#guestfeature I am honored to…

#guestfeature I am honored to be your guest blogger.

Today is my Birthday.

This birthday is bittersweet. The bitter side: my precious fur babies, Pedro and Bella, who crossed over the Rainbow Bridge, will be in my heart rather than rambling onto the bed to wake me up with licks and kisses. The sweet side, John, my husband brings me coffee in bed, hands me a Birthday Card with the annotation, ‘On your 32nd Birthday’, and a single red rose. He rests two bouquets of fresh flowers on the nightstand. Fourteen-year-old Jorgi, who needs lifting on to the bed, will enjoy as many kisses and hugs as I can give him.

And, this birthday is doubly sweet because I released my third e-book A Grand Mexico Tour. My gift to you, an excerpt will follow at the end of this post.

In Mazatlan today, the sky is blue, the sun is shining, and the flowers are blooming. A walk along the beach is a must. Joining us today is Pecky, my friend’s French poodle puppy. My friend is a fighting a beast, colon cancer and walking Pecky is my small way of helping her. Really, my friend is helping me.

Once Jorgi tires from crabbing on the beach, we will head home, feed him and join friends for breakfast.

I think pancakes are in order.

The phone is ringing and the internet comes alive with Happy Birthday wishes and many returns of the day. A nice interlude from the excitement is a Sunday afternoon nipnap with John and Jorgi, a light breeze wafting through the open window.

Once refreshed, I’ll dress and join more friends for dinner, raise a glass of wine and eat too much Birthday cake.

Here’s the excerpt I promised you.

                                                                       Excerpt From  A Grand Mexico Tour

To: Mailing List
Date: December 28th
From: Sharon, John and our fur baby, Rex – The Crazy Canucks
Subject: Somewhere in the Sierra Madre del Sur mountain range in Mexico

I’m composing my e-mail by long-hand until we reach an Internet Café.

Continue reading

Three Types of Never Never First-time Comments!

Put it down to my severely depressed state of mind (if my mind were a mattress, it would be so depressed that if allowed yourself to drop on it, you’d crack a bone,) but I am feeling crabbier than a crab today. And yet, to keep my word, I must make a post. So prepare yourselves, ladies and gentlemen, for today I am going to list three first-time comments that held me from pressing the Approve button.

Producing them in disguise. This isn’t to make them feel bad, should they happen to chance upon these, but for new commenters, to help them avoid such commenting bloopers.

Weird First Comment 1:

Hey there Anand! I was just browsing around the blogosphere, trying to discover some interesting blogs to follow to make some new friends in the New Year.

Why not hop on over to my world at http://theGreatestBlogByTheGreatestBloggerInTheWorld.whatWasThatOhWordPress.theComelyOne. I’ve got a feeling you’d like it there, so if you like anything just comment or follow!
Cheerio!

If I had to respond…

Hey there, greatest blogger in the world! Thanks for stopping by. I am floored by the honor you’ve bestowed upon me. I bend my knee and I kiss the helm of your cloak. I am sure I’d like your blog if i visited, but your comment has made me decide against it. I have a feeling that if I visited, your royal guard will seize me and throw me into one of your dungeons, and I won’t be freed until I commented and followed.

Cheerio!

Weird First Comment 2:

Hey Anand! You’ve got a nice blog. I think you are a programmer. Where do you work? Do you telecommute, freelance, or have a day job. Don’t mind but I’d like to know if you program for the love of programming or because it helps you put food on the table.

Before you jump to conclusions, I must tell you that I am not stalking you. I’ve got a close friend who believes that programming is a difficult and demanding field. I am trying help her out by finding other alternatives for her. If you aren’t comfortable giving me all this information here, send me an email at: writeToMeAtThisIDifYouAreUncomfortable@GolmaalEmail.theComelyOne

If I had to respond…

Hey back, Ms. Paparazzi,

You think right. I am indeed a programmer. But I don’t confess my motivations to passersby. Had we known each other through a few more visits to each-others blogs, I would’ve definitely answered your questions that you have asked on behalf of your harassed friend.

