Saturday, 28 February 2015

Apno Ko Apne Dum Pe Jeena Sikhao!

Rape is a traumatic experience. It shatters you and breaks your confidence. I was no longer the old confident me. Emotionally and physically hurt, it was horrible for me to trust anyone. My family too was emotionally paralysed. They knew I needed love and support to become self-reliant again.

I was down with self blame. Why was I out so late that night? Had I been home, this would have never happened. And so on and so forth...

My mom has been my rock solid support system since then. She has stood by me in this tough time. Her unconditional love has helped me overcome my fears and recover.

She was the one who kept telling me that I wasn't responsible for what happened. It was a crime of violence by a sex starved man - a rapist. It is his crime for which he is behind bars today and moreover he will be punished by Him severely someday.

She heard when I needed someone to cry, she gave me honest answers for my doubts. Never once she avoided the topic, she was upfront about it, so that it finishes off in my mind once and for all!

Every time I decided to talk to her, it was beneficial. Every conversation with her helped me build myself again. She helped me come to terms with what happened. She never treated me harshly.

She said, 'Vaani, not even for a moment allow the thoughts of blame to cross your mind. Don't judge yourself, beta. Face things head on!' At the same time, she never tried to hound me with her possessiveness, she knew when she should leave me alone and when to be with me.

Without being over sensitive, she helped me to be strong and regain normalcy. She didn't isolate me from any of my friends, she helped me approach the police.

She told me, 'Vaani, you have two options - give up or fight it.' My mother has helped me take informed decisions by having one-to-one conversations with me.

With the trauma of rape, I was bewildered with frustration and guilt.

I liked isolation. Sunk in depression, I felt humiliated with angst in me. Hatred for that man.

My mother allowed me to rebuild my life at my own pace. She helped me rebuild emotions like safety, trust and self-worth.

One day I confided in her, 'I feel shameful and dirty, Ma.'

Depression can be disastrous. She said calmly, 'Rape is not about you. It is the power that man has misused. It has nothing to do with you staying out late, but the mindset of men. Babies get raped, elderly women too. They leave no one. So, Vaani, don't feel guilty. You love writing, don't you? I suggest you get back to it. Pray, my dear Vaani, it will help you connect to God. He will ease your stress and you will soon be my old chirpy Vaani. Don't punish yourself. Do good to yourself! Sar utha ke jiyo, beta!'

That's how she pushed me and encouraged me. Today is the launch of my first book. My emotional strength is here with me as I climb the dias. And I dedicate this book to Ma for being my strength and role model.

Thanks to Ma, I'm high on self esteem today. A better person than yesterday and yes, I'm self-reliant. Ma made me so. I feel empowered as I embark a brand new beginning of my life!

P.S: This fictional post is for Happy Hours powered by IndiBlogger.
{Write a blog post about how a family member has guided and encouraged you to grow into a better, more self-reliant person. }


See this highly emotional video : #MyFamilyMyPride ad film

Friday, 27 February 2015

Get a better Car with Quikr NXT!

If you were to upgrade your existing car to something better, how would do so using Quikr NXT

Ummm... Upgrade ka zamana hai. We no longer like living with the old stuff and we soon replace it with the latest one to spruce up our lives. Same happens with cars -  we always want better, faster machines - performance wise! And sometimes we want second hand ones - to practise learning it before damaging the brand new car or we wish, we crack a deal where the car has been used less, so that it is equivalent to a new one. We upgrade old ones by buying new ones!


How I will upgrade my car using QuikrNxt??

1. Create free alerts!
Select your city and get free updates - quick, free. QuikrNxt app cuts down expenses and you stay up-to-date about your choice of car.

2. Crack deals while maintaining privacy.
Keep your phone number hidden and still interact with sellers using QuikrNxt. Share images, do multiple parallel chats that help you make quick transactions and best deals. No phone calls needed. No unnecessary disturbance or drama, only concise conversations. We also get the opportunity to scroll back through the information provided by buyers/sellers.

