I pledge my allegiance to: Feminity and Feminism

Powerful post, very important discussion we need to keep bringing into the mainstream in India.

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The Arduous Task of Misspelling

Lolzzzz. Wateva, I don undrstnd ppl hu ryt lyk dis for no reason.

Even as I type five “words” in what is now apparently a recognised way of communicating, I am quite simply VERY annoyed at myself.

I just got off Facebook and what got me to just shut the app is a post written in gibberish like the above. Why exactly do people convolute a language in this manner? 

I can see there being some merit if it were:

  1. Chargeable to type each character, like how I am told the telegram system used to be 
  2. Easier to read : surely can’t be easier to read ryt than right?
  3. Easier to type : which it really can’t be with all devices coming with predictive text
  4. Somehow ‘cool’ to mistype words of a language you’re supposedly adept enough to communicate in
  5. Time saving? And what do people do with all the extra time?

Does saying rofl somehow convince the recipient that you’re genuinely rolling on the floor laughing? If someone said ‘ha ha’ or ‘lol’ or ‘rofl’ or ‘lmao’ I would hardly interpret that as an increasingly vociferous response to the joke.

My heart goes out to the kids who are learning English in school now, their script is so corrupted with all the lolzzzz and dayzz and wateva else, they’ll be losing marks like nobody’s business in their tests! And for those who know how to tell incorrect/cool writing from correct/old school writing, it must be tedious to make sure they have the right hat on at the right time!

Minion Mondays

I’ve decided to write one new minion-inspired blog post every Monday. I stumbled upon this unbelievable wealth of minion quotes on Facebook, and I have a number of reactions to that:

1. Minions are a gift to mankind.
2. Oh my God blog ideas avalanche!
3. Awwwww just look at that pudgy thing! xx
4. Minions read my mind, it’s uncanny
5. There should be a minion version of Siri. Apple, are you listening?

Kicking off Minion Mondays then, here’s my first post in this series.

Source: Facebook page ‘Minion Quotes’

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I’m kind of this person, but I know many people who are so much more of this than I am. But don’t we all have that little minion in us who turns into that guy in the picture with the crooked smile.. maybe with our best friend, or sibling, or parents, a colleague?

If I had a choice between annoying my brother and being nice to him, it’s a no brainer. I don’t even need a second to think!

Being nice is a little tedious anyway and not nearly as rewarding as being annoying. Being annoying is relatively low stress (for the annoyer, not the annoyee). Also low investment. And high returns. There’s a bit of risk, say if someone throws something at you in dismay. But then there’s always risk associated with any high return investment :D.

I guess we’ve established that I’m not an angel with a halo and wings. I’m fun 🙂

*****crooked minion smile****

Barcelona, you beauty!

I was looking through old photographs and I came across my vacation from earlier this year. Yeah I went on holiday in January, it’s a little unusual. On the plus side we caught some nice sunny beaches minus the topless fat men 😀

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Amazing view from amazing hotel!

Few things can motivate me to wake up early. A beautiful sunshot is one.

We stayed in the heart of the bustling city, which gave us easy access to everything Barcelona.

Our favourite find was this nondescript little cafe which served the most scrumptious Spanish omelettes. That, a steaming latte, and an intellectually charged conversation with the husband. A breakfast that run well into lunch time, but such a detox from the daily eat-work-study-sleep-repeat.

Many memories from the trip, a single post wouldn’t do it justice. But I can recommend some experiences to you, and I’ll try to do it through visuals.

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Park Guëll, make time for the whole thing

Giant stone structures that I’ve never seen anything like. Painstakingly built and carefully tended for, this park is a treasure that one must explore in its entirety. We spent over half a day in here, stayed to watch some fabulous live performances by local artists and brought back recordings to cherish.

I tried uploading a little sample for you, sadly didn’t get adequate support from technology.

Taking a step into the main city, there’s a breathing central street called Passaig de Gracia. The views! We must have crossed this street about 15 times in 4 days. It charmed us every single time, any time of the day.

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And they serve the BEST hot chocolate.

Hot chocolate at a cafe on Passaig de Gracia. Where I come from, hot chocolate is normally chocolate in milk. This, however, is just pure, molten, sinful chocolate. It’s a crime. But it’s simply not something I’m prepared to attempt to describe in words.

