Fanning the flames

My blog is a reflection of my that part of my personality that I do not reveal just to anyone in person. I am an introvert and speak little to new people or you can say I take my own sweet time to open up with strangers. There are many reasons for it. The foremost reason is only when I am sure that the other person is going to respect my views even if we are not on agreeing terms, I speak frankly. Inviting conflicts is not my cup of tea. So when Piyush came to meet me for the first time, in just 5 minutes I concluded that I do want to speak my mind to him. He tried really hard but I didn't budge.

It was only later when he read my blog posts he realized I will make a good partner to him. And he struggled but finally convinced me of that too. Oh, how  grateful I am to my blog for showing me the right path that lead to him! This was the greatest compliment anyone could have given me. Accepting me as a life partner wholeheartedly.

Even when I am not sure of my writing capabilities, he remind me of this. But I tell you I was bowled over when I read his writings. Yes, he writes too! He has this uncomplicated mind and very broad views and that is his style of writing too. But unlike me, he is a dedicated software professional who doesn't miss his creative side much, probably because he is as creative in his job. Still, how can a talent like his fade away. So, after much pestering and inciting and forcing him to write guest posts on my blog, I am finally able to fan the flames. Yes, my Mr. Darcy has brought back his blog from its burnt and cool ashes. Introducing to all my friends in blogging community - a panorama of beautiful meaningful poems, thoughts, tech reviews and much more from this wonderful personality.

Here's are few of my favorite lines in one of his poem "Love":

True love is a joy 
But remember, in love do not fall 
Rise in love, love is for rising 
Grow in love to heights tall 

Let your love flow freely 
Never confining in expectations 
The joy lies in inexpressible feelings 
Eyes conveying speechless confessions 

When you love some one 
Just love truly without any bound 
And ask your sweetheart to tread softly 
Because your dreams lie all around 

Way to go Piyush! All the best..

What I want

Writer's note: I was prompted to write this post “as a part of #UseYourAnd activity at BlogAdda in association with Gillette Venus“. But as my honest writing progressed, figured these views are not only limited for women but for everyone.

My school life was quite uneventful with me being a plain jane who later in high school took this task of proving to biased teachers that though I am not as beautiful and smart kid as needed to be their favorite, still I am someone. I came to be known as an affluent artist in my time with same teachers going gaga over my drawings and sending to school competetions. In my early 20s when I enrolled in one of the best University for a professional course, I heard my father telling his friend that he doesn't see me doing a job and that my education is solely for my better future as it'll ensure me a good husband. For me it was a shock. I had not made my mind till that time whether I want to work or not but this certainly made my mind. You see my father having these views otherwise raised me just like my brother. There was no gender bias at home and we were given equal opportunities. But as my brother was forced to believe that to find a job is the motive of his life, I was being forced to believe that to get a good husband is mine. He was far too concerned for my security to send me to just any college. As Iqbal said - "Khudi ko kar buland itna ke har taqder se pehle Khuda bande se khud pooche bata teri raza kya hai". I never argued with my father about what I want. I just proved by working hard, looked for right places and made him question his own beliefs. Securing a good placement was the last straw. And as I cracked the interviews of one of the best IT firm in country, he could say nothing but relent. For the father who would be scared to send his daughter for school picnics, I have travelled places and that too when I was single. From a small city in UP where I belonged to University in Rajasthan for my graduation, to another University in Chandigarh for post-graduation, to Mysore for job training. Well, finding a good husband was easier by now. This is how I used my AND to become an obedient daughter as well as an independent woman. I have basked in the glory of being the first woman in my family to break the glass ceiling. But wait "kahaani abhi baaki hai mere dost".

For 7 sweet years I have worked in IT. I have a loving husband and a cute 2 year old daughter. They said I have everything - good job and caring family. They said I have all ANDs. Does that make me some sort of a superwoman?? What is a Superwoman?? There is nothing like a Superman or a Superwoman. It is all bullshit when we are struggling to be just humans in this greedy world in daily life - when compassion many times seems like an alien word.

