|Getting Mehndi/Henna on hands a night before Eid is a beautiful ritual|
|Dum Ke sevayya with "chowba" as topping|
|Getting Mehndi/Henna on hands a night before Eid is a beautiful ritual|
|Dum Ke sevayya with "chowba" as topping|
Following list covers all my A to Z blog posts - now that I skim through them, I feel mystified that I could pull it through (ofcourse my friend and my mother contributed guest posts) ! 😇😇
This year was quite enriching because I have read a lot. When I finished challenge in past years (2013, 2014), we did it as a very small group and had no time to read from Master list. This time I had time to experience various writings, understand various walks of life, challenges they faced, their accomplishments, failures, poetry, fiction, reviews, technology, foods, travelogues and much more. Aaah! It was like I experienced a ocean of blogs - each wave carrying its own flavor , its own authenticity. I loved the following blogs for their honesty, passion, fun quotient, emotional values, research , presentation , detailed analysis and much more. It was like I walked in to a human library. To me interaction is the key. Whoever could interact seamlessly, I connected well with them!
Some blogs from my A to Z reading list:
Following are Top favs. They are quite interactive in their writing, be it on their own blogs or while sharing their views on others blogs👍💓!
I am writing this letter just to preserve my feelings for you right at this moment. I am sure a mother's love cannot be explained in a manner which can be understood easily! Most of the times I know I am the bad cop at home and you don't like me teaching punctuality or discipline to you, you don't want me to make you sit to do homework, to force you to eat food, and to not allow to play 24*7...but in this letter I just am trying to say what you mean to me and how I feel. The day I felt a part of my soul reunited with me to make me feel life like is, 10-02-2017. When you screamed in the labour room at about 11:10 p.m. after an ordeal of a whole day ( the day started at 3 a.m. 😪)I was relieved! At that moment I was only happy that I was out of pain and and for some reason I was feeling I would have a boy, so when doctors declared that it's a baby girl, my enthusiasm dampened. Don't glare at me🤬. I know everyone who is reading this would frown! The only reason I wanted to have a baby boy is due to the fact that girls have to go through all this - what exactly I was going through... and that moment I really wanted a boy, but the second they placed the baby bundle in my hands, I broke-down. It all played in the back of mind, the struggle to have a child, the troubles I faced those 9 months and everything...As you quizzically looked at me and didn't cry at all...I fell in love with you. We did take many pics but missed that moment. I wish to have captured that inquisitive face filled with question marks. You didn't cry much. There definitely was a hint of anger and I felt may be you sensed that I wanted a boy😄.
|Taken 40 days after birth!|
As we shifted to a normal room, and you kept on cooing and making gurgling sounds …with sparkly eyes and a hint of smile...with zero interest in sleep...the nurses said just in a span of 1-2 days, "the baby is fun, has rapt attention, very observant, and feels like hyper active - we are telling this from our experience," they told. I laughed at their silliness but eventually I felt they were true! You filled such bright hues in my life with your talks, smiles, invented games, songs, dances, silly jokes, stories, paintings, drawings and many other shenanigans! I feel you are braver than me. I cried during your first vaccine shot but you didn't flinch. Seeing other kids crying I was scared but you cried quite nominally! I feel you are strong in all the sick or weak days....I remember some dreadful days and nights when you involved me with your giggles and jokes where as I was super scared ….praying you get well soon! You make friends easier than me. I am glad you are quite opposite in this aspect...yet I observed that you choose those who appeal you quite carefully! They say dance like no body is watching you and I learnt this actually from you!
On April 9th, my daughter Zaara had her graduation day! After virtually looking at each other in rectangular boxes for 2 years, it was finally the time to meet in real. The kids and parents were equally excited. I was curious to see and meet everyone in person (after all I attended all the classes). When I entered school, everyone (staff and kids) looked gorgeous in real, was my instant feeling!😀Zaara woke up for the first time early in morning and got ready with out Alexa reminding her ( yes at our home we keep many reminders in Alexa to make Zaara do her works...after 5 min for milk, after 10 min homework so on. She finds fun in it.. I find my patience dwindling with all waiting!!).
Anyhow today I wanna share the glimpses of the big milestone - the completion of preschool!
We were welcomed with a happy décor. Kids were in great spirits, perked up to meet their friends! I want to write on how they bonded even if the classes were virtual but maybe after the challenge! As soon as they met, they started playing. We felt glad to capture the "offline" moments!
