Tag Archives: happiness

Why ‘Outspoken’?

The word that is doing the rounds in most of my social media accounts and now here too – ‘Outspoken’! The name of our team’s in-house public speaking forum at work.

Three weeks of effort, bonding with friends over brain wrecking sessions, hours of script editing, listening to audio recordings of speech practices at the oddest hours, reaching work early, leaving for home late – it became a habit.

l6q0y_f-maxage-0_s-200x150
Oh shoot. Why did we begin this? Breathe, breathe.

The fright of the stage, fear of performing sub par, worrying about being a nerve wreck – not for myself, but for others. All of it so that the other people I know also feel the rush of confidence on the stage I’d once felt.

giphy
Who’s backing out now? Will anyone even come?

Last week, I wrote about the event (a meeting for an audience of more than 80 people – we wanted bigger, better, grander) coming up. This week we are done with it. Not only did we manage to create joyous ripples of success but even five days after the event, mention of it creeps up in conversations.

jim-carey_excited
We didn’t know either we’d be so good, but thanks!

I’ve been thinking for a while now about why the event mattered so much to me. It took a lot of space on my already full plate. My manuscript editing got hampered, my work hours stretched into my sleep hours, I forgot to eat on time, I was hardly being able to compartmentalize and prioritize and these are all things that really matter to me! Then why? I thought about it – a lot. I tried explaining myself to people in a lot of fancy ways. But it is time to come clean. I have always been afraid of public speaking. I still am. I still fear I will fall short of content, or blabber too much, mostly about Elon Musk, or if I will have cold hands. Thankfully, shaking knees got chucked out of the window over the months. So yes, this is me. But I took my chances. I got pushed by a couple of people, they know well who they are, and I realized I could be less nervous and more confident. It dawned on me that with time, I could be the one addressing an audience. And I wanted the others to see, know, feel and acknowledge exactly what they and I had been missing out on for most part of our lives – the chance to let go of the fear.

I’ve always wanted to make a difference in the lives of people around me. This lets me make a difference in mine through theirs. With you, I too get better. With you, I laugh. With you, I cry. With you, I walk the talk.

And that is exactly why I did it.

giphy1
Can’t stop dancing the happy dance!

Graciously Yours!

A Smile Here. A Smile There.

3d10efd9d6ff765e9e15d71a7cbeebc5

He looked visibly frustrated. And he had reasons to be so. He’d been on his feet for almost half the day and the ordeal was not over yet. He kept shuffling his feet across the floor, trying to visit each table more than once. He knew his boss was keeping a tab. He had to sell the offer they had just rolled out. He collected the offer pamphlets from the doorman’s podium.

He walked to the nearest table. The occupants were conversing. “It is bad manners to intrude,” his teacher had taught him in school. He didn’t want to intrude but his job demanded otherwise.  He went up to the table, excused himself and started explaining the offer to the customers in the middle of their meal and conversation. Halfway through, they took the pamphlet and resumed their conversation. Not a smile, not an acknowledgement, not even the plain old nod. He called it the ‘wallpaper theory’ – he was like the wallpaper, essential but not cast a look at, never smiled at and walked past. Well, at least they were better than those customers who turned around to shout at him, or be rude, or asked him to go away! Oh yes, there were such too. They’d look up and say, “Could you go away?” If only they knew how to even say please.

Every trip to the bathroom involved washing his face more than peeing. Waiting on tables wasn’t his dream job, this was no one’s dream job but if he wanted to get a monthly cash deposit in his bank, this would have to do. He had to remind himself every couple of hours that this job was more important than rude and impolite customers, than being treated like wallpaper, than having to carry people’s soiled plates, sleeping with a pain in the feet which seemed like it would never go away again, and a bruise to your self respect each damned day. But it would have to do. They say no job is small, yet the way they behave each day belittles him.


I met Bhanu, who works at a fast food outlet here in Bangalore. I don’t know what his story is, why he does what he does, how he motivates himself to wait on tables all day long, how he lets out all the frustration that is more than visible on his face, but I am sorry I couldn’t get a smile on his face! Probably one smile from me wasn’t enough to make up for his tough day!

e3621fb78e8966f24338761b066514eb

Let’s try harder next time and be more polite to the ones who have jobs that could not be further away from the term ‘job satisfaction’. Can we do that?

