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Kick the bucket

December 16, 2014 Leave a comment

What are the top items on your anti-bucket list – those things you never ever want to do,
places you never want to visit, books you never want to read etc.?

Here are 10 things I would never want to do –

- eat live worms, insects or reptiles
– attempt tightrope walking
– visit North Korea, Iraq, Somalia, Sudan, Afghanistan, Syria or Saudi Arabia
– be friends with everyone or please everyone
– be perfect or know everthing
– be a drug mule or take drugs
– be a Matador at San Fermin
– swim with sharks
– stand on the peak of Mt. Kilimanjaro
– see every famous movie

Here are other interesting posts in this category:
1) https://vexingpoint.wordpress.com/2014/12/14/daily-prompt-kick-the-bucket/
2) http://angloswiss-chronicles.com/2014/12/14/daily-prompt-kick-the-bucket-i-want-my-pingbacks/
3) http://basicallybeyondbasic.com/2014/12/14/daily-prompt-kick-the-bucket/
4) http://likereadingontrains.wordpress.com/2014/12/14/no-just-no-daily-prompt-kick-the-bucket/
5) http://www.inspiringmax.com/kick-bucket/

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Categories: Books Tags: , , ,

Calling Uncle Bob

November 26, 2014 1 comment

Have you ever faced a difficult situation when you had to choose between sorting it out yourself, or asking someone else for an easy fix? What did you choose — and would you make the same choice today?

 help quote

When  life throws lemons at you – make lemonade!  There are ups and downs in this roller-coaster ride called life.  We face tough calls and we have to make decisions.

As far as we can we have to try and make decisions based on our knowledge and experience.  This is because if we give up every time and shout for help we will always be afraid of failure and there is no chance to learn.

The point is that not all of us are experts in every field.  So at times, we have to seek the advice of our friends, experts , mentors , teachers, relatives etc who because of their experience could help to help us in making better informed decisions.

Being humble and seeking advice helps us to drop our ego and realize the fact that in essence we are all part of that one universal consciousness.

Other interesting posts in this category:
1) http://ripplesnreflectiontimes.wordpress.com/2014/11/25/1005/
2) http://tylershepard1991.wordpress.com/2014/11/25/asking-for-help-vs-asking-for-advice/
3) http://myleviathan.wordpress.com/2014/11/25/calling-uncle-bob/
4) http://ungiornonellavita.com/2014/11/25/daily-prompt-calling-uncle-bob/
5) http://quotidianrevisions.wordpress.com/2014/11/25/forget-uncle-bob-call-momma-2/
6) http://parkinkspot.wordpress.com/2014/11/25/calling-dr-bombay-emergency-come-right-away/
7) http://littlemanofthehouse.wordpress.com/2014/11/25/i-can-do-it-myself/
8) http://vexingpoint.wordpress.com/2014/11/25/daily-prompt-calling-uncle-bob/
9) http://thecrookedmind.wordpress.com/2014/11/25/daily-prompt/
10) http://lindaswritingblog.wordpress.com/2014/11/25/miss-independence/

Categories: Books Tags: , , ,

Spinning Yarns

November 24, 2014 Leave a comment

What makes a good storyteller, in your opinion? Are your favorite storytellers people you know or writers you admire?

It is said that the best way to engage your audience is to narrate a story.  Children love being told stories.  I grew up reading Amar Chitra Katha a wonderful collection of mythological Indian stories.  I also read the Chandamama,  Hardy Boys and James Hadley Chase.

My daughter would not allow me to sleep without telling her a bed-time story every night.   For most children, it is their grandmother and for some it is their parents.

Storytelling is an art.  And a story can enthrall, entertain and inspire our children.  Aesop’s fables, Grimms fairy tales, folk tales and others have a takeaway message – a moral that makes them even more memorable.

Some writers like Roald Dahl, Mark Twain, Richmal Crompton, Enid Blyton, Lewis Caroll, Robert Louis Stevenson R.K. Narayan etc  weaved stories full of humour, suspense and vivid imagery that we were all captivated.

