When grandma came to see me..

Something woke me up in the middle of the night. From my bed, I could see the living room filled with the moon light. Staying alone was never a nightmare for me but there was something different about today.

A fear took over me, as I just sat there, I felt my throat dry. I was thirsty. But do I dare to move from my bed. No!

I reached out for my phone, to check the time. 4:00 a.m! .

All of a sudden, it struck me, “It is 4.00 a. m. The time when granny used to wake up, read the Bible and said her prayers.”

When she read the Bible and sung her songs of praise and worship,it was so comforting. It was like angels singing for our protection. Had she been alive, this would have been her time of prayer.

My fear was replaced with her warmth and love.


I said à prayer for her and for my loved ones and then went back to sleep.

The nights that followed were no different. Between 3 a. m. to 4 a. m. I found myself wide awake with the thought about Granny. The silence and the light that filled the room made me feel as if Granny was watching over me, to say something.

It’s been years that she left us, but since then there have been many occasions, she has visited me in my dreams. I don’t know how this happens. But I want it to be like this forever. The last I saw her was a few weeks ago, all bright and ready to go to church.

And few days later my paternal grandmom left for her heavenly abode. I can only imagine the signs.

Miss you both, my Wonder women. The love and compassion with which you are filled is hard to find.

Only in the darkness can you see the stars

I have not often expressed openly about my spiritual beliefs, even though from a very young age, I have had the privilege to experience feelings/moments that have been beyond my understanding. To this day, thinking about each of those experiences gives me goosebumps. I realize how much I have been protected and loved by “The One”.

But there is always a phase in life, when you lose hope from everything even your greatest strength doesn’t seem to exist then. In one of those phases in my life, I chose to seek an answer. I prayed and opened the Bible and started reading – I couldn’t believe my eyes. Was I dreaming? Aren’t these words unbelievably hopeful? Nevertheless, I wrote those words in my tiny book which I fill with all words of wisdom that I have come across.

Now when I look back, each of these words feels so powerfully connected. For everyone going through hard times, this is a reminder that you are not alone. And there is still hope even in those moments. Somethings are beyond our control, but what we can do is chose to be hopeful and give our best. The universe will care for you.

Wishing you all a Blessed Sunday!

Her first solo travel!

She looked at her watch again. It was half past 12. She had been standing at that place for more than an hour. Still there was no sign of the bus that would have taken her home.

Her school had closed earlier than expected, that’s when she decided to take the public transport instead of waiting for her school bus. After all, someday she had to try this, to be independent, to explore the roads never taken, to be bold enough to travel alone. Someday she had to, so why not now.

But now, she stood there feeling stupid of her decision. And started getting worried more than ever. Calling mom wasn’t an option because there was no mobile phones back then and a public phone bhooth was no where to be found.

All she could do was just stand there and wait. To her relief, à bus finally arrived. Having waited impatiently for a few hours now, she just hopped on without giving a second thought. The bell of the bus rang and it took off. She stood there shocked as there was no passenger except her.

It was just the driver and the conductor. Not knowing what to do, she quickly took a window seat and sat there hoping the next stops will have passengers.

One, two, three, four, and so on. The bus passed stops, but no one to take it.  Her heart started beating faster. What if something happened to her. She was the only girl in the bus. No one to witness if anything happened to her.

She reached out to her bag, and found her weapon to fight any harm. She held the white rosary, closed her eyes and starting chanting her routine prayer. Seeking help ! With hope!

The bus stopped, and there emerged a woman and sat in the front seat.

Ayesha looked out of the window to get a glimpse of the sky. “Thank you” she said and closed her eyes in relief.

Look closer

There was a 2.5 hours halt at the Black Sea which was part of our Sile-Agva Bus Tour. Sufficient time probably for people who wanted to enjoy the beach. But when we reached the place, there were two sides to it – one that was too crowded and the other one quieter.

We had already lost an hour figuring out the way and a place to sit and relax. Finally, we gave up and thought to just stay at the beachside cafe and enjoy a hot coffee. There were all sorts of sounds I was able to hear apart from just enjoying the view – the laughter of kids playing with their parents, the waves crashing against the shores, squawking of seagulls, people walking on the shore, cycling, and whatnot.

All of a sudden, I could see the crowd’s attention move to a young lady who is accompanied by a guard. What I notice later is a little girl, on a wheel-chair. I don’t know what to assume what she might be suffering from – all I could see was a Mom carrying her child in her arms and sitting aside the seashore allowing the little one to feel the water and let her soak the light of the Sun.

