Another adult annihilated!
Azaad and Aman altercated at aunt Annie’s abode.
Afterwards, Aman absconded.
Aunt Annie arrived and asked Azaad about Aman.
Azaad answered, ‘am ain’t aware’.
Aunt asked again.
Azaad answered, ‘an alligator ate Aman’.
Aunt, agitated, averred, ‘a$$@@@@’.
Azaad answered, ‘abuse again and…’
Aunt, annoyed, aimed an axe at Azaad’s abdomen.
Editors note: I hope readers found the unique aspect of this this 55 fiction format story. You didnt? No I am not talking about the 55 F format here but the way the story is constructed. Have a re-look. All the words starts with “A”. This A post comes from Kshitj and believe it or not, this is his first attempt on 55F. What a wordplay sirji!
For more about 55 fiction click here
About the Author: Guest post by Kshitij Khurana. He belongs to “The Wordsworth Legions”, one of the two teams that made it to the Bloggers Premier League, first edition finals. He blogs at Dusht-ka-Drishtikone.
Do you love writing? If then, Contact Us for details. Read out submission guide “Becoming Chaiwala” before contacting us.
“So now what?” asked Shastri.
“Well… finally I get to say this, Checkmate” replied Shakti.
Twenty Years Ago:
They were at it for sixteen hours now; the court was watching the best game of Chess ever played. Prince Shakti was already awarded the young genius award by the king. Shastri was the peasant’s son and was also called a young genius by the villagers. At age 10 they both had the game played for hours together.
‘Checkmate,’ said Shakti.
‘Look at him, as savage as he can get,’ thought Shakti, ‘No plan, no art, just brutal primitive savageness.’
‘Not yet’ Shastri simply glanced at the board and not seeing anywhere, finally he shouted, ‘Checkmate.’
The whole courtroom was silent, no one was able to defeat Shakti in the game till date. They had no idea what would happen next, was the title of young genius getting transferred to the peasant’s son? They silently watched the game. The king was waiting for the prince to say it.
‘Throw him in prison, sentenced for life,’ shouted the prince, ‘And throw his family out of the kingdom. Their farms are the royal farms from now.’
He kicked the game board and walked out of the room.
Guarded dragged away the ten year old boy to the prison, they heard his last muffled words, ‘The game begins.’
Ten years ago:
King Shakti was on the height of prosperity. The Kingdom had the latest advancement of technology present in the world.
To strengthen the defenses even further King Shakti ordered building a water gate on the great river Indus. The origin of the river was in his kingdom but flowed through the neighboring kingdoms. He knew the neighbors would not like it, but he wanted to win. This would be his last defense. Checkmate.
Ten days ago:
King Shakti received a bad news five days ago. Shastri had escaped prison, they say, for ten years he kept reading books from the royal library. He just learned things in the prison and finally he ran away to freedom.
Not only did he run he placed a challenge for the king himself. Now, the messenger had come with the message that Shastri had camped at the gate of the enemy and had challenged the king to fight.
So finally, the king set out to destroy the adversary with a show of strength. He took double the army out of the gates to the camp, but found it deserted.
The enemy had fled. The king decided to chase him to finally end the chapter of Shastri.
The chase continued for ten days where Shastri kept running
As the king chased Shastri, he came across a narrow path completely surrounded by bushes. Shastri stood there silently. He had no where to go.
The king got down from his horse and faced Shastri.
“So now what?” asked Shastri.
“Well… finally I get to say this, Checkmate” replied Shakti.
“Not yet. I have something to show you” said Shastri, pointing to the tree standing in the dark.
“What some final weapon hidden for me?” asked Shakti sarcastically.
The king lighted his torch to see the tree properly.
Fourteen days ago:
King Biswajit was in deep worries, the neighboring kingdom was building the water gates to obstruct the water flowing in the kingdom. If this would succeed, they would have to depend on King Shakti and his whims for water. He wanted to attack the kingdom but feared, the water gate would be released.
They brought the hooded stranger to the court.
‘I can get you king Shakti’ said the stranger.
‘I will mark his place of death for you’ said the stranger.