Graciously Yours!

Marmee!

She’s flawed. Yet she’s perfect.

She’s elegant. She’s hardworking. She’s barely tired. She’s always concerned.

She taught me to accept nothing lesser than what I deserve. She made me bold. She proved women are at par with men.

She put me to sleep on long days. She stroked my hair telling me how proud I made her. She let me make up my mind about what is right and what wrong.

She taught me life. She learnt from me too. She shared her mistakes, overlooked mine. She broke rules. Yet she respected them.

She let me fly free. She brought me back to the earth when I lost my way. She cried at my success. She held me through my failures.

She fought for me. She let me hold her when she was weak. She showed me her weakness. She became my strength.

She’s my ‘Marmee’. And I couldn’t have asked for any better!

Some days, I miss you here. Other days, I write about you! 😉 Love you, Mom!

DSCN0559.JPG

Graciously Yours!

Sea.

Guide to reading : Below are, not one but, three completely unrelated short stories all bound by the one word ~ “Sea”.

_dsc2923


He walked towards the seas. Stretched far across till where his eyes could see, only blues greeted him, shimmering in different shades from azure to teal to royal blue with hints of cyan and turquoise pitching in! This was the quieter part of the beach. Not many residents came here. And tourists? Barely. He dropped the bag and slowly moved to the edge of the rocks. As he looked down at the lapping waves twenty feet below, a rush of excitement passed through him. Goosebumps lined up his arms. He took in a lot of air, breathing deep. It would be a while before he did that again. “Whenever you’re ready,” he heard someone shout. He looked across to the adjacent cliff. Nodding, ever so slightly, he gave the clique of photographers a thumbs up and then spreading his arms like those of an eagle’s, he swooped down on the water, cold air rushing past him and all of reality a mere joke in that moment of truth!


“Mom, be careful. The baby might get hurt,” my daughter warned me, as soon as I set the toddler on the sand. I smiled at her, nostalgia hitting me in my guts! Twenty years ago, my little girl was perched in my lap eating her way through sand more than playing with it. She ran across the sands, collecting shells, screaming with delight at wriggling snails. Crabs scared her. Starfish made her curious. Corals were her collectibles. I still had some kept in one of my boxes. I scooped up the kid in my arms. “Are you stronger than your mother?” I asked him. But he was fiddling with a coral in his hand. He curiously stared at it and gurgled “Ma”, the best way he could, showing the coral to me and his mother turn by turn. “Oh well, let him out on the sand. He’ll be fine!” said my daughter, possibly reminiscing her own coral days! “But we’ll bathe him once after,” she said, as soon as I put the kid on the beach where I had raised my family and my husband’s mother had raised hers and so on. We were the sea and sand people. You couldn’t take the salts of the seas out of our blood.


He needed to talk to someone. His brain was a flurry of thoughts. Everything was going wrong. He was screwing up whatever was left in his life after having lost all that he once had. He got out of his car. He closed the door lightly. His girlfriend’s banging of the car door still reverberated in his ears. Walking along the beach, he saw a girl sitting alone. Hoping it would not be a mistake, he went up to her and asked politely, “Do you mind if I sit here?” She looked up at him. Her tear streaked cheeks glistened in the soft lights. “It’s a free country,” she said, resignedly. He sat down beside her. He cupped up the sand and watched it flow out of his hands, tears rolling down his cheeks. “I don’t want us to be running out of time,” he said out loud to his girlfriend. “And if you go away, this is all I’ll ever be,” showing her his now empty hands. “You cannot love me so much. You should not,” she said, putting her hand in his. “The sands of time will take care of us. Just let them,” he pleaded. She sighed, didn’t say anything, but let her hand stay right where it belonged.


Graciously Yours!

Picture Courtesy : Devesh Lunia.

The Pixel Way.

Four days ago, I was awkward, silent and judgmentally observant. Four days later, I am lively, chirpy and still observant but not judgmentally! Oh and 104% tired!

