Thursday, August 24, 2017

Read, Write and Monetize with Bonobology



 Bonobology.com  right now is probably India's only website dedicated to documenting couple relationships as they exist among Indian couples globally.

They feature stories on various aspects of coupledom covering almost every possible facet of romantic relationships. Married life, divorce, love, cheating, humour in relationships, cheating, jealousy, struggles in relationships, being single, dating, loss of a partner, breakups, spirituality, sex and passion, LGBTQ and more. 

Today, economic, social and cultural landscapes are changing such that urban Indians are not always able to seek advice from their parents or even friends on their altered relationship dynamics. 

At Bonobology.com they have a diverse panel of experts (counsellors, life coaches, lawyers, sexologists...) from whom, thier readers can take advice (free of charge) on their relationship problems by simply writing in to us. 

Their thriving Community Discussion section is the space that their authors and readers use to discuss issues or seek answers from others in the Bonobology community. 

Their Blog section is very popular. They solicit write ups from writers and bloggers who wants to share their two cents on relationships. If you are interested to contribute, you can write to them. Get published, get read and earn while doing it.

They are looking for non-fiction experiences and personal narratives. You can change names/scenario to protect privacy (of the people involved).

 They don’t accept fiction, poems or opinion pieces. They include photographs of those quoted. Works should be previously unpublished and written exclusively for Bonobology.



The content should broadly fall under the following categories:
  1. Being Single/ Dating
  2. Love/ Romance/ Friendship
  3. Live-in & Open Relationships
  4. LGBT
  5. Marriage
  6. Sex and Passion
  7. Affair
  8. Emotional Scars and Struggles
  9. Divorce/ Break-up & Loss
  10. Spirituality/ Mythology
  11. Celebrity Speak
  12. Expert Speak


They also have begun a weekly contest - the winner gets a 1000 Rs. gift voucher from Amazon. 

Writers (and readers) can WhatsApp their full names to their mobile number+91 98250 27649 and get registered with them and get their contest alerts!

Know more about Bonobology from this video 






Check out some of the articles featured that you might like:






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Tuesday, August 22, 2017

In Pursuit of Ancient Wisdom

From childhood, I have often had this thought. What would happen if one fine day every single amenity and technology disappeared from our lives? Or just got destroyed? Maybe in a cataclysmic event like a nuclear war? Can anyone of us survive such an event?

Perhaps the only ones who will survive are the tribal people, the hunter-gatherers. These people would then have tales to tell about this one magnificent set of human beings who could travel via air, water and even travel to other planets. The ones among us who survive would try their best to preserve what they had learned so that our future generations could benefit from it.

I think such an event has happened some time in earth’s history already. Do you wonder what makes me think so?

 I am a civil engineer and I am awed by the structures constructed by the Pharaohs, the Greeks, and the ancient Indians. We find so many mysterious, enormous and magnificent megalithic structures spread all over the world that baffle modern architects.

If we dive through the archives of ancient knowledge, we find so many statements which were considered as superstitions. Modern science is now accepting many of them as truths.

In every religion around the world, we have flood myths. About a devastating flood which destroyed the world as it was from which only a handful survived. That these people conserved whatever they could manage and gave birth to a new civilization.

Our epics, Ramayana and Mahabharata talk about interplanetary travel, wars fought in the skies and advanced medical skills like immortality and plastic surgery. Plato talks about the Atlantis which was struck down by the Gods because it was defying the rules of God by playing around with his creation. The Atlantis was submerged in the ocean. So was Dwaraka.

Are these really the products of a highly imaginative writer or a story teller?

I don’t think so.

Have we lost an entire civilization, which was technologically advanced, to some cataclysmic event?

The idea for this post was triggered by many things. The first was a visit to Belur-Halebidu temples which are amazing creations by the ancients.


Belur Chennakesava Temple (Image Source)

 Built in the 12th century, the beauty and intricacy of the carvings done on rock are unbelievable. Even today, with the latest technologies, it would be nearly impossible to achieve such perfection. They are not as ancient compared to many other structures elsewhere in the world, but somewhere in the stories scribbled in those statues, a lost legacy pleads for attention.
The second was Vedic mathematics. Mathematics always fascinated me, but I was never good at mental mathematics. I rely heavily on my calculator. Recently I came to know about Vedic mathematics. The many tips and tricks make calculations easy-peasy.

The third was Ayurveda. Miracle cures done using Ayurveda baffles modern science. Again, something which has roots somewhere in the Vedic period.

Many historians believe the Vedic period had a scientifically, culturally and medically advanced civilization. What happened to those technological advancements?

The flood myths answer all that and more.  

Maybe instead of dismissing our scriptures and epics as products of a highly imaginative mind or just as belonging to a specific religion, we should dive through them searching for lost knowledge.




