31 December, 2011

The end of the year and WR's 150th post

The last day of 2011 brings out my 150th post on Writing Revived! Damn good timing I must say :D

Don't worry, I won't bog you down with details on how my year went, what woes I faced, or what challenges I met etc. etc.

I actually don't have much to say; not that I don't have 'anything' to say, it's just that I no longer feel like putting my views out here... it's probably just a phase that will pass off with time, let's see.

Anyway, here's to all you readers, bloggers, writers and people - may we always live, learn and love life!



HAPPY NEW YEAR!!



Cheers!

Venice :)

03 December, 2011

Try Yourself to Know Yourself

Most of us in this world have a tendency to underestimate ourselves. It may be because of the education system that harbours the idea that to be among the top three in class is to be intelligent, it may be because we have unresolved childhood issues, and it may be because we like seeing ourselves on a low pedestal so that when we gain something ‘seemingly’ unattainable we get a huge boost to our feeling of self-worth.

Whatever it is, underestimating yourself isn’t entirely good and isn’t entirely bad either. But, you need to know where to the draw the line. If you keep underestimating yourself, you may miss the opportunity of a lifetime as you fuss over the debate if you are worth the opportunity or not. Sometimes, you need to let go off the fear of not being good enough for so-and-so cause, you need to take a firm step forward and grasp that opportunity to be the best who you are instead of hiding behind the curtains of self-doubts. If you cling to your shadows, if you turn your face away from value, if you stop yourself from using your talents – then you will only be cheating yourself from being who you really are.


It does seem scary, and it does seem overwhelming, but if you don’t reach out to what you deserve, then – do you deserve it at all?


Opportunities in life are very similar to school tests – each one is different and each one tests your ability in a particular area. If you maintain your focus, use your learning, take appropriate actions and face the opportunity with your whole determination – you will be able to see the results for yourself. Skipping an opportunity is like skipping a test – how will you know what you are capable of doing until you do it? And it’s not only just ‘doing’ that matters, until you try each opportunity that comes your way, you will be unaware of your way of thinking, planning, directions, schemes, and views in myriad matters if you fail to apply yourself to those tasks.

I’m not saying that you should become a super-multitasker and do every single thing that comes your way, there are some opportunities that come every year or so (and you can pick them up anytime), but the opportunities that come Once In A Lifetime – those are the ones that really need your attention!

I believe that each opportunity comes to you to help you learn more about yourself. You make mistakes, you think on new lines, you see things from a different angle and you work out ways and solutions to bring about results. In all this process, you are constantly reforming, renewing and understanding yourself. Now just imagine how much you will be missing out on if you fail to attend to that one LIFETIME opportunity!

It may be a good choice, it may be a bad choice – but the learning is always good. Learning helps you broaden your understanding and your outlook. So, don’t ever regret making a choice – all bad experiences have a good learning!


The more you learn, the more you live.


There’s no harm in trying – try an opportunity, immerse yourself in it – you will be surprised at how good and deserving you actually are!



Good Luck!



Cheers,

Venice :)



13 November, 2011

Camouflaged Answers

A slow rumble at first

picking up pace

in thousands it rolled

as time went by.


Before I knew it

thunder clouds of thought

exploded in

the mind.


Millions of questions

clamouring to be heard

the clash

and bang

of one

against the other

was deafening

to

the soul.


Each of them loud

as steam-rollers passing

none of them ceasing

on emotions a-feasting

trodding lethally

injuring

the mind.



Striking the heart

at every

opportunity

ripping the soul

so damn ferociously

stomping

stamping

blatantly hounding

shaking the foundations

of life-gifted sense.



Those questions, I say

those

Damn!

Infinite

Questions...!


desperate for answers...

desperate for answers...


Camouflaged Answers






Venice.



09 November, 2011

Start - To - Finish

Chewing a toothpick
Absent-mindedly

Slow steps taken
Toward the open window

People buzzing around
To school, to work, to market

Nothing much to do
Except piles of work

Yaww-aawwwnn, zero inclination
To begin attempting anything

Flip through mundane channels
Browse through random sites

Nothing appealing
Stretch and sleep tight

Damn! awful headache
Deadlines are almost up

Gotta start on them
In order to finish them

Drag the mind
And plod through work

Minutes limp by
Work done in dazed fashion

One at a time
The tasks reduce

4 more to go...
3 more...

2 more...
1 more..

No-more.

Sigh! and flop dead on bed.



I've been a procrastinator since childhood - I've tried so many times to overcome it - and I've succeeded few times, but it's a bit addictive - all procrastinators would understand what I mean. However, it's obviously not a good habit and slowly I'm trying to finish my work on time, sticking to deadlines and pushing myself to start work. 

This poem was written to express how I used to while away my time and then rush and work with super fervour when the deadlines for work were minutes away.

