Friday, December 19, 2014

My unsafe world #Peshawar Attacks

There was one incident this week that brought everyone together; white, black; rich, poor and everyone alike. There comes a moment in history when the entire world gets divided at a ratio of 90:10. And the Bloody Black Tuesday was one such incident. 

"The Peshawar Attacks" where 132 innocent children and 9 staff of the school were gruesomely massacred shattered the lives of the people who merely heard about it. One can only imagine the plight of the parents who had waited for their kids to return home from school. Sadly what came home was something that no parent would have dreamt of.

Yesterday while sipping my morning coffee in my office cafeteria, I heard two of my office colleagues (both of them were unfamiliar to me) discussing the attacks. One of them said, "Islam never allows such killings", while the other guy replied, "They will surely rot in hell". I silently heard them and noticed the rage and anger in their face. Everyone was angry. I am angry. The world is angry. 

When the perpetrators of the crime were asked for a reason, I wondered how can such an incident be even reasoned out? How can someone even try to justify such an atrocious killing? 

A million unanswerable questions arose in my troubled mind. Don't these killers have a family? Don't they have children? But above all, don't they have a heart? I do not know. Maybe all of us have similar questions running in our head. We would never receive answers for such questions. We would never know what runs in the heads of such infiltrators of crime.

When such gloomy dark shadows overpower our lives, I keep pondering on various questions, "Where are we heading to? Where is the world I live in heading to? Today it was the turn of those innocent children to die, will I be a victim to such grave incident someday? The thought scares me and I try to helplessly pacify myself."

With the variety of crimes today, I feel unsafe to even step out of my house. I feel unsafe to stay alone in my own home. I feel unsafe in solitude wondering what is someone is standing behind me to stab me. 

The need of the hour is a change in our thoughts. And there is one number of Michael Jackson that keeps resounding, 

"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"

Yes, we need to heal our world that is in deep sickness. We need to vote for the apt ministers who can run our country and put an end to such crime. This goes out to citizens of every country. We must teach our children values so that when they grow up they would support what is right. 

We need to heal our world and make it a better place. 

Tuesday, November 18, 2014

Touch of Life #BringBackTheTouch

Sarah was depressed. Not for a day or two, but since 5 months. There was no reason for her depression. From the outside, nothing seemed to be shady. She had the perfect job in an ad agency. She was pretty, talented, smart and sensible. She had worked hard for the past 5 years in her job and she was a go-getter ever since she was a child. Sometimes, success makes you lonely and it was the same for Sarah. She was a loner. She never had friends. She never had a social life. She never interacted. She spoke less and kept to herself. But she was the best at work. Not that she never had the urge to make friends or share her deepest problems with anyone, she just felt she never had time for it. And by the time she felt that it was necessary for a friend, she had forgotten how to make one.

After attempting suicide a number of times in the past month, she realized that she needed a lot of courage. She finally decided to jump from the bridge near her house and end her life. It was a breezy winter evening. She wrote a suicide letter in black ink saying that no one was responsible for her death and folding it into two she gently placed it near the lamp on the study table. Latching the door, she decided to walk her way to death. All the memories from her childhood flashed before her eyes. She remembered her parents and her brother whom she loved so dearly. She pictured their faces when they would see her dead body. Nothing could stop her from choosing her destiny.

It was late in the night and the bridge was almost empty. She climbed on it and walked to the edge. Saying a small prayer, she said sorry. Turning around, she confirmed that no one was around. Gathering immense courage she pushed the lower half of her body to take a leap into the sea with open arms. It was as though she was embracing death. At that minute she felt a touch. She felt a hand clasp her. She felt touched. A quick shiver ran through her spine. She felt like a coward as she was caught doing the most dreadful thing.

“Hold on”, she found a male voice behind her.

“Do not jump!! I will hold you”, she turned to see who the savior was.

