Book Review: ‘Kaash Kashmir’ By Rajesh Talwar

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KAASH KASHMIR: BUY ON AMAZON

Book Blurb

The play opens with a scene in a garden opposite a large double-storey house in which a young teenage boy of school going years confesses his love to a young girl. The boy, Rohan, is a Kashmiri Hindu and the girl, Ayesha, a Muslim. The two families, the Pandits and the Shahs are neighbours. Soon after this profession of love, together with thousands of other Kashmiri Pandits, the boy and his family are forced to leave Srinagar, leaving their house and possessions behind. It is the beginning of 1990 that marks the Kashmiri Pandit exodus. At first the family stays in a refugee camp in Jammu, awaiting the possibility of return, but hopes of return rapidly dwindling, eventually they move to Delhi.Rohan, who is still in school, decides to join the Indian Army.

Ten years pass. Rohan is now a Major in the army, and is transferred to Srinagar, where he once again encounters Ayesha and her brother who is now part of the independence movement. What will happen now? Will Rohan and Ayesha’s childhood romance be rekindled? Will Ayesha’s brother be arrested or killed by the Indian army? The play explores sensitive issues in a fair and compassionate manner trying to bring in all points of view, eventually reaching the conclusion that the interests of Kashmiris is best served by their choosing to remain with India.

Essential reading for anyone who wishes to understand the tragedy that is present day Kashmir and the way forward….

 

My Rating: 3.5/5

My Review

What piqued my interest was that the book is written in the form of a play and I have always enjoyed reading /watching plays. The plot is a fictional love story set in the 90’s in Kashmir. For as long as I remember, Kashmir has been a sensitive topic we all have been reading/listening about for decades now. Although I always wanted to know more about it, I never particularly took out time to read or gather more info about it. So when I read the book blurb, I had to read it.

The language is simple, and the story is well-narrated, could have been better though. It gives great insights about what happened and how it happened in January 1990 in Kashmir, the details of the Kashmiri Pandits exodus and their plight when they were forced to leave the Kashmir Valley, which had been their homeland for centuries, succumbing to the selfish motives of politicians and militants.

The love story between the Hindu boy and Muslim girl, gives the story a real-life angle, as all the Kashmiris were simply Kashmiris who shared the same culture, language, neighbourhood, as is always the case I believe until a political angle gets tagged to it. Though laced with a fictional story, the situation narrated in the play are factual and tragic.

I did enjoy the read and it helped me understand more than what little I knew about this topic.

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Book Review – A Way Back Into Love by Veronica Thatcher

OK, so I have returned to my blog (that was dead for exactly 2 years!). I have to thank book review tours for this. I have been reviewing books with them for a while now (on Goodreads and Amazon), but it’s only now that I thought of writing the review on my blog (and revive it at last).

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A Way Back Into Love

Disclaimer: This is going to be solely my opinion and observation about the book as I had received a complimentary copy for an honest review.

Genre: Contemporary Romance

My rating: 3.5/5

The story is about Emily Stevens – a cheerful teen and her best friend since kindergarten Derek Thorpe. The friendship of fifteen years takes a different turn as Emily realizes she is in love with Derek. But as fate would have it, one night something happens which changes Emily’s life completely. Heartbroken and dejected on learning that the feeling is not mutual, Emily decides to leave for Boston in the middle of the term – away from Derek, away from the place and away from everything. Derek is clueless about Emily’s drastic step. But she cannot run forever, and so when she finishes her med school and returns home – she is back to all that she had once left behind.

Five years is a long time to change people, but Emily’s feelings for Derek haven’t. She has to get over her heartache, for Derek is engaged to marry her sister Emma now. But life once again brings them closer as they start working together at a hospital. Over time, more life-changing, fate-changing events take place in both their lives. Does Derek finally learn why Emily had left him 5 years ago? Does Emily learn what Derek truly feels for her? Do they finally know what exactly went wrong between them that changed both their lives?

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My Review

I seldom read romance novels and it has been a really long time since I read one, so I decided to read this. Though the plot was simple, the author managed to keep the readers interested with the flashback-styled narration that switched between different times in the lives of the characters. The book didn’t exactly keep me hooked, in fact, I took quite longer than usual to finish a book. But that’s just me, maybe those fond of romantic novels would disagree with me on this. Overall, it was an okay book for a light read. My best wishes to the author for her next book(s).

Happiness ensues

The west sky blazing orange – a spectacular exit of Helios today. Perhaps, nature’s way of saying “no matter how your day was, it’s over. This view is only for your eyes, watch!”
Before Sunset

Before sunset

Sure life is not easy. But it is beautiful. Perhaps you think it is easier said than done, but honestly – happiness ensues. Look around and happiness will certainly show itself to you.
After sunset

After sunset

“Clouds come floating into my life, no longer to carry rain or usher storm, but to add color to my sunset sky.”
~Rabindranath Tagore

Let the countdown begin!

Before its time to say adieu 2014, a quick recap of how I lived it 🙂
Traveled to some beautiful places
Places
Read some awesome books

Books

Started and discontinued fitness regime 😦

Fitness

Met some new people (and a lots on WP, thank you!)

new people

New Pppl

Loved, and got loved
my babies
Fell in love all over again

love

Got bitten by the creative bug

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Reconnected with some old friends

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Started and discontinued fitness regime (again) 😦 (>_<)

Fitness

Missed some dear ones

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Got little better at cooking
food
Thanks to every single one of you for being a part of it and making it awesome!!