Buck up fellow procrastinators, we CAN beat this nasty habit! Small, baby steps toward starting work is what we need. You'll just have to push yourself to do it or get someone else to motivate you. Will come up with a few steps to tackle this habit for you guys. 



Cheers,

Venice :)




15 October, 2011

Live Out Your Passions... Now!

How often has it happened with you, that you have a bunch of goals/dreams nestling in your mind, but you fail to follow them out of laziness or out of sheer unwillingness? 

As you grow older, time seems to press you to focus on other vital responsibilities and duties, thereby choking you from following the dreams you know are good.

How long do you allow this to happen? Do you wait for a sign? A wake-up call? Or do you just not bother about the whole deal and continue with your mundane duties?

Have you ever thought of living those dreams? Those goals? Have you ever decided to take them up and see them to the end?



Well, this is just a synopsis of what my article Live Out Your Passions! talks about in the Viewspaper.


It's very easy to have dreams - but to turn them into a dream come true needs true character, grit and confidence!



 Are You ready to follow your dreams?






Venice :)





30 September, 2011

The Path so far... The Changes so far


What do you do, when you see yourself changing? When your behaviour, your way of thinking, your attitude and your outlook start to undergo a metamorphosis? Like always, some of the changes maybe good, while some may, well, not be so good.

It's almost like you are a spectator, an outsider to yourself when you see yourself changing. And there are times when you feel that your soul is out there and that your body is just some object in which your soul takes a physical form. But I am digressing.

Back to the point - the 'new' you stands before you! (I wanted to write 'new and improved' but that may not always be the case). Just like basic human attention to novelty - you start to try out new experiences, new paths, new activities - gingerly, you experiment and play around with this 'new' you!

For some time it seems quite fascinating, most new things seem like that at first, until the thrill starts to fade away gradually. You start to miss your old self. That safe haven of yourself - where everything and anything you did would not be looked down at with disdain, a self that would always forgive you no matter how wrong you were, a self that always sought to protect you and love you.

I know I sound a bit 'weird' out here, but that's just how one's real self makes one feel. You try on different coats in every phase of life, discarding one, putting on another - and you find that 'ONE' coat that seamlessly blends with you!

But there are times, when even though you know which 'self' you are most comfortable wearing - you still try out an appetizing one that just entered your horizon - then starts the whole rigmarole again.


I guess you finally settle with the real self only once you've tried out all the others, or you're exhausted trying other selves, or you are secure with this self and know that no other can ever make you change your mind about it. But, it may also happen, that you never find the self that gels with you. (Not to worry, you can always enjoy the plethora of selves in your lifetime).

Your life - gives you so much, you learn everyday, you unlearn too every now and then, you grow, you mature, you do child-like things, you suffer, you celebrate - you do so much and you don't even grasp how much you've actually done in a short span of time! Magical - that's how it is - Life and You! 



I feel that some of you may not have really understood what I'm talking about or what the whole issue is about - but I just felt like writing what has been niggling and jabbing at my soul since quite some months now, so it's okay if you didn't get it - maybe you will understand it someday, one day.

It took me quite some time to put this down into words - never felt that I would get down to it. 

I started off with this blog on a different note in 2009 and have meandered my way through it till now - the change is quite visible. It's like my life-story is actually penned down here - and it feels, 'inexpressible'.

I'm rambling now, sorry. I hope I return to writing about things that actually make an impact on me. I hope I begin writing again about things that matter, about ideas that help others, about just writing to express and not to impress. 


Thank you loyal readers for being with me and Writing Revived!  




  
Venice :)




08 September, 2011

Breaking News: Human Senses Bombed!


Once more they said,
A bomb blast again.
When's it gonna stop?
No one knows or cares.

Life goes on,
The same routine way.
Who's got time?
To stop and wail?

I've got things to do,
Can't be bothered with this.
I'm in a rush,
Gotta catch my bus.

Insensitive you say,
Then what are you?
Have you been there where,
The corpses lay?

I think not,
So just go your way.
Damn worries're on my mind,
Let's just hope and pray.

Hope and pray,
That's all that's left.
A duty or habit,
Call it what you may.

Beyond that what,
Can we do?
Nothing has changed,
And nothing will too.

A bomb blast today,
In capital city.
A bomb blast tomorrow,
Death toll 850!

The govt. condemns it,
Like every other time.
No action taken,
That's the real crime.

Intelligence teams,
Need an IQ check.
They don't seem to know,
What is best.

A list of suspects,
What's the use?
When you can't put,
No one in the noose?

Here comes my bus,
Till then take care.
Will see you tomorrow,
If I'm not blasted away!








This post has been written to show the so called 'resilient spirit' of us people. With the increasing frequency of bomb blasts occurring over our Country, we seem to be walking in the haze of these blasts, unable to see, think or feel clearly. How long will we take  to come out of this stupor? Or do we need some Anna-type personality again to pull us and make us realize what's happening to us and our Country?