Behind her stood a young lad in his late 20’s, who stood there holding her hand in amazement. She turned and he was lost in a stare-off for 30 seconds. He helped her on the way down from the bridge and dropped her to her place without uttering a word. Neither of them spoke. Neither of them left each others hand as well. There was a strong unspoken conversation that had taken place with that touch.

The next morning, Sarah found a bouquet of flowers at her door with a small not in it. “Smile, for not everyone knows that he would live the next day” – Love, Roy

Roy stood below her balcony to wave her a good bye. This happened for a couple of days. Everyday there was a new note. Sarah didn’t make up her mind to speak to him. Finally one morning, when she opened the door instead of the usual flowers she found Roy standing.

“I just moved in as your neighbor a day ago. Can we be friends?” Roy tried to charm Sarah.

The reluctant Sarah finally opened the doors of friendship. She had found a friend, she had found a confidante and she had found the love of her life. A few months passed and Sarah and Roy were found walking by the bridge where they had first met. This place no longer haunted her anymore. She thanked God for having given her Roy. The touch of Roy’s hand reminded her everyday that there was hope in the life that she had lost. The touch brought her happiness and vanished her fears and depression. The touch rekindled her zest for life. It was the touch that brought life into her drooping existence.

This post is inspired by a topic at Indiblogger Happy Hours called #BringBackTheTouch


Saturday, November 8, 2014

Love Lasts Forever... - #Book Review

Vikrant Khanna, a contemporary author pens his third novel based on marriage and mistakes. I received "Love Lasts Forever" from Blogadda as part of their Book Review Program for Indian Bloggers.

Title: Love Lasts Forever (only if you don't marry your love)
Author: Vikrant Khanna
Genre: Romance and fiction
Publishers: Srishti Publishers
ISBN #: 9789382665175

The Blurb: Eighteen-year-old Ronit falls madly in love with Aisha the moment he meets her at his graduation day from a naval college. He believes he has found his perfect soul mate, and come what may, his love for her will last forever. Seven years later, he gets married to her. Big mistake! A week later, he completely hates her and believes she has turned into a devil.
But his perception about love and life change when he hears the poignant love story of Shekhar, his Captain, on a ship that later gets hijacked by the pirates of Somalia. As they are left fighting for their lives; they confront if love truly can last forever…? Or does it get too late?
Summary: The book begins with Ronit (the main protagonist) sailing on a ship for work purpose and his continuous rants about his wife. His ship goes on to get hijacked by pirates exactly when he is immersed in listening to the story of the Captain of the ship, who was divorced for over 3 decades. Ronit on the other hand, who was in love with his wife for 7 years and married for a few months, wants a divorce. Do the perspectives change? Does Ronit get his divorce? Or Does the Captain's story rekindle the lost love in his life?
The Turn on's:
1. The book teaches you that love is not the only ingredient required to make a marriage successful. Marriage needs a lot of hardwork, patience and perseverance. Ronit's story could happen to any of us. Every married person can relate to it. 
2. The plot would get you attracted at the very first place and make you want to pick this book for a comfortable read.
3. The story of the Captain nudges you at your heart. You will find tears rolling at the end of the Captain's story. Vikrant's does a fantastic job at this. 

4. The tortures by the  Somalian pirates make your heart reach out to the people who put their lives at risk at the ship.
The Turn Off's:
1. The story could have been narrated from Aisha's(Ronit's wife) point of view as well. I felt it was just one-sided and at times you would find yourself hating Aisha for the way she was.
2. The story that is written from a male point of view sometimes fails to relate to you and you find it to be very fast paced. 
Apart from these two negative aspects of the book, I found it to be a book that you can flip through and pick up points to make your relationship better.
My Verdict: 3/5

This review is a part of the biggest Book Review Program for BlogAdda Indian Bloggers Participate now to get free books!

Thursday, November 6, 2014

The Charm Bracelet

If you have watched the movie, "If Only", then you wouldn't have missed out the second last scene of the movie where the hero gifts the heroine a Charm bracelet at dinner. I had watched the movie ay 6 years back and ever since then, I had developed a craze for Charm bracelets.

