A Hand full of Awards

It rained today after fifteen days of melting, sweltering heat. Only a little though, but rain it did, nevertheless. And I told myself to start making excuses for writing, instead of the other way around, for a change. Anyway, I want to apologize for this extreme delay in posting the award mail, to all those who had been nominating me from the start of the year. download (1) I had been nominated for the Versatile Blogger Award by The Atul’s, and also by That Chick Piggy. Another Liebster Award from The Rainman and The Day Dreamer Award from The Champa Tree. Please visit their wonderful blogs, and also convey my thanks to them, would you ?

Now, in response to Atul and Chick Piggy’s nomination, I must give you seven random facts about me. This in a way might also become the response for The Champa Tree’s Day Dreamer Challenge – “Describe yourself. Tell us what you have been meaning to tell the world about yourself..” Ah, what a smarty slacker am I !

And that, definitely is the very first fact about me. Secondly, I am a secretly introvert person, meaning, you won’t be able to tell ever, and to you I will always come across as a jolly good girl, but I feel uncomfortable whenever the spot light is on me. It wasn’t like this always, however. It seemsdownloadto me now, that the more we grow up, the less extrovert we become.

The third random fact in my list is that I love rules, and I love following them too. A small catch however – I love only those rules that I make, or those that makes sense to me. I hate authority. I don’t like to be authoritarian either.

I’m most comfortable in boyfriend jeans, and love wearing Sarees too. I have a big sweet tooth, and I dig on Indian sweets more than anything. (Anything excluding chocolates, ofcourse. Chocolates are not just sweets, they are heaven). Continue reading “A Hand full of Awards”

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Castle News : March – May ’15

I have recently learnt that life imprisonment equals to 25 years of jail in Doha. (Reminded me of Shaw Shank Redemption) And the suspected Philippine spies has got their life saved, apparently, as the sentence has been reduced from the more popular – death penalty, reported by Doha News.

The last few days are always tough. It was, and how ! I have come across Indians to whom Doha is a better living choice any day. To me it was out of this world, to put it mildly ! Whatever, I don’t care. Not any more. I had felt caged, suffocated and stifled. Nonexistent – in Doha. (Imagine you asking the priUntitled10ce of something to the shop owner, and he is replying looking at your husband standing next to you!)

Now, with Arijit gone to join his new job in Manchester, I have this entire month for myself. I have this entire month to bask in those nostalgic summer evenings, the frequent Nor’westers, and the yellow taxis.

I am in Calcutta !

And as it seems I can write again, I can think ! Continue reading “Castle News : March – May ’15”

Castle News # February ’15

Ok, alright, shh shh shh…

I know, I know I have been away for a long time – 15 days! Yeah yeah, I’m not a good blogger. Alright, I’m no blogger at all. But please do listen to me, before you judge me, won’t you!

I won’t give excuses like my language school exam, or that Doha climate is keeping me unwell often. I won’t bore you saying how I have splashed cooking oil on my face. How? Great cook I am, and a terrible tennis player, if you know what I mean! Was preparing some hurried breakfast omelette, so you get the picture there.  Don’t worry, those were three dots of minor burn marks, nothing much. And I have found a good dermatologist. So, the marks have faded a great deal. But with all these things going on, it gets difficult to concentrate and write. Afterall content creation is not like cramming before exam, which you can force yourself to do. Content, I can never force myself to create. “It depends on my mood” – Haa Haa! Continue reading “Castle News # February ’15”

The Little Act of Kindness

The Blogging 201 course is almost at it’s end. All the hard works, and sleepless nights towards fulfilment of one dream – having a perfect blog, being a perfect blogger, is slowly gaining a perspective. To some success comes overnight, some has to toil harder to get it. But for every blogger one thing is common. We all love our blogs like a farmer loves his field. We love our blogs most.

Content with that self love in mind, when we come across someone else’s blog, that truly takes our breath away as a reader, when we can’t help but appreciate the words, the look and feel, the content of that blog more than anything, and above all it inspires us to have a bigger goal about our own blog – often we get lost for words. Comments don’t come easy. Pressing the like button doesn’t seem enough.

liebster-blog-award1_zpsbd366c7a

Out of many favourites of mine, two such blogs are Quantum Hermit, and Wisdom’s Quill. If you just for once drop by Fimnora Westcaw’s blog Quantum Hermit, be prepared to get trapped in her beautifully woven stream of words, like some soothing music. “Your own journey becomes part of mine as mine becomes part of yours”, thinks Fimnora. Her about page is simply breathtaking, have a look.

