BEFORE 2020!!

2020! Has been a year that none can forget and at the same time no one wants one like this again either. While, we desperately wait for the year to end although with no guarantees that the virus is going to disappear by then, somehow we all are living with a hope that the coming year 2021 will be better. Needless to say, that poor 2021 has a lot hanging on its head before even its birth.

There are so many things that I miss doing, which I always did before this year and probably took some of them for granted. Never thought, what if I cannot do it one day? That thought never occurred at all. Well, who knew our World will be attacked by a virus?

So 2020, will go into history not just about the pandemic and its effects but also because of the lessons it taught us.

Here are some of the things that I mostly took for granted and will give anything to get it back or be able to do it again.

  • Going for a walk in the park

Yes, I bought those beautiful sketcher shoes and decided to walk every day in the park taking in the cool breeze or the morning sun. But sometimes I use to feel lazy and skipped many mornings. I stayed back and walked on the treadmill which never equals the experience of a walk in the park. But as much as I wanted to go for a walk outside, we were stuck in the lock down and then the fear of being in a public place where there was a chance of getting infected. So treadmill became life, along with the Leslie Sansone’s “walk at home” videos which is far much interesting. Yet, I would love to get back to the life of being able to freely go to my walking park and enjoy the serene surroundings of trees and people.

  • Shopping without a care

One thing I like to do when I am stressed is to take off on my scooter and go for window shopping. Nope, I am not a shopaholic and will not be confessing any such but it always used to let me distract my mind and calm down. Probably because it gave me a better workout and gave me enough oxygen? Whatever the reason was, I am extremely disappointed that I no longer can do it. If I leave home to get some groceries, I have to go with a mask on, which obviously doesn’t allow me to breathe fresh air and then my mind always wants to get back home sooner or it whispers not to go to a crowded area. It’s like being out is stressful. But, did I enjoy it before 2020? I surely did and never once thought we would be facing a day something like this ever.

  • Meeting friends and family

There were times when I cancelled many such meetings saying I am too busy. Friends got disappointed and the family was miffed. But I always reasoned as I would definitely make it up the next time. But now, no one invites you to come nor does anyone wants to make a meetup plan. It is unsafe for everyone. It’s all about online. But does it feel good? Of course, not. It’s never the same. Meeting people directly and getting a handshake or a hug is not the same as hearing someone say Hola! from the screen. If only I can have those get together now?

  • Having a cup of coffee

If I went out on some work, I use to come back home having a cup of coffee. Drinking a cup of coffee is the only thing probably I have spent more money on than anything else. An aromatic filtered coffee from the steel glass of a good restaurant is something one has to experience to know the feeling. But, 2020 threw me in a corner where going to the nearby restaurants became the scariest adventure. I was never a fan of entering into any spooky house or haunted house and so I decided I have to give up this until the Virus dies. But man, is the virus stubborn? We have to wait and watch who wins finally. Virus or Humans?

  • Watching a movie in a theatre

Don’t get me wrong. I am not a movie buff. I rarely use to go to theatres. Even when my family wanted to plan for a movie, I was really picky of the kind of movies I want to watch in a theatre with the big screen in front of me while I sit watching it, munching some popcorn. But do I miss it now? Definitely yes! Again getting all the services and easy packages of many streaming apps like Netflix, Prime, Hotstar are good, it’s not the same where you actually book tickets, dress up and go watch in the theatre. Which, also includes a round trip to the mall, some small shopping, and cruising on the eatery. Oh, Corona! Could you please go back from wherever you came from and never be seen again?

  • Going on a vacation

How I miss it, and I know am not the only one. People had planned to various places for vacations for the summer and everyone are definitely saddened. The flights were canceled and we could not move out of the house, forget about going for a vacation. That MS.Excel file sits on the desktop staring at me every time I start my laptop, screaming what a wasted effort of all the time I spent to make a self-plan for our vacation in Bali. Well, Bali beckons while Corona ceases our plans. Are we going to travel any time soon? No one knows, but our Airlines are sure that we will and hence they do not want to reimburse the payments we made. Talk about being positive!

