I’m watching you..

An off from work on a weekday is truly a bliss. I slept like a log the entire day. It’s when I woke up in the evening, I realized how much I was deprived of sleep.

I made myself some coffee and as usual sat down to relax in my small balcony garden. It was already dark and I could hear the laughter of kids playing downstairs and a group of women chanting prayers on the other side.

When you are surrounded by buildings there isn’t much to see.

But in the dark, I saw this little creature watching me.

In a wink, I was taken back to my childhood memories with my cousins. Seeing a helicopter butterfly (that’s what we called it as kids) always fascinated us. They came in different colors and usually found in groups. We’d work hard to catch them, hold it for few seconds and then let it fly.

This one was a different view, without the colors still beautiful.

Books, and a dream

“If you can’t feed a hundred people, then feed just one” ~ Mother Teresa.

Happy Monday Dear All,

It was a peaceful and a relaxing morning today. My mornings usually begin with good and relaxing music. I think it helps so much to set the tone for the entire day. There is a sense of gratitude, helps boosts ideas on my next writing/improve my writing or plan out on the goals.

I’ve been making notes of everything that I want to achieve in life because that’s a sweet reminder to my dreams and makes me determined and focused to pursue them.

One thing on my list is to create a Kalam Library and be a part of Dr. Kalam’s dream to give the access of books to all young souls despite what background they come from.

I wrote a few posts in connection to this in the past. You can check them out here:

It’s a small world

So here is what happened next

Here’s a recap!

Fortunately, early this year, I got an opportunity to partner with a very inspiring young lady, Charmy and together we set up a library for the kids at the Juvenile Correction FacilityΒ in our city.

It doesn’t stop here.

My goal now is to independently open one all by myself, for which I have begun hunting for the place and I hope to make this happen as early as possible. I am writing it here so I don’t forget this goal.Β  πŸ™‚

This world measures success with career and personal accomplishments based on how much wealth or fame you earn. But to me, we are successful if we can change one life positively with one single act of kindness. And when we do, no need to keep it to ourselves. We need more people to join this mission and be inspired to make “Our world” a better place.

I hope you have a great week ahead.

~ Ayesha

Belated Happy Friendship Day!

If you believe in angels, they are around you in the form of your close friends and family and so is the belief in evil. A human has the potential to bring out both either the best or the worst in you. That’s why it becomes so important to surround ourselves with people who can bring out the best.

I’ve been fortunate enough to have found those few yet close friends whom I consider as my angels because they were placed in different phases of my life and helped me to be successful in the journey so far.

When I feared to take risk, the voice said “Go on” I’m here

When I was sad, the voice said “tell me”

When I was happy, the voice said “Why don’t you share your happiness with me? ”

When I felt stagnant, the voice said “Take a different route”

When I told myself I am not worthy to deserve the best, the voice said, ” You deserve more than anyone else”

And this goes on forever..

Thankful to all my friends for being the best ones. And specially all my readers. Now you can also follow me on Instagram, twitter and Facebook. Please find the links below:

Facebook:

https://www.facebook.com/ayeshadiary2018/

Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/ayesha_diary18/

Twitter:

https://twitter.com/cherian_ancy?s=08

Begin..

This one came up in my Facebook memory. I had shared a post by someone. Thought it’s a good way to begin our day. πŸ™‚ 🌸

Where do I find happiness?

Everyone in this world is striving hard for happiness but the strange fact is that the happiness we strive hard for comes in our life when we give it to others” ~ Mysterious Senses

I’m sharing a wonderful advice shared by a fellow-blogger. Do check out the blogs too. There is some wonderful work which you wouldn’t want to miss.

If you also have any unique advice for the readers please comment on the section below and I’ll try featuring the same in my blog posts. I wouldn’t want them to get lost in the comments. πŸ™‚

~ Ayesha

Be inspired

Finding a reason to be happy? To feel energized? To be determined? To be grounded? Watch – Fatemah Qaderyan speak about her journey.

The stories of refugees and there struggles have always moved me. These days, we have a tendency to feel bad about our own life when we see all those posts on travel, food, fashion, weight loss and the list goes on. We follow a page based on our liking and over a period of time we tend to start getting frustrated on ourselves assuming our life and our achievements isn’t a perfect one.

