Tuesday, 30 June 2015

Half Yearly Favourites.

            Six months have already flown by without letting us know how fast time flies. In today's post, I'm going to mention my favourite moments and days throughout this half year. By doing this, I want to show my gratitude towards good things and thank God for everything he has given. This post will help me find some happiness in the dark sadness that surrounds. Here are my top 7 happy moments from January until June.

1. Short Stories:

          I wouldn't have thought of writing short stories without motivation from my family and friends. I have written five stories including a love story and I'm already writing a new one. This short story writing has helped me get some confidence about myself and my writing. I'm glad that readers liked it and I cannot be more hopeful. Here are the links to my short stories.

2. Blogging.

          I have taken blogging seriously in the past months. Because now I know what I do best, I am never going to give up on either blogging or writing. I made a fresh theme for the blog and also made a header. I started a blog series called Monday Moments. I love the idea of this as it helps to portray many moments and expressing them creatively in words. I have created a Facebook page through which you can get all the post updates. Also, you can now follow my blog by clicking the 'Join This Site' button on top right in the widgets section. These few changes have made my blog's appearance appealing and I like it. Feel free to follow my blog and express your opinion.

3. Travel trips:

          Until now, I went on three trips in the first half which were really amazing. I love travelling and hence I enjoyed these journeys throughout. In January, I went on a college Industrial Visit to Kerala. It was a whole new experience for me as it was my first time travelling without family. It was a great trip because of all my friends. You can read my Kerala trip here. The second one was to Panchgani with my family. After my exams and stressed out study days, it was the best trip where I relaxed the whole time. You can read about the touring Panchgani section here. The last one was just a two day trip to Pune. It was a fun family get-together. I enjoyed a lot over there.

4. Books:
          I have read 16 books till now in this half year. I have a goal of reading 50 books this year. So, 16 isn't satisfying at all. But, books are my favourite part of the day. I have read some excellent books while some boring ones. But, being the booknerd I am, I've loved and enjoyed every piece of the reading experience. Yon can check out some of the articles and book reviews I've written so far here.

5. Concert:

          1st March 2015 will forever be my favourite day on earth. It was the day I saw Ed Sheeran live in Mumbai with my best friend. That night was the most amazing, musical and lovely night of my life. Ed Sheeran concert experience is my take on that day. I read it sometimes to make sure it really happened because I still can't believe I saw Ed Sheeran.

6. Birthday:
          This March I had a birthday blast. I knew how everyone around me loved me. I was showered with love and so many gifts. It was indeed a special treat. I feel grateful to have such wonderful people in my life. 

7. Academics:
          My final year results haven't been declared yet but soon I'll be a graduate. That gives me a kind of a good feeling. I'm glad that I'll be doing MMS course which is two more years of academic education. I hope that this course will bring a new edge to my personality and boost my confidence.

How was your first half of the year? Do share.

Monday, 29 June 2015

Results. (Monday Moments #5)

          As he heard that the results were out, he went to check on the website. Everything was coming back to him. He remembered all those papers which were so difficult. Then, the faces of his teachers flashed in front of him which got him worried about his internal marks. He remembered all those bunked lectures. He remembered how he should have studied harder from the beginning rather than learning things one month before exams. As he approached his laptop, his heart was beating faster. It was faster than the time he was caught cheating. His anxious soul just couldn't stop going back to all those pre-exam days. The level of tension was building up so high within him that he thought he would explode. He was eagerly waiting for the results to be out. But now that they were, he wasn't sure why he was awaiting them in the first place. The pressure from his family was unreal, constant and terrorising. The burden of failure among his friends would be heavy. The looks his relatives and everyone else would give him were very real in his mind. He can even picture the faces of all those judgemental people talking about him. He reached his laptop and opened the website. The fear, tension, stress, pressure was insurmountable now. He logged in and waited. Finally, he saw his future typed out in six letters, 'PASSED'. The moment came when he saw those six magical letters for which he had roted millions of letters. In that moment, he could see his bright future and people's shut mouths. Despite everything that he had gone through that year, he passed. He became a graduate. In that precious moment, he felt grown up, responsible and an adult. In that one moment his fears were transformed to relief. That one determining moment held all the worth and finally blasted with a celebration. His life changed in that one moment.

