Thursday, July 28, 2016

Seven Companions who Matter

We arrive in this world alone and we leave this world alone. During our short sojourn on earth, we depend on others to make us feel alive. But do we really need companions?
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I believe we do. From the moment we begin our lives, our characters are molded by the people we are surrounded by. Subconsciously we absorb the feedback we get from the ones we spend our time with and also formulate our habits to please them. The voices that echo in our heads are often the voices of these companions. Our self-talk is created by the output we receive from them. We classify ourselves as good, capable or bad based on their comments. They can make us or break us.

We acquire different sorts of companions during different phases in our lives. Let us look at six groups of them.

1)  Parents: The first responsible person in an individual’s life is always a parent. An overly protective parent, a tyrant or a well-balanced individual; each bring out a different personality trait in a child. A traumatic childhood under a parent who gave emotional scars to the child often creates a depressed and timid individual who is scared to face the world. Our childhood memories also define how we will be as parents when we take on the role later on in life.

2)  Grandparents: The best memories of any child are often of the time spent with their grandparents. These are the people who pamper them and who assume the next prominent position in moulding the child. Lack of love or cruelty from this group usually scar the child forever.

3)  Siblings: After the parents, come the siblings of an individual. Except in very rare cases, most of us face sibling rivalry. If they are nearer to our age, the more the chances that we will hate their very existence. They give us our first mental messages. You are a loser/ cheater/liar. We try to please them and try constantly to be in their good books if they are elder and try to rule them if they are younger. We get majorly influenced by these companions. But when there is love between the siblings, the bond plays a major role in the development of the child. The first lessons in love, sharing and caring are often given by siblings.

4)  Friends: Once we start going out to play and later on pre-school, we meet and make new friends. They become our next critics, our idols and a major factor in shaping our character. If a child faces bullying early on in life, they become scared of being among people, they inevitably turn to be timid introverts. But if they get a peer group that is encouraging, they are always ready to go out in the world and conquer. Friends change according to the different phases in life and each group is responsible for planting a new set of ideas.

5)  Teachers: Human beings remain students for the first quarter of their lives. A very skilled teacher can change a student forever by providing the apt encouragement and push in the right direction. A cruel teacher by crushing the self-confidence of the student can adversely affect his/her character development. I believe hence that the role of a teacher is the most important one in society.

6)  Spouse: When one gets married, we often believe every word uttered by our spouse. If they praise us, we believe it. We heart their comments. We are broken by their harsh criticism. Often people change after marriage. Some become a pale shadow of their former selves while some others bloom into better individuals. Everything depends on the environment we create in our married life. It is useless to cling on to a relationship that is killing you from the inside just for keeping up appearances in the society.

7)  Children: We reach the beginning of the companionship cycle here, but now the role is reversed. Some become wonderful parents, while some others should not be allowed miles near a child even if they are the birth parents. Some fail to cope up with the pressures that parenting brings, while some others shine.

In our lifetime, these companions provide the lessons we need to learn. We are souls having a human experience. The companions we acquire are said to be pre-decided according to the lessons the soul wish to learn during this lifetime. If the companionship is based on love, we bloom. If hatred exists between the companions, we shrink and die out.

You are the average of the five people you spend the most time with says motivational speaker and Guru Jim Rohn. Do you agree with this statement? Which companion has been the major influence in your life?

Friday, July 22, 2016

A Magical Story

Every night before I tuck him into the bed, I have to read my seven-year-old a story. The same old story books are taken out every day and the same stories get reread. The tormented reader tries to cheat every now and then by skipping a few words or sentences, but the enthusiastic listener protests if even a single word is out of place. So a bleary-eyed me goes through the ritual every day. 