There are still many such things that I would be missing, but the above six are the major ones. Is there anything that you like to add to the list? Make use of the comments section and share your thoughts.

2021, you will be welcomed with aplomb if you make sure not to give any entry ticket for the coronavirus of 2019.

We also learned plenty of good things during this pandemic. So it was not as bad after all. Check out what my dear friend has to say about her experience and learning during the pandemic and lockdown – Here.

Power of Women – Inspiring Art!!

Hello friends,

It’s been quite some time that I shared my thoughts here. Frankly, I am a little out of practice. Don’t worry though, I am not going to talk about the pandemic too because we have enough of it already. But I cannot stay away without mentioning it, can I? Now that it is part of our life. I did have some panic attacks at the beginning of March or April, but then realized we don’t have a choice than adapt to the new life and learn how to be safe. Oh! I did mention no talking about the pandemic right? See, what I mean, it’s hard not to talk about it at least once in our day (I prefer not to say the pandemic name because “you know what”)

But, the past couple of months, did the pandemic change us? It definitely did. Made us stronger, brought us closer to the family, made us learn newer things and some of us discovered few hidden talents in us (My husband discovered that he loves to cook and so my weight loss became much difficult while I was already struggling) I found out that I have space in my heart to love another species of the Animalia other than the one already lying near my feet as if nothing else matters to him in the World (my dog). Well, can’t blame him as he gets the royal treatment in our house. Much I like to talk about this, let’s keep it for another day. Another blog.

So what exactly am I talking about then, you ask?

Nothing major, but an interesting art. We all know how social media worked during the lockdown. Sometimes I found myself stuck in the repeated news forwards or the way people shared their fears throwing me also into the pit of anxiety. But once in a while, there was some good tidbit of forwards that made us laugh or simply sit back and have a good read. One such was a forward that I received a couple of days back from a dear friend in our WhatsApp group (a group of my college buddies who stay like rock always, kudos to you my besties)

So, as I was saying, this art was something I like to talk about. Below is the artwork for you to have a look.

WhatsApp Image 2020-08-13 at 5.40.56 PM

Isn’t it amazing the way art captures the unspoken words? Women in our World are always known to carry hardships. Oh ya! God did create us so and I will definitely ask him why one day I meet him, just don’t expect me to come back and tell you though. But the thought of this artist is so thought-provoking and deep. Here are three women carrying a pot but in a different way. That’s what the art shows, but what it means is how every woman carries her responsibilities. Every woman is unique in her own way.

The painting caption is “Every woman carries her responsibility differently, do not compare

Here we see, one woman carries the pot on her head, while the other on her shoulder and another on her chest. Meaning, the approach of every woman to a problem or something important in life could be different and one should not judge based on the comparison. Nevertheless, allow her to discover her strengths so that she finds the right balance. Appreciate her decisions in life and respect her everything or every little she does.

This art can also give us many different meanings, but that’s the beauty of the art. It can tell many stories.

Do you think there is another angle to the meaning of this art? Share it in comments and spread your knowledge.

Whoever painted this (Google aunty was not really helpful this time to provide me the name of the artist) is so talented and I wish him/her to do more of such inspiring paintings.

In the end, I just want to say the power of any form of art, that is painting, dancing, singing, photography, sculpting, culinary (which am greatly bad at) music, writing, and many others are some of which keeps us going when life gets tough as you know there are monsters like viruses out there to get us.

Learn an art, practice your passion, and simply enjoy it.

Until next time,

Be home if possible, be safe for sure, maintain social distancing, wash your hands, and do not complain you are allergic to the smell of hand sanitizer. Enjoy every simple moment. (Guess, I covered all, ufff)

See ya!!

Life @HappyPlace

I call my hometown and my house as the Happy Place. I get a chance to visit my hometown once a year. With the kids, their school, my job, once a year its like an escape to the paradise. I yearn year long to spend one full month with my dad and brother’s family. This year its different. Due to the nationwide lockdown and being at home indoors all the time, I am missing the fun of being home.

download

So many things have changed in these past two months.

