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Tuesday, April 29, 2014

Zealots- War over Peace, Hatred over Love!

I have known zealots. Not many, but good enough for the experience! Surviving with their extreme nature seems next to impossible. Some have desperate zest for religion while others have for politics! Everybody is fighting ardently for their own agendas! Going against their thoughts makes a person earn negative points. Opponents deserve no mercy; they are worthy of wrath- the wrath of fanatic zealots! 
Talk in favor of or against any political party, talk about existence or non-existence of God, talk about peace or war, the hidden ones come out of their den to fight for their cause, to run after your lives and prove you wrong!

I belong to a family where we five, with sometimes different views, have a pleasant discussion on random things. That delivers us with balanced mindset. We have learned to respect others' views. While I have never pushed anyone to contest for what I believe in and have respected alternate choices, I feel shockingly amused on the comments or the reactions from these extremists for the people having a different choice.

Image Courtesy: Google
Some of the immature discussions and accusations in the past provided me with a perspective. I realized why humans fight with each other on religions, castes and communities. The same goes for political fanatics. One person, who thinks he is right, wants everybody else to follow his footsteps or ideologies. Nobody wants to be entitled as conservative but some fail to demonstrate a liberal attitude. They do not respect a different view because they fail to appreciate or understand the things from others' perspective. Or probably they live with a belief that they belong to the higher class of mortals. Weaklings surrender before such fanatics, while robust opponents collide. When zealots push others to fight for their survival, peace ends and war begins. It is not the story of religions alone but behind regional disturbances, political riots etc. It is about ideologies- being a human we are entitled to our own views. Some views are neither right nor wrong, they are just views. No religion promotes these fights. No religion teaches to degrade other religion. These fights are related to personal egos, a hunger for supremacy, a non-liberal attitude and a suspicion on others wisdom!

Z is for Zealots on April 30,
A to Z Challenge!

P.S. This was my last post for A to Z challenge. I am thankful to fellow bloggers and non-bloggers, who made it possible for me to complete this challenge with their full support and unmatched zeal!
Read all posts for A-Z Challenge

Monday, April 28, 2014


The word yawn is a haunting word to me. I yawned 6 times after keying first ten words of this post! Why this word ‘yawn’ is contagious? We see somebody yawning, or read the word somewhere or even hear it and we start yawning. When my friends while talking to me yawn, I just rebuke them not to yawn before me. Soon after that, I end up yawning too. The effect is not any milder even on phone calls. (Haven't you yawned yet?) On our encounter with this word we start breathing slow, our jaws open like a den of the lion- wide and huge and we start inhaling air! I have read when there is scarcity of oxygen in us, our mouth spreads and we yawn to influx oxygen in us. Some theories claim people yawn out of boredom or tiredness. (But there may be a different reason behind your yawning while reading this post!)

Why does it happen when we are neither bored nor tired but yawn as a counter reaction to somebody's yawning action? According to one of the evolutionary theories (as a friend told me), when animals feel drowsy or sleepy, they yawn to fight off their sleep. Psychological theories suggests yawning helps brain to stay alert. Hence the act of yawning helps animals to stay attentive from their predators. In addition, the contagious yawning has developed to keep the whole group watchful. Reason is the same in humans too. We have evolved but with some of our primitive traits in us! According to researchers, there is a connection between yawn and true love. Yawn passes from senders to receivers when relationships are close. Next time when you go on a date, you can check the chemistry with yawn-test! ;)
You may find these links interesting:
-You Yawn. She Doesn't Yawn Back...

-Contagious yawn test might determine if your partner still loves you

Y is for Yawn on April 29,
A to Z Challenge
Did this post make you yawn? I am sorry if it did :)
P.S. I have yawned infinite times, during writing this post, reading and re-reading the word "yawn", searching images on google and putting them here! Feeling tired!

Image courtesy: Google

XOXO- Brothers do not mind hugs but hate kisses!

Do you have a younger brother or do you have an elder sister? If yes, do all brother hate being hugged or kissed by their elder sisters? I have seen elder brothers don’t mind a peck or two at them by their younger siblings. But usually a brother who is younger, hates being kissed! Many of my friends said this is true in their homes. Random hugs and kisses annoy the little brothers! For us girls, well mostly, expression of love through Xs and Os i.e. hugs and kisses are important. I was wondering why younger bunch from mars hate it!
My younger brother hates being kissed. He doesnt mind long hugs, but dare we kiss him- he repels! His reflexes to our pecks have become strong. It might be because men hate being treated like a child, they want to be looked upon as a stronger shoulder, an independent identity. While we women love to express our love physically, men express theirs by caring for us. So while an elder brother doesn’t mind being kissed, younger ones do mind it.
Photo Courtesy:
I have known instances where girls dating a younger guy faced a strong retaliation and mis-judged their care with interferance. They wanted to be looked upon as stronger and reliable. On the other hand elder male partners didn’t mind depending too much emtionally on their female counterparts. Most of them appreciated being taken care of. May be they knew at the end of the day they own the throne!

