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Monday, 13 December 2021

#MondayBlogs - Under the Moonlight - Part 1

December 13, 2021 0 Comments




NOTE: Any character that you recognize in this story belongs to J.K.Rowling.


It was twilight, marking the end of another day. Once again it was time for the full moon to take its place in the night sky. A man popped out of thin air at the edge of Godric’s Hollow and made his way through a familiar path. The houses lined on both sides of the path showed signs of heavy activity. Everyone was getting ready for dinner and then a night of restful sleep. But the man paid no attention to his surroundings as he kept on walking at a high pace with determined steps. The light wind ruffled his white flecked hair & his shabby worn-out coat. It was only at the intersection with the war memorial that he slowed down. He looked up at the familiar faces of his first two true friends and their child. A pang of pain flitted across his chest. It has been fifteen years since he had lost his friends, yet the pain of their loss was as raw as it was on the night they were betrayed and murdered. He picked up his pace as soon as he passed the memorial and hurried on towards where the ruins lay. He paused at the gate when the messages of hundreds of magical people appeared on the plaque at his touch. A lot of them had wished luck to ‘the-boy-who-lived’. Harry would need it – now more than anything. He entered the premises and closed the gate behind him.

He stood there for a quite some time taking in every detail of the ruins and overgrown garden. He could see, in a flash in his mind, how the place had looked when James and Lily were alive and living here. With a deep sigh, he brought out his wand and started to walk around the boundary muttering incantations swiftly under his breath. He paced the perimeter twice and then came to stand at the same place he had started. He looked at his watch and sighed again. He had a little over an hour before the moon made its inevitable appearance and turned him into a monster. There was a bench nearby but covered with over grown weeds. With another flick of his wand, it was cleared and he proceeded to make himself comfortable. Yet another reluctant sigh escaped him. He had spent the first full moon after James & Lilly’s death here, alone. He had not known where else to go. With three of his best friends gone and the fourth locked up in Azkaban, he had simply no idea about where to go or what to do. So he had come here, where he felt closest to his friends, besides Hogwarts. Like today, he had set up protections to ensure the safety of the people in the town and let the moon take over him.

He looked up at the night sky once again. First James and Lily, then Sirius and now Dumbledore. Everybody, who did not treat him like his infliction was his fault, was gone. Wasn’t this lifelong curse of Lycanthropy enough? Why did he have to outlive everyone he loved and cared for? He would have gladly laid down his life for any of these people. Why did James have to put his trust in the wrong person? If Dumbledore hadn’t sent him to live amongst the other werewolves, he would have offered to be their secret keeper. He would have taken the secret to his graves and Harry would still have his parents. Dumbledore too had trusted the wrong person. Severus Snape, the cold blooded murderer, had betrayed him. Harry had tried to warn them, but no one had believed him them. Remus Lupin shook his head as if to clear his mind of the day of Hogwarts attack and of the day he had lost the friend and mentor in Dumbledore. He looked at his watch again. There was still an hour to go. He let his head rest on the back of the bench, closed his eyes and let his mind wander back to when he was just 11 years old.

His parents had been sure that given his condition, he would not be able to attend any magical school, let alone Hogwarts. So they had been preparing him accordingly. They kept telling him that it was only for the better because he would not have to go away to school and could stay with them at home. Being home schooled would also be a good thing because unlike the other kids at school, he would get special attention and his education would not be restricted by a syllabus. That was until they were all taken by surprise when a letter from Hogwarts landed on their breakfast table one morning. His parents had immediately gone to Hogwarts and talked to Dumbledore, the new headmaster of Hogwarts School of Witchcraft & Wizardry. They had wanted to make sure that it wasn’t some cruel joke before letting their hopes high. The headmaster had explained them that as long as some precautions were taken, there was no reason why Remus could not attend school with the other kids and like the other kids