I must commend you on ability to empathize. You correctly surmised that I won’t be comfortable giving you the information. Period. And in fact, I’d be even more uncomfortable giving you the information on email, because I might be stepping into a whirlpool of questions and answers, and never return.

Weird First Comment 3:

Anand, man. Some cool caricatures you make. So you draw them because you like drawing them right. Will you help me by making one for me. Me and my girlfriend – just plain ones. Can’t pay for it now, so anything you can make. I am sure, you’ll have a lot of fun doing it! Once again, man. Keep up the good work. Send me an email at iWantFreeCoolCaricatures@GolmaalEmail.theComelyOne

If I had to respond…

Visitor, man. One of the options that Ms. Paparazzi gave me was that I must do all this stuff to put food on the table. I am sure you and your girlfriend look like you’ve just stepped out of a fairy tale, but even then, working for a fee that could help me take wifey out for dinner would make me happier.

I will try to keep up the good work, but making just plain caricatures would be a step in the wrong direction. So to follow your advice, I must decline to accept your order for free caricatures.

So that’s that. The Snarky of the Quirky, Snarky, Malarkey rules my stars today.

#guestfeature

Important Note: These comments weren’t made by any of you, so don’t let this post give you sleepless nights.

Indian Winters Snippet by an Indian Blogger

“Days are short, nights are long
When we start enjoying winters, they are gone”

How ironic are above lines? But how true they are, Indian winters are too short, they actually start during end of November and are gone by first week of February.

In 25 years of my stay in Northern India I have witnessed various flavours of winters. You must be thinking why I am specifically mentioning Northern India, it is because here it is where the actual winter exists. In rest other parts of country they have pleasant climate but no jittery winters.

The Northern most part of the country near the Himalayan ranges are the places with extreme winters. I have spent my 3 winters in one of those places, thanks to my Alma Mater to be there in one of those places. Here you have to wear layers and layers of clothes. I remember wearing four layers all the time even while sleeping. Burning heaters and blowers are a must for these places and places like Kashmir have Kanger which is kept beneath their traditional clothing called Phiran(it is a type of overcoat) to keep cold at bay. Central heating system are still not very popular in India, so people still go by old methods.

phiran

kangri

I always loved winters, the foggy winters, where you can’t see the home next to yours.

winter

Where on New Year’s Eve we use to yell Happy New Year from our hostel gate and in reply we use to get many I love you from boy’s hostel. I loved jogging in winters, where you run without knowing where you are heading. But the most lovable thing of Indian winter is the delicious food.

The hot stuffed parathas with lot of home-made white butter can make you hungry anytime. The delicious gajar ka halawa (carrot pudding) is a must in every home during winters.

gajar_halwa

You can keep on eating roasted peanuts until someone stops you.

peanuts

The juicy oranges feel yummier when you eat them under the sunshine. In my native place they have a dish made out of big lemons which is loved by everyone who has taste for sweet and sour things.

lemons

nimbu2

You start having multiple cups of hot teas. Cornflour chapattis with green veggies (saag in Hindi) is delectable. Everything being served would be hot except the freezing cold ice-creams.

I never knew that in hill station people have this crazy yearning until I became part of it. In fact after snowfall people eat fallen ice with jaggary. But it may sound weird yet it tastes wonderful.

In our country people love to be together and winters make it more possible. Every family snuggles inside one quilt and enjoy their time together. People meet and sit beside fire on roadsides doing double tasks of gossiping and beating the cold. You will see women knitting sweaters on their balconies. I still remember how many colorful and gorgeous sweaters my mother knitted for me. They have more warmth because they are dipped in love’s warmness.

Not just it you will witness marvelous flowers in every garden.
flowers

You will see so many different species of migratory birds flying in the clean blue sky.
bird
More over India’s tourist population is highest in this period.

So dear people before it vanishes for another year, let’s cherish the glowing beauty of leaving winters.

