October 3, 2015

Going Away Or Staying In On This Long Weekend?

The long weekend. Mostly preceded by a mad dash of planning, not to mention packing, these three to four days off are like welcome raindrops on parched land. Every time one is around the corner, the world switches on to ticking off items from the bucket list mode. From vacations, outings, parties et al, a long weekend brings the much needed respite from this over speeding life you and I have gotten accustomed to.

What do I do on a long weekend?

Do I go on a trip to some picturesque locale? Or, do I just party with friends?

Sometimes I do both, while at times, neither of the two at all. Honestly, I have a strange affinity towards spending time at home and that's what I like best.

Right now sitting with my laptop as this page stares back at me I’m at holiday heaven. A few words here and there is all I have managed so far, but it still is strangely satisfying. There is a beautiful symphony playing at the background as I attempt to write. My neighbors too have retired after a night out, but I’m wide awake here. Awake, calm and completely at peace.

A quote, I came across, for you to devour.

“Il bel far niente means 'the beauty of doing nothing'... [it] has always been a cherished Italian ideal. The beauty of doing nothing is the goal of all your work, the final accomplishment for which you are most highly congratulated. The more exquisitely and delightfully you can do nothing, the higher your life's achievement. You don't necessarily need to be rich in order to experience this, either.” ― Elizabeth Gilbert, Eat, Pray, Love

Somehow this hit the right spot in me today. Therefore, tempting as those pictures of a bonfire by the beach look, I’m satisfied being at home on this long weekend. Sometimes it’s best to do nothing at all. Il bel far niente, yes.

Pleasant idleness. I mean, in this crazy life dictated by schedule sometimes not having any plan is the best plan of all. If I need to stick to an itinerary or schedule, there’s no point of a holiday, is there? Well, at least not always. Sometimes, just standing still is the way to be. Peace and quite are right here, within us. It’s not always hidden away in a far off location as you and I have been made to believe ever so often.

But, what was it that I wanted to say exactly?

Frankly, I have digressed and moved around in circles so much that I can hardly remember why I began this post in the first place. I don’t know, maybe I just wanted to say that it’s strangely satisfying to be able to whirl away time, to not jump at every tick of the clock. Maybe that finding yourself and the answers to life’s existential questions isn’t always about going away with a backpack. Sometimes it’s right there in front of you, in your humble abode. More so when you know your life is about to change, and in a big way too.

Sometimes, holding on to the remaining few moments of serenity, familiarity is the best thing to do. So, as this long weekend slips by I’ll probably just be idling away my time. I have always healed best at home. It is where I have always found the strength to overcome life's turmoils; the keys to life's puzzles just by introspecting in my own backyard. 

So, though I might not have the epiphany riding a bike in pristine Bali, one while reading a book in my balcony also works. Remember, going away isn't always the answer to life's existential crises, sometimes staying back is.

So, Il bel far niente you all!

Tell me, do you sometimes want to do nothing at all too?

How do you find yourself when stranded at crossroads in life?


Linking this to Friday Reflections, co-hosted by Janine Ripper and Mackenzie Glanville

Here are this weeks writing prompts if you would like to join in. Friday 2 October

What makes you feel beautiful?
Reflect upon a quote that has touched you this week, or perhaps one that made you laugh. - I chose this
What is your favourite childhood book?
What is your favourite book as an adult?
Share some advice on blogging.
Explain something you obsess over..

Also, linking to Write Tribe's #WYHO

Prompts: What 3 lessons did you learn from the person you admire very much and if you have incorporated this in your life, share your story with us.
Remember, Elizabeth Gilbert’s bestselling book ‘Eat, Pray, Love’? In case you haven’t read it, it tells the story of a woman who follows her heart to find what gives her happiness. Do you think that you too could leave your present life and go off to follow your heart. If so, where would it take you and what would you be looking for? - I chose this
Do you agree with this quote from Carolyn Wells : “Circumstances alter faces.” ?
Use these 6 words – alas, awake, dreadful, company, typical, lasting – creatively in your post. Underline the 6 words for us to see how you crafted your post.


October 1, 2015

Rumor Has It

Do you believe in rumors?

