June 5, 2011

My Participation in the 'What Does Real Beauty Mean to You'? Do Vote!

Do visit my latest post on 'Beauty, As I See It..' at Rivera's Flame and Ice ; my poetry blog and vote for me.
This post has been written unceremoniously for Yahoo! India and Dove "I Believe in Real Beauty" under the topic "What does real beauty mean to me?"

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May 24, 2011

Edge of Experience, During Recession

I am currently on a sabbatical and when thinking about what to write about, for my blog on reflections; one point strikes me. Now that am not working and for the fact that this is just temporary, I thought what if I had lost my job and not actually left it. What about those who unexpectedly have to face the terror of losing jobs with least experience, and then battle on for sometime until they reach a point of saturation in job hunting. Here are my thoughts about this scenario.

Jobs are lost during recession and even the most seasoned workers find themselves waiting in queues to compete for temporary assignments. Existing skills and experience can, however, offer a considerable advantage, if leveraged properly. Not all work sectors are hit by recession and some might be in search of these professionals. Banking for instance, is a fairly stable field and can source them high pay and abundant managerial or technical experience.

So, how would the experienced tap jobs during recession?

  • Use their core abilities in language, numeracy, and communication, as it translates well across varied fields, allowing them to make immediate shifts.

  • Demonstrate their strong foundational, primary skills and the hiring company may provide hands-on training to acquire more specific job skills, as required. 

  • Undertake apprenticeships, from where they can gain special skills. They need to think beyond their defined field of specialization and acquire additional domain knowledge for a better profile. 

  • Use their communication skills, project and sales management skills, and knowledge of basic technical packages, to source better opportunities. 

  • Showcase their capabilities using social media networks like LinkedIn, for employers to have a review of their candidature. They must exhibit their attitude to tackle challenges, promote team spirit, manage resources and projects, and ensure consistency in quality through these profiles.

  • Work at start-ups, fast growing midsized companies, or governmental agencies where they might be of demand. Employers prefer these resources working as consultants or freelancers, due to low training cost, ready made skills and expertise, consistency in quality, and immediate solutions to problems.
Experienced people can focus their efforts on companies that foresee fast growth and where their skills can escalate the business growth. No matter how bad the economy is, these kinds of companies will definitely reach for the experienced resources.

Quote for the day:

"Hunger is not the worst feature of unemployment; idleness is.  ~William E. Barrett"

May 14, 2011

Youth in Politics Today

I know it’s been a while since I penned on this blog. I have now realized the need for a comeback and here is my first post after a yearlong rejuvenation phase. I pondered what to write about and was lost in thoughts. A simple status post on my Facebook page triggered my thought on what to write. ‘Politics’ or ‘an easy way to make big’ has been in talk for a while now.

In my state of India, a small country in the Asian continent, politics always has for the last 60 or so years, and will continue to play a major diplomatic role in the running of the country routines. Here, democracy is not run by the will of the public but by the rewards that political parties present to them. Whichever party provides the majority of freebies to the democratic clan, they are in play to be chosen for running the Government the next year. India has around 26 states and each have around 5-6 political parties competing within them.

The party I favored the most, lost in my state area elections and so a bit of frustration showed up on my Tweets and Facebook statuses. The response I got for this status message is what made me pen this post. Hope this post makes you ponder too and even probably change your plans of your current career options.

In India (where young people form the largest voting bloc), issues that the youth consider relevant seems to be raised only during elections when older politicians want their ballots filled. Unfortunately, none of the country's younger leaders come from a non-political background, so they are essentially the children of "politics as usual.

Those young people who are "outsiders" who do try to become involved in government tend to become disillusioned quickly. The bulk of India's youth simply do not participate in the political process because they are preoccupied with their jobs and lives, and are satisfied with, or willing to put up with, the status quo.

For their part, the elders already in office assume the youth are not equipped to participate in the nation's governance and thus do not create adequate opportunities for them to enter politics and to gain experience. There could be an Obama in our midst today who might, in the future, if given the chance, bring about dramatic changes in our country.

A more youthful presence in our government would serve as an important counterbalance to the politics embraced and practiced by more seasoned politicians. Young leaders with vision and drive to accomplish their goals could help to reduce poverty and counter illiteracy in India, as well as to provide broader opportunities for social and individual improvement, while combating corruption.

Without the fresh ideas and perspective of leaders with a more contemporary, growth-oriented outlook, however, a real face lift for India won't be possible. This means that the youth of our country must be willing to learn about the issues relevant to national growth, to exercise their right to vote, and to stand for office and participate in the business of government. Only when they do so, will real, forward-thinking change and improvement occur.

Quote for the day:
“Any 20 year-old who isn't a liberal doesn't have a heart, and any 40 year-old who isn't a conservative doesn't have a brain.”

July 9, 2009

Dubai - a paradise or a paradox?

Any place on Earth that’s close to heart is a home to thyself! Such a place in my heart was the land that prospered before time, maintained its reign of monarchical rule and flourished in the hearts of those who dwelled in this region of peace – Dubai... I was born in India and before I could even wake to see my land of God’s own country, I was snoozing off in a flight off to Dubai. My life began in this paradise, my memories resided here and my experiences rose like a phoenix, over here.

I used to open my world in the sounds of Allah that echoed from behind our apartment. From childhood to adolescence, from teens to being an adult, my life revolved around the costs of this Gulf territory. My adorable school, my favorite hang-outs, my decent friends, my timeline of experiences, my dormant memories, my knowledge, my wisdom, my infatuations, my ache of love, that fun, those moments, that life, those snapshot, all evolved and faded in this land. Even before I realized the fact that what is being is not forever, I shifted my base of residence to India. But Dubai has always been in the core of my heart, my home!

