Being A Traveler

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I just returned from a road trip and I'm feeling rejuvenated and energized. The fact that it is the last week of the year and more than half of the people at work are on leave and I have to manage the same amount of work with half the number of people is another issue altogether. Normally, I would have been agitated and stressed at this point of time, but this time I'm taking it very well. Travel has been that sponge to me that takes away every negative feeling within me. Initially, I used to go for a haircut to clear the clutter of my head. Now that I'm trying to grow my mane back, travel is the best option to become clutter free.

I discovered traveling only after I met Cal. Before that travel barely meant anything to me. When you are born to middle class parents, traveling would mean going back and forth school or college. During childhood, a holiday meant traveling to my maternal grandparents place five hours away from Bangalore. We would wait for this to happen and as soon as exams are done, we would pack a bag and set out in a local bus. It wasn't the most comfortable of journeys, but it made me more than happy back then. Year after year we visited the same place to see the same set of people and enjoyed it. Then, I grew up!

Coward

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Many times I ask myself
What is it that holds me back
Am I busy loving myself
Or counting the things that I lack

I want to fall deep
In the oasis I see in his eyes
When I have him around me
Everything feels so fine and nice

When Sharing Is Not Caring

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I have the habit of checking my phone as soon as I wake up. I'm not proud of it, but old habits die hard. The first thing that I saw on Facebook this morning was that someone on my timeline had added 169 photos to a album titled 'Trip with frndzzz'. I doubt if I have a total of 169 photos in all my albums put together. My first thought, who on earth has the time to upload so many pictures. And next, would people do the same if Facebook would charge them for uploading pictures? As much as I love social media and think it is a wonderful invention, it is turning out to be a bane these days. There are days when I look at my timeline and wonder if I actually know these people. There are people putting up all their photos that they can lay their hands on, online. Others are giving minute by minute detail of their holiday and many many others are screaming out opinions about issues that once mattered but no longer. I think that all of us on Facebook should only have read rights. If you want to write or share something, you need to pay for it. Maybe this will help curb the filth that is out there.

Book Review: The Legend Of Lakshmi Prasad

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Title: The Legend Of Lakshmi Prasad
Author: Twinkle Khanna
Publisher: Juggernaut (8 November 2016)
Genre: Fiction
Price: Rs. 155 on Amazon.
Pages: 256

After 'Mrs. Funnybones', I was waiting for the next book from Twinkle Khanna. Ever since she made the best decision of her life by quitting acting and turning columnist, I've been a fan of hers. I like people who say things the way it is without trying to beautify it or reduce the tone of it. Couple this with sarcasm and dry wit, you have a winner! Twinkle Khanna is one such columnist for me. Her sense of humor comes out in the best way possible giving the right importance to current affairs/issues. Her style of writing is also different from the rest and makes reading a breeze. Unlike Shobhaa De who only writes heavy words to mock people and tradition, Twinkle Khanna hits the right note. While her first book was an A to Z of her columns, her second book marks her foray into fiction. No matter what it was, I trusted her so much that I would even buy her book if it was an ode to her short tryst in Bollywood. Coming to think of it, wouldn't that be a nice concept for her next book?

Monday Musings #9


Winter Is Coming

PHOTO PROMPT © Rochelle Wisoff-Fields

The Lannisters are a complicated family. I cannot tell you more than that.”  Michael told his six year old daughter Sarah.

Tell me about the wolf dogs then.” Sarah said.

Direwolfs, my darling. Well, most of them were killed. Just two of them remain alive.

Why were they killed?

There is a war going on. People kill each other and animals too.

Love Is Red

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No matter how low I'm feeling
When I hold you, I feel alright
Our long conversations soothe me
I can go on and on, day and night

Just the thought of you leaves me craving
A delicious concoction of love and lust
The day slowly manages to slither by
But when night comes, you're a must

Book Review: Daughter

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Title: Daughter
Author: Jane Shemilt
Publisher: Penguin (28 August 2014)
Genre: Mystery/ Drama/ Contemporary Fiction
Price: Rs. 300 on Amazon.
Pages: 416

I heard of this book first on another blog. The reader had given the book a five star rating and I was intrigued. The blurb looked really interesting and I wanted to read it almost immediately but forgot about it later. After a few months, it came to my mind again and I made the purchase and started reading it.