I thought of copying a few words to give you a sample of Brian’s voice in Wisdom’s Quill, but I am not sure where to stop my selection cursor, to quote. I like all his words. Very masculine and strong, yet sensitive – exactly what we want, haa haa! “I live for the moments when I’m outside in nature, and suddenly realize that I’m no longer outside, but inside; inside the very entity that birthed me. These moments inspire me, because they are bigger than me.  They produce within me, feelings that were never meant to be contained, so this is why I write.  Not just words, but I write feelings” – that’s BE, our Brian, with a fiery quill indeed.

I like reading them, so it came as a surprise, a fun surprise when they chose to nominate me for Liebster Award! They did, last week, making me wordless to thank them enough. Thus, two Liebster Awards in my kitty. And I get to nominate a total of twenty-two (Yay!) of my many favourite blogs (that’s eleven nominees for each Liebster), to “pay it forward”, as Fimnora puts it.

My nominees:

  1. Albert’s New York
  2. The Expat Partners Survival Guide
  3. Alpha Female, Mainstream Cat
  4. Animate your Life
  5. And Just a touch of Crazy
  6. Berning Along
  7. Extracts from a Personal Diary
  8. Emovere
  9. Flavoured Lemons
  10. Hannah*Mumbi
  11. Hogrider Dookes
  1. I am barely Keeping Up
  2. Journey of a Squivelist
  3. My Toronto Life
  4. My Take My Thoughts
  5. Nicole Riget’s Blog
  6. Pipoy the Explorer
  7. Silver Lining Mama
  8. Sinroze
  9. So Very Deep (In The Closet)
  10. The Champa Tree
  11. The ElFonian

To my nominees: Nominating you is another way of my telling you that I really enjoy reading your blogs. I am not a lover of rules and obligation myself. Hence, I will totally understand if you donLiebster2‘t want to participate in this. Award posts are really lengthy and take a lot of time. We all understand that. However, if you choose to participate, (thank you :), and congratulations!) please feel free to mention 11 random facts about yourself or your blog, as you choose, along with 11 other nominated blogs. Other details on blog awards, you can find here.

Now, my answers to Fimnora’s set of questions:

1. What song defines who you are, and would you share a youtube link for it?

I’m alive, by Celine Dion and Let it Go from Frozen are two of my very favourite songs. Also, I hope you dance, by Ronan Keating.

2. Which of your owns posts is your favorite, and why?

Initially I don’t like any of my posts, they don’t seem good enough. Then as you all start liking them, I like them too 🙂

3. What is your most favorite quote from a movie? What is the movie?

“From the moment I fell down that rabbit hole I’ve been told what I must do and who I must be. I’ve been shrunk, stretched, scratched, and stuffed into a teapot. I’ve been accused of being Alice and of not being Alice but this is my dream. I’ll decide where it goes from here” – Alice in Alice in Wonderland

4. If you could time travel, where would you go, and why?

I don’t like to ride a time machine. Whoever has, has ended up in trouble. No, no, bad idea for me. I am perfectly good here and now.

5. What is one moment you can remember which changed your life?

Everything we become today are for all the small momentary changes in the past. Everything that happened, good and bad has made me what I am today. 

6. Who would you want to play you in a movie about your life?

Difficult question ! No Idea 🙂

7. What is your favorite genre of fiction?

Historical, Thriller, Detective, Women’s Fiction, Drama, Autobiography

8. Who or what encouraged you to become a writer?

Eyes of the boy 😉

9. What book have you read more than once?

David Copperfield

10. What other art form are you most interested in?

Movie making

11. What prompt for blogging would you like to offer to Blogging U?

“‘The rule breaker’ – Talk about the biggest rebel that you have known, and how he/she has influenced your life. If you think you are the biggest rebel, tell us the reason that prompts you to break rules”

Wisdom’s Quill Questions answered:

Do you believe in love at first sight? Yes, gorgeous feelings to have. But they are called infatuations.

Would you ever start another blog? No idea about future

What makes you angry? Hardly I get angry these days. But lies and dishonesty used to make me angry when I was younger.

