Day Two #WhatTheBlack


The first clue of this challenge, that was a black egg, arrived early in the morning. But when the clue for day two had not arrived until noon, I was worried. I had already seen it on twitter that it was a black news paper. But I kept wondering where was mine.

I decided to raise an alarm to BlogAdda as soon as I get home. But the minute I stepped in, I saw it! There it was, all black and classy. Black does have that sense of power to it. It makes everything look elegant. It had a sticker like yesterday too, that said "Day 2, Watch out for more tomorrow".

So it was an egg yesterday, and today a news paper. An egg is a staple breakfast and the news paper is the first thing I read every morning. So, does the clue indicate mornings? May be. Also, the pages in between the news paper were blank! What do I make out of that? Waiting to see, what comes tomorrow!

This is getting interesting by the second! Can anybody guess what this whole #WhatTheBlack could be? You know, people who guess can win too!

#WhatTheBlack is a four day activity in association with BlogAdda. Each day, the selected candidates will be receiving a clue and finally on the fourth day, the actual product will unveil itself.

My Magical Companion

Image Source: Skyscanner

The first time I visited Sri Lanka, was on work and I was there for a very short duration. Yet, the beauty of that small country baffled me. I was put up at Colombo in a room facing the pristine clear ocean. I could see the clear sky and the blue water. The roads were well built and there was no speck of dirt at all. Yeah, coming from Bangalore, I was surprised to see such neat roads. The weather was calm and peaceful and it felt like a vacation even though I was there for business discussions. The best part about Sri Lanka is the currency. One Indian Rupee is approximately equal to 2.13 Sri Lankan Rupees. Yeah, more than double. The next best thing, is the food. Since India and Sri Lanka are neighboring countries, there is no much difference in the food. The spice and salt is accurate hence making everything almost edible. Why, my five star hotel even served dosas! And finally the bestest thing about Sri Lanka is that it just an hour and a half away from Bangalore. I mean I can get to Colombo earlier than I can to Delhi, from Bangalore.

Sadly my first stay there was limited to business and I could not explore the country. Ever since I returned from there, I have wanted to take my husband there and explore it together. Sri Lanka is mind blowingly beautiful in its own way! It is serene and pristine. My husband and I love nature and peace and I knew that we would have a wonderful time there. And since I have been speaking non-stop about the place since I returned, my husband agreed to take me there for my birthday this year! Awesome, ain't it? He left all the planning to me and I was thrilled. You see, I am an obsessive compulsive freak. To crazy extents. And if any aspect of my vacation goes haywire, I scream bloody murder. I was wondering where to begin my planning. With all the travel sites open in front of me, I struggled to blink or get something right. Some sites offered great package deals, but lacked something else. Other sites were too complex and I was losing my mind.

Just when I was about to call a travel agent to make a plan for me, all the tabs miraculously closed by themselves! I thought my laptop gave way, but a window suddenly popped open saying "Click here for a magical travel companion"! I was more than baffled and I was sure that this was some sort of spam. I ignored it at first, but it stayed on for five minutes smiling. I finally clicked on it and then suddenly everything lit up! Including my face.

My companion turned out to be Skyscanner! The site looked bright and nice with clear cut tabs. Like being almost hypnotized by the magical companion, I did not wait even for a second and went in straight for the first tab.

Flights

Image Source: Skyscanner

I searched for flights on the desired dates. A list of options were displayed. Finally, I booked 'Sri Lankan Airlines' for two and chose my seats. I paid Rs 29,738 (oh yes, for two of us. To and Fro!) and received the acknowledgement and the tickets. So now I had two return tickets from Bangalore to Sri Lanka.

Time for the next obvious tab.

Hotel

Image Source: Skyscanner

Since I had booked the flights, the dates were automatically saved by the site. It showed me a wide range of hotels. We only wanted the best. I had stayed in the Taj during my last visist. It was wonderful and so decided to book the same place again as I wanted hubby to have a wonderful experience too. Rs 45,237 sounded pretty decent for 4 days. I was already smiling in my head. Skyscanner allowed me to make a booking with a minimal advance of Rs 5000. I then received an acknowledgement saying that the remaining payment has to be made only on check-in.

A primary concern during travelling is the local transport. How to go about places? That is exactly why I love Goa. Just hire a bike and ride around everywhere. Booking a cab is always a hassle thanks to the exorbitant prices that they ask. I had no friends in Colombo too, to help. That is why my eyes opened wide when I saw the 'Car Hire' tab in Skyscanner. If this actually worked right, then this sure is a magical companion.

Car Hire

Image Source: Skyscanner
Image Source: Skyscanner

Again the saved dates automatically were displayed. This helps you save time and patience by not entering the same data again and again. I wanted to be picked up from the airport itself and dropped back there at the end of my vacation. I chose the pick up point and the time of pick up. In Skyscanner you even have an option to choose the drivers age! Where have you seen that before? You can choose different types of vehicles as well. Since there were only two of us, we just chose a simple compact car, a Mazda. The total price for 4 days was just Rs 12,296. I was amazed. In a click, the booking was done. I agreed to pay extra in case we exceeded the desired number of kilometers per day. Once the payment was made, I received an acknowledgment along with the driver details. It was as simple as that.

