Almost universally everyone will know these alphabets to indicate sleep. Sleep is a very important part of our lives, its the time when our body recovers energy spent through the waking hours and the brain too gets to carry out and complete certain functions. I guess that is a very simplistic explanation of complex electrical activity in our brain cells that helps our memory. Sleep is the time when certain hormones are released in kids and young adults, it can stimulate creativity, can help reduce stress… This is just the tip of the a long list. ‘

Thus being deprived of sleep can obviously create havoc with our systems. Read this Huff Post article that has a slide show describing the benefits of sleep.

Those of us in stuck in the rat race, need to pause and think. What are we earning for if we cannot get one of the basic human requirements?

I don’t know about others, but I am surely going to catch up on my sleep now and not later.
Good luck!

Yes, I can

I admit I had huge doubts when I joined the April A to Z Blogging Challenge. It was unlike other such writing events I had participated in- one did not compete with others but rather challenged oneself. While I had posted regularly (What is ‘regular’ defined as as?), there were occasional long gaps. Once that occurred, lethargy set in and I found all kinds of reasons to delay posting – the commonest being lack of ideas.

This challenge seemed to be just what the Doctor ordered.

I am quite proud to have got this far, challenges withstanding. The main one was that I was travelling extensively across oceans and did not always have access to the Internet. Yet with some prescheduling and planning,  I have made it to the letter Y. The family helped by suggesting topics and even allowing me to use photos. Some posts were changed at the last moment while some held at the first draft.

I have visited many interesting blogs and found interesting themes. Its been a wonderful ‘global’ experience.
A big Thank You to the April A to Z Blogging Challenge organisers. 
Happy Blogging everyone!


The XX chromosome is the genetic characteristic of a
She has to juggle several responsibilities both
at home and at office. She needs superhuman strength to do so.

Here is a message forwarded to me some time back which
aptly covers all I have to say. I do not know the source but would love to
attribute the author.

As someone said, “Every man wants a girlfriend, wife, mother but many don’t want a daughter…”
India, having a son is given huge importance and women who have only
daughters are often ‘looked down upon’ metaphorically speaking of
course.  Female infanticide following prenatal determination of the sex of the unborn child still occurs in many parts both rural and urban among educated and uneducated people. 

This post is dedicated to all women…

Someone asked a woman: 

Are you a working woman or a
She replied:
Yes I am a full time working house-wife,
I work 24 hours a day..
I’m a “Mom”,
I’m a Wife,
I’m a Daughter,
I’m a Sister,
I’m a Daughter-in-law,
I’m an Alarm clock,
I’m a Cook,
I’m a Maid,
I’m a Teacher,
I’m a Waiter,
I’m a Nanny,
I’m a Nurse,
I’m a Security officer,
I’m a Counselor,
I’m a Comforter
I don’t get holidays,
I don’t get sick leave,
I don’t get day off,
I work through day and night.
I’m on call.. all hours

And I get paid with a sentence…


What is this life?

He walked down to the car, to the car, and walked into the hospital ER.
Never to walk out again.
Within a few minutes all was over

It was as if he just walked out of everybody’s lives…
A sudden void at every turn
A ‘chat’ with him would now be a ‘darshan‘ (दर्शन)
‘He’ was now a ‘body’
All in the span of a few minutes, the view changed.

What is Life and what comes after?
Where were we on the day before we were born? Where do we go from here?
When? That is the dreaded question none of us wants to ask but fears the most
Why? All of us have to move on – that much is certain from the moment of our birth.
How? Yet another question for which there are no answers…

Why not use 4Ws and 1H (Who, Where, What, When and How) to make the most of our moments on earth? Each of us has to find answers to these questions for ourselves.
Think about it…


Vanilla is a popular flavour especially in ice cream or Milk shakes and smoothies. Yet somehow I just cannot get myself to enjoy anything with flavoured with vanilla except cakes.
The reason goes back a long time to my childhood. For one particular year and I cant really remember which one it was, I had to drink milk with raw egg and it was liberally laced with vanilla to mask the smell of the egg. I hated it but did manage to gulp it down not daily not really knowing how much effect the drink had on my health. What it did do was permanently make me hate vanilla.
Now several decades later, I still cannot drink nor enjoy any vanilla flavoured liquid.
Many of us develop such unreasonable dislikes because of something or some event in our childhood. They tend to last a lifetime.
My aversion to vanilla has not really stopped me from enjoying food and beverages so I did not ever try to get over it. May be I should have. May be I still can. But at this stage I dont even want to…