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Looking forward to read more, travel more, live, love and laugh more in 2015 🙂 🙂 🙂

Pictures from Travel Diary #7

This entry in the travel diary is one of the most unforgettable journeys – to the desert valley of the mighty Himalayas and to the lake of moon – Chandrataal (visited in September-October 2014).

I traveled and brought back with me the happy memories of blue skies, dusty brown mountains – some flaunting their snowy peaks, kindest people with warm smiles, scary and difficult roads, exhausting trek in dirt (no-tar) roads, camping in sub zero temperature, surreal landscape, cold mountain winds, night sky of zillion stars, musing meadows, mesmerizing blue-green waters of the lake of moon – their colors changing, casting spells and mirroring everything that touched it.

Left my heart behind in those mountains — left to return soon, very soon!

To Chandratal

Trek path to Chandrataal

Chandratal

Many colors at Chandrataal: Lake of moon

Pristine water

Beautiful reflections

I ♥ to doodle-doodle :D

Doodle #4

Doodle Day: Wednesday

Yes, a hump day and therefore a doodle 😀

Little story: She loves colors, she loves books. She travels and she doodles.

Image: Yogini

Travel doodle

She calls me Zeba

I lay on the prickly brown-green grass, reading a book. I have a lot of time here, in this dream. This little town in the lap of mountains, pampers me. I feel like a baby again in possession of peace and happiness. I don’t worry about the bills, the job, the monies, the false friends and even the repercussions of being ‘myself’ with a kin. I am far away from all that – I’m with happiness here.

It’s a cold day. The sun doesn’t let me out of its sight even for a second. My fingers are cold and pale. I turn them carefully with my numb fingers – the old, fragile brown pages of the old book. I love its smell.

Not very far from me, is a small hut, smoke escaping its top and floating in white unshapely globs. The clear blue sky looks a shade lighter through them – I like that shade. I remember the cotton candy and hallucinate of a sweet taste. The fire should to be kept alive all day long. I love this house – it is warm and cozy even on the coldest day. It is very small though.

A very kind old lady owns the pretty house and I adore her. She has allowed me to stay in there. We don’t speak each others language and communicate in signs and smiles. I don’t know her name, she never tells me, I call her khala. She never asked my name but she calls me Zeba.

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(Image: Google images)

23 things Disney movies have taught me :)

All those who say Disney movies are only for kids, are wrong. The characters even though, born on paper, say and do things that are not just entertaining but also wonderful and inspiring. In this post, I’m listing a few:

1) Believe in your dreams

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~ “A dream is a wish your heart makes.” – Cinderella ~

(yes, the consistent Disney movies theme, and I love it)

2) Nothing’s better than friends

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~ “Nuffin’s  better than a friend!” – Thumper, Bambi ~

(Well said, you cutie fella!)

3) Listen to your heart

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~ “Tell me, Princess, now when did you last let your heart decide?” – Aladdin ~

(mmm… OK yeah, may be not all the time though)

4) Be polite

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~ “Say ‘Please’ and ‘Thank you’ even if you’re feeling grumpy.” – Snow White ~

(Easier said than done, but yeah – I need to practice this)

5) Be patient

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~ “Even miracles take a little time.” – Fairy Godmother, Cinderella ~

(God, give me patience and give it to me now)

6) Never give up on hope

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~ “When the world says ‘give up’, hope whispers ‘try one more time”. – Ariel, The little mermaid ~

(Yup… tried and tested *thumbs up*)

7) Be crazy

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~ “You’re mad. Bonkers. Off your head…but I’ll tell you a secret… all of the best people are.” – The Mad Hatter, Alice in wonderland ~

(Wow! Justifies my awesomeness *winks* Thank you Hatter)

8) Be adventurous

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~ “Adventure is out there!” – Up ~

(Adventures – without them, call me DEAD!)

9) Be focused

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~ “I never look back darling. It distracts from the now.” – Edna, The Incredibles ~

(Right! So I was saying … *Whatsapp ping” … oh hey who’s that? *starts chatting*)

10) Choose wisely

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~ “Oh yes, the past can hurt. But the way I see it you can either run from it or learn from it.” – Rafiki, Lion King ~

(Some words of wisdom from the baboon – always try to remember them)

11) Keep working towards your goals

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~ “Just keep swimming” – Dory, Finding Nemo ~

(This is my fave movie & I totally love Dory)

12) Keep promises

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~ “And when I promise something I never ever break that promise.” – Rapunzel, Tangled ~

(ahem… ahem… yeah OK I remember I promised to blog regularly, come on, I’m trying, really  *puppy face*)

13) Nothing’s beautiful than a beautiful soul

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~ “Like so many things, it is not what is outside, but what is inside that counts.” – Merchant, Aladdin ~

(This is deep, like, literally)

14) Believe in yourself

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~ “The things that make me different are the things that make me.” Winnie the Pooh ~

(Someone very close to me keeps me reminding of this, thank you H)

15) You’re never too old to dream

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~ “You’re never too old to wish upon a star.” – The Princess and the frog ~

(Dunno whether any wish I wished upon a star ever came true, but I still continue to do that *chuckles*)

16) Follow your heart

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~ “I just needed to get out on my own, live my own life. And I did, and it’s great.” – Simba, Lion King ~

(Been there, done that. It does feel great. High-five Simba!)

