30 December, 2014

S'h'aving Grace

At the laid-back age of 5, one of my favourite pass times was watching my father shave. I would devoutly watch him regularly shaving the bristly hair off his jaws and chin for a look that suited his profession - that of a banker.

It fascinated me to see him wet the shaving brush, apply a generous dollop of shaving cream on it, and lather it swiftly all over his stubble. Sometimes he would chase me with his foamy face and I would run squealing around the house, hiding behind my mother with fits of giggles escaping me as I dodged him.

Once we were done with our little drama, I would again watch, unconsciously holding my breath, as my father swiped off the cream with a razor. Now and then he would swirl the cream filled razor under the water and repeat the swiping action. Soon, all the prickly hair was cut and my father's jaw would be utterly-butterly smooth.

It was a magical treat for me every day to see my father go from a rough look to a suave one that too with just a cream, brush and razor!

Put it down to being a routine for me to see a stubble free face, but the sight of a face with stubble makes me cringe. Styling it is fine but a just-woke-up-from-sleep stubble is a disturbing sight, especially in a professional environment.

I have come across men who dress impeccably from top to bottom but their two-day old stubble simply destroys their off-the-ramp look. From a distance I go, "Oh wow, now there's a man who knows his style!" until he is a few feet away and makes me go "Euggghh! That infant beard is so damn horrible!!" I instantly feel my nose wrinkling up in disgust while my lips curl in contempt at the sight.

This distaste for scruffiness is aggravated at social gatherings where I'm not sure if some men purposely sport a stubble out of loyalty to their favourite actor, sports player or celebrity. Some of them attend a wedding in elegant sherwanis or suits along with their dear thorny stubble. It is literally a test of endurance to witness the catastrophic clash of stylish clothes with that nightmarish prickly gorse bush. There have been times when I wished I had shears to snip off those ghastly thorns!

Worst of all are the selfies! As if I needed more punishment. My eyes are sore from the harsh pics of stubble-faces popping on social media. And then they complain that they are single! Well, hello, have you looked at yourself?

What do you think goes in a girl's mind when she sees such an untamed, unruly mess on your face? It's this "If this guy neglects basic grooming, if he isn't maintaining himself and is completely fine putting himself forward as an unkempt dunce then this is probably how he will treat me and our relationship too."

Imagine you see a girl with a just-got-out-of-bed look with hair not done and puffy, baggy eyes. Appealing? I think not.

So clean up all you stubble guys. You may think that shaving robs you of your rough and tough, masculine look but it's the opposite. You can look dashing and stylish with a clean, smooth, neat face. You can always style your beard but keep the stubble away, please.

There's nothing more charming than a man who knows that a shaved face does not make him any less a man.

So guys, Will You Shave?


This post is a part of #WillYouShave activity at BlogAdda in association with Gillette


I tag the following bloggers for this activity:
Amit Charles: Scribble Pad
Megha Puri: Life’s a Mystery

Go on guys... blog away!



Cheers, 

Venice :)

14 November, 2014

You Can End their Hunger


Around the end of the 4th period of class, all 35 eyes would be on the girl sitting near the door who held a medium-sized metal gong and mallet. The moment she would get up from her seat to sound the 'recess' gong, books would be immediately shut, tiffins brought out in a jiffy, and hungry students would wolf down the contents of their lunch-boxes while devouring friends' tiffins at the same time.

I always pitied the subject that was taught in the 3rd period because I don't think anyone of us really paid attention to it what with our stomachs growling while being tempted by the seductive smells from the nearby school canteen. The periods after lunch were somehow more interesting since our tummies would be satiated with delicious food.

Each of us has gone throw this phase, and there are millions of children in today's times who attend school without eating a morsel the entire day! How then are they to pay attention to lessons that will pave their way for a good future while their stomachs roar in hungry anticipation of some food?

Food is nutrition. It nourishes the body and helps in the proper functioning of it. When we quiet our hunger by consuming a meal, we feel much more relaxed and receptive of the surroundings. The same goes for the hungry children. They require a satisfying meal in order to not just conquer their hunger for food but also to master the classroom hunger for knowledge and education.

These two elements are intrinsically tied and go hand-in-hand. So, how can WE eliminate classroom hunger?

