Life can be Foggy at times…

Foggy day VANCOUVER

Day before, I was driving to work. I haven’t seen that much fog in my entire time here at Vancouver. I took a few pictures on my way (of course not while driving. LOL). My thoughts went around it and found a beautiful positive twist to it. I always love when I get positive vibes. If I can find something to relate or help others through my random thoughts. I will. Here it goes.

I cannot see much in front of me when I was driving. I could hardly see a few meters. Did I stop driving? Did I get scared and parked the car? No. What I saw is when I drive slowly forward, the images get clearer and clearer. I could see. The point is, Same as our lives. We all had our bad days. If we stop pushing forward, we will stay in our status quo. We cannot improve ourselves. Same as future, we cannot see, but what we can see is right now. So if this “right now” is clear to you, why you want to worry about the future?

“Fogg about our FUTURE will clear by itself if we move forward with clear sight of NOW” – Ajay Nair

I am going to quote this above sentence now and then. For me, it gives us a message. Nature itself showed us the message for a long period. As usual, we never saw the message, or we failed to interpret the nature’s signals. Foggy days are a perfect example. Never stall your life worrying about future or past. Just like Fogg clears up, as we move forward driving, same as our life and future will visualize.

The pictures I took, I will share here. The images are not clear due to Fogg, but what you can see can be considered as “NOW”. It is very clear and beautiful too. It gives us an obvious interpretation. What is behind the Fogg, is our future. Walk with head held high, future will come in front of you clearer. I love it and I hope I am sharing this to some of you who may love it too.

Thanks for reading. If you agree, please share, read my books, blogs and poems. Love you all. Remember, Fogg is not here to stay…Stop fogging up your mind with thoughts related to future and see clear what is NOW.

Gandhi Jayanti- October 2

MAHATMA GANDHI

Born as an Indian, one can never forget this date. Can we?

In our blood, brain and cells, October 2 etched on us. We die with this date on our hearts too. Proud to be Indian, just because this personality was born in India. Many of us learned a lot about his teachings during our school days. The man, the leader, the guru and ofcourse most fierceful freedom fighter. His biggest weapon is “Ahimsa”

Many leaders followed his teachings and messages. Dr. Martin Luther King and Dr. Nelson Mandela to name a few among them. Today also many influencers take his teachings and interpretation to reach masses. Remember, he did this with no social media help. He did this by walking in to masses. I would like to remember Terry Fox here. He did it by himself to bring change. His legacy still follows many years of him leaving us.

Mahatma Gandhi inspired people by leading them with what he preached always. He never leads them from behind. He was there, walking with them. I still remember the screenings of his footages we have from freedom fighting days. Those black and white fast motion movies definitely moved our hearts.

I do not know whether in our lifetime another Mahatma will come in our lives. I know this much, Mahatma had given us a lot for our generation and many more generations to come. His teachings are still relevant and will not get outdated, regardless of what century we are in. How many of us can say this with confidence, the lessons we give to our children will be relevant for a different century. I highly doubt that.

This October 2nd we are celebrating Mahatma Gandhi’s 151st birth anniversary. During this pandemic, I want to say, believe in ourselves. We will come out of it. Gandhi believed in Ahimsa, and he knew that is the only weapon he needed to get freedom for India. He believed, and he reached masses with this message. Today, politicians are struggling to reach masses with a simple message like “Wash your hands, Wear masks”. I am not comparing politicians to Mahatma Gandhi. I am just saying he was divine. The most important teaching he gave us and influenced me is

“Ahimsa is the highest duty. Even if we cannot practice it in full, we must try to understand its spirit and refrain as far as possible from violence”

He is our superhero for our nation. We lovingly call him Bappu. Happy Birthday dear Bappu. You are our father and will be always in our hearts as our Nations Father. Salute.

How are you? Really!!!

Photo by Prateek Katyal on Pexels.com

How are you? Really!!

We got in to this habit when we pass by our colleagues and friends. Simple words with no meaning, really. People became so robotic these days to answer. I am good. Thanks. Really? Are we good?

