Wednesday, August 31, 2016

Learning life's lessons the 'Ouch' way!

There might be 100 things you like about that person. But there will still be a zillion things you wish you could change. 

Its not easy, I tell ya. To live with a person all your life. 

"Acceptance my dear", the hubby pitches in from the bed side. "Its all about accepting the person the way they are. Like how I did."

How do you deal with this? How well have you learnt to love the person, be it your spouse, you dad, your pest of a brother or that silly roommate, for who they are? Do you celebrate the differences or try to burn them?

PS : Totally swamped with work. And it is going to be like this throughout the rest of the year. Sundays and Wednesdays are a way for me to keep in touch with my blog. I am doing a lousy job, I know, but please bear with me.

Sunday, August 28, 2016

Know your biggest enemy

They say, "You learn a lot more things when you fail than when you succeed." So why are we so much afraid of trying? Of giving it a shot? 

This week, try that 'something' that you always wanted to do.

Apply for that MBA. Submit your article to a magazine. Post your resume in Naukri. Start that business you have been talking about since ages. Take a sabbatical. Express your love. Whatever it is that was buried in your heart amid doubts and fear.

Do not give up before trying.


Who knows, you may realize it wasn't that hard after all!

Wednesday, August 24, 2016

Decoding the Vatican city!

This post was selected for Blog Adda's Spicy Sat Picks

The Vatican is the smallest country in the world, spread across just 0.2 square miles and surrounded by Rome. Having read a couple of Dan Brown novels, I was exposed to every marvel the smallest country had to offer. Home of the Pope, the most powerful Bishop in the world, home to St. Peter's Basilica, the largest church in the world, owner of renowned iconic art and architecture and the spiritual center of the world had me interested and before I knew it, it rose to the top of my 'wishlist destinations'.

So how in the world a city-state within a city called Rome happen to become a Country!!?

Long long ago, the Popes used to rule a set of states called Papal states which constituted most of the current modern Italy. It was during this time that the Popes constructed the St.Peter's Basilica and built a wall around and called it the Vatican. 

The kingdom of the then-Italy thought Rome would make an awesome capital for their country and set out to occupy the Papal States.

The Pope hid inside the Basilica, refusing to come out and refusing to acknowledge the presence of Italy leading to self-imprisonment. The king of Italy, not wanting to give rise to religious war, decided to wait him out. Popes kept changing but they never moved out of the Vatican for almost 60 years.

Now comes in Mussolini. Ring any bell? Social studies in school? Nothing ? Never mind.

So Benito Mussolini was the prime minister and he was fed up of the religious turmoil caused by the Popes complaining about the self-imprisonment caused due to Italy. So he decided to make a deal, with the Pope, to score some brownie political points.

1. Italy gave the land of Vatican to the Pope
2. And Italy also gave them a bunch of apology money

In return, the Pope

1.Acknowledges that Italy existed (I don't know why his acknowledgement was such a big deal!)
2. And Pope remains neutral politically and in times of war (All this was after World War 1.)

That's how a deal was signed and a new country, the Vatican city was born.

Hold on! Its about to get more weird.

There are two powerful people in the Vatican. The king and the Pope. Confused ? Never heard about the king? That's true because the Pope is the king himself!

The throne of the Pope is called the 'Holy See' and is treated as a 'company' or a legal corporate person in the International Law. For example, the United Nations has the Holy See as the member and not the Vatican City, the actual country itself !

The presence of the king makes Vatican City the last of absolute monarchies in the world, including the Brunei, Oman, Qatar, Saudi Arabia and Swaziland.

And because the Pope is elected, and the King and the Pope are different roles but same persons, it makes Vatican City the world's only Elected, Non-hereditary and absolute Monarchy!

"The strangest consequence of the way Vatican is, is the citizens. While other countries are minting new citizens by the natural way of human reproduction, Vatican City does not."

No one in the Vatican City is a born citizen. Because there are no female Vaticans! The only way you can become a citizen is if the King appoints you as one. And the King will only appoint you as the citizen if you work for the Pope who is also the King!

So if you quit your job, you will lose the citizenship!

It is for this reason that Vatican City doesn't have a permanent population. There are roughly around 500 odd citizens at any point of time. And all of them would be working for the Pope as either Cardinals, or bodyguards  or other church related jobs.

There, that's the story of the Vatican. The next time you see Pope John Paul 15 waving at you, you know what to say!