The fourth and most impactful one was Graham Hancock, whose documentaries search for lost civilizations of the past. They make me believe that some cataclysmic event in the past of earth’s history, forced man to start everything from scratch.

Graham Hancock believes an advanced human civilization existed all over the earth some eleven thousand years ago. A meteor crashing onto the north American ice-plates caused the ocean water levels to increase and plunged the world into an icy darkness.  Some of the brilliant minds that survived that horrific event tried to preserve knowledge in whatever way they could, yet most of it got lost somewhere in the race to just survive in a suddenly wild and untamed earth.

Recent archeological discoveries proving that such a civilization did exist. In Turkey a huge ancient temple, Gobekli Tepe has been discovered which is 11600 years old. In Gunung Padang in Indonesia a 22000 year old pyramid has been discovered. We all know the ruins of the ancient city of Dwaraka has been found submerged in the ocean.

Can we now really be so arrogant to ignore archaeological marvels, ancient knowledge from the past and wait for science to prove our scriptures true?

Or should we start believing in what our Vedas and other ancient books of wisdom preach?

What is your take on this?







  
Indian Bloggers

Monday, August 14, 2017

The Cheerleader



I had dreamt about this day since high school. Dressed in white, walking down the aisle towards Richard.

Yet, nothing about today resembled my dreams. My father was not around to walk me down the aisle nor was I able to walk. I had lost both in a car accident a year ago.

Richard deserved a better wife. After all, he was a successful tennis star.

Someone patted on my shoulder. I turned around on my wheelchair and faced Taylor, my elder brother.

“It is time, Lara. Richard asked me to give you this.” Taylor slipped a note into my hands.

Don’t keep me waiting, sweetheart.
I have waited a lifetime for you. Come to me.
Won’t you be my cheerleader forever?

Only yours,
Richard

I wiped the tears that had flowed out and allowed Taylor to lead me out of the room.

I couldn’t ever refuse to be Richard’s cheerleader.

(150 words)


This post is part of #FridayFotoFiction by Tina and Mayuri

Friday, August 11, 2017

Weekend Reads: Best in Self-Help

This week, I am recommending four self- help books which influenced and changed my outlook towards life. These are my 'go to' books when I need some inspiration.



If you haven't read these books, I want you to check them out.

THE SECRET by RHONDA BYRNE



Regarded as a life-changing read for many readers, The Secret by Rhonda Byrne is a self-help book that embarks to motivate the reader about a universal paradigm about the success that can be achieved though it remains hidden for most people. The book explores about unveiling this little secret which may transform how people look at things and lead them on to the road of success and true happiness.

According to the author, the book makes proper use of the 'law of attraction’ and shows how positive thinking can open a treasure trove of bountiful happiness, health and wealth. The book posits the law of attraction as a primeval law that completes the law of the universe (as well of our lives) through the process 'like attracts like’. The author is also of the view that as people think-and-feel, so do they send a corresponding frequency to the universe that in turn attracts events and circumstances of the same frequency. Hence, if one is always able to think positive and think right, naturally, one will obtain the best results always. In all this argument, however, there is no scientific basis for the views expressed as to how such 'attraction' affect the biological and physical processes of the body.

What I liked:
This book was an eye opener for me. I started analyzing my thoughts and life experiences after reading this. Whatever success I have achieved in my life, the harbinger of it all was this book.

Recommended for all those who want to give their life a complete makeover.

THE GIFTS OF IMPERFECTION by BRENE BROWN




New York Times best-selling author and professor Brené Brown offers a powerful and inspiring book that explores how to cultivate the courage, compassion, and connection to embrace your imperfections and to recognize that you are enough.

Each day we face a barrage of images and messages from society and the media telling us who, what, and how we should be. We are led to believe that if we could only look perfect and lead perfect lives, we'd no longer feel inadequate. So most of us perform, please, and perfect, all the while thinking, What if I can't keep all of these balls in the air? Why isn't everyone else working harder and living up to my expectations? What will people think if I fail or give up? When can I stop proving myself?

In The Gifts of Imperfection, Bren頂rown, PhD, a leading expert on shame, authenticity, and belonging, shares what she's learned from a decade of research on the power of Wholehearted Living--a way of engaging with the world from a place of worthiness.In her ten guideposts, Brown engages our minds, hearts, and spirits as she explores how we can cultivate the courage, compassion, and connection to wake up in the morning and think, No matter what gets done and how much is left undone, I am enough, and to go to bed at night thinking, Yes, I am sometimes afraid, but I am also brave. And, yes, I am imperfect and vulnerable, but that doesn't change the truth that I am worthy of love and belonging.

What I liked:
I was impressed by the lessons, the examples and the general tone of inspiration and upliftment.
I have bookmarked certain guideposts that I would read again for sure as they were truly inspirational.
Recommended for all those who want to live a brave and alive creative life.

