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Showing posts from May, 2015

Day 28: A simple quote on a Sunday Post

"Your choice rests with just one. The rest is included in the package, automatically! In fact you don't have a say on the package at all!" 
-Yours Truly! 
That is so true, especially in a marriage! Applicable to both the bride and the groom. I was thinking of this funny line, as A & I had some conversation about marriage! I chose this picture to make it look funny and cute. You can try and relate it to many things in life. I just felt marriage was just apt for this quote!

Day 27 : A Hat and a Thought

There, she sat, like that 'lonely h(e)a(r)t.' Left out alone, in this big 'blac(n)k' world. "Where are the others", she wondered.  Weren't they around her, near her, sometimes with her? It now seemed like a page from the past. They said, they were her best friends. Now, she isn't there even in their thoughts. She misses them, she thinks of them, she feels lost without them....
She was sad. She closed her eyes and took a deep breath. When she opened, she saw something very different. 
There, she was like that'lovely h(e)a(r)t.' Standing tall and bold in that big '(b)right' world. What if no one was around her? She did not worry about that. All she wanted was that 'hook' of faith and belief in herself. She did think of those others in her life, she did miss them, at times. Ah! but not lost, for sure. She doesn't really care if they do or do not remember her, for now, she is happy being just herself, she has found her 'ow…

Day 26: Ilayaraja's magic - Ennulle ennulle and Poomalaye thol serava ....

"Ah, music,"he said, wiping his eyes. "A magic beyond all we do here."  Those who have read Harry Potter, the very first series would know who said this. It is true that music is beyond all the magic that is there. It can move every heart, for sure, if played the right way. Even people, who do not sing or claim, they do not sing, appreciate listening to songs - instrumental or vocal. Every day, as I drive back and forth to school, either the radio plays some wonderful sonatas or some evening jazz or  I sing my own tunes. What I hum is always changing. Today, for some reason has been just Ilayaraja, the Indian film music composer, who is par excellence. I need not write anything about him, for his music is beyond words. While studying, I tend to keep it to western classical, as it helps me focus and I do not try to listen to any song with lyrics, as I can easily be lost trying to follow the lyrics and sing along. Since, all I do these days is read for work, I end up…

Day 25: Looking through my coursework for favorites!

Most often than not, I end up spending a lot of time at work (off late). I'm usually zapped and totally drained by the time I am back home. I struggle to get my thoughts lined up and write a good topic here on my page. There are some days, where I even struggle to find a topic. Well, so I decided to base the school as my larger context and seek inspiration for a topic today.

After some thought, this is what I have decided to write- the top 3 courses that I loved taking from my college (in specific). It is actually hard to just say only these three helped, but I am not talking about my cognate classes and just focusing from among those that was offered in my college.

1. A Theory Class by Dr. T: I must say, I was blessed to find this professor. Even though my area of research is not directly related to his research interests, he is so very knowledgable that he can always find a way to help you look at the bigger picture. Theoretical classes, as you guessed, are usually boring. A do…

Day 23: Wordless Wednesday!

People say that a picture speaks a thousand words. I do not know if words would be enough to describe the beauty of this lovely one, I shot sometime back (no editing done). Let this be my post for  a Wordless Wednesday! 

Day 22: What i share online is not mine!

I am sure most of you I know (and don't know) own  at least one or more online profile. It could be a page like this, or a social networking site-FB, Twitter, Instagram, Pinterest and what not. As a marketer and a digital media, technology buff, I have always had a curiosity to understand this 'fantasy world'. I may not actually post much, but I have (or had) accounts on most sites. I created accounts on these to understand how that platform worked and so on. Well, as of now, I have a FB, Twitter, Pinterest account (besides other niche ones). I started Pinterest to do a research (it is still in the work-in-progress stage) on brands. Twitter was just to see if I can survive the 140 character writing feat (I cannot do that!). FB was for fun and then it became "the way" to connect to old folks and the new. I am right now on a detox mode and so, have deactivated my page.