There are a few things that can be done (some may seem idealistic but if you put your heart to it, it can be done):

1. Organize food drives on a fortnightly/monthly basis and donate the supplies to the hungry children at school or to NGO's like Akshaya Patra who will deliver it to the schools

2. Have a Cooking Club that prepares food for children in the area

3. If you have a child, suggest to the school to involve its students and their parents in giving food items - rice, dal, jam, grains, pulses, biscuits etc. and reaching it to the children

4. Lend your financial support through donations

5. Lend your skill, expertise in maintaining the quality and supply of meals for the children at their school

These are the few thoughts that came to my mind through which we can help feed a child.


Did you know that around a quarter of the world's hungry live in India itself? That is an alarming figure that should drive us to see the reality before us. It is not enough to just 'know' all this, we have to 'do' in order to keep our nation's children fed, healthy and educated.

In your own small way, even like this, through blogging about this theme, you can feed a child. For more information about this, please visit: BlogAdda


             akshaya-patra-blogadda


I am going to #BlogToFeedAChild with Akshaya Patra and BlogAdda.

---

It's Children's Day today! Watch the BlogAdda Team share a special message...



 
Happy Children's Day to all the children and to all the adults who still have a child in them!



Cheers,

Venice

02 October, 2014

The New Place

I've been missing this space... TERRRIBLY!!

It feels so much like home here and yet all I've done is open the blogger window, read through a few blog posts and then shut it, though not before wistfully looking at the 'New Post' button.

So, why have I not been here?

Well, life has thrown a lot of balls for me to juggle. There are too many of them that simultaneously seem to fall down on me. I have to keep handling all of them without dropping any of them as that would really have a domino effect on the rest.

However, few days back, I made one of the best decisions I've made till now.

I started writing for 5 minutes each day.

Slightly unbelievable, right? I know. I understand.

After not being active here, you're probably wondering why I would do something like this.

It's just that, I miss writing. I mean, as a Content Writer, the whole day in office, I mostly 'write', duh! But writing for myself, exclusively and completely for my soul's satisfaction is what I really wanted to do! And I wasn't doing it.

So, that's when I decided, that enough is enough, I will write. Everyday.

However, even after deciding this I didn't start. I only started after reading a celebrity's general-yet-impactful statement in the newspaper.

What was this statement? Who was the celebrity whose powerful advice prompted me to act on my decision?

It's all there on my brand new blog (Yippppeee!!!) that I started specially for this endeavour of mine. It's called - 5 Minutes (simple and to the point, dont'cha think?) :)

You can read my 5 Minutes thoughts on a daily basis by visiting: http://venicerowe.wordpress.com/

This doesn't mean that I will stop writing here. Writing Revived is my first darling blog and will always be close to me. I will continue to post here too.

Would like to hear what you have to say about this. Thanks for being a dedicated reader to an irregular-turned-5-Minute-post blogger.


Cheers,

Venice :)

30 June, 2014

My Role Model - R

A Role Model used to be an idea I would turn up my nose against. Only low self-esteem, insecure people had role models, not me! And so I believed for around two decades of my life.


But ah, the inevitable had to happen. My belief and prejudice had to be shaken out of prideful slumber. I met R*, a normal, common, everyday person, who soon became my exclusive close friend.


In R I saw a person who went against the odds, not just once but time and again in life.


Every time I thought that life couldn't get worse than this for R, or that situations and circumstances couldn't be more unfair, R would defy it all and overcome the obstacles with a will, determination and confidence that is rare to be witnessed.


When self-pity, despair, misery and worthlessness are easy companions to befriend at such times, R showed me that with a heart set in deep faith, a will rooted in firm ground and a determination to do all one can is all that is needed to take on the hardest, toughest and most draining challenges of life.


Even during the torments that buffeted my friend, R remained the helpful, considerate, thoughtful and caring friend to all. R set an exemplary example of a person who didn't let the situations get the best, instead R enjoyed the challenges and valiantly faced them.


Anyone can be a successful person, but a real successful person is one who can face adversities and enjoy them for the lessons and self-discovery that they bring.


