Category Archives: blogging

100th Post & 7 Best Reasons to Celebrate!!

Yes dear readers, followers and friends, this is my hundredth post on this blog. I just kept on writing and suddenly realized that today my post is going to be the 100th! Its in deed a time to celebrate and to thank you all for the love and support. There are actually a hundred reasons to celebrate, but I limit myself to listing the 7 best reasons and revel in being a part of the great Blogging Community. These are the reasons that contributed in my personal growth as a writer and also as a human being. Here they go-

  1. A Lesson in Being Persistent: In my first few posts when I had just started blogging I had expressed my joy and excitement for becoming a part of the blogging community. Someone commented that it was very easy for the initial excitement to wear off and he hoped that this did not happen to me. I agreed with him as blogging is actually a labour of love and back breaking (and neck breaking) at times. I took that comment really seriously, tried to remain as persistent as possible to continue to follow my blogging dream. So here I am with my hundredth ( 100th) post! img_5612
  2. A Global Platform: There have been times when due to travelling, problematic internet connectivity or other reasons I neglected my blog for certain periods of time. My ranking may have gone down a bit during those times but the imprint of my thoughts through my articles and posts was now a permanent part of the internet and blogging firmament. My blog ‘riturang’ continued to get views from far off places and as many as at least 76 different countries. To be able to get a global platform for sharing your thoughts is indeed laudable.
  3. Outlet for self Expression: Ever since I started my blog, there just has been no looking back. I have become a happier and more contented person. My lap top is my best companion and my fingers itch to type. There is never a dull moment, as my mind is always working and observing. Earlier I used to scribble my thoughts down on paper ( do that even now sometimes), but now I straight away type on the keyboard with confidence. The best thing about my blog is that all my work is saved and organised at one place,offering me easy access to it as and when I need. I no longer need to save pieces of fading paper and its goodbye to bulky diaries. ca31dffe51fadb735ff85dedc2e92f60
  4. Closer to Becoming a Better Writer: One of the first advice pieces one gives to becoming a better writer is to write more. To get into the writing habit, as this eventually improves the writing style , vocabulary and grammar. The more you write the more you wish to learn. The universe then listens and helps you to imbibe all that you wish for and takes you closer to your goals. The various writing prompts and participation in writing challenges like NaBloPoMo polish one’s writing further.
  5. Becoming More Knowledgeable: This is one great perk of good  writing! In order to write an article or story on your travels or any other topic, one needs a certain amount of research for the piece to be authentic and true. I always research and clarify any doubts I may have before posting my article. As I mentioned earlier, I have also consciously become more observant of the happenings around me. I have also become a better listener, because as they say, everyone has a great story inside them. My fellow bloggers too have also contributed immensely to my knowledge. I remain engrossed and hooked to the writings posted by them for hours learning about various cultures, cuisines and getting an insight into opinions from all over the world.
  6. Developing the Reading Habit: I must thank my desire to write and to blog for developing the reading habit. Actually read I always did, but what blogging did was to push me toward quality reading. Now I read the best books across various genre and really enjoy being surrounded by books. Never a dull day or moment for me as books are my best friends.img_5611
  7. The Colours of the Rainbow: My 7th best reason to celebrate! Over the past 2 years I have written blog posts on various topics akin to the lively colours of the rainbow. I have written on travel, food, blogging, nature and book reviews. I was grateful for my family and talked about relationships and found a suitable audience for some heartfelt poetry. I became interested in photography and used my own pictures as far as possible. Feeling grateful for all these rewards! Cheers!
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Being Happy

Its NaBloPoMo month, and I have committed to make a post every day of this month. Its rather late in the day and time is running short. Yet I feel calm and composed. Its a good day and tomorrow promises to be even better. I open my diary of penned thoughts, feeling happy. A loose sheet falls to the ground. Its my Being Happy poem penned years ago! Very Wordsworth inspired. But I love it and its relevant for me even today. Thanks for the inspiration William Wordsworth.

Being Happy

When I am happy,
Its like my spirit let loose.
Over terraced hills and shaded plains,
Free and boundless,
To soar.

When I feel happy,
Its like bubbles sprouting,
Over the  brink of a glass of soda.
Free again, and boundless,
Dancing in merry excitement.

When I am happy,
I feel the world is beautiful,
Full of so many treasures,
which had hitherto
Remained unexplored.

 

Travel:Overwhelmed by Old World Beauty in Bath,England.

If you are drawn towards Gothic ( English) revival architecture, head straight towards Bath in England (UK). Most of the medieval buildings here are built using honey coloured bath stone and carved and chiseled to perfection. The city of Bath is renowned for the Roman baths, Fashion museum and Jane Austin house among other attractions. No wonder its a UNESCO world heritage site and a major travel and tourist destination.

The perpendicular Gothic architecture of the Bath Abbey leaves one truly spellbound in wonder as one stares at the ornate and complex carvings painstakingly done on the walls of the church. The picture below shows the lively atmosphere outside the Bath Abbey. Interestingly, the chaos of the tourists adds value to the symmetrical lines of the beautiful monument. The joie de vivre of the people is palpable. As a matter of sheer coincidence, there is order again in the chaos with many of the tourists in the frame wearing turquoise blue and various other shades of blue. The bright pink flowers and the bicycle boards in the foreground give the necessary pop of colour to the picture, so that I fell in love with my own creation, err.. click almost instantly!