Should you believe in rumors?

You could throw a counter at me asking how you even distinguish a rumor from one which is not. Truth is, in today’s world especially, there’s no telling where a piece of new erupts from or what the true motive behind that actually is. Well, wisdom still dictates you ignore gossip to focus on the here and now, the truth supported by facts. Like half-baked knowledge, scarcity of intellect or framed notoriety often leads to smokes of speculation from non-existent fires of unsubstantiated reports. No, I’m not talking about politics here but keep reading.

Now, I don’t come from a planet far-far away, so like many of you out there, I too have fallen prey to hear-says. In fact, I have even reacted to some at times. But I’d like to believe, in fact I know that I have never fed the grapevine against someone. Unfortunately though, I have myself been at the receiving end of such scuttlebutts at several times. Destiny’s favorite child, I guess.

Tell me have there been rumors about you as well?

There must have been, maybe in school or college, perhaps even later?

I fail to understand the need which persuades folks to do this. Don’t people know that not all have the strength to refute rumors head on? They have been known to go absolutely wrong at times, causing irreparable damages. Not something to be toyed with, I’d say.

What have some of the strangest rumors about you been?

When S and I started going out in college our batch mates, for some strange reason, found it amusing to propagate rumors about us. To this day the inanity of some of those crack me up. But at that point, the humor wasn’t as clearly visible as probably today.

Remember that couple in college everyone loved to hate? Well, we were that couple. Truth be told, even today we don’t quite know the reason why. But I’m not here to analyze the whys of someone else’s irrationality. I’d like to believe they were envious to the point of loathing us because they lacked something, not us. We must have been doing something right, something different which begged their repugnance.

Why don’t I share some of those silly rumors with you?

If not anything else, you could at least spend some time laughing at their absurdity. So, here goes.

Just a few…

·         Rumor was: S and Naba are just faking it. They won’t even last a week.
Me: 9 years down the line we seem to be faking it quite well, don’t you think?
·         Rumor was: S and Naba are disciplined and reprimanded by the Principal at every student fest but they never learn.
Me: Getting caught has never been our style my friend.
·         Rumor was: S and Naba go to the private magazine section at the library but never read books there.
Me: Really? You couldn’t stoop any lower than that, could you?
·         Rumor was: S and Naba have finally split.
Me: Really? Nobody told us that?

I know it’s pointless to even write about these things but I just wanted to get it out of my system. I don’t know why they disliked us so much or what made them dislike us so much. We are not bad people, really.

What was ridiculous was they even had bets as to when we would split. Maybe S and I should have wagered on never and made some money out of it!

How do you react to rumors?

You might take it lightly at first, maybe even get angry at times but one day it starts to sting. And that’s not a great feeling at all.

S and I being together even now seems to have shut them up for good. What also helped was cutting most of them out of our lives. Yes, deciding to not have anything to do with them has helped us stay unaffected and happy. Why unnecessarily keep people who don’t think well of you in your lives? Though S still is in contact with some folks from college (he's kind that way), I have completely shut them off. Forgiving just doesn't seem to be my style, at least for unprovoked nastiness.

These sporadic episodes of rumors against us has taught me how you can be targeted for no apparent reason at all. It just depends on the whims and fancies of a few people. The rest just latch on and follow the herd.

Another thing to remember is you may not be judged by the same standards as others, so don’t be surprised when that happens. We were an unlikely couple in the eyes of my batch mates so maybe that pushed them to detest us. But then another so called unusual pairing was celebrated by the same bunch of people within the same span of time. So, bottom line is you can never really know. But if it happens, just remind yourself you don’t need to justify your choices to anyone, as long as you are not killing anyone that is! No, seriously, you don’t need permission to live your life the way you want to.

Well, that's all for now.

Before you go though, tell me, do you believe in rumors? 

Or, will you believe in rumors now?

September 28, 2015

99 Things I love

Reflecting on what you love is one of those sure shot ways of bringing that mischievous, evading smile back on to your lips. Don’t you agree?

Since blue seems to be the color of the day today, it being a Monday and all, I thought why not make a list of some of my absolute favorite things in the world. Actually, why not jot down 99 of my most favorite things in the world? Sounds good, doesn’t it?