‘What do you want for this task.’ asked the king.
The stranger smiled under his hood.
Shastri was about to play the biggest game he ever played. He saw the narrow path on the way and marked on the tree…
‘This is where King Shakti dies,’ Shakti read the mark on tree and jerked his head back.
Arrows shot from bushes and pierce the heart of the king. The remaining army was ambushed in the bush. King Biswajit’s army was waiting for the king in the darkness.
As King Shakti collapsed on the ground, Shastri smiled and said,
- Guest post by Siddhesh Kabe . To visit his blog click HERE
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Inception – Review
Watched INCEPTION on Friday night! Well, I will try to review this movie by trying “Poetry” for the First time in my life..!!
Here goes my 5 line “Poetic Review” of Inception:
“If you are in “Perception” that “INCEPTION”
Is naive, crude and primitive “Reception”,
Then, be ready for the “Deception”
Of Christopher Nolan’s Brilliant “Conception”
As this movie is an “Exception”!!
The main idea of this movie is “You can achieve your dream in your Dream”!! Confused? Read on!
Cobb, (Leonardo De Caprio) has this brilliant skill of entering people’s mind through dreams, extracting valuable secrets and thoughts from their subconscious mind in dream state. Cobb and his wife Mal had spent years together in their dreams building wonderful empire. Mal gets psychologically affected by this and wishes salvation. She commits suicide and leaves behind a note accusing Cobb for her suicide. Cobb now flees the country and has one hope of proving himself innocent and returning back to his children.
Cobb is given a chance of redemption when powerful Saito cracks a deal with him. This time the deal is “Not to steal idea, but to Plant an idea ” into his rival businessman Robert Fisher Jr. Saito promises Cobb that he would reunite him with his children if he plants an idea inside Fisher’s mind to break his father’s empire. Lured by the idea of reuniting, Cobb accepts this task.
Cobb always carries a “totem” which he spins to check if he is present in his dream or real world. If the totem spins indefinitely, its dream, else its real world. If a person dies within a particular dream experience, he enters a “limbo” state in which in which time is compounded so drastically that even few minutes of real time seems like decades.
Cobb and his team successfully drug Fisher in the plane and enter his dream. The circumstances demand them to enter a dream within a dream within a dream within a dream and so on. Thus they enter multiple levels of dreams to achieve their mission.
Christopher Nolan has beautifully embroidered this movie where each scene is co-relatively stitched to another.
If you bat your eyelid, or attend phone calls or nature calls or concentrate on your popcorn, then Congrats! You have lost “track” of this movie!!
Will Cobb’s dream of proving himself innocent and reuniting with his children ever come true? Keep an eye on rotating “Totem” throughout the movie for the answer!!
Direction,Concept and Production: Christopher Nolan: 5/5
Leonardo Di Caprio as Cobb: 5/5
Marrion Cortilad as Cobb’s wife: 4/5
Cinematography: Wally Pfister : 4/5
My rating: 4.8/5
- Reviewed by Swathi Pradeep . Swathi is an enthusiastic blogger who is a software engineer from India and currently doing her MBA in USA. Her writings are an “epitome” of her enthusiasm, forthrightness, frankness, expressiveness and honesty. She loves Reading books,listening to Music,Blogging,Cartooning,Travelling & Cooking.
Do you love writing? If then check out guidelines BECOMING CHAIWALA for details.
Home made Pizza – recipe
3 1/2 cups of all purpose flour(maida),
2 cups warm water,
1 packet(2 teaspoons) of dry yeast
1 teaspoon sugar,
1 to 1 1/2 teaspoon salt,
2 Tbsp Olive oil,
1 cup Pizza sauce,
1 cup shredded cheese(mozzarella)
Cut Vegetables of your choice
Method for preparing dough:
Step 1: Add sugar and dry yeast to warm water and set it aside for 5 mins to allow it to bubble.
Step 2: Add flour,salt,oil and the mixture(prepared in step 1) to the Food Processor. Mix the ingredients and prepare soft dough. If you do not possess a Food Processor,use your hand to knead the dough for 15-20 minutes.