17) Miracles happen only when you believe
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~ “All you need is faith, trust and little pixie dust.” – Peter Pan ~

(Faith – check, trust – check, waiting for some pixie dust 😀 )

18) Age is just a number

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~ “You’re never too old to be young.” – Snow White ~

(Hope I remember this when I do grow old)

19) Be strong, stay beautiful

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~ “The flower that blooms in adversity is the most rare and beautiful of all.” – Fa Zhou, Mulan ~

20) Never stop believing in your dreams

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~ “No matter how your heart is grieving, if you keep on believing, the dream that you wish will come true.” – Cinderella ~

(Keep believing, keep wishing, keep dreaming!)

21) ‘LIVE’, don’t just ‘SURVIVE’

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~ “I don’t want to survive, I want to live.” – Captain, Wall-e ~

(This one is profound!)

22) A well spent ‘today’ stays forever as a happy memory
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~ “Today’s special moments are tomorrow’s memories.” – Genie, Aladdin ~

(Love this big guy!)

23) Last but not the least – Forget all your worries.

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~ “Hakuna Matata. It means no worries for the rest of your days.” – Lion King ~

*humming*

*starts singing* OK gotta go watch the song now!

(Picture courtesy: Google images)

Pictures from Travel Diary #6

Beach – one of my fav. getaway for a family vacation. Lapping waves, sparkling sand, vast shores…. dreams transforming into lovely sand castles, playful & salty giggles, falling, rising and getting drenched, the whispered words taken far away by the gushing breeze, a long walk holding hands, footprints embossed and washed away… beaches have something for everyone.

On one such family vacation, we went to Alibaug – a small coastal town in Maharashtra, India. It has about 5-6 beaches some are sandy, some rocky and others with giant waves. Traveling to Alibaug from Mumbai is hassle free, you can drive and reach the place in an hour or two. Catching a ferry or a train are other two options.

Everyone loves beach but this trip was especially fun as it was the first beach visit for my 1 and half year old nephew 🙂 and we were eager to see his actions, reactions, excitement, fear and every impact the beach was going to have on him. It indeed was  a great trip & everyone enjoyed it thoroughly.

Sand patterns and shell

Photo courtesy: Gurudas

My Bucket List

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(Part 1)

  1. Own a pet
  2. Start a blog
  3. Blog regularly
  4. Learn salsa
  5. Bake a cake
  6. Learn swimming
  7. Learn Spanish
  8. Learn to drive
  9. Cook mom’s fav. dish on her birthday
  10. Cook dad’s fav. dish on his birthday
  11. Swim with the dolphins
  12. Throw a dart on the world map and travel where it lands
  13. Visit all 7 continents
  14. Run a marathon
  15. Start a business (tiiinnyy)
  16. Dance under the stars
  17. See all major world monuments
  18. Go scuba diving
  19. Go on a multiple days trek/hike
  20. Trek in the Valley of flowers
  21. Get in better shape
  22. Stay a night in desert
  23. Travel to the Amazon rainforest
  24. Stay overnight in a forest
  25. Go on the African safari
  26. Go on a cruise
  27. Go backpacking in Europe
  28. Inca trail to Machu Picchu
  29. Watch the Northern lights
  30. Explore the Great Barrier Reef
  31. Travel to Scotland
  32. Stay a night on a mountain
  33. Climb a hill in rain
  34. Camp next to a waterfall in a rainforest
  35. Eat in a palace
  36. Have breakfast in bed
  37. Watch a sunrise from top of a mountain
  38. Watch sunset from top of a mountain
  39. Camp next to a lake
  40. Go hiking often
  41. Walk in the Grand canyon
  42. Mt. Everest base camp
  43. Travel to Iceland
  44. Go on a desert safari
  45. Elevator ride at Burj Khalifa
  46. Stay in a tree house
  47. Read all the books of my favorite author
  48. Get an article published in a magazine
  49. Meet my favorite author (at least one)
  50. Own a library
  51. Write a decent poem
  52. Write a decent short story
  53. Write more!
  54. Movie marathon
  55. Read Geeta, Bible & Quran
  56. Go to Disneyland
  57. Start a book club
  58. Write + publish a book
  59. Plant a tree
  60. Go on a road trip
  61. Have a coffee with fav. celebrity
  62. Learn cocktail-making
  63. Take spontaneous trip(s)
  64. Go to a live Ghazal concert
  65. Visit a friend abroad
  66. Volunteer to the forest department
  67. Bike in Ladakh
  68. Help a stranger
  69. Send a handwritten letter to someone close
  70. Go Parasailing
  71. Go paragliding
  72. Do white water rafting
  73. Go rappelling
  74. Find a perfect red lipstick
  75. Stargazing
  76. Go to a drive-in theater
  77. Kiss in the rain
  78. Walk on a beach with ‘him’
  79. Travel to the favorite place with ‘him’
  80. Write a poem for him
  81. Give a homeless a gift
  82. Go skydiving
  83. Complete the ‘secret’ task
  84. Time travel 😀
  85. Never stop dreaming!

The actual list in my diary is a tad bit longer than just 85 wishes(and keeps adding)…but I would spare you trouble 😉 but thanks for reading this one!

Tell me what tops your wish list? When are you striking it through?