Sometimes it is the ‘Cat in the hat’ who takes center stage whereas sometimes Winnie the pooh sets out on an adventure with his friends. Lightning McQueen roars down to finishing line at times and on some other nights Peter Pan takes us to Never Land to visit the troublesome Pirate Captain Hook.
I close the book and switch on the night light preparing to sleep finally and that is when he unfurls his own bundle of stories. Mostly the cartoons he has watched or his classmates star in the story. Some are imaginary and some are real incidents.

His favorite introduction is, “I have something to tell you.” I smile hearing it and prompt him to talk. Sometimes hours pass before we finally sleep. And sometimes he sleeps midway through a story. Whichever way, the day ends with stories; colorful and full of life.

Characters getting ready 


When I found characters hiding in the Colgate toothpaste wrappers, I immediately asked him whether he would like to create his own story. He was ready. I cut out the characters and made them ready for taking on their role.  His father also takes the seat in front of the tiny story teller. When he begins, we are mesmerized. We were in for a treat when the ready-made character cutouts starred in his story.This is the story that he tells us.

Captain Blackbeard along with his trusted mate Sadie set out on a treasure hunt at the start of the story. He hopes to involve the magical sea creatures including a mermaid to aid him in the hunt for the treasure which is part of a shipwreck. Another story thread involving the crab and mermaid takes off in another direction in the next scene. The crab is in love with the mermaid apparently and the Shark is the villain who bullies every sea creature. With the arrival of Black beard, chaos reigns the sea world as everyone wants the treasure. Now some real Bollywood drama happens with the Shark and Orca whale taking up sides with fist fights and fin fights. Then the Shark goes to sleep and has a nightmare where he dreams that every sea creature has become his enemy. He realizes that bullying is not a good habit and he wakes repentant. He decides to help Blackbeard to the find treasure along with help from the other sea creatures. They all agree to the mermaid’s thought that the treasure is useful for Sadie and Blackbeard whereas they are only shiny things for them. After finding the treasure by following the treasure map given by the mermaid, Blackbeard and Sadie return home to live happily ever after. The END.

When he finishes, we clap happily and he beams. He promises to create a new story using the same characters tomorrow. ‘Maybe I can skip the treasure hunt part in the next story.’ He muses.

Thank you, Colgate, for showing us the creative side of our child. This is such a magnificent idea. I am going to write down the stories he tells in a notebook. It is such a treasure.

This story is part of #ColgateMagicalStories sponsored by http://www.colgate.co.in/en/in/oc 




Thursday, July 21, 2016

A Walk to Remember...

Childhood

Do you remember those blissful days of your childhood?

The innocent blabbering. The little discoveries. Silly fights. Misty mornings and enchanting sunsets. My most most cherished memories till date.


I remember many of those cheerful images fondly. Time has diminished their clarity but their undiminished charm enthralls me.

Visiting my village last summer and travelling through those very lanes and fields which held many of those sweet memories was cathartic and in a sense rejuvenating.


My state is known as God's Own Country and is renown for its geographic and biological diversity. My village is a quaint little coastal one with its vast paddy fields and undulating landscapes. Rivers and streams meander lazily in between them. 
It is green most of the time and mid-May brings in the summer rains which lasts until August.


When I decided to set out on an evening walk along the narrow bunds in the paddy fields, my niece and nephew along with my son were excited to join me. Though my niece and nephew lived there and quite often took these kinds of walks, my son was thrilled to be walking along the serene paddy fields, after the hustle and bustle of the city he was used to.


The view which greeted us was this.

A walk through the paddy fields
My son enjoyed the trip the most as he had a roller coaster ride, cozily perched on my hip. He would squeal and laugh whenever I slipped in the slush and splashed mud all over my skirt. Twice my slippers got stuck in the mud. We somehow managed to reach the coconut and palm grove which bordered the field and from where a pukka concrete road led towards our house.



Coconut and palm grove
The whole trip was reminiscent of my childhood days. Walking through the muddy fields merely for the pleasure of it, chasing each other, mistaking the depths of the waterlogged fields and almost falling. Ah... How badly I wish those days were back again.

