Wednesday, May 28, 2014

Nature And Light

A guest post for Pratikshya Mishra's Magic Moments:

I have been born and brought up in Assam, a northeastern state in India. I have grown up amidst greenery, fresh air and lots of natural light. These are the luxuries in the modern world which I had the privilege to take for granted. I had never thought that one day I would pine for these.

I have grown up in typical Assam-type homes. An Assam-type house is a ground-floor house with slanting roofs (to tackle heavy rainfall), lots of windows and ventilators (each window has a ventilator above it). The house is flooded with natural light and fresh air throughout the day and electric lights are switched on only after sunset. Every morning we would wake up with the feeling of sunlight filling the room, instead of relying on the alarm clock all the time. We did not have to check the watch every time to know the time. Just a look outside the window would be enough to judge the time... Read the entire post.
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Friday, May 23, 2014

The Magic of Fairy Tales

I have grown up on a heavy dose of fairy tales. I started feeding on books as soon as I learned to read and fairy tales covered a major portion of my diet. Cinderella, Snow White, Rose Red, Prince Charming, pixies, fairies, elves and goblins have been a part of my life as long as I remember. And when someone says that he/she doesn't know them, my mouth just goes wide open. I feel how is that even possible! Quite prejudiced, aren't I?

Now what are fairy tales? Well, a fairy tale is defined as a type of short story that typically features European folkloric fantasy characters, such as fairies, goblins, elves, trolls, dwarves, giants, witches, mermaids, or gnomes, and usually magic or enchantments. Fairy tales may be distinguished from other folk narratives such as legends (which generally involve belief in the veracity of the events described) and explicitly moral tales, including beast fables. Most of the fairy tales we know today are the work of a handful of writers, like the Grimm Brothers (The Beauty and The Beast, Goldilocks and The Three Bears, Cinderella, Snow White and The Seven Dwarfs, Hansel and Gretel, The Frog Prince), Hans Christian Anderson (The Little Mermaid, The Little Match Girl, The Snow Queen, Thumbelina, The Ugly Duckling), Lewis Caroll (Alice in Wonderland), Charles Perrault (Little Red Riding Hood, Puss In Boots) and Carlo Collodi (Pinocchio).

Apart from the popular fairy tales, books by Enid Blyton involving magical lands and magical creatures like the fairies, pixies and goblins enchanted me. I would devour a single book in a matter of hours and had to plead with the school librarian to issue me  a book everyday. I read so much of these books that I started dreaming of having pixies for companions. I imagined them staying in my doll house, talking to me and solving my problems with just a touch of their magic wands!. I still enjoy animation movies involving fairy tales and fairy tale characters. And because I know the tales I immensely enjoyed movies like the Shrek series and Tangled. A few years back, I started watching the American sitcom "Once Upon A Time" and I have been addicted to it since then. The series has so beautifully woven the story around the fairy tale characters and characters from popular children stories that I am completely mesmerized. A couple of weeks back, the third season ended and now I am impatiently waiting for the fourth season to start in the fall. I am hopelessly smitten.

Why I love the fairy tales so much? Well, it is the magic that draws me I guess. The magic of the magical characters make them so exciting. Fairy tales make me believe that anything is possible. And that hope is never to be lost. Also that happy endings are possible. And one thing that every fairy tale promises is true love. Any spell or any curse, how deadly or strong they might be, the true love's kiss breaks them all. They sowed the thought deep in my heart that true love is magical. They made me believe, true love can solve any problem, no matter how complicated they might be. And true love is not just romantic love, it is any kind of selfless love. It might be the love of lovers, parents or siblings.

Fairy tales claim that true love is the most powerful magic. And that to see magic you need to believe in it. To me, true love is what magic in our lives is all about.

This post is a part of Write Over the Weekend, an initiative for Indian Bloggers by BlogAdda.

