Sunday, April 29, 2012

Pleasant Surprise!

Many years ago, I read a book by William H. Bates on better eyesight. That was the first and the last time anyone ever suggested to me that eyesight can improve and that it IS possible to get rid of your eye-glasses for good!

Optometrists usually say just the reverse. Whenever you go to get your eyes tested, and it is discovered that your eyesight has worsened and you need a higher power lens in your spectacles, they state so matter-of-factly - "Oh that is to be expected over the years!" Eyesight getting better is still considered a very exceptional phenomenon and not something that everybody can achieve or even expect.

At least, I stopped expecting such a miracle in my eyes!

Until yesterday, that is!

I went to have my eyes tested yesterday and got a pleasant surprise!

Last year, in April, my eye-test chart said:

RE: Spherical (-) 2.00; Cylindrical (-) 0.50
LE: Spherical (-) 3.25; Cylindrical (-) 0.75

And yesterday, my updated eye-test chart said:

RE: Spherical (-) 2.00; Cylindrical (-) 0.50
LE: Spherical (-) 2.50; Cylindrical (-) 0.50

A total change of 1.00 in my Left Eye... for the better.

WOW! And this is when I didn't even use Bates' method for improving my eyesight. All I did was stopped playing FarmVille!

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Saturday, April 28, 2012

Silly Saturday: Karma...


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Thursday, April 26, 2012

Do You Have A "Pink Kurti"?

I once had this pretty pink kurti, studded with tiny glittering sequins all over the front. It was made of some really soft cotton fabric, and was extremely comfortable to wear, especially in summers. I used to love that kurti so much that I would wear it almost every other day! It was so comfy it felt almost like a second skin.

My Pink Kurti
Over the years, it lost its former shine... lost all those glittery sequins too. The color faded and became dull. But it became even more comfortable to wear. The feel of that kurti against my skin made me feel happy without any reason. It made me feel pretty from the inside, even though that kurti no longer had any of its own visual appeal. I used to sleep sounder and more peacefully wearing that kurti.

And then it started coming across at the seams. I diligently worked with a needle and thread and kept sewing it back up, first at one place, then another, then another… and still remained crazy about it. One day, I burnt a tiny hole in one corner while ironing. Sewed that up too, and continued wearing it day after day.

Finally, I dropped some undiluted liquid bleach on one corner (accidentally of course), and the pink was marked by a prominent white patch… a small one, but prominent, nevertheless. And it made me sooooooooo angry! At myself… at that stupid bleach… at that kurti (for being in the wrong place at the wrong time)… at the whole world basically! I was afraid that I would have to part with it finally… with my most favorite kurti in the whole world!

. . .

Some relationships are also like that, aren’t they? Like your favorite piece of clothing. No matter how old and tattered they become, you still feel comfortable in them like no other relationship. They may lose their original shine and glitter, and yet they feel like the most beautiful thing in your life. They make YOU feel beautiful. And special. And safe. And loved. And they make your nights more peaceful, and your dreams more hopeful.

And every once in a while, you accidentally damage or stain or tear one of those relationships. It feels so painful. You feel angry with yourself. You wish you didn’t have to lose that relationship. You wish there was any way you could undo whatever you did. But there is no such way. You can NEVER undo your past. All you can do is make amends for your mistakes.

I had to sew the tears and the hole in my kurti by myself. I had to clean up all the stains that I’d made. The sooner I did that, the easier it was for me. As they say, a stitch in time saves nine. But one stitch or nine, it had to be done by me. That is the law of life. You make mistakes, and YOU learn how to make up for them. When you make dents in relationships that matter so much to you, then YOU have to figure out ways to repair them… whether it takes you one stitch or nine.

As for my pink partially-bleached kurti, I still couldn’t give up on it. I continued to wear it until Dad finally decided he’d had enough of it, and just ripped it up in shreds! Sighhhhh. Well, clothes are like that. Wear and tear leaves its mark on them. Fabrics aren’t meant to last forever, are they?

Thankfully, relationships aren’t like that though. Age doesn’t wear and tear relationships like fabrics. On the contrary, it makes them stronger. And every time you damage a relationship and then put in the effort to apologize and make up again, you actually add an extra layer of strength to that relationship, enabling it to withstand a bigger “earthquake” next time.