And my favourite part of the trip was the very famous Sagrada Familia Basilica, a huge HUGE church with the most intricate, carefully thought out details.

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Just look at this beauty!

It’s still at least a few decades from being fully constructed. Apparently the architect envisioned several generations contributing towards building this magnificent church and designed the complexities with this in mind. He is long gone, but the work goes on and this powerful structure continues to attract thousands of visitors like us every day.

Some pictures from the interiors:

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Window panels
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Stained glass art taken to another level!

The gorgeous dance of colours, all through very clever lighting and positioning relative to the sun. This one is the boss, truly.

All this reminiscing makes me want to go on another holiday, scoop up more culture, gorge on more deliciousness and drink more hot chocolate. It’s a good thing I’m writing this post on a weekend, otherwise the contrast between want-to-do and have-to-do would be so sad it’ll be comical!

Five Quick Ways to Improve Your Photography

Interesting read!

The Daily Post

“It is the photographer, not the camera, that is the instrument.” – Eve Arnold

Whether you are a photoblogger or use your blog to showcase your writing, photos enhance every story. They are a critical part of the visual appeal of content on the web. Many people feel frustrated with their photography style or skills, or feel that they need expensive equipment to create attractive photographs. Today, I’m sharing five easy ways to improve your photography without the need for anything other than a phone camera and minimal use of built-in editing tools.

All of the images in today’s post were taken with my iPhone 5s, and I did minimal editing using the native editing tools on the phone.

Tip #1: Change Your Angle

“If I saw something in my viewfinder that looked familiar to me, I would do something to shake it up.” – Garry Winogrand

When we’re taking…

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Inside the head of a psychopath

As always I was lost in the vortex of ideas that Pinterest has to offer. And then I stumbled on this writing prompt. It freaked me out, and I wanted to give it a go. Let me know what you think.

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I’m either going out for ice cream, or to commit a heinous crime. I’ll decide in the car.

Sunny day, great weather for some really amazing ice cream. Cookies and cream.. maybe with glazed hazelnuts. I don’t know though, I haven’t really worked out after last night’s burgers.

SO MANY people on the street. Bloody school holidays, so much effort to just come out for a drive and an ice cream! I can just feel it in my blood. It’s like an itch. Given the crowd here, I can cause a hell of a panic. Cries, chaos, news crews, photos….Maybe I’ll start with the kids. Oh wait, did I get the gun?.. Yeah there it is, ok then.

Look at that little guy in blue. Playing with pebbles. What’s so special about pebbles? If he were to fling pebbles at passers by,maybe sneakily, then I’d be interested to watch. But this chap is just piling them on one another. He’s making plain choices with his life, he’s going to turn into a regular adult with a regular life. If I let him.

Oh his mum looks pretty. Effortlessly pretty in that lovely sundress. I bet she thinks she has complete control of her life with her diets and her workouts. Let’s see…. Shall..we..let..her..live? I’ll make this an objective decision. If I find a nice ice cream worthy of this beautiful day then yes she lives. It’s not my call to make really, it’s up to the ice cream vendor.

Need to choose a nice spot to seat myself first. I need to be comfortable. So do the kids I suppose, they’re going to have a rough day ahead. Well not all of them. Only the ones that aren’t lucky enough to perish right away.

Oh this is a good one! “Kelly’s home made ice cream parlour“. It’s perfect. Quite the queue here! Let me get my ice cream first. It’ll not going to be easy to buy ice cream once I… well.

A large Cookies and Cream please. With chocolate sprinkles and hazelnuts. Thank you.

That is delicious. Mother of boy in blue… You have passed through to round 2! Congratulations..

Oh dear. Another 2000 calories to burn. Never mind, I have an eventful afternoon to look forward to. I am sure there’ll be a police chase of some sort involved. I’ll get a good run then. Now where were we?

Why am I here?

Good question, always a good idea to take a step back and think why you’re doing what you’re doing. So two months after I started blogging, my question to myself is- what are you trying you achieve here?

Let’s start with the simpler question. Who am I? I’m a 20-something woman with a strong spirit, a loving family, a geeky job and a wavering mind.