Yes, I'm Strong

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It hasn't been a very good year
I've tried so much to remain strong
Every path I tread carefully
Yet every right turned wrong

Growing Up Right

PHOTO PROMPT © Jan Wayne Fields

My parents are buying me the new play station.” Rohan exclaimed in joy.

The exams were just over for the first grade and all the tiny tots were excited about their vacation and what they would do during the holidays.

My father is taking me to Delhi with him. I’ll stay in a big hotel and watch TV all day.” Misha boasted.

My parents have promised to install more games on my iPad.” Justin beamed.

Action Replay: November 2016

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November left me all dazed. With the days passing by so quickly, I'm struggling to stay still and absorb what's happening around me. November started off very well with a vacation in Goa. It was a much needed break and we did come back totally rejuvenated. Vacations are meant to do that aren't they? They take away all your stress and you come back feeling light and fresh to make better memories and do better work. A week after Goa, we left to Mumbai. Yes, for the Coldplay concert. This was my first ever concert! I know that Bangalore has held so many music festivals, but I have never been to any of it. I actually was pissed that the Coldplay concert or the Global Citizen event was not happening in Bangalore. I knew that this had to be my first concert. Although the tickets cost us a kidney and a lung each, we decided to go for it.

Negative Chaos

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I learnt this a long time ago, to stay away from negative people. Earlier, I used to let a lot of people stay rent free on my mind and this used to trouble me a lot. Nothing affects me more than humans and it is a known fact that people continue to be my nemesis. I have met so many people in my life. While some bring joy where ever they go, others can create chaos in the calmest of places. Negative people are of different kinds. Pessimists are not the only negative ones, there are many many more out there.

Book Review: Lessons In Forgetting

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Title: Lessons In Forgetting
Author: Anita Nair
Publisher: Harpercollins (30 January 2010)
Genre: Contemporary Fiction/ Drama
Price: Rs. 308 on Amazon.
Pages: 344

The first and only other book that I have read of Anita Nair is 'Mistress'. A couple of my friends were talking about a particular Indian author whose work was excellent and this turned out to be Anita Nair. Another friend gifted 'Mistress' to me and I started reading it without any expectations just like what I have from most Indian authors. That book turned out to be fabulous and the writing was fantastic. It did have a nice South Indian touch to the story and that was something I could relate to very well. I loved the story and the characterization as well as the complex emotions. I hold 'Mistress' very close to my heart. I did not review it because I was not sure what to write about it. I understood the relationships in the book, but I could not put it into words. So I let it be.

Booked For Life

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This year has been a really great year for me in terms of reading. Since childhood, I have been an avid reader. The first book that I have ever read apart from my school books was a 'Champak'. Every month my dad would get this for us and I would devour it as soon as possible. The tiny book suddenly was the center of my universe and was my first step towards reading. 'Wisdom' also was a magazine that my parents used to subscribe. While I was too young, I found it difficult to read it. It was too "wisdomous" for me. But as I grew up, this book became really important to me. Every book was filled with great stories and soulful poems. But the best part of this book was the quote that was present on every page of the book. I used to steal them for the 'Thought For The Day' at school.

Alter Ego

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I clearly am ripped inside
Through the dual life that I lead
One rules my heart forever
For another, I'll gladly bleed

Book Review: A Midsummer's Equation

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Title: A Midsummer's Equation
Author: Keigo Higashino
Publisher: Little, Brown Book Group (19 August 2016)
Genre: Crime, Thriller & Mystery
Price: Rs. 189 on Amazon.
Pages: 368

'The Devotion Of Suspect X' is one of the best mysteries that I have ever read. When my husband fell in love with Higashino's style of writing, I bought him all the books of this author that were translated into English for his birthday. This also happened to be one of them. While taking a break from reading Harry Potter, I decided to read this one. And with a couple of hours per day, I was done with the book in three days. That is the best part about Higashino's books. The writing is light and simple and doesn't get tedious. Although the book has 350 odd pages, reading it felt like a breeze.

