IBMC #10 -The Happiness Challenge

Welcome to the last task. This one is pretty easy!
“Happiness is … ”

Complete the sentence and grow it. Keep it a maximum of five hundred words or less.

ibmc

For more on the challenge, click here.

When do we feel most happy? When we get a good grade at school or college, a promotion, new phone or when we are on a vacation? And what happens when the euphoria of all this wears away? The grade is forgotten, we have a new academic year yet again to prove ourselves, the challenge after the promotion again becomes routine, just a few months now and the new phone is already throwing tantrums, after a great holiday, life again settles into a mundane pattern. Now, are we still happy or again on the lookout for something exciting to make us happy?

A sense of void returns to our life because the key to happiness is not related to any external stimuli. Happiness is a state of mind. The moment it gets linked to the happening or non-happening of an event, it is short lived and fleeting. Happiness is a conscious choice not an automatic response.

“Success is not the key to happiness, happiness is the key to success. If you love what you are doing, you will be successful. “Albert Schweitzer

When one is happy from within he/she doesn’t need the support of external aids to feel happy. The journey to explore within oneself to reach a state of “Ananda” or eternal bliss is a long one.

Gazing around me I discovered a plethora of little things in our everyday life which help us tread this fascinating journey of life with a happy frame of mind, as it is rightly said, “Happiness is a journey, not a destination!”

Being amid nature, listening to music, a random act of kindness, curling up with a great book, cooking a meal and enjoying it with family, a baby’s laughter, bringing smile to someone’s face,  baking aroma wafting from my oven, an empty parking place in a busy area, sleeping on my mother’s lap, the smell of the first raindrops on the parched earth, learning something out of my comfort zone……….oh! The list is endless!

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I had a great time in participating in this challenge. Hope you all enjoyed it as well <3!

Image courtesy : http://www.google.com

 

 

IBMC #9 -To be a baby challenge

As a part of the IBMC challenge, the  penultimate of the series:

As a baby everything around is new to them. They slowly learn things by keenly observing how each and everything is done. It’s a pleasure to watch a baby learn new things. They learn that they need to cry to get something. They learn that they need to put forward their hands to reach out for something. Many such slow incremental things accumulate in order.

Now the task is if you were to see something with a fresh new perspective, what would be it? Give a baby step to something and explore this new perception and dimension with your engaging thoughts. You can give a fresh meaning to a new word, sentence, concept or anything weird or meaningful.

For more on the challenge click here.

My take on the challenge:

baby
ic.www.google.com

Welcome to the world of babies. A world where everything around them is so pure and divine, nothing eclipsed as yet by the defiled adult behaviour. With an implicit faith that they will be taken care of, tended to and loved, they observe, imitate, learn and grow. They are a bundle of curiosity, so affectionate, ever smiling, bubbling with energy, without any malice in their hearts and the word fear absent from their dictionary.  During the metamorphosis from a dependent to an independent, is when their innocence and sincerity loses its sheen, primarily due to excessive adult interference.

In this journey of a child to an adult, we let go of most of our “baby qualities” due to various adulterated influence, in varying degrees. We gradually befriend ego, competitiveness, manipulative behaviour, jealousy, fear, anxiety, stress and many other diluted traits. All of this were unknown to us as babies.

Wouldn’t it be a great idea to unlearn these existing qualities within us and re learn those original ones that we possessed as babies?

To be happy without a reason

To forget the squabble and have a clean slate the very next moment

To let go the fear of failure

To never allow religion to come between people

To not judge others

To learn to unleash our creative imagination

To have a zest for life.

Definitely easier said than done. But we were blissful as babies without the negative qualities, which we now posses isn’t it? Why not take baby steps to learn the qualities of a baby ?

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IBMC #8 – The Nursery Rhyme Challenge

Today’s task for the challenge is:

You are going to enjoy this. You will pick a nursery rhyme and make a new interpretation of it. You are free to make edits to that rhyme and then give an interpretation. The only ultimate restriction is that there has to be rhyme and a new context to it. Let your imaginations flow.

For more details on the challenge click here.

 

The original rhyme I chose:

Chubby cheeks, dimple chin

Rosy lips, teeth within

Curly hair, very fair

Eyes so blue, lovely too

Teacher’s pet, is that you?

YES, YES, YES!

My version:

Facebook posts, Whats app messages,

Selfie pouts, tweet within,

Instagram pictures, you-tube videos

Eyes so glued, hands too,

People’s pet, is that you?

YES, YES, YES!

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IBMC #7- The News and Paper Challenge

Here comes challenge #7 –

You are going to pick up a news paper article. Either online or take a snapshot from the hard copy paper. Use appropriate reference for the article you have used. You need to debate and discuss your view points on the selected article. How best can you do? You can pick up any category like general, politics, entertainment, etc. Even guest columns are very much appreciated.