According to tradition Charm bracelets are generally worn to ward off any kind of evil. But later it turned out to be an accessory and fashion jewelry.

I chose the later and wanted to own one. After having spent years in searching for one in India, I gave up. A few months later my cousin who had moved to the USA (who knew about my craze), found a website where you could choose “Charms” of your choice and make a charm bracelet on your own by ordering on the website.

What followed next was choosing the charms, and ordering a sterling silver simple bracelet to hang the charms. My cousin ordered it online and got it delivered to his address and later sent to me as a gift. This is how my Charm Bracelet looks.

The Charms that we selected are below. Every Charm relates to me in some way or the other Here’s my explanation for every charm, on my bracelet:

 1.  Moon – The meaning of my name, “Cynthia”, originated from the name of a Greek moon Goddess who lived on the mountain Kynthos.

 2. Cousin – This was for my Cousin, who gifted it to me .

3. I love to Blog – This is self-explanatory.

4. Cross – This depicts my love for Christ.


5. Peace Angel – I believe that a guardian angel exists for each of us.

6. Princess Crown -  I am the a princess to my parents.

7. I love to shop - My love for shopping. I think that's every girl's love.

 8. Mother - Chinese symbol for Mother

How did you like my bracelet? Let me know your comments.
And you can refer to these websites if you want to create a bracelet of your own.

Thursday, October 23, 2014

"Marriage" - The unavoidable tradition

The other day I happened to watch the second part of the famous Hollywood movie that was based on an even more famous television series called "Sex and the City". The trouble-prone foursome go on a trip to the Middle East to witness some life-changing incidents. The movie ends with a quote by Carrie about Marriage which goes like this, "You have to take the tradition and decorate it, 'your way' ". This got me thinking. And I sprang up with this write-up. 

Marriage is indeed a tradition, an age old one that no one can escape of. You can choose to stay away from it but, it has to be at the cost of living a lonely life. You can choose to postpone it till you find the right person, but am sure no one can avoid it. Relationships are difficult. There is nothing straight in it. No straight road that can be taken to make it easy. The moment we land up making things right in a difficult relationship is when we think the time is right to get married. 

Around a year ago, I was agitated and like troubled teens I was troubled in my twenties, fighting hard to avoid the taunts from parents and relatives on marriage. My argument would be that of freedom and space. My parents thought that I was smitten by ghettoisation. I tried hard to explain them that I wanted things differently from life. I wanted to pave a path that I never wanted to regret about. Maybe I had stopped believing in relationships and thought the happily-ever-after phrase sadly existed only in books and fairytales. My parents who had spent 26 years of their life together obviously found it difficult to understand my point of view. I didn't blame them as for me their's was a perfect marriage. 

When Mr. A(my husband), visited me for the very first time, I was agitated with the whole marriage rigmarole. I thought I needed time to figure out things related to my job, my expectations from life and above all figuring out myself. All of which turned baseless when I fell for him sometime later. There comes a moment of divine and supernatural revelation when everything seems like a bliss and on one such flimsy moment you give away to all those presumptions and say a yes to marriage. Because, you know that it is this person and no one else with whom you can ever be sure about marriage.

It seems like a fairy tale till you put on the angelic white-dress, walk with your beautiful bridesmaids, get the church decorated, exchange rings and go on a honeymoon. What happens later comes in the sequel to a perfect love story, which generally becomes a flop and unsellable. 

To make is sellable and buyable, you need to make it work. You need to put in that much of an effort and time, so much so, that you can land up getting your back on fire. You may crib, you may complain, you may wanna pull each others hair and you may wanna run away and spend time in the quietest place on earth. Acceptable and anticipated. There may be differences of opinion. There will always be a stage where nothing would seem right and everything would fall apart.
But if you once felt so sure about this person, then you will get back, you will work it out, you will sort it out and you will build your own rules. Not because you have been bound in "an unavoidable tradition" but because, you know what love is, you know what togetherness is, you know what sacrifice is, you know what peace is and you very well know how to "decorate it in your own way". 

