Sunday, November 30, 2014

Love Stu(m)bble

This incident dates back to a few years, when I, with a few of my friends, decided to shoot a short movie. No, do not have any grand idea. Neither was I stepping into Bollywood nor was I planning to showcase my work in the Short Films Category in the Oscars. We were just a bunch of youngsters with similar interests in films, and thus on a sudden whim wanted to try making something of our own.

Now, I was the chief planner. You can say I was in - charge of the direction, story and script. Hence, I penned down the meatiest role for me, that of a hero who could fight the baddies aka Salman Khan as well as romance his leading lady aka Shahrukh Khan. Yeah, the image of people whistling whenever I hogged the screen space was dancing in my mind.

However, we still had to find a producer, and with God's grace, we were successful. Mr. Rampal, the jewellery merchant and my neighbour, promised to don that hat.

As the D-Day approached, my excitement knew no bound. To tell you the truth, Rhea, the girl who would be playing the character of the heroine, was my childhood crush, and I had planned to propose her once the shooting was over. So you see, I had made a full proof scheme of winning her heart, to be her hero both on and off the screen.

I went to the shoot on the designated day, and found my other friends and co-actors engrossed in the script. I quickly changed into my costume. The first scene was an action sequence where I had to beat up three goons.

"Hey, you wore the wrong costume," Mr. Rampal said when I emerged out of the makeshift dressing room.

"What! The hero is supposed to wear this," I retorted.

"Yes, that's what I am saying," he replied impatiently.

"But ... but I am the hero, right?" I was surprised by his behavior.

He stared at me for a minute, and I knew the silence spelled doom. "Well, there has been a slight change this morning," he confessed.

"What change?" I was aghast. A change on the first day of the shoot, and I thought as the director I should be calling the shots.

"Manoj will be the hero for this movie. His clean shaved look is perfect, and thus I felt the role should go to him."

"And what about me?" I was enraged. I had sported the stubble intentionally to get a rough and tough edge, but now that proved disadvantageous to me.

"Well," Mr. Rampal scratched his head, and said, "Why don't you wear the costumes of one of the goons that the hero is supposed to beat up in the first scene?"

Needless to say, it was one of the worst days of my life. However, it didn't stop there, as fate decided to play a wicked game on me.

Rhea and Manoj are a happily married couple today, while I still await the entry of a heroine in my life.



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

This post is in response to the tag by Simran. I tag the following bloggers to take up the #WillYouShave Challenge further:

  1. http://soumya-hintofme.blogspot.in
  2. http://jyotsnabhatia.blogspot.in
  3. http://myfriendshipsimran.blogspot.com
  4. http://artofleo.com
  5. godyears.net
  6. http://hummingwords.blogspot.in
  7. http://vaisakhimishra.blogspot.in


Saturday, November 29, 2014

Kill That Love

(Image Source: http://www.wattpad.com)


smoking kills
and so does love
time for you
to nip that bud
laid on a platter
a home grown skull
me, am the Captain
commanding the hull
follow my orders
like a blood sucking leach
how to kill that love
is what I will teach

go out of your way
burn those hearts
they are freaking potholes
obstacles on your path
you need them no more
times have changed
betrayal is the key
honesty to be feigned

kill that love, yeah kill kill kill
be the stone that hardly feels
tears won't take you far
smiles are a life long scar
feed those emotions to the evil chill

kill the love, today, now
free your mind of bondage how
wired in dreams
unreal realms
get up hey, romance isn't wow

embrace the dark, let the light fade
someday my friends we will all be dead
what good would it do to be so true
heaven and hell - do we really have a clue
demon is your strength, get rid of the angel
drain all noble deeds, relish as the devil
savour the wickedness, join the club
and I would teach how to kill that love


This Poem is shared with Poetry Jam - How To.



The Slogan Of Awakening - #AbMontuBolega




Cleanliness is next to Godliness, they say. Who are this ‘they’ by the way? Leaders, thinkers, philosophers? Aah, do not make wild guesses. ‘They’ are us, you, me and everyone.

We all appreciate the beauty and power of cleanliness. We share Facebook posts and tweet about initiatives that have taken place in our country on behalf of Swach Bharat. We, trying to be a part of the noble cause, wake up early with a broom in our hand, and determination lit large on our face, sweeping the streets in our colony, beaming with pride when we upload those pictures on social networking sites, gaining likes and appreciations from our friends. But is that all? Is our duty towards a clean India confined to a few minutes of social work?

Cleanliness isn't just a physical aspect. Rather, it’s also about our mental and psychological well being. And along with keeping our neighbourhood and country clean, we should also try to rid our mind with all sorts of pollution and obstacles.

It’s time to raise our voice, show our concern, sweep the broom and clean every nuisance in our society.  Strepsil’s new campaign #AbMontuBolega is an awareness drive to raise our voice and make a difference. It’s about performing our duties as citizens of this country, as well as human beings, standing up for what is right and admonishing the wrong. Let us ignite the Montu within us, and voice our opinions to make our country better.

For instance, there have been numerous debates on Black Money stashed in foreign bank accounts, and several promises have been made by our leaders to bring the money back to India, for the betterment of the country. We get to hear about these almost on a daily basis. But is that what we have been reduced to now – a blind spectator, a mute audience? It’s time to exercise our power as citizens of one of the largest democracies. Most of us have honest means of livelihood, but when we see dishonesty and corruption ruling the roost, our blood boils. With a large fraction of the country below the poverty line, we demand a thorough and quick probe, and to make this nation corruption – free as soon as possible, because #AbMontuBolega.

