Saturday, December 26, 2009

End of Chapter

This is an official announcement to all concerned that this is the last post on "miss_teerious". The blog has served its purpose well, but now it's time to move on.


The blog is not being removed from the vicinity... it will continue to be here, for there is still 3 years worth of archives here. However, it will no longer be updated. Comments are also off completely now... they will only attempt to lure me back here, which I don't want to do.

I wish to thank all those who supported this blog through its various phases. Some came and went. Some are still around. Thank you... all of you.

It's time to begin a new chapter now...

Ciao

Thursday, December 17, 2009

“Healthy Debate”

I come across this phrase so often on the blogosphere… “healthy debate”… mostly in the comments’ section. Also heard it a lot when I was working for Dell… we used to have weekly “team huddles” where we were supposed to indulge in this “healthy debate” to work out solutions for any current problems. I developed a particular dislike for the phrase even then.

“Healthy debate” in team meetings usually turned out to be nothing but the team members complaining and the management trying to find the best possible excuses that would invalidate their complaints. This obviously led to the team members finding more faults with the management’s actions, and then their consequence self defense. In short: a total waste of a good 45-60 minutes.


Out here in the blog world, a “healthy debate” is an equally elusive phenomenon. Blogger ‘A’ writes something based on some personal experience… highlighting a particular problem in the society/world maybe. Oh but the little bit that was supposed to be the *main agenda* of the “debate” is completely ignored! Instead, the post is taken as a direct *personal* attack and is followed by 2 main kinds of responses (generally) – 1. defense, and 2. counter-attack!

Where is the “healthy debate” in this?

More importantly, is there really any need for any “healthy debate” on such matters? A person wrote about his/her personal experience… that is enough to prove that whatever he/she wrote about DOES exist. It may not have happened with you in particular, but that doesn’t mean it doesn’t happen with people. So why try to invalidate it? Why “debate” over it at all – healthy or otherwise?

Frankly speaking, I find this whole phrase pretty useless – “healthy debate”. Well, if both parties are just going to try and show that they are right and the other one is wrong, then what’s so healthy about this debate? Where exactly is anyone going to get to at the end of that debate?

And if you’re talking about finding a mutually acceptable solution to any problem… then it’s not a debate at all. It’s a brain-storming session. But such sessions are undertaken only by action-oriented groups/committees… task forces. Are we a “task force” that we need to indulge in such sessions? Are we really doing anything about the stuff we complain about on our blog?

There are so many “talk shows” also on the TV… 2 groups of people going on fighting with each other. It’s obvious that at the end of the day, neither is going to change his/her views. Then why waste everybody’s time?

To be very honest, there is only ONE so-called “healthy debate” that has ever happened on my blog so far… the one in which we discussed where to hold our Bloggers’ Meet in Delhi. But does it really fit under the label of “debate”?

Monday, December 14, 2009

Annual Review - 2009

The year 2009 passed by so quickly, and yet I managed to get so much accomplished in this last 1 year. Yes, I'm still way too short of certain targets I set for myself, but to be completely fair to myself, I did manage to do a lot. As they say... go with the flow, and do not be harsh upon yourself.

So, here's a small list of some of my mammoth achievements this year:


1. From a less-than-10-readers blog, 'miss_teerious' has developed a 'fan-following' of 120+.

2. Complete technological revamping of the blog-layout, even while sticking to a Classic Blogger Template.

3. Completed my Post Graduation, despite the prevalent "vote of no confidence" against me! LOL! Doesn't it feel good doing things that others think you can't do! ;-)

4. Sailed through the Sun Certified Java Programmer exam.

5. Learnt a bit of German.

6. Proved that I don't suffer from any "Social Phobia". From a 90+ Friend List on FaceBook in early September this year, I now have almost 250 "connections", with the majority of them not into Reiki or Blogging!

7. Managed to fit into the 2 pairs of jeans hanging uselessly in my closet for almost 1 year!

8. While I still haven't managed to get a complete hang of Twitter, I have, never-the-less, updated my Twitter account, given it an entirely 'Kaddu-ish' skin, and have also just penned-down my 101st "Tweet"!


There are, of course, a lot of minor achievements too, but I won't bother with them on this space. There have also been some new milestones touched along my inner journey, that started way back towards the end of 2006... but I don't wish to talk about them here right now... kinda personal stuff.

So, all in all, a very productive year. Looking forward to 2010 now... and things already look promising! :D

FaceBook does an "Orkut"!

Why? What was the need? Weren't things perfect the way they were? Why the change? I switched to FaceBook only because of the Privacy concerns with Orkut. And now they turn FaceBook into Orkut too!


Anyways, I managed to change most of the settings back to "Only Friends". But I can't get the Profile Pic to over-ride the default "Everyone" settings. I don't want "Everyone" to be able to view my Profile Pic. I want only people in my Friend List to be able to see it. So how do I get that back now?

