Come Join Me

Hello Friends, what’s up with you all? Ready for manic Monday? Feeling envious that I am footloose and fancy free?

You couldn’t be more wrong! Didn’t you notice the two badges on the sidebar? Yup, I signed up for the A to Z blogging challenge and opted for a theme based challenge as well. Now I am breaking into a cold sweat…Hey, wait a minute – why am I fretting? It should be you guys getting the heebie-jeebies – who knows what rot I will be offloading now, right? There, I feel much so much better now 🙂

So now on to the challenge – Starting from 1st April, participants have to blog on any topic in alphabetical sequence on each day (except Sundays) – so 26 days and 26 alphabets – one alphabet for each day. And also read and comment on other participating blogs. A great way to connect and reach out in this vast unknown alternate universe. I am terribly excited and in a nervous flutter. Almost as if I am proceeding on a mission like the voyagers of Star Trek – who knows whom I will meet!

Paraphrasing Captain James T Kirk’s unforgettable goosebumps inducing words:

Cyberspace: the final frontier. These are the voyages of the blog Stories and more. Its life- long mission: to explore strange new worlds, to seek out new friends and new blogs, to boldly go where I have never gone before.

Voyages and treks are no fun alone – please, please do join me. Back to Rajaniland – here’s Chapter 37 and Calvin as well as the Blog Index

 

Thought for the day:

I’ve learned in my life that it’s important to be able to step outside your comfort zone and be challenged with something you’re not familiar or accustomed to. That challenge will allow you to see what you can do:- R. Martinez

All the very best to all exam goers (including their Mums)!

 

Cat-a-log

Anyone who is familiar with this blog could hardly miss my affinity for Calvin. He is so cute and adorable – who could help but love Calvin? Err – not including Susie and Rosalyn – and perhaps his parents too on most days 😉 But this post isn’t about Calvin but about a close relative of Hobbes who invaded my house the other day. Yes, believe it or not!

There I was busy plotting and planning the shenanigans of kiddie gang when I heard some suspicious noises. Convinced, it was a conspiracy to keep me from unleashing my ramblings on to the unsuspecting public, I determinedly ignored them. I had a deadline to meet and by Toutatis, nothing was going to distract me.

But then that is easier said than done isn’t it.I caught an unfamiliar flash of brown from the corner of my eye. Freezing, I glanced up.

A stripped brown cat (exactly like Hobbes), with its tail right up in the air, was taking a leisurely stroll through the bedroom. I snapped to attention. She didn’t even deign to quicken her pace or spare me a glance. With a haughty air, she simply continued on her inspection and the next instant she disappeared – a bit of her leer did linger 😀

I threw open the windows and doors, went down on my hands and knees but to no avail. I even called in the troops but she had quite simply vanished into thin air.

Convinced she had escaped, I tried to go back to my chores but doubts nagged me – what if she was still around, trapped, hungry thirsty?

Once again, I went down on my hands and knees, hoping, pleading praying for a glimpse of brown. But no luck – I dusted my hands. There was no doubt about it. I was alone in the house. Or was I?

A prickle of unease ran down my spine. Were the rumors true? Was our house really haunted? I had once laughed heartily and scoffed at the ghostly rumors – but I certainly wasn’t laughing any longer. Did I really see a cat or was it a ghost-cat?

Restless and antsy, every few minutes, I would get up to check the rooms for any signs of the cat or ghost till I was quite exhausted and frazzled. We had to go out in the evening; it was late by the time we returned and I had completely forgotten about the feline visitation. Famished, I lay the table and pulled at my chair.

I frowned – it seemed to resist my pull. Was it heavier than usual or was my imagination working overtime? I glanced down. Peeping out from under the tablecloth was a distinct brown stick. I felt like a bear – albeit a mama bear. Goldilocks had chosen my chair from 6 other chairs!

Instant evacuation was ordered and implemented – doors and windows barred – except one which was left open for Goldilocks. Poor kitty was frozen stiff with fear; she had to be roused from her catatonic state with shouts and gentle pokes and prods to her seat. After an initial natural reluctance to discard her safe house, better sense prevailed – two nimble leaps and she was gone.

Not quite sure who was more relieved – us as we finally got on with our dinner or Goldilocks as she broke her fast on an unwary rat or two. Phew, that was quite an adventure wasn’t it? Well, all’s well that ends well.

Got time to spare for Chapter 36 and Calvin? Before I forget, here’s the Blog Index.

And the thought (actually 2 thoughts) for the day?

Women and cats will do as they please, and men and dogs should relax and get used to the idea. Robert A. Heinlein
In ancient times cats were worshipped as gods; they have not forgotten this. Terry Pratchett

Until next time.

