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Showing posts from November, 2015

Day 180: Last day of November

There are 30 days to September, April, May, and November. So goes the old rhyme (or was it a song?). The beautiful month of November marks the end of month that has only 30 days. Every time I cross September, the year seems to just go on a fast track mode. We fly past those calendar dates and  we are almost close to Christmas. It feels like the blink of an eye. This last day of November tells me that this year has been a super fast year as there has been a lot that has happened in my life in the past 11 months. I completed a whole lot of work and still have a whole lot to do. A few changes in my new year and new family. Every little spark of joy had something to worry about. It was as if there was a see-saw game between good and bad. Yeah, yeah, I know that is life. On that note, I end this short note for the last day of November. We have a only a month more to go before we wind up this beautiful and eventful year. As I look back all seems like a magic. I have grown a year younger, a…

Day 179: Stories to tell....

The wall hangings, beautiful art pieces, and the home decors - everything painted not the house, but the personalities of people living there. These showpieces narrated the stories and journey of the people in that house. From an economical stand point, they told them how much they were worth.

Hmm.. Sometimes I wonder what makes us human. Wasn't our forefathers and ancestors decorating their homes with sculptures and artifacts? Weren't their wall painted and sketched? Did that ever depict the class? 
It is a question I often ask. We, humans love narrating stories. That is why we always admired and accepted street plays, role plays, ballads, paintings, masks, motion pictures, sculptures and what not.

All the world is surely a stage. A stage set by us and for us. We continue the ever lasting role play of 'who' we are. Sometimes it is these artifacts and at other times our very own self. 
We, humans always have stories to tell.....

Day 178: Parents

The phone rang.  'Her' voice. They said a 'hi' and a 'bye'. They did not really care. For 'she' wasn't theirs to care. 
The phone rang.  'Her' voice. Oh! there was a squeal of joy. She was their princess. Oh! How much they miss her!

Day 177: The true friend

He was very excited to see his friend. He jumped up with joy and almost pushed the small vase kept by the door. His friend did not respond well. She was tired and depressed after a long day's work. She went and sat down on the couch and switched on the television. He went and cuddled next to her and she shoved him away.

Probably she had a bad day, he thought. His big beautiful eyes looked at her with love. He sat cosily by the couch and waited patiently for her to go out for a walk with him. He was home the whole day without anyone to play or take out for a walk. But that does not matter. She needed that rest, she needed that time. He can wait. He was a sweet lovely dog who loved her no matter what.

Day 176: Thanksgiving

A thanks to the one in my life,
A thanks to the ones who taught me to live,
A thanks to the ones who make me smile.
A thanks to the ones who work hard and right.
A thanks to the ones who help us with our food and light.
A thanks to the ones who toil hard for the clothes we wear and tear.
A thanks to the ones who help us be safe and sound at our homes.
A thanks to all those million folks whom I don't know but they offer me all their time and work.
A thanks to all my family and friends who think of me even if it were just for a second.

I am thankful for the beautiful world I get to live in.
I am thankful for the beautiful songs I get to sing.
Thank you and Thank you for helping me this far.

Thank you to all for reading this blog.
Thanks to the teachers who taught me the basics,
Thanks to my parents who helped me walk my path,
Thanks to my sibling who kept me on track,
Thanks to my A for being the best of all!

Thank you.

Day 175: Wordless Wednesday : Karthikai

Beautiful Karthikai day with family. I wish I had a few more of those tin lamps to light. May the light always lead you right. 

Day 174: The Friend

There, that little necklace looked lovely. She took it and smiled. It was a good one and her 'friend' will love it. Her 'friend' was beautiful, it was not just her thought, it was a common talk. She got it packed and couriered to it her friend. 
Ding! There came a text a couple of days later. Her friend's message. She smiled as she swiped the phone to read the message. "Hey, did you send me that necklace?"  She smiled and typed a smiling emoticon ":)". Pat came a reply, "Why!! Why do you have to gift me?" She was perplexed. She replied, "I thought you will like it and it will look great on you, was thinking of you, so got it.""Btw, did you like it?". There was a pause. Then she got a reply, "Thanks!". 
Now, it has been over two months. No calls, nor messages from that 'friend'. If she texts her, she gets a one word reply or sometimes just the 'read receipts'. 
She sat down browsing through…

Day 173: Photo frame

They fought. They were mad at each other. She thought it was all his fault. He thought, he has had enough. He walked out of the room. She sat down on the couch. The end table was cluttered but there was something that caught her attention. There, a 10-year younger self smiled beautifully at her. Her young looking husband was laughing too. She sat looking at it.

She could vividly remember that day. They had gone to that lake shore park by their old apartment. All they did that day was talk and walk holding hands. The silliest jokes and simplest tricks made her laugh like a little girl tickled by a feather.

