Beautiful Blogger!

An award comes with a lot of responsibility, doesn’t it?

Well several ages ago, Lazy Pineapple demonstrated her kindness of heart by giving me …*gasps*, …the

and weighed by her kindness, I thought I’d wait till I was able to do justice to the award – and finally, I’m able to do this NOW.

LP, I’m touched. Thank you very much! ūüôā

Now, the best thing about this award is that it comes with a tag. And as you know, tags are just my favorite things :), so here goes. Rules:

1) Thank the person who gave you the award.
2) Paste the award on your blog.
3) Link to the person who nominated you for the award.
4) Share 7 things you find to be beautiful around you.
5) Nominate 7 bloggers or more

Okay, so I’ve done 1, 2, 3. Now, for 4:

  • Rain. Fresh, brilliant, pure drops of ecstasy. The rain experience is particularly exquisite in the balmy monsoons of Kerala (*sigh*..let me try not to remind myself that I’m missing that just now!). ¬†Standing in the rain, absorbing the sensation on every pore of your body, letting it consume you…

  • Nostalgia. For the last one month, I’ve added scores of 80s and 90s songs in my iPod. Searched high and low, and thought back to all those days when I studied with the radio or the walkman on and listened to songs playing in my dad’s car. Gone back to every composer I could think of, and searched wikipedia extensively for the songs that I couldn’t remember anymore. And then, once I had them all on the pod, every day, as I travel to and from office, I listen to them. Can anything beat nostalgia? ūüėČ

  • Paris. What’s more beautiful than rain? Champs Elysees in the rain, that’s what! Paris, is the one city that I would want to go to again and again and again. There’s just something about the place… romantic, sensuous and mysterious. Three years ago, I had my experience of Paris in the rain and it is something I cannot forget. It drizzled lightly as I walked on Champs Elysees in the evening, and the breathtaking beauty was something I wish I could have captured in my camera, as well as the picture below. I remember, as I stood admiring the Notre Dame Cathedral from the outside, heavy sheets of rain came down abruptly, and I ran and took refuge next to a shop, only to realize I was standing next to a guy making french crepes. A little conversation in broken English later, I had him happily hand over warm, flaky, deliciously sweet crepes to me – and eat them, even as the warmth from his stove gave me comfort in the cold — talk about paradise!

  • Reunions. A few days ago, I met friends from college. After 10 years! It was a spot reunion, blessed by the hand of the Facebook God, which has ensured that people like me who’re generally terrible at keeping in touch, can still get to see picture, hear and connect with the people who mattered in life. My friends and I – we’d last met as 20 year olds, confused about our future career choices, carping about exams, and remembering 3 years of graduation that zipped past us even as we, a gang of 6, had stayed by each other’s sides throughout. Over the years, most of us have married, a few have had kids, and we’re in the thick of our (high profile ;)) careers, careening past 30. But you know what? When we met, we just zoomed back in time to being the same 20 year olds. Nothing had changed. Not even the jokes, or the bitching about teachers :D. It was an hour of catching up and watching the way our faces had grown older but our hearts had stayed the same – and we all remembered how we’d fantasized 10 years ago about such a meeting. Hopefully, we don’t wait for 10 more years to meet :D. And meanwhile, this is something I’ll highly recommend to everyone!

  • Companionship. Having someone in life, to share your silences with. To march alongside you, holding your hands, and just letting you feel one with the world. To sit beside you, watching a movie, and munching on biscuits late in the night. To wake up beside you and give you a cuddle. To offer a shoulder where you can wipe your face and the tears running on it. Companionship is one of the wonderful gifts of life and needn’t come with having that special person in your life. If you know that you can spend hours being yourself with someone (or something ;)) – then, well, let out a whoop of joy! You’ve got yourself a companion :).