The fields mostly remained the same but the wide bunds which used to serve as walkways through the fields are gone now. With concrete roads going around the fields to every nook and corner of the village, everyone avoided the short cut through the fields. But alas, it lacked the charm of the walk through the green fields crisscrossed with small streams, meant to drain out the excess water.

Technology has deprived the kids of the joys of nature these days. Especially the city kids. My son had preferred to sit on the bridge and play a mobile game much to my disappointment, while his cousins had enjoyed catching fishes and splashing each other in the village stream.
  
I sat amid the greenery and meditated for a few minutes. I removed my slippers and enjoyed the cool  caressing breeze and tranquil atmosphere. I think I need to seek out such pleasures every now and then.


Sunset 
The sun had already begun to set by this time and we began our return journey. The kids triumphant as they had managed to catch a few nano-sized fishes.
We returned after our adventure,  tired and muddy but with a rejuvenated mind and soul. 

Tuesday, July 19, 2016

The Significance of Guru and Guru Poornima

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Today is Guru Poornima. It is celebrated on the full-moon day in the month of Ashada (July-August). It is the day to express our gratitude and respect to our Gurus, a day to celebrate the wisdom they handed over to us. It is also the day to look backward and acknowledge how far we have succeeded in eliminating ignorance.

'Gu' means 'the darkness created by ignorance' and 'Ru' means 'the one who removes' in Sanskrit. Anyone who has removed ignorance from our lives hence attains the status of a Guru.

Learning begins at home; our parents are our first Gurus. They teach us to speak, to walk and affiliate us to different ways of living, our culture, and religion. Our school and college teachers, our friends, our children, and our family teach us lessons in their own unique way.

Life assumes its role as a Guru through experiences that mould us into the persons that we become. When I turn back, I find that the person I am now is vastly different from the person I was a decade ago. Life has taught me many important lessons than all my teachers ever did. It made sure that even my enemies leave behind important lessons that would shape and mould the person I am today.

Google, the most benevolent Guru of our generation has made things simple like never before. Knowledge is at our fingertips, the world has become a tiny village. YouTube videos are my biggest knowledge reserves. Be it writing tips, author interviews, crochet, painting, portraiture or self-help, I turn to Youtube first. 


My spiritual gurus are numerous. Ironically, it was my Athiest father who gave me the first nudge towards spirituality. It was from his book collection that I first read about the amazing powers of the saints in a foregone era, their power to do astral travel, the power of human mind and also about transcendence. I learnt Yoga from him. I read about Reiki, Pranic healing, Acupuncture and Hypnotism from the vast collection of books on alternative healing that adorned his bookshelves. His advice was to never stop learning. 

Today, I pay my sincere gratitude and respect to all my Gurus. I bow before you. All that I am today is because of you. I especially thank all my English teachers who made me fall in love with the English language. I thank the many authors who kept me glued to books and gave birth to a bibliophile and author. Every book I read has added to my learning, every word has enriched my world. 

Happy Guru Poornima to one and all. Like the splendid moon, may our Gurus brighten our paths and continue to lead us towards the light.

How much importance do you give to your teachers? Is there a memorable teacher who taught you a significant lesson?






Monday, July 18, 2016

Why I love the writing process

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I am frustrated as my mind chatters unconsciously creating questions and problems in my mind’s arena before I pick my writing tools.

The moment I pick my writing tool, in my case my laptop, I enter a parallel universe, one that is inhabited by my characters. The voices I hear are that of them. The story I need to tell is their story. All I feel and do are according to their instructions. It is as if I am not the one who is writing, but another being who has come near me telling me to write giving the exact words and sequences in which they should come out on paper. I am in a Zen state; nothing interests me other than what I want to write. The only thing I am conscious about is the writing process. The voices in my head which were creating a ruckus earlier have fallen silent. I can hear only the clear voices of my characters. I don’t consciously heed to grammar or spelling. What I feel are their emotions, their dreams, and their world.

