Thursday, 22 December 2016

Our Shanta Bai is Not a Thief

Wednesday. 8:40 AM. Ding Dong. Look who's at the door- our very own Shanta Bai. That's the name I have given to our maid because, with my scarce knowledge of Kannada and her zero knowledge of Hindi, I can't ask her name!

A few seconds later. The kitchen is purging with the customary sound of her washing the utensils and the fragrance of ready to be savoured ginger tea. We courteously asked the old lady if she needs warm water to wash utensils, saying "bisi neeru bekaaaa?" (Kannada). She cracked some joke in her language and giggled at our intentions, leaving us puzzled. Apologetically, we barely could afford a smile.

8:50 AM. Ding dong. I and hubby questioned  each other with our eyes-doing-the-talking -"who is it?", as we do not expect any other visits on a usual day. 

I was brushing my teeth. Hubby opened the door only to find our Khooni Padosan waiting. eeeehh... I mean our next door neighbour. Oh, you are wondering why I call her Khooni Padosan? Mrs. Khooni Padosan , a lady in her early 40s, according to me is suffering from hyper-negativity-towards-the-planet-and-its-creatures (if they have discovered one such disease yet). She can retort at anything and everything, like the landlord, her husband, her sister-in-law, the road, weather, keys of the apartment entrance, municipal corporation and even mosquitoes.

She was explicit enough to blame our Shanta Bai for having picked up her Sennheiser earphones from the staircase. Worst thing, she did not suspect, she declared the verdict- "your maid has picked up my earphones from the stairs". Strangely, she was sure about it without any proof. 

Meanwhile, I am still brushing my teeth and the hubbub of utensils being harassed prevails. Our innocent bai who was unaware of our Hindi conversation continued with what she is employed for.

Hubby came in. Checked his bag. The earphones he had picked up from the stairs on the weekend, suspecting them to have fallen from his bag, originally belonged to the Khooni Padosan. The same earphones which she had declared as stolen by the maid. He and I own two pairs of earphones of the same brand. So our twin earphones had another sibling on the building floor!

To live happily-ever-after and save Shanta Bai from her curse, we hopped to her flat and returned her property, narrating our version of the case of accidental lifting of the abandoned item. Also, added that Shanta bai has already undergone our series of anti-theft tests and that she never bothers for anything except salary hike, daily tea and a pack of Parle-G every fortnight. Not only this, she makes sure that we close our door while she leaves, for which she has to shout at our recklessness, at times. She is motherly.

Moral of the story- Dear moron, investigate and inquire before you blame our Shanta bai or any poor person of theft.

(Disclaimer: This post does not intend to harm, defame, or hurt the sentiments of any person, gender, religion, political party, news channel, religious belief, god or to whomsoever it may concern. I sincerely apologize in advance if it is so.)

Friday, 16 December 2016

Nothing But Hunger!

Peeping out of the window of the fourth floor of my office sipping from my mug of green tea this winter afternoon, I was simply observing the traffic and mortals on the road. I noticed something. Something which is very usual for most of us.

A street vendor stood across the road with his cart, beneath a luxurious showroom. The cart carried corns (roasted corns is what he supposedly had been vending). Let's name him Bhuttaswamy.

Bhuttaswamy was a middle aged, wearing white shirt and gray pants, waiting for his customers. Amongst the hundreds of vehicles and pedestrians that passed by, on that forever busy signal of Bangalore, none seemed to be hungry enough. I wandered is this how this man is going to stand there throughout the day, in HOPE. We mint thousands or even lakhs of bucks a month, and these people have to stand there with a handful of corns, 20 bucks per piece (this is the generic rate throughout Bangalore)! Diversity, they call it. Ahhh! look this fellow on a luxury bike just stopped and spoke to Bhuttaswamy for what may be a duration of 40 seconds. And, without buying, he drove away. Probably, he found the corn expensive!

On my side of the road sat another middle aged lady, let's call her BEGAni. Her hands carried an infant, malnutritioned indeed. My sight reflected her to be a beggar, possibly! The busy road and the travelers didn't pay heed to her either. One in 50 shelled out a coin or two for her, only when the signal was red.