The fun wall hangings in school are quite motivational and will make you smile!
Dec 22, 2019
Xanadu Space Ship
"MISSION EARTH initiated. I repeat Mission Earth initiated!" was the loud announcement all over the space ship.
In the space ship, the commander in chief of the Xanadian force, Sir. Gamma Delton called for the daily stand up meeting.
"So Mr. Omega. What's the status? How are we with this mission?"
"So far so good sir. We would enter the Earth exactly in 3 months from now. They don't have the infantries or suitable weaponry to fight us back, so mostly they would surrender!"
"What are the chances to establish our territories at all the planned locations on Earth?"
|source : here|
"We have fair chances sir. This is the right time to occupy. They are fighting among themselves for many centuries now and in recent past, politicians are instilling more and more hatred in the earthlings!"
"Hope you have done good amount of research before you declare in such a final tone!"
"Yes sir! I heard that people are fighting over religion, the leaders fuelling the fight, many countries are in a retrogressive direction embracing fascism, aristocracy, initiating caste based, religion based segregation, baseless killings, imprisonment for having freedom of speech and much more!"
"But Earth is the best example for humanity! They survived world wars and calamities due to their human nature is what I heard!?"
"Indeed! But now with exponential rise in rage and hatred, they are vulnerable and are believing everything!"
"The plan is to first land in Delhi, India. There are CAA protests going on in the capital city, a weak moment which we can cash. It is easy to occupy."
"Can you brief me the plan!?"
"Very well. We would land in Delhi at PMO, would initiate a meeting and get our treaty signed. We will give them one week time to discuss and decide!"
"Didn't their intelligence bureau detect our visit?"
"They cannot exactly detect us till we reach earth's atmosphere...even then till we are in the vicinity, it's not possible to detect because of our powerful invisible shield and our intense anti radar system and when we are at least 1000 Km from the capital city of India, we would notify the PMO about our landing. If they sign the treaty which they mostly would, we would have an amicable discussion, make Delhi our Head Quarters, start implementing our rule and establish colonies. Further plans I can brief when we reach Delhi Sir"
"What if they are not ready to sign the treaty?"
"They can't possibly think of entering a war and then winning it - their ammunition would be over in a day. I don't think they would be that foolish. If they resist we will also react. We don't want any killings. To avoid loss of life, we would use our mind control machine, Electro Neuro-Con and hypnotize the public to obey the new rule and proceed with our same plan of colony establishment!"
"Fine! Hope we are prepared for any kind of surprises, attacks, or disasters!"
"Don't worry sir. We have well trained soldiers. We are ready for any kind of mishaps!"
Days turned to months …
WhatsApp - who doesn't know this name? And who doesn't use it. Except in countries, where it is banned (like China, North Korea, UAE), everywhere else people use WhatsApp profusely! What'sApp became akin to our morning rituals like brushing teeth, reading news, exercising etc. From milk vendor to millionaire every one is using it. It is not an exaggeration if I say my day starts and ends with WhatsApp. Throughout Covid and even now I am in touch with friends, family only and only through WhatsApp. One of my friends kept a WhatsApp status long back - I am not using WhatsApp, WhatsApp is using me🙂🙂 - at times it becomes true if we lose track of time! I want to list few pros and cons of WhatsApp in this post.
Pros of WhatsApp Usage
|a super cute angry baby gif :)|
Cons of WhatsApp
We all love our nation. I dearly love her. She is a melting pot of cultures, has an amazing amalgamation of rituals, tastes, festivals, music, attires, and much more! Today I write to you as a fellow Indian who has been subjected to various forms of secularism and nationalism in the past 7-8 years. Earlier nationalism just meant various linguistic, religious and, cultural backgrounds uniting as one nation . In recent years, the nationalism can be defined as a concept used by certain diplomats to fill their vote bank and fulfill their ulterior motives by uniting the nation on the plank of one religion. Whenever an actual issue erupts in the country your focus is diverted towards a freshly created religious strife! Anti social elements are trained and motivated, actors & celebrities are merely bought to speak the Vile tongue! As so many turn to puppets, I feel helpless. So many foods and so many states in my country...the novel tastes we experience in each place are so magical! We used to stick to our food habits while embracing the others' food choices with dignity! Now we lynch saying meat eating is against the culture, where as behind the scenes are the vultures who feed on your raw minds and control you!
