Candy Crush: Are you ready to burn calories?

I and my husband are too much into gaming. Actually, my MIL, BIL and SIL as well. We often discuss the various levels of God of War, Tomb Raider [PS3] or Candy Crush. Me and my MIL were literally discussing tricks to clear a particular level on CC as I tutored her on the various combinations that would be helpful -  a 30-minute discussion! And the family bonding is reflected in the way we help each other out crack a level someone is having trouble with.

Blog Review: UmaS Reflections

I love Christmas a lot. And I love the Secret Santa bit we used to have at work. But now, that I do not work full time, I have been really missing it. But Indiblogeshwaris have come to my rescue! Job pe nahi toh kya hua, blog pe Secret Elf khelengey!!!

So #ThatTuesdayThingy of this week is becoming a Secret Blog Elf and reviewing a blog. I got a wonderful opportunity to review UmaS Reflections

Getting the word out...

I try my best to spread the word about it. Yeah, I understand those of you who have come across my several posts on the subject might tend to ignore reading this. But I am writing time and again to help the ones unaware about the debilitating condition learn about it, get diagnosed in time and understand those who are suffering.

Is the Google Search Box not working on your blog?

I was facing this search problem since a few days. The Google search box on my blog that was operational since a few years suddenly started behaving weird. On any input, it would just come back to the same page with no results but a cross mark on the top right hand side of the gadget (x).

I Googled about it and found that Blogger engineers are aware of the issue and working for a permanent solution. Meanwhile, you can try the following solution.

Of Apples and Applesaas (III-B, Final Part)

...Continued from here.

Priya tried to conceal her anger behind a fake little smile. But everyone in the audience, and particularly Raman, knew that she was really unhappy with his answer.

Raman was obviously good in reading body language. "Ouch Adarsh, looks like you have certainly forgotten something. Think hard Adarsh, be an adarsh pati (ideal husband)!

Strangely, only the women in the audience laughed. 

Adarsh felt a bit nervous. Which man would like to be perceived as a not-so-good husband in the eyes of so many women... and all together for that matter!

The Story of Book Titles

During the cold days, beautiful creatures wandered around the house of hades. They sang a melancholy and the mountains echoed. It was like heaven on earth, a perfect place for true lovers. Eleanor & park knew about the ocean at the end of the lane, but they decided to spend some time together before moving to a new land. It was tough to leave this abode of love but MaddAddam had warned them against occupying this place life after life

Finding music everywhere

As I sat to write for Day 4 of the WriteTribe challenge post midnight (Theme: Music), I wondered if I should talk about my favourite song, favourite music or favourite instrument. As I sat in silence, thinking what to write about, I heard the lovely sounds that are so typical of our place at this time of the day (night). Music is everywhere, isn't it! But generally, we only notice it when we are on our headphones or watching latest songs. 

The banana leaf plate

I am a complete foodie, vegetarian though, but I love to try out different varieties of food. I believe, the magic that delicious food creates has a lot to do with the way it is prepared, presented, served and eaten.

Have you ever attended a South Indian wedding? I happened to attend a few. The recent one was of a friend in Chennai. The seating arrangement was in long rows with enough space between the consecutive rows for people to move easily. The traditional meal was served on banana leaves. It is such a wonderful, eco-friendly experience.

Of Apples and Applesauce (II-B)

The other day I was reading Dagny Sol's post Of Apples and Applesauce (I) with much interest, moving from paragraph to paragraph wondering what happens next, when she ended it with "To be continued…"!

Ouch! It made me wonder what was hidden in the covered plate... One thing led to other and I was tempted to write a little story that would be unfolded in the next post. Dagny suggested that I can write one version of the continuation and well, I thought of giving it a try. One start of story, two different routes and who knows whether they would have a similar or drastically different endings! And what if both of us write the same thing leading to the same end... weird! Okay, let me use my imagination to weave a story now.

The 5 am scarf

Isn't it amazing how some things remind us of someone from the past! Especially if the things are associated with your childhood.

Like when I was a little girl, every morning I would wake up at around 5 am to go downstairs with my dada (grandfather) to purchase milk from the local Aarey Dairy booth. We used to stay on the 4th floor and we did not have a lift. But when you are young, you have all the energy to run up and down several times! Even during winters, I would insist on going.