Image Source: Skyscanner

This site also has a help feature, which you can click and type any question for which you can find answers. It is like an interactive site in itself with all questions answered in the swipe of a wand! Magic indeed.

Since our visas were already ready, the only main things on my mind was the flight, hotel and transport. With that taken care of, I decided to make a list of places that I wanted to see there. After some research, I narrowed down to the below list of places.

~ Negombo
~ Bentota
~ Sigiriya
~ Kandy
~ Galle
~ Dambulla
~ Yala National Park
~ Pinnawala Elephant Orphanage
~ Polonnaruwa

I am not exactly sure of the distance of each from our hotel, hence I plan to get there and talk to the hotel manager about how to get to these places. Based on the distance of each, I shall plan an itinerary for each day. I also made a mental note to inform the driver each day about the plan and make sure he is able to cover all the places.

Now for the budget. We were very clear that the maximum budget for this vacation was a lakh. I opened the calculator and jotted down the spending so far. Since the hotel served breakfast, we only had to spend for lunch, dinner and snacks. Considering that 1 INR=2.13 LKR, I decided that Rs 5000 is more than enough for food. Also, I added another Rs 5000 to the budget for other miscellaneous expenses like entry fees, camera fees etc.

Flights: 29,738
Hotel: 45,237
Car Hire: 12,296
Food: 5,000
Misc: 5,000

Total: 97,271. 

Wow, I still had an amount of Rs 2729 pending. I decided to use that for our cab fare from our house to the airport in Bangalore. And from the airport to home, once we we get back. Because you know, the airport is on the outskirts of the city. So this money would suffice for it! And that's it, it was all sorted out! An entire trip within the stipulated budget! I had done it. Yay!!! Thanks to Skyscanner, all the vital elements were taken care of. I finally had finished my planning and stretched out to relax with a cup of green tea.

Image Source: Skyscanner

Just before I could get up to leave, I saw something called 'Travel Features and News' on the site. I clicked on it and was taken to an awesome page that had a lot of articles on travel. It was like a dream come true for a travel enthusiast and a foodie like me. The articles varied from places to visit in a city, to the best food in a particular city. What to do in the destination and how to make the make the most of your travel. It was like a travel blog in itself. Mind blowing.

My journey with Skyscanner was truly a magical ride and my magical companion was super friendly and helpful! I sat back and let it do all the work for me. It was like a brilliant fantasy except that it was the truth and was unfolding in front of me. Thank you Skyscanner, I now look forward to a hassle free vacation!

This post is a part of Skyscanner travel wizard activity at BlogAdda.com

Day One #WhatTheBlack


I had barely woken up this morning, when my husband held a gift in his hand. It was a small black box that looked classy beyond anything. It even had a black bow tied to it. The minute I saw the color black, I new it had arrived. The surprise for the #WhatTheBlack activity from BlogAdda. The surprise arrived just like that, without an outer covering or an envelope with the address. That amazed me! The person just asked for me, and handed it to my husband and left. I looked at it closely. It had a sticker on it that said "Day 1, Watch out for more tomorrow". I rushed to wash my eyes and untied the bow! Well, a surprise it was. It was an egg! Completely black in color and heavier than a normal egg. 

My first instinct was chocolate! I licked it, but the black color left a trace on my tongue. Yeah, the color was fresh. This egg came with a note that said "The question is no longer 'Did the chicken come first or the egg?'. The questions now is 'Why is it black?'" I sat there for a good five minutes wondering what to do with it. Should I break it open? But then I decided against it, thinking that it will link to the coming surprises. As suggested, I placed it in a cool and dry place and left to work.

It was on twitter that I got to know that it was indeed chocolate. Well, my guess was right then! So what could a solid egg shaped chocolate mean? Is it going to be a new brand of chocolate? Well, I have no answer yet! But I have a very good feeling about this. Let me see, what comes tomorrow!

#WhatTheBlack is a four day activity in association with BlogAdda. Each day, the selected candidates will be receiving a clue and finally on the fourth day, the actual product will unveil itself.

