Sunday, March 15, 2015

A Family: #Together Forever !

Our adult lives are so busy and defined by our Whatsapp/ Facebook statuses.

Can we get those days back where we talked face to face and not face to screen?
Can we rebuild those cherished memories where we talked and walked along the streets of a garden, beach or playground rather than the escalators and elevators of mall or shopping arcade?
Can we go back to those days where I was not judged by the time I took to receive a phone call?
Can we sit #together in front on the TV and have dinner, rather than be in different places for different dinners with different people?
Can we get up in the morning and look at our reflection in the mirror rather than the IMs we missed last night?
Can we not judge a person based on why they have read but not replied to our message an hour ago?

I miss those simple times. Where we were not bound and gagged by technology.
I miss those uncomplicated relationships and people.
Regardless of those rich, vibrant memories of more than a decade ago, I love my times with my family.

(Image source: )

This is my memory of my source strength and optimism for more than two and a half decades now:

My brother, mom, dad and I have this routine of a "sitdown". We never timed it or planned it in advance. It just happened. We love to share our viewpoints on anything under the sun. We share food together, discuss plans, do homework, go back to our fond memories and funny anecdotes. We used to differ in our opinions too, but in the end, either one of us used to play mediator and get back the house in order. We shared our day's stories, our feedback on things, simple things that did not make much sense then, but used to make a lot of difference in our lives. 

In the end, we came together as a family, we came together as a team, brimming with optimism and positive attitude to life. My family gave me strength in my times of difficulty and distress. Be it flunking in an exam or missing out on an interview. When we sat down together as a family, the words of support and wisdom poured in and mended the wounds of difficulty. They were through thick and thin. That's what I cherish the most. That's what is lacking in perhaps many families now-a-days. 

We need another person or a gadget to"connect". In my opinion technology might have brought the world closer, so to say, but building and preserving relationships perhaps is difficult using technology.

It is funny, that we used to do this more than a once a week every month and it is now that I miss those times the most. Since after my marriage, I have a new family. A family that I have to nurture and bring to the table the same ideas and routine of a sitdown. I hope to implement alike thought processes, positivity and the values of togetherness, bonhomie and optimism on life.

Family. After all there is nobody like family. With family, you are #together forever.

Tuesday, March 10, 2015

Starting Afresh - One word at a time

This is about me taking a detour in life and beginning again. Starting afresh. I can talk about this as if it happened just yesterday.

Coming out of an interview for a 'Sales Manager' at a well known and upcoming organisation, the only thing that rang in my head was what the interviewer said to me after the official interview was over: "You write very well. Why aren't you writing for a living? " Everything about that interview after that moment - seems like a blur.

On the way back home, I was still wondering if there was any iota of honesty in that question. I sat deep in thought. In retrospect I reflected on my past. I remembered those days in school how I loved finishing those essay questions, grammar quizzes. How it seemed to me that Verbal Ability section was a breeze in comparison to Quantitative and Logical Ability sections in CAT.

(Image source:

Come to think of it, this wasn't the only time I was asked about my writing. I then realized that I had not paid attention to my strengths and followed it.
I went back to my earlier posts, those that I wrote on a whim and out of sheer boredom back during engineering. Those were some good posts.

Till that very moment, the question, I realised I was doing something that I didn't LOVE. I was not being true to myself. I wanted to #StartANewLife.

Is it too late to begin afresh? I still look at my peers - they're all at high and mighty designations in their career paths as I'm about to start from scratch. I will be a beginner while my peers have settled and mastered at their profession. I would be falling behind others.

I was trained for two years to sell, but to be honest, closing a sale did not gimme an adrenaline rush like the one I got when I was lauded with appreciation for writing a blog.

I now write, compose and create. I become a voice for somebody. My words walk the talk. Now, work does not seem like work. It has been more than six months since I took the step ahead.

No regrets. I will never have regrets in life, as I know everything happens for a reason. There was a reason for these turn of events.

Now there is no turning back. No more U – Turns. And it does not stop here. I want to write now and keep writing and build meaningful conversations that can make a change. I want to be remembered for my writing. I am not the best, I know it. But I will write nevertheless.

And not to look back in life and wonder, if only, I had chance to change.

And as for my blog, there is no thinking about shutting it down. No way.

Change is good. Change is for the better. After all it's time to #StartANewLife.
The all new in their new avatar. They highlight positivity and showcase optimism in life.

Life can change, only if you're willing to embrace the change. And for me, this is just the beginning.

Saturday, March 7, 2015

Mumbai's lifeline has a heart

In a city like Mumbai, it is uncommon to pause. Forget pausing for a minute, even a second is precious for every Mumbaikar. Especially for those who take the daily local for work or business, every split second makes a difference.