Potholes are often left uncovered, and there have been several accidents of kids and adults falling into them, losing their lives. Whom do we blame? The Government of course. This is something we need to change. We need to take responsibility at times. It’s easy to pass on the blame, but instead of doing that, we can spend a few minutes and cover those open potholes, thus saving lives on the way. Listen to your inner conscience, because #AbMontuBolega.

Talking of safety, how can we ignore the crime and violence against women? It’s sad how even in modern time and age, when girls and women have achieved such great heights, they still feel unsafe walking on the roads of our metropolitan cities. We can boast of developments in fields of technology and economic, but without ensuring our women a proper environment to live in, can we really feel proud of our society? Stricter laws must be implemented and harsher punishments should be meted out to culprits. Along with that, we also need to shift our mindset, respect women like we respect and pray the female deities and Goddesses, because #AbMontuBolega.

Swach Bharat isn't just a daily or a weekly or a monthly program, but an initiative that we should adopt in our heart, working for it effortlessly. Nothing is perfect, but everything can be made better. It’s time we clear our mind and get rid of all the clutter, focus our soul in the positive direction and raise our voice for the right causes.

We have been quiet for too long, and hence it’s time to speak up. Let’s unite and march ahead, and shout the slogan of awakening - #AbMontuBolega.


This is my official entry to '#AbMontuBolega' Happy Hours organized by Indiblogger in association with Strepsils.

Check out the official page below:

Like Strepsils India on Facebook:

Follow Strepsils India on Twitter:



Friday, November 28, 2014

Blizzard



in blistering blizzard
they seek warmth
by the fireplace
of memories

she, narrates stories
of frozen icicles
that melt with time
and promises
into dewdrops

his fingers encircle
the arc under her eyes
drawing lines
of velvet dreams
with colors seven
he carves rainbow
under the snow

in blistering blizzard
they hear love
knocking at the door

she hesitates
he hesitates
they hesitate

would it be wise
to be safe, and not squander
what's already in store


This Poem is shared with Magpie Tales - Mag 247.



Thursday, November 27, 2014

Remember - Review

In the midst of tragedy, memories can bring the greatest healing. Ashley Baxter is trying to forget.
A Deep Regret - Though Ashley vowed to start a new life when she came back from Paris, the mistakes she made there continue to haunt her. She has locked up her heart, convinced that no one - including God - could forgive her. But four unlikely people - Alzheimer's patients - find the cracks in Ashley's heart and slowly help her heal.
An Unthinkable Tragedy, then comes the nightmare of September 11, which forever changes the lives of the Baxter family, causing them to remember what is important and leading them to make decisions that are both heartbreaking and hope-filled.
A Steadfast Love - Landon Blake has loved Ashley since he was a teenager, but the heartache of her past has convinced her she'll never be able to love again. Landon tries to dull the pain of her rejection by immersing himself in the rescue efforts at Ground Zero. Will a new opportunity in New York keep him apart from Ashley forever.

About the Authors
USA Today and New York Times bestselling author Karen Kingsbury is America's #1 inspirational novelist. She has written more than forty novels and there are over 15 million copies of her award - winning books in print. Visit her website at www.KarenKingsbury.com.
Gary Smalley, America's relationship doctor, is the cofounder of the Smalley Relationship Center and the author of more than forty bestselling, award - winning books, including The Blessing, The Language of Love, and The DNA of Relationships.



If I say that 'Remember' is the best novel that I have read this year, do not consider it to be an exaggeration. The feelings are true, and such has been the impact of this novel that I am still hung over its beauty.

Like the first book in the series ('Redemption'), 'Remember' charts the lives of the members of the Baxter family, through times thick and thin. While Kari was the protagonist in the series opener, the focus shifts towards her sister Ashley this time, unfolding her secrets and the events that had changed her life while she was in Paris. The shocking revelation is followed by the moment of realization, and then the subsequent healing. Her belief and faith undergoes a complete turnover, and we see the warm side of her personality.

But then again, that wouldn't have been possible if she wasn't blessed with a friend and companion like Landon.

Ashley and Landon’s relationship reminds us of Kari and Ryan, floating in a mist of passion and need, and the confusion that creates a distance between the couple. While the love in their hearts is true, and is eager to be shared, it’s the uncertainty of the situation that holds them back, leading to a sad beauty and poignancy that promises a lot, but takes time to fulfil those vows.

The story flows in a subtle timeliness, as the characters grow in experience over several events, both happy and sad. The chief turning point in the story is the terrorist attack of September 11 that shook not only the United States but created ripples of shock and disbelief all around the global. Can hope and prayer save the world from such attacks of evil, and does God have a plan for all our well being? The faith of Baxter’s family is questioned, and how they react to this catastrophe showcases their strength and bonding.

Another important segment that has been dealt with in 'Remember' is Alzheimer’s disease. Ashley joins a centre that takes care of patients suffering from this disease, and as you read their conversations, often repetitive, and yet, so full of life, you really need to keep your bag of tissues ready. Their words dab at your soul, and like Ashley, you, the reader, feel for them, and their pain. Moreover, these patients teach us a lot about life, how we dwell in self imposed negativity, complaining for things we don’t have, rather than feeling blessed for what God has gifted us.