On A Pedestal

Image Source: The Magpie Tales

I can still hear the dogs bark
And some tongues continue to wag
Its funny you think you can break me
Your thoughts land in my dustbin bag

I am not going to ever give up
You can cuss and curse all you want
I shall stand tall and do it my way
Your baseless claims do not haunt

You clearly do not have the guts
To point the gun directly at me
That's why you target my close ones
How typically lame, my eyes can see

Go ahead do it, spew the venom
I shall get past it all with a smile
How do you think I made it this far
While you are still stuck in the first mile

You have been trying for a while now
Aren't your fingers enough burnt
Spin your web, spread you tales
Not to pay heed, I have learnt

Call me all the names you want
Based your minuscule thoughts, I won't fall
I have the love of my life on my side
Together we shall conquer it all

Days, months and years may pass
Your jealousy will only multiply
Get set to turn green all the way
I have now grown wings to fly

There is a reason why I'm up here
While you are one among the crowd
You easily blend with the background
While I sit here all satiated and proud

Your eyes may fall upon me
Beyond that you cannot enter
Take down all those around me
I don't care, my love is my center

I can solely stand up against all of you
Without a thought I shall slay one by one
After bearing your nonsense for so long
This would surely feel like fun

You all are ambition less fools
For mediocre you all shall settle
I'm the queen of my own world 
That's why I'm here on a pedestal


Fear Conquered

Image Source: Google

Not so long ago, they mocked her fears and called her the timid queen who was scared of people, closed spaces, heights, water and everything else around. She did not say anything back then but slowly conquered her own fears in her own way possible. She now flies high in the sky, conquering the open air through her enclosed space. She did not let her fears come in the way of her dreams of becoming a pilot or a habitual swimmer. Today, the same people call her fearless.

This five sentence fiction is written for the topic 'Fearless' at Lillie McFerrin Writes.

Fruit & Spice

Image Source: Google

I have a love hate relationship with smells. Primarily because I am prone to migraines induced by smells. Very few scents pass my test and remain that way for a long time. I do not like the smell of flowers and citrus too much. I like something that leaves a impact and makes me crave for it more. Not only in terms of scent, but in terms of freshness as well. I did not think much about this until a few days ago when I was having a crappy day and my husband decided to take me out on a long ride to cheer me up. The chill in the air lifted my spirits up a bit, but my day turned into an awesome one the minute I stepped into a quaint little cafe.

This place had a cozy feel and was a fusion of flavors and smells. We found a table on the roof top free from all these over powering smells. We ordered some drinks and an apple crumble pie. And then it all began. It all started with a slight smell of burnt butter. Yeah, not that pleasing. But soon it turned into a aromatic vanilla essence. I was contemplating on what it could be, when the waiter placed our order in front of us. The apple crumble pie looked delicious and smelt heavenly. I am a foodie and I observe my food very closely before eating it. There was a nice vanilla buttery smell, almost like a cake but not exactly that. And then the aroma of the stuffing hit me.

Image Source: Google

It was stewed apples and cinnamon. Oh wow, what a delight it was! The smell reached the corners of my nose, filled me up and gave me a pleasant high. There is nothing that comes close to this. It was definitely mild, but powerful in its own way. Each bite was a thrill to the taste buds as well as the nostrils. In a cafe, there are way too many aromas. But this one stood out on its own, in a capturing sort of way. It was so delightful that I felt so thrilled on recognizing an awesome fragrance.

Few days later, I tried replicating the recipe at home. I stewed some fresh apples in sugar and then added the magic ingredient. A pinch of cinnamon. Wow, the whole house was filled with the essence and the oven was almost smiling as it was baking the pie. As the pie took its time to cook, the entire area was smelling of apple and cinnamon along with the buttery crust. I cannot explain how magical it was. It is not overpowering, but it stays with you. It is not pungent, but gives the right feel. It is not too fruity, it has a hint of spice to it. A delicious combo with one of the best fragrances I have come across. So, given a chance I would love to have this scent in a bottle. I would spray it in the room to lift my spirits and to camouflage the other odors. Or having this heavenly smell in my car, would make every drive worthwhile. For now, I am lost in this magical aroma as I dig into my pie.

This is my entry for the 'Inspire A Fragrance' contest on Indiblogger in association with Godrej Aer.

She Is Incredible

Image Source: Google

A phone is a constant companion. For me and for everyone else, I'm sure. Gone are the days of calenders and watches, it all is present in the phone now. No more need to charge the camera battery overnight for a trip. All pics look wonderful on the phone itself and it is so easy to upload on all the social channels from there. My phone is like my best friend, always by my side, helping me do all that I have to and want to do. It is like my own portable diary that I always carry with me and note down points from everywhere. I have customized my phone apps to suit my taste and currently, I can do almost everything on my phone. But does my phone keep me safe? I have spend twenty thousand rupees on my phone, but it is not gonna prevent me from getting harmed. Or will it?

Considering the fact that technology can almost do everything now, and since Kareena Kapoor Khan is also endorsing the safety 'VithU' app, is a phone enough to keep one safe? Of course, Mrs. Khan has about four bodyguards to take care of her the minute the steps out of her mansion. But what about normal regular people like you and me? Is an app enough to ensure our safety? Could the rape of the six year old school kid from Bangalore be averted if she had a smart phone with this safety app? I guess not. So if I could have the power to give my smart phone a super power, I would like my smart phone to turn into a super woman, to protect me from the dangers around. This is how my 'She Is Incredible' phone would work.

