Rant: The Continuous Absence of Courtesy

Before you read this post, please go HERE and read a previous post on the same topic that I’d written quite some time ago. The heartbreaking reality about the lack of courtesy still splinches my insides. [Yes, I’m a JKR fanatic.] The worst part, I will explain after I narrate the incident that triggered this relapse into topical thought.

I have the habit of sitting at the Starbucks closest to home for two reasons: amazing coffee, and decent Wi-Fi. I lost track of time when I work here and get so much done that I’m usually euphoric when I start back for home. So it was that I decided to go there on November 27 for a period of fruitful work.

As usual, I took out my notepad (which I use to note down review points while reading books) and pen, placed them on the table in front of me and settled down to read my book, The Tree Bears Witness. [You can read my reviews at The Melodramatic Bookworm.] I had vaguely registered a guy wearing dark goggles sitting at the table a few feet from mine. But I didn’t think much of it, except wondering whether he had an eye problem or was just an idiot who was showing off.

A few pages in, I heard a shuffling from this man’s table, and he was soon standing beside me. Startled, I looked up, my brows furrowed. At the very least I expected a “Can I borrow your pen and a paper?” But God forbid such politeness happens! How will the world survive!?

The man pointed at the pen lying on the notepad and said, “Pen.” I looked at him, the answer to my earlier dilemma veering towards ‘idiot.’ I nodded, my lips now pursed in irritation. Then he says, “Paper.” One of my eyebrows rose automatically. When I asked why, he merely said, “I want.” I glared at him, tore a sheet of paper, and handed it to him, after which he sidled back into his seat.

I could feel my nostrils flaring by this point. Is there no such thing called ‘language’? A simple ‘Could I borrow?’ would have done the deed. What has the world come to?

That wasn’t even why I was furious. After a few minutes, he stood up, put the pen on my notepad, and nodded imperiously as he walked off. I couldn’t believe what had just happened. My jaw had dropped open even as my angry eyes followed his progress out of the café. Annoyed, I rolled my eyes and went back to reading my book. The four gentlemen sitting at the table to my left noticed my expression, as I remember, but didn’t react further.

I don’t know what this man’s deal was but I had a lot of problems with how he behaved.

  1. First off, you can’t just walk up to a stranger and demand what belongs to the stranger.
  2. Secondly, have the courtesy to thank the person for helping you.
  3. And lastly, have the sense to realize what you’ve done and not repeat it later.

There will be people who think that asking for courtesy is showing an unnecessary amount of self-importance. But why is expecting courtesy bad? If some offhanded comment from someone in a faraway land can incite rage in you and make you say, “That person was wrong, they need to apologize,” why can’t I expect a simple sorry or thank you as I go about life? Why has hypocrisy taken the throne while courtesy has been relegated to the rank of mere slave? Why is it that megalomaniacal businessmen become world leaders while shooting their mouths off every day while common people keep getting trampled upon if they ask for courtesy?

We think that courtesy is something that is inbuilt. But very unfortunately, it is not. It is something that is cultivated from our childhood. If one doesn’t understand the basic tenets of courtesy, then I don’t understand how one gets through life after steamrolling everyone in the way.

In the end, there’s just one thing I would like to tell the “gentleman”, if I hadn’t been so dumbstruck:

If you cannot be courteous to people, if you cannot show basic decency, and you still think of the world as your space to rule without politeness, you are wrong. You cannot expect people to bend over backwards to give you what you want. You’re not entitled to the world. Deal with it and get off your high horse.

Thank you very much.

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Picture Courtesy: canacopegdl.com

P.S. Yesterday’s incident did not warrant such a long response, but it all starts with the small incidents.


The Journey Between Simplicity and Drama – The Big Overhaul

People who follow my review blog were probably surprised to see a new blog called The Melodramatic Bookworm on their feed. I’ll get to what this blog is in a minute. But first, let me admit I did an unconventional turn to my blog by posting a couple of articles before writing up an intro to it. But hey! Better late than never! Isn’t what they all say?

Every once in a while in life, we get the idea to change things for the better, and also the opportunity to do so. And so it happened with me.

I hadn’t been able to do so earlier, thanks to my uber-busy schedule. When life presented me with both, the idea and the opportunity, along with the enthusiasm that such “ventures” initially provide, I grabbed them with both hands! It’s now or never, I thought.