As a kid, my trips from India to Dubai is when I have enjoyed its’ view from the heavens so peacefully. “As the flight yearns to touch its toes on land, what we see is amazing. The hospitality of the stewardess is heartwarming and the little snooze breaks a cry as the flight touches the land of fortune. I carry my cheer and walk out the door sill of the flight in smiles. The air of my always meant to be, hometown caresses me in love and I wait to reach home, strolling through those ever happening paths of light and life.

Why these reminiscences never leave us apart? Why do these moments prick our lives forever? It was truly a paradise of peace and people. From the lifestyle of dwellers to those who had come here for survival, all knew what luxury is all about and how does it feel about being a land so divine. Now that was paradise!

Times have changed now! The fact of a paradise has in fact turned into being a concrete paradox. Skyscrapers hugging the skies of success, lights crowning the nerves of the city, money playing the game of life and luxury donning the faces of people! Life is no longer the same here. I miss Dubai but the fact that DSF has commercialized its sanity will definitely stain my thoughts of going back there. Recession, unemployment, survival is all that matters here now! It could have always been the place that appeared in my dreams, the peace that I breathed while being back there is now engulfed with uncertainty and terror.

I believe that being prosperous while keeping your people in custody of success and smiles is one key element for being reigned as the best location on planet to survive. But all and everything has its limits and so does this one! I love Dubai but the scene back there now is no close to me wanting to go back, just if not for my pals who still lingered in this once paradise. Guys, all these palm islands will be swallowed in no time, flights may attack the poles that pierce the skies and tremors may hit the happiness if you keep torturing it with commercial manholes. STOP!!!! This is simply irony that now it is more glamor than goodness... I wish it all remained the same as it used to be once…!

Quote for the day:
“The heart is great which shows moderation in the midst of prosperity.”

June 28, 2009

Looking for some Deluxe Luxury properties in France????

Yeah… one of those days when the clouds overshadow the sun outside and minds dread to be active on the run. So I simply got glued to my computer (.. as always!) and decided that I will check out some good picturesque photographs online today. I randomly entered the world of flickr and owing to my latest stint in photographs, I navigated to the world of intense, natural and still photography and therefore continued checking out some ruins, chateaus, landscapes, real-life portraits and neatly built random villas in Europe (.. they have the most quaint landscapes down there. How peaceful to capture that beauty!)

And as I kept surfing from one portal to another, I came across some rich architecture in the form of town houses and villas, European haunts to get envied of and so I set my hand to move from one spacious hub to another. You guys need to check these out. If you are interested in buying a mansion down town somewhere within the region of France, then please check this portal. It will entice your needs and provide you with the dream house, maybe the one you were wanting to gift your beloved soon! I wish I had that kind of money and needs to own such colossal mansions… ** Sigh!** Just beautiful!!! 

Anyways, from the bunch of these ecstatic homes, there were too many of my favorites to mention. However, by researching more about these beautiful town houses, I eventually landed up at the origin, the mind, the reason behind these awesome structures - Sothebys Realtors reigning the regions of France and Monaco. If you are a recipient of the French language and culture and always have wanted to reside by the gardens of France within the ethnicity of rich heritage that donned the beauty of European culture, well, please check out this one! It is just amazing folks, especially the one am going elaborate about. 

Have you been planning to gift your beloved a peaceful home? Have you planned a surprise for someone? Do you think it’s time you shifted your realm of life and thought? Well, then this is the place, my friend, it definitely is!


In spite of having so many favorites from this group of amazing mansions, one of the best home town villas that I would have loved to buy is the Townhouse in Paris which I suppose would range up to 12912 square feet, (approximately 1199 square per meter) with a count of 5 bedrooms minimum. Sounds interesting? Wait for more! This charming town villa in France is silent within the core of flourishing flora, a secret garden dwelling at the very elusive XVIth arrondissement of Paris and it is truly a contemporary masterpiece enriched with historic experiences. This town villa, in other words, a residence palace has been amalgamated using the facets of an actual ocean liner, an out-of the-world experience to be felt! It is an asset for the domain of luxury real estates in Paris.

Every corner of this mansion comprises a suite spreading almost to 1200 sq. mts in size; all assembled using the finest, exotic materials ever. You should definitely check the bathrooms and terraces in this mansion, once again all encompassed with the décor of Carrera marble and terracotta. There are so many additional add-INS to this paradise like the pool, the garden just like Eden, the terrace that overlooks the best sceneries and CAN YOU BELIEVE IT??? a personal elevator available absolutely at your discretion! Like said, the Townhouse is definitely a palace adorned with fountains and ponds reflecting the historic era of Indian heritages. This is the place you wanna own for a life time or to have it addressed as your vacation home!

To know more about this European haven and similar luxury real estate masterpieces (Courtesy: Sothebys France and Monaco), try browsing through this website. I have become so addicted with their properties and am just dreaming about buying one of their best. Don't you think so? Take a look and you would dream too buddy! There are many other luxury properties I would like to detail about but, lemme make my post short! Anyways, if you do plan to step down to Sothebys to find about more properties, don't forget to check out the Mountain cabin, the Chalet located at Megeve. Not speaking much about it, you can check it out at the above mentioned website. Let me make my post short! **winks…)

Don’t forget to check out Antoine Nicholas collection of wonderful French properties at http://www.flickr.com/photos/france-sothebys-international-realty/sets/72157614111721931/ And who knows??? You might just come across many others as exciting as this one…! If you do buy one, lemme know so that I can plan my vacation accordingly! Juz’ kidding… !