She smiled. Now, 10 years have gone by and they were fighting about a vacation planned abroad.

Well, the wooden photo frame taught her a valuable lesson. It was not the distance or location of her holiday that mattered, it was that 'distance' they had now as a couple.

She went upstairs to the bedroom and gave him a hug. Now, they need to pack for a good vacation. Whatever or…

Day 172: Giving

To give, you need to be selfless.
When you stop to think,
how your 'giving' will help that person,
if your 'giving' is used the right way,
then you are not 'giving' in the true sense.

Give without a thought,
Without any clause,
and then remember,
you live a hundred lives,
when you give at the blink of an eye.

© Copyright Meena Arvind

Day 171: Adjust

The colors of her kitchen walls were light but that is how she liked them. The cabinets were arranged the way she wanted. That was her convenience. Then came her first 'guest' who was family. Very important family member. That member had trouble seeing the mason jars and empty cans the way she liked it. She changed and altered the kitchen cabinets to her convenience. She agreed. That is what families do- adjust. Even if it is one-sided.

Day 170: Crazy Ads

From today, that is the  20th of November to 30th of November, the posts will be very short stories or short poems on any random topic. Of course, in between I will make use of Wordless Wednesdays and a couple of topics on family visits but most of the topics will be either short story or a small poem !

The first one is obviously on ads and how crazy they make us :)

A critical take on ads.

They tell you how to cook,
They tell you how not to look.
They sing songs to get your money bank,
They remind you that you are not more than your wants.

They are ads,
that teach you new things,
create new wants,
make you more aware,
of how much less you have!

© Copyright Meena Arvind 

Day 169: Who cares?

Emails and text messages,
Go unread.
Lost in the wave of time
The memories fade.
or do they actually erode off a part of my heart?
As they fade into oblivion
May be,
May be that is why it hurts,
as it fades away,
as it takes away a part of my heart.

It does not matter for the one that hurts,
It only exists for the one in tears.

Who then cares?
I know, I do.
That's why it hurts.

© Copyright Meena Arvind

Day 168: Happy Birthday my dear brother !

It is my dear brother's birthday. 'S' means the world to me and even though we have had our share of sibling fights or not, we connect. I think that is why siblings are always wonderful. I see that with my parents and their respective siblings, my friends and their siblings too. That bond is special.

Here is a poem that I penned last year. I did not write this here so thought will make it open now.

Growing up with sibling love 
is always special, 
when it is someone like you.
I am glad that you were born,
for, I know not of a world without you.
Our world was just within those four walls,
even as we travelled many paths.
Tough or not we managed to tread,
many roads and etch memories as we walked.
The smell of new books,
colors from new sketch pens,
scribbling as we sat by the table working with dad with the radio on.
Fights and silly moments,
sometimes handling my "miss bossy pants."
all coated and covered with our love for books, music, science and quizzes.
To all those memorie…

Day 167: Short tales: Perspectives or Positions?

Her wedding was tomorrow. She was having cold feet. What will be the world like from tomorrow, for she is going to be a man's wife. She was going to a new home. New family, new methods. She hopes she will be able to show them she loves them just like her family. A deep breath. She folds her hands and prays that all goes well tomorrow and she has made the right choice.

She was worried. She was having trouble falling asleep. Her son was getting married tomorrow. He will be bringing home a wife tomorrow. New girl, newly-wed. Will that new daughter-in-law ever understand the new culture and new home? Will she behave well? Will she cook well for her son and take care of the parents in their old age? Or will she take her son away from her far away. A sad nod. She folds her hands and prays that the daughter-in-law is just the way she wants her to be.

She was worried. She cried a little for her little princess was getting married tomorrow. Her daughter will make the most beautiful bride …

Day 166: Can we be Mindful?

Mindfulness has suddenly become the 'mantra'. We try to use that in our everyday life and of course, anything that comes to the West gets marketed well enough to become something special. Meditation, yoga, all these were the same. That said, I have always believed in these and Mindfulness research which is catching up off late interested me in the recent times. Even though the research in this area (there is a huge scope) is still in nascent stage, the use of this in the field of even consumer science and marketing makes it essential to be studied. For now, the research focuses on the neurological and mental changes in specific demographic group.

I have off late come across a lot of business articles which focuses on using mindfulness among employees. This is to both reduce stress and also inculcate team work and great culture in the organization. Even though I don't claim to be an expert, I can surely say that I have taken a 15 hour a week worth of mindfulness research a…

Day 165: North Face: Never Stop Exploring

North Face's ad has been on TV for a while this past couple of weeks. Yes, we are almost past Fall and getting closer to winter which means, North Face is the brand we need to remember. On a side note, I remember even seeing the brand placement in most Bollywood movies !