Aunty Angst

Okay okay fine fine I admit that I am old – err old enough to be called Aunty at least. Yet I hate, simply hate, being called Aunty. I just hate it.Mami, Chachi, Tai, Dadi, Nani, Biji 😉 anything but Aunty!

Why? No idea just one of those inexplicable things, I guess. And the funny thing is, the older I grow, greater the irritation and that’s putting it rather mildly. It (see I don’t even dare say/write the word) sets my teeth on edge and grates on my nerves, just like the odd piece of chalk on a blackboard.

I was all of 23 when I got married and the day I got married, I became an Aunty – never mind that till the day before I had been mistaken for a class 9 student. What is with this trend in India that regardless of age, all married girls are aunties? But there was no getting away from it – Aunty I became, and Aunty I remain, much to my disgust.

Maybe it’s time to look within, find the cause and achieve freedom from this all-consuming destructive emotion? Could the inordinate angst be rooted in a dark, horrifying, best forgotten, incident that occurred decades ago?

Early one morning I tiptoed around the darkened bedroom, trying to get ready for college without waking my two-year old son. Some sixth sense that his mum was up to no good, made him restless. I wavered. I yearned to cuddle and soothe him. But as I cast reflexive glance at the clock, I froze . Yikes! Just five minutes before the last chartered bus left for college. I gave few quick strokes to my hair, hastily pasted a bindi on the forehead, grabbed the bag of books, whispered a goodbye to my mother-in-law and dashed out. I caught the bus running. I squeezed my way in, grabbed the hand rail and attempted to catch my breath. Firmly, squelching down on guilty feelings of having abandoned my baby, I tried to savor my victory as a student.

Aunty,” a heavy voice boomed over my head. Instantly, annoyance and irritation replaced all other emotions. I turned to the speaker – a young man, possibly older than I was. That was it!  I looked at him icily and drew my lips in a thin sneer even as I gloated, it was time to cleanse my soul with the most apt retort possible,  “Yes Uncleji?

But he beat me to it. “Aunty, there’s a bindi stuck above your right eye.”

The carefully crafted icy sneer dissolved into open-mouthed consternation as waves of embarrassment flooded my cheeks. Mumbling incoherently, I turned away and surreptitiously fingered my face for the offending dot. Sheer will power, grit and determination (and the fact that the bus was jam-packed) gave me the strength to continue to stand there for the rest of the interminable ride to college.

They say confession is good for the soul and after being an Agony Aunt (which by the way is way better than an Agony Aunty) for so many years, I thought it was time I unburdened myself.

Phew! I am still shuddering as I recall the incident. How about a few comforting words? Maybe share your most embarrassing moment – make me feel I am not alone. Come on now – you couldn’t possibly be thinking of disappointing your favorite Aunty (eeks!) would you? 😉

Oops before I forget, here’s Chapter 35 and Calvin (isn’t he hilarious?) and the Blog Index

 

Quote for the day

You can imagine my embarrassment when I killed the wrong guy:-Joe Valachi

Have a super day all of you!

On Top of the World

Yohoo friends! I am back thumbs up Anyone miss me? sighNever mind. Anyway, I had a blast catching up with friends – school friends whom I met after decades! partyI could tell you the exact number of decades, years, months and perhaps even days, but then that would be telling ehsmug

Suffice to say I was on the top of the world – literally and figuratively. Have a look:-

It was a truly exhilarating and picturesque ride through the clouds. Sighhh…ah well, nothing lasts forever right? Besides all good things come to an end so that we may go on to experience better things!

So now that we are back on terra firma lets see what been happening on Rajaniland shall we? Here’s Chapter 34 but before then, a look at Calvin.

 

Thought for the day:

A pessimist sees only the dark side of the clouds, and mopes; a philosopher sees both sides, and shrugs; an optimist doesn't see the clouds at all — he's walking on them. ~Leonard Louis Levinson

Sorry, couldn’t resist a few more :)-

Always borrow money from a pessimist, he doesn't expect to be paid back :- Anonymous
A pessimist's blood type is always B-negative. ~Anonymous
A pessimist is a man who thinks all women are bad. An optimist is a man who hopes they are. ~Chauncey Mitchell Depew
In the long run the pessimist may be proved right, but the optimist has a better time on the trip. ~Daniel L. Reardon
The place where optimism most flourishes is the lunatic asylum. ~Havelock Ellis.

For more quotes, click here

As usual, I look forward to hearing from you on anything and everything. And just in case there are any new friends on the site (welcome aboard): here’s the link to the Blog Index  to help you find your way easily on the site. Have fun – I am!

Have a super week ahead and talk to you on Wednesday 🙂

Morning All!

