Posted in Reflections

Learn to say NO

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Most of us have this problem of not being able to say “No” in most situations.

There could be multiple reasons behind this –

-> you don’t want to do some thing but cant say it on the face, as you don’t want to hurt the other person

-> you know you can’t do it (or don’t want to do it) but can’t say it out of fear/respect towards the other person

-> you are not sure whether you can do it, but still say ‘yes’ because you want to do it somehow (or hope to do it)

-> you don’t want to do it, but just to keep your good impression, you go ahead and say yes and don’t care much about it (thatz rude :/)

-> You think you are a super man/woman who can do anything to keep everyone happy 😛

Am sure most of us can identify ourselves in above situations. Either of the case above, what we have to realize is that, we ourselves will be the ones to bear the damage.

At work, if you commit to something and not able to perform later, it can be treated as under-performance. You will not have a chance to give explanation, as you would be told you should have fore-seen it before accepting the task (which is valid). So, its better to think in all dimensions before committing to something

In personal life too, if you commit to something and not able to do it, it can be treated as not keeping promises or not being sincere. So, instead of giving hopes and later being seen as someone who doesn’t stand by their words , its better to weigh the situation carefully before saying yes to something or someone.

Even if you cant say no as you don’t want to hurt the other person, remember that saying yes and then not keeping your word can cause more damage.

So, whatever the case may be – learn to say “No” whenever it is needed. Its OK to say NO at times !!

(pic credits : google images)

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Posted in Reflections

Happy Sankranti :)

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 Like everytime, we came to our hometown for festival holidays and all the roads are filled with colorful rangolis wishing happy sankranti.

This took me back to my childhood days when the real celebration of sankranti was there. Sankranti is considered the biggest festival in Andhra, mainly as it is during the harvest season. Since the harvest is ready, people used to celebrate the new harvest with every member of family. 

The day before sankranti is celebrated as Bhogi, where “bhogi manta” (bon fire) is made early in the morning . It indicates burning away all the bad things of the past and start afresh for future. Beautiful rangolis are made infront of the houses.

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Then there is Hari-Dasu (considered as the Lord Narada himself) who comes to every house for a handful of grains and blesses each family with wealth and prosperity.

Image result for haridasuGangireddu is another festival speciality, in which the gangireddus (bulls decorated and worshipped – considered as Nandi – the vaahanam (vehicle) of Lord Shiva himself) are brought along with the person accompanying them (considered as Lord Shiva himself) playing beautiful songs from their melam (a percussion instrument). Every household gives some grains to the person and some clothes to cover the bull and receives blessings from them. It is considered that on the eve of the festival, Lord Shiva himself comes down with his Nandi to visit each family and bless them.

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Another specialty of the festival is lip-smacking sweets and savouries. All the members of the family sit together and make the tasty items. Also, this day of the year, everyone makes sure to remember their elders (who passed away) and give some offerings to them.

The  colorful kites flying in the skies celebrate the spirit of Sankranti. Sankranthi is all about thanking God for the happiness, celebrating new beginnings and spending time with family!!

Wish you all a Happy Sankranthi!!

Pictures credit : Google Images

Posted in Reflections

A day with the kids

Today as part of our LOTUS activities, we had a science workshop for the kids (6th and 7th). It was so much fun looking at the excitement in their eyes as they finished one experiment after other.
We have chosen simple experiments which would mainly look like toys with a concept of science behind. The kids were so excited at the working models and were also curious to know how and why it worked that way. Working with them brought out the child in us and we also had as much fun.

We had referred to this wonderful site of Aravind toys – which is about making toys from every day available materials with a simple concept of science behind. All those interested can take a look at their site : http://www.arvindguptatoys.com/toys.html

Here are some pictures from the event…


Keep the child in you alive  🙂 🙂

 

 

Posted in Reflections, short stories

an unplanned date..

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(Pic Credits: Google Images)

I looked at my phone and dialed Rahul..”I want to shop for a money purse for my dad..can you help me”, I asked him. “Sure, I will call you back in five mins” he said. I had an office outing in the first half of the day and the second half was free.  He must be in office and busy, but I felt like asking him anyway.

I have known Rahul since the last two months. He is my friend’s colleague and has been trying a lot to ask me out. However, many things happened in the last couple of years in my life due to which I stopped thinking about love, relationship or guys.

Some days later, as we chatted on gtalk, I told him how I was not interested in all these things and he should not waste his time around me. I said “I don’t want to give you false hopes by befriending you”. But all he said was “The fact that I like you is my problem. I will take care of it. You don’t worry about it and just be my friend. That is all I want”. Very good at words, I dint know how to say no to that.