“Let me one more time look at you, with a heart full of love, dear
Let me keep you safe in my memory for another year”

#guestfeature #blogging #NJ #ametalk #indianblogger #indianwinter

Hello I am doing a…

Hello I am doing a Guest featured post
#guestfeature https://wwwpalfitness.wordpress.com/2016/01/28/im-venomous-yet-meteoric/

Authors Who Made History: Jean Genet

A personal essay – An Introduction to Genet

“To achieve harmony in bad taste is the height of elegance.” Jean Genet, from The Thief’s Journal, 1949.

JeanGenet-HansKoechler1983-cropped

French writer Jean Genet, born in Paris, December 19, 1910 and returned to Paris shortly before his death. He was found dead aged 75 years, on 15th April, 1986, in his room at Hotel Jacks, not far from the clinic where he had been born.

Although Genet had been ill with throat cancer for many years, it is believed he died after falling in his hotel room and hitting his head.

“… Genet’s own death, intimately anticipated, still caught him violently by surprise. And that surprise of death struck Genet’s readers too, since almost all had assumed him already dead after a silence of many years: Genet’s death contrarily recussitated him.”

(biographer, Stephen Barber, from Chapter 1, page 11 of his book ‘Jean Genet’ *screenshot of back cover info below; also see bibliography / Further reading,  footnote 1)

barber-genet-bkcover~

Partial screenshot of back cover, Jean Genet by Stephen Barber, 2004,  ISBN: 1 86189 178 4

 

My first encounter with Jean Genet’s work  was via the world of fine art in summer 2011. Nottingham Contemporary art gallery held an exhibition reflecting Genet’s life and work. It was the first time the gallery focussed on the theme of celebrating the life of an individual (and so Genet, in afterlife, made small local history, having made international notoriety many years before). Continue reading

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Holding My Baby In My Arms

He loves to be held. I hardly see him anymore, but when I do, I hold him. He is my boyfriend, and he is a cute Italian (50 percent) and Irish (25 percent) and English (25 percent) man who giggles a lot. He kisses me a lot, and he is so silly. I love him, and we wrestle when I come home from work. He does not like to be photographed. S.O.B.

I am rubbing his shoulder as he watches me type. He is my love, my bear, and the most wonderful thing this world has ever seen.

#guestfeature #blogging101 #heisMindandLifeMatters

hide and seek.

I struggled a bit to come up with a topic for this #guestfeature post. If I do this again, maybe I should ask for a prompt! I decided to just start writing… and this is the result.

girl-hide

hide and seek.

Where does one find courage? Or confidence? Or motivation? I’ve always thought these were innate qualities. Like being a musical genius. You can take all the lessons you want, but you’ll never have the talent of a person born with it. You just have it… or you don’t. I never thought courage or confidence were traits I could acquire. They’re not out there for the taking. They’re not for sale. I can’t just run down to the Courage & Confidence Market [you know, that store near Target] and grab a case off the shelf. It’s not there [not the courage or the confidence… and not the store I just made up].

You cannot buy it in a store… it will not come knocking on your door.
You won’t find it here or there… you won’t find it anywhere…

Sorry, I went all Dr. Seuss on you.

I know some will say I truly can learn these things. I can train myself to have them. I’m not sure I believe that. I think it’s chemistry… and biology. I honestly don’t think I have it in me. Certainly, I have developed a certain set of skills over the years. But they were all born from things I already had – things I was born with. Creativity, a natural aptitude for all things math, a mother’s nurturing instinct, humor. I have always had these traits. Confidence? Courage? Not so much.

It reminds me of my attempts to learn to play guitar. And I do mean attempts – I’ve tried many times at different points in my life. I even married a man who plays guitar, bass, drums, piano… [and I promise that’s not the only reason I married him]. I have always wanted to be a guitar player. For as long as I can remember. Unfortunately, I am hopeless. I just don’t have it. Not for music. [Except for that simple piano piece I learned when I was six years old. So my musical ability is at kindergarten-to-first-grade level.]

But the truth is, I have had some courage and confidence and motivation at times in my life [though not recently]. Does that mean they truly are all inside me somewhere? Are they hibernating? Are they lost? Dormant? Or have they run screaming from my head and left me forever?

I have a theory. When I think of the times I did have these things, I was in specific places in my life with specific people in my life. And I got my courage, my confidence, my motivation from those people. Not from myself.

