While walking to office today my mind wandered to my school days. I have many fond memories of those innocent childhood days but there is just one that pricks me till date. The day I let myself down.
I was into sports. I wasn’t very good at it but my will power was very strong even back then and I ran on that. I used to run 100m, 400m, 800m and hurdles. There is a small story that I would like to share with you.
I was 13/14 year old, don’t remember the year exactly. We had gone to a different school for a couple of days to represent our school in sports. There was a pretty girl among the many students who travelled with me and a couple of my class mates. I was going to run 800m that day along with that pretty girl from my school. Before the run the guys from my class were cheering her. I felt really jealous and of course hurt. Well, its natural, isn’t it? On your mark, get set, Go! And we ran. The voice of my classmates shouting her name was reverberating in my ears and that hurt more than my feet which was already sore from running on the horrible black sand at noon time. I lost my will to complete the run. We had to do two rounds of the ground and I stopped after one. The pretty girl stopped too. The cheering of people didn’t help her. I guess we both didn’t have the will to do it.
I regret it till date. I know I could have completed the run and even won. If only I had not let my confidence be shaken by others. If only I had kept my will power up to finish what I started. If only I didn’t feel like a loser even before the run started. If only I believed in myself more than my care for what others thought. If there is one thing that I could change in my past, I would go back to that day and finish my run. I don’t care if I win or lose but I just want to finish the run. But (un?)fortunately we can’t change our past. We can only learn from it and try to not repeat the mistakes.
Living our life is same in many ways. We run everyday with others against others but as long as we believe in ourselves, keep up our will to achieve, and not let our confidence be shaken by what others say/think, nothing can stop us from completing the run. Just don’t quit until you complete your run.
1. Call in sick to office.
2. Sleep until your stomach starts to growl and make sandwiches for breakfast. 😀 I usually don’t like sandwiches but rain makes it yummy.
3. Go to the terrace and get drenched. Because the whole world is busy in office nobody will be there to watch what stupid things you do. Just put on some music and shake a leg or two.
4. Do not forget to take a selfie. While it’s important to enjoy it’s also important to make your friends jealous. Why? Hihihi because it’s fun to tease them. 😀
5. Dry yourself and stay curled up in bed whole day with your favorite novel and a cup of hot chocolate. 😀
6. The perfect companion on a rainy evening is a nice cup of hot ginger tea and roasted corn/Pakodas. I personally prefer corn. 😀
7. If from pouring like cats and dogs it changes to mild drizzling, take your umbrella and go for a rain walk. Put on something that won’t get wet while walking on wet roads. Rain makes everything feel so fresh.
8. Grab an ice cream. Ice-creams are supposed to be a summer thing but I crave for it only during rains. 🙄 And the rain makes it all the more yummy. 😀
9. Make Maggie for dinner. It tastes extra yum with rain. Do not ask me for the logic but believe me.
10. Last but not the least, empathize with your friends who are in office and send them the pics of everything you are eating/drinking 😛
Siblings are a blessing. But having 3 sisters? You have no idea. Especially if you are the eldest one. You lose all the rights to choose anything first and all you get is what none of your younger siblings liked. As a kid anything I laid my hands on, had to be divided into 4 equal parts. They never needed a scale or measurement tape for that. Be it a simple Cadbury Éclairs or Maggie. And surprisingly Maggie tasted better then. So did all the chocolates.
When I started working, every evening after I reached home they would search my handbag for chocolates. They knew if I got any from my team mates/friends/client visits, I wouldn’t eat it alone. I still can’t.
Now 2 of my younger sisters stay in different cities and the sharing happens only through pics in whatsapp/FB. It’s fun teasing them with the pics of cakes I bake or new dishes I try. 😀 They get all the more irritated when my friends send them the pics of them eating the cakes/dishes I have prepared. 😀 They make note of everything and make me cook/bake all the items when they are in Chennai, giving strict warning not to share anything with Friends. 😛 Revenge. I get disowned even if I try to smuggle a slice for anybody. Such is their love. 😛
Once I had called a friend over lunch and had soaked basmati rice in water to make pulav. My sister wanted to have sambar rice so I made plain rice for her thinking basmati won’t go with sambar. It was a bad idea. Later I spent half an hour explaining to her how I am not differentiating between her and my Boy Friend by giving her plain rice and making basmati for him. They simply love using such dialogues.
