Thursday, December 27, 2012

Mars---The Red Planet.

Mars is the fourth planet from Sun & lies between Earth & Jupiter.It's surface is made up of red soil & thousands of rocks of all sizes.Though small in size,it has the highest mountain,the largest volcano and the deepest & longest valley in our solar system.That's not all.It even has the largest dust storms of all--lasting for months & covering the whole planet.How is that for small sized big achievements?

In many ways Mars is very much like Earth---it rotates in 24.6 hours,has seasons,winds,clouds, morning mist,frozen polar caps,mountains & valleys just like us.

The similarities end here because it's environment is too harsh to support life--
Firstly there is no water.

Secondly temperatures vary a lot.While summer temperature at the equator can be as high as 70*F,it may dip to -220*F at the poles.On the whole it is much colder than Earth.

Thirdly Mars takes nearly twice as long as Earth to orbit Sun.Therefore it's year is double that of Earth & it's seasons too last twice as long.

It's air has very little oxygen,which we all need to breathe.

It has two moons-Phobos & Deimos, while we have only one.

Mars' diameter is about one half of Earth's.It is so small that nearly seven Mars could fit inside Earth.

It's largest volcano Olympus Mons is hundred times as large as the largest volcano on Earth .It is also three times as high as Mount Everest.

Mars can be seen with naked eye because it shines with a bright red light.But we cannot see it when it's orbit takes it away to the other side of Sun.Mars travels round Sun at an average speed of 86871Km/h.Yet when we see it in the sky we cannot discern any movement-amazing isn't it ?

It takes nearly eight months for a spacecraft to reach Mars even if it is launched when Earth is nearest to it.Many probes have visited Mars but no evidence of life has been found.

From the astrological angle Mars as a ruling planet endows the person with courage,vitality,daring & recklessness.

Text courtesy Robin Kerrod
Image courtesy

Thursday, December 20, 2012

Planet Venus

 Venus is associated with love & beauty but planet Venus is the hottest planet in our solar system.By hot i do not mean sexy or sassy as women are often labelled,but as hot as 900*F.Quite a revelation isn't it?There's more--it is dotted with hundreds of volcanoes.There is thunder,lightening & acid rain but the rain evaporates before it reaches the surface.It's atmosphere is so heavy that standing on it you would feel as if you were under 3,000 Ft of water.Better not do that because you would be crushed under this huge pressure.There are also hundreds of craters but many more have been submerged under lava which flowed from the volcanoes.The surface mainly consists of volcanoes & rolling plains.There is not much variation in temperature whether it is night or day,hillock or a lowland.This is because it's atmosphere traps Sun's heat.Viewed from earth we will only see a white planet covered with clouds.The clouds are mainly made up of sulphuric acid.They extend up to 100Km above it's surface.

If you look at the south-east corner of sky at 6am in India nowadays,you will see Venus rising on the horizon.It is mostly seen as the morning star or evening star.After Sun & moon it is the brightest entity in the sky.Venus is known as the sister planet of Earth because it is almost the same size.Mariner 10 took nearly 3 months to reach it

Now some oddities--Venus orbits the sun in 225 earth days but rotates around it's axis in 243 which means it's day is longer than it's year.Ever heard of such a thing?This happens because it spins very slowly,but whizzes past the sun at a speed of 126,077 Kmh.Another unique feature is that while all other planets spin anti-clockwise,Venus spins clock-wise,so that over there sun rises in the west;and it rises ever so slowly.

.Every planet in the solar system is so unique that it is mind boggling!!!!!!

Text courtesy Robin Kerrod
Images courtesy Clipart &

Monday, December 17, 2012

Planet Mercury

A brave little planet of our solar system (only Pluto is smaller) is next door neighbor of the mighty Sun.Since it rotates nearest to it we can view it only at sunset or sunrise.It shines very brightly & we can see it with our naked eyes.

Mercury has borne the brunt of assaults by thousands of meteorites & asteroids,resulting in vast craters on it's surface.It also has steep round cliffs which are not found on any other planet.Sixty% of it's land is smooth like the moon.It is only slightly larger than our Moon.

One very interesting fact about Mercury is that while it whizzes past Sun at a speed of 172,000 kmh(the fastest speed in our solar system),taking 88 earth days to complete one year;it rotates very slowly,taking almost 59 earth days to constitute the daytime and an equal time span to make up the night.Add to this the fact that it has a negligible atmosphere to trap the surface heat & the consequence is that the part which faces the Sun heats up to 840*F & when the night comes it drops to -290*F.Playing hot and cold if you like!Another chimerical feature of this planet is that even in day time it's sky will be pitch black except for the luminous bodies when visible.One more bouncer from the same source-it tracks an elliptical orbit because of which if you were to stand on it's surface you would see the Sun changing sizes.It is a different matter that you would first roast to vapor or be frozen to an icicle,depending if it was day or night!The latest discovery by NASA suggests that it's North Pole has deposits of ice & water.Well!Surprises never cease in Astronomy!

Although nearest to Sun,it is not the hottest planet of our family.Which one is that?Surprise!Wait for the answer!

