Zillion Challenges- #AtoZChallenge

Zillion Challenges in our daily lives! We all face them. But how many of them do we give our complete best? When I decided to take up the A to Z Challenge, little did I know that it wasn’t just about blogging every single day of the month. My initial thoughts were..OK… here is a challenge that wants me to blog everyday for a letter of the alphabet. Now that isn’t all that difficult! As I got on with the challenge, I slowly began to realize how wrong I was. Writing everyday for an alphabet was just a small portion

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Yippee for the Yatra!! #AtoZChallenge

Yippee!! I just won a “ticket”- not a lottery or a lucky dip, but a rail ticket! The best way to get to places in India is through our very own Indian Railways. Train journeys well become the reason to travel many a times, especially when you have small children, who enjoy climbing up and down the narrow blue berth. The Indian railways is the third largest passenger rail network in the world, comprising 115,000 km of track over a route of 65,808 km  and a whopping 7,112 stations.   YET, WHY DOES IT HAVE TO BE SO DIFFICULT TO GET A

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(E)Xpress Delivery Online! #AtoZChallenge

(E)xpress delivery of practically anything online is possible these days. Seriously, what was almost unthinkable a few years back seems to have become a norm these days. We could get goods and services from the world of the web, with a click or swipe on our handheld gadgets. Mrs Dixit, our Customer Support in charge in office, recently invited us for her husband’s 50th b’day celebrations. She wanted it to be a surprise party for him. Hence all her planning, from the guest list, the food, the present et all… were done in secrecy during office hours. At 40 something years,

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Wedding Bells in India #AtoZChallenge

Weddings in India are a multi-day affair, loaded with rituals and celebrations. No matter which part of the country you belong to, or the religion you follow, you just cannot escape the grandeur it holds. Indian weddings are typically divided into pre-wedding, the main ceremony and post-wedding. So if you do get to attend one, be prepared to soak in a lot of excitement, fun and good food. But what’s most surprising is the fact that, even though there may be a whole lot of similarities in rituals across the country, when you look deep within, every region has certain

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Valuable Insights to Succeed in Life #AtoZChallenge

Very important lessons could be learnt from the successful. Five lessons are all that I shall talk about. In my blogging journey I have come across many inspiring stories- of the disabled overcoming their handicap, of sportsmen fighting their way to the winning spot and of simple human beings etching their mark in careers of their choice. I try to pick out positive qualities from these success stories, which I feel are the prime forces in guiding them to the top. Read on below Ruveda Salam’s story that gave me five valuable insights into making life more meaningful and successful. Who is

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Under His Umbrella, Life Goes On #AtoZChallenge

Under his umbrella we all live. Seasons and our lives are so similar. It’s blazing hot in Delhi. The temperatures are soaring and the sun shines down on us fiercely. As I walked down the street, the hot afternoon wind blows across my face. I am parched and I crave for those few precious drops of water. I am drained and tired. How I miss the seasons gone by- of spring and winter. Aren’t our lives so similar to the seasons? Sometimes I wonder if the seasons are out there to tell us something. Life has phases just like seasons.

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Survival- Get Your Mix of Positivity & Hope #AtoZChallenge

Surviving cancer should have a mix of optimism and positivity. It is found all around us; however we often fail to notice them. Just like my friend “S”. I had done an earlier blog post of her battle with cancer. So filled with optimism is her story that I had to blog about her once again. S was 34 when she noticed that first lump in her breast. A series of tests and a biopsy later, her doctor declared it to be cancerous. S was devastated. She had a beautiful family comprising of two young girls and a loving husband.

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Really Educated? #AtoZChallenge

Really… Are we actually “educating” individuals, or merely “qualifying them”, piling on degrees after degrees?  I bumped into Mrs. S at a birthday party yesterday. We aren’t really friends but have had a long association, professionally. A lady with a motor mouth, who seldom knew what diplomacy, was. And anyways in kiddo birthday parties, amidst all the screams and squeaks of children, her loud voice may really not bother you much. It all started with someone complimenting my prettily dressed girls. “How cute little girls look in party frocks, shoes and shimmers,” he said. Mrs. S took no time to

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Quite a Lot of Technology #AtoZChallenge

Quite a lot of technology all around us… It has crept into our lives in millions and millions of modes. And even if we want to, we cant shrug it off us, now. My dear friend, philosopher, guide and colleague who shares a cubicle in office with me, “Richard”, was in a big dilemma some days back. Hear his story out. With the financial year end round the corner, the entire office had been on tenterhooks. Boss “A“ had been hyper-ventilating since Jan, pushing us to perform and achieve targets well before the deadline of 31st March. So practically everyone,

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Patriotism On Republic Day #AtoZChallenge

Patriotism is not just the proud feeling for your country. Patriotism is not just supporting your country in cricket. Patriotism is not just about, a day. It is all this and much more. When the feeling of patriotism encompasses you, you realize it is also all about doing your bit in your day to day living for the land you belong to, for the country that gave you your identity. That’s my take. Lucky was I last year, to witness the 66th Republic Day parade. “A” managed to get some passes for the parade. My initial reaction was, “Do I

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Organic Food- To Go or Not #AtoZChallenge