I am no exception and that’s why I try not to immerse myself too much into it by also staying updated and reading stories of the real heroes whose life may not sound glamorous but still have so much to tell the world with there strength and courage to overcome all the odds.

Their stories is a also an opportunity to be thankful for what we have around us the freedom, the right to education, support of the families, our friends and everyone who have been a part of our journey.

Leaving you all with this powerful story of Fatemah.. Be inspired!

August

Can’t believe it’s the last day of the month. I’ve always felt this slow pace in the first six months of the year. The second half just flies with so many festivals, public holidays and many occasions to celebrate. πŸŽ‰ And now, I’m already waiting for Christmas 🀢 πŸŽ„

This month, I plan to read some more books from my to-be-read, and also some writing as time allows. I did publish some posts in the last few weeks. Do check them out of you haven’t got a chance already and feel free to give your feedback in the comment section.

Bloom

Unfiltered

Koode

Happy Liu

Wishing everyone a rocking August!

Unfiltered

I always love getting into conversations with my 4 year old niece because of her cute and unfiltered responses.

Last time we met, I got to learn from her that brain is in the stomach. I couldn’t stop myself from πŸ˜‚ πŸ˜‚.

But seriously thinking about it now, makes me feel, life would have been so much easier if brain was in the stomach. πŸ˜‚

What do you think? I would leave the why part for my readers.. πŸ™‚

Bloom 🌸 🌷 🌹 πŸ’

Last month I got an opportunity to participate in several events organized as part of our company’s Community Impact Month.

One of which was a session for the budding women entrepreneurs from rural background. The objective was to provide them an overview on the ways they could promote their products through e-commerce. There was an overview on Paytm, Netbanking etc. Post introductory session we dispersed into groups with each volunteers leading one and showing the practical aspects of the session.

I sat down with a group of seven to eight women from different age groups. This was my first experience of this kind. I took my phone and assuming they know about smart phones, started showing them the different apps.

Before I could go any further they all had a reason to share why this learning wasn’t fruitful for them – some didn’t own a smartphone, some didn’t even had their bank accounts, some belonged to traditional families that didn’t allow girls to go out fearing the society, no one knew how to create an email account or access the internet.

So what was supposed to be a practical session for them turned out to be a motivational speech. Instead of showing them the apps, I convinced why it was important for them to invest in themselves. All the women came from different backgrounds and had their own struggles and thus it was important to let them know that it is ok to spend some on self to buy a phone. At the end of the day it makes you feel independent, more confident and connected to the world.

To all my comments they repeatedly said it was not in their budget. I just had one question for them, “Where do you manage to get all the money on your child’s wedding day? Isn’t spending on a phone much less than that?”

They were dumbstruck. They did not have an answer and agreed that I was right. All of them promised to take these learnings and bring them into action.

I spent almost an hour with two batches. I don’t know where those words of wisdom came from. But when they blessed me while leaving, I couldn’t have asked for anything better. I came back energized and content with what I managed to give back to the society in a simple form.

New look

My page has a new look. Do check out and let me know how you find it. And if there are any suggested themes, please drop a note in the comment section below:

Some pictures

From my visit to the Laxmi Vilas Palace, Vadodara last month.

300+ πŸŽ‰ 🎈 🎈 🌟 πŸŽ‘

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.. 😊 πŸ˜ƒ 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. πŸŽ‰ 🏑 πŸ—Ί 🌎

Cheers! πŸ₯‚

~Ayesha

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 πŸ“– and writing πŸ–‹. To start with I’ve picked these books and currently reading “Happy Dreams”

Wishing you all a wonderful week ahead.

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.Β  Do watch the video until the end. You would love it. 😍 β™₯

 

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?

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”

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 πŸ₯‚

P. S. – While writing this post this song was playing in the background for me in repeat mode πŸ˜‚ 😍 πŸ˜‡

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!

Save our planet

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

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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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.

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.

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?

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.

ThinkΒ  how awesome that would be,

A child in an adult’s body πŸ™‚

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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.

Wonder

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

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.

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?

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. 

β€œMake 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 β€œWorld Anthem”, I would have proposed this song for the same.