Venice







06 September, 2011

Cocooned in Whispers of Silence

 In the wee hours of morning, when all one can hear are the crickets chirping away, a delicate feeling of quietness steals up from the fingertips, reaches down to the toes, envelops the ears, trips across the chest and then finally seeps into the soul.

And there it stays, moments frozen for a lifetime.

One inhales the silence, the beauty of this sound tinkling through the mind and heart.

Silence whispers soothingly, and sings to the mind a beautiful lullaby.

The melody softly entwines itself between worries and sadness, pain and helplessness, fear and insecurity. They drift away, as quietness, lightness and peace fill the torn gaps of the soul and mind.

A caring touch shoots through the body as silence makes her way slowly - cradling and nestling one into the heavenly warmth of her embrace.

The heart throbs to a steady rhythm, the eyelids close, open and close again, consciousness slips into unconsciousness, and one floats away on boats of dreams over clear blue waters that reflect the diamonds of the sky.


Beauty in Silence.


Venice.






29 August, 2011

‘App’soolutely ‘Fun’tastic!

 'Good things in life comes in small packages', goes the well known saying; and seeming to endorse this view is the Intel App Center with it’s unified platform which holds a wide range of applications that can make anyone gape with wonder. Well, it’s about any app under the sun, exclusively for your PCs and netbooks – gaming apps, business planner apps, health apps, book apps, music apps… well, let me just make it easier for you by listing a few apps that were eye-catching, jaw-dropping and ear buzzing… well, you get the drift!


A. There are times at office or at home, when work gets too much, stress jumps with spikes on your head and your pressure valve is just about to burst – now in such times, what is that universal element that gives you an outlet and heralds calm relief?

No, taking a loo break isn’t really the answer I’m looking for here, it’s MUSIC!

From pre-historic times to today’s fast-paced times, from animals to humans (who actually are basically animals – biologically speaking-wise, homo sapiens, that kind of stuff), all of us enjoy the soothing or head-banging strains of music. And I know that most of you will agree that you sometimes get fed up of listening to your multiple playlists over and over again. Well, here’s a fresh app that will help you discover new music -

GROOVESHARK 

Grooveshark

This app (which made me go jumping excitedly like a school-girl) seems heaven sent! It’s a huge music library, filled with millions of songs! You want to listen to your favourite artists? Just type the name and song and bingo – there it is within a fraction of a second! Not only this, you can also explore genres, artists and songs out here – build up your own totally mixed, weird playlist and share it on FB, Twitter, your website/blog!! As the music plays, you also get a widget code if you feel like sharing that song on your website! Plus, there are radio stations which you can tune into anytime and sway along to the beats! It’s also a kind of cool social platform if your friends join in – share music, listen to what the other is going ga-ga about. Also, there are cool ‘themes’ to choose from for your Grooveshark desktop app. All-in-all, beat those work woes a big LOUD MUSICAL goodbye!


B. “Brain-storming session”, your boss announces early morning… and you groan inwardly at the thought of coming up with great ideas even before you’ve had your morning cuppa’, but not to worry buddy, because what can save you from utter disaster (I'm not underestimating your talents here) is -

                                                      iGenius

iGenius

No, it wasn’t created by Steve Jobs, though I wonder if he ever tried playing this game. This game, created by PopcornApps, is all about how much of a genius you are! Sound enticing? Not yet? okay… this game gives you a hint (a description of sorts comes with this) and you have to enter the word that bests fits this ‘description’.

Now, the challenge lies in the category of the description, which could range from ‘geography’ to ‘literature’ to ‘names’, basically, anything and everything. So, as you try your wits in solving the hints, you will be lubricating your otherwise rusty-brains for that dreaded brain-storming session, which by the time you go for, will be cheesecake compared to this game :P

So, you get a chance to impress your boss, charm his intriguing secretary, plus you feel you’ve reached the ranks of Einstein! Now, that’s quite a nice feeling – instant perk up, better than the caffeine you consume on other days! Go ahead genius fella – show them who the genius is!


C. Sundays have always been the day for laziness to reign. As you stretch yourself in front of your PC, lazily browsing through numerous sites, looking through mundane news about celeb split-ups, economy going down, scams galore – you almost wonder if there was a site where you could just sit back and lazily read through; and that’s where our next app comes like a knight in shining armour -

                                                    WATTPAD

Wattpad

The e-book twin of Grooveshark, Wattpad is an online library that gives you the chance to scout through several e-books. They have everything from classics to horror, from sci-fi to romance, from plays to poetry! All your favourite authors, poets and playwrights – almost all of their works are featured here. Plus, if you are a writer, novelist/author or a poet, this site enables you to share your short stories and poems with the Wattpad community members. How engaging is that? So, next time, if you ever feel like a light read or need a dose of humour, you know where to go and get it asap!