PS : Please help me get better. Was this informative? Interesting? Something that you would like to read and know? Boring? Why-would-I-read-this-when-I-have-Wiki? Flawed?

Say it out I say!

Sunday, August 21, 2016

It is easy to be average. Don't be!

Extract from '15 Invaluable laws of Growth' by John Maxwell

Which of these are you?

We tend to get complacent. We are always taught to be happy with what we have and what we are, but that doesn't mean we cannot try to be the best.

This week, lets try to be a little more than what we already are.

Wednesday, August 17, 2016

Why do we hear a sound when paper tears?

Ever wondered why we hear what we hear when we tear a paper? Why did it have to make a sound?

Dumbstruck right? Me too. I had never given it a thought until I read in a friend's blog how a little child asked her that question. And it left me thinking why I never questioned it. We take so many things for granted in this world. We are in such a never ending race that we hardly stop to ponder.

Anyways, back to the question..

We think of sound as something we "hear". Something that makes noise. School taught me that Sound is produced when there are vibrations in the air. Remember the 'U' shaped tuning fork experiment?

So, to answer the question, based on the research I did, it so happens that when you tear a paper, you are breaking the bonds between the atoms that comprise the paper. Now I would expect that if you are able to read this, then you would know what an atom is. So lets continue. When the bonds are broken, it releases some amount of energy into the surroundings in the form of vibrations. The molecules in the surrounding medium, which in this case is the air, are disturbed by the vibrations and they begin to move in a wave like pattern creating low pressure and high pressure areas. Aaaaaand then they hit your ear drums. Which in turn creates more vibrations that are converted into electrical signals and your brain interprets them as Sound. Ta da!

Miraculous, isn't it?

So why doesn't movement of hands in the air produce any sound, you ask? Wait until next Wednesday :P Just kidding. No physics next time.

Thursday, August 11, 2016


Hello folks!

I have a small announcement to make. *Drum roll*

I have decided to add a little value to this blog of mine. All I had been doing here is wasting myself, other's time, rant about as silly as bathroom woes and dish out tastelessly done stories. So to feel a teeny weeny bit useful to the world, I am going to start two initiatives.

First one is to help a large portion of the world get through a widespread problem, namely, Monday Blues. It could be a famous quote to inspire you, a joke to crack you up or a thought provoking statement to let you take lead and charge ahead!
(This is a pure marketing gimmick. For all we know, what you read may have no relation at all with what I said. Inspired by current marketing trends).

And because we are tackling Mondays here, this post will be scheduled on Sunday nights EST( to benefit Indian readers :))

The second one, is largely to help myself. Being thoroughly poor at general knowledge that leaps out at lunch table conversations, I started reading a lot a bit. About history, presidents, current affairs, books, what-not. But being blessed with an outdated RAM (or is it ROM?), nothing stores. So all the information I gathered, is almost as if I never did. And what's the best way to tackle this? Discuss it! Share it! Write it somewhere! And not just such boring stuff, but there will be more on the lines of 'Did you know?' of Tinkle. Remember? Little interesting facts here and there.

This will be scheduled on Wednesdays.

I am known for inconsistency, so I really hope I am able to stick to the schedule for atleast 2 months. Yes, that's the timeframe I am looking for. I will start being a little forgiving of myself after this.

I really hope you find it interesting and useful!

Watch out for "Monday WarmUp"  and "Wiser Wednesdays" ! Lame names? I know!

Starting from this Sunday - 08/14/2016.

Wednesday, August 3, 2016

Waking up with the Sun

Note: This post was submitted for round 2 of YeahWrite Super challenge. The challenge was to write a persuasive essay answering the question 'What is the best time of day?'

And it did not make it to the next round.

Copied from Google images

How many sunrises have you missed in your lifetime? Okay, let me be easy on you, when was the last time you watched the sun rise? And when you did, how did that leave you feeling?

There was never a night or a problem that could defeat sunrise or hope ~Bernard Williams

It is precisely for this reason, I like this time of the day best. It is inspiring; the way sun rises and commands a section of the planet to begin their day’s work. Witnessing the morning take shape provides a kind of misanthropic thrill, of a world not yet choked by zooming cars and hurried conference calls. While sunsets are humbling, sunrises always illuminate hope, optimism and inspiration.

