Sunday, July 20, 2014

Doing Justice to Life

If you care to do justice to your life, then live your life to fullest and also allow others to live their lives to the fullest as well. The new mantra should be, "Live happily and let others live happily". I consider anything done halfheartedly as not done at all.  I do things with a passion and add a dash of humor to spice things up. I took life calmly until it started throwing challenges at me. Instead of buckling under, I just started on the adventure of life fighting my way through it and enjoying it like a video game. Gone are the days, when I used to brood over things. Today, I cling on to happiness and fun like a hungry baby clings to mother’s breast.
Even if nothing great awaits me tomorrow, I look ahead to the new day full of anticipation, enthusiasm, excitement and hope, because life is unpredictable.  May be it is going to be my lucky day which will change the course of my life. Wasn’t the day I discovered I was pregnant, the day I was diagnosed with cancer or the day I won my first blogging contest start just like any other day? Not a single day is going to be an ordinary day in my life. I will see to it that it will not! If it cannot be good, it can get %^&$## bad, but not boring and monotonous. The bad days come with their own set of challenges and lessons which are important for me. How am I going to appreciate light if I do not know darkness?
From nature, ice creams, comics, jokes, movies, chocolates, long drives to video games there are many silly things included that make me happy and add zest to my life. It is going to be a big challenge to pick five from the list of 157 zesty things in my life. But as usual, I face the challenge, bite my lip hard and pick up the five things that add zest to my life. 
1.       Kicking Odds Against Me
That is odd you may say, but I really enjoy the challenges life throws at me. Without those odds set against me, I would never have realized my true potential or strength. Be it my club foot, challenge of societal and religious restrictions, being diagnosed with cancer or bringing up a special needs daughter, they have made me realize the value of life and helped me develop respect for myself. There was time when I had unknowingly slipped into the state of living life monotonously. Each day brought more boredom to be faced by me. The waking alarm was ‘cancer’ which came into my life at the age of 29. It shook me from the slumber. I realized that life is short and it can end any moment. Since then, I have lived my life to the fullest. Overcoming my limp, kicking the cancer butt, picking up my education after 20 years of gap and bringing up my special needs daughter with love, care and dignity are just few of the odds that I faced in my life. They have filled me with strength so that I can fight with gusto. If I had a choice, I am sure I would not pick these challenges for me, but now that they are – I love kicking their butts and overcoming them. In that way, I can say they add zest to my life.  

2.       Reading and Writing
Starting from Amarchitra Katha and writing school essay about the journey of a coin, reading and writing have been an integral part of my life. Some of the books and papers have been replaced by e-books and the pen by keyboard, my diary by my blog, but the enthusiasm and passion has never dimmed.  I have fallen in love with characters that do not exist in real life, and prayed for their success. For people who do not live in books, this may sound weird but I am sure there are people who will understand what I am saying. My grandma was one of the people who knew how much I loved books. Once she tore up my favorite batman comic as a punishment for answering her back. That was the ultimate pain a person could inflict on me and she knew it. Boredom and books cannot live in the same room…. I prefer books on any day.

I don’t sing nor do I play any musical instrument. I enjoy the hard work and dedication of other singers by listening to music. Starting with Binaca Geetmala that blared from our radio as I got ready to go to school, I have listened to bhajans, Bollywood songs, Ghazals, MJ, Police, Billboard chart toppers and many other songs throughout my life. Today, music is associated with Linkin Park for me. The power of Chester Bennington’s voice adds zest to my own life. The lyrics of their songs are really captivating as is their music. Moreover, they do not lick the mike, put out their tongues, hold their crotch or go for the skin show to woo the audience. Thanks to Rayyan, my son, who introduced such a wonderful band! I do not believe in restricting myself to the music of LP though. I do enjoy good songs from any part of the world when it can really touch my heart or put a smile on my face.

4.       Work
Hmmm.. that would not go down easily with many people. How can work add zest to my life? Believe me, it sure does. Being out of work for nearly 2 decades made me realize the worth of work and how important it is for me. I have loved being a teacher, freelance writer and counselor. I cannot say I do enjoy doing all my household chores by myself, but that does bring some discipline in my life (and also in the life of my children who know there is no maid coming over to clean up their mess).  When I did not work, I had all the time in the world to read books and enjoy my free time as I wanted, but it did not give me satisfaction at the end of the day. I felt empty. Counseling gives me a chance to make a difference in the life of people, who feel emotionally traumatized. There is nothing more fulfilling then wiping tears off someone’s face and replacing it with a smile.