Thanks to the Friday Reflections for coming up with this mood uplifting prompt actually. And what do you know I couldn’t have picked a better day to write on it as well, a Friday Reflections post on a Monday. So, here I go.

99 things I love

1.       My Family for being there for me always.
2.       Books – My journey and destination, et al.
3.       Blogging. Where would I be without it?
4.       Memories. They give me a foundation to build on.
5.       The burn marks on my thighs for they remind me how one sweet adversity brought S into my life.
6.       My parents for raising an independent woman in me.
7.       My country. It has its flaws, sure, but I can’t imagine being born anywhere else.
8.       My job. Yes, it helps me pay for everything and just about anything I want to do. My financial security blanket.
9.       Eating out. How much I love doing that!
10.   Marrying S. See I’m so good at making important decisions? Okay, back to being modest now.
11.   Germany for giving me some wonderful memories.
12.   Ginger Tea which makes my afternoons in the office bearable.
13.   Music. I get so much work done listening to music. It keeps me focused and drowns out the outside noise.
14.   Gossip sessions with my sister. She gets me like no one else does.
15.   Holiday in Paris, truly the city of lights.
16.   DurgaPuja with my family.
18.   My eccentricities. They make me unique, they make me Me.
19.   My home. Love that I have a space to call my own.
20.   Being blessed to be living in a part of the world which offers safety and security. Something that can't be taken lightly at all.
21.   Having had the opportunity to grow up in the north east of India, Shillong.
22.   That beinghurt by certain friends has made me stronger instead of vulnerable and weak.
23.   A clean home.
24.   My cook.
25.   My maid who makes life so much easier.
26.   Fish. Oh well, I’m a Bengali after all.
27.   Old blog posts, reading them I can connect with my past-self better.
28.   My iPhone. I feel lost without it.
29.   Twitter. It transforms the wallflower in me into a social butterfly without actually having to be one. Well, good or bad, I enjoy it thoroughly.
30.   My book shelf which makes me beam with pride at the sheer volume of titles I’ve read. But I’m not done yet!
31.   Bangalore weather. It’s just awesome.
32.   Switrzerland. So glad I was able to strike it off my To-Visit list!
33.   Being cooped up at home with S, doing nothing.
34.   Weekends with my sister, again, doing nothing.
35.   Being a friend rather than the strict elder sibling to my little sister. Of-course, she would rather call me the control freak who is also the voice in her head urging her to be careful always. But I love being that too.
36.   Acquaintances I have made through blogging. You have been more of a friend to me than those I’ve met in real life.
37.   Adam Levine.
38.   Thrillers. How much I love those!
39.   Benedict Cumberbatch in Sherlock. In fact, Benedict Cumberbatch in any form.
40.   French fires. Yes, who doesn’t love French fries?
41.   My collection of jeans.
42.   Binge watching our favorite television series with S.
43.   Margaritas. A girl’s got to drink after-all.
44.   Getting high on Sangria with my sister.
45.   Finishing a book within a day.
46.   Publishing a post. That feeling is indescribable.
47.   Reading the comments on my posts.
48.   Guwahati, for that’s where my parents live now.
49.   My love story. Oh yes!
50.   Peaceful holidays in Goa, South Goa to be precise.
51.   Taylor Swift. I just love her songs.
52.   Being lazy. If there was an award for the laziest person in the world, I would win that hands-down!
53.   Patishapta, sweet crepes, a Bengali dish.
54.   Food cooked by mom.
55.   My hair. Yes, I have grown to love it now.
56.   Hibiscus Flowers. They remind me of my grandmother for some reason.
57.   My laptop. How can I not love that?
58.   My ability to overhear things even if I’m not trying to do so.
59.   My afternoon naps on holidays.
60.   Evenings spent drinking with S and my sister.
61.   Barbecue nights.
62.   Sweet scents that bring back childhood memories.
63.   My first overseas travel to Australia, the experience of living alone in a country where I knew no one. Precious.
64.   Australian clients. Working with them is so convenient. I’m mostly free after 1 in the afternoon. How cool is that?
65.   My washing machine. Yes, I don’t know what I would have done without it.
66.   Songs sung by Kishore Kumar, among my absolute favorites. He has sung a song for every mood.
67.   S in front of whom I can be vulnerable. I can fight the entire world, put up a brave face and not reveal my fears in front of anyone knowing fulling well that I have him for that.
68.   Coriander Chutney, I just love it.
69.   Homemade chicken curry.
70.   Sizzlers.
71.   That I can eat lots of rice and still not put on weight. Touch wood!
72.   Cakes on birthdays.
73.   That I can make a list and you have the patience to go through it. Thank You!
74.   My low tolerance for pseudo-intellectuals.
75.   That I neither borrow nor lend and try to manage my personal finance myself.
76.   Shopping alone. It's therapeutic too.
77.   Being able to be something more than just an engineer.
78.   Being a woman. There’s so much to us, isn’t there?
79.   Good clothes. Who doesn’t love good clothes?
80.   That I’m a feminist and proudly proclaim it, that I don’t stay on the sidelines on such an important issue.
81.   Free-lance work that comes my way thanks to my blog.
82.   Boiled Eggs. Yes, well, I do love food!
83.   Beach holidays. When will I be able to go for the next one?
84.   Restaurant hopping with S.
85.   Winters. My favorite season of all. 
86.   Playing in the snow.
87.   Perfumes. I love my collection. Someday I’ll do a post on that too.
88.   Internet. It is obvious why, isn’t it?
89.   Ordering just about anything online. It saves so much time and effort.
90.   My Kindle.
91.   My collection of silk sarees; all gifted by mom.
92.   Rice. I cannot live without rice.
93.   Stoles. I love collecting and wearing stoles.
94.   River cruises, especially those in Amsterdam and Paris.
95.   Dipping cakes and biscuits in tea and eating them. Yes, I’m weird that way.
96.   Pineapples. I don't really like any other fruit.
97.   Game Of Thrones, Orphan Black and How To Get Away With Murder. Watch these to know why!
98.   Mauritius. I think it is one of the most beautiful places in the world.
99.   Almost a decade of being together with S. The transition from college sweethearts to a married couple. We have so much to see together. I love the adventure we are on.