(‘Monday Moments’ is a blog series wherein I write about an incident or a moment in a short paragraph. It’s not a story, but just a short description to express and explore the most common joys and also the uncommon miseries.)

Sunday, 28 June 2015

5 Points to Create the Perfect Blog Header.

          Hello, readers! You can see, I have finally updated my blog by changing the theme, layout and adding a header. I had been meaning to put up an image as a header for quite a long time now. I just didn't know how to start. I had observed many people's sites, but that just created more confusion. But, at the end of the day, I just stuck to my own plan and made my blog's header image. Here are some of the points I considered while creating the perfect header for my blog.

1. Logo and Header:
          There is such a tiny difference between these two that it left me baffled. If you want to create a logo then it's quite a long task. But, creating a header is quite simpler than that. Once you've got the difference sorted then you can actually start working on your header image.

2. Blog Topics:
          In my header, you can see the main items that represent my blog. I have kept a book (The Fault in Our Stars) which covers the Books and reviews. I have kept a photo of Taylor Swift referring to the music and lifestyle sections. Further, there is a small diary symbolising the short stories I write. Then there's a camera for the photo posts. Further, you can see some travel pictures and finally the cup of coffee representing the Monday Moments section. By this, I have covered the entire idea of my blog in one picture.
You can try out this technique which will not only be your official blog banner but will also reflect your blog's scope and depth.

3. Props.
          You have to take reasonable care as to the objects you are using to make your blog's header. These will always be a part of your blog. A picture reaches the readers faster than words. Hence, it's of crucial importance to choose the props properly. They can be things related to your blog or simply one thing which is the most powerful element of your blog.

4. Colours:
          You have to be sure of the colour of the objects as well as that of the background. They both should match the theme of your blog. In my image, there are four items which are near to the colour blue. The background is a mere off-white which can match mostly anything. So, that will help me in case I decide to change the blog theme.

5. Camera and Editing App:
          After setting up everything, you must click it perfectly. I'm not a photographer. But it's common knowledge that the picture shouldn't be blur or too sharp. There should be adequate light and a really good camera. Once you are satisfied with the picture, you need to edit it to write the words, fix the theme, add a frame and so on. After many failed clicks and passage of a long time, I got the perfect click. After clicking it, I used 2 applications on my mobile. One for adding words and another for adding the effects.

I hope this information was helpful. How did you make your blog header?

Saturday, 27 June 2015

Wanderlust Magic.

          I love everything about travel. I love packing, travelling, exploring new places, wandering new cities, writing about the adventures, clicking pictures and also collecting travel photos. It's not always possible to go on trips as per my wish. So, even when I love to write about it, it's not possible. Since travel is an important aspect of my blog, today I'm sharing some photographs which I found on Pinterest. After looking at these, I just feel like going on a world tour. Till then, here are some fascinating pictures for your wanderlust soul.

          Now I'm sharing some photos from around the world. You can see them on my Pinterest board, 'I Know Places'.

Taj Mahal, India.

Big Ben, London.

Eiffel Tower, Paris.
Statue of Liberty, USA.

Burj Khalifa, Dubai.

Gold Coast, Australia.
Bora Bora Islands.

Glowworm Caves, New Zealand.

Great Wall of China.

(Credits to all the images go to their creators.)

Friday, 26 June 2015

Tori Kelly's Unbreakable Smile.

          A few days ago, on my best friend's request, I listened to this amazing song called 'Dear No One' by Tori Kelly. It was so perfect that I could completely relate to it. Ever since, I've been listening to it every day. So, when Tori Kelly's new album 'Unbreakable Smile' came out on 23rd June, I had to download it. And, I absolutely love this album. All the songs are just too good. I don't know why I never listened to her songs before. She's the second person, after Taylor Swift, whose songs are so relatable. Otherwise, artists just put some words together, get a record deal and release an album. But, Tori Kelly is a genious. Aged 22, Victoria Loren Kelly is truly a remarkable singer and astounding songwriter with a gifted voice. I'm sure her first studio album is going to be a hit.

