Tag Archives: friends

Of unexpected gifts

If you visit the other page on this blog, Me, you’ll notice that I’ve mentioned the reason I started this blog. It was to “trick me into writing”. Well, it’s done that, and more. In the time I have been here, I’ve not only written more than I’ve ever written in my life, I have also begun to sometimes like what I say, too! That is one of the best gifts being here on this platform has given me.

But what makes this decision one of the best I’ve ever taken is something I’d never expected. It’s given me a chance to know beautiful people without ever meeting them. While, at the first glance, it might seem a cheesy fact to rejoice over, it isn’t. There are hardly any beautiful people left in the virtual world to meet! There’s cosmetic surgery everywhere — physical, emotional and behavioural. It is refreshing to meet simple, real people leading their lives like simple, real people. There’s still hope in this world!

And even more so, when the world reciprocates with the acknowledgement of just how cool I am.

When I started blogging, another thing I did not know was that blog writers have devised ingenious ways to appreciate the goodness they see around them. Linda Paul of Rangewriter pleasantly surprised me with the Stylish Blogger Award almost a year back. I am still preening my feathers in a not-so humble response to it.

Recently, more fellow writers gave me more reason to want to continue seeing this accepting world that lets you be just the way you are, and appreciates you for it, too. Well, I’ll be. If these pleasures were available in the so-called real world, we’d all be beautiful the natural way. No?

Allow me to first introduce you to these people, who decided to humble me with their sweetness.

Arindam of Being Arindam has a large heart. I often tell him he’s also acquired wisdom beyond his age. That might explain the two awards he’s given me — The Candle Lighter Award and The 7 x 7 Link Award.

Vineet of The Confused Graduate and Patrice of The Heartbreak of Invention decided that I am a Versatile Blogger, let it be known, too. Vineet’s new to me. But his posts make me think I know him for a long time. He reminds me of those mischievous boys I taught at school — the ones who’d make you laugh and impress you with their sharp minds all at once.

Patrice. What do I say about her but this — if you visit her blog, and read what she has to say, you’ll be glad she walks this earth somewhere, and radiates her intensity into this increasingly shallow world.

Melissa of Play101 is creative, insightful, considerate and very wise. Judge that with the fact that she created her own award, and a happy one, too! The Happy Blog Award. Out of all the awards mentioned above, this surprised me the most. Largely because I constantly doubt my writing’s ability to spread happiness.  But that’s exactly what displays Melissa’s ability. She makes you feel appreciated, makes you want to like yourself. Consequently, what’s not to like in her?!

And lo! While I was writing this post, Perspectives And Prejudices thought of me for a Liebster Award. If I’d wished for the moon, I’d be bathing in its light right now. Only this award was missing from the ones I’ve seen around and I was wondering why no one finds me worth a Liebster. And there you go, I have it! And from P&P, too. The person who is so lovable herself, you’ve got to read her posts to know!

It makes me feel privileged to know people like these, and the ones I am going to mention in just a bit. But first, I am going to bend some rules.

1. I’m going to tweak the instructions of these six awards, and combine them.

2. I am not going to pass on the awards because I am selfish and I want to keep ’em all.

Well, now that that’s settled, I can tell you more about myself.

Ever since my father discovered that my brother and I had acquired some sort of passable intelligence, he’s been trying to educate us about a certain list he was introduced to as a young cadet in the Indian Military Academy. The list of The Thirteen Mistakes. It was compiled by Brigadier General S.L.A. Marshall in his book An Officer As A Leader. Surprisingly, you and I can also read it and feel ashamed about the distance to cover.


It is a mistake

1. To attempt to set up your own standard of right and wrong.
2. To try to measure the enjoyment of others by your own.
3. To expect uniformity of opinions in the world.
4. To fail to make allowance for inexperience.
5. To endeavor to mold all dispositions alike.
6. Not to yield on unimportant trifles.
7. To look for perfection in our own actions.
8. To worry ourselves and others about what can’t be remedied.
9. Not to help everybody wherever, however, whenever we can.
10. To consider impossible what we cannot ourselves perform.
11. To believe only what our finite minds can grasp.
12. Not to make allowances for the weaknesses of others.
13. To estimate by some outside quality, when it is that within which makes the man.