Action Replay: October 2016

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Two months to go and we're done with the year? Wow, 2016 did pass in a flash! While the rest of the year looked bleak to me, October some how managed to lift up my spirits. Finally 2016 started looking up towards the end of the year. Better late than never, right? October was a relatively free month for me in terms of work and I did get to enjoy some good "me" time. The biggest achievement for this month was that I finished my reading challenge for the year. Last year I had signed up to read 10 books and crawled my way to get to it. This year I had signed up for 30 and finished it with two months to spare! Better planning did the trick for me. I'm thinking of going for a book a week next year. 52 books in 12 months should be doable you think? Well, I still have two months to make up my mind on that.

Born From Fire

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I live my life the way I want
Why do others have a problem with it?
I let go of people who don't matter to me
And others, in my life, I always fit

I wear the clothes that I like
Short, long, wide or deep
The length of my skirt is my choice
Why so desperately you want to peep?

Wife Beating

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"When the wife is away, the husband will play."

"Marriage is a workshop where husband works and the wife shops."

"WIFE: Without information, fighting every time."

"It is hilarious when women think that they are punishing their husbands by not talking to them for a few days."

"A husband always has a wireless connection around him. It is called - Wifeye."

Book Review: The Girl Who Kicked The Hornet's Nest (Millennium Trilogy #3)

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Title: The Girl Who Kicked The Hornet's Nest
Author: Stieg Larsson
Publisher: Quercus; Film Tie-in edition (29 July 2010)
Genre: Thriller
Price: Rs. 299 on Amazon.
Pages: 656

The first and second books in this series were so awesome, that I picked this one as soon as I was done with the second. While the original translation of the Swedish book is called The Air Castle That Exploded, The Girl Who Kicked The Hornet's Nest is a continuation of the second book and manages to tie all ends together. In this book, the characters have more interesting lives. While Salander is now confined to an intensive care ward due to her injuries, she is also assigned a lawyer (Blomkvist's sister) to fight the murder case where she is the prime suspect. Blomkvist is going out of his way to help Salander, including smuggling a PDA and a modem into the hospital for her to use. Erika Berger is going to quit Millennium to be editor-in-chief at Sweden's largest daily paper. As soon as she takes over, she begins receiving graphic e-mails and threats from an anonymous source within the new company. Zala is admitted two rooms away from Salander in the same hospital and she still fears that he might kill her. The Section is going out of their way to institutionalize Lisbeth and declare her mentally incompetent.

She Sits Alone

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I sit here with a cup in my hand
Looking into oblivion, but not lost
I am at peace as I do this
This gives me happiness at zero cost

Sometimes I do read a book
As I enjoy my cup of tea
I like that no one disturbs me
When I come here, they let me be

Conscious Uncoupling

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For some reason, all the articles that I've read since morning have been about marriage and the difficulties that surround it. I am not a staunch believer in the institution of marriage but I do believe hopelessly in love. I married the man I love around four years ago and we have continued to be lovers and soul mates. It worked out very well for me, so yeah I'd like to say that marriage is good. The reason why I say that I'm not a big fan of marriage is because of the forced relationships and responsibilities that come with it. When most couples say that they don't feel married, it mainly means that they do not stay with their parents. The only time that I've felt married is when I stayed with my in-laws for the first two years of marriage. It was no less than hell. Today as my husband and I stay on our own, we're back to being in a relationship rather than being forced to being man and wife.

Love Lit

PHOTO PROMPT © Rochelle Wisoff-Fields

But there is still plenty of light outside”, I say looking out.

I know. But since this is the only time you have before you leave again, we’re doing this now.” He smiles his charming smile.

But…

Corporate Circus #1: Fresh Meat

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I joined the corporate world almost eight and a half years ago, right after college. Yes sir, I was one of those lucky ones who finished exams on one day and had to report to work the day after. A year before my final exams, I was placed in one of the biggest companies in the world and my family and I were delighted. Writing as a passion and a part time job, came years later. Back in college, let me correct myself, back in an Engineering college the only goal I had was to secure a job before I was done with my graduation. It was accomplished without much of a difficulty and a year later I was on a train to Chennai with my parents as my joining location was Chennai. Since this post is not about my struggle in that God-forsaken city, I will not bore you with the details. The first day was the induction that was held in a five star hotel and I walked into the corporate office the next day.