The tracklist:

1. Where I Belong.
2. Unbreakable Smile.
3. Nobody Love.
4. Expensive. (Featuring Daye Jack.)
5. Should've Been Us.
6. First Heartbreak.
7. I Was Made for Loving You. (Featuring Ed Sheeran.)
8. City Dove.
9. Talk.
10. Funny. (Live)
11. Art of Letting You Go.
12. California Lovers. (Featuring LL Cool J.)
13. Falling Snow.
14. Anyway.

          My favourite is 'I Was Made for Loving You' which is sort of obvious because, Ed Sheeran. I loved the song even before I knew Ed Sheeran had sung and written it. It's a wonderful melodious song. I loved the short poem-like song 'Where I Belong'. It's like an introduction to the album which is a great idea. 'Unbreakable Smile' and 'Nobody Love' are also favouites. These will make you dance and you will just enjoy the awesome tune. I didn't like 'Expensive' and 'Funny' that much. The former one has a bit of rap which is not my thing. The latter is a bit loud but its lyrics are cool. 'Should've Been Us' is also amazing. 'First Heartbreak' is very touchy and soulful. I loved it. I'm a fan of 'City Dove', 'Art of Letting You Go', 'California Lovers' and 'Falling Snow'. I also really liked 'Talk' and 'Anyway'. You see, it's impossible to pick out one or even two best ones because all of them are just so lovely and delightful.

During a performance.
You can watch the fun music video of 'Nobody Love' on YouTube.
Here's the music video of 'Dear No One', the song I mentioned earlier.

I'd say go and get this album right now and enjoy the music!

Thursday, 25 June 2015

6 YA Books I Like and Dislike.

          In yesterday's write-up, I had confessed my love towards Young Adult Fiction. In today's post, I'm going to mention 6 books which I absolutely love and 6 books which I dislike. YA books include many genres. It's a genre inclusive of other genres such as coming-of-age novels, romance, mystery and so on. This gives it a much wider range of novels. Firstly, I'd like to share 6 of my all-time favourite YA books that I've read.

6 YA Books I Like:

          'Looking for Alaska' is my first favourite John Green novel. Many will be surprised that it's not 'The Fault in our Stars' on this position. But, I absolutely loved this book. There is loads of fun in it in the first part. The second part is witnessed by a mystery which becomes so philosophical that I couldn't stop reading. You will feel all kinds of emotions while reading this story. You can read my review on this book here.
          'The Perks of being a Wallflower' is another brilliantly written masterpiece. The everyday life story of teenagers is conveyed in the most normal way but with a new perception. I loved to read this story as I found some resemblance to Charlie. This book is a must read for any age group.
         I can go on and on about 'The Fault in our Stars'. It is the most wonderful love story of two star crossed lovers. As much as a person might cry, they will just love the literary genius of John Green in it. The conversations between characters also feel like a part of some literature class. Quotes such as 'Pain demands to be felt' will change you.
          Another life changing book is 'The Book Thief'. This one is very different and radiates such knowledge. It is a book which every person must read in their lifetime. As the story progresses, this historical fiction will be an eye opener. If the story doesn't remain with you forever, it won't be a surprise.
          Gayle Forman's 'If I Stay' series is simple and brilliant. The language is nice and the story is very catchy. I read these two books in two days. After finishing 'If I Stay', it's impossible to not read 'Where She Went'. This story will bring out the human in you and you will love this story for all its lovely perks. You can read my review on 'If I Stay' series here.
          Lastly, another John Green novel, that is, 'Paper Towns'. This novel is full of adventure, fun and romance. It's the definition of young adult. The characters are amazing and the book is thrilling. You will laugh throughout, cry sometimes and think a lot after it's over. Another classic John Green novel.