D. Has it ever happened with you – that you are on vacation in a never-visited-before holiday destination, loosening up those tight purse strings and indulging in the finest fun activities, when you realise that your portable bank (wallet) is no longer as full as you imagined it to be? You are now all in a dither wondering where the closest Bank or ATM is that will bless you with some cash (credit cards don’t really work in flea markets, you know). Well, thankfully, Palewar Techno Solutions have created the -

ATM Locator App

ATM Locator

This handy app helps you search for Banks/ATMs located in the area you are in. You can search by area and city, besides that the best quality of this App is that it works offline! They do have a clause though that says that they do not claim responsibility for accuracy of the information. So just keep that in mind and if you’re ever in a monetary fix (of the urgent cash type), keep ATM Locator in mind to stop you from fretting too much on your holiday!

Chill out, enjoy and happy splurging guys!!


E. In today’s digital and social media age, there are many times when most executives are busy jet-setting around the country and the world, trying to further prospects and opportunities in business. Now there are times when you urgently want to communicate with your colleagues about a certain development and as a video call is not feasible every time, due to time differences etc., you wish that there was a simple medium that would help ease out this situation. Prepare to welcome the useful App -

Co-Op Team Communicator

Co-op Team

This App is a great tool to synchronise activities between team members situated at different geographical locations and time zones. This app provides you the chance to post updates, questions, links and other doubts related to work – which your colleagues can communicate back to you via the same platform. This app helps teams to keep abreast of developments and statuses of projects within the team. It’s great in keeping the different teams updated on the same level without any team feeling left out!

Pssst... I feel that this is an ideal platform for those who work from home for their companies/workplaces.


F. There are times, when you are chewing your nail while travelling to work, when suddenly, POP! comes an idea of the ever-brilliant-kind and you hurriedly jot it down in your notepad, or tweet it, or put it as your Facebook status. And that’s where you leave it at. Now, that one small idea could actually be mulled over and be created into something much more creative. This is where our last app promotes the writer in you to take a big step forward. See for yourself with -

                                                     Blog This

BlogThis

This really nicely thought-out app, that supports posting your blog to Wordpress and Facebook Notes, is perfect for those who tweet their sudden ideas or who put up their random thoughts on Facebook. Now this wonderful app reminds you about your recent status updates and tweets that may help you in expanding these few lines into a novel or a poem or a research article! Now, that should promote the writer in you to a higher level, right? Your next small thought could lead you to exploring your skills and generating heaps of ideas once you start pedalling through your thoughts. Who knows, through luck and hardwork, your creativity may lead you right to being a renowned author!

Autograph please? ;)


 Whether you are at office, or you are just lazing around at home, you can either get a lot of work done or just have a ball with the apps provided in the Intel App Center. It’s a very simple platform with diverse categories to help you choose the apps from. It caters to almost everyone’s needs. There are educational apps for children; games apps for, well, game addicts; health apps for the health conscious folks; travel apps for travel freaks; social media apps that help you always be in touch with your online pals; and much much more.


 Apps4
                       
                                                                                                                       


Apps6Main

 










That was a little sneak view of the Intel App Center... and oh! before I go (that rhymes), yeah, the Intel App Center supports these operating systems:


  • Windows XP Home 32 bits SP 3 (with .net framework 3.5 SP1)
  • Windows XP Professional 32 bits (with .net framework 3.5 SP1)
  • Windows 7 Starter 32 bits
  • Windows 7 Home Premium 32 bits
  • Windows 7 Home Premium 64 bits
  • Windows 7 Professional 32 bits
  • Windows 7 Enterprise 64 bits
Sadly, Windows Vista is not supported.

So all you have to do, is download the Intel App Center onto your PC or net book, search for your app goodies, and get going! Not all the apps are free, you may have to pay for some. So, just check that when you're scouting for your dream app.

Cheerio folks and have an ‘app’soolutely great time!!


"This blog is an entry to the "My Favorite PC App" contest. Check out apps for PC/Netbooks available at the Intel AppUp Center. If you are looking for an opportunity to build and monetize your applications, check out the Intel® Atom™ Developer Program"
 


Cheers,

Venice :)


NOTE: All images are copyrights of Intel App Center. None are mine.








18 August, 2011

The Joke’s on you Lok(s)!


So, what is this whole deal about Anna Hazare and the Jan Lokpal Bill? Have you had enough of it? Or are you pro-Lokpal – reading every scrap of articles written about the issue? Or are you the type that feels that all this hoopla won’t get us very far, so why bother?

Whichever you are, you’ve made a decision and are now witness to what people are calling ‘the second freedom struggle of India’. It has such a dramatic twinge to it!

16 August, 2011

I would love to visit…


neist point-isle of skye scotland

I can’t remember where I downloaded this photo from (I think that I first saw it featured on Yahoo!), but I do know that this is a picture of the Neist Point at the Isle of Skye, Scotland. Did I just hear a soft ‘sighhhh’ go about? Yeah, yeah… Scotland brings charming visuals and music to anyone who thinks about it.