I have evolved over time and even though I have always been careful about how and what I posted …

Day 21: Messed up Health care in India -Important

This week's news article on "The Hindu" is alarming. It talks about the splurge of unapproved combination drugs available in India. It is horrifying to see that among the three therapeutic conditions - analgesia, depression and psychosis, there are a huge number of unapproved fixed dose combination drugs, also called FDC. This means, there are two drugs that are combined (in a specific or fixed ratio) to form a single-dose drug. Now, these combinations will have to be tested - both clinically run to test its safety and efficacy and also approved by the authorities. The authority to approve is CDSCO - Central Drugs Standard Control Organization.

What makes it frightening is the fact, there are many drugs which are used in this combination form which are not even approved to be sold internationally. Why then use it in India? Pharma companies make a lot of money (which is shown in this report) and of course, one can smell chicanery from them even from afar. Pharmaceutical …

Day 20: Picture 'Perfect' Post

Picture Courtesy: Meena Arvind 
The quote says it all. Life is like a bicycle. Well, it sure is. Yes, we can probably have more analogies too (there is always more to life). However, if we look at this quote, it does make a lot of sense. After I began my grad program, I believe in this quote more than ever. To keep me sane, I have to keep working. For you to reach a goal, you gotta always move forward, even if it is slow. Even when I do not understand any word of what I read, I just continue. It always works wonders. As you keep reading, you might struggle a little bit less the second time and then you might see a lot of improvement the third time and so on. In fact, for a few, the nth time, it will just be like that "Eureka" moment. It will be a magic. It will just work.  So, when we think of riding a bike, that is how it works. It is also the beauty of riding a bicycle. I clicked this pic at my favorite store- B&N. It was actually on a cover page of a journal, if I rem…

Day 19: The Chipmunk and I

Thought of this little poem, as I saw a pic of my notebook and this little buddy ! Read it with a sing-song tune, like a happy poem!

The Chipmunk and I
I sat down to study, with my MacBook and buddy.
I was looking at some papers,  and scrolling down the page.
There came a small pop-up  to make me lose my 'pace'. 
I moved over to the next tab  to read about that gossip.
I  was squandering my time, 
with pics of those movie stars 
and then, caught up with some
news, of good old politics. 

Then came this lil guy, who stood up on my Mac.  He gave me a stare,  to go read some JCR*! 
©Copyright Meena Arvind 

*JCR- Journal of Consumer Research

Day 18: What makes writing so special?

I am not a good writer. I am just a very average writer. I struggle everyday, to pen just a few words. I smile with joy and of course, a little envy when I see beautiful writing. Yes, probably, my writing is grammatically correct. But, does that alone make it a good writing, or say, great writing ? Not at all.It is like the creative advertisements you see or the movies you get to watch. There are so many ads around us, that follow the definition of what an advertisement should be like. There are movies that get released all over the world (probably, Saudi is an exception:)). But are they all persuasive? Do you find that connection with everything? Of course, not. That is the same with writing. Most people follow the rules of grammar, but that does that make them a great writer. A great writing is one that can bring a smile on your face, tears down your cheek, the spirit to get up and succeed, to laugh from your heart, to cuddle next to your loved one, to contemplate, or to feel conne…

Day 17: On What makes someone a good teacher?

In my journey, so far, I have met some wonderful teachers. Teachers, who have guided me in their own way and taught me some invaluable lessons. When I say, teachers, it does not only mean the professionally employed professors or instructors. Everyone around you, who has been a great inspiration to you, helped you look at the world from a  different light, can be called a teacher. It could be your peers, your family, friends and so on.

Recently, I was asked by someone, to name three of my most favorite teachers in my life. I had to write down the names of these people and then, also list the traits or characters that I saw in them, which for me defined a great teacher. As I wrote down a list, I could see a pattern. A pattern that connected every individual listed under my favorites. (There is always a pattern and always a theme across everything we see in life. Even in chaotic space, there will be a pattern that we can find).

Among the terms I wrote down, I will list a few here:

Humbl…

Day 16: Just Like that

For some reason today, I have had random quotes from my favorite book series pop up in my thoughts. Yes, you guessed it right, Harry Potter. There are many who love this series and a few who do not appreciate it too. I remember how excited we were to lay our hands on this book. One of S's friend always bought the book once it was released. So, the very next day after the release, he would give it to 'S' and he would finish it in one day or less. It will then be passed to me, after that long wait.