6 YA Books I Dislike:

         Some of these might come off as a shock to you but it's my honest take on them. The first one is 'The Catcher in the Rye'. I think this is the one book for which dislike seems like a mild term. There is no purpose in this story and also
there is no story. It's just some lame happenings in the life of a boring kid. I was bored throughout this one and I'm sorry if I ruined it for anyone.
         Next is the bestseller famous book, 'Gone Girl'. This was supposed to be a thriller crime and mystery novel but it just turned out to be a meaningless story with no conviction, intensity or insight. You can read my review on 'Gone Girl' here.
          'Anna and the French Kiss' was on my 'To Read' list for quite a while. Unfortunately, I didn't like the love story. The tour of Paris was knowledgeable but no one reads YA to gain knowledge. They read YA for fun. The love story couldn't be more predictable. Some lines were nice but the entire package didn't fascinate me.
         'Do not judge a book by its cover' is indeed very true. Rainbow Rowell's book covers are always cute and interesting. However, the stories aren't that interesting. The love story of 'Eleanor and Park' is quite nice. I really liked the beginning of their journey but the unusual circumstance and the weird end took me by surprise. This book had a lot of weirdness in it. The end was actually rather unpleasant. Not because it keeps the reader in confusion but because it's very bizarre.
          I was quite fascinated when I heard about 'Fangirl'. Being the kind of a fan I am, I was hoping it will be very relatable and will be my favourite. But alas! The story was good enough but there was not much of fangirling in it. A real life fangirl will just find it dull. For a normal coming-of-age romantic story, it would have been good but it cannot pass for a fangirl story.
          John Green is my number 1 favourite author but for me, 'An Abundance of Katherines' is the least-liked book of his. I really thought I would love it because I loved all of his rest but it just wasn't on that level. But, I'm still a nerdfighter.

          I hope you found this book post helpful and interesting. Which are your likes and dislikes in connection to YA books?

Wednesday, 24 June 2015

Young Adult Novels.

          There are readers who love to read classics. Some are into crime and mystery. Many are only fond of romantic love stories while a few read the most recommended books. Most teens and tweens love young adult fiction. I'm a reader who somehow fits in all these criteria. As much as I love Shakespeare, I love John Green, J.K. Rowling and Sidney Sheldon. Sometimes I even love to read books by Nicholas Sparks or Sophie Kinsella which are chilled out and fun novels filled with romance and humour. Yet, somehow I tend to bend more towards young adult (YA) novels. I have read so many of those that I absolutely love them. Many people are of the opinion that YA is just for children who don't have a life and read to escape into a fantasy world. They think that such books don't bring out any message and only fill our heads with nonsense crap. There are so many wrong beliefs about YA readers that I cannot overstate its existence.

          Firstly, I know for a fact that YA novels build character and send a message. If the reader is consciously reading, they will understand that there many messages conveyed in such books. The entire story may seem like just a plain prose charmed with romance, tragedy and humour. But, there is something to be learnt in every page and every chapter. For example, 'Looking for Alaska' by John Green isn't only just about hostel fun followed by mystery. There are so many quotes which are thought provoking such as:

"The only way out of the labyrinth of suffering is to forgive"
"You just use the future to escape the present."

There are these brilliant lines from 'Anna and the French Kiss' by Stephanie Perkins which state:

"Home isn't a place, it is a person."

Some favourites from 'The Perks of being a Wallflower' by Stephen Chbosky are,

"We are who we are for a lot of reasons and maybe we'll never know most of them."
"Don't feel stupid if you don't like what everyone else pretends to love."

Such is the power of YA literature. It not only resembles us but also gives us a confidence for standing up for ourselves. After reading a book, a reader can never just carry on. He just sits in his place with the book in his hand and thinks about it. At least that happens with me when I read a really great story. These trend-setting books are the next generation's emotional and intellectual thinkers. Readers will cry with Hazel Grace. They will wonder about the note which Eleanor gave to Park. They will wonder about fate after Adam meets Mia. And they will forever wait for their Hogwarts acceptance letter. They will think about the what-ifs and could-bes which will make them think about everything that is to this life, the people and the world.

