Looking Back With A Content Heart


woman doing hand heart sign
Photo by Hassan OUAJBIR on Pexels.com
  • Did I manage to check every item on my bucket list in the current year ? NO.
  • Will I able to do it in the coming days before I bid adieu to this year? No

Then what is the content about? I am alive and kicking, isn’t it something to be happy about? I am healthy and managed to survive this year without any major health issues, isn’t this something to be happy about in the times where every puff of air we breathe is capable of putting us in direct line of fire of dreadful diseases? My family, my near and dear ones are with me when relationships are volatile and vulnerable, isn’t this something I should be happy about? I have a roof over my head and heart free of fear, is there any happiness greater than this?

No, this is no spiritual discourse but the hard truth of life that I am trying to absorb as much as I can.

Coming to what I have done and what I got in 2019, few are tangible successes whereas few others are intangible emotions. How about a sneak peek, come with me 😊:

  • Beginning was superb: January 2019 gave me the requisite impetus to march towards my long pending goal of learning how to drive. I cleared my driving theory test (on second attempt though 🙈).  That really charged me well to take on the next challenge of setting my hands on the steering for the first time in 34 years of my life. That was something!!! (Now I am eligible for provisional driving licence, a step closer to claim my independence 😁).
  • Many first times: I mentioned it many times in my articles that my son is a non verbal autistic child. Every word he says is an ecstasy for us for obvious reasons. Every addition in his vocabulary is a mirror to his development and evolution. And when he said “Amma” (mother), “Nanna” (father) for the first time in eight years of his birth it was an altogether a different whirlpool of emotions for me. For any child Ma, Pa are the first words/ sounds but my ears yearned all these years for that call.  It’s not that those words give approval to the bond we share with our son but definitely they satisfy our  senses. It was during our flight to India. He was seated with his father separately. He was really worried as to where his mother and sister has gone and was constantly nagging the crew asking about me by only mentioning  “Amma, Amma”.  When the crew asked me I was clueless if it’s my son or not.  And when my doubts dispelled I was happy beyond my words could express.  Tears that I hid from co passengers can only explain which  I fail to do it here.
  • Amazing surprise: When our stay in India was drawing to a close I got a sweet surprise.  My brother in law broke the news that they will be soon our neighbours (Brussels and Amsterdam  are just 2 and half hours away) as they used to be four years back.  That’s pure happiness.  Nothing beats the fun and happiness of having family around especially when you are in far away lands.  They have been with us in our thick and thins and my co-sister is an amazing fun loving person to be around.  Looking forward for 2020 winter shopping gal! (She would know if she is reading this 😁)
  • Very important lesson learnt: Throughout my life I heard people saying “Karma catch you sooner or later” (can’t use the phrase millennials use 😁) but this year gave me first hand experience of that. In my growing up years I was upset (an understatement) with my father that he signed up as a guarantor for someone and we faced extreme crunch situations at home because of his action.  My reaction for that particular act of him was very sour.   I  always cautioned my brother, my husband, my close ones against being a guarantor to anyone.  I maintained “if you can help do it but don’t pledge it with a signature”. But karma caught me as I signed a subscription contract of telecom services of another brand other than what we are using now unmindfully (for the first and last time) only to realise few days later that my previous service provider severed my connection and I am left with no contact number. This is after I called the correspondent the next day and declined the offer. But who cares when the signature is there 😔. I got the taste of my own medicine. That reminded me of my folly then. I was harsh instead of understanding his position. Few moments are beyond your intelligence, pragmatism, logic and reasoning, simple. Perhaps I learnt two lessons: what goes around comes back and your signature might not be an autograph but definitely can buy you dire consequences if used without giving a thought. Fortunately no serious damage done this time.
  • I grew: Understanding people, keeping few close ones, confiding heart to them, drawing inspirations from every possible person, accepting mistakes, making new ones and learning from them, able to motivate myself, picking up from shattered pieces and commencing a new stride again and most importantly being happy – this is what I learnt during this year. And my journey is still on for the next year too. Schedule for the journey will be released next year 😁😉.

