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Monday, 26 December 2016

Merry Christmas!!! (Monday Moments #84)


          Holidays greeted everyone. Some people were excited about the gifts while some were exhilarated about all the decorations. Christmas is a merry time. And this time, it was merry for her too. Even though she was living away from her family, even though it was a foreign country and even though she was alone, she felt happy.
          She had relocated to a country where Christmas wasn't celebrated widely, like in the US. Nevertheless, she bought a beautiful tree. Along with it, she bought many sparkly and shiny things to decorate her temporary home. With more baggage than she can possibly carry, she went home. She set up the tree, fluffed it and then decorated it one by one until it was all glowing with lights, sparkles, stars, snow and glitter. She held up the stockings and arranged the gifts she got from office beneath the tree. For dinner, she had some delicious cake with wine. She sat by the fire place, looking at the tree and just being with herself.
          She wondered how so many people were surrounded by others and yet they felt lonely. On the other hand, she was alone and yet did not feel the loneliness. She had chosen a career that entitled her to travel widely. So, she followed her passion for travel while also embracing the solitude that came with it. She missed all her dear ones but she was happy having no attachments. She was happy that she had no roots that would make her to settle down. Instead, she was happy about the wings that helped her soar above.


Merry Christmas!!!

(‘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.)




Monday, 19 December 2016

Worries of An Unstable Mind. (Monday Moments #83)


He was a student doing his masters part time while also working for a marketing firm. He had to tend to his family while also think of his own future. He also had to think about the commitment he had made to his girlfriend. There was so much going on on so many fronts that he was frustrated all the time. That day he called up his friends as he was in mood to drink. Unfortunately, no one was available. That really made his irritable. He wasn't addicted to alcohol but sometimes it seemed like a bit of drinking won't hurt him. So, because of the failed plan, he met his girlfriend instead. He was continuously snapping at her for little things. He had the most wonderful thought and in an instant, he said, "Let's get married right now!" She was more startled and all the more confused. That wasn't a proposal she had expected. She wasn't even excited as much as she had hoped. Then, she finally said, "Will you think about it practically? Your studies are only half way done. My career also hasn't started yet. We're too young to be married. And you know all this! Are you okay?" Then he realised how unreasonable he was becoming. But, after the cancelled plan with his friends and kind of a rejection to getting married, he felt very gloomy and alone. Even he knew that it wasn't the time to get high by drinking or the time to get married. But, he was just in such an unstable state. Nothing was going right. He was always on the verge of an emotional breakdown. Even when he had so many people around him, he always felt alone. He was happy with his job but e wanted it to mean something to him. He was happy with his studies but he wanted it to bring some significance to his career. He was happy with his relationship but he wanted something more soulful from it. He was happy with his life but he knew he just pretended to be.


(‘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.)


Monday, 12 December 2016

Foodies Unite! (Monday Moments #82)


          The group of 7 friends decided to go on a little road trip. This was not just another adventure but something they had planned since half a month. Each one of them decided to visit their favourite cities and devour the most famous local food items over there. If one of them loved the street side pani puri, then another loved sushi from a five-star restaurant. But, no matter what type of food they liked, they all loved to eat. Since all of them were passionate foodies, this became the best idea for a trip.

They ate some of the best food in that week. It was such a wonderful tour with so much of delicious treats that they wanted all these distinct local specialties to come together at one place. Instead of going 20 kms for a burger, another 10 kms from there for a cheesecake or another 40 kms from there for pizza, they thought of diminishing the distance completely. And that's when the fun food road trip became a business venture. They decided to open a store wherein they could serve just one specialty from one place. They could partner with all the owners and make it work. And since most of the specialties were from small to middle scale entrepreneurs, it was also feasible. For the love of food and adventure, one road trip changed their life 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, 10 December 2016

Words of Wisdom from 'The Spy'. (Book Review #23)


Paulo Coelho is one of my favourite authors. Not only is he a brilliant story teller but his words touch the soul. Even if it is a biography kind of a novel, he puts in such brilliant insights that leave you pondering about the many mysteries of life and of course, life itself.
'The Spy' is the life story of Mata Hari. It is based on her real life. She was a dancer. Later on she was convicted of being a spy and working for two countries at war. And Paulo Coelho really made the story interesting to read. Her life is portrayed in a wonderful and colourful way because of which you cannot keep the book down. Even so, I did not like it as much as his other books. But, some of the words in this book became my favourite the moment I read them. I’ve given it 2/5 stars on Goodreads.
Anyway, here are some of the parts which I liked the most. They’re really worth thinking about. 