          Secondly, I'd like to say something about YA dystopian novels. Dystopian novels are basically wherein the circumstances are unsafe and protected by some kind of heroes. Dystopian novels are getting so popular now a days. 'The Hunger Games' trilogy has taught me how to be brave, smart and yet never forget about my loved ones. It has taught me how important it is to live and how somewhere someone is dying to live my life. 'Divergent' series has taught me to go for what I'm passionate about and fight against all the consequences. 'Shatter Me' series has taught me to accept myself the way I am.  These books might be termed by adults as something for kids but they are the best fit for the young adult generation. This YA generation is going to be so much more aware of everything going on around them. YA readers are those who learn something while having fun.

Some dystopian novels.

          Apart from the marvelous quotes and bravery of dystopian worlds, the third thing about YA is that they are fun. These books don't make you open the dictionary after every 10 words. It's more like after 5 pages. I'm not saying that learning new words is boring but if there are alien words frequently then it just takes out the fun from it breaking the reader's link. For readers looking for new words, there are other books after all but YA is all about enjoying the reading experience, learning between the words and winning that war against evil. I hope I won't ever give up on young adult fiction and I hope I never grow out of it.

Do you read YA books? Which are your favourites?

Tuesday, 23 June 2015

An Interview with Shooter, Gautami Pandit.

         Today I'm posting an interview with a national shooter, Gautami Pandit. Not only has she chosen an exhilarating sport but is on her way towards excellence. Here's an interview with Gautami who I'm proud to call my sister.

1. Which titles have you accomplished so far?
          I won 2 Golds at Nationals after qualifying States. So I guess I am a National winner.

2. What inspired you to take up shooting? Do you have an idol?
          It just happened. I was getting bored at home so my mom told me to take up some sport and I decided Shooting. Anjali Bhagwat is my role model in Shooting.

L-R: Vivek Pandit (father), Anjali Bhagwat, Gautami Pandit, Vaidehi Pandit (mother).

3. According to you, what is the best thing about the sport?
          I think the best part is there is no partiality in it. The scores are displayed on a big scoreboard and the target is also computerised. So there is no scope of tampering with the score. And the targets are extremely accurate.

4. How has your family, college & coaches supported you?
          Everything was totally new for my parents. It was a nice experience for them. My college helped me through the entire registration procedure. My coach also helped me a lot and all the other senior shooters helped me a lot too.

Anjali Bhagwat with Gautami Pandit and Vaishnavi.

5. What sort of preparation you have to do? Do you follow a rigorous workout and a balanced diet?
          You just need to practice honestly everyday. I actually was on a 2 month break because of my boards. So I practiced more than usual to make up for the break. We all have a common warm up to do before a match or even before practice. And I usually avoid oily food before a match and eat a lot of carbs.

6. You have played individually and also as a team player? Which do you like the best?
          I haven’t exactly played in a team. Honestly, I met my teammates after we got qualified for National camp. But I still like to play individually.

Gautami with her team mates and coach.

7. How do you keep yourself motivated?
          This was my first year in shooting and everything was new to me. So I had curiosity about everything. There was no need of motivation honestly. It was just natural.

8. What are your strengths and weaknesses?
          My strength is that I don’t let a bad shot affect me. I just let it go and shoot a better shot the next time. My weakness you can say is I tend to rush a lot while shooting which I should really stop.

9. Would you like to share one of your happiest moments during your journey?
          The moment I heard that I got qualified for Nationals. I was dancing.

L-R: Gautami Pandit, Anjali Bhagwat, Aradhya Bhagwat.

10. What did shooting teach you? How has it enhanced your life?
          It has improved my concentration so much. I used to get easily distracted before, but now I am not distracted as easily.