Melodious bagpipes, the famous haggis, the breath-taking Loch Ness (the lake, not the monster Nessie), the jaw-droppingly-magnificent Castles and the simply-too-lovely-to-describe landscape – all have a heart-tingling charm of their own!
I’ve always debated which place I would love to go on a vacation to – and now – I think I‘ve found my answer :)

Which place is on the top of your ‘would-love-to-visit’ list? Artisitic Paris? Ancient Athens? Captivating Bora Bora? Mystical Egypt? or… ?


Cheers,
Venice :)

29 July, 2011

Nasty Cinderella (On Display!)

I don't want to be
Your slave for sure,
I'm not going to sit
Near the cinders no more.

Washing and cleaning,
I'm sick of these duties.
If I do them much longer,
I'll end up with cooties.

I'm not gonna be,
Miss goody-two-shoes.
I've really had it with
Being called on by you.

I've done so much,
For an ungrateful like you.
And this is the limit
I'll be taking it to.

You think you can keep,
Ordering me around.
Well guess what loser,
There's freedom that I've found.

No longer gonna do
As you say.
I'm gonna kick off my boots
And laze away.

Will do as I please,
And roam around in ease,
All the while whistling,
Care to hear it? -- 'phee-eeee'

Then we'll see you,
Scurrying around
From cellar to roof,
Out, in and out.

No one to cook
And wash for you.
No one to iron
Those clothes for you.

At the end of the day,
What a sight you will be.
Haa haa stepmother,
You look so freakin' dirty!

And then I'll get,
My chance to play
Evil Cinderella,
And blast you away!

Haa haaa, haaa haaa haa.... ahaa haaaa haaa haaa haa... (The Evil Cinderella laugh)


Just came floating to my mind - what if good girls turned nasty, bad and rebellious! Cinderella seemed perfect for the role. All the atyaachar (torture) she went through, what with her stepmother and step-sisters. Nasty Cinderella seems like such a nice change! Plus, the modern lingo for her brings a slight twist to her character.


NOTE: By no means has this poem been written to instill wrong perceptions in children, it's just a work of spontaneous creativity and imagination.


Cheers,

Venice :)

18 July, 2011

The Brink of You

Her soft naked feet swept speedily
Through the tickling grass.
The trees green,
The flowers bright
And the sun yellow,
All passed her in a kaleidoscopic blur
As her silver-white silhouette scissored the landscape.

A rock here,
A stump there,
Her buoyant body bounced over them easily
As her resilient spirit steered her on.

A dark grey shroud sank down on her scenery,
It groaned as its weight settled over her canvas.
Her strides faltered slightly as her eyes perceived the sight,
go on’ her inner voice whispered boldly,
Go On’ it urged her persistently,
GO ON!’ its crescendo snipped sharply through the shroud,
 And with an overwhelming ferocity,
She thrust away the heavy grey drapes
To welcome a sweetly-painful sight.

There down below,
At a deadly plunging depth,
Was the Home that she had forsaken.

The sensitive wind transported the smell of her destiny,
As she stood there
On the brink.
She inhaled it deeply, slowly, measuring each intake delicately
Procrastinating the decision that she knew she had to take.

The fingers of the torn shroud behind her
Danced temptingly as she debated;
The death-defying drop looked up grimly at her on her other side.

‘What are you waiting for?’ asked her inner voice,
‘For myself’, she responded quiveringly.
‘There’s just one way to find yourself’ counselled her voice gently.
And with that,
She walked unhesitatingly toward the alluring shroud,
Spun around swiftly,
Struck powerful strides, charged and
Leaped into the unknown depths
Of the ravine holding her destiny.


Venice.

29 June, 2011

One Step at a Time

One step at a time that’s how everyone learns to progress in life – though there are times when one can leap ahead [but that’s at a few chosen moments.] From learning that ‘A’ is for ‘Apple’ to writing business letters that include words like ‘Accrue’, one goes quite far after learning the fundamentals. 

That’s how it started with me and writing. One small verse of poetry and a new connection to my thoughts had begun. Where my thoughts were, there my writing was. I used to sneak a few scribbles during classes, and at nights would explore ideas to write about. I would start planning stories, poems and articles for the school and college magazines 3-4 months in advance – because when I would start with one idea in mind, a hundred related ideas would spring up and make my hand write about all of them – which resulted in weirdly distorted articles. I would then end up scratching the whole article to start a new one – this time, by focussing on the main idea. When the time came to submit the articles for the magazines, I would have quite a handful of them – of course some were rejected.

Funnily, at that time I didn’t realize that I could actually improve my writing skill. Haha, it didn’t even occur to me that writing was a ‘skill’. It was just something that I found pleasure in – a medium where I could express myself in a clear and precise manner. So when my friends, during my post-graduation time, would come to me for editing some work of theirs, or said that my writing was quite good – it made me think. Why not try and explore this ‘skill’ a bit more? The perfect opportunity came when one of our lecturers, as an assignment, told us to create our personal blogs and write something. That’s when my love affair with writing and my first blog Writing Revived started [quite a love triangle].