Step 3: Smear olive oil in a bowl and place the dough in it.
Step 4: Roll the dough in that bowl for oil to be spread evenly.
Step 5: Cover the bowl with plastic wrap and keep aside for 1 hour 30 mins in a warm place such that the dough doubles itself
Step 6: Punch down the dough and divide the dough into 2 balls.
Step 7: Keep the dough balls seperate bowls for 10 minutes.
Step 8: Place the Pizza Stone and preheat the oven for 450 degrees for at least 30 minutes
Method for preparing Pizza Crust:
Step 1: Take the dough and press and pat it to make a circular base about 10 -12 inches wide and thickness about 1/2 an inch.
Step 2: Take a cutting board and sprinkle some “corn meal” on it. Transfer the Pizza base on it
Step 3: Apply olive oil on the Pizza base.
Step 4: Add 2-3 Tbsp of Pizza sauce, 1/3 cup of cheese and cut vegetables on the crust.
Step 5: Again sprinkle some “Corn meal” on the Preheated Pizza Stone,place this pizza crust on it and bake for 15 minutes.
Delicious, yummy home made pizza ready to eat!
- Guest post by Swathi Pradeep . To visit her food blog click HERE
Do you want to be a Guest writer in GingerChai? Just Contact us
The wonderful diversity of arthropods
The wonderful diversity of arthropods
I’m absolutely sure that most of you who see the image above will cringe, shudder or grimace. These fearsome (to some) creatures are Arthropods and they are by far the most numerous set of creatures on Earth. Insects, scorpions, crabs, centipedes and shrimp and many others comprise this group. All these have jointed legs – hence their name.
I am talking about a form of “racism” in our human culture – our attitudes to species other than our own.
Mammals? Like us, they are warm (blooded), furry, and some are cute.
Birds? Interesting creatures that fly (I wish I could do that) and listen to how sweetly this one trills.
Fish? Only good for a meal!
Reptiles? Definitely on the other side of midnight along with arthropods.
The origin of our dissonance with the environment is Mankind’s inherently false belief that we are separate from Nature. Since we are the only species that has been able to think about the future and the environment to meet our future needs, we consider ourselves above and beyond it. Our scientific and technological progress, instead of increasing our knowledge and giving us an enlightened view of things, has made us prideful of our ability to range across our realm from the Moon to the depths of the Ocean, to extract our materials from living and non-living things and to fashion with them things which help us create strange and wondrous things, to increase our population way beyond the natural capacity of the Earth and to mine the natural world for even more.
Even though from time to time, Nature sends us reminders that we are finite and an infinitesimal part, but nevertheless a part in the grand scheme of things, in our pride, like the Gods, we see ourselves apart.
Yet, a barf of ash from a once dormant volcano in Iceland has halted all the air traffic over most parts of Europe. And there is nothing our technology can do to prevent this.
Refusing to believe the evidence of our senses, we lumber on ignorantly, confident in our belief that we, as a species, are superior. That Nature is there at our bid and call for the express purpose of our convenience. That we have conquered Nature. That all its creatures exist at our pleasure. That Man is the Measure of all things.
This attitude, surely an express highway to self-destruction, is the reason that we like some creatures and hate or ignore all the rest.
Why do we dislike arthropods so much? The answer to this must surely lie in childhood.
As an infant, we may have had an experience in which an insect or other creature walked on us, tasted horrible or flew into our face. Our caring elders would have hurried us away from them or warned us against them. Should we have been unfortunate enough to have been stung or bitten by one, it would imprint on our tender psyche forever. As time passes, the looks and the activities of these creatures reinforce the negative images about them. We feel that since they are small, they could fly onto us even perhaps into one of our orifices. Their legs, antenna and spikes on the body remind us of thorns. Their numerous legs make us imagine how it will feel crawling on our hands! In the absence of anything positive feedback about creepy-crawlies, we develop an abhorrence of ‘bugs’.
Our belief is now firm and irrational. The “mythos” has overtaken our “logos”. Blind belief instilled as fears as a child supercede rational understanding gained as an adult. It will take a conscious act for us to detach the negative feelings that these creatures engender in us. Since we are Man with a developed brain and a conscious mind, we can do so.