Picture(s) from Travel diary #5

I know it’s been awhile since I posted anything on the blog, and certainly a long time since the last picture from travel journal. That’s ‘cos sometimes I hadn’t traveled to any new place, or had no time (busier than I thought) & other times I was plain lazy!

Nevertheless, here I am posting about another beautiful place from a visit. Again, excuse me for the picture quality – I’m not a shutterbug, these are from a handy cell phone camera.

Located in Madhya Pradesh, India, at an altitude of 1000m, Amarkantak is a well known Hindu pilgrimage center. With many shrines, legends, beliefs and strong links to mythology it holds an important place in the Hindu society. Bordered by dense forests of three mountain ranges – Satpuras, Vindhya & Maikal and source for two large rivers – Narmada and Sone – the place is a feast for nature lovers.

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Trek path into the woods of Amarkantak to reach the source of River Narmada

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Dad leading us, he has taken up trekking 4000 KM for 3 years (2.3 years completed already! yayy)

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Refreshing water spring in the woods

Thank you all!

As yet another year is nearing the end, I want to thank all the beautiful people across the globe for stopping by, commenting & liking my posts – I am truly honored and humbled – thanks much!!

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I’m off WP till the next year, so ciao in 2014. Happy holidays & a lovely new year with lots of love, peace, laughter & good health.

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Happy Blogging!

Yes, I’m beautiful!

The mirror says ‘beautiful’ – she shies away
Ignores all the praises that sound unreal
Until a clear, sure and loud voice echoes through her mind
She believes none but one & says ‘yes I’m beautiful’

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Image: Pencil sketch by Yogini

The Five Worst Things You Can Say to a Blogger

so true!

A Morning Grouch

So, I’m no blogging genius.  When I first started blogging I had zero idea of the etiquette, cultish followings, or blogging cliques that existed.  I pretty much started this as a procrastination tool.  I’m still half-assed and hardly an expert; I have been dragging my feet even getting my self-hosted site up and running (does that even make sense?) because I have almost zero clue where to start (but dammit, I will learn, eventually.  I will).  But even with all that, I am starting to get some idea of what the blogging world is all about.

There are some phrases non-bloggers may or may not realize are not a good idea to say to someone who blogs:

1.  I read your blog. With no follow-up.  Oh. Thank you? You read it. But you didn’t say what it was exactly that you read. Or if you liked it. Or hated it. Or if it…

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Wish upon a star

Hand in hand we walk for miles
With talks laughs and secret smiles
Guiding our path through the hazy mist
Softly blows the cool breeze
 
Green misty and peaceful
Dreamlike and beautiful
There’s a perfect spot
Our eyes have caught
 
Straight out of the storybook
There’s this babbling brook
We sit by its gurgling water
And continue our chatter
 
You toss a pebble or two
I keep looking at you
You smile at me lovingly
And plant a gentle kiss
 
Shimmering in the silver moonlight
The night is a complete delight
We dip our toes in the sparkling waters
Being with you here is all that matters
Sitting cozy, wrapped in your arm
Glowing softly in your love so warm
Wondering whether it’s a dream
I look at your eyes, as they gleam
 
I close my eyes and
Remember an old dream
I smile and snuggle
As the wish comes true

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Image courtesy: http://www.deviantart.com/art/Watching-the-stars-71569927 – Thank you 🙂

What’s your excuse?

The gloominess a Sunday night brings is exactly opposite to the joy a Friday evening brings to me. Happy time of weekend is over & a back-to-work day is on its toes – duh! Of all the week days, poor Monday falls prey to everyone’s dislike.

‘At least’ for the first few hours at work on a Monday morning (read every Monday morning) – I am in no mood to work. My excuse? – Still getting into the right state of mind or in a process of churning-up-the-creative-juices (I work as a Creative writer). This is partially true – as writing does require one to get into a particular frame of mind – so my excuse works very well for me in all senses 😉

Now most of us go one step ahead of this and skip work on Mondays (I won’t lie, I am no exception). Surely it must be difficult to go to work after the weekend, I, of all the people will vouch for it wholeheartedly. No, I really like my job but I don’t like Mondays 😦

We all have heard of some really funny & creative excuses for not working on a Monday. Skipping office or coming to work but not working – either ways, what’s your excuse?

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Source: Google images

Stories of the dark seas

The seashore was silent under the grey sky. Cool breeze blew in the waning moon’s light. The waves splashed and created a rhythm – perfect for the time. They lapped playfully against the shore as they did each night. The shore was oblivious of the dark secrets they were clutching that were buried deep in their chest.

Somewhere in the middle of nowhere, a lone sailor sailed, unaware. Listening to the soft music and thinking about his beautiful wife. The night was perfect & he missed her. He hated to part but it was for their good. He promised to back as soon as he could.

As if lurking around and waiting for someone, the waves became stronger when the sailor arrived. He was brave and knew the seas too well – or at least he thought so. The scene was about to unfold and the skies above were soon to witness the changing avatar of the seas, again. The waves now lashed harder, visiting and re-visiting the cold sands on the shore; joined by its invisible partner – gusty, whistling & roaring. The seas became cruel and monstrous; the sailor trembled with fear. Scary thoughts of death replaced the beautiful thoughts of his wife. But he decided to fight back, to survive, to keep the promise made… to return to her.

