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!

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.

Heaven on earth

If someone were to ask who accompanies during my daily commute to work, the answer will be books, music and occasionally movies. Thanks to unlimited data availability, my new music player is now YouTube with an endless list of songs, movies and interesting videos. Despite of this huge collection, my search usually ends at “Ustad Hotel” for scenes, songs and background scores.

For those who have not seen this movie, the story is about a young man Faizy aspiring to become a well-known chef. After finishing his course in Hotel Management, his father wants him to join his business, however Faizy is hell-bent to go abroad to pursue his dreams. This results into a dispute because of which Faizy’s father forcibly takes his passport so that he cannot travel.

Faizy unable to handle this, leaves for his grandfather’s place who runs a hotel on a small-scale and takes up work there. It’s here that Faizy is introduced to the beautiful concepts of life by his grandfather who is a man of principles and known for his care for the poor. Though his grandfather is tough on him at work, they share a special bonding with each other.

When everything seemed perfect, Faizy gets an offer to join as an Executive chef abroad. During his conversation with his grandpa, he expresses how much this offer meant to him. Maybe this was all he was waiting for and he wanted to be successful in life. His grandfather is caught up with a cardiac attack, unable the bear the thought of losing his grandson. Though he is out of danger, he sends Faizy with a letter to his friend, Narayanan Krishnan in Madurai, Chennai.

Faizy follows as requested and goes to Chennai. He hands over the letter to Narayanan. Narayanan reads the letter, the content of which mentioned said that grandpa wanted Narayanan to be an eye-opener for Faizy. During his stay, he sees the unsung hero, Narayanan, who left his 5-star hotel job to serve the poor and needy after witnessing an old man eating his own waste because of hunger. He changed the purpose of his life to satisfy the needs of these people who were unwanted and give them love and affection.

Before leaving Madurai, Faizy is requested to make a special Biriyani for the mentally disabled kids at an orphanage. While accepting the request, Faizy never realized this was going to be his life changing moment.

He makes the best Biriyani he would have made so far and serves to the kids. The sight at the place moves him completely, seeing the challenges of the innocent kids. After the event, he sits there with tears and a heavy heart when all of a sudden the kids starts flowing in and writes something on his hands. He could not understand what it meant. One of the teacher tells him that they are saying “Thank You” in a code language.

He goes back to his Grandfather’s place with a new purpose . However, by the time he reaches his Grandfather goes for a pilgrimage leaving everything behind.

What I have tried to describe will not be enough to capture the soul of this movie. The conversations between the grandfather-grandson duo has now become an integral part of my life inspiring me to look at each day as a blessing and an opportunity to make a difference. I may probably not be able to take a big step like Faizy or Narayana, but I still have my family, friends, colleagues and a big community of needy people; whom we meet in our journey called “Life” and I’ll forever be on the lookout for such opportunities.

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Save our planet

In the beginning of this week, I participated in one of our community impact month event, “Paint our city green.”

A conversation

Me: In my dreams these days, I’ve been seeing celebrities whom I admire. What does that mean?

Friend: Maybe, there are bigger things waiting for you.

Me: Really? You think so?

Friend: Yes, but don’t make this a yardstick for your success.

Me: What do you mean by yardstick for success?

Friend: I mean, don’t think if you cannot meet these celebrities, your life isn’t successful. Success is when people who care for you and whom you care for, are multiplying, or with those that are existing the bond deepens.

You do acts of kindness and are blessed by people even if you don’t know. That’s success. People whom you meet on your path are your celebs and for those you bring hope, you are a celeb to them.

Me: Wow, I never thought that way. You are an excellent dream interpreter.

Friend: No, I am a story-teller πŸ™‚

The Home within a Home

This was probably taken a couple of years ago. I usually leave one of the windows in my room open for fresh air. Once when I came back from work, I found two little birds hiding in the corner of the window. Getting a little closer, I was able to make out that they were building themselves a home.

Since I also wanted something to engage myself with, I let them stay there and left the windows open everyday so that they can complete their task for which they were so actively in the process of building that little nest.

I used to check their progress. There were three eggs already in the nest hatching. Days passed by. I started seeing a change in the activities of the parents. They were now coming with food for their little ones. I climbed on my bed to get a close-up view to find three cute babies with an open mouth asking for food πŸ™‚

This was indeed enough for me to feel good about my decision to let them stay. Building a home within a home!

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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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So here is what happened next

If you have read my recent post, “It’s a small world“-here is a continuation to that story. πŸ™‚

So I did write a review of the book and it was published by the writer on his page.

Get your copy today! πŸ™‚ Happy Weekend.

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.

Find reasons not excuses

A decade ago when I read the book, β€œWho 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.

β€œThe Last Lecture” by Randy Pausch and lately β€œWhen 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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What we need..

Is a place and time like this.. Nothing to feel stressed about, no reason to rush.. Just stay still and enjoy the moment..

Week begins..

It’s about time for the weekend to end and I can’t really wait for the next one. Sometimes I feel as if I’m only living to enjoy weekends πŸ˜€

This month had been an active one for me as I got some time to write and post them here.

If you haven’t got a chance yet, do check them out and let me know your comments –

Ramadan Kareem

An Unsolved Mystery

The Liebster Award

The Blogger Recognition

The open door

Serene

Wishing everyone a rocking week ahead!

~ ayesha

Ramadan Kareem

Ramadan is my favorite time of the year just like Christmas, Easter or Diwali. No. No. I’m not disclosing my faith here. I’m just about to share my story with one of them.

My love for Azaan began when I was in school. Next to our school, was a big mosque. It stood tall and colored with a blend of dark and light green.

As everyone probably knows Azaan, is a call to prayer five times each day. A reminder for everyone to stay connected to the Divine.

During the class it would happen, when the Azaan would start at the mosque, as always they sounded like music to my ears. I felt so connected spiritually and this holds true even now though years have passed.

My love since then has only grown deeper πŸ™‚ and I’m always excited during the Ramadan season. A season for self-denial, fasting and the acts of charity. The season of togetherness and being with family. Even though I am not the one observing, it’s always a bliss to be into it.

With that sharing a picture of my favorite place all decorated beautifully for Eid.

Ramadan Kareem to all.

What is life?

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.

~ Ayesha

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 πŸ˜› 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 πŸ˜›

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. πŸ˜›

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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/

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 πŸ˜€

⭐ 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.. πŸ™‚

⭐ 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.. πŸ™‚

⭐ 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 πŸ˜€
  • 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 πŸ˜›
  • 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?

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!

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 πŸ™‚