3. Refine your results - Brand wise, model wise, range wise, colour wise, etc.
You can research well on sites like Quikr for free and then decide your final pick of car. Having a wide range of options in brand, model, price range and colour helps you choose the best car that fits your need.

4. Choosing the best from the used cars.
You can engage with the party through chats and discuss a particular car precisely - not necessarily a shopkeeper or dealer, but can be an individual too - about the details of how long the car has been used, how many km's it has traveled, its features, etc.

5. See product details and contact the seller there and then.
Offline consumers get a notification so that they can chat once they are online. On Quikr, you get all the details of the seller available handy just next to the product!

6. Can buy a new one and at the same time, same place sell your old one! ;)
What is old for you might be new for someone else. So you can conveniently perform both the transactions in the same place with all the records saved in the QuikrNxt app! A huge amount of frustration and delay is removed as you won’t be waiting in phone queues, listening to the hold tone.

???? Baaton ka track rakhna mushkil? The perfect solution is here with #QuikrNXT

Keep a record of all the conversations with the buyers. Get Quikr NXT! Sell your old car, and upgrade to a better one, NOW!

Well done, Quikr! This will surely save a lot of our time, thus benefiting consumers. Leaving behind the barriers of privacy, now: No fikar, Chat Quikr! Bech Quikr! :)


P.S: This post is for Happy Hours powered by IndiBlogger. See here for more details: http://www.quikr.com/

Image Source: 1. https://www.indiblogger.in/happyhours/upgrade-your-car-with-quikr-nxt/
2. http://www.quikr.com/

Tuesday, 24 February 2015

Haiku #14 ~ Pond

This image is splendid!
What strikes me when I see it is this ~ 

"Majestic leaves shed,
Like tears covering the ground,
Reflecting ~ hush ~ pond!"

Thursday, 19 February 2015

Book Review: Hey Dad! Meet My Mom!!!

Author: Sandeep Sharma & Leepi Agrawal
Genre: Fiction – Comedy/Romance
Publisher: Gargi
Pages: 160
Cost: 150 INR


Book Blurb:
Right since childhood, the world in which we live teaches us to bury our bad past somewhere deep inside us and just move on. So deep, that even we can't possibly dig it back out. What happens when a 10 year old child, who claims to be your future son, comes to you to help you find his mother, who's your perfect match? What happens when you eventually start doubting his intentions? What happens when a girl starts turning your dreams into nightmares? What happens when your future son starts haunting you? What happens when your future starts bleeding into your present through your PAST? Hey Dad! Meet My Mom!!! is nothing less than a roller coaster ride of mystery, love, comedy, fear and suspense. So make sure you don't forget to expect the unexpected!! 

****************

This book is extraordinary. Right from the title and the cover, mystery surrounds this book. Thank you, Sandeep for sending over the author signed copy! Reading it was like time travel!

The story is of Puneet, a bank employee who has loads of banking experience but when it comes to love, he needs to be guided. Enter his saviour Rishi, who turns his life upside down with a pinch of humor. Soon he meets Myra and falls in love. But whenever he gets close to her, a dream of another faceless woman haunts him.

These nightmares bring havoc in Puneet's life and he slowly starts losing sleep. This troubles his mother and upsets Myra.

But who's Rishi and how is he connected to Puneet?

Why can't anyone except Puneet see him?

What is the meaning of his nightmares, who is the woman in his dreams?

The book unveils the answers to these questions - it is a page turner!

He slowly starts liking Rishi and they bond like ‘father-son’ as Rishi 'helps' Puneet find a good wife.

The book in all is a roller coaster - fun filled and humorous. It isn't a regular romance novel, there's more to it - call it paranormal/drama! It slowly sinks in as you turn pages to believe what really is happening and trust me - it is completely unexpected!

A well written book with unique imagination, suspense and creativity of the authors. The climax was a bit rushed, I felt.