They smiled, rose high & fell, weaving huge crests and troughs. Sensing the resistance of the sailor they became even more ferocious and determined. He was in their territory, they were unforgiving… they were hungry. He fought – they laughed. He gripped – they pushed. He struggled – they hauled. He tried hard… harder – they won! They leapt at him hungrily, swallowing his ship, devouring him. And alas! A giant wave pulled him to the sea floor. The only witness was the silent sky – pallid and mute, watching the drama from afar.

The dark seas calmed down after the midnight feast. Traces on the cold sand ashore were wiped clean. The waves lapped on the shore playfully, rhythmically – again. The unrest settled; the turmoil waned off when the horizon shone in orange hues.

The dark seas – not dark anymore, wear the familiar face – calm, gentle and friendly once more. But don’t forget about another dark secret it just buried somewhere deep – inside you.

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Image credit: BKhook http://shadowness.com/BKhook/stormy-seas

When Reality Hits

It’s Harsh – ‘coz it’s The Reality

It’s Brutal – ‘coz it’s The Truth

It’s Blunt – ‘coz it’s Fearless

It’s Not Sojourn, It Doesn’t Care!

A Cruel Whiplash – Hard-hitting and Upfront

A Strike of Thunderbolt – Instant Destruction

A Naked Flame – Burns You to Ashes

Denial Is Not An Option – When Reality Hits!

ImageImage Credit: http://www.deviantart.com/art/Harsh-Words-77067905

Stay alive!

They say it’s darkest

Just before the dawn

What they don’t say is

The night will be long

I hear distant voices

Nothing do I see

Soft halos and hushed noises

Buzzing in a playful spree

You need not fear the dark

For it’ll lead you to light

To bask in the sunshine

You need to survive this dark night

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Image: By Yogini. Hand silhouette (only) courtesy Google images.

How much is OK?

“A few drinks are OK– but not so many!”

“A few minutes delay is OK– but not so much!”

“Spending some money is OK – but not so much!”

Whenever I hear such sentences, I wonder how one can really quantify those ‘a few’ and ‘not so much’. How can you possibly know how much to stop at?

It’s really situational I think. You cannot set bars so generically at things that have nothing in common. The standards for ‘a few’ and ‘not so much’ that’s really OK shouldn’t be based on someone’s experience & definitely shouldn’t be the same for all situations. In fact, you shouldn’t even borrow it from one of your own past experiences for the future situations.

The same applies to interpersonal relationships and friendships. Not only the times change, people change as well. While it is important not to misunderstand and act impulsive as these relations are a part of your being, it isn’t fair to mistrust your inner voice & slacken your self-respect at the same time. Try to assess the situation before deciding how much of anything is really okay. Trust me; you would know it more than anyone else.

This does not hold true only for situations within your comfort zone, but also outside it – like at your workplace. Be yourself – do not emulate or do things out of your character to impress your boss, show your commitment and be dedicated, be confident & rely on your skills to impress your employer, give and earn respect – you know it all. But probably what most of us forget, is amidst respecting the job, the employer, co-workers, subordinates, etc., – respecting your self is equally important too. Don’t just let someone spoil your day or your work or demotivate you unnecessarily in the name of professionalism. Although you should not take it personally and ignore the trivial or insignificant matters as much as possible – but you MUST stand up for yourself when wrongly accused for no fault of yours. A friend of mine once said – one needs to take all the shit from the boss if they want to survive and grow at the work place. Well, I really don’t buy that!

If only a few drinks can be okay but too much can harm – wouldn’t too much criticism & unjust treatment at work harm as well? Like you should know when to stop drinking, you should also know how much unethical and unfair behavior to be tolerated. What I am trying to say here is – since you know yourself best – know when the ‘OK’s’ of your life cross their limit to become ‘but not so much’ & learn to say STOP and help yourself!Image

Sun Shine On A Rainy Day

I wait for the rain everyday

Praying day and night

For the skies to break open

And pour down with its might

I sit on my wall, waiting

Humming and singing

My heart skips a beat when

I hear the first rain falling

I jump, I thump, I fall

I hop; I skip, I sing in joy

I’m happy & insane

When I walk under the rain

Soaking in the pouring rain

I stop and catch my breath

And gasp at the golden hue

Sprinkled on the greens n blues

I glide, I swing & I fly

I jump up to touch the sky

With the trees & grass I sway

When the sun shines on a rainy day


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Image Editing – By Yogini. Silhouette and background – courtesy Google images.

I ♥ to doodle-doodle :D

Doodle #3

Doodle Day: Monday

Give me sheets of paper, big or small

Give them to me blank, I will fill them

I will make them canvas … I will draw, I will paint,

I will make them books … I will write, & I will fly with my paper wings!!

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Picture(s) from Travel diary #4

Rain, rain & more rain… Monsoon reminds me of the beautiful weather I witnessed on a trip to Gujarat last year. A family trip to meet my dad turned out to be wonderful memorable trip. The continuous drizzle of the condensed droplets, no sun, dark & cloudy sky, cool breeze, water everywhere. A road trip in such a weather was a refreshing experience & of course meeting my dad added more happiness.

