Nov 6, 2016

Delhi is Choking

The capital city of India is choking and this is an Emergency!
And an emergency requires urgent action; isn’t it?
So, what are YOU doing about it? And what actions are the AUTHORITIES taking on this?

The AQI (Air Quality Index) in Delhi is 999 that is 15 times more than that of New York City. Even Beijing has AQI of just 134, far less than Delhi and surrounding areas. The safe level of AQI is supposed to be less than 50. The AQI of various other cities in India is given below for your reference:
Hyderabad 161
Mumbai 152
Jaipur 80
Kolkata 63

To manage any disease, we first need to assess the cause and then proceed to symptomatic treatment and thereafter preventive measures. So let’s study this situation through an objective lens.

According to research, following are some of the causative factors for the increased toxic matter in the air:
  •  Persistent Vehicular Pollution
  • Dust from Construction sites
  • Crop Burning
  • Garbage burning
  • Bursting of Crackers

Let me also elaborate on the toxins that we all are inhaling? Carbon Monoxide, Nitrogen Oxide, Nitrogen Dioxide, Benzene, Ammonia, Sulphur Dioxide and tiny particles PM 10 and PM 2.5.
Now coming to the adverse effects that are induced by inhaling these toxins persistently in such alarming levels:
  •  Increased respiratory problems especially in people with COPD (Chronic Obstructive Lung Disease) and Asthma.
  •  Fatigue and headache
  • Research has shown that children can suffer from low IQ, risk of autism and epilepsy on persistent and/or significant exposure to air toxins.
  • Inhaling of such air toxins can lead to reduced life span.
  • Increased incidence of stroke and heart failure in adults.

We need to take strong preventive and symptomatic measures to manage the choking hazard in Delhi before it grows into a cancerous disease. So what are some short term and immediate measures that can be taken at an individual level?
  • Indoor Plants: There are some plants that might help in purifying indoor air. Plants like Spider plant, Ficus, Peace Lily, Snake plant, Boston Fern and Bamboo Palm may help in removing toxins like Benzene, Ammonia from the air.
  • Increase anti-oxidants in diet: Taking antioxidants especially Vitamin C may help in curbing the harmful effects of the toxins.
  • Keep AC on for filtered air: It is advisable to use air purifiers at home. You can also use your air conditioner in the ‘Fan’ mode for similar result.
  • Keep the windows closed to avoid toxic air inside your house.
  • It is medically advisable to avoid morning/evening walks and minimize outdoor activities to minimum for a couple of days.

What about Preventive Measures? Authorities and common public together can come together to create solutions for this increasing air pollution in Delhi:

Strict law enforcement in curbing all the old diesel vehicles is essential. Encourage car-pooling and increased use of public transport. Students and schools should be encouraged to create regular drives for common public to create awareness. Again strict law enforcement is required to make optimal use of landfills for garbage disposal and dust from construction sites. Crop burning is a serious issue. There must be more scientific ways to increase the fertility of agricultural land other than burning of crops. A kind request to media to focus on constructive discussions regarding such topics rather than political mud-slinging. Please engage scientific people in such talks for creative and practical solutions. Also focus on exposing defaulters in cases of vehicular pollution, garbage burning and crop burning. This might dissuade people indulging in such harmful activities.
Schools should not have “No Crackers” policy in name only. Try having debates, classroom discussions and nukkad natak to enforce such themes.

I am not blaming any political party or person. The purpose of this article is to make people aware of the current dismal situation in the capital city of India and, various ways to combat that.

Sep 10, 2016

The Road To Heaven

Here are some snippets from my guest blog at IcelandNaturally:

"We had just landed in Reykjavik, after a long flight of 10 hours."
Colorful Reyjavik
Hallgrímskirkja Church: Largest church in Iceland
"The next morning, we were off to Westfjords for a day tour!

The landing of the plane was terrific, the way it meandered between the hills and glided smoothly over the ocean before it came to a halt on the runway."
Airport @Isafjordur

"Isafjordur was the first town we had planned to see in our 14 day long trip to Iceland. It felt like I have been transported into one of those perfect Noddy towns of Enid Blyton."
Artistic Town of Isafjordur

"The white sunlight filtered through the water droplets breaking into a kaleidoscope of colours." 
Dynjandi Waterfalls

 Read the full article @

Aug 10, 2016

It was an awesome feeling to have participated in the blogger challenge #Barathon hosted by Blog-A-Rhythm. 
7 days...
7 prompts...
Loads of writing...
Constructive feedback...
New writer friends...
And a Barathon winner award in the end!