The next day, I was coming back from an ATM with my colleagues and was walking by the road side, rather the part which the vehicles had left for pedestrians. This young girl, nearly 12 years of age was selling pens, 2 for 20 rupees, each of which was 1 feet in length. Let's name her PENwari. On seeing us coming, she gestured her hands in the direction of her mouth expressing she is hungry. The pens were cheap, but her hunger wasn't! I bought a pen from her. Penwari's merchandise later lied lazily somewhere at my desk. Nevertheless, it might have mattered to Penwari apparently.

A few metres walk on the same road, and there appeared another girl of similar age. Let's call her MAANGshri. She, literally was chasing folks on the road to transfer some money from their wallets to her palms so that she can be devoid of hunger. Those folks were shooing her away, trying every possible motion to get rid of her. Painful was the scene. Not because they didn't give her any money, but because Maangshri was begging. She seemed to be a healthy and normal human, no deformities at all. What is it that made her to beg! This planet has a lot of blue collar jobs, and she is employable. 

Unlike Begani and Maangshri who were looking for shortcuts to earn, Bhuttaswamy and Penwari are the ones who are doing something to earn their living. People will keep begging until we give away alms to them.

I have a habit of carrying a few packets of Parle-G in my bag. Whenever I see someone begging on the traffic signal, I hand them a packet rather than giving money. They do not have bank acccounts to stash money, but a hungry tummy. I cannot feed them forever, but am rest assured that the child on the signal doesn't have to stay hungry at least this time.

(Disclaimer: This post does not intend to harm, defame, or hurt the sentiments of any person, gender, religion, political party, news channel, religious belief, god or to whomsoever it may concern. I sincerely apologize in advance if it is so.)

Sunday, 11 December 2016

A Poetic Endeavor : Seasons of Heart

Fading sunshine and waning moon,
Subtle is the warmth of winter bloom,
O night! Thee fade slowly.

Heart shells the pain out,
Tear drops like rain seldom ever end,
Wait, for the bliss is calling!

Spring comes calling dear Darling,
Happiness blooms along and the fragrance clinging,
For love we share unending,

A melancholy drop of water,
In arms of thunder is born anew,
Dreaming to green the greener.

Thursday, 1 December 2016

ये नोट कल हो ना हो !

एटीएम की लंबी कतार में लग कर जब खुद ही का कमाया हुआ 2 हज़ार का एक नोट मिलता है तो इतना हर्ष होता है मानों कोई जंग जीत कर आये हो। फिर जब उसी 2 हज़ार के नोट का छुट्टा करवाने के तरीक़े ढूंढने की जुगाड़ में निकलते हैं और अचानक कोई दूकानदार ईश्वर का अवतार बन के इस नोट के बदले सौ के नोट देता है तो ऐसा लगता है मानो सर्वस्व को पा लिया हो। जब हम हमारे पास इकट्ठे चन्द 1000 और 500 के नोट को बैंक में जमा कर आते हैं तो ऐसा सुकून मिलता है मानो लाश को ठिकाने लगा आये हो।

फिर जब टेलीविज़न पर गांधी परिवार के राजकुमार को दिल्ली से मुम्बई जा कर एटीएम की कतार में लगे देखते हैं तो रूह कांप उठती है।

जब मफलर वाले साहब को उनकी योग्यता के प्रतिकूल ट्वीट करते हुए पाते हैं तो समझ नहीं आता की एक तरफ़ा वाद विवाद भी कितना मनोरंजक होता है।

और विदेश यात्रा से लौटे नेताजी को भाषण के दौरान आंसू बहाते देख मन किसी टेलीविज़न सीरियल की बहू की याद दिला देता है।

इसी बीच हर न्यूज़ चैनल पर 8 पासपोर्ट साइज़ के चहरे और एक थोड़ा बड़ा साइज के न्यूज़ रीडर का आपस में संवाद और अपनी मति का प्रदर्शन करते देख हम हास्य और रहस्य की मजधार में खुद को झूलता हुआ पाते हैं।

ईश्वर की अनुकंपा से व्हात्सप्प और फेसबुक पर हो रहे सुचना एवं प्रसार की अतिशयोक्ति में हम निरंतर मुस्तैद रहते हैं।

किसी गरीब को अस्पताल में नोटों के अभाव में तरसते देखा और एक दुल्हन के पिता को बारात को चाय पिला कर लौटाते देखा, तो मन आहात हुआ यह सोच कर की आखिर इसका ज़िम्मेदार कौन है और शिकार कौन।

खैर ये सब छोड़ें साहब, हम तो चले एटीएम। क्या पता ये नोट कल हो ना हो !