Text courtesy Robin Kerrod
Image courtesy

Wednesday, December 12, 2012

Our Home--Planet Earth

As we go about our daily lives we seldom pause to think about the miracle,which is this(maybe the only), life supporting planet in our solar system.Here are some interesting facts about it--

Earth came into being about 4.6 billion years ago.It is a middle-sized planet in it's family of nine planets.It's diameter from north to south poles is less than 1/10th the diameter of Jupiter & five times more than that of Pluto-the smallest planet.At equator it's diameter is 7,926 miles & circumference is 25,000 miles.If someone drove round the equator at the speed of 50 miles p/h he would take about  3 weeks to complete one circle.It's average distance from Sun is 93,000,000 miles & it's core is believed to be as hot as 11,000*F.

The atmosphere around Earth stretches up to a height of nearly 400 miles but the air gets thinner as we go up because the weight of air over it diminishes concomitantly.The clouds are mostly at the height of 10-12 miles above the Earth surface.At 50 miles above Earth,in the mesosphere,temperatures can be as low as -100*F.Surprising,isn't it ?

As we all know,most of Earth's surface is covered by oceans whose average depth is two & a half miles but Marianas Trench in the Pacific ocean is nearly 7 miles deep.

Our Earth houses at least one & a half million different kinds of living beings.It all started billions of years ago in the form of simple life in early oceans.Then about 600 million years ago different life  forms began to emerge in the seas.Four hundred million years ago life deigned to appear on land starting with plants & going on to insects & amphibians.As late as 150 million years back reptiles were the main life form followed by the birds.At about 65 million years ago dinosaurs & some other species died & the animals we see around us began to emerge.We humans may think the world of ourselves,but we came into existence only about 3 million years ago.Quite a sobering thought that !!!!!!!!

Just look at this picture of Earth spinning like mad.Do you know it's speed?It is 1,670kmh at the equator.

Now sit tight for the last blast-our Earth is travelling round the Sun at this reckless speed of 100,000 Km/h.How's that for rash driving?

Text courtesy Robin Kerrod.
Images courtesy amazonaws .com & wikipedia.

Monday, December 10, 2012

The Sun

The Sun , it's planets & their moons together form our solar system.
Sun is the only star in this family,which means that it has light of it's own.All other bodies reflect Sun's light.

The temperature on it's surface is 10,000*F but it can go up to 27,000,000*F at the core.

It is nearly150 million km away from Earth & it's diameter is about 865.000 miles.It is more than a hundred times bigger than the Earth but as stars go,it is not very big.Astronomers call it a dwarf star.

It's gravity is 30 times as strong as Earth's & reaches far out in space to distances of many billions of miles.If you were able to stand on it's surface you would not be able to pick up your foot--stuck there for ever!

It rotates on it's axis in about 25 Earth days & travels through space along with it's family (our solar system) & other stars in a galaxy known as the Milky Way (yes,it is not stationary).
This galaxy contains about 100 billion stars which are clustered together in a flat disc,bulging at the centre ,while it's arms spiral outwards.Our mighty Sun is on one arm far away from the centre.It  circles the centre of our galaxy in one cosmic year-which is about 225 million years.

Surprised?There is more to come--there are more than 15 billion galaxies in the universe--all situated far apart,empty spaces separating them.And there are billions of stars in each galaxy! Mind boggling isn't it ?

These facts were so amazing that i wanted to share them with you all.Just imagine-where do I & U stand in this humongous universe?

How did you like these snippets about the Sun ?I hope you found them interesting.
Disclaimer :The facts given in this post have been culled from a book "The Planets" written by Robin Kerrod.
The pictures are courtesy NASA &

Wednesday, December 5, 2012

Moving On

Shit happens!No matter how careful we are,someone somewhere,will cross our path in such a way that ugliness results.It could happen because our interests clash or because our personalities conflict.Maybe the other person has a grouse against us & he has chosen this moment to bring it out into the open.Or there could be a gap in communication & the two of us might be working at cross purposes.Whatever be the reason;the result is the same--there is anger,a feeling of being victimized,not having been understood or having been humiliated,on both sides.Naturally both of us think that we have been wronged and the other person  is being hurtful,mean or at best cranky.

We all do what we think is right .In fact we always think that we are right.Therefore it is difficult to arrive at an objective appraisal.We may expect the other person to apologize and be willing to forget the event but the other person too,might be going through the same emotions.Chances are,that a decent closure will not happen.How can it,when both parties are waiting for their opponent to redress the wrong? 

The result is that there is anger & unpleasantness on both sides.It is futile to go into who is wrong,or who started it.This is best left to the judiciary.Let us presume that there is no initiative from either side to make amends.What do we do then?Do we allow this matter to scar our happiness?Or should we just forgive,forget, and look ahead?There can be no clear cut answers to this.If our opponent happens to be a close relation we may not like to break that tie for ever.It would not be pragmatic to do so too.If it is a friend or a colleague whom we cannot avoid,we could just skirt by him till our anger subsides.There is a third category--persons who have no active role in our lives at any level;it would hardly matter if we cut all connections with them.In such cases unfriending the person could be a viable option.In fact we might feel more relaxed if we did so.

When we pick either of the three options,we take a constructive step forward.It could erase the stress which had been rankling us.But this will happen only if we refuse to go back to that situation again.Forgiveness eases the pain sustains relationships.