See What Others Can't See

Thanks to this super power, my phone can now see what others and even I cannot. This phone would now be able to see the lecherous looks of some men around and turn into a super woman to fight them if they try something nasty. This phone can see where I am, even if the phone is not with me and get to me immediately in case of a concern. This phone can even foresee dangers and prevent me from taking the path, while showing me another route to get to my destination. In case I still choose to go the way I want to, she will come out and fight the potential villain and save me. 

Feel What Others Can't Feel 

This phone can now feel and understand the difference in emotions. If I get angry, this phone will sense it and try to understand why am I turning red. If it is because of someone else, she will come out and try to reason with the opposite party. If I feel fear, she will sense it and envelop me with her halo so that no matter what happens nothing and no one can get to me. If someone tries to mess with me when I am away from her, she will get there within seconds and save me like a knight in shining armor. 

Do What Others Can't Do 

She is a genius person. Since she can see and feel what others can't, she is already much ahead in the game. If there is impending doom, she would have sensed and fixed it much before I get to it. She has the power to do anything and everything to keep me safe. To any extent. She can save me from potential rapists, thieves and killers by getting me out of there and dragging them to prison. She is worshiped like how Gotham worships Batman. The cops know her and applaud her strength and humanity. 

Just imagine if all of our phones had such a super power, how peaceful the world would be. The recent rapes are reaching a new high and no matter how much you want to stay safe, you never know what can happen to you the next minute. So wouldn't it be awesome to have our own Terminator within our phone so that we are free from stress and tension and can step out wearing whatever we want without the fear of getting groped. The 'She Is Incredible' phone can turn into a super woman when danger lurks. She can bring the tormentor to the ground and make him rot in prison for life. She is the perfect incarnation of Goddess Kali and Goddess Durga. She symbolizes womanhood and the strength behind it. She is enough to show the men around that it is not easy to mess with the life of a woman. She shall prove to men that a woman is no less in strength. She shall show everyone around that she is incredible. You no longer have to go in search of the incredible, she will be right by your side. Always.

There is only one thing that comes close to being her. This thing can 'See What Others Can't See' with an advanced 13MP HD camera and a 6 inch HD display. It can 'Feel What Others Can't Feel' with glove touch and a long battery life. It can 'Do What Others Can't Do' with an inviting clean layout, vivid color themes animations and intelligent functionality. It has an impressive performance powered by an Intel® Atom™ Processor with Intel® Hyper-Threading Technology. With up to four threads running at once, web pages download fast, and users can quickly and seamlessly switch between apps. This is the incredible ASUS ZenFone.

This is my entry for the 'In Search Of Incredible' contest on Indiblogger in association with ASUS.

Book Review: The Deliberate Sinner

Image Source: Google

Title: The Deliberate Sinner
Author: Bhaavna Arora
Publisher: Srishti Publishers
Genre: Fiction/ Drama
Price: Rs 120
Pages: 165

"Is there an acid test to gauge the success of a relationship? Is it right to carry on in an unhealthy relationship with no conjugal bliss, or look for an alternate path?" These are the questions this book raises.

I received an autographed copy of the book for my review which said "Hate the sin, not the sinner". I disagreed right there. Shouldn't the sinner be blamed for committing the sin? I then looked forward to read the book.

This story revolves around three main protagonists. Rihana, her husband Veer and her best friend Raj. Rihana is the spoilt and pampered only daughter of a rich business man. On a trip to Thailand alone, she meet Veer on the plane and befriends him. He on the other hand, has ideas of his own. Once back from the trip, he tries to woo her and finally succeeds by swimming hundred laps in one go. His parents meet hers and soon they are engaged. But Rihana is not sure if this is exactly what she wants. In a moment of confusion she ends up sleeping with her best friend Raj, who like all the other stories and all the bollywood movies is madly in love with her. After that encounter, Rihana realizes that she is in love with Raj and not Veer and decides to elope with him. But her friend dearest develops cold feet and leaves her in the lurch. So, she has no other choice but to marry Veer.

Soon after marriage, troubles in their paradise start. Veer is a sexually active person, who only cares about himself and his orgasms. Rihana on the other hand does not orgasm the normal way and needs foreplay to get there. Veer doesn't understand that but tries nevertheless, giving her just three orgasms in three months. Rihana proudly shares this news with her aunt. No kidding. So Rihana is deprived of conjugal bliss and Veer soon turns into an alcoholic who is extremely insecure about his wife. Rihana is struggling to live with him, but yet her parents and in-laws urge her to do so. Being the perfect daughter that she always was, she continues to live with him, until she finds out that he has been having an affair with a girl he met on Facebook. What happens next? Does she get back with Raj? Does she forgive Veer?

The Deliberate Sinner has a wonderful cover that screams for attention and gets it. The story raises some important questions, but slowly the steam dies down. It points a finger at the male dominated society, but not in a right way. The protagonist, Rihana, disappointed me to no end. She is supposed to be highly educated, a passionate swimmer and independent. Yet she succumbs easily when caught in the shackles of society. She does fight for herself, only in the last few chapters of the book. I did not understand why she went back to Veer after finding out about his affair. And why she decided to stay even after he rapes her one night. That issue is not spoken about at all in the book. If it was just because of her parents and society, then she should not have left him at all in the first place. 

