#MicroblogMondays – Those Language Nuances

From my notebook..

From my notebook..

Just before my Yoga class today, a group of expats was discussing languages they know and how much of Kannada and Hindi they have picked up during their stay at Bangalore. These men and women were from Canada, Australia, and Germany.

While the discussion centered around a couple of phonetics, I wondered how much different one language is from the other.

  • In a part of Germany, the sounds of ‘t’ and ‘d’ are alike. 
  • In Canada, there is no ‘dh’ sound so this gentleman’s kid makes him practice ‘dh’ ten times a day but he can’t figure out the difference between ‘d’ and ‘dh’.
  • In India, where many languages are spoken – Hindi has different sounds for ‘t’, ‘th’, ‘d’, and ‘dh’ however, in Kannada, there are just two ‘dh’ and ‘th’.

Being an audience to this conversation, I realized how learning the accent is harder than learning the language, how children pick these nuances faster than adults can even get the difference and how our world is such an amazing melting pot of so many cultures, languages, food and what not. 

Have you attempted learning a new language and realized what I heard today?

Writing for #MicroblogMondays today and this picture from my Kannada classes notebook has been tagged to Mundane Monday #60

A Chance Encounter

Chance encounter

A chance encounter

When he met her, was that encounter a chance or his destiny?

Not very long ago, there was a young man. Full of life and ambitious. Born and brought up in a small city in the north of the country, he wanted to see what’s beyond. He wanted to do something different with his career. It was the time when the world was under a technology revolution.

He had heard his friends talk about the software industry and he made that his next goal. He studied hard, prepared well and started to live his dreams. It was a new life over 1000 miles away from home. He made new friends, broke a couple of ties with the old ones and moved on.

The industry met him with open arms. There were joys of the probation period. The ganging up with friends to write a code and then appearing for the exams. All hard work was to ensure that he landed up in a good project and got posted in his city of choice.

He wanted more with life and at that young age, he was focussed. He read about business tycoons and their strategies to succeed. He knew where he was headed and his dreams told him the same.

Not very long ago, there was a young woman. Full of life and ambitious. Born and brought up in a small city in the east of the country, she wanted to see what’s beyond. She wanted to live a carefree life. She was a new to this city and had just then started her career.

With a job in her hand, she was a free soul. Starting a new life over 1000 miles away from home, she was not new to living with friends. Having made her own family of people around, she was happy and ready to meet this new life. She used to spend weekends with friends exploring the city and eating out.

She read Chicken Soup for the Soul and found inspiration in her daily life. It seemed as if things were just out of a book. All rosy and perfect. A job, a monthly salary to spend and friends to spend time with.

A common friend wanted to meet her and he decided to join her. They were both headed to meet this common friend and between the visit was a 3-hour bus ride. A journey with a stranger. They met at the railway station, walked towards the bus stop and bought the tickets.

She quickly grabbed the window seat and he confidently parked himself next to her. Three hours will fly by. She thought. She had a book and he had his headphones to listen to radio. Early morning calmness dawned and they quickly exchanged pleasantries and talking of how they know this friend.

He was tall, good-looking and there was something in his eyes. Honesty may be. She was impressed.

She was shy, her hair was long and beautiful, and she seemed logical. He loved her voice.

Three hours flew by and they spoke of careers, friends, families, backgrounds, and one conversation led to the other. The bus did not stop for a break and they did not take a break from talking. It seemed as if they knew each other yet there was so much to discover.

They were different and they parted ways when the bus stopped. She was wondering how could she talk so much to a stranger she just met. She went to meet her friend and he went to meet his. Though they were not around each other, the conversation continued over text messages. Many one-liners and many thoughts.

She was attracted but the pace was not her style. She was the dreamer and things had to follow how she had read in books.

He was attracted and he couldn’t care less of the pace. He was logical. This wasn’t a book.