Also, I have my Friend List grouped under School, Office, Blog, FarmVille etc. So does the new FaceBook provide any way to make a particular post visible to only a particular group of friends? Like, for example, is there any way I could set the FarmVille posts to be visible to only my FarmVille friends? It does give some setting when I post a link, but what about posts that come directly from an application?

Any help in this regard would be highly appreciated. Thanks.

Saturday, December 12, 2009

Kids!

This is what my old-time friend posted as her FaceBook status a couple of days ago...


(My Friend:) Advay, I asked you to eat 6 pieces of Apple and you said you did, but you only ate one piece?
Advay:
But Mumma I start counting from 6...


Advay, her son, will turn 5 in the coming month.

;-)

Thursday, December 10, 2009

Who Am I?

Another one of those days… I was doing some self-healing by touch-Reiki. I was feeling a bit irritated at the amount of noise outside that day. (Yeah... I stay in one of the noisiest parts of my city!) And I was wondering how people have become so used to this noise level that they don’t even notice it anymore! But those of my readers who work with Reiki know that you can’t really stay irritated for long while passing energy to yourself, right?

And so my irritation also subsided gradually as the Reiki progressed. Thoughts kept wandering in and out of my system. I never bothered to explore them in depth. I was simply floating away…

And then suddenly I saw the entire universe looming up in front of me! Black background… sprinkled with bright shining specs of light arranged in different patterns for all the different galaxies and constellations! The kind of picture we have often seen in Geography books and Wikipedia, you know! "M.A.G.N.I.F.I.C.E.N.T." is the word that came to my mind!

Let me quickly Google an image of our Universe and see if I can find something that resembles what I saw. Ok here’s one very much like it...


Well, as soon as I saw this image in my mind, it suddenly dawned on me that all those noises – of horns and honks and street-hawkers shouting to advertise their goods – if observed from up there in the Universe, would seem so totally insignificant! So insignificant in fact, that they would be swallowed in complete oblivion! Up there, you would hear only one sound… the sound of silence!

Weird, isn’t it? But it’s the truth. We spend our entire lives fretting over things that seem so important to us… and yet, if only we knew the truth, those things carry no significance at all beyond the tiny stage where we are performing our life’s play! What seem like major Tsunamis to us – upsetting our entire mental and emotional equilibrium – they aren’t even tiny ripples of disturbance for the infinite Universe! Wow!

I suddenly realized one more thing. “They” say that the same Consciousness that is in me is in everyone else. The same Consciousness is in all the plants, animals, rivers, oceans, mountains, the skies, the Sun & the Moon, and the entire Universe… the very same Consciousness that CREATED this whole Universe! Separate this Consciousness from me, and I don’t exist. I AM that Consciousness... the very same one that CREATED this whole Universe!

Can you imagine this now? I am something SO powerful that could have created such a magnificently beautiful piece of work as in that photograph above! And yet I doubt my abilities! I feel powerless… and scared! Ridiculous, right?

We all believe that we are the mortal mass of flesh and bones reflected in the mirror… whereas the truth is that we are the ones SEEING that reflection in the mirror, from behind those pretty eyes – the windows to our hearts! We associate ourselves with what we see… and yet, we are much MUCH bigger than what is seen!

It is difficult to explain this in words. We have been conditioned for too long to believe that we are what the mirror shows us. I wonder why we are brought up with such limiting beliefs and concepts!

Iguana summed it up so very well in these few lines…

Do you have any idea how powerful you really are?
Do you have any idea of how far your thoughts reach?
Do you have any idea how many lives you have already touched?
Do you have any idea of how much you have already accomplished?

Wish I could see how powerful I really am…

Thursday, December 3, 2009

Happy Birthday "Little Angel"


Today is his birthday... Yuvraj Singhania... a.k.a. Krish... a.k.a. "UV"! Epitome of LIFE.

So powerful is the life force in him, that the very next day after he was born, I was inspired to create this blog. In fact, 'inspired' isn't the correct word, it was more like an inner urge, that wouldn't let me rest until I started this space of personal expression!

So... today, UV turns 3... and tomorrow, miss_teerious will.

He's not as serious as he seems to be in this pic. He's just contemplating his next move of mischief, you know. He's usually like this in fact...


... or even like this...


Yes... the last one is how you'll most likely see him! :D

Oh and he always sits on the right side of my PC whenever he visits us... 'coz that's where the mouse is, you know... and the little fella knows that's the "control center"! He he ;)

Monday, November 30, 2009

Identity Crisis!

I remember when we were kids (my sister and I)… she was always losing things somehow! Her pencils, sharpeners, even books at times… and she simply wouldn’t be able to find them! Either Mom or I had to eventually come to her rescue! All her things were found exactly where she’d left them of course; the only trouble was she never could remember where that place would be!

I used to find it totally indigestible! For me, everything was in a fixed order… you do this, then you do that, then you go there and pick that up, and leave it on that shelf. 1-2-3-4… and so on. All numbered steps. Always in the same sequence. And I could repeat that sequence even when I was half asleep! So I could never understand how one would forget where they’d kept something. Bottomline: I always thought she was just plain careless.

