Musings

No

Maybe the most difficult thing for many of us is to say ‘No’ to things we are not comfortable with. This includes saying ‘No’ to family members, friends and colleagues and at work. When I was younger, I could never say ‘No’ to anybody! 🙂 Sometimes, I used to feel that I was getting arm twisted!! 😦 and made to do things against my will! I am sure everybody might have been involved in one or two(or many situations like this! :))

How do we say ‘No’ in the most gentle manner without offending the other person? here are a few things I have learnt over the years:

  1. Time is the most important factor here. We get more confidence to say ‘No’ once we get older 🙂 These days , I can say “No” in any personal or professional relationships and wherever I am not comfortable!! 🙂
  2. Seriously though, I think it is not wise to say a straight “No” in the beginning of your career
  3. Later, in the career with enough experience you can judge and gauge the situation and work accordingly
  4. Personal relationships are a whole other matter – it is very difficult to say ‘No’ if you are young and to your parents especially! 🙂 If you are instructed to meet somebody or call somebody, you may have to do it for sometime but you can always tell politely that you cannot do it ….slowly! 🙂 after you gather some strength and maturity!! 🙂 🙂
  5. Other family members might follow a similar trajectory – it is good to say ‘yes’ for sometime, but after a while as you get older, you can say ‘No’ to things you are uncomfortable about.
  6. The best way to say ‘No’ is saying calmly that you cannot do it or if the person cannot handle a “No” you can always say you will do it later!! 🙂

How do you say “No”? 🙂 has it been difficult ? But trust me, once you get older, you will not care about anybody and say a “No” very easily!! 🙂 🙂

This is the last post for the BlogchatterHalfMarathon !!

India, Musings

Indian luxury! :)

Most think the Western world is a land of luxury but India has its own hidden luxury particularly for women! 🙂 When I stepped into India after a long stint, I had forgotten about this type of luxury! In fact, this type of luxury had taken more forms too! 🙂

Yes, I am talking about the maids and other helps of India! 🙂 These are various helps in India without whom the Indian home engines will grind to a stop!

Maids –

The maid in India is primarily supposed to come in only for cleaning, but does various other things too. In cities like Bangalore, the maids will give a lending hand to everything in the house like dusting, cutting vegetables, a little bit of cooking, doing the dishes, putting the dishes away, sweeping, mopping, making tea and many, many more chores. Since the maids will be from a poor financial background, the people who employ them will also help them in any way they can(like paying for their children’s education, paying for the vaccination and more)

Cooks –

We do not need to order food from outside all the time when one tired is cooking at home in India. Cooks will come and make the dishes that you require them to make. Some of them will in fact buy the things for you and make them at home for you! 🙂 They can make rotis, sabjis, rice, grind the idli -dosa batter for you and more. This ensures that you eat healthy home food all the time! 🙂

Drivers –

Do you not feel like driving in the crazy Indian traffic? Just hire a driver…:) There are experienced drivers who know the ins and outs of the city and can take you wherever you want to go.

Gardeners –

While the above three people are required in most homes in India, a gardener might be needed only in case of an independent house and if there is a necessity.

All these people are a blessing to many an Indian household and life would not be the same without them. The Western thought is always to do the chores on their own and since manual labor is expensive, machines are employed to get the same effect. The Indian luxury though is a world apart! and is easily affordable too 🙂

Upon our return to India, I was initially amazed by the availability of so much of help and was trying to do things on my own. But I soon caved in and cannot do with my maid today! 🙂 The lockdown of 2020 in India(when maids and other help were not allowed) showed that we could do our work if needed be(the American habits were still residing in us! :)) but I have embraced the Indian luxury and cannot live without it today!

P.S. I only have a maid, I like to drive and don’t mind the minimal daily cooking! 🙂

This post is the 9th post for BlogchatterHalfMarathon

college, exams, India, Musings

How is remote work/learning going?

The pandemic struck and there has been one reality that has been binding the world. It is of remote work and learning. Remote work and learning is a reality in India as of today. With three laptops (and an almost working laptop! :)) and Teams meetings and Zoom calls in my home, it has not been an easy experience.

Prior to March 2020, I was the only one doing remote work and now, my whole family had joined in! 🙂

What have we learnt from the whole remote experience?

