Yearlong Yearning- #AtoZChallenge

It was one foggy morning in the month of October. Rohan woke up to the sound of bursting firecrackers in the neighbourhood. The fog was only an illusion created from the continuous burning of fireworks. It was Diwali- The festival of lights and prosperity. Rohan was much excited for Diwali than usual this time, as it has arrived a month earlier compared to the previous year. Not because he can light firecrackers in advance, but because his yearlong yearning to see his dad has come down by a month!

Rohan’s dad lives in the Middle East and Diwali is the only time he visits his family every year. As Rohan’s mom was busy preparing festival delicacies in the kitchen, Rohan jumped around the house with anticipation for his dad. “When will he be here?? I can’t wait to see him!!”, yells Rohan, doing fake cartwheel stunts with excitement. “So do I dear! He should be here by afternoon. Meanwhile, go burst some firecrackers with your friends”, his mom replied while deep frying some savories. “Nooo, I’ll burst them with Papa. He promised he’ll teach me to burn the new rockets this time. I can’t wait!!”, screamed Rohan.

It was half past six in the evening. Rohan’s dad was still not home. Rohan hasn’t stopped pestering his mother about his dad’s arrival. His mom has been trying to reach Rohan’s dad since hours, but in vain. The air of excitement began to fade. They actually began to worry, as they came to know the flights have landed on time. Rohan’s mother was tensed and felt pity looking at her 9 year old’s yearning for his dad. All the festival sweets and savories were lying on the table sans attention. Rohan’s mom was busy enquiring his dad’s friends back in the Middle East, while he looked helplessly at his mother.

At quarter past 9 p.m, the door bell rang. Rohan rushed to the door, while his mother was on the phone. “Papa!!!”, yelled Rohan and hugged his dad. His elation had no bounds. His yearning for yearlong has finally come to an end. “What happened?? I couldn’t reach you, we were so worried!”, Rohan’s mom inquired. “I missed my connecting flight and had no time to either recharge my battery dead phone nor call you to inform. I had to board as soon as I got the new ticket. Also, I thought this would make a nice surprise!”, Rohan’s dad replied winking. “This is not a pleasant surprise!”, his mom bawled. The excitement was back in the air, with a sense of relief. Rohan clinged to his dad and was living the moment, a moment he has been waiting for, since a year! “Ready to burst some rockets son?!”, his dad asked, while holding him tight. “Yes Papa, I’ve been ready since last Diwali!”, Rohan replied with a twinkle in his eye.

Xerox- #AtoZChallenge


I was eight years old when I first encountered the word- ‘Xerox’. My family moved to another city on my dad’s transfer. By the time I joined a new school in the new city, it had been 2 months already since the academic year started. So I had to catch up on all the notes I missed. When I approached my teacher about the same, she suggested to get all the missed notes ‘xeroxed’. I wasn’t aware what in the world it meant. Nor did I have the courage to ask her for confirmation. But I felt I read or heard the word earlier, though I wasn’t sure when or how.

I told my mom about what the teacher suggested on my missed classwork. She nodded casually and said, “We’ll get it done over the weekend.”What does getting xeroxed mean?”, I asked out of curiosity. “Just to create a copy”, my mom replied. It’s finally weekend and I accompanied my mom to get my friend’s notes xeroxed. As we walked towards the shop, I saw the shop’s name titled ‘XEROX’ in all capitals. Ahaan! So, this was how I knew the word, the names of stores get registered in the mind sometimes. There are a plenty of Xerox stores across every street in every city. So, it’s highly unusual even for a kid to be unaware of the word. I stood watching the machine create ‘xeroxes’ of the notebook pages one after the other. First experience with anything (even Xerox) remains very memorable, isn’t it?