Are you an introvert or an extrovert? Was an extrovert, but experience teaches you to grow introvert, I guess. Will call myself an ambivert person, for now.

What would be the coolest super power to possess? This I have already blogged about, before. I would love to cast a spell like Harry Potter, and end all radicalism in pretext of religion.

In another life, what animal would you be? Elephant

Would you rather be early, on-time, or fashionably late? On – time

Which one of your 5 senses would you be saddest to lose? Sixth sense, haa haa.

If you were Noah, which animal would you leave behind? As would be God’s command. Otherwise none. 

What is your favorite genre of literature? Novels

When you travel, do you prefer driving or flying? Driving.

And lastly to my readers: Thank you for sticking with me for so long, and being such a patient listener.

Love

Castle News # January ’15

Hello Everybody,

How was the first month of 2015 for you?

For me it had been quite hectic. Well, it wasn’t all work and no play altogether though. January being my Birthday month, there had been some partying around too, and a short trip to London, of course. 146H

But more studying and less fun, for sure, with Blogging 101 course running at a full speed on each weekday, along with my Arabic lessons. Blogging 101 was difficult because it required to do three things simultaneously – be a tech expert, be creative and also a good marketing guy.  That makes both sides of your brain march left and right, whew! But I learnt so much; we all did.

Showcasing my newly learnt knowledge, this post is the first of my monthly round-up feature – Castle News. Here, apart from wrapping up my last month’s posts, I shall recommend my favourite blogs and blog posts of the month, and also give you an idea on my next month’s blogging schedule.

Let’s go –

Looking back at January:

There had been a total of nine posts last month (nine posts only – what a shame!). I am just going to jolt them down, in case if you have missed before, (Now, here’s hoping you are too eager to read every little words that I write; well, a girl can only hope – ahem) or are visiting my blog for the first time.

Blogs and blog posts I liked last month:

Following this post, I will publish a whole new post, nominating all my favourite WP bloggers for two different awards. Stick with me…

February Blogging Calendar: w-somerset-maugham-love-quotes-we-are-not-the-same-persons-this-year

I shall start my blogging week from Tuesdays, featuring Weekly posts on Doha Days.

Throwback Travel Notes on alternate Thursdays will be a series on travel stories. February highlights – Turkey!

Will keep my Fridays free for random musings, for now. However, a fiction Friday won’t be a bad idea either. Will I be able to pull it up, what do you say?

You will find me publishing Castle News on the first Sundays of every month from now.

I would be glad to hear if there is anything you want me to write about in Sand Castle, anything at all – about Doha or otherwise, or have any suggestion for me in general. So, scroll down a little further, and write on!

Keep blogging, and have a happy month ahead 🙂

C ya!

Are we Sisters, of the Soul Sister kind !

The Sisterhood of the World Blogger Award – the award that recognises unique voices of women throughout the blogosphere. Thank you Silverliningmama for nosisterhood-of-the-world-bloggers-award11minating me for the award 🙂 This is very generous of you, indeed !

For those of you who have not yet checked out her blog, I suggest you do that right away. For her blog never fails to inspire me, and I’m sure you will get hooked as well.

The Q&A:

In one word, how would you like your readers to describe your blog?

Me: Cool 😉

Which is your most favorite among your blog posts? Why?

Me: My very first blog post. It took a lot of guts to overcome the inhibitions, come out there and hit publish.

What/Who inspires most of your blog posts?

Me: Arijit, my madhatter does, everytime in everyway 🙂 .

What do you aspire to accomplish this year?

Me: Umm, to become a better blogger, I guess…

What do you aspire to learn this year?

To become a better human…

What is your most favorite book? Why?

Me: Alice in Wonderland

What is your most favorite quote?

“Live & Let Live” – I live by it 🙂

What is the most courageous thing you’ve ever done?

Me : Giving my first interview and hoping people will actually read it. Like now !

If you can be a superhero, what is your superpower?

Me: Yeah sure, I would want to cast a spell and rid the world of poverty and violence !

Who is your female role model?

Me: I don’t have one. But I get influenced by different personalities in different things I do.