But sometimes we are so enraged by an incident that we are overcome by anger,hatred and animosity.We may even think up ways of retaliating.But as the quote below states :

"Between stimulus and response there is a space.In that space is our power to choose our response.In our response lies our growth and our freedom."Viktor E. Frankl

So if you find yourself in a mood to take revenge, ask yourself :

*Am I sure that the other person was 100% at fault?

*Did I not do anything to provoke him?

*While I plan to get even with him,am I not neglecting other pressing matters?

*Will my vengeance assuage my hurt sans any negative fallout?

*If by chance,I discover that my adversary was not really at fault will I not experience further humiliation?

*Will I ever repent having spoiled that relationship?

*How is this helping me?

*Suppose I relinquish this whole episode as an unsavory one time incident, will I not be more at peace?

*What is more important for me--getting even with him or conserving my serenity?

I do hope the answers to these questions will point to the path forward.All of us are imperfect humans.Sometimes we too hurt others by our words,actions or even our silence.It may be willful or unintentional.If we can give the same margin of error to the other person, the ambiance around us will be more tranquil and we will be more at peace with life !!!!!

Monday, December 3, 2012


I opened my eyes in the lap of a super Taurean and none better could i have wished for!Taureans are famous for being kind,affectionate,patient,loyal,steady,conservative,dependable,predictable and practical.Phew! Did i leave any adjective there?It is not my fault,they are like that only.And believe me, i do not say this because my mom was one.

Moving on to other things,they love music, beauty & harmony.No wonder they are so easy to get along with.It helps if you ply them with lavish spreads of tasty grub & do not comment about their weight.Ahem, they are also very possessive & woe betide their lover/spouse if s/he has a roving eye because they can be very jealous.

They are slow to anger & violent outbursts are rare.Determination & perseverance are their hall marks.They are inflexible & resist change.What else?Oh yeah,they are rather materialistic in outlook & love their comforts because these things give them security.

I think i had better stop-i can see some brick-bats coming my way!Let me hasten to add that these are only general guidelines--individual horoscopes count a lot.
So that's all for today-happy feasting to all you cool Taurians!!!

The stuff in this post has mostly been learnt from a book by Richard Sterling & the cute pic is from to both!!!!

Wednesday, November 28, 2012

Zodiac Sign Aries

All the skeletons will tumble out of my cupboard today!Arians are said to be fiery,impulsive and headstrong--total demolition of many things sane and sensible ?An Arian is like that only--ready to take off at the slightest stimulation!Do first and repent later.Fire with all guns in your stock.Reckless,impatient and blunt--could there be a better formula for collecting enemies and annoying people?

But please do not hasten with your verdict.We Arians have many plus points too.For example the moment an idea catches our fancy we hasten to put it into practice.We will start a new project with much gusto,but what can we do if the novelty wears off ? Anyhow, we can boast of umpteen unfinished ventures in our kitty; which too, is no mean achievement.But please,don't ask us to see them to the finish.It is so boring!

What else ?Oh we have many more sterling qualities but I cannot possibly blow my own trumpet can I ?I leave it to you dear readers,to fill in the gaps.And yes,if I have been too harsh , take it as a picture of my own horoscope,OK ?

I would simply love to receive inputs from fellow Arians or those who know an Arian intimately.I hand over the mike to you now.Cheers !!!
A big thanks to Richard Sterling for this information & for the picture above.

Sunday, November 25, 2012

Rubaiyats of Omar Khayyam

Into the universe,why not knowing,
Nor whence, like water willy-nilly flowing.
And out of it,like wind along the waste,
I know not whither,willy-nilly blowing.

What,without asking,hither hurried whence,
And without asking,whither hurried hence.
O many a cup of this forbidden wine,
Must drown the worry,of that insolence!

There was the door,to which i found no key.
There was the veil,through which i might not see.
Some little talk awhile,of me  and thee,
There was,and then-no more of thee & me!

When you and i,behind the veil are past,
Oh!but a long long while,the world shall last,
Which of our coming and departure heeds,
As the sea's self should heed,a pebble cast!

I do not know the name of the person who has translated these beautiful verses full of philosophy & deep meaning-my thanks to both-the poet & the translator!

Friday, November 16, 2012

The stranglehold of Negative Thinking

Tia is undergoing a very difficult phase since the last six months.She is plagued by negative thoughts.She knows they are not founded on reality,she also knows they are playing havoc with her body & mind as well as her relationships;but she is unable to break the circuit.She suffered a bout of illness before all this started.It lasted for a few days.She had another relapse after a fortnight but she has been symptom-free since then.

Symptom-free from the original illness but not from this malady which was spawned by that illness--the cycle of negative thinking.It has taken charge of her subconscious, coloring her musings in shades of black & black.She is scared that she will fall sick again,become incapacitated,dependent on others & unable to fulfill her obligations.This has robbed her of so many activities which added to the quality of her life.

One day i sat her down & asked her to go to the genesis of her problem.When did these thoughts take root?What was the situation when this happened?Is it the same now?Has it improved or deteriorated?The answers to these questions will tell her if there is any real cause for worry.Most important of all--she has lived through that massive attack on her health. Isn't she better equipped now to handle a repeat of that trauma if at all it were to recur?She needs to keep the contact numbers of her doctor,the ambulance & a dependable escort handy if this happens  again.These steps are likely to add to her sense of alarm temporarily,but in the long run they will give her a feeling of being in control.