As I went by, writing article after article, I began to sense that there was more to writing. A bit of technicalities, a bit of brushing up the vocabulary, a bit of research, creativity, originality, sense of grammar, and love for it all was what made up Writing. This isn’t the perfect list – there’s a lot more to it. And as I go writing, I see and learn so much more with each work of mine and others. 

 I still have to build up ‘patience’ while writing. Normally, I like to sit down, type away my ideas at a furious speed and I try to finish the article as soon as possible. I like to see my work completed in the soonest possible time. That’s not really good – because, when I do this, I tend to miss out on proper research, useful information [for the readers], original ideas,  good form and structure of the article and a lot more.

Fortunately, I’ve been provided the chance to hone my writing skills. The Viewspaper – India’s largest youth newspaper, invited me to be guest columnist for them. I was thrilled at this wonderful opportunity for me to become a disciplined writer. I’m going to work my way through to become a good writer who delivers valuable, useful, well researched and impactful articles to the audience.

I hope I will do well in this endeavour.

One step at a time – that’s how I’ll reach where I need to be!

This is the link to my first article as Guest Columnist for the Viewspaper: I can Vote, Work and Marry - but I can't celebrate these with a Drink!


Have a great week fellas!!


Cheers,


Venice :)



30 May, 2011

An Everyday Affair with P


My grandparents passed away when I was very young. I have hazy memories of plaiting my grandmother's hair, telling my grandfather to put 'dottle' (that's how I used to say 'dettol' when I was four years old) for mosquito bites and he used to come with a bottle of dettol in hand and pretend to dab the bites with it :D

I was too young when they passed away to understand what was going on. I remember carrying the wreath to put over my grandfather's coffin, and when I looked down that 6 feet grave, I trembled thinking that I would slip and fall in there, I didn't have an idea that it was my grandfather lying down there.

I didn't even realize their absence at that time. Though there were several instances when my friends would talk about their grandparents who were still with them, and a pang of sadness would shoot fleetingly through me. It's only now, since the past few years that I think of them frequently. And I've been wondering why I suddenly think of them so much... and then one day I realized - this was all because of P* Aunty.

P Aunty was one of the aunties who lived at the old age home for women, adjacent to our hostel. I shall never forget that old age home  - it had [and maybe still has] this depressing air to it and smelled utterly disgusting. I have no idea how the old women lived there. I ventured inside one of their rooms once with P Aunty and was appalled at the state they lived in. One of her room-mates [an old lady] would pass urine and faeces in her bed as she couldn't reach the washrooms fast enough and the bai's [servants/attendants] were busy taking care of other women and other duties. The stench was so bad that I almost threw up right there.

I dashed away as soon as possible, I couldn't bear a second longer in that place, and I have no idea how the old women were staying there - left by their families, some choosing to live there, living on a meager bank account, with rude attendants, and hardly any friends.

So, when I met P Aunty for the first time, she was sitting in her wheelchair, with her round and slightly wrinkled face, smiling brightly at every girl that entered or left through the hostel gate. As I walked past her, she smiled at me with happiness and never having seen somebody smile at me with such purity before, I just nodded my head a bit and walked on, feeling a bit queer for lord-knows-what-reason.

Everyday, while we would rush out the gate to college/work, she would call out a genuinely cheerful 'Good-morning' with her ever pleasant smile. We would wave at her, smile back or yell a hasty good-morning back at her and rush out of the gate. When we would return, we would always find her on the porch, in her wheelchair and she would ask us how our day went, what we did etc. etc.

This went on for days, then weeks, months and well, it was an everyday affair. It felt good to see someone like her everyday. She would smile at everyone, even at the nasty attendants and she would laugh at their incivility like it was the biggest joke on earth. I had read about people like her only in books and newspapers, I always wondered if I would ever meet such a person in my own life. And now here she was, child-like, optimistic, forever giving hope and joy to others, when she herself was and had gone through crisis.

She had lost both her legs a long time back and she was a diabetic; her parents were no longer there, her brother [whom she dearly loved] took care of her for sometime but then shifted her to the old age home due to problems that arose in his home. So here she was, living off a bit of her little amount of finance, with hardly any of her close ones around her. She had us though, and we had her.

She was the most popular woman here. Every girl who returned from college, work, party, or any other errand would stop by, some of us would sit/stand by her side and talk about this and that and everything else. She was an agony aunt for many of us, and she would always pray for us, and make us smile when we were down or homesick. Being human, there were times when she would break down and cry... we would pat her, clasp her soft wrinkly hands, or murmur soothing words to her.