What happened in these four days, you ask? PIXELS ~ the photography club at the company I work in. They organised a three day trip to Kodaikanal, Madurai and Rameshwaram and those three days have by far been the best in the last couple of months! Except the family reunion, of course! Jeez Mom, don’t doubt my love for you fellas! 😉

img-20160814-wa0014.jpg
#EarlyRisingPerks! P.C. : Ajit Singh

Waking up to such scenes may be difficult but when you have friends to capture them for you, there’s nothing better! 😉 Kodaikanal at 13 degrees Celsius in the morning is the best way to wake up to! Until you realize that the geyser in the bathrooms doesn’t necessarily spout hot water.

img-20160816-wa0006.jpg
VIBGYOR and beyond! P.C.: Nishant Aggarwal
img-20160816-wa0012.jpg
Clicking the clickers. P.C.: Deepanshu Tiwari.

Sightseeing had never been this interesting! With so many cameras clicking around me, for once I didn’t have to bother about capturing places. I only had to live through moments in the best way possible.

img_20160815_143132_burst10.jpg
Making Memories ~ One Day At A Time!

Sometimes you meet the most unexpected people in the most unexpected places. Period.

img_20160813_102214.jpg
Wanna go for dinner, Darling!
img_20160813_101548.jpg
Note the logo. Says the Professional, captures the Amateur. (Hint – Baskin Robbins!)

The names of the restaurants, schools, colleges we came across were hilarious! Apart from these, a few that stood out were Booty’s. And the *drum roll begins* ‘American University of India’.

img_20160815_105802_hdr.jpg
Yeah, visiting date and time at the temple noted. #VandalismMuch

From temples to beaches, parks to caves, waterfalls to forests – we covered it all. And the one most obvious thing which I couldn’t manage to squeeze in? Shopping! Such a relief, I tell you 😉

img-20160816-wa0002.jpg
The Flowing Light. P.C. : Janakiraman G.

And that right there is how each of these talented photographers’ create magic! The Pamban bridge connecting Rameshwaram island to the Indian mainland is one of those marvelous pieces of architecture that we’re forgetting about.

img-20160816-wa0004.jpg
Nothing tires us ever. Except office!

Three days of fun has never been called long and short in the same sentence! Until now. To each of those who came together for this trip ~ thank you for making the heat, the hunger, the pain, the sleeplessness and the wait at the temples all bearable! 😉

Graciously Yours!

 

Six Word Story #3 (Includes a surprise challenge!)

canvas-printing-baby-holding-dad

First cry.

Bloody hands.

Smiling Dad.

Graciously Yours!

P.S. : I also came across this adorable picture below, while surfing. I think it deserves a separate six word story. This time I want one from you. Are you up for the challenge? Leave your stories in the comments below.

Pictures Courtesy : Pinterest.

Uncommon Us!

Here’s right back at ya, mate, for just being you ! (Your birthday’s too far away for a birthday dedication! And you just cracked your Chartered Accountancy exam today. So, I think the timing is just appropriate!)

IMG-20150405-WA0022

I was lost, wanting to be found,

I was expecting help from someone profound.

In you strode, with your humour and brains,

Breaking all rules, and everything that bound me to chains.

For long you’ve been around, some way or the other,

You’d crop up in my talks, with my brother or mother.

There were rumours of us, which had us in splits,

Your antics with staplers and laptops had me laughing in fits!

Times passed and I thought we’d go our different way,

But that’s when we came closer, what do I say!

You’re adorable as the brother, the uncle, the friend,

Always with a smile, a helping hand, a clear head.

I was lost, wanting to be found,

I was expecting help from someone profound.

You stood by, watching me, with patience,

A misstep here and one there, and you’d drill in sense!

Graciously Yours!

P.S.: By the way, Deepak, you do realize you need to treat me after this, don’t you? My fellow bloggers will agree! Don’t you agree, folks?

VIBGYOR

Picture

The violet orchids you held out for me,

Looked striking against the indigo dress I wore,

As your smiling blue eyes mesmerized me, making my heart race,

The ladies around stared, envious and green.

We drove back to your place, yellow lights shining against the night city sky,

I stirred in your arms, awakening to the orange hues of dawn,

Red trickling down from me.