Ask those who wait earnestly at the platform for more than twenty minutes on an average in the hopes to catch a relatively less crowded local with breathable space to Churchgate station.
Ask those at Borivali station's crowded platform number 4 who scramble inside the very second the 8.47 am local slows down to ten kilometer per hour.

(Glimpse of Andheri station during peak travel hours. Image source: )

Yet a midst this daily routine cacophony, post the scramble to get in the train, the 30 second halt, the seat reservation post Dadar, the 4th seat buttock adjust, the footover board space negotiation and the local leaving the platform is the phase when an unsuspecting commuter meets his fate - falls off the train.
If one is lucky, falls on the platform but is up and about within a second. If unlucky, falls on the tracks with bruises and blisters.

I met with such fate once. It was a 6.36 pm evening Borivali local from Andheri on a rainy July.
I wasn't hanging on the footover board or hanging off the train. I was trying to board the train in the huge crowd of ladies gathered in the second class ladies compartment and within a split second I slipped and - fortunately for me - fell on the platform number one of Andheri station.
Such was the impact of my fall, that I hurt my knee in the process.

That 1 second cost me my train, but would've cost me limbs.

I took time to gather my senses. Panting, I did what anybody hurt would do - gather my belongings.
Then I checked my knee, there was a scratch. No major damage. Silent thanks to God.

When I got up, I was helped by 2 sets of strangers. And was asked if I was okay. I mumbled something, I do not recall. And was helped to a bench on the platform and offered water.
I refused, after all they were strangers.

I touched my knee and realised the I had hurt it so grimaced at the pain. One of the strangers, a lady advised me to go to the station master's cabin and get first-aid. I refused initially whilst flexing my knee to account the damage but then agreed when she thoughtfully insisted.
All this time I notice others on the platform waiting for a train staring at me constantly.

I got up, with some help and walked to the station master's cabin. The station master was there, sitting nonchalant. My strangers asked for some first aid for me. He enthusiastically helped us with some pain relief spray for my knee which I insisted on applying.

Feeling alright and relieved with the pain balm, I made sure I thanked the strangers and left for home in the next local. When I reached home I narrated this story to my parents, were in awe like me.
I said a silent prayer to those strangers who helped me at that opportune moment.

This whole event that transpired left me with a feeling of optimism. It was just so surreal.
Surreal because, we get to read such negative reporting in the newspapers of commuters being left on their own and the railway force's apathy. Thankfully, this was nothing serious, but I was left in awe that there are people still left in this city who are not apathetic towards other's problems.
It left me with an optimistic note, full of hope that Mumbai has not lost it's heart.

This is one story that made me #lookup to life's optimistic moments

Thursday, January 1, 2015

Things I'm glad I did not do in 2014

21 Things I’m glad I did not do in 2014. 

So here's the list, I'm glad I didn't:

      21.      Retire from testing times. Captain cool MS Dhoni did. It's Mahi Way or the highway.
source: quickmeme

20.      Create a phone the size of your face and make you pay 2 kidneys for it. Apple did.

19.      Show cleavage and then ‘cover’ it up. Deepika Padukone did. 

18.      Make a fool of a billion people. Flipkart did.

17.      Call Prithviraj Chavan the President of India. Alia did. (And became the Bhatt of jokes)

16.      Ship Vim bars to a customer who purchased a mobile phone. Snapdeal did. (BTW Good move HUL)

15.      Make an ugly mess with Ness. Preity did.

14.      Film and release the movie ‘Humshakals’. I’m still wondering what made Sajid Khan do it.

13.      Break a 14 year old relationship. Hrithik and Suzanne Roshan did.

12.  Pack off a state government in 49 days. AAP ke Arvind Kejriwal did. (A bird in hand is better than two in the bush.)

11.  Break the internet. Kim Kardashian’s (not so little) derriere did. ;)

10.  Come out of the closet. Tim Cook did. 

 9.  Bite somebody. Suarez did. (*chomp*)


 8.  Land a rover on Mars on its maiden voyage in fraction of the comparative cost. ISRO did. 

Arnab with Martian panel. Source:

 7.  Scare people shitless. Ebola did.
source: linksservice

 6.  Leave us depressed remembering him. Robin Williams did. (To quote Billy Crystal, ‘He was the brightest star in our comedy galaxy.’ Truly.)

 5.  Leave us soaking wet and cold. ALS' Ice Bucket Challenge did.


 4.  Know who Kailash Satyarthi is. Nobel Committee did. (Ironically, we all knew who Pakistani Malala Yosufzai was.)
source: echeion

 3.  Vote for independence. Scotland didn't do it either.


 2.  Question our faith and make you and me helpless in search for an answer. ISIS in Peshawar and MH370 in Malaysia did.

 1.  Delete my blog forever. In fact revived it in 2014. And perhaps never will.

They did it, and they did it best. With that I wish all my readers, onlookers, trollers, a very 

Tuesday, December 30, 2014

10 Reasons why I'd love to visit Melbourne

When asked most would describe their dream destination country as France, Italy, Switzerland, Thailand, Maldives and so on. However, your truly is different, and dreams to go to Australia at the very least once in her lifetime.