'Remember' isn't just a figment of imagination, or a mere fiction. No! Rather, it’s one of those conversations that we have with our inner selves, trying to find who we are, what we want, exploring the questions that haunt our minds, forgetting that the answers take their own time to come, and we should just wait for the right moment. 'Remember' is real, the characters are rooted deep within us. There is an Ashley, a Ryan, a Landon, a Kari and a Luke in each one of us, often taking the forms of different moods and whims.

The cover of the book has this beautiful line – “In the midst of tragedy, memories can bring the greatest healing.” Once you read the book, the real meaning of it dawns on you, and a feeling of thankfulness and gratitude floods your heart.

This Thanksgiving Day, go and pick up this masterpiece, and enrich your life by savouring the beauty the world has to offer.


Title: Remember
Authors: Gary Smalley, Karen Kingsbury
Publisher: Jaico Publishing House
Publication Year: 2013
Language: English
Binding: Paperback
Genre: Fiction
No. of Pages: 412
Price: Rs 299
My Rating: 5/5



Wednesday, November 26, 2014

Thank You O' Lord

(Image Source: http://hdwallpaperszon.in)


Thank you O' Lord
For the love you share
Teaching us to care
Moments of peace
We smile in bliss
Feeding our need
Sheltering our greed
Holding our hands
Taking righteous stands.

You show us the way
Whenever we lose
Our paths astray
Showering us with light
Gifting rays so bright
Divine your presence
In our heart, and mind
We thank you O' Lord
For being ever kind.


This Poem is shared with Poets United Midweek Motif - Gratitude.



Monday, November 24, 2014

Play And Share, Share And Win



Mobile gaming has taken up the country by storm. The advent of new games that are addictive and socially engaging have made a deep impact in our lives. Gone are the days when we had to think of ways by which we could avoid boredom. Now, with millions of games available for download at the tip of our fingers, we can engage ourselves in moments of fun and excitement.

Most of the games allow us to post our scores on social networking platforms and share them with our friends. What if I tell you that a new concept is being launched in India that provides the players not just the opportunity to share their scores but also with a chance to win real prizes? Surprised? Well, don't be, 'cause Fat Cat Gaming is arriving to turn this dream into reality with the launch of Lucky 6.

At some points in our lives we have all played games dealing with lottery, aiming for the jackpot and hoping to grab the big prizes. They were fun and relied a lot on your intuition, and if luck smiled on that particular day, you won. Lucky 6 follows the same concept. The player has to first download the game on his Android or iOS device, post which he needs to create an account so that he can start playing. The game asks the user to select 6 brands out of a long list of popular ones like Castrol, Wipro, Samsung, etc. Now, on the game day, that player wins whose 6 brands see the highest gain in stocks on that particular day. Isn't that simple?

The best part of this game is 'Sharing'. Suppose you don't win, but you had introduced a friend to this game, and he or she wins the jackpot, then you also receive a bonus. So the more number of friends you introduce into the game, and make them a part of your 'crowd', the higher is your chance of winning a reward. Sharing was never so fun, right?

The user interface is easy to navigate through, and even a new player wouldn't need help or a guiding document to start playing. We all trust our luck, and this game takes the belief farther, giving us the chance to win big. It promises to invite us to Eureka moments of sudden successes, surprising us and our friends with lucrative rewards.

Lucky 6 looks promising, and is here to stay. Since this game doesn't need much of your time, you can create your Brand list for the game day in a few minutes and then focus on your other tasks. The game is addictive in a harmless sort of a way, and each day brings with it the new excitement to win. You can enjoy it with friends, family and relatives, and together engage in a healthy competition to see who ends up with the jackpot. After all, their happiness is your happiness too, for as I said before, even if you don't win, but your folks do, you still get rewarded.

Don't miss this chance at any cost. Download the game, play, and win.


This is my official entry to '#Lucky6' Happy Hours organized by Indiblogger in association with Fat Cat Gaming.

Check out the official page below:
http://fatcatgaming.com/


Sunday, November 23, 2014

That Rhyme And That Story

Way before I started relishing the science fiction stories of H.G. Wells, or the well crafted Hollywood films that quench our thirst regarding knowledge of the outer space, I was drawn to the night skies, and the stars that floated on it, beautifully, silently. As a small child, my interest in space and astronomical objects were fueled by one nursery rhyme - "Twinkle Twinkle Little Stars," and the thirst hasn't waned since then. What the rhyme did to me was ignite a curiosity, to seek answers beyond the obvious. Are there lives in planets that revolve around those stars? Will they ever come to meet us? Even today, when I walk in solitude, words playing on my mind, I often travel back in my time to my childhood, reciting the rhyme with my other class mates, animatedly, weaving a hundred dreams in constellations and galaxies. This rhyme was certainly one of my favorites, flooding the inquisitive bend in my mind with the thirst to know more and more.