Blind Chaos

The path is crowded with thick fog
It pierces every part of me, her scream
Blinded, I slowly try to trace the path
Not too sure if I'm in a dream

A sharp stone pierces my bare foot
Almost to prove that I'm still awake
Cries of plea cloud my ears
I hear the shackles she's trying to break

In The Name Of God

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A few weeks ago,  when I stayed up all night being sick, all I wanted to do the next day to take a leave from work and sleep. The idea was to sleep until 10 am and then drop a message to my manager about being sick. It was just 6 am then and I thought I had more than enough time in hand. My eyes were exhausted as I hadn't slept a wink the previous night and I was having a terrible headache along with severe body pain. It was gloomy outside and it was the perfect weather to cuddle up inside a blanket and go to sleep. I had just closed my eyes when I woke up to a loud sound. That of a Shehnai. I stay on the third floor of an apartment complex, so imagine how loud it must have been. Turns out it was a religious procession by a man and his gaudily decked up cow asking for alms in exchange of blessings. Why he had to be so loud I do not know.

17 Years & Counting

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Circa 1999:

I had just changed school and had moved to a convent for the eight grade. This was an all girls school and it was a little difficult for me to adjust as I had been a part of co-education until now. I was always a tomboy and being only around girls was something new. I am someone who makes friends easily and soon had a circle of my own friends in the new class. After the first exam, I turned out to be the topper and I was enjoying my popularity in a relatively new place. This made me gain more friends. Some of who were happy for my success and others who just wanted to be a part of my circle. I had many friends, but not one I could relate to. Then one fine day, in the middle of the term a new girl joined the class. Shy and introverted, I still recall her round brown glasses. Of course, I stayed away from her at first. Silent people were never my cup of tea. I like the loud, brash ones. In short, people who are like me.

Pull Up Your Socks

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You have a lot of things on your mind
But what you are lacking is the time
Life suddenly feels all rushed
Stopping for breath feels like a crime

You are swamped with too many things
Nothing you do seems to go right
Before you quit take a second to think
Do you want to leave without a fight?

Action Replay: September 2016

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Yes, yes I'm really ashamed of staying away from this place for such a long time. I did have my reasons though. First, work kept and continues to keep me busy. Second, Harry Potter. We'll come back to that one later. At the risk of sounding like a techie, I'm gonna say that we already are at the final quarter of this year and I have no clue how the months passed by. The last three to four months were all about work and September was no less. Not that I am complaining. I'm a workaholic. We all know that. But earlier, I used to manage my time much better to include writing blog posts, reading, sketching etc etc. Something has snapped somewhere and I'm trying really hard to fix it. It is not easy, but I have no choice if I need to keep this space up and running.

Movie Review: PINK

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Cast: Amitabh Bachchan, Taapsee Pannu, Kirti Kulhari, Andrea Tariang, Piyush Mishra, Angad Bedi.
Direction: Aniruddha Roy Chowdhury
Genre: Drama
Duration: 2 hours 16 minutes

After 'Vicky Donor', I've been a fan of anything that is creatively touched by Shoojit Sircar. When I saw the first promo of this movie, the fact that it had Amitabh Bachchan in a female oriented movie made me want to watch it. When I learnt that it was being produced by Shoojit Sircar, I had mentally booked the tickets already. My husband and I watched this movie yesterday and it still continues to play in my mind.

Escape Route

PHOTO PROMPT © Shaktiki Sharma

John asked for the kitchen duty again. This time, they agreed.

Earlier, he was assigned to cleaning the prison toilets. After months of requesting, the jailer finally let him do the kitchen duty. He assumed that John was really interested in cooking. John was expected to start with grinding tonnes of flour and then work his way up to cooking. He started early everyday in a dusty room and finished his work on time. The prison authorities were impressed.