Get outside. Watch the sunrise. Watch the sunset. How does that make you feel? Does it make you feel big or tiny? Because there's something good about feeling both ~Amy Grant

I wouldn’t want to give the impression that I’m a regular visitor to this particular time-slot, but the very few times I did, it has left me wanting to become a morning person. I must have seen a total of five in my 29 years of existence. I had a total of 10,585 chances, which makes it 0.05% utilization. Sad, isn’t it?

It was as recent as the beginning of this month, while camping on the sides of a beach in Delaware that reminded me of what I was missing every day. We woke up at 5 am, as the Sun was set to make an appearance at 5:25. We saw it on the horizon, a small piece of glowing fire, emerging without much ado, darkness surrendering meekly to the steadily growing sun. Within moments, it was morning. It was amazing, how everything came alive. As we turned, it was not just us, but hundreds of fellow campers who were up before their usual time to take part in this wonderful phenomenon.

It’s ironical that an everyday occurrence is so rarely absorbed. While I can’t speak for the older generation, it’s the younger generation that seems to believe strongly in having the freedom to wake up whenever they want.

“You don’t know what it is like to sleep late into the morning, daddy!”

“Ahh. Sleep is precious. It is important for me to function wholly. The more you get, the better.”

“I am a night owl. I am most productive in the stillness of the night.”

How many times have we heard these statements? I am guilty of it myself. While it is true that our lifestyles have changed a lot, and we are fighting demanding needs that require us to stay up late at nights, it all comes down to managing your time and planning well, to combat the side effects of such a living. Morning rituals play an important role in improvisation because, sunrise and early mornings are not just for getting mesmerized but also for tapping fresh energy reserves to get you going for the day.

One more reason the time of sun rise is special for me is it is so HARD to be a part of it. Resisting the urge the snuggle back into the warm covers, not hitting the snooze button and crawling our way out of bed needs a lot of will power and commitment. Atleast until it becomes a habit. This is one major reason why we tend to become night owls. It simply is so much easier to not sleep than sleep and wake up early! It’s not a bad thing at all, all I am saying is we have conveniently traded discipline with instant gratification.
And also, as a lot of surveys and blogposts indicate, the most common thing among successful people in this world is, they all are early risers. When you are up around the time of sun rise, that makes you ahead of 99.9% of the population that is still sleeping. That means you get a lot more things done. And in time. That is a lot of head start, according to me.

Early mornings are also synonymous with quiet and solitude. Like one of my colleagues and friends said, as you watch the day unfold, the world at a standstill and the mind not wandering a lot, it’s the best gift you could give yourself before being dragged into the rat race. Letting the radiating sun fall on your face, gathering your head and doing what you like to do sets the right mood for the rest of the day.

The importance of the Sun and morning rituals have long been established in the Hindu literature. We worship the Sun god, so we have rituals consisting of prayers, mantras and offerings to the Sun. The now world famous Yoga has a technique called Surya Namaskara or Sun Salutation comprising a sequence of 12 asanas.  It is recommended to be practiced early in the morning, before breakfast. Vastu Shastra (Science of architecture) also recommends east facing homes to let sunshine into the rooms early in the day. All the documentation in the world, be it the modern internet or ancient scriptures, promote a healthy lifestyle that involves waking up with the sun.

How much ever we hate early mornings, it wins against any time of the day because nothing is more glorifying than watching the day break; nothing is more rewarding than a quiet time for yourself; nothing is more important than a step towards a healthier lifestyle in this race called life.

And the best in the world is often reserved for those who rise above themselves.
PS : This is the feedback I received from the judges.

What the judges really liked about “Waking Up With The Sun”:
•The tension between acknowledging a favorite time of day and the fact that you rarely experience it and don't actively seek it out is well handled.

•Your essay gives an array of support for "waking up with the sun," and the tone is welcoming and warm.

•Good use of imagery and descriptive language.

Where the judges found room for improvement:

•The significant punctuation errors in this essay make it a bit of a rough ride. In addition, the quotations don't add anything to the reader's understanding: it's better to have a well-phrased original thought or just silence than to put in a quote that doesn't really strengthen or augment your argument.

•The essay's organization would benefit from a strict outline; focusing on the recent camping trip reminder of the sunrise and moving forward from there would be an effective star.

• This essay would benefit from a more direct introductory paragraph. It takes the reader a little too long to figure out the specific time of day being discussed.

In case you missed it, this did NOT make it to the next round :)
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