 I am fully attentive to whatever the characters are trying to say. I am not worried about the starting the middle or the end. All I want is to hear is what is happening at that moment and record it. I am aware of their environment like I am there. I can hear the crickets chattering in the silence of the night while one of them leans on his balcony pondering over his life. I can feel the coldness that seeps in as my character walks into a cold pool early in the morning. I can see the crystal clear sky reflected in the pool, I can feel the waves lapping on her body. It is like magic and I can feel it running through me guiding my hands toward the letters to type. I can feel the words taking shape all of a sudden and I have to write them down.

I know I may not use all these in my story. Not every scene in a movie is interesting. But I need to record all that they are telling. My monkey mind can do the rewriting once I have finished the first draft. As for now, all I can feel is the magical flow of words waiting one after other to jump into the pool that will form my manuscript. I have to catch them before they vanish among the numerous other words which are equally eager to join them in the pool. I have to hasten. I have to give them their right place and I have to keep them happy. Words, after all, are my best friends. I am so thankful to them. They make me serene and all that happens in my stories are their creations. I am just someone who is transcribing a mystical genius who wants all its creations to be soulful and mindful.


Saturday, July 16, 2016

My brush with Synchronicity



www.Goodreads.com 


Do you believe in synchronicity? Have you experienced things happening to you exactly when you needed them to happen? An event which caused a dramatic change in your outlook towards life? You dream of a person and then that person call you the next morning saying she was thinking about you all night?

Synchronicity is a word coined by the Swiss psychologist Carl Jung and describes the temporally coincident occurrences of acausal events. You can't prove it scientifically nor can you predict it.

My first memorable brush with synchronicity was after my engagement. I discovered that every Saturday evening my fiance went to a Shiva temple at his place. I used to do the same thing. He joked that Lord Shiva had played the matchmaker in our case. 

After reading the book 'The Secret' I began to notice my thoughts and how sometimes events occurred that matched my mood or state of the vibrational frequency of my thoughts. I began to notice the way how I usually met people whom I don't like exactly on days when I was going through a low phase. Books or blogs that I had to read began finding me at the right time. 'Heal your body' by Louise L Hay was the perfect example. The Reiki course and subsequent meeting and friendship with Saileela, who would take me through a journey of self-realisation through past life regression, were other significant synchronic events.

Impressed by the book 'Heal your Body' I went to Sapna Book House to look for other books written by Louise Hay. I selected three books and then a deck of angel cards fell into my hands. It was the Messages from your angels oracle cards. 


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I had never seen or heard about oracle cards and hence kept it back on the shelf and continued browsing. When I asked for a particular book the assistant came forward and pulled out a book from the shelf causing the same deck of cards to fall into my hands again. As I was already intrigued and as all esoteric things charm me, I decided to buy the deck of 44 cards that promised to give me messages from my angels.
The year was 2012 and I had lost my father in March 2011. After reaching home, I uncovered the pack and read through the instructions. Then I shuffled the deck and pulled out a card. During the entire time I was shuffling, I was thinking about my father. I can't explain why I was doing that but during that phase in my life, I was always thinking about him as the loss was recent.
The card that came was this!

Needless to say, I was gobsmacked. I ran to my husband and told him about it. He wanted to test them and I asked him to think about something that he wanted an answer to. He got this card.

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He rolled his eyes but confessed he was actually pondering over whether to join the nearby gym or not. I narrowed my eyes. He wanted the angels to answer that? Wasn't my daily nagging enough?  I then asked him whether he would, now that even the angels had spoken. He walked away muttering, "She started again."
Doreen Virtue has become my guiding angel since then. I am a regular visitor on her YouTube channel and Facebook Page.
The most recent brush with synchronicity was during the book release of Niranjan Navalgund's The Lively Library & an Unlikely Romance. There was a lucky draw happening onstage. Names of all the people in the audience were in a bowl and I was watching the chief guest picking the winners. Suddenly I felt that I had to be ready as I had to go on stage next. I removed my glasses and kept them in its pouch and next moment, I heard Niranjan announcing my name. 
I have begun to acknowledge that synchronicity is all around. We just fail to notice it. Next time something significant happens, think back to what you were thinking at that moment.
Have you had a brush with synchronicity? 