So, these are the rules for this award that I have received:

  • Thank the blogger who nominated you, linking back to their site
  • Put the Award logo on your blog
  • Answer the ten questions sent to you
  • Make up ten new questions for your nominees to answer
  • Nominate seven blogs

My nominees are:

The beauty of Addiction

Loud thoughts Voiced Out

Robins Real Life

Finding Myself through Writing

Making it Write

The Tezzy Files

A Sawyer’s Daughter

I will leave the questions as perfectly crafted by Silverlining unchanged for my nominees 🙂

Enjoy !

SuperEgo Speaks

As the Super Ego I should have total control over my mind, don’t you think ? And that I should know well enough whom, or what I am dealing with, controlling for that matter, and teaching morality and all that ! But here you see, I don’t even know if she is flexible and adaptive like water, or rock solid as ice. “Aquarius I am, free as air”, she tells me. Free alright, but trust me, very difficult to handle. Well, that’s my job, to keep a check on her free will. I try my best.

Arundhati has never been a fan of new year resolutions, just as she is not a fan of sticking with a routine. Any routine, whatsoever. Hitting the gym everyday, or practice writing every morning – nothing that entails regularity and discipline thrills her. Some kind of weird commitment phobia you can say, I have always noticed that any kind of routine activity makes her feel obligated and entrapped. She runs away from monotony, rebels against discipline. The thing she fails to understand is that a highly polished pebble can shine brighter than an uncut diamond. A regular practice is essential in whatever one wants to excel in.

Oh of course she enjoys the rush of adrenaline after a 20 minutes treadmill run, when her face is all glowing and radiant after a hearty workout. She definitely enjoys getting ‘like’ in her blog post, or when someone follows her blog. Its only when she needs to stick to something, be regular and see through the end, her whimsical and rebel mind wakes up. She will withdraw immediately from whatever it was that she was enjoying so far, and then no amount of my pleading or begging will yield her.

Good thing, however, that after all these years now gradually she is starting to feel that falling into this known rhythm of procrastination every time has after all become a routine in her life. I guess I might have something to do in making her see things in this light. Last night I succeeded in convincing her that she should change her predictable irregular and erratic ways and do something that she has never done before.

Look how she has got into the right frame of mind since then. Perhaps for the first time in life, she made a new year resolution too. “I will write 365 blog posts in 2015”, she has promised. Lets keep a count, shall we ?

She has even changed her blog’s url. I have always found dohablogs.wordpress.com to be a lame one. How she figured out 12 different ideas for a blog title, and the seven-day long process of zeroing into one is a different story altogether. However, now that she is in her ‘write mind’ I’m sure she would share this herself someday soon. I find Doha to be a lame stupid place, as well. A boring city with morbid streets and buildings and passionless life. What is their to write about Doha!

“I am not at all home sick, but this restricted and oppressed Doha is making me so wretchedly depressed. The only good thing happening with me here is blogging, but that too I don’t feel like…”, she confessed the other day. I think with a little bit coaxing, I might just as well succeed in getting her change the focus of her blog.

However, I think it is somewhat my fault that she doesn’t write here more often. Its my over criticising that blocks her writing mostly. I love her perfectionist nature a lot though. But I must take a leave now, so that she can muse here more often, and become a better writer herself, in the process.

Anyways, long story short, I think this post from me will refresh and kickstart her blogging. And I shall see you all in 3 month’s time to share how things are going. Stay tuned and keep me posted on her shortcomings…

Happy New Year…have a lovely one ! C ya !! 🙂

                                        *************************************

id-ego-superego


In response to The Daily Post’s weekly writing challenge: “Ice, Water, Steam.”

Thus, so far…

Today’s Assignment: publish a post for your dream reader, and include a new-to-you element in it.

Like Love, there are only a few other things that money cannot buy. Readers ! I do not have any particular dream reader. Having readers is my dream. And you all are fulfilling my dream by having me in your reading list. This is overwhelming !

This is really a big deal for me when I find every other day you are connecting with me, and keeping a tab on what I’m writing. This is big because it is blogosphere, it is world-wide web. Here if you are stopping to read and like any of my single post, should be quite a thing for me. But you are not stopping just at that, but making a commitment of returning again ! A dream come true for me, indeed.

It has been only a while that I have joined WordPress community, and you all are such wonderful people I am getting to know. Reading you is enriching me in more ways than you can think of. Hence, I must thank you in a way that I can do best. Write some more ! Here’s my attempt on ’roundup post’ for whatever little I have covered so far. Continue reading “Thus, so far…”