As a matter of fact, some of the toughest relationships I have seen in my life are the ones where the people involved were always fighting and then making up! Because in those relationships, they knew that it was okay to make mistakes, they knew how to say “sorry” and make amends for their mistakes, and they also knew how to forgive the mistakes.

Those relationships really make you feel comfortable like nothing else, because you don’t always “have to be at your best behavior” in them, you don’t feel constantly judged in them, and you’re free to make mistakes in them, as long as you’re ready to apologize and make up… regardless of whether it takes one stitch to mend, or nine…

So... do you have any such "pink kurti" you'd do anything to save?

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Wednesday, April 25, 2012

Wordless Wednesday: Rise & Shine

Garfield: Rise & Shine
Picture Credit: FB Community

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Tuesday, April 24, 2012

Perplexed

I'm probably going to sound like a "stuck record", but I honestly can't help it! The "Google Analytics discovery" yesterday, that made me go "Speechless", continues to haunt me.


That wasn't one of your routine "just-another-secret-blog-admirer" cases. (And I should know about secret admirers, considering that my blog is practically driven by them... so many page views every month, but hardly any comments!) No, that was something deeper, something more bizarre...

The report said there were 8 visits via that "keyword search", and the "new visits %" was 12.50%. Now 100 divided by 8 is 12.50... which means that all 8 visits were by that one single person, who read 3.50 pages per visit, and spent an average time of over 8 minutes per visit on my blog. That's some serious reading.

I looked up the dates of these 8 visits: they were all on the 7th and 8th of December 2011. December 2011 was the month when I was busy making preparations for my relocation to Jaipur... when I was looking forward to leaving behind all that ugliness and bitterness in Patna. And sometime during that period, someone was repeatedly declaring his love for me to Mr. Google!

Oh I DO believe now that this visitor was a "he". I was chatting with a blog buddy yesterday evening, and was discussing about this "mysterious lover of the author of miss_teerious". (The search phrase specifically says "kadambari singhania" - with a correct spelling - and not "kaddu" or "mysterious kaddu" or "miss teerious"... which means that it was directed to the author and not just the blog.)

My friend on chat didn't think this could have been somebody's idea of a practical joke. He said - "its a person who clearly has affectionate feelings for you yet wishes to remain anon." I don't see any reason for any females to remain anon. For that matter, I don't see any reason for any guy to remain anon either, but then I'm obviously thinking from a girl's point of view... or maybe just MY point of view! I have no idea how a male mind works in these matters.

Anyway, what I really want to say is that while Mr. Google may be our life-saver regarding most things in the world, I don't see how it could have helped in this matter. miss_teerious is not a revenue-generating blog. It does not cater to any specific niche. I don't base my posts on any keyword list. I just write about any damn thing in the world that catches my fancy for a while! So I usually never bother to look up all those fancy reports in Google Analytics. The most I'm interested in is what places people have visited me from. Or which posts have been read the most.

As a matter of fact, I have no idea why I went into that section yesterday either, but if I hadn't, I would have never known that some "anonymous" guy had affectionate feelings for me (at least in December 2011!)... and now that I DO know this, I still don't see what I can do about it, because
1. I still don't know who this person is, and
2. December 2011 was such a long time ago!

This is like when we were teenagers! After a shower in the winters, the bathroom mirror used to be covered in steam, and we used to write the name of our latest crush on it with our fingertip. "I love Remington Steele." Yes, I had a major crush on R S once upon a time. (The character, not the actor... just like my current crush on Jacob Black!) I even wanted to get an Alsatian dog as a pet and name him "Steele"! Of course, my long time crush was always Aamir Khan! But I'm digressing. I'm sure this isn't a case of "teenage crush" here, or "celebrity crush" either. (I can hardly qualify as a "celebrity" yet, can I?)

So then what was the point of writing that "declaration of love" in a Google search box? Honestly! I've never seen ANYbody do this! Never even heard of it done by anybody! It would have made so much more sense to write it to me directly, in a mail or something. My email ID is ALWAYS mentioned on my blog, linked to the round "@" button on the top. So is the link to my Facebook account (though I keep disappearing from FB every once in a while). And if nothing else, one can always send me a comment on any of the posts here. They are all moderated, and I don't publish those comments wherein the commenter shares any personal info or asks me to keep his/her comment private.

