M – Music

Another letter for this AtoZ challenge is ‘M’. Yes! Magical ‘M’ stands for Music.

If there is one thing that I cherish and love most in my life apart from books, it is Music. I don’t think there is a single person in this world who hates music. They may love different forms of it. Music is the only thing which accompanies us in the phases of our life. Everyone has their unique taste in Music. Some love classical whereas some prefer rock. I am a kind of person who likes different songs in all genres of music.
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K – Kindle

So, we have come to our 11th letter ‘K’. No, it’s not K which we generally use in replying to messages. It is K for Kindle. Yes, another asset of mine.

I recently got a kindle paperwhite, which my dear husband gifted me. I am a bibliophile and I never ever thought that one day I will crave for something like a Kindle. But, it happens, due to the phase I am in. My naughty kid doesn’t allow me to read books as paperbacks. Whenever I open a book to read, she always snatches that and runs away. It’s frustrating for me but I can’t do anything. So, I ended up choosing the Kindle device for some time till I get back to my normal routine. But to my surprise, Kindle is a new and nice experience for me. Also, now I don’t need an external source of light to read my books. I really like the way it makes reading easy for me. Now, I can read at night with this magical device without disturbing my kid. Or I should say, she let me reads hassle free.

The Kindle will always remain in my heart because the first book I read on my device was Harry Potter, and I already shared about how much I love that series. I can’t thank Amazon enough for giving us this device.

So, now this bibliophile is signing off to read Twilight series on my Kindle paperwhite.

See you another day!

J – Journals

When it comes to ‘J’, I only remember the word ‘Journals’.

There was a time when we used to write everything in our diaries. Especially, in our teenage. I remember clearly how much I loved to write in my diaries. My writings were on random concepts, just anything and everything, be it my daily routine to my views on various topics. Those were the days when people actually had enough time to maintain their journals or diaries. Nowadays, when technology has grown much further, those diary entries are replaced by blogs and phone notes.
But I still love writing in my diaries. Now even I cannot maintain my old habit of writing diaries regularly but whatever I do I always keep a diary near me. I love the smells of old paper and pens. Paper and pens have the most beautiful love-story between them. And I enjoy and nurture their love-story ahead.
I wrote the whole first draft of my debut book ‘Adhira’ in a diary. Yeah! The whole story. I really enjoyed that phase as I felt like I was going back to school days. I wish I could go back to the era where computers and this ‘tick-tock’ of keyboard was not mandatory for writing in our daily life, which nowadays has become a necessity.

This is it for now, enjoy your writing and I am going down the memory lane to find some diary memories of mine that I will share with you soon!

I – IPL

How would you react if I say ‘I’ for me stands for IPL. Yeah, that’s right! Indian Premier League.

As Indians, cricket runs in our blood. I am always an ardent cricket fan. I have many childhood memories of watching cricket with my dad, cheering for the Indian team sitting infront of our Idiot box. That cheering increased in volume whenever India played against Pakistan in World Cups or during other series. We would burst crackers and shout aloud in streets when India won the match. After my father’s demise, I’m left alone on that couch as he was my only cricket partner. But the craze never faded. I still get goose bumps whenever I watch repeat telecast of Mahendra Singh Dhoni lifting world cup of 2011 by defeating SriLanka by 6 wickets in finals. Or when my most favourite cricketer, Saurav Ganguly waved his T-shirt in Lords’ Stadium. These are some memories every cricket fan could remember on his/her fingertips. I still cheer for my team, my country. I still shout for every sixer, I scream when our player gets out, I celebrate when our team wins. World cup is like a festival for me. I mark all the important matches and manage my schedule according to them. I eagerly wait for another whole 4 years after a world cup series ends.
But now cricket format has changed and we have this Indian Premier League organised every year, called ‘IPL’ in short. I know few of my fellow hardcore cricket fans wouldn’t like me saying that I like, actually love, this series as much as I love the matches of an individual country playing against opposing country. Because IPL is a different format where every player unites for a team and plays for that team instead of their own country. They keep the dignity of this ‘gentlemen’s game’ alive. I love watching foreign players uniting in those colourful jerseys of IPL teams. IPL makes bonding between players much stronger. They play, they win, they celebrate together as a team. Obviously, they got paid for playing in those teams but we can buy a player by bidding but not their game. Not their spirit of playing. And that is what I liked most about this short format game. It looks so amazing that MSD in playing under Steve Smith’s captaincy or Mitchell Johnson is playing under the captaincy of Rohit Sharma, without any hassles. This is the charm of this game.

I am a Kolkata Knight Riders fan since the beginning of this game. Reasons? You may ask? Just because I live in Delhi – NCR, my dedications are supposed to be with Delhi Daredevils. Logically its correct! But I have many reasons to support KKR. Firstly, because I’ve always been Saurav Gangully’s fan, secondly, I had a huge crush on Gautam Gambhir back then and third, the most important one, its SRK’s team. This reason is above all and I am proud to be a knight rider because they won 2 IPL trophies and played well in all seasons though. So, no doubt about whom I would be cheering this year also.