The inclusion of verses at the beginning of some chapters at the start was something new.  The story has a lot of jumps between dreams and reality. But it keeps you hooked till the end. The language of the authors is very simple to understand. The detailing of the nightmares and their effects on Puneet is well done.

It is surely a page turner as you want to know what exactly is about to get unfolded in the consecutive pages. Though editing could have been better, kudos to Sandeep and Leepi for this unique concept! An out of the box attempt! :) A book that guarantees surprises - the authors have poured into it effortlessly!

My Ratings ~ 4.5/5

****************
AUTHORS:

SANDEEP SHARMA
Sandeep Sharma (21), a dreamer from Agra, the city of love and the Taj Mahal, is currently in his final year pursuing B.Tech (Civil Engineering) from JSS Academy of Technical Education, Noida. He is very passionate about writing and has been writing short stories for a personal blog since 5 years. He has also co-founded ‘The Author's Blog’ which is a kind of a platform which tries to bridge the gap between authors and readers. He is an avid reader and loves to review books on his blog. He has been previously associated with many anthologies as a contributing author. Sandeep Sharma loves to spend most of his time with his parents. According to him, “Parents always have so much to teach, it’s just a matter of your learning desire and time.”
Sandeep Sharma can be contacted through:

LEEPI AGRAWAL
It is said that books are a person’s best friend, so Leepi Agrawal started spending her time with this special friend who then led her to write stories and poems at an early age. The Times of India gave wing to her writing by publishing her works in their esteemed newspaper. Leepi is an “Ahmadavadi Chokri” filled with zest and always strives to mark her work with perfection. She is a final year student and a gold medalist for her academic excellence in Masters of Computer Applications at Indus University, Ahmedabad. She has won the TechFest in April 2014 at college and state level. As writing is her passion, she loves to roam in the “gallis of Ahmedabad” so that she can explore more about her birthplace through writings. Apart from the previous successes of her short-stories, now even one of her poems has been acclaimed on an international platform. She is quite obsessed with writing, wires and machines and subsequently her obsession has turned into her passion and profession.

Tuesday, 17 February 2015

Bedtime Rituals For My Little One!

The title of this post should tell you that this post is about babies! I love babies, to be honest! Some people don't as they complain that babies are cranky. But I completely disagree. Babies are such angels.

Sleep is important for babies. But to put a baby to sleep is a battle for many. To make it battle free, parents should use some tips and tricks.

Pleasurable tricks ensure that your baby sleeps peacefully and wakes up happy. These tricks soothe your child and calm them. Establish a daily routine so that they get used to the pattern slowly. This even helps in disciplining your child.

Here are some fun bedtime rituals I share with my little one, and how they help give my baby, Alia a good night’s rest. Do read mine and share yours in the comments too.

First of all, avoid TV and you yourself be away from your smart phones. This is the time to bond with your bundle of joy at the end of a long, hectic day.

Brief cuddle and kissing sessions to show her how much I love her.

A steamy hot water bath helps my daughter Alia release her pent up energy after the day and relaxes her. It is a soothing experience for her and babies like being washed up - clean, comfortable and dry. I gently massage Alia's  limbs with long, firm strokes. I dry her with a warm towel and change her into a clean diaper and loose clothes after her bath.

While other diapers only focus on keeping dry on the outside, the new Pampers Baby Dry Pants promises dryness on the inside too. Which is why I chose it for my sweetie - it does not disturb her sleep and truly pampers her.

She pouts as I feed her the milk bottle. Then we play a simple round of peekaboo for some time!

This game entertains her as well as tires her! Then I carry her in my arms and roam around in the house with dim lights, show her the moon and we gaze at the stars in the sky as she innocently waves them.

Then I sing her a lullaby with a gentle back rub to drift her off to sleep on a rocking chair. She loves the soft melody of my voice that comforts my little sweetie. You don't realize but a mother's voice is music to the baby's ear.

I say a short prayer for my little one and for the safety of my little family. I tuck her in, snuggle and kiss her forehead and it's a good night in the warm bed for us.