"My first piece of advice is the hardest, and it has nothing to do with your performance. Never fall in love. Love is a poison. Once you fall in love, you lose control over your life - your heart and mind belong to someone else. Your existence is threatened. You start to do everything to hold on to your loved one and lose all sense of danger. Love, that inexplicable and dangerous thing, sweeps everything you are from the face of the earth and, in its place, leaves only what your beloved wants you to be."

"Are we never to be able to see the true fave of love? And I understand what the Greeks meant by this: Love is an act of faith and its face should always be covered in mystery. Every moment should be lived with feeling and emotion because of we try to decipher it and understand it, the magic disappears. We follow its winding and luminous paths, we let ourselves go to the highest peak or the deepest seas, but we trust in the hand that leads us. If we do not allow ourselves to be frightened, we will always awaken in a palace; if we fear the steps that will be required by love and want it to reveal everything to us, the result is that we will be left with nothing."

"It is a shame that what happens today already happened yesterday, and will happen again tomorrow; it will continue to happen until the end of time, or until man finds out he is not only what he thinks, but mostly what he feels. The body tires easily; but the spirit is always free and will help us get out, one day, from this infernal cycle of repeating the same mistakes every generation. Although thoughts always remain the same, there is something stronger, and this is called Love.
Because when we truly love, we know others and ourselves better. We do not need words, documents, minutes, statements, accusations or defenses."

Hope you liked it! Have you read this book? What are your thoughts? Let me know in the comments below!



Monday, 5 December 2016

Little Diary Escapes. (Monday Moments #81)


          Being a loner in the teenage days is difficult. She knew that very well. It was just another day at college. One lecture was over. And then, she opened her diary. 
"Accounts lecture just got over. The next lecture is Economics. The professor will come in about 10 minutes, I think. These 10 minutes between the lectures are more torturous than the lecture itself. Why do people have to talk so much all the time? If everyone just kept things to themselves, wouldn't it be better? Well, who am I kidding? I'd never be writing this non-sense if I had any friends. I never thought college would be this hard. And now I've just become this girl who's a loner. So, yeah, just 3 more years to go. Maybe if I continue to write like this between lectures, I'd have a novel until the end of the third year. Here comes the professor. Bye, dear diary."
          After an hour, the lecture was over and she went on again.
"Which professor does this stupidity of randomly asking students to come in front of the class and explain their thesis? I made a complete fool of myself. Okay, I know I wasn't completely stupid. I did speak something because I had done a thorough research. But, come on, my hands and legs were practically shaking. Whatever."
A girl came up to her to tell how amazingly she spoke in front of everyone. She said how she herself wouldn't have been able to do it. They had a great conversation. She finally got one friends who liked her. And then after the next lecture, the diary remained closed and her mind became more open.
          At the end of the day, she opened her diary and wrote.
"I made a friend today. She's really great and I enjoyed doing something else than writing, for a change. From the past I know that people come and go. And I know only I will be there for me. And I know you'll always be there for me too. Thank you for the little escapes."

In that moment, she embraced the joy of being with other people without losing herself.



(‘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.)



Monday, 28 November 2016

Money Changes Everything. (Monday Moments #80)


          Both the brothers had been close since childhood. They used to teach each other. They used to play together. They used to fight with each other but never let anyone else get into a fight with the other. They were each other's best friends in the form of brothers. Little did they know what might change this loving brotherhood. As they grew up, they got well-educated and started earning. While the elder one was passionate about finance, the younger one was passionate about his country. While the elder one became a big shot portfolio manager in an MNC, the younger one joined the Government. And that's when their priorities changed.  The elder brother would give lavish gifts home on special occasions. Be it a promotion or someone's birthday. The younger one, on the other hand, wasn't able to spend as much as he could because with his salary he couldn't afford expensive gifts. As the years passed by, they both started living in different apartments. One would travel abroad multiple times for a vacation. But the other would only travel to nearby destinations in the country. 
          The distance was not just geographic but also emotional. They would look at the photos of their childhood and miss the other. They wanted to go to that phase and never grow up again. There was an unsaid and intangible space that didn't allow them to be as together and as happy as they used to be. Just because of the weight of some papers, they grew apart, never really understanding when it all went so downhill. But, sadly, their egos won over their love for each other and that's how money destroyed yet another relationship.



(‘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.)