Indian Bloggers

Friday, July 15, 2016

Celebrating Pablo Neruda




Do you know NeftalĂ­ Ricardo Reyes Basoalto? No idea? 

I am sure you have heard about Pablo Neruda.  Both NeftalĂ­ Ricardo Reyes Basoalto and Pablo Neruda refer to the same person. The eminently loved Chilean poet and politician, later on adopted his pen name as his legal name. Neruda's father was a strict man who forbade Neruda from wasting time writing poems. He adopted this pen name as it was in vogue to write under pseudonym in that era and also because it was easy to hide his poetry this way from his father. 

Born on July 12, 1974, Neruda was interested in writing and literature from a very young age. At the age of thirteen, on July 18, 1917 he published an essay in the local newspaper titled 'Enthusiasm and Perseverance.' He went on to write many poems which were greatly appreciated by the readers. By the age of 20, Neruda had established an international reputation as a poet. In the later years, he became a diplomat and politician and traveled the word on diplomatic missions. But poetry remained with him till the end. He was awarded the Nobel prize for Literature in 1971, two years before his death.

Neruda’s poems have a way of getting embedded into your very being. They are soulful, filled with positivism and honesty. I love almost everything written by Pablo Neruda.

Here are a selection of 5 quotes which show his brilliance.











Sonnet XVII is one of my favorites from Neruda.

Sonnet XVII






I have also created this video on YouTube for this sonnet. Enjoy!

Wednesday, July 13, 2016

Happy Birthday to my Gorgeous Niece

Today’s post is about a very special person. The person who first taught me lessons about unconditional love. The one who bowled me over with her toothless smiles, cuddles, and kisses. My gorgeous niece.

She turns fifteen today. Like any mad teen, she troubles us with her tantrums and teases us as being ancient because of our ignorance about the world in general. Don't you recognize her favorite sports star or movie star? You are doomed. You will face a very condescending individual if you tell her that you don’t like ice creams/chocolates or chicken! You will be labeled as weird.



During my final year of engineering, I had enough distractions. The major one was the presence of a tiny angel who demanded to be carried around all the time. She wanted to roam everywhere perched on my hips. I was her favorite person in the world till her mom arrived home. At that moment she would declare , “I don’t like Annie at all.” She transformed into a veritable monster if her needs were not met.  I was even jealous of her for a while. Until her arrival, I was the youngest and most pampered in the family. But her sweet smiles and baby talk conquered us all. She was and is still the star in our family. I love her like my own daughter.
She liked to call everyone by the special names she had selected for us.  I was christened ‘Annie’; she was to be called Unnu. The pet name Minnu which I had selected lovingly for her was quickly conferred on her doll. Her mother became Unnuamma, father was Unnuacha, and Grandparents were Unnuachacha and Unnuammamma. My brother Sunil became chunnammamma. My cousins Soumyan became Cho mama, Suvarna became Chuchi and Swapna became Choppechi for a long time.

All the others lost their special names once she grew up but I am still Annie. Like all nieces, she inherits all her mad traits from me. My sister blames me for it all. After all, I was her first guru. She is into sports just like me. She is a better athlete and has won several medals at the state level in long distance running. She is my go-to guide about the latest in the world of youngsters. She tells me outright what is hip and what is not! She orders me to change my Facebook profile picture if it is not good enough. She raids her mother’s cupboards looking for hidden treasures just like me. And her cupboards are a mess just like mine used to be. Like me, she also loves music, crochet, and craft. But unlike me, she is independent and strong. She tries her hand at cooking and is the inventor of the tasty bread crumb snack which is the favorite of my son.







