The 5 Reasons Why I Blog – Shamik

Blogging is very close to my heart. Though I don’t follow a schedule, I try to maintain a minimum timeline to keep regularity of my blogging spree. My blog name, The Mixed Flavors, is self-explanatory as to what the blog is all about. I would like to mention that it is a mixed bag blog for travel, food, tech, reviews and creative stuffs. The two new sections that I’ve added to my blog are Interview with a blogger and Fiction, which I’m enjoying a lot to do.

This blog post is about my love for blogging, especially the 5 reasons for which I blog. When Romila reached out to me for the guest post and the theme was Power of 5, I was a bit skeptical as to what topic should I choose? After thinking for few days, this topic is what came to my mind and here are my 5 Reasons Why I Blog.

Reason 1: To beat my stress

We all get stressed some point of time and I’m no exception to that. Blogging is one of my many ways by which I relieve my stress. I need to do a lot of research for my topic of writing, which relieves out the stress in me and I come across some lovely posts on the Internet. I read them and moreover I enjoy reading them.

Reason 2: For my love of writing

This is my second reason. My love for writing is eternal and what could be anything better than blogging to express my love for writing. When I started blogging it was just something like a documentation of my recipes. But slowly and steadily it becomes one of my passions.

Reason 3: To solve a problem for my readers or entertain them

I believe we bloggers write for two reasons – either to solve a problem for the readers or to entertain them. When I receive comments for my writings mentioning it solves some or the other problem for my readers and they have learnt something new that energises me a lot to do more. It acts as a motivation for me.

Reasons 4: To connect with people and fellow bloggers through my blog

I like to connect with people and through my blog and blogging challenges I’ve met many talented bloggers. I’ve learn from them, connect with them and read their blogs too. I don’t want to mention anyone in particular since the list will become too long. Networking and reading other’s blogs are my two significant goals that I want to reach through my blogging spree.

Reason 5: To pen down my thoughts

For me blogging is the best activity that I can personally do to pen down my thoughts and sharing it with others. I was not organised earlier since it was just a repository of my recipes but as the time passed I became more organized in my blogging activity and try to maintain the same as much as possible.

About the writer: Shamik, I am a full-time professional in Bangalore. Blogging is one of my hobbies along with cooking, traveling and watching movies. I blog at http://www.mixedflavorsblog.com/ which is a mixed bag blog of almost everything. Because of my passion for writing I take up freelance content writing projects as well. Since few months have started doing YouTube videos too and you can check out my videos here on my YouTube Channel.

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5 things that change when you are on the wiser side of 30 – Deepali Joshi

20s is a wonderful age. Life is carefree and the enormity of LIFE has not yet dawned upon most of us. As soon as you take a turn from 20 to 30, a huge wave of wisdom hits you in the face. Even when you desperately try to hold on to the remnants of your 20s, the reality sets in sooner or later and when it does, it turns your world upside down.

Among the many other changes that happen internally, a lot of changes happen in the perception of others towards you. And the more you resist and convince yourself that nothing has changed, the world will make sure you don’t forget that you are no longer in your younger and vibrant 20s.

30+ is a funny age bracket. There are some phenomenal changes happening in a woman’s body…no, not the one you are thinking. That one happens after 50. I am talking about the weight that gathers around the once upon a time, very slim waist. A couple of grey hair strands start popping up somewhere in the dark thick mane. And an infrequent pain in the back or the neck subtly suggests that you are now on the wiser side of 30.

Now that I have made you sufficiently anxious, let me tell you about the 5 things that change in a weird way around you when to cross the milestone at 30:

  • Aunty Syndrome- On the wiser side of 30, you become an aunty for the universe. The ugly, bulky and obviously older than you watchmen, doodh walas, press walas and sabji walas respectfully (!) call you aunty while you stick to addressing them as “bhaiya” throughout. And it spreads like wild-fire which can never be put out.
  • Beat the ageing skin…Ageing, really? – You realise that every natural line on your face has a name..….wrinkles, blemishes, laughter lines, crow’s feet etc. and you become a favourite customer of the sales girl at your Salon. Every new dermatology invention that promises younger skin is offered to you in bulk. Not to mention the regular hair color and touch up appointments you will take to cover up those increasing greys. The appreciative stares with a tinge of jealousy that you used to get from your female colleagues are now replaced by sympathetic looks of you facial girl. You are going to need extra care now!
  • Supplements to support the ageing bones and muscles- As if skin care was not enough, your physician will now start you on a regular dose of supplements of vitamins and minerals to compensate the depletion happening in your body around this turn of age. The friendly pharmacist’s advice on the latest drugs to combat the ageing bones will make you feel like a dilapidated building ready to collapse any moment. Hear the rumbling sounds, anybody!!
  • Night outs are out – Gone are the days of crazy partying, unplanned movies, staying up late at friends’. Your outings will be less wild and more civil. Though your spirits are still sky high, your age doesn’t seem to agree with that. Suddenly the enthusiastic music that used to trigger the deadly dance moves earlier sounds a little too harsh now. You will look forward to your Zumba classes more than you look forward to that weekend party.
  • “Life” happens at 30, really. – Assuming that you have settled in your comfortable jobs and acquired all the materialistic stuff, you will now be troubled by real questions about “life”. Conversations at dinner time will be around “real happiness”. Forget the fact that a few years back, you thought movie date with your girlfriends was real happiness. Suddenly, “life that was and will be” becomes the eternal quest.