Ever since, for years, I’ve been visiting the stores to get Xerox. At some point during my high school, I came to know that the word Xerox was not a verb. And that, it was actually a company’s name that manufactures the photocopier machine. I was enlightened about the right word ‘photo copy’  only then! For some reason, I was surprised. I started wondering how a company’s name can be actually floating around as a verb so well, that even the stores have it as their official names to create a photo copy? Oh well, may be that’s the brand value! Since then, whenever I hear someone saying the word xerox for getting a photocopy, there comes an instant smile on my face, which is rather misunderstood.

Years later, when I google the word Xerox, it actually gave me the results saying it is an “act of copying using xerographic copying process.” Oh, so now it’s officially a verb! The Xerox Corporation was actually worried about the brand becoming a ‘generic word’ and started advertising on how xerox does not mean photo copying, but a  machine that creates one! It’s impressive how major well known brand names turn out to become verbs. May be it’s a way to portray how well they conquered the world and made us dependent on them!

Next time you hear yourself or someone uttering, “I googled for the place” (Just like I mentioned about googling for the word Xerox!) or “I shall Skype you next week”, remember that they aren’t verbs, even though they’ve earned a place in the urban dictionary!





WordPress World – #AtoZChallenge


WordPress has been one of the best things that has happened to me in recent times. Like everyone else on WordPress, my passion to write landed me here. However, I had no idea what I had in store, nor did I know what to expect. All I knew was that I have too many things running in my head and I need a medium to let it out in a ‘structured’ manner. I wanted to share personal stories and experiences that motivated me to be a better person and also made me gain a better perspective of life. Also to remind how powerful our psyche is and how it is the ultimate solution to every problem. This was my sole reason for getting here on WordPress, apart from the writing bug. Also, how can someone be good at something without actually trying? Thus I began blogging, to hone my writing skills, to get inspired from others work and to keep learning in every way possible!

All I thought about WordPress was that it is a platform to pour in your thoughts/ opinions/ arguments/ discussions, DIYs or a web space to showcase your talent in photography and art. Little did I know that it was way more than what I assumed. Once I created a WordPress account, I started digging in the innumerable themes and options available. Being a web application developer, I know the pain behind the scenes of these fancy themes and the user friendliness of this website. I could not stop admiring how such a complex application was developed to appear so simple and ‘easy to use’ to the user. I got inspired and was reminded of my distant dream of having a web space of my own (created/developed by me) on my own domain. Until then, WordPress it is! 😀

Once the developer in me subsided, I got back to wearing my creative hat. I started exploring and following fellow bloggers. It was wonderful to see how everyone is not only unique but also like-minded at the same time. As I started getting used to this new routine of mine and took to the ‘impossible’ of writing regularly, I was astounded by the community spirit that WordPress offered. I felt encouraged, relieved and most of all secured! Something that I don’t find other social networking sites offering.

I always believed I had some meaningful thoughts that I need to share. Thoughts that might help others to perceive life better or motivate them towards optimism or gratitude, just like how I got inspired from reading others work. But I never dared to post such thoughts on Facebook/ Twitter or any of those social networking places with hundreds of friends, who I have known for long in my real life. Why? Is it because of my fear of being judged? Or my feeling of being abandoned? Or may be I was just insecure? I don’t know. It is a naked truth that no matter what we write, we want someone out there to read. It is an irony, that I feel more secure sharing here on WordPress among strangers, rather than among real people I know or through my social media profiles. I wonder if it’s the power of anonymity or the positive atmosphere in WordPress or both!

The community here is so very encouraging and inspiring which I find lacking in other social platforms. Networking and ‘give-take’ policy is another important aspect that I’ve learned and enjoyed during my 2 month stint with WordPress. Just like many others, I got to meet some amazing people from across the globe, read their awesome work and learn from their writings.

500 likes- This has been my first accomplishment in 2months since I started here on WordPress. I don’t know if it’s considered an achievement as per blogging standards, but it indeed was overwhelming for an amateur like me when this popped up in my notifications. It is indeed a great source of motivation for someone who had no idea what WordPress was all about, or how wonderful people are in encouraging you and letting you inhibit all your fears and doubts.


