An ode to my second mother – Saoli Ma’am

It is said that behind every successful man lies a woman. This woman can be a mother, a sister, a wife or simply a friend or a colleague. But, if someone tells me to rank them in terms of importance, I would straightaway put mothers at the top of the list. There is no doubt that a mother deserves the first credit for a man’s success, for she brings him to this world, nurtures him using every ounce of care and affection, protects him and teaches him to stand tall in the society. Whoa! Mothers are all-rounders. In fact, a mother is the superwoman in every man’s life.

I consider myself truly blessed for I have not one mother, but two! No, this is not some typical Bollywood story where the actor has a birth mother but he is raised by someone else. My story is different in the sense that I had been brought up by two mothers simultaneously in different environments. Continue reading

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My first day at office: When a shave saved my day!

Before anything else, a big THANK YOU to BlogAdda for encouraging me and giving me the much-needed push to write this blog post. I had almost decided to skip this activity until these sweet words in an email sent to me revived the blogger spirit in me!

………because you have been extra nice. BlogAdda is very glad that you have maintained such a good relationship with us. We have loved being associated with you in past activities……..

Clap your hands for BlogAdda. 🙂 

Alright, applause over; now back to business. I could not have asked for a better time to write something on the importance of a well-groomed face; only a few days back, I had joined my first job in a big oil exploration and production company…..and suddenly I felt I have grown up. I felt the need of facial hair!  Continue reading

“When words can feed a hungry child” – A BlogAdda initiative with Akshaya Patra

Exactly a month ago, BlogAdda had started a noble initiative Blog To Feed A Child in association with Akshaya Patra, in which bloggers had to blog about how to eliminate classroom hunger and ensure every child in India gets a decent meal as well as education. The wonderful aspect of this initiative is that each blog post would sponsor a meal for a child for an entire year. Honestly speaking, I was not interested to write anything on the theme in the first place as I thought what difference would my post make, when so many children still remain malnourished, impoverished and illiterate despite the continuous efforts of different organizations. 3 weeks have passed since my good blogger friend Dr. Ryan Fernandes had nominated me to write a blog post on this topic (Read his post: Food For Thought). I feel so irresponsible and slightly ashamed that it took me this long to contribute to this cause. But, better late than never, as they say.

So what suddenly inspired me to delve into this theme and pen my thoughts? Or should I say, who inspired me? The answer is Nobel Peace Prize winner Kailash Satyarthi. When I keenly listened to his moving speech at the Nobel award ceremony at Oslo, Norway about his fight against child labour and work for child rights, I felt proud of him and his dedicated efforts. When he asked the audience to put their hands over their hearts, close their eyes and feel the child inside them, I reciprocated too. What happened in the next few seconds jolted me from inside! Images of children working at a road-side restaurant, wiping tables and cleaning dishes, flashed in my mind.

I felt numb and my eyes got teary. I questioned myself as I opened my eyes: Do you still think you can not make any difference to this initiative when you’re getting a wonderful opportunity to volunteer for a noble cause? Continue reading

Remembering a beautiful childhood with Nursery Rhymes…

BlogAdda always gives bloggers wonderful opportunities to share their stories and experiences. Since I started blogging, I have taken inspiration from the prompts given by BlogAdda; however, this time, I was in slight trouble when I came to know about this new initiative of the website, in association with Kids Hut by T-Series, in which we have to Choose 2 favourite rhyme/story from the Kids Hut collection and blog about our memories or morals that are associated with them. I am 23 years-old now and I could hardly remember anything about my preschool days, so penning this write-up would be a pretty tough challenge for me!

That’s what I thought until my mother came to my rescue. She took me on a wonderful tour to my Nursery and Kindergarten days, and revoked some delightful memories!

Let me be honest at first. I was a cry-baby in preschool. 😀 Mom reminds me I shed buckets of tears on my first day at school and she and dad had a tough time silencing me! Embarrassing for me! But, that’ s what most kids do on their first day at preschool, don’t they? However, soon, I stopped whining and took interest in the different activities of preschool. The one in which I was loved and appreciated was none other than sing Nursery rhymes in front of the whole class without any fear or shyness! May be I had to open my mouth in some way or the other. 🙂 Continue reading

Beyond Boundaries: How technology and blogging has given me a new friend and a ticket to Karnataka!

Popular Indian blog directory website BlogAdda.com, in association with INK has given Indian bloggers a really wonderful opportunity to be a part of INK 2014 conference, to be held in Mumbai from October 31 to November 2, 2014 and listen to renowned people in different fields of life. To know who these famous National and International influential speakers are, you can check them in this link: Speakers at INK 2014 Conference

InkTalks

When I came to know about this BlogAdda contest, where a blogger has to collaborate with a blogger who stays in a different country or state or region, and write on one of the five given topics, my excitement and joy knew no bounds! This contest wants us to go beyond our boundaries, which itself is such a marvellous concept and I am a person who loves to meet new people, know their cultures and develop a strong bond with them. So, this contest is something I can’t miss, as it is my window to meet some amazing people.

BlogAdda had recently conducted another awesome contest called “Game of Blogs” in which I was a part of a highly talented team of bloggers. Among them, I became close friends with Dr. Ryan Fernandes (You can read his blogA Surgeon’s Sojourn). Dr. Ryan is a surgeon based in Mangalore, Karnataka and I chose him as my blogging partner for this contest. To my utter happiness, he was equally interested to be a part of this contest too! We decided to pen this post on the topic “How has technology and blogging helped people explore and meet new people beyond boundaries and learn new things in the process?” because technology and blogging have brought us together as friends, and most importantly, helped us know each other better.