Raj was an important character in the first half, but soon disappears only to come back later to disappoint. Rihana continues to stay confused, Veer continues to dominate and her parents continue to force her to stay with her husband. At one point of time I felt that I was watching an Ekta Kapoor serial, instead of reading a book. The book tries to incorporate other emotions as well, like the death of a pet, an ill father-in-law and a humorous take on dark skin. But all of it falls flat on the weak story line. Then ending of the book is what disappoints the most. If she wanted Veer to catch her in bed with another man, just so that he understands what she felt, she could have slept with Raj again. Or should have told Veer about their one night stand that happened when she was engaged to him. But instead she decides on staging a act with a random friend of hers who conveniently agrees to be a part of this mindless drama. Why the book gets its title is explained in the last line of the story and it made no sense to me at all.

Now coming to the sex part of the book, the sex scenes are written pretty well when compared to 'Sita's Curse'. But descriptions like elephantine hardness was out rightly hilarious. A certain kind of class is required while talking about sex. I am not expecting a Harold Robbins kinda description, but atleast some kind of finesse. Sadly, this book does not have it. The book tries to cover a whole lot of emotions and questions at one go, but ends up feeling too rushed. Thankfully it did not take too much of my time, because it is a small book and I finished it in two hours.


Verdict: Tired of watching soaps on TV? Then pick this up.

Rating: 2 out of 5.

This review is a part of the biggest Book Review Program for Indian Bloggers. Participate now to get free books!

Black Is Powerful #WhatTheBlack

Image Source: Google

Black would be a favorite color for most of us. Obviously, because it is sleek and sexy. But most importantly because, black is slimming. Wear a black gown and voila, you look two kilos light instantly! Such is the beauty of this magic color. But for me, black rises above all these vain things. Black to me is fearless. Black to me is strength. Black to me is the truth. And most importantly, black to me is powerful. The main reason why black is associated with power is because it has no frills attached. It is what it is. Bold, beautiful and honest. Black can also be closely associated with desire. Desire and power is a wonderful combo. Black can wipe out all the other colors in a single stroke, without leaving any remnants of what was before. If this is not power, then what is?

The five black things that I desire and why.

1. Indefinite black ink in my pen.

Image Source: Google

'A pen is mightier than the sword' they say and I believe every word of it. I want to write until my last breath about anything that I want. I want to raise awareness on social issues and anything that puts me or the people around me in danger. Freedom of speech is a birth right, but who listens when you talk? We can argue that no one reads what is written too, but I'm going to write and write until justice is served. I'm gonna pen down my thoughts and write until I have strength in my hands. The ink will talk while my mind speaks. And I do not want this black ink to ever end. Because the minute I stop for an interval, I know there is someone out there waiting to take advantage. I will not stop. 

2. A black lawyer coat.

Image Source: Google

Every woman who had not been delivered justice, every rape survivor who is shunned by the society, every wife who is the victim of domestic abuse, should be given the right to wear the black coat and fight for themselves in front of the court. There is no other way that justice can be delivered. Women fear society and do not come out in the open while being the victim of an abuse. The lawyer assigned to them will urge them to go in for an out of court settlement. These women either cave in or end up paying huge amounts by hiring such imbecile lawyers. A survivor should be given the chance to don the black coat and fight for herself.

3. Black masks for rapists.

Image Source: Google

Every convicted rapist must immediately be given the black mask and hung to death. No more questions on life term or death penalty. If convicted, immediate justice should be served. With the number of rapes rising in the country, this should be the one stop solution and the only punishment.

4. A black revolver for self defense.

Image Source: Google

Yeah, why not. A gun in my hand might not ensure 100% of my safety but atleast I can be prepared. You never know what can happen to you the next minute. So it is better to be safe, than sorry.

5. Black skin for everyone in the world.

Image Source: Google

So that there would no more of those 'Fair and Lovely' creams and people will be treated equally. No mentions of fair brides or fair underarms either. No one would compare their skin to other and feel good or bad about themselves. Parents would not have to think about how they would get their dark daughter married, or a prospective groom will not have to spin fantasies of a fair bride. No discrimination what so ever based on color. Atleast that will be the beginning.

Black is powerful. Very powerful. It just needs to be given its due.

This post is a part of #WhatTheBlack activity at BlogAdda.com.

A Wet Memory

Image Source: The Magpie Tales

The pleasant drizzle is bothering me, even though the smell of the wet mud is intoxicating. Rains always take me back to those days that I spent with you especially that particular day when we got home all wet, and soaked that old tattered red carpet of yours before rushing upstairs to make wild passionate love. And how we sat naked together, watching the rain make patterns on the window pane as you played with my hair and trailed your fingers down my bare back. I almost thought that I had fallen in love with you, but then you kissed me goodbye. I never heard from you after that, but the memory of that day would never be erased from my soul.

