No K, OK?

In response to The Daily Post’s writing prompt: “Twenty-Five.”

Interesting prompt.. I’m dropping the letter between J and L..

What a world it would be without this alphabet..

1. No more reality series with an infamous family without talent.. And guess what no more worrying about a talentless rapper.

2. No more soaps in India, whose names begin with this alphabet..

3. The f bomb loses its edge..

4. McDonalds regions supreme as its rival loses its crown..

5. The infamous street in Washington which houses the lobbyists has to go..

What a world it would be.. The only sad part is, I will have to file an affidavit to change my name.. That sux!

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Thanks, but no thanks!

In response to The Daily Post’s writing prompt: “I’d Like to Thank My Cats.”

Mom always said.. If you can’t speak well about somebody, don’t say anything at all..

With that thought in mind, I’d like to thank my cat(s) for not being there.. Your absence makes us both extremely happy!

Now if the prompt were for a dog, I could write for many pages with a guarantee of tears in my eyes!


Put the mind in the driver’s seat!

In response to The Daily Post’s writing prompt: “I Have Confidence in Me.”

In one word, Mindfulness..

I’m good at what I do.. But at times, I feel that do just enough to stay afloat, not because I cannot do better but because I just go through the motions and do what is expected of me.

What I’d like to do is become aware of every small action.. Understand what I am doing, why I am doing it..

Its like a chef wielding a high end knife.. We all see them make those blitz speed fancy cuts.sometimes showing off by looking at the camera, while the steel moves at a pace where one false move and the chef would lose a finger..

But while the eyes are looking at the camera,the mind is focused on the blade.. Focus with the mind is what I want to do.. The body has to follow.. Doesn’t have a choice..


Tea – Leo Babauta style!

In response to The Daily Post’s writing prompt: “Imitation/Flattery.”

Leo Babauta is my favorite blogger. His blog, zenhabits.net is my source of wisdom, ideas and inspiration. Leo is very relatable.. He seems very real.. With the same strength and weaknesses, that you and me have.

I have been following his guidelines on mindfulness and it has helped me a lot. Following his another advice, I have quit smoking.. Joined a forum of fellow quitters and so far it has worked wonders for me.

If I were to write a post about something.. Say how to make tea in Leo’s style, it would be in this format..

A quote.. Some wisdom about the topic:

“This morning’s tea, makes yesterday’s distant” – Author Unknown..

Followed by bullet points about the steps:

  • Take a clean kettle.
  • Fill it with water
  • Heat the water to the boil.
  • Pour water over tea.
  • Let it steep for 3-5 minutes.
  • Enjoy!

Then a couple of pointers about benefits of drinking tea.

Drinking tea is good for you because you don’t have to drink coffee.

Followed by personal experience..

Earl Grey with honey works better for me.

Finally a note for you.. Make drinking tea a habit by treating it as a sacred ritual.


Its complicated!

In response to The Daily Post’s writing prompt: “Just a Dream.”

I had a really rough week.Friday evening seemed like a welcome relief. I poured myself a drink, lay on the couch dreaming about what’s waiting for me at workwork on Monday.. Dumbest thing to think of but when you have a rough week at a job that you have to do.. In the midst of a recession..its expected.  Work becomes the source of your biggest misery, but the fact that you have a job when millions don’t also makes you feel grateful to have that misery.

Speaking of dreams, in a nightmarish mood, the three recurring nightmares for me are:

1. Being chased by lions.

2. I fail in an exam.

3. I am running late for something that I absolutely cannot miss.

I dozed off on my couch.. The familiar lion came by to say hello.. It didn’t scare me as much today.. Donno why.. Had I stayed with him long enough, I could have sworevthat he purred and not roared..familiarity with the beast breeds confidence, I guess.

I walk past the lion to a news stand and the headline on the newspaper read “School board cancels all exams!”

Delighted, I walk to my scheduled appointment.. Time check..15 minutes to go before my appointment. I  say to myself.. Boy, somebody is taking my nightmares and shredding them..

I browse the magazine, waiting for the nurse to arrive. She does and takes me through the hallway and instead of  the usual “Dr. XYZ will see you in room … “.. She said, pick a door and pick a doctor..

I chose the corner room and the prettiest doctor.. I walk up to the room, open the door and..

And

Another nurse hands me a pill saying ” boy, you are tripping”.. You are a week late to your appointment, your test results are horribly wrong and getting hair extensions for your cat does not make him a lion “..


Friday the 13th, NJTP!

In response to The Daily Post’s writing prompt: “Fight or Flight.”

It was Friday the 13th.. Going northbound on New Jersey Turnpike.

I had a rental car and I was in the second last lane, stopped at a cash window of a toll booth. In the last lane, there was a 18 wheeler semi.

I pay my toll and slowly pull out. The trailer must have been a few feet ahead of me on the right. Speeds must not be over 15 mph.

There was a car immediately behind me.. Suddenly, the trailer merges in my lane.. No indicator, no blinkers.. Nothing.. I slam the brakes hard and honk as hard as I could.. The car behind me nearly rear ends me.. The truck driver decides to go ahead with his plans.

Here I am trapped and can do nothing but watch the behemoth approaching the right front side of my car.. Finally, he must have seen me I the rear view mirror and he swerved hard right causing the left rear of his truck to clip the bumper of my car..