Quote for the day: 
"Good homes are still the best source of good humans."

June 27, 2009

So, the King has summoned farewell to ALL….

"Heal The World... Make It A Better Place... 
For You and For Me and the Entire Human Race... 
There Are People Dying... If You Care Enough For The Living... 
Make A Better Place... For You and For Me..."

My childhood icon, my favorite pop idol, a legendary singer and a person not worth to be forgotten! Just like how kids all over the world favor the flavor of a single role model, I too followed in tune with M.J. (Let him rest in peace...) He was my loner pal, my music in dreams and my confidante as a kid! I basically grew up on his music, ONLY his music. I used to spend hours gathering his masterpieces and listening back to back, all during my childhood. As a kid, I was an introvert who kept friends at a distance and dreams by her side. I was a kid with no siblings or pals. I could spend hours just writing something, drawing or basically listening to MJ music. There was a time, when my parents were irritated coz’ of my addiction to his music. I would always lock the doors and dance to his rhythm, try to moonwalk like the chap and by heart his lyrics. Today when I turn back, it all seems like a dream, a phase when life was so full of music. Now, it has all faded in sense, his music lives on, his aura shines but a life to own this, has slept forever.

My inclination towards English music has been minimal and to 'POP' rare, but thanks to MJ, he taught me how different can music be heard, how creatively can you blend pop with lyrics and dance and how popular can a small town boy rise to be when he becomes the ‘King of Pop’. I respect his work from my soul, his dedication to music, his determination to learn and experiment various genres of music, (...be it, even the Arabic verses that he has voiced in one of his songs!), his charming smile to win music lovers and his patience to hurdle through difficulties that have mostly been a part of his life. He has etched words of hope, faith and love through his music, in the history of POP and dance.

His personal life has been through dingy tunnels of troubles, he was accused for something, who knows, maybe never happened at all, he still stood through everything, his family, his kids, siblings and mostly he stood for his fans. I respect his life for he has achieved what none other could in a short time, an young age and be still at the top until now. MJ, YOU ARE A LEGEND. No one can replace you!!! Media scrapped his happiness but his music spoke it all. He is a gem, a genius who knew what he lived for, MUSIC. If you have a negative opinion against this bugger, then you seriously can’t identify his expertise of music. MJ, Thanks for the great music. We will all miss you, TODAY but your music will never make us feel that absence.

We have lost you, TODAY before we could yield it all but legacy lives on, your MUSIC takes on fans even now. There will be none other as YOU and your music will help your legacy for music live on. We will remember the cries in ‘Heal the World’ for the children, we will remember the moves, the act in ‘Billie Jean’ and ‘Beat It’, we will remember the theory in ‘Black or White’, we will remember the unity in ‘Bad’, we will remember the love in ‘The Lady in my Life’, we will remember the sorrow in ‘Leave me alone’, we will remember the voice in ‘They don’t really care about us’ …. And so on we will remember your songs, lyrics, music and contribution to POP. Live on MJ!

Don't forget to check out http://www.allmichaeljackson.com/song-lyrics.html to brush through the legends' works... Also Don't forget to check his videos on YOUTUBE!!!

Quote for the day!
"Years, following years, steal something every day; At last they steal us from ourselves away.”

June 24, 2009

Adoption for a gain or what?

So, this weekend while catching up with an old pal, she spilled the beans that she’s gonna adopt a boy child in the coming days. To my amazement of her already having a girl child, she added to my shock by confessing the fact that she had no troubles genetically conceiving for a boy child but she and her hubby felt that by performing this noble act of love, they may be in for a bundle full of joy and a basket full of blessings for a lifetime. I introspectively analyzed the act to believe why she was doing this - to held out a life for the little boy in the name of adoption or simply gain some sympathy on behalf of the noble act she just dutifully performed or in fact for some advanced blessings on her and her hubby’s part. This whole conversation put me into wonder! So why do we really decide to adopt??

There can be two categories of people who wanna adopt kids, per say (Human kids!) – one category comprise those who do it for style, sympathy or simply fame, or they would have got addicted to adopting kids, to make it a foster home for different genres of kids and then brag about it! (No offence to anyone to whom I may have related this description to.) And the other being the ones who simply do not consider their fates locking a blessing called ‘kids’, those who are least fortunate to conceive souls, those who yearn for the little feet and hands and the little voice that goes ‘Ma’ and ‘Pa’. Let us analyze the case of a birth mom who still yearns for a kid through adoption. During our age of innocence, we girls, even before thinking about weddings, simply gawk at the tiny feet of little souls who come our way and eventually, we would virtually fly into our futures foreseeing us taking care of such angels. I am sure most of us would have gone to the extent of pondering the thought of just adopting babies and not getting married at all. I did once!

That way, we have no commitments, no fear and yet would have the world of joy, innocence and happiness, all to ourselves. Of course, over time and life, these desires vanish, our reality hits us hard and we simply go with the flow of living our purpose in this world; grow up, do what we desired to do, get married, work, and have kids and so on. But isn’t there still that ball of regret that lingers in your mind of not being able to make an abandoned soul yours' own? Well, then what’s stopping you to own that desire once again - Family, friends, society or your conscience? If what’s stopping you is the awareness of not knowing where to begin, then blog about it, write about it in forums, speak out and probably, there are many waiting to assist you in this process.