Without wasting a single moment (I wish I can prepare like that for my exams :D) I would sit down with that book just absorbing every bit of that book. It was as though, transported to a different world. I was oblivious to everything around. In fact, I should give special hugs and kisses to my mom for being such a sweetheart and giving us food and tea and snacks anytime we wanted and let us read in peace (of course, now when I look back, I feel sorry for her, for all the troubles…

Day 15: My relationship with my pants! (going to be more about a woman's relationship with her pants :D)

Editor's Note : This is the first time I am attempting to post something that is creative and also humorous. I chose this topic based on a list of  prompts provided on a site that I found with a random google search.  The prompts suggested will really encourage you to think creatively and probably bring in a humorous element. If you want, do try it out.I will really need your suggestions and comments, to improve  and probably see how far I can go at this. I wrote this in less than 20 minutes, once I got the prompt. I did not plan anything ahead! So, kindly excuse if this is totally "unbearable" !  Thank you for your time and looking forward to your comments. 
Yes, you heard it right, it's about pants. 
Ah! relationship with my pants? <(breathing heavily)> How do I start? Okay, let me give you an example. Close your eyes now and visualize a scene from your favorite movie. The scene should be something where the hero/protagonist (who is sometimes handsome and som…

Day 14: Awesome Mondays

I enjoy reading (or skimming) through research papers published in various peer-reviewed journals, even when they are from other topic areas (sometimes, it is especially other topic areas). I read on topics that fascinate me. I enjoy reading from different fields of science and marketing. As the focus is on my area of research, I do not do it regularly. I do try to squeeze in a little free time.  Recently, I happened to read an article on positive thoughts published in a leading Psychology journal. It is an oft-cited article on positive thoughts and human mind.

In this piece, the authors suggest a framework for how the science of positive psychology is going to look like in the future (an older article from the 2000's). As I was reading through this, a word caught my attention in the first paragraph of the article. It was the term "grouchy" (Seligman & Csikszentmihalyi 2000). 
In this article one of the author shares something from his personal experience. It is abo…

Day 13: Simple Sunday Post

It is going to be a 'Simple Sunday' post today. I have had a very long day at work and I'm really not in a position to sit with my notebook and type out a good post. So, let me keep it short and hopefully sweet.
This picture is one that I made on my iPad a couple of months ago. It was a random sketch on the app, called 'Paper' by just using my hand. No stylus. I was inspired by a random picture (similar to this) that I saw online. Of course, the colors and the shade given is totally my creation. This app is available for free on iOS and is a great source of inspiration and relaxation at the same time. Whenever, I can, I try to use this to just create some random designs. Honestly,  I am no good at all! Most times, I try out some casual designs. Sometimes it works, and most times it doesn't. My A loves it too and he is surely better (that's what I feel).

The beauty of this sketch is that I just used some simple strokes and lo! you have a bird. That is the b…

Day 12: Summer Sweet Post!

Today's post is a very sweet one. Read on to know why so. This post brings so many pleasant memories and a great joy. This is a speciality in summer and hence, the title.

As I was clearing my refrigerator today and getting chores done for the next couple of days ahead, I took out a pack of 'chakka varatti' (by the way, as I was typing, this was auto-correcting my varatti to variety)! It is one of my most favorite. Favorite is an understatement. By the way, chakka varatti' means Jackfruit Jam. The reason it got its english name is because, when the Portuguese entered Kerala, they saw this fruit and since it is called chakka, they borrowed it in their language. Hence, jaca in portuguese was used to name it jackfruit in englishInteresting to see how languages and culture evolves!

So, this is a jam made out of jackfruit and jaggery (raw sugar). My mom (and my grandma too) usually adds a little bit of dry ginger and cardamom and one can add ghee (just very little). The l…

Day 11: The Rising Sun

Let there be a new dawn, a new hope and a new beginning! 
I somehow love this picture. It is an unedited and simple picture taken a year ago at  Wrightsville beach, North Carolina. Looking at this picture brings back many good memories. We went with my husband's best buddies, Aabid and Afi. They are one of the best folks I know/have met. We went out for an early morning walk to the beach as we wanted to watch the rising sun. The beauty of this picture is that it does not matter how good your camera is or how good you are with it. It will come this beautiful, irrespective of the person or the instrument. That is the beauty of nature. Impartial and ever giving. 
This picture gives me hope for a better tomorrow and the courage to face a crucial and hard long week ahead. 
So, I'm signing off. I will see y'all tomorrow. Until then, good night (good morning to the other side of the world).

