Borrowed Advice

Reposting an old post from a couple of years ago – would love to know your thoughts 🙂

As a matter of principle I don’t meddle in affairs of the heart but I came across this piece by Rosemarie Urquico that I thought was too good not to share. Anyone who needs a bit of advice on which kind of girl to date – read on or pass it on 😉

“You should date a girl who reads.

Date a girl who reads. Date a girl who spends her money on books instead of clothes, who has problems with closet space because she has too many books. Date a girl who has a list of books she wants to read, who has had a library card since she was twelve.

Find a girl who reads. You’ll know that she does because she will always have an unread book in her bag. She’s the one lovingly looking over the shelves in the bookstore, the one who quietly cries out when she has found the book she wants. You see that weird chick sniffing the pages of an old book in a secondhand book shop? That’s the reader. They can never resist smelling the pages, especially when they are yellow and worn.

She’s the girl reading while waiting in that coffee shop down the street. If you take a peek at her mug, the non-dairy creamer is floating on top because she’s kind of engrossed already. Lost in a world of the author’s making. Sit down. She might give you a glare, as most girls who read do not like to be interrupted. Ask her if she likes the book.

Buy her another cup of coffee.

Let her know what you really think of Murakami. See if she got through the first chapter of Fellowship. Understand that if she says she understood James Joyce’s Ulysses she’s just saying that to sound intelligent. Ask her if she loves Alice or she would like to be Alice.

It’s easy to date a girl who reads. Give her books for her birthday, for Christmas, for anniversaries. Give her the gift of words, in poetry and in song. Give her Neruda, Pound, Sexton, Cummings. Let her know that you understand that words are love. Understand that she knows the difference between books and reality but by god, she’s going to try to make her life a little like her favorite book. It will never be your fault if she does.

She has to give it a shot somehow.

Lie to her. If she understands syntax, she will understand your need to lie. Behind words are other things: motivation, value, nuance, dialogue. It will not be the end of the world.

Fail her. Because a girl who reads knows that failure always leads up to the climax. Because girls who read understand that all things must come to end, but that you can always write a sequel. That you can begin again and again and still be the hero. That life is meant to have a villain or two.

Why be frightened of everything that you are not? Girls who read understand that people, like characters, develop. Except in the Twilight series.

If you find a girl who reads, keep her close. When you find her up at 2 AM clutching a book to her chest and weeping, make her a cup of tea and hold her. You may lose her for a couple of hours but she will always come back to you. She’ll talk as if the characters in the book are real, because for a while, they always are.

You will propose on a hot air balloon. Or during a rock concert. Or very casually next time she’s sick. Over Skype.

You will smile so hard you will wonder why your heart hasn’t burst and bled out all over your chest yet. You will write the story of your lives, have kids with strange names and even stranger tastes. She will introduce your children to the Cat in the Hat and Aslan, maybe in the same day. You will walk the winters of your old age together and she will recite Keats under her breath while you shake the snow off your boots.

Date a girl who reads because you deserve it. You deserve a girl who can give you the most colorful life imaginable. If you can only give her monotony, and stale hours and half-baked proposals, then you’re better off alone. If you want the world and the worlds beyond it, date a girl who reads.

Or better yet, date a girl who writes.”

Ever since I read this piece, I have been wanting share it. It is a feel good article that makes the ‘dated’ (for want of a better word, at least in my kitty) feel special and great about themselves. Regardless of whether anyone else is inspired to date her or not.

But strangely enough as I begin the actual posting process doubts began to creep in. Is it really sound advice? Apart from the fact that he will be saving a lot of money on gifts; ) A critical factor that seems to have been overlooked is whether the ‘dater’ too is a reader. Can he discuss Murakami, quote Neruda? (Not that I can!) Or is this a given and second nature for men? Is he comfortable with the idea of a thinking girl? Someone who is her own person, able to make her own decisions, walk the less traveled road, is complete by herself (give or take a few gazillion words).