  
My son absolutely adores his Unnechi and tells me every now and then how much he misses his big sister. He remembers fondly the fun times they spent together and whenever we visit any new place, he wants to revisit with Unnechi when she comes for vacation. When they both are together, my house becomes a mess within minutes. They give me headaches of the highest order. They are fiercely protective of each other and would cry when they had to go separate ways once the vacation came to an end.

The post has become long and now she will shout at me for making such a big fuss of it all!


Dearest Ishita aka Unnu, know that you are loved by all of us. We all are proud of the person you have turned into. You are unique; there is only one you in this entire word. Follow your passion. The world is your universe and you are the brightest star. You have the best smile in the world. Chase your dreams. Let nothing come in your way. We know you can do it!

Wishing you the very best birthday ever!




Monday, July 11, 2016

The Lively Library & an Unlikely Romance: Book Review

Book Cover



About the author: Niranjan Navalgund has a multifaceted personaHe is a young chess professional and derives great pleasure in learning about life through the game of chess. He is a formerNational U-17 Chess Champion and a Commonwealth Silver medalist in the U-18 Category. He has been conferred with ‘Indradhanushya’ (2007) ‘Giants International Award’ (2009), ‘Kreeda Ratna’ Award (2010) and ‘Belgaumite of the year’ Award (2012) for his achievements in the field of Chess. He is a lover of words and occasionally tries his hand at writing stories and poems. He believes that writing is a wonderful exercise for the soul. Being a bibliophile, he harbors a special interest in the New Age Philosophy. Unusual stories excite him. He hopes to visit the Panda Zoo, someday. Niranjan lives with his family in Belagavi.

Book Blurb:
Unknown to Nayan, the library he inherits from his deceased father, is a mysterious place. Hiriya Halepu, Pu.Nayaka, Kapshi and many others live there. They have a secret world with celebrations, romances, pangs of separation and conflicts. This is the Book-World. As two souls in this world fall in love, they encounter a strange predicament that separates them from each other. Things go from bad to worse when an unknown enemy sends a threat of destruction to this whole mysterious world. They call their resolute protector, Helmine, who unravels many unknown facets of this world, in an attempt to save it from the danger. The lovers struggle to find each other, and Helmine tries hard to decipher the threat messages. But will she be able to save this world from destruction? Will the two souls in love be united? There are no easy answers. Because this is no ordinary Library, this is the place where books come to life.

My take:
Imagine a world where books come alive. They would exhibit emotions just like us. There would be arguments, jealousy, grudges, happiness and of course, love! 'The Lively Library and an Unlikely Romance' takes us to such a parallel universe. There you have unruly youngsters, philosophers, intellectuals and even fakes just like we have in our own universe. Welcome to the Lively Library.
My favorite characters in the book world were Hiriya Helepu-the Senior old book, Helmine- the resolute protector, Kapshi- the book man and MookBonk- the philosopher turned counsellor.
The whole work is allegorical. Replace the books by human beings and we can relate to it entirely. Manasu, Kanasu and Nanusu, the three pillars of the book world refers to the heart, dreams and fulfillment of wishes. Don't we all have them hidden inside us?

Truly, I am impressed by the imagination of the author. There are many instances and quotes which will give you an 'aha' moment if you are an author or a bibliophile. 
For example, Mookbonk the counsellor to whom the books in the library went to for shrink talk had to be paid using a few beautiful words. Cute, right?
And then books healed their hearts or Manasu by venting out stuff that was rotting them from within. Don't we all wish we could do the same? What if we could purge those thoughts which create a hell within us in a similar manner?
Helmine, the protector had once been cursed which make her speak names in reverse. She would call Nayaka, Akayan. I think I too have been cursed in a similar manner by some book spirit. I often stutter and am not able to be eloquent enough which puts me into troublesome situations. I am in search for a solution. I am planning to write to the Lively Library and ask for a solution. :D
The romance is between two books in the library which are named after Niranjan's two short stories. Even though they are books, they don't waste time and fall in love and can't wait to get 'booked'. They don't want their romance to remain an unlikely one and are committed to make it fruitful.
There is a bit of puzzle solving as well when the bookworld comes under threat making Helmine to don her whodunit persona.
I think it would help if you go through the glossary first. Niranjan has coined a lot of terms for the book world. So it helps if the readers know what the words mean when they come across it.
It is a lively book filled with lovely imagery. I congratulate Niranjan for creating this masterpiece.
My only complaint?
The book should have been a little longer. But, as they say, the best things comes in tiny packages.
I leave you with a quote from the book.