About the writer :-  Deepali Joshi Adhikary is a freelance writer/blogger/trainer. She has a diverse writing portfolio which spans from light-hearted humor to the issues affecting the society, her parenting challenges and reviews of books. She also has keen interest in andragogy as well as pedagogy and loves to work with different age groups. When she is not writing or training, she likes to read. Connect with her on @deepaliadhikary on twitter or visit her blog http://kolorpencil.com/

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Power of Five (My five favorite Films) – Mandeep Singh Kapoor

  1. Taxi Driver: Travis Bickle, an ex marine and Vietnam War veteran suffers from insomnia, he spends his sleepless nights working as a taxi driver, driving people through the dirty streets of New York. He has a strong opinion on what is wrong with the society we live in, he is completely isolated from the world, and spends most of free time in theaters watching sleazy porn films. He finds a ray of hope in Betsy, with whom he has obsessively fallen in love with. The Film is about loneliness of Travis Bickle, which he is constantly aware of, because he mentions it several times. The film cleverly uses ‘Taxi Driver’ as a metaphor to describe loneliness, in one of world’s largest city, the city where nights is the time where all the animals comes out of their shell, whores, drug addicts, pimps, thieves. Travis is aware of the kind of world he lives in, but does not do anything relevant to get out of it, until an emotionally heartbreaking incident involving Betsy occurs in his life, triggering an emotionally unstable Travis to take matters into his own hands. There is a gradual transformation of a lonely taxi driver into a dangerous mentally unstable vigilante, when he comes out with a Mohawk hair, dark glasses and a gun tugged underneath his jacket. He plans to assassinate presidential candidate, instead kills pimps forcing a preadolescent girl into prostitution. The potential criminal turns into a hero. Travis’s theory about the hypocritical nature justifies. Director Martin Scorsese and Writer Paul Schrader paints a haunting, disturbing picture of loneliness, and gives us a once in a lifetime character. I watched the film, during my college days, and was simply blown away by the depth to which the film tries to talk about a person’s loneliness.
  1. Nayagan: Nayagan is a result of collaboration between India’s finest Filmmaker, Mani Ratnam with India’s most versatile Actor, Kamal Hassan. There are many instances in the film, where one has a sense of déjà vu from The Godfather, but Nayagan has a refreshing take on the emergence of mafia in Bombay. Th theme of the film is quite simple; the one, who lives by the sword, dies by it. Velu Naicker sees his father, a union labor leader, killed in cold-blooded encounter by police officer. He kills the officer and runs away to Bombay. By the turn of events, Velu is gravitated into the world of injustice, and transforms into a criminal. The films involves ascend of Velu as a mafia in Bombay operating his modus operandi. The film’s cinematography by P.C.Sreeram remains one of his best works along with an outstanding score from the legendary Illyaraja. The film is iconic take on the Mumbai Crime saga, with the touch of the brilliance from Mani Ratnam.
  1. Fight Club: A nameless first person narrator suffers from Insomnia, and finds relief by getting himself enrolled in various support groups either as a fake survivor or as a diseased person. In one of the support groups, he finds a Marla, who plays the same bluff of neither being a victim nor a survivor, which rather irritates the narrator. His life changes when he meets Tyler Durden on a flight. Things changes drastically in his life, post the arrival of Tyler. Together they start an underground movement involving bare-knuckle fist fighting, which is termed as “Fight Club”. Tyler is everything, the narrator wants to be; a born charismatic leader, stylish, confident, idealistic, strong opinionated. Tyler and Marla develop a weird relationship, which affects the narrator, however the Fight Club movement is on a rampage, which soon transforms into “Project Mayhem”, which is an anti-capitalist terrorist organization, before the narrator realizes that things are getting way out of control, it is too late. The film is one of the finest work of David Fincher, and highlights several important issues; Toxic Masculinity, Capitalism, Emotional stability.
  1. Satya: A young man named “Satya” comes to Mumbai, in search of livelihood, but unfortunately gets involved in Mumbai crime world. Things changes dramatically when Satya encounters Bhiku Mhatre. Satya then goes on to become a vital member of the Mhatre gang. The reason Satya became a popular cinema despite not having any big stars was because of its writing; it presented Mumbai Underworld with a strong sense of emotions. The haunting background score gave the film a formidable structure to present itself. The uniqueness of Satya lies in its simplicity, and its ability to present gangsters as working humans going out for their 9-5 job, and post that looking after their family, hanging out with friends. It subtly speaks about the dual nature of a person hiding his true self behind the dangerous criminal psyche.
  1. City of God: Set in the lawless slums of Rio De Janeiro, the film narrates the story of young man looking to earn a livelihood through photography. He narrates the rise of gang wars, violence, brutality, drug addiction through his lenses. As the war on the streets reaches its peak, the young man is in desperation to expose the on-going crisis of the slum to the world and to secure a job as a photographer at a local news agency. The film is disturbing, brutal in its nature, the highlight of the film is its screenplay, which never allows a single dull moment in the film and keeps the adrenaline rushing narration to its optimum alacrity.