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Bath Abbey, City of Bath, England, UK

 

The cover picture shows the famed Roman baths which are a great example of Victorian style architecture. Again the human element makes the place look chaotic, yet even more beautiful as it makes the place alive; as is rightly said by Constantin Brancusi- “Architecture is inhabited sculpture”. Do you agree?

Book Review: Dying to be Me by Anita Moorjani

Right from the beginning I was intrigued by Anita Moorjani’s book, Dying to be me, after I had seen an interview of the author on a Philippines news channel. In fact I was literally dying to read the book for two reasons. First it was the title of the book, Dying to be me which is I believe every person can relate to and is well justified in the book. As Anita Moorjani rightly points out, we are conditioned right from our childhood on account of our culture or religion to live in fear. Fear of what others may think of you. Fear of not being able to live the life you wish to live. Suppression of the self and being made guilty about not always yielding to others’ commands slowly stifle one’s persona and the fear manifests itself in the form of disease. So in a way the book strongly suggests that in order to live a disease free life one should learn to overcome fear of any sort and be the real person you are, with no expectations of pretense.

The second reason I wanted to read the book was obviously to know how she bravely overcame a near death experience and came out victorious after a fierce battle with stage four lymphoma. After suffering for nearly four years she went into a coma, with the doctors almost declaring that she would not survive. But then, something magical happened. She became aware of her own infinite self. Unconditional love of her family and her own understanding of her self brought her back to life healed and cancer free. 

The book is quite interesting, written in simple language and is very easy to follow and does not bore you with details of complex medical procedures or jargon. The best thing about the book is that it brings a message of hope to millions of people suffering from cancer. In general it also inspires you to live your dreams, be bold and live a life without fear. Have No Fear!

P.S- Most of us fear God. Why not befriend God or the Spiritual being you believe in? Listen to your conscious and then do what you think is right. I can assure you life becomes a lot better. This is my personal conclusion. What do you think?

A Walk Through Minet Country Park, London

Down with the common flu today, I was feeling a bit under the weather and so missed my customary walk to the nearby park in my home town Chandigarh. It was then that the idea struck me to go back down memory lane and revisit The Minet Country Park in the London Borough of Hillingdon (virtually), which I frequented last summers and really loved!

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Entrance to Minet country Park, London

As the name suggests its a country park, kept as close to its natural state as possible, albeit well maintained. There are wide open areas of grassland with rabbits sprinting in and out of the hedges and the area is alive with cheeky chipmunks’ chirp calls.

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Family of ducks at Minet Country Park, London

The meadow is scattered with an array of vibrant candy coloured wild flowers which are very inviting. As soon as my husband and I entered the garden we were greeted by a family of ducks swimming in the waterway. We followed the walking track and waved at some little kids enjoying themselves in the play area and smiled at the mommies who had brought their babies out for a stroll in the pram. From the distance we could also see a Gurudwara at the boundary of the park which we visited later. img_5566

Minet Country Park, London

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Array of flowers at Minet Country Park , London

The Minet Park is spread over 36 hectacre and was awarded the Green Flag for the first time in the year 2009. Our walks to this garden were truly refreshing and energizing and we hope to visit it again in the near future. img_5573

Minet Country Park, London

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Play area at Minet country park, London

 

img_5568Minet Country Park, London

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Master of all I survey at Minet country park, London
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Ivy covered

All these pictures were clicked with an iPhone and believe me they are so beautiful that no filter was needed to improve them. I hope you enjoyed reading this post:)

Addicted to My Phone? Sorry, I Refute This Charge!

An ode to my friend,(my lovely mobile phone) in the form of a prose poem:

My phone is my notebook, my postbox, my gaming station, my book stand, my news reporter and my business supporter! My phone is also my camera and my pictures album folder. My phone is my banker,my meeting place with friends and a place to look up the latest trends. The device even doubles up as my vanity mirror and my music system. My phone is my dictionary and spelling corrector, it can teach me to strum the guitar and teach me mandarin if I want. Its also my magnifying glass you bet! Use your imagination and you’ll know how. It takes me to far off places and is a small doorway to the big bountiful world which I can hold in my fist or my pocket. The big bonus is that it can also be used to make calls! Yes you heard that right.I can also make calls. I need all these facilities in my life, so when my phone is my true friend indeed, when in need, why do people call it phone addiction? It’s not just a phony phone after- all; its much more!

NaBloPoMo: A Giant Step towards Substantial Blogging!

NaBloPoMo? Not ever heard of this word? If not then perhaps you are new to the blogging world. NaBloPoMo is actually an acronym for National Blog Posting Month. November is the chosen month and one is supposed to make a blog post each day of this month, even on weekends! Sounds exciting isn’t it? It definitely is provided you are willing to take up the challenge. NaBloPoMo is a challenge because in order to write good, interesting and quality posts you need to keep the fire burning inside you for 30 continuous days. As for me I love accepting challenges. Mind you, it does wonders for your blog winning you new readers, creating a bond with the community as you share your experiences besides giving you that much needed jump in views on the stats page. My phone never stops buzzing on the WordPress app I have downloaded on my phone, whenever I publish a new post, signaling a new like or comment. It is a tremendous boost of confidence in your abilities as a writer.