The fragrant Crinum Lily (Image Source - Wikipedia)
It's a faint memory, but I remember that parents or grandparents would nicely tie a scarf to cover my head and ears. It became something like a ritual. I would wake up all exited. Someone would tie a scarf on my head and then I would hold dada's hand and run down the stairs. First we would collect the milk bottles (back then, there used to be glass milk bottles in an easy-to-carry rack after standing in a small queue). Then we would take a little walk in the area and collect the lovely flowers dropped on the ground.

Those Crinum Lily and Raat Rani (Night Blooming Jasmine) flowers have become a fragrant part of my childhood memories. Even now, if I come across them, they take me to a sweet trip down the memory lane.

Do you have such little things that remind you of some lovely childhood moments? I would love to read about them!

I am participating in The Write Tribe Festival of Words 8th – 14th December 2013 and have written this post for the Day 1 of the challenge.

I invite you to Like the Facebook Page of all my blogs and popular posts.

Wear a heart

My blogger friend Mr. Deepak Amembal tours a lot and shares the pictures with us. From dosas to goola bajay, from people to Gods. As he travels, we get to see the different aspects, specialities and cultures of different places. And today, he shared the picture of the bull who wears his heart on his forehead at Annual Shashti Celebrations. 

The bull with the heart and a pink light at the background inspired me to imagine what his story could be. And so here it is:

He was shy that way. He tried to indicate he liked her, but she never understood. He appeared a bit rude, she thought he has no feelings. He continued to be a shy-bull while a macho-bull wooed her away.
He finally shed his inhibitions and now he wears
his heart on his head. Though it hasn't helped him, as now he appears too soft and the other bulls bully him.
But he knows someday he will find a cow with a heart... but how???

And yes, I did look up for a cow with a heart and guess I found him a compassionate match. What's say?

Source -

Time Machine: Before and After Facebook

Like, Comment and Share have become our most commonly used words. Yeah, the advent of Facebook has changed so many things, some for good, some for worse. One good thing is that we all got in touch with our long lost friends and relatives. But most of Facebookers have a rather exciting virtual life than a real one. Well, I am guilty too, so who am I to preach here! : )

Anyway, I kinda hopped on a virtual Time Machine to have a bird's eye view on life before and after Facebook. Then I weaved a little story based on my imaginary journey. Here's an excerpt:

Before Facebook

Phone rings.

Payal: Hi Geeta

Geeta: Hi wassup!

Payal: Hey what are you doing tomorrow? Would you like to stay over at my place? I will make your favourite pav bhaji and we can watch the season 10 of Friends together... Parents are out of town.... 

Read the entire post published on Half Baked Voices and do share how things have changed for you after Facebook came into your life.

The door that never closed

It was a dark Friday night. Pyrus wasn't used to staying alone at home. But his wife had to be away from town for the weekend to visit her parents. So he had planned some drinks and dinner with his good old friends at the KC restaurant they used to frequent when they worked together.

It all went fine. Time flew as they chatted away the nostalgic moments. And by the time it was 11 pm, they had to part unwillingly as each of them started getting a 'When are you reaching home' call. Oh how they missed their bachelor life when they had no one to 'report' to!

Some Chat about Chaat

Pani puri, bhel puri, sev puri... I can gobble up puri ki puri chaat if I come across some street food in Mumbai or Delhi.

Check out some chatpati baatein about chaat and a latest initiative to ensure that it is prepared and served in a hygienic manner in my article published on Half Baked Voices. Do drop in a comment to share your opinion on street food in India

If Hope Dies, Can We Survive?

Times sure are becoming bad by the day. Crime, Rapes, Attacks, Corruption, Diseases, Pollution, Inflation... we are understanding the true meaning of Kalyug. Of course, we were born in Kalyug, but we never felt that it was so dark until the recent years. It's as if someone has picked us all and placed us in this place that has so much evil stuff in it.

Seriously, what is wrong with the nation? The literacy rate is increasing but I guess it is no good if it doesn't result in betterment of the society. India touched an effective literacy rate of 74.04 per cent in 2011, while in 2001 census the rate was 64.8 percent (Source:

Yet, we never felt so insecure!

We hit an all time low as Rupee does so!