Ahh! But those who say that “history repeats itself” are so very correct! So many years later, I come to the realization that she was not careless; she was just… non-linear in her approach!

. . .

Until less than 2 years ago, everything in my life had a definite place on a fixed path. Like a clockwork machine. There was just one way of doing anything. Hence, there was never any confusion. But now, I seem to have become more abstract in my thinking. My mind simply wouldn’t follow the same logical path each time it is told to do something. And I have no way of knowing which path it might take on some particular day.

Oh but the bigger problem is that I also have no way of knowing whether it will ever be able to return to the same route again! End result: I am also losing my things now! Not exactly “losing” them permanently, but, like it used to happen with my sis, I simply can’t recall where I kept them!

Major source of frustration for my Dad, ‘coz you see, he has never been used to seeing me like this! Every other day, I’m rummaging through all the cupboards & drawers in the house, looking for something or the other. It’s like “If I thought I might use it after doing XYZ, then I might have kept it here… or maybe I thought I would need it with PQR… or perhaps I might have grouped it with LMN…???” And the mental torture continues… following different paths in the maze of my mind... until one strikes finally! Phewwww!


Please don’t get me wrong here… I don’t live in a perpetual mess! The above might give you the impression that my room is always littered with all my stuff… but nothing could be farther from the truth! I’m still very neat. I still keep everything in perfect order… it’s just that I don’t remember later what order I’d put them in!

For example, earlier, the clothes in my almirah were always arranged color-wise. No deviation from this rule ever. And within each color also, there was a definite order in which the dresses hung. I could tell my sister from the other room that I wanted “the 5th blue suit from the right”, and she’d get the right one. But now… oh things are so very different now!

At times I hang my dresses color-wise (could be in the order of same color, contrast colors, different colors in same tone alternating with each other); at other times I might put them in the order of casual-to-party; and at even other times, I might arrange them length-wise (long kurtas, mid-length ones, shorter ones)! So telling my Sis from the other room where a certain piece of clothing might be found in my almirah is not even a possibility now!

And the same funda applies with practically everything else in the house… from the spice-jars in the kitchen to the books in the 4 different locations I have for them in my house! A big M-E-S-S! And on top of all that, my Dad says HE can’t understand why I have suddenly turned into my sister! Ohhhhh! He couldn’t even begin to imagine my own confusion and frustration at this unexpected change in me! Seen the movie “Bourne Identity”? Remember how Jason Bourne feels when he doesn’t remember who he is and why he’s doing whatever he’s doing? That should give you some idea!

Actually, to be very honest, I think I know the reason why this change is happening. (That still doesn’t make it any easier to accept, by the way!) But, any attempt to explain it to you guys would be beyond the scope of this post… even this blog, in fact! I would have to write an entire novel about my life! But then I would also have to become famous before I write that novel… otherwise who’d pay money to buy my autobiography!

Anyways… the fact remains that whatever those undisclosed reasons may be, I am not going back to my old self. Period. I know it’s frustrating for people who have known me for years to see me behave in ways they are just not used to… but hey, it’s even more nerve-racking for me to be gradually losing my complete identity… the one that I have associated myself with for almost 30 years! So just have a little bit of patience… and get used to it… and also help ME get used to it!

Friday, November 27, 2009

Marriage

Marriage seems to be a major stress point in the Indian society... both for males as well as females.

If you are a male, single, and are not financially settled, it automatically gets translated to "Oh my God! How will you get married?" And since getting married seems to be the only worthwhile *accomplishment* for anyone in the Indian society, it means that you are DOOMED! You are a *good-for-nothing* fellow!

If you are a female, then things are equally bad. Nobody takes you seriously, even if you are running the entire house by yourself, AND managing your studies at the same time! The females in your neighborhood treat you like some no-brainer-kid... even if they might actually be younger than you in both age and experience! Why? Just because they happen to be married and you aren't! Not even the housemaids give you any respect... just because you are a "Didi" and not a "Memsaab"!

What the hell! Why is that pinch of "sindoor" so important anyway? At times I get the feeling that you could be the most successful female of the country and yet nobody will truly respect you here... if you aren't married too!

We Indians really need to set our priorities right... always focusing too much on irrelevant things! Can't understand why it's so difficult for Indians to just accept people for what they are... and not for how much they earn, or how many kids they have! "Developing country" my foot! Nothing's changed here in the last 60+ years of independence... and nothing will for at least another 200 years! Just remain focused on getting married and producing babies! And make life hell for anyone who doesn't do this!

P.S. - Exactly 1 week from today, 'miss_teerious' will celebrate her 3rd birthday. I was hoping to complete 300 posts by then, but my mind's got completely distracted with the "surprise" I'm working on! I wonder if I'll even remember to make a "birthday post" here! Do remind me guys, if it looks like I've forgotten!