No matter how well your team is doing… keep cheering!

See you soon with the next letter and the memories attached with them. Till then, this illogical cricket lover rests.

H – Harry Potter

So, our next letter is ‘H’. H for… Harry Potter.

Great! I could never have thought that one day I will love this series to this extent. I still couldn’t believe that I read all those books in one go.

I was never a Harry Potter fan and never really had that urge to read HP books. I remember my cousin read that series and praised it a lot and asked me to read but I gently shrugged off her request by saying that ‘I won’t like those highly imaginative HP books.’ At that time, I was about 10 or 11 years old. But, when today someone asks me about what would be my favourite series of books, I will gleefully scream ‘Harry Potter’. And this whole transformation credit goes to my dearest friend who literally forced me to read these books.

I marked it in this year’s resolution calendar to read this series. I started reading the first book of the series ‘Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone’ without much excitement, as the only motto to read the book was to impress my friend. (*Laughs*) But as I read further and came on the 2 or 3 chapter, my interest suddenly shot up and I ended up reading first 5 books in just 11 days. That was the fastest reading speed in which I read any series of books. And I started loving it to such an extent that I decided to watch the movies too (which I used to avoid before).

I won’t mind sharing that I don’t like HP series of movies much because they don’t show the whole story and it was a huge disappointment for me. I realised not all movie adaptations of books are good. They mould the concept as per their business strategies and that’s where the actual story is lost. And it’s quite okay too, how much of a story can they show in 3 hours? So, justified enough! But, book lovers like me prefer books over movies.

That is how the magical world of Hogwarts created by J.K. Rowling cast its charm on me too. I love each and every character whether it is Harry, Ron, Hermione, Professor Dumbledore, Hagrid, that snowy white owl – Hedwig, the cute house elf – Dobby and other characters too. All thanks to the Queen who wrote such a wonderful series of books. Now I regret refusing my cousin who wanted to introduce this magical world to me in my childhood. I miss that but I’ll make sure my child would start her reading journey with Harry Potter Books.

I can never thank you enough my friend for introducing me to this series. You not only introduced but forced me to read it! And I ended up loving them.

See you again with the next letter and the memories attached with that.

G – Gurgaon

Here we come on letter G in our AtoZ challenge. G for me stands for Gurgaon.

Gurgaon, the city I live in. Although this is not the city I want to live in for rest of my life. My dream city is Mumbai. But, Gurgaon gave me many good reasons to fall in love with it. I came here in 2011, just after my marriage. It was all a new experience for me. A new me on a new journey in a totally unknown city. I came from a city which geographically is bigger than Gurgaon but the life there was simple and easy.

In this metro city, life was a challenge for me during those days, as adjusting in a new atmosphere has never been easy for me. I am more of an introvert, reserved and home-sick person. I was brought up in Meerut, and for me that is my home. And it will always be. But when I came here to Gurgaon, I instantly fell in love with the odd things of this city. Why odd? Because Gurgaon is known to for its tall buildings, numerous malls, pubs and its nightlife. All of the things are just opposite to what my likings are.

Whenever I asked anyone about what they like in Gurgaon, their answer would include one of these things 9 out of 10 times. But, to their surprise, my answers are just the opposite of theirs. I love the peace this city gives me. I love the greenery spread all over the city. I love the landscapes of Gurgaon – Faridabad road. I love to watch Aravalli’s from there. That is why I felt like I fell in love with the odd things, the things that are not noticed by the majority at a first glance.

Apart from all these, Gurgaon gave me many, many other reasons to be thankful for. This city blessed me with a best friend for life-time. It gave me a purpose to live. It gave me my identity, my book – Adhira. And a stranger, who gave me countless memories to cherish forever. All of them are precious to me and so are the memories attached with them. These could be the some of the reasons I love Gurgaon to the core.

F – Friends Forever

Our 6th letter for AtoZ challenge is magical. As, F always stands for Friends for me.

Friends are not just a word it’s a whole universe for me. Friends not only share their lives with each other, they also nurtur a relationship with faith and undying trust on each other. We always need a good friend at every phase of our life. Friendship doesn’t count on how near or far you stay. Instead, it always depends upon how close you have become to that one person. Blessed are the ones who found atleast one good friend in their life-time. And I’m fortunate enough to find 2 best friends forever for this life-time.

Shilpa Keshri, a vivacious and bubbly friend of mine. I don’t even remember how we became so close to each other. Because when I first saw her, my instant reaction was something not very good about her. I assumed she was an arrogant, proud and egoistic girl but to my surprise she turned out to be a very bubbly, spontaneous and happy go lucky girl. Her helpful nature helped me a lot of times in overcoming certain issues. We are very much alike. She is the one who supported and encouraged me to write. Her undying faith in me makes me believe myself. Whenever life troubles me I think only of her and I instantly get a surprise call from her, every time. It could not be a mere co-incidence. It is something people called a soul connection. I fondly call her my anti-depressant because she always comforts my restless mind. We once were neighbours, then became best friends and now BFFs. We are miles apart but I know we will always keep each other in our minds!