Come to think of it,Tia is not the only one in this quandary.Many people go through their lives mechanically--all the while consumed with destructive inner dialogues.These thoughts could relate to their own personalities,an untoward incident that happened in the past, or probable happenings in the future.Whatever be the thoughts,their effects follow a more or less similar pattern.

It works like this:the memory of a distressing event is stored in our subconscious.Recalling it again & again is like scraping a wound.When we obsess about a traumatic event we inflict upon our mind,the same pain which we suffered originally.This is masochistic behavior.As & when we have time,we visit this painful spot & wallow there.Constant focus on doleful scenarios leads to an increase in the flow of negative hormones like cortisol & adrenaline, causing a perpetual state of preparedness.The person is jittery,always on edge.This distorts his responses to the countless stimuli which accost him.As a result his relationships,peace of mind,physical health & opportunities to advance in life suffer.He loses faith in his own capability to cope with life situations & achieve something worthwhile.Entangled in the cycle of negative thinking,he becomes gloomy & pessimistic.

Negative Thoughts About Self A lot of negative self talk concerns our self-image.If we are dejected about our body & physical features then we can take help from this site.But I would like to remind you that it is not our looks,but our nature & inner qualities which determine whether we are loved,popular and successful.
Very often,it is our capabilities & weaknesses which are the cause of our dejection.We think we are not smart,intelligent,confident or gregarious enough to succeed.This mars our performance & stilts our progress.It helps to realize that our own analysis of our capabilities could stem from our lack of self confidence .It may not be true at all.

Obsessing about Past Events
For a person who has lived through an abusive childhood it is almost impossible to forget it.Naturally it generates a lot of negative thinking.
One's past mistakes or blunders when recalled again and again have the effect of destroying one's peace of mind.It would be hard to find a man or woman who did not commit a mistake or face failure.But some people go back to such instances again & again and condemn themselves.Actually they are seeking atonement for their lapses by torturing themselves;but in this way they spoil their present as well as their future;for how can a mind besotted with guilt think clear?

Ominous Thoughts about Future
These too can be very disturbing.They prevent a person from enjoying happy times because he is always fearful that his luck will run out & some tragedy will befall him.The root cause of this tendency could lie in his childhood when he was castigated for every little mistake & made to feel worthless.Such children grow up feeling they do not deserve any happiness--hence these thoughts.The remedy for this lies in going back to their childhood,understanding the situation & training their thoughts anew.

Getting over Negative Thinking

1) Disparaging self talk has to be substituted by positive assertions-it is obvious.Therefore write down all your positive traits & accomplishments to date & read them every day.Be objective & honest while penning them.You will soon realize that you are not such a loser after all & be rid of the cobwebs in your personality.

2) Also, write down the constituents of your negative self-image. Ask a trusted friend if your self opinion is based on facts.You might be pleasantly surprised!Undertake to disprove one negative thought every day & see your self image brightening.

3) If you want to snap out of negative thinking,observe the triggers which ignite morbid thoughts.Be alert when you come face-to-face with them so that you can prevent your thoughts from going haywire.

4) Whenever you find yourself terrified at the prospect of an impending calamity pause & think"Is my conclusion rational?Am i being objective?Would someone else in my place also have identical fears?What chances are there of this event taking place?"
In case you are being irrational or hyper-sensitive,this little bit of introspection will assuage your fears.

5) When you are staggering under the weight of damaging thoughts  you feel a vague sense of doom.But if you were to name the issues which are troubling you,they will certainly fall short of your general opinion about the quality of your life.If you note down in a diary every day what is eating your mind,you will soon realize that life is not all that bad,that many of those issues are not so serious,& you are making progress.Even if you have not made any headway, seeing it in black & white will give a fillip to your efforts.

6)Negative thinking is least active when you are mindfully employed in an activity of your choice.At such times you forget about the hurts of past or fears of future.You will even forget to condemn yourself!Therefore one way of breaking the cycle of morbid rumination is to find an activity which enthralls you.

7) Meditation , Yoga & Pranayam are great mind soothers.

8) Belief in a benevolent Super Power can aid the religiously inclined to find solace in the thought that God will see to their welfare-they don't need to worry.

9) For a person beleaguered by negative thinking,it is a good idea to go through a health check up because poor health too,can induce pessimism.If you suffers from an ailment then suitable treatment will lift your spirits.If there is no anomaly, then too you can heave a sigh of relief & focus upon nurturing your mind.

10) A healthy routine & a nutritious diet are also essential for a fit body,mind & soul--no substance abuse.

11) When the mind is in turmoil, clear thinking & decision taking become difficult.One needs to have a strong will power & insight in order to heave oneself out of this spot.If you find it difficult to do this on your own then tap some other avenue for help.A psychologist or a counselor can assist you to go to the depths of your problem,relinquish negative thinking & adopt better modes of thinking & behavior .Cognitive Behavior Therapy is very helpful for modifying faulty behavior patterns.

12) Lastly,whenever overpowered by pessimism,think instead of the good facets of your life.It could be a simple thing like possessing a normal body & intelligence,a roof over your head,a job or a source of income,or education,or certain relationships you enjoy.