No school, no office, no transport. When will everything  come back to normal. Or should I ask will it ever be normal again? So many are there like me who are missing out being with their parents as it is usually the peak travel time and vacation time.

The only time I could have met all my friends. Not that I don’t have friends here in my place. But the college and school friends have a totally different place in everyone’s heart.

Remembering my days back @HappyPlace, I get tears. I just hope next year there should not be any travel restriction and people should freely live their life without any hassles.

My only wish is, there should be better days for all of us very soon and life should get back to normal. And I should be able to visit my Happy Place.

Guess you too have a story to share about your Happy Places. 

Happy Lockdown Holidays. Lets cheer up and hope for better days.

(Picture from Google Images)

That Moment when Life Freezes, But we move on – Chapter 2

That Moment When Life Freezes But we move on

As we have already read about Victor and Shalom,  continuing from where we left….

moment-when-life-freezes-must-move-things-ends-memories

Shalom’s life continued without Victor. His memories were always there with her. she knew Victor would never return. She loved spending time with kids. She now was a teacher. She enjoyed teaching at a school nearby to her place.

Every moment she spent time with kids she would forget all her worries and be happy. she was interested in social service and be of help to the needy. She was a part of an NGO (Non Government Organization) which would help the poor and the needy. She started teaching the kids who were under privileged. This gave her immense happiness and her life was good. Shalom had registered as a blood donor. She had a rare blood group. She had volunteered in in blood donation several times.

One day, she received a call from a stranger. The person on the other end was looking for a blood donor for one of his family member. He sounded as if he was in a dire situation. Shalom was willingly agreed and she went to the hospital the next day.

The following day, Shalom went to the hospital where she was supposed to donate blood. She called the number, the stranger had given. He picked the call and asked her to wait at the reception. Shalom was waiting and reading a magazine that was nearby. She was engrossed in her thoughts. A soft voice called her from behind.

She turned around to find a tall, well built man in his mid twenties maybe. He had a smile on his face, his hair a little roughed up. He looked tired or sleepless, possibly because he must’ve not got any rest in the hospital. He asked her “Shalom?”. Shalom nodded her head in acknowledgement and got up from the chair. She placed the magazine back on the chair, took her bag and stood up. The man introduced himself as “Hi, I am Anand. I am the one who called you yesterday.” Shalom just smiled and didn’t speak anything. Anand, said it was indeed a pleasure seeing a lady volunteer for blood donation and also said that he had probably called some 50 people asking for blood. Many did not agree and Shalom was the only person who agreed to come. He was very happy and took Shalom to the blood collection center. There the nurses, checked Shalom for blood grouping and inquired her about her health and any other ailments she had. This is the routine in any blood donation and Shalom was aware of this formality. Shalom obliged for all this and finally she was made to sit on a chair, made comfortable. The nurse pricked her forearm and inserted the canula, in seconds the blood was collected in the collecting unit.

All this while Anand was waiting outside eagerly for the procedure to complete. It took about 45 minutes for Shalom to complete the procedure and come out. Anand immediately got up and ran towards her when she came out. He was very happy and thanked Shalom for her generosity. Anand offered to drive her back home and he insisted in spite of Shalom not wanting to go with him

The drive towards home, changed Shalom’s course of life.

 

To be continued…

 

(Pic from YourQuote app, quotation written by me)

The paths we cross.

In our life, we meet many people. Some people we meet, become a part of our life. We all have families, that are full of people whom we know. We live with them, spend our time with them, share our lives with them. Every person we meet or we live with has an influence on our life. We shape our lives, learn from others. We too influence others with our character. Hence, life is all about learning. Learning what we do not know and probably teaching others what they don’t know.

Life is a journey phrase. Hand drawn brush style modern calligra

As we walk the journey of our life, we tend to meet new people. These new people are strangers. Some may be the people whom you meet for just a brief period and may never meet them again. Imagine we are traveling in a train on a long journey. The co-passengers who travel with us to the same destination are strangers. These people however become familiar to us as the journey progresses. We exchange pleasantries and chat a while with them. May be we share a piece of our life with them at that moment. Sometimes, we may even make adjustments of our comfort with them. Once, the journey is over, we both get down at our destination station and take different paths. We remember them for a brief period and then forget.