Change in the title: Since the weather was so beautiful, I couldn’t stop myself from clicking :p so am going to put more than one picture 🙂

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Sardar Sarovar Dam, Gujarat, India

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The canal, Photo Courtesy: Gurudas

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Faith! Photo Courtesy: Gurudas

Rain makes everything beautiful! Thank you God for showering beauty & happiness so generously 🙂

Picture from Travel diary #3

Late again! Nevertheless, re-living moments from trip to this beautiful-beautiful place makes me happy & smile…. Sharing the smile & happiness with you all 🙂

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First view of Taj Mahal

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Taj Mahal, Agra, India

The fame of this monument of love is widespread. One of the 7 wonders (manmade) of the world this marble mausoleum at Agra, India is a universally admired architectural masterpiece.

Built by Moghul emperor Shah Jahan in loving memory of his wife Mumtaz Mahal, this beautiful marble structure stands on the banks of river Yamuna. The entire structure showcases the most intricate, beautiful & skilled artwork; exquisitely inlaid & decorated with the finest precious/semi precious stones brought in from the various parts of India & the world. Beautiful shrubs, decorative flowering plants & well manicured trees give a splendid appearance to the whole landscape.

On a full moon night under the star-lit sky the pure white marble of Taj shimmers in the silver moonlight. The view of its perfect symmetrical reflection in the water channel in the garden is simply breath taking. Too bad I did not get to witness this mind boggling view of the Taj Mahal under the night sky 😦

I ♥ to doodle-doodle :D

Doodle #2

Doodle Day: Tuesday

OK! Its only Tuesday and I have started craving for the weekend (which I had thoroughly enjoyed only 2 days ago) So here, I sit and doodle about that extra day in weekend which could have added that ‘little-extra-happiness’ to my weekdays. I know, weekends / long weekends / holidays are never enough. Nevertheless, who’s to stop me from doodling & dreaming about it? :p

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“The Dragon’s Loyalty Award” – is this for real??

This great story-teller Mike awarded my blog for The Dragon’s Loyalty Award and I’m thrilled, excited & happppppy (those extra ‘p’s would tell you how happy I am) Thanks a ton Mike! His blog at http://eyedancers.wordpress.com/ is one those blogs I always enjoy reading.

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The rules for this award are:

Display the  Award Certificate on your website.

Announce your win with a written post and link to whoever presented your award.

Present 15 awards to deserving bloggers.

Drop them a comment to tip them off after you have liked them in the post.

 

Post 7 interesting things about yourself.

 
7 interesting things about me, huh…that’s easy…!Wait! no, not that easy because I am busy smiling & thinking about this award I got from last 5minutes 🙂 Okay let me write them anyhow.

 

1. I am head-over-heels in love with animation movies. My love for Disney & Pixar knows no bounds ♥ The capturing, amazing, beautiful, timeless movies they make are simply beautiful. I enjoy watching them over and over and over. Some of my favorite movies are: Up, Ice age, Tinker Bell, Tarzan, Shrek, Ratatouille, Finding Nemo, The lion king & many more. Actually I love all of them!!

2. I love traveling ♥ Have visited many places in India but been overseas just once, would love to see the rest of the world too.

3. One of my wishes from the bucket list is to go backpacking alone to a beautiful European destination ♥

4. I recently experienced a ‘dream-come-true’ moment in my professional life, when I finally got a ‘Creative Writer’ designation at work 🙂

5. My life is like a fairy tale. How? A loving & caring family, beautiful & intelligent siblings, loving, understanding & caring boyfriend ♥ But the cherry on the cake are my three musketeers – my three little nephews : Krish, Aashu & Nemo ♥

6. I often think I was a tree in my previous life. Because I go crazy & get this strong craving to write/sketch/scribble/doodle or paint something when I see paper & pencil. I find myself completely lost when a Flute (my brother plays flute extremely well) or Guitar(my boyfriend plays it pretty well) plays nearby. Moreover, Green (actually Tinker bell green) is one of my most favorite colors 😀

7. Lastly, no one really knows me (except for my mum, of course). So whoever claims to know me well are living in a fantasy & are often completely surprised, amused, amazed, shocked even, at times to see this different, totally unexpected & unknown side of me popping up suddenly 😉

Phew! that sure was difficult… I have never written so much about myself ever in my life.

I have read some really cool posts on the following blogs. So my 15 nominations are as below, hope you enjoy reading them as I much as I do:

http://foodcourt.wordpress.com/

http://adailydrama.wordpress.com/

http://georgeweaver.wordpress.com/

http://juliegreenart.com/

http://lunchsketch.com/

http://joshidaniel.com/

http://rickmallery.wordpress.com/

http://simpletombornhigh.com/

http://miraclecorporation.wordpress.com/

http://cristianmihai.net/

http://kavisionz.wordpress.com/

http://cruisingthroughmylife.wordpress.com/

http://erwindrose.wordpress.com/

http://laurasusanneyochelson.com/

http://cappywrites.com/

Thank you everyone! With the hump day almost done, hope you all have a smooth sail to weekend & followed by a fantastic weekend. Stay blessed!!

Picture from Travel diary #2

As the new month begins with a picture from travel diary, so here I am. Sorry for not posting on day 1, been a little busy.

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Grand Palace, Bangkok – Thailand

Beautiful architecture, spectacular buildings, impressive display of skilled craftsmanship – the Grand Palace, Bangkok is a must see. Every building showcases intricate, beautiful & mesmerizing patterns. What I also liked about the Palace is, it is extremely well-maintained, considering the construction commencement dates back in 1700s.

I would normally post a solo (best) pic from the travel journal but April is a special case. Firstly, coz its my birthday month 🙂 & secondly coz these two pics (from the Thailand visit) are my favorite. If you wish to see more pictures, please click here.