So often in this fast paced competitive world, we are bogged down by failures. We sit and rue and curse our fate. However, we ignore the fact that the key to get out of tough times lies on us. In moments like these, the story of "The Clever Crow" inspires me to move on. Just like the bird found the answer to his thirst by putting pebbles one after the other in a jar of water that was half full, so can we too solve all our problems by working hard, and thinking of innovative ideas that might help. Life is a risk, and if we never fail, can we ever enjoy the taste of success? Hard work definitely pays, and with patience and perseverance, we can open the door to new opportunities and favorable circumstances. After all, every problem has an answer, and only by our willingness to solve the puzzle can we find the right solution, and unearth new happiness.




This post is a part of Kids Hut activity at BlogAdda.com.



A Ball Of Fur

(Image Source: http://sickhorses.com)


a ball of fur
purrs
nonchalant
on the kitchen window
as I stir
hot milk on the stove
my eyes
fixated on her

a ball of fur
disobeys
shoo, go away, I command
yet it stays
greedily
eager to leap
merrily
wickedly

a ball of fur
spilled madness on the floor
and waste
but today, am not in haste
if she can wait, so will I
play this patient game
the winner shall have it all
and loser will die of shame


This Poem is shared with dVerse - Defamiliarization.


Beyond School by Chitra Anand

Title:  Beyond School
Author: Chitra Anand
Category: Fiction
Publisher: Leadstart Publishing
Date: 2014
Price: Rs 124
Pages: 201
ISBN -10: 9383562404
ISBN-13: 978-9383562404



About The Book:
Beyond School centres upon the weeks leading up to 17-year-old Shail s final board exams, as his world becomes a pressure-cooker and the weight of preparing for the exams sends him fleeing rebelliously in the other direction. Along with Shail s journey from boyhood to manhood, Beyond School vividly weaves between the narratives of four main characters, seamlessly uniting the past and present of Shail, his parents-Urmila and Sushil and his mentor-Gladys, in a story that is honest, funny, heartbreaking and ultimately, incredibly human.

About the Author:
Chitra Anand was born in Mumbai. She is a postgraduate in Physics and holds an Education degree. Beyond School is her first novel inspired by her journey as an educator.

Copies Available at all online stores:
  1. Flipkart: http://www.flipkart.com/beyond-school/p/itmdtatf8zzznnj6?pid=9789383562404&otracker=from-search&srno=t_2&query=beyond+school&ref=f8d39981-787b-40fd-bff0-79ef448c52d2
  2. Amazon:  http://www.amazon.in/Beyond-School-Novel-Chitra-Anand/dp/9383562404/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1415559658&sr=8-1&keywords=beyond+school+by+chitra+anand
Know More Inside Stories, Connect with The Author:
Twitter: @chtranand

Read the book? Write a review on Goodreads:
https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/22597940-beyond-school



Thursday, November 20, 2014

Dusk

sitting on park bench
he bids goodbye to the sun
and welcomes the moon


This Haiku is shared with Carpe Diem - Dusk.



Collegedunia.com - Review

The most dreaded question in the mind of every student after passing Class XII is - "What next?" Confusion, confusion!

While school provides us with basic education, it's in college that we hone our skills and pursue the course that would shape our future. Thus, every student, parent and guardian, should make the right choice when it comes to the selection of course and college.

With so many educational institutes around us, we are definitely spoilt with choices. However, we should know how to differentiate one from the other, so that we can measure the scope and feasibility of each institute and match them with our aptitude accordingly.

Wouldn't it be better if we could access all college related information from one place?



Collegedunia.com serves as the perfect guide for students seeking admission to colleges and universities to pursue their graduation and post graduation. The website has a simple user friendly layout. For example, clicking on 'Management' on the top bar, and then selecting Delhi as location, will open a list of M.B.A. colleges in Delhi.



If you click on any college, you get a wide array of information about that institute such as fees, rating, contact details, placement, facilities, courses on offer, faculty, etc.


Collegedunia.com also offers regular updates about entrance exams, so that the students can be aware and apply for the same.


A good characteristic of Collegedunia.com is that it doesn't focus on one particular stream of study. Rather, it aims to cater to the needs of students from different interests and backgrounds and thus showcases a wide range of fields that one can pursue. Students can gain information on institutes that provide courses in Management, Engineering, Medical, Arts, Science, Commerce and Law. Also, one can make use of the 'Search' bar and filter the searches to get a streamlined result.

Collegedunia.com serves as a one - stop destination for students. With a large number of colleges, it certainly presents a lot of options. However, the website should aim to continuously enhance their data, adding more colleges and universities to their list, so that it can provide a wider scope to the students. All in all, this is a good initiative that is pacing towards the right path, focusing to build the career and a strong future for tomorrow.



Wednesday, November 19, 2014

Bring Back The Touch



Projects, deadlines, rewards and opportunities to roam around the world, life was definitely in full flow. Lucrative incentives and exciting bonuses surely ensured a healthy growth in my current organization, and I could only bless God for that.

I was in the midst of an important meeting with prospective cclientèleswhen her number flashed on my mobile screen – “Sapna Calling.” I clicked the red button on my cell and disconnected the call. However, it beeped again after a few minutes. I excused myself and received.

“I am in a meeting. What happened now?” I was somewhat agitated.

“Akash, I’m sorry. It’s … it’s just that we had planned to go out for dinner tonight, and its already 8pm …” she said.

I took a deep breath, and tried to keep my tone as calm as possible, “It’s ok. We can go tomorrow, or day after. No big deal, right?”