A sense of doom & gloom is a huge handicap--no one knows it better than the sufferer.You may have everything & yet feel sad,empty,useless & hopeless.The root cause  lies in your thoughts,because according to psychologists it is thoughts which spawn your emotions & emotions make your moods.Therefore curtailing negative inner dialogues should be the first priority.Happiness is waiting for you---you only has to lift this pall of injurious self-talk!

Pic courtesy google.

Monday, November 5, 2012


Thy name is pain.
What once was,
Can never be,
The same again!
I longed to go,
To the old abodes,
Of my childhood's years,
My heart beating fast,
Holding back my tears,
Go i did,
After two score years.
My childhood was strewn,
All over there,
Pristine joy,never a care.
But nothing at all,
Was as it had been,
A sweeping hand,
Had changed the scene.
I could not find,
Though fresh in mind,
A trace of what,
Had been pulling at me.
Where was the house?
The park,the swings?
With passage of time,
They had taken wings.
The land was same,
Living and throbbing,
Why did my heart,
Feel like sobbing ?

Monday, October 29, 2012

A Lovely Gesture

 When a distinguished
blogger like Anupam Patra decides to include me in the community of Liebster Blog holders it is natural to feel surprised,elated & grateful, in that order.I may doubt the worthiness of my own scribblings,but how can i doubt the sagacity of Anupam Patra?Therefore here i go doing the needful to formally earn this award.

The rules of the game are:
Post 11 facts about yourself.
Answer the 11 questions the tagger asked you.
Tag 11 more bloggers who have less than 200 followers.
Make 11 questions for those you have tagged.
Tell the people that you tagged them & no tagging back.

Well,if i started listing my likes & dislikes there are strong chances of you reaching for the mouse to click the next blog.Therefore i will answer the 11 questions asked by Anupam & my answers will tell you 11facts about me.Neat,isn't it ?

1-Blue n white checkered or black?
Blue n white checkered.
2-Curtains or no curtains?
3-Hard cover,paper back or e-books?
Hard cover.
4-What is your ambience while writing?
I like to write on paper first,when there is silence,comfort & a cup of tea,with me.
5-Do you plan to publish a novel?
Perish the thought,my imagination is zilch.
6-Do you like to make a gift for your loved one or would you rather buy?
I would like to make it myself.
7-Which is the most beautiful color according to you?
Sky blue.
8-What is your mantra in life?
To act according to my conscience' dictates.
9-Have you ever thought of becoming a soldier in your life?
Ah no!
10-Do you have stage fright?
11Mickey mouse/Alladin/Duck tales or Shin chan/Doraemon/Kitrestu?
I have not watched any cartoons-i mean on TV!

My questions for the new awardees:
1-Your favorite color?
2-Your favorite movie?
3-Your favorite music genre?
4-Your favorite actor?
5-Your favorite actress?
6-Your favorite hobby?
7-Your favorite blog?(some help from me---jeeteraho?)
8-Your pet hate?
9-Your dream vocation?
10-Your dream vacation?
11-Your ambition in life?

Ah! so much of hard work(that is why this post has been waiting since July 2012).But good things don't come easy.So now all that is left is to name 11 new bloggers.This will take another 2 months i think!
Randomly chosen bloggers are thus:

Now all that is left to do is inform these bloggers & then i am done.My congratulations to the winners!!!!!!!!

Monday, October 22, 2012

One Single Soul !!!!!

I know what you are thinking----we all have one single soul.Yes of course.You are right.But i have been through an experience where more than a hundred ladies possessed a single soul.The whole lot was a throbbing,pulsating mass of anticipation,excitement,curiosity & a sense of adventure.They were out there to have a good time & waiting for the fun to begin.Without testing your patience  further,let me tell you that we were all assembled at ITC Sheraton Delhi for the Pantene Nature Fusion IndiBlogger Meet.

It was an amazing experience.The venue was great & the ambiance excellent.There were various shades of self-introductions,fun-filled games,interesting competitions,very soothing & satisfying hair spas,wacky moments,tasty lavish grub & prizes galore!Lots of thrill & joyous participation marked all the events.

For the first time,we were able to connect faces with hitherto familiar names & thoughts.I had been eager to meet Zephyr & it turned out to be a memorable meeting.This meet cemented the friendship between us.We had been interacting with each other on IB & through phone & now we were face to face.It was a great experience.I enjoyed meeting many bloggers whom i had read --especially Ashima with the smiling face.And there were many new  bloggers whom i wanted to read as soon as possible.

The cream on top of this luscious cake was the curtsy,hospitality & cooperation of IndiBlogger Team,helping you out even before you know what you want.The team's congeniality made it a memorable event for me.The whole show was executed with a lot of finesse & panache.However it left me with an unfulfilled  desire--'Yeh dil mange more!'


Thirteen years ago,
On this day,
You were there,
And then you were not.

I have been remiss,
 In carrying out,
What i should have done,
But I did not.

An ocean of foresight,
Patience & benevolence,
What did i learn,
From your noble presence?

Did i hurt you father,
Did i disappoint much?
Being your daughter,
How could i have been thus?

All this is now,
So much vapor in the winds,
Moments pass,
But the memories pinch.