Friday, November 20, 2009

5 Reasons Why Tags Are Good

The above headline might come as a shock to most of you, considering the fact that I grumble so much each time I’m asked to do a Tag here! Well, the truth is… I don’t have anything against Tags specifically! It’s just that I hate doing a lot of any one thing! And these Tags have a tendency to start a sort of never ending loop! You suddenly wake up one day to find the entire blog-o-sphere around you filled with Tags! However, if used in sparing measures, Tags can prove to be very useful actually. You want to know how… read on…

1. Tags help us get over a Writers’ Block
Those millions of times… when we sit with a blank Word Document open in front of us… and our fingers wandering aimlessly over the keyboard, trying to rub that slightly embossed mark off the letters ‘F’ and ‘J’! (I bet you just tried to do exactly that too!) Tags give us something to start writing about – anything – just so the creative juices begin to flow again and we get into the “mood” to write again!

2. They let us explore our creative potential
Alright, let’s be honest here fellows! Tags ARE usually pretty boring stuff… to write, as well as to read! And that’s where their usefulness lies! As Sachin Tendulkar said in his recent interview on the TV, “we ought to make our weakness our biggest strength”! And the adventure lies in how you present even a drab routine dish, so that it looks like the most tempting item on the table!

Picture Credit: ME - "Atta Maggi" with Boiled Eggs


3. Useful in Link Building
Not all of us here blog for making money, but nevertheless, it sure does feel good knowing that so many people read what we write! And we are constantly looking for ways to increase our reader-base. Tags provide a genuine way to create and promote such a linked network. You link back to the person who tagged you, and you also link (ahead?) to the people you tag. Link exchange, backed with the power of content… clean and honest SEO!

4. Introduce “New Kids in the Block”
I’ve lost count of how many of my blogger friends have been discovered on such “Tag” posts! While many of them were veteran bloggers, quite a few were completely new in the neighborhood! Tags give bloggers a fairly easy way to initiate some interaction with strangers, so that within days, the newbies also start feeling like a part of the “family”!

5. Prepare us for a very bright future (I saved the best for the very end!)
Tags give us practice… for facing “celebrity interviews”. You know, like the kind of interviews Sushmita Sen had after she became Miss Universe! Or the ones that TV Channels reserve for new faces in Bollywood! We'll become so used to answering stupid questions that we won’t have to scratch our head for answers, when we finally become famous!

As you can see from the (seemingly?) well-researched points above, Tags are a very powerful arrow in a blogger’s quiver! We just need to learn when to use them and how to use them.

However, the above post does not mean that you all bombard me with more Tags immediately! I still have a few pending in my list! Though I have decided I won’t do the “How Dumb” Tag and the “Yes/No” Tag, ‘coz they don’t give me any scope to get creative. You can only answer with ‘X’ marks in one and ‘Yes/No’ in the other. Too restrictive! But if you find some cool Tag with lots of freedom to write about senseless stuff, feel free to pass it on to me! Though I don’t promise I’ll do it right away, ok! :D


Here's more in "Tags (or memes)"!


Thursday, November 19, 2009

Sharing...

You miss your loved ones when you are having the blues... but you miss them even more when you've accomplished something very special or important! Isn't it amazing?


P.S. - No, I'm not becoming a micro-blogger! This is just a one-time random post! My usual "1000-words" will soon follow! :D

Thursday, November 12, 2009

"Replace-and-Add" Tag

So... ZB tagged me with this long time back. I ought to have completed some other tags before this one, but guess what! Whoever said "Flattery gets you nowhere" was deliberately misleading you! ZB gave me & my blog such a flattering testimonial recently, that his pending tag got promoted to the very top of the list! He he he! :P


1. What is your current obsession?
For a change, without any obsessions!

2. What are you wearing today?
A smile :)

3. What’s for dinner?
Depends on my mood at that time. Making 'khichdi' for lunch by the way... with curd, 'papad', pickle & 'aloo ka chokha'! Mmmmmmm! Any takers?

4. What’s the last thing you bought?
Groceries... yesterday.

5. What are you listening to right now?
"Musical" beggars down the street, whose "music", unlike their kindred in the Hindi Cinema, sounds more like "noise pollution"!

6. What do you think about the person who tagged you?
Naughty. :D

7. If you could have a house totally paid for, fully furnished anywhere in the world, where would you like it to be?
Somewhere by the beach... quiet & peaceful! :D

8. What are your must-have pieces for summer?
Water ???

9. [REPLACED] Best "pickup line" you've come across so far?
Hi, I'm Mr. Right... someone said you were looking for me...

10. Which language do you want to learn?
Spanish has been on my list ever since I heard Ricky Martin for the first time!

11. What’s your favorite quote?
Of all the things I've lost, I miss my mind the most.

12. Who do you want to meet right now?
No one. Not in the mood to socialize right now.

13. What is your favorite color?
Blue

14. What is your favorite piece of clothing in your own closet?
It's not about "favorite" right now... it's about "what fits"!