Now maybe I'm just too practical, but I really fail to see how this kind of passive attraction or love helps in any way. If there's someone I feel crazy about, I may not have the guts to say it directly to him (in those many words), but I would surely think of some way to convey my feelings. After that, the target of my affection would obviously have a choice... whether to reciprocate or ignore my feelings... but I could never live with a "What If...?" hanging over my head for the rest of my life! I mean come on yaar... "pyar kiya hai, chori nahin ki! Chhup-chhup aanhein bharna kya?"

At least that's the way I feel about love. I know that different people have different styles of working. So I'm nobody to judge someone. Moreover, it also depends upon the intensity of feelings. I would have to be truly, madly, deeply in love with some guy (not just some half-baked feelings, you know)... in order for me to expose my heart and risk rejection. But if I DID feel that strongly for someone, then I wouldn't just give up without even trying! NEVER! NO MATTER WHAT! I would AT LEAST try to let that person KNOW how I feel...

Writing this on Google, instead of to me, was just so...

Well I still don't know what it was! And I'm still as stunned as I was yesterday!

But if that person preferred to talk to Google rather than to me, then perhaps he should have written "i love google" instead of "i love kadambari singhania"!

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Monday, April 23, 2012

The Taming of Another Shrew

Earth signs are supposed to be stable and dependable, like solid mountains. She was an Earth sign... but with a slight twist.

She was a solid mountain with a stream of fire coursing deep within her. Her usual firm and dependable disposition was interspersed with occasional displays of her fiery temperament. Nobody dared to mess with her during one of her volcanic eruptions. People automatically moved aside when she passed by.


Not him though.

He wasn't afraid of her.

He not only did NOT move aside when she passed by, but he even dared to rile her... again and again and again... and pull her leg about it too!

For once it seemed that she had finally met her match.

For once it seemed that there was a MAN who could turn that fiery wild cat into a meek pussy-kitten purring softly against him.


Not for long though.

While she remained the same hot-blooded specimen of the human race, he seemed to have lost his former coolness. He could no longer keep up with her. (At least, that was the impression he conveyed!)

Had she over estimated him then? She wondered. Wasn't he strong enough for her then? Wasn't he MAN enough for her then?

Maybe he wasn't. Maybe he was just like the rest of the guys she had come across in life... typical "run-of-the-mill" kind. Maybe he WOULD be better off with someone tamer...

She gave out a loud sigh. Her heart found it difficult to believe that he had given up so easily. He really HAD seemed like a tough guy... tough enough even for HER.

Had her heart been wrong then for once ???


. . . . .

Here's more in Fiction!

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Speechless!

A little while ago, I was going through the Google Analytics account for miss_teerious, and I decided to look up the Organic Search Traffic report for this blog, from September 2011 to today.

Going through the list of almost 2400 keywords that people searched for, and landed on miss_teerious, I found this... (please click on the image to view in bigger size)


Wow! I really don't know what to say! I have seen so many bloggers posting similar lists of keywords people searched for to land on their blogs, but have never come across anything like this before.

Should I feel flattered? Or spooky? Or both? I honestly don't know...

Is this someone's idea of a joke? Or is there someone out there who is really so scared or shy to say these words to me directly? I don't know that either...

Just a quick message for whoever this person is (in case s/he is reading this post)... I don't use the name "Kadambari Singhania" any more.

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Friday, April 20, 2012

Fights and Break-ups


Relationships are weird.

You may have known someone for like just a couple of years or so. Then you have a fight with her and stop talking. After a long time, you get a couple of random comments from her on your blogs. And you can't even remember what you fought about! Next thing you know, you get in touch with each other and pick up exactly where you left off.

On the other hand, there's this other girl you've known for practically your entire life. You grew up together... shared all your crazy stuff with each other. Then you have a fight with her too, and stop talking to each other. After a long time, she contacts you on Facebook, but all you remember is the cruel sting in the words she last spoke to you. Instead of patching up (and "catching up") with her, you blog about "Burnt Bridges"!