Recently during an offer on Snapdeal I bought 4 handbags for myself. Couldn’t choose 1 out of the 4. No I am not shopaholic. I just hate to leave something I like. Especially if it’s cheap. 😛 When my sisters came to know of it, they declared I have become spendthrift. When the handbags arrived, as per the tradition I sent them the pics of each handbag. To my horror all 3 of them announced which one they have picked for themselves. :O And I am supposed to keep the one nobody liked.
The worse situation is when you have to choose 2 out of your 3 sisters. I needed 2 witnesses to open a PPF account so I gave the names of 2 of my sisters. The 3rd one now is angry with me and wants to know why she is not a witness for whatever the others are and for whatever it is. Who will explain her that she needs to have an account first to become a witness and then get angry?
But being the eldest has its own benefits and I love every bit of it. 😀
I am looking forward to December as all 4 of us are going to be together for a whole week after so many months. 😀
People had been requesting me to tell them my secret of always being on time. 😀 So here you go. Some pointers to people like me on how to be on time.
Note: I am speaking strictly from my experience. Let me consider a scenario where you have a plan to meet your friend(s) at 4 PM today.
1. Take bath immediately after waking up in the morning even on weekends instead of mentally doing the tough calculation about the time it’s going to take to reach the venue(1 hour) plus time to decide what to wear(15 mins)+ time to decide what to wear because you didn’t quite like the one you have chosen(30 mins again)+ time to wash your hair and finish bathing(1 hour) plus time to dress up(30 mins) minus time for combing as that can be done after reaching the venue or anyway by the time you reach its going to be as good as it was never combed, so why bother? And finally concluding that the auspicious time to take bath would be 2:30PM and entering the bathroom finally at 2:45PM. Wondering why 15mins late? The mental exhaustion caused due to the tough calculation you just did will require at least 15 mins to recover.
If you are someone who wakes up at noon on weekends, just spray some deo and start. Do not bother about getting ready and all when you slept away your grooming time.
If you are a guy just keep minimum 10 alarms to wake you up at least 10 mins before your start time. I guess you don’t need more than 10 to complete all the above mentioned tasks.
2. If you have long hair just do not even think of combing it unless you have an extra hour. You know you are going to comb and keep combing and changing your hair style until your hands give up. And You know ultimately you are just going to tie it up into a bun deciding to just leave it free once you reach the venue. You can save yourself a precious hour here.
3. DO NOT COUNT the time you are going to save by running instead of walking when you calculate the time to reach the venue. If you think you can reach in 1 hour, make it 1 hours 15 mins. Chances are you are going to miss the bus even if you ran holding your heart in your hand. #TrueStory
4. Keep all the things you have to carry with you in one place. Especially money and change. Best if you can keep it in the handbag you are going to carry. You can start listing it down from the time you wake up itself. You will save the time you spend running in and out of the house taking one thing at a time at the last moment.
5. Never look into the mirror after dressing up. Never. You know you are not going to be satisfied and waste time deciding once again what to wear. It’s a never ending loop. Trust me.
If you are a guy, just make sure you have already done your laundry or at least you own a really good perfume.
6. NEVER ask your siblings how you are looking. The more siblings you have, the more comments and suggestions you are going to get regarding what needs to be changed. Once ready just hide your face, announce that you are leaving and leave. Do not wait for their comments.
7. DO NOT engage in taking selfies after getting ready. Your siblings will offer to click a pic vouching how good/bad you are looking and it deserves a pic but NO. Don’t give in. This is where you lose the precious half an hour and get late. Chances are your friends are not even going to notice what you are wearing.
8. Note down the directions to reach the venue and transport medium you are going to use. You are NOT going to remember everything even with the best memory power you have and you cannot plan while on the way whether to take bus/auto/cab. Quit relying on the road side annas and aunties. If you are tagging along a friend on his/her bike, bribe or threaten him/her so that he/she picks you up on time.
9. While it is important to be on time it is also important to know how on time your friends are to avoid waiting for them at the venue all alone. So before you start from home just check where everyone else is and then decide if the right time has come. Till then you can do touch ups. Or if you are a guy, small nap but with alarm every 5 mins.
10. Last but not the least, practice the art of smiling cutely every day for at least 10 mins. It will come handy while apologizing if you are meeting a new friend(s) and are late even after following the above mentioned pointers. Your old friends are never going to buy your cuteness filled apologies so just be prepared to get all scolding and beatings.