And if there is such a man, then I would advice her to grab him and never let him go.

Look forward to reading your thoughts, reactions, opinions, comments….

Edit 1

I came back to this post to add my belated nebulous thoughts with apologies to the author and her brilliant piece. For it is a diamond glowing and shining dispelling the darkness, giving up hope that one day we will find that one person who will realize our true worth (and possibly push us beyond ourselves) and love us forever and forever.

And therein lies the trap that young girls fall into – at least in these parts.

We always want to be loved, be appreciated, be valued, be understood, nurtured, cherished, forgiven etc etc.

When we should be looking for the person who interests us, fascinates us, engages us, intrigues us, and makes us want to nurture, cherish and look beyond the many flaws that make him who he is.

It is my understanding that men (apologies for the blanket generalizations that follow) are notoriously like children – fascinated by new toys. They won’t rest until they have taken apart the pieces of that one toy which attracts their attention, got to the bottom of it before throwing it away, broken and mangled.

Knowing that why don’t girls look (instead of waiting to be looked at or picked up) for that person who fascinates, intrigues and enraptures her enough to overlook the myriad glitches that are part and parcel of the package deal? For her first teddy bear, no matter how threadbare it maybe still finds a place in her bed and heart forever and ever.

But then again, like I said, I don’t like to meddle in affairs of the heart – take my advice and find your own path instead of following another ignoramus’ advice 😉

Like me.

I almost never follow my advice and frequently disagree with my own views 😀


Weather Woes

But first some good news! After days of patiently putting up with my rants about the weather you certainly deserve it 🙂 I am pleased to report that finally the weather has take a turn for the better. Believe it or not, on Monday, the temperatures plummeted from a sizzling day temperatures of 47 0 C to a pleasant evening at 27 0 C.

A thunderstorm accompanied by a shower overcame the sun (for the moment at least) and brought cheer right back into our lives. Even the staid seasoned trees look positively thrilled – clean green and fresh. I cant help but be infected by their silent but all pervading joie-de-vivre.

On the flip side, several flights were delayed or cancelled. But the respite couldn’t have come at a more timely juncture. Things were quite awful in most parts of the country and temperatures at the India-Pakistan border were higher by 10 degrees or more. Actually am not sure there has been any relief for the army jawans who patrol the borders in the most unbelievable heat and dust of the Thar desert. According to newspaper reports, they were able to roast papad by just placing it on the hot sand and cook rice by just keeping it out in the sun for 3 hours.

And then there was this tragic incident. A villager, while entertaining guests, forgot about his camel left out in the heat with his legs tied. When he remembered and went out to release it the camel turned violent. He picked him by the neck and threw him down, he then chewed off his master’s head. The camel went berserk and 25 men struggled for over 6 hours to bring it back under control. Poor camel – the heat must have literally fried his brains (my sympathies and condolences to the villager’s family).

That’s all on the weather front for now at least – for this isn’t the end of summer. So as they say cheer up the worst is yet to come. And memes like this are bound to crop up (again and again) before the mangoes bid their final adieu for the season.


But let us make hay while the sun shines – oops wrong quote ;). Make every dull day count 😀

And now on to Moonshine – Chapter 61 and Calvin. All those rooting for Hobbes raise your hands 😀

Quotes for the day

“Pray don’t talk to me about the weather, Mr. Worthing. Whenever people talk to me about the weather, I always feel quite certain that they mean something else. And that makes me quite nervous.” ― Oscar Wilde

“Don’t knock the weather. If it didn’t change once in a while, nine out of ten people couldn’t start a conversation.” ― Kim Hubbard

Before you go, do leave me a note, about the weather if nothing else (go ahead make me nervous)


Haiku Season

It’s awfully hot (470 C/117 0 F with 60 % humidity) and there’s no sign (or hope) of any let up. I wonder how long people (and the birds and animals) can keep up in the face of this relentless blistering blazing sun. Something is surely going to give and soon. So far electricity is on our side (touch wood and fingers crossed) but with demands and loads soaring, a breakdown not only seems inevitable but imminent.