  1. Small children can manage with phone/tablets but those devices are not suitable for older kids
  2. If older kids and working parents are involved, then, each will need a separate laptop(maybe some manage without the same)
  3. Bandwidth issues, network connectivity, dropped calls are all a reality
  4. Many had suggested a Wi-Fi extender, but we had shied away from it – but a Wi-Fi extender is a great boon! 🙂 Even though phone companies advertise for great bandwidth, we realize it falls short, once we start using it! Hence the Wi-Fi extender is the greatest boon to help us.
  5. With meetings and classes in different rooms, different sounds from different rooms becomes a reality! 🙂
  6. However good the laptops maybe, with time, they seem to crash! 😦
  7. The mic does not seem to be work or the camera does not seem to work or the unmute button does not seem to work or everything works great sometime! 🙂
  8. School/college seem to get over by a certain time, but work never seems to get over! 😦
  9. Zoom fatigue or Teams fatigue is real
  10. Schools/colleges have figured how to conduct online exams after struggling with it for some months
  11. Teams is good IMHO! 🙂

How has your remote work/learning experience been? Have you finally got the hang of it? 🙂 How do you and your family manage?

Here’s to wishing that the end of remote work/learning is around the horizon! 🙂

This post is the eighth post for BlogchatterHalfMarathon

India, Musings, US

Which is your favorite cuisine?

I am no foodie but do give into extravagant taste drives once in a while… 🙂 Having said that, my tongue was led into an international expedition 25 years ago when I stepped into the USA! 🙂

I think India itself had limited choices then and I was not exposed to all the International delights! 🙂 Having a better half who loved to explore different tastes and cuisine, I soon learned to appreciate the different types of food! 🙂

These are some of the cuisines that I have tried :

South Indian cuisine 🙂 –

South Indian food is cumbersome to make and is definitely delicious when made with a deft hand! 🙂 (which I don’t have 😉 ;)) Idli, Dosa, the Pongals, Idiyappams, Puttus, the biriyanis, the kulambhus, the sweets and savories are just a small number of dishes that will take your tongue on an amazing journey!! 🙂

Mexican –

Mexican food is definitely cooked differently from Indian food and is much less tedious to do it too. I do love the Soft tacos, Tacos, Chalupas, Taquitos, Burritos, Nachos,  Enchiladas, Fajitas, Quesadillas and more! 🙂

Chinese –

I know two versions of Chinese cuisine – one is American Chinese and one is Indian Chinese! 🙂 Chinese cuisine involves soups, noodles, chow mein, lo mein, orange chicken and more. I have not been a regular consumer of Chinese food , but suffice it to say, that I appreciated it as well.

Italian –

Maybe, the one cuisine that I really had a tough time getting used to was Italian cuisine than any other cuisine because of the lesser amount of spices used. Pasta, Pizza, Lasagna, Pasta salad are what come to my mind right away.. 🙂

Thai –

It has been quite a while since I have had pure Thai cuisine, but loved the Pad Thai, Green curry, Red curry – all of which are sure tingle anybody’s taste buds.

American cuisine –

American cuisine might be a melting pot of different cuisines, but the Mac and cheese, bagels, waffles, fries, burgers, cheeseburgers, chilis, clam chowder, fried chicken and other dishes do give your taste buds a party! 🙂

From all the cuisines that I have tried – which have I loved the most? I think I would be slightly more partial to the South Indian foods and Mexican foods more than other cuisines just because of the taste! (though I have loved all of them and learned to appreciate all types of food)

Which is your favorite cuisine? Is it different from the ones listed above? Do drop your answers in the comments below! 🙂

Have a nice day! 🙂

This post is the fifth post for the BlogchatterHalfMarathon

India, Musings, Religion

Is each state of India loyal to a particular Hindu God?

As my ponderings and observances continue, I have always wondered how each of state of India seems to be more loyal to a particular Hindu God. For those, who are unaware, Hinduism has a lot of Gods and Goddesses.

Some of them are:

Lord Ganesh

Lord Karthikeya

Lord Shiva

Goddess Parvati

Lord Hanuman

Lord Ram

and many other Gods and Goddesses. Each God may also be referred by different names across India as well. The mythological stories surrounding the Gods will also vary across India. For example, in Tamil Nadu, Lord Ganesh is considered to be the first son and Lord Karthikeya is considered to be the second son of Lord Shiva and Goddess Parvati.

Which state is loyal to which God?