A good story teller has the following traits:

-  selects  a story that suits the audience
–  brings the story to life
–  loves  the story
–  selects a story plot that has some conflict and resolution
–  creates vivid images
–  uses voice modulation, gestures and eye contact to emphasize the message
–  pauses for effect
–  leaves the audience wanting more

Other interesting posts in this category:
1) http://shesrambling.com/2014/11/23/just-for-today-i-m-the-story-teller/
2) http://dossiersofsbk.wordpress.com/2014/11/24/raconteurs/
3) http://iamnotsickboy.com/2014/11/24/sweet-storytellers/
4) http://www.inspiringmax.com/storytelling-powerful/
5) http://lindaswritingblog.wordpress.com/2014/11/23/my-story-2/
6) http://flowersandbreezes.wordpress.com/2014/11/23/story-telling/
7) http://teepee12.com/2014/11/23/once-upon-a-time-2/
8) http://yzhengblog.wordpress.com/2014/11/23/we-are-all-storytellers/
9) http://ripplesnreflectiontimes.wordpress.com/2014/11/03/gone-girl/
10) http://tombalistreri.wordpress.com/2014/11/23/spinning-a-yarn/

Waiting room

November 17, 2014 Leave a comment

Good things come to those who wait. “Do you agree?  How long is it reasonable to wait for something you really want?

Patience is a virtue so important that we ignore it most of the time.  It is true that persistence and determination and focus are traits that the great scientists have shown us.  But besides this they had another trait – patience.  Archimedes and Kekule had taken a step back fom their relentless pursuit of the truth and it is at this time that they had the intuition.   Archimedes was sitting in his bathtub when he had his ‘Eureka’ moment.  Similarly Kekule was resting beside the fireplace when he dreamt of a snake coiled up with its tail in its mouth – which gave him the answer to the structure of the benzene molecule.

Enthusiasm and dynamism are important to success but we have to also keep our emotions at check.  What we are seeing today is a mad rush without a goal in mind.  People are rushing after their dreams putting their work life balance in jeopardy.  This results in stress, anxiety and depression.  So it is very important that we learn to rest, to sleep, to breathe,  to watch squirrels hide their nuts in grass and watch streams full of stars like skies at night (Leisure, WH Davies)

“Life is real failure when you do not realize how close you were to success when you gave up” – Audrey Wilde.

At the same time lethargy and laziness is also dangerous and will not get any results.  So while patience is important we cannot wait forever hoping that the sky will drop money on us!

Other interesting posts in this category:
1) http://frenchtouchincebu.wordpress.com/2014/11/17/good-things-come-to-those-who-wait-but-better-things/
2) http://lsanderford.wordpress.com/2014/11/16/wishing-and-hoping/
3) http://wileyschmidt.com/2014/11/16/those-who-wait/
4) http://rowjie.wordpress.com/2014/11/17/waiting-game/
5) http://www.kansamuse.com/2014/11/patience-is-so-hard/


November 14, 2014 1 comment

Ready, Set, Done!

Our ten-minute free-write is back for another round! Tap away on whatever comes to mind, no filters attached. (Feel free to edit later, or just publish as-is).

The world today is threatened by some flashpoints that could trigger skirmishes and could destablise world peace.  Some of these flashpoints are:


This terrorist outfit is growing in strength and today presents a big obstacle to world peace.  ISIS has taken over large chunks of Syria and Iraq and are now holding weapons, armor, and vehicles provided by the United States Army. ISIS is the biggest threat the Middle East has today. They have systematically terrorized civilians with mass murders, sexual violence, kidnappings, and even destruction of places of worship. They aren’t sending any warnings, they aren’t giving an avenue for a way out, it’s either surrender to their will or be killed. (source: Chicago Now)

Israel – Palestine conflict:

The Israel – Palestinian started in the late 19th century and early 20th century. The end of the 19th century and the beginning of the 20th century are marked by the birth of two major nationalist movements among the Jews and among the Arabs both geared towards attaining sovereignty for their people in the Middle East. This conflict came from the intercommunal violence in Palestine between Jews and Arabs from 1920 and erupted into full-scale hostilities in the 1947-48 civil war. The conflict continues to the present day on various levels. (source Wikipaedia)

North Korea vs South Korea

On June 25, 1950, the Korean War began when some 75,000 soldiers from the North Korean People’s Army poured across the 38th parallel, the boundary between the Soviet-backed Democratic People’s Republic of Korea to the north and the pro-Western Republic of Korea to the south. (source: History.com).  Even today, the situation is fragile and there is a danger of conflict.