I knew that I couldn’t keep going at the pace I was going at. I had to make it better. Put in more energy into what I wanted to do in order to see it through and put it in a place where I wanted it to be. Mere words of passion wouldn’t be enough. I had to channel that passion more and more into what I had started almost two years ago. And for this, change was required. A change that filled me with hope every time I thought about where it could bring me. I am never going to get this time back, so I must use it well, I told myself.

And because of this, The Review Lounge became The Melodramatic Bookworm.

The Melodramatic Bookworm

The name makes so much more sense than the original. In two ways. One, that I am a drama queen and a bookworm. Those who know me well will vouch for it. And two, the ‘melodramatic’ indicates that I dabble in movie reviews in addition to the book reviews that ‘bookworm’ represents.

There’s nothing better in the world than feeling pumped after reading a good book or watching a good movie. Okay, I agree. Not all books and not all movies are entertaining. But you get the general idea.

It is the anticipation that is most exciting. Will the story take me on a journey? Will the journey be a rollercoaster or a stomp in the desert or a swim in the ocean? Will I love the journey? Will I hate it? What can I take away from it? Will it live up to the hype? Will it rock my world? Will it bring me peace? Will I see the world in a better light after this?

So many questions! Just one thing to do to find the answer!

Thus it is that I embark on this re-planned journey, to put my thoughts out and hope that it reaches more people than ever. Yes, there is a possibility of a huge reform yet again. But there’s time for that and when it does happen, I will reach out yet again.

Because the world is small, admirers hard to find. So when I do, I’ll make sure to keep you all close and in the loop. The number is small, but the joy you give me is incomprehensible!

So if you like what I write, hit like, share the posts, and subscribe to email notifications so that you don’t miss out on articles that you might like!

Do spread the word, bring in more people, and who knows, there might be rewards coming up in the near future! (Read: There will be rewards. :D)

Introduction and Revamp - 2

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Until next time, cheerio! 😀

Vicarious Living – The Temporary Sense Of Fulfilling One’s Own Dreams

Of all the versions of MasterChef that exist, it can be universally agreed that the Australian version is the best. No yelling, no insulting, no unnecessary drama. Agreed, the way contestants running around in a frenzy to finish their dishes in time is shown is dramatic, but that is what MasterChef Australia does right. In its 9th season, the contestants and the challenges have leveled up drastically.

Why I talk about MasterChef Australia in a blog post that talks about vicarious living, you might ask. Here’s why.

Even though Star World airs MasterChef Australia every day at 9 PM, I started watching it from the middle. As an unspoken, unspecified rule, I don’t watch episodes of any TV show out of order. So while this show finished in Australia way back in July and Star World is currently in the 30s of the episode list, I took it upon myself to start watching it on Hotstar, right from episode 1.

A 19-year-old girl, Michelle Lukman, was the first contestant of this season. With a dish she called the Golden Ball, she wowed the judges and me in an instant. In the moment she finished plating the dish, I started questioning myself. My vision blurred and I didn’t know where the emotion was coming from but I could feel my chest constrict. Whether it was from regret, shame, or joy, I couldn’t say. There wasn’t just one thing clamping my heart down. It was a torrent that threatened to deluge me if I didn’t take a deep, calming breath.

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All of us have dreams of reaching out farther than we can see – of gliding over the horizon, breaching the limits, and be satisfied with what we do. But until we have the means to fly there, we glean inspiration from as many sources around us as possible. Using this inspiration, we build up the courage brick by brick. Maybe one day, thanks to this inspiration, this courage, we can see the world in the same light that they do. Maybe one day, we can see our goals as achievable, the same way they do.

Until then, let’s look on in awe and appreciate their immense talent, and watch them make their dreams come true. Until then, let’s live through their realities to see our dreams through. Until then, let’s applaud as the worthy push forward and show the world what they are made of.

Because that’s exactly what I decided I would do. In the rush of the contestants’ flurry to cook up lip-smacking dishes, I understood the importance of composure in a time crunch. I understood the importance of levelheadedness, that of creativity, and that of loving what you do, so much that it brings joy to the people sharing in your love. And if you can make people smile while doing what you love, there is nothing that can beat the feeling.