Graciously Yours!

P.S. : This is an ode to nature for the myriad colours it has given to us to shade our lives with! If ever in doubt, check out the nail paint section of any cosmetics brand.

Awards.

This post was really long due!

Thank you, Prateek, for getting me out of my slumber! And nominating me for the Versatile Blogger award! He’s a recent addition to our WordPress family but his posts are very mature for an amateur. He’s going to bowl you over with his words and charm. Go check out his blog, after you’ve read mine 😉

Presenting 7 facts about me with a twist (With a bonus.)!

1.

   

The day I came across this picture I realized how true it is. And yes, I have been blessed with a few of that kind! That also probably explains the lack of selfies on my phone with them!

2.

Only comment on this, if you agree. Those who disagree, be tolerant enough to ignore. God would like it. (And so would I.)

3.

You said it once. I didn’t get you. You said it twice. Still don’t get you. Thrice? *Fake laugh* . I can’t ask you for the fourth time, come on!

4.

Exactly my point! And anyway, the Bollywood songs of my parents’ generations are much better than the ‘hookah bar’, ‘vodka’ and ‘baby doll’ songs being churned out by our generation. Occasionally gyrating to them is understandable. Chanting them like an anthem? Ridiculous!

5.

They may start noticing it now. Ouch!

6.

I am afraid if I don’t I will forget my grammar. And English spellings. My worst nightmare, probably! And also because I can’t stand wrong grammar. It pops out at me!

7.

Don’t tell me you have never done this? Come on. At least once? At that night stay? Or when you were fooling around with your cousins? Or teaching your younger sibling nonsense? Still no? Try it tonight then!

8. Bonus point!

I’ll let the picture speak for itself!


 

Nominees :

A Shade of Pen ~ Soumya Chakraborty ~ One Gentleman’s Perspective ~ Stories From the Belly ~ Cat Jenkins ~ The World Past Me


Thank you Akanksha for nominating me for the Creative Blogger award! I know it’s a delayed acknowledgement. Sincere apologies! The young lady’s poetries are a pleasure to read and she is really versatile in her approach!

img_3267

 

Pick out any 5 from the above facts about me to support this award!


Nominees :

Writing Stories Rocks ~ The Uncertainty Principle ~ Global Unison ~ Coffee Grounded’s Blog ~ Art of a Rambling Mind ~ iKu2e


Thank you Aquileana for nominating me with the Infinity Dreams award. Do check out her writings on Greek mythology, if it is a subject of your interest.

infinitydreamsaward


Nominees :

Archita Rai ~ The Uncertainty Principle ~ Global Unison ~ Coffee Grounded’s BlogA Shade of Pen


 

Spread the love, people! Share facts, nominate people and don’t forget to mention me!

Graciously Yours!

Pictures Courtesy : Pinterest!

Another year passes!

Time flies! In leaps and bounds.

Another year older and hopefully another year wiser!

To maintain tradition of my birthday blog posts, this one is the latest!

So there’s my new look (as informed in the previous post) which I absolutely adore, though some people claim I haven’t really changed much. But those some people also called me pretty today which basically means they’ve always found me pretty. Either ways, I am happy!

And there’s a lot of diaries to write in and books to read and chocolates to eat! All of which I am looking forward to!

20150405111045ygik

Emotional moments with family, ISD calls from friends, long conversations with old mates, friends dropping in at odd hours, even the skies celebrating with rains (Oh, the romance of it!); I couldn’t have asked for better.

I do not want to rank my surprises and gifts but I have to mention two of these specifically!

One of my closest friends completed her #100happydays today! Merely a coincidence but being her 100th Happy Day and hopefully many more in between is a privilege!

And the other one is this :

20150405110135il

A blog post for me. A blog post about a blogger! What better could he have come up with? I felt the thrill of being written about, the rush of being mentioned on someone else’s blog and the love that poured out of each word in his post! It isn’t as easy for him as it is for me to write! Thank you so much ❤

Sending across lots of hugs and kisses to all of you wonderful, amazing, fabulous souls in my life!

20150405111459sfsfas

Graciously Yours!