As I did many years ago.
In the words of Dr Steve Kellert (read more here) :
Dr. James Hillman, in a classic essay, “Why we hate Bugs?,” provides some psychological insight regarding why these differences between humans and invertebrate scale and behavior might result in feelings of alienation and aversion. Reviewing a long history of prejudicial attitudes and antagonistic behavior of humans toward arthropods, Hillman remarks, “what we call the progress of Western civilization from the ant’s eye level is but the forward stride of the great exterminator.” Hillman suggests four reasons for human psychological aversion and antipathy toward invertebrates, mainly insects and spiders, found among most people in Western society.
First, he emphasizes the “multiplicity” of the invertebrate world, which he suggests threatens our fondly cherished human notions of individuality and independence. He suggests the idea of a bee hive that can include 50,000 individuals, or a large ant colony of half million ants, or an acre of soil with 65 million insects, or beetle species numbering more than one million, represents a fundamental challenge to our sense of personal integrity and individual oneness. He remarks: “Imagining insects numerically threatens the individualized fantasy of a unique and unitary human being. Their very numbers indicate insignificance of us as individuals.”
A second basis for anxiety and aversion, Hillman refers to as the “monstrosity” of most invertebrates from a human perspective. In this regard, he notes the tendency of most people to associate invertebrates, especially insects and spiders, with metaphors of madness and mindlessness. The human presumption, as noted, is to assume invertebrates as incapable of feelings and rationale reflection, and many common terms of insanity employ insect names, while images of madness often involve visions of insects and other arthropods. As Hillman suggests: “Bug-eyed, spidery, worm, roach, blood sucker, louse, going buggy, locked-up in the bughouse – these are all terms of contempt supposedly characterizing inhuman traits… To become an insect is to become a mindless creature without the warm blood of feeling.” A third explanation Hillman offers for dislike of invertebrates originates in their radical “autonomy” from human will and control. A particularly disturbing aspect of their independence or indifference to human hegemony is the willingness to invade human space in unexpected and uninvited fashions.
Finally, Hillman suggests a disturbing element about invertebrates for most humans stems from the quality of “mystery” surrounding them. As noted, invertebrates represent radically different behavioral and morphological strategies in the struggle for survival which for most humans provokes considerable uncertainty, confusion, and a sense of “otherworldliness.” This sense of mystery can be a basis of curiosity, interest, and even wonder, although the more typical reaction is one of disdain and fear of the unknown. For most humans, invertebrates are largely unfathomable and alien.
Hillman suggests conservation of wildlife, especially invertebrates, will necessitate a far greater understanding of why we react with hostile and negative feelings toward various creatures, particularly insects and spiders. To find our commonality with the animal world in its widest diversity, “we must start (with animals) not in their splendor – the horned stag, the yellow lion and the great bear, or even old faithful `spot’ – but with those we fear the worse – the bugs.”
The above paragraph gives many reasons on a psychological level why people regard arthropods as abhorrent. In the same way, people fear snakes and are blind to the amazing abilities that the snakes have evolved despite having no limbs of any kind.
Arthropods are such wonderful creatures in so many ways, I find it hard to select which facts to tell you about them.
Let me start with camouflage.
Insects (and other arthropods) are nutritious food. They contain valuable protein and reserves of fat in some cases. All kinds of animals eat them – birds, mammals, reptiles, fish, amphibians. Even man eats them – this is called entomophagy.
As an aside, no matter how strict a vegetarian you are, you eat insects every day. Here‘s why?
