Surreal Scotland

This week’s Photo challenge by The Daily Post,Converge, immediately brings to my mind our amazing road trip to Scotland.The medieval style of architecture in old town Edinburgh as well as Glasgow is at once both intriguing and intimidating. In the pictures featured in this post the convergence of building, human and nature elements is clearly visible.

The first picture is on the highway to Edinburgh, Scotland.

Beautiful convergence of road, undulating hills and the clouds
Beautiful convergence of road, undulating hills and the clouds
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Human, building and metal

In the picture below, there is the amazing convergence of textures and colours of the two walls which contrast beautifully with the bright circles of light on the sign board.

At the Royal Mile
At the Royal Mile
Glasgow
Glasgow

Clean India Campaign and more 

We are mighty pleased as well as proud of the fact that the new Indian prime minister Shri Narendra Modi is taking pains to make the general public aware of their responsibility in maintaining a clean environment. The daily newspapers are also emphasising on this need and pushing the administration in conducting cleanliness drives where necessary.
I can observe a general shift in attitude now. People who were initially careless, now think twice before throwing a tissue or a fruit peel in the open and stop and wait to look for a dustbin.The need for more public toilets is also being looked into.
Recently I was in Delhi. How I wish that the next agenda in focus is to be stricter in imposing traffic rules! Apparently there is only one rule that is followed by commuters in most parts of Delhi, that is ‘there are no rules’.With due apologies, probably not just Delhi but most towns and cities of the country have a similar traffic scene. The driving mechanism that we follow is of defence – steering away to protect our own vehicle from the truck driver who is in a perpetual hurry, the motorcyclist that suddenly swishes past wearing his own life on his sleeve or the cyclist that suddenly decides to cross the road without any warning. People refuse to drive in lanes, which actually contributes to all this chaos, and not to forget the continuous sound of honking the horn from left ,right and center.

Of Blogging Dreams

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Today’s Blogher prompt asks the question ‘Where do you see your blog in one year? Five years?’

Well, the answer to this question is actually quite simple but requires some imagination. Obviously being an optimistic person and a dreamer to some extent I would like to imagine that my blog would have reached the pinnacles of success in the next five years!

At present my blog is young and energetic and raring to go. Within one year I visualize having an established presence in blogosphere, with perhaps (wishfully) some blogging awards under my belt and writing offers from wordpress and blogher!! No, please, I don’t wish to sound pompous at all ,but the prompt, prompts me to think the best possible. so why shouldn’t I?

In one year I also anticipate having a published novel credited to my name.In five years time, God willing things should continue to be moving well not just in terms of blogging but also related to family, health and of course wealth! (It rhymes well you see) Last but not the least , I’m sure I’ll have become an expert blogger-so writing a book on blogging tips for beginners is on the cards. Any Takers?

Celebration Time for ‘Riturang’ !!

We have done it!  Today my blog ‘riturang crossed another milestone of 100 followers (102 to be precise).Statistically,it may not be a huge following, but its definately a good start and loads of encouragement considering that my blog is just 4 months old.. It is further motivation to continue in the quest for self improvement and come up with new and interesting topics to write about. Thus far, I feel that to some extent I’ve been successful in writing what I set out to. My goal was to create magazine like content covering a range of topics from recipes to reviews and observations of life in general, through various media such as prose, poetry and pictures.

At times, all of this seems like a lot of hard work but every like and comment or follow earned makes it worth the effort. Looking forward to continue writing even better posts.It may sound cliched, but once again…..

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Move Over NaBloPoMo, Here Comes MoNoWriMo!

5,4,3,2,1,0…the countdown has begun! We have entered the last week.Just 6 more posts (including today’s) to go before NaBloPoMo ends. At the beginning it almost seemed like an impossible task- committing to make a blog post everyday.But as they say,’Where there is a will ,there is a way’! Kudus to all those bloggers who have made it this far.

NaBloPoMo (National Blog Posting Month) has been a fruitful experience for me.I made new friends and gained some loyal followers. Thanks to all of you.Thanks to the WordPress team and the organisers of this event Blogher.NaBloPoMo helps writers and bloggers to expand their own potential and most importantly develop the writing habit. Infact this writing habit gradually grows on you. As evening descends and I wind up my daily chores I’m itching to reach out for my computer and start clicking on the keys. Truly its entertaining and rejuvenating for me.The T.V is often switched on to give me company, but most of the time I’m listening, rather than watching.

