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.

Ray Of Sunshine

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They had tried for five years now and yet Sneha could not conceive. They had visited the best of hospitals but there was no good news in store for them. Raman's parents were unhappy. They blamed Sneha for being barren. Raman knew that the fault was within him, but his parents were not the one to listen. When they had decided to adopt a child two years ago, his parents had threatened to kill themselves. "We will not accept somebody else's blood", they had said. They had even suggested for him to go in for another wife who would bear them their grandson.

Now as Sneha walked into the house with their grandson, they were ecstatic. All they cared was the fact that Sneha had got pregnant and delivered a healthy baby. Their son's child and the heir to their family. They did not know about the sperm donor whose identity was safe with the hospital. Raman and Sneha had sworn to take that secret to the grave.

All that mattered to them was that now there was a ray of sunshine to fill in the tiny shoes they had purchased on an impulse years ago.

This post is written for the #BarAThon Day 5. Prompt: Tiny Shoes.

Code Red

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The bathroom. The only place I don't feel his prying eyes on me. Whenever I feel I've had enough, I make an excuse of having to use the washroom and give myself the two minutes to be alone. I don't know what happened. I married the man I love, and now two years later I just don't recognize him anymore. He doubts my every move and wants to know what I'm thinking every second. If I'm quiet for a few seconds he questions me as to what I'm thinking. I go out to meet my friends and he calls me a hundred times. He doesn't abuse me, but I feel mentally tortured in every possible way. He's loving, caring and a very kind human being. But his love is now smothering me.

Today. I opened the laptop we share at home to give the finishing touches to my article. I saw a document pop open. I looked closer at it only to check if it is a part of my folder. It did not take me long to realize that it was my husband's note. He had been making points and notes to himself. The last paragraph read "I know it's a lie. She says she has a call at 7 and will answer my calls only after 8. That's the time I leave work. What does she intend to do in that hour when I'm not allowed to contact her? I know some one's been coming over when I'm away. She's been exercising to lose weight these days. Maybe he likes her slim. I'm not going to let them get away with this. I'll come home early to catch them red handed and then....."

The note was unfinished. I realized that the battery had died out and the system had shut down. When I rebooted it and wanted to open my document, this document had opened asking me if I wanted to save the changes. If not for this, I'd have never known what was going on in his mind all this time.

Red. I wore red after my evening shower. I said my prayers and dropped a mail to my agent saying that I'll not be able to take the call at 7. I looked at the mirror and saw my eyes let go of the tears they were holding. I ignored them and smeared a line of vermilion in the middle partition of my hair. I wore the red bangles that I had last worn at our wedding. Oh! What a happy day that was! Probably the best day of my life. No, maybe not. Today has to be the best day of my life. I day I find freedom from him. The day I am at peace. At last.

He walked in by 7.20 pm slowly inserting the key into the lock. He looked into the study and saw the laptop lying untouched and the phone was still in its place. That bitch was lying, he knew. Time to get it done with. He slowly opened the door, it was dark. He could make out an image on the bed and yet nothing was clear. He switched on the light while still looking at the bed. She sat there motionless, dressed in red. She looked frozen. Without a word he walked in to the bathroom to check if anyone is hiding in there. Next, he searches the balcony. Not finding anyone, he begins to breathe easily. He looks towards her and notices that she's not alone after all. She had two packed bags with her and a hand bag next to her. She pulls out a file from it, flings it at him, and walks away.

It was he who was caught red-handed. With his insecurities. 

This post is written for the #BarAThon Day 4. Prompt: Caught red-handed.

Fragile Lives

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Blood relatives
Comparison high
Emotions buried
Ruled by a lie

Envy survives
Love remains lost
Blood turns thin
At every cost

Walls built
Relationships die
No share in joy
No shoulder to cry

One life
Each wants best
Nothing is left
For the rest

The delicate thread
Breaks apart
Intricate links
No longer in the heart

Contempt triumphs
Soul doesn't know
Fragile lives
More fragile ego


This post is written for the #BarAThon Day 3. Prompt: Fragile Lives.

What You Don't Know

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Earlier, the blogging space was very sacred with genuine writers wanting to share their work. Now every Tom, Dick and Harry has a blog of their own. Most of them create blogs to get free samples of products or free vouchers or anything else that comes for free. Honestly, it hurts to see a scared place like this get tainted. But then again, maybe this place was not so scared after all. Most of us write for passion, some of us write to share something with the world while some of us make a living by writing alone. However, there are a bunch of pseudo bloggers who don't know the head or tail of blogging but make their presence felt in the loudest way possible. Like my friend says, "Everyone can write, but everyone shouldn't". Couldn't be more true.