Perhaps luck or whatever you may call it. I was waiting for a chance to talk about Australia and there you go; I spot this post on IndiBlogger which asks 'What's your reason for falling in love with Melbourne, the most livable city in the world?' No sooner than I read it, I started jumping up and down, in my head.

Now let me tell you 10 reasons why I'd love to visit Melbourne, Australia

  1.  I would love to witness The 12 Apostles via a helicopter at sunrise and sunset as they change colour from dark and foreboding in shadow to a brilliant sandy yellow under the full sun
    2. Who wouldn't want to break away from the populous concrete jungle that we live in and break free to visit the lush green Dandenong ranges. From the blooms of the National Rhododendron Gardens to the whispering forests in the Dandenong Ranges National Park.

      3. Rising and floating in the skies as early as sunshine in a hot air balloon ride in Yarra Valley overlooking the wine fields before sampling the local produce and the sparkling nectar for breakfast later. Later a camp in Kinglake National park is on the cards.

      4. Walking along the Great ocean walk - the hiker’s equivalent of the world famous Great Ocean Drive- 102 km starting from Apollo bay and ending at Princetown. Will not forget to visit the Cape Otway Lightstation - the oldest, surviving lighthouse in mainland Australia.

      5. Like a true Melburnian indulging in the good food in the city's iconic eating joints

      6. MasterChef Australia is returning to Melbourne! 

      7. Breath in the scenic view of the Melbourne via the extended glass box on Eureka Skydeck 88. Just the thought of being suspended in mid air -in 'The Edge' at 285 metres in the Southern Hemisphere with nothing but glass to hold you -is simply exhilarating! Look ma, no floor! 

      8. Who leaves Melbourne without visiting a beach. The Loch and Gorge Beach.

      9. Watching penguins and other critters at Phillip island on a boat cruise

      10. Witness the ICC Cricket World cup 2015 game at the World famous Melbourne Cricket Ground the MCG. Woohaah!
        Now that you've read my thoughts, I have a #contest for you:

        1. Just tell me "Which of these places would you want to visit in Melbourne and why?"
        2. Drop your answers in the comments section of this post.
        3. The best answer will be chosen by me on every valid entry will win a gift voucher! 
        4. Contest is open to all Indian residents.
        5. The contest on my blog ends on 11.59pm 3rd Jan 2015.

        Friday, October 31, 2014

        Book Review: God is a Gamer

        Hello there! Festive October is nearly over, and before we move on to chilly November, I thought I'll quickly squeeze in a book review.

        Book: 'God is a Gamer'
        Author: Ravi Subramanian
        Publisher: Penguin
        Pages: 337 pages
        Genre: Thriller

        This is my first book review of the book by the renowned Ravi Subramanian. 'God is a Gamer' is his latest offering after the best selling series of books namely 'If God Was a Banker', 'Bankster'. If you jump at the mention of gaming, bitcoins, cyber laws, the deep dark mysteries of the internet as a whole, this book is for you and you are bound to like it.

        Book cover: Bitcoin and the White House can be clearly understood. Nice artwork.

        Here is the short brief, without giving away the climax of course.
        The action takes place in current times in various major cities across the world. Cities like Washington DC, New York, Mumbai, Goa are featured in the story. A gaming company run by Aditya is struggling to find ground among competition. Varun, Aditya's estranged son  suddenly emerges to help his dad in his business. LTTE spreads terror in the US and FBI is called to the action. An serial ATM heist ensures FBI agents are led on a wild goose chase. Suspected murders of key people – a US Senator, high prolific banker and more - take place; some linked to each other, some not. However, there is more that meets the eye in the world of the internet – it's dark side. Finding the tiniest bread crumb of evidence in the depths of the dark web is nothing short of finding a needle in the proverbial haystack.

        The plot thickens with twists and turns at all the right places. The characters of the story come together beautifully in one seamless plot. The author has left no stone unturned to make it a page-turner. Made me even Google some of the facts and my, was I surprised !

        Pluses: The author has well researched some facts and events and woven it beautifully into the plot. Some events coinciding with recent events that happened of late.

        Minus: Initally, the pace of the story is slow but picks up later. Also, introduction of many characters at a time can make it difficult to keep track. Few chapters before the end, you can somewhat accurately guess the mastermind behind the killings, but perhaps not the reason behind it. The reason behind has a backstory.