Personally we do not like the unexpected. Ofcourse, some surprises are pleasant and happy and rewarding ones but we cannot really be sure that is what is in store for us. This is especially valid when travelling. Hence we make sure to go into great details when planning a journey for work or just plain fun. Hotels, transport, sightseeing, food, health and the most important- money… All budgeted for and made available in time and to be easily accessible. That should take care of most unpleasant unexpected surprises.
Or so we thought…

Flight cancellations do occur often due to weather. But as we learnt recently, and the hard way I might add, flights are cancelled when workers go on a strike. Its not at all pleasant to learn about flight cancellations when in a foreign city, at the fag end of a vacation, and when its a weekend and office hours have ended. There was no one to answer queries and our calls to customer care meant being on two-hour long ‘hold’. While our flight was on the next day, we had to end the suspense which entailed personally going to the airport and rebooking. Thankfully the airline executive manning the ticketing counter was very helpful despite being past her working hours. We were given confirmed tickets on another airline and now have returned home safely.

Lesson Learnt: Do carry addresses, working hours and contact numbers of local airline offices when travelling. If possible verify your booking on a working day during working hours before your actual flight. Usually airlines to offer alternatives hence one should know where to contact them as we learnt the hard way that customer care phone-calls though toll-free, are practically impossible to reach.

On another note, here is cool apparatus that we picked up on the above journey. Its a strap to carry a hand sanitiser that can be affixed to a purse or handbag. No more searching inside a bag/purse. This is from Bath & Body Works and is available in many different attractive types.

travelling, tips, clean hands, hand sanitiser

Happy Travelling!

The Power Nap

Adequate sleep at night or an afternoon nap  itself is a priceless luxury for those in the fast lane. In many cases a small duration ‘shut eye’ or the so-called Power Nap can be a huge refresher. Everyone has different indications when the body cries out for a pause and we often ignore them. These symptoms range between moodiness/drooping eyes/ lethargy/ difficulty in decision making or communicating to name just a few.

It works best if one can comfortably lie down in a quiet place. Generally a maximum of 30 minutes of sleep works best to recharge both body and mind. Longer can take a person into deeper sleep stages which can lead to sleeplessness at night. Solution: set the alarm even for a 20-minute nap.

This does not take away the importance of adequate sleep at night. Some experts opine that if a person gets adequate night sleep then there is no reason to feel tired during the day. Others recommend the power nap as a simple mid day relaxation technique.

Either way there is no reason for not grabbing 40 winks provided work efficiency remains high and its not an excuse to shirk work. Listen and understand your body and choose what works best for you.

Simple Joys

All our daily efforts are almost always only geared for one thing and one thing only.. getting joy out of life. Being at peace with our inner selves and people around us. We get trapped in the rat race in our search for the pot of gold at the end of a rainbow.

In this process we often forget to enjoy simple things in our lives. They lighten the daily drudgery and ensure we don’t forget how to smile. Can you immediately recall a few such simple joys…

Here is my list:
Encountering consecutive green traffic lights in the morning rush hour
Finding a Rs100 bill forgotten in the pocket of a coat from the last winter
Eliciting a smile from a beautiful stranger in a the train

At all times, sighting a pair of mynahs always lifts my spirits as I vaguely recollect something from my childhood ” … Two for Joy…”

simple joys, happiness, simplicity
Two for Joy

Reuse, recycle

Recycle, reuse… a couple of words that are part of the ‘save our world and environment’ mantra.
Staying true to that, here is an article I had written a long time back about my tryst with golf. It was first published in the April 2008 issue of Windows & Aisles, the inflight magazine of Paramount Airways.

Fore Sight!

I sat sipping a tall delicious drink on the
verdant green lawns of the WGC (Wellington Gymkhana Club at Connoor, The
Nilgiris), at peace with the world in general and myself in particular. The
harmony was broken with a sudden urgent cry of ‘ball’ as the object obediently
fell with a huge clang, almost on top of my head. Soon a gentleman raced up
enquiring about my well being. I reassured him and he set off swinging a
curiously shaped steel rod in his hand and called out to a young boy who
tottered under the weight of a huge bag with more similar sticks.

That was my first brush with golf. I looked
around to discover that the WGC was a popular and full-fledged golf course.
Till that moment, my knowledge of golf had been limited to computer games. In
the real world, I knew someone called Tiger Woods was (I am talking of 1996) an
upcoming sensation on the circuit.

So here was a good opportunity for me to
rectify the deficiency. My husband too apparently had the same idea as he began
taking lessons from the local coach and equipped himself with a basic set of
clubs and a large number of balls.