This post of mine is dedicated to a set of bloggers who think that they are the crème de la crème of the blogging world. Trust me, they are. But not for the reasons they think.

~ Dear pseudo fashion blogger: You think fashion was made for you and that your future lies in it. What you don't know is that even that little finger of yours is not aware of what fashion is. Wearing everything you get for free (no way anyone would pay money for them) and clicking poor quality pictures (where one can see the shadow of the photographer) is not fashion blogging. Reviewing each and every product on your makeup stand in a separate post just goes on to show how jobless you are and doesn't connect to fashion in anyway. While we are on it, what you also don't know is that your breasts point west and south and looks like a defunct compass in your photographs. Fashion is not your calling, my dear. The only thing calling you is a good lingerie store. Or are you expecting that for free too?

~ Dear pseudo food blogger: You visit every place in the city and rate every place a 4 or a 4.5 or a 5 out of 5. You are either really kind or really unaware of what a food blogger is expected to do. What you don't know is that people only call you to visit their restaurants because they know you would give them a good rating in exchange for a free meal. Not because you are famous or know your food really well. Also, if you claim to be a fan of Masterchef Australia the least you could know would be who is Gary and who is George. And no, Matt Preston is not their father.

~ Dear pseudo creative blogger: What you don't know is that, when your blog is filled with book and product reviews, it is not called a creative writing blog. No matter how creatively you write (in the future, I mean), it still would be a review blog.

~ Dear pseudo poetry blogger: Congrats on your nth poetry book release. What you don't know is that I know the blogs you have stolen your poems from. Including two of mine.

~ Dear pseudo beauty blogger: Where do you store all the free samples of makeup products you receive? Put on all the foundation and concealer you want. What you don't know is that the foundation and powder needs to be extended to the neck area too. Else you end up looking like a floating head in a dark room. Also, there is no need for you to review every shade of a particular nailpolish brand. What you might also not know is that the base remains the same, just the shade differs. If that is what your are reviewing, then great job!

~ Dear pseudo travel blogger: It is nice to see you cover a lot of places and have more than a 1000 posts on your blog. What you don't know is that a visit to your neighborhood park is not necessarily called "travel". Do correct me if I'm wrong.

~ Dear master of all trades blogger: Have you heard of the word "niche"? What you don't know is that there is a wonderful creation called Google where you can look up this word and try to find yours.

~ Dear blogger turned author: I heard your debut book is doing really well. Good for you. What you don't know is that I know the set of people you forced, to give your book a five star rating. *Slow salute*

~ Dear blogger turned best selling author: Congrats on being one of the best selling authors of the country. I have read one of your books and found it to be pretty decent. While you do know a thing or two about writing, what you don't know is modesty. Or smart marketing for that matter. Backlinking almost every word in your blog post to the buying page of your book is so not cool. Yeah, you might be a best selling author. But do you have to sign every blog post of yours saying that?

~ Dear ass kisser blogger: Why do you so desperately try to be in the good books of all the bloggers around? Leaving a comment with a million hearts will not take you anywhere. I know you think that this would make them come back to your blog and leave comments. What you don't know is that is not how the blogging world works. There are quite a few sensible bloggers out there who know a good blog from a make-believe one.

~ Dear genuine bloggers: Please continue writing for your passion. What you don't know is that I have immense respect for you and I will always hold you in high regard. Or maybe you do.

Okay, I'm done.

This post is written for the #BarAThon Day 2. Prompt: What you don't know.

Stranger Than Fiction

Love they say is like a breeze
You cannot see it but only feel
It has the power to break you apart
It also has the capacity to make you heal

Love stories are in every corner
You see them all around
You'll hear it in some one's heart beat
Else in an other's eyes it will be found

Is it always as rosy as it looks?
Is love the happiest thing ever?
Will it stay by your side always?
Will it hurt you never?

You've read about Romeo and Juliet
Lived the life of Jack and Rose
Love stories have a tune to them
You sense it in poetry or prose

Will it always have a happy ending?
In love will things never go wrong?
What happens when you're left alone?
Will you scatter or emerge more strong?

What we see and what we read
Are brief examples at its best
You'll only know when it happens to you
You'll feel it in your gut or your chest

It is not always easy
You need to live it to experience it
Love comes with many other emotions
Slowly at first then it will strongly hit

Read about love and then fall in it
Don't make "happily forever" an addiction
When you look at the truth deeply
You'll see that it's stranger than fiction


This post is written for the #BarAThon Day 1. Prompt: Stranger Than Fiction.