        Would I recommend it? Yes ! Must read.

        Overall this is a pacy thriller with all the elements of romantic past, scandal, revenge, terror, drugs, sex and money. God is a Gamer is an engaging story with page turning short chapters. Would love to also read and review the other books in the series written. Mr. Ravi Subramanian, you've got a fan !

        This review is a part of the biggest Book Review Program for Indian Bloggers. Participate now to get free books!

        Thursday, October 9, 2014

        Missing (Part 22)

        This is the twenty-second part of the short story that I am writing in collaboration with other bloggers on Blogadda. Our team is 'Tete-a-ten'. Read the previous parts here: onetwothreefourfivesixseveneightnine,teneleventwelvethirteenfourteenfifteen sixteen, seventeen, eighteen, nineteentwenty and twenty one

        Cloud 9 Hospital


        Veda replaced the receiver and looking at Dr. Sneha Phadnis said, “Madam, Doctor says he’ll schedule an appointment for tomo-“

         “Look here now, I need to talk to him!” Dr Sneha Phadnis cut her short and spoke loudly but with desperation in her voice.

        “Madam, madam please have a seat. I’ll be right back” said Veda as she left the reception, trying to get help from another nurse to handle the situation.

        Reluctantly, Dr. Sneha sat in one of the sofas near the counter. She pondered her next step to trace Aryan Ahuja. Within moments, another nurse walked in balancing stack full of folders and files in both hands.
        She placed some files on the counter and said, “These are Dr. Ahuja’s cases. File it inside.” She was too busy to pay attention at the unmanned reception counter.

        Dr. Sneha noticed the nurse leaving the files on the counter. She stared at the files and wondered if they have Aryan Ahuja’s contact details. She felt tempted to see those files and carefully unlatched one of them. On the top corner of the letterhead she noticed the Cloud 9 hospital address and below it she saw another address. ‘Aryan Ahuja must be running a consultation clinic from another address as well.’ She thought and smiled when she spotted the apartment number in the address. ‘What Luck!’ It was indeed Dr Aryan Ahuja’s home address.

        Acting swiftly, she plopped out her phone and clicked a photo of the address. Wasting no more time, she placed the file back onto the counter and rushed out. The fatigue of the traveling, the drama was now replaced with excitement and anxiousness. There was a spring in every step she took as she dashed out of the hospital. Beaming with new sense of excitement she hailed a cab and headed off to complete what was missing in her life.


        Meanwhile the receptionist returned to her desk to find Dr Sneha Phadnis gone.

        “Madam? Madam!” She looked around the place, inside the consultation room, the corridor- but Dr Sneha was nowhere to be found. “Oh God” exclaimed a panicked Veda.


        Seated in the cab, Dr. Sneha was now lost in thought. She reminisced her long dates with Aryan back in medical school. There they perched in the campus canteen sipping on cinnamon tea and chatted endlessly which would melt away all their daily fatigue. She still remembered his smile, one that reached his eyes. His eyes, sparkling with intellect. Despite the hectic med school schedule, they talked, and when they did, hours seemed like minutes.

        'Have I caught thee, my heavenly jewel? 

        Why, now let me die,  for I have lived long enough’

        Missing 22

        She had blushed to a shade of crimson as he quoted Shakespeare to her looking into her eyes, after they had made love on one such night. Days passed and nights passed. And then came one such day where he quoted Shakespeare again:

        ‘This bud of love, by summer's ripening breath,

        May prove a beauteous flower when next we meet.’

        Aryan had quoted as they parted ways after medical school. And how Sneha's eyes showed exasperation when he said he was not ready to commit and that she was not ready to ask him to. It seemed like a professional decision, her choosing Psychiatry while him choosing Paediatrics as a specialization. But back then Sneha did not realize how bitter the end would seem in the following years.

        Over the years she had learned to live with the tinge of regret of what could have been with the love of her life.  She pondered over the fact of him getting married and settling down to someone else. There was always a chance that he wouldn't. What would his reaction be? How would he look? Why didn't he try to find her? Oh, never did a day go by she wished he would tap on her shoulder and say-

        “Madam! Madam, aapka building aa gaya!”

        The cab driver’s yell shook Dr Sneha from her reverie and she was brought back to her present. She paid the cab fare and stepped outside. She composed herself and became conscious of how she was dressed. She adjusted her kurta, smoothed her hair and checked her compact mirror for her mascara. Pressing her flame like bindi in place on her forehead with one hand she pressed 9 with the other and Beethoven’s Für Elise filled the elevator. Seconds later, she was going to be outside Dr. Aryan Ahuja’s residence.

        Read Part 23 HERE

        My team and I are participating in ‘Game Of Blogs’ at #CelebrateBlogging with us!

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