I ♥ to doodle-doodle :D

Doodle #1

Doodle Day : Friday

When I doodle, it usually means I’m jobless or have time to kill.

Friday: I had finished all my work early (5 ish) & was in no mood to start with the new assignment – Friday evenings have that effect on me 😉

This one is from that Friday. Shhh..!! don’t tell anyone :p

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Beautiful Luna

Luna, Moon – Earth’s natural satellite: The moon rise today was beautiful! Here’s a collage of the images I clicked (excuse me for the clarity of the pix) The view was brilliant from my window, & I couldn’t help but click quickly. The whole scene of slender feathery leaves of the coconut tree swaying in the gentle breeze against the moon, slicing through – as viewed from my camera – was worth capturing.

The last one is my fav. Care to have a ‘Sliced orange moon pie’ for dessert? 😉

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Busy bee – that’s me

Its been a long time since I visited wordpress 😦

A lot new is happening in life, keeping me as busy as a bee. Finally landed up in a job with a title I have waited to have for as long as ever – I’m finally a Creative Writer 🙂 🙂 🙂 Extremely happy, content & busy. Life is busy but really GOOD 🙂 🙂 And yes, dreams do come true!

I am hoping to be back soon & be a regular blogger. Take care all, have fun!!

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Manifestation of beauty

The wonders of nature & its beauty can be seen all around. Even in the simplest of things. The vibrant colors, the magnificent patterns, the artistic designs are all simply brilliant!

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Have you ever stopped to wonder how beautiful this cabbage looks with that spiral pattern?

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Or the ripples on water?

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Or the beautiful autumn leaves?

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It is all around you …you can touch & see the beauty.

Look at some of the cool patterns – they are simply beautiful.

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A part of an object is an extension of it & inherits all the characteristics of the object itself. So when something is a part of a beautiful object, it’s evident that ‘that’ part  is beautiful too, isn’t it? Just re-iterating what you already know…

You’ are a part of mystical, powerful & beautiful nature!

Have a great week ahead! Happy monday 🙂

Picture from Travel diary #1

ImageLadakh-India, Photo Courtesy: Naren

Ladakh – literally meaning ‘land of high passes’ is one of the most beautiful places I have ever visited. A splendid combo of sun, shadow, mountain, snow & sand. The beautiful confluence of mighty Indus & Zanskar rivers, snowy white Himalayan mountain ranges, green grasslands is a superb feast for eyes. The beautiful place coupled with the hospitality of sweet & friendly Ladakhis is sure to make a memorable holiday.

Comfort or style?

There is always room for new shoes in a woman’s closet. What do we really think about when we go shopping for shoes – comfort or looks? In my case, I’m always flabbergasted at merely seeing the vast footwear collection, the style, the colors, the look, the design – so many to choose from. Unlike men’s footwear, women have plenty of color choice. Sneakers, flip-flops, wedges, stilettos, flats, canvas shoes, sport/gym shoes, pencil heels, sandals, boots & so on… I mean wow! And men still wonder why we take so long to shop?

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My shoe-rack has loads of comfort footwear – flip-flops, Converse, sport shoes and flats. Yes I do love the stylish high heels & do have one. But oh boy! I remember the way my legs hurt when I wear them than remembering when I used them last. I love & do a lot of walking, travelling & so the flats/converse are always my first choice. I have some party queen friends who have awesome collection of high heels, stylish & shimmering footwear. Every time I see that I decide to go buy one of those kinds but what I end up buying instead is a comfy wear & I never regret that. Oh BTW, IndusDiva has some pretty cool collection of outfits to match with your footwear.

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On your next (shoe) shopping spree don’t get swayed like me. Be a smart shopper & pick something that:

You need (occasion/reason)

You like (color, style, material, design, etc.)

Isn’t overpriced (you don’t want to shell out a fat wad of bill on just one item)

And most importantly – something which is super COMFORTABLE – do not compromise on this! After all it’s your money & you should get the best when you decide to spend it.

Handsome Big Cats

Royal Stripey….Richard Parker?

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White Bengal Tiger

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Bannerghatta National Park, around 22 KM south of Bangalore, India is a home to these beautiful & rare animals. The Park houses Lion & Tiger Reserves of these massive, roaring big cats. The numbers are decreasing in an alarming rate, hope the remaining species grows & lives long & not falling into the extinct category like some of other members of their species. Loved watching & clicking them then, planning to visit them sometime soon.

Camouflaged |Ƌηğµ@ɠĕ

Camouflaged |Ƌηğµ@ɠĕ

The ancient Egyptian Hieroglyphs, the computer’s binary language, the codes & ciphers used by Government & Defense organizations, etc., all explain the need of a secret language by various social groups in our world.

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Remember when as a kid, you had your very own ‘secret language’ which you & only a select group of friends shared?  Whenever you wanted to talk about a particular student, teacher, subject or anything for that matter, you could happily converse in your coded language without having to worry about anyone hearing or rather understanding it. I clearly remember mine. My friends & I used this one code very often & it’s still dear to me 🙂 ’1/Cos C’ did you get it? For those of you all who loved Trigonometry like me, would have guessed it by now. Nevertheless, let me decode it for you – the Secant or Sec function is 1/Cosine or Cos, so ‘1/Cos C’ becomes ‘Sec C’ 😀 Needless to say it was a hush-hush when the Math. Teacher was around.