Monday, 21 November 2016

Post Break-Up, Their Version. (Monday Moments #79)


          She was at fault just as much as he was. A comparison as to who ruined their relationship was meaningless because now there was no relationship left to rebuild. In all the time they were together, they had changed so much. The time they first met and the time they last met, there was a visible difference. The problem was that they both took the other as a project. His mission was to make her quit drinking. And her mission was to get him out of his shell. And whenever she drank or he became aloof, they'd be disappointed in themselves for letting the other person down. It was just a project. And this is why, when she became sober and he became an extrovert, love lost. Because the changed personalities didn't fit together. Perfection isn't real. Their originality was what drew them together but when they were changed personalities, they were not drawn to each other. Their projects were successful but they had failed because they lost each other.

          She ran away from her feelings because if she decided to feel the sadness, she'd break down to never recover. He, on the other hand, embraced the sad emotions and felt the heartbreak. They were not there for each other but their successful projects helped them. She did not drink and he did not give up to resort to loneliness. Even if they had broken up, even if they would never be together, their changed personalities would always carry a part of the other with them for a lifetime. Perhaps, how they left a part of themselves in the other was the best goodbye gift they gave to each other.



(‘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.)


Monday, 14 November 2016

Post Break-up, His Version. (Monday Moments #78)



(You can read 'Her Version' here.)

          After the way she mercilessly broke up with him in a text message, he had fallen apart. His heart shattered into so many pieces he couldn’t count. He tried to put a band aid on them but what good is a band aid for a deep wound? He hadn’t seen this coming. Yes, they had contrasting personalities. Yes, he couldn’t understand her social anxiety or her panic attacks. Yes, she couldn’t understand his perception. But, he never thought she would leave him. He couldn’t imagine his life without her. Even after keeping his ego aside, crying in front of her and explaining to her all his good qualities, she wouldn’t budge. Even when he was shy, he told her how much he loved her and how in his future he could only see her, their kids and their many dogs living happily together as a family. He let out all those words which he was too scared to tell her and when he let them out, it was just too late. She was done, just like that. And he came undone, just like that.

          He began to drink so much more to remember all the times he spent with her. He began to look at her photos and their photos together wondering if he could just pause his life and rewind it to a happy place. Her smile was beautiful with a bit of shyness in it and her every smile in every photo led him to more tears. He began to re-read his diary to the best days they spent together. At first, he began to crawl on the memory lane only to end up running towards the beginning of it with resting in solitude and nostalgia of happiness and love. Instead of ignoring the sadness, he embraced it and let it sink it in him so much so, that it became a part of who he was. Instead of giving fake smiles, he gave real tears. Instead of pretending to be okay, he let himself, for once, be vulnerable. Instead of thinking about himself, he thought about her. Instead of loving each other, they decided to part ways, because love is never enough. 



(‘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.)




Monday, 7 November 2016

Post Break-up, Her Version. (Monday Moments #77)


          She broke up with her boyfriend. It was the most difficult thing she ever had to do; saying goodbye to someone she loved. They had been in an on-again, off-again relationship for so long that they had forgotten the meaning of what it meant to be together or what it meant to be apart. They had lost the count of fights, both immature ones and the serious ones. They were together yet apart. Yes, theirs was the love which was true because it stood the test of time and insecure people but it wasn't compatible or balanced. And funnily enough, neither of them could see how destructive they were for each other. If it is destroying you, then it's not love.
          To survive this separation, she began to work in the office a lot more, workout a lot more, stay alone a lot more and kept herself so busy as to not remember him. She sank in the knowledge of books, only to not sink in the memories of him. She ran until she lost her breath only to not lose her breath crying about him. She danced crazily to upbeat songs, only to not go crazy in reality. She drove so fast as to escape death, only to not escape life. She went so far away from him and herself that even she could't find the trace of who she was. He was not with her anymore and never would be. The friends for whom she left him were not with her either. She only had herself and for a while that's all what she wanted. To stay alone, find herself and not be defined by another person. Yes, it was the kind of love that comes once in a lifetime but yes, it was also the kind that makes you wonder whether love is real.




You can read 'His Version' here.

(‘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.)



Monday, 31 October 2016

That One Interview. (Monday Moments #75)


He was unemployed for about 4 months after finishing his engineering course. He was just a young boy with no knowledge or experience of the corporate world. He was an average student who spoke proper English and had a good personality. Even with all these qualities, nobody hired him. It began with campus placements. It was his first time giving interview which made him tensed. About 4 to 5 companies came to his college but he did not get selected in either of them. He saw how classmates less intelligent than him got jobs but he couldn't. He thought that his lack of working experience was a major reason for rejections. But, he never understood the reason until that day when he went for an interview. It was a renowned company with a good work culture, learning opportunities and good pay. He went in and charmed the interviews and got the job. That was when he realised the real problem. Since he was always expecting a job offer, he was always tensed which reduced his confidence. But, this time, he went with a casual attitude. He answered brilliantly. He also showed his sense of humour a few times. He spoke confidently without fumbling just like it was an informal conversation. And just that one day, he got the job by being himself. That was the moment when he realised that his anxiety had to go and confidence had to stay. That one interview brought in a new perspective which helped him in his 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, 29 October 2016