She spent the night with her friend and shared how her day was so different with this person around. A message beep woke her up at the middle of the night.

He wanted to talk.

She stepped out quietly to make this call. He was now on the line and all they listened were the birds from each side. It was a full moon day and she was looking at it when he spoke. Maybe she knew what he was going to say.

He told her that with her, his day was good. He told her that she made him express what he hasn’t in a long time. He told her that he liked her and then he said he would like to be around. Forever.

She felt a lump in her throat. No one had told her this before. She was not sure what to say. This was not from any of the books she had read but this was real.

He wanted to know her reply and all she could say was No.

They travelled back together but this time, something was different. A slight touch stirred something inside her yet she had said no. He wanted to ask why but his logical mind couldn’t let him ask. This time, she read her book and looked out of the bus window. He looked at her but did not let her feel that.

The journey came to an end. They shook hands and went in different directions. On her way back home, there was a riot of emotions within her. She wanted to know if he meant all that he said. She wanted more words but she had said no. She did not know why she had said no.

A phone beep got her back from her chain of thoughts just as she was about to reach home. She looked at her phone. He had left his book in her bag and he wanted to meet for dinner the next day. 

A chance encounter had come to an end or had it just begun.

This post is written for Discover Challenge-Chance Encounter.

A TweetUp this Sunday

What happens when you meet, while you tweet? 

A TweetUp. 

I had a good answer to give this Monday morning when I was asked, how was my weekend.

Sunday was made exciting and fun when Jeroz sent out a mail last week asking if Bangalore folks would be interested to meet and tweet while taking a ride on the newly opened east-west Metro corridor. 

For reasons unknown, I said yes. Happens to me many times but this time, I was not sure which bug had bitten me. A bunch of strangers meeting at metro station, preferably in blue and then taking the metro while we were to tweet was something that I had never attempted before.  

Good for me, my friend from work, MS joined and I had company. Well, at least one anxiety of not knowing anyone was dealt with. We started our ride from Indiranagar metro station and were to meet the rest of the gang at the Baiyappanhalli metro station. MS and I were on time, clicked a couple of pictures and waited for (wo)men in blue to join. 

Slowly, the momentum picked up and rest what they say is history. I had the funniest afternoon with some good people in a long time. You can trust me on that cos I was standing throughout and my phone did most of the talking. See, I’m not complaining!

Here’s my day in tweets – 

Kicking if off –

In God we trust, for everything else we need data –

Things people do –

A selfie to wrap –

And that’s my word –

No, I’m not forgetting about the metro ride. Thirty minutes flew by and imagine the distance we covered from east of Bangalore to the west. If you are in that stretch, however crowded it may be, a metro is better than sulking in traffic. The stations are well maintained and manned, the instructions are clear, and the staff is helpful. 

Bangalore’s metro is not a joy ride anymore but much more than that. Try it out and you will know that for yourself.

My Ideal Yatra

‘Yatra’ is a Hindi word meaning a journey or a trip. 

While some plan on the go, there are also those who are meticulous planners who prefer to lay down the itinerary and chalk out the plan to a T before each travel.

Which category do I fall?

Neither of the two. I prefer discovering things as we travel but I also want to ensure that I am not caught unaware of the locale, the food, places of historical significance or the major tourist attractions. While I do not have the fear of missing out attractions, awareness is important to me. I want to know what lies ahead. 

What is a perfect vacation? 

One that can give a person the right break from the hum drum of life. One that lets a person achieve the goal of taking sometime off and stepping out to venture something new. On one hand, travel is an escape but it is also an embrace with the experiences you never had or you would like to have.

Whenever, VT and I have stepped out on a vacation, it has been for the experiences and the journey. What lies ahead and what newness travel brings in life. Our idea of relaxation is different – it’s when the mind sees what we don’t see in Bangalore, we feel relaxed. We are both nature lovers and even when we have visited an infrastructurally strong city, we have found ways to do things that get us close to mother nature. 