And somewhere I feel guilty – it wasn’t this bad just a few days ago. Methinks the sun got a bit cheesed off on my obvious partial and support for the amaltas and decided to show  who the boss actually was. As a result, despite me bragging that I wouldn’t miss the unfolding spectacle for anything, I am now ensconced in the darkest corner of my house, curtains tightly drawn to keep out the sun, light and view.

The irony of it didn’t escape me:

googling images
amaltas bloom
outside my window

The only good thing is that I managed to come up with a half way decent haiku! And get the stamp of approval from the reigning Haiku Queen herself (after a bit of rewriting of course).

Wondering who the Haiku Queen is?

She is none other than our very own smr. She won this year’s grand prize winner of the prestigious IAFOR Vladimir Devidé Haiku Award 2016 (no surprise for me – I always knew she was brilliant).

sunny afternoon
a shadow
on the mammogram
Suraja Roychowdhury, United States

Her submission was chosen as the best one out of a record 680 submissions from 60 different countries. My heartiest congratulations to her and best wishes for many more such finely crafted gems.

The other submissions are pretty awesome too – if any of you enjoy haiku it is worth it to check out the link above. And if you like, you can read more of smr’s awesome haiku and even better tanka (and some pretty cool poems) at Registration (though free) is mandatory.

On to Calvin now  – he is feeling pretty neglected I can tell especially what with Hobbes ragging him no end.


Quote for the day:One ought, every day at least, to hear a little song, read a good poem, see a fine picture, and, if it were possible, to speak a few reasonable words.”  JW Goethe.

I know Moonshine does quite measure up to any of the above but still if you insist 😉 here is Chapter 60: Making Dreams Come True

As usual, I look forward to your comments and smileys 🙂


Whew what a happening month that was.

It was just as much fun and challenging as I thought it would be. Thankfully I had pre-written and pre-scheduled all my posts otherwise life was all set to nix my cyber trek. In fact I began on a disastrous note – in my haste and excitement, I made a typo in my URL while registering for the challenge. And worse I was blissfully unaware busy plotting and planning with my head in the clouds – but for Lori who not only pointed it out to me but also corrected it to reach my blog and inform me. A big thank you to her 🙂

I visited, followed and stalked several blogs – like everyone, I too have my favorites! Interestingly, even though poetry is not my cup of tea, three of my personal must-visit blogs were poetry posts. So in no particular order:

Poui season: Absolutely brilliant evocative poems that tug at your heartstrings

Madly-in-verse: I giggled and laughed all the way through this one – limericks par excellence. Completely unmissable.

Between you and Me: I had toyed with the mythology theme – phew so glad I didn’t pick it! Sunila’s poems were a pleasure and just when I thought I knew it all, she brought out quite a few new stories.

The art of not getting published: It was the blog title that drew my eye and her theme – 16th century analogues for 21st century memes –  was intriguing to say the least. But it was her  well researched, entertaining and in-depth posts kept me hooked. And to top it all, she offered the icing and the cherry but more on that on Wednesday 😉

Roamin gnomials: I was skeptical when Glenn declared he was going to describe his family members A to Z. How could his family be of any interest to me? But then again I was wrong. It all depends on who is doing the talking (or writing). Poignant, touching, warm, wicked, entertaining, funny – his posts touched the whole range and more.

Me In the Middle: An awesome collection of quotes, videos and life lessons (beautiful hand-drawn alphabets) – a keeper for those moments when all you need is a ray of hope.

Mindful living: How is it possible to be mindful from A to Z? Vidya showed us and how. If only we could adopt and incorporate her suggestions and tips, life would be so much simpler and happier.

A special mention for Shalini. Her recipes are delicious no doubt, but it was her blog on the life of an Army wife that captivated. Her joie de vivre and breezy take on an uncertain, unpredictable and often lonely journey drew my attention, respect and admiration.