(P.S. The credit and copyright for the work of art above goes to the brilliantly talented Abhilash Menon. Find him and his work on India’s first portal that brings together Indian artists and showcases their incredible potential to the world – Dhonuk)

  • Dance. The way two feet can break into a rhythm, and the hands then follow, moving about the body, getting it to sway in tune with the music. Waves created in the air, sparkling about the dancer’s body. Re-telling stories, transcending languages and cultures, dance has the power to bring time to a standstill and transport viewers into sheer bliss. And to tell you how, here’s a picture of one of my favorite dancers and one of the most beautiful women in India – Shobhana:

  • Mothers. Today is my Mother’s birthday ¬†– and she’s the first most beautiful thing I ever set my sights on. I love you mummy and Happy Birthday :).

Alright, now for the last bit. It should have been 7 but I decided on 5 ¬†– tagging 5 beaaaautiful women ūüôā – Judy, Andy, Dhanya, Sawani, and Anjali – I bestow this award to you!

Yay! I’m done!

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Simple Joys of Life

Ever wondered about those simple pleasures of life that you probably didn’t give much importance to, but contributed to making the experience of your life pleasant and wonderful?

Ever realized how sometimes, very trivial and at times, even funny, experiences or probably some routine things you do, turn out to be that which uplifts your mind and soul from the problems and worries of daily life?

Today I thought of listing¬†some of those experiences¬†that were important to me – the simple joys of my life. (And no, this isn’t a forward I received, but I vaguely¬†remember receiving something similar a long time ago :)). Here they are in random order – coming directly out of my memory:

  1. Enjoying the wind blowing in my face while travelling in an auto/bus – I deliberately remove the hairbands that keep my hair in place, because I love¬†the sensation of the wind playing with my hair, and the strands dancing around ūüôā
  2. Seeing a child laugh. Infact, anything associated with a child is adorable, except for potty ;). Their laughter is the most uncomplicated thing in this universe.
  3. Rain and all of its associated sensations.
  4. Vanilla Icecream. I love the texture of icecream, and vanilla is my fav flavour.
  5. Switching on the radio/to another radio channel, only to hear one of my favorite songs playing…
  6. Listening to music on the walkman/mobile, and dancing like crazy at home. At times, when I walk into my home in the evening, after the trip in the office bus, the earphones are plugged in, and there’s this amazing dance number playing on radio, I just go shake, prance and groove all around the rooms of my house. Yeaaaah ūüôā
  7. Standing in a glass lift and peering through the glass with glee, while the lift moves up or down.
  8. Throwing my head back and laughing heartily after hearing a joke/anything witty.
  9. Hugging my cuddly n cute mum ūüôā
  10. Watching TV till late on a Friday night…Its my way of rebellion ūüôā to compensate for the days I reluctantly drag myself into bed cos I have to go early to office.
  11. Going for long walks with a dear friend ūüôā
  12. Taking a cool, refreshing bath (with sweet smelling soap) on a hot, sweltering, summer day.
  13. Floating, neck deep in water. As a child, I loved floating in a tub full of warm water, with soap bubbles all around me. In recent times, a place I enjoyed being soaked and floating in water, was Hoganekkal… and with me, was my friend – we just lay neck deep in water for hours, bobbing up and down and feeling the waves of the water course through us. It was amazing.
  14. The feeling of deja vu I get when I sense particular smells… I¬†have always been able to¬†associate¬†many¬†of my¬†experiences, places¬†and even people by smell – so much so that when I get a particular smell, I always have a sense of deja vu, and feel like I’ve been through it before. ¬†It wasn’t till Balaji wrote about Synesthesia,that I realized what it may be :).
  15. Getting in touch with a long lost friend
  16. Cuddling in bed, wrapped in a blanket, on a cold wintry morning.
  17. Shopping for accessories – mainly junk jewellery ūüėÄ – I am a total junkie when it comes to stuff that hangs on my wrists and ears… bells, chains, stars, tinkling things, stones, metal…you name it. I love looking around for quirky looking stuff that matches with my clothes.
  18. Discovering money (that’s been forgotten) in an old purse/jeans pocket. Ah! It makes me feel so rich in a moment :)…and sometimes, I purposely stash away some money somewhere for that experience of finding a treasure ūüôā
  19. Coming home to a warm, lovely meal with the family… in my case, its with mum and dad.
  20. Getting a bouquet of red roses ūüėČ
  21. Renting a video cd to watch on a lonely day
  22. Solving a particularly difficult puzzle. To this day, I feel the same thrill when I solve a complex problem at work, or even sudoku in the paper, as I used to feel when I was solving math (mainly algebra) problems in school. Its wonderful.
  23. Giving a compliment. I’m generally prone to blushing when I get a compliment – still don’t know how to deal with it :). However, I love giving compliments where they are needed. I’ve realized that it takes a very small effort to notice something extra special in a person. And contrary to popular thought, giving a compliment actually makes the giver feel much better than the one it is intended for… I think it brings about a connection between the humans: you feel appreciation/respect flowing out of it, and it is wonderful,… spiritually rejuvenating.
  24. Reading the Sunday newspaper,whilst drinking a hot cup of delicious tea. Its my favorite activity on a Sunday morning, and one of the most relaxing ones. In fact, tea features in a couple of my other favorite activities, and I love drinking tea at odd hours… way into the night :).
  25. Hearing an old song and being transported back into time. A lot of songs have that effect on me, and one I distinctly remember in terms of even the first time I heard the song, what I was doing, and what I felt, is Tere Dar Par Sanam from the movie Phir Teri Kahani Yaad Aayi. To this day, when I hear the violin piece at the start of the song, I get transported to my room in Dammam, Saudi Arabia – on a cold winter evening in my bedroom, looking outside the balcony adjoining the room, while listening to this song for the first time on my walkman.
  26. The high of performing on stage. Dance is my passion.
  27. Seeing ducks/swans/lotuses in ponds. Often, as I’m travelling on a train to Kerala, once the picturesque locales of the Kerala countryside appear in the train windows, it isn’t uncommon to see ponds filled with pink and white lotus flowers. I also get to see ducks and swans paddling peacefully in the ponds, and I always wonder what lovely looking birds they are… so fluffy and cute… and clumsy, like me :).
  28. Going through old photo albums. Photo albums are the only way of holding time still. Which is why I like photography – because I think it is a way of bringing time to a stop and getting a slice of life in a picture… I have a lot of old family pictures at home, and in my school years, it was often a hobby (a very pleasing one at that :)) of mine to categorise the pictures and put them into different albums chronologically, or distinguished by the families they belonged to, or by events etc,to write labels for all the albums and arrange them neatly in a bag. Today, Flickr is the online equivalent of that for me.
  29. Poring over book titles in a library/book store, anxiously reading their summaries, biting my nails and wondering which one to rent / buy. I love reading books and it gives me great pleasure to curl up on a bed/couch with one and spend an entire evening reading it and musing dazedly on its contents.
  30. Watching my favorite TV shows – right now, its re-runs of Friends, Full House and Bigg Boss, to name a few.