Rupee is becoming very very senior, citizen!
So we must know what might follow and get ready for the eventuality:
Much thinner Dairy Milks and 5 Stars,
Mc Aloo Tikki now becoming Aloo Wafer,
Only 3 wafers now in Lays packets,
Vada pav becoming pakoda pav,
Milk being available in 100 gm packs,
Rickshaws becoming as prestigious as Mercs,
Gradual Disappearance of Re 1 and Rs 2 coins,
Hiked travel cost,
Hiked education cost,
Hiked cost of groceries,
Hiked househelp salaries,
Deduction in our salaries,
Skipping of appraisals yet again!
Damn... when is the barter system returning??? It's about time!

Facebook making us Bruce Almighty | The ICU Syndrome

My blogger friend Varsha just posted:

"All those updating from bus stands....railway stations...airports...just what do you want us to do with this information??"

She seriously got me thinking! Some of the people on Facebook really make us Bruce Almighty

We know everything about at least 10 friends on our Facebook profile at any given moment:
  1. When they woke up
  2. What kind of morning beverage they had - tea, green tea, dark coffee, beer, water in copper vessel...
  3. When they left for work
  4. Which train they boarded
  5. When they reached office, where it is located, if they reached before or after their boss
  6. What they had for lunch
  7. Did they have a 4 pm snack, what exactly

From Written Words to Inspiring Voice | Meeting Author of The Bankster

The First Open BAR (Blogger Author Rendezvous)
It was a bloggers’ meet of sorts arranged by Indiblogeshwari Vinita Bahl and Ravi Subramanian, author of The Bankster. 

Ravi Subramanian
Firstly, for the first time I was the first one to reach a bloggers’ meet (obviously I will force the word ‘first’ too many times here!). I cannot explain the wonderful feeling when I entered Chocolateria San Churro, Bandra, thinking the meet was at 12 pm (it was scheduled for 1 and thank God I was mistaken) only to find that no one had arrived by then! Alright, I travelled and reached with Varsha Bagadia, but I am taking the liberty here as I climbed up the stairs before her ;)

Live in the moment

Where you go,
what you see,
who you meet,
is a mystery.

Who joins you,
who you join,
as time travels,
is but destiny.

3 Seconds of concern in a 'busy life'

'Life is busy' is a contradiction in terms. Life moves at the same pace every year. We grow an year older exactly in one year, not sooner, not later. We are busy, willingly or unwillingly is a different question altogether. And we conveniently take the liberty of replacing "We" with "Life"!

And while our focus shifts to the bigger things in life, the smallest and least time-consuming things take a back seat.

Blah, Blah, Blah... Waah Waah Waah!

Chatting, when introduced for the first time, changed a lot many things. We were reconnected with many long lost contacts. Catching up with friends, near or close, became easier and frequent. It made life more interesting.

Initially, I used to chat a lot. But as years passed and with the advent of Facebook, I started finding chatting online pretty boring! Until recently, when WeChat was introduced. Its contest on the IndiBlogger platform seemed really cool - If you could connect with 5 or more people in a WeChat group - who would they be, and why? What would you talk about?

Well, it made me think which real or fictional people from past or present would I like to chat with. And it got me thinking a lot! Intestingly, these people can chat with each other too in the WeChat group!

How about Newton? Isaac Newton. I always wondered what kind of person he really was... Serious nerd or a funny creative genius? What would have happened if instead of an apple falling on his head he noticed a feather flying by? Would he have then invented some "Newton's law of flight?" Would he have invented the concept of humans traveling by air instead of the Wright brothers' invention of airplane? Did Wright brothers exist before or after him? Well I can Google it for sure but it would be interesting to discuss with him on WeChat instead and poke his brain ;)

How about Rajinikanth! Oh he is one interesting personality of our times! I always found it fascinating how he managed to attract such a huge fanfare! They are crazy about him and his style. And no other Indian film actor in the past 2 decades have managed to have such die-hard fans. While some might find his style and supernatural onscreen powers funny and hyped, I guess he has the maximum number of fanatic fans in India! Did he imagine in the initial years of his film career that he will reach here? And what about the famous Rajinikanth jokes? The are awesome! Whether you watch his films or not, you will always enjoy the jokes!

The third person I would like to add to my WeChat group would be Alice (of the Alice in Wonderland fame). Falling into the rabbit hole and getting a different perspective of life must be real fun. But no one ever asked where the magical rabbit hole is! I would most certainly ask her and maybe join her in yet another fall into the rabbit hole.