As I had it all with no feminism needed in my personal life, I could see through the hollowness of the glittering tags that come with our so called society. How many women fall prey to feel liberated just to be enslaved by their own fears! I have seen women and also men brewing all sorts of troubles, struggling in pathetic routines and work-conditions just because they are too insecure to quit searching for the true meaning of their life. How they form the clouds of "ORs' in their own minds and work endlessly to achieve their ANDs. There is a hidden pressure to prove to 'others'. How many fails to see that 'being free' is about being liberated in your own mind. It believes in yourself that you can stand in crowd and speak your mind without inviting any conflict. It is convincing the world what you want while still maintaining the virtues of love and compassion for everyone else. 

Have I lost you with all my philosophy?? Hang on, here's what went in my life after the rosy ending of first part:

 As a professionally educated woman with both my mother and mom-in-law housewives and all my friends working, I often faced this dilemma - Should I stay at home and devote myself for my home and family or should I do my job and balance work-life! The relaxed life of my mother appealed to me but so also the independent attitude of my friends. Thankfully nobody has ever dictated me any 'OR' but is it always about someone else dictating about our life? Not at all. You see when you are under some kind of 'you should' or 'you shouldn't' finger, you tend to crave for the complete opposite. If people tell me 'you should be a working woman', I would desire to be a house wife. If they say 'you should be a house wife', I would like to work. You tend to desire for the opposite. Making a choice somehow becomes easy if not completely right as it also snatches away from you the actual 'what-my-heart-want'.

Our times are very different than previous generations. Where my mother was always discussing about recipes, hobbies, family with her friends - we discuss about jobs, projects, CTC, opportunities. Seven years in IT and I knew the rules of the game. Either you work or you are not in any league. You feel out of the place in the group of young, aspiring women who start the conversation with - 'where do you work?'. All my girlfriends, sisters, sister-in-laws are working for some company. Nobody says this but there is an underlying feeling that you are rusting out if you are not going for work outside. People appreciated me because of my job and many times I wondered what if I was not working? Would that make me a lesser me??

Just like poor men in our country who slogs every day to their monotonous jobs to fulfil the demand for a social status, women too are started getting labelled because of their jobs. Where is the free will??
This growing stigma in our Indian society kept me running of the mill ignoring my hobbies. I have long forgotten that I used to paint good, that writing made me feel alive, that travelling opened my mind and nourished my soul and that I loved to play with my doll-house as a child. I was doing none of that being busy in a stupid rat race. Not even playing innocently with my 2 year old Barbie like daughter. I was perplexed if I had to spend 2-3 days at home. We were living a sedentary lifestyle when one fine day I abruptly called it quits. I no longer want to prove anything to anyone. I just want to stop for a while, breathe easy, explore myself and live a life. I have decided that I will write when I want, I will paint when I wish, I will travel very often if possible and none of this is getting affected because society is not giving me good ratings in its frivolous report card. I no longer try to define myself in some petty role or personality. I am going to be an example that it is possible to pause every now and then in life. There is no need to hurry as anyways life doesn't come with any fixed expiry date. Take breaks as often as you want and chill. Love people but don't get intimidated by them and their views about you. Views get changed if you don't give a damn about them. Who cares for that too by the way? And I am not alone. There is this growing number of strong confident Indians who are breaking away from the shackles of the insecure minds.

I have finally learned that a person cannot (or should not) be labelled. That everybody has a right to enjoy life but more than that everybody is entitled to be free of 'what-others-think-of-me'. If we start doing that, we cease to be just a man or a woman - we start recognizing ourselves as a person, an individual with certain purpose and above all living each moment in present. There will be no ultimatum of 'OR' and no struggle for 'AND'. Life will just be happy and running with you!