The moment I opened the book the first thing to catch my eye was “Dear BlogAdda Member, Have some Conversations of your own”. I did not understand much at that time and didn’t even try to as we do with many other questions that crop up in our mind and just gets ignored. As I read the stories, and the enlightening poems, I knew I was having “Some Conversations of my own”, with my self.
I am not going to talk about the author and his life as the book will tell you all. And by the time you finish the book you will know that this middle aged man strongly believes in how God is not responsible for what is happening with us and how every moment of life is to be cherished.
Conversations- The book is as unique as its title suggest. I prefer to call “Conversations” a book rather than novel for its introspective collection of stories and invigorating poems. Stories that everyone of us can relate to and poems that stirs your thoughts and perspective towards life. Every story has a theme, a lesson for us to learn from the experiences of characters in the story. Every story in “Conversations” tries to challenge the common perspective of every individual which we would have just accepted as a matter of fact by throwing at us the simple but right questions. The book talks about love. relationships. life, ambitions, dreams, GOD and emotions. The powerful impressive quotes and the simple questions Rajeev has used to provide the answers for difficult questions of life, is what I loved the most about the book.
The nuances of life, complexity of relationships, confusions of dreams, prejudices in beliefs and simplicity of truth, Rajeev has tried questioning and searching(giving) an answer for the questions that we all carry in our minds through his stories, through the experience of his life and life of people around. The message conveyed makes us think & analyze our own perspectives. Many a times while reading a story in the book, I got the urge to discuss what is written with my friends and know, what they feel about it. And before moving to the next story I had an introspective discussion with my friend and come to a conclusion mutually.
My favorite story in Conversations is “Four Eulogies”. It talks about dreams, ambitions, society, awakening, value of love & relationships, truth, importance of standing strongly by your beliefs, Role of people in your life, and dying a glorious death. The story is of a successful man, the impression he left on people around him, his family members and friends cz of his values and beliefs. Suzy was the inspiration who made him run the race of life faster at an age where people prefer to slow down and he called his extra marital affair with her as “Awakening”.
I can’t resist sharing some of my favorite quotes from the stories.
-“To be in love is to be inspired.” – Four Eulogies
–“Remember, dreams are extremely fragile. IF you break one, its splinters will always be in your heart reminding you of the broken promise and betrayal”– Splinters
–“The day we stop expecting more from each other we put a stop to the growth of that relationship.” – Snowstorm
–“Being happy is different from being content. I believe in the progression of life.” – Snowstorm
– “Women have a sixth sense. We not only know who is watching us, we also sense the feelings behind those eyes.” – Snowstorm
– “The closest analogy I can give for marriage is that its a three-legged race in which partner have one leg tied to each other. You need to keep pace with each other.” – Snowstorm
-“Have a brutal and uncompromising attitude towards life” – Four Eulogies
–“Your body is your soul’s temple and you only share it with someone whom you trust and love deeply. Maintaining the sanctity of this temple is your responsibility.” – Four Eulogies
– “To err is human. But if you run out of the eraser before you run out of the lead in your pencil, you are taking it a little too far” – Four Eulogies
–“The most difficult thing to do is to speak the truth and listen to the truth about oneself.” – The truth Club
There were many more but I will leave with this list. 🙂
Also I would like to mention few lines from a poem “Darkness” that touched me the most-
A hearse carries a body
What carries a dead soul?
The world mourns a dead person
Who mourns a dead hope?
A wreath decorates a dead body
What decorates a dead spirit?
If the spirit dies before the body
What carries the Death with it?
Read the book and see what Conversations you have 🙂
Note: Well a review cannot be complete without a complete feedback. Some stories like “The Rabbit Hole”, I felt the plot to be very weak and author not sure of how he wanted to end it. May be the confusion of how it should have ended as I found many dialogues for the same character contradicting at many places.
Then the horrible typos at various places which could have been avoided. “The Truth Club”, the story seems to be weak here too with weak character description. Some characters simply disappeared and some had no role at all. Also the end, was too lame and I felt the story was exaggerated to just let the three characters vent their suffering.
Overall, it was a nice read and the book could be read in between your any work without having to feel too addicted to it. 🙂
As humans we all tend to do some goof ups. Its perfectly natural. But is there any count on how many are allowed in a day for any “Normal” human being? I sometimes, leave myself amazed with my own acts. You can presume I am shamelessly “complimenting” myself but even you won’t be able to resist yourself after reading the “Quality” of my goof ups for the day below-
1. After breakfast my mom asked to me prepare some ginger tea when I was sincerely reading some post. I also needed a cup of tea badly and thus forced myself to the kitchen half interested. I kept the tea to boil and resumed my task forgetting about the tea. In the meanwhile my mom decided to get a quick nap till the tea gets ready. After some 10 mins my mom inquired if it was ready and I ran to the kitchen realizing my forgetfulness. Thankfully it wasn’t too late and I thanked almighty she woke up to remind me. But hei wait. Why has the tea not developed any color yet? Why does it look so white still?