Nothing makes me happier than spending time with my children and I can assure you that they equally love spending time with me. In fact, I enjoy spending time with children in general, learning my life lessons through their innocence in the process.  My two children have been greatest motivators for me to have zest for life. They are also the best teachers I have come across. They made me what I am today. Nothing touches my heart more than the innocence of a child. I cannot imagine how people have heart to hurt them either physically, verbally or emotionally, because nothing appears more precious to me than the smile of a child. I am not only blessed with the love and trust of my two children, but also that of my nephews, niece and many other children I have come across in my life. Children have the power to wipe away the dirt from the face of the world and make it appear all rosy and clean. They are the instant energizers who can change the gloomiest day into a bright one with one single innocent sentence. If you care to know and love children, they can add zest to every single moment in your life.

This post is a part of the #ZestUpYourLife activity in association with TATA Zest and

Saturday, July 19, 2014

Color Black Revealed

Pierre-Auguste Renoir said, "I've been 40 years discovering that the queen of all colors was black."
Black, the mysterious color! What does it indicate to you; mystery, elegance, power, secret or authority? Since ages unknown, Color black is one of the most misunderstood colors as people often relate it to dark. Though pitch darkness looks black, we should notice that it is not the color, but our lack of inability to see in the absence of light which makes darkness eerie. Many of the established civilizations in the past have held the black in high esteem. For example - Native Americans had high opinion about the color black. They considered it to be color of fertility since black soil gave life. In Japanese culture, black is a symbol of nobility, age and wisdom, thus black belt is given as a mark of highest achievement in martial arts. The color of the Abbasid Caliphs was also black, which is why we see the black flags so frequently in Arab countries.
Even in modern days there have been people who have made the color black their trademark. Johnny Cash, the famous country music icon was lovely referred to the ‘man in black’ for his love for the color. Chanel, the famous company is identified with color black too.
Scientifically black is not a color at all. When all the light is absorbed and no color is reflected, the object appears black to an eye. One of the reasons why black is associated with hidden, fearful or bad experience and linked to the unknown or the unseen. But we also have to acknowledge that black is a color of power and authority, which is skillfully used by people to overwhelm others. Black sets itself aside from others with its heavy and intense energy. It keeps others at arm's length. Black implies self-control and discipline, independence and a strong will, and giving an impression of authority and power; a reason why many professional prefer the color black and it almost compulsory for the Lawyers, and judges to wear black robe.
The fashion world considers black to be stylish, sexy, elegant and powerful color which sends out a strong message. Though many colors come in and go out of fashion, black constantly remains there, steadily holding its ground and never going out of fashion even for once. Hence, the colloquialism "X is the new black". No party has ever gone by without a beautiful lady in black taking your breath away.
We all use black at various times to hide from the world around us in one way or another. Some of us use it to hide our weight; others among us use it to hide our feelings, our fears or our insecurities.  But we cannot rule that black can be an intimidating color, which does not encourage overt friendliness because of the power it exudes. The salesman wearing all black will make a lot of sales, but no friends! It radiates authority, but creates fear in the process.
 Affluent and success orientated women often choose black as it can give an impression of elegance, sophistication and confidence. Black is often associated with sexiness and seduction, as in the temptress in sexy black lingerie creating an air of mystery and intrigue. It can also imply submission to another (including a sexual partner). Teens use the color black to show off their maturity, because it adds some seriousness to their personality.
Personally, I never go out and buy dresses in black but they end up in my wardrobe occasionally. I do go for black purse and shoes though. They are must in my life all the time.
As for the 5 black things that I desire and why……here is the list.
I own a black laptop, desktop, mobile and Dell Venue Pro tablet. Unfortunately my computer and study desk is of light wood color, which does not go well with the gadgets I own. Hence, the first thing I would like to replace is my desk with something like this. I love the idea of corner desks which makes working and accessing things around easier.
"People can have the Model T in any color - so long as it's black." – quoted Henry Ford. But I would prefer to have The Vorsteiner Mercedes-Benz CLK63 AMG Black Widow, which is a breathtaking beauty. A look at it reminds me of ‘Black Beauty’ by Anna Sewell which we had to read as a part of our English classes in school. Back then I yearned to have a black horse of my own, but today with the heavy weight (literally) I have become, I would spare the horse and settle down for the Mercedes.
Next in my list is a well fitting black trouser with material that feels good on my skin and which does not fade. Nothing can be uglier than faded black trousers. You will never imagine how convenient it is for me to pull out my now near death black trouser to go with any top instead of looking around for matching colors. I have four black trousers at present but they have seen better days. In earlier days when I used to wear sari, the black blouse did the job.
black pearls
A set of black pearls is another thing that has made its way into my wish list of ‘Must have blacks’. No jewelry has ever appeared more tempting to me than the black pearls with bit of silver to enhance its beauty. Like the black trousers, the black set would be befitting for every dress and occasion.
Fresh Caviar is another thing on my list. Since ages, I have been reading about this rare dish but have never got a chance to taste it. The delicacy has been a part of stories I have read so often that I find it so familiar; yet contrasting the familiarity, I don’t know what it tastes like. I wish to have the taste of the black caviar (not orange) on my tongue and relish it to my heart’s content.
So, good or bad there is no denying we all love black and I would love few of the color black in my life as well.
This post is a part of #WhatTheBlack activity at