Just what I need

I am a person with multiple interests. One moment I am a writer, another one I am a painter, yet another I am a movie buff, or a blogger or a travelling soul or a pensive reader and yes, I forgot I am a professional software engineer. And recently I quit my job to pursue things on my own. With that gone is my office Dell laptop which though powerful but otherwise was boring to me.
 So I took out my personal laptop which was biting the dust all these years. But I was alarmed when it shouted at me, "Hello?? Don't you have some respect for someone's privacy and leisure hour?" And I was taken a back!! Somehow I am making the poor guy work to help me get my next best friend. But wait, will just one friend do for a Jack of all trades Me?
 My stint with computing devices has educated me a lot about ergonomics. With a portable device like laptop - I used to laze around anywhere, everywhere - from the coffee shop to awkward spaces of public transport to the comfort of my bed. With little regard to my posture, I spent long hours on my laptop which led to back and neck pains. This led to opening of my eyes about ergonomic computing.
I have come to realize that while a full-fledged laptop comes with lot of computing power and portability, it also makes us forego our physical discipline. I have also found the native keyboards on portable devices a tad pain for the wrist. So much so, that I ended up ordering an ergonomic keyboard for myself at office to soothe my aching wrist.
I find the good ol' desktop to be a better computing device in this context - for you just cannot take the huge machine to your bed, lie down and type in that position. You needed a table and a chair - and you would sit upright when you were using the machine. But the invasion of laptop has made this irrelevant. And gone are the requirements of proper posture whilst computing.
I feel that the new age devices - all-in-one PC which are replacing the conventional desktops are a very good option. They remove the bulk of the devices, portability is not entirely lost, yet while using these you are most likely to maintain better posture for you would be working on these in a standard table-chair setting.
Since one of my avatars is that of a test-automation engineer, and one of the items in my bucket list of life is to create automation frameworks which could have meaningful use to my community - I guess this ASUS All In One PCET2040 is something I most certainly need to take my dreams forward while ensuring that my computing habits are ergonomically right. Simple, versatile, yet powerful.

 19.5-inch All-in-One PC with built-in backup power, innovative hands-free gesture control and full I/O connectivity

I am definitely impressed by these points:
  • Windows 8.1 or other editions available
  • Smart backup power prevents data loss up to one hour
  • Intuitive gesture control for hands-free entertainment
  • Comprehensive array of I/O ports with three USB 3.0, three USB 2.0 and HDMI-output
Yes, this will certainly do for all my computing needs.
But what about my travelling vows - I shall abide by my dreams and travel for leisure once every two months at least. I can't carry a heavy laptop while in a bus, or a train, or a flight or bullock cart or whatever. So I have found a perfect gadget for my wandering soul. The new ASUS EeeBookX205TA with its high-end performance and Elegantly Crafted design, it is an affordable 11.6-inch Windows 8.1 notebook that weighs less than 1kg and has a sleek, compact, space-saving design. EeeBook X205 allows surfing the net for up to 12 hours on a full charge. What more is it has Windows 8.1 with Bing which will give me full compatibility with software and peripherals when compared to other operating systems. Geez that means I can have fun while travelling and it looks good too. Sleek on style, sleek in price. Have a look:

 Isn't that a real beauty??
 For more on specifications visit here:

I guess I am on my way to become the Leonardo da Vinci of our time, with multiple talents and equipped with perfect gadgets :)


Shh! Its a secret valentine post :)

I am a little old fashioned when it comes to romance - a Jane Austen fan, feminine to the core. Hence, I have never proposed any guy or flirted with someone. For me it should always be the other way round. A prince charming should always sway away the lady of his dreams off her feet.

With modern times and loving the cosmopolitan life, my thoughts are changing though. But the main reason behind it is that the love of my life is perfect - a Mr. Darcy mixed with Rahul of DDLJ. And I am head over heels for him. So, I want to surprise him this time. Instead of him leading me as usual, I am going to lead him this Valentine's day. And I know he's going to love this deviation from routine.

Here's what I am planning to do:

We both are movie buff but it is always him who looks for new movies and books the tickets and takes me to the Cinema while I happily sit arm in arm with him and watch the show. Not this time.
I will get the tickets booked for the night show. This valentine day is on Saturday which is a holiday for us. So I will do a little drama on late Friday evening that I have missed an important document with my colleague, who is coming to a common point i.e. the secretly booked multiplex and since it is late in the night and being my knight in shining armour, he'll be hell bent to accompany me. I will fake a tussle and allow him only on the condition that he let me drive. Then I will drive straight to the Multiplex. I have spoken to my colleague friend who will be there holding the tickets and who'll insist on us to watch the movie. I know Mr. Darcy won't be able to refuse the attraction and hence, I will start with second phase of my plan.
Excusing myself for the restroom I will go and change into that pretty black one piece dress I have especially bought for the occasion and carried in my hand bag. And yes that glittering Swarovski pendant set which Mr. Darcy got me from his onsite visit last year will match it perfectly. With just a striking black kajal and shimmering lipper, I will be ready in not more than 7 minutes. My friend will take a video shot of Mr. Darcy and his reactions when I will surprise him with my makeover. I am sure by this time he'll be dead sure that I am up to something being a clever fox he is. My friend will say bye on pretext of some personal work and leave. We'll head to the gold class seats and the show will begin.

Now, he must be really smiley and all relaxed to sit back and enjoy his favourite genre movie without having to do anything. During interval, there will be flowers and his favourite snacks for him delivered by pantry guy. But the real fun will be in the end of the movie, past the midnight i.e.14th Feb technically. When the lights are about to be lit, there will be a surprise audio. No, it won't be some announcement but a song. A romantic one - You say it best, when you say nothing at all - our favourite number. I am already recording one with the help of his brother who is into music. He'll be all pleased to recognise my voice and before all turned heads and peeping eyes, I will then touch and hold his hands and say this, "You are my sun and my stars, my Valentine. And I am always yours forever in this life and others and beyond that where ever shall my soul go". He'll sense the platinum ring that I am holding and I will take my hand back and gently slid it in his finger, giving a peck on his cheeks and waiting for him to do the next best thing :)

img courtesy

Now I must hurry up for all the preparations and arrangement with the multiplex guys and yes this is a secret post so please don't share it anywhere lest he should know. :)

Thanks Close-up for prompting me to this little hearty cupid game. Mr. Darcy is sure going to love you guys.

The evening at Juhu Beach

"Now this is what I call a Beach.", I looked at my husband and said proudly. Standing on the sand err I mean trying to find a place to keep our feet on the sand. Sand err I forgot to mention it is black like tar. For few minutes we were confused whether we are on the famous spot of Juhu Beach or some drainage. Why on earth it is like that??

I was looking at Piyush who looked ice cold giving me his I-told-you-better-stay-at-room looks, ready to turn back and give the best run of his life. Hmm I should bring him here often for that run, at least he'll loose that extra fat, I mused.

Forget about him. I am here to enjoy my beach. After all I love sea and thanks to him I am enjoying one after 6 years. And Juhu BEach. I came here more than 15 years ago with my parents.

"Hey, would you mind to click a picture?", I asked him. "Picture?? Where and with whom??", he said rolling his eyes on the public around. Well, yeah there is lot of crowd as in the climax of the Hollywood flick "2012". But who cares? Its the famous Juhu Beach!! Everybody wanna come here and chill. CHILL. What is that under my feet?? Owwww.. Its an empty trashed beer bottle. Thank God, I didn't get a cut anywhere. Why the hell people drink Beer if they can't gulp down the bottles!!

Never mind I should not spoil my beach mood. Here I give my best shot on Camera. One more please. Like this. "Hey.. What is wrong? What are you searching for?" There I see Piyush turning yellow, purple and red. I didn't know my husband can change his skin color. And what is there in his hand. Wait.. Is that a used baby diaper?? Oh my god, I can't stop my hysterical laughs. I should better stop as Piyush is angry as he'll throw me deep inside the ocean. But before he could do any such thing, the rain God saves me. And we run towards the food stalls.

"I want those pav bhajis", I demand. Piyush looks relaxed being away from the waters or filthy beach as he remarked when we arrived there. I wait for him as he goes to pay for that. What a great culture we live in. Everybody is so friendly in India. I am just wondering when I hear some cries. It seems there has ensued some altercations. Oh, Piyush comes back looking disappointed. "Lets go back.. They don't have any hygiene sense. They are wiping the sweat and cooking using same hands". Now that gave me some jolly good shock. I am starving but not for someone's salt and pepper!!

Bye bye Juhu Beach. Will not come again!!

This post is for the Happy hour challenge for great Indian litterbug contest by Indiblogger  in association with