These tricks make bedtime with Alia less harrowing for me. Try using these to avoid wars with your kid at bedtime, just love your kiddies, because at the end of the day - they are your little bundle of joy! Babies are made for - Love. Sleep. Play. Let them be carefree and do what they are best at.

There's no other peace comparable to something I see when my angel sleeps peacefully as she occasionally snoozes in my arms and I can't resist kissing her forehead.

See this video - how happily a Pamper kid wakes up: Pampers Video Ad


P.S: This post is for IndiBlogger Happy Hours. See here for details: http://www.rewardme.in/tag/Pampers.


Monday, 16 February 2015

My Bucket List! #BefikarUmarBhar

Today's life is so hectic that we are all tied up by the web of clock. Wrestling the sands of time, we have less or no time for our family and even lesser time for our own selves.

So many times we are just heading towards something, with no idea why we want it and whether we really want it or not.

Have you ever imagined, what if there were no worries? Absolutely nothing to hold you back, no commitments, etc. You would love to fly off to another world given that situation, isn't it? Sometimes, it is okay to just let go off all the burden - job, relationship, etc and fly with empty shoulders.

I am a dreamer and an optimist. I feel dreams might become a reality someday, you never know.

What if you were 'befikar'?

These days the song I hum often is 'Matlabi' from the movie Roy. Isn't the song simply fabulous and teaches you to just be free for your own self! I absolutely love these lines,

"Befikar dhadkane, iss tarah se chale
Shor goonje yahaan se wahaan!"

Usually people prepare a bucket list of things to do before they die, and I haven't got the chance to even do that! But thank God, this Happy Hour topic gives me some time to spare for myself and my wishes.

We all plan things we wish to do some time when we are free from the other hassles of life. Here are the top 5 things on my Bucket List that I would do if I was #BefikarUmarBhar to finally live the life I always dream of in my free time!

1. Go on a sudden vacation!
Yes studies are important, commitments are important too. But I wish that one day, I escape all this suddenly, without letting anyone know - on a vacation to Miami ALONE! (Queen style) To roam around the beautiful and mesmerising beaches in a floral gown - carefree like a free bird.

2. Take my instincts seriously and pursue my passion.
Writing is my calling. It is the only thing I wish to do almost all the time. I have even started penning a book. But again the 'weight' on my shoulders doesn't let me pursue it to a level I want to. I want to pursue writing full time. I wish to take my inner voice seriously soon and try a profession in writing!

3. Cut off unnecessary attachments and spend more time with family.
Live life with ease, act like a kid, be with people who don't mind it! We carry a bag full of attachments, I would say superficial attachments and people. We spend our entire life trying to seek 'true' happiness, but we fail to see that our true happiness lies not in the number of contacts on our Whatsapp list, but with the time we spend with the people we truly care for and vice versa! I would like to shun every name-sake friend in my list/ toxic people and just be with the people I love truly. I am sure I'll be liberated of all the unnecessary drama.

4. Travelling the world and see the wonders of the world!
I am a travel lover. I think that comes naturally to writers. Because they like meeting new people, knowing their stories and fabricating those into bestsellers ;) Travelling expands your horizons. I wish to go to London, New York, Paris, New Zealand. I intend to go Scuba Diving and Paragliding! This has been a secret desire. I wish to go with my husband for Scuba Diving to experience the marine life closely and the vast ocean. I plan to try paragliding - the extreme of all sports. I'm sure it will be memorable and spectacular! Also, I want to fly in a hot air balloon!

5. Be the reason behind a huge difference to someone's life!
I like social work. I like doing good to people, without wanting anything in return. As a bucket list item, I want to educate a child in future with all the expenses. A permanent difference to someone's life and so good to know they can never repay you back. :)

P.S: This post is for Happy Hours powered by IndiBlogger. See here for more details: http://bit.ly/BefikarUmarBhar



Saturday, 14 February 2015

Unconditional Love with ZenFone!


5 reasons why the Asus ZenFone is my ideal Valentine, this year!  