Some list there, eh? I wasn’t planning on such a huge list when I started out, but as I started counting the pleasures of my life… one by one of them popped up on its own accord. Just goes to show that even though we may not know it, we would probably have many such wonderful things that make our lives so special, and make us blessed to be alive and kicking in this world!

Tagged!

Well, well, well. The inevitable has happened. I’ve finally been tagged!. In fact, its been sometime that I’ve been tagged, but I couldn’t get around to it till today because I was busy all of last week.

So here is the standardised output:

I am thinking about…

  • How to find time between work and other chores, to write posts on everything I’m thinking about these days (Trust me, there are a lot many ideas festering in my brain).
  • Buying a laptop before this year ends… I’m not an impulsive buyer btw. I usually do lots of research and buy something only when I’m completely convinced that I need it, and I will have¬†total use for it. What motivates me to do the research, thinking and mulling over the idea of buying, is the need to never regret a decision I’ve made. I positively hate to do things and then spend the rest of my life regretting (life is too precious, you see). And I also believe that once the action is done, there is usually no “Undo” button in life, so having that extra thought never hurts. This ideology has stood me in good stead over the years, and I sleep pretty well in the nights, so I guess its my mantra for a good life. I’ve ventured out and away from the initial topic (as usual), so coming back to the laptop -I need to have a good look at features and price¬†et al¬†– once I’m done, I’ll know whether I’ll actually be buying one soon or not. Right now, it looks like I will be buying one ūüôā
  • How to¬†stop procrastinating¬†and get my driving license and finish that task¬†in my ToDo list asap.

