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International Lefthanders Day on 13th August
April 4, 2017
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Are you aware that 13th August is celebrated all over the world as International Lefthanders Day? Many popular and affluent Hollywood actors like Angelina Jolie, Hugh Jackman, Robert Redford, Keanu Reeves, Nicole Kidman and  Julia Roberts are all left handed. Famous sports personalities like Vasim Akram, Pele, Martina Navratilova, John McEnroe and Maradona are also left handed. Renowned politicians like George Bush and Winston Churchill were also left handed.

In our own country India, we have famous celebrities like Amitabh Bachchan, Kapil Sharma, Sunny Leone, Mona Singh, Shweta Salve and sports persons like Zaheer Khan, Mary Kom, Yuvraj Singh and Sourav Ganguly who are lefthanders.We even have the official Indian Left Hander Club in India . The club is founded by Sandip Bishnoi and has nearly 10 lakh members throughout the country. The club even has many left handed Indian celebrities as its members .

Famous comedian Kapil Sharma recently mentioned on his show that he is a lefthander and he also  urged the people not to treat left handed people as inferior ones. This concern has often been shared by the other left handed people.

Four out of the seven most recent American Presidents have been left handed. Left- handed people are said to be more artistic. Left handers are better at multi-tasking, thinking and 3D perception. They can adjust to seeing underwater much faster than the right handed people. According to a  recent studies, left handed college graduates become 26% richer later in their career than their right handed counterparts.

I found it quite funny that we have to celebrate International Lefthanders Day but it is a fact that left handers are usually mocked at without any reason. May be this celebration is just to draw attention to the fact that being left handed is nothing to be mocked at.

image credit: me

My Favorites during month of March
April 4, 2017
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I didn’t try too many things during the month, but here are a few of my favorites during March.

March Favorites

→ I loved watching the movie ‘Happy Bhag Jayegi’ on television. It is a romantic comedy and stars Abhay Deol, Diana Penty, Ali Fazal, Jimmy Shergil, Momal Sheikh and Piyush Mishra in key roles. The movie is an absolute laughter riot.

→ I bought ‘Ayurveda Astrology’ by David Frawley and it has some interesting content to read. It talks of the co-relation between astrology & ayurveda and how our food choices can impact our life.

→ I tried  Garnier ultra blends mythic olive shampoo and conditioner for the first time and I loved the results. My hair have become soft and shining after using it regularly.
→ Johnson’s baby milk lotion is an excellent moisturizer which is mild to use and is rich in essential oils.

→  I read Mrs. Funnybones by Twinkle Khanna. I finished the book in just a day. It’s such an interesting read and Twinkle Khanna’s sense of humor is awesome.

→ If you haven’t read ‘Inferno’ by Dan Brown yet then you must do so before watching the movie. It’s an interesting book by the bestselling author Dan Brown in which he brings back Robert Langdon on another mindboggling quest taking him across Italy while deciphering the secret codes.

→  Another book that I read during March is ‘If I Stay’ by Gayle Foreman. The novel is about seventeen year old Mia who loses her entire family in a tragic accident. She herself undergoes a near death experience and it’s the love of her boyfriend Adam which eventually makes her stay. It is a beautiful, emotional novel which I thoroughly enjoyed reading. Now I am looking forward to read its sequel ‘Where she went’.

Did you discover anything fun and new lately? Let me know in the comments below!

image credit: me

 

Why Tinycent is no more my preferred site?
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I joined tinycent on August 11th 2016 when the site was just launched. Besides tinycent, I was writing on some other sites like literacybase, expertscolumn, hubpages, elitewriters etc.  but tinycent was my preferred site at that particular time. The reason was very simple. I earned more on tinycent in the first month than any of the other sites that I worked on. But the joy was short-lived.