Relationships ARE weird. With some, it just feels like "yesterday once more". With others, you end up thinking "that was yesterday"...

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Tuesday, April 17, 2012

If I Could Tell You - Yanni

One of my favorite tracks for those persistent blues.

The music reminds me of sparkling dew drops and rippling rivers, of the loving caresses of the wind, of butterflies in a field of yellow flowers, and of the smell of wet grass.

It reminds me of hugs and the innocent laugh of babies.

It reminds me of love.

If I ever had to answer "What is joy?", I would say "This..."


Yanni - If I Could Tell You



. . .

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Monday, April 16, 2012

Book Review: Secret Of The Scribe by Douglas Misquita

Review-Secret-of-the-Scribe-Douglas-Misquita

Secret Of The Scribe
Author: Douglas Misquita
ISBN: 978-9381836101

Buy from:

Flipkart

Amazon.in

Amazon.com


Secret of the Scribe - another intriguing tale from Douglas Misquita's quiver of stories. This time, it is a completely different adventure though, with no terrorists or FBI agents. It begins with unveiling a highly futuristic technology and then takes us along historical excavations and hair-raising expeditions through ancient sites.

Once again, Misquita packs in a fast-paced complex narration, that makes you flip back-and-forth through pages, along with his characteristic choreography of action scenes.

Blurb from Secret Of The Scribe:

When venture capitalist Mark Steinberg launches Linguistics, Inc. and unveils cutting-edge Nanotechnology-based communication, an enthralled human race is ready to proclaim the written and spoken word a thing of the past. But unknown to the world, Linguistics is setting the stage for total control. Leading the scattered resistance movement, Lance Michener wants to shut down the Linguistics network before the damage is total and irreversible. At the center of the conflict is the hunt for the mythical Book of Thoth - the Book of Wisdom of the Gods; a Book that contains the secrets of the language of all earthly species and languages yet unknown.

The plot: The blurb says it all. If you have watched the Indiana Jones series, then you'll know how this works. A mad hunt for some long-lost mythical object, driven by an unquenchable thirst for power, leads to the unraveling of ancient mysteries, following a lot of bloodshed. That, in a nutshell, is the main theme of Secret Of The Scribe. Douglas Misquita has interwoven "clues" from various sites scattered across the globe -- the findings of various expeditions, unrelated and unknown to each other -- to lead us all onto that final hunt for the so-called Book of Thoth.

A gripping storyline, combined with a fast pace. Plausible "ancient trap mechanisms" encountered by the expedition team. Misquita's signature style of introducing a lot of seemingly-unrelated "threads" in the first half of the book, and then connecting them all together eventually in the bigger plot. And yes, plenty of perfectly-scripted action scenes too. It is quite difficult to put this book down once you start on it. (I have been Missing-In-Action from Facebook ever since I got my copy!)

Despite that, Secret Of The Scribe didn't make for as crisp a reading as his first novel - Haunted. For one, there were editing mistakes in the book - minor, but, several. Secondly, some of the characters in the book seem to have just been forgotten by the author. For example, this Mark Steinberg, who is mentioned in the blurb above. He is simply "abandoned" after the first few pages. And then there is an Indian professor called Ishaan Anurag. I have not been able to figure out why he was in the plot at all, and I actually went through the entire book again, thinking that I might have missed out somewhere due to the complexity of the narration!

These oversights were totally unexpected from Douglas Misquita, because unlike some "national bestselling authors" of our country, he actually has stories to narrate - mature stories for mature readers, and not "half-baked" plots meant for those who have just started reading English fiction.

My rating: 3.5 out of 5. Secret Of The Scribe, by Douglas Misquita, reminds one of not just the Indiana Jones series, but also of Dan Brown and Wilbur Smith books. A good read for all those who enjoy mystery and adventure.

Buy more books by Douglas Misquita from: Flipkart | Amazon.in | Amazon.com

Disclaimer: I received a free copy of this book for reviewing, but that has, in no way, affected my rating and opinions.


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Monday, April 2, 2012

Memorabilia-VII: Mr. Nobody by Walter de la Mare

Yet another poem that takes me straight back to the school days... :D

I was reminded of it yesterday, while going through the other entries submitted in Blog-a-Ton 26. So I decided to look up for it on Google. Like most things in our world, it was there alright! So here it is...


Mr. Nobody, by Walter de la Mare



I know a funny little man,
As quiet as a mouse,
Who does the mischief that is done
In everybody’s house.
There’s no one ever sees his face,
And yet we all agree
That every plate we break was cracked
By Mr., Nobody

‘Tis he who always tears our books,
who leaves our doors ajar;
he pulls the buttons from our shirts,
and scatters pins afar,
that squeaking door will always squeak,
because of this you see:
we leave the oiling to be done
by Mr Nobody.

He puts damp wood upon the fire,
So kettles cannot boil;
His are the feet that bring in mud
And all the carpets soil.
The papers always are mislaid,
Who had them last but he?
There’s no one tosses them about
But Mr. Nobody

. . . . .

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Sunday, April 1, 2012

That Last Night

21st January, 1997. A little over 8 pm. She was at a relative's place with her sister. They were playing with their cousins. Playing what, she knew not. For things seemed a bit hazy, dreamlike almost, ever since they took her mom to the hospital a little while ago. One hour, was it? Or two perhaps? She did not know. It was impossible to keep track of time in that dream.

Suddenly her uncle and aunt came in and said it was time for dinner. Dinner? But it's not even 9 yet! So early? She wanted to ask, but she couldn't find her voice in that dream. And so she ate, in silence. Ate what, she knew not. For things were still hazy. She was still slipping. Slipping in and out of reality...

She was in the kitchen, warming milk for her mom. It was a little over 5:30 pm. A doctor had just left after a "house call". He had examined her mom and advised her dad to admit her into a hospital the next morning if her "headache" didn't subside. She took the cup of milk to her mom. But her mom didn't remember now that she'd asked for it. The "elders" gathered around her mom asked her to leave the cup there. She did. And left the room.

"More chapati?" Her aunt was asking. She took one. And continued to eat. And dream...

She heard a deep moaning coming from her mom's room. It was the most frightening sound she'd ever heard. It numbed her very bones. She gathered all her courage and went inside. What she saw there was something she was never going to forget. Her mom's body was twisted up in a very... unnatural... way. Her limbs contorted in crazy angles. Her eyes rolled right back into their sockets. While that guttural moaning continued.

She looked down at her plate. It was empty. She had finished eating. So had her sister. She couldn't remember if her cousins had eaten too. She was still not completely "there". She was still caught in that dreamy haze...

Someone told her to rub her mom's feet. She did it. It did not help. Someone tried to contact that doctor again. It was 1997. Pre cellphone-age. The doctor was still on his way to the clinic apparently. He could not be reached. Someone then decided it was time to take her mom to the hospital. So the "elders" wrapped her mom in blankets and carried her down the stairs, into the car. Who drove the car, she knew not. She and her sister were not in that car. They had been told to pack a night bag as they were going to spend that night at a relatives' place in their colony.

After dinner, her uncle suddenly announced that her dad had come to fetch her and her sister. Dad had come? But they'd been told to pack their night bag? Were they going home early then? Was her mom better already? Was she back home? The questions screamed inside her mind. But she was still trapped in that soundless dream. The dream that had started the morning of the previous day...

20th January, 1997. Around 7:30 am. She was having tea with her mom-dad, as usual. And they were teasing her mom, as usual, for having increased her sugar intake since she was diagnosed with diabetes. Her mom was making her usual funny faces at them, which always made them laugh. Her sister had already left for school. Soon she could hear the honks of her friend's car from the street. That marked the arrival of her "home pick-up" for her computer classes. She left the house too.

Two hours later, when her friend dropped her back home, she saw a strange sight up in her balcony. A relative was standing there, along with a friend of her dad. That was a very unusual combination. They never visited at the same time. Even weirder was the fact that her dad was not with them. And both the "visitors" looked so unusually grave. She told her friend she wasn't going to sit for their usual chat in the car that day, and hurried upstairs. That was the beginning of that dream. A fuzzy recollection of people coming and going, of voices, odd snippets of conversations, some instructions, and a lot of fear.

Her dad had arrived. She and her sister were escorted to the car. Why wasn't anyone smiling as usual? She was in the car before she could ask. It was very crowded inside. Her dad was not driving. Who was driving, she knew not. She was sitting right behind the driver's seat. Her sister was sitting on dad's lap in the front passenger seat. Who else was there? Mom's sister? She'd probably been asked to come and help them. Who else? Dad's aunt? Why was she here? Why was she and her mom's sister sitting together in the same car? That was another very unusual combination. This was such a crazy dream. She didn't even bother to search for her voice now.

Oh wait. They took a wrong turn. This wasn't the way to their house. Were they going to the hospital then? Wasn't it beyond visiting hours? Suddenly she heard her sister's voice. "Where's mom?" She could not hear her dad's reply. She was sitting so far from them. And then her sister started shouting at her dad. "Where is mom? Why aren't you saying anything? Where is mom?" She heard someone crying then. It sounded like her dad. It couldn't be her dad. He never cried. Her sister was shouting yet again. "Nooooo! You're lying! It's not possible! You're lying!" And then the two "ladies" sitting in the back seat started crying too. This was ridiculous. Why were they all crying? And why was her sister shouting so much? This was a really stupid dream. She didn't want to be in it anymore.

They took another turn. Within the colony. But the hospital was out... in the town. Why were they going this way? They hadn't gone to their home. They weren't going to the hospital. So where the hell were they going? She found out soon enough. The car pulled up outside her grandfather's house in the colony. Her mom's father. She couldn't understand why they were visiting her grandfather at this time of the night. She couldn't understand anything. It was all so dark and hazy.

It seemed like everybody was in mourning. Mourning the death of her mom. Her mom dead? How could that be? She was in the hospital. No she wasn't. She was lying there on the carpet, rolled in blankets. The same blankets she'd been wrapped in when they took her to the hospital. Their was a lot of crying all around. She didn't like it. It was making her cry too. Why were they saying that her mom was dead? Didn't they realize that it was a hurtful thing to say to her? Couldn't they see that it was making her cry?

She was led into a bedroom at her grandfather's place. They were sleeping there that night. That was good. Finally they were going to let her sleep in peace. She had to end this crazy dream. But it would end only when she woke up. And she couldn't wake up if she didn't sleep first. So she was glad she was allowed to sleep finally.

But the next morning didn't mark the end of her horrible dream. If anything, it became even more horrible. The events from that last night spilled over into the next day. And in magnified proportions. The strange gathering of people increased many times over. Her mom still lay on the carpet, rolled in those same blankets. The cryings continued, interspersed occasionally by some howling "drama queen". All that gloom rubbed off on her. She felt hollow inside. She was soon crying with the rest of them. Though she still hadn't found her voice for anything else.

Eventually they took her mom away. Before leaving, they told her to touch her mom's feet for her final blessings. But she couldn't do it. She didn't want to remember her mom as a cold, lifeless body. She wanted to remember her for her warm smiles. And those funny faces she made when they teased her. Little did she know then, that "that last night with her mom" was going to remain etched on her memory forever. Little did she know then, that "that last night with her mom" was going to change her own life completely.


P.S.- Even though this post has been labeled "fiction", it is all real... every word of it. My mom died of brain hemorrhage that night. Many years after her death, I found out that it might have been caused by brain aneurysm, a medical condition highly probably in people having both diabetes and high B.P. Why did I write it as fiction then? Well, I would have never been able to complete this post if I hadn't written it in third person. By pretending that it was all fiction, I was able to remain detached from the feelings, and yet was able to express them as they were. This is the first time I'm participating in a Blog-a-Ton event. The topic gave me an opportunity to share "that last night with my mom" here... with my blog.


Here's more in Fiction!


This post has been published by me as a part of the Blog-a-Ton 26, the 26th Edition of the online marathon of Bloggers, where we decide and we write. The topic for this month is 'That Last Night'. The fellow Blog-a-Tonics who took part in this Blog-a-Ton and links to their respective posts can be checked here. To be part of the next edition, visit and start following Blog-a-Ton.
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