I’ve attempted a few times in all these years to see where I stand according to this gauge. A few months back, I thought I’d almost accomplished all. When I rummaged through my notes to find the list (No, I don’t remember it by heart. Still.) and read it again, I realised that barring Numbers 10 and 11, I am a nitwit. Which is why I need to read what the world’s doing, and how. And this is where being in touch with your world helps me. Thank you.

The people below have either become friends I’ve never met, or have just entered my world but have still nourished me in small ways only friends can. All of them, however, have given me the hope that I will, in one way or the other, learn important lessons in life, and deserve the awards I get.

Charles of Mostly Bright Ideas has become an important part of not just my blogging routine, but of many, many others. His humility and wit make him so likeable (lovable, even) that it is difficult to not read him, impossible to not want to interact with him. He was my first visitor (apart from one-time friends and family who’ve bailed out since that first comment. So they don’t count), and has stayed on to become an important friend. He has, among many other things, taught me the value of being positive in spite of odds. To laugh and to give others laughter, even in the face of trials.

Val of Art by Val Erde is another blog writer to have visited me when I had no other visitors. She read my words and understood them in a way that made me think that I could communicate my heart, after all. Her former blog Absurd Old Bird is no more. Those who’ve not read it have missed the intricacies of a wise, clever mind. But I am lucky. She’s taught me just how essential it is to not allow what I call little annoying flies on the fruit of life to keep you from enjoying the fruit.

I met Rosie of Wondering Rose at a time when I first reconsidered my decision to blog. I’ve reconsidered the decision several times since, but it is precisely because of people like her that I stayed on. Not only are her posts a delight to read, they make you marvel at her unending patience, and appreciation for goodness. I am proud to call myself Rosie’s friend, because she brings to my flighty nerves the calming touch of a person who knows how to give.

Dave of Dave Whatt is someone you’ll rarely see here. And you’ll see me occasionally there at his blog. And yet, I feel a certain sense of friendship with him that’s rare to find even with people you know in flesh. He calls himself a grumpy old man, well he just might be (I haven’t met him, you see), but for me, he’s a man full of wisdom and wisecracks that make the word worth its inception. In spite of his alleged grumpiness, he’s managed to touch my heart.


Jean of Snoring Dog Studio was perhaps one of the few that scared me when I first visited their blog. Her passion for ideals, her well-researched posts on things ranging from health to politics made me want to shake myself up and ask “And what are you doing, you arse?” With time, I discovered she’s as sweet as she’s passionate, and that her dogs are probably the luckiest on this planet. That speaks a lot. So, she’s taught me that you can be strong and gentle at the same time.

Linda of Rangewriter inspires me not with her taste for travel, but with the fact that she actually does travel. Not many can boast of that. I certainly can’t. Her words transport me to the places she goes to, be it her memories, or the restaurant round the corner. I’d like to be like that someday.

Earth Ocean Sky Redux humbled me with her interest. I didn’t expect her to show any, but she did. Her blog is one of the very few that posts on an eclectic range of subjects and succeeds in entertaining or educating every time. Whenever I visit, I leave with a sense of wanting to do more.

Amy of Soul Dipper takes mischievous dips into your soul without your knowing it. And when she reveals what she sees, she astounds with the insights she’s had. These virtues are too high for me even to consider, but what I like best about her is that she chops her own firewood. If I could feel embarrassed about something, this is it. When my husband and I fight over who’s mightier, I never fail to ask him, “But you won’t be able to chop wood, would you?” That takes care of my victory. Thank you, Amy.

I first read a post by Darla of She’s a Maineiac that was about learning to do running circuits (I forget what they’re called, Darla). To me, she appeared to be Goddess of Strength incarnate. In the course of these few months I’ve read her work, I know she’s a Goddess of Strength who overcomes the highs and lows with her strength — positivity and unmatched humour.

Lenore of Lenore’s Thoughts Exactly came into my world, and I didn’t even realise it before I discovered that she had. Her work, her words and her unassuming wisdom enter your being without an announcing bell. They waft in gently. She teases me about my vocabulary (I know you do, Lenore) and I tell her the truth that I am jealous of her off-the-cuff humour.