BIG MAGIC by ELIZABETH GILBERT





Readers of all ages and walks of life have drawn inspiration and empowerment from Elizabeth Gilbert’s books for years. Now this beloved author digs deep into her own generative process to share her wisdom and unique perspective about creativity. With profound empathy and radiant generosity, she offers potent insights into the mysterious nature of inspiration. She asks us to embrace our curiosity and let go of needless suffering. She shows us how to tackle what we most love, and how to face down what we most fear. She discusses the attitudes, approaches, and habits we need in order to live our most creative lives. 

Balancing between soulful spirituality and cheerful pragmatism, Gilbert encourages us to uncover the “strange jewels” that are hidden within each of us. Whether we are looking to write a book, make art, find new ways to address challenges in our work,  embark on a dream long deferred, or simply infuse our everyday lives with more mindfulness and passion, Big Magic cracks open a world of wonder and joy.

What I liked:

Every chapter had a lesson for me. Every line resonated and came at the right moment when I needed to hear it. I read this book one chapter at a time. Sometimes going back and re-reading some portions. This book is going to remain on my bedside table so that I can reach out for it anytime I feel a bit down. 

A must read for every creative.



YOU CAN HEAL YOUR LIFE by LOUISE L HAY







This New York Times Bestseller has sold over 30 million copies worldwide. Louise L. Hay, bestselling author, is an internationally known leader in the self-help field. Her key message is: "If we are willing to do the mental work, almost anything can be healed."

The author has a great deal of experience and firsthand information to share about healing, including how she cured herself after being diagnosed with cancer.

What I liked:


This is one book that I am asked to consult every now and then by my friends and family alike. Tell me what is the affirmation for curing 'XYZ' ailment. Tell me what is the emotional cause of ABC. I get asked such questions and I consult the book immediately. This my healing handbook.


Consult this book to heal every aspect of your life, including relationships, career, and health.


Hope you liked this week's recommendations.
What is your favorite self-help book?
Do tell me in the comments.


Wednesday, August 9, 2017

Book Excerpt: Shadow in the Mirror by Deepti Menon



Excerpt:

The door opened and her aunt bustled in. An air of expectation hung about her, tempered by an aura of anxiety that surprised Kavita. “Kavita, child, please don’t let your heart rule your head!”

 Her aunt seemed to be actually pleading with her. Kavita nodded mechanically as she looked at the older woman’s lined face. Wasn’t this her future being decided? 

“I will not make any compromises, whatever Aunty says!” she said to herself, but at the moment it was easier to concede to her. 

One last look at the mirror, the smoothening down of an unruly curl that kissed her flawless profile, and then she waited in impatience for the summons. The minutes went by, dragging their feet, emphasized by the ticking of the clock. Or was it actually the beating of her heart?

Finally, her aunt led her towards the drawing room, tea tray in hand, as her uncle’s voice could be heard making conversation. As she glided in, she was aware of many eyes devouring her, and she was satisfied with a deep indrawn breath which signified that she had made an impact upon them. She walked gracefully across the room, placed the tray on the centre table and sat down demurely, as her aunt had ordered her to do, even though she was longing to burst into giggles, as her mind went back to all that she had once told Vaishali. Her eyes moved around of their own volition furtively, searching for the ‘boy’ who had come to see her.

There was a moment’s silence, as glances were exchanged. Kavita had taken a complete survey of the room. She did not see the man of her dreams anywhere. Instead, she saw a mousy little man with a hint of buckteeth… surely this could not be Shekhar! She glanced around frantically, but none of the others could be termed bridegroom material for they were all rather ancient. The women seemed younger but she wasn’t even looking at them. 

“This could not be Shekhar!” Oh, no, her heart cried out in anguish. Where was her dashing Shadow Prince?

 She jerked back as one old gentleman asked her a question, and she replied to all the queries dully, till she could stand it no more. There was a dreadful ringing inside her head, and she felt the earth spinning around as the familiar tinkle of glass assailed her, and she stood up with a jerk, swaying on her feet! Varying expressions of surprise ran across their faces as she fled from the room, a nasal voice haunting her very being, a voice that could only be Shekhar’s!

Safe in her room, she lay on her bed, her beautiful sari wilted, and stared dry-eyed at the ceiling. Her dreams had come crashing down like a house of cards, all in a moment. Her aunt came rushing in, excited and vociferous. She had taken Kavita’s flight as the bashfulness of a young girl at the sight of her suitor. She had assured the visitors that she would be back in a moment, and her voice shook with excitement.

 “So how do you like him?”



About the Author:



Deepti Menon is the author of two books, ‘Arms and the
Woman’ and ‘Deeparadhana’. She has worked as a
journalist for several publications and is now a freelance
editor. Short stories with deft twists and tongue-in-cheek
articles that tickle the funny bone are her forte. Deepti
lives with her family in Chennai.