(Disclaimer: This post does not intend to harm, defame, or hurt the sentiments of any person, gender, religion, political party, news channel, religious belief, god or to whomsoever it may concern. I sincerely apologize in advance if it is so. I wrote this to present the whole picture from my perspective and to encourage constructive thought process for a better and progressive nation. The views are based on my limited knowledge of the ongoing situations and are only for fun)

Monday, 10 October 2016

Book Review: The Calling

This is a book authored by Priya Kumar, an internationally acclaimed author and a motivational speaker. I am thankful to Priya Kumar's team for sending me a review copy.

This book is about Arjun who has a wrecked personal and professional life. While he is on the verge of getting divorced, Arjun took a trip to the Himalayas to reach Hemkund Sahib pilgrimage on insistence of a sadhu. That is when he had a fantasized journey leading him to find his true calling, and hence, a respite from the ruined relationship.

The book reminds me of The Monk Who Sold His Ferrari by Robin Sharma, which was also based on the theme of self-actualization during a trip to Himalayas. With distinct way of story telling and conveying the message in an unusual style, Priya Kumar uses her imagination in an amazing manner to pen down the plot.

It consists of light hearted spirituality, a whole lot of contemporary world's life lessons and a pinch of comedy. Its an unconventional style of sharing the message of finding one's calling. Flawlessly narrated, never before heard kind of plot, carved out of marvelous imagination is what the author does with this 160 pager book!

However, a couple of things could have been different. One of them is, at places, certain points are elongated which could have otherwise been crisp and short. Secondly, the happy ending only comprises of the change that Arjun's personal life undergoes, but nothing on the professional front.

My rating for this book is 3.5 on 5.

(PS: the reviews expressed here are based on my personal reading experience, and do not intend to defame, derate or 
degrade the sale or vice-versa for the book. I am not paid for writing this review.)

If you are an author and want your book to be reviewed, drop an email at

Sunday, 9 October 2016

तो फिर तू क्यूँ उदास है

तू सशक्त है समर्थ है, तो फिर तू क्यूँ उदास है,
तू गिर ज़रा संभल ज़रा, क्यूँ हो रहा हताश है,

तू रक्त है विरक्त है, तुझी से वक़्त की आस है,
तू जलज है समुद्र तू, बुझा दे जो भी प्यास है,

जो समझे ना तेरी कदर, छेड़ दे तू इक ग़दर,
ये विश्व तेरा सर्वस्व है, अकेला तू फिरे किधर,

पाषाण जो हो राह में, ना पथ पृथक तू करना ,
आँधियों की गति से डर के, ना तू चाह छोड़ना,

हो दूर ग़र अरुण किरण, उसकी राह तू ताकना,
जो तन से तू थके अग़र, ना मन से कभी तू हारना ।

Friday, 30 September 2016

Book Review: Dare to Be- 14 Fearless Women Who Gave Wings to Their Dreams

"Either write something worth reading or do something worth writing." This is what I concluded from this book. I spotted this book as a recommendation on Amazon. The title of the book was powerful enough to make me read the description. And I pre-ordered a copy, subsequently.

This is a book on success stories of 14 women who decided to embark on the journey of living their passion by calling it quits to their stable corporate career. All this was to live their dreams, irrespective of hurdles and naysayers in their way.

The debut authors Puja Singhal and Rinki Paul have compiled the interviews they conducted of 14 women who quit their high paying corporate jobs to pursue the road seldom taken- standup comedian, authors, models, singers, dancers etc. Undoubtedly, this book is a great source of inspiration for those who want to transform their passion into profession, but are held back by naysayers and by the fear of taking a chance against their stable corporate careers.