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Thursday, May 15, 2014

Help Yourself

When I was a little girl, I remember Deta (my father) bringing a poster with a quote on it. It said,"God helps those who help themselves." And the quote have stuck with me ever since.

I have seen so many people praying to God, begging Him and pleading with Him in their prayers to help them, but not putting enough or any effort from their side. As a kid I remember a relative of mine who was having board exams. She has flunked her boards for several years in a row. And before her exams, she did not miss any temples in the town. She would visit all of them with plates laden with fruits and flowers, requesting the deities to make her pass the exams. But she did not put that much of efforts in her studies. I wished she had utilized the time in studying rather than visiting temples.

There are people all around me complaining about their weight, indigestion or any other health issue, but would not cut down on their quantity intake or the intake of food which are harmful for them. I shall cite my own example. I have a bad back. I need to exercise daily for my back. But I neglect it. So would God help me to keep my back fit, if I don't take precautions! 

When we see our near and dear ones in trouble, we tend to advise them. They might be having problems with their health, job, relationships or finance. We are likely to suggest them some do's and don'ts. But what if they don't want to listen to us. What if they tell us to mind our own business. What can we do? Nothing. A diabetic person has to understand that sweets are not healthy and he/she need to abstain from it. His/her family can only advise and request not to have sweets. They can only watch him/her while in front of their eyes. They cannot help if the person consumes sweets behind their backs and does not help his own health.

"You can lead a horse to the water, but you can not make him drink." I love this quote for it's so true. I see live examples of it everyday around me. I often quote it at home and sometime soon I might even be asked to stop! I saw the horse's version of this quote and could not help sharing it.

After I quit my job back home and moved to Delhi after getting married, I have been frantically searching for a job. When I was leaving, people around me were telling me not to worry and that I would bag another job easily. It's not easy guys. But I kept trying and didn't lose hope. I kept going for interviews. God helped me to get a part time job and I believed He placed the full time job a little farther ahead. I just needed to take my steps towards it. I have listened to my well-wishers' suggestions because I know they are trying to help me. Even today, I know God is there looking over my actions and He's helping me.

We all want better grades, better jobs and better lives. But are we helping ourselves to achieve that. Are we working towards it? God is not going to push us towards our goals. We have to walk towards it ourselves and only then He can guide us. Listen to your well-wishers for they really mean well. Go ahead guys, help yourself because it is really you who can.

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Tuesday, May 6, 2014

Liebster Once More

A couple of days back, I was surprised on being informed that I have been nominated for the popular Liebster Award once again. This time it came from a talented young lady at Diary of a Sunday Visitor. I am happy to acknowledge the nomination but I shall not be nominating further as I have already done it before. You can read about it in my post The Liebster Award: The chain blog award
The Liebster Nomination: The chain blog award
. But I found the host's questions very interesting and I could not resist answering them. So here are my answers Sunday Visitor:
1. If not for your current profession, you would have chosen.....?
I would chosen architecture!

2. What is the first thing that you see in people?
Shoes :)

3.What superpower would  you like to possess?
The ability to teleport.

4. If you had to invite three famous people (dead or alive) for dinner who would they be ?
Shahrukh Khan, Khaled Hosseini and Princess Diana.

5. Your favorite book / movie and why?
Movie--Dilwale Dulhaniya Le Jayenge. I watched this movie in high school and dreamed that I would have a guy like Raj someday to love me. I have been always been a Shahrukh Khan fan and he in a Yash Raj movie is like the icing on the cake. This movie made me believe that true love can achieve anything.

6. What is the one lesson that you wished you learned earlier.
Actually nothing. I believe there is a time and place for everything. Same for lessons.

7. What is your favorite way to pass the time?
Reading books and watching animation movies.

8. Five things on your bucket list.
Learn swimming, learn to play a guitar,  have a dog, go on exotic river/sea cruise, and travel to Europe.