The recent North Face ad is one heck of an ad. Great music, quick editing, relevant images, adrenalin-rush adventures, and in short an awesome ad. An ad's first and foremost duty is to grab attention. That itself will let the consumer notice and pay attention to the message. Then, is some catchy mix to show what the product stands for. It starts with a little girl in a museum and then she imagines all these various adventurous activities one can do and finally imagines herself doing rock climbing! North Face was able to nail that in this ad- at least for me. It definitely does justice to the tag-line- Never Stop Exploring. It shows us how to push our physical limits and explore more. There is surely more to l…

Day 164: Should I or Should I not?

I saw this forwarded picture message on social media for sometime. I love a few animals and wish and hope that I can own - elephant, horses, and dogs some day. Yeah, you heard me right, these are the animals I wish to own as pets:)

Interestingly enough, the easiest of the lot is a dog. However, this picture speaks perfectly about what I think about them. Every single time we end up seeing a dog, we wish we have one next to us to cuddle and play. 'A' is a huge fan and he loves to own one. He in fact is very brave to pet every dog he sees. I, on the other hand need some time and help to even pat someone else's dog. I don't easily go and pet dogs even if I love them.

As we watch Nat Geo often, we end up seeing a lot more about pets and of course, as the ads interrupt us most of them have a dog in them. Every time we see one, 'A' hopes we can own one. And my point is the one that is clearly shown in the picture. Yes, owning a dog is like taking care of a baby. We …

Day 163: An Old Tobacco Ad

Advertising industry has been using human models for a long time now. They use all types and age  group of models. That means, children are no exception. In fact to capture the attention and stand out from the clutter, children have been used in ads for a long time. Tobacco advertisements were popular earlier as there were less or no regulations. With time, they found that tobacco industry used a lot of marketing budgets to increase their advertising penetration to all age group of consumers. Thus, after a lot of damage done, the tobacco industry became more regulated that we don't see such really alarming ads. 
Here is one from the past. Shortage of time- hence keeping the post very short! 

Day 162: Why I 'love' Donald Trump?

Yes, you read the title right. Why do I 'Love' (read:lurrrve) Donald Trump? 
Donald was a special name as a kid - remember Donald Duck? Now, I think we hear Trump more often with that same old first name. He has become a household name around the globe. Whatever happens in this big country of United States has some importance to the rest of the world. Thanks to social media, news now reaches even faster. So, why would I now call him as someone I love? Please read before you conclude.  He has only said things which are controversial. Or should I say, whatever he has said has had some controversy attached to it. Initially as he started the campaign, he pushed his agenda about pushing out 'Mexicans' as they are all bad. Okay, okay. Probably he did not say that but at least that was the larger message he communicated. He then took to the ISIS attacks and put forth a proposal to push all 'muslims' in one basket- scary. He was against the immigrants from Syria as he…

Day 161: Wordless Wednesday : Shadow Dance

The Shadow Dance 

Day 160: Why I love Monte Christo ?

For all those who love reading and have a good taste of great old classics, The Count of Monte Christo is not something they would missed. It is one of the best classics to read. If you haven't read, please do. Okay. Read now! A brilliant literary creation of Alexander Dumas, this narrates the sad fate of Edmond Dante who is falsely prosecuted and imprisoned (by cunning and back-biting friends). This is one of the best creations of revenge and prison break in literature. This book excites, creates tension, takes us through the journey of the protagonist who plots revenge against his wrong-doers. So, what? You can ask. Even though the plot sounds like simple and easy flick for most revenge story, the narration has a little bit of everything and the way the characters are presented makes it a good book. Visually, this book could have been a great movie material. However, I don't think any of the movie versions had any good or taut screenplay. I don't think any of it worked …

Day 159: Calvin and Hobbes : Fate

A simple Monday post from one of my favorite comics- Calvin and Hobbes. Profound !

Day 158: Hurricane Lamps

The golden blue hues of the lamps shine more when we light those 'LED' or wax candles. They sit by us as we converse, as we fight,  or argue. They are witnesses to the wonderful guests and friends who visit us, the families who stay with us, a few who reside in our hearts. They are silent observers of the cuddles and sweet hugs. They hold not just beauty but moments and light. The light to lead us right all way along.

Hurricane lamps- They stand tall and brew many thoughts.

Day 157: Reasons

Everything we do in life has a reason. Most of which, we do not know and a few, we think we know. I have always thought I know what I need (and want) in my life. However, a lot of times my plans have never worked. It is not because I did not try hard enough (I try to tell myself that I did not try hard enough!). I search for reasons for these happenings to chart a future and anticipate new trails for my journey. However, as you know it is not always possible that way. There is a strong power in the universe, some call it God, some call it destiny, or fate, or even thoughts. Whatever it is, we sometimes don't have all the answers.