For more details, click here.

paper

 

Swim Vs Skim

An interesting article I chanced upon to read in The Hindu, a National Daily, last weekend.  Titled “The Reading Philosophy “the writer Shruti Rao, shares her experiences with the type of reader she is, and different types of readers, that she has come across. Some who swim through a book from cover to cover, some who skim through it while others skip parts of it, yet complete reading the book. She poses the same question to us. “What type of a reader are you?”

Unlike today where we buy books by a dozen or simply read e books on kindle, buying books during my childhood days was very rare.  I was allowed to join a library only during summer vacations. I made sure to join the library on the first day of holidays and continue till the last day. I devoured books, sitting all night, reading them.

Different types of readers I have come across are, series junkies ( my daughter is a huge fan of series), literary loyalists, polygamist reader, the re readers (my son qualifies under this category 😉 ), fiction fanatics, partial reader and so on.

I can relate to the writer’s question. As a book lover, I love reading fiction but do enjoy other genres as well. I generally like to finish the book I’ve picked up. But yes, I plead guilty on a few occasions, of skipping through a few paragraphs and in some cases not being able to progress beyond a few pages of the book. Maybe I couldn’t connect with the authors view or it was at a level beyond my limited comprehension. But most times, I enjoy to swim through the book cover to cover which leaves me refreshed.

What type of a reader are you?

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IBMC#6 – The Mass Media Challenge

For more details on the challenge click here.

Today’s task is:

You are given a poem, picture and a word. You will combine all and write a post. All the three have to be interlinked in your post. They can be used in any context.

The poem:

In,

search of skin,

color no matter,

brighter or darker,

tell no one,

I will take someone,

Ssssshhhhh!

–  ghost, me!

The Picture:

task-6

Word:

Telephone

Here is my attempt:

I came across the lake one evening at the hill station I was visiting. The twilight painted an exquisite picture across the horizon. The shades of azure, crimson and pink that splashed across the sky made it look surreal. The magical evening captivated me and I sat by the lone tree mesmerised by its beauty. I took out my diary to compose a poem on the twilight sky. Engrossed in the world of my words, suddenly I heard a rustle of leaves. I looked around but could not spot anything unusual. Thinking it must have been the wind, I continued. I heard the rustle once again. This time it was more deliberate and clearer. I looked around but again no one in sight. I now began to feel a bit uneasy. My attraction to the place was so strong that I forgot to notice, in spite of being such a scenic place, it was totally desolate. My fear got better of me, and I stood up to leave the place at once.  All of a sudden something brushed past me, and I heard an eerie voice say,

In

search of skin,

color no matter,

brighter or darker,

tell no one,

I will take someone,

Ssssshhhhh!

–  ghost, me!

Ashen and panic stricken, I tried to call out for help. To my surprise no voice came out of my mouth, no matter how hard I tried. Trying to run out of that place, I felt a hand on my shoulder. Fright completely paralysing me, I collapsed there.

The shrill ringing of the telephone jolted me out. I found myself on my bed in the comfort of my room. Heaving a sigh of relief, glad that it was a nightmare, I went to attend the telephone call!

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IBMC #5-The Not So Quite Quote Challenge

There are five quotes given to you.

No! The challenge is not to describe any one quote.  You need to use all the five quotes a stitch a story. A short story which uses all of them. All the best!

Quote 01
I am confused at times. Should I sound? Should I echo?

Quote 02
You need not answer all the questions! You can just laugh and laugh again.

Quote 03
Thoughts – they do what we don’t ask for!

Quote 04
I knew it! That I don’t know!

Quote 05
At times, we pretend to think on one and actually think everything else!

For more details on the challenge click here.

Here is my  attempt to weave them together.

 

med
ic: learningmeditation.com

I visited my friend Riya one evening. She was all excited, wanting to share her experience at a recent meditation camp she attended. Enjoying a cup of freshly brewed coffee, we sat to talk about it. I wanted to get enlightened on it. I knew it! That I don’t know! The subject had always intrigued and fascinated me, so I was all ears to what she would share with me.

The two day workshop had opened up new vistas on her attitude towards life.  Her thought process and ability to take on challenges had undergone a paradigm shift, she said.

I have so many doubts regarding the right approach to embrace spirituality. I am always confused, should I sound or should I echo? I asked her.

She explained that the power of positive thoughts has a tremendous influence in shaping the flow of our life. To live a wholesome life, it is very essential to detox our minds of all negative thoughts and energy.

Meditation sedates the ripples of our mind. Though, I have heard a lot about meditation and the unparalleled benefits it offers, what is the right way of meditating, was my question to her.

Her answer was simple. Sit in a serene place and try to calm your mind. Watch your thoughts. They are like a slippery eel – Thoughts- they do what we don’t ask them to. Initially the thoughts will be many in number, disturbing you. At times, we pretend to think on one and actually think everything else.  But gradually you will be able to calm them. It may take time but do not lose patience.