Today is the first time I have called him on my own. I was not sure why, but I decided to not think much and listen to my heart. As I was deeply immersed in my thoughts, my phone rang. He said “Can you come to marathalli. I enquired with my friends and they say we can find the money purse there. I could come and pick you, but my office is very far, so it would waste lot of time”.  I smiled at him trying to explain, after all he was helping me out here – why is he trying to explain to me.

I took an auto and reached marathalli. He was already there waiting for me. We checked couple of shops, but they dint have what I wanted.  As we were looking in the shops, it felt strange for me, after many years this was the first time I came out shopping with a guy. I wonder what was different in this guy, that made me do this.

We decided we better try at Commerical street, we will definitely find it there. He asked me to wait at the exit gate and he would get his bike from parking. As I waited there, I thought I was going to sit on a guy’s bike after many years. What am I doing? Is it OK? Am I giving hopes to this guy when I clearly was not ready for it? The sound of the horn, brought me back to reality – I had phased out again. He was there coming on his bike, and I must say, he looked very handsome. He stopped infront of me, took off his helmet and said “I wish I had a camera now, to capture the view. It is so beautiful”.  The way he looked into my eyes and said this, made my heart flutter and a hint of smile appear on my lips. He was obviously referring to me. Normally, listening to such lines, I would have felt how cheesy they are, but to my surprise I could feel myself blushing.

I quickly avoided his gaze and got onto the back seat. He was very good at driving, I was impressed by the way he maneuvered the Airport road traffic. We chatted some random stuff all along and I could notice him stealing glances at me through his bike mirror. “I am so happy today that a girl has got onto my bike” he said as we stopped at a traffic signal. “As if no other girl, got on your bike. Don’t tell me” I said.  “I mean, a girl who I like”.. I was a bit happy listening to this, but was worried at the same time. “Oh! No!! I am giving false indications” I thought. I decided to take control and said “Rahul, I told you how I felt. I can’t come with you if you feel that way about me.. ”. “Relax!” he said, “I am just telling you the truth. Besides, there is nothing you should feel so worried about. Don’t think much and just enjoy the moment. Life is all about memories”.

We reached commercial street and found a very good bag for dad. It started getting dark and the streets were illuminated. It looked beautiful. Walking on the streets with him by my side, talking all nonsense– it felt weird. Weird but nice, nice and fun. I actually liked spending time with him, but there was something stopping me from admitting it to myself.

The walking around and shopping made me hungry. We decided to stop at McD to grab a burger. As we sat there facing each other having our burgers, it felt nice and relaxing after a long day. We talked about our past crushes, office stories etc etc. Amidst all these, one thing I noticed was the way he looked at me. There was so much love in his eyes and I couldn’t dare to look straight into them. I was not able to hold eye contact for more than a second, don’t know why. Probably I felt, that way he will be able to peek into my soul and know how I started feeling about him. I know that sounds too filmy, but blame the number of Rom-Coms I watch :).

I realized that it was already 8pm and I was getting late. I wondered how fast time has flown. As we walked back to the bike parking, the roads were a bit deserted now. The cool night, the empty roads and the moon light, it felt nice to walk with him. I told him to walk slow as I was not able to catch up with him. He said, his mother is also like me, she walks slow and says the same. Somehow, I liked that he remembered his mother while being with me.

He promised to take me home before 9pm and we reached well in advance, thanks to his driving skills. As he dropped me off at my home, I thanked him for helping me out. He said he was glad I called him today and he had a wonderful time. As I said my Bye and walked towards the lift, I started thinking – all these feelings I felt today, are they real? I never thought I could feel this way about a guy again, after what happened in my past. He made me feel special, he made me feel loved. Should I be cautious, take a step back and avoid it? Or should I go with it?

For once, do not think much and let things happen…Just enjoy the moment.. you deserve some love…my heart told me… ❤

Posted in Reflections

self-doubt..women..career

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(Image credits: Google)

Recently I have started reading this book “Lean in” by Sheryl Sandberg and I would recommend it to all the career women out there

I have read about 90 pages and I could connect to lot of things she says in it. One of the topics particularly struck a chord with me. Itseems women mostly tend to under-estimate themselves, mainly when it comes to academics or career achievements. Even if we achieve something, we mostly attribute it to external factors.