R is a rare successful person who showed me that you don't need fame, money or beauty to be successful, you just needed to be yourself, at all times, no matter how hard life can be on you.


From someone who has taught me not just through words but also through actions, a role model is not just for people with low self-esteem or insecurity, a role model is someone who adds value and motivation in our life, and makes us want to be the best we know we can be. 

For me, R is #MyRoleModel !


Thank you R for being here, for showing how wrong I could be, and for showing me what I CAN be!


Here's another 'R' - Rahul Dravid speaking about his Role Model. 

Who's yours?





*Name withheld for privacy. Situations not mentioned as it is extremely personal to R.

This post has been written for the BlogAdda #MyRoleModel Contest in association with #GilletteIndia



Venice

14 May, 2014

A Graceful Plea for Help

Before I know it
My tears are out
Rolling down my face
Like silver drops.

I try so hard 
To stop them from flowing
But my angst-filled mind 
Fails to control them.

In the heat of the moment
In the passion of rage
My tears pour out
Like furious rain
The tempest within me
Urges them on
Before I know it
I’m a wrecking, bitter storm.

I’ve tried so hard
To stop it overpowering me
A challenge hard to dominate
It always gets the best of me.

Some day, one day perhaps
From this torment I will be free
And handle this torrid emotion 
Grace-fully.


Venice

19 April, 2014

Lights Off for a New Dawn



23:56 said Mia's PC desktop Clock. She had finally finished THE Project that would no doubt cut her competition down and catapult her to the archives of History. Her soul at peace, she looked forward to the new horizon that was sure to dawn.

Closing the internet tabs at an envious pace, Mia switched off her PC, wrapped up her belongings swiftly, and swung out of the office doors, locking it behind her. 4 minutes were all it took her to complete these tasks. She punched the elevator button and as the lift doors opened on to the 14th floor where she waited, the lights went off! Just like that.

"Damn!" thought Mia, Murphy's Law always got her EVERY single time! No matter how good things went, something HAD to go wrong at the last moment. Switching on the flashlight of her phone, she decided to take the stairs. As she made her way to the staircase Mia heard a subtle tinkling sound from her office.

She stopped in her tracks. She waited. Her breath caught in her throat. Her ears strained to catch the minutest sound. All was quiet. Strangely quiet. She couldn't really put her finger on it but she felt something. A presence.

Mia shook her head, partly trying to compose herself, partly to negate the unconscious thoughts of fright running behind. She was a strong, independent, brave woman, she reassured herself, a woman who wasn't afraid of the dark shadows, strange noises or.... 'Screeeeeeeeeechhhh - BANG, BANG, BANG!'

Mia's toes sprinted within milli-seconds of the earth-shattering noises and her arms wrapped around a warm body that had enveloped her. She cowered in them, her eyes tightly shut, teeth firmly clenched, all the while shivering in the protective shield holding her from falling to the ground.

A voice whispered, "Baby, did I scare you? ... I'm sorry". Astonished by the familiar, well-loved voice, Mia looked at the man she loved so much all these years.

Still shaken, unable to speak, Mia stared at him trying to figure out how he was here in front of her when he...

"Come on", he urged her, gently pulling her by the hand toward her office... The door was open, he guided her ahead, trailing behind her, not taking his eyes off her... she walked like in a trance, until...

The lights switched back on...


"WELCOME!" said the banner held by people she loved...

"And wish you a HAPPY ANNIVERSARY!!"


"Wha- what anniversary?" mumbled Mia perplexed.

"Why Mia, it's been a year since your death," said her Father, the man who she had run into.

"My death? What are you talking about? I've been working all this year!" exclaimed Mia adamantly.

"If that were so Mia, would you have been able to communicate with all of us?" asked her Grandfather, coming forward from the group.

Mia looked around her carefully, all the people she had loved and who had died were present.

"But... how...?" she asked.

"How you died?", questioned her Aunt Josephine, "Overwork did you in, my dear. It destroyed your life."

"Darling," said her Father, turning her around and holding her carefully, "you've accomplished what you had to. Your project is done. Your soul is finally at peace. That's why you're here."

It took Mia some minutes for all this to sink in and accept it. "What was that sound?" she asked finally. "That jarring loud sound that scared me?"