She reiterated that regular practice of meditation and self-discipline prepares one to take on the trials we face with more composure. Many a time, life throws challenges at us and poses questions. Don’t be bogged down by them. You need not answer the questions. You can just laugh and laugh again. It helps us shift our focus from the trivial and mundane to more profound aspects of evolution.

It was a spiritually enlightening evening well spent. With a promise to dwell on this and start meditating, I left her place, until next time, Sayonara 🙂

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IBMC #4 – Hunt a Haiku Challenge

Today’s challenge:

Given to you are five haiku’s. Pick any one and write your interpretation to it. You can build a story and make the haiku part of it. You can continue the haiku and make another poem out of it. Let the creativity wander and hunt it down the way you want.

The haiku I chose for the challenge is :

Haiku 05
past hosted party,
gave future as the present,
present is partying.

For more details on the challenge click here.

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ic:www.123rf.com

past hosted party,
gave future as the present,
present is partying

amid all the music and dance

free flow of chatter

the past clung on

to the future all night

a squabble ensued

the past didn’t let go

the future filled with fear

each wanting to prove a point

the blame game continued

without a consensus

that they forgot to enjoy the present!

Isn’t it an irony of life that we hold on to the past, are apprehensive of the future and in the bargain forget to live and enjoy the present?

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IBMC #3-Risk for a Random Challenge

The 3rd of the 10 series challenge hosted by Prakash of itsphblog.wordpress.com.

It’s a challenge to see how random can you be. Write ten sentences where there is no connection to each other. Go as random as you can get. Show the creativity in the paragraph and surprise the reader. The story sure need not make any sense. But must sure give a laugh to the reader.

For more details on the challenge click here.

My take on the prompt. Hope you enjoy it 🙂

The Lion King read the Jungle Book. Home Alone, I was Dancing with the Wolves. Inferno burnt The Revenant. Finding Nemo was Lost in Africa. Spiderman weaved his web through Gravity. The Sound of Music had Gone with the wind. Pretty Woman loved her new Avatar. The Polar Express turned Inside Out. The Hunger Games was played in the Jurrasic Park. The Godfather set out on Mission Impossible.

 

Hope you enjoyed the randomness and disconnect with the Hollywood movies 🙂

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Ic: http://www.google.com

 

IBMC #2- Freeze a Foto Challenge

For more on the challenge click here.

For the second challenge, you will pick up a photograph and describe the memories associated with it. You are welcome to do it on any kind of photograph. It could also be your thoughts on any random photograph. Your post will contain a photograph and a description to it. Add appropriate references if necessary. The length of the description can be wisely decided.

This is my submission for the challenge 🙂

dsc03031

The Burj Khalifa, in Dubai is the world’s tallest building. Towering, gleaming and majestic it appears eager to kiss the sky. On our Dubai holiday, the visit to this skyscraper was definitely on the list. So excited I was stepping into the elevator, that I could literally hear my own heartbeat. Words fail to describe the dazzling view from the top. The city landscape appeared to have been studded with a glittering array of sparkling gems and stones against the night sky. The bright lights of the vehicles zipping past, looked as if the twinkling stars descended on earth. The breath-taking view from atop this human marvel, is etched in memory till date. Truly on top of the world feeling 🙂

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IBMC #1 – Phrase a Paragraph Challenge

I came across this interesting challenge, Incredible Blogger Marathon Challenge hosted by fellow blogger Prakash Hegade of itsphblog.wordpress.com.

10 challenges to be completed in 15 days. For more details on the challenge click here.

The first in the series is to phrase a paragraph on any one of the ten topics given. Hope you all enjoy this series as much as I enjoy putting my creative talent to test 🙂

rubikscube
ic:www.nytimes.com

Tick Tock Tick Tock

My son, with the timer running and the sound of clicetky-clack was a common sight I regularly witnessed, when he fell in love with the Rubik’s cube as an 8th grader. With YouTube as his tutor, he became a devoted pupil. Initially solving it was a great achievement for him. But then, he challenged himself to solve it along with the timer. Taking over 2 minutes to solve in the early days, the ticking timer and the cube became his constant companions. He mastered the algorithms to crack it faster. He put the proverb “Practice makes man perfect” to the best use, mastering the art of solving it in about 12-13 seconds a few years back.  A pro at multi-tasking, he solves it in one hand too and sometimes attempts to solve it blindfolded. He was a proud participant in many competitions with commendable achievements. His name also features in the Limca Book for the National record in India’s Largest Cube Art with 8000+ Rubik’s cubes. Now his busy schedule does not permit him the luxury of free time, yet he doesn’t let go his friendship with the timer and the cube. It’s always a pleasure watching him enjoy his triumph over the ticking timer!

Gist of it is, Improving your time in any field fills you with a sense of accomplishment!

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