The only way out of this confusing saga of marriage is having the heart to understand the person of the opposite sex and never giving up. You have to try till the slanting line becomes perfectly straight. Sometimes, it may never be straight but at least the curves would remind you of all the efforts you took.

For those who are struggling through this tradition, give time, spend your entire strength on your marriage, define your rules, give space to the other person, don't let him or her feel that he was better off being single, be silent when you need to be and stand by him/her when you are all that they have. For those who are like the a-year-back version of me, don't worry, marriage is not like gambling where everything is based on luck, marriage will come by your way in its own sweet time and you will definitely get a chance to "decorate it your way"

Tuesday, October 21, 2014

#Five sentence Fiction - Falling and Failing!!

A five sentence fiction inspired by the prompt


I stood at the tallest building, gazing up at the sky and thanked God for helping me achieve whatever I had wanted.
At that very minute, I remembered the person who was instrumental in my successful music career.
 It was my Grandmother.
I had been rejected by 10 music directors and I sat wailing in her lap.

She then comforted me and said those priceless words that resounded in my ears even today, "Falling and Failing are filled in the baggage of every successful person, It's upto you to strive hard and lighten your baggage"
I am a Write Tribe ProBlogger with a commitment to write as frequently as I can.

I host the 10/10 Tuesdays prompt with Deepika. Do visit here

10/10 Tuesday Prompt #3 - "Lights in Diwali"

Hello Everybody, Welcome to the third week of 10/10 Tuesday Prompts. Hope you all had a lovely week. This week is going to be a gala time as in India we would be celebrating the festival of lights, "Diwali".

What are you doing this Diwali?
How have you planned to celebrate it?
How will you light up someone's life this diwali?

Do share it with us as our prompt for this week is inspired by this festival. It goes as follows,

"Lights in Diwali"
Deepika and I would love to hear your take on this prompt.
Take your pens and start writing. The rules are very simple. You have to pen down 10 sentences which must comprise of 10 words each.

For more on 10/10 Tuesday Prompts, visit here and add your links in the linky below or leave them in the comments section.

About last week, we received two entires from two lovely ladies. I would like to say that both Vinitha and Shalini did a fabulous job with the prompt on Water.

Vinitha's fiction is a must read. Do visit her work here. Vinitha you did a great job. Loved reading your piece. The end was unexpected.

Shalini has written a wonderful poem which is a must read too. You can visit her work here.


Monday, October 20, 2014

Secret to being Happy

Happiness is a secret recipe that no sage or saint can provide you. It is a hidden treasure that does not have a predefined route to finding it. It is a lock whose key is left to you to discover.

Have you complained on and often that you are not happy?
Have you been depressed that you have no one to keep you happy?

Hold on, you need to face the truth that no second or third person can make you happy. It is highly imperative to understand that you are the only person who can make yourself happy. Sad but true, you cannot blame anyone for your unhappiness and you cannot put the burden on someone else to keep you happy.

Now you may think that the company of your friends gives you happiness or the company of that special someone makes you feel elated. You may feel that this contradicts the point that I have mentioned above. But in reality it doesn't. This is because, you have taken the effor to build your relations with these close people who in turn are a reason for your happiness. You have chosen to be happy amongst such people.

So next time if you find youself telling someone that you are not happy, then you are the person responsible for it.

There are some tips that I follow incase I feel unhappy. Read them below and let me know if these help you in the long run.

1. Find your passion: All of us have some passion that destress us and bring a smile on our face. Pick any of that and execute it. Say if you love painting, pick a piece of chart paper and play some strokes.

2. Move out: Move out of the current place that you are in and take a stroll in a nearby park or your own parking space. Breathe in some fresh air and feel the difference.

3. Avoid: Avoid things that are a put-off.

4. Listen to some music: Music has the capability to calm your senses. For me music and the lyrics they carry remind me of some special moments and automaticall bring a smile on my face.

5. Open an old photo album: Photos are the best possible way to capture sweet memories. Ever tried opening an old photo album? Do it today.