About the writer: Mandeep Singh Kapoor – Insomniac, Nerd, Movie Geek, Bookworm, Amateur Blogger, Pharmacology Scholar, Fascinated by Neuroscience. My Blog: https://insomniacpoint.blogspot.in/

I connected with her through Twitter, and explored her blog; I was blown away with her sincerity, dedication, discipline and her positive attitude. She has been a major influence on me to start blogging, and discover subjects to write. I even read her e-book, and really loved the way she pushes the envelope in writing, it is a privilege for me to write a guest post on her blog. I wish her loads and loads of success and happiness…………Keep Inspiring Novemberchild….:)

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Favorite quotes from world of poetry – Deepti Menon

From a very young age, I remember wanting to be a writer. I wrote my first poem at the age of ten, mainly because I had a friend who wrote poems too, and I was determined to beat her at her own game. The green-eyed monster had got into me, as I found my mother appreciating every word the said friend wrote. “Anything she can do, I can do better!” I vowed, and thus, began my lifelong love for the written word. Today, I write more for my own pleasure than anything else, the green-eyed monster having retreated into the annals of my memory, having realized that there was no more space in my mind to lodge him! I was extremely lucky in my family. My grandparents were scholars, a grand aunt did her PhD at the grand old age of sixty, my father wrote the most beautiful letters in perfect calligraphy, and my mom still loves anything to do with the Muse of Literature.

So, there I was, at a young age, thrown into the delicious disorder of books strewn all over, with the perfect freedom to choose what I wanted to read… Enid Blyton, Charles Dickens, Jane Austen, Agatha Christie, Alexander Dumas, Louisa Alcott, PG Wodehouse, and even James Hadley Chase!

Poetry came in later, when I decided to take up Literature for my Graduation and Post Graduation. I had wonderful professors who led their entranced students into the treasured words of the Romantic poets and let them make their own way onwards. Thus, I meandered on to the Victorians, the American poets and Indian poetry, each of which was beautiful in its own way.

When I think of the Power of Five, I would love to list out five of my favorite quotes from the treasure house of world poetry. There are many more, but these are the words I go back to, whenever I want to think beautiful thoughts.

 

About the writer: Deepti Menon has always loved the written word. She began to write at the age of ten, and was lucky enough to have travelled around the country, being an Army kid. Her experiences during those years helped hone her interest and her flair for writing. Her first book, ‘Arms and the Woman’, published in 2002, takes a light-hearted look at the life of an Army wife. 2013 and 2014 were lucky for her, as many of her short stories were chosen for anthologies – 21 Tales to Tell, Upper Cut, Chronicles of Urban Nomads, Mango Chutney, Crossed and Knotted, Rudraksha, Love – an Anthology, The Second Life, A Little Chorus of Love and Tonight’s the Night. The latest anthology, Mock, Stalk and Quarrel has a story by her as well. She also has a book of poems, titled ‘Deeparadhana of Poems’, lovingly compiled by her mother, herself a talented writer. ‘Shadow in the Mirror’, a psychological thriller published by Readomania in 2016, is her latest offering.

From Deepti to me: Dear Romila, thank you for a chance to express my thoughts on your blog, Novemberchild. I wish you many happy returns of the day in November and I do hope that you, and your blog, will continue to create ripples and capture hearts as you have been doing so far. I wish you success in attaining your five lakh views challenge.

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5 things which occupy my time by Akshata Ram

Does being alone scare you?

