Smile !!!

“We shall never know all the good that a simple smile can do”

Mother Teresa

One of the emotionally powerful tools is Smile (I have even heard someone saying smile at the face of crisis). There are many but the one I like and had most of my experience is with a smile. Each and every person in this whole world (according to my belief) will go through some tensions and a bad phase in life. Some people might be facing financial difficulties, some emotional, some physical, some educational… the list can go on. No matter what we should definitely have the confidence to come out of it. When we are going through an issue and when someone advises us (at least once) we feel that “It is easy for you to say that, only I am aware of what is going on with me“. It is correct only we know what we are going through but we should be open to listening to others. We can never know where the idea comes from. As the saying says “An idea can change your life“. It is always okay to be blank or be confused about the next step. We should always be able to smile in spite of our problems. There will be people who will be affected if we forget to smile. It is never possible to think about others when we are struggling inside. But as per my understanding if we keep smiling even though we have a roaring sea inside it will calm us down, we will get a positive attitude ourselves. Sometimes others find some other quality this powerful. It can vary with people. But there should be something that we keep for ourselves to hold on. There are many more tools which can be used and will be useful. I will write more about them later.

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Evoluand

Every time there’s a new tool, whether it’s Internet or cell phones or anything else, all these things can be used for good or evil. Technology is neutral; it depends on how it’s used

Rick Smolan

When I was in college I was a stranger to the internet. At that time, I had used the internet only to get materials for my assignments. I was a stranger to all social networking sites, even YouTube. I clearly remember those days (not long back just 8 years back 🙂 ) when I used to go to the internet cafe to collect materials. Even though it is stupid to say I was even scared to switch on a computer in a cafe it was a reality in my case. I used to ask the staff to open any browser, they usually opened “Mozilla FireFox”. Once I get the materials I will leave the cafe and I felt pretty good about getting what I needed. I used to listen to some of my friends saying they have a “Facebook” account. I have not even seen that. I used to feel so out of the group when the topic of the Internet comes up.

Then when I reached college, all of my friends (not exactly all but there were 3 of us who didn’t have any FB account) were extensive users of various social networking sites. One of my friends said she will create an account for me but I said “NO” (yeah, I sure can survive without one), but I changed my mind after few months I also wanted to know the experience. By that time even “WhatsApp” was commonly used and there was me who was only starting a FB account (disclaimer: I was not having a smartphone). It was kinda fun. Her boyfriend made FB account for me and send friend-requests to my classmates (I am so thankful to him for doing that herculean task).

Then after 2 years, I got my smartphone (Finally… I have been asking my mom for the past 3 years). I got it on one Saturday the next Sunday I went to second home (even though we all had very much difficulty in accepting that but once we left that place we got it was indeed our second home in all meaning), hostel, the first thing my friends made me do was to get a “WhatsApp” account. I was warmly welcomed by everyone by adding to various groups. It was shortly after these events I had my own mail and send the first mail, I felt so happy and proud of myself. What a great achievement (for me).

Right now I no more weird about using a public system, I use the Internet more or less for everything, I do online shopping (which made me remember that I did my first online purchase after one-year of getting a smartphone). It’s good and sometimes adventurous to move with technology.

I still like to go to the shop and purchase things, smile people on the way. In the place where I grew up, I knew everyone throughout the lane. I had to walk to my school (a small distance which can be covered in 20 mins), I knew all the shops on the way, I knew all the people in the way. They all knew me. They will ask something whenever they see me, like “Had your breakfast?”, “Mom went to school or not?” (my mom is a teacher, luckily not in my school), something like that. Right now that’s not the case. Right now I am working in a city very far from where I grew. Here if someone tries to speak to me on road unknowingly I will grab onto my things (I knew that’s what everyone does). It is a reflex, I guess, everyone had acquired in recent years, we are scared of trusting people easily.

But I miss the times when I was so free and able to talk to anyone without the fear of theft or attack. So many things changed but, if our childhood was beautiful, that is the period everyone wants back. Even if there were no much technological advancement.

Depression

A big part of depression is feeling very lonely, even if you’re in a room full of a million people” – Lilly Singh

There was a game which I used to play when I was a child. Friends will give a situation we have to say how we will handle that. There were many scenarios where each one of us thought “This is never gonna happen to me“. But as I grew realized there is no such situation about which we can be sure of not happening to us.

The incident that made me believe it happened 2 years ago when I was depressed. At that time I didn’t know it was depression. I just had a feeling to detach myself from everything, shut people out. I never talked to my roommate. I was frustrated and didn’t know what to do or what was happening to me. I was a student then, as a machine I went to classes but I was not feeling anything. My phone calls with my mom were reduced, I never talked about how I felt or what is happening with me not even about my college life. It was the toughest time of my life so far and I hope it lasts like it forever. In the beginning, when I understood something was changing I tried to put me back to old-self by reading. So I took a book and read, which not only worked but started giving me nightmares. It never happened before I was confused. After that, for 1 year I didn’t read any book.