Looking forward to more such blogging challenges in future.

I am a proud Bar-A-Thon Winner!

Aug 7, 2016

To My Daughter

To my dear daughter,

I cannot promise to stay by your side always,
But I promise to stay in your heart forever.

I cannot promise to fight for you always,
But I promise to equip you to fight your own battles.

I cannot promise to heal your wounds always,
But I promise to make you strong enough to heal your own wounds.

I cannot promise to keep you happy always,
But I promise to make you responsible for your own happiness.

I cannot and will not promise you the moon and stars,
But I promise to make you capable to achieve that on your own.

I cannot promise to pave your path with roses,
But I promise to teach you how to fight the thorns and pave your path with roses.

I cannot promise to be a perfect mom,
But I promise to be a loving mom, friend and guide to you.

I cannot promise to stay with you forever,
But I promise that my love and blessings will stay with you forever.

From your loving mom.

This post has been written as part of #Barathon challenge, hosted by Blog-A-Rhythm. 
The prompt for today, August, 7th, 2016 is Promise (to yourself/someone else). 

Aug 6, 2016

A Traveller's Affair

I have travelled far and wide, and seen the unseen, experienced the thrills, imbibed the serenity, explored foreign streets. I have tasted the bitter-sweet pangs of loving and leaving a place. But still I am famished for more, to see and explore the unknown. Travelling, for me has always been like having a love affair, an affair with myriad places I have visited. Some chunks from my heart lay scattered all over those places. My only regret is I wished could have stayed a little longer, embraced them a little harder, explored some more nooks and corners and been more wanton. But it was always time to move on.

It's wishful thinking but someday I will go back to those old flames, those places where some part of me still resides. I will ignite my fading memories and once again imbibe and breathe the scents that had once enticed me. As for now, I have a home to keep, a house to run, a family to feed and some work that need to be done. But my travelling affairs has changed something deep inside me. I am a different person now after coming back. But as they say, the time moves on and so do we. 

This post has been written as part of #Barathon challenge, hosted by Blog-A-Rhythm. 
The prompt for today, August, 6th, 2016 is Wishful Thinking.

Aug 5, 2016

A Silent Plea

29th October, 2005 terror blast at Sarojini Nagar, New Delhi 

I was excitedly doing the last minute shopping before Diwali, mentally ticking off the 'To Buy' things from my list. As I was coming out of a shop with my hands full with shopping bags, I heard a deafening blast. For a second I thought the sky fell over my head. I was engulfed in a shroud of smoke. For a moment there was an uneasy silence. And then the chaos, the shrieks of people, the painful cries started. I staggered back to my feet somehow. My shirt was splattered with blood...whose blood I didn't know!

And then my eyes fell upon the bodies strewn all over, some intact and some lay slaughtered. Blood was splashed all over, people were shouting out of panic, some running helter-skelter and some sat on road in silent shock. It was a ghastly sight. 

I gathered myself  and moved ahead when I saw a pair of tiny shoes, blue in colour. They were packed in a transparent box with a red ribbon on top. I guess that was a red ribbon and not blood. I picked them up and saw a small note printed on it that read- "To my dearest little one"
My heart almost flipped over. A dozen thoughts ran through my mind. Whose tiny shoes these must be? I looked around frantically. But I saw only shadows of men, women and children severely injured and battling for life. I was aghast and horror stricken. This must be hell....yes, this surely must be hell. 

I didn't know whose shoes are these but they seemed to be shouting silently that somewhere a child must be suffering a loss- A loss of her mother, a loss of her father or a loss of her relative, loss of innocence or loss of her own life.

These tiny shoes are a silent plea to all the terrorists to stop the mindless mayhem of ghastly murders. This serves no purpose. Isn't it said that God resides in every being. Every time a terror strike happens, some part of God is killed, a whiff of innocence buried, a slice of peace sacrificed. Let these tiny shoes serve as a reminder of this loss that humanity can never ever recover from. 
May we have peace on earth.
This post has been written as part of #Barathon challenge, hosted by Blog-A-Rhythm. 
The prompt for today, August, 5th, 2016 is Tiny Shoes

Aug 4, 2016

Caught red-handed

Two friends met after a span of years
One an artist and other a con
But they were once good friends
So the artist took him home
They talked of years bygone

The con of his treasure galore
And the artist of his painting hues

Then few months later,
When he went to an exhibition
The artist seem stunned
His painting staring back
With a name not his own

He called the con friend he once befriended
To tell him he was caught red-handed
The con friend laughed and told him this
The painting is now mine
And I am selling it at million five

The artist was strong, he was Howard Roark
And he told the con, he can forge if he wants.