Each chapter is an account on the success journey of one of these 14 woman. Diligently penned, women-only stories, this book gives a sense of confidence to aspiring women entrepreneurs. However, it does not focus on empowering womanhood, but on tapping the power of actuating one's dreams, which is applicable to both the genders. This is a plus of the book.

With good vocabulary, brevity of the content and ability to cover the whole in a concise manner, the authors have delivered a book which is one of its kind!
While reading you may find yourself encounter multiple emotions every now and then- smiling, eager, angry, sad, relieved, stunned and lot more!

I have compiled a few of my favorite quotes from the women featured in the chronicle-

1) "It's better to live with 'Oh, Shit!' rather than 'What if?' - Neeti Palta, Standup comedian
2) "Close your eyes and imagine what you would do for the rest of your life if no one paid you to do it. That's what your job should be, and that will get you paid."- Miss Malini, Blogger
3) "Women are no equal to men, they are better. "If you do not feel the pain, you will never know joy."- Sonam Kalra, Singer, Musician, Writer
4) "All you touch and all you see, is all your life ever will be."- Monica Bhide, writer
5) "You can dance anywhere, even if only in your heart."- Sucheta Pal, India's first Zumba trainer
6) "...rejection means nothing more than someone being unable to see what you see."- Abha Maryada Banerjee, Motivational speaker, author
7) "Nothing works unless you do." "Add life to moments, instead of moments to life."- Neeru Sharma, Co-founder-
8) "The only naysayer in my life is me."- Dr. Rangana Rupavi Choudhari, International speaker
9) "Money is important to survive, attachment with it is not."- Pooja Warier, Social Entrepreneur
10) "Jump towards the side where the heart lies and rest will be magical!"- Yukti Kapoor Mehandiratta, Entrepreneur, model and anchor
11) "As long as you are sure of a roof on your head and food on your table, you cannot go too wrong."- Anisha Singh, Co-founder & CEO- coupon provider, Mydala

My rating for this book is 4 on 5. Awaiting the next one by the authors, hopefully on a similar theme.

(PS: the reviews expressed here are based on my personal reading experience, and do not intend to defame, derate or 
degrade the sale or vice-versa for the book. I am not paid for writing this review.)

If you are an author and want your book to be reviewed, drop an email at

Sunday, 18 September 2016

A Blank Notebook

Amidst eerie calm of the midnight, she was tossing and turning on the bed. All that was audible was the clock ticking near the door. On that full moon night, a glint of moonlight was peeping past the curtains, adding dim light to her room. The king size bed was too wide for her to lie there alone. Like every year, December weather in Bengaluru was not that cool. Anamika was all alone at home, her husband had been out for three days to attend an official meeting at Chennai.

Lying back in her cozy pajamas and loose tees, thoughts came in and passed as she was having a sleepless night. She had been missing her husband, who was a source of inspiration for her every time she was low. While Anamika was looking towards the window, from the little space left uncovered by the curtains, a thick lock of hair falling on her forehead was bothering her. She moved it slowly behind her ear. Her eyes fell upon the clock, the time was 1:10 AM. Nevertheless, she ain’t going to sleep tonight.

Something was keeping her awake. Anamika’s husband, Rishi had his client presentation the next morning. So she did not want to call and disturb his slumber sleep. If she called him at this time in the night, he would get worried for no reason.

Thoughts climbed up her mind as and as the night passed.

It all started a year and half ago. She got married and moved to Bengaluru. Life was a joyful ride since then. Having someone to share your joys and sorrows with, to be cuddled and cared for, to be accompanied in all endeavors and choices, is one of the best feelings. It was then Anamika had started penning down her book, her OWN book. It’s been a dream since years. Her husband kept her encouraging to give it a start. Rishi often said, “If you think you can, you can. If you think you can’t, you are right.”