If I talk about my experience at writing sites then here is a comparison in terms of earning:

  • Literacybase: I used to earn 11-12$ every month on literacybase when I was a regular writer here. My highest payment so far on the site has been 18$ and I have been paid four times by LB. I was one of the earliest members who joined the site. However it was a real struggle to reach the minimum redemption amount of $10 on the site. Minimum word count for posts is 300 words but you can earn more if you write 500 words or 1000 words post.
  • Blogjob: It was a good site and I earned $150 in three payments before the site suspended its reward system.
  • Expertscolumn: It requires posts of minimum 400 words. With 46 posts on the site, I did not manage to reach even a single payment though I have been on the site for almost a year. It pays per view and the minimum redemption amount is 5$.
  • Elitewriters: The site requires 200 words per post and pays per view . I quit the site in a month as I never got good views on the site though I used to share at different social media sites. My posts on other sites shared at the same platforms used to fetch me good views.  This is the reason I stopped writing there.
  • Blogbourne: I quit writing on the site when the super moderator joined there and messed up things. I removed all my posts there. I didn’t reach any payment and now the site is also on the verge of closing down.
  • Tinycent: I received almost 100$ in the four payments I received on tinycent. I was doing good on the site and was pretty excited about the earning opportunity. However tinycent proved to be a big fraud. We were denied our pending payments as the site went downhill. The admin never responded to any messages. Worst thing was that he opened another site called gotmatter and put up our entire content there. My posts on gotmatter even show my name saying the content is copyrighted but I have no access to the site. So this dishonest admin of tinycent is still earning money from ad networks using the content from the writers who wrote for tinycent. This is just blatant form of cheating.

There are hardly any good writing sites around now. Literacybase has been around for months and has been consistent in paying its writers. I am writing only for my blogs and literacybase these days. Better to earn less than lose the content!

image credit: me

Weird Indian rituals that will shock you!
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India is a culturally diverse country and has a rich cultural heritage. Every state of India has a different culture and different traditions. Though we are very proud of our culture and traditions, however there are also some strange and weird rituals which will shock you and you will wonder if this really happens.

  • Bani Festival is celebrated during Dussehra every year at Devaragattu Temple in Andhra Pradesh. During the festival, hundreds of lathi (stick)-wielding devotes hit each other on the head till midnight. It’s shocking to see blood dripping all over the place during the festival which is celebrated to commemorate the death of a demon at Lord Shiva’s hands.
  • During the festival of Nag Panchami, cobras are worshipped and offered milk to drink. Generally people are so scared of snakes and kill them on spotting a snake in the house but Nag Panchami is an exception.
  • To appease the rain god, frog weddings are organized by farmers in Maharashtra and Assam. Ridiculuous, isn’t it?
  • Cow is considered a sacred animal in India. However in Bhiwdawad village in Maharashtra, the worship of cows is done to an extreme. Cows are decorated with flowers and henna on Enakdakshi. Villagers lay down on the ground before the cows to offer their respect and let the cows walk over them.
  • In Mahalakshmi Temple at Mettu Mahadhanapuram in Tamil Nadu, the priests smash coconuts on the head of the devotees for good luck, wealth and prosperity.
  • In some rural villages, if a girl child is thought to be possessed by evil or born with some deformity then they marry off the girl with a dog to exorcise bad omen.
  • During the Pushkar Mela in Rajasthan, a spectacular camel fair is held in which almost 50,000 camels participate. There is even a beauty contest for the camels. The camel fair is so popular that people come from far and wide to attend it.
  • During the Theemithi Festival in Tamil Nadu, devotees walk on fire to get the blessings of the God. The festival is celebrated to commemorate Draupadi’s act of walking over fire.
  • In this utterly shocking and bizarre ritual practiced at Baba Umer Dargah near Sholapur in Maharashtra, babies are dropped from a height of 50 ft. to the people waiting below. (I can’t even imagine how somebody can do this!)
  • During Pongal celebrations at Jallikattu in Tamil Nadu, scores of unarmed men chase the bull trying to snatch a prize from its horns. (Somewhat similar to bull fighting in Spain)
  • At Kukke Subraman Temple in Karnatka, people from lower caste roll over the left over food by the higher caste Brahmins to get rid of ailments and evils.
  • At Kamakhya Temple in Guwahati, the residing deity is the vagina of Mother Goddess. The Goddess goes through menstruation in June and Ambubachi Mela(fair) is held during that time. Everything offered to the Goddess is red during the time of the fair.

image credit: me

March Favorites- What are yours?
March 25, 2017
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March was a pretty hectic month for me and that’s why I didn’t try too many things in this month, but here are a few of my favorites during March.