This five sentence fiction is written for the topic 'Rain' at Lillie McFerrin Writes.


I'm Odd

Image Source: Google

I am proud of my brown skin
I don't care if I look slim or broad
I love myself the way I am
Yeah, probably that's why I'm odd

I believe in myself the most
Only after that, comes God
I don't have to pray to get things
Yeah, probably that's why I'm odd

I am in no way lesser than a man
I do not have to worship him as lord
I want no special reservations for me
Yeah, probably that's why I'm odd

I believe in speaking my mind out
My words might strike harder than a rod
I find no point in sugar coating them
Yeah, probably that's why I'm odd

I do not need too many people
I am very happy with my own little squad
I do not find the need to please people
Yeah, probably that's why I'm odd

I am protective about the people I love
Mess with me and you get clawed
I am my own power and strength
Yeah, probably that's why I'm odd

I do what ever I want to do
For societal norms I give no nod
My life my way, is my mantra
Yeah, probably that's why I'm odd

Taste Of Blood

Image Source: Google

My back is torn from the daily whips of your belt. The blood sticks to my clothes, burning me inside. I have had enough of this pain. But today, you know how it feels. I just intended on a slash from the knife, but it killed you. I now know, that blood tastes really sweet.

Come, Drive Me Crazy

Image Source: Google

Your hair turns me on
All ruffled and in a mess
I want to touch you

I want to touch you
Feel your lips on my body
Making love all night

Making love all night
I want to lie by your side
All spent and smiling

All spent and smiling
Feeling your naked lithe frame
Let our bodies melt

Let our bodies melt
In the heat of love and lust
Come, drive me crazy

Written for Haiku Horizons: Prompt - Drive.

A To Z Of Me


There was a time when awards were so frequent on the blogosphere, that there was hardly any joy in receiving it. Every Tom, Dick and Harry were keen on awarding every John Doe in the scene. I'm glad those days are over. After a few years I see the award fad returning to blogs and this time I see blogs worthy of the award receiving it, which makes the whole concept seem right and good. Awards are a definite boost to a blogger, who feels that the writing has been appreciated and in turn can appreciate others. Such kind gestures are what makes this blogosphere a wonderful place to be in. And I am proud to be a part of it for more than five years now.

The 'Quintet of Radiance Award' has been doing the rounds for about some time now. This is a wonderful award that combines five awards within one, hence making it more special. And I'm honored that I have been given this award by three awesome bloggers. Crimson Curls, Anmol and Aathira, thank you guys so much for considering me good enough for these awards. Each one of you are wonderful on your own. Crimson Curls, I started reading your blog recently and the thing I saw when I visited your space for the first time was potential. Anmol, you are simply awesome. Everything you write is so effortless and beautiful and that video you made for the role model contest still plays in my mind at times. Yes, it was that awesome. Aathira, you already know how much I love you. Your writing was already the best and yet each day you prove me wrong by writing something better. Receiving an award from wonderful people like you guys, makes it more cherishable.

Here are the rules of receiving the Award
1. Display the logo in a post.
2. Thank the blogger who nominated you and link back.
3. Using the alphabets describe yourself in a word or a phrase.
4. Nominate at least a few bloggers.

Since 1 and 2 is already done, I shall straight move on to the third one.

A- Assertive
B- Being human
C- Critic
D- Drama queen
E- Enthusiast
F- Feminist
G- Green tea holic
H- Honest
I- Interesting
J- Joker
K- Karma believer
L- Lioness
M- Music junkie
N- Narcissist
O- Organised
P- Poetess
Q- Quintessential leo
R- Realist
S- Sarcastic
T- Tomboy
U- Unique
V- Vixen
W- Wild
X- Xena (yes, like the warrior princess)
Y- Yellow lover
Z- Zoe (I'm called the Zenith of Evil, by my friends)

And for the fourth one, I nominate the below bloggers for this award.

Satya: Locomente
Ankita: Humming Words

After a long time I am writing a post about awards and following the rules in it. This was really fun! Here is to more awards, for me and everybody.

Faded Page Of Life

Copyright – Kelly Sands

There was sunlight when you left and now the clouds above have given up too, just like me. Sometimes I wonder if I gave up too soon and then I think maybe not, since the decision to leave was solely yours. You wanted to go out and explore a new world, of which I clearly wasn't a part of, atleast that's what you proved when you left me with just a note. Today it doesn't hurt so much, as I have come to realize that I am worth more. Your name lies faded in some old page of my life.

This five sentence fiction is written for the topic 'Pages' at Lillie McFerrin Writes.

This drabble (100 word fiction) is written for Friday Fictioneers, 11th July.

Yours Forever

Image Source: Google

You tried to hide it a lot, but I see through it now. The fear in your eyes, the hesitation in your tone and many other things. You love me a lot I know. But inspite of this love, your insecurity shone through. I did not give much thought to it at first, I just thought you were being silly to irritate me. But now I see it. All of it. You tried to woo me for years, when I had a pack of admirers around. And yet, I chose you. Because I fell in love with you. You were the cynosure of my eyes and I couldn't look beyond you. We got married after a long courtship, which had been the happiest times of my life. I only realized later, that the knot you had tied around my neck was strengthened with doubt.