Who thought up NaBloPoMo and why?

Well, I’ll answer in the words of Eden Kennedy herself, who thought up the brilliant idea of NaBloPoMo in the year 2006 ( The following excerpt is taken from an interview by Deb Rox)

‘A lot of people don’t sort of take blog writing all that seriously.  A lot of blog writers don’t take it that seriously themselves because they are posting links to current events, or using it as a discussion forum rather than as a place to thoughtfully express using good interesting verbs or good descriptive writing of what’s going on in their life or in their brain.  I thought let’s just focus on that part of it, see if you can sit down and write something everyday and throw it up there.  What happens after you do that for a while and you are doing it publicly it’s not like you are writing it in your diary everyday, you are throwing it out there for between 10 and 100 or 1000 people to read depending on your traffic.  Your barriers start to come down and you start that perfectionism thing and start to loosen up for better or worse sometimes worse.  Sometimes you end up posting up stuff you never thought was worth writing about and it turns out “Hey I really liked writing that post and I want to explore that more.” or you get more feedback or whatever.  It’s just a way of loosening up that nasty perfectionism thing if you have that.’

The biggest advantage of being a part of NaBloPoMo is to ingrain in you the writing habit. Write whatever you like on any topic that catches your fancy. You may even just publish some eye catching pictures of your travels or the blooming flowers in your garden with some small details. You can look for inspiration on ideas to write even on The Daily Post or BLOGHER. Once you have developed this habit your hands and brain will itch to write and slowly but surely NaBloPoMo becomes a prominent factor for your personal growth. So say good bye to procrastination forever and register for NaBloPoMo here, preferably before November 5. It will take you a giant step forward towards substantial blogging. Enjoy!!

 

 

Perspective- Is what you see always true?

The other day I saw a pretty woman at a party. Although she looked quite gentle, her behavior was somewhat odd. She sat bossily on a chair, with her husband in attendance. He kept offering her drinks and took care that she was served with all the snacks. Of-course some of them she declined, perhaps the secret to her slim trim figure. Many other people too seemed to be hovering around her,but the woman did not budge an inch from her place.( You must be thinking whether I had nothing better to do! Well that’s my favourite pastime- observing people. And no, I was not envious).

Later in the evening I saw my husband talking to that couple- he is really good at making friends. He signaled to me to join them. I walked up towards their seat and my husband introduced us. “How arrogant she is, did not even bother to stand up,” I thought. As soon as the thought crossed my mind, she spoke apologetically. Actually just as she and her husband were entering the party hall, she had tripped over a loose wire left by a careless decorator and fell flat on the floor; with the result that now there was a slight sprain in her foot and a rip in her dress. Her husband had immediately decided to leave, but she was a real sport and did not wish to spoil his evening and insisted that they stay on for some time. She had cleverly hidden the tear in her dress with her scarf. Immediately I realized that there is always more than meets the eye and one should not judge people and situations in a jiffy. People behave differently in different circumstances. It is all a matter of perception. I eyed the mystery woman with a new found respect. She had decided to bear the slight pain and discomfort with a smile for the sake of the people she loved.

Lets look at this in a slightly different way. Can you guess what’s depicted in the picture featured above?
A bench perhaps? A railing with some beautiful shadow play! Monochrome image!

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Monochrome- Shadow play

Really?

Now look at the actual picture–

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Monochrome

Its an iron railing alright, clicked in Scotland (my brother jokes that there are better things to see in Scotland than iron railings- but I’m like that only). So what changed the perspective? Modern editing tools. Just some cropping and rotation through 270 degrees give you a totally new and amazing result!

This post has been inspired by photo101 by WordPress. I have tried to incorporate different elements of photography in the post along with some philosophy 🙂
I hope you enjoyed reading.

Color Burst (Golden Trumpet)

Come end of March, the trees in the green belts of Chandigarh begin to flower. The first among these is the beautiful Golden trumpet ( Tabebuia chrysotricha).

Golden yellow flowers, like bellowing trumpets give the tree a befitting name. It loses most of its leaves during flowering as its a deciduous tree. The brilliant yellow of the flowers on almost bare branches makes for a striking burst of color against the clear blue sky!

Photo 101:Big and Point of View

I really wanted to experiment today, so decided to photograph a huge tree, from different angles on my evening walk to Rose garden, Chandigarh. I have a huge tree fetish and will probably one day write detailed posts on the different types of trees in our region. For today, I’ll be happy just with these photos clicked from different angles and points of view. The first one is a long shot, while the second is of the same tree clicked crouching on the ground! The tree trunk appears slimmed down with the rose looking monstrous in comparison.Which one do you like more?

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Slimmed down !

The cover picture is a favorite, clicked in the famous Kew Gardens of London.