Bela of Bela’s Bright Ideas takes my breath away with her words and the profundity of her thoughts. Interacting with her takes me to a place where I feel like an unknowing learner of life’s lessons and she’s the wise tutor who’s seen life with experience.

An Idealist Thinker reminds me of myself. Only, she’s the stronger version of me. Her idealism is what I can relate to. Her steadfast belief in keeping that idealism makes my attempts look pale. She struggles with life with the kind of elegance I can only dream of.

Nel of Directionally Impaired is hardly directionally impaired. Her words flow out of her keyboard and they’re not just any words. They’re full of her very unassuming attitude. Just recently I left a comment on her blog saying that I like her style. And that’s the truth.

Kevin of Arbor Familiae is one of the most staunch believers of constructive values I know of in the blogging world, and off it. I am sure of that, I think, even though I barely know him. This blog of his is dedicated to his ancestry, the people from which he’s descended. But every post of his gives more than just information on people you’ll never meet. Each post talks of humanity in the most compassionate way. What a human.

Sandra of Sandra D’Souza Photography takes pictures that show the colour and soul of India. Besides these soulful pictures, if you look closely, she owns a soulful heart because it wouldn’t be possible to take such photographs otherwise.


There are some people I’ve just begun visiting, but wish I could have known a little earlier so that I had read more from them by now.

I’ve come to know Aparna of The Whole Hearted Mind only recently, read only two posts, and I am interested in knowing more. She does have a whole-hearted mind which makes her perspective particularly wholesome to read about.

Shama of C’est La Vie astounds me with her faith and the gentleness she radiates in every thing she says. It is a rare trait these days, is it not?

Saara of Saara’s World reminds me of Sophie of Sophie’s World. You love her and feel awed by her all at once.


Chris of Earth and Hearth is sweet. I like him so much, I am feeling guilty for having missed his last two posts. He’s shifted into a new house with his partner and writes about how best to make a house a home.

Marusia of The Perfect Mother. I’ve just visited her once and she’s taken a place in my heart and mind. Visit her to know just how good she is.

Nandini of Life Just Is lives in one of the beautiful hill stations of India and takes pictures that do justice to the place. Beautiful is the word.

Georgette of Georgette Sullins’s Blog writes with her heart and her mind. It’s never easy to do that successfully unless both are very strong.

Emily of Emily’s Photography Blog takes breathtaking pictures. And then embellishes them with compelling words. Beautiful.

There are many more I’d like to mention here. People who’ve visited me or whom I’ve visited to my benefit. Time and words must be spent with care, though. It is time I end this post.

But before I do that, I must reveal a secret about me. I used to secretly admire Betty Londergan of What Gives 365. Used to? Because it’s no longer a secret, is it? If you’ve visited her, you’ll know the incredible work she’s done last year to improve this world, and is off to do more this year. I’ve been to her blog a few times and never cease to be amazed at the energy and dedication she has. The intensity of her conviction and action leaves me so embarrassed, I rarely go there any more. But whenever I do, I find myself promising myself that I will someday give light to dark lives, too. I hope I am able to.

And for you I wish a beautiful world — inside and outside of you — this year. And if I may dare, then I also wish shorter posts. At least from me.



Of old lessons

Originally posted on 30 September, 2010

When in doubt, run to friends. Their station in life or the grades they got in school regardless, they will come up with responses that light up your life. Serious, concerned, pertinent answers or witty, in-your-face humour. Years back, I ran (virtually) to friends, implored them to help me remove the cobwebs in my head. I take life too seriously, you see. It becomes a humongous task to not analyse my contributions in my own life. This particular situation arose from the doubt that I was probably being too impatient with humanity in particular and myself in general. So, I did what I feel most comfortable doing. I wrote. And sent mails to a few friends who I knew would be honest. The following is an excerpt.