Day 10: 10 Books I Love : Part 1

10th post, 10th day. I am excited. I did not even believe I will be able to survive this long in this journey.  This is surely a great motivation to keep going ahead with this. Anyways, today's post is going to be something very simple and easy to read (and write, for me). As it is the 10th post, thought will do something that connects to that theme. So, I am going to write the list of 10 books I love. It surely is a very hard task but, let me try. May be I will call this post as Part 1.

Growing up, books were my best companion. It still is.  My brother and I enjoyed reading so much that we used to have competition as to who completes a book first (followed by board games and sibling fights, of course:D). Reading stirred my soul and shaped my thoughts. Reading helped me travel to places that I could never have traveled otherwise. I could don many roles and live many lives with every character. Yeah, yeah, I hear y'all ! These are, of course, the very same statements every boo…

Day 9: The 'zara hatke' IKEA Effect

Have you heard of 'The IKEA Effect' ?

For those who do not know much about it, here is a brief statement about what it means and its relevance. I am sure you must have heard of the largest furniture retailer IKEA (For those interested in more, IKEA stands for Ingvar Kamprad Elmtaryd Agunnaryd.The first two parts are the founder's full name, followed by his place where he grew up, and finally his hometown). IKEA sells furniture (their USP) and a lot of other products relevant for setting up a house . Most of the products are sold in parts (in fact most other retailers here in the US do the same too) and the final piece is usually assembled by the customer (all by themselves). There is usually an instruction booklet provided to help set it up.

So, why is it called an IKEA effect? This term is used to define the way in which people value a product when it is self-made. In a series of studies, conducted by researchers from Harvard and Duke, it was found that people value thei…

Day 8 : Le Petit Prince

If you ask someone who loves books and loves to read, to just name one book that has influenced them or one book that they really love the most, it is hard to get a reply. However, it does not mean they do not have any on that list, in fact, they will have many on that list. As a person who loves to read, if you were to ask me the same question, I would not have answered immediately. I have a lot of books from different genres that have had some (or sometimes a lot) of impact on me. Today, I am going to talk to you about one such book. I suddenly remembered about this as I stumbled across a site that listed a set of books that one has to read in their lifetime. This particular book was on that list. Yes, I agree with them. It sure is a book to treasure all your life.

This book actually needs no introduction. It is one of the oldest books that was published originally in French by the name Le Petit Prince. Written by Antonine de Saint-Exupery, it was published posthumously in 1943.  F…

Day 7: One of my favorite motivational quote

Today, I am planning to write a very short post on one of my most favorite quotes in the world. This one is by the greatest champion in the world, Muhammed Ali (Cassius Marcellus Clay, Jr.). He once said, "I hated every minute of my training, but I said, 'Don't quit. Suffer now and live the rest of your life as a champion'."

 I have this up on my board (at my work place). I always believe that every person on earth is blessed with some talent. It could be just of different levels but it surely can come up if motivated and directed the right way. I am not sure if I have any right set of talents but  I do believe that whatever I have can be made right. It may be hard but it is surely possible. I am writing this post as a motivation for myself today. You know, it is said one needs to motivate oneself every day.  
Good night and see y'all tomorrow.

Day 6 : Mother's Day

Anna Jarvis of West Virginia was the sole originator of the idea of Mother’s Day. During the early part of 1900, Anna lost her mother. To cope up with the loss, she organized a special memorial service at the church. She established a Mother's Day committee and called for a meeting of mothers from her mom's church group. Anna, who was unable to cope with her mother’s loss, sought public observance of her mom’s anniversary. In psychology, this is also known as “Pathological mourning.”

In fact, Anna’s relationship with her mother was very complex. Her mother thwarted Anna’s decisions to travel and establish herself. In her mother's view, a woman's main role was to be a nurse and a nurturer. She saw to it that Anna, lived by these societal norms, even when Anna was not keen. Please remember that this was a very long time ago when women were not even allowed to vote.
Anna Jarvis copyrighted this event after she organized it in 1907. Originally various groups and women’s unio…