Just because the procedure or the formality of adoption is tough, don’t decide to back out. Think about those kids who might have a great home and family but were deprived of it because the system of adoption was expensive. Money has always been a problem for everything! But there was a way, right? Even this will have a way.

Probably, these kids can be collectively communed by Churches, NGOs and other such organizations, but every team has a limitation and so does these places. But just think back and see if each well-to-do family adopted one kid, then how many souls would escape the torture of being neglected, having illnesses, death, exploitation and being cleared of sight from all of us. Why is that people think about adoption but don’t eventually get to doing it? Adoption and caring for the abandoned, innocent souls is just like serving God himself. Once again, not for just blessings, but to be at his feet, to do what is best for him and to be simply next to him is a feeling least experienced. To an extent, it is not fair to say why God cannot take care of these souls, but it is right to state that this is God’s plan for us to realize how he looks, through our willingness to help those in need.

At times, there are even spinsters, single moms or birth moms who consider the decision of adoption, because of their frozen circumstances, and looks forward to bringing a little soul to their world of happiness. They might have no reason to not conceive naturally, but by fate may not be able to, and such a feeling of deprivation sometimes makes you take decisions like these too. I personally empathize with such humans as I also belong to their category in one sense. But at the same time, don’t turn to adoption, just because it is an amalgamation of these aspects.

Adoption of an infant should not be the ultimatum for your society status, style symbol, mandatory obligation or public fame. Please think otherwise! These souls do not yearn for your money but care, not cars but a simple touch, not a name but to say they are just yours, not a house but a home of peace. So think and take the right decision folks! I simply had a conversation with my old time pal and so many thoughts have crossed my heart. In case you do read this post, I hope such thoughts and eventually certain decisions also cross your mind triggering you to take some active, noble steps in life. These kids need a life, a home, their own people and a lot of love and care. I know that you might be thinking who am I to speak so much about this?

If I am so interested to do so, then why don’t I adopt? Well, not that this thought hasn’t crossed my mind and am not thinking about it, instead have already started making arrangements for the same. That small ray of happiness soon to be shining in my world stands a little behind, around the corner! P.S. Today I also read an article about adopting, (..and not buying!) pets like dogs. Well, I do not want to discuss or debate on this topic, but if your mind says so, you may also give a life to such animals, if you can physically, mentally, emotionally and practically support them. (Please don’t swear me for my post on adopting kids and pets! I am just trying to bring a small change in the world. Making it a better place for us to live in, for us to know nobleness and kindness still exists. I know it is not going to help, but minds may beg to differ!)

Quote for the day! 
"Adoption is not about finding children for families, it's about finding families for children”.

June 19, 2009

Orkut vs. Facebook

So the war is on! Days back I just pondered about how social networking sites such as Orkut and Facebook have had their TRPs raising up so high, especially within us, the Indians. Not that Facebook is both, famous in the West as in the East and Orkut isn’t, but Orkut has its own regions of conquer, territories of users and wonderful elements to exhibit.

Orki and Facbi, they are just like two buddies from convent school or probably college, popular in their own way with their unique facets that attract all. Started off as plain, simple average students who were liked by all but then eventually had their own groups, neutral acquaintances and plus points. Times have changed. These students are no longer those plain, average pupils who were same in many ways and different in some. They now have their territories, groups have grown, popular in their own way, regions to conquer along with hearts and all set to capture the world’s attention using strategies from every possible vertical.

These friends are no longer buddies but competitors. Today, if you young, (as we call it, ‘the teens’...), add to that - you are tech-savvy (oh! C’mon, who aren’t these days? If not, maybe you need to move on!), and is an IT professional, student, housewife, grandpa, wife, mother, advertising professional, doctor, actor, teacher, chef or even idle at home, it’s so definite that you do run an account on social networking websites. (Hey, you do have a blog and do read blogs but don’t have a social networking account, buddy c’mon; buckle up and move on… create an account today!) Now, it can be MySpace.com, Twitter, Orkut, Facebook and so on. If a blogger, then definitely, you should be having an account with 20 something bloggers, Blogger.com, Blogadda, Technorati, Indiblogger and so on.

And if you an ethnic, patriotic Indian, a techie especially, you will see him or her bound to have an account with Orkut or Facebook and a blog with Indiblogger kind of blog networks. Let’s now walk back a little. Who are these top horns? Speaking from an Indian perspective, as for us, Orkut and Facebook are considered to be top horns in the world of social networking, here in India, apart from the blogging websites that are available for us to meet and discuss about global affairs. Orkut, handled by Google was triggered into action on January 2004, all thanks to Orkut Büyükkökten, a US based Turkish employee who proved to be a reason for the evolution of social networking by employing fun or game based applications. So what is Orkut for those who don’t know? It is a platform, a website that allows you to meet new pals, keep in touch with old pals, share photos or videos with your friends amidst high secured connections, enabling the creation of community forums of which users can be a part of. Not that popular on an international level, but tries to entice users at every opportunity that they have in hand. Orkut had a problem in the beginning, being that it was not secured to a level where people could share their personal tidbits, but later on owing to many critical and serious reasons (..which I refuse to mention here, coz’ I care for my security too!!!), it got bounded with high-end security features. Hmm… for instance initially you could visit anyone’s profile, view anyone’s photos or even right-click and store/save some strangers’ snaps. All this has been undone now! Good for you, Orki…