Last week was completely stressful for me for various reasons. I chose to make myself happy over the weekend by doing pot painting and buying festive lamps for diwali.

I am a Write Tribe ProBlogger with a commitment to write as frequently as I can.
I host the 10/10 Tuesdays prompt with Deepika. Do visit here


Friday, October 17, 2014

Inspiring quotes from "The Alchemist"

Reading "The Alchemist" was on my cards for quite sometime. However, I had been postponing it till I found it in the cupboard in my Mom's house. I had heard a lot of positive reviews about the book. This was not the first work of "Paulo Coelho" that I was about to read. I was introduced to Paulo Coelho with the book titled, "Veronica Decides to die". I had loved the book would be an understatement. After that I had tried reading, "The eleven minutes" and "The Zahir", but I landed up putting down the book after reading a few chapters. That does not mean the book was bad. It's just that I couldn't relate to these books.
This is not the case with "The Alchemist". This book can relate to anyone, young or old. Age is never a question when it comes to doing what you really want and making your dreams come true.
I was initially thinking of writing a book reveiw but then I dropped the plan thinking that, no book review can make you decide if you want to read the book or not. The Alchemist in itself is enough to convince you to read it.
Instead of a review, I decided to share some quotes from the book that I had noted down while reading it. Here they are:
  • "The closer one gets to realizing his destiny, the more that destiny becomes his true reason for being"
  • "The boy was beginning to understand that intuition is really a sudden immersion of the soul into the universal current of life, where the histories of all people are connected, and we are able to know everything, because it's all written there."
  • "People need not fear the unknown if they are capable of achieving what they need and want."
  • "I learned that these things are all so simple that they could be written on the surface of an emerald"
  • "It's not what enters men's mouths that's evil," said the alchemist. "It's what comes out of their mouths that is."
  • "When you possess great treasures within you, and try to tell others of them,
  • seldom are you believed."
  • "It said that the darkest hour of the night came just before the dawn"
  • "Why don't people's hearts tell them to continue to follow their dreams?" the boy asked the alchemist.
  • "Because that's what makes a heart suffer most, and hearts don't like to suffer."
  • "Remember that wherever your heart is, there you will find your treasure"
  • "Your eyes show the strength of your soul"
  • "There is only one thing that makes a dream impossible to achieve: the fear of failure"
  • "Everything that happens once can never happen again. But everything that happens twice will surely happen a third time."

Tuesday, October 14, 2014

A day in Kochi

Covering your eyes with a blanket of green,

As far as the eyes can perceive,

Mellowing down the tiredness with a sheen,
Where water forgets to dry,
Where Trees grow faster than people,
Where bliss is a gift you cannot miss,

For me, this is God's own Kochi.

On the way to Fort Kochi  +Cynthia Vincent 
With a scent of mud and mild droplets of rain for the entire year round, Kochi is a place that will enthrall you with every breath that you take. Water, land, green, boats and rain are a common state of affair for the people living here. But, for a Mumbaite like me, it was bliss.

A crazy traveler that I am, my husband and I visited Kochi in the end of August to attend the wedding reception of a friend of ours. The wedding was supposed to be held in the evening, so we decided to tour around Kochi in the morning. As usual, I had made a list of places that I wanted to visit.

We hired a cab which took us around. We reached Kochi by around 8.30 in the morning and we were welcomed by a few spells of rain. The airport, being situated in the outskirts gave us an opportunity to take a small tour around Kochi till we could reach Fort Kochi.

Cherai Beach +Cynthia Vincent
There were not apartments or tall buildings in this part of Kochi. It was new for people like us. We found separate bungalows that were massive in size. We longed to have a peep inside these homes and have a look at how huge homes looked like. Every house had a name for it. At the entrance of every home, there were trees. Greenery was not something you would long for once you are in this city. Greenery is a birthright.