Organic food has seeped into our lives. In a big city such as Delhi, I often spot many a high end stores, selling organically grown vegetables, fruits, pulses, cereals and much more. The tag go-organic seems to be the new mantra. But is this just a fad, or are there some really good health benefits attached to it? This weekend I spent my time in a nearby hi-end grocery store that stocked up a range of organic products. When I stood there thinking whether organic food should be the order of my day, I was lucky to chat up with

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New Clothes Through The Year?? #AtoZChallenge

New clothes are always such a joy to wear. How I love the crispness and smell when they are fresh out of the store. And I am sure it is not just me. Practically every single soul gets that streak of joy on a day when new clothing is worn! On a recent trip to the mall, I was unable to resist some of the attractive deals flaunted by apparel stores to lure potential buyers. I ended up returning home with heavy bags and a lighter pocket. As I stuffed the newly acquired pieces of apparel into my wardrobe, I

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Mysticism & Places of Worship #AtoZChallenge

Mysticism- a complex term that has varied definitions across.  If I had to put this term in simpler terms it would be as follows. Mysticism is a spiritual discipline used to make a contact with the divine. India has numerous places of worship that have some sort of mysticism associated with it. But are some of these mystical practices good for the society we live in? Here is a bit about a lesser known temple in Karnataka – Yellamma Guda Temple.  Yellamma Guda temple is the temple of Renuka Devi, at Saundatti village, Karnataka, India. The temple hosts the Yellamma

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Love For the Game #AtoZChallenge

Love for something, gives you tremendous courage to achieve anything, despite all odds. Meet Olider Dsouza. Oliver had always been an aspiring football player. But fate had other plans for him.  A decade ago while retrieving a football from a makeshift roof, Oliver fell twelve feet down, when the roof collapsed. This freak accident broke his spine leaving him a T-7 paraplegic i.e. no sensory functions from chest down. But this didn’t deter Oliver’s spirits or his love for the game. When he attended a seminar that helped people with spinal injuries, Oliver knew that he just had to get

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Katha- Comic Books From Childhood #AtoZChallenge

Katha- in Hindi this means story. In a country as ancient as India, stories and folklore are abundant.  From mythology, to the great epics, to simple moral stories, these stories have generally been passed down from generation to generation by mouth. Grandparents almost always have a tale up their sleeve that would brighten up the eyes of the curious child. And then came along Amar Chitra Katha. Amar Chitra Katha is one of India’s largest selling comic book series was founded in 1967. It brought out stories of great Indian epics, mythology, history, folklore, and fables in a comic book format.

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Jakamma & Your Fortunes! #AToZChallenge

Josiyam paakkareengala (want your fortune told?)”, she asked me. As I sat with my legs stretched out in the cool sand of Marina Beach in Chennai, I was approached by a 40-something lady. She was clad in a simple cotton sari, a wire basket in one hand and a black staff in another. Her hair was well-oiled, confined in a bun. I have never really been inclined to any sort of astrology or fortune reading in my life. Never really found any logic in them and always stayed away from them. But that evening on Marina beach, seeing the plight of

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Idli, Sambhar and a Tumbler Filter Kaapi #AtoZChallenge

Idli – this white as snow and fluffy delicacy belongs to the southern states of India. Made by, fermenting a ground batter of black lentils and half boiled rice, and steaming them into circular molds, this is one dish that has not only won the popularity award but also the healthy diet award. Each plain idli has approximately 39 calories, 2 grams protein, 2 grams dietary fiber, 8 grams carbohydrates and no fat. As I child I remember my “Amma” grinding a whole vessel full of the batter, in an old fashioned grinder. The grinder in itself was a one

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Hope is All that I Have #AtoZChallenge

“Hope is being able to see that there is light despite all of the darkness”- Desmond Tutu. Before I started out on the #AtoZChallenge, at the time I was choosing an appropriate theme, I decided I will write positive things about India. A country that is so incredible must be spoken about and, a few of its unknown facets must be shared with the world. We are one of those countries rich in culture, heritage, regions and people and I feel good to blog about it. But for the past two days, I have been immensely disturbed by a little

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Great People are Rare to Find #AtoZChallenge

Greatness comes in many ways. Meet Srikanth Bolla the blind CEO of the 50 crore Hyderabad based Bollant Industries. From early in life, Srikanth has had people discriminating him on the basis of his disability. When he was born blind, the villagers in Sitaramapuram in Andhra Pradesh advised his farmer parents to let him die. His parents, though seldom paid heed. At school too, he would often be pushed to the last bench and would not be included in active sports. Yet this didn’t deter Srikanth, who excelled in studies and topped his class ten board exams. At the intermediate level,

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Fiction Fondess #AtoZChallenge

Fiction and fiction writers in India are the kinds who are always popular. Apart from the numerous fiction readers the country proudly boasts of, the recent past has also seen a gradual rise in the number of English fiction writers. But if there is one writer from among the long list of Indian writers, I had to pick, it would be the much loved Indian author Ruskin Bond. Predominantly known as a children’s author, Ruskin has a great number of novels, short stories and poetry that would appeal to the young and old alike. His writing is as fresh as

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