Let’s now move over to Facbi, (whom I lovably call…), my personal favorite social networking site (not that, I don’t hold an Orkut account but….), FACEBOOK! Its origin is in fact quite exciting. A few years back the line, somewhere in February 2004, a website strictly dedicated for the students of Harvard University, slowly began expanding its database of users to students from other global universities. Not that Orkut has any specifications on the kind of users joining them, but Facebook has a simpler process to sign up and that’s cool! It’s got all the features that Orkut has and even more. But the best part about Facebook is its feature of photo-sharing with real good tactics of security, (which by the way has been adapted by Orkut as of now…), commenting on snaps, tagging pals on snaps and so on. Orkut, till recent times did not have the kind of security that Facbi exhibited. Of course, change happens over time! I have pals who ask me on Orkut, “Why are you not seen around these days on Orki? Why no snaps?” (I had to take them all off, a couple of months back owing to the insecurity features available on Orkut. I guess things have changed now but perhaps I find it easier to upload my snaps on Facebook, nowadays!) And I have pals on Facebook also asking me “Hey, why so active on Facebook? Why not Orkut? I know why, Facebook is fun right, but it's so confusing to use buddy, Orkut is simpler." 

I guess people are more comfortable or at least, have been most comfortable with Orkut, as the GUI (Graphic User Interface), basically, the look and feel is user-friendly, its' easy to navigate, applications are minimal and it focuses more on simply scrapping friends, making friends and maybe to an extent, sharing photos/videos. But there are groups of people who find Facebook more innovative to use than Orkut coz’ it employs numerous applications, fun quizzes to play with, commenting on statuses and stuff, (which by the way, does not happen in Orkut...) and majorly also keeping track of what other people have got to say for you or your friends. It allows you to keep in touch with friends forever and also keep a track of what your pals are up to each moment. Man, it is awesome and you can juz’ spend hours fiddling with the various elements that exist there. Orkut, on the other hand (at least for me...), can be used just to check what your pals are trying to tell or inform you and probably check some of their snaps. But of course, Facbi does not necessarily have an edge over Orkut, especially because unlike Orkut, it employs a little too many sections, applications, ads, elements, features and so on.

Some people might underline Facbi as not being user-friendly whereas Orkut being really easy to use. This may vary from a user to user perspective. Orkut and Facebook have their own strengths and weaknesses. What makes each one unique, simply is bound by how a user likes the space. So these debates all zero down to what I or you like being frequently on, Orki or Facbi! You addicted to anyone of these. Well, I am! So which one of these is your favorite? You may post your comment and we may always discuss... is there some other network that is as popular as these two? Hmm, like Twitter!

Quote for the day:
"The value of a social network is defined not only by who's on it, but by who's excluded."

June 15, 2009

House Hunting!!! The marathon begins…

I always enjoyed watching the sitcoms of the 80s and 90s, especially the ones where we have a tenant either being pestered by his or her house lord or where the tenants themselves act as menace to others, either way. These sitcoms, like ‘Three’s Company’ used to interest our conscious, making us regularly watch them in order. Those days, I used to wonder how fun would it be to have your own space, that too if it’s being shared by someone who is…. (Can’t find an adjective for that word!) Watching these sitcoms were fun, especially coz’ I thought being independent was the best of what one could have. Freedom is any day priceless! There was so much of adventure involved, excitement, unexpected events, and yet a lot of love and care from people you live with.

What if it is with your beloved, soul mate, hubby or wife you gonna live with? Amazing! You know what, most of these guys did have their own place, where they stayed with their parents but to be on their own, they employed the thought of renting out a place. Now, back to reality! I put myself in the shoes of these protagonists and venture into the world of renting an apartment. Now that am married, I acknowledge the need to be on our own, away from parents, from relatives, from anything that binds our lives to theirs. Let’s analyze how to go about it! I first give an AD on various mediums that are accessed by millions, wait for a day or two, await calls from whom I should do, and then begins the race and chase of hunting down apartments.

Two ways to see this! Via an agent or an owner; both have their own perceptions and tactics on how to entice us into renting an apartment. It is so ironic that in spite of having our own spaces at times, we venture to look out in the city so wild with a set of impossible criteria check points thereby hauling the process of finding a better home. Never knew finding an apartment to rent, could have been one of the most tedious acts of all times. These guys make us stroll to houses belonging to various regions, with change in numbers and rates that never satisfy us to what we are hoping for. Nevertheless, we see a few houses that complement our satisfactions, but plates turn when it comes to talking about the rates. The marathon is on for days, the calls for houses is on the chase, funds and family we may lose, but being on our own is definitely news! Yeah! The thought of renting the place with your loved one, being independent with your decisions, buying and decorating the place you want it the way to be and finally inviting your pals and folks home to see what and where have you reached after all hard work. Feels great, isn't it? Thanks to the agents/brokers who kept us on the run and owners who were quite helpful with all this fun. The fun part here are the tag-lines people use to allure us into selecting their house or apartment.

Things like, “You will have a spacious hall, it is semi-furnished, covered car parking available, vaastu (feng-shui) compliant, rain water harvesting available, 2 bedrooms with attached bathrooms, a single balcony that opens to a park, and so on….But the rent is xxxx INR/DHS/DOLLARS which is negotiable if you can talk to my wife, my son, my mother and so on…. We are very particular about the maintenance rate and please try to keep the place clean and blah, blah ahhhh blah……” Crazy it all may seem! If you observe closely, most of these guys, be it the agent or the owner, are not an inch sure whether they are pitching for the right person, right price or the right moment. There seems to be so much of uncertainty involved in finding the right tenant for them and the right house for us. I guess these guys need to streamline some sort of a strategy wherein they can handle numerous customers/clients by filtering the choice, criteria and requirements of the customers using innovative techniques.