11. What are your future goals?
          I want to get selected for the Indian Squad and play an International match once in my lifetime.

12. Anything else you would like to share?
          Everyone should take up a sport. It’s so relaxing. You forget your problems for that period of time. And it’s fun!

          Those are the brilliant words of a national Shooter, Gautami Pandit. I would like to thank her for doing this interview and I wish her all the best in her future matches and endeavors.

You can follow Gautami here:

Monday, 22 June 2015

A Hug. (Monday Moments #4)

          She felt exhausted from keeping up with her job, handling stress from bosses, unhealthy friendships and detached parents. She was at the verge of a breakdown when she finally saw him, her soul mate. With all the chaos dancing around her, he was all the calmness she needed to survive. In all the madness, she felt sane by his mere sight. She had tears in her eyes. He saw them and went towards her to let them sink. The expression on his face changed from nothingness to relief. Relief because of her sight. They ran to find each other in a tight embrace. She hugged him because she was drowning and he was her lifeguard. She hugged him because she was sad and he was her happiness. She hugged him just because. Their hugs weren't the formal sideways hugs. They were always bear hugs. Their bodies touching in the most sensual way and vanishing the sadness within. Her hands were wrapped around his head as he held her by her waist. They could hear each other's heart beats. They were fast at first and then slowed down because of each other's being. Their closed eyes held a promise for each other. Nothing in the world mattered at that moment. They were least bothered about where they were or what people thought because in that moment, they didn't care about anyone but each other. They felt their worries melting down replacing it with a whole different feeling of longing. This love could win over all the sorrows and miseries, past and future, evils and sin. She finally opened her eyes and said, "I'm worried about my life." To that he replied in the calmest and dreamy voice, "I'm here. Everything will be all right." In that moment, she felt like nothing bad could ever happen to them. This bond of love could outlast anything in the world. As they held each other, they felt like they belonged to each other and in that moment they felt forever.

(‘Monday Moments’ is a blog series wherein I write about an incident or a moment in a short paragraph. It’s not a story, but just a short description to express and explore the most common joys and also the uncommon miseries.)

Saturday, 20 June 2015

When Only Love Remains. (Book Review #7)


          'When Only Love Remains' is a love story by Durjoy Datta which gives the reader hope, patience and love. It's in no way a typical love story as it crosses over the dead ends making it all the more interesting. If you just begin to find it dull, the next moment something unusual happens which leaves you rattled. I'm a reader who hates cliches and predictability in a story. To my surprise, there was neither of the two in this one which satisfied me. Also, the inital part of Avanti being a fan of Devrat's music hits home. That may be one reason I'm partial. I have read four books from this author and this is the only book which I actually liked. After I read the disappointing 'Ohh Yes I am Single And So Is My Girlfriend' novel, I was done with his books. (No offence.) Even this particular book was a random purchase and I'm glad I liked it. I gave this one 4 stars on Goodreads.


          Avanti and Devrat are the main characters around whom the story is revolved. 18 year old Avanti is a flight attendant who's beautiful and loves Devrat's music so much that she's convinced she's in love with him. Devrat is a singer and song writer who is moderately popular. Avanti is raised by her grandmother. She is sensitive, pretty and becomes braver as the story progresses. Devrat is a wasted person who doesn't appreciate himself or his talent. He loves to be sad and miserable. Although he may come off as rude and selfish, he becomes a sweet puppy as love changes him.

Story line:

          Avanti is the craziest fan of Devrat. The beginning is interesting as it is an idol-fan love story. Delhi based Avanti is unsure about everything except Devrat. While Kolkata based Devrat is unsure about everything except music. This love story is one brought together by music. The part until they finally meet at Devrat's gig is put up nicely avoiding any gloomy details and keeping the story alive. The part where they finally meet for the first time and spend a long time together is quite amazing. This unreal situation is worded so well that the reader is always engrossed in a smile and fall in love with it. The scene where Devrat boards the plane is delightful. If you're an avid reader, you know something drastic will happen after half the story is filled with such sweetness. And then, it happens. The awful car crash of Devrat happens followed by dull moans by depressed Avanti. I may have a lost patience but the story dwells on this part more than needed. There are many incidents wherein Avanti outbursts or talks to his comatose self or talks to the entire hospital staff. 8 months is a long time to be in a coma and portray about it. That repetition could have been avoided. I had started to think like, "Just live or die but do that soon!" Also, there should have been exact mention of Avanti's job instead of 'consoling patients, relatives and staff'. The end was as best as possible. The reader really feels Devrat dies. Even the part where Avanti performs with the 'vocalist' is worded geniously. I loved this perfect ending to a more-than-tolerable novel.

Overall Thoughts:

         My view is that it was a well written and well-placed story with nicely carved out characters with the curiosity rhythm in sync. The plot was ultimate providing the sudden changes flawlessly. Apart from the hospital scenario, I was never bored while reading. There was a repetition of the word 'puppy' as referring to Devrat. It sounded romantic at the beginning but eventually it just sickened me. I was glad when Devrat doesn't forget who Avanti is when he wakes up otherwise it would've been really dumb. This quintessential novel wasn't like most Durjoy novels. It stood up a notch, I think. I liked this tragic love story. In the start it felt like 'Rainbow Rowel' (Fangirl). In the middle, it felt like 'Nicholas Sparks' (Love story). In the end it felt like 'John Green' (Tragic).

Friday, 19 June 2015

Electronic Diet; 24 hours without TV, Mobile and Computer.

My normal day:

          I had a bizarre idea of living one day without the use of mobile phone, television and computer. I knew it wouldn't be easy and guess what? It wasn't! My day started late by 11 am. As there was nothing significant to do, I ended up reading the entire day. I finished a book 'When Only Love Remains' by Durjoy Datta. I even liked it, for a change. (Its review will be up soon.) After the usual morning chores, I made a note of happy memories. I got this clever idea of making chits of happy days and storing it in a jar from The Pretty City Girl. It's more intriguing than diary writing. After this little fun activity, I went back to reading and stopped only for lunch at 1 pm. Post lunch was witnessed with more reading until 3.30 pm. I also took a nap of 45 minutes which freshened me. I took a break for exercise. I had tea and food after which I headed for an evening stroll. I literally had nothing to do which is why I just wandered around in the rainfall. I came home by 7.15 pm. I took some rest and finished the love story until 9 pm. Post-dinner I had no idea what I should do as that's mostly common television time. I couldn't start another book unless I wanted my head to spin. So, after considering the options, I forced my brother to play carrom with me. Time flew by while playing the game in which I won. Soon, it was 11 pm and I dozed off. The first thing I thought of when I woke up today was my mobile!

My day without electronics:

           I'm sure that must have sounded like it was quite simple but in this segment I'll tell you all those minor problems I faced. First of all, I decided to wake up late on purpose so that I'll avoid some part of the one day break up from my favourite gadgets. Secondly, while making those chits, I had to think when which incident happened. I usually write based on the chats which help me navigate through the month. I wrote about the recent memories. But the ones in the first week of June, I had to write today after referring the dates. Thirdly, as I was scheduling the future posts on blog, I forgot which date it was. I didn't have my mobile to check. Next was when I couldn't set up an alarm for my afternoon nap. Further, I couldn't listen to music while working out. Then, I had to wait till today to update my goodreads bookshelf after finishing the novel. The time when I was keen on putting up that snapchat story while walking, playing carom and also reading while having tea. (Photos of a book with a cup of tea or coffee are my favourite.) The moment when I returned from my walk, I had almost given up as I just craved to watch that new episode from 'Pretty Little Liars' but I held on. Somehow, I survived the day.

Lessons learnt:

1. I found that I'm more addicted to TV than I am to my mobile. As that's the best thing during holidays, most of my time goes in watching series and movies. After thinking about this I realised, I could spend lesser time on my mobile if I want to. And, I have used my mobile today for a much lesser time than I normally do. Also, I should cut down some television time.