Dhivya Balaji, what should I say about this girl?! She is the one strict teacher in my life, who taught me many, many things. Logic flows in her blood. She handled me with care and affection whenever I was about to fall. When I walked down the memory lane, I remembered how uncomfortable I was, when I came to know that Dhivya did not understand a single letter in Hindi. I was looking for an editor who could understand Hindi language easily because I was not very much fluent with my English. But to my surprise, God sent me this angel. We started talking with each other and it took only one month to get to know each other so nicely. Now, I am teaching her Hindi and she is teaching me Tamil, her mother tongue. There are few things which bring us so close to each other… Music, Books, our reserved nature and, of course, Adhira. For me she is like a soul – sister whom God has sent only for me. She is much mature to me in terms of judging others and she always helps me in choosing people. Her bright, bold and blunt attitude towards life makes her stand out in the crowd. We live miles apart and haven’t met in person but we always have each other in our minds. We think of each other numerous times in a day and that makes our connection even more stronger.

I am truly blessed to have these two angels in my life. They complete my circle and I couldn’t have wished for more. These two beautiful souls made me who I am.

E – Earphones

Moving on to our 5th letter, that is E. And E for me stands for Earphones.

My cute set of green earphones, which I bought years ago but still is as new as when it was packed. They have become a part of my daily life. Numerous songs and countless emotions are attached with those tiny little green earphones of mine. Many times, I thought of switching them with another one but I never found any other earphones as comfortable as the ones I have. No matter what I do; jogging or walking, or lying down, they have been my strong music partner. Whenever I wanted to leave the real world, they help me in escaping the reality. I remember how I used to listen that one Marathi song ‘Saazni’ over and over again and my earphones helped me revising those lyrics, which are totally unknown to me. Or when Riddhi (My daughter) was 1 month old and mostly slept in my arms and I had to sit in single position without disturbing her precious sleep, how my earphones helped me to pass that time, sometimes lasting the whole night. They are my partners in crime. Whatever my mood is they helped me to sort it. It’s strange, how a non-living thing can become inseparable part of your daily life.

D – Depression

We have now moved towards letter no 4 that is D. For me D stands for a demon named depression. Everyone called it a disease but I named it a demon. It hit me a few days back but fortunately, I know how to snap out of it.

Depression is a silent killer. It kills you internally. You never know when and where it will hit you. You realize things only after it has done its job and damaged your mind. It doesn’t have any age criteria. It could strike in a very early or when you are older too. It has nothing to do with what you’ve practiced and learnt to stay away from or stay aware about. It starts slowly from your mind and gradually controls over your thought-processes. You start feeling lonely, alone, left-out, incompatible and mainly unworthy to live. But, that is the last stage of it. It not only kills your happiness, it also damages the power of seeing things positively. It provokes your inner demons and makes you vulnerable. It all starts with a single thought and gradually forces you to do the worst possible things you could ever imagine.

Like many others, this demon hit my mind too. I suddenly started hating everything I have. I remember, I burst out angrily to everyone, known or unknown. But, that is what happens when you don’t have any control over your mind. It’s the result of a depressed mind. Sometimes, when we couldn’t find our own space, our own time, it generally happens. I don’t want to show my face to anyone. I don’t go in front of the mirror. Not only my mind but my physical appearance also haunts me.

I sat back and thought about the things I can improvise to make situations better. I penned down all the things I wanted to do. Then, I prioritised things which are most important. I’ll make sure I spend an hour for myself every single day. I make sure that I will write daily, thanks to my friend who suggested that to me. I will go out once in a day. I will spend that one hour alone. That is most important for me.

Sometimes, it’s good to let your heart speak, shout, scream. It’s very important to have your insecurities let out.

Depression is nothing but just an uncomfortable feeling of being left alone. We can easily overcome this demon through some simple steps. The first and most important is to find someone who can listen to you. And second, tell them each and everything troubles you. You can take help from psychiatrist too. There is nothing wrong in finding a listener. It could be your best friend, a family member, a psychiatrist or even a stranger you met daily in a park.

C – Candy Crush Saga

As I already said, I only choose those words which are significant to me in certain ways. So, for me C stands for Candy Crush Saga. Yes, you heard it right. The game – Candy crush saga. For me, it is an instant stress reliever. I love popping its colourful candies and achieving targets at every stage. This game also helped me a lot while I was writing my book. Whenever I felt stressed and lost my words, I switched on my phone and started playing it. Every time, it refreshed my mind and I started thinking further about my plot. Whenever I felt angry, I left everything and started playing this game. Those soft and colourful candies melt my anger every single time. Whenever I’m sad, those jellies cheered me up. I remember, sometimes I even got few new ideas about my articles and short stories while playing it. Also, once, I wrote a whole poem while playing the Candy Crush game. Funny, isn’t it?

So, like the different necessities of life, Candy Crush has become an inseparable part of my life. I would like to thank the person behind this idea of making an addictive and happy game like Candy Crush. He/she doesn’t know how much they helped me!