I lived vicariously through Michelle Lukman’s stunning creativity that day. But the feeling that coursed through me when the judges applauded her – the feeling that I’d somehow won with her – is priceless and will remain with me forever!


Picture Courtesy: mediaweek.com

Compassion and Competition – Why Have People Begun To Confuse Them?

They say it’s a dog-eat-dog world. It is true. But the fact that this competitiveness extends to not only careers, but also emotional capacities is something to think about. Compassion is disappearing at an alarmingly rapid rate. “My problem’s worse,” they say, without a word about anything else. How do you expect to live in such a world, one devoid of compassion? In such cases, it feels better to live and remain alone than to maintain company that shoots you down without a trace of empathy. After all, what is the world without empathy? An empty, dull sphere is all.

But why does competition have to mean the death of empathy and compassion? When we are together in the ace, why can’t we support each other and come up to break the surface rather than stay under and bring the others down? Why has it come to the point where we have to best (for lack of a better word – oh the irony!) others even in our sorrows?

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Picture Courtesy: Camilo Diaz, World Photography Award Winner, worldphoto.org

It’s true what they say. In times like these, we engage in conversation to respond, not to understand and empathize. We hardly absorb what the other person is saying before we go off: “Yes, all that’s fine but listen to what I’ve got to say.” It is as though we hardly register what they are saying, give them the amount of time we feel appropriate (or not), and jump in again.

Why, though? Is it so bad to have to hear another when all we expect is for the other to do the exact opposite of what we’re doing? This competition, this unnervingly rude and harsh contest between egos will be the end of us one day.

This has happened to me on multiple occasions – this competition to one up sorrows and problems. “If you think you’ve got it bad, you should listen to what I’ve got going on.” Isn’t there a thing called perspective? Like someone’s rose-tinted glasses could be another’s Kryptonite? If it all comes down to ‘the grass is greener on the other side’, then what hope do we have for humanity?

It also comes down to hypocrisy. If we hardly listen to what the person we’re having a conversation with is trying to say, isn’t it unfair of us to expect them to listen to us? Them allowing us to steamroll them while we don’t let them get a complete sentence in – doesn’t that reek of hypocritical smugness?

The magnitude of the involuntary competition that so many people participate in – most of whom do so subconsciously – is huge and it rankles big time. If only the world were inching closer to shovel love into the gaps, we’d be far better off. But the hard truth is, the gap only widens with every passing hour, every passing minute. And the worst part is, there are so many who are merely willing to go with the flow.

Can we not do something about it? Can we not bring us together again? Stir emotions for the greater good?

If the people desperate to see the gaps filled come together, there could be a chance. A chance where we all live peacefully, content enough in our own skins not to compare our sorrows with those of our neighbors’ and belittle them with all we’ve got.

This blog post isn’t powerful enough to bring a sweeping change – far from it. But maybe sometime in the future, I will see it as the stepping stone that helped me see straight, that helped me structure my thoughts and start something – a spark that ignited a whole beneficial forest fire!

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Picture Courtesy: npr.org


P.S. Months ago, this concept had first hit me with a force that left me reeling. Then, as like now, I put my thoughts into words. But those words made up a poem.

This poem that I’m really proud of!

Why Is Indian Driving Sense So Bad?

I had recently narrated an incident that occurred with me on the roads. HERE’s where you can read the article.

On my drive to office every day, I encounter a number of F1 enthusiasts who look at the pothole-ridden roads as a challenge to simply zoom forward. It’s become somewhat of a habit for me, shaking my head as driver after driver crams into spaces they shouldn’t be going into or drive by dangerously close even though the entire road is open to them. Isn’t there such a thing as being careful?

While the rest of the world is busy making their roads safer for their growing population, India is simply making sure traffic slows down. This, by leaving gaping holes in the roads, placing more speed breakers on them than should be the number, and ignoring glaring traffic violations. Of course, a major chunk of the population considers themselves above law and take advantage of this, acting like the roads were handed down to them as part of their ancestral inheritance.

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Picture Courtesy: indiamarks.com

One of the major reasons why I dread learning to drive a car is the lack of common sense on the roads. Is there a cap on how much I’d have to shell out if some overenthusiastic idiot decided to overtake the car and dents the car instead? No, there isn’t. And it gives me the shivers.

