Saturday, 31 August 2013

Nostalgic Smells – Olfactory-evoked Recall of Memories!!

The term ‘nostalgia’ describes sentimentality for the sublime past, typically for a period or place with happy personal associations. Since each person experiences different things in life, the association between scents/fragrances and emotions/memories is unique to every individual.

How many times have you caught a faint whiff of a scent fills you with nostalgia and that immediately reminded you of the ‘good old days’ or long forgotten events in your life with stunning lucidity? It transpires our unfathomable minds that have filed some events neatly in some unreachable corner of the brain, primed for instant retrieval.

Human beings tend to emphasize vision over all other senses. Still, scent is intimately related to memory; despite not playing a major role in our daily lives, even in today’s visually driven world, it often triggers a strong déjà vu like sensation. It contributes to shaping our perceptions of the world and our psychological makeup by sending memories through a rose-tinted filter that redefines them as "good times".

Despite the fact that the sense of smell in humans is somewhat pitiful when compared to most animals, it is still highly acute and has the ability to magically transform millions of invisible odor particles into what science calls ‘involuntary recall’. It is amazing how a few simple airborne molecules trigger such vivid recollections.

Nostalgic Smells - Pungent Memories

Baked cakes:
Take a bite of food and think about how it tastes. Then, pinch your nose and take another bite. Notice the difference? It's just another reason to appreciate your knockout of a nose!

Baked foods such as cakes, biscuits and baking bread made up the largest category of nostalgic smells. It takes me back to my childhood memories, the times when we were free from the responsibilities and anxieties of adulthood.

Nature:
The elusive odor of nature as I peep outside my room’s window reminds many of my carefree childhood days. It makes me feel fresh and rejuvenated. The fragrance of soil after a shower of rain that brings relief and makes you feel alive again.

Phenyl smell:
The pungent odor of phenyls used for cleaning messy floors.

Ambi Pur:
I use it for clean, fresh, and smelly air in my little home. It is heavenly!

New books:
The nostalgic smell of an old paper turned yellow or the fresh scent from a new notebook page. My favorite novel that remains untouched for days due to my hectic life!

Kitchen:
My mom makes the best mutton biryani, and I can vouch for that! Especially, the biryani odour and the daal tadka smell seem to increase my hunger all the more! The combined smell of Ghee and Elaichi while making a sweet, the aroma of sizzling hot Bhajjiyas in the monsoon, the redolence of fresh coffee and masala tea bring simple pleasures in life. Your sense of smell warns you of dangers such as smoke and poisonous gases. It also helps you appreciate the full flavors of food and drinks.

Davidoff:
Perfumes bring memories. They are so powerful that sometimes they remind you of the long forgotten people who used them! 

Flowers:
My mom loves flowers! The perfume of roses and other flowers lingers in my home. The fragrance of Jasmine and Mogra gajra’s my mom gets often leaves me refreshed after a hectic day.

Bathroom:
Ah! This place is a collection of fragrances. The smell of freshly washed towels, aroma of shampoos, soaps, Dettol, etc. that lingers in almost every household bathroom.

Health:
The healing smell of Vicks inhalation that brings you instant relief when you are irritated with cold and cough.

New Shoes:
The nostalgic smell of new shoes and its box - that glorious smell of unspoiled, sweat-free fabric that surrounds you each time you pull it on.

To know more about AmbiPur: http://www.facebook.com/AmbiPurIndia 
  

Friday, 30 August 2013

The HP Android Experience





It was just another hectic day I had tackled at college. When I returned home pondering how badly I need some refreshment in my life, that's when my dear writer friend Rafaa Dalvi Whatsapped me a link saying 'Register'! I saw the link, and it was about registering to the HP Android meet organized by IndiBlogger.

A boring person that I am, I told him that I do not interact as such with people so let it be. After a lot of buttering (as he says it) I agreed to register, as the 98th attendee!

Though getting to the venue was a bit taxing, but it seemed all worth it! Being a part of the GenNext we used navigation tools and apps and somehow managed to reach Ave 29! It was my first IndiBlogger meet. And Ave 29 welcomed me with a great ambience, lovely people, good food, great presentations, entertaining games and a lot more to follow. It was a good exposure, building networks, laughs. Great time altogether. Being a Telecom engineer, getting to know of the latest technology was helpful too.