The different people we meet leave impressions. Most are forgotten, a few just vaguely there, and a few others who leave lasting impressions. I keep thinking about the various connections I have had and the wonderful bonds and relationships I have had with folks around the world. I do not even know what they are doing these days or have any connection (y…

Day 156: United we stand, Divided we fall

Every person (animals too) living on this planet has a personality that is innate to them. It is usually something that is either shaped due to genetic make or that which is psychological and environmental. For an outside world a personality can also reflect the place where one comes from. For instance, most wolves behave similarly (from plain sight), most men, most children, most Indians, most North Indians, most Malayalees, most Asians,  most IT professionals, most doctors, etc.,. We put people in one bracket based on the assumed overall character and personality of that associate group.  Now, when people have such unique personalities, imagine what a country will be like. That is what we call as culture. It is that which evolves, shapes, transfers, permeates, accepts, adapts, and that cycle goes on and on. Every generation, every decade, every moment, there are changes that we sometimes observe and most times do not. We become a part of that. Most often we acclimatize and yet at o…

Day 155: Tiny Tale : Perspectives? or Never good enough?

Yet again a tiny tale. 

She dressed up in her favorite salwar. She looked at herself in the mirror. She liked her curls. She thought they made her beautiful. She was getting ready to meet someone. They took her out for a great lunch. Sitting next to them in the car, they hugged her tight and caressed her and kept looking at her. She thought it was love. Wait! She was about to find that out. 
They looked at her again and said, probably she needed a visit to the parlor to look 'good' and tame her 'unruly' hair. 
Perspectives?? or is it that sometimes it is never good enough?

Day 154: (Not so) Wordless Wednesdays: Headless Buddhas

Headless Buddhas are the scars of war, hatred, and invasion. Yes, these are man-made artifacts but  they symbolize the true nature of human- ego and power. Somewhere in the land of Ayuthaya. These relics from the past are now probably a photographer's delight and traveller's muse. However, they do teach us a valuable lesson that even the buried past reflects through its many lens. Though headless, these sculptures have many stories to share.

Day 153: A New Look for the New world : Barbie's new ad campaign

Barbie dolls. The slim, fashionable, pretty, and 'sexy' dolls have been there for a long time (from 1959 onwards). Dolls and toys are probably and usually a child's true companion. Barbie is no different. For these past 56 years, Barbie has been always associated with cute little girls. How do little kids get to play with these? Well, many reasons. It could be because their parents played with it and hence, want their kids to enjoy and experience the same (mostly that kind of intergenerational effect is for LEGO). It could also be because, the advertisers tell the world, the new moms, new aunts, dads, and everyone else, including children that dolls are meant for only girls. It could also be because, kids see this attractively packaged and dressed either on the shelf or at their friend's place. As you know, my interest is varied and toys and games happen to be one of them. So, I have been following these different types of products that target children and Barbie'…

Day 152: O yay Punjabi!

Punjabi is now the official third language in the house of commons in Canada. After English and French, it is Punjabi as there are many Indians whose mother tongue is Punjabi in Canada. That is such a terrific news. On the other side, we can also think about how funny sardar ji jokes go around the country (our own) where we portray these nice folks to be naive and dumb and now they have been able establish and spread their roots elsewhere. They have created businesses, taken up positions, own companies, run stores, well, the list goes on.  In this day and age of having easy access to move between nations and around the globe, in true sense, we are all global citizens. With travel, we can and should be allowed to find our new home. In countries like Canada, Australia, and a few others the migrant population are easily provided the permanent residence status and this attracts many immigrants. As I was reading this news, I was thinking of the various issues many Mexicans face as they mo…

Day 151: Special day- Anniversary and Kerala Piravi/Karnataka Rajyotsava

November 1. Already? Wow! This year has just flown by so fast. As we begin this new month, I would like to start with the significance of November 1 for me. There are two big reasons why this is special. One is that it is my dear parents anniversary and second it is my God's own country's birthday! Every child grows up absorbing and learning from their own parents. Of course, then shaping and forming their own individual identity. I would love to wish my dearest and sweetest mom and dad a wonderful and beautiful anniversary today.

Going on to my second special reason, it is the day beautiful state of Kerala was born. In 1956, it was formed as one state (which earlier was independent provinces of Cochin, Trivandrum, and Malabar. This year is the 59th year and yeah, happy birthday, Kerala. May there be less of bandhs, hartals, and toddy, and let the beauty of this state be appreciated for all good reasons. Playing one beautiful song about Kerala :)

As it happens, the state that…