Wow! Looks like I made the list? It wasn't easy, I must say.

Thinking of 99 things that you love is not a piece of cake, not at all. I never thought I could actually come up with 99 things but look I did.

Tell me about a few things that would be on your list. And do we have anything in common?


Linking this to Friday Reflections, co-hosted by Janine Ripper and Mackenzie Glanville.


Also, linking to #MondayMusings & #MicroblogMondays

September 27, 2015

Should You Trust People Easily? #WYHO

What comes to your mind when you read the word trust

While you contemplate on this, why don't I tell you what comes to mine?

Have enough courage to trust love one more time and always one more time. ~ Maya Angelou

The glue that holds all relationships together, including the relationship between the leader and the led, is trust, and trust is based on integrity. ~ Brian Tracy

Trust like a mirror, if broken, can't be mended.

Trust, if lost once, is gone forever. Think of it as those lasting ugly holes made by nails which linger even if you remove, well, the nails.

Trust is like blood pressure. It's silent, vital to good health, and if abused it can be deadly. ~ Frank Sonnenberg

If you read carefully, you'll perhaps notice the common undertone in everything I have jotted down above. Yes, and that is, trust once gone is lost forever. Or, you could also say 

Trust, like the soul, never returns once it is gone. ~ Publilius Syrus

There was a time when trust was something I placed on people, even strangers, quite easily. You could say I was naive and I agree, I was. As years passed, I came in contact with more and more people to realize trust is one thing that needs to be guarded fiercely. I learnt somewhere in the course of life's mundane activities that trust is just too precious to be entrusted without thorough reflection.

Experience, of any kind, always teaches you something worthwhile. The bad memories and the bitter aftertaste some acquaintances left, helped me understand the fundamentals of trust. It's just too valuable to be given to everyone, or anyone. 

Only a handful of people in life are worthy of protecting something as rare as trust; your immediate family, your partner and maybe if you are lucky enough, a few friends too. I'd say if you wish to protect your fragile heart from being stomped on repeatedly, you need to gauge, analyse and decide who is worthy of your faith.