In order to avoid being eaten insects adopt a variety of strategies, one of which is camouflage. Camouflage is a method of crypsis—avoidance of observation—that allows an otherwise visible organism or object to remain indiscernible from the surrounding environment through deception. Examples include a tiger‘s stripes and the battledress of a modern soldier. The theory of camouflage covers the various strategies which are used to achieve this effect. (Courtesy:Wikipedia)
A Leaf Insect from Wyanaad, India. Here, the camouflage is used defensively, to escape being eaten. (Image:Sandilya Theuerkauf on Wikimedia Commons, CC-BY-SA-2.5)
A stick insect - shades of Tolkien's ents! (Image:Fir0002 on Wikimedia Commons, CC-BY-SA-3.0)
A challenge - find the pink soft coral crab hiding in the soft coral of the East Timor Sea. (Image:User Nhobgood on Wikimedia Commons, CC-BY-SA-3.0.)
Did not succeed? Okay try again after seeing another photo of this amazing crab – Pink Soft Coral Crab, Hoplophrys oatesii, placed after this one of camouflage used not to hide from predators but to become one! An evolutionary arms race!
Camouflage for predation - A perfectly camouflaged jumping spider captures a solitary wasp. (Image:Muhammed Mahdi Karim on Wikimedia Commons, GFDL 1.2)
The coral crab now visible on Pink Coral. Now try to find it in the first photo!
Camouflage for predation - A crab spider can change its colour depending on the flower it chooses to live in to catch its prey, in this case a wasp. (Image: Olaf Leillinger on Wikimedia Commons, CC-BY-SA-2.0-DE)
The two forms of the Peppered Moth. Earlier the melanistic (dark) form was uncommon while the peppered form was predominant. The increasing soot on trees in England due to the industrial revolution changed the evolutionary dynamics and today the melanistic form predominates as the peppered form has been selected out due to high visibility on blackened bark of trees.
The Peppered Moth Biston betularia (Linnaeus, 1758) is a text book case for evolution. Changes in environment reduced the viability of one morph and increased that of the other. The insect evolved accordingly to have a predominantly larger population of darker morphs. This graphic of a related Geometer Moth shows how effective camouflage can become a hindrance once the environment changes. Drag the mouse over the background to see it disappear and show just the moth. The moth is perfectly camouflaged on the tree bark but if the background changes, as in the case when you dragged the mouse, the moth becomes prominent and a target instead.
Want to see more?
Insects have many facets similar to the trades of humans.
If you are an underwater diver, you would be interested in the Diving bell spider.
The diving bell spider or water spider, Argyroneta aquatica, is a spider which lives entirely under water, even though it could survive on land. (Image:Norbert Schuller Baupi on Wikimedia Commons, CC-BY-SA-3.0)
If you keep cows or sheep, the ant also belongs to your trade guild . Many species of ants “herd” aphids for honeydew. The ants in turn keep predators away and will move the aphids around to better feeding locations. Upon migrating to a new area, many colonies will take new aphids with them, to ensure that they have a supply of honeydew in the new area.
An ant guards its aphids. (Image:ViaMoi on Flickr/Wikimedia Commons, CC-BY-SA-2.0)
Ants feeding on the honeydew of the aphids. Notethe dewdrop exuding from the rear of the aphid.
If you are a soldier like me, you will be interested in the army ant. The name army ant (or legionary ant or “Marabunta“) is applied to over 200 ant species, in different lineages, due to their aggressive predatory foraging groups, known as “raids”, in which huge numbers of ants forage simultaneously over a certain area, attacking prey en masse.
Another shared feature is that, unlike most ant species, army ants do not construct permanent nests, an army ant colony moves almost incessantly over the time it exists. All species are members of the true ant family, Formicidae, but there are several groups that have independently evolved the same basic behavioral and ecological syndrome. This syndrome is often referred to as “legionary behavior”, and is an example of convergent evolution. (courtesy:Wikipedia)
Some safari ant soldiers on the Chogoria of Mount Kenya make a tunnel to provide a safe route for the workers. (Image:Mehmet Karatay on Wikimedia Commons, CC-BY-SA 3.0)
The amazing number of examples of insects and other arthropods which can illustrate any phenomenon or theme that you want is mind-boggling. Like the scope for thematic collectors in a world of 530,000 or so postage stamps, where virtually any theme may be collected, the many hundreds of thousands of arthropods are more than enough to satisfy the curiousity of any person as far as any possible interest is concerned.