Let’s head out to the Himalayas

For the last three years or so, we have been talking about a trip to the magical land of the Himalayas. I believe that when plans take more time than you expect, something much better awaits than you can imagine. If we were staying up North, a week’s trip would not have been that hard. We could have done many things in that region over long and short trips. However, now when we plan we know we might not be able to travel so frequently and that’s why on one trip, we want to include everything. From Manali to Kashmir – we need much more time and that is hard with the work schedules. 

For the Himalayas – we can fly to Delhi, take a train or bus to Manali and may be work out on a road journey in the mystical land. They say driving up from the side of Manali and then coming back from the Srinagar would be the best. 

Research tells me a lot of things about journeys in that the high altitude. The most important being getting acclimatized to the low atmospheric pressure and how important it is to keep our health in shape. As we go higher, the civilization, means, and the basic luxuries of city life do not come easy. 

Such kind of travel needs preparation – both mentally and physically. If I get a chance to travel to the Himalayas, I want to camp under the stars, I want to watch the Sun rise and then come back to watch the Sun set behind the mountains. I want to see the snow-capped mountains and how that whiteness compares to the clouds that float in the blue sky. I want to see the green fields and the pine trees. Those that sing a tale when the wind blows at night. 

I want to test myself as I trek up the hills and touch the cold water of the streams that flow free. I want to open a window in the morning to see how the sky changes colors to welcome the Sun in its arms. How even when the Sun shines bright, its warmth is subdued. 

While I want to visit as many monasteries in the Himalayas, I do not want to miss out on the lakes and meeting the people who live there. I want to experience their little joys and I want to hear out their sorrows. I want to eat with them and I want to walk with them. 

Two weeks of moving between locations like Leh, Pangong, Jispa, Kargil, Nubra Valley while passing through Khardungla and much more than this is what I want when I fly off from Bangalore.

Now you know why I need more time and the plan keeps getting pushed. Right?

How would your ideal yatra look like?

Wikipedia Commons - Pass between Hemis Shakpachen and Ang in Ladakh|June 2004 |Picture by Carsten Nebel

Wikipedia Commons – Pass between Hemis Shakpachen and Ang in Ladakh|June 2004 |Picture by Carsten Nebel


#Foodventures – Desserts complete a meal



Aaj meethe mein kya hai?

(What’s for dessert today?)

A sentence that I hear almost every single day and has never annoyed me. As much as my husband loves a dessert after dinner, I can’t deny I also crave for one. The only challenge is health and the calories we can pile on with everyday sweets. So, I smile and say jaggery.

I believe desserts have a reserved place in our tummy. However full you may be after a meal, there is a little space remaining for that spoon of heaven. Red velvet cake, a gulab jamoon, a barfi or a bowl of dry fruit laden kheer. It’s for that rush of sugar in our blood and doesn’t matter if it’s an Indian recipe or not. A muffin is as good as a petha. Isn’t it?

Watching this video made me think of all those twists in desserts I have seen. These are all the simple ones I am sure you would have seen on many buffet tables. A chilled cheesecake, a sizzling brownie with ice cream, a hot gulab jamoon with ice-cream or even gajar ka halwa with ice cream. There are now dessert parlours and who would have thought flavored frozen yogurt with fruits, a common recipe in most homes is now selling like a hot cake. I have also read about Adrak ka halwa which is one of the many #Foodventures that are possible. Recently a friend mentioned of onion kheer which I need to try before I write about that. Not sure how will that taste!

When it comes to Indian desserts, I cannot think beyond a traditional sweet. The khova barfi. Now imagine fresh, soft, slightly sweetened khova as the filling and a ripe green parwal over it. The pointed gourd is a vegetable and versatile in the way it can be used for a meal – a dry bhujia or a curry, stuffed ones or fried ones are very flavorful but trust me, a parwal ki mithai has its own unique taste. The crunchiness of the gourd and the soft and sweetened khova on the inside literally melts in the mouth. The vegetable cleanses your palate and leaves that freshness even after having the sweet.