“Right,” she was quiet for a few minutes, and then said softly, as if measuring her words, “but tomorrow, or day after, isn’t our marriage anniversary. It is today, Akash.”

I sighed, “Yes. Ok. I will be home in an hour.”

We went to a Chinese restaurant, as per Sapna’s wish. I gifted her diamond necklace, and she smiled. We placed our orders, and waited. Meanwhile, I received a few mails from my associates regarding the meeting and its future course of action, and I started replying to them one by one on my smartphone.

“Akash,” my thoughts were suddenly interrupted by her voice.

“Yes,” I answered without looking up from my mobile screen.

“You know,” she said, “I have always felt so lucky having married to someone like you. You are such a nice person, doing good with your life, and have provided me with everything that I couldn’t ever dream of. But today, there is one luxury I miss the most.”

I looked at her. Across the table, was the girl whom I had fallen in love with, had proposed in only our second date, and together we had celebrated five years of togetherness. However, there was something amiss in that beautiful face of hers today. Something was not right.

And then I noticed. Her eyes, dabbed in forced smile, exuded a feeling of pain so humble that I hadn’t cared to notice it ever.

“Akash,” she continued, “the one luxury I have been missing today, and since the last few months, is you.” She wiped her eyes with the tissue paper.

I didn’t know what to answer. My voice choked, and my heart broke too. I placed my right palm over her left hand on the table, gently squeezing the tips of her fingers, circling her ring finger where the divine symbol of our union shone bright in golden hues.

“I am sorry Sapna,” I said, still holding her hand, caressing her, gently, warmly, “In all these work commitment I had completely forgotten about one commitment that I should have held the closest to my heart. I am really sorry, but trust me, I will make amends for this. I will never let you cry again. I promise.”

Out thumbs mingled, our fingers kissed each other, deeply entwined in a feeling of serenity, and I made a decision. I opened the Email application on my smartphone, and mailed my associates – “I will be on leave for the next seven days, and will not respond to emails or business calls.Thank You.”

Our dinner arrived, and we ate, looking into each others eyes, finally having found the missing touch in our relationship.

“What about another honeymoon, to rekindle our passion?” I winked.

Her eyes sparkled, “Wow. Where?”

“You tell.”

“Mauritius.”

“So be it Madam.”

We flew to Mauritius the next day, to #BringBackTheTouch into our love life, to relive the dreams all over again.


This is my official entry to '#BringBackTheTouch' Happy Hours organized by Indiblogger in association with Parachute Advansed Body Lotion.

Check out the official page below:



Tuesday, November 18, 2014

Toilet For Babli

We talk of progress, high end development, and initiatives to bolster the nation’s economy. There has been widespread improvement for sure, in various fields, and we have all benefited from that. However, one major issue that still needs to be dealt with is open defecation.

We, sitting in the luxury of our homes, may not be able to grasp the hazards of open defecation at first. We have toilets that serve our needs of sanitation. However, what about those who do not have these basic amenities at hand that we always take for granted. In several parts of the country, especially in rural areas, people still have to defecate in the open, just because either there is no toilet available at their homes, or the public toilets have become too dirty by constant use and lack of cleanliness. Poverty forces people to adopt such extreme measure which is unhygienic as well as unsafe.

Open defecation leads to several diseases like diarrhea, intestinal infections, typhoid, cholera and hepatitis. Due to lack of medical facilities in those areas, these diseases eventually lead to death. The worst affected are the women and the children. Open defecation leads to safety issues too, especially after sunset or before sunrise.

Women and girls have to search for places for open defecation when it’s dark, away from evil eyes, and that leads to several cases of crimes against them. Often we have read about incidents of rapes and sexual molestation when a woman or a girl goes out in dark to find a place for defecation. This in turn impacts their dignity and injures them both physically and psychology. Fear grows in their mind and causes serious repercussions. For girls, this constant fear often leads to depression, due to which they are not able to concentrate on their studies and other healthy activities.

Thus, as a responsible human being, it is for us to look into this matter and take proper actions. The Government surely tries its best, but we, the citizens too should act in a matured manner and work towards the betterment of our nation by undertaking initiatives related to areas like health, sanitation and safety. By utilizing our free times in such causes, we can surely make a difference in the lives of several million people.

Domex, the leading toilet cleaner brand of Hindustan Unilever Lever, has come up with a noble program named as the Domex Toilet Academy (DTA). The World Toilet Day is celebrated every year on 19th November, and Domex makes the day special with its well thought of initiative. It aims to build several toilets in villages and rural areas that do not have proper sanitation. Its pilot project in Junapani in Maharashtra is going in full flow, aiming to make it an open defecation free village. DTA plans to undertake similar measures in other parts of Maharashtra and Odisha, and then in the entire country. It is collaborating with various local groups to spread awareness and educate the villagers about the disadvantages of open defecations and the benefits of healthy sanitation.

You can bring about the change in the lives of millions of kids, thereby showing your support for the Domex Initiative. All you need to do is “click” on the “Contribute Tab” on www.domex.in and Domex will contribute Rs.5 on your behalf to eradicate open defecation, thereby helping kids like Babli live a dignified life.



This is my official entry to 'Toilet for Babli' contest organized by Indiblogger in association with Domex.