March Favorites

→ I loved watching the movie ‘Happy Bhag Jayegi’ on television. I know I am a little late in watching this absolute laughter riot. The movie is a romantic comedy and has Abhay Deol & Diana Penty in the lead role. Ali Fazal, Jimmy Shergil, Momal Sheikh and Piyush Mishra are the supporting cast.

→ ‘Ayurveda Astrology’ by the renowned astrologer David Frawley is one of the books I bought this month and it has some pretty interesting stuff to read about. It talks about the co-relation between astrology and ayurveda.

→ Garnier ultra blends mythic olive shampoo and conditioner. I tried this product for the first time and I loved the results of using it. It leaves my hair soft and shining. I have been using it for a while now.
→ Johnson’s baby milk lotion is another product that I tried for the first time. Though meant for babies, this excellent moisturizer is mild and rich in essential oils. It leaves the skin well nourished and smooth.

→  My new blog! How can I miss my amazing new blog dedicated to my sketches, poetry and musings on my March favorites list!

→ I finally read ‘Inferno’ and now I can think of watching the movie. I generally watch movie adaptations only when I have read the book. Inferno is a brilliant novel by the bestselling novelist Dan Brown and brings back his famous character Robert Langdon on another mindboggling quest which takes him across all over Italy deciphering the secret codes in the world famous paintings & artfacts.

Did you discover or experience anything new & fun during March? Let me know in the comments!

image credit: me

21 days at 21st Km, Bangalore
March 25, 2017
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It was in the year 2009 when I had applied for Teachers’ training program (TTP) by Art of Living. For those who don’t know, Art of Living is an organization by His Holiness Sri Sri Ravishankar and aims at promoting spiritual values. My happiness knew no bounds when I received a call from the ashram regarding my selection for the TTP and in December 2009, I boarded my flight to Bangalore for the 21 days long Teachers Training Program. I was fortunate enough to get the leave from work easily.

Art of Living’s International Center (popularly known as the ashram) at Bangalore is located at 21st Kanakpura Road at the outskirts of the city. This is the reason that we named our TTP batch as 21days @ 21st Km. Those 21 amazing days are among the best days of my life. There were nearly 900 people in the ashram that year for the TTP and were further divided into smaller groups. I was in English batch and Girin Govind ji (who was Guruji’s personal secretary at that time) was our teacher. We couldn’t have really got a better teacher than him.

The training program was quite hectic. Our days usually started at 6.00 am with morning sadhna till 8.00 am followed by different sessions throughout the day till 10.30 pm. Satvic vegetarian food was served in the ashram kitchen where we used to have our meals. Eating out was strictly prohibited. Yoga and meditation sessions were an integral part of the daily routine. The best part of the whole program was that Gurudev was in ashram for seventeen days out of those 21 days. Generally he is always travelling and doesn’t stay in the ashram for quite a stretch. So it’s hard to spend so much time with him and we were blessed in that way. He even took many sessions for us. Sometimes he would come in an ongoing session at  night just to say good night. Those were undoubtedly the best days of my life.

image credit: pixabay

Is job stress worth it?
March 23, 2017
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As I stepped into accounts department this morning, I found something was wrong with the accountant. Her eyes were swollen, she was looking bloated and too much tension on her face. I asked her what was wrong. She told me that she wasn’t feeling good. She told me that she fainted last night at her home and on regaining consciousness, she cried for an hour for no reason. I asked her if she is stressed. She admitted to being stressed and told me that work pressure is taking a toll on her and she is on the verge of break down. I advised her to go home and rest as health comes first. But being a sincere and loyal employee, she stayed on as this is the financial year closing time and she cannot afford to take leave as work will suffer.

And so there was no surprise when she had an altercation with a parent in the afternoon resulting in her breakdown. She burst into tears and collapsed on the floor. The next one hour was frantic as we all were busy in handling her and making sure becomes better. She kept regaining consciousness and then breaking down again and again. Finally she was a bit better. Her husband had come by the time to take her home.