The time we spent with them in that brief period becomes a memory. In that brief period we may have learnt something new from the people we met.

Happy memories - hand drawn lettering phrase isolated on the white background. Fun brush ink inscription for photo overlays, greeting card or print, poster design.

Sometimes, a stranger whom you meet accidentally becomes a part of your life. That stranger may have a great influence on our lives. He/She may become your good friend. Life has so much to give. There is so much to learn.

It is always good to be nice with all the people we meet in our different walks of life. We never know where someone can be of great help to you. Always try to be a good person, a person who will be remembered by others as good. Keep a smile on your face when you talk to people. Your smile may brighten some else’s life.

Be happy and make others’ life happy too.

 

Image source: Google Images 🙂

The new me

The tough times that the world is going through is something that no one had ever expected. The terms that we never wanted to hear like “isolation” “quarantine” “lockdown” are here as something we talk about commonly these days.

Life never remains the same. The world is healing everyone says, but why don’t we realize we are healing too. Yes the time that we have with us, the time we are spending with our families, the time we have with our pets, kids and the “me time” we get is incomparable to the times we had earlier. Nothing is more important than the bond we have with families in these tough times.

The time now is more important as we need to be safe and sane at the same time. The sudden change in lifestyle, no going out, no shopping, no work is hard to believe. Trying to stay positive in these times is very important.

I have found the new me:

  1. I have developed lot of patience these days. My mood decides the mood in the house. Being a responsible parent, having patience is very important.
  2. Reading the books for which I had no time earlier is quite fun.
  3. Started working out. No physical exercise leads to lethargy.
  4. Practicing Yoga and Meditation.
  5. Laughing and smiling more.
  6. Sharing and cooking recipes with friends and family.
  7. Spending time in the garden, talking to my plants and keeping them engaged.

These are some things that I have found in myself which I wasn’t earlier.

Stay safe and stay home. We shall overcome. The world will be a better place for us. Take care of family dear all.

 

An Open Letter From a Dog to Humans

IMG_20170125_220100_508

Dear People,

Since thousands of years ago you have been telling us that we dogs are your best friends. But you truly don’t try to build that bond between us. There are so many such instances that you fail to understand us due to which we get punished by you, mistreated and sometimes even give us away. Please do not laugh at us because we too have feelings just like you. Wondering what it is you do not understand? Here are a few things.

  1. When you bought/adopted me, I did not ask anyone that I need you as my master instead you choose me. When you gave me that trust and hope, why you do not keep it that way. Why do you have to behave in such unloving and without any care by handing me over to your cleaners and other helpers?

  2. I am not as good in communication as you are, so do give some time for me to understand the things you have learned over many years. Don’t you think it’s bit unfair that we should learn everything at once?

  3. We never forget anything in our lives like how you treat us, the love you show etc.

  4. Things that you think good may not be good for me and vice versa.

  5. Yes! Food, water, and shelter are the basic things that we also need for our survival. But it’s not only these things that we need. We want you to spend time with us, have fun, your love and attention makes us happier. How hard it is just to sit and throw the ball. After all, we are the one who would be running to get the ball you throw.

  6. Just like you, we do not wish to be locked outside in the balcony without any shield for the climatic conditions. We find it difficult to handle extreme heat or cold.

  7. The only way we know to show our love and affection is by licking you. Definitely, we know that you would not want us to put our paws all over your clothes and make you dirty. Hence we lick because you can simply wipe it off later.

  8. If you think we are lazy, then that exactly a picture of yourself. What you teach us is what we learn. We have learned to be lazy by you and so blame you for the laziness we might show.

  9. Every time you go out, leaving me alone at home I spend my time worried and waiting for your comeback. Why don’t you show at least 50% of that kind of treatment? I feel so comfortable when you are around me.

  10. Even if I am a small breed we have bigger brain and heart.

  11. Before you bring another dog into your house, make sure you give me plenty of time to get adjusted. Do not expect me to be friendly and all approachable.