Perhaps the following links will help you to become interested in arthropods and nature :
For the more enthusiastic:
As a closing quote, let us see another view of the “Age of Man” :
Don’t accept the chauvinistic tradition that labels our era the age of mammals. This is the age of arthropods. They outnumber us by any criterion – by species, by individuals, by prospects for evolutionary continuation.
- Stephen Jay Gould, 1988
It is time to shed our inhibitions and accept the notion that these too are God’s creatures and deserve to live on Earth as much you do.
- Guest article by Ashwin Baindur. An army officer and a nature-wild life enthusiast. Ashwin Baindur blogs about nature, wildlife, travel, science, postage stamps and his own articles but wishes there was much, much more about butterflies in his blog “The Butterfly diaries”. To visit his blog click HERE.
Do you love writing? Want to be our guest writer?
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The gorge looked breathtakingly beautiful from the precarious edge of the rock.
A tingling sensation ran through his spine.
Vodka or Vertigo ?
His brain stopped registering.
Soon he was plummeting earthwards.
A deep vertical fall. Fear gripped him.
Insane rush of blood flooded his body.
An altered state of consciousness.
Slowly his eyes closed. A sharp pain slashed his chest.
One long drop and stop.
His friends watched in horror.
He had never watched a 3D movie before.
The Broker by John Grisham
When it comes to reading books with power play, I trust no one else than John Grisham. He has a sense of power in his writing and personally I rate him more than Mario Puzo. (we can always agree to disagree!)
Joel Backman is a former powerful Washington Beltway lobbyist who was called ‘The broker’ in his glory days and now spending six months in federal prison and is ‘Broke’ The story revolves around this master mind who escapes the clutches of some of the best agencies in the world-Russia, the People’s Republic of China, Israel and Saudi Arabia. The plot is played brilliantly with the addition of Pakistani Hackers, the CIA, white house corruption and a chase, a terrifying chase on the beautiful streets of Italy.
Infact, Backman is pardoned and released by US authorities on a ploy to undo a knot he made and for which he landed up in prison. Backman had gone to prison as a result of a scheme to sell a classified satellite system’s secrets to the highest bidder. The U.S. wants to know who owned the system and had access to its secrets, and who he was intending to sell the secrets to -Russia, the People’s Republic of China, Israel or Saudi Arabia. They theorize that once the broker is established in a new location with a new identity, the actual owner will exact its revenge on Backman by assassination, thereby revealing further useful intelligence.
So will the CIA get their information? Can the old man in his fifties outwit five of the most deadliest agencies in the world? Can the broker ever return to the states, his home ground.
You should read it.
||January 11, 2005
||Print (Hardcover, Paperback)
||368 pp (hardcover edition)
You punch me and I will punch you back harder
Survivor… hmmm! The word sounds familiar… but not quite familiar.
Am I a survivor? I don’t know yet. I don’t feel I have won… but I know I am fighting. There is so much I have had to fight with over the past one year. Here’s my story.
I had kidney stones in 2008, and all was pretty cool at that point. It wasn’t a big deal at all. The bigger concern was the 20 Kgs I had gained (82 – 102) over the past two years because of lack of activity and abundance of beer
Now! In March’09, exactly a year ago, I decided to get rid of all this excess weight and watched a couple of Rocky Balboa to get me pumped. It was on 6th of March that I began exercising—twice a day—and with limited diet. I worked so hard that I lost 7 Kgs in the month of March. However, a new problem substantiated. I started getting fever at weird intervals… and every day. The usual fever courses did not prove to be of help. I could not go in for a full fledged checkup because I had joined a new organization on 16th March. I continued to report to work even through the illness and it kept worsening. It was on 1st April that I thought enough was enough. I took leaves and went for ultrasound and other checks.
During the ultrasound, it was discovered that I had pleural effusion (water in pleura, the covering of lungs). I googled the possible causes and the probables were TB, Lung Cancer, Lung Pneumonia etc. Well! It was not a nice read. Anyways, a couple of days and tests later, the verdict came out to be TB.