Possibly, they could act as a mediator between the owner and customer and use technological elements from the latest arena of gadgets and track the availability of houses thereby catering to the customers easily and effectively. Well, this is what brokers/agents could do to simplify our lives of finding homes whereas, owners need to choose the right medium to advertise their house to get the dream tenant. It shouldn’t be the case like mine where I once rented out my old apartment to a smart, eligible, educated bachelor falling for his high command of language and knowledge, his degree of education and his professional domain. It so happened that, he eventually declined our request to vacate the house and paid us cheques that bounced the very day of deposit. Feeling cheated by such a fraud, a conman who was foiling our plans to get the apartment vacated and sold, it became so difficult for me, my family to sleep, breathe and survive in peace.

Definitely, I wouldn't be exhibiting such an act with any owner but I know the torture, my family and many other owners went through coz' of guys like these and it's quite easy for me to judge the psychological instinct of a house owner by now! So guys, if you all out there are planning to rent out an apartment or a house, do a perfect planning, prepare for the unknown outside and get the right person to find you the right home! Bless me that I do find my paradise soon....

Quote for the day: 
"To change one's life: Start immediately, do it flamboyantly, no exceptions, no excuses."

June 13, 2009

Why late???

To begin with, yeah! I know how late I have been in entering my posts on my favorite blog. That’s right! It’s been long but not late. I have been quite busy off late. I mean there has been too much happening with and around me and that had kind of life routine kept me away from the pleasure of online expressions. But now onwards I promise you will get to see posts on this cute blog almost everyday. Yeah, one of my resolutions, you see! Let’s see how far I get with this one. LOL! :)

So like said, yeah been busy. The New Year start wasn’t so right. Thanks to the buzz word ‘Recession’ and the ‘Satyam fiasco’, lay-offs were in the tunnel (Thank God! Wasn’t one among them then, but who knows what lie ahead??), finances gobbled up and down a while and some departed us while others rejoined. In short, life wasn’t as cool as it seems now, except for the happiness that I got from my family and hubby (which is one of the most important things in life, but not the entire bit...)

So I decided that before it gets too late, I need to buckle up with life, do stuff that I missed or messed out on and get things done the way I want to (than crib over something that can’t be worked out..) so here I am once again… !! Tune into my blog everyday to find something interesting that I have got to talk about. It could just be me or my life, the way I perceive it, or something just out of the box! So wait for the best and prepare for the unknown!

Quote for the day!!
“If you wait to do everything until you're sure it's right, you'll probably never do much of anything.”

February 8, 2009

Prelude to the end of 2008 – All set to begin 2009

Hi folks! A huge ‘Welcome’ to me, a pat on the back and am here with whole load of tidbits! To start with, a prosperous New Year Wish to all who do and do not follow or read my blog. Yeah, was on a long break, a rejuvenating period, though! Had some wonderful, peaceful moments, accomplished some pending tasks that was overdue for so long and met up with some old pals, like I had promised them.

Well , to be frank, year 2008 was a jolly ride for me. It went up and down the life graph budging over parameters like love, finance, career, health and so on. However, there was my chunk of some amazing moments that were captured in a frame by frame setting within my mind. Hmm...! Like my trip to Thailand, felicitation as a recognition for my qualitative work, the ‘Learning Excellence Award’ for the best Instructional Designer, some great times with pals during lunches, get together(s), movies, fights and so on, days when I used to blog regularly, some bitter moments up and down the career and finance graph, festival feasts, ideas, celebrations, citations and so much more which I can cherish for a life time. And with that I leave the old behind and am here once again to embrace the new within.

Welcome 2009! I have missed so much to express on this platform in these two months time. There is so much that I want to share to and for all. I just read somewhere that “Right generosity towards the future consists in giving to what is present.” Exactly! As one my latest resolutions or you could say decision, I am planning to give as much as I can, what I have, to others be it my friends, loved ones, family or even strangers. Lots of love, care, hope, prayers, happiness and even elixirs!

Work takes most of my time during the day and worries and plans take my time during the night. But there is a lot that I see, feel, talk and experience from moment to moment which I want to spill on this arena of expressions, soon enough in this year. To begin with, I will definitely complete my pending travelogue on my ‘Trip to Thailand’ that happened (I know!) at the start of last year, followed by current affairs and my take on the same which will flow in and out of my blog, what I got to say about certain movies, music; musings of any kinds will also slip in now and then, down here.

Not so far from the start of 2009, I celebrated my 27th year on this planet, (WOW! That was a long one...), and am all set for the next one. It has been celebration time for me from then till now, with a little steep and slope at work. What’s even better is some of my pals’ entered wedlock in smiles and style. What wasn’t so colorful was some of my buddies joined the ‘I have been laid-off’ club. There is a lot that is happening around me and I want to pen it intermittently from truth to perspective. From Satyam havoc to the hype for Slumdog Millionaire, the recession to movies, from life to love and from then to now, all about which I plan to write is what you will see and enjoy in this year, from me on ‘Smudged Reflections’.

P.S. My poetry ‘WITHIN MY GRIP’ has entered the Finals for the international online poetry competition on voicesnet.org. Wish me the best, guys! http://www.voicesnet.org/poetrydisplay.aspx?poemid=141461

December 13, 2008

Paradise Now, here and ever (in every sense)!!!