  12. When I am strong and ferocious you fear me and keep me outside. Yet you dislike some of us who might be big and huge in size but as weak and silent as we may still be in our puppy stage of our little lifetime.

  13. We do not watch TV, don’t read books, do not sit and do politics, or even go for shopping. What else do you expect from us than just lie around and doze off? Well, making us playful and active depends on you.

  14. Remember always that I have teeth that can cause serious damage to you if I fight back and when you try to hit me. I chose not to because I respect you and adore you completely.

  15. I may not remain a puppy forever. Just like you I grow old, and being old diseases are common to us as well. Take care of me if I fall ill same way as you care for your other human that you call as a family.

  16. Do not choose me to leave back when you have to shift to a different place. There is a various way to transport me too. I have stayed loyal to you since the time I was born, and that is least thing I expect from you as not to abandon me.

    You might think whatever I am asking of you is foolish, my dear human. But if you want us to be happy, protective and an active dog, you have to show us how to be one. I hope you do not mind all the things I said now and try to make changes.

What If?

on-moon

On one such late night, I and my daughter stood on our terrace holding the telescope that was given in her astronomy class( one of those many classes children convince us to make them join when we know it’s not worth it) trying to look at the moon in an attempt to see all the craters and other things that are seen on the Moon. Are you asking me what other stuff? Sorry, I need to go back to the science books to give that information. Anyways, my daughter had already seen all the things very clearly in a moon watching day through a much bigger sized telescope and she wanted me to see them too ( in her small telescope). As you might have already guessed, I could see a clearer view of the moon and make out the craters, however, nothing other than that.

While watching( it takes too long to focus and to make sure not to move your hands, as you are breathing) I had this thought, what if suddenly one day I wake up and find myself on the moon!! How is it going to be?

Ever thought something random things like that? I do, quite often. My mind is the best friend who always accompanies me in all random thoughts and stupid suggestions. So we (I and my bestie mind) discussed how is it going to be to wake up on the moon.

Imagining, the first thing I open my eyes, probably I will have all sore body parts, you know because of no bed and maybe I was on top of rocks. I see not a single living organism around and am all alone. I start getting up and walk around in an attempt to know where I am. Mind you, when I say walk around it probably might look like bunny hops. But hey, I just weigh like a baby on the moon. How wonderful if I weigh the same on Earth? OK, so I search and search looking for a life or anything else. It feels dark, but you know, one day on Moon is equal to 28.5 days on Earth. It’s like, is the day ever going to end? Everywhere its mountains, rocks and huge craters. Wait they looked so small in the telescope, didn’t they?Time to miss Earth? I still try to find some form of a solution. I decide to gather things on the moon surface to show people down on Earth if by chance I go back alive just like how I woke up. By now I started to feel thirsty and no sight of water anywhere. Suddenly there is a drastic change of atmosphere and it is unbearable. Being on the moon is beginning to feel scary and lonely. Moon is really nice to watch from far. I finally go back to sleep and the next time I woke up, I was back in my lovely king sized bed, surrounded by my family, adorable pet and my lovely daughter who is the reason in the first place for these stargazing thoughts on the moon. Oh! I love my Earth and where I live. Maybe it’s time we all try to respect and save the resources, else it might not be really good to shift to other planets. Just saying!!!

The Observing Child

Dear Readers,

(We at Magicmindz like to welcome our new contributor Namitha Akshanthalu. Your opinions in the form of likes and comments are valued by us and we always thank you for stopping by our blog. Without much ado…please read on her first blog)

On one of those odd days when I went to pick my daughter from school, I saw another parent of a kindergarten child speaking to the class teacher. I happened to sit close by and overheard their conversation. The teacher went like this “He is very good in his academics (!!!) and I have no complaints but he is very naughty, throws pencils, sharpener and eraser at other children in the class.” The teacher went on and on complaining and in between questioning the boy “why do you do that? Won’t it hurt others?” If only the boy knew that it hurts because he has probably seen Tom and Jerry, run around beating each other and it’s so much fun!! Oggy and the Cockroaches are no less. Why are children made to watch cartoons? Do we know that Cartoons were meant for adults and not for children?