I liked the ‘burqa’ game! (I call it so because I don’t know what the game is actually called!) We were even asked to introduce ourselves in the ‘30 seconds of fame’ item! Some were shy, some bold and some with real good sense of humor.


I am not a gadget freak, but the session was not boring even for a second. I never felt out of place. Being bloggers, it was useful to know how technology now comes in a compact way with HP!


HP slates that you can now carry and tilt them as you wish. The detachable net book type devices catch your fancy when you can detach the keypad and make it works as a tab too! 2 in 1! What more does one want? The comparison between Android and other operating systems divided the blogger family into Android v/s Apple fans! I was amazed at the full touch screen slates that HP is introducing, that too with the best thing users would ever want - a 3 year warranty!

Two products launched by HP on Android OS –
1. HP SlateBook x2 - A hybrid or convertible that enables people to shift effortlessly from entertainment to work by combining tablet portability with notebook productivity in a sleek, lightweight device.


2. HP Slate 21 AiO - An All-in-One desktop that allows people to magnify their Android world at home with a Full HD touch screen which is ideal for family activities, providing easy access to entertainment and productivity features, plus fun Android apps.




The session was not only a demonstration of HP products but had useful presentations, where bloggers amongst us gave smart ways and tips to improve the blog looks and blog traffic, as well as the one audience enjoyed the most, a witty and humorous comparison of how phones are and were in the past and what is the ideal gadget that a user wants.








At the end, we were given an awesome HP Indiblogger meet mug as a souvenir. And yes, I also won two awesome HP products, a wireless mouse and compact speakers. We writers don’t write as such to get gifts, but 'Kuch extra milta hai, toh acha lagta hai.' It was that kind of feeling when the event ended.

I realized a few people already knew about my blog and it was an achievement in its own way to have an Indirank of 81/100 in just 3 months of writing. Must say, earning of a writer is - recognition and respect for his/her work! Today, I am proud to be a part of Indiblogger, where writers are respected. What followed was group photo sessions. The first meet itself was a cherishing experience! Now I look forward to such meets!



Sunday, 25 August 2013

What Has Gone Wrong With The City I Love?

Mumbai has enjoyed the title of ‘Maximum City’ for decades now. It has always been a city that lets women be. In fact, it is one of the things that make it such a great place, particularly for working women. Despite anything, it was always safe for women. Women lived their lives freely, traveled at odd times, and still felt safe. But not anymore. That reputation is beginning to fray. Recently, cases of rape have increased on a disgusting note. The frequency of such sexual crimes against women have shocked the conscience of Mumbai. 

There are still shameless maniacs in our society, and they are only getting bolder. Their actions are completely unacceptable and unforgivable. Did they forget about the national outrage over the Delhi gang rape that happened just a few months ago? If all the noise and stringent laws were passed at that time, it would have deterred this new incident. This crime has become a disease, with the criminal being a carrier. Although politicians and law enforcers mouth insipid platitudes, citizens are in a state of introspection of their security. Even if the survivor recovers from physical wounds, what about the emotional trauma it brings?

How does one justify why this is happening? Huge migrant population? Growing gap between haves and have not’s? Role of mass media and internet? The feudal mindset of men who consider women a property? Or our law system, where there is no certainty of punishment or its severity?? Such people should be dealt with sternest possible measure. No one should ever dare to repeat such atrocity.

Women continue to be assaulted in trains, raped when on work. How can this change? Am I safe in the city I love? What is responsible for such decay in society? Drugs? Alcoholism? Unemployment? I hate our disgusting hypocrisy, where on one side we worship women and the next moment this behavior. Only hope that remains is judiciary.

The power of the harasser, the abuser, the rapist depends all on the silence of women. Simply a law cannot change the society. It is a battle. Neither is the fast tracked decision assuring in our country, as one third of the judges' posts are vacant across our country's high courts.