I’d like to thank WordPress and all my fellow bloggers for making this a part of me and my world, for encouraging and inspiring me to take up things that I always wished to, but never dared to.

Validated Values- #AtoZChallenge


“Values are like fingerprints. Nobody’s are the same, but you leave them all over everything you do.” – Elvis Presley

Values are deep rooted. There is significant influence of culture, religion, upbringing and awareness on values one develops as an individual. Hence they are prone to differ from person to person. But values are contingent. They are subject to change as we get older. Values are the core beliefs we trust in and believe to be ethical. As children we believe the set of values our parents and families practice. But as we grow older with increasing awareness of the world, we tend to modify our beliefs. This is because, the definition of ethical undergoes metamorphosis based on our experiences and understanding of the world.

There are instances where children from the same household or family grow up to have their own set of beliefs. While the roots are the same, their values are molded based on their different life experiences. Values are often misinterpreted and interconnected with opinions. This is a vast area that has been subject to various theories and conclusions. Opinions are the way we look at facts. But values are not based on facts. They are developed and evolve as we grow older. As long as we grow not just with respect to age, but as an individual, changed ethical values are acceptable.

But once we are clear on the set of beliefs we value, there will come a number of occurrences, that will try to make us lose them. Our values are validated. Now this is not a scenario, where we are trying to grow as an individual, but an opportunity to prove how strong we can hold on to our values. Every firm irrespective of the industry it belongs to, swears by it’s core values. There are several examples of failed companies that could not stand up to the values they believe in. The same applies to individuals. Giving preference to personal cravings over values may lead to unfavorable outcomes. No matter if the entity is a group, a firm, a family or an individual, values/ beliefs are always put to test. This is when we need to prove how strong we stand by the values we believe in, irrespective of the circumstances.

Because, “Integrity is choosing your thoughts and actions based on values rather than personal gain.”



Unexposed Urges- #AtoZChallenge


I was sweating and puffing. It was an intense moment.

I was afraid if someone would notice. I had to be careful.

I could not control my anxiety, but I was glad I was going to do it! Finally!

I realized she was fast asleep. The pills worked.

The very moment that I’ve been planning for, was finally live in action!

Yes, I’m going to strangle her. Strangle her to death!

I was filled with rage. I’ve had enough of her nagging, emotional abuse and maltreatment. I finally took in the courage to take this extreme step after many failed attempts to negotiate. A step to break my bondage, forever, from the only pain of my life. I felt relieved.


Wake up!! You’re getting late for work”, she said while waking me up. “Our couple shoot picture that you posted on Facebook received 150 likes! How cool is that? By the way, why are you sweating?”, she continued.

Testing Times- #AtoZChallenge

At some point in our lives, we are prone to encounter a continuous series of unfavourable events. One after the other, as if they have all planned to come in at once! Testing times are more often presumed as bad luck or ill fated life events rather than an opportunity of instilling the endurance seed in us. Ofcourse, who would consider it to be positive, when a failed career, followed by a ruined relationship ends with the demise of a loved one? Who would ever think about these events occuring in row to be a test of patience rather than an ill fate or bad timing?

While we cannot blame ourselves for most life events that occur out of our control, we still can accept the fact that few events in life are inevitable. It’s extremely hard to get over losing someone beloved, especially during the rough phase of our lives. The blow strikes so hard, that helplessness and voidness creep into our minds to stay. It is unfair to assume that we are the only ones undergoing pain and hard times in life, when the world out there is no different. The only difference that makes to emerge out triumphant is patience!

There might be situations where the inability to take in unfavorable events anymore may even make us think of taking extreme steps. Ability to sustain hardships is not a gift, but a stubborn state of mind that needs to be developed during these testing times. As more bad incidents keep coming to your life, it’s only a way of making you stronger than you ever were! Life tests our strength to sustain, and to emerge victorious, we need immense endurance and determination. The moment you develop this, nothing can stop you! Learning to hold on is an ever evolving phenomenon.