The group burst into cackles of laughter as her jovial childhood friend Percy came through saying, "That was me my dear, well, my bulk at least" he said twirling to show-off his rotundness, "it's not that easy being a new ghost and go through cemented walls and what-nots!" he chuckled. Mia gave a slight smile.

A silence dropped over. The group waited.

"I'm glad to be here" Mia finally said as the office erupted with cheers and claps!

"Let the celebrations begin!" they sang merrily...

~ *~

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

Note: My mind, given a chance, likes to go exploring into the endless mass of imagination. It's okay if you thought the above story weird or plain crazy. I just love to keep penning off whatever my mind dictates. If you find meaning in the above story - perhaps about 'overworking not being good for us', or for 'embracing death peacefully', or 'finding peace in what you love doing' - then I'm glad the story spoke to you. If it didn't, doesn't matter, I'm not here to impress anyone. :P


Cheers,

Venice :)

07 April, 2014

Smelly Cat... No More!

Phoebe from F.R.I.E.N.D.S singing Smelly Cat

Lyrics

Smelly cat, smelly cat
what are they feeding you?
smelly cat, smelly cat
it's not your fault.


They wont take you to the vet
you're obviously not their favorite pet
you may not be a bed of roses 
and your no friend of those with noses.

Smelly cat, smelly cat 
what are they feeding you
smelly cat, smelly cat
it's not your fault!

Every F.R.I.E.N.D.S fan has this song permanently etched in their minds... Being a huge fan of this popular sitcom myself it was awkward when this very song applied perfectly to all the smelly bad 'uns out there. I'm not a particularly rude person, mean - yes - a little, but rarely rude. However, when people start smelling like garbage bins on feet, I can hardly refrain from singing dear Phoebe's beloved song 'Smelly Cat'... I mostly sing it under my breath or in my head... especially if the person is a stranger. 

Closer back home, or with friends it's easier to say it through hints, songs with puns about foul odour, or just directly asking, "What's that Smell, Boss?" while wrinkling my nose oh-so daintily. 

Truth be told, I was one of the smelly cats when I was young. "Ugh!" you must be thinking. Guilty I am yes. It was just a phase that became a bad habit I admit. It was a horrendous task for me to wake up early morning, have a bath, and get ready for school. Additionally, the geyser took half an hour just to warm up, and the winters were freezingly cold for me to bear having even a 2 minute bath.

Fortunately, my father got transferred to a city with a warmer climate and best of all - had a Racold Instant Water Heater! Not that I started having a bath regularly 'instant'ly (pun intended) but from weekly, to every alternate day - it took a while to enjoy a nice, good, warm bath daily! More than that, it took a few days to add this good habit in my life as Old habits die hard.

Since I work, I run around like a crazy hyperactive monkey every morning cooking, brushing my teeth, ironing my clothes, getting dressed and packing my lunch all within an hour or so. With the instant water heater, all I have to do is, turn the tap on, put the switch on and hoorah! there's bubbling, hot, steamy water in seconds that nearly matches Google search results speed!!! Not kidding... true fact! Try it out and see for yourself. *nods persuasively :P

In a way, the instant water heater brought a good change in me. I now can't do without having a bath. From a hygiene point of view, it keeps me clean and presentable. Besides that, it's a great way to wash away the stress, tensions, worries and sorrows on the days I'm attacked with them. 

No more 'smelly cat' jokes around me now... I'm fresh and natural when I step out to... help others like me to switch on to this good habit. No one likes to be referred to as 'smelly cat' or to be asked, "What's that smell, Boss?" or to go through this:




Perk this hot and weary season by refreshing yourself in warm and soothing water. Treat yourself to a relaxing bath... see the magic work! ;)


NOTE: Seems like contests are a good way to get me to write on my blog. So, thanks to them, and currently to Racold Thermo Ltd. who collaborated with Indiblogger to come up with the Contest 'Close Encounters of the Smelly Kind'. See Racold's FB Page for more: https://www.facebook.com/racoldthermoltd If you 'Like' my post, please let me know here: Smelly Cat... No More! on Indivine



Cheerio,

Venice :)

06 March, 2014

Imperfectly Perfect



 "You give but little when you give of your possessions.
It is when you give of yourself that you truly give."
~ Khalil Gibran


The sky was smudged with varying shades of bold orange, blossom pink, subtle purple, deep blue and a comforting indigo. They merged unevenly into each other, painting a pleasant canvas behind the dull golden evening Sun.

