Bloom 🌸 🌷 🌹 💐

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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.

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The Sunshine Blogger Award

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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!

sunshine-blogger-award

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

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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

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“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

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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

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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.