Availability: The book has been published by Readomania and is available on Amazon.in and in major bookshops, like Starmark and Odyssey. 


Genre: Psychological thriller. 

Editor: Dipankar Mukherjee - Email: dipankar dot mukherjee at readomania dot com


Saturday, August 5, 2017

Weekend Reading Suggestions: Week 1

I am a bibliophile and these days I am on a reading spree.
This week, I am starting a new series on my blog called Weekend Reading Suggestions. These are the books that impressed me in more ways than one. I am sure they won't disappoint you.

So what do I have for you this week?




The Prince's Special Bride by Devika Fernando:


Blurb: Marie doesn’t believe in fairytales and needs no handsome prince to rescue her from misery – but everything changes when she falls in love with Crown Prince Christian of Taragonia. When his sister invites Marie to the palace, their lives collide and leave them both fighting their forbidden attraction.

Prince Christian has no place in his life for love or for a woman who doesn’t fit into the royal scheme of things. But vivacious Marie steals his heart and puts all he has lived for at stake. When the media gets wind of their affair, he has to make a difficult decision.

Will the unlikely couple have a chance at a happy ending?

What I liked most?

 Devika Fernando's vivid writing style won my heart. Marie and Christian seemed like two real persons. I want to meet them. (Devika Fernando, is it possible?)

The Mahabharata Secret by Christopher C Doyle:



Blurb:
It is a thriller novel that revolves around mythology, science, religion and terrorism. The story-line takes the readers all the way back to ancient times in 244 B.C., where Emperor Ashoka the Great discovers a dark secret of the great Mahabharata. The secret is so dangerous that it could cause massive destruction to mankind if falls into wrong hands.


For 2300 years the secret remained hidden to save the world from untold horror. Hence, to save the secret, Ashoka forms a group of people called 'Nine’ and gave them oath to protect the secret even on price of their lives.

Suddenly the story comes to the present, where a retired nuclear scientist, Vikram Singh is murdered in a mysterious way. Before his strange death, Vikram has sent few e-mails with cryptic clues to his nephew, Vijay. These clues further lead Vijay and his friends to unlock the secret in his uncle’s message. Throughout the story, Vijay along with his friends is racing against time while solving the mystery behind his uncle’s death and the message Vikram left before his demise.

What I liked most?

 The various fictional and mysterious things about epic Mahabharata while going through the series of adventures in the book. Combining past and present, the book kept me glued to it till I finished it.


Trouble Has a New Name by Adite Banerjee






Blurb: Will you pretend to be my fiancé for the next few days? Recently single model Rayna Dutt does not feel like flying to her friend's big fat Indian wedding. But she does and when a mix-up with room allocation forces her to share a luxury villa on Emerald Isle with the gorgeous owner of the hotel Neel Arora, best man at the wedding, things begin to look up. Until Rayna's ex turns up with a new girl on his arm! Hitting the panic button, Rayna searches for a solution. Surely Neel wouldn't mind being her fake fiancé…? In an instant the attraction they share is at fever-pitch, but when scandal comes calling Rayna soon finds herself in more trouble than she can handle!

What I liked most? 


Adite Banerjee effortlessly made me fall in love with the protagonist Neel. And I had a bookish hangover for days. And I am saving to go for a long holiday to Neel's place.

 Perfect Weekend Read!


Abhaya by Saiswaroopa Iyer:


Blurb: A tale set in the times of Mahabharata. An assertive and idealistic Princess Abhaya meets the enigmatic Krishna Vaasudeva. A bereaved Dhatri, pursued by her own family is saved by Lord Bhauma. When subverted religion becomes a tool in the hands of power thirsty and strikes Bharatavarsha, the land of Aryas, Abhaya finds herself face to face with the impending doom.

"Can we combat the fear with faith? Can we keep our faith undeterred when the last traces of hope melt away? Can we receive blame and adulation, accept them and yet not give in to them?"

What I liked most?

Saiswaroopa has a way of taking you on a time travel to the era when the flute of Krishna made Gopis swoon and the arrogant warriors didn't flinch while they ended the lives of unsuspecting innocents. Action packed and completely entertaining.

The Adventures of Ernie Fish by Sudesna Ghosh:


Blurb: Say hello to Ernie Fish, the famous cat expert and his two cats Giri and Garby. And there's a dog too. Join them on their adventures as Ernie Fish's own cats prove his theories wrong, give him advice, and even sing! Every short story in this collection is full of meow.

What I liked most?

It is a hilarious weekend read for both children and their parents. If you love cats, you are in for a treat. The book has some very cute cat pictures.


P.S: Except for the first book and the third book in today's suggestions, all the books are available on Kindle Unlimited. It means you can read them for free by subscribing to Kindle Unlimited.
If you want to know why Kindle Unlimited is a good idea, read this post.

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