Cartoons have been used to depict a wide range of political, religious and social viewpoints and often touch upon topics that may be sensitive. As social critics, these cartoonists work best in times of social unrest and movements towards reform. It is more challenging for them to maintain their critical wit in times of tragedy, uncertainty or the threat of war when the tendency is to invoke nationalist sentiment and comfort the public.

For children, what they see is what they do. Most children these days spend time playing video games or watching cartoons. When Jerry burns Tom’s tail, the tail is charred and Tom screams but the very next minute, he is chasing Jerry with his all shiny and beautiful tail as ever. A child who sees this does not understand pain. Children easily get tagged as naughty, distractive, hyper, liar, brainless, shameless, attitude and what not. But do we try to understand the reason behind their behavior? Whom are they trying to imitate? From where are they observing these?

Our parents were not addicted to television, computer or mobile phones. We spent a good time with family, friends, and relatives. Our only distraction was physically going out on the streets and playing. Hence we developed better motor skills and other life skills without being explicitly taught. Can we empathize with the current generation and their lack of exposure to beautiful life? We embrace modern lifestyle in the name of comfort and then repent for our children’s behavior.

Something commonly heard of “I have given him all the luxury in life and buy all that he needs and more. All that we expect from him is to study well and he cannot do that. He is so lazy and irresponsible”. The child cannot study, only because of lack of purpose in studying as everything that he needs is already under his feet and a command away.

 

*Images are subjected to Google

 

Must Have Android Apps on Your SmartPhone

android-apps

We cannot think of our days running without our lifetime partner (a virtual one), that is our smartphone. Even children today, have a smartphone and can easily deal with a complex technology. Although iOS has the best of things it is still Android phones that rule the market. So, if you have brought a new phone and still checking out which apps you need to download, here is a list of must-have apps that could be useful.

1. Antivirus security app

antivirus-app

When you own a smartphone, anti-virus is a must. Using the internet welcomes all kind of viruses that can cause serious damage to your device. I for one, cannot live my day without my phone in hands and I definitely don’t want it to fall ill on me.

2. Google Maps

google-maps

The Google maps have made it easier to get to our destination. Gone are the days when we had to ask for the address while traveling to a new place and then land in confusions. Instead, we are at that age where our phones or gadgets can guide us the destination perfectly. Now! Isn’t that is handy? Just do not forget to keep your mobile data on.

3. Photo modifying apps

photo-editing

If you are someone like me who is interested in making your casually clicked pictures into a great image, you should have a photo modifying app. There are several of them on my mobile, such as the YouCam Makeup which lets you look great with face makeup when you are shot without, YouCam Perfect and PicsArt Studio are some to name that you must have.

4. Movies and TV streaming app

best-movie-streaming-apps

We all do need entertainment and there are certain apps that let you stream TV shows and movies directly and you can watch them on the go. Netflix is one of my favorite but there are others like Hotstar, popcornFlix, Hulu, etc.

5. Fitness App

fitness-apps

Being fit and healthy is the most important thing in life. There are various apps that guide you on being healthy like keeping track of your exercise routine, cardio tracking, meditation with various scenarios, a guide to many food diets etc. Depending on your choice download the app that helps your routine.

6. Music Apps

music-app

Although every mobile comes with an inbuilt application of music apps, there are still many other that lets you listen and stream a wide range of choices of music from their albums. If you are a music junkie, check out apps such as Wync Music, Spotify, Shazam, Jango etc. Find what works best for you and enjoy your day while you work.

7. Evernote

hero_evernote

Evernote a multifunctional tool is a must-have in everyone’s mobile. It helps in making lists, voice recording, to-do manager, web page clipper, note taker etc. It is an all round helping app that makes it an important app to have.

8. Pocket

pocket-app

Everything is done online these days. People read articles and any other details over the internet on the go. You can save on bookmarks but not much is possible. Pocket, is one such an app that helps you to save web pages to read offline.

Are there any other apps that you think it’s important to have and is useful? Please, do not hesitate to pass the information and let us know about it. Do share your views in comments.

Note: The images used in this article are not copyrighted by Magicmindz. They belong to different sources as found in Google images.