Two-wheelers on the other hand, I’m used to. Of course, the number of people thinking of a two-wheeler as a machine to show off their nonexistent style, pigheadedness, and ego is way too high. I’ve seen Karizmas and Pulsars try to make their way through spaces that are merely a foot wide. And they are horribly mistaken if they think that that is going to earn them brownie points. I only feel like smacking them in the head. With a baseball bat. Attached to a wrecking ball.

At a traffic signal, common sense dictates that if you want to take a left turn, stay to the left. If you want to take a right, stay as much to the right as is possible. But India being Incredible and the drivers inhabiting it being even more so, there are those that cut across oncoming traffic in the opposite direction like they were born to rule them. To them I say: Someday, you’ll yell at someone who does this to you and I pray on that day that realization comes back to bite you in the ass. Oh, and that day, I will unknowingly smile, wherever I might be then.

Drivers feeling entitled to sweep the road with their vehicles are the craziest part of our country. Not its politics, not its cinema, not its roads. It’s the entitled-feeling drivers that show our country’s madness to the fullest. Imagine an auto-rickshaw swerving onto the road, a truck barreling on with no concern for traffic coming from either way, a car rolling through spaces it obviously cannot fit in, a two-wheeler bending either side as though kissing the road, and pedestrians crossing the road like they cannot see the traffic.

Oh yes. Pedestrians are at fault, too, despite many countries showering them with the status of King. Many stores call their customers King. But in India, pedestrians think of the road as their personal park. Many of them walk across the road like they have all the time in the world, or as if the drivers have all the time in the world. It does not absolve drivers of guilt and anger, but any sane person knows that neither driver nor pedestrian is exempt from using their common sense.

Despite the pedestrian-bashing, there is absolutely no doubt that India is home to more careless drivers than careful ones. It escapes my mind why ego and competitiveness take precedence over safety and courtesy. Or maybe this question bogs me down not only in this context, but in the larger picture as well. Either way, I know that neither question will be answered anytime soon!

Why Is #MeToo Being Branded As Anti-Men?

No smartass title. No lengthy introduction. Let me cut straight to the chase.

Why would some people think that something that is pro-women has to be anti-men? Why are so many men lashing out at something that is helping women bring out their horrifying secrets? Why hasn’t nobody noticed that there’s a hashtag that’s doing the rounds along with this that includes men, too? Why doesn’t anybody pick up on this?

For so many years, women have been subject to rape, molestation, and humiliation. Yes, men go through it, too. I do not deny it. But if you don’t come out and talk about it, you have no right to yell against those who do! It is only now that women are being empowered to talk about it, against it. And if, instead of supporting them, you decide to belittle them by calling them names like attention-seekers and anti-men, then you are less human than anyone ever found you.

People, in this time and age, think everything is inflammatory. If you don’t like it, diss it. If you like it, defend it with all you have, no matter the language and people’s feelings. There is no opinion now. There’s only “you are wrong” and “I am right”. Why does it have to be like this? Have we lost our capacity as understanding, compassionate human beings? When I look at all the hate being spread over social media, it doesn’t take long for me get the answer.

The hashtag #MeToo was supposed to help women come out and talk against what they’ve been through. The men who thought not could have merely changed the ‘women’ in the status to ‘men’ and updated it. But no. So many of them had to cry foul, go on a rant, and bring it to feminism stomping down on men. When all those women needed was support, these men decided to accuse women of merely looking out for themselves and ignoring men.

This class of men thinks on the lines of ‘if you want feminism, do it yourself.’ Or ‘if you are so strong, open the jar yourself,’ or ‘if you are so independent, change the car tire yourself.’ Then why now, do they need women to bring their problems to the forefront? We are doing it ourselves. You do it yourself, too. Why pile on the hypocrisy?

Forget feminism. Be human! Help each other out. Just stop with the self-inflicted hate and self-pity! #MeToo is NOT anti-men. Open your eyes and ears, read, and listen. Most of all, listen to yourself speak. It doesn’t even make sense when you look at it in the larger picture. Years from now, when you look back, it will be what defined you at one time. And I’m not sure that’s a good thing to be proud of.