Smothered

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I saw this image online today and found it really interesting. I wanted to write my own interpretation of it. So here it is:

His strong fingers that I once loved
Now slowly find my delicate neck
Everything about him now hurts
From a simple touch to a light peck

His hold gets deep and tight
I cannot explain this pain
His eyes follow everything I do
As I try to escape in vain

Scented

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Although many things are left unsaid
I see all the answers in your eyes
Our relationship doesn't have a name
Knowing you and me it's not a surprise

No string holds us together
Strangers during day, lovers at night
Just the fact that you exist is enough for me
Brightening me up with your light

Friends we were, once upon a time
Oh how things have changed since then
It all happened in an instant
Today I don't recall how or when

As we entwine around each other
Our heartbeats together create a tune
My skin tingles with every breath
To others touch I am now immune

Is this love I don't want to know
I would call what we share as fire
Yes it does come with its share of emotions
Enveloped in the cloak of desire

I now look forward to every night
As we paint abstract in every shade
As the morning sun slowly rises
I sense your presence begin to fade

Let us keep it the way it is
Life is more perfect this way
You are a recurring episode
Which I look forward to everyday

As you hold me tight in your arms
At this instant, I don't want to let go
I see your eyes stating the same
And yet wanting me not to know

How beautiful you look sprawled across
On each other as we lie spent
When day breaks and you leave
I'll bathe myself in your scent

Book Review: The Girl Who Played With Fire (Millennium Trilogy #2)

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Title: The Girl Who Played With Fire
Author: Stieg Larsson
Publisher: Quercus; Film Tie-in edition (29 July 2010)
Genre: Thriller
Price: Rs. 149 on Amazon.
Pages: 576

After reading 'The Girl With The Dragon Tattoo' there is no way you can not read the other two books in the series. The first one was disturbing no doubt, but highly intriguing as well. Lisbeth Salander was an enigma to me when I read the first one. I wanted to know more about her. For the first time ever, I couldn't identify myself with the protagonist of a book. I picked up the second book hoping to find out more about her and also expecting a thrilling story line.

This book too is divided in to fours parts, each of which starts off with Lisbeth's newly found love for mathematics. The prologue opens with the past where Lisbeth is being captured and restrained inside a dark room by an unidentified male. To cope with being captured, she mentally replays a past episode when she threw a milk carton filled with gasoline onto another man inside a car and tossed an ignited match onto him.

She turns thirteen in captivity.

The story begins on the shores of the Caribbean where Lisbeth is seen spending her millions and enjoying her free time with a lot of books on mathematics and occasionally along with Bland, a sixteen year old with whom she develops a sexual relationship. When a storm hits the island, Salander ends up saving Bland and also a certain Mrs Forbes from her abusive husband. This part deals with the care free Lisbeth away from home and free to do anything she wants. With billions (the money she laundered from Wennerstrom) stashed away in her secret account, she is free to do all that she wants.

When she returns to Stockholm after more than a year, not wanting to move back into her old apartment, she allows her friend and occasional sex partner Miriam Wu to stay in her apartment and collect her mails. Lisbeth buys a huge apartment for herself and gets only a few rooms furnished in the classiest way possible. All this while, Nils Bjurman, her current guardian is plotting against her. He wants to get his hands on the video which shows him raping her mercilessly. He spends his time looking through her records and finds a common enemy. Meanwhile, Mikael Blomkvist and Millenium is sitting on a very well researched report all about sex trafficking in Sweden and the abuse of under aged girls by high-ranking political and official figures. The kingpin of this entire racket is someone called Zala. The report also names a few officials being involved in the crime and one in particular, Gunnar Bjorck. This report is written by Dag Svensson and his pregnant girlfriend Mia Johansson who wants Millenium to publish this as a book. Meanwhile, Blomkvist has been trying to get in touch with Lisbeth and is surprised to see her getting attacked by two men one day. He tries to help her and she escapes.

When Lisbeth learns of this report and sees the name Zala, she is shocked. She goes on to meet Dag and Mia and a few minutes later they are both shot dead. Blomkvist happens to be the one who finds their bodies and notifies the cops. Soon, Bjurman is found shot dead at his apartment and the murder weapons is the same revolver that killed both Dag and Mia, which now has Lisbeth's finger prints on it. She is labelled the prime suspect and is put on the most wanted list. As time goes by and Lisbeth remains hidden safe in her new apartment, all old records of her past is published by the media. The media labels her as a 'lesbian satanist' and Miriam Wu is attacked by two guys who wants information about Lisbeth's whereabouts. She is saved in the nick of time by a good samaritan who also happens to be someone who wants to help Lisbeth and clear her name.