To be honest I don’t have much to write about but I started believing that life is better lived every moment than to strive hard to create moments. And I lived 2019 with content for I have life and I am growing up every moment.

MEN ARE HUMANS TOO


Candles Online

A day such as International Men’s Day makes us stop on our steps and give a deep thought to men. Women do need that extra bit of attention because all the world over, be it in developed or developing nations, they are the oppressed lot – in different but many ways. However, men are calling out too – their voices being doused by the stereotypes and mutilated by the rigid societal frameworks that have defined gender roles.

The theme for International Men’s Day 2019 – ‘Making a difference for men and boys’ made me think whether any difference is needed for men and boys, and if so how can we (men and women) contribute towards it. Some stereotypes definitely need to be revisited to be modified.

#Men are supposed to be strong

What does ‘strong’ mean exactly? Well, in the context of men, ‘strong’ means physically, emotionally, financially and socially…

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CAN WOMAN BE THE VICTIM ALWAYS?


Originally posted on Candles online by World4womencom

“Me Too” movement has been  a phenomena off late that saw many skeletons tumbling out of the glossy doors that contained for long rotten corpses.  This movement that transcended to different countries, communities raised a strong voice and gave strength for many women to join the force against the sexual harassment in work place.

For more details we have wikipedia pages anyways 😊.

This movement has given a hope to many suppressed voices.  Women finally started voicing their horror experiences.  And the culprits – Men (not a generalisation) are being shown the doors.  That is something to be cheered up ans celebrated, isn’t it.

This movement is a minuscule part of a revolution called Feminism. Age long patriarchal dominance, suppression and submission is finally seeking freedom.  “We are no less than you, we are at par with you, we have been doing our duties now it’s about our rights.  We will no longer take it lying down” sums up it all. Fair enough! Much needed indeed.

But the problem is misuse of the concept or let’s say  the “Woman / Victim card” just to settle few scores, gain some popularity or simply sympathy.  Don’t get shocked, it is prevailing.

Let me give you two examples (out of many):

  • Rohtak sisters of Harayana were hailed by one and all as they beat an “eve teaser” who was harassing them in a bus.  A bravo act! And they repeated the act in another incident but now discrepancies started to appear in their script.  And recently the accused whom the sisters beat was acquitted by the court of law in  light of various testimonies given by the co-passengers and ironically they were girls too.  They just used Victim Card to get some attention and fame. Proved! But very late though. Boy was shamed everywhere to the point he lost everything.
  • Delhi’s Saravjit Singh Bedi Vs Jasleen Kaur case.  It was an altercation at the traffic signal. She (Jasleen Kaur) clicked his photo and circulated via her social account and accused him for eve teasing her and since then he was branded as “Delhi la Darinda” (Delhi’s Scoundrel). He was heavily accused, hated and penalised. Lost his job, his image was tainted, his family lost face and lot more. And amidst all this she easily escaped to a foreign land even evading the court hearing dates to prove his misdeed.  Strange, isn’t it?
  • Mohammad Shami, the cricketer was embroiled in a false domestic violence case because he is a Man!

False rape cases, dowry cases, domestic violence cases are on rise. When things don’t work their way few women unfortunately using their “weaker sex/ victim” card because they got the pulse of our somewhat flawed laws meant for their own betterment and our undesicive society who never battles an eyelid in shaming the victim irrespective of the gender and believes in hogwash rather than truth underneath.

What are the repercussions?  Using flaws in laws and popular movements for personal agendas by handful of scrupulous souls is definitely not serving any purpose (not taking the personal ones into account). This is in fact widening the already existing gap between the genders.  This is some how resulting in distrust that one gender has on another. If a woman finds it difficult to trust her male counterpart, a man too fears a possible exploitation at the hands of law meant for woman’s protection  which could be easily misused for settling few agendas straight. On the flip side the huge volume of false cases is making sure that those who actually need help from the judiciary are being denied or delayed justice.  And this is actually impeding many from taking action to demand justice.  So if being a woman, a woman wants to misuse the law for her benefit she is actually denying someone else the justice simply by slowing down the process.  Period!