I didn’t want to talk to people, forget about talking, sometimes I used to walk away from them. I will never say that I was a crazy, wild person but I was fun to be with. Since I was new to the place nobody knew me to notice my change, I don’t know whether I was lucky or unlucky about it. Unknowingly I was spoiling my roommate’s mood also. I was in the phase of shutting down people so I never tried to have a talk with her. If there is anything that requires me to talk I will otherwise we both were quiet. When I think about all those things now I feel very bad.

So I was going through this “unknown” phase and it lasted for around 7-8 months, then the magic happened. Even now I think what made her do that. As I mentioned I was a student when this happened. So finally the college fest came which will last for 4 days with a lot of fun activities, competitions, food and each day there will be concerts by famous celebrities at night. I was not planning to go for anything I just wanted to be in my room. I knew my roommate will go so I was hoping to get some “me-time”. But one of my friends, we were never really close till that day, asked me that I should go with her. I told her I am not going and asking me to go with you is not good because it won’t be fun to be with me (I was sure I will pull her down with me rather than getting into her happy mood). There was no reason for her to go against my opinion about me, as I told we were never friends she never knew I was an outgoing girl once but still the next day she came to the room and said she had paid for my concert ticket, goodies that were presented as part of the fest and concert and gave our name for inaugural marathon. I was shocked but I was ready to go with her and I was hoping that I won’t spoil her mood. Finally the day she came to my room to get me for the marathon. Even though I was very much doubtful and anxious about what is going to happen I went with her and I realized am actually enjoying. Those four days were like heaven. It felt I was freed from some bring tied up. I was almost back to my normal self with her. We had a lot of fun in those 4 days. I was so thankful to her for forcing me.

Even now I am not completely back into my normal self, but I am no more depressed. The feeling of having a weight in my mind, the blankness, the darkness is gone. I have trouble with initiating a conversation, letting people in but I am no more shutting people out. For me, these are great achievements because after what I went through in those 8 months I thought I will never be back.

Sometimes there will be people who are ready to lend a hand when we are fallen. There will be people who will become our backbone and courage. I was a person who was very sure of my decisions, very confident in being my own problem solver, never really had to depend on others (all these things started when I was away from home, when this happened I have been away from my home for around 5 years and all I had was occasional visits) but still, I let myself lean on others, let someone else lead me for once and I believe that was the biggest and most intelligent decision of my life, a decision to which I am thankful

Conchiglia

A beach is not only a sweep of sand, but shells of sea creatures, the sea glass, the incongruous objects washed up by the ocean” – Henry Grunwald

During the last week of December, I had a chance to go to the beach with my friends. We met with no plan about where to go but immediately one of them told that we will go to Fort Kochi beach. Like most of the people, I love going to the beach. I can feel some kind of connection. There is something in the way each wave comes and hit the shore. The beach was comparatively very small but the breeze was still amazing. There were many small shops on the beach which varied from edible things to decorative items. My favorite part about being on the beach is seeing shells coming to the shore with each wave. There was no disappointment this time as well. There were stalls which sell them. My second favorite part of the beach is people. I can form a story about every people I pass on the beach. I don’t know whether it is my imagination or the reality I can see something intense in every person’s eyes. Sea and shell are topics which are very far beyond my writing skill. So I stop this post with some clicks from the beach.

Fort Kochi beach
Sea shells for sale
Shells with pictures painted on
Small waves hitting the rocks

How a book found me

“I often feel like books find us for reasons, and we read them when we need them the most”Neil Patrick Harris

Today I thought I will write about the first book which made me cry. I usually never read family themed books (even though there is no specific reason). There was room shuffling every year when I was in college. So I got this book (a book I would have never read otherwise ❤ ) on that particular day.  Unfortunately, I was not in the hostel on that day. I was having a small trip with my family regarding a job. So my poor (not poor exactly but crazy) friends had to shift my things in addition to their own things. But I must say they did a very great job in shifting my things. They arranged everything how I used to keep and I am very much thankful to them for doing this hectic work for me (but no thank you in friendship 🙂 ).

So I came and was settling into the new room then the girl who was previously in this room came saying that she has left her some materials and she will take it at night. I agreed, knowing that she might be tired (I was not since my friends did my work 😉 ). So at night when I came back to the room the girl was there picking her belongings. She was going through the shelf and she got a book. Suddenly out of nowhere, she asked: “Do you want to keep the book?”. I was not expecting it as we’re a just mere acquaintance and not friends. She has seen me reading books but we were not close enough to offer me the book (I don’t offer my books even to my close friends 😉 ). So I was surprised but when I found she was serious I said: “yes” (how can I say no when I get a book for free). She handed the book to me and took all her things and left the room. I kept the book in my bag. Then I forgot I had that book with me

One day I was looking through my things in my bag that’s when I found this book and I took and kept it near my bed. I read the name of the book “The Love Verb” by Jane Green. The blurb goes like this –

“When photographer Callie has life-changing news, she – and her whole family – learn that love is not just about word. It is about deeds. After all, love means being there, through everything. “Everyone in Callie’s family is busy; her sister is a free-spirited Manhattan chef, her best friend Lila is coping with the vitriol of her new man’s ex-wife, and her parents, Walter and Honor, have rich though separate lives. But when Callie discovers the breast cancer she thought she’d beaten has returned, they all find that their lives shift to focus on caring for Callie. A beautifully written and intensely sad lesson in what it really means to love someone you know you’re going to lose.” (“Daily Telegraph”).”