Because I was steady, it all seemed to happen in slow motion.. My heart was pounding, thought I nearly died.. But when I opened my eyes, I saw I wasn’t hurt.. Car damage was minor.. I had comprehensive coverage insurance.. Nothing to worry about and a Friday the 13th story..

All is well!


Grandpa, I miss you!

In response to The Daily Post’s writing prompt: “Cut Off.”

My grandfather, whom we affectionately called Appa, passed away on May 21st 2011 in India. I learnt about this over the phone, here in the US on the night of the 20th.

Incidentally, this was the day when Harold Camping had made the prophecy that this would be the day of rapture.. The prophecy turned out to be bogus, but the first thought that crossed my mind upon hearing the news was “Appa was a great soul and hence was called up in heaven”.

A self made man, who lived a life of discipline, he died a peaceful death. He had a passion for learning.. He got his masters degree while providing for his family of 5 kids, and law degree upon retirement. A stroke left him partially paralyzed in his later years but he kept his life going.. Reading the daily newspaper, writing his daily journal.. All his belongings neatly placed where they should be. Everything thing had a place and a reason.

I could not go back home and participate in his last rites. Upon losing him, I felt this feeling of being an orphan.. When I walked the fairways at my neighborhood golf course,I felt this feeling of emptiness.. A feeling that a family might feel upon losing their house to a twister, the night before..a feeling that all is finished…

But I know, he is looking down upon me and my family and is feeling proud of his achievements.. In our happiness, he smiles for doing a great job of raising the family right..

My son is 14 months old today and in him, I see glimpse of my grandpa.. He is a part of our lives through the mischievous twinkle in my son’s eyes.

Rest in peace, old man.. Its peace well deserved for a life lived well!


Back to the basics!

In response to The Daily Post’s writing prompt: “A Plot of Earth.”

I often question, what have we achieved as humans? We built great civilizations, only to see them rot from within because of greed.. We reshaped land and made monuments only to see them wither away in time.. We have great stories of wars and victories which conveniently gloss over the anguish and suffering of those who lost. We have defined a map of the world where a few live in absolute luxury while a majority struggles to get by..

If you are in the select few, we might not complain.. If you are in the majority, you see the obvious glitches in the picture.. How about we try to fix it?

Get a plot of land.. And use resources to provide for basic survival and nothing else.. A living where you have to work for the food, clothing and shelter.. No air conditioning, no drive through restaurants, for that matter no restaurants… No malls.. You hunt/gather food and you eat.. You knit your own yarn and you cover yourselves up.. A self contained, self sufficient village.. You want something, you walk up and talk to your fellow village occupant.. No metros where you don’t know your neighbor..

Ahh.. This is an impractical dreamland in the modern times.. But this is how we were when us as humans were happy.. We had set duties and life has a purpose..

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Bidar.. a place of warmth and small town cool

In response to The Daily Post’s writing prompt: “Tourist Trap.”

image

I wouldn’t say that I went to this place as a tourist.. My aunt lives there.. I must have spent at least 3 summer vacations (2-3 months) there and the memories of the place are very pleasant.. In fact, when I find that I am worried or off-balance mentally, I like to think of this place to calm me down..

Bidar Fort

Bidar.. A town on the Deccan plateau of India .. Crown of Karnataka.. A town rich in history.. Capital of 14th century Bahamani kingdom..A quaint little place with red dirt.. A town where summer evenings were spent playing amongst 500 year old relics if Ali Bari, Sabbal Bari, where women come to pray for a child.. Ali Bari, the graveyard of the Sultan and his hundred wives..A walk across town was a passtime.. Of the dilkhush ( puff pastry with sweetened shredded coconut and nuts).. Of the underground and partially underwater temple of Dharni Narsimha.. but most importantly, the home of my favorite aunt..

My aunt who took care of me as her own since Day1 of my existence.. Who never judged me for my mischiefs, someone who always saw the good in me, when I was branded not so kindly because of my vices.. My aunt is someone who moistens my eyes with tears, everytime I think of her.. She is the sweetest!!


Charity begins at home!

In response to The Daily Post’s writing prompt: “Think Global, Act Local.”

I came back from a month long trip to India, last week. India has changed a lot since I used to call it home, 15 years ago. Today, the cost of livingliving in Mumbai is at par with the cost of living in Washington, if not higher.. Apartments that cost well over a million dollars, people casually dropping $40,000 on cars and a $1000 on cellphones..

But that is the story in the urban upper middle class circles.. Out on the street, not much has changed. The “common man” is still getting crushed between the walls of inflation and wages that fail to catch up.

Very often we see moms struggling to feed their children. Children on the street begging for food. Child hunger is the global issue that I would like to address..

Here is what people of Mumbai are doing about it:

http://m.firstpost.com/living/share-my-dabba-how-mumbai-dabbawallahs-will-help-feed-street-kids-784183.html

Here is what I intend to do:

1. Stop wasting food. Every time I feed my kid, I give him small portions and repeat servings as necessary. This tells him to finish the food in the plate and not waste food. I and my wife try to do the same. We are fortunate to have warm food and its time we learn to be grateful about it.

2. Instead of donating to religious charities that offer flowers and candles to an unseen god, donate to causes that help fellow humans. We know their suffering is for real.