Blomkvist is convinced that Lisbeth is not the killer and sets up an investigation of his own to help her. Knowing that she would hack his computer, he leaves out files for her to read and respond. She does respond to him and they begin to discuss the case. Blomkvist realizes that Lisbeth knows Zala although he is unable to come up with the connection. Lisbeth realizes that a particular record of hers which she calls "All that evil" is being withheld and not being published.

When Blomkvist saved her from her attackers, he is left with her bag that contains her keys. Once he finds her apartment, he finds the DVD of the rape and keeps it to himself without letting the police know about it. After confronting Bjork and getting some information from Lisbeth's former guardian Palmgren, Blomkvist pieces together the story. Meanwhile Salander decides to confront Zala herself and goes in search of him. She finds the farmhouse where he is hiding and comes face to face with another giant like man called Neidermann who tends to feel no pain. When she tries to escape, she is shot in the shoulder, hip and head but she still holds on to life. Neidermann buries her alive. Blomkvist makes out her moves and is on the way to the farmhouse.

Will she survive? How is Lisbeth related to Zala? Who killed Dag and Mia? Why is everyone hell bent upon framing Lisbeth? These are a few questions the book answers.

While the first book could be clearly termed as disturbing, this one is thrilling to say the least. The story line is shocking when you think that the people who are expected to protect us are the ones indulging in crime themselves. The story is fast paced and surpasses a lot of characters seamlessly. Lisbeth's picturesque sojourns are described brilliantly still keeping in mind how troubled and eccentric she is. Blomkvist wins as the hero here. He is smart and picks up clues as and when he senses something. His faith in Lisbeth and his quest for finding justice for Dag and Mia keeps the story tight and bound. His relationship with the married Erika Berger is explained better here, but is still something that I did not understand at all. Maybe I'm not the one for such relationships. You cannot help but feel sad for Lisbeth here. Did I feel a connection with her? Well, wanting to lead a normal life and wanting to be left alone is the only connection that I could make with her. Plus, how ruined relationships can make or break a person is something that I shared in common with her.

Though translated from Swedish, the writing is simply brilliant. You do not lose that finesse. Every character is etched well and the protagonists shine through. Multiple investigations on the same case from various sources can confuse the reader, but the difference in the angle of investigation makes it easy. The unsaid relationship between Lisbeth and Blomkvist is interesting and I want to know more about it. It somewhat is described better in the third book, that I will be reviewing soon. The second and the third books are connected. The first book too is loosely connected to the second book thanks to the spill over of a few characters. The story line however is different.

It is a long read but doesn't get tough. Since the mystery begins right at the start, it keeps you glued to every page. Read it and then read the third book. They are absolutely fantastic!


Verdict: Read it now!

Rating: 5 out of 5.

Action Replay: August 2016

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You know I started writing a combined post for the action replay of July and August. Half way through, I just happened to scroll down my blog and realized that I have already written the monthly post for July. Seriously, how could I not remember that? Have I been that busy? August just breezed through but not without leaving a bad taste in the mouth. For the first time ever, my birthday month disappointed me. Apart from the birthday and the gifts that came with it, there is nothing that I would want to remember about August. To start off with, I was really busy with work that left me with minimal time for everything else. Work is work, so I do not want to complain much. Apart from work, nothing else seemed to go right too. It was not only me, Cal had the same problems too. Just heavy headed with no peace of mind. And for no particular reason. Horrible, isn't it?

I have always lived a pretty open life without hiding anything from anyone. I do what I want to and talk/write about it. But now I think it is time I led a secluded life. Too many people knowing about what I did, what I bought, where I went, feels like the factor that is troubling me. No, I'm not one the one to believe in "buri nazar" and other things that come with it, but I've been burned way too many times by now. All I want is some peace and if lying low is gonna give me some of it, then so be it. This month has been really frustrating as everything I touched seemed to break apart. Fitness went for a toss as I working late nights and couldn't wake up early to hit the gym. Waking up late meant not taking lunch to work and that mean eating the cafeteria food that is hardly edible. Bad food ruins my mood even more.