Check out the official page below:


Monday, November 17, 2014

No Snow ?!?!

The snow was supposed to be light.
Alas, no snow at all, was that right?
He wanted to stay indoors,
Watch the game, of course,
But, with wife he shopped to avoid a fight.


This Limerick is shared with Limerick - Off Monday - Light Limerick.



Health is Fun with Farmlite

My office was on the 8th floor. Every morning, I drove my way to work, parked my car in the garage, and then rode the elevator from the basement, with so many others. My work had been impressive, and my boss rewarded me from time to time. All's well you would say, right?

Wrong!!!

A colleague who frequented the gymnasium more than his work cabin, challenged me to a health test on a lovely Thursday morn. “If you can walk up to the 8th floor, right from the basement, without panting, a treat would be waiting from me.” He was the one who occasionally took digs at my expanding waistline, with me ignoring him, plain and simple. I accepted the challenge. It used to take only a few seconds in elevator. Thus, it wouldn’t be too tough to walk the entire length, I reasoned.

And my reasoning failed.

Halfway through the mark, I felt as if I needed an oxygen mask to go further. My breathing grew sharp and loud, my legs felt heavy, and I prayed to God for the turmoil to get over soon. ‘Soon’ arrived fifteen minutes later, only to find my colleague grinning at my feeble condition. Thankfully, he had a bottle of water ready for me.

That very day I pledged to take care of my body in the same manner I cared for my work. What would life be if we are unhealthy? A good health is the key to unhappiness, and though you may have all the riches in the world, this is one attribute that can’t be bought with money.

I immediately decided to do the following:
  1. Avoid use of elevator and instead take the stairs.
  2. Clean my house and car on my own, without anyone else's help.
  3. Stay away junk food as much as possible.
  4. Go jogging early mornings.

One important part of being healthy is to eat healthy. With junk food being the new craze among the current youth,  we hardly consider the ill – effects of them, something we may have to face in a not so distant future.

Why don’t we then adopt healthy habits that would benefit us, and also inspire others?


Health Is Fun With Farmlite





Talking of inspiration, I recently came across the ‘Health is Fun with Farmlite’ campaign by Sunfeast and God, I am totally in love with the conceptualization. We all know about the benefits of good health and maintaining a fit lifestyle, but how many of us actually follow it? We consider it to be a laborious task to work towards our fitness, and this is where the Sunfeast campaign breaks the myth. Through a series of well shot videos that entertain as well as educate, we get to know how easy it is to stay fit by just doing the daily chores which we often ignore.

Farmlite Bytes, the Fun - Fitness Short Film Festival is a novel strategy launched by Sunfeast that aims to inculcate the value of health among the people today. Burning of calories isn't an act that is just confined to the gyms; rather, they can also be undertaken by performing the household chores and the daily tasks.

If you check the 'Goodbye Bai' video by Tanuj Bhatia, you will know what I mean. When the household help goes on leave, it's left to the family members to clean the dishes, wash the clothes and sweep the rooms. And they do it in style, swinging to the rocking music playing in the background, ensuring that their cleanliness activity doesn't just ensure fitness but also fun.




With so many premier leagues running in full flow in our nation addicted to Sports, Manu Singh showcases how 'Striker Strikes Back' in the Carrom Premier League.The striker named Dubey Ji fails to hit the Queen in the first three instances. However, it results in a healthy warm-up and he scores in the 4th instance after losing some weight.


India is a land of festivals. 'Farmlite Navratri' video shows how one can enjoy these festivals and burn calories at the same time. Isn't that great, knowing you can have fun and undergo a fitness regime at the same time? Absolutely, this makes celebrating festivals all the more enjoyable.


Farmlite nails the campaign with its unique 'Augmented Reality' promotion. The below video shows how a seemingly normal looking newspaper advertisement comes alive in a hand held device, the animation resembling a high end 3D game, leaving you pleasantly surprised.


'Homework Kiya' by Anugam Goswami leaves you rolling into peals of laugher. A man frustrated with his unhealthy lifestyle suddenly gets to know the benefits of performing household activities like cooking and cleaning. He performs them happily as they burn calories and gifts himself a lean physique. Also, he gets more time to spend at home in a constructive manner.


'Fit Fighter' is a cute story of a couple whose interests are conflicting in nature. While the guy wants to spend his time playing computer games, the girl assigns him the task to prepare dinner. The guy wants to go to Poker Night with his friends, while the girl wishes to go out for a movie. Their fun filled banter leads to 'fight' and thus reduction of calories.


'The Great Laughter Sales Meet' showcases how laughter can burn calories. The team analyzes the sales target when the 'Sehat ki Ghanti' rings, and they imitate the famous 'Kitne Aadmi They' scene from Sholay to add a bit of laughter and fun to the discussion that's supposed to be serious, ensuring that achieving target doesn't seem a grave task and should be dealt with fun.



The Product

The packaging of Sunfeast Farmlite looks aesthetically pleasing to the eyes. With color combinations that fit to the T, the package looks tempting and inviting. 'Oats and Almonds' and 'Oats and Raisins' are the two flavours you can choose. Deliciously, healthy. Yes.

About Sunfeast Farmlite
Presenting Sunfeast Farmlite, the all new Healthy & Tasty cookie from the house of ITC foods. Now available in two deliciously healthy variants - Oats & Almonds and Oats & Raisins.