When she was touched by some news, she would grab us and plant a wet kiss on our cheeks and smile delightedly... you could almost feel the bubbles of tenderness bursting in her :) In some ways, she filled that void of a grandparent in my life. A constant friend, a patient listener, an understanding guide, and a gentle soul.

As she was a diabetic, our Matron had warned us not to pass any food that would make it worse. Still, being P Aunty, she would try and convince one of us to give forbidden food stuff to her. :D "After all", she said, "I will die one way or the other."

When I face tough situations that seem to break me completely, I think of P Aunty, sitting in her wheelchair and smiling a real smile at everyone - even at her life. She put all her faith and trust in God, God knew what he was doing, she felt. According to her, He had a reason for her life to be this way - I personally think, that maybe it was His way of showing us how to live life even when it seems like there's nothing to live for. P Aunty was His example of how to face life when it seems to have beaten the hell out of you, when everyone seemed to have turned their backs on you, and when you are left on your own - alone.

P Aunty with her faithful bunch of us girls at her feet and by her side, showed us that faith, trust and a smile is all you really need to live life - whatever your circumstance. It's very difficult I know, it takes time to build up such a strong character, for some it is easy - if they already love themselves for who they are no matter what and are honest with themselves.

P Aunty gave me so much love, care, happiness, wise sayings, sensible thoughts and an optimistic outlook - I'm grateful for having met her. She is just - She.

I still wonder though, how it would have been if my grandparents were still alive, would they have been like P Aunty? [I'm not comparing, just wondering], would they have taught me the same lessons as she did? Would they have listened to me? Joked with me? Played with me? I know I won't get anywhere with those questions, but somehow, I can't stop them. It sometimes feel good to just let the mind wonder and wander like that.

God had beckoned to my grandparents when I was a tiny tot, but then, He also gave me P Aunty.


*Name is undisclosed to protect privacy.



Venice.


17 May, 2011

Love Stains


I don't know what it is about Love that makes people go bonkers - both happily bonkers and depressingly bonkers. Since the past few years, I've heard and seen so many people falling in and out of love. The initial heady-giddy stages, then the habitual meetings, the routine fights and then in some (rather, most) cases - heartache, heartbreak and break-ups.

This time (past few months), love is going through a really, really rough patch - throughout all age groups. It's become so bad that it actually inspired (can I use this word here?) me to write this poem.

The heartbroken people will probably relate to it... probably... if you don't, you can tell me what I missed out on and I'll include it in this poem below:


LOVE STAINS

Stark white
dawn bright;
blinding
the eyesight.

So clear
so dear;
clouding
the sneer.

Faithful
hopeful;
totally
deceitful.

Believing
and feeling;
emotions
stealing.

No gain
when insane;
love leaves
a stain.



I know it seems very 'to the point' with no crying, whining or lines of soppy stuff... So sorry for that.
 

And hey, if you come across some feel-good love stories, do share... it feels good to know that at least some people are happy in love and appreciate it with all its ups and downs :)


Cheerio till then!


Venice :)


08 May, 2011

Heartfelt Gratefulness


I would like you to think of the last time someone was truly grateful for something you did for them. Not out of habit or because they wanted to get into your good books, but true and simple gratefulness. Someone who acknowledged your contributions - someone who held it close to their hearts. Does it make you want to give them more? Think about it...

Ask yourself - What do 'You' feel is gratitude? Are you the kind of one who acknowledges something that someone has done for you? Do you express genuine gratitude when something truly touches your heart? [Or is that you just don't realize the worth of someone or something in your life?]

Most of us are not grateful for the plenty of things we are blessed with in life. We tend to take things for granted and ignore the valuable assets in our lives. How many of you are grateful for having a supportive family? Do you feel grateful for living your life and learning from it? Or are you ungrateful for it?

Sometimes people are ungrateful because they do not understand the importance of things that affect their lives. There are others who fail to appreciate what they have. They crib, cry and complain, not realizing how fortunate they are. This attitude of ungratefulness may lead to self-pity, bitterness and pushing the blame on other factors when things go wrong. It's a pretty sad situation! And believe me, once you fall into this trap it takes a lot of effort to get out of it.

People could also be ungrateful if a bad event occurs. They have no clue how to get over it. Friedrich Nietzsche aptly said, "That which do not kill us makes us stronger." By recognizing a bad issue as a lesson and by learning from it, we can be grateful for it as gratefulness will help us heal and grow stronger. Just because something bad happened to you doesn't mean you'll get stronger automatically. It works only if you treat yourself properly after the injury. Remember that, being grateful for it doesn't mean that you're asking for more or that you want it to happen again. It's just one of the ways of healing your wound.


Moving on, there are four kinds of people when it comes to Gratitude:


1. The first type are blessed with the Best things in life... however, they aren't grateful for what they have

2. The second kind are the ones who, at the start of life, go through rough patches but later on achieve what they've wished for. Yet they are ungrateful as they feel that their present state is a 'compensation' for what they did not have earlier

3. The third set of people are those who have less but are grateful for whatever little they receive

4. The last kind are those who have everything in life. These people understand the value of what they have and are grateful for it  

    Now, what type of person do you feel you are? Are you one of the last two? If you're not, it's easy to start being grateful...