15. What is your dream job?
Anything that fully utilizes my hyper-active brain!

16. What’s your favorite magazine?
No favorites as such... I occasionally read "Life Positive" though.

17. If you had $100 now, what would you spend it on?
A new Hard Drive for my PC and a stick of 2GB DDR2 RAM!

18. What do you consider a fashion faux pas?
Er... for a person who has gone to office wearing purple suit, black chunni, green sweater and a blue rubber-band in her hair, don't you think this is the wrong question to ask?

19. Who are your style icons?
Style... well Amitabh Bachchan still rules! :p


20. What kind of haircut do you prefer?
Short... free... :D

21. What are you going to do after this?
Work on my upcoming surprise for you guys! ;)

22. What are your favorite movies?
Check my Blogger Profile for the answer to this... or my Orkut Profile if you wish to. FaceBook - I don't think you will be able to, unless you are in my Friend List there.

24. What are three cosmetic/makeup/perfume products that you can't live without?
Perfumes, perfumes, and perfumes! Everything else makes my worst nightmares come alive!

23. What inspires you?
Stories of people who've managed to "make it", even against all odds...

24. Give us three styling tips that always work for you:
Ahh... styling tips from me! Hmmm... let's see...
i) Make sure you are wearing the kurta, salwar & dupatta of the *same* set!
ii) Cut your hair short, so you don't need to worry about whether the rubber-band matches the rest of your outfit or not!
iii) Fall sick whenever you are required to go to a party with makeup!

25. What do you do when you “have nothing to wear” (even though your closet’s packed)?
You crib... what else! And then you pull out anything that fits and wear it... and pray nobody will notice... or at least will be too busy to comment!

26. Coffee or tea?
Mmmmmmm.... love them both! :D

27. What do you do when you are feeling low or terribly depressed?
Read something inspiring. (Refer to Question 23 above)

28. What is the meaning of your name?
Goddess Saraswati :D

29. Which other blogs do you love visiting?
None. I like to read them in my Google Reader to avoid some of the really hurtful color schemes! I like to visit only if I wish to leave a comment.

30. Favorite Dessert/Sweet?
ONE favorite??? :O :O :O But that's IMPOSSIBLE for me to answer!

31. Favorite Season?
Just about right now... when it's not cold enough to wear a sweater and not hot enough to make you sweat!

32. If I come to your house now, what would you cook for me?
Like I said, I'm making 'khichdi' for lunch today... but in the meanwhile, we can have coffee I guess... although I won't make it... my Dad will! :D

33. What is the right way to avoid people who purposefully hurt you?
Well... if only we let this sink in that they are "purposefully" seeking to hurt us, then it just won't hurt us anymore... right?

34. [MY QUESTION] What's the one thing that you like most about me? :D :D :D


I tag all my blog readers with this. If you have already done this tag earlier, then you need to answer only the last question now.

Rules for those who are tagged: Respond and rework – answer these questions on your blog. Replace one question that you dislike with a question of your own, and add one more question to the list. Then tag eight or ten other new set of people.

IMPORTANT: Question No. 34 cannot be replaced! :D


Here's more in "Tags (or memes)"!


Sunday, November 8, 2009

YOU Can Help Make India A Better Place.

You don't need to be a social worker or a politician to improve the state of your country. You can contribute simply by being a more responsible citizen, aware of your rights and responsibilities.

ZB has listed some very practical every-day things that we all CAN do to make our country a better place to live in... things that we usually tend to ignore as being too insignificant to create a change. But the fact remains that little drops of water make a mighty ocean!

Here are the "drops of water" that you can contribute... each one of you...

Better-India
We can be responsible citizens and keep our premise clean.
(That includes "not littering public places" AND "not spitting pan-masala everywhere"!)

We can take part in elections and vote for the deserving candidate.
(Using your "right to vote" is also your responsibility.)

We can help by educating our children and not show prejudice to sons over daughters.
(Sons can serve water to the guests as well as daughters can. They can also make tea!)

We can help by investing in our country and provide employment.
(Finance Indian entrepreneurs; sponsor worthy Indian students for higher education in whatever field, even sports.)

We can help by being entrepreneurs.
(Think out-of-the-box... be the 'G' of "G.O.D."... "Generate".)

We can help by being broad minded and not be part of caste-ism or class-ism.
(Get over such petty things folks. Learn from us Farmers. Out there in FarmVille, we don't even care where our Neighbors are from. All that matters is we are having fun together! Yes, you can learn so much even from a silly internet game!)

We can help by being religiously tolerant.
(Hindu, Muslim, Sikh, Christians... they're all the same. All ignorant mortals led by a team of so-called "religious preachers" who have their own selfish agenda to pursue!)

We can help by investing in Govt. agencies like LIC or SBI.
(Following that line of thought, maybe there should be "Swiss Banks" in India too! At least all that "black money" of the country would remain in the country that way, and could be utilized for capital development projects within the nation!)