Sunday, September 30, 2012

Making Marriage Work

What happens when a true blue,no no,fiery red Arian marries a cool,cool Aquarian? The former is a fire sign while the latter is air.Presumably there will be fireworks.Air will add to fire's potency & the flames will go sky high.Or it could also extinguish it completely.When air adds to fire's vigor is it a good omen?And what if the opposite happens?What transpires in the Arian's mind then?Endless possibilities there.Impossible to predict.Nor could i,when i married my BH--best half,better half, bitter half or bad half--depending on my mood.Therefore let us leave speculation aside & enter the arena right where the shenanigans began.An untold story unfolds:

The journey started on 13th April 1968.Now I know what the grey cells are telling you;but believe me it is a lucky number for some.As I was saying BH was an army officer,belonging to a martial race(see Mars comes in both our resumes),and steeped in the old feudal traditions.Poor me-born & brought up in New Delhi,believing in the equality of genders!I had never been to Punjab ,while his home town was Gurdaspur.But that was nothing compared to the nitty-gritties which drove us.
I was nothing if not frank,while BH could never say things outright.This used to infuriate me no end-not that it served any purpose.I was rather impetuous,impatient & impulsive,but you could never catch him off- guard.He would react to everything at his own pace.If we came across any hurdle you would find me all worked up,but BH,he was made of steel.As cool as--I don't know;can't think of anyone as cool as him.I could go on & on,recounting the dissimilarities between us, but I don't want to bore you to death;or risk you leaving my blog for ever& ever.

Anyhow,three things saved us from falling apart:one,he was & is a perfect gentleman;second,I had been cautioned by my parents never to answer back;& third,I was,and still am,scared of fights & acrimony.My home has to be peaceful at all costs.In this way we began to tread on thin ice underlaid with mysterious landmines.

The biggest fetish that BH has is,his hatred for criticism-his own of course.He doesn't mind criticizing me! Now I am a fanatic for system & order while he--er let it go.Add to this my compulsion to call a spade a spade & you can imagine the outbursts which never failed to surprise me whenever I pointed out a mistake on his part.Similarly,he does not like anyone giving him advice.Now I don't have this vice-of giving advice right,left & center;but sometimes in favor of the family's good,it does become necessary to do so.I was foolish enough to embark on this path in the initial fiascoes,but now whenever I have this urge I couch my thoughts in the form of a question--like"Do you think it is healthy to eat a parantha for breakfast every day?Should we try something else?"I have also learnt to wrap up my critiques in palatable casings.Like,if I want to tell him to walk up straight I will instead praise so & so for his erect posture.I can see instantaneous results without any rancor.

He has another quaint habit:he expects me to agree with everything he says.Or rather expected me to;because after umpteen face-offs,this characteristic is finally on the wane.The clashes on this front were inevitable & numerous;because no matter what the topic of discussion,our views were invariably contradictory & I could not,for the life of me,pretend to agree with what I did not believe in.I am relieved that today we have fewer spats on this account.

It is really strange that in every possible way my opinions,convictions & predilections are diametrically opposed to his.Whenever small odd jobs like changing a tube light,fixing a tap or an errant toaster,need to be done;he will pick up the phone & outsource it to someone.On the other hand my first choice is to try & do it myself.Anyhow this is not such a bad habit because he does keep our home in good functioning order.

I often complain that he does not help me in household work but he is tops when it comes to filling my kitchen,fridge & pantry with all sorts of goods & goodies.He has also taken it upon himself to water the plants in our garden,fill up the room coolers & overhead tanks ,& also take out water from the Aqua guard .But apart from this,no one has ever seen him sullying his hands with any household chore.

Money matters could be a vile bone of contention between any couple but our roles are strictly demarcated.He has to earn & I have to spend.See-no overlapping or ambiguity here!I must admit that till date he has never refused me anything.But I too have never made any exorbitant demands; except for the setting up & running of Sahyog,this computer that I am working on,& a few diamonds here and there. Sahyog reminds me,though our ideas differ on so many things,he has stood staunchly behind me,in so far as the activities concerned with this mission of mine are concerned.Without his  support this would not have been possible.

Food is another risky area.Well I am not much of a cook but he,cute soul,gulps whatever is given to him.I am sure he would have even cooked for me-if only he knew where the kitchen was!

What else-yes our temperaments-now this really demanded hard labor.We were both very hot-headed to begin with but BH has brought about a colossal change in himself.I too manage to keep my temper in check.As far as being diplomatic is concerned,I have the best guru at home & am learning by & by.Whenever I am stimulated rather dangerously,I look at him to see how he is taking it,& then I simmer down.No harm done!

My BH is a devout disciple of Lord Shiva & Lord Hanuman but I believe more in Arya Samaj.I am not much into rituals,pilgrimages & visits to temples because I think God is omnipresent.Today he too agrees silently with my convictions.Celebration of any special day in our house is now done through a simple yagna.I really appreciate this change in him.

He is an inveterate creature of habit.Everything in his life must follow the same fixed routine.On the other hand I thrive on change.Whether it is the decor of the house,or my routine,or my hobbies;I tire of the sameness.Therefore I must push the furniture around every now & then.It was very perplexing for him in the beginning but he accepted it as a necessary evil.Not a murmur of protest ever escaped his lips.I tell you this is a big sacrifice on his part.