Oh I could go on and on! Congratulations and best wishes to all of you. A big thank you to all the organizers who worked so hard to make this challenge the best party ever.

And to all those who dropped in to read, comment and generally make my day, week and month   😀

Off to prepare for the next challenge 😉

But before you rush off to these other blogs, how about reading today’s short story?

Time for a Break

Hello people!

It’s finally hitting me and I am ready to crash. The sizzling temperatures are not helping either – even the birds have fallen silent. And the letters are the worst – they twist, float and stray, refusing to conform or make any sense. I am left with little choice but to take a break.

So forgive me (heyyy – I heard that sigh of relief) I will be back as usual from 9th May onwards with another short story and Moonshine updates on Wednesdays and Fridays.

Enjoy the (much-needed?) break or browse the blog, catch up on your reading (and commenting!).

Anyone dropping in late and wondering what the fuss is all about – check out the A to Z Challenge posts and if you have been there, done that, how about some short stories or the latest post or the latest short story?

Now don’t let me off too easily, go ahead and do your worst – leave me loads of reading material 😉

Have a super relaxed week ahead and see you all on Monday

Calvin’s already been on a long enough break Hobbes even longer – he says it so well doesnt he? 😉


Quote of the day: “Rest is not idleness, and to lie sometimes on the grass under trees on a summer’s day, listening to the murmur of the water, or watching the clouds float across the sky, is by no means a waste of time.”John Lubbock, The Use Of Life

 But this one is probably more appropriate:

“All right,’ Nico relented. ‘Maybe a little …’ He managed to take off his aviator jacket and wad it into a pillow before he keeled over and began to snore.”Rick Riordan, The Blood of Olympus

Highs and Lows

Riding high on the success of completing my first ever blogging challenge I am ready to make a confession. But first a big ‘thank you’ to all of you who dropped in and made the challenge so much fun. And for any of you planning to take up the challenge next year, here is some very sound advice – always make sure to pre-schedule your challenge posts. I for one would never have been able to manage otherwise, what with a medical emergency in the family. In fact that’s why I was unable to carry on with the Moonshine updates. These will be up shortly, please bear with me. In the meanwhile, if you remember, I did promise you some short stories (and the story behind these stories 😉 ).

I have only recently ventured into the fictitious arena although I have always dreamed of writing short stories for as long as I can remember. But when I did start writing, I somehow ended up getting entangled in the long, never ending versions. First it was Silver Streaks and then Moonshine. It always starts off well with me in the driver’s seat but then the characters take over and I am left with no choice but to follow them and their dictates.worried

It’s true – take Biji (of Moonshine) I just mentioned her and she just muscled her way in and wrestled the whole story away to her village surprise You have no idea what a struggle it has been to extract Rajani and company from her clutches d'oh

See that! She did it againnail biting

Back to topic at hand – short stories were once again relegated to the background. Then came the Write India campaign by the Times of India – 11 months, 11 author prompts and voila here was my chance to pen brilliant, shocking, incredible, gut wrenching tearjerkers – and of course, my stories would be the best of the best.big grin

I couldn’t wait to get started. But then life happened. I was otherwise preoccupied in the first month – in any case the prompt drew a blank (err actually even now it’s a blank) as did the next one.

Just when I was resigned not to write any short story ever, I cracked the third prompt – I mean I managed to draft a story and send it in. thumbs up Of course that didn’t make it to the coveted list, and now the competition is all but over and none of the others have eithersigh

But, yet I am not really unhappy or heartbroken for I had a blast cooking up the stories. Just the fact that I could come up with something that was readable (okay fine you be the judge of that) was a huge achievement in itself. Here I must acknowledge and give full credit to Bhargavi and smr for being so patient and encouraging (not to mention meticulous, critical, nit-picking, fastidious and generally quite impossible to pleaserolling eyes) – thank you thumbs up

So, here I am ready to unleash the short stories (until stocks last) every Monday. Hope you will read, like (or unlike) and comment.