2. Music isn't always necessary while exercising. I used the parallel time for thinking and it works out really well. One song was constantly playing in my head. But, apart from that, it was really good and peaceful working out without music.

3. We aren't handicapped without electronics. There are studies that say that humans cannot live without their gadgets. I think that it'll be difficult but it's not impossible. I couldn't keep a track of time because I had no mobile while my walk. (I didn't wear a watch because of rains.) But, as I passed by some shops, I just saw a clock in one and the question was resolved. It's that simple. Instead of an e-book, I read a physical book. Also, when I couldn't write the book review online, I just wrote it in my notebook. So, it's actually quite bearable without gadgets.

4. Books are saviours. I cannot imagine what I'd have done without books. There's not a day I don't read. If everyone develops a reading habit, then it'll be much better. Instead of entertainment via TV, they will start to prefer entertainment via books. Also, newspapers are the best compared to mobile applications or news channels.

5. Without the distraction of constant buzzing of phone, you can run some errands. Work must be done whether now or later. I got a number of things done yesterday which I had been procrastinating the whole week. And the feeling when you're done with it is one of satisfaction.

6. You understand who really cares about you. When a person who's constantly online disappears for an entire day, then people leave messages or call. You understand if you really matter to them.

7. Food diet is easier than electronic diet.

Have you done something like this? How was your experience?

Monday, 15 June 2015

Musical Retreat. (Monday Moments #3)

          As she was trekking, one song started playing from her shuffled playlist. That song took her years behind. A time when she wasn't successful, married and when she had friends. A time when she knew what it felt like to listen to songs, dance to them and enjoy. This particular song was her girl gang's song. It was their anthem. When they went to picnics or when they were seas away video chatting, this was the song they chimed to. But, at this moment as she found a miraculous familiarity to it, she was stunned at how times had changed. Back then, she used to enjoy the music. But right now, she was swimming in the lyrics. It was just like they say, "When you're happy, you enjoy the music. But when you're sad, you understand the lyrics." Every line from that song swayed her to another precious memory. She remembered that sleep over when the neighbours got irritated because of their karaoke. The other time when her friends convinced her parents for a trip abroad. Those shopping sprees, TV marathons, long nights of gossiping and post-break up sitting-in-couch-eating-ice-cream-all-day phase. As the song ended, there was a tear in her eye and a smile across her face. She didn't know if she should be happy or sad. Her nostalgic self listened to it for the entire time hoping her friends were with her. In that moment, she forgot how it felt to be alone. That one song changed the feelings she was going through. Because of music, she vanished into her own fantasy. As she reached on the top of the cliff, she shouted out loud. That moment wasn't one of victory like the other times. It was a moment of loneliness which wavered around her aura of sadness. In that moment, she discovered the secret of life.

(‘Monday Moments’ is a blog series wherein I write about an incident or a moment in a short paragraph. It’s not a story, but just a short description to express and explore the most common joys and also the uncommon miseries.)

Saturday, 13 June 2015

Guest Post #1

          Today I'm posting the first guest post on my blog. This wonderful poem is written by my college classmate and friend, Avani Gala. Not only is she sweet but so are her words. She is an intelligent person with a pure soul, sweetness and lots of depth. I hope you love this poem as much as I loved it.

World is unhappy as I look at it,
And no wonder it does has its feel,
But nothing could count no matter how sweet,
When I come to my slate, yeah nothing could heal!

I began to sing, appreciating my turn,
And with all that hope I began to learn,
But life is no film, soon as I learnt,
Destination never comes your way, you have to hunt!

My words fumble, things are looking blur,
As I am lost in the world which is no more clear,
My heart shouts, screams to explain that sight,
Yeah, that sight to see myself in the world of flights!

Though my dream has shattered into parts,
somehow I managed myself from feeling apart,
As that's all I desired then and still,
So, someday I will surely fill my slate and all would heal!

You can follow Avani on Facebook here.
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