Media’s Role in creating sensation / shaming: unfortunately the media is to an extent responsible for sensationalising issues without any analysis. In their stride to top the TRP charts they want news chops that can garner interest. Source never matters so does the truth.  They want to cash the trend. When the country is raged at the gruesome rape cases of Nirbhaya, Kathua news channels use clippings of Rohtak Sisters to sound relevant in their coverage. And that results in sensationalisation because we want our girls to retaliate the wrong and we shame the boy because we are in mindset “he must have definitely done something wrong to be at the receiving end”. And when the truth comes to the surface channels already have something else to showcase (elections 🤣), so no one cared about it whereas the boy is still suffering the impact of social ostracism. This is too dangerous, mark that.

Fight against heinous crimes committed against women is not a fight against Men. This has to be emphasised.  When Jessica Lal was murdered by a Man there were hundreds of same gender who were out on streets to fight for her. When Nirbhaya happened the police “men” sweated it out to nab the culprits.  My Father supported me in my decisions throughout so did my Husband and I forgot to mention Chiradeep, my mentor who always guided me.  They are all Men. Right and Wrong; Good and Bad; Righteousness and Sin are free of gender bias. A woman can be wrong too – please take a note all the pseudo feminist out there who are doing more harm to women and humanity as a whole than good. “Feminism” as understood by few is not a fight against Males.

As a woman I feel that the strong wave of important movements like “Me Too” or “Feminism” shouldn’t be curtailed or restricted to ulterior motives of handful for they are meant for superior objectives of upliftment and serving justice.

PRECIOUS PRINCESS YOU ARE ❤❤


Candles Online

Talking about my four years old angel, my daughter Nandini.  2015, June, she came into our lives and since then it’s been a fantastic journey with her.

Four years of age but she is independent, smart and confident. Being a mother I shouldn’t praise too much about my own child because Nazar Lag Jaati Hai (cause jinx). Its too much fun with her around.  Few shades and incidents of her I would love to  share :

She is an independent girl in the making: Me “Nandini let me hold your hand while we are walking to school“. Nandu (we fondly call her):  No thanks. And that’s a subtle way of saying Mom mind your own business 😁. She chooses what she would wear everyday (of course I enforce a lot 😉 to convey who’s the boss 😎), from brushing her teeth to wearing her jacket she learnt…

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Act And Avoid Regrets


Originally posted on Candles online:

If a survey is conducted and people are asked “If God grants you one wish what would you pick?”, undoubtedly “A chance to revisit or relive the past (simply put a as Time Travel)” will the take the cake hands down.  “Being invisible”“Being filthy rich”“Stay young forever” are few close contenders though 😁.  What makes people cling to the past so much?  Happy moments of past and regrets in present to say the least often make people wish badly if they could just once walk down the memory lane and relive & cherish and change the course of incidents if possible.

And I am no exception.  I want to enjoy my childhood once again with my siblings, wish badly to be in school once again with my best pals, seek blessings of my revered teachers, pursue my hobbies more rigorously, be with my father when he needed me, take up science instead of commerce that could have helped me land in a job at this moment 😁😁 and I regret that decision till this date.  Many more regrets and joys!  Don’t worry, not going to list every minute detail lest it will be damn boring for you all 😉.

But two incidents, one from distant past and the other from recent past that still linger on my mind,  while conscience always questions me – Why you were silent then? At this moment while mentioning about them I am imagining myself in those situations as a person who did something in her capacity that could have made at least a trivial change, but a change nevertheless:

  • I was in college (2003), boarded a bus back to home.  Three men boarded the same bus.  The bus was already crowded. They stood next to me.  Far from being decent or civilised as they looked and sounded, asked me about a particular destination and when I answered them, they started making fun of me.  I was numb.  Not a word uttered.  And I was not the only one they were taking digs at, they poked few more people in an obnoxious manner.  But everyone was silent till they got down. And “Everyone” included me too and that’s my REGRET.
  • When I was in India this year, enjoying my vacations I witnessed a horrific incident of child abduction. As I was leaving a market premise along with my brother, his wife and my daughter we saw a Banjara (nomad) lady handing over a kid to a man who was waiting on a scooter.  At the very first sight it was clear that that the child doesn’t belong to her and our doubts were more less confirmed when we saw the number plate of the vehicle. It was blank for obvious reasons.  It all happened in a fraction of seconds and I was left pondering over ” shall I confront them”, ” shall I alert the police patrol team in that area”.  But alas I just kept thinking instead of initiating the action and that’s my REGRET.