Shyra watched the setting Sun sink gracefully behind the shadowy grey hills and felt a sympathy at the benevolent Sun going down against such an imperfectly perfect scene.

"It wasn't fair", Shyra thought, "to the Sun to be absent for the fascinating spectacle it had lent itself to so delicately." She let out a thoughtful sigh reflecting, "But this is how it is. This... is Life!"


Cheers,

Venice :)

12 January, 2014

TLC for Curly Hair

When I was a kid (ahem, still am)... anyway, when I was a tiny-tot, I would sit glued in front of the TV for a precious one hour, staring with envy at my (then) hair-style idol - Winnie Cooper (of Wonder Years). Her thick, black/brown, straight, long hair had an effect of Cupid's deadly arrow striking me... Day and night, my thoughts revolved around that perfect, heavenly hair... Sighhhh!!!



See what I mean!?

But dear little me was blessed with curls that was never worth combing, it looked the same even without running a comb through my hair. :|


 
There you go... the irregular curls wrapped around my small head...

It would never sit in place, would look as untidy as a 53 year old house mop (what?! people do keep such things as souvenirs!), and generally gave me a cute-yet-naughty look - which kinda defined me actually :P

As I grew up, my hair decided to look a bit graceful, and so, would drop off curly strands of hair every month... then every week... and now, it's every day!

So much for looking graceful, I now resemble an old lady with a young face. :(

Before I go bald (not that I mind it), I know that it's not right to twiddle my thumbs waiting for a miracle to happen! I'm sure Rapunzel trapped in that tower with little to do nourished her hair for at least 12 hours a day... she had quite a lot of hair after all! If she was that dedicated for never-ending yards of hair, then surely I can take out time and give my thinning hair some Good amount of TLC (not just Tender, Loving, Care but also Timely Trims, Lavish Massage, and Coconut Oil).

So, enough is enough! It's time to take action! You see, few years down the line, I'll have children (either my own or adopted), and it will be my responsibility to instill the goodness of taking care of one's health - hair included. If I don't act now, and ignore the warning signs of a hair that needs to be handled with care, how can I set a good example to my future?

No, this is not about telling them that 'good looks' is everything... on the contrary, it is about making them understand that it is our individual responsibility to protect and care for what we are blessed with. That we shouldn't take our health for granted.

Before I start preaching my gyaan (knowledge) to them, I need to do this for myself! People have envied my hair in the past, the straight-haired divas would let out an inaudible sighhh when they looked at my effortlessly natural curly hair, which for them would take hours, and halve their allowance money to get it done from the beauty parlours (teee-heee!! sorry :P). Coming back to the point, by doing this for myself, I'm finally taking on a responsibility that I should have taken ages back, and making myself be a person on the right track. Plus, by doing this, I'll be opening myself up to a gamut of possibilities and experiments - which I've always longed to do!! :)

All I need to do is Recharge my hair! Curly locks and all...

I no longer envy girls/ladies/women with straight, shiny hair... I'm happy with whatever little curls and few waves that I have left! Once these curls are recharged, they'll bounce with life and shine... I'll have the perfectly messed bun, the naturally styled waves, and the salon-like mousse lathered hairstyle - for free!

But more than all of that, I'll have a smile on my face when I get to tell my children, how I brought life back into my hair. and how giving it its life brought more adventurous, worry-free, fun days in my life!

Reason enough to recharge my hair...? I think so! ;)


Note: This post is an entry to Sunsilk's Contest 'Recharge your hair, recharge your life' at Indiblogger. This contest is about why one should recharge their hair. You can find out more about Sunsilk's Secret Solution to Recharging your hair at http://www.sunsilk.in/ . And hey, if you 'Like' my post, please do go here: http://www.indiblogger.in/indipost.php?post=315727 to let me know you like it! Thankooos :)

Since this contest is about women's crowning glory, I'm looking forward to reading the entries! Good Luck.... :)


Cheers,

Venice :)