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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The Courage To Say No – Hans Brothers


Coincidentally this topic is same with which I began my blogging 😊

Hans Brothers

Achieving your greatest life is not all about what you have to do, often it is about what you must say NO to

The courage to say no… The discipline to say no… The wisdom to say no…
 The strength to say no…

Take a good look at any successful person… any truly fulfilled person… They all have this quality. The courage to say NO when they must say no.

The courage to say no… The discipline to say no… The wisdom to say no… The strength to say no…

Take a good look at any successful person… any truly fulfilled person… They all have this quality. The courage to say NO when they must say no.

The strength to say no when I need to,
 The courage and discipline to stick to the path that leads to my greatest self.

Even when it is uncomfortable. Even when it means…

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LISTENING – PIVOTAL FOR MENTAL HEALTH


Few days back I got a call from my friend. She sounded very sad and broken. Her tone was that of melancholy. When I enquired her “what’s the matter?” She broke as she discussed about her friends being mean to her and there’s lot more that I surely can’t reveal here. She confided to me as she trusted me as a strong shoulder to lean on when she felt feeble. For me (personally) the matters that she discussed seemed to be something that don’t need so much of her introspection or something that couldn’t or shouldn’t affect a person to the extent of breaking them down. But again I want to reiterate that this is my opinion and we are two different individuals. Hence, a matter which is of no to little importance to me is an issue that is demanding and holding her attention strongly.

This is just one excerpt from my life. Different individuals, different perceptions, different view points and different everything.  And this “difference” plays a crucial role in determining “Mental Health” of a person.

What is Mental Health? According to the World Health Organization (WHO), mental health includes subjective well-being, perceived self-efficacy, autonomy, competence, inter-generational dependence, and self-actualization of one’s intellectual and emotional potential, among others.”

Mental Health is a very complex issue and very vaguely discussed or altogether omitted from discussion. Apparently the association of word “Mental” with “Health” got huge misconceptions (sadly 😔).  And hence it is something not spoken about often. If a calm, stable, content mind represents a good state of mental health then an impulsive, gloomy, often moody, pessimistic state of mind is a sign that it needs treatment. But again not much attention is heeded towards the warning bells, often brushed under the carpet with words like “Everything will be fine in a while“, ” it’s his/her habit, leave alone“, “ I am busy enough, don’t bother me“. And this paves way to chronic issues like anxiety, depression, bipolar disorders, acute stress, different addictions and so on.

What’s the problem and the solution? Ironically the problem and the solution is same in this context of mental health issues. It is Listening. Let me clarify with a petty imaginary, futuristic and hypothetical example – My daughter comes to me and starts narrating about her day at school. She tells me about a student who hits her, teases her everyday. But as I am busy with my daily chores show no particular interest in her words and laugh it off calling it play and this upsets my daughter. And over a period of time as she continuously takes a notice of disinterest from my end stops opening up herself to me. And the tension of suppressed emotions pile up in her that could possibly deteriorate her mental health and drive towards depression as she have no one to confide to. So all the way I was only “Hearing” but not “Listening”. The issue which seemed to be inconsequential or immaterial to me holds priority in her life. So without being judgemental as every individual got a different emotional quotient and perspective I should have listened to her. And only when I listen to her with all the intent, I can guide her better. So the problem which arises out of “not listening” finds a solution when one finds a “listening ear with all the heart in place“. In fact, listening is a counsellor’s first step in his or her algorithm of treatment, isn’t it? Just as a doctor needs to listen to the symptoms before prescribing a medicine, an engineer needs to listen to the needs of the client before designing something, a counsellor listens to the turmoil a person with mental disturbances undergoes before suggesting a way out. And in turn the person in question also needs to listen. It’s a two way traffic.

“Mental illness is not a personal failure. In fact, if there is failure, it is to be found in the way we have responded to people with mental and brain disorders,” said Dr Gro Harlem Brundtland, Director-General of WHO, on releasing the World Health Report.  

When we teach “sharing is caring”  to our kids we should mean it. It’s not just about the material or tangible things. It exceeds that. We should strive constantly to set up a two way communication process (charity begins at home) where in we don’t shy away from bearing our hearts to our near and dear ones (at least one person) as well let others reach us out . Our emotions need an outlet – be it apprehensions, our views, likes – dislikes, experiences – everything.  Sharing via speaking up and listening is what galvanises many things at one go – a person, relationships, a home and society.  When I know there’s someone to listen without judging me I won’t let the frustration pent up inside me. That could go a long way in sanitising me against mental illnesses, period!