“I am introspecting again… It’s like spring cleaning…. I need your feelings on this. It may seem strange, but I’d like to know my faults/weaknesses/what have you. I am terribly uncomfortable with saccharine praise. Is it possible for a person to do things and not make ANY mistake?… There needs to be a not-so-nice bit in people somewhere.  All this praise makes me feel unnecessary conceit… I look for validity of all that we see around. I want to believe. In compliments, smiles, expressions of approval. And try as I may, I don’t see any validity. It’s a lonely place to be in.

…Cynicism makes me dizzy with fear. I am alone here in this world, usually. Loneliness is the last thing any of us chooses, right? I fear spending my time peeping at the world from behind a veil made of cocksure I-am-okay-by-myself attitude. … that loving is a lonely thing to do. And it is such a sorry plight. I am scared, because I have stepped into this threshold of accepting loneliness as the only way out of an insane desperation in search of something that is so wonderfully wholesome, that it overwhelms you for the rest of your life.”

(You must grant me bravery. Now that I am reading these words after a gap of seemingly zillion years, I admit I must’ve been quite a character back then. Who spring cleans the nice bits? Why analyse when you can live? Whatever. It was back then.)

And they wrote back. And lit up my life. Good Samaritans, all.

Don’t lose your spirit trying too hard!

OK just don’t sound so cocky when you answer calls. You might scare people away.

Forcing humility or self-evaluation has no value attached to it.

Conceit is not a problem as long as it is not apparent.

Talk because you want to, because you want to share. And there shouldn’t be the feeling of wanting to say the right things to get approval.

Each one’s emotional investment in a relationship can never be to the same degree as yours.

You simply have to be able to open your mind and speak.

I honestly believe that even though we lend power to everyone for the way we feel..at the end of the day we believe in ourselves through other’s eyes because it’s convenient. It’s easier to blame others than one’s own self.

Try doing things for some one else. Unless that coincides with what you want  to do too, it’s a strain, you have to push yourself, things don’t go right, everything is generally miserable because we are trying to go against nature.

…..and you definitely don’t need their (people who don’t know better) adulations.

Anything they don’t understand, they just idolize and antagonize.

I see the shelves at bookstores crammed with books on improvement, and how to live a better life… everyone seems hell bent on trying to teach the world how to live and how to improve (and wonder of wonders, the reviews point out that it actually works for people!!) I say this again – I’m not evolved enough to understand how I can improve by accepting parameters set by people whose views on life, and whose beliefs are probably poles apart from mine.

What we have to learn is  that every minute we live is important . Everything we do, think, see, taste, smell, blah, blah is important.

Look for peace within you. If you are not calm , no amount of love from the outside can be a balm. You are your own disease and your own medicine.

Well, phew. That’s a lot of lessons in a short time. Begone, unnecessary ‘introspection’! Reading and re-reading this (and all the other stuff they wrote) reminded me of the importance of simplicity.

We spend our times wondering whether or not we did the right thing. Or whether we received what we deserve. It can become an overwhelming whirlpool. Getting out of it requires much more than the knowledge of swimming. And some don’t even know that.

In such situations, skepticism may become necessary. Cynicism, however, is just hogwash.

(Skepticism – it is undesirable to believe a proposition when there is no ground whatever for supposing it true.)

(Cynic is one who “shows a disposition to disbelieve in the sincerity or goodness of human motives and actions, and is wont to express this by sneers and sarcasm.”)

My leanings towards a lonely road of disappointment at the moral and emotional inadequacies? They were curbed.

I have believed (and thankfully still do) in living and letting live (one friend did point out some enlightened souls like Mr. Axl Rose who believe in living and letting die). In the path of leading such a seemingly indifferent life, I may and do encounter times when I want control. Control things for the sake of love or self-preservation or both. But as long as my own harmless existence is not threatened, it is suicidal to want to be in control. As long as I remember to sip from my own wellspring of soul-wisdom from time to time, things normally turn out just fine!

Of old lessons

When in doubt, run to friends. Their station in life or the grades they got in school regardless, they will come up with responses that light up your life. Serious, concerned, pertinent answers or witty, in-your-face humour. Years back, I ran (virtually) to friends, implored them to help me remove the cobwebs in my head. I take life too seriously, you see. It becomes a humongous task to not analyse my contributions in my own life. This particular situation arose from the doubt that I was probably being too impatient with humanity in particular and myself in general. So . I did what I feel most comfortable doing. I wrote. And sent mails to a few friends who I knew would be honest. The following is an excerpt.

