On Friday, I went to grab some hot water from coffee vending machine, for brewing my green tea. As I stood there filling my cup, a Chinese coworker stopped by to have a quick chat with me.
“Hey! what plans for weekend”? Li asked.
I replied: “I have some friends coming over for dinner”.
“Oh! that sounds exciting”!
“What are you doing”?
“It’s Chinese new year this Sunday, so we are traveling to Chicago”.
“That’s great! Which animal is it this year”?
“Which animal are you”?
“I am a dog”
Meanwhile, hot water filled up my cup to the brim. I told her that I am interested to find out which animal I am. Having returned to my cube, I unlocked the monitor and opened the Google search engine. With few keystrokes on my keyboard, I bumped into the information that I am a RAT, according to my birth year. Curiously, I searched for Chinese horror-scope for a RAT to read about my personality traits.
Image Courtesy: Yogamodern.com
Micheal Jackson’s song “Heal the world” makes so much meaning in today’s world. In the world full of vengeance, hatred, religious fanaticism, cruelty and insanity, it is appalling to read news pertaining to daily rapes/gang rapes of young babies, girls and women across the world ; the shocking terrorism activities of ISIS, Boko Haram, Al Qaida etc which cripple the world, killing people in the name of religion; the prostitution rings involving human trafficking, abduction and forced prostitution; Manslaughter using guns; drunken driving and reckless driving leading to road accidents; gruesome murders; animal cruelty in the name of game, fun and honor; religious fanatics slaughtering people in the name of religion; hate crimes over one’s skin color and race; greed over oil reserves; international interference and meddling for world dominance; attacking countries and denizens using nuclear weapons; inhuman mothers killing their own babies; children killing their own parents; dowry deaths; female infanticide etc.
Last Friday, we were blessed to experience the first snowfall of 2016. Living in Central America, we are fortunate to experience just three to five inches of snow(optimal enough to enjoy), contrary to severe snowstorms and abundant snowfall as in the northern parts of US. In the wee hours of Friday, the snowfall started, when everyone was curled up under warm blankets, fast asleep on their beds. Waking up at 7 am, I turned on the blinds of our master bedroom window to view a gorgeous sight. Our entire front, back and side yards had turned pristine white. Little flurries of snow kept falling on the visible ground, trees, my garden and a street running across my house. Weather had plummeted to negative temperature of 30 F and it was freezing cold.
I called my office’s emergency hotline and the recorded message said “Inclement weather policy has been implemented”. Everyone in our team had carried our office laptops home on Thursday evening to work from home on Friday, as a precautionary measure. Friday morning at 8 am, I texted my director conveying to him that I planned to work from home that day. The 9am conference call was canceled. As I had no important work to do immediately, I grabbed my iPhone and ran to the front door to capture the snow pictures. I opened the front door and a gush of cold wind blew to my face, sending chill down my bones. It was freezing cold. The view was breath-taking. A white sheet of snow had enveloped my entire front yard and neighboring houses. My MIL came running to the front door, to catch a glimpse of this sight, it being her first snowfall of her life. Baby A was comfortably resting in his rocker, with a warm blanket running over him to protect him from cold. Portable heater was turned on, but it couldn’t suffice to warm up the entire breakfast area. Fireplace was turned on to keep the den warm. It was a perfect environment to curl up on the couch with a warm blanket and read a book, beside the warmth emitting fireplace. But, unfortunately, I had to complete my office work and reading a book was out of question.
He sat in the local train and traveled for three long hours to reach Bangalore. He was excited to meet his son, daughter-in-law and his granddaughter. He had brought candies and gifts for his granddaughter. His plan was to spend some quality time with his son’s family in Bangalore. The son and daughter-in-law welcomed him with open arms. Granddaughter was over the moon to be with him. They were totally spending quality time with each other, when suddenly, he started sweating profusely and breathing heavily. The panicked son immediately called the ambulance and rushed him to the hospital. Once admitted, the doctors checked his vitals and performed a plethora of tests confirming a heart-attack. The proposed to perform a surgery to fix the situation. The son called his brother in a different city, Mysore. The older brother advised his younger brother to fly their dad back to Mysore, so that he could get him operated by specialized doctor at a renowned hospital.