After she left, I was thinking and wondering if is it worth taking stress for your job. Health should be the first priority. Life is too precious to be wasted by stress. Stress takes such a toll on the quality of life. If you are stressed, you are unable to enjoy anything and your health suffers too. One should do his/her duties sincerely but at the same time, one should not get stressed out because ultimately job is not your life.

image credit: pixabay

Do you spend time in solitude?
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Solitude is not everyone’s cup of tea. Some people are extroverts and they always like to be surrounded with people. Even the introverts may not really enjoy solitude but they remain alone because of their inherent nature. But solitude is also a must. One should take out half an hour daily to spend some time in solitude. You can use this time to be with nature or meditate or simple write in your journal.

Spending some time in solitude is an excellent way to rejuvenate and recharge your batteries. Here are four main reasons why I recommend everyone to spend some time in solitude:

  1. Solitude offers you a time to be with yourself and it’s the time to listen to your soul. It’s very important to take out some time to listen to your soul’s voice. This can be done through various means like meditation for a few minutes, prayer, writing in your journal or reflections.
  2. As I mentioned earlier, solitude is an excellent way to rejuvenate and recharge your batteries to avoid the burnout. Solitude is an excellent form of self care if used properly.
  3. Solitude gives us some alone time which helps us in gaining new perspectives. The ‘me time’ gives us the time to look at life through a new lens. Solitude can be used to reflect on our goals (be it personal or professional). Or we can use solitude to reflect on the life’s deeper questions like purpose of this human life.
  4. Solitude offers us the time to practice gratitude every day. It helps us in being thankful for the people around us. It helps us in appreciating the joys of nature and being thankful for the bounties that nature has to offer. It helps us in being grateful to God for everything that we are blessed with.

image credit: pixabay

Have faith in the Divine
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Patience is a virtue I am not very good at. I have been trying to cultivate patience since long but these days it seems that God has decided to give me some forced lessons on patience. Every day teaches me a new lesson in patience and humility. It is too difficult to stay grounded because I have never been good at patience, especially patience while dealing with hypocrites.

Even the bad times teach you something good. So it seems that these are the times which are going to teach me the valuable lessons in patience. Apart from patience and humility, I have also learnt the importance of money. I have always been careless with money and often end up spending more than I earn. But a year without a job made me realize that one should always focus on creating an emergency fund because you never know when you need it. I have finally realized my wasteful nature and now I have somewhat become sensible when it comes to handling money.

Also this is a test of my faith in my spiritual master and the divine. Sometimes I get frustrated and I wonder why all this happened to me. Sometimes I get angry with God but thankfully my faith in Him never shakes. There are times when I have questions for which I have no answers but I have my faith intact. I know that my spiritual master is always there to guide me and Lord Krishna’s blessings are always with me. I have nothing to worry as long as long as I have Lord Krishna on my side. With His grace and blessings, everything is going to be just fine.

And so with faith in the divine, I forget the troubles, shun the stress and learn the lessons that life has thrown my way.

image credit: pixabay

How can you be happy?
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How to be happy? By simply letting go!

It seems as such a simple solution and it actually is. Most of the problems in our life arise due to our tendency to hold on to things. We often try to control things or hold on to things and circumstances that are beyond our control. And the result is unhappiness and misery.

If I analyze my life in the last three years, then the major reason of my unhappiness was that I tried to hold on to my job and position. I was unwilling to let go. The moment I decided to let go, I felt so free and liberated. A great weight was lifted off from my head and chest. Attachments and entanglements had blinded my thinking and caused me misery. When I finally let go, I could move forward in my life with new goals and new aspirations.

Being a Cancerian, letting go has always been a problem for me. Cancerians have a tendency to cling to things .I try to hold on to everything- things, people, relationships. But I have been working on the art of letting go.

When we hold on to things, we live in a constant fear of losing them. A dispassionate attitude keeps us away from the clutches of misery. I am not saying that we should not be emotionally attached to anyone but we should not be so dependent that it causes us emotional hurt.

Love is our very existence. We can’t even imagine a life bereft of love. But when we try to hold on to love then it becomes claustrophobic. Don’t confine love into boundaries. When we love without expectations and fears then love no more causes pain and hurt.

Let go of the anger, the bitterness , the regrets, the past. Let go and make space for the new.

image credit: pixabay