“The sky grew darker, painted blue on blue, one stroke at a time, into deeper and deeper shades of night.”
“The sky grew darker, painted blue on blue, one stroke at a time, into deeper and deeper shades of night.”
“The sky grew darker, painted blue on blue, one stroke at a time, into deeper and deeper shades of night.”
If you feel lost, disappointed, hesitant, or weak, return to yourself, to who you are, here and now and when you get there, you will discover yourself, like a lotus flower in full bloom, even in a muddy pond, beautiful and strong.
Masaru Emoto, Secret Life of Water
The feel of some places stay with you forever. This was one of them for me. I visited this church for the first time to attend a wedding. And I instantly fell in love with it. All through the wedding ceremony, I couldn’t help but appreciate how beautifully the church is still preserved.
“Arthat St Mary’s Orthodox Cathedral a.k.a. Arthat Valiyapally also called Paloor-Chattukulangara Church is an ancient church located in Arthat village of Thalapilly Taluk, one mile south of Kunnamkulam town, Thrissur, Kerala, India.This is the first and the oldest church in India founded in AD 52. This church is also known as Chattukulangara pally. It is believed that this church is the most ancient church in this region and is one of the Seven and Half church founded by St Thomas Apostle in AD 52” – Source – Wikipedia
Driving back home with my grand-aunt, we were having conversations about life, dealing with adversity and making key decisions that would shape one’s future. The conversation with grand-aunt was filled with precious lessons, and one that stands out for me is-
“When you are taking important decisions in your life, if you feel even a red-flag, don’t go for it!”
I was reminded of this conversation once again, when I started reading the book – Blink by Malcolm Gladwell, “The Power of Thinking Without Thinking” as part of an activity by Lean In Personal Branding led by Suba Lakshminarasimhan.
Blink is an interesting book that offers a unique narrative to how a human mind can bring as much value in the blink of an eye as in months spent on analysis. Malcolm introduces the readers to snap judgement that can be taken in seconds with limited information through – “Thin-slicing”. When I was contemplating with myself if this theory is right or wrong, I went down to my memory lane to recollect the instances where I might have applied this theory.
And the one simple instance from my routine that I could recollect was my regular commute to the office. I had to cover a brief distance by hiring an auto-rickshaw. Every time I got off the bus, I would take a quick glance at the auto-drivers and in seconds decided whom I should go with. That was me, applying the Thin-slicing theory, analyzing with the limited information I had based on the auto-drivers personality, body language and facial expressions because I was too conscious about my safety. Most of the times I was right, for I never had a bad experience except for few.
There is no right or wrong approach to this. It all depends on the data and information that is available.
“The truth is that it can. Just as we can teach ourselves to think logically and deliberately, we can also teach ourselves to make better snap judgments. The power of knowing, in that first two seconds, is not a gift given magically to a fortunate few. It is an ability that we can all cultivate for ourselves”
In 2005, the National Science Foundation published an article summarizing research on human thoughts per day. It was found that the average person has about 12,000 to 60,000 thoughts per day. Of those thousands of thoughts, 80% were negative, and 95% were exactly the same repetitive thoughts as the day before. Just as important it is to provide relevant data to build a meaningful model with machine learning and artificial intelligence, we have to make conscious efforts to send information that can teach us in taking better snap judgments. We need to filter our thoughts to an extent that our decisions are not driven by our biases, past experiences, stereotypes etc.
“Blink is concerned with the very smallest components of our everyday lives-the content and origin of those instantaneous impressions and conclusions that spontaneously arise whenever we meet a new person or confront a complex situation or have to make a decision under conditions of stress.”
Is there an experience that you can recall, share in the comments section below.
P. S. This is my first attempt at writing a book review based on the first two chapters of the book. 😊
Life throws surprises in the most unexpected ways. This little nest was discovered by my mom in her vegetable garden. 💖
Life has always been uncertain. But this year, it has been different. Every day we wake up to a news that gives us reminders about the fragility of the Life.
So when everything is temporary, the best thing to do is appreciate the present – the gifts that we posses in form of mother nature, our family, our loved ones, ourself and everything that holds a dear place in our heart.