Just a few words about the competition – the author of the month would provide a passage and participants had to spin a story in 1500 to 2500 words (while including the prompt anywhere in the story). Each author had certain rules as well (must admit to being guilty of overlooking most of these – after all there is only so much restrictions creativity can take, don’t you agree? Oh well sour grapes I suppose). You can read more about it here and in fact the last prompt is due on 7th of May. And entries for this month can still be submitted by the 6th. hurry up!Who knows you may be the next big winner?rock on!

So get reading (click here for the first story) and start spinning your own special yarn. How about practicing your writing skills in the comment box?winking

But first let Calvin set the stage, poor thing has been feeling pretty neglected…


Quote of the day: “Never too late to learn some embarrassingly basic, stupidly obvious things about oneself.”Alain de Botton

Happy Holi–days

It’s that time of the year again – spring and colors are back with a bang. And as a special treat this year, a long weekend for all of us. Isn’t it grand? Celebrations are on and I am already exhausted.

Got the hint?

Yeah, I just laid the grounds for a leave application. There’s loads on my plate not only this weekend but also the whole of next month. April, as you know, will be a marathon session of blog posts everyday (except Sundays – phew). Plus I do have noble intentions (fingers crossed) to continue to post Moonshine as per schedule on Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays.

In view of the above, I do hope you will consider my situation kindly and grant me an extended leave of absence till the 30th March.

I will be very much obliged.

And as a thank you – the picnic finally happens! Here’s  Chapter 47 and Calvin – he really is incorrigible isnt he?

Calvin and Hobbes


Wish you all a very Happy Holi – of color, joy, forgiveness and new beginnings.

See you all next Wednesday – 30th March.

And don’t forget to leave me a note – remember just a minute of your time, a simple Hi can make my whole day 🙂

For image source click here

More Training

Good morning all! Here’s wishing you all a Happy International Happiness Day in advance (March 20th).

By the way, anyone training to be happy? Time to take out your happiness scales and rate yourselves. Hope you find remarkable improvement in happiness levels! Care to share your results? But even if there is no improvement, there’s no need to be unhappy. We can start all over again. And again and again – after all practice makes one perfect. J And to help you in this happy venture, log on to this site and download a free Happiness Guidebook.

And while you are at it, how about some more training? Apparently one can even train to be resilient. Apparently, the key to resilience or the capacity to bounce back from difficulties is, by changing our attitude towards things. Just as Shakespeare famously wrote, “Nothing is good or bad, only thinking makes it so.”

Or, as researchers like George Bonanno, a clinical psychologist, put it – “Perception – Do you conceptualize an event as traumatic, or as an opportunity to learn and grow? Events are not traumatic until we experience them as traumatic.” In this article, posted by Maria Konnikova, he speaks of a different term: PTE, or potentially traumatic event. He suggests that every frightening event, no matter how negative it might seem from the sidelines, has the potential to be traumatic or not to the person experiencing it.

Therefore, it is how one views an event makes it stressful or not. For instance, suppose I have a massive (or minor) argument with my husband (err well no need to suppose I guess!) I could fret and fume, expect and demand instant resolution of the conflict. Which of course could lead to amicable solution (in my dreams) or just escalate the conflict.

Or, I could utilize the unexpected (and much needed) bonus time to write Chapter 45 or browse through Calvin for a few laughs, or draw hope and succor from quotes on life in general or annoying ‘better’ halves, in particular. Psst – sometimes, I am tempted to provoke a confrontation just so that…hushhh (who knows he may just be reading this – well I live both in hope and dread)

Going back to the topic at hand, research has shown that people can be trained to think of and react to unpleasant events and situations in a less emotional way, or one that is less negative. And the good news is, training seems to have lasting effects.