We can help by helping our neighbors in time of need.
(We follow the West blindly in so many things... I wonder why we don't copy the good things of their system!)

We can help by not crowding hospitals or public places.
(And railway stations and trains! Is it really necessary that 6 people accompany one person to see him/her off?)

We can help by being clean and health conscious.
(Avoid smoking in front of non-smokers. Cover your mouth & nose while coughing/sneezing. Basic stuff. We were taught all this in Class 1 guys! You don't need the Government to start an initiative on this now, do you?)

We can help by knowing our culture and help preserve it (like Japanese).
(And no... culture does not mean religious dogmas and senseless practices like child marriage or dowry!)

We can help by welcoming foreign tourists and make India more tourist friendly.
(Which means that we'll need to intervene if we see a foreigner being exploited by the shopkeepers in Lajpat Nagar. We'll also need to step in if we see that a foreign female is being/about to be sexually harassed!)

We can help by not carving “I LOVE PRIYANKA CHOPRA” on public places and historical monuments.
(I'm sure none of my blog readers do this at least!)

We can help by conserving energy and resources.
(Fans, lights, ACs... all have an "Off" switch. There's something called "car-pooling". Above all, God has given us legs!)

We can help by not supporting political parties who support BANDH and HARTALS.
(And also who use our tax-money for their party campaigns!)

We can help by not encouraging beggars.
(Ask them to work... as your house-help, in your shop/office... and see how quick they run! I have seen a woman hit a baby in her arms with a big stone until the poor kid's forehead was covered in blood, and then she hurried into the waiting traffic at the Dak Bungalow Crossing here! You are encouraging such brutality if you give such people any money. Try offering to buy the medicine for them, instead of giving them the money... and see how they disappear at that too!)

We can help by questioning public authorities and wrong practices.
(Toughest. I guess this includes giving/taking bribes. But that's been termed as official "service charges" now. For example, if you want to get an Income Tax Refund, the rate is fixed at 10% of the amount involved. For some other kind of transactions, I've heard it even goes as high as 25%! Anyways, I got this SMS a couple of days ago, haven't yet had the opportunity to use it... perhaps one of you might have some use for it... "If a Central Govn. employee seeks bribe for official work, please inform SP, CBI on nine-four-three-one-eight-two-one-seven-six-three or nine-zero-zero-six-six-nine-zero-zero-six-six between 9:30 am to 6:00 pm." Let me know if it is of any use.)


Well, there's a lot more in ZB's article. He has taken one step forward in the right direction... using the resources & skills he has, viz. writing. I have added my voice to his initiative by helping it reach out to more people. YOU also have a voice... whether you choose to use that voice or not is totally up to you. You can contribute by spreading awareness about his every-day suggestions too -- sharing the link on Twitter, FaceBook, Digg, whatever platforms your are aware of, and even your own blog. More importantly, you can implement those suggestions in your life as well. As for me... I just realized even my computer has an "Off" button!

Sunday, November 1, 2009

Farmerette on Vacation!

I figured I had to do something to ensure that I don't give in to temptation and start playing again! So I arranged all my small animals and birds to leave a message for my neighbors, and, at the same time, make sure that the farmland wasn't looking empty... begging me to start plowing and planting on it again!


So... it is official now -- the Farmerette has worked hard, and has now gone on a much deserved vacation! She'll probably be back sometime in January.

P.S. You can click on the image to see a larger view.

Wednesday, October 28, 2009

Book Review: Lord of the Rings by J.R.R. Tolkien - The Fellowship Ends

Lord of the Rings
Author: J.R.R. Tolkien
ISBN: 978-0618574995

Buy from:

Flipkart

Amazon.in

Amazon.com


They told me that if I liked Harry Potter, I would also like Lord of The Rings, by J.R.R. Tolkien. I thought they were mad... nothing could compare with Harry Potter. Yet, I bought the Lord of the Rings series box-set, only because it was available at less than 40% of its price (in some clearance sale perhaps, for it definitely didn't look pirated) in one of the big book shops in Delhi.

And so it sat in my almirah since the end of July 2009, for I was in no mood to read anything... ANYTHING... and definitely not something they claimed was in the same league as Harry Potter!

Ahh! But suddenly last weekend I was overcome with this strong urge to read again! And the Lord of The Rings novels were sitting right in the front of the shelf. So I pulled them out.

To be very honest, I found the story really boring initially. Couldn't relate with hobbits. All the names sounded so funny. Nothing seemed to be happening at all in the story. Laid back place, Shire. Laid back people, the Hobbits. And a laid back story, Lord of The Rings. I dragged through... 'coz I was in a fit of reading. I just had to read.

And I'm so glad I did. The plot becomes so engrossing even before the end of the first book (that is the first part of the first volume) that you find it hard to put it down. It's almost as if you become a member of their Fellowship -- an invisible member. And you journey with them through all their perils and adventures. You feel their fear, their moments of despair, the hanging gloom... and you cannot help but chuckle at the cheekiness of Merry and Pippin even amidst all this!