One fine Saturday I finally thought it is time for me to read the book. I had a backup book already in case I didn’t like it but I didn’t touch it before finishing The Love Verb. This was my first book in this genre and I felt connected to each character. I felt all the emotions the characters are feeling. There were no unnecessary drama and tension. The author was successful in keeping all the emotions to the minimum and I find that this is the point which kept me reading this book (not to forget the excellent writing and characterization). All the characters are relatable and understandable.  I fell in love with the book and when I finished I felt an emptiness as though missing my own family. While reading I started crying I didn’t notice this as I was so engrossed in the book. Then my friend and asked me is everything alright. It was at this point I realized that this book has really gotten into me and I am happy it did. 

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Cover Page from Amazon UK

Eye of the Beholder

“By reading a lot of novels in a variety of genres, and asking questions, it’s possible to learn how things are done – the mechanics of writing, so to speak- and which genres and authors excel in various areas”Nicholas Sparks

For the first time when I said to my mom that I want to buy books, I was not sure which book to buy or which genre to choose. Since my grandma and mom are also readers they were having a brochure, which they receive every month from a publisher. This brochure will have the list of books that will be available from their publishing house for the first time. Along with the list of books, there will be a very short description of what the book is about. So I decided I will look through the brochure and purchase. I randomly choose 3 books. One of the books is yet to complete (I didn’t find it interesting). All of them were of different genres, a romantic, a crime (not fiction) and modern version of Mahabharata (I will write about them sometime later). I bought them during my summer vacation but couldn’t complete them during that period. I could complete only one book and the rest I tried later. So I was not able to find what genre I like the most. 

So when I went to my college, I was very much happy to find the library and the collection of books they have. I took so many books from the library and I was so happy about it. It was from this library that I found I like crime fiction. I read many books which fall under this category but the book which really surprised me was “Eye of the beholder” by David Ellis. I want to write about this book but I don’t want to spill the story in case you haven’t read this book yet. So instead of me writing about this book, I will post the blurb and the front page of the book. That would be more interesting and wise because there is a high risk of me ruining the suspense. I can guarantee that this book is really interesting and suspenseful. 

The blurb is as follows

“The serial-killer case made his career.  The man he prosecuted was long ago executed.  But if that man was guilty, who is now copy-catting his crimes, including identical details that were never made public?

Renowned attorney Paul Riley has built a lucrative career based on his famous prosecution of Terry Burgos, a serial killer who followed the lyrics of a violent song to gruesomely murder six girls. Now, fifteen years later, the police are confronted with a new series of murders and mutilations. Riley is the first to realize that the two cases are connected—and that the killer seems to be willing to do anything to keep him involved. As the murderer’s list of victims becomes less random and more personal, Riley finds himself at the center of a police task force assigned to catch the murderer-as both an investigator and a suspect.”

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Cover Page from Goodreads

Dea…

I love books. I love that moment when you open one and sink into it you can escape from the world, into a story that’s way more interesting than yours ever will beElizabeth Scott

I always wanted to write but I never felt confident. I always envied the authors. How can they write all these things? I wondered. Sometimes I feel so motivated to write and I scribble something but after sometimes or some days when I read it I feel it is not good and I just delete it or tear the paper. I envy them, the authors, mostly after I go through what I have written.

I have read some books which have some popular fairy tale as the base story and they build something else on top of it. One such book is “Goddess of the Rose” by P.C.Cast. It is the fourth of the Goddess Summoning series. When I took this book from my college library I didn’t know it was a series. Even though it is series all these books are independent stories. The base story of Goddess of Rose is Beauty and the Beast. I have tried one more from this series “Goddess of Legend“. But among these two I like Goddess of the Rose more. This was one of the first books I read when I started reading continuously. Before that, I used to read now and then. This was the first book which I read with so much involvement that it made me so agitated when the plot went in a way that I never expected or wanted. Then my friends were trying to convince me that may be at the end there might be something which I like, so I finally read it. There were some beautiful sceneries described in this book which fascinated me beyond I could ever imagine would happen.

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Cover page from Book Depository

When I was not an avid reader I had read some statements from people who love to read. Some of them are the ability of a book to take us to another world, the ability to see the characters like we would like to see, a hope that says there can be a twist at any point (my favorite). This book really helped me understand all of the points the readers usually say. It was magical when I was able to actually see the images forming in my mind. It might have happened in the previous books but this book made me realize that it is really happening. This book made me really understand the power of reading and what exactly a book can do to us. I like crime fiction but sometimes I don’t completely stick to this genre. I am happy I don’t do this “genre thing” when I am purchasing a book. I like to read all genres of books. Although I liked reading it took me around 17-18 years for me to understand that I love reading