For example : when we achieve a really aggressive project deadline, most of us would attribute it to either “i got lucky” or ” worked really hard on it” or “i had lot of support from my team”.. She says, many of us secretly feel that today I got lucky and did well, but very soon in future they might know that I am not up to it. I can connect to it as I have felt that way many a times. The problem is women often underestimate themselves.

In a survey, when men were asked to rate themselves, they have rated themselves more than they are capable of, whereas women rated themselves lesser than what they are actually capable of  (as per the book). And while men attribute their success to their innate qualities like skill and talent, women attribute success to external factors…Probably this is just how women are by nature…

She says, when she offered women employees in her organization for a new job role, they are often hesitant – “am I good enough for the task?” “will I be able to handle the new role?” “I think I still have much to learn in my current role”? etc etc..

So, we women have to stop the self-doubt and keep reminding ourselves what we are capable of. Remind ourselves of our achievements and they were not just because of luck – but because we are capable.

Posted in Reflections

writer’s block??!!

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Since couple of weeks, I have been thinking I should get back to blogging again.. But I am not able to put anything in words.. One reason is the endless work at office..even when I am taking a break, my mind keeps telling me you could use this time to finish off some work or debug some issues. Now that I am at home for diwali, I try to sneak in some time to write something, but nothing comes out… Is this like the writer’s block?? Anyways, I have finally decided not to try too hard and go with the flow 🙂

Happy Diwali everyone!!!!

(Image Credits : Google Images)

Posted in Reflections

Beautiful dream!

Today morning I woke up with a smile on my face and though I was awake I could still feel the joy I felt in my dream. I still remember the joy i felt looking at the beautiful greenery surrounding me.May be the effect of the plush meadows at himalayas has not left me yet..every other day I dream of it..

The place I saw in today’s dream is somewhere new..I have not been there yet..high rising meadows, greenery all around, tall trees, subtle fog.and there were some koalas on the trees who were eating nuts from my hands (anything is possible in dreams😆) .am sure such a place must be there, somewhere hidden in reality too..my mind has visited the place even before I did😊..the feeling of joy was real though 😊😁

Waiting for the day when I will actually visit the place and feel the dejavu..till then I wish my mind keeps visiting such beautiful places 😄😁

The attached pic is of hampta pass which I felt closer to the place I saw in my dream ☺

Posted in Reflections

Himalayan trek ; take-aways from my experience!

roopkund

As I sat down to write about my Roopkund trek experience, I realized there is so much to write and I cannot complete it anytime soon. So, before I finish my documentation, I decided to write down a few points from my experience for the aspiring/first time Himalayan trekkers. Also, many of my friends have been asking about such treks – I hope this helps.

  1. Firstly, you MUST do a Himalayan trek atleast once. It is an experience of life time. Age is not a limit as such, if you are fit enough. Kids to elders, everyone can do it. Just choose a trek that suits your calibre.
  2. For the first timers, it is better to go through some established trekking group like “India Hikes” (https://indiahikes.com/). They take care of all the itinerary and you will have some experienced trek leads with you. All you have to worry is only packing your back-pack.
  3. Prepare yourself for the trek by following a workout routine atleast from one month before the trek. Focus on building your stamina.
  4. Get a medical check-up done (most of the trek groups ask for medical certificate), to make sure your health can support such high altitudes.
  5. Get all the necessary items ready – mainly layers of woolens to protect you from cold and rain, sunscreen, sunglasses, basic medication, torchlight, toilet paper
  6. If you plan to go alone, don’t worry – you will still have fun, as there will be others from the group to accompany when needed and you can be on your own whenever you feel like.
  7. There will be lot of doubts and fears for the first timers if you will be able to reach the destination or not. Forget all that. It is all about the journey rather than about the destination.
  8. Stop thinking if you will be able to reach the destination or not. Just enjoy the nature, each moment and keep moving. Take small breaks whenever you are tired, re-energize yourself with the nature around and keep moving. Remember, it is not a race.
  9. When you feel like giving up, just push yourself a little bit more and your body will surprise you.
  10. This is a perfect opportunity to meet new people from different places and different backgrounds. Make new friends ,talk to the localites, know about the history and culture of the place and enjoy every moment.
  11. For the first timers, you may find certain facilities a bit uncomfortable while camping! Try not to complain and just embrace everything as a new experience and you will love it!