I now remember the day when you suddenly came home with headache, when I had informed you over the phone that my best friend was visiting home. My best friend, who is more like a brother to me. You came in immediately after five minutes of his arrival. Strangely, your headache had vanished seconds after that. I now remember those sneaky glances at my phone, while pretending to set the alarm or check the photos. I now remember why I never found my phone in the place that I had left it. I now remember why you asked me for my email password to book tickets, as your email account was not opening for a day. I now remember why you insisted on dropping and picking me from office everyday. No matter how early I had to go or how late I had to stay back. I now remember your searching eyes while I came out of my office with my team one late night. I now remember the time you sent your sister along with me, while I had to travel to a different city on work, since you couldn't make it. I now remember it all.

I always wondered why you picked out my clothes everyday. I thought it was out of love, but now I realize it. I still wore those ill fitting salwar kameezes so that you feel happy. Yet, you worried about how my veil would slip down and insisted on pinning it to my dress. The next day of our wedding, you splattered my forehead with the vermilion indicating your right over me. It has been two years since then and you still do it everyday. You did it today morning too, as my hair battles the red emulsion over it. The first gift you gave me after our wedding was a thick mangalsutra which looked like a black rope. You insisted I wear it everyday because it looks good on me. I smiled. And blushed too. Even now I feel the weight of it on my neck, along with the burden of your fears.

I adhered to whatever you asked of me. I stopped visiting my friends as you did not want to be away from me for even a while. You said you missed me so much, I believed you then. You did not attend any social gatherings with your friends either. As you felt that they will try to hit on me. I don't know whom you did not trust. Them or me. I just thought you were being possessive so I let it be. But when you started following me around to the washroom and insisted on waiting around, I realized that something was not right. This feeling intensified when I saw the look of triumph on your face last night, after you had just made love to me. It was not a look of pleasure or satisfaction, it was a look of accomplishment. From then, I started going back to all the things that happened in the past. And today, here I am.

Was I not a good wife? Did I give you chances for this insecurity? I did all that you asked me to. You followed me around like a puppy and yet I did not say a thing. I loved you that much. I did not want to do anything to hurt you. Did you actually think that I would stray? I feel so sorry for you now. I loved you more than anything else in the world, letting go of everything in the bargain. Self respect included. I feel so foolish for realizing it this late. But how could I have known? I was blinded by your love. The vermilion on my head is screaming out now and this gigantic mangalsutra is choking me. I see a lot of read mails on my phone, that I did not open. I see half of my contact list deleted. I see my jeans and tops lying in a pile of dust mocking me. My stilettos are craving for attention in the corner. My friends are still waiting for that girls night out that we had planned years ago.

I don't know what I have done wrong. I don't know how to prove it to you that I am only yours. I don't know what else do I do to make you feel that you deserve me. That is why I married you. I belong to you whole and soul. I know that from the bottom of my heart. But I also know, until you know and believe that, you will not rest. Do not worry my love, you do not have to be insecure anymore. You did not trust me when I lived with you, atleast trust me in death. Lay all your demonic thoughts to rest, along with me. Because I'm dying for you. Only you. Just to prove that I love you and would do anything for you. Hope you find relief in this. I had given up so much already. My life was just another thing.

Yours Forever,
The wife I could never be.

Oman - A Beautiful Address

Image Source: Google

The middle east has always intrigued me. I am awed by their huge buildings and their wonderful food. Their wide roads and their plush green heritage. The middle east is often shown as a place with mammoth buildings, camels and super rich Arabs. But there is more to this, than what meets the eye. I have had a forever long desire to visit the middle east and bask in their culture. If given a chance, I would love to visit the 1,000-mile-long coastal plain at the southeast tip of the Arabian Peninsula. It is bordered by the United Arab Emirates, Saudi Arabia, and Yemen. This is the country of Sindbad the sailor, more popularly known as Oman. Officially called the Sultanate of Oman.

Visiting a Muslim country is not easy, especially for a woman. Oman is a country which is very friendly towards women. Woman are allowed to work and drive around just like men. Plus it is not a mandate to wear a veil, if you are a non Muslim. Since I am not, this was a relief for me. A vacation is meant to be carefree and without any baggage. But I was determined to dress modestly, so that I do not hurt the religious sentiments of the locals. After all, their culture is their pride.

The Corniche Area. Image Source: Google

The first stop that would make would be at the capital of Oman, Muscat. Did you know that the city of Muscat was actually three small towns before? They later came together and grew into one big city. "Walled City" was the name given to the original city of Muscat. There are a lot of attractions in Muscat but The Corniche Area is a must visit. With the Hajar mountains as a backdrop, the Corniche has a perfect setting and is worth spending time. The water front is relaxing and is perfect for an early morning or evening stroll. This area also has a lot of eateries around, which is a blessing for a foodie like me. This area is also close to the Mutrah Fort from where we get a breathtaking view of this ancient city. 