Weekends are some of my favorite times. Times when I pick up a nice flick to spend time with my hubby! I have already detailed some of these rare moments from my book of life, through blogs and not and so to carry forward the tradition, the last weekend was spend with no difference from this routine. My love kept drilling through his rack of DVD collection to pick a nice, sensible flick which we both would enjoy watching over a drink of Cosmopolitan or Irish Bailey. Meanwhile, I simply used the latest Tata Sky PVR (for those who are not familiar with this facility, log to http://tataskyplus.com/index.html - it is a TV cable service provider in India (Good to know, for all expatriates) that offers user-friendly options to enrich the experience of watching TV. It provides options like pausing the live TV, (OMG!), rewinding the live TV (Awesome, isn’t it?) or even live recording of one channel while the viewing of another channel is on! (That is Technology, my friend!), to scan through our set of movie channels like HBO, Star Movies, World Movies and… hey, Zee studio! These guys really know to pick up the best flicks from the history of world cinema and showcase it for us who might know the least of existence of such masterpieces.

Anyways, as I looked at the time, I realized it was the moment for the commencement of ‘After 10’ movies. So without haste in time, I continued watching this flick and called on my hubby to check out what this movie has to offer. We realized it was a Palestinian flick. Hesitated for a moment did we, but took the challenge and continued watching the movie. Fortunately, the subtitles were displayed in English, thanks to Zee Studio.Now, back to the movie! This was quite an unusual screenplay with a portrayal of excellent and minimal characters, reeled on to speak the story of million such similar young boys in the corners of Israel or Bosnia who undergo traumatic déjà vu experiences of fighting for their country or preserving their rights as locals and not settlers. The war is still on! But this movie picks two rare characters from the stream and then percolates into their lives and those things that revolve around them. The movie basically tries to exhibit the fact that even today many people in different hits of the world, irrespective of age or sex is dragged into this world of terror and trauma where the objective of each of these soldiers may differ according to their missions stated by their troops. 

Eventually, what I understand is that this movie makes one introspect about perspectives, about how one can take for granted things that begin or end, in their own sense. The movie employs a slow start as you try to acknowledge the happenings, one by one, logically as it builds on. Released in 2005 on Valentine’s day, this flick was directed by Hany Abu-Assad, a Dutch based Palestinian director who has been acclaimed for movies like The Fourteenth Chick, Nazareth 2000, Rana's Wedding, Ford Transit and so on to name a few. These included short films, documentaries and even movies that triggered controversies, for his films always speak the truth in the most atrocious manner. Truly a director at heights, in the genre of his movies! Oh! Haven’t I yet named the movie?

Well, the details of this movie go, just like this.. Movie in talk: Paradise Now (…would have been something else, in Israel!) Screenplay brains: Bero Beyer, Pierre Hodgson Cast in act: Kais Nashef, Ali Sulaiman, Lubna Afzal and Hiam Abbas Success check points: Won the Golden Globe for Best Foreign language film and received an Oscar nomination in the same category! Also, it won the Golden Calf for best Dutch film.

Also, in many categories, geniuses from behind the camera for this movie were awarded for the renowned piece of work in such sensible cinema. I think the above speaks the story behind the class that this movie spreads strokes of, in volumes. In simple words, the movie is the marathon of moments spend by and between two childhood pals in the narrowed streets of Palestine before they enact their duties as suicide bombers in the town of Tel Aviv. You definitely need to pick this flick for a one time watch. It is worth the time. The movie simply begins in awe of the happy times between two friends, during their childhood and then in adulthood. They have their own families, just like any other normal person. They have friends with whom they hang out and share laughs. They need and give love to those special ones, like all of us do. But what dark secret remains is that, they live for a purpose, a rebellious mission. In the movie, over time, these two pals are instructed that they are going to be the lucky ones who, after a gap of two years, are going to achieve the first step of their mission.

According to them, they are already dead, but their soul awakens to serve a cult of missionaries, missionaries who fight to and for terror against the nation, against settlers.

Said and Khaled, the active protagonists or the awaited suicide bombers, in the movie are told by their leaders that in 36 hours, they will be reaching heaven in the name of Allah and achieving their goal as humans, to serve their purpose of life and their rights to banish the settlers.

The movie unfolds these 36 hours showing the domestic responsibilities of these so-called normal people and then mapping it with their duties as suicide bombers. They act normal, sleep well and bid silent farewell to their loved ones with a heavy heart as they approach the moment of truth. For the mission, Said and Khaled are made to look like Israeli settlers who are attending a wedding, their cover story for the act, across the border.

They both are directed to blow themselves at an interval of fifteen minutes each. Amidst the chaos before the act, Said is doubtful about his decision whereas Khaled is quite excited about it. Khaled flees from the site, as guards approach them next to the border but Said absconds the scene. His lady love, the terrorist group, his best childhood pal and his family lay a network of enquiries to trace him. During an encounter, with his love, Suha, Said reveal his intentions for this terrorising act. His father, a Palestanian used to work for the Israelis and during one such mission, was executed due to his origin. This had made Said weak and vulnerable for such decisions and dimensions. Said initially agrees with Khaled on withdrawing from the mission but instead yields into his own interests of intending to blow up a bus filled with Israeli soldiers. The movie ends without a say! Did Said blow up the bus or did he not defuse the bomb that was clinging onto his torso like a baby? The screen spreads a stroke of white and the credits appear. Amazing!


Not many people might inhale the truth in this story the way I was able to accept it. Not many people would even enjoy watching such a movie that is so silent and yet so deep. Even my hubby had his own perceptions and misconceptions about the movie. We even ended up having various verticals of debates over the story and ending of the movie. Not all five fingers are like, as all knows it best!