As i near the end of this post I myself am amazed as to how we have stuck together despite so many incompatibilities.Initially the rough protrusions of our personalities jarred raucously,resulting in friction & frustration for both of us;but we carried on.The thought of divorce never crossed our minds.Today,with the wisdom of so many years of married life behind me,I realize that we had two options:either we took umbrage at every collision;or just let it zoom over our heads & ponder how to avoid it in future.Thankfully,we chose the second option.

Some say that a human being's basic nature never changes but I say that it can,& should be moulded to suit the circumstances.But of course both the partners ought to make efforts to meet halfway.The love which results from living together over many years,grows strong because it comes after mutual acceptance of the other person's faults.After this transpires, life begins to flow smoothly & we even begin to love the other person's idiosyncrasies!What better way to end this post than with this quote:

A successful marriage requires falling in love many times, always with the same person. 

Wednesday, September 26, 2012

#Marital Abuse-The Deadly Tie

Choosing a life partner is serious business.And risky.Risky because a wrong choice could jeopardize your health,happiness & safety.Any number of irritants could breed discord in a conjugal relationship but the one which is deadliest of all is-abuse.As we all know,abuse could be emotional,physical or sexual.Most of the times,it is the female who is the victim.Almost always,this truth is hidden scrupulously from outsiders.Strangely,it is the victim herself who will go the extra mile to hide it.In this way a crime which could plumb to the depths of torture,inhumanity & crime,is assured immunity from law & societal censure.This cuts off the victim from all probable sources of support & protection.Her isolation exacerbates her vulnerability.

Let us consider what all a victim has to put up with.Emotional abuse starts innocuously enough.The tyrant wants to have everything his way.He does not like contradiction,criticism or debate.If she fails to comply he may withdraw his affections or give her the silent treatment.Going a step further he may bully her into obeying his orders.Or still worse,he begins to humiliate her as being incompetent, uncouth,uncultured--or un-whatever.Equality?Respect?Consideration? No sir!These words do not exist in his dictionary.

As for physical abuse,starting from threats & intimidation,it could go on to pushing,slapping,hitting,punching & thrusting upon her,sexual acts which she abhors.Adultery & betrayal would pale in comparison.

This is followed by more emotional & psychological abuse.She is made to feel that it is her fault that all this is happening to her.There are glaring shortcomings in her personality & behavior which fuel his righteous anger.A victim is branded as the root cause of the fracas.The whole purpose is to demoralize her to such an extent that all thoughts of resistance & rebellion are quashed for ever.

An episode of abuse is generally succeeded by acts of repentance,conciliation & promises of better behavior.As a result the victim shrugs it off as a one time occurrence & stifles all thoughts of reporting him to the authorities.If the abuser sticks to his word then of course nothing much remains to be said.A more stubborn spouse or partner could be brought around by consulting Marriage counselors or Psychologists.

But what does one do when a violent episode is followed by another & then many others ? Slowly the time gap between these episodes decreases untill it becomes a daily routine.Minor scuffles give way to serious acts of aggression and she is likely to suffer grievous injuries.In order to ward off future attacks ,she tries to please him by following all his dictums.The more she caves in the more domineering he becomes.Her efforts to buy pace give contrary results.Here i am talking of a compulsive sociopath or a psychopath whom it is difficult to reform.Life with such a person is not only stressful but also dreadful.It is not unusual for such a relationship to end in the victim's death murder.

On the emotional front she lives in a perpetual state of fear,shame&impending doom. It is but natural that this sort of life leaves a ghastly impact upon her psyche.There is mammoth erosion of self esteem & confidence.She loses all hopes of fighting her tormentor & finding peace for herself.Nor can she see any savior coming from outside to rescue her.

There are three reasons why this is so.Firstly such an anti-social personality keeps his private life hermetically sealed from prying eyes.He is also very good at impressing people by his pleasing ways.Secondly,he has probably shackled his wife well&proper.Thirdly,she herself being ashamed of the treatment meted out to her;has wilfully severed all ties with relatives,friends & well wishers.All in all,she finds herself alone & helpless in face of grave danger.

Therefore if a woman realizes that she is living with such a person,it is time for her to take stock of the situation.She has to decide whether she wants to stick it out or get out fast.Here are some warning signals which can aid her decision-

*She tries hard to please him in every possible manner.Obeys him.

*She is scared most of the time.Dreads being alone with him.

*Minor clashes give way to major brawls.

*Small cuts or bruises are replaced by deeper cuts,welts or fractures.

*Violence becomes a daily feature.

*Her mood deteriorates consistently & she feels that she is slipping into depression.

If any victim feels that she can relate to some of the points mentioned above,then it is certainly time to break free.But this is not how,many sufferers view it.We are often amazed as to why they continue to live in such  hell-holes.The answer to this question is as complex as the situation itself.Perhaps--

*She is not economically independent.

*She does not have any support system to fall back upon.

*She is afraid of being alone.

*She is apprehensive that if her own home could not offer protection to her,how will she find safety outside it's confines.

*She still has love for the perpetrator.

*She hopes he will turn over a new leaf.

*She is afraid that if she leaves her conjugal home,it will sully her image.