Cherai Beach +Cynthia Vincent
Our first stop was Cherai Beach. The weather was gloomy and windy, perfect for a romantic getaway. Calm and serene as it looked, Cherai Beach had very few visitors at that part of the day. We walked on along the pathway that was built adjoining the beach. As we walked towards the end of the pathway, from nowhere we could hear sounds of thunder. Suddenly it started raining. It wasn’t mild. It rained like cats and dogs and we had to rush back to the cab.

Near Fort Kochi +Cynthia Vincent 
We continued our tour and came across a number of tiny bridges above the backwaters. There was something else that caught my eye, it was the Chinese Fishing nets. This was something I had never seen before. I wished to ask the driver to stop for some time so that I could take a closer look at these nets. He asked me to wait for a while. Seldom did I know why he had said that.

Chinese Fishing Net +Cynthia Vincent
Our next stop was Fort Kochi. We enjoyed a jolly ferry ride before we reached the Fort Kochi. As we walked past the coast we found many Chinese Fishing nets. They were a treat to the eye. It was one of a kind that I had never seen elsewhere. Walking in between a cloud of trees and with tiny drops of rain that wet your cheeks every now and then was a memorable experience.
We visited the church where Vasco Da Gama was buried. And headed back to the cab.

Our stomachs churned hinting that it was time for some mouthwatering water. We stopped at “Dal Roti”, a restaurant that was styled in an ancient manner. We chose to eat “Stuffed Prawn Paratha” that was just finger licking. Anytime, you visit Kochi don’t forget to visit this place and taste this delicacy, if you are a non-vegetarian.

St. Francis Xavier Church  +Cynthia Vincent 

Outside the church +Cynthia Vincent 
Cochin, the English counterpart of Kochi was blessed with a Dutch’s Palace in Mattacherry, which was further away from Fort Kochi. We found a lot of valuable things in this museum which included the first coins in India. This museum should be recognized in a larger scale.

Tired that we were by the end of the day, we have just enough time to get dressed and attend the wedding reception. Cochin was marvelous and undoubtedly, I would want to visit it again.

Dutch's Palace +Cynthia Vincent 

What about you? Let me know.

Monday, October 13, 2014

10/10 Tuesday Prompt #2 - "Water"

Hola, Hello and welcome to another 10/10 Tuesday Prompts. Hope you all started with a great week yesterday. Embrace the week and I am sure all of you must be gearing up for the Diwali celebrations. 

Without rambling any further, let’s acknowledge the entry that did really well in the last week’s prompt. Being our first week at 10/10 Tuesdays, we received 5 entries, which I must say wasn’t disappointing for starters. This week, we are going to grow, share the prompt and gather more people to write for 10/10 Tuesdays.

The prompt that made its way to the top was Shalini’s. Yes, you got it right, she's the One with Brown eyes. Shalini is an IT professional with a zest for blogging and writing. I am a frequent visitor to her blogs and love the way she plays with words. You can visit beautiful Shalini’s blog here.

Here is her prompt that left us stunned. Her poem written is exactly 10 sentences with 10 words each was indeed touching and warm. I take privilege in sharing it here.

This is a reflection of life- on all commitments past,
I’ve suffered torments and tortures which still leave me aghast.
My pride and morals are inundated by scorn and disdain
What is kept as art is relegated to tear apart
I’m searching for answers and is not checking my past,
Nor am I planning any future, as it’s in vain.
Thoughts written down,  but I am on the wrong page
Destroyed wishes and dreams become more than mere frustrated rage.
I’m attempting to stay quiet and not making a scene
My lost baby, you will be close to my heart.

Loved it right? We loved to read it too.

All of the other entries did an excellent job and we would like to see your posts every week.

To get started with our second week, the prompt for this Tuesday is “Water”.
When you hear the word Water, what comes to your mind? Water, the source of life can be treacherous at times.

Deepika and I would love to hear your take on this prompt.
Take your pens and start writing. The rules are very simple. You have to pen down 10 sentences which must comprise of 10 words each.

For more on 10/10 Tuesday Prompts, visit here and add your links in the linky below or leave them in the comments section.