Lord of the Rings by J.R.R. Tolkien
Everything comes to life around you, so that when it's finally time for The Fellowship to end, it feels like you are parting from some very close friends... and you know you're probably never going to meet them again. That's how I've been feeling since yesterday evening. :(

My rating: 5 out of 5: AdiĆ³s... my friends from The Fellowship of the Lord of The Rings, by J.R.R. Tolkien! Will miss you for a long long time... (or at least until I find some other equally engrossing book! He he!) Next in my list is Gone With The Wind.

Buy from: Flipkart | Amazon.in | Amazon.com


Here's more in Books.



Thursday, October 22, 2009

Left Brain Shut-down!

Remember this Quiz I posted about long time ago... which tells you whether you are left-brain oriented or right-brain? My result was a clear-cut "Left Brain"! In fact, forget about the Quiz... simply ask anybody who knows me to some extent on a personal level... and he/she will be more than glad to tell you how strongly left-brain oriented I am!

Not anymore though! Seems like things are finally changing around inside my skull! My Dad is totally confused at the frequent temporary-loss of all logical abilities that I have possessed since I was born! Sighhhhhh. Here lies the answer....



Left -brain fogginess.
Your psychic abilities, your intuitive knowing, your feeling and compassion, your ability to experience your body, your visioning, your expressiveness all emanate from the right brain. In order for this side of the brain to develop more fully, the left brain must shut down a little bit. Normally the left-hemisphere's capacity for order, organization, structure, linear sequencing, analysis, evaluation, precision, focus, problem-solving, and mathematics dominate our often less-valued right brain. What results are memory lapses, placing words in the wrong sequence, inability or no desire to read for very long, inability to focus; forgetting what you are just about to say; impatience with linear forms of communication (audio or written formats); a feeling of spaciness, being scattered; losing interesting research or complex information; feeling bombarded with words and talk and information; and a reluctance to write. Sometimes you feel dull and have no interest in analysis, lively intellectual discussion, or investigation. On the other hand, you might find yourself drawn to the sensate: videos, magazines with photos, beautiful artwork, movies, music, sculpting, painting, being with people, dancing, gardening, walking, and other kinesthetic forms of expression. You may search for spiritual content, even science fiction.


The above is an extract from a lengthy blog post by a Reiki friend. Those who wish to can read the entire post here: "Symptoms of Ascension (transformation)". I need to go now and make Dad read this bit! See you guys later!

Monday, October 19, 2009

Diwali 2009 - Photographs

Diwali, for me, is usually a time of painful nostalgia... reminding me of all the long gone happy family times that can never come back now. This year was no different. I was in all mood to cut-short most of the festivities. But then something gave in.

As I stood in my balcony, passing bits of cello tape to my Dad, so he could hang the electric lights outside, the persistent feeling of loss was suddenly overtaken by that of togetherness. Diwali is a time for family bonding... and while I could not recreate the old memories anymore, I definitely could create new ones, if I wanted to. I decided that I did.

As it is, Diwali is the only time in the entire year that we indulge in any form of "idol-worship"! My Dad and I, we are both totally NOT into daily ritualistic Puja. So I figured since I wasn't going to do this again for one whole year, I might as well enjoy it to all my heart's content right now! :D

The best part of Diwali for me is the chance to explore my creative potential -- dressing the Ganesh-Laxmi pratimas in different styles each year, decorating their aasans differently, arranging the diyas and lights in various patterns... so much more!

We started with the "Diya Puja" - worshiping the light in our lives. Then the standard set of 21 silver coins - for prosperity. And finally Ganesh and Laxmi. It was fun!

So finally... slightly belated I know... but wish you all a very Prosperous Deepawali! :D

Wednesday, October 14, 2009

Senseless Tag!

Shilpa and Blog Gore tagged me with this insanity loooooonnnnnng time ago. Finally, I relent.


1. Grab the book nearest to you, turn on page 18 and find line 4...
Animals also have certain behavioral aspects; they eat, breathe,...
The Complete Reference - JAVA Seventh Edition

2. Stretch your left arm out as far as you can & catch air?
Ok… caught! [I bet this Quiz was named "senseless" because of this one question!]

3. What is the last thing you watched on TV?
Sa Re Ga Ma Pa Li'l Champs - last Saturday :D

4. Without looking, guess what time it is?
A little over 1 pm I guess...

5. Now look at the clock, what is the actual time?
1:11 pm. Yayyyy! :D

6. With the exception of the computer, what can you hear?
The fan above... honks of vehicles outside... and a couple of mongoose fighting with each other below my 2nd floor balcony! Man can they screech!

7. When did you last step outside? What were you doing?
Yesterday evening... went to the terrace of my building for a walk.

8. Before you started this Q&As, what did you look at?
The 1-2-3 tag... I got stuck after doing number 1 and 3! So it's gone back in my pending tags folder!