But the day will soon come
When the likes of Peter Keating
The second hand beings,
Will perish in their mediocrity
And then the likes of Howard Roark
The geniuses of this world
With their perfection and ingenuity
Will mark their names on the tides of time.

(This poem is dedicated to all the Howard Roarks of this world. Howard Roark, the protagonist in the book 'The Fountainhead by Ayn Rand' is the epitome of integrity, perfection and ingenuity.)

This post has been written as part of #Barathon challenge, hosted by Blog-A-Rhythm. 
The prompt for today, August, 4th, 2016 is Caught red-handed.

Aug 3, 2016

Fragile Lives

These are very short stories, inspired from real life incidents. These true stories shed glimpse into some of the bitter-sweet fragile lives around us.

He loved learning but hated exams 
He loved the questions but hated mark-sheet
He loved his life but hated stress
And one fine day, he went to the railway tracks
To bury this stress forever and ever.
(Story #1: From a student’s diary)

They scarred her body with their lustful sin
She wanted to kill this body that now no more felt hers.
(Story #2: From a rape victim’s diary)

His 30 year old son died today, his father didn’t shed a tear
The love had died long back, only his body left today.
(Story #3: From a father’s diary)

The lonely child wanted love.
She went and slept on the grave, her mom’s grave.
(Story #4: From an orphan’s diary)

But wait… 
These stories do not end here, my friends…
Life goes on…

This boy’s mother now works with an NGO and takes counseling sessions for students in distress. She has helped many a student’s life from being ruined. No amount of work can blunt the pain of her son’s death. But she is content to have found a way to her son’s soul.
(Story #1: From a student’s diary)

This young girl, who was traumatized and physically abused, had thought of killing herself once. But then, being a brave soul, she decided to live her life on her own terms. She has now enrolled into a Law college. She dreams of becoming a lawyer and fight for justice for other victims like her. What was done to her can never ever be undone. But fighting for others like her may give her heart some solace.
(Story #2: From a rape victim’s diary)

Many years back, this father-son duo had separated apart on bitter terms. He had not talked to his son since then. And now, he got the news that his 30 year old son has passed away due to heart attack. His emotions blunted, he was numb with shock. Today, his solitary existence feels like a burden to himself. He has nothing left but the tears of repentance.
(Story #3: From a father’s diary)

This lonely orphan is now a happy mother of a 5 year old boy- the same age when she used to crave for her mother’s love. And now she showers that love on her son, the love she was once so desperate for. Life comes a full circle.
(Story #4: From an orphan’s diary)

This post has been written as part of #Barathon challenge, hosted by Blog-A-Rhythm. 
Today, August 3rd, 2016 prompt is Fragile Lives.

Aug 2, 2016

What You Don't Know

  • Do you know whether we created God or God created us? Is God a virtual manifestation of our mind that we have started believing in it as real?
  • What lies deep inside an infant’s mind? What does an infant dream of? How does an infant think? Can YOU think wordlessly like an infant must be doing?
  • How can chaos result in perfection? I am talking about the inception of the universe? Will it again go back to the same chaos from which it erupted? What must have been there before Big Bang, before the birth of universe? What is there beyond the universe?
  • Have you ever wondered why exactly you and I are here on this Earth? Do we have a purpose? Or do we just Eat, Pray, Love (pun intended) and vanish into oblivion? What is the purpose of this drama of birth and death? 
  • Have you ever stood or even imagined standing on the edge of time? How the edge of universe must look like?
  • What must have gone inside the minds of great people that made them so? Why the ratio of great people verses mediocre people never reversed since thousands and thousands of years?
  • Can you ever hold back time? Can you ever defy ageing? Can we all ever go back to Pandora’s Box time? Is that even possible?
Sometimes the mist lifts up and one can see a clear glimpse into the answers of such self-exploratory questions but, just for a fleeting moment. Even Swami Vivekananda has said that a man’s mind is limited, very limited. It can just comprehend and retrospect up to a certain limit only. And certain truths are beyond the comprehension of a normal human mind. And this is where METAPHYSICS comes into picture; Metaphysics- The Science of the Unknown. 

So, my friends, lets stretch our minds to unimaginable limits and make that capable to Realize and Embrace the answers we seek. Till then, keep exploring the mysteries of your mind that can throw you beyond the realm of reality, beyond the limit of imagination and into the infinite universe.

Au Revoir!
This post has been written as part of #Barathon challenge, hosted by Blog-A-Rhythm. 
Today, August 2nd 2016 prompt is  What You Don't Know.