    Begin with small things, for example-

    Be grateful/show your gratitude for:

    A. Having great and crazy friends

    B. A lovely family

    C. People who genuinely help you

    D. Those who stood/stand by you through any situation in life

    E. Having the things you need the most in life with you

    and so on... build your own list now.


    You could note down new things to be grateful for everyday - read them every night before going off to bed. Trust me, it will help you sleep better too! :)

    Learn to appreciate the small things that make your life. Be grateful when a person smiles at you, you will be happy knowing that he didn't glare at you!

    Most of all, don't forget to EXPRESS your gratitude. When you are grateful to someone, go up to him and say, "Hey, Thank you! I'm glad I have a good friend like you!" Wouldn't you like someone come up to you and saying those exact words to you? Train yourself never to put off the word or action of gratitude.

    Being grateful for everything that happens, good or bad is one of the biggest shifts in the way you think. Gratitude for the good will give you more of it. Gratitude for the bad is what you need to learn in order to grow; without it, the tears in your heart and mind will always be there.

    So, the next time you are grateful for something, act out your gratitude, and if you are grateful to someone, begin by telling them what you feel.

    Stop taking things for granted, and Remember -
     

    "You don't know what you've got, until you say Goodbye."


    Cheers,

    Venice :)


    NOTE: This piece was written by me as an assignment at college. I would like to thank my friend Sharon who contributed in creating the foundation of this work; it helped me elaborate on the theme.


    23 April, 2011

    Hidden Treasures


    It often happens, that after a hectic, chaotic week - a laid-back weekend feels like a hint of heaven. The whole 'rush' of the week is abruptly snatched away and you're left to contemplate that funny patch of dirt on the cream-coloured wall over the weekend.

    Hours go by as you think of brushing off that dirt, but... yyy-aaa-wwwnnn, you've had enough over the week, who would really want to get a stool, climb up there and remove a small bit of dirt? So, you go back to staring (with glazed eyes) at your room and finally drift off to sleep.

    Strange dreams enter your mind while you sleep, and some are dreams you've dreamt before, some are dreams that make no freakin' sense and 'some' dreams bring back those long-hidden memories.



    In our busy life, there are hardly 'moments' which we treasure. Not that there are 'never' any 'moments' but, if you go back to your school-days... aaah, those very words 'school-days' have brought out quite a huge suitcase of memories, haven't they? ;) That's what I'm talking about - there's quite a pile of memories sweeping rapidly through your head right now... slow down, go through each memory carefully and you'll see that even the most tiniest incident will be among these valued pieces.

    It may be something as small as say, hurting your finger for the first time... or laughing over a very silly joke with friends. Cute na! And then, there are the significant memories, memories that made a huge impact on you!

    And what's the big deal about having memories, some of you may ask - well, it really isn't a 'big' deal... but it is a 'worthwhile' deal. Having memories doesn't mean that you are clinging to the past or moaning about it - it's just an integral part of you. Sometimes, they are like this cosy blanket that you like to curl up in and sink in - it's your own world out there in those memories - you're the one that belongs in it, just like it belongs in you. Exclusive private world of yours!



    Memories is like 'love' - it is universal but it has a unique interpretation or meaning to different people. A similar memory may be viewed from different angles by different people. Strange and enchanting it is - just like love.

    Plus, we store various types of memories - some make us grin like idiots on remembering them, others pull us down in the dumps, while other are just plain adorable that you feel like hugging them close to you.



    Bitter-sweet memories... bitter-sweet life... how would we be without them?


    Cheers,

    Venice :)


     

    07 April, 2011

    Then & Now

    And my mind wanders
    To days long gone by;
    Snapshots of tender care,
    With honeyed drops of play.

    I remember - as if - from another life,
    Friendships pure and truthful,
    While fleeting glimpses pass,
    Of lemoned childhood days.

    Forgiveness was so easy,
    Understanding, always there;
    The warm reassuring clasp of hands,
    And harmless jokes that filled the air.

    Sitting in a corner,
    Filled with slight dismay,
    All it took was a sunny smile
    To feel fine once again.



    And now here we are,
    Packaged with busy days.
    A customary 'Hi' or 'Hello',
    Is all we hear and say.

    To and fro we go,
    Each and every day.
    Trapped in a dreadful routine,
    Till when, one just can't say!

    Fulfilling our duties,
    Various roles we play.
    Casting our dice now and then,
    Who knows how we'll have to pay!

    Easy it was,
    Difficult it seems.
    Who knew that one day
    We would reach such a place?

    .....

    ....Is it us?
    Or is it them?
    What is it that -
    Has warped us this way?



       -- Venice.