9. Your favorite childhood memory.
Cycling in the university campus (we grew up in one as my father worked in one).

10. A random fact about you.
I talk to my plants.

11. Do you believe in rebirth? If yes, what would you like to be reborn as?
I used to but I am somewhat confused now. But I would love to be reborn as a butterfly.

Thanks Sunday Visitor once again for bestowing the Liebster Award on my blog. Good luck to you for everything!
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Saturday, May 3, 2014

AtoZChallenge 2014:My Reflections

 26 letters
26 posts
30 days
When I signed up for A to Z Challenge 2014, I knew I was in for a tough time. Writing everyday for a month is a mammoth job. My first such challenge was the Write Tribe-Festival of Words in December 2013. Signing up was easy, but what to write was the tough part. I wanted to have a theme for all my posts and I was toying with a few ideas. Then Az, my husband, suggested places. And the thought stuck with me. So a biiiiggggg thanks to him for laying the foundation stone for my posts :) Throughout the challenge I tried and scheduled a week's posts in advance. That gave me a lot of time to visit and explore the other participants' blogs. I also tried to respond to the comments on post ASAP.

The challenge opened up a whole new world of blogging. On the sign up list, I noticed that more than 2000 bloggers have signed up. So this is big, I thought. For the first few days, I was checking out different blogs, starting with the ones immediately after me on the list (as suggested). There were some, to whom I returned every other day. They totally got me hooked. I have started following several blogs and have added them to my reading list.

I, too, got many new followers and several repeat visits and comments. The challenge has seriously boosted both my blog and my spirits.

I would like to convey my heartfelt thanks and gratitude to my readers. In the family, my mother, sister and Az read all my posts and supported me throughout the challenge with their ideas and thoughts. Then my regular readers, my friends on the social network and the participants of this challenge, all of them have been a huge encouragement. It is really exhilarating to know that I am being read :) I hope they don't get bored of my musings.

Now that the challenge is over, I feel kind of jobless! The April month was whizzed by, leaving me no idle time. But I am happy that I have made so many blogger relatives and I am going to keep in touch with them. And no matter the hard work involved, I find myself now waiting eagerly for A To Z Challenge 2015. 

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Thursday, May 1, 2014

Awards: The Versatile Blogger, The Most Creative Blogger, Reader Appreciation & Most Influential Blogger

My friend and blogger Madhusmita at dreamzandclouds have once again bestowed upon four new awards. Her nomination came over a month back. But because of the A to Z Challenge throughout April, I could not acknowledge her. I am so sorry for the late response post girl! And thank you so much, once again :)

♥ The Versatile Blogger ♥
The Most Creative Blogger
Reader Appreciation Award
Most Influential Blogger
Chain blog awards are surely an amazing way to encourage and appreciate fellow bloggers. It is also an great way to discover new blogs.

My friend just wanted her nominations to acknowledge, share a few random facts about themselves and further nominate other bloggers.

Few random facts about myself:
  1. I have been reading books as long as I remember. I remember the first thing I used to do as a child while visiting someone's house was to ask for a book.
  2. I am from a family with green thumbs.
  3. I love visiting new places.
  4. I think I am in the first stage of being "Obsessive Compulsive" 
  5. I am more expressive in black and white.
  6. I talk a lot when I am excited, and mostly end up embarrassing myself.
  7. I use my stuff with extreme love and care.
My nominations:
  1. Ananya Tales
  2. Diary of the Sunday Visitor
  3. Life In Dogs
  5. The Philospher's Stone 
  6. Vidya Sury 
  7. When I Was a Kid... 
  8. The Little Princess 
  9. The Side I Hide
  10. Match the speed of Light
Seven of my above nominations are my discoveries during the A to Z Challenge. And I fell in love with the blogs. I hope you would like them too.

Congratulations to my ten nominations and I hope you will accept my appreciation and in turn spread the blog love. If you don't do awards, please take my nomination as my heartfelt praise for your blog. Cheers!