The Jasleen Kaurs and Kangana Ranauts of the world don’t deserve any support because they took advantage of and misused their identity as women. But we are more than that. When you say ‘Not all men are the same’, why don’t you apply the same rule to women? Maybe it is futile asking this question. But we would love some sanity in your arguments.

The anger behind this blog post had been simmering since morning. But this picture popped up in my Facebook news feed, shared by an acquaintance from college, and I couldn’t control my anger.

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How unfair is it that when men oppressed women for so long, it was considered tradition. But when women are now trying to break free and fight for their rights, it is looked down upon as anti-men. Many traditions have been misogynistic, if you pay attention. But when you compare that number with those that have been misandrist, the misandry is almost negligible.

I am not saying that men aren’t subjected to the same trauma that women go through. I am as sympathetic to men as I am to women. And that’s how it should be. But when many people from one gender start dissing the other for standing up, I feel ashamed for humanity.

I had written against the ‘My Choice’ video directed by Homi Adajania and that starred Deepika Padukone. I still think certain points in it aren’t good. But does that mean everybody starts taking offense at narrations of horrific experiences?


It is in times like these, that we need compassion, understanding, and a ear to hear us out. And when we don’t find that, where else can we go?

Short Story – Indian Traffic is Karma

[Or vice versa.]

[All incidents occurred in Hyderabad.]

Let me tell you a story this time.

So last week, on my way to work, I encountered a red at the Indira Park signal, which happens more than half the time. Most of the roads in India are fraught with potholes, speed-breakers, and uneven, back-breaking stretches of tar. And the road from Indira Park to the Telugu Talli flyover is no less. Especially on the left, just in front of Ramakrishna Math. Because I value my spine and my vehicle (a Honda Activa), I keep to the right, driving behind a white Maruti Swift till the Telugu Talli signal.

Anybody who’d overtake me would have to overtake the Swift in front to find a clear road. And that is also not guaranteed. So until then, we’re going pretty peacefully.

The peace, however, is shattered as a highly irritating honking sounds from right behind me. This man in a huge silver SUV (didn’t catch which) is impatient to go ahead. I chuckle, because there’s no place on my side, like I explained earlier. If he wished to, he could have gone on from the left. I swear there was enough place there. But he didn’t.

When we reached the signal there, this man, I don’t know why, decides he needs to wipe the road with his car. He doesn’t leave silently either. He takes a large, obscene curve while honking, and turns onto the flyover. I frown at the audacity of the man, driving alone in a big-ass SUV, and treating the roads like his personal dusting ground.

Soon after he climbs the flyover, I do too. And what do I see? There’s a lull in the speed and Mr. I-Deserve-To-Go-Ahead-Because-I-Have-A-Monster-SUV is stuck in that traffic. I’m not even kidding when I say I laughed out loud. A see-what-you-did-now-karma-has-you kind of laugh.

As I near the SUV, I see that the man is trying to claim every nook and cranny to himself, even those that can only accommodate a two-wheeler. The globally accepted code for when there’s space and you hear a honk from behind is that someone intend to occupy that space. And that’s exactly what I did. I honked one long blast, because I know this guy doesn’t listen to anybody but his own car. I drove past him, looking straight ahead. I think I hurt his ego while doing so because he started honking the moment I passed him.

Using the same logic as before, I drive on the right while descending the flyover. Lo and behold. Mr. I-Now-Have-A-Bruised-Ego comes over and has something to say to me. I feel special because he has rolled down his window and all. [:P] But I hardly pay attention to him, looking stoic as I stare ahead. But what have I done! I have mangled his ego this time. Of course, Uncle doesn’t take kindly to being treated like this. So what does he do?

Of course he does! He swerves sharply towards the right and ends up in front of me, missing my vehicle by a hair’s breadth. I am now incensed. I did not (might have) yelled at him this time, because this was taking it too far. But I needn’t have wasted my energy. Because Mr. I-Will-Obliterate-Everything-In-My-Way got stuck in traffic just as he was off the flyover. And I swear yet again, I smirked the hell out of a smirk.

This time, as I passed him, I glared at him. And he did not look at me. Bruised-Egomaniac was looking ahead. I guess he was looking forward (I did not make a pun!) to a clear road (impossible). My final vindication was when I took the U-turn waaaaayyyy before he did. One more glare and I was on my peaceful way again.