So how was the most hyped up day of the year for you guys? I spent a relaxing day with family and of course the internet – though the latter decided to act pricey for most part of the day. That’s why we need friends and family. happy

I was just browsing through the history of Valentine’s day – but for a day on which $19.7 billion dollars are spent in the US alone – surprisingly not much is known is known or even interesting/impressive. Just in case, you are interested, this page sums it up pretty well. A few news items that caught the eye for Valentine’s day this year was a marriage proposal as a newspaper headline and how Godfrey, a 17 year old boy in Utah, bought flowers for each of the 834 girls in his school from his own hard earned money! Yet, the weather seems to have hogged the limelight in the US this year – especially the northeast where it seems to have broken all freezing records – wish all of you from there, warmer days aheadangel

Anyway let’s get on with the other business of the day – Chapter 33 – and of course Calvin.

Due to unavoidable circumstances, the next post/update will be on the 22nd of February. Apologies for any inconvenience. straight face

Please do leave me a note – the good, the bad or the downright ugly (err maybe a bit sugar-coated blushing) will also do!

Here are a few quotes to keep you going…

“Today is Valentine’s Day. Or, as men like to call it, Extortion Day.” – Jay Leno
“Love is a grave mental disease” – Plato
“I require three things in a man: He must be handsome, ruthless and stupid.” – Dorothy Parker
“There are only three things women need in life: Food, water and compliments.” – Chris Rock
“I wanted to make it really special on Valentine’s Day, so I tied my boyfriend up. And for three solid hours, I watched whatever I wanted on TV.” – Tracy Smith

More here

Have a super week ahead and if you have time to spare how about browsing through the Blog Index? winking or even better, exercise those fingers on the keyboardbig grin

Don’t forget to train! 🙂 See you soon 🙂

Train to be Happy

Happiness has been defined (by Wikipedia) as a mental or emotional state of well being defined by positive or pleasant emotions ranging from contentment to intense joy. Happiness is so elusive in today’s world that there is a day dedicated to happiness. Just like Women’s day, one day in a year -20th March- has been declared the International Day of Happiness – how tragic is that?

Everyone wants to be happy – yet we never think of aiming for happiness. We somehow expect to be happy as a by-product of our activities and achievements. I shall earn money, spend money, be rich, be famous, get married (or divorced!) and then be happy. Yet, I do believe that if one can’t be happy in the present situation, it is very likely that some other situation is highly unlikely to be changing ‘happiness’ levels any time soon. So how can one get happiness?

Once a man asked Lord Buddha, “I want happiness. How can I get it?”

The Enlightened One said, “Remove ‘I’, that’s ego. Remove ‘want’, that’s desire. All that remains is ‘Happiness.’

Here are some more secrets to happiness unveiled by Lord Buddha

A disciplined mind brings happiness

No matter how hard the past, you can always begin again.

Learn to let go, that’s the secret of happiness

The mind is the source of happiness and unhappiness

There is no path to happiness, happiness is the path.

Tough to follow (or even grasp) one would think, especially in today’s modern times. So how about some tips from the happiest person in the world? Do you even know who the world’s happiest man is?

It’s Matthieu Ricard. He not only offers advice how to be happy but also proposes that just like one trains one’s body for a marathon one can train one’s mind to be happy! Amazing isn’t it? Read all about it here.

Here’s an idea – make a scale of 0 to 10 and rate your happiness on it now. Start training for happiness and then you can rate yourself again on 20th March. Anyone game?

Happy training!

PS. Oops in my happiness I forgot about Chapter 32 and Calvin (laughing isnt he funny?) not to mention the Blog Index big grin

 

Lighten Up

What’s up friends? For some time there has been an overdose of gyan (and stress in Rajaniland – just have a look at Chapter 31 straight face) don’t you think?blushing

Anyway, I think it’s time we all took a chill pill and relaxed a bit. And look what I found – a treasure trove of answer sheets of children giving a history test. I have put some of my favorites from this list here (though it is tough to choose!) but do check out the link below – it’s definitely worth a look. And a word of caution – read each word/line carefullythinking

  •  …certain areas of the dessert are cultivated by irritation.
  • The Bible is full of interesting caricatures.
  • Solomon, one of David’s sons, had 500 wives and 500 porcupines.
  • Without the Greeks, we wouldn’t have history.  They also had myths. A myth is a female moth.
  • Socrates died from an overdose of wedlock.

And I will die of an overdose of laughter rolling on the floorrolling on the floorrolling on the floor Best you read the rest from the original priceless collection of Student Bloopers

Nothing like exams (or posting daywinking) to bring out the creativity laughing

Have a look at what Calvin and Hobbes are up to…

I wish you all a very good day with these words of wisdom by Mark Twain: “The human race has only one really effective weapon and that is laughter.”

And just in case you are new and want to browse through the blog, here’s the Index to guide you.

Now you have no excuses  – have fun 😉