*She has been conditioned to believe that her husband is her superior & she should put up with his behavior-however cruel it might be.

*She does not want to opt out because of her children.

*She has had a traumatic childhood & thinks that she deserves no better.

*She has no knowledge of any agency which can offer shelter to her.

*The villain of the piece has threatened her 
with dire consequences if she dares to leave him.

Thus we see that there are so many factors which pressurize her to stay put despite serious danger to her life.However it is necessary to point out that today there are many Shelter Homes run by the Central Social Welfare Board of India for the protection of such women.State Social Welfare Boards & various NGOs also provide such facilities.In addition to this there are Mahila Thanas & Family Courts to help women in distress.Over & above are various laws which shield women from atrocities & punish offenders.The Protection of Women from Domestic Violence Act 2005 offers protection to not only wives & live-in partners,but also to sisters,widows & single women living with the abuser.More information about this Act can be found here.

Putting up with abuse or getting the abuser punished is a very personal decision.Only the aggrieved can make a choice.But turbulent circumstances tend to cloud a person's judgement &it is advisable to consult a counselor at such times.At the risk of being labeled an oxymoron i would say that while patience & forbearance can resurrect a sagging relationship;putting up with a life-threatening & increasingly violent relationship is counter productive.It is best to get out of it while there is still time.

Thursday, September 13, 2012

They are around

Yes i am happy,
To be alive.
What is it,
That gives me the high?

Those who were,
An integral part,
Are now lost,
Somewhere in dark.

I wish i could hear you,
Calling my name,
Touch your wrinkled skin,
At least once again.

Your boundless support,
And unsaid reprovals,
Helped me grow roots,
And find my soil.

You entrenched me well,
On this spinning earth,
Had you not been you,
I would have had no worth.

You have not gone,
You are living in me,
Your values & beliefs,
Are sustaining me!

Saturday, September 1, 2012

A Recluse

Soak no more in tears,
You have suffered for years.
Singed & scarred by unrelenting fate.
Scorching has been,your life to date.

You had fashioned a world,
With love & care,
Twas smashed in seconds,
Laying you bare.

You chose to crawl ,
Into your shell,
But it was never,
Any less than hell.

You are trapped,
In a maze of thoughts,
They are merely ghosts,
Of what once was!

This stormy grind,
Of your churning mind,
Has pushed you into,
A deep ravine.

Forsake this shell,
And you will find,
You yourself have cast,
Fetters that bind.

The tongues of fire,
Have long retired,
Gird up , retrieve,
Your lost empire.

Much was lost,
But a lot remains,
Cup it in your hands,
And build again!

A person who is dogged by persistent misfortune sometimes loses hope & the zest for life.He isolates himself from all & in this way blocks all chances of recovery.If only he would gather courage to make a fresh start he could be happy once again.

Wednesday, August 15, 2012

The Third Dimension

Success and happiness are inter-related.While success is an important ingredient of  happiness ; happiness in turn facilitates  success.But there is another factor which is a prior requirement for both of these to happen and that is emotional maturity,emotional fitness;or EQ.

 EQ is the ability to understand one's own emotions & have control over them on one hand;and to recognize the emotions of others & be able to get along with them ,on the other.It determines to a large extent,how successful,happy or popular a person will be.We often come across people who are physically and mentally fit & have brilliant academic history;but they fail to realize their full potential.Success evades them and their relationships too,leave much to be desired.A deeper insight is likely to reveal that they lack EQ,which would have helped them to bond with people & make best use of available circumstances and resources.

Understanding our own emotions

A person having a high EQ knows his strengths & weaknesses very well.

He will channelize his energies in the direction in which his talents lie.

He has a clear idea of his goals,& the best way to achieve them.

His intentions & actions are streamlined.

He is confident of his abilities,& can take independent decisions.

Since he knows his shortcomings and does not have any false hang-ups,he does not hesitate to ask for help when necessary.

He has ample self-confidence & self-esteem.

He loves his surroundings & fellow beings.

That is why forming intimate relationships is easy for him.

Knowing his emotions is not all;he also has sufficient control over them:Come a ticklish situation,& he knows how to respond.

Anger,hatred & jealousy are kept safely in check.

Unexpected twists & turns do not fluster him because he has confidence in his ability to handle any situation.

He can adapt to unfavorable circumstance,& is quick to forgive those who rub him the wrong way.

If he commits a mistake he does not hesitate to say sorry & make amends.

He is equanimous in all situations & balanced in his reactions.

His behavior is consistent & predictable-no mood swings there!

Understanding others

He can easily decipher the emotions & intentions of other people.

He respects their views, but also knows how to convert them to his own line of thinking.

He is a powerful motivator.

When it comes to interactions with others;empathy & an ability to look at contentious issues from others' point of view is his forte. 

He does not hold back praise & appreciation.

He can also handle their outbursts without acrimony.

He does not hold grudges-knows how to forgive.

Always ready with a helping hand.He is a strong support for anyone in trouble.

It wouldn't be an exaggeration to say that these skills bequeath a distinct advantage to a person in personal,social & professional areas.Other things being equal,a person with a high EQ has better chances of success & happiness than others.The upheavals of life sometimes make it difficult for us to remain in full control but a good EQ can definitely make it easier.