While we express our outrage, it is extremely important to empower women and exert pressure on the law enforcers to do their duty and the guilty be booked for exemplary punishment for their heinous deed. And maybe punished publicly or even chemical castration! Safety is not a favor! Yes, Mumbai is still better than Delhi. But that is not enough. It is time we restore the trust that women once had in the city. More police personnel, better street lighting and public transportation are the required elements for discouraging such crimes against women.



Friday, 23 August 2013

5 more minutes?

A woman sat down next to a man on a bench near a playground at West Coast park one fine Sunday Morning.

"That's my son over there," she said, pointing to a little boy in a red T-shirt who was gliding down the slide.

"He's a fine looking boy," the man said. "That's my son on the swing in the blue T-shirt." Then, looking at his watch, he called to his son.

"What do you say we go, Jack?" Jack pleaded, "Just five more minutes, Dad. Please?" "Just five more minutes." The man nodded and Jack continued to swing to his heart's content. Minutes passed and the father stood and called again to his son. "Time to go now?" Again Jack pleaded, "Five more minutes, Dad.

Just five more minutes." The man smiled and said, "O.K."

"My, you certainly are a patient father," the woman responded.

The man smiled and then said, "My older son John was killed by a drunk driver last year while he was riding his bike near here. I never spent much time with John and now I'd give anything for just five more minutes with him. I've vowed not to make the same mistake with Jack. He thinks he has five more minutes to swing. The truth is I get five more minutes to watch him play."

Life is not a race. Life is all about making priorities.
What are your priorities? Give someone you love, 5 more minutes of your time, no matter how busy and you will have no regret forever. Once you lost it, it will be forever.

Life can only be understood backwards; but it must be lived forwards. Life is an uncompromising reconciliation of uncompromising extremes. Life is real! Life is earnest! And the grave is not its goal.



Sunday, 18 August 2013

One Sided Love

It can be carried on forever, with no hope of being loved back. 

One sided love seems more like a punishment than a happy state of being. To love someone who doesn't love our back seems like a disaster. With no hope of the love being returned in some measure some day. Not even admired in return. 


What good is such love? That cannot be indulged in, celebrated, danced or sung to? A love that cannot enfold you securely with your loved one? Lonely love of this kind then feeds on itself, resulting in frustration, obsession and emptiness. It becomes a painful emotion. 


You may glimpse your ideal in someone, but it may just result into unrequited love. It is continued love without any labels and bonds that define a  relationship. 


One cannot relate for Meera's one sided love for Krishna. She lived a divine life. 


But in reality, you reach such an emotional stalemate that your feelings no longer can die, you are forced to stifle them.


It only depends on the strength of your personality whether you handle it and let it energize you or fade you away like Devdas?



Thursday, 15 August 2013

A Very Very Sad Independence 66th Day!

Happy Independence Day. . .

It's been more than 60 years.


The first year of Independence I can understand why people wished each other a "Happy" Independence Day but today it's been sixty six years! I see no reason why people still keep calling it "Happy"??


With any form of independence comes responsibility. We have failed in our responsibilities sourly! Over the past 66 years we have killed each other, plundered each other, raped our women, oppressed the poor, supported the rich and divided the country communally.


The good fear the law, the bad have mutilated it since long. Our soldiers are dying and we say they were employed for that purpose. We have made food so expensive it doesn't matter if we eat it or not, its killing us either ways.


We have made roof so insanely expensive it would seem better to just take a gun and shoot ourselves instead of going through the trouble of earning one. There are Mercedes' adorning roads that resemble the moon's surface, bridges are falling, farmers are dying, kids are working to earn money. 


I don't think the English would have done anything different than what we are doing to ourselves. We have taken the baton of torture from them and inflicted it on ourselves. 


Should we still be happy about it? I really don't think so. So here's wishing all you guys A Very Very Sad Independence 66th Day! :(



Tuesday, 13 August 2013

My Only Mentor

A Newborn's Conversation with God . . .

A baby asked God, "They tell me you are sending me to earth tomorrow, but how am I going to live there being so small and helpless?" 

God said, "Your angel will be waiting for you and will take care of you." 

The child further inquired, "But tell me, here in heaven I don't have to do anything but sing and smile to be happy." 