As I have observed, each of the Southern states seem to favour a particular God( which is not to say that the other Gods are not revered)

In Tamil Nadu – we have ‘Tamizh Kadavul’ Murugan (or Lord Karthikeya) though we can see little idols of Lord Ganesh adorning every little nook and corner too

In Karnataka – Lord Hanuman (every nook and corner in the state will have a little idol of Lord Hanuman)

In Kerala – I have visited Kerala only two or three times and I think Kerala might be favoring Lord Aiyappa (Sabarimala temple) and Lord Krishna

I am not too sure about Andhra Pradesh and Telangana – but I think they may be favoring Lord Narasimha more than other Gods

Maharashtra may be favoring Lord Ganesh more than any other God

Similarly, I think most of North India may be favoring Lord Ram and Lord Shiva

In West Bengal , I think Goddess Durga might be more revered than other Gods

In Odisha, Lord Jagannath might be revered more than other Gods

Why does this happen?

The only reason why it may be so, is because of the religious significance attached to each place. For example, one of Hanuman’s birthplaces is said to be in Hampi, Karnataka. Similarly, there are a lot of stories attached to Lord Karthikeya and his six homes(aaru padai veedu) in Tamil Nadu.

I am sure all other places have their own mythological tales which creates the God for the place.

What are your thoughts? Do you think each state in India is more loyal to a particular God?

This is the second post for the BlogchatterHalfMarathon

Musings

Writer woes

When I originally went through this post in my head, it was an absolute rant post! Now, thinking about it after a couple of days later, it is a much calmer post(hopefully! :))

I have been writing for the past 9 years, and there are several things that I have learnt over the years. Some of them have been nice but some of the them have downright been disgusting! (sorry for the language!)

Here is a list of things that I have learnt:

First and foremost is always the “pay” in the content writing field. Writing is such a beautiful thing and not everyone can do it (any genre is difficult and does take time) In spite of that, in the content writing industry, from what I have seen if you get paid 1 Re/word, it is a great thing! (I don’t know how this thing came about itself) There are people who pay 50 paise/word or even lesser!! And there are still some who will ask for “free writing” too!! I myself have been approached by many people to write for “free” for them. Now, these are not just startups but well established companies do it too(I have never understood the rationale behind this – if you can pay all other professions in a startup, why can’t you the pay the writers as well?)

The next thing that irks me is the way the content is freely attributed to somebody else. Initially, the articles written by me have my name on them but after a while, they get attributed to somebody else (why would somebody do that also, I have not understood)

The third thing that I always find annoying is when we are asked to write a sample writeup for every new company that we are applying(it is fine for newbie writers, I guess) There is so much of my content on the web, and I am still asked to provide a free write-up, why? And sometimes, after we submit the writeup, there is a deadly silence on the other end too!! (what? why?)

Yet another thing on my annoying list…. Many people think content can be churned like magic! 😦 No buddy, good content does not appear so quickly like that(which is why it is good to employ multiple writers or creators) Good quality content particularly in the technical field takes time(at least for me) I have to read, understand and then write(this is me, I am sure there are faster writers) For my Master’s degree program, in the US, we were asked to write several papers and we were given adequate time to finish all of them. I greatly appreciated that fact then and appreciate it even more now.

Last but not least, is the number of revisions that a writer is asked to do. While I have not been asked to revise my content frequently, after 9 years in the field, I unfortunately, cannot revise my content any more, once I have submitted it. I have as it is, revised, edited, re-edited and re-edited and cannot do it any more. Once I have submitted it, it is the best content there is 🙂 English or any language is a relative language and unless you are a perfect English teacher it is fine as it is. And with tools like Grammarly, anybody’s English is just perfect is my thought! 🙂

My experience:

My experience in the content field has overall been good. I have had interesting experiences here and there and fought to have my name redeemed in some articles(though I have left the others)

I have been paid well too and some of my articles have done very, very well. The key to an article doing well in my opinion is definitely the topic selection. If you are passionate about a topic, you will write it really, really well and it will show in your writing. On the other hand, if you do not feel a topic, you will not do well(quite interesting that I can write only on programming, Information security and privacy topics) If you write about a good topic and present it well, it should definitely raise a few eyebrows and get some extra clicks and will last long! 🙂

The silver lining to the poor pay and other disadvantages to the content writing field, is that the world cannot live without us writers !! 🙂

So, come on writers, write to your hearts content….the world is your oyster! 🙂

P.S: I have done my Master’s in the US, but I am currently a freelance writer in India and I am mostly talking only about organizations