Remember:  you want to share something,  I am listening to you 😊.

DD Era Was The Most Peaceful One


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How I wish I could have finished writing this piece way before than the elections entering the last phase.  But better late than never you see 😊.  Well to begin with one of the highlighted line doing rounds these days in my homeland “Tanav bahut hai kyunki desh mein chunav hai“.  It means “There’s lot of tension because we have elections in the country”.  And this is not just a random sarcastic line but a mirror to the current atmosphere of the country.  The biggest festival of the biggest democratic country is about to end in just two days – Elections are about to come to an end on 19/05/2019 and results will be out on 23/05/2019 sealing fates of many, in fact everyone – the representatives, the voters & the nation.  And I know how badly I missed my opportunity to cast a vote 😔. 

I can say by far the most polarised elections we are experiencing are these.  With two major national political parties pitted (is it the right word?) against each other and regional parties playing the sidekicks the situation is you can be in either of the court. Having a moderate view is a rare sight in this particular election season of 2019.  Every citizen is trying to present the candidate they favour in a good light while exposing the true face of the opposition (based on facts, figures that they believe in) and defending the case of their favourite leaders is a self employment that they have taken up.  A full-fledged war of memes, trolls, abuses, lengthy arguments has blown out.  And I confess unapologetically that me too is a part of those discussions for I have my own reservations (I religiously follow courtesy of language though😁).  More I watch, more I read, more skewed my inclinations are becoming and more I am participating in arguments which is highly unlike me.

As I was wondering how can I be so involved in political discussions:

Since the introduction of social media people are having more avenues to information to aid the build up of their views and hence paving a way to decision-making. And there’s a plethora of channels, pages, sites feeding the demand ( in fact creating the same) of having information. And the sad part is that most (not all) of them are biased serving varied interests of their investors and misguiding the voter being one such interest.  And ironically the “Original” Media which is referred as the Fourth Pillar Of Democracy is too involved in the game of taking sides to create news (read sensation) for their respective agendas of TRPs and readership, create divide, suppressing the truth which means either misquoting/ misrepresentation of the situation or a complete omission altogether.  Yes, it is the truth of the hour.  Morality and integrity of journalism has taken a nose dive.  The picture that is being painted of the country at this moment is that it is burning, everyone is everyone’s enemy, nothing is right, nothing is bright, we are being robbed and are heading towards a dead-end, period! 

I understand that like every country our country has its own set of problems. For a nation as big as ours with its social fabric interwoven with rich ethnicities, varied languages, different religions, altercations among citizens here and there is pretty common and many a times unavoidable.  Many communal riots on our soil speak for themselves.  But the beauty is that we were always back with more strength. We are not called Secular without a reason.

Unfortunately the type of journalism that is happening today is giving an impression to the rest of the world that India is all about communal tensions. Omission of facts from past, repetition of recitals of selected few unfortunate incidents, branding of victims and culprits as per convenience or complete silence on matters that don’t fetch business is particularly what the media is into.  Here only the numbers and competition matters.  To cut it short – Media today is biased. The 24×7 nature of news channels is only doing harm by prompting to generate news instead of reporting the same.

I have to sadly admit to the fact that our politicians (most of them) irrespective of the party they belong to are scrupulous.  Dividing people based on caste and religious lines and doing politics of appeasement is something we are witnessing since a long time. But now they have media too joining the party in its own way leading to the same destination.

I was just pondering over one thought.  What if I was growing up in this age of social media and N number of television  channels fighting for the cake of TRP?  Wouldn’t I have succumbed to what I was shown day in and day out  mentally? Would I have enjoyed the beautiful amalgamation of cultures in my growing up years as I did as a person who was born during the DD (Doordarshan – the national television channel supported by government) Era. It was all straight forward news with no drama and hype. People were informed back then as well even in the absence of heated debates where no one listens to no one and reaching on no conclusion staged only to fill in a slot.  So many elections passed but never saw people fighting  to defend the candidates they support (to be precise abusing others). I wonder how secular I would have been if I was not a DD era person 😁😁.  It was the most peaceful era I guess 😂😂. 

Disclaimer:  To all my friends and family members with whom I had a discussion or disagreement on candidates and politics, I want to politely remind that I am the same old person as they always knew me.  These elections shouldn’t and won’t change our equation and relations. For elections are five yearly but bonds are forever ❤❤.