“Eureka! I did it. I wrote my first book.” After multiple drafts, series of writing, re-writing, feedback, editing and burning the midnight oil, Anamika had completed her book. Now the time had come to share the script with the publisher. He was already impressed by her manuscript. Anamika had been on cloud nine since then, her husband equally happy. They had submitted the script to the publisher. For a week, Anamika and Rishi had waited for the publisher’s phone call. Every morning they woke up with vigor, anticipating his call. But success was not supposed to knock so soon on Anamika’s door. The script was rejected. She was shattered. The book was her baby. Thereafter, she spent days and nights in despair. Rishi tried his best to condole her, to convince her that it was the first but not the last time. He insisted her to try writing again. Anamika was too discouraged to write again. She said, “It is not my cup of tea. How could I even dream to see my book in people’s bookshelves? I was much better writing poems and short stories.” She engrossed herself in everything else and stopped writing.

This time, in Rishi’s absence, Anamika was revisiting the past events for the umpteenth time. She recalled that while leaving for the airport, Rishi had asked her to open the first drawer of her “writing desk” for once. In excitement, she jumped out of the bed and moved towards her “writing desk” in the other room. The door knob was closed, which she opened quickly. The desk was marvelously decorated and on the walls behind were pasted various posters, print outs of her poems, articles and stories, inspirational quotes- all very lucrative for a writer. In the drawer was a folded paper which was hand-written by Rishi for her. The letter just mentioned-

“Sometimes our power resides not in what we do, but in what we don’t do. There is only one difference between dream and aim. Dream requires effortless sleep and aim requires sleepless efforts. Sleep for dream and wake up for aim. Get up and write :)”

Beneath the letter was lying a notebook, a blank notebook. The scent of fresh pages and the sight of an un-scribbled notebook was so soothing. Anamika pulled out a pen from the holder. She opened the blank notebook. And in no time, started writing her destiny - her book, once again!

This post is a part of Write Over the Weekend, an initiative for Indian Bloggers by BlogAdda.

Saturday, 17 September 2016

Endoscopic View of Real Beauty by Twitterati

Meanwhile they were participating in a beauty contest on twitter. I mean, a contest wherein the organizer was giving away vouchers to the winners based on answers to a series of beauty related questions.

The contest's question #1 was about what real beauty is.

It was exasperating to see prompt answers by the participants, flooding with sugar coated definitions of real beauty, all in the race to win the contest!

Quoting a few of those tweets below-
"For me Real Beauty is about taking stand for yourself."
"Real beauty means the lovely soul.."
"Real beauty is not what the eyes can be hold, but what the heart can be hold"
"Real Beauty is being Strong. It's about putting your opinions and not afraid of what 'Chaar log kya Kahenge' "
"True beauty is reflected in one's soul—being truthful, honest, helpful, and trustworthy. "
"Real beauty is not synonymous with outer look.. it is deep within."
"Real beauty is something that is born inside and gradually grows to the outside"

After reading the last couple of responses, I was wondering how do you dig "inside" and certify the "inner beauty" of someone. May be the lungs of the person are beautiful, or is it the food pipe, or is it about the 7 meter long beautiful acid-filled-intestine! Wait... that requires endoscopy... 

It was jaw dropping but amusing to scroll infinitely and see the extent of generosity of people on the contest board! Seeking the FREE shopping voucher from the fashion brand was all they striven for, I believe.

So, I was curious to explore the literal meaning of "real beauty". Merriam Webster dictionary says beauty is-
The quality of being physically attractive; the qualities in a person or a thing that give pleasure to the senses or the mind

The dictionary doesn't feature the word "real" alongside "beauty". But they don't give "fake" meanings either.

Pun aside, simply stating, I am unsure how many of the participants would ever recall and for that matter, go with their homemade definitions of the real beauty. Because in real sense, it's all about physical beauty in this real world! Have you ever seen a matrimonial ad stating- "looking for ugly girl, must be beautiful inside."?  And I don't need to type in the rest :). Think yourself...

(Disclaimer: This post does not intend to harm, defame, or hurt the sentiments of any person, gender, religion, political party, news channel, religious belief, god or to whomsoever it may concern. I sincerely apologize in advance if it is so.)

Sunday, 11 September 2016

Always and never are two words you should always remember never to use. ~Wendell Johnson