Pause for a second here…

I have been pondering this for a while now. At first when I came to Canada, I saw people were so courteous saying “Good Morning and How are you?” I felt fantastic. That we cared. Over the years living here, I see this as just a custom. I see people asking this and the answer comes very robotic. No connection what so ever. “I am well, thanks. OR I am fine. OR Good”

How are you? Really!!

This is something we should ask ourselves daily. This needs to happen. Many people around us are under mental agony. Still, when we say, How are you? (Reason I used the word “say”. I do not think we are asking people anymore. We are just saying for the sake of it). Many times people ask this and walk away before even the person responds to you. We assume they are going to say they are ok. Why we do it, because this has become so robotic to us. I have seen it and I am guilty of myself doing that to others. Everyone of us is busy. But why?

Reset ourselves. It is very important. Mental health professionals are recommending nowadays to ask ourselves daily How are we doing. Think about it. Are we doing well? Why are we running like a headless chicken every day? Why are we not happy? If we give ten minutes of our time to self reflect, we can re channel our focus.

I am going to focus on this thought from now on. I also will pause and mean it every time I ask someone, “How are you?” With this pandemic situation, we are more isolated than ever. The human touch is missing. All we can do is show the care for others. This may make someone’s day. They may want someone to talk to. Stop by your colleague’s office. Have a chit chat following the social distance protocol. Now with reduction of workforce, there are many who you have worked with are sitting at home. Call them up for a few minutes. Talk to them. Ask them “How are they?”. This may give them some fuel to survive for a week. All I am saying here is “Don’t be selfish. Care about others.”

I am asking all the people who are reading this “How are you? Really!!!” Comment below. I am looking forward to have a conversation with you guys. Share this blog to your friends if you want to ask them, “How are they? Really!!!”

I am also leaving you this video from youtube. It is apt and align with above thoughts. If you really think about it.

Introducing Aswathi Ashok- New member to our Guest bloggers

“Writing fiction is the act of weaving a series of lies to arrive at a greater truth”

                                                                                              -Khaled Hosseini

I truly believe that stories can be a great way to learn a lot of things in life in a more interesting way. All of my guest blogs will mostly be fantasy – fictional short stories, and other fun bookish blogs. Before I dive into writing short stories, I thought it’ll be a great idea to introduce myself to you all. 

I am Aswathi Ashok, an aspiring Author living in Singapore. I have been an avid reader since childhood. I enjoy creative writing and love spending my time creating short stories or reading. I aim to do something creative every day because it makes my soul happy. I enjoy doing a lot of things and hence have so many hobbies.  My answer to this particular question “What are your hobbies” would probably be the longest. Few of my favourite are as follows – Travelling, Reading, Writing, Swimming, Singing, Dancing and Photography. I Love both Art and Science. I have done my masters (M. TECH) in Biotechnology. I worked as Research Assistant at A*STAR, a research Institute in Singapore. I have enjoyed scientific writing while working on my scientific review papers. Currently focusing on my creative writing skills as well. 

My hubby and me, we are a bookish couple who love travelling together. Books, Coffee and Travelling together to explore historical places are our favourite things to do. We run a travel blog “COUPLE TRAVEL TALES” to satisfy the history buff in us. The blog mainly focuses on the history, legends and culture of all the places we visit. Our recent visit was to Egypt and Turkey. We are currently working on our blogs on them. I write on medium as well. My favourite genres include Historical Fantasy, Mythology, Fantasy, Fiction, Horror and Classics. I write fantasy-fiction stories with an eerie touch to it, hoping to inspire others who read them as well. 

I grew up reading Enid Blyton books but I seriously fell in love with reading because of J K Rowling ‘s Harry Potter Series. My recent favourite Trilogy that I can’t stop talking about is “Winternight Trilogy” by Katherine Arden (This series is based on Russian Mythology, I’d highly recommend reading this series to everyone who enjoys reading historical fantasy books) . I am at present binge reading Neil Gaiman’s books and honestly, I admire him as a writer, love his style of writing and creativity. 