"We are an overwhelming concoction of thoughts and ideas who capture the mornings, nights and midnights of our writers. We are the manifestations of their dreams, spinning off in the written pages."


Buy the Lively Library and the Unlikely Romance from Amazon.com  
                The Lively Library & the unlikely romance from Amazon.in

Sunday, July 10, 2016

Are your children meeting their growth milestones?

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Physiological and psychological development of one’s child is the most ambitious dream of every parent. We want our kids to become happy, healthy and intelligent. An asset to any society.
The present decade gives a lot of importance to parenting as it is a significant aspect in social growth.
Parents either make or break a kid. Careless parenting damages the psyche and overall development of a child. It is crucial to realize that as parents we are in charge of the future of our kids.

I left my high-paying civil engineering job after the birth of my son. It was a choice I made and there was no pressure from any side to influence my decision. I had a carefree childhood. There isn’t any fearful childhood memory or trauma as I always had elders like grandparents, uncles, and aunts who took care of me even though my parents were both working. As we live away from our relatives now, my son is deprived of their presence. I didn’t want to throw him into a daycare and allow him to remain at the mercy of strangers. Career was given a backseat. My child became my priority.

The initial months of being a mother were filled with confusion.  Like any newbie mother, I was scared that a mistake on my part would bring about a permanent damage to my delicate darling. Luckily my sister and brother are both doctors and I would turn to them often for advice. They used to tell me about the importance of right nutrition. I would carefully create the broths, porridges and soups to feed my son so that he got all the necessary vitamins and minerals.

After the first year, he became a fussy eater. Once he joined pre-school, nutritious meals under my care became a thing of the past. The lunch boxes usually would return uneaten from the school and there would be forever complaints that he doesn’t like food.

At home, I made the kind of foods that he liked. He loves warm and less spicy food. By lunch time in school, it would have turned cold and he would refuse to eat it saying it is not tasty. As a result, I feared that his growth will suffer. Then I began to send curd rice or boiled vegetables, pulses, grams which he liked to eat. This kind of began to balance the nutrition requirements.

It is paramount that children should catch up on growth. Thus we introduced him to health drinks. The only health drink he liked was Horlicks. The favorite flavor was chocolate.

His pediatrician informs us that his weight and height is in line with the established standards. Many parents are recommending Horlicks Growth+ to me. I want to try it as Horlicks is a trusted brand since generations. I used to love my glass of Horlicks. I even used to eat it directly from the bottle. To eat it stealthily away from the eyes of my eagle-eyed parents was bliss.

Horlicks Growth+ has been designed and tested by experts and is proven to increase height & weight in 6 months1. In fact, this balanced nutritional supplement has been developed to optimize growth without causing obesity in children.

To find out whether your child is meeting his/her growth milestones, visit the website https://growthplus.horlicks.in/




Friday, July 8, 2016

The Rendezvous

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My heart was racing when I entered the pub. I didn’t even like this place. But I had left it to him. After all, it was his treat. My first love. The man who still lived in that tiny empty corner of my heart.
We were meeting after 20 years. Both of us had decided to make this our first meeting. No online snooping to find out how we looked now. That was the deal.
The years that had flown had put a distance more than the oceans that separated us geographically. Years that had seen unhappy marriages and painful divorces for the both of us.
Then last week he had called, a common friend had given him my number. I had promised to meet him. He wanted another chance. He wanted to meet the woman I had turned into. This was his favorite haunt whenever he visited my town.