When I first got to know about the NaMos, I was undecided as to which of them to choose- NaBloPoMo or NaNoWriMo (National Novel Writing Month). Obviously i chose the former, but I also wish to write a novel which i know can be achieved only with self discipline and some pressure! Now that NaBloPoMo is edging to a close I have decided to chose my own novel writing month! Compulsory writing everyday of the month. in NaNoWriMo, one is supposed to complete a 50,000 word draft within the month of November. But all the editing work remains pending.I’m going to bend the rules a bit and do the editing at weekly intervals , because after all its going to be My Own Novel Writing Month i.e. MoNoWriMo !

Since November has been quite hectic, I’ll keep December a tad bit easier by limiting to one post a week hopefully (Lets see how it goes). So I choose January 2015 to be my MoNoWriMo. The regular blog posts will continue.How about you? I would love to know your views.

Kohl Story

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Indian actress Kareena Kapoor Khan Picture source: wikipedia

Kajal or Kohl is one make-up essential loved by women all over the world. I imbibed the habit of wearing kajal in my eyes from my mother. She applied a powdered form called ‘surma’ to my eyes when I was a little girl, with the help of an applicator made of pure silver called ‘suramchu’. Surma was lovingly prepared by my grandmother by burning a pure desi ghee lamp and collecting the soot.A lot of other ingredients go into making it We hardly get to see it nowadays! The younger generation is perhaps not even aware of the existence of such a thing. Well, as I grew older and granny was no more ,surma was replaced by store bought kajal. In fact there was an eternal quest for the best kajal/ kohl.- one that stays put for long and does not bleed.I have tried and spent huge sums of money on so many brands-‘Bheemsaini’, Shahnaz Herbal,Lakme, Pakistani kajal, Revlon roll on stick, Mac, Loreal etc. Finally I’ve been able to zero in on my favourite.I like Maybelline’s Colossal Kajal, but my favourite happens to be Maybelline Lasting Drama Gel Liner. It stays fresh for hours and does not bleed. Its a bit difficult to apply initially, but once you have a practised hand it needs only one application in the day and instant glamour! The best part is that it can be used on the waterline as well as an eye-liner close to the upper eyelashes.Get those cat eyes now!

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How we all love kajal is summarised by Indian actor Kareena Kapoor Khan’s answer to a question in a Times of India interview. See the link below:

Q: How do you lift your looks up instantly after a long day?

“Hmm… kajal in my eyes. I think most people who see me, tell me I look far more glamorous when I have kajal… and it doesn’t matter if I am dead tired and have to still step out for dinner or something, just a black dress and a lot of smokey kajal works like a charm. I don’t do too much to my hair, if a blow dry is not possible then I just bundle it up into a ponytail… sometimes a low one, or a high one.”

Its all in the mind!

We were waiting for the doors to open outside the movie auditorium. It was a crowded hall as a hit movie was being screened and a rather lengthy one, as people waited for the previous show to end. Feeling restless, my ears cocked when I overheard snippets of an interesting conversation between two women.

A strong voice: Hey you look a bit tired and worn out today. what happened? Sorry, but you look so disheveled!

A meek voice: Ya.., actually I slept rather late yesterday as we had guests.

Strong voice: So what , you could have slept till late in the morning. And what about the afternoon siesta?

Meek voice: No, first it was the milk man, and my son had to travel, so I got up to pack his tiffin.Later during the afternoon I was perpetually disturbed by the door bell ringing time and again – first the gardener, then a courier and then …

Strong voice: (Emphatically)But your son’s married right , his wife could have done that for him! On second thoughts, ‘he’ should be able to cook a meal for himself.  And why don’t you change the timings of your staff according to your own suitability?

Meek voice: ( Meekly) Its ok, I really don’t mind.

By now I was really curious to catch a glimpse of the two ladies.I tried but my view was blocked by a tall gentleman.

Strong voice: Neelu, its high time you took the reins of your life in your control! I appreciate your caring attitude for others but what about your own self? Look what you’ve done to your skin!

Neelu: Maybe you are right ,but I’m an old woman now so it doesn’t really matter.But yes your skin is glowing, what have you done?            ( At last she was curious!)