 Iranian Nuclear Threat

The Iranian governments extreme interpretation of Islamic law inspires the rise of Islamic extremists around the world.  Iran provides a safe haven to many international terrorists and is responsible for delivering weapons to Hezbollah and Palestinians including Al-Quaeda leaders.  The danger is that Iran is now nuclear capable.

India and Pakistan

Forces of the two now-nuclear nations still face each other, and exchange the odd artillery barrage, over ownership of the mountain province of Kashmir: one of the world’s most intractable and violent border disputes. The conflict, dating back to the final days of the British Raj, has erupted into full scale war on three occasions.

South China Sea

The latest flashpoint is the Southt China Sea. The South China Sea is a marginal sea that is part of the Pacific Ocean, encompassing an area from the Singapore and Malacca Straits to the Strait of Taiwan of around 3,500,000 square kilometers.  The dispute involves both island and maritime claims among seven sovereign states within the region, namely Brunei, China, Taiwan, Malaysia, the Phillipines, and Vietnam. There are disputes concerning both the Spratly and the Paracel islands, as well as maritime boundaries in the Gulf of Tonkin and elsewhere. There is a further dispute in the waters near the Indonesian Natuna islands. The interests of different nations include acquiring fishing areas around the two archipelagos; the potential exploitation of suspected crude oil and natural gas under the waters of various parts of the South China Sea; and the strategic control of important shipping lanes.

(P.S. that took more than 10 minutes of my time!!)

Other interesting posts in this category:
1) http://oh3za.com/2014/11/13/ready-set-done-6/
2) http://monicleblog.wordpress.com/2014/11/13/ready-set-rant/
3) http://www.krysonskreations.com/2014/11/13/ten-minutes-unedited/
4) http://linusfernandes.com/2014/11/14/ten-minutes-to-paradise/
5) http://conqueringanthropophobia.wordpress.com/2014/11/13/10-things-i-can-do-in-ten-minutes/

Categories: Books Tags: , , ,

The Great Divide

November 12, 2014 Leave a comment

When reading for fun, do you usually choose fiction or non-fiction? Do you have an idea why you prefer one over the other?

I am an avid reader and I love reading fiction as well as non-fiction, classics, autobiographies, humour and poetry.  Currently, I am reading Jane Eyre by Charlotte Bronte and The Pale Horse by Agatha Christie.

Nowadays, I am getting sucked into the gadget craze and I am trying my best to keep reading.  Reading has opened up my mind to new worlds, cultures, language and ways of living.  It has taught me more than anything else.

Crime fiction thrillers like Stephen King, Dan Brown, James Patterson, Agatha Christie etc keep me engaged from the start to the end.  Humour from PG Wodehouse, Jerome K Jerome, David Sedaris etc give me a good laugh.   Classics from Shakespeare, Charles Dickens, Jane Austen allow me to get a glimpse of vivid description and language.

Alice in Wonderland by Lewis Caroll and The Chocolate Chip Factory by Roald Dahl take you into a different world and teaches our children to develop creative imagination.

Neil Gaiman gave a talk  on “Why our future depends on libraries, reading and daydreaming?” at the Reading Agency Annual lecture.  In this talk he stressed the importance of developing the reading trait in our children so that they have a great future.

Other interesting posts in this category:
1) https://alotfromlydia.wordpress.com/2014/09/29/lost/
2) http://writingnotraging.com/2014/11/06/why-i-love-ya-novels-truth-and-nostalgia/
3) http://adorablyobnoxious.wordpress.com/2014/10/05/daily-prompt-the-great-divide/
4) http://blogenture.wordpress.com/2014/10/02/the-great-divide-day-12-blogging-101/
5) http://amandahsblog1.wordpress.com/2014/09/29/the-great-divide/
6) http://inspirevablog.wordpress.com/2014/09/30/in-the-mood-for-reading/
7) http://christinegoodnough.com/2014/09/29/the-diverse-diet-of-a-bookworm/
8) http://notestiedonthesagebrush.wordpress.com/2014/09/29/the-great-divide/
9) http://thebeespeak.wordpress.com/2014/09/30/fact-or-fiction-readers-choice/
10) http://amiageekblog.wordpress.com/2014/09/30/fiction-vs-nonfiction/

Categories: Books Tags: , , ,

The 8th Deadly Sin

November 7, 2014 Leave a comment

Remember the seven cardinal sins? You’re given the serious task of adding a new one to the list — another trait or behavior you find particularly unacceptable, for whatever reason. What’s sin #8 for you? Why?