When questioned about major concerns like economic crisis and the unemployment etc., a fresh issue/diversion is conjured out of thin air and you are under its spell. Historical events which happened centuries back are discussed now to push the current issues under carpet. People who are no longer alive are labelled as the root causes for some issues, the invaders who occupied the nation centuries ago seem to be the perpetrators for some. Ads are banned, names of places changed, syllabus in schools is truncated and many more! As you are blindfolded and lead with hatred, do you happen to see that you are not at all clear about what or whom you are fighting for? As we discuss where a temple or a mosque must be built, we are happily over looking the bigger issues the globe is facing on present day - pollution , pandemic, climate change and such! As you ignore the farmers issues as a fuss and don't even acknowledge them....as you try to shut up the raising voices (whether they are youth seeking jobs or students looking for better and affordable education, or the middle class which is burdened with evil tax regime) and then create ruckus over who wears what, who eats what and question about the language (Urdu script) written on the products, it does get tragically funny. Hindu Vs Muslim hatred is sowed in all possible ways in all possible places ➡️ when a sketchy bill is passed questioning the citizenship of a selected sect of people, when a delivery boy is denied as he is a Muslim... a renowned atta company (iD) is defamed by spreading rumors that it has cow bones and meat mixed - just because the CEO is Muslim dude....when meat is banned in some states just in the festival month of Ramadan citing it is sacrilegious...so on and so forth.
Our culture that comprises diversified population is staying in harmony since decades. When day by day events occur that pedal hatred, segregate a fellow Indian and you stay silent...should I take that silence as acceptance or indifference???
|source : here|
Heart does what the heart does. How many of us believe in this ? Well, whether you believe or not, your actions which involve your heart are always fulfilling.
But, in today’s world we are moving in a direction in which everything we do is becoming more and more machine like, monitored, controlled, patterned, and life itself is becoming a mechanical process.
Right from the time we wake up in morning till we fall asleep, we are not driven by the desires of heart but by the monotonicity of the day. In the humdrum of life we are ever forgetting what really our heart wants? We never ask that question!!
As soon as we open our eyes to a new and wonderful day, instead of appreciating and thanking our life, we mechanically scroll through our mobile screens, do our morning chores in anxiety- to which we are used to, we gobble down our breakfast and travel the traffic filled crowded roads to reach offices just in time. We work all day, return home exhausted, have dinner and go back to bed, lying on bed till our eyes are heavy after being glued to mobile screens and.... we finally fall asleep, only to follow the same schedule the next day, the day after and so on…
Then one day we realize that we have stressed ourselves too much and our health as well as mental peace is deteriorating, so in a state of panic we devise a plan which involves a gym membership, or physical exercises, diet plans, yoga and meditation classes and may be a quick vacation.
Now, when you go to gym, the trainer guides you to do so and so exercise counted to a specific number of sets so that your these/those muscles would be built. Eat these many calories and burn these many calories to keep your body the way you want to... he says! Yoga guru would say - Do mediation/yoga and you should feel such and such feelings. You start doing all this with diligence as a strict pupil!
And after few days, this all again becomes mechanical. We find ourselves going in circles not reaching anywhere and ever dissatisfied...
Today I want to just write a Thank you note to all the fellow bloggers who are constantly visiting my blog and reading all my posts which are not quick or easy reads! Writing short and smart posts is a unique talent which I don't have. I have been always reprimanded by my teachers for my lengthy writing. Whenever I write a huge essay - my ma'am would be happy that I did so much research, nevertheless she used to advise to not strain myself during examinations👀. A2Z is no less than an exam 😆. Anyway without drifting away I want to convey thank you from the bottom of my heart for visiting regularly, reading, encouraging me with your genuine comments! I am not taking names of all the blogs/bloggers but thanks to one and all. It is not easy to write, read others, and to respond to comments! Some have done it all. I never replied to comments. I intend to do so soon after the challenge. Due to time crunch I read the comments and I make sure that I visit all your blogs and it has been an invigorating experience! I know there is still last leg of the challenge but I am taking the advantage of letter T to express my thanks!👍💗
Takeaways from A to Z
I have done a to z challenge in the past in 2013 and 2014. However it was easy then as I was not a mother and also was more energetic 😛but now being mother of 5 YO, it is really challenging to take out time - still I managed to come so far, hence I am patting my back😀. I write and read when she is in day care or when she sleeps. I want to list some of my take-aways from the challenge.