I had the courage to move out of my parents’ house because I wanted to live closer to my boyfriend. My courage came from him. Any trace of confidence I have in myself as a writer and an artist exists because I’ve received positive feedback and compliments on my work. My confidence came from those who enjoyed my art or my writing.

So… it seems I can have these lovely qualities… if someone else gives them to me.

What do you think? Courage, confidence, motivation – can they be learned? [And if you say yes, please point me to the instruction manual.]

I must leave you now. I have to go to the actual market. We’re out of milk.

whatsandrathinks.com
#guestfeature

Calling Volunteers!

Hello All,

This post is to call for volunteers for the the features:

1. Thursdays – Grammar Posts

Need a volunteer to do Grammar post on Thursday 28th. Anyone interested?

2. Guest Features – Any day of the week!

Calling volunteers for guest features. These features are open to all topics. Feel free to post about anything that you feel will impress our audience!

#schedule #features #weekly #guestfeature

 

#grammar

Quirky Anand and those…those…Snarky Grammarians!

I’m not in love with Grammarians and their devices. Not that I don’t respect them – but you see, respect and love are not the same thing. You can respect someone who makes your teeth chatter and your heart lose its rhythm. Grammarians do that to me. Their presence puts me on high alert. They make me check the teeth of my writing half a dozen times for that ugly edit error caught between them, sticking out its tongue at me; they drive me to reflect upon the fingernails of my content about as many times for an extra apostrophe or a missing comma, that could make me the butt of a Grammarian’s joke.

To snip the long tail of a long yarn short, I respect the Grammarians of the world because of their ability to make me experience performance anxiety. If I were a stand up comedian or a talk show host, they would send jitters up my spine, make me stutter, and forget my lines.

And what makes matters worse is the fact that the presence of Grammarians makes my wild errors go wilder. The disappearing commas that had no malice before, find a purpose in life, and my grammatical errors transform into the split-in-the-knickers variety. Remember the guy who sent a note to his boss congratulating his boss on his promotion – the note that said, “I offer you my wife and my heartiest congratulations!” That’s the kind of errors that chase me down, when an editor is in the vicinity.

While an apostrophe that’s misplaced innocently merely adds an ungainly scratch to your reputation, a comma that’s gone rogue on purpose can change the very definition of your life. Here’s a recent example of a apostrophe and his twin who conspired to destroy my life. When answering a comment on an Interview post at Arpita Pramanick’s blog, I happened to say, “My dying wish would be to be born in a world sans wifey and mom supporters!”

I don’t want to paint a picture of the carnage that could’ve ensued had the comment made its way to wifey’s computer (and I often blog using hers, so I am talking about a very real, a very dangerous possibility here.)

This is what performance anxiety does to well-meaning simpletons like me. So when Rashmi asked me to make a post on this forum – I got my usual edit-jitters, and I tried to wiggle out of the assignment. But she along with Meg’s “that feisty Piyusha” made me pump up my writing muscles and go for it! I did, and here I am writing a potentially explosive post. I must be masochist to write something addresses those who could make me slink into the shadows of obscurity once again – I’m lighting a fire right under the seat of their pants. (I must’ve gone soft in the head – all those edit-checks must’ve imbued into me a pathological longing to be bludgeoned into grammatical submission, or why would I attempt this blogging harakiri?)

The same fear stops me from leaving a link to the QSM Magazine here, but if you visited my blog, you’d see it plastered all over. I invite you to pick up the latest issue because in it you will find a true-to-life shot of our feisty Piyusha’s prospective groom, who I happen to meet just yesterday. If you haven’t read about my meeting with Piyusha’s alien suitor, please head over to her blog, read about it, and give the couple your blessings. I trust I am veering off from the prescribed course, I might be rapped on my knuckles by the moderators.

(Anandhotep: Now your work here is done. Go back to your tomb, get inside the sarcophagus, open your coffin and go to bed! Rashmi will pay your airfare!)

Apologies to the following members for dragging their fine names through this murky post.
@piyushavir @sashay909

#guestfeature