The continous occurance of adverse circumstances should only make us develop an attitude that says, “Oh! I’ve seen worse than this! This shall pass!” In my opinion having a smooth life with a sudden bad circumstance may be too hard to sink in. But a life with hardships make us so strong, that no matter what happens in the future, the blow isn’t strong enough!

So during those testing times all we need is a badass attitude that reflects, “Bring it on life! I know I’m superior than what you’ve got!”

Selfie Stigma – #AtoZChallenge


When was the last time you visited a new place and left without taking a ‘selfie’? If you somehow never really cared about the need for a selfie, well good for you! But if you did, err..there might be an issue here. I wouldn’t deny the fact that I’m afraid I’ll soon be a part of the latter bandwagon. The world is going insane with selfies since 2013. It turned out to be the easiest way to blur out the thin line between self-love and self-obsession.

I remember going for vacations to enjoy the scenic beauty or click a picture or two with a camera. Taking photographs never really appeared to come in the way while enjoying the place I was in. I used to live the moment by experiencing the atmosphere and feeling astounded by nature’s beauty. I could cherish my moments at the location without any deviation or distraction. But I’m no longer able to take pleasure in the place I visit. I feel urged to take a selfie. Even if I don’t, I’m unable to appreciate the place I’m in due to the innumerable selfie sticks and selfie circus going on around me. The aura and the vibe that a tourist spot is supposed to radiate is lost. There is some sort of commotion resulting out of the selfie mania that keeps taking away peace. It is acceptable to take a selfie or two for remembrance. But the urge to keep clicking until we get the right one and the urge to post it on various social media platforms, kills the pleasure we need to take from the atmosphere around. The enjoyment slowly turns to stress due to the inability to click satisfying selfies. We no longer care about the destination we are in. We start bothering more about the number of ‘likes’  we get for the posted selfie rather than cherishing the moment amidst nature’s beauty.

Selfie has become a mandatory trademark or advertisement of anything and everything people do. No matter what activity they indulge in, no matter where they are and with who they are, a selfie has become a ‘the must’ aspect of everything. It’s pathetic to realize that few people even started working for a social cause only to advertise their selfies for fame or for an applaud of their good deeds. Selfies have also turned out to be the new autographs. People no longer care for a signed autograph on their books when they meet their favorite author. All they look forward for is a selfie with them!

The selfie revolution has some adverse impact on the younger generation. Youngsters are turning out to be so obsessed with it, that whatever they do, buy or wear or visit, it’s only for one sole reason- The selfie! Various theories stating that selfie obsession may indicate narcissism have already started emerging.

Though it may sound more like a fun and self- loving phenomena at the beginning, the extent to which it is being used is a matter of concern. It no longer signifies self love but is paving way for unnecessary mental disorders.

The need of the hour is not a selfie, but a phone without a front camera! Because too much of anything always turns out ruinous.

Random Acts of Kindness- #AtoZChallenge


The smallest act of kindness is worth more than the grandest intention- Oscar Wilde

It was a snowy day with fast blowing wind. My friend and I were walking down the road, against the windy snow to make our way to Walmart. It was one of those initial days of being an international student in the U.S. After a couple of weeks of enjoying and fulfilling our dream of experiencing a snowy winter, we actually started hating it! We had no choice, but walk in the snow to buy groceries.

As we strolled through the never ending racks of Walmart, we found ourselves converting the price of every item we came across to our currency back home. Typical of someone who just moved to a new country. The conversion and calculations made us realize that the items considered basic, actually turned out to be expensive and vice versa. We wanted to buy a lot of things, i.e., basic grocery stuff, but had to limit ourselves, given our financial situation. For an international student who does not have a job, every dollar counts!