Yet, my gut was screaming at me to run. I entered the pub and glanced around. It didn’t take me long to recognize him.

God…what have you done to the handsome seventeen- year- old I fell in love with? That was my first thought when I saw the beer-bellied man with bloodshot eyes grinning at the bartender, flashing his tobacco stained teeth.

Sensing my presence, he looked at me and asked, "Rhea?”

“No, Sorry,” I mumbled. I didn’t want to know this person. I turned and rushed out.

 Faltering back to my car, I gave last rites to all those fond memories of him that I had cherished over the years.



Thursday, July 7, 2016

The Poison of Your Love


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Why do I feel so forlorn when I hear that you are 

continents away?

Why is the pit of dread in my stomach 
becoming unbearable by the second?

There is this thought, that little voice in 
the back of my head that tells me, 
you have forgotten me.

There exists no chord in the strings of
your heart that sings my name.

The ravages of time, 
the flight of memory has torn down
the resistance of that stubborn sinew.

You are not haunted by my name, 
you don't even realize how much 

that truth is tearing me apart
I loathe this teary existence, I grieve my
lost innocence. 


You have tainted my blood with the poison of your love.

Every second reminds me that I am losing

yet another day when I have failed to be near you.

The lantern of hope is now beginning to
smoke dark fumes, 

the love that kindled it, is long exhausted.
I know this and only this,

I can never be the same again, Without You.

Wednesday, July 6, 2016

The Wordle or the Word Cloud of The Lively Library


Today is day 6 of my Blog Marathon. I am doing a book spotlight today.

I am a bibliophile and books are my entire world. So when I hear that one of my favorite newbie writers is coming out with a young adult romance novella, that too about books, naturally I became excited. 



Niranjan Navalgund has a multifaceted persona. He is a young chess professional and derives great pleasure in learning about life through the game of chess. He is a former National U-17 Chess Champion and a Commonwealth Silver medalist in the U-18 Category. He has been conferred with ‘Indradhanushya’ (2007) ‘Giants International Award’ (2009), ‘Kreeda Ratna’ Award (2010) and ‘Belgaumite of the year’ Award (2012) for his achievements in the field of Chess. He is a lover of words and occasionally tries his hand at writing stories and poems. He believes that writing is a wonderful exercise for the soul. Being a bibliophile, he harbours a special interest in the New Age Philosophy. Unusual stories excite him. He hopes to visit the Panda Zoo, someday. Niranjan lives with his family in Belagavi.

Read his interview on this blog here.

So, about the book. The book is titled 'The Lively Library and an Unlikely Romance.' Interesting, right?



Blurb:

Unknown to Nayan, the library he inherits from his deceased father, is a mysterious place. Hiriya Halepu, Pu.Nayaka, Kapshi and and many others live there. They have a secret world with celebrations, romances, pangs of separation and conflicts. This is the Book-World. As two souls in this world fall in love, they encounter a strange predicament that separates them from each other. Things go from bad to worse when an unknown enemy sends a threat of destruction to this whole mysterious world. They call their resolute protector, Helmine, who unravels many unknown facets of this world, in an attempt to save it from the danger. The lovers struggle to find each other, and Helmine tries hard to decipher the threat messages. But will she be able to save this world from destruction? Will the two souls in love be united? There are no easy answers. Because this is no ordinary Library, this is the place where books come to life.

Now that you have got acquainted with the wordle or the Word Cloud of The Lively Library, let me give you links where you can know more about it. The book releases on July 9 on online stores and offline stores as well. The book is being published by Readomania, and that itself tells me that the book will be well edited.


Links: 

www.facebook.com/thelivelylibrary
www.twitter.com/lively_library
www.instagram.com/thelivelylibrary


All the best, Niranjan.


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