However, no matter what others think, coz’ I know that there are many out there like me who would enjoy and accept these kind of movies too. And what I did like about this movie was:

Said and Khaled’s friendship · Suha’s perception about her dad, the rebel leader · Conversations between Suha and Said · Terror, at its peak in mind, hearts and lives · Said’s relation and bonding with his mom and siblings · Said’s hatred towards how Israelis had cheated his dad · Technology and terror mapping each other in awe · Flow of the movie from the day of instructions given to the suicide bombers to the day of the actual attack · Moments of self-realization and introspection · Judgement of the right and the wrong · and so on.

An ending that puts the audience to judge between perspectives · Photography and camera, the angle placement is absolutely perfect in every shot · Khaled’s moment of withdrawing from the terror act · Terrorists logically planning the act, as in real life · Wonderful screenplay which was initially written for a friend in search of a suicide bomber who was his pal to two friends engaging within the activity of bombing cities.

To end with, I request you all to take a pick on this flick at least once when you have time to spare in life. These kind of movies make one think about many incidents that happen in our daily life, including the Mumbai terror and also moments that make us think deep enough. So wouldn’t you wanna catch up with this flick?

December 11, 2008

Prayers, not yet heard for Marielle

I hope most of you remember about the girl Marielle, about whom I had blogged about a couple of days back. Now to begin with, am sorry about stating her mom’s name incorrectly. It is not Jeannie, it is Lisa. Secondly, this is for all who read and follow my blog regularly, I have an announcement that might make the lives of these people a little simpler. Marielle’s condition is still worsening and Lisa’s pal who offered to do the kidney donation has been ruled out during the final marathon of blood and tissue tests. One moment of appreciation surely goes to her, Lisa's E-Bay pal who offered to help. However, in days, when I had such a condition, there were no networks to inform people and get help. Now, things have changed and so has our chance to change things. If you are a self-less blogger, please visit Lisa’s blog on http://thedomesticdiva.wordpress.com/ and read through her struggles with her kin and the grievances that follow her life. Use your network to get her good advice, blessings and prayers and if God wills, even a good donor. This is not for any sympathy but just to help a life, which is more like my reflection from ten years back. This girl, this angel is one among millions, I agree! But if one life makes a difference, the impact can be that of many. If you ever come across such people in your life, blog about them so that many of us can come forth to offer help for them, in forms maybe which are lesser known to man. So hoping many out there would help this soul, in Lord’s name...

December 9, 2008

What did I ponder today?

Why did the Great creator make sweethearts: "Love's a special feeling that only can begin when you open up your heart and let somebody in. It's a warm and tender smile that's meant for only you. That adds a special touch of joy to everything you do. It's the look in someone's eyes that says "I understand". The quiet pleasure given by the touch of someone's hand. It's sharing hopes and dreams, it's taking and giving.. Love adds warmth and happiness to everyday of living." ... just a something that I read somewhere today. Something that made me think about love. The love I had for my parents, the love I had for my siblings, the love I thought was the best with my crush, the love I thought filled my gaps with my friends, the love I have as my life, my husband. Wow! Love does, hold a great place in my arena of space, called life. Hmmm... How often, on a day to day basis do we come across someone whom we love so much that life seems small in front of their presence???

Art Musings

Today, I took out some of my old artworks to reminiscence some of the best stress buster moments that I have ever had in my life.. Each of these Oil paintings speak a story from my page of life... They may not be sophisticated or polished, thanks to me being an amateur but I take pride in saying that I did this all by myself...

There was a phase in my life when I was so free that I could just sleep the whole day instead of being awake to be bored.. I had just completed my high school and was looking forward to college.. but there was a long break in between.. Days I spent, reading, surfing, singing to myself and travelling, my very polite neighbour, Rituka aunty (I just hope she and her kids are doing fine, coz' I sincerely don't have any idea as to where are they now..) saw some of my works and recommended me to her Art teacher, Seemita Roy!! Now this was a 'trip' phase.. I decided to kill time the best possible way ever.. So I joined for some classes where my observations, the house dog 'Biscuit', the art class in the kitchen and the wonderful house decors, were expressed through my exhaustive writings those days.. !! At the classes, my art teacher, Anjali Ela Menon's disciple, used to be always busy in doing her own masterpieces of those humongous portraits that conveyed no meanings at all, except for the sole reason they looked 'BIG'.. this work was done by me all alone within the chatter of other art buddies, colours and limited time of an hour.. I took 4 days to do the background, dress, and other stuff in the picture and owing to me being so bad with portraits, I took exactly 2 weeks to simply do the face.. Well that, according to me is the speciality of this work!!

Well, the story behind this one goes quite simple.. I wanted to do something different, something on my own and something which none has done.. This was not done in my class, though.. Had my easel and paints, that is all! But the story is that I never got the face right.. Am always good with landscapes and still art, but never with portraits.. So I called this to be the portrait of the most ugliest princess of all times.. Yeah, yeah.. I know it isn't so good.. but after all, it is mine!

Just an Oil painting of an old man with not so appropriate proportions but with a lot of meaning.. This was majorly worked upon by my fingers.. Natural art!!

Very simple story! I had an oval canvas and wanted to make use of it and voila.. This is what I did with it! However, now when I look at it, the flowers below could have been avoided and so could have been the case for the base of the tree.. Anyways, it is mine!

Oh! This one is my favorite coz' it is done from a photograph. On my way, I saw this Persian, historic villa. I just wanted to capture it in my paints. That is all! The painting is actually nice but I haven't been able to photograph it properly. These have been chosen from the attic front. I basically enjoy doing black and white sketches than Oil paintings. So soon I will be posting some of my work from the world of black and white.
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