Tips for A to Z participants
I am not an expert but still from my experiences I want to share some tips I followed for a fruitful blogging month.
I want to close by saying thanks again for reading my posts with patience. Thank you all. Wish you a wonderful April.
I am participating in Blogging from A-Z challenge 2022 and this is my Day 20 - 'T' post.
Blogs you may wanna check out:
https://robztobor.blogspot.com/ (new discovery. A gem of a blog)
https://ladyinreadwrites.com/ (bful poetry)
www.lillian888.wordpress.com (honest and engaging topics)
https://artismoments.blogspot.com/ (again brilliant poetry)
S.P. Balasubrahmanyam aka SPB or Balu is a predominant play back singer in India, who had been singing since ages majorly in Telugu, Tamil, Kannada, Hindi and Malayalam films. My heart refuses to refer to him in past tense. His death is one of the many shocking deaths during COVID to me. S.P. Balu's voice has that magic to please you, tease you and lift your spirits in no time, or just make you sad in a matter of seconds. He reigned the Tollywood for many decades and I remember listening to him even before I knew much about movies, music or songs! Not just singing , he also does dubbing, mimicry and has acted in many notable films. I realized he has great acting skills too - He acted as dad, as a supporting actor (guest appearance) and also as a main lead in some of the movies.
Among his many movies, some thing I recently watched after his demise - Mithunam stole my heart. I was in tears by the end of the movie both due to the movie premise and also the empty feeling of losing him. You should watch the movie to understand what I am saying. It is the story of an old couple - S.P. Balu and Lakshmi living in a remote village all alone trying to make the most of the last chapter of their lives, missing kids almost every day and dreading the occurrences of any mishaps! The love and bonding of husband and wife is worth watching. SP Balu's voice gave life to all Kamal Hassan's movies dubbed in Telugu. I still don't know how actual Kamal Hassan sounds. I have always heard him only in SPB's magnetic pitch! There is a movie Dasavatharam in which Kamal plays ten roles. I believe SPB has voiced all the ten voices using his mimicry skills. Watch the video below I stumbled on FB recently... He says how he managed the voices (it is in Telugu)! The video is blocked on blogs - You can watch at https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=eo_OZDVsB1g.
SPB is equally adored even in Bollywood. He gave voice to Salman Khan. Sang almost all his 90's songs and it used to perfectly suit Salman. No Indian can ever forget Maine Pyar Kia, Saajan or Hum aapke hain kaun - the block buster hits of 90s, in which SPB sang many beautiful songs. In some reality singing show a singer subtly mocked his Hindi pronunciation as there is a hint of southern accent while uttering few words. Whatever may be the accent, you cannot deny this multi talented legend. His voice can woo a woman, make a child smile, make you feel immensely lively! He has won many awards, rewards, broke records and wiki says he entered Guinness records for singing over 40,000 songs. I majorly heard him in Telugu and I play his songs in one time or other on every waking day! There are many hindi, telugu, and tamil songs which are my favorites but some song which I can remember at this moment in hindi is :
|source : here|
After dodging the Covid variants for almost 2 years, I finally fell prey to it in the month of January 2022. Just after the pongal festival in South India where we all had a fun 3 days long weekend, the cases soar high and even I contracted during that time. At first my daughter tested positive and I was actually too nervous as kids are not vaccinated. Our doctor was in quite jovial mood because she felt everyone was getting the Omicron variant and the impact won't be serious. She eased us but I still was panicky. Even if we didn't test positive yet, she said we soon will and asked us to isolate for ten days!
Immediate step was to inform maid and our cook to not come. I only felt it natural to inform the apartment mates, even if maids would have spread the happy news😅. I was actually eager to update my fb and WhatsApp status informing the same. It almost felt like not being the odd ones out! I updated and as expected the concerns poured in... Here's the catch! Every one wants to help by a word or an act but they were not sure what to do and there actually is nothing which can be asked! The real pain is doing the house chores...and none can help you with that! Second or third day after Zaara got infected I too tested positive - symptoms being super dry cough, throat pain, trembling hands, truck loads of weakness.....still we divided duties among us and swept the house alt days and made very light meals if required. We either ordered or my mom being the angel she is, she just sent the food almost every day ! I was surprised to know that this variant or may be others too can be dormant for as good as 14 days!