1. Self Love: Treat Yourself! Who needs a Valentine?
My alone feels so good! I'll only have you if you're sweeter than my solitude. Ofcourse, this smart phone is sweeter than my solitude. It's okay to gift yourself, sometimes.

Valentine's day is associated with love and romance. But being single isn't a crime, after all. I love me.

Spare yourself of all the girlfriend-boyfriend (non-smart) drama. ;) Love thyself and pamper yourself with this 'ideal' smart phone!

2. Walk hand in hand with the changing technology.
Technology changes fast. And so are people changing girlfriends and boyfriends these days! They are fine and 'cool' with breakups and make-ups. We have 'Kidults' today ~ kids who behave like adults! Have girlfriends and boyfriends even before their milk teeth have fallen off! Okay, enough of pun intended! *winks*

So in such a world, isn't it fair enough to wait for the 'perfect' person while grabbing unconditional love from other sources. Non livings things do not expect anything in return - just like this smart phone.

3. I like 'Smart' people and 'Smart' things around me!
Happiness is .. Getting a smart phone as smart as Asus ZenFone!

Gadgets are convenient. This smart phone that you can hold in your hands can do wonders for you. We can talk, text, WhatsApp, video call, listen to songs, blog, etc.

And who knows Asus Zenfone might make you meet your 'real' Valentine too! ;) Life and people are both constantly changing. It is nice to have a companion in Zenfone that shall be with you longer than the length of relationships these days!

4. Unconditional Love
Unconditional love is hard to compete with. Some walks you have to take alone. And the journey from your place to buying yourself an Asus ZenFone will be the one you shall never regret! 

This Valentine, re-define love.

Gadgets give you unconditional love - without limitations and conditions. This phone loves me unconditionally - A blogpost about it can help me earn a voucher worth 1K!

5. 'Baap' features of this phone! ;)
This should have been my reason 1 and it is! But save the best for the last! The specifications of this awesome gadget will make you fall in love with it!

Asus ZenFone 5 smartphone with 5.00-inch 720x1280 display is powered by 1.6GHz processor alongside 2GB RAM and 8-megapixel rear camera. I kept scrolling the web page containing the features of this phone; I was tired of scrolling, but it didn't end soon! Have a look yourself here.

To list down a few: 

Long battery,
Simple, yet beautiful looks,
Can handle multiple tasks and gaming applications. Highly responsive,
64 bit memory,
Dual sim, dual HSPA+,
Gorilla glass 3,
Intel Atom multicore processor .................. and so on!

All this at an affordable price! Truly a value for money product! It is an awesome gift to yourself - an ideal 'Valentine'! Believe you me! 

P.S: This post is for Indi Happy Hours in association with Experience #UnconditionalLove with the Zenfone. Pamper yourself! See the awesome video:  #UnconditionalLove Advert 


Buy this cool phone here: http://www.flipkart.com/asus
Image Source: https://www.indiblogger.in/happyhours/asus-zenphone-unconditional-love/

Friday, 13 February 2015

The World Remade. My Style.


What would you attempt to do if you knew you could just not fail?

The fear of failing stops us from attempting things. But what if the cause is as noble as 'rebuilding the world for a better'? The fear doesn't exist anymore.

The question is, how can I remake the world by my small existence?

When you say 'remake the world', it reminds me of the song's lyrics by Jimmy Cliff- 'Remake the World' from the album 'Follow My Mind'!

"Too many people are suffering
Too many people are sad
Too likable people got everything
While too many people got nothing

Remake the world
With love and happiness
Remake the world
Put your conscience in the test
Remake the world
North, south, east and west
Remake the world
Gotta prove that are the best, yeah

Remake the world
Come on human dignity
Remake the world
Wipe strife and poverty
Remake the world
Get racism from your sight
Remake the world
Be you black, be you white, yeah

We wile remake the world
With love and happiness
Remake the world
People, put your conscience to the test."

Remaking the world is not about today, it is about being a visionary. It is about creating a better world, so that people remember you even after you die.