For the calorie conscious like me, you are just having another green for dessert. A golden rule I tell myself is desserts should be consumed without any guilt else you are insulting it! Do you have an interesting dessert to talk about? Share your story and get a chance to be in a #Foodventures video with either Vikas Khanna or Vir Sanghvi!

I don’t have a sweet tooth, I have a full set. What about you?

Reflections 2016 #AtoZChallenge

A-to-Z Reflection [2016]

Reflections 2016

30 Days | 26 Posts | Women | Change

This was my second attempt at the A to Z Challenge and I loved the experience, like last year. Something that I really enjoy about this challenge is how so many bloggers come together to participate. The energy, the motivation, and the spirit to encourage one and all is commendable. 

Plan to succeed: I believe in the power of planning. Not that I’m great at it but this year, I was more organized than my first attempt and I saw how that helped. In the month of January, I had thought of my theme and started reading to research and pick up topics. By the time, I was ready to write and schedule, other than those ‘Y’ and ‘Z’ ones I knew what I was going to write. Then a 10 post lead when the challenge kick started was good enough to get me the time and write whenever I wanted to. I was done with all the posts a week before the challenge ended giving me ample time to stay calm and focus on connecting with others. 

Write crisp: When bloggers take up this challenge, they want to write but at the same time, they want to be read. If a blogger wants to visit 30 blogs a day, (s)he has to read that many and you need to engage her/him to come back to you the next day. The bigger the post, the harder it gets to grab attention. You can always write more on the topic later but for the purpose of this challenge, 300 words do the magic. 

Meaningful comments: If you like a post that you read, leave a meaningful comment. If you say, ‘Great post’, ‘Well done’, ‘Beautiful’- it just adds to the comment count but no value to the post. Give the blogger a fair share of your time. It’s important to build that connection with the topic that you just read. That is what will help you connect better and find friends in the space. 

Follow and share: I made new friends and followed those blogs I would love to read throughout the year. As you get in the middle of the challenge, you will feel stretched and pressed for time. Get to the ones you follow and seek inspiration. It’s a great win-win way to encourage the one who wrote and then turn to your blog to write. I kept on reading and sharing the posts I enjoyed. Even now when the challenge is done and dusted, new friends are there to stay. 

Twitter chats: Last year, I was not able to participate in the twitter chats and that left me feeling upset about the timings and how this challenge doesn’t work for people across the world. This year, I made peace with the fact that 1900 bloggers from the east to the west are writing and the timings will not work for all. It’s simply not possible. But then sometimes, a little push or even reading through the tweets later can connect you with others. So, the days it was possible for me, I tweeted at 6 in the morning and swayed along. 

Being a minion: As I played a minion this year along with Claire, Shalini and Rajlakshmi, I had a wonderful opportunity to know co-host Pam from Unconventional Alliance. As a team, we looked out for each other, watched over blogs and had a good time on Slack. It’s important to push our limits else we can never know what we are capable of. Writing in advance, helped me find time to read in order to finish the tasks of being a minion. 

Inspiration: This challenge has so much variety that you cannot even imagine unless you are in it. I had many favorites around. Blogs on life’s lessons, unusual occupations, quirky acronyms, being Mum to a deaf child, mental health, flash fiction on emotions, a Bollywood kind of story, travel tales, life as wife of an army officer, parenting, recipes, mermaid, books, reviews, self-reflection and everything under the Sun. The variety and passion are not something so easy to find on a normal day. 

A wrap : As I wrap up A to Z Challenge for 2016, I want to share that I will be around in 2017 again with a better plan. I will read more, share more and connect more. I will also try to reply more to comments on this blog. 