Eleven Minutes. (Book Review #22)


Introduction:
Never have I ever read something which made me think about things like meeting of souls, pure desire without getting intimate or the existence of an inner light. While this book is a story of a young woman who works as a prostitute, it goes on a complete intellectual level which is found in the pages of her diary. The author has somehow interlinked the brilliance of the mind with the desire of the body in a book which goes beyond the meaning of ‘fiction’ and tries to answer deeper existential questions. I admit that it wasn’t the best of the topics to write upon, but whatever Paulo Coelho writes about, no matter how undiscussed, trivial or gross, turns into a beautiful art of fiction and more. The same has been brought about in this novel.



Characters:
The main character is Maria, born in a small town in Brazil but having huge dreams. She is the kind of person who appears to grab all the opportunities that come her way. Throughout the book, you can see her transition from a heart-broken little girl into an intelligent woman with goals, self-control and something to prove.
Another character is Ralf Hart, the famous young painter. He seems to be a practical person who knows what he wants.
Both are looking for deeper meanings in the other; something that is so pure and meaningful. They knew sex but they were looking for the thing beyond sex which help them understand themselves and each other. They took this path of salvation together, without keeping any hopes or needs from the other.



Story Line:
When Maria was young, she loses her chance at love because she was scared. And after that first heart-break, she decided to never be afraid of anything and going with the flow. As she grows up, she starts working at a cloths merchant who admires her and so ends up saving for a one week holiday. She goes to Switzerland and somehow becomes a cabaret dancer and from there she ends up in prostitution. She does this for a year while also reading a lot of books about economics and farm management. Meanwhile, she still searches true love and then she meets Ralf Hart. They embark upon their journey of finding the meaning of souls and unleashing desire.



Overall Thoughts:
This is the third book of Paulo Coelho that I've read. I absolutely loved 'The Alchemist' but I also did not like 'Adultery'. But, after this read, Paulo Coelho has become one of my many favourite authors. He has kept a balance between reality and imagination. Although, I'd have loved to read more about Maria's diary because those parts touched me and made me ponder. Also, I was sure how it would end but I was shocked at the end because what I hadn't expected happened. The story is a little slow. But, like you should swirl the wine in your mouth to enjoy it, you should enjoy the book with the pace with which it is written. I've given 'Eleven Minutes' 4/5 stars on Goodreads.





Monday, 24 October 2016

She was her own 'Knight in Shining Armour'. (Monday Moments #74)


There was so much inside of her that wanted out. There were unspoken stories that needed hearing. The scars hidden in her soul wanted to surface over her body and get out. The mysteries seeked an ear. As the soul seeked some peace.

The silent stories scribbled in her diary needed a reader. The silent cries into the lonely night needed a shoulder. The silent girl in a boisterous world needed a person.
She had hundreds of friends but no person she could call home. She had many houses but no place she could call a home. She had everything money could buy, but what she desired couldn't be bought.

Minutes felt like hours. Days felt like months. Years felt like centuries. She felt being trapped in a time capsule which just wouldn't start and let her go. And she wasn't alone. Her confidence, passion, optimism and courage was trapped with her body in the motionless aura of dullness that was her life.

She read, without understanding. She sang, without feeling. She drew, without imagining. She saw, without watching. She listened, without hearing. She existed, without living.

And then, she got the final document of the finalized divorce from her husband. And then, after a decade, she felt free. She felt happiness. She felt like herself. She wasn't the 'Damsel in Distress'. She was her own 'Knight in Shining Armor'.


(‘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.)



Monday, 17 October 2016

Relatable Readings (Monday Moments #73)


          It was just another night. Tears were rolling down her face and the usual moments of breakdown struck. Roughness because she was in between jobs. Heartbroken because of another fight with her boyfriend. Miserable because of financial crises. Pressurized because of her family's stress to settle down and what not. It was just another story in the life of a Mumbai girl who failed to chase after her dream of becoming a painter and got stuck in the mess of the corporate political life.
She browsed through her phone and read those short tales which always made her think about her life and contemplate the greater meanings and depth of existence. She saw a post which read, "Half of her problems were just in her head." And after that, she was hooked.

She read another story, "I fell in love with his mistakes because one of them was falling in love with me."
Then came another, "It hurts because it matters". She thought about it and realised how much she loved her boyfriend and no matter what, he was always there for her.