Busy remaking the world, man often forgets to remake himself. Change is messy. While changing things, you yourself need to mend yourself. Mother Teresa said that "I alone cannot change the world, but I can cast a stone across the waters to create many ripples." Hence, vision with action is important.

Remaking anything is difficult. Because people are too used to the original and consider it as 'good' by default. It is a pressure for the one whose remaking because remakes should always be good/better ones, or else no one wants to see them again!

What I would do to rebuild the world, my way?

End religion.

I know, many people would question me about morals, but I believe, morals can exist even without the barriers of religion. The greatest morality should be Humanity. The world will change when people will start thinking logically rather than believing blindly.

Just look how much violence and outright hate has been caused by religion. I don't promise that ending religion would end all of it, but yes, definitely, it will create a huge impact.

I would convince everyone to open up to changing their minds when something new comes up and pursue the truth behind it. Exit emotions, enter logic - no herd mentality!

I would eradicate corruption and scams. All the hard earned money from common man is going to the filthy politicians.

Education is the most powerful weapon that can be used to change the world, said Nelson Mandela. I would end wars, educate poor and invent the 'happiness pill'.

I would eradicate Cancer from the world.

All this adds up to a much better world. This kind of world would make me exclaim with pride and happiness – “Here’s The World, Remade! My style!”

There are many challenges to overcome. But we humans alone have the power to change things! In the end, it's our choice and our voice.

Changing the world does not happens overnight, but it won't happen by not making an effort either. Your role is just as important as the next person's. Little things you consider as insignificant too create an impact. It is a 'ripple effect'. It all starts with us, and our willingness to help create the world that we dream of. You don't have to be elected to change the world. You just have to be committed towards it.

I. The creator, who shall rebuild the world. I is not just me. It is you and everyone around you on an individual level.

Changing and remaking the world is harder than you expect, but it is worth it. So, Renew, Reinvent, Reimagine with Ideas that Excite, Inspire, Empower Experiences that Enlighten, Illuminate, Educate and Icons who Dreams, Do, Deliver.

I am participating in the #TheWorldRemade activity at BlogAdda in association with India Today #Conclave15.

This post is for Blogadda!

Thursday, 12 February 2015

Five Sentence Fiction – Open

She tried for many years.

Doctors had given up.

She couldn't conceive.

At last, she opened herself to a new world and started penning her thoughts.

Finally, today she is a mother of a best-selling book and her baby blog!

P.S: This post is for Five Sentence Fiction!




Friday, 6 February 2015

Book Review: Soulmates... Love Without Ownership


Author: Vinit K. Bansal
Genre: Fiction/Romance
Publisher: Red Ink Publishers
Pages: 248
Year of Publication: 2014
Price: 175 Rs

We all know that Love is the most beautiful feeling in this world. But what if it becomes an obsession?

It can be fatal. This is a story of love, friendship, passion, obsession and sacrifice. A story that seeks to find out the real meaning of love. A story describing the purest form of love.

*********************

This beautiful book has a nice cover design which is apt for the story.

I had a lot of expectations from the book and it didn't disappoint me. 'Soulmates' outcasts all of Vinit's previous love stories, I assure you.

Love story of Neel and Aditi is an epitome of LOVE. Soulmates defines to you how intense and pure, love should be. This book takes you in a different world altogether. It changes your outlook towards 'love'. It is an amazing story of two people who are sacrificing themselves for each other.

The book got a plethora of emotions - romance, friendship, thrill, pace, betrayal, drama and a perfect ending.  The book is a breezy, entertaining read. The end leaves you speechless.

A very beautifully written book which will always stay on my book shelf. I never mind reading it over again!

I would remember this book and the story is forever etched in my memory! This is surely going to be a bestseller! A must read.

This book can be a perfect gift for someone you love, this Valentine's! Cheers to Vinit K. Bansal for crafting such a beauty. Keep writing, Vinit! I'm your fan!

Ratings - 5/5

P.S: For the complete review see r4review :)