Another favorite was ‘Mercury’. As we know its an element of periodic table. How it found place in our secret language?

Hint 1: the term Mercury was used by us when saw a good looking boy in school.

Hint 2(this will spill the beans, still): the symbol for Mercury in periodic table is ‘Hg’.

Still didn’t get it? OK I know it sounds nerdy but it actually isn’t, its funny – whenever we saw a Handsome guy in the school campus & didn’t wish other girls to see him we would nudge each other secretly saying ‘Mercury’ The secret grin on our faces with that word, always left the other girls puzzled and ambiguous & we absolutely loved that! The unrealized advantage of this highly confidential language was that we were actually studying, remembering, and revising what we learned at school. And further brainstorming, thinking & creatively adding to the vocabulary of our secret language! Obviously studying (at least for this purpose) was fun!!

I had a few friends who worked with the Sales & Marketing team for the company’s U.S. clients. They had to avidly use phonetic alphabet on most of their calls. The epitome of this interesting practice was its usage otherwise. Once I was at a coffee shop with my friend Tia. Her ex boyfriend walked in. Immediately she blurted out “Gosh! She is the third girl he is hooked up with in just 2 months of our break-up! Alpha-Sierra-Sierra!” I looked at them, wondering how could Tia possibly learn this third girl’s name so soon. Looking at my perplexed face, she chuckled & said “It’s ‘S’ as in Sierra… and you never believed in the advantages of learning phonetics.” The next instant we burst out laughing.

Code-decode, encrypt-decrypt, cipher-decipher call it whatever – has always succeeded in getting one’s attention absolutely undivided. It simply proves over & over that human brain is an incredible thing, has evolved over the time, amazingly, interestingly each time & still continues to do so.

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The beautifying touch!

Who wants the usual boring black n white life? Can you imagine a life without colors? Look how Tink looks on a white sheet…dull, boring, black n white & umm..like something’s missing?

Tinky

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

And look how she shines now with the beautifying touch of colors. Oh! What would I do without them, the colors – they make my world beautiful!!!

Tink

The Love-hate relationship

Damn! My elbow pushed the glass of water kept on the desk & tumbled over the sheets spread across. The sheets were the sketches I had prepared after Titanic efforts and then, there I was holding the dripping sheets with a mix of emotions – irritation, anger, anxiety, tension, hopelessness…Darn!  I hate water!!

Buried neck deep in work for long hours, running around all day, pushing & making my way through the crowd at Metro & finally being home after a long-long journey. The first thing I do? Needless to say, help myself with a glass of water – feels like heaven, soothing the parched throat…. Ah! I love water!!

Hmm… so it boils down to the fact that I have an everlasting love-hate relationship with the Oxygen & Hydrogen atoms.

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The divine smell of wet soil with the first rain of the year, a long walk in the light drizzle, a cool sip after a spicy bite.The beaches, rivers & cascades. The hot shower in chilly winters & cold in burning summers. The rain drops & ripples in the puddles. The artistic dew drops on glass blades …things like this and I’m insanely in love with Water.

Now for the hate-story :

I’m on my way for something important & it rains… it not only ruins my hair, clothes & every damn thing in my bag but also my day. When there’s no water in the faucet – can’t tell you how irritating it gets. It rains day & night – messing up the roads, the transport systems, etc. The zigzag rain deprives the laundry to be hung on the clothesline outside. And the moist & damp weather restrains them from drying inside the house. Oh there’s more – in case your denims get drenched, you get to use them again only when the rain subsides. The time it takes to dry is directly proportional to the damp stink it accumulates.

Nevertheless, I enjoy this love-hate relationship. It adds variety to the otherwise dry life. And why wouldn’t it? Water – it’s the very essence of life.

Next time it rains – remember when the sunlight pierces the raindrop, look up above & follow the rainbow – you may find the pot of gold at the end of it! You never know.

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Lost faiths…


Lost hopes, lost dreams
Lost all the loved ones
Sitting by the grave…
No prayer on lips
But a dead flower in hand
 
Cracked mud beneath the feet
Bloodied cloths, torn shoes
Dried tears on scarred cheeks
Starved body, empty eyes…
Staring into nothingness
 
Brutal yesterday, cruel today
Snatched away his happiness
Once was safe in mother’s arms
Sitting by her grave today
 
“Why do people fight ma? Why do they kill?”
“Peace will come son, don’t be scared”
“I fear ma, I am scared”
“Have faith my child, don’t give up the hope”
 
Bygone is the caring voice
Familiar sounds replacing it
Sounds of guns & explosions
Sounds of war everywhere
 
Took away a father yesterday
Deprived a baby of its mother’s being
Shook a 7-year olds world today
Crashing everything on its way down
Leaving him with nothing but lost faith!!

©Yogini Patil, Published on short-story.net

Rest in Peace, little ones!

 
You’re the innocent smiles
You’re the purest love
You’re the shining stars
On dark cloudy nights

You’re the beautiful flowers
You’re the rainbow of happiness
You’re the spring blossom
You’re the moonlit sky

We’re sorry for what happened to you
We’re sorry you faced the hurt & pain
We pray to God to keep you safe
Give all the love & care you deserve

Rest in arms of loving angels
Rest in peace, little ones!!

For the innocent lives lost - Sandy Hook Elementary School, 12-14-12