If you are a nature lover, then this is the perfect way to explore the beautiful and pure terrains of Himalayas first hand. As you face the harsh weather conditions and reach the destination, the feeling of achievement is priceless. You will get a confidence that you can face any obstacle in life. You will learn a lot through the journey –  how to motivate yourself mentally, how to take care of yourself physically so that you can continue the trek for the next day, how to listen to your body when it is exhausted and take care of it, how to help others in need, how to appreciate little things in life, how many luxuries which we take for granted everyday in life are not really needed for happiness, the value of friendship and people who care for you, and at the same time, how you can be happy with yourself and how life is much beyond the rat race of earning and spending money!

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Posted in Reflections

Korean drama craze

After last couple of weeks of extreme work pressure and stress also from other spheres of life, I re-realized the comfort in korean dramas. I started watching this drama – Faith starring Lee Min Ho, which is enough of motivation for me to watch it 🙂 .. I remember there was a time when me and my sisters were crazily crazy about korean dramas. Every day we used to look forward to coming back home from work, just to watch the next episode.

There is something magical about these dramas, as they transport us to a entirely different world. A world where it is perfectly OK to be stupid, perfectly OK to not be good at anything, perfectly OK to fail at times and perfectly OK to be in the worst stage of life – in the end everything is going to be fine and everything good will happen to good people. Moreover there is so much positivity that you cant help but feel cheerful after watching them 🙂

So, after posting this, I am going to get back right to my drama and atleast finish one more episode before going to bed today 🙂  Three Cheers to Korean drama 🙂 🙂 🙂

Posted in short stories

short story#1

Writing after a loooong gap.. trying to get back to this habit of writing…My first honest attempt on writing a short story.

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(image downloaded from google)

He dint reply to my messages since last night. May be he is busy. I decided I will take couple of hours off from office during lunch time and get him some gift. Its his birthday soon.

Rahul is my best friend, scratch that – he is more than a friend. I don’t know how to define the relation, and never thought about it. We talk almost every day and share almost everything. As I searched for gift in the Archies shop, these thoughts ran in my head. I picked up a small glass mural with some nice words about friendship written and in the end it had a line “you are special to me”. I felt that sentence summarized what exactly I felt. We are staying in the same city, but I will have to courier the gift, as we decided we will not make any conscious attempt to meet. We will let fate decide. We thought it was more fun that way.

I knew Rahul from last three years, an accidental online friend, who became a chat buddy, then a phone friend and then a best friend. We shared our thoughts, ideas, happiness, sorrows – and talked almost every day. It was a unique friendship and special in its own way.

As I reached office, I tried calling him couple of times but no response. I sent couple of text messages, but in vain. I wondered what went wrong. As I reached home in the evening, I received a text message from him. Looking at his name on my phone, I felt a tinge of joy. I was all ready to fight with him that how could he be so busy to not respond to my calls since yesterday.  As I opened the text, it said “Hi, I am a friend of Rahul, sending this message to everyone in his contact list. He is no more due to an accident he met with last night. My condolences.”

I froze there reading the message. I wanted to read the message again, but my vision has blurred with the tears that filled my eyes. This cannot be true, he must be playing a prank on me, said my mind. I immediately called him, but there was no response. I called again hoping for the ringer to end and hear a voice, but no response again. There were million thoughts running in my head. Just today, I wanted to give him this gift and let him know he is special to me, but it never occurred to me, that his absence would hurt me so much. I felt as if I lost something very close to my heart. How could this happen, I dint even get to meet him.

I wondered where all these emotions are coming from, where are all these tears coming from. I never knew I felt so much for him. I picked up the phone again and dialled the number, a part of me knowing that there won’t be a response, but another part of me wishing for a miracle. The phone was just ringing mutely for some time and then suddenly I heard a “hello”. It was his voice..I was surprised, shocked, angry, happy all at the same time. He was saying “hello, are you there?” from the other side, but for a second I could not react. And then I started crying, crying and only crying. He started saying “sorry, sorry…dont cry..please”, but I could not react. After a couple of minutes, I could stopped crying and tried to be calm.

“I am sorry I sent a text that way. It was just a prank for couple of minutes. I was going to talk to you anyways. I got hurt last night and was in the hospital, thats why I couldn’t respond to the calls. I returned only sometime back and saw the calls on my phone. I sent this message to prank you, went to freshen up and came back and took your call. I dint imagine you would believe it. I made a terrible mistake. I am so sorry, I would never want to hurt you…” he was explaining and explaining.

it sank in that it was just a prank and all is well. I should have shouted at him, be angry at him or throw tantrums, but all I felt was gladness – a sense of peace. I was glad that he was fine. I was glad that I realized how I felt without him.  I was glad, I realized how I felt about him.