Sunfeast Farmlite - Salient features
Healthy & Tasty cookies made with Oats, Wheat, Almonds / Raisins. This combination is a first in the health category.


Check out the official page below:

Saturday, November 15, 2014

Forever

how long would you search
for rainbows in darkened skies
"forever," he smiled


This Haiku is shared with Haiku My Hearts - Forever.



Friday, November 14, 2014

She Could Never Learn To Swim




she could have -
     waded through her tears
     glided past her fears
     played with the tide
     paved a joyous ride

then, without a trace, she sank
drowning in dream, sadly blank

lost in waves, her innocent whim
she tried
     but could never learn to swim
   
   
This Poem is shared with Poets United Midweek Motif - Swimming.



Circus

(Image Source: http://www.partypro.com)


sun rises, moon sets
the juggler still practicing
for his grand debut


This Haiku is shared with Carpe Diem - Juggler.


Thursday, November 13, 2014

The Return Of Sherlock Holmes - Review

Sherlock Holmes, the gaunt, ascetic, ruthlessly logical pursuer of crime and mystery created by Sir Arthur Conan Doyle needs no introduction. The adventures of this sharply witty and moody detective and his lovably pedantic and faithful friend Dr. Watson are a perennial source of inspiration to lovers of crime fiction.
Sherlock Holmes a predecessor of a long line of amateur detectives elevated criminal investigation to a fine art. His original and imaginative plot races along like a furious roller coaster, leaving the reader guessing which way it will turn next...
Read on to find out how Holmes and Dr. Watson solve mysteries of
  • The Empty House
  • The Six Napoleons
  • The Norwood Builder
  • The Three Students
  • The Dancing Men
  • The Golden Pince-Nez
  • The Solitary Cyclist
  • The Missing Three-quarter
  • The Priory School
  • The Abbey Grange
  • Black Peter
  • The Second Stain
  • Charles Augustus Milverton

About the Author
Sir Arthur Ignatius Conan Doyle KGStJ, DL (22 May 1859 – 7 July 1930) was a Scottish physician and writer who is most noted for his fictional stories about the detective Sherlock Holmes, which are generally considered milestones in the field of crime fiction. He is also known for writing the fictional adventures of a second character he invented, Professor Challenger, and for popularizing the mystery of the Mary Celeste. He was a prolific writer whose other works include fantasy and science fiction stories, plays, romances, poetry, non-fiction, and historical novels.



‘The Return of Sherlock Holmes’ provides the ardent fans of this franchise a reason to rejoice. Holmes, who had supposedly encountered death while engaging in a duel with the evil Moriarty at Reichenbach Falls, returns to add a few more adventures to his credit, along with his friend and companion Dr. Watson.

The book documents thirteen cases that he undertook post his self – inflicted exile.

‘The Empty House’ starts with the murder of a young gambler, Ronald Adair, but leads to Holmes meeting Watson that gives the latter a pleasant shock. Holmes’s account of his fight with Moriarty, how he survived the fall, and the reason for his staying away from the public eyes generate interest, and one feels glad to know that ‘The Final Problem’ was certainly not the final one.

‘The Norwood Builder’ refers to Jonas Oldacre, a 52 years old bachelor, whose sudden disappearance and traces of blood points into the direction of John McFarlane as the prime suspect in a sinister plot. We know from the beginning that he has been wrongly accused, but it is only when Holmes reveals the entire mystery and the reason do we get to fully comprehend the situation. This is a plot revolving around unrequited love and vengeance.

‘The Dancing Men’ starts as a puzzle, inviting the readers to find its solution. What seems like a bizarre set of images turn out to be the key to the mysterious affair, and we can only marvel at the genius of Holmes. The background revolving around the deciphering of the secret code surely stands ahead of its time.

In ‘The Solitary Cyclist’, Violet Smith finds herself often followed by a mysterious man as she travels to and fro her employer’s place. Though her follower maintains a safe distance and doesn’t harm her, she can’t let her mind be at peace and seeks assistance of Holmes. However, a dangerous scheme uncovers, and what seemed to be a harmless turns into a dark bend of mind.

Sherlock’s strong deduction skill comes to light yet again in ‘The Priory School.’ Dr. Huxtable, the founder of a preparatory school named ‘The Priory School’ comes to Holmes to seek assistance with regards to the kidnapping of one of his students. This is certainly one of the most twisted plots that I have read of Holmes, and yet, with his brilliant observations, he is able to solve the mystery.

In ‘Black Peter’, a gruesome murder is committed with a harpoon, and the young police inspector on duty, Stanley Hopkins, seeks Holmes’s help. Like the previous stories in this book, this one too traverses to the past, uncovering the history of those involved. The reason for the murder comes to light, and as always, Holmes steals the show.

‘Charles Augustus Milverton’ is one of my favourites in the book. The plot revolves around a master blackmailer, who threatens a lady with dire consequences if she doesn’t pay heed to his demands. What makes it interesting is that Holmes's negotiation skills come into the forefront, and we soon find that the opponent provides a good enough resistance to our detective.

Someone is keen on breaking the busts of Napoleon in ‘The Six Napoleons’. Now, what could be the purpose of such a weird activity? Initially, it appears to be a whim of a Napoleon – hater, but then Holmes succeeds in revealing the entire truth, and we are left astounded to figure out that a lot lied beyond what met the eyes.