The surgery was successful. He was kept under observation for few hours. Suddenly, his vitals started fluctuating. His vital organs began to fail and stopped responding. Blood started oozing out of his eyes, nose and ears. He was put on ventilator. The doctors lost hope and asked the sons to just pray for some miracle. Finally, he breathed his last at 3am today. This is how I woke up to the sad news of my maternal uncle’s death today morning. 😦
I have been painstakingly trying to maintain a journal since many years, but wasn’t successful. Finally, I am glad that I was able to kickoff this new habit as a part of my “New Year Resolution” for this year. I ordered few journal notebooks on Amazon for different genre like personal diary, recipe book & travel log – as I love speaking my heart out; love torturing my family members with my experimental culinary skills; love packing my bags and traveling the world.
Maintaining a journal has proven to have cognitive benefits as per recent study. Article source: http://m.huffpost.com/us/entry/6648884
In the nutshell, some benefits include:
1) Boosting your morale & self confidence- when you pen down your positive experiences and achievements, you are building self confidence and sense of satisfaction which will augment your moral and confidence.
2)Memory building – it takes great memory to recall the experiences and pen in down. The co ordination between brain and hands to achieve this feat is remarkable.
Well, as a part of my New Year resolution, I enrolled in the “BlogHer Writing Lab” contest for January. This is how it works – They publish a new prompt everyday and you need to blog about it.
Today’s prompt is “Has Technology helped you achieve a better or worse work/life balance”.
I will safely say Yes and No, because technology has been both advantageous and disadvantageous for me in juggling with my work and personal life
Breastfeeding is the most “hot” topic of discussing during pregnancy and postpartum. Most pregnant women are hounded with these three questions all the time:
- When’s is your due date?
- Do you know what you are having?
- Are you planning to breastfeed?
Some women are more than elated to divulge details for the first two questions, it being not so personal; but definitely not for the third one as it is too “personal”. Why on earth are they obligated to tell the world if they are planning to breastfeed or not? What will the questioners accomplish with this data? How is it even important to them?
As millions throng Times Square and holler the countdown witnessing the “ball drop” to embrace the New Year 2016, another glorious year has passed by! Every year on January 1st, many of us assure ourselves to commit to the unique and new “New Years resolution” for the next 364 days, but do we sternly meet it?
As Humans, it is natural to expect love, care, affection and empathy from our loved ones including family and friends. A child expects unconditional love and affection from parents.; A parent expects his children to acknowledge his sacrifices done for their upbringing; A friend expects her best friend to be there for her always through thick and thin; In marriage, one spouse expects unconditional love, care and support from the other spouse. At work, the boss expects his employee to perform exceptionally well; An employee expects his hard work to be acknowledged and well rewarded.
Expectation is life’s viscous cycle. All the above mentioned characters have the right to expect what they are expecting. They will be happy as long as their expectations are met. What begins to hurt is when Reality is not equal to their Expectation. This is where life becomes unhappy, unfulfilled and relationships turns sour.
This is a TRUE STORY which happened few years ago, when we lived in downtown.
Seema and her husband Ravi lived in the same apartment complex, facing the river Mississippi, as ours. Seema was newly married and had just arrived from India. She had no idea about the norms and regulations about living in the US!
Usually, in India, every morning, women clean the front porch of their houses and apply rangoli (designs using chalk powder). It is an age old tradition which has been practiced in India since ages. Having no clue, Seema set out to replicate the same thing in front of her apartment door. For Rangoli design, she drew a Hindu Swastika using red chalk.
Sacred Hindu Swastika
Swastika has been a sacred auspicious HINDU symbol since eons ago, which symbolizes “Prosperity”, “Sacredness” and “Good fortune”. Co-incidentally, this symbol was used by the Nazi army which symbolizes “terror”, “hatred” and “death” to the Jews. Nazi influence of this symbol has overshadowed the HINDU influence of this auspicious symbol in the West.