TB was a big deal disease in earlier times but it has become perfectly curable now. All you need to do is to take a 9 months course of a combination of some deadly medicines. I was cool with that. ‘Curable’ was a very cool word, I thought. Now… this is where the real problem surfaced. Where? When? Well, when I thought ‘what if’. What if I had lung cancer?
I had the Internet to my disposal… and I searched so much about cancer… that it was probably the biggest mistake of my life. I read much more than I should have. It was those days that I realized how easy it was for this precious life to end. Death scared the hell out of me. I am sorry but I have not recovered from that frame of mind ever since. I have completely forgotten to enjoy life. All I have been thinking is – ‘when all things have to come to an end, why bother taking stuff so seriously’. I have lost respect for job, money, people… and even deliverables… which is the reason I got chucked out of the new job just two months after joining. I had lost it completely.
My TB course was discontinued on my birthday, 12th November. It wasn’t a big relief because I had stopped caring for things. Cancer scared/scares me big time. After the TB course was discontinued, I developed weird pimples on skin… which of course I thought as skin cancer…. but it turned out to be side effects of the medicines I had consumed. The skin problem is now taken care of. But then there is a problem in my throat… which is not healing since three months… I have paid so many visits to doctors… but all is definitely not well.
Professionally… I began freelancing in September last year… and somehow managed it… but ended up losing my clients due to the instability in mind and the resultant attitude. Remember??? I had stopped caring. Then, this year, I managed to get into a permanent job… but lost it due to similar issues (they promised me a permanent office but later asked me to work from home for a couple of months more… which I didn’t want to).
The only good thing that happened to me last year was my blog. I decided to vent out my frustration in the form of blog posts… and it helped big time! Here’s a tip – look around for vents; they help you.
Coming back to the bad things… 1st March’2010—no job, no money, health distorted, mind distorted, weight 108 kgs, personal relationships suffering… thoughts of ‘death’ all the time… and all the time to think of death!
Then again, that’s not the end of the story. I thought, ‘what if’. What if I fight once again… after all, it’s the month of March.
I hired a Yoga sir… started gymming… and took a decision! I will dedicate two whole months of my life to health… SO… here it is… March and April I am busy… friends. Although the throat problem hasn’t healed… but I can fight!
I can clearly remember all the things that motivated me once upon a time. ‘You punch me and I will punch you back harder’, said Rocky. I have decided to punch life. The weight is coming down… 104 at the moment. I think of death sometimes… but I think of life the remaining times.
- Thanks to Kshitij Khurana for sharing his survivor story with us. He is a blogger and writes at Dusht-ka-Drishtikone and his funny photo blog, Mitti-ka-Sher. Mani Padma needs a special mention here for talking to Kshitij and getting this story for us. For more of Mani Padma’s articles, click HERE
If any one of you have inspiring stories of yourself which can inspire and help many, kindly share with us in survivors series. Send the stories to: sip(at)gingerchai(dot)com or Contact Us
An Idiomatic Guide to Play FarmVille
Guest post by Shilpa Garg
This post is a part of a challenge. A challenge to write a post using Idioms and Proverbs.
It needs no introduction. It is a virtual farming game which is played by over 73.8 million active users.
Even I am cut from the same cloth. Why? You may ask. Well the reasons are many and learnings are many too.
You may fall in love with it too!!
So, here’s a fun idiomatic guide to play FarmVille!!
It’s a very simple game and right from day 1, you take to farming like a duck to water.
And you find that you are not alone, there are soooo many like you, all on a lookout for a ….neighbor… well, birds of a feather flock together, on the farm!
It’s not a solitary game. But is a social game. You need neighbors who give you a hand in a lot of activities viz fertilizing your crops, feeding your chickens, sending gifts…
It trains you to race against the clock and attain mastery of exclusive crops in a given time frame example the Super Growth Pumpkins.
The early bird catches the worm, that is so very true in FarmVille. Claiming the mystery eggs, or collectables or the lost animals early, gives you the advantage. So, finders keepers, losers weepers!
You learn at FarmVille that procrastination is the thief of time. You delay harvesting your crop and it will wither soon.