“I am introspecting again… It’s like spring cleaning…. I need your feelings on this. It may seem strange, but I’d like to know my faults/weaknesses/what have you. I am terribly uncomfortable with saccharine praise. Is it possible for a person to do things and not make ANY mistake?… There needs to be a not-so-nice bit in people somewhere.  All this praise makes me feel unnecessary conceit… I look for validity of all that we see around. I want to believe. In compliments, smiles, expressions of approval. And try as I may, I don’t see any validity. It’s a lonely place to be in.

…Cynicism makes me dizzy with fear. I am alone here in this world, usually. Loneliness is the last thing any of us chooses, right? I fear spending my time peeping at the world from behind a veil made of cocksure I-am-okay-by-myself attitude. … that loving is a lonely thing to do. And it is such a sorry plight. I am scared, because I have stepped into this threshold of accepting loneliness as the only way out of an insane desperation in search of something that is so wonderfully wholesome, that it overwhelms you for the rest of your life.”

(You must grant me bravery. Now that I am reading these words after a gap of seemingly zillion years, I admit I must’ve been quite a character back then. Who spring cleans the nice bits? Why analyse when you can live? Whatever. It was back then.)

And they wrote back. And lit up my life. Good Samaritans, all.

Don’t lose your spirit trying too hard!

OK just don’t sound so cocky when you answer calls. You might scare people away.

Forcing humility or self-evaluation has no value attached to it.

Conceit is not a problem as long as it is not apparent.

Talk because you want to, because you want to share. And there shouldn’t be the feeling of wanting to say the right things to get approval.

Each one’s emotional investment in a relationship can never be to the same degree as yours.

You simply have to be able to open your mind and speak.

I honestly believe that even though we lend power to everyone for the way we feel..at the end of the day we believe in ourselves through other’s eyes because it’s convenient. It’s easier to blame others than one’s own self.

Try doing things for some one else. Unless that coincides with what you want  to do too, it’s a strain, you have to push yourself, things don’t go right, everything is generally miserable because we are trying to go against nature.

…..and you definitely don’t need their (people who don’t know better) adulations.

Anything they don’t understand, they just idolize and antagonize.

I see the shelves at bookstores crammed with books on improvement, and how to live a better life… everyone seems hell bent on trying to teach the world how to live and how to improve (and wonder of wonders, the reviews point out that it actually works for people!!) I say this again – I’m not evolved enough to understand how I can improve by accepting parameters set by people whose views on life, and whose beliefs are probably poles apart from mine.

What we have to learn is  that every minute we live is important . Everything we do, think, see, taste, smell, blah, blah is important.

Look for peace within you. If you are not calm , no amount of love from the outside can be a balm. You are your own disease and your own medicine.

Well, phew. That’s a lot of lessons in a short time. Begone, unnecessary ‘introspection’! Reading and re-reading this (and all the other stuff they wrote) reminded me of the importance of simplicity.

We spend our times wondering whether or not we did the right thing. Or whether we received what we deserve. It can become an overwhelming whirlpool. Getting out of it requires much more than the knowledge of swimming. And some don’t even know that.

In such situations, skepticism may become necessary. Cynicism, however, is just hogwash.

(Skepticism – it is undesirable to believe a proposition when there is no ground whatever for supposing it true.)

(Cynic is one who “shows a disposition to disbelieve in the sincerity or goodness of human motives and actions, and is wont to express this by sneers and sarcasm.”)

My leanings towards a lonely road of disappointment at the moral and emotional inadequacies? They were curbed.

I have believed (and thankfully still do) in living and letting live (one friend did point out some enlightened souls like Mr. Axl Rose who believe in living and letting die). In the path of leading such a seemingly indifferent life, I may and do encounter times when I want control. Control things for the sake of love or self-preservation or both. But as long as my own harmless existence is not threatened, it is suicidal to want to be in control. As long as I remember to sip from my own wellspring of soul-wisdom from time to time, things normally turn out just fine!