I pray may you and your loved ones be protected and be safe. God bless!
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.
And said, “Shine on, You are the light”💖🌞☀️
Big brother: Please give me that toy. It’s mine and I want to play with it.
Little sister: No, It’s mine. I won’t give it to you.
Big brother: Think again. I won’t allow you to watch TV. I won’t let you watch Doraemon or Pokémon.
Little sister: Please take this. When did I say it’s mine?
Big brother: That’s like a good girl and my sweet sister
Finding “the purpose” can be demanding at times, what’s important is to keep moving and enjoy the journey! 🐎
Language, considered to be the most common way to communicate and converse. When left to a completely new place without the fluency of the local language, it leads to a fear for survival and the dire need to know the basics.
It has been no different for me. I’ve always dreamt spending my time in social work and getting connected with the local community in need. But, how will I converse with them has been the question that goes on, in the back of my mind.
My grandma however has been a perfect example for me that language isn’t a barrier in conversing. After spending her lifetime at her native, she willingly accepted the opportunity to travel and stay with her children and their families, spread across different states of India.
Our house was situated in the outskirts of a little town. And the people who surrounded us were farmers who owned huge acres of land and spent most of their time taking care of them.
The owner of the land was a lady, aged probably same as grandma. When she was on her usual visits to the farm which was near our house, she never missed an opportunity to talk to my grandma. Both didn’t had a common language to talk, my grandma spoke in her native and the old woman spoke in gujarati.
After she would leave , we used to ask grandma, what were you two talking about. And to our surprise, grandma always had a perfect answer to it with details around their conversation.
Well, to this day it still remains a mystery how they made it work. Even though, both of them left for their Heavenly abode they continue to inspire us with these memories of them.
And here she is.. Our hero.. ❤ ❤
A man whom I will call Akash, came rushing with a suitcase in his hands. Behind him was a young woman, let’s call her Vidya. He checked for their seat which turned out to be next to me.
Seeing me, I could sense that he was very relieved. He started inquiring my destination. I said, “Bhopal”.
He took out his phone for a video call. I was totally surprised when he handed over his phone to me and asked me to talk.
That was the moment I realized what was happening. The couple were differently abled, none of them could hear or speak.
On the other side of the phone was a very graceful woman. She had a very beautiful and genuine smile on her face. When she started speaking all she wanted was for me to assist her daughter at her destination.
There was no reason I would have denied this request. Akash left bidding goodbyes.
There was a pause for few minutes. I wanted to engage Vidya in conversations, but at the same time I had no clue how to do that. All of a sudden, she started asking me something in signs. From what I could make out she was asking about her berth. But she wasn’t confident if I understood. She immediately video called her mom and asked her the same thing. Her mom explained that she wanted to sleep after her lunch. And then she also stressed that there was no rush.
Sometime passed, I got back to my reading.
Meanwhile, I could see Akash and Vidya on a video call again. Expressing as much as they could, to let the other one know how much they loved and cared for.
It was a rare sight for me, because these days, it is the other way around where the priviledged people have nothing to speak as there are more interesting things going on which can’t be missed on their phones.
There were lots of questions going on in my mind- why did this happen to them, their life would be so difficult, how can a mother be so calm despite of all her fears, how can there be so much love? Why can’t this world be like them? Why don’t we value our blessings? Why do we keep chasing for more? And these questions went on until I chose to stop. 🙎♀️
I woke up to the sounds of birds chirping. I thought to myself, what time is it? Is it morning already, time to wake up? The chirping seemed closer now, and I was sitting on my bed looking for where it came from.
From a little hole on the wall, came a flock birds rushing and flying around me in circles. Down they came still in flight but closer to me, some flying near my hands. Suddenly, one of it caught my hand and stayed there for a while. I moved my hands closer to take a look cause it was still so dark. A tiny little bird, looked somewhat like the jungle babbler. Reminded me of my home where we were always surrounded by them.
Before I could make myself sure, off it went alongwith the rest. Flying off! Outside the window, stood a bigger version of the bird. All I could see was it’s head and a clear blue sky in the backdrop.