X is for XOXO- Brothers hate kisses on April 28
A to Z Challenge
P.S. I am not generalizing and this post is purely based on the experiences around me. If there is an exception to this post, please do share it! 

P.P.S. Time for celebrations- finally I have reached my 200th post! Wuhoooooooo!!!! :D I dedicate this one to my brother- love him a lot-xoxo! **DevilGrin!!!**

Friday, April 25, 2014

Wastage- Habits, Lessons and Introspections!

We Indians especially middle class families know how to use, recycle and re-use. Our old torn out clothes become dusting clothes, or old glass tumblers become vases for money plants. We lick last drop of honey from the jar or squeeze toothpaste’s last remains before throwing them. I went for a stay at my friend’s place and tube of some medicinal cream that I had to apply got finished. Her cousin came in the room with a scale in her hand and she squeezed the tube with it. I was impressed as I got enough cream for the night. She said, “I use my cream tubes this way, I hate wasting!” I learned another way of managing during crises.

My parents have always been against wastage be it in any form. They always taught us never to leave food in our plate, rather take less and fill your plate again. There are many people in this world who don’t get stomach full of two meals a day. We have learned to count our blessings since childhood and try not to waste things.
My mother has been against throwing food in dustbin. So whenever we have extra breads, or that last thick loaf of bread or extra rice, we keep them outside our house for birds and squirrels which they readily munch.

Also I collect the wheat flour spread on kitchen slab while making Chapatis, and keep it outside for ants. For us it is nothing but for ants it is a treat.

I remember my first visit to one of my father’s friends Mr. Anupam Mishra who is an environmentalist and water conservationist [Read his full bio here:Anupam Mishra or find him on wikipedia]. He talked about water scarcity in various areas and how difficult it is for inhabitants of some of the parts of rural Rajasthan to gather water. They walk many miles, carrying huge utensils to meet their daily needs. While they struggle for their daily water needs, we use it here carelessly. He gave us a small example of his household on how water can be used judiciously. After washing vegetables, instead of throwing water in drainage pipes, we can give it to plants. We concurred with him.
I have seen many people leave their water taps running while brushing their teeth- water there can also be saved. There are times when we have to call our neighbors to remind them to switch off their motors to stop their overflowing water tanks. Sometimes it gets embarrassing to call them repeatedly but we should be raising plants, or putting that water out for birds rather than letting it go in drainage pipes. Not everybody even in metros get enough water for their need. We need to respect our blessings and stop wastage.

P.S. See Mr. Anupam Mishra's TED talk here:

Are you against wastage too? Do you have any story to share? If you haven't thought about this before, has this post inspired you? 
W is for Wastage, on April 26
A to Z Challenge

P.P.S. I have shared very small things that we can do without making much efforts. Saving and wasting both are easy- we can pick one and make a difference!

Thursday, April 24, 2014

Voila Men!

1. One of my friends was waiting for red light to turn green when a girl bumped her car into his car. He got out of his car in a rage and saw a large dent on it and then looked at her. She with a embarrassed smile said sorry. His anger vanished in a flash. “It’s okay!”, He said smiling back.
She, with a little reluctance got out of car and asked him to reverse it as being a learner she wasn’t good at reversing. He reversed her car as if hypnotized. When he came back home, he called me to shared his story. I was clueless and silent for a while. Understanding my silence he told me she was pretty and hence he was helpless!

2. He was exhausted after almost an hour of running on treadmill in the gym. When he was about to step out of it, an extremely good looking girl came in. Looking at her he pushed himself more to run for another 15 minutes, in order to grab her attention. She didn’t notice him. He ended up having sprain in his legs!

3. We were waiting for a business meeting, when this friend of mine saw a very beautiful girl. After looking at her, he looked at me and said, “You know, she is my could-be…” I had a straight face

4. My brother told his friend’s story. In a restaurant he had a pathetic meal and even worse service. Determined not to pay bill for that wretched meal, in anger he called the manager. When manager came, his voice turned soft. He looked at her charming face, and softly discussed the issue. Manager apologized, and he ended up giving a good tip to waiter after paying the bill. He visited the same restaurant again several times.

5. I was out with another friend. While walking a very attractive lady crossed our way, his face turned and eyes followed like a sunflower. Coming back to his senses he realized I had noticed him, he remarked, “Such a dark lipstick she was wearing, it looks odd!” I knew that was a gaze in admiration. ***Sigh!!!

Men will be Men #IndianCricketTeam

Image courtesy:

V is for Voila Men on April 25,
A to Z Challenge!