As we continued our stroll through the store, we halted at the dairy and eggs section. I handed over a case of eggs to my friend and asked him to check for any broken ones. To our surprise, when he opened the case, we found this:


We were awestruck!! We jumped out of excitement, happiness, amazement and could not stop smiling at each other. Wow!! This was something I never experienced and such an act happening on an alien land brought in a lot of joy. Our intention of buying as many groceries was fulfilled with that gift card. It meant a lot to us and we were very thankful for this random act of kindness. “God bless those ladies!”, I kept uttering with joy, while my friend couldn’t stop smiling either.

A small act of kindness has definitely made a big difference to us. Kindness knocking your door, when you needed it the most, is extraordinary! It only made me realize the extent of happiness and delight a small act of kindness can bring to others lives. This experience encouraged and reminded me of the need for kindness. As mentioned in the note with the gift card, this random act definitely did brighten our day. It made us realize how lucky and fortunate we were to be a recipient of such kindness during our time of need.

After a satisfied grocery shopping, we headed out to walk back home. “Now I think I’m gonna enjoy the snow again!”, I said with elation, walking effortlessly against the windy snow.

Quarter Life Crisis- #AtoZChallenge


Once out of college, life is hard. People realize that it’s no longer colorful, unlike the student days. It is sometimes too hard to take in when hit with the harsh realities of life. What you expected life to be while you were stepping into the real world, is not what you get. Being naive only makes this blow feel even harder, thus leading to stress, anxiety and unnecessary fears. Welcome to Quarter Life Crisis!

You may have had a blast making wonderful memories during the most happy days of your life. But now, you realized you had so much fun that you hardly payed attention to prepare yourself for the future. You watched all your friends leave to pursue their dreams of higher education or a job at a multinational company, while you are still unemployed. With increasing competition, you are unsure if your skills and capabilities are of any good. You are worried and stressed about your future.

What if you had a job at one of the nation’s best firms? Having a job at your dream company was something you would not have asked for anything more! But whenever you see your friends abroad post pictures with their BMW s or about vacations in Hawaii, you feel like shit! Your inner conscience does no good by sounding, “What the hell am I doing here in this cubicle, while that fellow who was no good at college is going places?” The same job that you prayed for to get into, no longer appears worthy enough!

Okay, now you are living abroad! Living the fancy life that your friends dream of. All they know about you is through the photos you post on Facebook or your selfies on Instagram. You wonder, if they even care for you beyond your posts. While they envy your foreign lifestyle, you keep working your ass of to meet the ends and retain grades, so that you don’t get kicked out of the country. “What’s gonna happen if I fail? Will I ever get a job if I go back, with that competition? May be I should have stayed back home with a job like my friends. At least they are close to their families and enjoy home food”, a thought that never stops echoing. Meanwhile, your ex and all your friends are either getting engaged or married. Few of them start having babies. A  bunch of them are celebrating their anniversaries or baby’s first birthdays. And you my friend, are still struggling for a degree and survival in a foreign land. This increases the existing stress levels adding to a feeling of loneliness.

You may not necessarily fall under the above bracket. You may have a vision, an idea that could change the world or at least make lives easier. You quit your fat paying job to pursue this vision of yours. You have a good team, clear ambition but lack financial help. Your failed trials of getting sponsors or financial support from all valid sources is delaying this whole vision thing. Your parents feel you are running behind the impossible when it’s time for settlement. Continuous failures with no glimpse of success makes your supporting girlfriend apprehensive. “What if this doesn’t work at all? It will be too late for everything”, she keeps reminding. You can neither concentrate on your vision nor go back to your good old job. What if you lose your girlfriend in the process of chasing your dream? Too many questions with no answers. All you do is panic!