At the end of the day, when you see your farm, with all the activities done(plouging land, planting seeds, harvesting crops, trees and animals, fertilizing crops, sending gifts etc), you truly feel like the cat that got the cream!
You visit your neighbors farm, see a decoration or the new design pattern at the farm, and you take a leaf out his/her
A picture is worth a thousand words… one look at a farm, and you get a glimpse of its owner. A well decorated farm or a shabby farm or a cluttered farm, each tells a story!
A friend in need is a friend indeed, and this you come to know especially during barn raising!!
Harvesting your crop is truly satisfying and you can’t stop but think “I am in for a penny, in for a pound.”
You start believing, “The bigger, the better!!”…Bigger farm, bigger number of trees and animals, bigger number of gifts, bigger number of neighbors…
You understand that, Rome was not built in a day and similarly it takes a lot of time and effort to gain XPs, FV Cash and Coins and mastery for various crops and move up on the game levels.
When you are on your farm, time flies. You are surprised to see that the minutes and hours have passed very quickly!
You might have loads of goodies on your farm, but even a small new different thing on your neighbor’s farm makes you yearn for it. It’s true, the grass is always greener on the other side of the fence.
You learn that you should never look a gift horse in the mouth and instead accept a gift even if you do not want or need it.
So, all of you who are still not farmers, remember “All work and no play makes Jack a dull boy”. It is not healthy to spend all of your time working and never relaxing or playing…so come join us on FarmVille! Because, we believe, the more the merrier.
You say, never played a virtual game??
Come on, there is a first time for everything!!
FarmVille is a real-time farm simulation game developed by Zynga, available as an application on the social networking website Facebook.
The game allows members of Facebook to manage a virtual farm by planting, growing and harvesting virtual crops, trees, and livestock. Since its launch in June 2009, FarmVille has become the most popular game application on Facebook with 73.8 million active users in January 2010.
- Article written by Shilpa Garg. To visit Shilp’s blog, click here.
In Search of an Answer
Have you ever wondered why people starts pelting stones at shops and buses whenever a high profile celebrity like a film star or mass leader/ politician dies? All of a sudden, from no where they get all the stock of stones, rods and wooden logs to carry out the mass destruction? Why the administration & police become a helpless mute spectator to burning down of vehicles, destruction of public properties and looting of showrooms. There are ample appropriate laws to deal with such a situation but the perpetrators of hooliganism and political party supporters to such riots are never punished. Long rope given by the law makers and keepers encourages future happenings.
‘3 idiots’ raised a storm over the story writer issue. The original writer Chetan Bhagat was all over the TV channels for a day but the heat generated by the hype died the very next day. I am still figuring out if it is a case of ‘Pen is mightier than……’ or the other way round. From the beginning, writers are an exploited lot, under paid and often made to shell out from their own pocket to bring out their book in the market. Now, they have to promote their own book through ‘book reading session’ or ‘sit in’ at book stores.
The issue of National film awards and Republic day Padma Shree Awards of late raises lot of eyebrows every year. Whoever thought that a film like ‘Oye lucky oye’ deserves a prestigious national award or Saif ali khan a Padma shree must ponder over their histrionic? Why is that a common man from the street or a slum and not associated with any NGO silently doing some thing for the poor overlooked for the award?
There are umpteen number of Music and Film channels churning out the same songs and films day in & day out. How many of these so called Music channels have regular slot for classical songs, folk songs, devotional songs, folk music, talk shows by music teachers, music directors, singers or any programme on imparting training in music instruments? Similarly, which of the film channels has slot for award winning films, old classics, programmes on the art of film making, film appreciation, film direction or film editing etc?
Every now and than politicians keep talking to media on some or the other issue and whenever a hue & cry is raised by the public, they make a shameless U-turn saying that the media has ‘misquoted’ them or they bluntly deny the report even when said by them in camera! What makes them utter some thing which has to be denied later is a bone of contention? News channels create hype on certain issue for a day or two and sleep on it like a government. All of a sudden several years later a case like Ruchika’s crop up springing a surprise and leaving every one bewildered.
- Article written by S.R. Ayyangar. To visit his blog click Here