Strong voice: Look Neelu, age is just a number, its actually all in the mind. As for my skin, I apply Olay moisturising lotion religiously.Come to my house I’ll give you a makeover!

Neelu: (Laughing) Haha! You really are a good friend.

By now the cinema gates opened. I managed to take a sneak peak at the two friends. Both seemed to be in their late fifties. Strong voice was dressed traditionally and elegantly,and wore trainer shoes ( sneakers) with her Punjabi suit.I looked at her with a new found respect, as she combined sensibility with practicality and lived life on her own terms.Then I looked at Neelu. She was pretty, but could definitely have looked better. But now she looked happy and was smiling.Good friends are like tonic!

Neelu: …..my husband is sure going to be pleased!

(was the last snippet of conversation I overheard as we entered the hall)

Irresistible Sweet Temptations!

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Sinful, gooey, soft:

Melting in the mouth sweet indulgence!

Laden with calories,hmm… bad for my waistline.

I know, I know, but don’t make make me guilt-ridden,

Cakes and puddings are in general forbidden !

Yet they pull me, like a strong magnetic field,

Forgive me, if to the sweet temptations I yield,

Coz no matter what,

I’m actually grateful for the that joyful surge I feel !

I seriously love baking as well as devouring heavenly cakes and puddings. The above poem is is in honour of these tasty treats and in response to today’s daily prompt Grateful and Guilty.

Sparkling or Still ?

Sparkling or still , how would I want an off day to be like? Actually it all depends on my mood – how I feel that day. It also depends to some extent on how the previous week prior to the off day went by! If the week was hectic and overly busy, I  pineapple-juice-295078_1280visualize myself catching up on sleep or taking a laid back slow holiday curled up in a hammock in the garden,lazing in the sun, sipping a pina-colada, with the book in my hand³ that i’d been dying to read since such a long time, but just did not get enough time for it! A perfect way to unwind and relax!

On the other hand,  I love travelling- even a simple trip to the neighbouring town makes me happy. I enjoy going to the different malls, local markets and shop to my hearts content. I also look forward to visiting tourist places and click lots of pictures.Give me a touring holiday any day within the country or abroad and I’ll be very pleased. One thing remains common in my lazy holiday and sparkling holiday- I always remember to pack my books!

There is a third option too, thats somewhat in between the above two modes of a perfect day off  My husband and I love going to the movies. What could be better than just sitting back and getting lost in the celluloid world and mindlessly munching on popcorn while sipping hot coffee. Hey, why think so much? A day off in any form is always welcome!

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The pictures are courtesy of pixabay.com

A Productive Day!

There are some days when you wish to give yourself a pat on the back. Today was one such day for me. I accomplished a lot of work  and the best part is that that I’m still feeling fresh and energetic at the end of the day, and peacefully writing my daily blog especially for Nablopomo.Touchwood!! ( I’m not really superstitious -just a wee bit!). What all did I accomplish? Here it goes–

  • Read the morning papers and was able to flip through my favourite magazine.
  • Re-organized my winter wardrobe
  • Re-organized my husband’s winter wardrobe. Setting the winter wardrobe and packing off of the summer clothes is a much talked about and sometimes feared task in northern India- when it starts to become slightly cold. Its almost like a ritual and often a conversation starter at family gatherings and get-togethers.   “Have you done your winter wardrobe yet?”- Everyone is keen to know.
  • Did 2 loads of laundry- in the washing machine of course, but don’t forget the prep and after care like folding etc.The more difficult to iron clothes will be given to the Dhobi ( Indian washerman ) and expensive clothes will be sent to the drycleaners. Just have to be ready to pay huge bills!
  • Re-shuffled and cleaned the shoes cabinet. Pushed away strappy sandals and took out shoes and some with bling to wear in the Indian wedding season.
  • Cooked a delicious meal comprising dal, beans and also made a stir fry with couscous. Surely, I am grateful for the domestic help I got in the kitchen in terms of chopping and cutting of the vegetables.

As i write this post , I realize that two thing I missed today.One, I missed my daily walk coz I was so busy in all this work. Second, I hardly drank any water today!  This,  I can surely remedy ( one must drink at least 8 glasses of water a day); so let me take a break and gulp down a tall glass of water. Until next time then -err…next post.