ interests.

You won’t find a specific trend in my posts except for the fact that I prefer to keep it short in the interest of everyone’s time. 😀 And most recently, I have gained interest in posting some of the random pictures that I clicked or pictures from my travel experiences.

If you haven’t got a chance to view them, sharing my personal favourites:

A conversation

The Home within a Home

The Joy of Giving

The boy who never grew up

Heaven on earth

The White Mosque

And if you want to know more about me, please visit this page.

Happy Reading! And feel free to share any of your blog posts – the favourite ones in the comments section below.

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The Active Award

I am back after a short break and I was pleasantly surprised to be nominated by my fellow blogger, Bhavana. I have come across many blog posts where people get nominated for awards but never did I think of myself getting nominated for one. I am really grateful to Bhavana for this nomination and encouragement.

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Rules for this award:

  1. Post it on your blog.
  2. Thank and link the one who nominated you.
  3. Nominate other bloggers.

Nominees :

I nominate these fellow bloggers for The Active Award

  1. Prajakta
  2. Anju
  3. Zinni
  4. Myweekinbooks
  5. Jen’sJewishJourney

Thank you for reading and all the encouragement. Wishing you all a great day!

Cheers!

300+ 🎉 🎈 🎈 🌟 🎑

I crossed 300+ followers today. I don’t like using the word “followers” because everyone here is definitely a trendsetter with their unique stories and content. I am really thankful to all my readers and a special mention to the ones who have taken time to not just read but also encouraging me with their kind words.

I also found a wonderful friend during my time here – rhapsody – thanks for being such a cool writer and continue to inspire us with your wonderful blogs. Ahead of the Friendship Day next month, sending you lots of love and wishes.

Of course to everyone else too.. 😊 😃 Each one of you and your blogs are the reason why I feel like coming back to this place again and again. Feels like a different part of the world. 🎉 🏡 🗺 🌎

Cheers! 🥂

~Ayesha

The lyrical challenge ~ Day 2

From my childhood, I’ve always been a dreamer and there has been no control over things that I accomplish in those dreams.

Maybe that’s why the first time I heard the song, “I have a dream”, it made my belief and reasons to dream even stronger.

So here it goes:

I have a dream, a song to sing
To help me cope with anything
If you see the wonder of a fairy tale
You can take the future even if you fail
I believe in angels
Something good in everything I see
I believe in angels
When I know the time is right for me
I’ll cross the stream, I have a dream

I have a dream, a fantasy
To help me through reality
And my destination makes it worth the while
Pushing through the darkness still another mile
I believe in angels
Something good in everything I see
I believe in angels
When I know the time is right for me
I’ll cross the stream, I have a dream
I’ll cross the stream, I have a dream”

An Unsolved Mystery :D

Language, considered to be the most common way to communicate and converse. When left to a completely new place without the fluency of the local language, it leads to a fear for survival and the dire need to know the basics.

It has been no different for me. I’ve always dreamt spending my time in social work and getting connected with the local community in need. But, how will I converse with them has been the question that goes on, in the back of my mind.

My grandma however has been a perfect example for me that language isn’t a barrier in conversing. After spending her lifetime at her native, she willingly accepted the opportunity to travel and stay with her children and their families, spread across different states of India.

Our house was situated in the outskirts of a little town. And the people who surrounded us were farmers who owned huge acres of land and spent most of their time taking care of them.

The owner of the land was a lady, aged probably same as grandma. When she was on her usual visits to the farm which was near our house, she never missed an opportunity to talk to my grandma. Both didn’t had a common language to talk, my grandma spoke in her native and the old woman spoke in gujarati.

After she would leave , we used to ask grandma, what were you two talking about. And to our surprise, grandma always had a perfect answer to it with details around their conversation.

Well, to this day it still remains a mystery how they made it work. Even though, both of them left for their Heavenly abode they continue to inspire us with these memories of them.

And here she is.. Our hero.. ❤ ❤