What was happening, I thought again and looked on the bed to find myself in deep sleep.
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.
I am glad to present this week’s guest blog. This week features World of Words a wonderful page owned by my friend. What I like about her writing is her talent to beautifully capture her moods 🙂 Presenting one of this and do check out her blog for more.
Inspired by the bounty showers of Rain,
She strolled the paths manned by the Tree Gods;
Her mind wandering the World of Mysteries,
She let herself dissolve into Oneness with the Great Love;
Enthralled at the Seraphic Beauty of Nature,
She embraced all the Love at once…
Kindled by the Earthly Scent,
She felt life breathing its way into her…
The Cold Winds cuddled her,
Stroking her hair strands and pampering every bit of her skin;
When Her Lips adorned her with Non-Stop Smiles,
And Her Eyes Smiled more than Her Lips,
She knew she was “Inspired in Love..!”
In the Moment and Forever.
Couple of weeks ago, I got an opportunity or rather I would say, I took the opportunity to attend a workshop, that was themed as “Partnering with Life”
As the name itself speaks, the workshop was all about embracing life by adding different flavors to the way we approach it.
Not a new concept! Isn’t it? Since years, there are so many books written, movies made, speeches given – aimed at introducing us to life in a more meaningful and impactful way. We see, we hear, we agree to all of it, only to come back to a reality where changing an old self is so difficult.
I had the same thoughts when I went to the workshop, but I also believe in the fact that, when we welcome these learnings with an empty mind, we never come back empty handed. There is a take away that stays with you forever, and will be reminded at the right time.
Who am I? Was a question, that constantly reminded me of the way I see myself more than how I introduce myself to the world. When I am asked to introduce myself, I usually end up, giving à one liner introduction that only reflects, what I do for a living 😂 But this session was an eye-opener even for simple things like this, that connects me to the world. Here I am, re-introducing and re-branding myself to you all –
“Call me Ancy, Aswathy or Ayesha, Ancy is the name my parents chose for me, Aswathy is the nick name only because this is also my zodiac sign as per Malayalam calender, Ayesha is the name I chose for myself as a writer. I work with a reputed organisation, and I am also a traveller, a singer, an aspiring writer, a leader, a linguist, a storyteller, an adventurer, a photographer …. And my goal is to keep adding to this list”
I invite you to also reintroduce yourself in the comments section below.
This week my guest blog features MySmallworld. This guest is not just a writer but someone whom I have always looked up to – A born fighter – a multi-tasker – a wonderful mom – and above all my lovely sister 🙂 Her page is full of beautiful quotes that are inspired from her real-life experiences and this is probably her first attempt to write a blog. And I am glad she did it for me 🙂
I am possible
Ever been into a situation where you felt “I am done, there is nothing left for me now, I am worthless or hopeless? Well, we live in a world where, no matter how hard we try to keep ourself positive, there are people around who don’t fail to crush our confidence.
I still remember the days of my 11th grade. Teachers are known to be great mentors in a student’s life, but fortunately or unfortunately, there a teacher who for some reason believed that I won’t make it. She used to tell me in every possible way that – “just wait and watch – no one will hire you. You won’t get a job, ANYWHERE!”.
Those days were hell for me – I was disheartened and depressed. I almost lost all my wish to exist. Coming out of that situation was a difficult, slow but daily process. I spent days praying, reading self-help books, listening to motivational speakers and uplifting music.
I wish I could meet my dear teacher once and tell her “I am the same person whom you declared jobless way before she even cleared the schooling”. Because I have been working for more than a decade now without any breaks.
As Les Brown quotes – “Someone else’s opinion about you doesn’t have to be your reality”. This changed my world. Whenever I feel down, I keep saying this to myself. It boosts me up and keeps me going.
This is just one example of rejections I have faced in my life. I know we all have many such experiences. But let not the bitter experience stop you from living your life. We all are here for a purpose and we all are capable to make it happen!