Thursday, July 17, 2014

First Prize Goes to Rayyan

Lost in the laptop is a short movie which brought first prize for Rayyan in his final year in Arena. The 4 minute plus video was something he worked on in his free time for months. He started it as a fun activity but then completed the movie on a bit of serious note. What I appreciate about Rayyan's work is his dedication and patience on working over a project. I am proud of the way he completed his animation course. Rock on Rayyan.... you have miles to go!

Here is the link the for more movies from Rayyan the Animator................

Tuesday, July 15, 2014

Laptop in my purse….

You must be wondering what a big purse Farida carries around that can actually hold her laptop in it. Wait people, don’t jump to conclusions. I am talking about the Dell Venue pro (with windows 8.1)which I received from Ripple Links and Dell for review

Friday, July 11, 2014


Change! Isn’t that what is life all about? Yeah it is. The past few months have seen a lot of changes taking place in my life or specifically, in the life of my children. They have moved on from preparation stage to starting their careers. Farheena has successfully completed her course in FAME India and moved on to their vocational center. Rayyan has completed his animation course and moved on to starting his career as an animator.

Friday, June 6, 2014

You are not lost to us as we remember you every moment!

Did we actually lose the most loveliest person in our lives 18 years ago? I don't think it is possible to lose someone when you think of them every day.

Actually we think death is the end; but, is it? I don’t know. Death has not been the end when I lost my sister 18 years ago. It was the beginning of something painful and sense of loss which kept changing as the years passed by.

My sister and I were born 3 ½ years apart. For 6 more years, my mom did not get pregnant. We grew up together and almost shared everything. An apple would be cut into equal halves and we would each have a piece which was the rule made by my sister. Off course my sister believed in being fair and so it was the person who did not cut the apple (or whatever it was) that got to pick the piece, moreover, we would have to cut them alternately.

Sunday, April 27, 2014

Why will Janaki not eat Chicken?

You need not agree on everything to be friends!
Farheena is a part of my own social gatherings. She gets along very well with most of my friends. I tag her along with me whenever I meet my friends for many reasons,

Sunday, April 6, 2014

Paid in Full (With High Interest)

Back in my naughty childhood days, when I would be a nasty child driving my Mom crazy, disobeying her or acting weird, my family would tell me, “You have to respect and obey your Mom, the heaven lies under her feet. Even if you carry her on your shoulders for a decade, you cannot repay her for carrying you in her womb for a day…………………………. Blah!” The end point of all the blahing was that a child can never repay a mother. I know I couldn’t, but I think my daughter has paid me back for being her Mom in full and with high interest added to the premium.

Thursday, April 3, 2014

The Land with Days Dedicated to Bathing

I have had my close encounters with the smelly kind … very close encounters for my comfort. I come from a family where people would go hungry but not without a bath, particularly my elder sister and my dad.

Sunday, March 30, 2014

What's in a Name?

How important are our names to us? Many people think that our names decide our fate and have strong influence on our destiny. I don’t. Do I love my name? Not much. Would I be something different if I was not called Farida? No. I would still be the weird crazy person I am now, no matter what you called me. It is like what Gertrude Stein said, “"Rose is a rose is a rose is a rose."