You could say it is good to have difficulty in trusting people rather than suffering the aftermath of your carefully placed trust being shredded to millions of pieces. Don't you think?

Now, enough about what I think, why don't you go ahead and share your views on trust?


The prompts were: 

What sounds do you work to? 
If you could have any two famous people as parents who would you choose and why? 
Write about a very special birthday of yours. 
Write a story or a piece of non-fiction inspired by this quote: 
“Trust, like the soul, never returns once it is gone.” ~ Publilius Syrus - I picked this!

You could join too, just write your post/s based on the prompt/s, and link here

September 26, 2015

How I Manage My Personal Finance in 4 Easy Steps

Benjamin Franklin said a penny saved is a penny earned. I agree. Though it is said that money can’t buy happiness, you can’t deny it still unlocks the doors to a decent life. It can be that solid helping hand when you are in dire straits. Thus, you really don’t need to be told how important that statement is, do you? From the moment I held my very first pay cheque I realized earning money is just one part of the process. Today, I want to talk about what I believe works for me, about how I manage this rather complicated aspect of life fairly easily. 

So, head over to Money View's blog here and read what I have to say.

Would love to hear your thoughts as well.

September 23, 2015

Still Not Off The Beaten Path Eh?

What do you want to be when you grow up? Of the million questions you are bombarded with as a child, this is probably the most asked. I had no clue what to say every time someone threw that at me. Honestly, I was too busy going through the motions of everyday life to actually stop and think about what I wanted to be. No, I wasn’t doing anything which every other kid my age wasn’t doing. I just never made the effort to think, to really ask myself the question. And what do you know, like every other Tom, Dick and Harry of my generation, I too ended up being an Engineer.

Somewhere deep down I knew that was the path I would eventually end up taking. It made sense at that point in time too; after all my father is an Engineer so I might as well be one I thought. Honestly, back then I failed to realize how important a decision this was. And it cost me, this naivety or inanity call what you may. Or, did it really? 

At a time when I could have gone off the beaten path, I simply ended up following the herd. I let my parents decide for me because I had absolutely no idea about anything. And why not since, up until that point in time, I had relied on them for everything. With them I knew nothing could go wrong. They were my safest bet. I was also wary of making the effort to test the waters, doing something entirely different so to speak. So here I am today working as a Software Engineer in a reputed company, a company I don’t really like much. But that’s a story for another day.

As a child what you aspire to be seems to be on every person's agenda, something they really want to find out about you. But once you eventually grow up, nobody even bothers asking if you are satisfied being what you have finally become. Nobody cares if you are happy being what you are today. Right now, sitting and typing this in my cubicle, I wonder if the person next to me really wanted to end up here. Or, like me he too just followed a sequence of events laid out on an overused path?

No, I didn’t take a detour or followed a path less frequented. Am I better off? I don’t know. Who knows what could have been? I do know this though, that I am happy being where I am and with what I have. Do I want more? Well, sure. Who doesn’t? But the key word here is happy and that has to count. I might not like my place of work but I hear that’s a given in any field.

Yes, perhaps what I do for a living isn’t my passion. I mean testing if someone in Australia gets his smart meters connected properly doesn’t really excite me or make so much of a difference. But it’s alright. It could have been worse.

It took me some time but I have found love in writing. So, maybe I didn’t take up creative writing or literature to major while in college but that shouldn’t stop me, should it? I do recommend people taking the path less trodden because that’s how we evolve. But I think it’s okay to not do so as well. Contentment is more important I think. What I don’t find doing what I do as a software engineer, I make sure I find while writing and vice-versa. All in all, a good trade-off between the two.

What do you say? Is it so bad if you don’t go off the beaten path?


Linking this to Write or Die Wednesdays hosted by Vashelle of Shelly’s Cabaret and Mia of The Chronicles of Chaos.