When I don’t read or write, I binge watch Netflix with my hubby, we also do have two cats at home – Nemo (Ginger-white, male) & (Coffee – female Calico). Few of our favourite Netflix series are as follows: The Grimm, Once Upon a time, Lucifer, The Originals, Vampire Diaries and Cursed. 

I am really excited to be a part of www.onewhohatedbooks.com  as a guest blogger. Here I’ ll be focusing on writing short stories and also on why I love writing /reading so much, you can also expect a few book recommendations to inspire the reader in you. So if you love reading short stories with a spooky touch to it and are up for some bookish blogs, don’t forget to follow my guest blogs here that I ‘ll be writing every third-fourth week of the month. Thank you so much Ajay for giving me this opportunity. 

Follow me:

Instagram : www.instagram.com/purringbookshelf

Medium: https://medium.com/@purringbookshelf

WordPress: https://coupletraveltales.com/

Pandemic has affected all of us in some way or the other. I really hope the situation resolves soon and the world heals. Until then stay home, stay safe and stay healthy. I hope you enjoy reading my stories.

Happy reading!

Aswathi Ashok

Reset- A Natural Phenomenon

Photo by Yogendra Singh on Pexels.com

Now 8 months in to 2020. Is world trying to reset here? I wonder sometimes. I feel like a standstill everywhere. I want to think positive here. Why we are hearing so much bad news these days? I put together a few pointers here.

1) As a human being we took granted many things nature has provided to us.

2) We felt we are above everything. We developed this arrogance of saying we have knowledge.

3) We left our humbleness and abuse nature for our short-term gain/ happiness.

I can talk over and over on this topic. However, my point here is human beings are not anymore humans. They slowly have become someone who lost their respect for nature and its gifts. Somehow this entitlement feeling took over us. We behaved like we created all this. We created some perishable items and felt like supreme power. We ignored what nature had stored for us, which is not at all perishable. We ruined it by what we call “Life style or Modernization”

Think back, our forefathers they worked hard on land and lived on what the land provided to them. They never tried to destroy the land. They preserved the land for the future, which is what we got as a gift from them. Now what are we going to give our kids. RUINED and UNWORTHY land. I would like to call, We raped mother nature already so much that it has started now to retaliate.

Last few months from march, it gives us a shock treatment by nature. You call it china virus, or factory produced virus. Regardless, nature is taking a U turn here. No doubt. We see clear skies and clear water. Just simple 5 months, we already see this much difference, you can imagine how powerful this nature is.

Take all the incidents world all over, movement to positive is happening. BLM, Women empowerment, Me too, all leads to reset. I am glad to see people are finally coming together to do something for their kids meaningful. Once we worshipped water, fire and air. Now we don’t even give any value to these three necessities. We pollute nature as if we own these and we create these. Stop making fun of those individuals who pray to these elements. They understand the importance of those fundamental key things. These three keep us alive. I came from a part of the world where water is someday a luxury. I know the value of it. We had gone days without water. We also had gone days with the flood. I know the importance of taking care of nature. The only way we can give a healthy life to our future generation.

So friends, stop abusing the nature. Do what you can to help the nature.

My Next projects Cover Reveal

Hi literary lovers. I am very excited today to finally reveal my cover designs for projects which are lined up for release in the coming months. The dates are not solid yet. But I will try my best to get this out for you all to read by the month I have outlined below.