I am sure we all have such regrets in our lives where a small voice made might have been heard, a petty action taken might have made the difference and our sheer incapacity or inaction forced the world trend the improper ways it is already on. Think about it! Well that brings to my mind one my friend’s important quote:

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(A Candles Online Property)

We are living in times when our silence is taken as our acceptance, our decency is taken as our incapacity or weakness, our inaction is a registered Yes and encouragement to the wrongdoers.  We are living in times where a concrete demarcation is necessary between “Apparently ” and “Certainly ” for people to understand ” Clearly“.  Hence it is important to Act for what you believe and avoid Regrets and your journey to old memory lanes should be a joyful ride 😊.

A REGRET AND A VAGUE ATTEMPT.


Candles Online

Wish Life Was As Easy As My Computer Screen:

Made some errors?

No problem! Just UNDO and type again.But alas, no Undo button for Life.

I remember in the Spotlight seriesSaakshi asked me the same question:If you were allowed to go back and change one thing from your past, what would you pick and why?”

As I ponder upon this question, all that I see are my regrets and my fanatics. I regret days I wasted – I regret blunders I made – I regret the hurts I gave my dear ones – I regret the foolish decisions I made – I regret the wrong friendships I chose to nurture – and the list “I REGRET” goes on.

We often laugh away when our elders advice us: “One day, you will regret but you won’t have an option to undo your mistakes.”Isn’t this forewarning so fitting to…

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Life Is Too Precious To Risk It For Few Bucks


Apart from Good morning messages with very inspirational quotes WhatsApp groups serve a lot of purpose than what meets eye.  In one such conversation with my childhood friends on WhatsApp a friend shared this picture (actually this marked the beginning of our conversation, an important one)

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This conversation followed a fire incident that broke in a coaching centre in Surat (Gujarat, India) claiming lives of 21 students.  Many students died while jumping from a two storey building to escape fire.  That was heartbreaking.  It was the scare of fire that killed more than the fire itself.  Lack of basic conformities and awareness as to how one should act in such tragic situations caused more damage. And that’s when I have decided that this is something which needs my, in fact everyone’s attention as to Why, Who is responsible and How to do our bit to avoid or at least minimise the losses incurred.

Here’s a list of recent fatal fire accidents claiming lives of many and leaving charred memories for many more (all accidents happened in 2017):

  • Kamala Mills – Mumbai – 14 lives claimed
  • Plastic Factory – Ludhiana – 13 people (including 3 firemen) killed
  • Snack Shop in Saki Naka – Mumbai – 21 lives crammed and charred together
  • Rohini hospital – Telangana – 2 lives claimed 
  • Scrap market – Kota – 2 killed and 15 severely injured 
  • Cracker Shop – Rourkela – 1 killed and three injured
  • Illegal cracker unit – Jharkhand – 6 killed and 11 injured 

Special mention:

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Source: Google 

And then there are incidents exclusively where the property loss is humungous.  This is a pity picture which requires lot of introspection – Who is responsible for this after all?

Electricity short circuit is the most prominent reason behind a majority of fire accidents. Cylinders or explosives going off comes next in line followed by other miscellaneous reasons that normally don’t find any mention in the list of reasons.  But does it absolve the “human hand” completely of its responsibility? The reason that were mentioned above are the ones that are apparent but the responsibility completely rests with people.