Next would be Tom and Jerry! I just want to hear more of their catch and chase stories. And when they are connected by a chatting platform, where they cannot actually run behind each other, I would love to see how they can bother each other even when they are not nearby!

Now if only my wish is granted and Newton, Rajinikanth, Alice, Tom and Jerry come to chat with me in a group, I promise I will share everything about it. And if you comment out here with your queries for these people, I might even add you in the group!

Until then, you can vote for this entry here while I start creating some new WeChat groups with those I have met in real life :)

K is for Kindness and the random act!

I do not know where I read / heard about it first, but it was long long ago when I was in college. And I have been following it ever since (if only I was so committed to post my entries to the A-Z challenge in time!). Recently, I was watching my favourite show Dharma & Greg and I heard it again. Dharma's random act of kindness. That's when I realised that I have been following it religiously almost everyday! Feels good. Seriously, try it!

If one day, or every day of your life, you decide to do at least one random act of kindness, it makes a quite some difference in the happiness quotient of the world. It's really simple and it brings a smile to someone's face. And it is loaded with goodness. It's about some really small or really big acts you do that might not mean much to you but will make someone's day.

Let me leave you with some small and big examples for the random acts of kindness:
  1. Tell your househelp that she can skip some utensils / cleaning a room on a day she looks tired.
  2. Offer your seat in train to someone even if the person is not old, sick or pregnant. Don't let the person know that you offered your seat to help. Just walk towards the door.
  3. Thank your cab / rickshaw driver while paying by the meter. In Mumbai, tender good amount of change (notes of Rs 10 / coins) even when your meter says Rs 98 and you have a Rs 100 note! they will be so happy!
  4. Offer to babysit your neighbour's kid for a couple of hours so that she can rest for a while.\
  5. Tell your vegetable vendor that you really like how he/she brings the freshest veggies.
  6. Bring special cookies or pastries for coworkers even when it is not your birthday / festival.
  7. Compliment someone every single day. If you are home alone, just look at the mirror and praise yourself ;)
  8. Volunteer for a social cause.
  9. Call up a distant friend or relative you have not been in touch with or only Liked their wall posts on Facebook.
  10. Speak nicely and patiently with a customer service caller who tries to sell you a loan or scheme.
  11. Visit my blog and leave me a nice comment ;)

J is for Jaisalmer in Rajasthan, India

I just love the nicknames some cities have! The Big Apple (New York), Sin City (Las Vegas) and back home The Golden City of Jaisalmer.

While in school, I found remembering these terms really tough to score better in exams. It's tough to build logic with these things unless you have been there. And I need logic to remember anything. So my scores in history always pulled my final exams' percentage down (who was born when, where... please don't ask me names and dates!).

But once I started visiting place, I had a whole new perspective. Like when I visited the beautiful city of Jaisalmer (named after the founder founder Maharawal Jaisal Singh) in Rajasthan. Once you reach  you know why many call it The Golden City. The hues, sand, forts and havelis, they all are so beautifully golden-ish.

I have no idea!

I am generally not short of ideas, whether it is arts and crafts, cooking, blogging or creativity required in my advertising profession. Thankfully, most of my ideas have turned out to be good. 
The surprising thing is that when I am really upset about something or when I have a really tight deadline, the ideas I come up with are better than what I have when I am relaxed and at leisure. That is actually very helpful in the highly demanding and creative field like advertising.
But this once, when I decided to write a post on ideas, I am really clueless. Maybe since I started pretty late after missing the deadline for the 'I' day of the A-Z Challenge. A few back to back stressful events in my life within a span of 4 days might be affecting my thought process. 
Makes me think:  
  • Why is it possible to come up with ideas for everyone else but yourself?
  • Why setting a deadline and trying to meet it results in the best ideas, mostly at the last minute?
  • Why I am so clueless when I am thinking of an idea to write something on ideas?

I have no idea! So this time, I will end this right here to prevent myself from losing my blog readers. I guess there's a better idea - I will move on to 'J'!

PS If you thought I wasted your time with this post, you might want to read the title again; I had warned you much in advance!
This post is written by me for the A-Z Blogging Challenge where I will post every day (except Sundays) all through the month of April. Most importantly, I will blog thematically on topics from A to Z! So for April 1, I chose a topic starting with the letter A, for April 2 the letter B and so on. 

My A-Z Challenge Entries: A B C D E F G H I J K...