‘The Three Students’ takes us to St. Luke’s College. The crime here is that someone entered the office of Mr. Soames, a lecturer, when he was not there, and had a look at the proofs of an upcoming examination. There are three suspects. This is a refreshing change from the murder scenes that form the backdrop of most of the cases documented by Dr. Watson.

‘The Golden Pince-Nez’ documents the murder case of Willoughby Smith, secretary to Professor Coram, who is an invalid. There seems to be no reason for the murder, and no evident logic for the crime to have taken place. Here again, the past plays an important role in performing the crime, and we realize how unfavourable circumstances can lead a person to perform deeds of extreme evil.

Godfrey Staunton, a popular athlete, disappears ahead of a key football game in ‘The Missing Three-Quarter.’ Here, we see the author trying to bring forth a tale of human emotions instead of a crime. How important it is to preserve a secret, and to what length can a person go to do so, forms the crux of the story.

Often, we witness Holmes’s sense of justice. ‘The Abbey Grange’ is one such story where Holmes solves the mystery related to the murder of a wealthy Englishman, Sir Brackenstall. Initially, a notorious gang is suspected to have played a crucial role in the crime. However, we soon get to know that’s not the case. Also, Holmes’s judgement shows how much he values human relationships, and believes that every fault doer should deserve a second chance.

‘The Second Stain’ turns out to be Holmes’s final adventure, and what a remarkable closure it is. Revolving around politics, spies, foreign policies and a young wife, the story has the perfect ingredient to heighten the reader’s curiosity, and it does it quite successfully.

‘The Return of Sherlock Holmes’ does have accounts of remarkable cases, and turns out to be an interesting read. However, having gone through all of Holmes’s adventures, I found this collection weaker in comparison to the rest. Yet, this can be an excellent start for a person unacquainted with Holmes’s cases. Shall I recommend this book to others? Yes, of course, ‘cause Sherlock Holmes should be read, and savoured, always and forever.


Title: The Return of Sherlock Holmes 
Author: Sir Arthur Conan Doyle 
Publisher: Jaico Publishing House
Publication Year: 2013
Language: English
Binding: Paperback
Genre: Short Fiction, Mystery
No. of Pages: 336
Price: Rs 135
My Rating: 3/5



Tuesday, November 11, 2014

Ache

(Image Source: http://www.dreamstime.com)


You can twist my wrists
And polish those bones
Carve them as you like
Shape them into cones
Then gather the times
Which betrayed my smile
You can sell the rhymes
That tears have piled

And I won't cry
I won't break
'cause I have learnt
To romanticize this ache


This Poem is shared with Imaginary Garden - Open Link Monday.



Friday, November 07, 2014

Letting Go

even the calm lake
cries over the moon's shadow
not letting it go


This Haiku is shared with Haiku My Heart - Letting Go.



Thursday, November 06, 2014

Surprise Was

(Image Source: http://nice-cool-pics.com)


surprise was -
     on a bright March morn
     Spring blooming in dawn
     lips nervous, eyes raining wide
     bent on my knees, proposing for a ride
     "Yes," u said
     "Forever," I prayed.

surprise was -
     the summer I turned twenty
     in June, gifts received aplenty
     but none as special as this
     closing my eyes, I experienced bliss
     our first kiss, witnessed by stars
     ever so special, I knew we'd go far.

surprise was -
     autumn breeze in September skies
     colours fading amidst those lies
     the first glimpse of distrust, and you said "Sorry"
     things would be fine, I hoped, trying not to worry
     "Let's start afresh, let's give it a try,
     the ice would melt, baby please don't cry."

surprise was -
     December cold burning with tears
     crushed under blows of myriad fears
     you said you've found someone, and departed with a "Bye"
     I sat down on the corridor, trying to find out "Why"
     a new year around the corner, but would Spring ever be back
     I try to erase, but your scent still lingers on my track.


This Poem is shared with Mindlovemisery's Menagerie - Surprise.



Wednesday, November 05, 2014

That Pearl

pearl between our palms
she smiled, I opened my eyes
just that pearl remained


This Haiku is shared with Carpe Diem - A Dream Within A Dream.



Tuesday, November 04, 2014

He Now Seeks Fireflies

he loved counting stars
but tonight the clouds hid them
he now seeks fireflies


This Haiku is shared with Carpe Diem - Clouds.



Monday, November 03, 2014

Sunday, November 02, 2014

Grammatically Insane



I write
when sun (is) bright
November rain
December cold (in) sight
blood shall burn
when I slash that tale
hidden in closet
and spamming my mail
jaded, grey
I, standing (as) a prey
lurk(ing) in fire
am nowhere in fray
you (have) won
while I lost my way
one lone spark
that nervously sway(s)

they call me a cripple
and say words have names
they breath, they grow
and I put them into shame
they mock at me, satisfied
marking my attempts vain
what's my fault
and with joy, they say-
"You don't deserve to write
of smiles and pain
a weak link you are, oh don't feign
you are no author, you are no poet
you are a fake,
'cause you are grammatically insane"


This Poem is shared with





Beautiful

(Image Source: http://www.shutterstock.com)


a kitten
and a ball of wool
make me smile


This Haiku is shared with