By 4th/5th day my spirits were really dampened. I really wanted to go out and feel good. Not that I was living any different.. My entire lockdown life was isolated and I lost interest in socializing but I felt quite suffocated by the quarantine label as people would be scared to be near your house!
|Some may actually say this to me : here|
Schooling now a days is like an investment. You invest lakhs of money, stay nervous about the child's development and expect a ROI. However during my days, schooling was neither expensive nor a marathon to run. We learnt and studied peacefully. We didn't have extra classes, transitions, tuitions or surprise tests but we did well with whatever resources we had! I completed my education in a Govt School with meagre facilities but enjoyed the school years to the fullest!
I was a good student in school and I even secured district 1st in 7th standard board exams....I used to win in many essay writing or elocution contests. I was one of the bright students or so I as told by my teachers!
Today on my daughter's blog I want to just share a small incident from my school life. Our school always had surprise inspections by DEO (district education officer) or collectors or some other VIPs who want to come check the students' capabilities and the teachers' abilities to teach them! On one such surprise inspection, we had a sadist inspector who entered the premises only with an agenda to torture students! His presence was no less than an army general and the news of his treatment spread quickly to our class with in minutes after he entered school!
He started posing very tough questions like - "how many languages are there on a rupee note," or " what does the flag of Chile look like?" etc. I never heard or read such things so far. We didn't have the luxury of googling in those days. On present day I wish so badly that if I had a smart phone hidden somewhere in my bag, I could have answered!
The sadist entered our class. We all were trembling with fear. My heart was racing and I didn't even get that tensed during my board exams.
He selected some last benchers purposely and they were not able to answer a single question!
The head mistress then shifted focus towards me!
"Sir! She is the brightest student in the class. Top ranker. Please ask her!"
He started his question attack one by one and I suddenly became mute. It was as if I had bitten my tongue and couldn't get a word out :(
The authority kept on mocking, "so Miss Topper you don't even know this?"
As the bombardment continued, I started shivering🥶 and was almost in tears!
In my mind - I was kicking him, tightly slapping him...
In my ten second figment of imagination in a parallel universe - I was the inspector and he the student and I made him face the wrath of my questions!
|source : here|
Oh! So boring! To live in confines of four walls.
Closed are restaurants, theatres, closed are the malls!
As we cribbed, felt mundane and exasperated by the sudden shift in scene
There were few humans who struggled to save us from the demonic Covid 19!
If soldiers fought at the borders, the frontline workers fought to put us within borders!
To put life at stake for the sake of others lives, they were no less than warriors!
Without caring for their families, they worked day and night...
As we munched and binge watched Netflix, they continued their fight!
Even the laathi charge of Police didn't instill fear in all.
The Lockdown was a break for some, a time to plan a trip with a pal.
Tiny tots understood and tried adjusting to the new routine - a reality that many adults dismissed!
For some, the picture became clear when one after the other, many succumbed.
For many it still is all a hoax, unnecessary panic created by ulterior groups!
Getting exposed to virus is a myth to them, as they dish out gyaan on the WhatsApp statuses!!
To save such, do our Warriors need to suffer and let Covid take a toll?
Is it worth it to get beaten up for asking humans to follow protocol?
A simple concept like social distancing could not be explained to public!
Essential workers toiled day and night to avoid millions of working from home folks from getting sick.
People lost jobs, economies fell flat, tears flowed, miseries spread, death rates increased!
In mid of all this our frontline angels worked 24*7 unflinched !
I couldn't bear when a doctor bid farewell to his family.
How many lives would have been risked while discovering the vaccine, which some felt is silly!
We cannot follow a simple rule, stick to few doable guidelines and we even fight against them!
Rather than thanking all who strived for us, we find it amusing to blame!!
The virus had a new political variant, people formed groups, naysayers created uproar!
Our warriors continued their work and flattening the curve was their only chore!
I thank our COVID warriors for bringing us out of lacunae and imbibing a bit of courage to cope.
As I remember them today and everyday, any prayer or a tribute falls short for the real heroes who in our lives, filled hope!
I am participating in Blogging from A-Z challenge 2022 and this is my O post. I am taking up this challenge after many years as I want to talk about Covid life and the daughter diaries!
Some interesting blogs you can visit: