My Favorite Video Game As A Kid: Nintendo Oil Panic #ThrowbackThursday #AtoZChallenge

My Favorite Video Game As A Kid: Nintendo Oil Panic

I used to be crazy about video games as a kid.

I had the Nintendo Samurai TV Video game console, with a cartridge that had around a 100 different games. Naturally, there was the traditional Mario Brothers and Bricks, plus there were games like Legendary, Islander, King Kong, Chess, and even Mahjong, which I didn't know how to play back then, but is an absolute favorite now!

Do you remember any of these games?

Oh, and how can I forget Road Fighter? The hyper-addictive game, because of which, I almost gave a heart attack to my driving instructor... and STILL can't drive! :P :P :P

Disclosure: Some of the links below are affiliate links. If you make a purchase through those links, I will receive a small commission, at no extra cost to you. (Many thanks, if you choose to support me this way.)

Well, I also had several pocket video games. Among these, my most favorite was Oil Panic. Coincidentally, this was also from Nintendo, from their Game & Watch series.

This is what it looked like:

My Favorite Video Game As A Kid: Nintendo Oil Panic

Oil Panic was a dual-screen game, about an oil leak on the second floor of a gas station.

Dual screen, hence double the complication level. You had to keep an eye on two screens at the same time! That is why, it became such a favorite.

Plus, this is one game that I have actually completed all the way through... right to the end. So naturally, I am a bit more partial towards it! :D :P

I had no idea it was such a popular game until I did a Google search for it today, to find an image for this post. Frankly, I wasn't expecting to find a single image, but I found several!

In fact, I even found a YouTube video showing the game in action! Have a look...

So the top screen shows the inside of the second floor of the two-storey building. The guy on the second floor can collect maximum 3 drops of oil in his small container, which he then has to empty in the big barrel carried by the guy on the first floor, making sure that he doesn't spill it instead on the two waiting customers at the ground floor.

I was addicted to this game like crazy. It was my favorite companion back then on all my train journeys.

I had really mastered the art of watching both the screens simultaneously. Man! What concentration I had while playing this game! I feel amazed just by thinking about it now!

And you know something?

One of my cousins in Patna (an year elder to me) has actually managed to free the princess in Mario Brothers. In front of witnesses, yes!

So he and I were competing for high scores on this game during one of my summer vacations at Patna... when, suddenly, my game got finished.



I completed it! Finished the very LAST level!

For a few seconds there, I couldn't understand what had happened. And when it finally sunk in... I was like...
I beat a Mario Brothers princess-winner at a video game!
I beat a Mario Brothers princess-winner at a video game!
I beat a Mario Brothers princess-winner at a video game!"
I mean, can you believe it? :D

I actually managed to beat a Mario Brothers princess-winner at a video game! How cool is THAT for a bragging right? :D :D :D



My Favorite Video Game As A Kid: Nintendo Oil Panic
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Oh boy! What days! What memories! What simple pleasures in life!

Did you play video games when you were a kid?
Which one was your favorite?
Have you ever managed to reach the end of a game?

P.S. - While doing research for this post, I found an Android App version of Oil Panic on Amazon. I haven't tried it out myself. The one review posted there says that the game is fine, but the picture quality is poor. But you can give it a try if you want to experience the game.

I also found a remake of the classic Road Fighter, again an Android app, called Road Racer. This one is available for FREE download at the time of writing this post.

Here's more in "#ThrowbackThursday".
And here's more in "Games"!

This is my 22nd post for A to Z 2019.

I have attempted this challenge twice before, and published one kindle ebook out of it. You can get it on amazon: A to Z of Blogging: Take Your Blog To the Next Level.

How Often Should You Update Your Blog | Ideal Content Publishing Frequency For Digital Marketing #WorkspaceWednesday #AtoZChallenge

How Often Should You Update Your Blog | Ideal Content Publishing Frequency For Digital Marketing

How often should you update your blog? What is the ideal frequency for publishing fresh content on your blog for digital marketing?

There is a never-ending debate in the blogosphere about this. Some content marketeers say you should blog daily, some vehemently tell you to NOT blog more than thrice a week, and yet others advise a posting schedule of several times a day!

So whose advice do you follow?

You decide for yourself, because there can be no "one size fits all" in blogging.
Your goals from blogging are different. Your commitments outside of the blogging world are different. Your blog niche is different. Your reader-base is different. So how can your content publishing frequency be the same?
Okay, but then how DO you determine the ideal blog update frequency for YOU?

To answer this question, let’s first take a look at the pros and cons of high blog post frequency.

Advantages of High Update Frequency On Blogs:

  • Better Search Ranks and Authority.

    That is obviously a given. Google loves fresh content. So, all other things remaining same, blogs that get updated more frequently are better ranked on search engines.

    Of course, this is only true when you’ve taken care of the SEO aspect of your content, and you are not downgrading the quality of your articles.

  • More "New Visitors".

    More new content means that there are more of your posts on search results pages. In other words, there are more “entry points to your blog” for new visitors, who find your blog through search engines.

    Again, this is also dependent on the quality of your content and SEO. Sometimes, even just one exceptionally high-quality and high-ranking post can bring in more traffic that half-a-dozen average posts.

  • More "Repeat Visitors".

    If a news channel showed the same news for a week, how often would you watch that channel? Same principle applies to blogging.

    If you don’t give new content to your readers for days on end, why would they visit your blog repeatedly? Unless, of course, you've created some kind of lengthy tutorial, which they've bookmarked and refer to repeatedly.

Disadvantages of High Update Frequency On Blogs:

  • Writer Burnout.

    This is the most common problem with posting too frequently on your blog. You experience what is called "Writer Burnout".

    Posting too often on your blog can affect you as a writer. It can drain you physically and mentally. It can affect your writing quality, and even dry up your inspiration wells. Worst case scenario: it can cause you to give up blogging altogether.

  • Reader Burnout.

    A severe case of “blogorrhea” can affect your readers as well (i.e. the regular ones). They might not be able to keep up with your update frequency and opt to unsubscribe. I mean, let's face it, yours is not the only blog they have subscribed to, is it? So, try to to keep this in mind when designing your content schedule.

    Also, if you plan to increase/decrease your blog update frequency for a temporary duration, then you might want to inform your readers about it. Keep them in the loop, so they know what's happening.

  • Reduced Engagement.

    How often have you left WhatsApp groups because they were too active for you? Every time you checked your phone, there were like 600 unread messages from the group. At first, you tried to scroll through them all, but then you realized that those discussions were already over. It was like reading yesterday's newspaper.

    That's exactly what happens on a very high blog update frequency. It doesn’t leave much time for reader engagement through comments. The “commentariat” are forced to move on to your next post. You are also busy writing your next post, instead of replying to comments on your last post.

Pros and Cons of High Content Publishing Frequency On Blogs

Based on the above pros and cons of high blog post frequency, here are 7 pointers that should help you decide how often YOU should update your blog.

7 Points To Help You Decide How Often You Should Update Your Blog

  1. Blogging Goals.

    What exactly are your goals from blogging? Are you simply keeping a personal journal? If yes, then write whenever you want to write, because none of this applies to you. This post is only for bloggers who are into digital marketing. If, however, that's what you are, then please DO read on.

    How fast do you want your blog to grow in readership? For slow growth, post twice or thrice a month. For moderate growth, post twice or thrice a week. For steady growth, at least 5-6 posts per week are recommended. And for fast growth, you need to post 3-5 times per day.

  2. Blog Age.

    The age of your blog is an important factor in determining your content publishing frequency. If your blog is new, you need to focus more on marketing, than content and readership.

    You must spend time finding other blogs in your niche and commenting regularly on them. Building relationships, so to speak. You must try to submit guest posts on other blogs and article directories, to establish yourself as an expert and gain some “backlinks”. Moderate update frequency is good during this period.

    On the other hand, if your blog has established a decent level of online presence for itself, then you can work more on content creation, to speed-up your growth rate.

  3. Content Diversity.

    If you have a tight niche blog, you should go with slow or moderate content update frequency. Because your readers won't be able to keep up with anything faster than that. They may have queries regarding your content, so you'll need to give them adequate time to engage with you.

    A diverse, all-over-the-place kind of blog, on the other hand, (like mine) with many unrelated categories, performs better with an update schedule of at least once a day, because its reader-base is also equally diverse, and not everyone reads every post.

    So you should aim for a slow/moderate frequency for each of your main categories.

    News blogs/sites are a completely different story. They HAVE TO post several times a day, because readers expect to find the latest information there.

  4. Traffic Source.

    How are you bringing visitors to your blog? What is your content traffic strategy?

    If you depend on search engines primarily, for your blog traffic, then it makes sense to have a higher update frequency for your blog. (As discussed in the pros above.)

    Unless you are in a niche where there is hardly any competition, or if you can create a handful of absolute "killer content" articles, that get linked to from thousands of other blogs. (Oh yes, some bloggers DO manage to do that as well!)

    But, if your readers are regular subscribers, or those who have bookmarked your blog, then you should try to keep it moderate or steady. In fact, even "steady" can be a bit too much if you have a niche blog. Both for you, as well as your readers.

  5. Post Length.

    If you write long, detailed, informational posts on a regular basis, then a posting schedule of once or twice a week is good enough. It gives you enough time to research and write, AND it gives your readers enough time to absorb what you’ve written and have their queries answered via comments.

    Shorter posts, however, can be published more frequently, as these are lighter on the brain cells, and usually don't require much research or engagement. Photo-heavy posts can also be published more frequently, for the same reasons.

  6. Number of Blog Authors.

    This is yet another important point for deciding your blog update frequency. Are you are a solopreneur, or a full-fledged content marketing team, with a diverse set of writers for different categories on your blog?

    Team blogs, or group blogs, also known as "multi-author blogs" can have a higher update frequency, as there is less likelihood of writer-burnout. Besides, they usually have different people for managing the other aspects of blogging, besides writing.

    Single-author blogs should, however, stick to slow or moderate growth. Because you don't just have to do the writing, you know. You also have to prepare the images, do all the internal linking and SEO, manage your blog's social media accounts, respond to your readers' queries, plus all kinds of admin jobs. As such, even daily posts can result in fatigue.

  7. You. Yes... YOU!

    I just mentioned above that solopreneurs should NOT go for high update frequency on their blogs. And yet, I have designed my blog's content calendar to have daily posts! Or at least, 6 days a week! Why is that?

    That's because... "I am ME".

    I have too many interests, and I get distracted too easily. So, if something is not a part of my daily routine, chances are that it will keep getting procrastinated, and eventually not get done at all. I did try "once or twice a week", but before I knew it, I was posting "once or twice a YEAR"! #seriouslyfacepalm

    That is why I say, read all the advice on the subject, but do what feels true to YOU. Because only you can decide what's best for you.
How Often Should You Update Your Blog | Ideal Content Publishing Frequency For Digital Marketing
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So, while there is no fixed "ideal content publishing frequency" in the digital marketing world, hopefully, the 7 pointers above will help you decide how often you should update your blog.

And whatever blog update frequency you decide on eventually, be sure to maintain consistency with it. If you’d like to experiment with it a little, don’t make the changes too abrupt, or at least inform your readers about what you’re doing. You can even conduct a poll and ask for their opinions directly.

So tell me...

Do you have a fixed blogging schedule currently?
How often do you update your blog?
Is it working for you?
Or do you think you ought to change your update frequency?

Here's more in "Blogging"!
And here's more in "#WorkspaceWednesday"!

This is my 21st post for A to Z 2019.

I have attempted this challenge twice before, and published one kindle ebook out of it. You can get it on amazon: A to Z of Blogging: Take Your Blog To the Next Level.

10 Interesting Truths About Bloggers #TenOnTuesday #AtoZChallenge

10 Interesting Truths About Bloggers

I've been blogging now for over a decade, and until a few years ago, blogging used to be more personal, giving us bloggers an opportunity to know each other better and even become friends.

We would share personal stories on our blogs, talk about our likes and dislikes in detail, sometimes rant together about stuff. Oh and there was no Instagram. So we'd even do the daily photo challenges on our blogs, complete with the background stories for each photograph.

Basically, we were a big virtual family.

And based on all my interactions with my "blog family", during all those years of "personal blogging", I came to some interesting realizations about bloggers in general.

Some of these insights into the bloggers tribe are amazing, some are outright funny! And I'm sure all bloggers reading this will be able to relate to these 10 interesting fun facts about bloggers.

10 Interesting Truths About Bloggers | 10 Fun Facts You Probably Didn't Notice About Bloggers

  1. Bloggers love books.

    Bloggers, as a general rule, are book lovers. Most love reading P.G. Wodehouse. Well, at least they have Wodehouse on their book-shelf.

    And their TBR pile is never-ending, because every time a blog buddy recommends a book, it automatically gets added on to the pile.

    They face all those challenges that other book lovers do, with one difference... they blog about those bookish challenges.

  2. Bloggers are amazing story-tellers.

    Oh yes! Bloggers love telling stories... even stories about how their little toddlers love telling stories!

    Their family members are often heard saying about them... "She takes 6 hours to narrate a 3-hour long movie."

    When they are conversing with their family members about something, they are told to "just give the short version, and save the details for their blog." Sighhhh.

  3. Bloggers are more prone to weight problems.

    Let's face it guys. No point in hiding the truth. Most of us are trying to lose weight.

    And we look at the handful of fit bloggers in our tribe with awe, thinking they are obviously from some different planet, or that their bodies are made from some different kind of material.

    Some of us even have a specific tag or category on our blog for this. (Ahem! Checks own 'tag-cloud'!)

  4. Bloggers excel at creating "something" from "nothing".

    Nothing is too insignificant for bloggers.

    We can dish out our "500 words" for practically anything under the sun... be it a flavored yoghurt from the market, or even just a glass of water! We can write a whole post on a one-line comment received from someone.

    Making mountains out of mole-hills?

    Oh yes, that phrase was coined for us.

  5. Bloggers are never really understood by their families.

    Our family and friends just don't get why we are so crazy about blogging. "You just have to sit in front of a computer and do a bit of writing and share a few photographs. What's the big deal about it?"

    Alas! They don't understand the creative process, the thirst of creating something different, wanting to stand out!

    But, while they may not understand us, thankfully, they have at least accepted our "insanity" by now. So they usually cooperate in our "blogging-adventures" without too much fuss or complaints. (READ: They have learnt that "quick" is "painless".)

  6. Bloggers are awesome jugglers.

    While professional bloggers do this full-time, small bloggers, like the ones in my blogger tribe, also have other occupations besides blogging. They manage families, kids, even other jobs some of them. And yes, they have other hobbies too, besides blogging.

    The more seasoned and prolific the blogger, the better s/he becomes at time management. Work, home, socializing, reading, blogging, playing virtual games... these are nothing more to them than balls in an expert juggler's hands.

  7. Bloggers are an innovative lot.

    Blogging, inevitably, makes us innovative and, as we Indians like to put it, "jugaadu". If a post has to be done, it just has to be done. It doesn't matter how many boxes we have to "think out of" in the process.

    For example, the time when I had to post on "Broken", but couldn't find any broken stuff in my house. Or the time when I had to post a picture of a "Kiss", with red lipstick, but I didn't have a red lipstick!

    Bottom-line: I've done some really weird things for my blog... AND I've seen my fellow bloggers also do equally crazy stuff for their blogs.

  8. Bloggers are a multi-talented species.

    Oh yes! Whoever thinks that blogging is only about writing and posting pictures, is downright dumb.

    Bloggers are skilled at so many different things. Writing, photography, using photo-editing tools... these are a mandatory part of our skill-set. Some of us even acquire varying degrees of web-designing skills, just to be able to beautify our blogs to our liking. Not to forget our varying degrees of SEO and social-media skills.

    In fact, why don't you just go ahead and read my full post on Blogger's Arsenal?

  9. Bloggers can have their "Eureka" moments anytime, anywhere.

    Yupp. Like all creative people, bloggers can get hit by blog ideas anytime, anywhere... a discussion on Facebook, while at work, in their dreams, while cooking, while painting their nails, even in the shower!

    (Note: Here are my Top Sources of New Blog Post Ideas.)

    And, while they may not run out naked like Archimedes, they might burn the dinner, (or even forget about it completely!), or they could just "zone-out" in the middle of a conversation, or a movie, and start typing furiously in the memo app on their phone.

  10. Bloggers love "blogger jokes".

    You know, like we Indians have our "sardar-ji jokes", bloggers have "blogger jokes". And they love sharing these "blogger jokes" with other bloggers. And they also love listening to, or reading about, "blogger jokes". Or anything funny about bloggers really.

    And I'm quite positive that as they are reading this post, they are nodding their head in agreement, AND laughing out loud at the funny bits. :D :D :D

10 Interesting Truths About Bloggers
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So there are the 10 truths I've noticed about bloggers. Ten interesting fun facts that all bloggers usually share.

Which of these do you relate to as a blogger?
And if you're not a blogger, but have a friend or family member who is, then which of these would you say applies to him/her?
Would you like to add to this list?

Here's more in "#TenOnTuesday"!

This is my 20th post for A to Z 2019.

I have attempted this challenge twice before, and published one kindle ebook out of it. You can get it on amazon: A to Z of Blogging: Take Your Blog To the Next Level.

Simple Living For Happiness | Simplify Your Life in Just 3 Steps #MindfulMonday #AtoZChallenge

Simple Living For Happiness | Simplify Your Life in Just 3 Steps

These days, you see practically everyone on the internet talking about simple living and its benefits, and how it brings more happiness into our life. But to actually apply this concept in your life, you first need to understand what exactly do they mean by "simple living".

Simple living is usually thought of as minimalist living or spartan living, or even miserly living. You'll see a lot of people today advocating minimalist style of life, in order to become happy.
Grow your own food.
Don't keep a car.
Give away ALL your possessions.
Don't outsource.
Cut off from the world.
In short, go to the Himalayas and live like a monk!

Personally, I don't see anything wrong in doing that. I think it would be an immensely empowering experience to be so self-sufficient. But, if everyone took off to the Himalayas, wouldn't it get too crowded?

Jokes apart, I have a slightly different interpretation of simple living... a SIMPLER interpretation.


What Is Simple Living?

Every individual in this world is different. And we all have different roles to play in the grand scheme of things. So how can one size fit all? It can't.

I believe that simple living is all about removing the UNNECESSARY clutter and noise from our life. The stuff that we don't really NEED. The stuff that DISTRACTS us from what is really important in our life.

If a car helps you do your work more efficiently and lets you spend more quality time with the people who matter, then what's wrong in keeping a car?

If using a mixer-grinder-juicer in your kitchen allows you to eat healthier, then why give it away?

If outsourcing your cooking gives you more time to do stuff that gives you greater satisfaction, then what is the harm in it?

If an internet-enabled smart phone lets you make video calls to your grand-children, halfway across the globe, then how can it be a bad thing to have?
Simplifying our life doesn't mean that we give up all worldly possessions, dreams and desires. It just means that we set our priorities, and then align our life with those priorities.
It is a simple 3-step process.

3 Easy Steps To Simplify Your Life

  1. Identify your goals.

    The very first step in simplifying your life is to identify your goals. What exactly do you want from life? Priority-wise. List them under three heads:

    • Personal goals - They could be related to health, travel, education, hobbies, etc.
    • Professional goals - What are your career ambitions and financial targets?
    • Relationship goals - These would be about marriage, kids, social clubs, etc. How big a social circle do you need? How often do you need to socialize?

    Once you have listed down your goals under each head, you need to make sure they are not in conflict with each other.

    For example, if you want to have a large family, then having a large social circle also might just not fit in. Or, say you want to head a multi-million dollar empire, then chances are you might not be able to spend much time with your kids.

    In such cases, choose what is more important to you.

  2. Identify what you need for those goals.

    Life is not really as complicated as people make it out to be. You just need to decide clearly what you want most, and then go after it.

    In other words, break down your goals into smaller goals, and then go after those smaller goals without holding yourself back.

    Do you need more sleep and exercise?
    Or maybe a course in photography and a new camera?
    Or a new job with flexi timings?
    Or perhaps you need to move to a smaller town, so you can afford a bigger house for a bigger family?

    Figure it out in simple actionable statements. And then, just get on it.

  3. Remove everything else.

    Okay, so when I said above "3 *easy* steps to simplify your life", I didn't mean they would be easy to implement. All I meant was that they are easy to understand. So you know WHAT to do.

    But, this last (third) step in the process, is not at all easy to do. And I speak from experience.

    When I say "remove everything else", it means that you have to let go of all the habits, beliefs, possessions, and even relationships (Yes, those too!), that don't align with your higher goals.

    But old habits are difficult to give up. And old belief systems, even more so.

    Most importantly, you need to let go of all the secondary goals that conflict from your higher goals. Majority of them will anyway be things that the SOCIETY expects you to do, not what YOU want to do.

    Yes, this won't be easy. But this is all the difference between a "simple life" and a "complicated life"... a "stressed life" and a "happy life".

3 Tools For Simplifying Your Life

Okay. So we know what to do now. Is there a "cheat sheet" about how we do it also? :P

Well, we do have certain tools that can help us keep our mind free of clutter, and, consequently, our life too. These are our three sharpest tools for simplifying our life.


    Always try to be mindful in life. Watch what/who you let into your life. Watch WHY you let them in? Do they take you closer to your goals? Or do they deviate you from them?


    Always be grateful. Make it a habit of appreciating what/who you have. And remember how they are helping you fulfill your dreams, how they are making your life more comfortable.


    Be firmly resilient. If you identify that something/someone is important for you, then commit to them. Do not let go of that thing or that person. Do not let anything/anybody else come in between you and what makes you truly happy.

Simple Living For Happiness | Simplify Your Life in Just 3 Steps
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10 Things We Can All Do With A Little Less Of

In the end, here are a few things that we all can do with a little less of in our lives...

  • Worry less.
  • Complain less.
  • Compare less.
  • Think less.
  • Want less.
  • Talk less.
  • Doubt less.
  • Hate less.
  • Fear less.
  • Say 'Yes' less.

Do you believe that simple living is essential for happiness?
What ways do you adopt to simplify your life?
Have you got all your priorities sorted out in life?
Do you need all of what you're chasing after?
Do you need all of what you already have?

This is my 19th post for A to Z 2019.

I have attempted this challenge twice before, and published one kindle ebook out of it. You can get it on amazon: A to Z of Blogging: Take Your Blog To the Next Level.

5 Brilliant Romantic Comedies That Are So Underrated | Lesser Known Rom-Coms You Must Watch #SpotlightSaturday #AtoZChallenge

5 Brilliant Romantic Comedies That Are So Underrated | Lesser Known Rom-Coms You Must Watch

We all love a good romantic comedy, don't we? While we may not always be in the mood for a sappy love story, rom-coms, on the other hand, are usually quite welcome, because they don't need too much of emotional investment on our part.

Romantic comedies, by nature, are light-hearted, feel-good kind of movies, that don't really focus on the pain part of love, or the heartaches and the emotional turmoils. They make love seem so simple, don't they?

But you know what's the biggest trouble with rom-coms?

You have watched them all. Yupp. Pretty Woman, My Best Friend's Wedding, The Proposal, Sleepless in Seattle, Maid in Manhattan, Serendipity... oh my God! You've watched them all a hundred times already!

Will somebody please suggest some new rom-coms now?


Here are 5 incredible lesser-known romantic comedies that somehow just get forgotten from most "top romantic comedies lists".

5 Brilliant Romantic Comedies That Are Highly Underrated

These are 5 amazing romantic comedies that have somehow slipped "under the radar". I chanced on them by accident, but after watching them, I fell totally in love with them. Now, these are a few of my regular "go-to" movies whenever I am feeling a bit low.

Disclosure: Some of the links in this post are affiliate links. If you make a purchase through those links, I will receive a small commission, at no extra cost to you. (Many thanks, if you choose to support me this way.)

  1. Blast from the Past (1999)

    She'd never met anyone like him,
    He's never met anyone... Period.
    5 Lesser Known Romantic Comedies That Are Brilliant But So Underrated: Blast From the Past

    A bomb scare in the 1960s forces Calvin (Christopher Walken) to lock himself and his pregnant wife, Helen (Sissy Spacek), into his underground "nuclear fallout shelter" for 35 years. Adam Weber (Brendan Fraser) is born in that bomb shelter. And after 35 years of staying underground (literally!), he makes his first trip out, into Los Angeles, to obtain food and supplies for his family, and a nice, "non-mutant" girl for himself, preferably from Pasadena.

    That's when he meets Eve (Alicia Silverstone). A woman of the world, with a series of dead-end jobs and loser boyfriends, Eve is savagely smart, and cynical about love. At first, she can't believe this guy's old-fashioned chivalry and charm, or the fact that he's never used a telephone or seen a color television, or even a baseball match! But gradually, his wide-eyed wonder and delight change her own perspective about life.

    Watch Blast from the Past on Amazon Prime Video.

  2. Chasing Liberty (2004)

    Every family has a rebel...
    even the First Family.
    5 Lesser Known Romantic Comedies That Are Brilliant But So Underrated: Chasing Liberty

    Now what reason could you possibly ever have for being unhappy, if you were the First Daughter?

    Ask Anna Foster (Mandy Moore), the 18-year-old daughter of the U.S. President. Her biggest woe in life is her father's over-protective nature, and his guards, who won't even let her enjoy a proper date. Finally, she cuts a deal with him. She would attend his oh-so-important official event, while he allows her to go to the concert in Prague with only two agents on her guard.

    But, he fails to keep his end of the deal. Totally pissed off at him, she runs off with a handsome photographer, Ben Calder (Matthew Goode), planning to travel all the way to the Love Parade in Berlin. She doesn't tell Ben who she really is, but as they backpack through Europe, she can't figure out why he is so distant and cool with her.

    So what really is Ben's secret?

    Watch Chasing Liberty on Amazon Prime Video.

  3. Housesitter (1992)

    She's turning his house into a home...
    5 Lesser Known Romantic Comedies That Are Brilliant But So Underrated: Housesitter

    Davis (Steve Martin) is an Architect who builds his dream house in his hometown, for his sweetheart Becky (Dana Delany), and presents it to her along with a marriage proposal. Becky rejects both. Crestfallen, he leaves the town, with a giant gift ribbon still tied around his house. Back in the city, he meets Gwen (Goldie Hawn), and pours out his sad story to her, not knowing that she is a con artist. When he's gone, Gwen looks up his brand new house by its description, and moves in.

    When the residents of that small town become curious, she invents a whole story about her courtship and subsequent marriage with Davis. Even his parents are taken in by her infallible charm. Now the whole town knows that Davis is married, except Davis himself. And Becky is beginning to see Davis in a whole new light. So they make a deal. Gwen will continue to be his pretend wife till he wins Becky over, and in return she gets to live there rent free till it's time to get a "pretend divorce".

    But, the town seems to have other plans.

    Watch Housesitter on Amazon Prime Video.

  4. Leap Year (2010)

    Anna planned to propose to her boyfriend on February 29th.
    This is not her boyfriend.
    5 Lesser Known Romantic Comedies That Are Brilliant But So Underrated: Leap Year

    Anna Brady (Amy Adams) likes to be in control of everything in her life. The only thing she can't control is her boyfriend Dr. Jeremy Sloane (Adam Scott), who is showing no signs of proposing even after four years of courtship. She decides to take matters in her own hand.

    According to an Irish tradition, a man who receives a marriage proposal on a leap day has to accept it. So she decides to go to Dublin, Ireland, where Jeremy is attending a conference, to propose to him, on the 29th of February.

    But, fate seems to find her plan as outrageously hilarious as Declan (Matthew Goode), the rude and cynical innkeeper at Dingle, Ireland, where she gets stranded due to bad weather. In order to save his inn from being possessed by his creditor, Declan agrees to take Anna and her suitcase, "Louise", to Dublin.

    But, does she get to Dublin in time to make that Irish proposal to Jeremy?

    Watch Leap Year on Amazon Prime Video.

  5. That Old Feeling (1997)

    It was the perfect wedding, except for two things...
    the bride's parents.
    5 Lesser Known Romantic Comedies That Are Brilliant But So Underrated: That Old Feeling

    Lilly (Bette Midler), a successful, flamboyant actress, and Dan (Dennis Farina), an equally successful writer, hate each other's guts to a whole new level of passion. They haven't seen each other since their divorce 14 years ago. But, now, they must cross paths again, because their daughter, straight-laced graduate, Molly (Paula Marshall), is getting married to Keith (James Denton), who is the son of a conservative U.S. Senator, and also wants to make a career in politics.

    Confirming Molly's worst fears, her parents DO go for each other's throats at her wedding reception. To avoid a public scene, she shoos them "out" and forbids them to come back in, until they can hold a civil conversation with each other. But with chemistry like that... uh oh! Leaving them alone was not a good idea at all.

    So now, Molly and Keith's wedding night turns out to be a night of adultery for Lilly and Dan instead. And if that wasn't enough food for a scandal, they also take off with each other the next morning, leaving behind the distressed newly-weds, Lilly's second husband, David, and Dan's second wife, Rowena. That's when Molly hires Joey (Danny Nucci), the annoying paparazzi who has an ingenious knack for locating Lilly, and goes after her parents with him.

    But wait... where exactly is Keith in all this?


    Watch That Old Feeling on Amazon Prime Video.

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So this was my list of 5 most-recommended, but highly underrated, romantic comedies that you must watch. I will keep updating this list gradually with more such lesser-known rom-coms, while you go grab yourself a tub of popcorn and make yourself comfortable for some binge rom-com watching!

But before you do that, tell me...

Which of these have you seen before?
Which other lesser-known rom-coms do you recommend?

Every Saturday, I give recommendations of products, apps, books, movies, and websites. You can sign-up for my FREE Weekly Newsletter below to receive them directly in your inbox.
Here's more in #SpotlightSaturday from miss_teerious!

This is my 18th post for A to Z 2019.

I have attempted this challenge twice before, and published one kindle ebook out of it. You can get it on amazon: A to Z of Blogging: Take Your Blog To the Next Level.

7 Must-Try Quirky Food Combinations | Weird Food Combinations That Taste Amazingly Delicious #FoodieFriday #AtoZChallenge

Must-Try Quirky Weird Food Combinations That Taste Amazingly Delicious

So I am not too fond of cooking, as you all probably know by now. But I do like to experiment, and weird food combinations are my specialty. (Much to my Dad's dismay.)

I like to mix and match all kinds of stuff... flavors, ingredients from different international cuisines, spices, sweet & salty, sweet & spicy, hot & cold, spicy hot & chilled sweet... anything really.

Some of my weird food combinations turn out to be surprisingly delicious, while some end up being a total disaster.

Like for example, I recently tried Chinese Fried Rice with Kadhi. It was no good. Both the items had strong "hot" flavors. So they kept trying to overpower each other. Extremely overwhelming on the taste buds.

Next time, I'm going to try Chinese Fried Rice with some sort of Raita. Will update this post when I do. But, until then, DO check out these 7 quirky food combinations that I personally find absolutely amazing.

7 Must-Try Quirky Food Combinations That Are Weird But Taste Amazingly Delicious

  1. Chinese Stir-fry Vegetables with Ajwain (Caraway/Carom Seeds)

    Must-Try Quirky Weird Food Combinations That Taste Amazingly Delicious: Chinese Stir Fry Veggies

    I first tried this for my birthday party in 2011. I was in Patna that time. Had invited over all my relatives. I made Chinese Stir-fry veggies, (with all the usual "Chinese sauces", you know) and at the very last minute, I decided to add powdered ajwain. I have no clue why. I just got a whiff of the combined smells inside my mind, like in my imagination, and then I had to try it.

    I didn't tell anybody though, that I had done something different to the dish. I just let them try it without any preconceived notions, and see how they reacted. My sister-in-law was the first one to ask about it - "Ismein bada achcha sa kuch alag flavor aa raha hai, woh kya hai?" (It has a very good but different kind of flavor, what is that?) :D

    Yupp, everybody liked this combination. But you need to be careful while trying this. Ajwain has a very strong flavor. So don't add too much of it. You just need to leave a subtle aftertaste... a teaser... a hint of a dream that got lost with consciousness.

  2. Cold Coffee with Cornflakes

    Must-Try Quirky Weird Food Combinations That Taste Amazingly Delicious: Cold Coffee & Cornflakes

    This used to be my most favorite summer breakfast until a couple of years ago. Cold coffee with unflavored cornflakes. I usually added some dry fruits also in it.

    It tastes soooooo much better than the normal "cornflakes in hot milk"! For one, it doesn't get soggy within seconds! The cornflakes remain crunchy for quite some time. And two, chilled milk is always more preferable in the Indian summers, right?

    Oh, but the coffee! That's seriously the best part! I'm telling you guys... you HAVE TO try this if you haven't yet!

  3. Gajar Ka Halwa with Papad

    Must-Try Quirky Weird Food Combinations That Taste Amazingly Delicious: Gajar Ka Halwa & Papad

    When I posted my recipe for Homemade Gajar Ka Halwa, and mentioned that we have it with papad at my home, most of my readers were surprised to hear that. But you know, it really does taste delicious. The soft melt-in-your-mouth sugary-sweet halwa, and the crunchy spicy papad. Yumm.

    Try it not just with gajar ka halwa, but with any halwa really... sooji halwa, aate ka halwa, daal ka halwa, or any other halwa that you make.

  4. Grilled Jam, Cheese & Onion Sandwich

    Must-Try Quirky Weird Food Combinations That Taste Amazingly Delicious: Grilled Jam-Cheese-Onion Sandwich

    Necessity is the mother of all inventions, they say. And this deliciously weird food combination was a result of one such necessity.

    I have chronic low BP. And sometimes, it dips too low. Then I need to take some instant sugar and salt. I can just mix sugar and salt in plain water, and have that too, but solid food works better.

    So, during one such low BP episode, I put some jam on a slice of bread, thinking I'll sprinkle some salt on it, but then I remembered I had cheese at home. So I grated some of that on the jam. And then I remembered I had some chopped onion too for something else. So I threw in some of that as well. Then, obviously, the cheese had to be melted. So my Dad grilled it for me on a non-stick pan. And it turned out to be worth repeating.

    Tip: If you have the metabolism for it, use 2-3 cheese slices instead of this little bit of grated cheese.

  5. Honeyed French Fries with Vanilla Ice Cream

    Must-Try Quirky Weird Food Combinations That Taste Amazingly Delicious: French Fries & Honey Vanilla Ice Cream

    This one is not my invention. At least not the "french fries with ice cream" part. I saw it once on the internet somewhere, and (naturally!) decided to try it. Hot-spicy... with cold-sweet... totally my kind of weird, right?

    The honey bit, I added.

    I once attended a Chinese cooking class in Kanpur, in which one of the desserts we learnt was "Honeyed vanilla ice cream with crispy fried noodles and sesame seeds". That was just super classy! And that's where I got the honey idea from.

    Tip: You can sprinkle some roasted sesame seeds on the honeyed french fries too. The extra crunch is quite delectable.

  6. Jam & Cottage Cheese (Paneer) Toast

    Must-Try Quirky Weird Food Combinations That Taste Amazingly Delicious: Jam & Cottage Cheese Toast

    Cottage Cheese toast, or paneer toast, as it is known in India, is my usual breakfast these days. I sprinkle some oregano flakes also on it, because they are healthy for the digestive system.

    But after that accidental "grilled jam, cheese and onion sandwich" discovery, I realized that some deliciously amazing combinations could be made with jam. So, I decided to add a layer of jam too, to my paneer toast the next day.

    As I had expected, it was simply awesome! You have to try this too, if you haven't yet! Trust me!

  7. Veg Macaroni Pasta, Seasoned with Cumin Powder

    Must-Try Quirky Weird Food Combinations That Taste Amazingly Delicious: Veg Pasta Macaroni Cumin Powder

    My cousin Rishabh (the one who stays in Guwahati) first showed me this uncommon usage of roasted cumin powder (bhuna huya jeera powder). He has always loved cooking from a very early age. Even as a kid, he used to do all kinds of experiments in the kitchen. And luckily for him, his mom (my aunt) never stopped him.

    Once he was visiting me in Patna and said he wanted to make pasta with white sauce. I said okay, but then he did two things differently. 1) He used roasted cumin powder, and 2) he sautéed the vegetables before adding everything to the white sauce. Both did wonders to the flavor of the dish, and the aroma of the roasted cumin powder... mmmmmm! That's indescribable!

Must-Try Quirky Weird Food Combinations That Taste Amazingly Delicious
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So these are the 7 must-try quirky food combinations that I will highly recommend to you today. There are many more such weird but amazingly delicious food combinations that I have tried and enjoyed. I will take pictures of them too, and update this post gradually.

So tell me...

Are you as much a fan of weird food combinations as I am?
Have you ever tried any of the above quirky combinations?
If yes, then how did you like it?
What other weird food combinations have you tried and liked?

I share food tips, ideas, stories, and recipes, every Friday. You can sign-up for my FREE Weekly Newsletter below to receive them directly in your inbox.
Here's more in food from miss_teerious!

This is my 17th post for A to Z 2019.

I have attempted this challenge twice before, and published one kindle ebook out of it. You can get it on amazon: A to Z of Blogging: Take Your Blog To the Next Level.

Adventure in The Chemistry Lab: Playing With Acid! #ThrowbackThursday #AtoZChallenge

Adventure in The Chemistry Lab: Playing With Acid!

I was mostly a disciplined and studious kind of kid in school. So I hardly ever got into trouble in the chemistry lab (or anywhere else in school, for that matter). But I did have one fun adventure here, the mark of which I still carry above my right ankle! :D

It so happened that we were conducting an experiment that involved heating some concentrated sulfuric acid in a test tube, over a Bunsen burner.

I was merely following the instructions outlined for that experiment, but the guys working next to me were a bit more creative.

I'm not sure exactly what they were trying to do that day, but one of them suddenly moved back from his workspace, and the very next moment, I could feel something stinging the back of my legs at a dozen odd places!

When I turned around to inquire, I gathered that the concentrated sulfuric acid, in his test tube, had started boiling and bubbling out! He had immediately backed off to remove the test tube from the heat, holding the tongs as far away from his body as possible. But his "far away" happened to be right behind me!

Before I could register all this though, his test tube had already burst into pieces, and the boiling sulfuric acid splashed all over my lab coat and the back of my legs, causing that sharp stinging!

And I was such a big idiot... I was more concerned about my lab coat getting damaged than my leg getting burnt! #seriouslyfacepalm

Here's a picture of the actual adventure site... the Chemistry Lab of my school. An ex-schoolmate took this picture when he visited the school with his family some years ago, and he shared it on our Facebook alumni group. That's him and his little daughter in the pic. I have blurred out their faces to give them privacy.

Seth Anandram Jaipuria School Chemistry Lab
My school Chemistry Lab

So anyway, the acid burnt big holes through my lab coat, and even left some burn scars on my skirt. My socks were also burnt through, along with bits of flesh from the back of my legs! While most of these burns were minor skin grazes, I did suffer one big deep burn just above my right ankle, towards the back of the leg.

That one took a long time to heal, primarily because we, being the silly senior-school kids that we were at that time, were too busy being amazed at what happened! And the teacher in-charge of the lab that day (a temporary one... not our regular teacher) sent me off to the washroom, to wash the wound with water, whereas apparently, I should have first neutralized the acid with a base, as our regular teacher chided me about the next day!

Oh boy! You should have seen her face! She was furious at this display of "complete lack of commonsense" (as she called it) in the Chemistry Lab! :D :D :D

What can I say! I was never a big fan of science. I only opted for that stream in senior school to be able to study my favorite subject from my favorite teacher! :P

Besides, how often does a school kid get to see, in live action, boiling concentrated sulfuric acid burn through somebody's skin? Hahaha!

Adventure in The Chemistry Lab: Playing With Acid!
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But this was some adventure! I think I had to wear slippers to school for almost 3 weeks after the incident! I also had to get a new lab coat, a new skirt, and a new pair of shoes!

Yupp! You wouldn't believe it, but the few drops of acid that spilled on my shoes burnt tiny holes through them too!

And the poor guy whose experiment blew up... I think he lost a tiny bit of one of his eyebrows! :D I wonder if it ever grew back again. Hehehe! :P

Do you also have any such adventure tales from any of your science labs?
Did you like science as a subject in school?
Do you have any such scars on your body whose story is etched on your mind forever?

This is my 16th post for A to Z 2019.

I have attempted this challenge twice before, and published one kindle ebook out of it. You can get it on amazon: A to Z of Blogging: Take Your Blog To the Next Level.

How To Write Original Content For Content Marketing | 5 Tips to Make Your Content More Original #WorkspaceWednesday #AtoZChallenge

How To Write Original Content For Content Marketing | 5 Tips to Make Your Content More Original

“An original idea. That can't be too hard. The library must be full of them.” ― Stephen Fry
If you have ever browsed through the sections on blogging or content marketing on Quora, then you must have noticed how many times people have asked about "how to write original blog content", or "how to make their content more original when it isn't", or "strategies for creating original content regularly".

So, is it really possible to be completely original on your blog, post after post after post?

Is there any such thing as “originality”?

Whether it’s the topic, or the ideas, or the writing style, some of it is always inspired by someone else’s work, isn’t it?

Well, as long as it is “inspired”, it is good enough. It becomes totally un-cool, though, when it’s a direct lift-off. Nothing kills your blogging reputation as fast as when a Facebook friend posts a Pablo Neruda poem that you’ve been passing off as your own on your blog!

So, while it may not be possible to post 100% original content on your blog all the time, it is definitely possible to remain authentic and unique.

Here are a few techniques to ensure that your blog content looks original, even if it isn’t... 5 proven strategies to make your content more original.

5 Tips To Write “Original” Content For Content Marketing

  1. Choosing Your Source of Inspiration.

    Jim Jarmusch said:
    “Select only things to steal from that speak directly to your soul. If you do this, your work (and theft) will be authentic.”
    If something speaks to your soul, it ignites a creative fire within you and fuels your imagination. Once your imagination has been kindled, your creative juices automatically spill over into the content you create. The ideas come on their own. All you need to do is give them a tangible shape. An existence.

    And this happens in not just writing, but in any creative process. For example, this “Fiery Sunset” Vase, displayed on my craft blog, was the result of my innumerable conversations with the sunsets visible from my 7th floor balcony.

  2. Speaking From the Heart.

    My Dad always says there are two types of singers:

    1. who sing from their throats
    2. who sing from their hearts

    He keeps pointing out the two types when we watch singing reality shows on TV (like SaReGaMaPa), and sure enough, type 2 are the ones who usually make it to the top!

    When you create something (anything!) with your heart, it adds a special magic to your creation. Something intangible and immeasurable. Something that cannot be replicated.

    I think this is related with the state of mindfulness. When your heart is totally into what you're doing, you become deeply mindful in that act. At that moment, all your creative energy is fully focused into that specific act. There is no leakage of energy whatsoever. And that is why, your creations turn out to be so amazingly authentic.

  3. Adding Your Own Perspective.

    Our perspectives take shape based on our experiences. But our experiences are completely unique, aren't they?

    So, the moment you add your own perspective to something, (it could be any old idea, really!) you automatically bring something new to the table. You give it a unique presentation.

    Mixing old ideas with personal anecdotes, personal learning experiences, brings an element of freshness in your blog content, makes it more original.

  4. Creating An Emotional Connect.

    We see and read a zillion things every day. Yet, only a few of them leave an impression on our mind. Have you ever wondered why?
    The things we retain are the ones that were able to create an emotional connect with us.
    Human mind is fickle and hyperactive by nature. But our emotional memory runs deep. That is why, it was always easier to remember those lectures in school which were associated with some sort of incident that triggered an emotional response from us.

    (For example, I sucked at organic chemistry in school. But I still remember the formula for Benzene because of this incident at school.)

    So try to add something in your blog content that touches an emotional chord with your readers. Doing so will give your content that little something extra that makes it stand out.

  5. Actually Being Original Sometimes.

    Too much of the same stuff is never good. Blogging about the exact same topics that everyone else in your niche is talking about can dry up your creative wells and make your writing go flat.

    So you must always try to post something totally fresh too every once in a while. Maybe try out an experiment and share your findings. Or run a survey and post the results. A case study maybe, or an interview of one of the leading experts in your niche.

    Just think out-of-the-box. Think like a child. Just believe for a second that this is not about marketing your content, that it's just your playground. How would you like to play next? What would you like to play next?

    This will not only generate more engagement from your readers, but will also give new content ideas to the other bloggers in your niche.

How To Write Original Content For Content Marketing | 5 Tips to Make Your Content More Original
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So these are 5 creative ways to make your content more original for content marketing. To sum it all up, the idea might not be original, but the approach can definitely be so, right?

That’s what makes your content stand out in the crowd. That’s what makes your blog original.

As Jean-Luc Godard said:
“It’s not where you take things from - it’s where you take them to.”
So, is your blog content original?
Is it authentic?
What do you do differently to make sure your blog content stands out?

Here's more in "Blogging"!
And here's more in "#WorkspaceWednesday"!

This is my 15th post for A to Z 2019.

I have attempted this challenge twice before, and published one kindle ebook out of it. You can get it on amazon: A to Z of Blogging: Take Your Blog To the Next Level.

10 Personal Skills Of Narendra Modi That Truly Inspire Me #TenOnTuesday #AtoZChallenge

10 Personal Skills Of Narendra Modi That Truly Inspire Me

Before I begin, let me make one thing clear. This post is only about Narendra Modi's PERSONAL skills that inspire me, about his qualities that I look up to. It has got nothing to do with politics. I am not affiliated with any political party in the country. This post is not even a "performance review" of Narendra Modi's tenure in politics. It is only and only about him as a person, and what all I've learnt from him, by watching him at his work, and the way he deals with people, and with his life challenges.

I know. A lot of people who will read this post, hate Narendra Modi from the bottom of their heart. Some because of his humble background and less-than-stellar formal education. Some because he leads a "Hindu Nationalist Party". Some because of his connection with the RSS. And some simply hate him because they are not right-wing. Fair enough. To each, his own.

For the context of this post though, all these things are not really relevant. What if Narendra Modi was not a political leader? What if he was an actor, like Aamir Khan? Or a cricketer, like my favorite Rahul Dravid and Dhoni? What if he was a legendary music maestro like late Shri R. D. Burman? Or any other public figure, really? ("Public" obviously, because then only we would know so much about him, right?)

This post is about his 10 *personal* skills that would still inspire me. And I request you to read it in that light, without all the "labels" attached to him.

10 Personal Skills Of Narendra Modi That Have Greatly Inspired Me

  1. His Optimism.

    Time to confess. I was (and still am, to a big extent) one of those "nirashavadi" people (pessimists) that he often talked about in his speeches. His optimism and faith in the people of this country, seemed downright stupid to me. Every time, he talked about making "Smart Cities", my mental response was "Oh really! And how are you going to do that without smart people?"

    10 Personal Skills Of Narendra Modi That Truly Inspire Me

    Five years ago, I used to hear his big plans for this country, and seriously believe that he was making castles in the air. Idealistic, yes. Grand, yes. But, still more like fantasies. And then I continued to watch him work, with the same people, the same bureaucracy, the same media and government systems.

    And then Demonetization happened. I was stunned at the way the people of this country stood with him, as one, in all those long queues in front of banks, as well as behind the counters in those same banks! That was the first time I experienced the tiniest flicker of hope for my country. That maybe, just maybe...

  2. His Energy.

    Another confession. In 2014, when he was campaigning for the General Elections, I was fighting serious health issues, both physical and emotional. And I would watch him hold two rallies almost every day, at the age of over 60 years. Even in peak North Indian summers. And not show a trace of exhaustion on his face or in his voice.

    And then I used to watch him on his foreign trips. Multiple places on one trip. Attending meetings, conferences and speeches one after the other. Along with various cultural events planned in his honor. Even sleeping in his plane. And again, no trace of jet lag. Looking fresh and vibrant as ever.

    10 Personal Skills Of Narendra Modi That Truly Inspire Me

    His energy and fighting spirit forced ME to find more strength inside me. "If he can do it at this age, I have absolutely no excuse to give up." That was the thought in my mind that time, that kept me going from one day to the next.

  3. His Passion and Dedication.

    My regular readers know how much I admire Aamir Khan and Dravid for their dedication towards their respective fields. Narendra Modi has now also joined that group.

    If he sets his mind on doing something, then he totally commits himself to it. Doesn't matter how much time it takes, or effort, or how difficult it is. He would stay up the whole night, if he has to, but he WILL do it. He works, not like a machine or a robot, but a real person, who enjoys his work and takes pride in it.

    10 Personal Skills Of Narendra Modi That Truly Inspire Me

    And it shows, doesn't it? In his work, in his speeches, in his team. I'm even beginning to see a small spill-over effect on the ground! His passion seems to be contagious. It has started affecting the rest of the country too now!

  4. His Willingness To Learn.

    He doesn't have fancy professional degrees. He's not even well-versed in English. But he has never allowed that to lower his self confidence, or let it become an excuse for NOT doing something.

    He stays abreast of technology, treats it like his friend, and leaves no opportunity to learn about all the new advances in every field.

    My God. I've had so much of a better start in life than him. I've been working with technology (software part of it, at least) since I was 11. And still, I get scared! And then I again have to "pep-talk" myself... "If he can learn all this, at THIS AGE, seriously, what excuse DO I possibly have?"

    10 Personal Skills Of Narendra Modi That Truly Inspire Me

  5. His Humility.

    About a decade ago, I was very much into reading spiritual stuff. My then Reiki teacher would share bits and pieces with me, and one such bit was about the challenges we all have to face during our spiritual journey. I remember reading that whenever anybody came into a lot of power, it would simultaneously be accompanied by the challenge to keep his/her ego under control and remain detached to that power.

    (Note: While I don't remember that entire article, I do remember this part, because we discussed it in the context of Reiki Mastership, that when new Reiki Grandmasters get exposed to students touching their feet and treating them like some kind of God, it gets to their head. And they fail this challenge on their own spiritual path.)

    So, naturally I tend to notice how Narendra Modi remains grounded, even as half the nation worships him as a God.

    10 Personal Skills Of Narendra Modi That Truly Inspire Me

    He bows down at the steps of the Parliament before entering it for the first time as PM. He literally bursts into tears when his seniors, his mentors, try to treat him any differently after his ascent. He forbids his ministers to touch his feet. If he meets anyone older than him, he touches their feet instead. And in all his speeches that I have heard so far, he keeps emphasizing that all this love and admiration is for the "elected head of this country", and not for Narendra Modi personally. :)

  6. His Oratorial Skills.

    In my early blogging days here (2007-2008 maybe), few people tried to pull me down because I have a very simple style of writing. No creative word puns. No big GRE level words. No hi-fi vocabulary. I don't even follow the rules of sentence construction all the time.

    I got so demotivated that I actually started questioning my abilities as a writer. But then, suddenly, 3 different people, whom I didn't even know that they read my blog, happened to casually mention to me that they LIKED reading my blog, and for that very reason, that it is easy to read. The exact phrase one of them used was "not heavy".

    10 Personal Skills Of Narendra Modi That Truly Inspire Me

    Narendra Modi's speeches are also like that... "not heavy". He speaks in a way that even the uneducated villagers can understand what he's saying. Like he is one of them. Which he is, actually, in a way.

    (Note: As I'm writing this, I remember that during my training for Dell Tech Support, we were actually trained to not use too much technical jargon, and just keep it simple basically.)

  7. His People Skills.

    Basic rules of good PR: 1) listen to what people say 2) remember little details about them 3) appreciate them. He follows all three. Plus, he's a great storyteller. He has all these small-small stories, from all the places he has traveled to, and he narrates them whenever there is an opportunity.

    10 Personal Skills Of Narendra Modi That Truly Inspire Me

    Every time he goes to a new place, he makes an effort to find out what that place is special for, and uses that to make an instant connect with the people he is addressing there. He adapts, to whatever group of people he is with... in the stories he shares, the words he uses, the questions he asks... so that they are able to relate with him.

    He gives credit where it's due. Appreciates people whole-heartedly. Comes across as someone who is very much approachable.

  8. His Independent Will.

    Being able to have an independent will is quite difficult in India. The parents, the relatives, the society, they leave no stone unturned to make you conform to their set standards.

    I personally know of so many Indians, of my generation, with high professional qualifications, even some who have studied and worked abroad for quite a few years, but who still lack the strength of will to go against the norm, and especially their parents' wishes. And, Narendra Modi managed to develop such a high level of independent thinking and assertiveness so many years before my generation!

    10 Personal Skills Of Narendra Modi That Truly Inspire Me

    Going off to the mountains to pursue spirituality, giving up his personal life to become a public servant, holding his own when he is invited for lunch/dinner during his Navratra fast, and even being able to say "NO" to all those relatives/friends who might have wanted any "extra favors" from him in all these years. Honestly, how does he do THAT?

  9. His Courage.

    Suppose you've been in an accident that has left your face badly scarred. Like really horrible, you know, not just plain ugly. No amount of plastic surgery can remove those scars. And it makes no difference whether that accident was your fault or somebody else's, because either way, YOU have to live with that face for the rest of your life.

    Every day you go out for work, most people will only choose to see those scars, and it is up to you... whether you want to hide in a hole for the rest of your life, or you want to go out and face the world head on, and do something that will make them look beyond the scars.

    Narendra Modi chose the latter. He chose to let those scars become a map to guide him in future.

    10 Personal Skills Of Narendra Modi That Truly Inspire Me

  10. His "Lotus" Nature. (No connection to his party symbol)

    Few years ago, I came to know about Nichiren Buddhism, the philosophy of the "Lotus" Sutra, which states that you don't need to denounce the world to become a Buddha. It gives the analogy of the lotus flower that blooms (rather, "thrives") in muddy swamps. It also emphasizes on the concept of "Value Creation"... of creating something of value out of any circumstances, even adverse ones.

    I read this concept, in theory, in the books of this philosophy. And then Narendra Modi showed it to me in practical.

    They ridiculed his "deviation from protocol" at his first awkward international hug, but he made his trademark "jaadu ki jhappi" the new international protocol. They made fun of his humble beginnings as a tea vendor. He made a brand out of "Chai pe Charcha with Modi".

    10 Personal Skills Of Narendra Modi That Truly Inspire Me

    Whatever they throw AGAINST him, he makes it all work FOR him. All the criticism, and the mockery, and the snobbery... he creates value out of everything. The more mud they sling at him, the stronger he gets. I wish someday I can achieve that level of wisdom.

10 Personal Skills Of Narendra Modi That Truly Inspire Me
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So these are the 10 personal skills of Narendra Modi that inspire me, and probably not just me, but millions of other people too, all across the world. And while I may or may not agree with all his policy decisions as the nation's head, I DO admire him as a person, and aspire to be like him in all the above ways.

How about you?
Do you have a role model?
What kind of people do you look up to?
What kind of personal skills inspire you to become a better version of yourself?

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Here's more in "#TenOnTuesday"!

This is my 14th post for A to Z 2019.

I have attempted this challenge twice before, and published one kindle ebook out of it. You can get it on amazon: A to Z of Blogging: Take Your Blog To the Next Level.