This challenge made me come closer to a lot of bloggers and I am glad that most felt that the theme and my posts helped them learn something new. It’s a feeling of achievement and I am glad I could do that. The host team did a great job organizing all this and keeping the bloggers engaged throughout. The daily Facebook threads were a great way to read others. I also had other Facebook groups where participating bloggers supported each other and encouraged. To me, this has become an annual ritual and I am proud to be associated with it. 

Until next year, keep reading!


Of Writing and Raison D’être

The teenager she was, being good for nothing kept coming on her mind all the time. That insecurity of not being like others and worrying about her life ahead. The emotions that played havoc and the mind that was never convinced that she would achieve something in life. She wrote in diaries and hid it under the bed. She scribbled something and when those drop of tears smudged the words, she knew she had to hide it deeper for no one to find. She never wanted to reveal her true feelings. 

The twenty-something she was, she was figuring her purpose in life. She saw that merit did no good and degrees did not get jobs. She struggled to understand what was expected and then tried to meet expectations. She could not find happiness. She was scared of her future and she still did not know what would make her happy in life. She was strong from the outside, but the same scared teenager on the inside. She scribbled at the back of notebooks and she knew no one can find that in her hostel room wardrobe. 

Over years, more experiences brought some clarity in thoughts and she found her career of choice. She took some calculated risks and realized her life is in her hands. She could see light at the end of the tunnel and started making choices for herself. Personal, professional and all that in between. She made mistakes but kept on moving.

The thirty-something she is, she is open to exploring more interests. She wants to give life a go. She wants to live and do things that she always dreamt of. She wants to see the world and live in every country possible. She blogs and when spoken words fail her, the written words come to her rescue. She loves to click pictures and appreciates herself on every good shot. When her words touch someone’s heart, her day gets more meaningful and she sleeps sound. She looks at the sky and the moon every day. Most of the times, she also captures them in her phone camera. They never change but she still wants to look at them and learn how to stay put.

She is a little late in life but she believes that it’s never too late. She doesn’t want to have regrets in life. She is not very organized and planful. Her vocabulary is simple and she has hardly a reader base but her blog is her den. A place where her thoughts play their own games and sometimes they win. She smiles on each post that goes live cos somewhere all along her words never saw any light under the bed or inside a wardrobe.

Now is the time for her, her raison d’être.

Raison Dêtre

Raison d’etre



If you do not change direction, you may end up where you are heading.
                                                                                                                Lao Tzu



This post is Wordless Wednesday #35 and I am also tagging this for One-Liner Wednesday

#MicroblogMondays – What should I cook tonight?

What should I cook tonight?

What should I cook tonight?

This one question “what to cook” looms over many households.

While some know what to do and maintain a weekly schedule, some like me take it on the go. Some have suggestions that are thrown around when the question is popped, some are just too lazy to respond. Some don’t want to repeat from yesterday and some can’t eat leftovers.

The pizza is yum, the curry is creamy but not so good to eat out every other day. So many apps and placing an order at just a tap, but who wants to wait for another forty-five? The bread was for breakfast and the rice will be heavy.

What should I cook tonight?

Writing for #MicroblogMondays today and tagging the egg biryani I made recently to Mundane Monday #57.

#WomenAtWork – A Painter

I’m a painter.

Canvas and colors are my life.

With the reds and whites, I make homes bright.

This art is my living.

Displayed in exhibitions, my paintings are my reflection.

Today, this little street space is my temporary shop.

From one to the other I go, and those who appreciate, don’t let it go.

I smile and put a price to hard work.

They bargain but miss seeing the thought behind.

I’m a painter.

Canvas and colors are my life.

I am a painter..

I am a painter..

Today is edition #5 of #WomenAtWork, a regular photo feature on this blog. Read the inaugural post to know more. 

I met this artist very briefly during the Open Street, MG Road event in February 2016. She was very kind and obliged me with a photograph by her stall. I wish I had asked her name. Sometimes, life gives us an opportunity to know people but we miss the bus.