Sultan Qaboos Grand Mosque. Image Source: Google

My next stop would be at the Sultan Qaboos Grand Mosque which is the third largest mosque in the world. And yes, it is open to non-Muslims too apart from between 8am to 11am on Thursday and Friday. I'll make sure I plan accordingly. The Mosque is built from 300,000 tonnes of Indian sandstone. It has a wonderful Swarovski crystal chandelier and luxurious marble paneling. A major feature of the design of the mosque's interior is the prayer carpet which covers the floor of the prayer hall. It contains 1,700,000,000 knots, weighs 21 tonnes and took four years to produce, and brings together the classical Tabriz, Kashan and Isfahan design traditions. 28 colors in varying shades were used, the majority obtained from traditional vegetable dyes. It is the second largest single piece carpet in the world. Wow, quite something eh? I would love to catch a glimpse of this beauty too. 

Turtle Reserve At Ras Al-Jinz. Image Source: Google

The next place on my list would be the Turtle reserve at Ras Al-Jinz. The Ras Al Jinz beach is world renown for the nesting endangered green turtle (Chelonia mydas), probably the most important nesting concentration on the Indian Ocean. This is the only place where the public can watch the nesting process of these amazing sea giants. That would be quite some experience. I love turtles and have wanted to have one as a pet. I could never get one, but watching them play around in the water and sand is one experience that I do not want to miss. 

The Blue City Area. Image Source: Google

Another place that I do not want to miss is the Al Madina A'Zarqa also known as the Blue city. This is a $15 billion mega city project in the Sultanate of Oman and was expected to complete only by 2020. One hour away from Muscat, this was a dream city in progress. Divided into ten phases, only a single phase has been completed and this project went under financial loss. Blue City was to play a role in diversifying Oman's economy, creating over more than two decades an urban center 45 minutes north of Muscat that would eventually house 200,000 people, adding hotels, universities, homes and attractions. For now, this project is on a stand still. However, it would be nice to visit this place and see how it was imagined and how it could have been transformed.

Jebel Harim. Image Source: Google

I would also like to visit the other attractions. Khor Ash Sham for sighting the Dolphins. This place boast of a healthy population of dolphins. Dolphins are attracted by the sound of boats’ engines. They’ll often swim alongside passing dhows (traditional sailing boats), dipping playfully in and out of the water, reaching remarkable speeds and keeping up quite easily with even the fastest boats. Another must visit spot would be the mountain of women or the Jebel Harim. The mountain takes its name from the days when local women would retreat to caves up here in order to avoid being carried off by pirates or rival tribes while their menfolk were away on extended fishing or trading expeditions. This places offers breathtaking views of the mountain and skies and also stomach churning views of the deep gorges below. 

Al Sharqiya Sand Dune. Image Source: Google

The next place that I would visit would be the Al Sharqiya islands. Of all the regions of Oman, Al Sharqiya is the one that can claim to have a bit of everything: the vast desert of Wahiba Sands, the magnificent cliffs and unspoiled beaches stretching east from Tiwi to Sur and south to the island of Masirah, the dramatic gorges and fertile wadis of the eastern end of the Hajar mountains and the historic towns of Sur, Ibra and Sinaw. There are also coral reefs, mudflats and lagoons frequented by large bird populations. While the scenery will mesmerize you, this places also offers activities like dune bashing. The Sharqiya sands offers a desert experience like no other. Here, the flat plain quickly becomes bounded on either side by mountainous sand dunes that change color as the hours march on from pale yellow to rustic red and back again. It is a treat to the human eye. I so badly want to take a camel ride here.

Wadi Shab. Image Source: Google

No trip to Oman is complete without a visit to the Wadi Shab, the number one tourist spot in Oman. This location offers the serenity of mountains, the sparkle of the sand, the hush of the wind and the surf of the sea. This wadi or valley is arguably one of the most gorgeous destinations in Oman. Beyond the breathtaking entrance, the valley rewards you with views of aquamarine pools, waterfalls and terraced plantations. Bright Kingfishers add glorious splashes of color to the scenery. This place offers a variety of adventures too. Swimming, boating, hiking and even a visit to a partially submerged cave. The natural pools here are pristine clean and is perfect for swimming especially since the weather here is known to be quite hot. I will surely take a dip here!

Oman has a long tradition of arts and crafts that include shipbuilding, indigo dyeing, silver work, potter, weaving and textiles, fragrance manufacture, woodwork, copper work, beekeeping, horse-breeding, camel-rearing and saddle-crafting. This rich cultural heritage and natural abundance makes Oman a unique eco tourism destination. I want to make the most of my visit and come back with wonderful memories and an experience of a lifetime. I am sure I will.

This is my entry for the 'Beauty has an address!' contest on Indiblogger in association with Oman tourism.