As I got back to my sight-seeing, all I could think of was the life I should be grateful for. There are so many reasons to be happy which we fail to realize when we get into the tangles of our daily routine.

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Am I dreaming?

While serving on the board of our organization’s Employee Resources Group, I was always on the lookout of great speakers whom we could invite for speaker series. From Srijan Pal Singh (Founder & CEO), Kalam Center, to National Award winners Shasha Tirupathi and Ashish Vidhyarthi. What this gave me was access to amazing people whose life is a living example for one and all.

Although it didn’t materialize, it’s my hunt for the best speakers that led me to Ashish Vidyarthi’s page. I always knew him as an actor more known for his antagonist and character roles. Since then I had been looking for opportunities to attend his workshop.

And finally, this happened – “Partnering with Ashish and Piloo Vidhyarthi” Both of them make a powerful couple who can motivate you with simple and practical examples. I absolutely had a great time attending this workshop.

Also, one of the “Am I dreaming?” moments 😊

Do share your “Am I dreaming? Moments in the comment section below. I’d love to read. 😊

P. S. A re-introduction was inspired from this workshop.

Shimla

Visiting a new city is like meeting a new person. From the moment I land, I am in conversation with everything I see or encounter. To me, it’s more than just checking off something from my bucket list. When I am there I want to make the most out of each moment. It feels like the city says to me, please don’t go, not yet, there is still so much to see and talk.

Shimla! Was always on my wishlist. And finally getting to visit was a dream come true. Sharing a few pictures from my recent visit.

Bloom 🌸 🌷 🌹 💐

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.

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 🙂

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.

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.

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

Her first travel encounter

Ladies and gentlemen, the Captain has turned on the Fasten Seat Belt sign. If you haven’t already done so, please stow your carry-on luggage underneath the seat in front of you or in an overhead bin. Please take your seat and fasten your seat belt. And also make sure your seat back and folding trays are in their full upright position.

If you are seated next to an emergency exit, please read carefully the special instructions card located by your seat. If you do not wish to perform the functions described in the event of an emergency, please ask a flight attendant to reseat you.

 We remind you that this is a non-smoking flight. Smoking is prohibited on the entire aircraft, including the lavatories. Tampering with, disabling or destroying the lavatory smoke detectors is prohibited by law.

If you have any questions about our flight today, please don’t hesitate to ask one of our flight attendants. Thank you.”

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Sounds familiar, right? But for Ayesha, this was going to be her first time in a flight and that too for an International trip. As advised by her well-wishers, she ensured to secure herself a window seat, so that she can enjoy the aerial view.

She was welcomed by the flight attendants. As soon as she entered to look for her seat, she was surprised to see the crowd of Gujarati families all over and took a moment to digest that she had boarded the correct flight. Since it was the month of April, there was a huge crowd of people going on vacations to Bangkok.

She started looking for her seat, but was taken aback to see it already occupied by an old man. Perplexed, she verified if this was the correct seat but couldn’t understand why it was taken by someone else.

She stopped one of the flight attendant and asked,”Hey, can you check what’s wrong with the seat numbers? I have this seat allotted to me, but this is already occupied”. The flight attendant viewed the ticket and exchanged some talks with the old man and his family. Then she came back to Ayesha and said,” “Ma’am, would you mind if we arrange another seat for you? This family wants to sit together and  unfortunately their seats are scattered. We would appreciate if you could accommodate this request”.

How could Ayesha have denied this request? She didn’t know if arguing over this would have been a great idea and she silently accepted the request. She was taken to another seat next to two young guys. She took her seat but for some reason started feeling uncomfortable in the presence of two strangers. On the other hand, she was also blaming the attendants for depriving her of the window seat.

She started trying to fasten her seat-belt. All of a sudden, she observed a silence in the flight and an announcement began on the safety instructions. However, by the time she looked above she missed the important part, how to fasten the seat-belt. And probably asking someone was also not a good idea for that would be an embarrassing situation.   After all the struggle, she gave a helpless look to the guy sitting next to her who was already observing her attempts.

“I am sorry, this is the first time I am travelling”, said Ayesha. “No problem”, said the young guy smiling. He quickly gave her a demo. “That was so easy” – she thought to herself. Ayesha couldn’t have been more grateful for this help. She inquired to him,”What’s your destination?”. “We are going to Bangkok for a week long vacation. And you?” – came the response. “I am travelling to Manila, Philippines for work.”, said Ayesha. “That’s nice”, said the guy. After the take-off, she had her dinner and was all ready to rest.

She closed her eyes with content and got into a sound sleep.