Non compliance with the fire security rules, illegal constructions – squeezing and cramming of buildings in small spaces, No upgradation / maintenance of fire fighting systems with time to keep them in working condition, No proper fire drills to the staff in offices.  Basically many “NO“s.

And the reason behind every “NO” that I have mentioned above is Greed and carelessness. People want to save every possible penny they could even if it means putting their and others’ lives at risk.  Complying to rules, training, purchase of requisite material everything involves cost and it’s something that’s loathed.  The greed to make quick and more money is the mother of illegal constructions, sky rocketing match boxes (read apartments) where safety measures barely or rarely exist. And the basic attitude of “Jab hoga toh dekh lenge” (we will see when it happens) is something that must be done away with. “If caught for non compliance we will pay something and buy our freedom” something that lingers on mind (read habit) but not for once people plan future (in reference to fire accidents) with an apprehensive approach that we need to be careful and prepared for the worse.  And this approach is not just of the people coming from lower strata of the society with no awareness. But people with many sources of awareness at their disposal wait for the worse to happen before they realise and awaken. And after things are out of hands people search for scapegoats, oblivious or simply blind to the fact that one can’tclaim rights without carrying out duties.

Even with all the possible measures taken unimaginable can happen, no denying to that.  But we lack the basic awareness to plan escape in such situations (the first photo proves the same).  Probably because not much attention given to this subject.  Parents and schools are constantly busy in ensuring that their children score highest possible grades and they don’t miss extra curricular activities too but subjects concerning their safety and security, be it self defence or otherwise  (escape plans in case of accidents like that of fire) are of trivial to no importance for them.  Hence no place in the curriculum, not even a chapter, workshops are a distant dream.  Companies/ industries are busy improving their profit margin every quarter whereas both employee appraisals (😁) and safety are not in compliance to their policies.  Can you tell me when was the last time you had a fire drill in your office?

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A photo doing rounds on Facebook. This is what I was talking about – carelessness and in a bid to save few bucks people are risking their lives.

These things seem inconsequential or immaterial but should definitely be a part of learning at different stages. If we are paying for fire insurance for our properties then some heed must be paid towards the safety of our lives too, isn’t it?  Talk about the safety measures to near and dear ones including children, use social platform to spread a word, check if builders are completely complying to fire security regulations before moving in, yourself adhere strictly to all the regulations for safety,  electricity conformity is a must for every housing unit.  These are few things in a bird’s eye view.

Remember: Your Life Isn’t A Business To Risk It.  Read, Talk and Spread the word for Awarenss is the only key.

GIRL WITH HALF FILLED COFFEE MUG


Listen to your heart

I dream my painting and then I paint my dream

The above quote sounds beautiful when said. It definitely has a depth to it.

We all are born dreamers with lots of ambitions, goals, which change as we grow; some by situations, requirements, resources, and some we just give up; some we achieve and some we just cant afford and lose grip on them.

What is the foundation of a dream or can I say goal in life? What drives that instinct in someone’s life that makes one to work hard or the thought of that brings smile and positiveness or it can be vice versa that on not achieving so-called goal can break one. Is it a motivation? An inspiration? Purely the need to be in a safe place because of struggles in the past? Or simply the passion?

I grab my coffee mug, sit near window, watching out…

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A SPRING IN HER STEP SPEAKS OODLES


Blesses to have you Rajnandini and Candles on my side. Overwhelmed to know that I am actually heard to😊😊

Candles Online

An adroit writer, an ace homemaker and a doting mother gifted with nimble fingers for expressing the brimming creativity within her – be it by way of painting or craft skills, a brilliant smile and sanguine temperament that promises to add buoyancy to a weary day – this is KALPANA VOGETI, the writer I’ve virtually met in the blogging platform of Candles Online.

What I most admire about Kalpana is the way she brings out the best in her in even the most trying circumstances. Though I don’t know a great deal about her, from the little I know, I can vouch for her abilities to tide through testing times.

As a writer, she is versatile, vocal, meaty and inspiring. There is a gentleness in her articles that surfaces to me as a reader.

COME WALK IN MY SHOES FOR ONCE! This post of hers rates high on my…

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