Why am I blogging? Mainly because I wanted to know what all the fuss was about! But also because I’m a keen observer, I notice things in people, in nature, and in me that I think people would relate to. An advantage on the side is that it gives my above mentioned wavering mind a bit of a workout 🙂

Passed my test, I know why I started blogging!

Little drops of Happy

There’s something magical about creating something, having something to show for. Like a trophy you can look at and feel content with. It doesn’t matter if the piece of work you’ve created isn’t perfect, if you’ve coloured outside the lines accidentally, or if there’s a smudge here and a smear there.

It could be a new recipe you tried to mimic off the internet, not as breathtaking as it looked in the pictures but really, REALLY good.

A poem you wrote. It doesn’t rhyme, not very well at least, but you think it’s nice and shiny. Great job for a beginner.

Or in my case, it was my first (and only) painting. My inspiration for this post, my little piece of art that has earned itself a rightful place in my soon-to-be home. Would I look at it twice if I saw it at a store? Maybe not.

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There’s something about taking time out and making an effort to do something you don’t really see as your skill. Because what you know you’re good at, you already know.

There are always some things you never thought you’ll enjoy, or be good at, or both. I never ever thought I’d run for fun, and now I run thrice a week. Run in the rain? Love it. Snow? Even better!

My interpretation is that it’s about taking your interests for granted and finding out years later that you were wrong about yourself. Keeps the magic alive :).

Patterns and trends

I find patterns for a living, my job involves analysing past data and understanding the drivers of recent trends, and using this information to predict what might happen in the future. I have realised that before you know it, you start finding patterns in the smallest things in life. Now don’t judge me as I give you some examples.

  • I have a mental record of the lifetime of my pots and pans and I compare trends over time. I also do a price vs lifespan comparison. For some reason I remember the price of most things I’ve bought, so it makes the ratio calculation easier. My conclusion from this is that a certain prestigious Indian brand produces poor quality ceramic coated pans.
  • I once used my free time on train platforms in the UK to assess how late a train needs to be for authorities to apologise. 3 minutes. 
  • Not too long ago, I was using a terrible mobile network. I started using Google’s connectivity statistics to monitor coverage by geographical area. So I then tuned my connectivity expectations in line with my research findings. I would get frustrated only if my network was poor in an area where I’m supposed to have good connectivity..
  • My friends and I try to make our own control lines around the weather predictions on the BBC website. The main aim here is to resist wearing a jacket in summers. “It’s not about the temperature, check the range of the wind speed instead” or “If it says ‘showers’ or ‘light rain’ I can handle it without an umbrella.”

It’s a useful habit I suppose, helps me stay weather protected, buy pans wisely, change my travel routes such that I can use my phone etc. But it still doesn’t tell me anything about the useless pattern finding, like when would they apologise (in advance!) for a train that’s expected to run late.

This urge to find patterns may lead me to conclude that I’m in the right job, maybe it’s good that a person like me spends their day understanding trends and making conclusions. But sometimes I wonder if it’s the other way around. Have I become so used to finding order in the chaos, finding a method to the madness that I have forgotten what it’s like to let the little things in life be random and unexplained? 

I didn’t always check whether it’s supposed to rain, definitely not as a child. If it rained, we gleefully got drenched, made paper boats, jumped in puddles, gorged on steaming samosas, and came back home to annoyed parents!

So why is it that we now feel the need to be able to plan, understand, forecast and explain everything? It’s probably part of this whole ‘being a grown up’ package. Oh well, there you go, there’s another explanation. 

    Footprints in the sand

      
    As I woke up this morning, I learnt
    My mum had lost her best friend, 
    As I woke up this morning, I learnt
    My best friend had lost her mum.  

    As I got through the morning, I felt
    That the world is like a stretch of sand
    Friends, family, jobs and me 
    We’ll all just leave our footprints behind. 

    Through the day, in bursts and flashes, 
    My childhood threatened to flood my eyes 
    I typed some emails and made some calls, 
    But the void wasn’t something I could disguise. 

    As I walk home this evening, 
    My heart feels heavy as my eyes swell 
    As I walk home this evening, 
    I have one less person wishing me well