God said, "Your angel will sing for you and will also smile for you. And you will feel your angel's love and be very happy." 

Again the small child asked, "And how am I going to be able to understand when people talk to me if I don't know the language?" 

God said, "Your angel will tell you the most beautiful and sweet words you will ever hear  with much patience and care, your angel will teach you how to speak." 

"And what am I going to do when I want to talk to you?" 

God said, "Your angel will place your hands together and will teach you how to pray." 

"Who will protect me?" 

God said, "Your angel will defend you even if it means risking its life." 

"But I will always be sad because I will not see you anymore." 

God said, "Your angel will always talk to you about Me and will teach you the way to come back to Me, even though I will always be next to you." 

At that moment there was much peace in Heaven, but voices from Earth could be heard and the child hurriedly asked, "God, if I am to leave now, please tell me my angel's name." 
God said, you will simply call her, "Mom." 

M- My
 
O- Only
 
M- Mentor


Saturday, 10 August 2013

A Promise To Yourself!

Promise Yourself..
To be so strong that nothing
can disturb your peace of mind.
To talk health, happiness, and prosperity.
To every person you meet.
To make all your friends feel,
that there is something special in them.
To look at the sunny side of everything,
and make your optimism come true.

To think only the best, to work only for the best,
and to expect only the best.
To be just as enthusiastic about the
success of others,
as you are about your own.
To forget the mistakes of the past,
and press on to the greater
achievements of the future.

To wear a cheerful countenance, at all times,
and give every living creature you
meet a smile.
To give so much time to the
improvement of yourself,
that you have no time to criticize
others.
To be too large for worry, too noble
for anger, too strong for fear,
and too happy to permit the presence
of trouble.

To think well of yourself and to
proclaim this fact to the world,
not in loud words but great deeds.
To live in faith that the whole world is
on your side,
so long as you are true to the best that
is in you.”



Do Not Fall In Love..


Do not fall in love,
With people like me.
People like me,
Will love you so hard,
That you turn into stone,
Into a statue where,
People come to marvel at,
How long it must have taken to carve,
That faraway look,
Into your eyes.

Do not fall in love,
With people like me.
We will take you to
Museums and parks
And monuments,
And kiss you in every beautiful place,
So that you
Can never go back to them
Without tasting us,
Like blood in your mouth.

Do not come any closer.
People like me
Are bombs.
When our time is up,
We will splatter loss
All over your walls
In angry colors.
That will make you wish
Your doorway never learned our name.

Do not fall in love,
With people like me,
With the lonely ones,
We will forget our
Own names
If it means learning yours.
We will make you think,
Hurricanes are gentle,
That pain is a gift.
You will get lost
In the desperation,
In the longing for something,
That is always reaching,
But never able to hold.

Do not fall in love,
With people like me.
We will destroy your apartment.
We will throw
Apologies at you.
That shatter on the floor,
And cut your feet
We will never learn,
How to be soft
We will leave.
We always do.

- Gabriel Gadfly

Saturday, 3 August 2013

The 'Let-Go' Policy to Stay Stress Free.

You believe someone else is causing you stress. The truth is there is only one person responsible for your state of mind. That person is YOU.

Practice ‘attitude control’. Assess the people you interact with. Accept them for what they are. You will no longer suffer from others’ faults.

Stress is mental turbulence caused by unfulfilled desire. Eliminate desire and you will perform every action perfectly and effortlessly. When fulfilled, desire takes the form of greed, delusion, envy, arrogance and frustration. Today, stress is an aggravator of many illnesses. It decreases efficiency. 

If guided by intellect, desire becomes aim, ambition and aspiration. If you are obsessed with your desire, we will never get the object of it. Identify your talent and gift. Invest energy into it, selflessly. When your goals include the well being of others, it accelerates the accomplishment of that goal. Make a difference. Use it constructively.

Attachment often causes stress. In the end, we lose people we love the most! So love people for what they are. Don’t demand and impose bondages. Let go. Understand yourself well. Carefully manage your mind and intellect. Be stress free and blissful. Remember, stress is a good servant but a bad master.