I am starting a guest blog series once in a week, where I will be inviting some of my fellow bloggers or people outside of my WordPress network to write for my readers 🙂
This week I am publishing a beautiful work by mydreammywords. The writer is also my little sister, which makes me extremely proud of her talents and writings.
In times of laughter,
In times of pain,
Often did I think of
How could I write not
My soul wrote
When it immersed in yours
Each seasons did we conquer
A dreary solace coming over!
The love can never be ceased,
Unless turned to hatred,
I wish, it doesn’t
Let go not, if it happens –
Instead stay I plead,
And make me yours!
A few years ago, I remember what a huge fan I was of Don Moen‘s songs. Each song I heard him sing was like a divine voice talking to me.
But today, it has become different. No matter how much I try, I don’t feel the same now.
This was just one instance. Same goes with my love probably for an author, an actor, a passion, a habit and so on.
But I also realize, all of the above have been replaced by someone or something that resonates more with my current phase in life.
What’s that one thing you loved, which you can no longer relate to?
P. S. Deep down in my heart, my love for that divine voice of Don Moen is still alive❤️😄
From a jampacked schedule during my travel to Kerala last year end, I was fortunate for getting the opportunity to visit new places. One of which was this beach in Thrissur.
What I expected and what I found was completely different. A serene and beautiful place where you can be with yourself.
This was a first attempt, so this doesn’t look as neat as it should have been. 😀😁
She studied all corners of the small clinic. The walls had been converted into shelves housing all kinds of medicines. In between, lay a table and few chairs for the patients and visitors.
Dr. Ryan was attending to a patient. She took a corner seat, anxious and worried, for the purpose of her visit was her husband, that too just few days after their wedding. A few minutes passed by and her husband took his seat facing the doctor.
There was dead silence, she couldn’t make out why. Finally, her husband broke the silence and showed his recent reports. He had a high blood pressure. The doctor listened very attentively to what he was saying and then took his blood pressure monitor from one of the drawers.
To her surprise, all of a sudden, Dr.Ryan started singing. She couldn’t recall which one it was except for the fact that it had to be a very old Hindi song. She was taken back to her memories of waiting to watch “Rangoli” on Doordorshan the only show that would have played the oldest songs that anyone could ever imagine.
The doctor paused for a second, his hands still at work, diagnosing and then signaled her husband to continue the song where he stopped. And he did as he was asked.
She sat there befuddled, watching an health check-up that turned out to be a duet.
During my visit to Kerala, one of my relatives took us to the St George Orthodox Koonan Kurishu Old Syrian Church, popularly known as ‘Koonan Kurishu Pazhaya Suriyani Palli’, which is situated in Mattancherry, Kochi. When I thought about the visit to a church, I was expecting a very common structure. But I was surprised upon reaching there.
Please refer to this site if you want to know more about this historic church.
This picture is from my first visit to AmigosIndia.
If you are a visitor in Delhi, this is the best place to stay and experience the culture. Check out the website for more information.
It has been a couple of months now since I last posted about my move to a new city. And since then, I have been trying to find opportunities to sit and write but haven’t been successful.
Today, with much determination, I logged in to my WordPress account “to write”. The first thing to notice was a notification from WordPress for my 5 years here. But I know that officially it has been just two years, I took interest to actively start blogging. Nevertheless, its a definitely something worth celebrating. I am really glad to be here and I hope to keep myself motivated and determined to write regularly.
The way you see is the measure of the world ~Rumi
Both the title and the verse credits to “The Illustrated Rumi” A new translation by Philip Dunn, Manuela Dunn, and R. A. Nicholson
Despite of all the rush, happy to have found opportunities to go back to my childhood memories.. Counting the little chicks, or chasing them alongwith Grandma.. Life was so careless back then, though it’s only now we realize.
It was my first visit to this church. But something went wrong with the timing and I was late in reaching for the Holy Mass. I lit a candle and prayed and was appreciating the person who would have kept the bouquet. The sight itself was so peaceful.
I was rushing to leave for another church, when I thought to capture this in my cam. Due to the sunlight, the mobile screen was hardly visible. But I was surprised to see what I found in my picture gallery.