Thanks to all this, reading and writing took a back step. I visited my parents last month and brought home some of my old books that I've wanted to read since like forever. My bookshelf is overflowing and I have bare minimum time to read. I've been reading 'The girl who kicked the Hornet's nest' since like forever now. I'm looking to start the Harry Potter series as soon as I'm done with this one. Writing came to a major halt too this month. Apart from the first seven posts that I wrote as part of the Bar-A-Thon on BAR, which my team won by the way, I couldn't write anything else. I remember taking a thirty minute break from work in order to write a poem about how busy I was and I came up with nothing. I had titled the poem "Try Me" and after two lines I couldn't come up with any words. Suddenly no words seemed to rhyme and the flow of words had come to a standstill. I abandoned the poem and my break and got back to work instead. I'm setting a goal of at least two books to read and twelve posts to write this September.

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There was something that was not at all right about this month. Maybe it is the gloomy weather in Bangalore or just a bad phase. Either way I'm not the one to give up. I woke up early today and was determined to stay happy no matter what. September is Cal's birthday month and I'm going to make sure it makes up for the past month too. I'll be leaving for a vacation in a fortnight and I cannot wait for it. The last vacation we took was to Sri Lanka in March and since then life has only been busy. You know, at times it is important to lead a slow life. Cal and I have been running around trying out a lot of new things. But I think it is time for us to slow down and relax now. And nothing like a beach vacation to do that. Looking forward to the mid of September.

Although I did not have time to get on social media and post stuff, I remained a mute spectator there. I was active on Instagram of course with the photoaday challenge. I've been doing it continuously for eight months now and have been enjoying every day and every prompt. I'm going to get the record to a year now. On Facebook and Twitter, I remained a silent watcher. From the Rio tweets and trolls to the teaser of Karan Johar's latest movie, I've seen it all. But the best part remained Krishna Janmashtami where every one were dressing up their kids like Krishna/Radha and posting pictures all over social media. I am not exaggerating when I say that I have seen at least 724789022 pictures of kids dressed gaudily last week. Is this what being a parent does to you? Well, more reasons to not be one then.

August put me down, stomped all over me, unloaded tonnes of crap, squeezed every ounce of patience out of my body and yet here I am. I survived it! I've been a survivor since I can remember and I have got past horrible things and terrible situations many times before. I will continue to fight anything and anyone that comes in the way of my happiness or that of my loved ones. People can poke their voodoo dolls as much as they want, the spirit in me refuses to give up. Haters gonna hate, I'm gonna love, live and celebrate.

My poem might not have found words, but yeah, try me.

Turning Thirty

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You know how well my creative juices have been flowing thanks to the cliched title of this post. So yeah, I turned thirty this month. Also, on a scale of one to ten, ten being the busiest one can get, I turned thirty on that one too. I've been wanting to write this post since my birthday on the 8th, but with 12 hours of work a day and working on weekends, it was almost impossible. Not that it is all done now, but things are definitely better and stable now. So now let's come to my birthday. While I did have a Joey's moment as I cut the cake at midnight, I did not wake up with any blues in the morning. It was a Monday and both Cal and I had taken a leave to celebrate the day. Not having to go to office on a Monday was a gift in itself. For the first time ever, growing old did not bother me. I'm not the one to think much about age and try to act young. For me, when life is going on smooth, I have nothing to complain about. Not even about growing old.

Cal and I spent the whole day together and went to fabulous places for lunch and dinner. Good food always sets the mood right and soon we were lost in conversation. I got some really wonderful gifts that included the entire collection of ''Harry Potter", along with the eighth book. I think it is about time I give this a go. I know it was written roughly around twenty years ago and I'm reading fantasy fiction at the age of thirty. But hey, what's to lose? Once I'm done with the current book I'm reading (at snail's pace, thanks to all the work bestowed on me), I shall pick this up. Rest of the birthday was super fun as Cal and I reminisced about all our birthdays together. It was my fifth birthday that we were celebrating together and we opened the box of memories and fell in love all over again. Turning thirty couldn't have been better.