Then came this, "In a world full of muggles, she was a magical witch." It was followed by, "And then she realised that the only person who could keep her happy was herself." Just these two short tales gave her back the confidence and self-belief she needed at that time.

And finally as she felt good and optimistic, she read, "Life is 10% what happens to us and 90% how we react to it." She slept like a baby that day with restored faith to be in the driver's seat of her own life. Such relatable tales always helped her. Sometimes they made her cry but sometimes they just made her stronger, wiser and braver.



(‘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.)



Monday, 10 October 2016

Gamophobia. (Monday Moments #72)


She had wanted to be with him for as long as she had seen him. They had been friends for over 2 years. Those 2 years had been full of ups and downs. He crushed her hopes time and again. He was never there when she really needed him. She could get many other guys who would be better for her but she was also sure that none of them would love her the way he did.

On the other hand, he was a puzzle. When he met her, his long relationship had just ended. Ever since he saw her, he knew something was different about her. He really liked her. But he had his own issues on moving on and having a stable life. In those 2 years since he had known her, she had been distant. She cared about him but even she was not there when he needed her. She let him down in many ways too.

That day, she had a feeling, this inner voice, which kept telling her that he might propose to her. It was deep down but it kept surfacing again and again. After 2 years of wanting to be with him, she thought it would be easy to say yes. But the thought of him proposing, let alone the thought of her saying yes terrified her out of her mind. She was scared because she knew how much he hurt her. She knew how difficult he could be at times. She knew how devastating it could all end up in. It might even ruin their friendship. There were so many little things which could go wrong and so many bigger things which could just end in them both getting hurt. Being with him was all that she had ever wanted but now that it was going to happen, she was drowning in gamophobia and just hoping that somehow he would come and not let her drown.



(‘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.)



Monday, 3 October 2016

Studying. (Monday Moments#71)


          He went to his study table. Cleared all the items on it and then cleaned it. He arranged all his notebooks properly and finally sat to prepare a study schedule. He wasn't a bookworm. But when he did something, it was with conciseness and correctness. He checked the number of days left for his exam, total subjects, total topics to be covered under each. He then allocated days to each subject based on his understanding. After making the schedule, he started with his favourite subject. It's advisable to study the hard subjects first. But, he believed in studying the easier ones at least on the first day to set the mood. He began reading the chapter, referring notes, getting extra points from the internet and then making his own answers. He set some low background music as well. As he was half way done, he just stared out the window. He loved those short breaks where he could fly away from everything. After 2 years gap from studies, he was doing quite well. Just that yearn to gain more knowledge was thrilling at that time. Soon he came out of his maze and onto his books and he just smiled. At that moment, he was only a student with no tensions about exams but just an eagerness to know more about the subject. He wasn't just studying but he was learning. In that moment, he was grateful that he could get higher education. He began studying and soon he forgot about time and space. For some people, studying isn't something done 2 days before an exam. For some people, studying becomes a part of their personality more than anything.


(‘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.)


Monday, 26 September 2016

Mind Over Matter. (Monday Moments #70)


          Four months had passed since her two-wheeler accident. Her fracture was recovered, scars healed, bones in place but confidence lost. She walked short distances or took public transport. She would get car rides from her friends or cab rides at other times. But, she refused to do something which made her feel alive. She refused to ride. She refused to speed. She refused to fly. She became quieter, sadder and afraid.
          That day became a turning point in her life. It was the day of her medical examination. She had spent years preparing to be a doctor and this day was going to be the decider of her future. She left from her home. There was a bus and rickshaw strike that day. So, she decided to go by cab. She spent another 15 minutes going from one app to another. But, unfortunately, she couldn't find a cab because all were occupied. Walking was not an option because that would take over an hour. She was already running behind time. She was tensed and didn't know what to do. Her inner self knew what she should do but her fears were towering over her conscious. To achieve her dream, she needed to overcome her fear. She needed to ride her bike to get to the examination hall. She just needed to trust her gut and go for it.
          Finally, she decided to what her heart was saying. She went back home, took the keys and started her bike. She was scared about riding more than she was about taking her exam. She started riding, slowly and double checking everything. As she went halfway, she wasn't doing it anymore. She was shocked to find herself smiling. She was enjoying herself like she always did when she rode. Somehow she found herself and became the wild force she had always been. She was still afraid to drive at 80, but she remembered how pleasant it felt. She remembered how it was her tool for escape and also the tool for revival. She reached her medical examination in time, but she had already passed the real exam.


(‘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.)



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