I want to…

  • Be of some use to the society. I’ve been¬†contemplating things that I could do as a person, to help make a difference, and children seem to be the cause that’s closest to my heart. It tears my heart apart to think of children in distress; orphaned, made to beg, sexually exploited, physically exploited… and even if I can’t make a difference to all of them, I’d like to do something in the near future, that would help atleast a single child. I would also like to remind all of you reading this, that if each one of us think of helping a single child, we can go a long way in securing the future of our country and our world, and making this a better place to live in.
  • Become more¬†fit¬†[Typical bane of any software engineer ->¬†long hours at the workstation +¬†no exercise = bad back, no stamina, unfit body]. I’m dabbling in a bit of yoga, but I need to make more concerted efforts, so that I don’t end up with a whole host of lifetstyle-related-diseases in middle age.

I wish…

  • I could remember to be silent more often and learn to hear the voice of God.

I hear…

  • Music. If I’m not actually listening to music on Radio City/Radio Mirchi/Radio One/Rainbow FM (yes, yes, those are the main¬†FM radio channels in Bangalore) or on my PC, then there’s always some song playing out in my head (amazingly in great detail – even the background music, interludes, bass etc are adjusted to be exactly the same as the actual song :)).¬†Music is my lifeline.¬†As soon as I step out of my house, I plug in my earphones and there starts my sojourn with Bangalore’s FM channels. The radio is switched off after I’m seated at my workstation, but the earphones don’t come out – the plug is pulled out from my walkman and pushed into my PC’s earphone outlet. And then when I’m going home, radio is my companion – in fact, Bangalore’s much-publicised traffic woes never really get to me :).

I wonder…

  • about the complex patterns of humans, their behaviour, their physical attributes, and their peculiarities.
  • that if creation on the earth is so beautiful, how magnificent the creator must be.

I regret…

  • Nothing. See my entry in “I’m thinking about…”.
  • I understand that regret is inevitable at times,¬†because you can always not do the right thing. But I still think its better to understand, accept your mistakes and move on in life, rather than to spend it regretting. Regret is a powerful way of degeneration. With each moment spent regretting, you’re losing a moment that you can use to make a difference, to make a change.
  • It takes a strong effort, but believe me: for every new decision you take, spend a minute thinking whether you’ll be regretting it ever. If you think you will, stop and consider. Always¬†make¬†the decision knowing that¬†you won’t regret. This is not equivalent to doing the right thing. You may still take the wrong or right path, but not regretting the path you’ve taken makes all the difference.

I am…

  • a Sagi-Scorpio combination.
  • Outward, I am the typical Sagittarius, which is my sun sign. Clumsy, likely to put her foot in her mouth most of the time, childlike, enthusiastic, broadminded, optimistic, procrastinating. I epitomize the archer aiming the arrow at the sun.
  • My moon sign is Scorpio, which makes me a little brooding inside, emotionally complex,¬†inclined to mystery and magic, determined, a little vengeful and¬†intolerant at times.

I dance…

  • When I’m happy, when I’m sad, when I’m angry, and when I’m stressed-out.¬†If music is my lifeline, dancing is¬†my passion. If I am not dancing myself, I choreograph :). Most of the time when I listen to music while travelling on the office bus, I visualize groups of dancers on stage, dancing to the tune of the song I’m listening to, and I think of elaborate choreography routines… [Hmmm… I wonder if I sound like a wierdo *blush*]

I sing…

  • Whilst taking a bath, when I’m cooking, when there’s no¬†one in the house and I want to hear my sound echoing off the walls… I used to sing¬†more often¬†as a child, and have performed number of times on stage¬†in school, and in college too. But Bangalore and its cold climate usually¬†gifts me a blocked nose or a sore throat, so public singing is ruled out since my vocal condition isn’t always reliable.