Could we imagine, a decade ago, that technology could bring such a sea-change in how we communicate with people and share ideas and thoughts with them almost every second? I am 23 years-old now, and in the past two decades, I have witnessed an ‘information revolution‘ of gargantuan magnitude. Earlier, people communicated through letters, postcards and telegram, which is a thing of the past now. Slowly, telephones became a popular medium of communication. You must have fond memories of talking through ‘landline phones’ at a time when cellphones had not reached every person’s hands in India. Currently, almost every Indian owns a cellphone and has access to a world which goes beyond their boundaries. It’s simply incredible to see how the market today is flooded with high-tech gadgets developed with superior technologies and they offer a variety of applications and services that are helping us stay connected to a vast population. Internet, as a whole, has made the world population ‘one huge family’! One of the blessings of this internet is blogging. It has evolved from a medium of self-expression of just one individual to a platform to share thoughts, ideas and services by more than one individual. To highlight the power of blogging and the benefits of technology, the best example I and Ryan can give is the BlogAdda contest ‘Game of Blogs‘. The teams in this contest had bloggers spread across India, and they sat at their own homes or offices, and communicated with all team-members and shared ideas for the story on different platforms like email, Whatsapp, Facebook and Twitter. Each blogger was a stranger to another blogger, yet they connected with each other. This is quite commendable! Would this have been possible if not for Internet technology and the blogging opportunity offered by BlogAdda? 

A few days back, Ryan wrote a letter to me via email, recounting our wonderful experiences as co-bloggers in the BlogAdda contest. Surprisingly, his letter was not just any normal letter. It touched my heart and made me smile. This is what he wrote:

Hey Kunal,

Hope this mail of mine finds you in the best of health. How have you been buddy? And what are you upto these days?

You must be wondering why I’m mailing you instead of messaging you on Whatsapp. After those crazy hectic days during the GAME OF BLOGS by BlogAdda everything seems to have quietened down on our Whatsapp group. What an experience it was!!!!  I still remember the day I got a call from BlogAdda saying “Sir, your team mates are waiting for you to respond. It seemed so weird to get together with strangers from different places and plan out a book.  We developed an instant connection! I think it was only after a week or so that I came to know that you are from Assam! Having lived all my life in Mangalore, Karnataka and not having gone beyond Goa and Mumbai, Assam to me seemed like a foreign land. Till I got to know you, I didn’t know anyone from Assam nor did I know anything about Assam! The only thing that I knew was that its tea is very famous! And that too was just hearsay! That’s about it.

But then you came along. Initially of course, your obsession with our story and your “Where is Roohi” obsession really scared me but then when I got to know your ‘normal’ side, I found a good friend and also learnt so much about a new state.

Remember Kunal, we had all once discussed on our Whatsapp group about different holiday destinations. I had said that I would be visiting Goa this December. Well, me and my wife have now changed our mind and that’s all thanks to the amazing pictures and stories you shared with us of Assam! You said we should visit there at least once and you had even offered to show us around.

Well….Guess what! We have taken up your offer to come there. There are some specific places we want to see. You had told me about the Assam State Zoo cum Botanical Park. Honestly I never believed you when you said that it is the largest one in the North East. Can’t wait to see it now and I hope it’s not too far away from your home. By the way, is your offer still on for us to stay over? Just kidding we wouldn’t want to impose. Just pay for the cab, that’s all. Ha ha ha! Don’t panic I’m still kidding.

Then of course, much to the dislike of my wife, I would like to check out the Cricket Stadium in Guwahati. Being a cricket fan that’s definitely one place I’m looking forward to visit. BTW has Assam ever produced a Rahul Dravid? Oh no that’s coz he’s from Karnataka *evil grin*. Even your Abu Nechim plays for the Royal Challengers Bangalore. Yeah Yeah! You’ll probably whatsapp me saying that you will report me to Arnab Goswami who you very very clearly once told me hails from Assam. The nation now knows that your state was responsible for him! Anyways jokes apart, while at Guwahati, lets make a quick dash to the Assam State Museum, I’m sure my wife would enjoy it. 

These are just a few of the places among the ones you told me that I remember. Rest of the place I leave it to you to show us be it the Kamakhya Temple or Deepor Bil. I just googled those places and found them to be very interesting!

So as you can see, we are really looking forward to be there. Will inform you the dates as soon as I confirm them. Regards to everyone at home. And yes I finally will get to taste the original Assam tea!

In the meanwhile…..FIND ROOHI 😛

Regards,

Dr Ryan Fernandes

I was so thrilled to read Ryan’s email. We’ve met each other on the Internet; we haven’t met in reality, and yet, blogging has connected us hear-to-heart, so much that he has actually wanted to come to my home state Assam. Atithi Devo Bhava! Ryan and his wife would be my guests, and I would love to accompany them and show them my wonderful Assam.

I have never been to Karnataka, so I asked Ryan that if he would be interested to help me explore his home state. He expressed his delight at the offer, and to further fuel my excitement, he emailed me some pictures of ‘must visit’ places in Karnataka. Here are the pictures, which I made into a collage:

Karnataka Collage

This conversation on email is, no doubt, a gift of technology. Blogging and technology has transformed our lives in an amazing manner. Watching the rapid developments in technology, one simply cannot guess what the future has in store for us. Websites like BlogAdda are doing wonderful work by serving as a portal for bloggers to express themselves to a global population. They have not only allowed us to meet new people, but also learn new things.

One human life is too short to explore the wonderful places and meet the people around the world. Our time in this world is limited, so we ought to make the best use of this time. Know that nothing is impossible till we have tried every possibility. Arthur C. Clarke aptly said in this beautiful quote:

“The limits of the possible can only be defined by going beyond them into the impossible.”

This post is a part of “Beyond Boundaries” at BlogAdda.com in association with INK 2014.