Moral of the story: What goes around, comes back around – St. Justin Timberlake.

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P. S. My rant on Indian road sense coming up soon.

Picture Courtesy: Pinterest.

Creativity – A Trait Characterized By Unexpected Timing

When life kicks you in the gut and makes you reevaluate your decisions, you think about whether you are what you claim to be in the first place. At a time when my confidence in my abilities was at an all-time low, I read a book called Nikola Tesla: Imagination and the Man Who Invented the 20th Century. Written by Sean Patrick, this short eBook is a confidence-booster and a savior for those creative people who are questioning their worth. This book easily shot up on my favorite list. And I know that it will remain there for the rest of eternity.

The book states that imagination and creativity are two things that are different from ‘thinking’. Just because you think does not mean you are imaginative or creative. Creativity is chaos. It hits you at the most unexpected of times. Most of the times, you have no control over it. This is how it results in innovation – something that has given the world its ‘electric’ convenience of the 20th century. All this, thanks to the imaginative and innovative man called Nikola Tesla.

Tesla was duped and betrayed by some of the world’s most prominent personalities. He was treated unfairly, credit for his findings given to others, though it was rectified later on. Was it too little, too late? Even if it was, did Tesla stop his work? His creative genius was such that none of this stopped his onslaught. He worked till the day he died. He was unfazed, because he knew the true meaning of creativity – that it would pay off, sometime or the other.

If you are a creative person, you will know the uncertainty of sitting down and scouring for ideas. Looking for them does not guarantee that you’ll find them. On the other hand, remarkably stunning ideas can hit you at the unlikeliest of times and the unlikeliest of places. For example: in the shower, when you’re emptying your stomach, while exercising, or while driving. It isn’t that thinking won’t give you ideas. It may. Only thing is, there is no certainty about it.

Anybody who has watched Avengers: Age of Ultron will remember Vision’s lines from the end of the movie. “Humans are odd,” he says. “They think order and chaos are somehow opposites.” This is an incomplete version of the dialog, but it holds so true when you see it in the context of creativity.

Let me explain.

When we are agitated, we try to sort out our thoughts with the idea that ordering them helps us experience a brainwave. But that’s the whole point of creativity. Within the chaos of our thoughts, we find gems that bring order to our creativity. Within the chaos, we find awesomeness, and the chance to be imaginative and innovative. So the Vision indeed did have a bright vision of the reality of human creativity.

Ideas and thoughts are triggered even by the smallest of hints that resonate with us. This happened to me as I read the eBook I mentioned above. And while there’s a lot more to creativity than what’s discussed here, the essence of the trait – one whose timing is as unexpected as possible – remains ‘uncertainty’.

Here’s a picture of the excerpt from Nikola Tesla: Imagination and the Man Who Invented the 20th Century – a book that I’ve been fawning over for the entirety of this blog post!

Creativity - A Trait Characterized By Unexpected Timing

‘Five of Hearts’ – Stories of Love and Emotion

I hadn’t been on the publishing scene for over a year after my first novel, Of Knights and Lilies came out. But earlier this year, I decided to put out a few stories that had been vacationing in my laptop. I revamped them over and over again, and started the process to publish them on Amazon Kindle. Just like the first eBook that I had put out.

Five of Hearts

There are no particular reasons why I chose the stories that are on the collection. Every story that I write is close to my heart in its own way. Yes, there are a lot of what-ifs, but somewhere within them lies something that I identify with. Fortunately or unfortunately, that story isn’t coming out anytime soon!

Here is a short summary of all the stories in the collection, ‘Five of Hearts’:

Always Home: Leena returns from abroad to meet someone after 8 years. While on her way from the airport, she revels in the memories that the city evokes in her. Some make her laugh, some make her cry. But every memory tightens her chest and makes her rue not coming back earlier. While many memories that she remembers are loosely based off my own life and surroundings, the storyline hasn’t got anything to do with me.

Always Home


Inertia: Imaya’s character is loosely based off of myself, but I haven’t got a drop of music in my blood. I sound like a badly tuned tambourine when I talk. Moving on to the story, Imaya is content to be where she is, lounging around in sweatpants over the weekend. But her friends and boyfriend want her to go out more. This leads to an altercation that leading forward, changes Imaya’s life.