I cry…

  • After a particularly damaging verbal argument. Almost always after an argument, esp. with my mum/dad. Arguments always leave me feeling guilty about the things I said, and my irritation/anger at myself gives way to tears. My mother has started calling me a softy nowadays.
  • When I watch emotional scenes in movies/hard-hitting documentaries. Yes, I’m ashamed at myself at times, but I admit. I’m the one in the theatre, who’ll be watching a particularly heart rending scene, and holding her hand near her face (so that the people next to her don’t see the streaks of tears on the cheeks) and then with a casual flick of the finger, wiping the tear drop that’s threatening to fall and divulge her secret. When I’m alone at home, and am watching a sob story, I feel the odd pain in my heart (which always precedes¬†the tears), and then the tears are running down my face in copious volumes, and I’m crying away to glory… then of course, I don’t bother to hide.
  • Just as a note, I¬†think crying¬†cleans my inner self and makes me more aware of my soul.

I am not always…

  • able to understand my own motives for certain actions/decisions, or some of my emotions. I guess life is a learning process, and as you learn about other people, you also learn a lot about yourself through them, and through your actions. If you think you know yourself completely, please think again… Most of the time, what we think we know about ourself is usually something we would like us to be, not necessarily what we already are. Always think twice before judging someone else, because you never really know/can predict¬†what you’ll do in their situation, and you can end up doing something you once condemned. This has been by far, the biggest lesson in my life, and I’m glad I’ve¬†understood it already.

I make with my hands…

  • Roses out of clay. I love moulding clay to form the shape of roses and other interesting stuff. Once, for a science project (in 8th standard I guess), I fashioned tree trunks out of clay. The project was about environmental pollution, and we won first prize by the way :).
  • Dance mudras (symbolic gestures).
  • Knitting (I have learnt knitting, and like it very much, but I don’t know how to make useful material like sweaters).¬†Strangely, I¬†don’t like stitching much.
  • Food. I love watching cookery shows, but am not a particularly experienced cook – because I don’t like cooking on a day-to-day basis, and also because as a bachelor girl, I can indulge and laze around, and cook only maggi/cornflakes/eat bread for survival. BTW, I said I may not be an experienced cook, but I didn’t say I’m a bad one. I do cook irregularly, and usually the food comes out okay, so I guess I can survive without burning the kitchen down, or having people admitted in the hospital.
  • Drawings (on paper, on Microsoft Paint and in Adobe Photoshop).

I write…

  • My blog (this one was easy wasn’t it? :))
  • Official documentation for my project – concept manuals, functional specs, design specs, make presentations, excel sheets for quality analysis¬†and¬†estimation, training material… yes, the works.
  • I also scribble during meetings. My hand is constantly at work, and I have scores of paper lying around with scribbles, doodles, and drawings – all output from my meetings.

I confuse…

  • People by talking too much about a particular topic. I have a very logical approach to thinking so I inevitably try to convince by saying things that may be like A = B and B= C so naturally A = C. But the problem with logical thinking is that it should be brief. My problem is that I have lots of information, so when I use all of it to convey some idea/solution, my listeners are initially always confused. Then I have to repeat and structure the information bit by bit till I finally convince and people agree…¬†Yes, I’ve confused you too, haven’t I?

I need… (in no particular order)

  • Love.
  • Fresh air, water, food, clothes and a home to live in.
  • Emotional security.
  • Money.
  • Work.¬†I love working. Work makes me complete. Work provides the structure in my life. Although I do have Monday blues, and sometimes a dislike for routine, I would be incapacitated if there was no work.
  • Challenges. Life is a challenge, and even though there are hardships, I realize that we become powerful by overcoming each challenge. I’m constantly inspired by people who try to make the most of what they have, and often overcome debilitating challenges to find more meaning in and to life itself.¬†I thank God for not making my life a cake-walk, or else, I would have become a lazy, useless piece of s**t.

And finally…

  • I love life.
  • And I tag my friends and¬†everyone who reads this post, who hasn’t been tagged yet¬†and has a blog, so that they can spare some time for introspection, clear the clouds in their thoughts, and hopefully make new discoveries about themselves.
  • I enjoyed being tagged :). Thank you, Visitor.