Suddenly a whole new world opened up for me
via ‘his’ lessons. The ‘rod’ I’d mentioned earlier transformed into a club and
were either labelled as an iron or wood of a particular number. Instead of
these humble materials, I learnt that clubs were made of high tech carbon
composites each of which could easily burn a hole in one’s pocket, costing up
to thousands of rupees. Words like Birdie, eagle, hole-in-one, handicap took on
new meanings! Further one always played with a caddy, who carried your set. In
the PGA-tour, a caddy plays an important part in the player’s victory, perhaps
as much as the player himself!

When I proudly boasted of this newfound
hobby to my friends I was surprised to be on the receiving end of many a
pitying look! Now that should have set alarm bells ringing but I ignored it.
They were just plain jealous I said to myself. Golf is the game of CEOs and
rich magnates. The pros make quite a packet I remember vaguely reading
somewhere. I had visions of my hubby being a part of this elite club and me-
his spouse swathed in Kancheepurams and dripping diamonds! Hence I did not
grudge the huge dent that the equipment purchase, green and caddy fees made to
our budget.

And when my husband set off for WGC post
lunch every afternoon I was almost angelic—not even uttering a word of protest.
He would be there till sundown, practising hard after the hour-long class was
over. He would return home with tales of how his swing and range was improving.
A new full set of clubs that were more expensive than the last were absolutely
a necessity now. 

As days turned to weeks, I realised with a
start that I was alone throughout the day. Weekends meant hubby dearest devoted
the whole day to golf! I was soon doing all home administrative jobs, attending
PTA meetings, organising parties. Movies, shopping and other such stress relieving
activities (for me) all took a back seat. Golf was fast turning out to be worse
than the mother-in-law from hell!

Months sped by and we soon left Wellington being posted
to a distant base, which did not have a golf course. I gratefully heaved a sigh
of relief and handed over administration and more to my husband. After all he
had to make up for all duties shirked in Wellington!
But my joy did not last long and we moved again, this time to the Far East, which I welcomed with a groan as a golf lover’s

The game threatened to
take over hubby again, body and soul, but this time I was prepared. I appointed
assistants for all sundry jobs and decided to take matter in my own hands.
Quite literally! I brought out the now unused half-set
from the store. It was not really my size but I was undeterred.

I expected to find it an excruciatingly
easy task to hit a stationary ball down the fairway into the ‘hole’ at one end,
but to my utter shock, this was easier said than done. Initial efforts to
strike the ball ended with me taking a huge swipe with the club. At the end of an hour’s sweat and effort, the ball would
quite wickedly stay where it was! My respect for
all players who dispatched moving balls in other sports went up exponentially.
No more criticism for Sehwag or Sania from me! In better moments the
ball would obligingly take off and fall a few feet ahead or zoom towards the
trees alongside. Many were the days that I played from jungle to jungle!

As if these striking troubles were not
enough, the ball often took a fancy to all ‘hazards’ on the course like water
bodies, gur (ground under repair) or even bunkers! Bunkers may protect soldiers
on a battlefield but here there were more like minefields that sucked my ball
into them as though they’d been ridden with invisible magnets. With my game
standards, entering one was an extremely risky affair. The lakes that looked so
beautiful on National Geographic were now a blot on the landscape!

Over a period of time, I learnt the ropes
and soon could finally get the ball by the aerial route towards its target. I
began to enjoy the game. I not only understood my hubby’s attraction for golf
but soon became an avid player myself. The best part, I was outdoors all the
time and that allowed me to completely relax my mind.

We have now moved to Pune and our game is
restricted to a couple of days a week as city traffic exerts a sufficiently
braking influence on our enthusiasm. Though both of us may have some time to go
before we can invest in diamond ridden golf clubs, I am happy to have
discovered this wonderful game that lets me compete against myself. I also
discovered that it gives you a good excuse to innocently whack the man next to
you, without being sent to prison for harassment. Don’t forget to yell, ‘Fore!’
and do set up that golf date with your boss. 

Golf, golf course, magazine
Golf article, magazine, article


I had heard about the quill but Quilling…. That was
something strange. I learnt from my niece that it’s a kind of paper art wherein
one curls thin strips of paper into little rolls that are then reshaped and
arranged to make lovely shapes. Its fascinating to see almost lifelike roses
and butterflies etc. Though quilling was new to me, apparently its been around
for several hundred years, the 18th century according to this article. That just proves I have a lot of catching up to do on the arts and
crafts front!!

Jokes apart, one can create wonderful items that can be used to decorate gifts,
create curios for our own home or sell them for some profit. Here are a couple
of lovely products made using quilling techniques. 
Quilling, arts and crafts
Pencil cap made with quilling techniques

Earrings, arts, crafts, quilling
Earrings and Ganesh pendant made out of paper
 If you’re looking for something new to try out, try this. There are plenty of books and websites to guide you. Who knows there may be a hidden world class quilling artist!