Cutie Fox went to fiji

This is going to be a fun book for kids aged between 3 to 8 years old. Sequel series of Cutie Fox stories. This time, Cutie Fox and family are going to Fiji to attend his cousin’s wedding. What happens there and his experiences will take any child explore their curiosity. Story has many positive messages and will have sight words. (Aiming to release by Sept or Oct 2020)

COok with no rules

“Recipes and tips to spice up your boring wraps” The tag line says it all. Book is to help and create healthy wraps with Indian flavor to it. Target to motivate younger generation to eat healthy with more vegetables to their diet. This wrap fillers are all cooked, no raw vegetable. Packed with flavors to explore.( Aiming to release Dec 2020)

Trust me- One Woman two lives

Torn by many society practices, Lakshmi landed in to safe hands of Kelu. Many years later trouble looms around her past. Daughters both suffers through the system of untouchable anarchy. Losing her mother and sister in one day, Bhavani is all set for revenge. Can she step up to her brother in law? Trust Me- One Woman Two Lives is an emotional roller coaster with many lives entangled in danger and true blood relationships. (Aiming to release March 2021)

Please do support my current books on sale. Droplets, Cutie Fox went to town and Celestial Poems. I will keep bringing you more books in the coming years as I have many other projects in my mind. I need support as an encouragement. Thank you all.

Leaders Should change

Photo by August de Richelieu on Pexels.com

Throughout my career, I have got guidance from many leaders. Some leaders stayed with me even though they have done with their careers. Those were the ones who are open to change. The ones never stood out, even if they are so good in what they do are the ones who did not accept change. I am almost closing towards three decades in leading various teams. Leadership 101 I learned is to trust your team. You hired them to do the job. You should let them do.

What I am trying to say here is, We all have our own ways to get the job done effectively. My father used to say you want to go from A to B, whether you walk, you run or take a bus. It doesn’t matter, as long as you get there eventually in a timely manner matters. Same thing here at work, If an employee is doing a chore in a certain way and it is not to your liking, trust that person to do that job. As long as the job is done with quality and we meet safe practices. You should be good to go. Those are the leaders. They will let their team grow with them.

These days we all communicate via email. If you have an employee who writes an email longer than your liking. Do not push that employee to change his way to bullet point form. This will hinder his thoughts. He may not find it easier for him to convey his thoughts. He will miss valuable points. As a leader, read that email regardless of the length, because this employee put effort in that communication. If you constantly try to change this employee, he will soon or later stop communicating. He will wait till things fall apart for you to fix or he simply moves on to next job. Another point to be noted her in this scenario. He or she may finish the lengthy email in 10 minutes, compared to bullet point format. Here this is not his or her strength. He or she will doubt how to write and wastes valuable time to convert a simple email to bullet forms just to please the boss. On the other hand, if the boss is complaining, that he or she doesn’t have time for long emails, then that shows his interest in this particular employee. This is not a leadership quality.

Guiding a person is different than changing a person. Do not change their strengths. You are the leader, you should change according to needs. Let them perform in their turf at its best. Involve with them with the same passion they show. You will have a great team to support you back.

Answering calls is an important part of leadership. Everyone is busy and employees know that. If a leader continues to let his calls go to his voicemail over and over, then this shows he is not taking the calls. Soon or later, this becomes an annoyance. Employee will not bother to ask any questions. There are many times an employee need support right away from his or her boss. He or she understands if they cannot get hold of them once a month, but if this is a recurring issue, Leader will be considered as ignoring the staff. They will not feel the support.

Answering calls is an important part of leadership. Everyone is busy and employees know that. If a leader continues to let his calls go to his voicemail over and over, then this shows he is not taking the calls. Soon or later, this becomes an annoyance. Employee will not bother to ask any questions. There are many times an employee need support right away from his or her boss. He or she understands if they cannot get hold of them once a month, but if this is a recurring issue, Leader will be considered as ignoring the staff. They will not feel the support.

Life Lessons- Part One

Dear Friends,

This is my journey ofcourse. I want to be useful to society in many ways I can be. Yes, I am a law abiding citizen. I do try to give good positive thinking in a creative way here and there. I felt that I should do more. With that, I have started this You Tube channel. Very simple pattern. No video gimmicks with lots of fancy edits. Just raw me and my thoughts here. I will try to bring one story at a time to inspire you with life lessons. If you like, Please continue to watch.. Every Sunday new video will be out. Short and simple. Thank you.