Despondent: This story is entirely inspired from some of the cheesy movies I watched and novels I read when I was younger. Reeti is a woman who has low self-esteem and is a pessimist 24/7. She thinks nothing is going to come out of her life. But there is something that’s trying to escape from the tightly shut doors of her heart. Will that something be able to bring her out of the rut?


Reins of Steel: This story is one that will remain close to my heart for years to come, more than any other story on this list. A man, pictured against a stunning landscape, rues over a ruined relationship. A woman is doing the same thing in her room. Both come to realizations that will hopefully bring their lives back to what they were before. But what will they do to repair the wrong?

Reins of Steel


Dream Come True: One of those stories inspired from dream-come-true cheese in movies and novels. Naina and Arjun have been best friends for as long as they can remember. Of course, nothing is going to be as straightforward as that. They are also in love with each other, scared to confess for fear of losing each other. But something happens that tests their relationship. What do they do to? Do they work around it? Can they work around it?

Dream Come True


Every story that an author writes is inspired from somewhere. So is the case with me. I glean inspiration from my own experiences or from those around me. And when I think of sharing these stories with the world, my heart thumps in excitement, because sharing a piece of oneself – however small it may be – is a big deal. What will people say? Will they like it? Would they want to read it? Will they connect with it?

With all these questions crowding the mind, taking a leap of faith is important. And that is exactly what I always do.

Five of Hearts is available on Kindle India and Kindle International at a discounted price at:

‘Five of Hearts’ on Kindle India

‘Five of Hearts’ on Kindle International

It is also available on Amazon sites of other countries for discounted prices!

Thank you for reading the story of ‘Five of Hearts’. If you are interested, please do buy a copy and leave a review! 🙂

Why Is Sensitivity Stereotyped As Representing Weakness?

With the advent of modern TV commercials, the first thing that comes to mind when one thinks of sensitivity is the ad for Sensodyne toothpaste (“Masoodon mein jhanjhanahat” or “numbness of the gums”). Now that these advertisements are everywhere, the world sensitivity has been relegated to a mere joke, though what the ad is trying to say is anything but a joke.

But sensitivity as a trait is so much more than the emotion it explains. As with some others, the way sensitivity is seen as a trait is completely twisted. It’s not exactly what it actually embodies. It is seen more as a negative quality than as a positive one. And that is, in no way, an encouraging statement.

This might be a little vague. Let me explain.

Sensitive people are mostly viewed as those who cry or get angry easily, or in more general terms, those who are affected easily, at the tiniest provocation. They are branded crybabies or short tempered people! But the point is, these are not the only things that define sensitivity as a human trait. It is much more than that.

Sensitivity is the quality wherein a person can gauge what’s going on around them without putting in much effort. This could include gauging emotions, behavior, or situations in general. Such people have the capacity to be sensitive about things that happen around them. They observe more, they understand people better (sometimes in eccentric ways), and they know better than to pick a fight and disrespect others. They may cry without replying. That only means they respect you more than their own arguments mean to them. They may leave the room if they get angry. That only means that respecting you and maintaining that respect means more to them than their venting their temper and saying hurtful things.

Sensitivity is misunderstood in the common world so much that it becomes difficult for one to explain anything about it. Mostly because many people are very unfairly dismissive of sensitive people. They prefer not telling sensitive people anything. “Oh, don’t tell her anything. She’ll get angry and explode!” Or, “Him? He’s such a control freak!” Or, “You react too violently.” And all this, while sensitive people are merely trying to point out the obvious while trying to have a normal conversation that involves information exchange and explanations. (Sensitive people -> more observant. Remember?”)

Many-a-times, a person’s sensitivity is used like an insult – as if it is a bad thing. But once you understand the meaning of the word sensitive, you will be able to see the infinite depths that the quality possesses. You will be able to understand that sensitivity is not just being provoked into tears or anger, but it is also being understanding of the emotions of the people around you. The empathy that you see in them, you build in yourself.

All a sensitive person wants is to people to understand them for who they are, rather than judge them for merely two of the emotions that make up sensitivity.

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Picture Courtesy: Linnea Butler, LinkedIn!