On the flip side, the mind can also lead us to exaggerate or blow out of proportions the myriad events that occur in our humdrum lives. Often, an event is dissected, analyzed, hashed and rehashed ad nauseam until it becomes bigger than it really is. It works sort of like a bubble gum – diligently chewed upon until it spreads out thin and can be blown into a gigantic balloon. The bigger the better until it blows up right into our faces.

The ideal approach would probably be to chew on the event, absorb the juice and then spit out the tasteless pointless remnants.

Only when we acknowledge the addictive and pointless nature of this negative circle of thoughts and make a determined effort to put a full stop (or even a semi-colon) can we hope to emerge a better, stronger person to take on the challenges of life, heads on. It is a slow painstaking process, often one-step forward and two steps backwards. Nevertheless, it can be done.

Trust me – been there, done that (err… doing it)!

Happy training and wish you all tons and tons of happiness – not just on 20th March but ‘hamesha

Just look at Calvin – even he knows how the mind can trick you, perhaps even kill you.


Thought for the day

“What you’re supposed to do when you don’t like a thing is change it. If you can’t change it, change the way you think about it. Don’t complain.”
Maya Angelou

“What’s the use of complaining about something you have no intentions of changing?”
Mario L Castellanos

“If you can quit, quit. If you can’t quit, stop complaining – this is what you chose.”
J.A. Konrath

“Complaining does not work as a strategy. We all have finite time and energy. Any time we spend whining is unlikely to help us achieve our goals. And it won’t make us happier.”
Randy Pausch

Have a super weekend people and catch you all on Monday – hopefully with loads for me to read 😉

Chasing Spring

Hello peepools! How you doin? Better, one hopes, now that spring is in the air and summer is hot at our heels. In Delhi, this is probably the best time of the year – flowers blooming, the skyline dotted with flame of the forest. Delhites, take a moment, to look at the horizon while you travel to work or go back home – you can’t miss the red blooms that pop up from the most unexpected and drab buildings. Trust me, it’s not a sight to be missed.

Every year, Delhi just seems to burst into a riot of color almost overnight. This year I was determined to stalk it – almost missed it, but managed to catch the tail of the fire. Have a look.

February 27, 2016
March 4, 2016


March 7, 2016

Looking awesome isn’t it? But then look what happened today!

March 14, 2016


Back to dull and dreary. A unseasonal storm blew away the colors of spring too 😦

But never mind, spring will come again 🙂

What about your place? Anything special going on over there? Like to share something? Come on say something – anything. Feels rather awkward – to be the only one blabbering on and on 😀

Oh well, here I go again – Chapter 43 but before that let Calvin fill in the awkward silence shall we?

And anyone care for the Blog Index?

Thought for the day

No winter lasts forever; no spring skips its turn. Hal Borland
And I wait in a fever of impatience.
Edit: Btw, hope you didnt miss the mango blossoms? Yummmm 😉


I am terribly excited! Can’t you hear the Shankhadhwani? Or the blowing of the conch shell – the Hindu equivalent of wedding bells.Well, I am off to attend a wedding.

Not just attend attend – but really attend if you know what I mean? Be there for all the rituals, customs and most importantly – all the delicious goodies. The menu itself could easily serve as today’s Post 😉 Don’t worry I won’t tease you with the details of the scrumptilicious goodies, but be prepared for tips on how to lose weight after binge eating!

Before you accuse me of slacking, let me tell you, I will be posting the next chapter on 11th March as usual. But I will spare you my usual ramblings – even Calvin will be missing – (taking him and Hobbes to the wedding :P). So for those of you who are following Stories and more, please do not wait for an email notification. But do check under Sugar and Spice for chapter 42 on Friday as usual.

Browsing the net, I came across these advertisements from yesteryears. For a trip down memory lane and a reminder that success begins with the small steps – do check them out.

Don’t forget to leave me a note, just a simple Hi will do!

Oops I almost forgot – Chapter 41 and Chapter 42 oh – Calvin is just too much!


Thought for the day

“Coming together is a beginning; keeping together is progress; working together is success.” —Henry Ford