Quarter life crisis is an outcome of intense stress levels and mental disturbances caused mostly by unsatisfied career, relationships  or a feeling of failure during the age of mid 20s. The ever increasing sharing, tweeting, posting phenomena going around, only adds to make this crisis even worse! Internet was meant to connect people for whatever reasons. But most of them stay connected not to keep in touch, but to be aware of what is going on with others lives! Too much awareness leads to inspecting one’s own life while comparing it with others. Comparison leads to dissatisfaction, a feeling of failure, anxiety thus adding stress. Sometimes it gets so worse that it leads to depression and prolonged sadness, which are born out of no big misery. People in this age bracket fail to acknowledge the fact that each and everyone is going through the same sick, stressed life for reasons unknown. The posts on social networking spaces are not the reflections of their true lives.

Each one is fighting through this crisis so bad, that they end up pretending as though everything is alright. Sometimes knowing you are not the only one, helps. After all, this is just a phase! Time often comes to the rescue and you will get used to this reality by the time you hit 30!

Perfectionist Problems


Do you think this is alright? Or should I put in more color for a pop in the background? Err, may be I’ll just leave it, sometimes simple is beautiful. Oh, wait! But it’s too simple. How will a cosmetic brand like something without enough color? Arghh, God! I just want it to be perfect!!, cries Nita while showing her work to a colleague.

Nita is an assistant creative director at a budding advertising & media firm. Being a perfectionist, Nita loved delivering the best and the perfect work. She wanted to put her best foot forward for her first task at her first job! She has to come up with a poster design to be presented for a client meeting. Since it’s her first assignment, she wants to get it right and for the perfectionist she is, she is not easily satisfied by what she comes up with.

I wish I had more time! I’m unsure if this is right or if it is what they expect?”, she whined, rubbing one of her hands on her forehead, while restlessly clicking the mouse with the other. “Why don’t you give this a shot and see how it goes?”, suggested her colleague. “Nah! I’ll research some more and come to a conclusion by end of day”, Nita assures herself. She stayed up all night researching and editing drafts. She feels she made progress, but something isn’t right, her inner conscience tells her.

Constant self doubt is a perfectionist’s uninvited guest! Especially when they are dealing with something for the first time and are in a dilemma if they met their ‘perfect’ definition. This predicament and self doubt often lowers confidence in whatever they accomplish. A perfectionist’s craving for something better never ceases. But the good thing is they put in their heart and soul to produce the best results. However, the feeling of ‘not really satisfied’ leaves them perplexed.

The next day, Nita heads to the meeting room all prepared for the presentation. However, the constant doubt in her head continues to haunt her. She has no choice now, but to present what she came up with. As the clients walk in to the room with her boss Jack, the creative director, she smiles nervously and starts her PowerPoint presentation. She continues to explain the concept behind her poster design in a ‘not so confident’ voice. Once she is done with the presentation, she noticed the clients appear happy with what they were just offered. “Well designed! We like the attention to detail that you put in. Slight modification on the intensity would make this perfect!”, one of the client members commented. Nita sighed in relief as nothing huge was requested and appreciated their feedback.

Once the clients left the room, Jack acknowledged her work and commented, “Good job! But I noticed you were not confident, any issues?”

I was not really satisfied with what I came up with, I wanted it to be perfect with no flaws”, Nita said with a twinkle in her eye. Jack nodded and replied “That’s okay. It was great work for a first timer. Nita, confidence means the ability to do mistakes without fear. It does not necessarily mean being perfect. How will you know what is meant by ‘perfect’ when you don’t know the flaws?” Nita appreciated Jack’s thoughtful suggestion. She felt she realized where she was going wrong.”Very true, I’ll keep this in mind. Thank you Jack!”, she replied while walking out of the room with him. “Don‘t forget to email me a copy of the design!”, Jack reminded her while entering his cabin. “Will do!” Nita smilingly replied as she headed to her desk, satisfied after a successful presentation.


P.S: The words on confidence were one of the best suggestions I really received from someone. But I don’t work in the Advertising industry 🙂


Discover Challenge- A Piece of Advice