I would add ‘Narcissism’ to this list.  I cannot stand people who have no empathy towards others.  A narcissistic person always feels grandiose and self-important. They  feel that they are always right or must have the last word in any discussion or argument. 

They love to show their possessions and exaggerate their achievements to the point of lying.  They expect others to kowtow to them or be obsequious. 

They are convinced that they are special or elitist and will only associate with people of high status in society.

They are authoritative and expect everyone to confirm to their beliefs and opinions and cannot stand people doing things different from them.

When someone disagrees with them they are easily irritated and can throw tantrums and stop associating with you. 


Other interesting posts in this category:
1) http://livinglearningandlettinggo.wordpress.com/2014/10/30/food-wastage-
2) http://englishallyoucan.org/2014/08/the-eighth-sin/
3) http://guidetogettinglost.com/2014/08/06/the-eighth-deadly-sin-procrastination/
4) http://bladeslife.wordpress.com/2014/08/04/re-the-eighth-sin-smoking-near-others/
5) http://krjefferson.wordpress.com/2014/08/02/the-8th-cardinal-sin-intolerance/
6) http://noririn148.wordpress.com/2014/08/02/daily-prompt-the-eighth-sin/
7) http://preciousjalisa.wordpress.com/2014/08/01/the-8th-deadly-sin-daily-prompt/
) http://thecircleoflifeblog.wordpress.com/2014/08/01/ignorance/
9) http://lifeassirli.wordpress.com/2014/08/01/eighth-deatly-sin/
10) http://suejutakeshi.wordpress.com/2014/08/01/deception-the-eighth-sin/

Categories: Books Tags: , ,

By Heart

November 6, 2014 1 comment

(Daily prompt) You’re asked to recite a poem (or song lyrics) from memory — what’s the first one that comes to mind? Does it have a special meaning, or is there another reason it has stayed, intact, in your mind?

This poem by Rudyard Kipling is one of my favourites and comes to mind when I thought of the daily prompt.


If you can keep your head when all about you
Are losing theirs and blaming it on you;
If you can trust yourself when all men doubt you,
But make allowance for their doubting too:
If you can wait and not be tired by waiting,
Or, being lied about, don’t deal in lies,
Or being hated don’t give way to hating,
And yet don’t look too good, nor talk too wise;

If you can dream—and not make dreams your master;
If you can think—and not make thoughts your aim,
If you can meet with Triumph and Disaster
And treat those two impostors just the same:.
If you can bear to hear the truth you’ve spoken
Twisted by knaves to make a trap for fools,
Or watch the things you gave your life to, broken,
And stoop and build’em up with worn-out tools;

If you can make one heap of all your winnings
And risk it on one turn of pitch-and-toss,
And lose, and start again at your beginnings,
And never breathe a word about your loss:
If you can force your heart and nerve and sinew
To serve your turn long after they are gone,
And so hold on when there is nothing in you
Except the Will which says to them: “Hold on!”

If you can talk with crowds and keep your virtue,
Or walk with Kings—nor lose the common touch,
If neither foes nor loving friends can hurt you,
If all men count with you, but none too much:
If you can fill the unforgiving minute
With sixty seconds’ worth of distance run,
Yours is the Earth and everything that’s in it,
And—which is more—you’ll be a Man, my son!

Rudyard Kipling

Other interesting posts in this category:
1) http://nkykate.wordpress.com/2014/11/06/lyrical-lyrics-beyonces-halo-always-on-my-lips/
2) http://evolvingruminations.wordpress.com/2014/11/05/poem-on-my-mind/
3) http://christopherblack2012.wordpress.com/2014/11/05/by-heart/
4) http://avatarofmrbean.wordpress.com/2014/11/05/raindrops-on-roses/
5) http://endeavoury.wordpress.com/2014/11/05/by-heart/
6) http://mirthandmotivation.com/2014/11/05/by-heart-im-wishing-on-a-star/
7) http://karenghaly.wordpress.com/2014/11/05/its-all-coming-back-to-me/
8) http://kimaedwards.wordpress.com/2014/11/05/daily-prompt-by-heart/
9) http://normashilpi.wordpress.com/2014/11/05/the-road-not-taken/
10) http://ripplesnreflectiontimes.wordpress.com/2014/11/05/by-heart/

Categories: Books Tags: , , ,

The Spice of Success

November 5, 2014 Leave a comment

If “failure is the condiment that gives success its flavor” (Truman Capote), how spicy do you like your success stories?