Growing old obviously leaves you with a few lessons. If there is one thing that the past few months have taught me is to let go and sit back. At least once in a while. I'm that sort of person who cannot sit idle even for a second. I need to be on top of everything and make sure everything gets done the way I want it to be. Life is not that simple too, right? When I had my eye surgery last month and was stuck with clear boredom, I wanted to break open my invisible shackles and try to conquer the world. But the doctor had advised me rest. Cal was working from home for a week to take care of me and he did take care of me like a baby. And I was one cranky baby to say the least. He cooked all our meals and cleaned up after that. He sat and listened to my tantrums and held my hand through it. I wanted to help him out in the kitchen, but he didn't let me. He told me that when I'm getting the chance to rest I should and that at times it is okay to let others do things for you. Well, valuable lesson learnt.

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When I was considerably younger, thirty was the age I had in mind to get married. I don't know why, but I felt that was the suitable age for me to get married. I got married at twenty six instead. Earlier it was about the right time, but at twenty six I realized that it was about the right person. When you have found the right person to spend your life with, why wait? Today I'm in the fourth year of marriage and I couldn't be happier. I love the man I'm married to, but I'm not too big a fan of marriage as an institution. I don't like the added responsibilities and forced relationships that comes with it.

I'm not a person who likes to adjust and Cal was very clear that I should never have to adjust. He did not want me to change even one bit. He fell in love with the person I was and he wanted nothing of it to change. So did I. The first two years of marriage was hell for me, but I could get past it only because of the person who was standing strong next to me. He's been my rock. He's been supportive of everything I love. When I was working non stop over the past few weeks and on the weekends even, he just let me do it without complaining one bit. Of course he wasn't happy with the fact that I was over working but he knew that it had to be done. Like I said before, it is all about the right person. And I couldn't be more happier about being married today.

Life obviously is different when compared to a few years ago. I've let go of a lot of so called friends and am very happy with the tight bunch that I have now. I have also become more aware of people and their antics. I don't let anyone take me for granted anymore. I respect people based on their deeds and don't bother to interact with the people I have no respect for. It's my choice after all, isn't it? I have also let go of a lot of old grudges that I had held within me. It doesn't affect me anymore. I continue to believe in karma and act accordingly. I lead a peaceful and content life today and I couldn't be more happier. I have also turned wise over the past few years. Naah, not that age does that to you but I have begun to understand life better. I know what suits me the best and what kind of people I need to stay away from. But I cannot deny one thing. People will always continue to be my nemesis.

I just stepped into a new decade of life a few weeks ago. For now, I'm thirty and I'm loving it.

Sealed Promise

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"Promise?", little Joel asked his father who was leaving him for the second time this year.

"I promise, my son. I'll be back in two months just in time for your birthday. I'll run through the door and come in with your birthday gift."

"Double promise?" A tear escaped Joel's eye.

"Triple promise!" His father picked him up and gave him a long hug.

The promise was definitely fulfilled. His father was back on his birthday along with his birthday gift, a bicycle. He did not come running through the door though. He came in a sealed box, having lost his life in the war.

This post is written for the #BarAThon Day 7. Prompt: Promise.

Workoutaholic

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It definitely was not easy
But I knew I had to do it
In spite of the chaotic pain
Burning me bit by it

I had signed up for this
I want to get till the end
I want my body to behave
To extremes I want it to bend

I stretched more than I ever had
Slowly I was able to move an extra inch
I hadn't taken care of my body well
Now's when I began to feel the pinch

Soon, the dumbell and I were one
I was able to smoothly glide up and down
There was a rising spirit in me
Even though my sores were black and brown

The toughest hour of my life
All about weights and me alone
I know this was the price I had to pay
To see my body shapely tone

I had to be strong in my mind
Wishful thinking sure did help
Even though at times I gave in
Let out a few tears and a yelp

Fitness is a top priority now
Enough of the ice creams I did lick
Sweets and fatty foods have bid goodbye
Now I'm happy being a workoutaholic

This post is written for the #BarAThon Day 6. Prompt: Wishful Thinking.