Udaipur in photographs

 It was an all-girls trip to Udaipur. We were excited, with our spirits touching the sky. We had our own reasons to be thrilled with the idea of this trip. For last two years Udaipur had become my must visit destination. After looking at photographs on my cousins’ and on my uncles Facebook wall and reading about city of lakes and palaces I became determined. We took over night train from Delhi. Being in an all-girls group and loud laugh-errs we grabbed the attention of many fellow passengers. One old aged man came from his seat to our adda, smiled and said;" Listening to your laughs I was thinking today’s world still has such joyous hearts..." we laughed out again...

 We checked in Hotel Amantra (near Saheliyon ki Bari)- which was a comfortable place with good service and decently priced. On the day of our arrival we checked with two cab providing entities. First one was Rajasthan tourism's office at the railway station. Another one was our hotel's cab providers. We hired the latter one as it had a better deal. As per our homework we jotted down our list of must visit places.

On day one we visited Chetak memorial which wasn’t very great and can be skipped. After it we visited Vintage car museum. It is a place for car lovers, and if one loves to relish over the classic car models, there is a good variety here. For the non-interested folks there is a restaurant nearby where one can enjoy a thali- meal. After museum, we decided to visit the famous City Palace- one of the most visited tourist destination in Udaipur. It has the fusion of Mughal and Rajasthani styles of architecture and is situated on the banks of Lake Pichola.

 From City Palace one can have a panoramic view of the city. There are small shops inside the complex. Though according to locals those shops are over priced and one can get things at cheaper rates from outside market.  

From the palace we had a view of Lake Pichola and buildings like Jag Mandir and Lake Palace on it. If you are in Udaipur- City Palace is a must visit destination.

We went Karni Mata temple next through a rope-way. Situated on a higher altitude, the place provided a handsome view of Udaipur City lying below. We decided to wait there for sunset.

From above we could see Dhudhtalai (a small lake near Lake Pichola). It is a popular sunset point with fountains in the middle of the lake. 
A view of lake Pichola from Karni mata temple just before Sunset.
After the sunset the City turned brighter in the night with terrific lighting that made it look more heavenly.

We decided to go for boating in Lake Pichola and look around at beautifully lighted Lake Palace, City Palace and Jag Mandir with their reflections in the lake.

After that our cab driver took us to Rajasthan Emporium and then to Raaj-Bagh besides Fateh Sagar Lake. The food and service was not very nice but ambiance was good.

Next day we planned for Kumbhalgarh fort and Ranakpur Jain temple which are on outskirts of Udaipur. If you love visiting old forts, enjoy their architecture and love to trek, Kumbhalgarh fort is for you. There small eating joints around the fort for lunch, though food wasn’t very awesome but edible. After visiting the fort we started for Ranakpur temple, a must visit for every person in or around Udaipur. The architecture of this temple is enthralling. Beautiful sculptures are sculpted in the walls and pillars around.

After  reaching back to Udaipur our cab left us near Bagore ki Haveli. We enjoyed variety of Rajasthani dance performances for an hour there. The show starts at 7 in the evening and ends at 8. 

 After enjoying it we went to one of the famous restaurant Ambrai which is exactly opposite to City Palace. Sitting by the lake side in candle light and looking at beautifully lighted city Palace was a delightful experience. If one is in Udaipur one should not miss this view during evening. 

Our third day was a bit relaxed. We decided to walk/jog around Fateh Sagar to see the sun rise early morning at 5. The lake was approx. 1.5 to 2 kms away from our hotel. We walked, enjoyed the greenery and morning of Udaipur to the lake. There are better sunrise points, for which one needs to hire cab in advance as local transports are not available before 6 am. After coming back we enjoyed our complimentary buffet for breakfast.

We got ready and visited Jagdish temple. One of the very famous temple of Udaipur.
Jagdish Temple
 After visiting temple it was the time for some local shopping for us.. Udaipur has some leather work wallets, bags and small sling bags which had multicolored embroideries over them. Also there were handmade diaries with traditional cloth cover.

   One not to be missed food joint was Nataraj where they offer unlimited thali with too many options. The place doesn't offer very good ambience and is a bit noisy but nothing can beat a plate full of sumptuous and economical meal- another must visit place.
Photo Courtesy: Manisha Raj (Fellow Traveler)
 The photo below was taken at Lake Pichola on our second day.
Another Sunset at Lake Pichola

 Locals were welcoming and warm. We enjoyed our tour a lot. If you are planning your tour-de-Udaipur, don’t miss the places mentioned above.
 Places we missed this time but would see in our next trip to Udaipur:
Sajjangarh (sunset point)
-  Eklingji and Nathakdwar Temple
Note: Chittorgarh is another beautiful fort near Udaipur but not safe for all girls. Ask locals before going there.
U is for Udaipur, On April 24
A to Z Challenge

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