An inner voice shouted from somewhere- “Idiot!! who will add the tea leaf?”
2. Again I simply logged in to my official mails to check if there is anything important. I saw a mail addressed to me whose content said “Please check my latest post”. I immediately clicked on the link, read the post, left a comment and sent the reply to the same mail only to receive an undeliverable message. I then checked the name of the sender and it read “Admin Blogs”. I felt thankful that the mail reply to this address doesn’t get delivered to the entire admin team. Had it been…. uff I don’t even want to imagine the embarrassment.
Again the inner voice shouted- “Idiot!! who will check the sender name when you receive a mail?”
3. Time to cook dinner. And I was so confused about what to cook. After a lot of battle between options available I decided to try something new as my eyes fell over some paneer lying in fridge. I cut the onions, tomato, boiled potatoes, fried onion-ginger-bla bla, and… added the potato/tomato/paneer/what ever lay in front of my eyes, not following what I should do first and what is supposed to be added next.
And the outcome… It was the most horrible panner-butter-masala I have ever had.
And the voice screamed again and this time I knew from where- ” There is less tomato is this.. It doesn’t tastes too good. Didi what did you try making actually? Why is it so horrible?”
And I quietly replied- “I goofed up the whole procedure absent minded.”
Well that was the last goof up for the day. At least I think so as I have decided to retire to bed before I goof up something else. But its perfectly normal. Isn’t it?
15 minutes and the Train would depart from Chennai, leaving me behind on the station with an unconfirmed e-ticket in hand. Hell, it took me days together to convince mom. I wanted to join IIT and Kota was the place that could teach me how to win the race. I couldn’t let my dreams shatter even before I lay its foundation.I ran with my luggage to the general compartment of JP Madras Express. The train hustled and thus began the journey towards my dream. In my 17 years of life, this was the 1st time I was doing a long distance journey all alone and that too in the general compartment. I would be lying if I say I wasn’t scared but I definitely had no clue of what lay in store for me.
The boggie was unlikely crowded. Though it was a Women compartment, I could see few men, sitting authoritatively. Thanks to their wives. My gaze slipped to a middle aged man smoking near the door. He looked at me and suddenly I could feel my body shiver under his gaze. Thankfully a lady cop came to rescue and she charged all the men out of compartment.
Next to me sat a Muslim gal in Burqa.She wore a heavy make up and was little plump. I was surprised to know that she was hardly 19 and has 2 kids. She got married after she completed her 10th.
The train halted in some station. A lady, challenged with one leg, entered the compartment with her son. He sat opposite to me. His innocence was clearly seen on his face. He asked something to his mom and she refused. In anger he abused her, calling her bad names. Everyone else in the compartment shocked at this behavior said looking at his mom, “It’s better not to have a child than having one of this kind.” She broke into tears. He asked her again and she refused. Finally threatening her he said, “If you don’t give me, I will sit in the same platform and beg.” The lady gave up and handed him some coins from a small purse.
I couldn’t believe my eyes. The kid hardly seemed to be 10 or 12 years old. He read my mental status and asked-
“Where are you going?”
“Kota”- I said still in shock.
“For the training right?”
“500Km more” he said peeping out of the window.
“I have heard about the institutes there. Which one are you joining?”
“Which standard are you in?”
“I am studying in 5th standard.”- he replied with a childish smile.
“You must be a bright student.” I said smiling at his innocent face.
“Yeah, but what’s the use? I will quit after 10th to earn bread for my family.”
I didn’t have to ask anything else. The reason was understood. I suddenly felt my heart heavy. Not knowing how to respond, I just gave him a meek smile and shifted my gaze outside the window. I suddenly felt so fortunate enough to be able to pursue my dreams, and thanked my parents inside my mind, for letting me walk towards it.
I tore a paper from my diary and scribbled my email id on it.
“Hei, keep this. Today I can’t help you. But when you are in 10th I definitely will be able to. Drop me a mail.”
There are many students in our country who quit their studies as their parents can’t afford it anymore and besides it seems time for them to be the earning hand. Help them in what ever way you can. 🙂