9. What are you wearing?
A Pumpkin suit for Halloween! Whoever put this question in here was probably a male who spends a lot of his time chatting on Yahoo Messenger with unknown females!

10. When did you last laugh?
When I read Question number 9 above!

11. What is on the walls of the room you are in?
THISSSSSS !!! :D :D :D

12. Seen anything weird lately?
Humans.

13. What do you think of this quiz?
Ahem... guess someone is majorly unemployed in these current times of recession! :p

14. What is the last film you saw?
Baby's Day Out... on my PC... with my Dad... while having lunch yesterday. We've only reached the scene where the baby spots a pigeon outside... will continue it from there during today's lunch. We usually finish off a movie across 3 meals! :D

15. If you became a multimillionaire overnight, what would you buy?
A Villa like this in real life! :D


16. Tell me something about you that I dunno!
I get really violent when people ask me so many questions despite the fact that I haven't applied for a job with them! You obviously don't know this, or you wouldn't have made me do this tag! :D

17. If you could change one thing about the world, regardless of guilt or politics, what would you do?
Get rid of all humans... and no that doesn't include me... I'm an Alien, remember!

18. Do you like to Dance?
Love to... especially on Elvis Presley's "Jail House Rock"! Of course, not many people consider it dancing though! :p

19. Imagine your first child is a girl, what do you call her?
Anjali.

20. Imagine your first child is a boy, what do you call him?
Saagar.

21. Would you ever consider living abroad?
Why not?

22. What do you want GOD to say to you when you reach the pearly gates?
Did you bring your Computer and an internet connection? Oh good! Now you can show me how to play Farm Ville!


OK BG... I have proudly showcased *MY* low IQ levels too here... by taking up this tag! Now you can come over and cry while reading this crap! :D

And any of my blog readers, who are as useless as me right now... or those who are in need of a topic to blog about... please feel free to take this stupidity on!


Here's more in "Tags (or memes)"!


Monday, October 12, 2009

Catching Up...

Ok fellows... life is becoming more-and-more hectic day-by-day. Planning a New Year surprise gift for you all... so keep watching this space. :)

Taking a break from Farming after harvesting the current crop on my Farm today evening. So be prepared to find unploughed land if you drop in for a visit!

Been catching up with my Blogging Community lately... have finished going through almost all the blogs... just 4 left now -- Shilpa's, Nikita's, Sumit's and Parv's second blog. Though I must confess, I've left just 2 comments so far! :p

I have another tag-to-do from ZB and a couple of awards to collect from Avada:

1. Blog Buddy Award



2. I Love Your Blog Award


Thanks Avada! :)

Have a few pending posts lined up too... so let's get down to work now! :D

Thursday, October 8, 2009

God helps those...

... who help themselves.

Agreed.

But God can only help anyone if *we* help *each other*....

Because He helps only through *us*.

He uses our hands, our legs, our mouth to help the people around us...

Only if we *let* Him use them.

Not many people are letting Him do this now though...

God won't really be able to do much in a world full of selfish people.

Thursday, October 1, 2009

Space Management!

You never really know what a new day might bring to you.

When we went to bed Monday night, we had no clue about the "SURPRISE" that would be waiting for us on Facebook the next morning!

The "SURPRISE" was THIS!


These cute little baby elephants were introduced as gifts for our Farm Neighbors by Zynga, the developers of FarmVille. They have apparently made it their mission to give us everything except more land! And recently, they have taken to torturing us by introducing all bulky stuff -- first the gigantic hot-air balloons, and now these baby elephants, which will probably grow even bigger, as they step into "adulthood"!

Hmmmppphhh! Well that wasn't going to deter us from accepting these generous gifts from our Neighbors, was it? So we farmers started our own "mission"... "Mission Baby Elephant = Space Management"! The name was conceived by my sister by the way. And this is the result of the "mission"...


I had no idea getting rid of the whitewash fences could recover such a lot of space for more productive uses!

Oh by the way, this one in the center of my Farm is "Killu"... the first Baby Elephant I received. My sister refuses to let me call him anything other than "Killu"! So that's what he is... "Killu"! :D

Monday, September 28, 2009

Child Abuse

As most of you already know, Nikita Gupta started another blog sometime ago, called - "A Little Psycho-Babble".

Want to share a link to her latest post on the after-effects of Child Sexual Abuse... "CSA: Psychological Dynamics".


She's planning to write more on this subject in her new blog. Also, her Masters dissertation topic, "on victims of incestuous rape and sexual abuse", got approved finally, after much haggling with her professors apparently!

So she needs more research material on this... case studies, feedback, good references and your personal views on it. If you feel you may have anything to share, please drop her a comment. You can also email her if you wish to remain anonymous... her email ID is given in her Blogger profile.

And no... before any of you mention it... she's NOT paying me for this publicity! :)) I'm doing this out of my own accord... because for once, somebody is actually putting blogging to some productive use! :D