Oxford Dictionary defines Success as:
i) the attainment of fame, wealth, or social status  or
ii)the accomplishment of an aim or purpose

We are everyday fed with images  of successful people – celebrities,  royalty, millionaires, sportsmen, technopreneurs etc by media and newspapers and our notions of success are largely influenced by these media.  We have always equated success with economic freedom, career and money.  We cannot forget that such a definition of success creates also a very bad image of one who is not successful as a ‘loser in life’.

We  create icons of celebrities and sportsmen and we expect them to be ‘’ideal’’.  But, we later come to realise that they have their own set of problems.  Our parents, teachers and role-models shape our ideas of success from very early in life.  So some concepts are driven in our minds from young.  It is important to unlearn these ideas and break out from these moulds if we are to be successful.

We forget that it is impossible to be successful at everything in life.   A person who is highly successful in his career gets to spend very little time with family  Do we enjoy what we do in life?   Are we contented with our achievements ?  Are we happy and can we share this happiness with our family, friends and society?  These are some questions that also define how successful we are.

It is not wrong to be ambitious and to create wealth.  But when greed takes over and we try to be successful by any means then success can also corrupt.  Billionaires like Bill Gates and Warren Gates have pledged more than 50% of their wealth to charity and this has spurred billionaires  in many parts of the world to do the same.   Social responsibility has become a key component of a successful business practice.

What makes you most happy and feeds your soul? By pursuing  goals that align with our values and  nature and not living on borrowed goals,  by giving our best shot and sharing our joys with family , friends and society we can become more happy and contented.  One mans  idea of success may differ from that of another.  What does Success mean to you?

Here is an interesting TED talk by Älan de Botton on a kinder, gentler philosophy of success:

Other interesting posts in this category:
1) http://lostinamazing.wordpress.com/2014/11/04/a-degree-of-success/
2) http://lekhamisra.wordpress.com/2014/11/05/success-through-my-eyes/
3) http://joatmon14.com/2014/11/04/success-starts-now/
4) http://alexxasays.wordpress.com/2014/11/04/the-spice-of-success/
5) http://barbarapyett.wordpress.com/2014/11/05/sweet-and-spicy/
6) http://theimaginerybureau.wordpress.com/2014/11/04/daily-prompt-the-spice-of-success/

Categories: Books Tags: , ,

Second-hand stories

November 3, 2014 Leave a comment

What’s the best story someone else has recently told you (in person, preferably)? Share it with us, and feel free to embellish — that’s how good stories become great, after all.

The best story that someone has recently told me is the one by Tammy Miller, past-International President of Toastmasters International.  She related to the audience at the Semi-annual convention in Singapore her first experience in skydiving and the leadership lessons that we could derive from this experience.

It was a very uplifting and inspirational talk.  She told us of us she not only went on to skydive for speech material but also how she survived cancer and now works with cancer survivors.

Tammy drew parallels between the birds eye view that a skydiver has to the far-sightedness or holistic view that a leader should have.  She also debunked the myth that a leader is supposed to know everything.  She said that more importantly, a leader should have a vision, a good team and  faith in the ability of the team.

She told us how she had faith in her companion show she was backstrapped to and how she trusted that he knew his job.   She painted a vivid picture of her standing 12000 ft above the ground in the plane – putting her left foot out, then right foot and taking that leap of faith.

It was an enthralling motivational story!

Other interesting posts in this category:
1) https://alotfromlydia.wordpress.com/2014/11/02/smile/
2) http://simpsonwritings.wordpress.com/2014/11/02/secondhand-tales/
3) http://annamaetollefson.wordpress.com/2014/11/02/second-hand-story-sweethearts/
4) http://myleviathan.wordpress.com/2014/11/02/second-hand-stories/
5) http://509majesty.wordpress.com/2014/11/02/grandpas-war-stories/


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