It probably freaked me out a few years ago but as I sit and type this post from my apartment in Zurich where I am on a 2.5 month business trip all alone, I realise how much I love this “me time”. As a mother of a toddler and a career woman, I seldom find time for myself. Thinking of the 5 things which occupy my time and give me a sense of contentment and adrenaline rush- here is the list!

  1. Reading- A total bibliophile I am and I take pride in the fact. I don’t do the serious stuff like sci- fi, non fiction but am purely a fiction, light breezy read kind of person. Sophie Kinsella, Jodi Picoult, JK Rowling are some of my favourite authors. I realise a book can create so much magic, it can take you to a new world and it fuels your imagination as a writer. The gift of reading is the best gift I have received from my mom.

  1. Writing- I discovered this late in life and thats probably the only regret. I had loads of free time before getting hitched, or even before the baby but the writing bug had to hit me only after Angel came- while one hand put her to sleep, the other furiously typed on the iPhone. Nevertheless, nothing beats the feeling of writing your heart out and people relating to what you write. When someone tells me- “I Love your writing. I wake up sometimes and read it and it resonates with me, you have the power to inspire” That feeling is the best in the world.
  1. Dancing- I had learnt Bharatnatyam for a few years a child and that helped me develop the grace element. Thereafter my relationship with dance has been more of “put on the music and groove.” My daughter and I do it together now. The best part of going to an office party is dancing. It makes me come alive and gives me a high.
  1. Shopping- I know people find this funny and are always using it as a joke to poke fun of women. But, when I earn, I am entitled to spend my money as I wish! I would rather splurge it on things I like (after taking care of the necessary stuff) rather than stash it away and leave the world one day not having lived the life I wished for. I love branded handbags, shoes from Clarks, my stash of Mac lipsticks and dresses from Dorothy Perkins. I cant stop loving them- sans the guilt.

  1. Solo travel- This is the new bug which has bitten me as I travelled here for work and realised being in such a beautiful country, it would be a shame if I don’t make the most of it. Travelling solo (which I did for a short period in Hong Kong a few years ago) is a life changing experience which helps one rediscover them. Loving every part of this journey, I am writing a travel series which you can read on my blog.

There would be no joy in life it was a mundane existence- of going to college, work, coming back, plonking oneself in front of the TV and going to bed. As much as well love to spend time with our family and friends, it’s important to have a few things which can be done alone and give a sense of contentment. It might sound silly to others but as long as it rejuvenates you, that’s what matters.

What’s that one thing which gives you that adrenaline rush?

About the writer: Akshata Ram is a Chartered Accountant by profession, someone who is passionate about her career and aspires to grow. Her heart lies in writing- she writes on various topics ranging from fiction, relationships. women at the workplace, sexism, parenting stories. She loves to dabble in micro fiction, writing a story in 33 words is a challenge but equally rewarding. She was recently chosen by Women Web as one of the Top 10 Indian women bloggers to be followed. Apart from her own blog www.akswrites.com she also blogs at Women’s Web, Bonobology, Mycity4kids and Sheroes.

From Akshata to me : I got to know Romila through Twitter- particularly the Tiniature micro fiction challenge that Gayatri Gadre was running. She is one of the coolest, sweetest bloggers who despite her diverse and rich experience in blogging is ever ready to support and encourage new bloggers. Congrats on the milestone on your blog and may it grow leaps and bounds.

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BEYOND SECRETS – Guest Post by Alka Dimri Saklani

Thank you for inviting me to share my views on your blog.

Coming to your question, I spent two long years to complete my last book, Beyond Secrets.

The story revolves around an orphanage and to give a realistic touch to my writing I read endless articles about how orphanages work and psychology of orphans though it forms a very small part of the story. It was heart-wrenching.

I got so involved in the story that at one-point Nidhi, Noel and Appu, the characters of my story became my best friends. I laughed with them and I cried with them. Call me crazy but that’s how I am.

“Beyond Secrets” talks about the inner turmoil of orphans, the abandonment that shatters that trust. And by the time you start hating their parents, story of a mother unfolds and you wonder, are the parents who abandon their children really that bad? It tells the story of a biased girl who fails to respect other religions and just as you start hating her, the reasons for her behaviour unfolds. And before we could hate the people who did wrong to her, we see their side too. And then comes the counsellor who counselled all these tortured souls, but when life throws some unexpected adversities his way, he fails to counsel himself. The book is written with a holistic approach. It shows the story of everyone involved. People can’t be just good or bad, there are shades of grey. The decisions people make are not always a choice, sometimes it’s the only option available. Characters of Beyond Secrets are not superheroes. They are real people with flaws, their own vulnerabilities but yes, they grow as the story progress and when the story ends, it’s not a happy ending, it’s not even sad. It’s realistic.

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