To celebrate Diwali, I thought the best way should be by exploring my new city. I’ll keep the story of my experience for some other day.
For now, sharing this capture:
I moved to a new city recently. Having spent most of my life in one city, thinking about a change was a difficult decision to make. But what comes with it is a whole new set of challenges, adventures and experiences of a lifetime.
Here’s a capture from my new home.
The shining sun, the bird taking flight and the birds relaxing gives me a sign of a bright future, endless opportunities and finding peace with self in all the situations.
“Love is the flower you’ve got to let grow” – John Lennon
Home 🏡 is my sanctuary. I not only get to spend time with my family but also to be near to nature. My home is located in the outskirts of the city because of which it is unaffected by the hustle and bustle.
Whether it is the sunrise 🌅 or sunsets 🌇, chirping of the birds, feeling the cold breeze, or watching kids play cricket, my home is a one stop for finding peace.
Today, was no different. Here’s what I found :
Am I the only one who faces moodswings with writing? There are times when I want to keep on writing and then there are times when I can only think of catching up with good sleep whenever I can. 😴 It’s been super busy lately and I refocused on reading a bit than writing. I’m hopeful to be back with the new month.
I apologize for not been active lately. I have for sure missed a lot of content here. But I’ll try to read them whenever I get a chance.
Happy weekend to everyone!
Pictured below – me and my nephew.. 😂 👓 🔥 📙
Here’s mine. What an amazing way to pay tribute to Alan Kurdi, and to the many refugee children who are caught in the trap of homelessness. It’s unimaginable what they are going through and the efforts required to rebuild their lives for a better future. “Sea Prayer” made me play a small part in redefining the hope for these little ones. Even though this is not a full-length novel, the intention is what inspired me to be a part of this. Do grab your copy too.
Found this from a page I follow..
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.
“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.
I wrote a few posts in connection to this in the past. You can check them out here:
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 Facility 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. 🙂
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.
I sent this picture to a group of my friends and asked how the picture is.
While I was expecting a “Wow” surprisingly, the first one to respond said – “This is just mud, what do want us to say?”
That’s a fair response, isn’t it? 😂
The picture was accidentally clicked when I was leveling the mud in the pot. I liked it though because it was one of those moments that was captured, that I enjoy the most. This is true reflection of my love for my plants and my little balcony garden.
I feel sad when I see even a single sign of leaves falling or the flowers drying. I take as much care of them by giving them sufficient water and light so that they can survive any weather conditions.
With that I leave you my masterpiece picture.. 😝
You all are the best!
These little ones –
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:
This holds very true for me. During my childhood or I can say until I started my job I had no fascination for books or reading. I was super confident that reading should be the last thing I would have considered as my favorite pastime.
But things changed in the last few years. Once I gained an interest in reading, I haven’t stopped since then. Started by borrowing books from friends initially and later started buying it for myself because I thought it was worth an investment. One after the other, my shelf was filled with all kinds of books from self-development, autobiographies, biographies, fiction, non-fiction and the list goes on.
But what has this story to do with the quote I have highlighted in the featured image? Well, it has. Reading has widened the horizons of my imagination. Reading has helped me to be creative in my writing. To be a better story-teller. It has enabled me to look at every moment of life as an inspirational story that can be penned down to share with the world. I want to write more and more and learn during this process.
Last month, I was attending a corporate conference. The organizer asked a question to the audience, “How many of you think that life is simple, raise your hands”. I raised my hand and there were a couple of other individuals who raised their hands shyly. A lady sitting next to me said,”Guys, be practical. Life cannot be simple”. Probably she was expecting me to put my hand down hearing her words. But that boosted my confidence even more. Because I do think life is simple. Life in itself can’t be simple because of the challenges we come across, but the route we take can be simple without panicking in any situation.
I got this confidence after reading about so many people and their experiences, their failure and success stories.
I recently finished a heartwarming book – “A Man Called Ove” and now reading “When breath becomes Air“.
I posted a couple of blogs in the last few weeks, if you haven’t got a chance to read here they are:
Happy Weekend, everyone! 🙂
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