Prompt for this week is:

Write or Die Wednesdays

September 21, 2015

Is Being Mindful Only About The Present? #MondayMusings

The other day I came across an article on mindfulness in the papers which, well, talked about the benefits of living in the present. Accepting and acknowledging our present ensures a tomorrow with both our past and future in harmony. The piece basically conveyed this idea. It was a good read and even made sense to me to a certain extent. But there were parts of it which bugged me. One being the difficulty in achieving this state of being. How does one concentrate only in the present without thinking about the past or worrying about the future? Is living in the moment, in the present so to speak, so easy?

“If you want to conquer the anxiety of life, live in the moment, live in the breath.” ― Amit Ray

Haven’t we all been taught to learn from the past? Now for doing so, don’t we have to keep the past within reach? Yes, not live in it certainly but not turn our backs to it either. History, for example, teaches us so much. Why do we study it, chronicle it? Is it not to go back in times of crisis to employ lessons, sidestepping mistakes already committed by humanity?

“Study the past if you would define the future.” ― Confucius

About the future, well, isn’t planning for it absolutely imperative to leading a life full of awareness? Life’s air bags for those horrible accidents, if and when they occur, are absolute musts. I cannot find one activity that we engage in which doesn’t involve an outlook for the future. Being far sighted and planning for those rainy days are considered preconditions to a good life, aren't they?

“When you do the things in the present that you can see, you are shaping the future that you are yet to see.” ― Idowu Koyenikan

So, how can we be mindful yet at the same time keep the past and future in view, for apparently, and from experience, that is needed too? It could be that I’m completely off the mark here. But we can’t drive without a rear-view mirror or without the visibility of what lies ahead, can we?

What is mindfulness really?

Is it only about the present?

How do we strike a balance between the past, the present and the future?


I'm so happy to co-host #MondayMusings with Corinne this week, someone from whom I have learnt a lot not only about blogging but about life too. Yes, her writings are such.

Join us by writing a #MondayMusings post on your blog. Just share your thoughts with us – happy, sad, philosophical, ‘silly’ even. Use the hashtag #MondayMusings and then add your link here. Do remember to visit the other blogs linked here and begin by reading the #MondayMusings on Write Tribe. We would love to read your thoughts.

September 20, 2015

Compassion or Lip Service? #1000Speak

Have you noticed how much the world has spoken about compassion in the past month or so? More than usual by any standard I should say. Strange how one event, one catastrophe can bring us out of this perpetual limbo of apathy. Yes, one that we often seem to be trapped in. 

But do you know what bothers me about all this? It is how we pick and choose between tragedies. How we decide to turn on this button of sympathy for one calamity as opposed to the other. I'm not saying I'm any different, or I'm a cut above the rest when it comes to doing the right thing, certainly not. But that's not to say it doesn't worry me.

What happened to Aylan, it definitely needs to be talked about. It's a black mark on our conscience. But what took us so long to wake up? This wasn't the first instance, was it? Millions and millions of children have died in war torn regions around the world for years now. And still continue to die. So, how can we choose one Aylan above another?

Closer home I see people gungho about conflicts and humanitarian crisis on distant shores, which is good. But what about the problems in our own backyard? Why turn the blind eye there? Honestly, I feel we are compassionate only to the degree of convenience. Bitter but true.

I don't have the answer to India's problems or the world's problems at large. I'm not qualified for that. But if I were to look at things objectively and as per my capacity, I'd say I do whatever humanely and practically possible, however small the reach. Maybe solving these trifles around me would eventually build up a bigger change?

Honestly, I feel we are compassionate only to the degree of convenience.

If I be honest with myself then I don't have the means or the resources to affect a big change on my own. But there are still ways in which I could touch the lives of some. It could be through compassion for the maid who comes in early every morning to help me. Donating when I can, to charities or causes that tug at my heart's strings. I could stop judging people for a change and see the positives in them. Teach the future generation, whenever I can, to differentiate right from wrong. Lend a patient ear to the elderly perhaps? Basically be honestly compassionate and not do it just for the heck of it.

It all boils down to being honest with our take on compassion. How you do it is entirely up to you. But bear in mind, only lip service won't change anything in the world. And that certainly isn't compassion.

Think about it. Is your compassion just a lip service or do you really care?


This post is for the #1000Speak on Compassion. The linky opens this 19th September and is open till 21st September. Do join in if you can and only if you honestly feel about it.