The intervening months had then passed in a blur. He remembered visiting Diagon Alley, for the first time since he had been bitten, for his school supplies. His parents had been excited, happy and anxious all at the same time. For them this was a sign that their child could have a normal life. Well, at least it was the first step towards that. But they were also anxious because his condition would have to be kept a secret. Maybe the headmaster did not mind and maybe even the staff had no problem dealing with his condition. But they were sure that many parents would not want their children to associate with him. They kept on reminding him how important it was for him to keep his condition a secret. That no matter how many friends he made and how much he trusted them, he should never confide in anyone. They drilled it into him that he would have to be careful when the full moon neared and that the school nurse would always be there for him. They had come to King’s Cross to see him off but had kept a very low profile. They had done their best to not attract attention to themselves incase anybody identified them. Still it hadn’t stopped his mother from waving at him till the Hogwarts express had turned a corner, taking him towards a new life and the people he would learn to love, trust and respect.


To be Continued...




Monday, 6 December 2021

#MondayBlogs - You Are A Slut

December 06, 2021 0 Comments




“Wear proper cloths when you go outside. You can wear whatever you want at home, but outside, NO.”

Mrs. B said these words with so much confidence and conviction that for moment I could not wonder but thought…

“Is she my master or something, that is telling me what to and what not to wear? At the same time, she is so generous to give me the permission to wear whatever I want to wear indoors.”

Well, my first response was… what do you mean by proper clothes?

Mrs. B said, something which is not revealing.

Again, who gets to decide what is revealing? In Afghanistan, wearing a Burka which does not cover your face is revealing. At the same there are beaches in the world where walking naked is not revealing.

This answer didn’t impress her. Rather it made her only more eager to prove her point that what I wear, I wear it to get negative attention (read sexual attention) from men.

Hence, she came at me with her big guns.

“Somewhere a four-year girl got raped by the milk man because her mom wore short clothes and the milk man couldn’t rape the mom, so he raped the little girl and killed her.”

WOW, I did NOT have a response to that. It is like my actions will cause something so horrible to my daughter that I can’t even imagine it even in my worst nightmare. And someone actually said this out loud. 

Should I cry because of the pain she caused me or tell her to fuck off?

I don’t know what to do. I am numb. I left the premise.

After I reached home, my immediate response was immense anger. After I had calmed down, I realized what she was trying to do. She was trying to SLUT-SHAME me.


Slut-Shaming

Slut-shaming is the practice of criticizing people, especially women and girls, who are perceived to violate expectations of behavior and appearance regarding issues related to sexuality. The term is used to reclaim the word slut and empower women and girls to have agency over their own sexuality.

I know exactly why she was doing this, point to point, but this is not about her, it’s about all of the people who think it’s their birth right to slut shame others, especially girls.

Some Basic examples of slut shaming

Blaming the girl:

The most common way of slut-shamming is to tell the girl, it's your fault. Be it anything, for example someone making vulgar comments, leaking her pics online, raping her, inserting an iron rod through her vagina for far in that it reaches her heart… IT’S ALL HER FAULT.

Mocking someone else’s sexual practices because to you, they are “weird.”:

In the core, belief lies that, it’s different so it’s bad. Homosexual people are more vulnerable to these types of things.

Assuming a girl is only dressing up to impress guys:

The only work a girl has, is to dress up, so men give her attention. It’s the core of her existence. Female bodies exists to be pleasing to men. Although, the fact is, we dress according to the weather, body function, activity and to express our personal aesthetic.

Different stand for Girls and Boys:

A guy who has sex with multiple women is Stud and a woman who does the same thing is a slut. Logic simply committed a suicide here. 

Describing another woman — or yourself! — as being “like a guy when it comes to sex.”:

We have a tendency to describe someone who explore and express their sexual desires as “Like a Guy”. Sorry to disappoint, but Men don’t get to have ownership over the act of “liking sex,”. It’s simply not how its biologically designed. 

Not speaking up for each other:

Not standing up for each other is silent way of telling, you deserve it.

Why Someone slut shame others

At the core of it all, those who engage in slut shaming usually believes that the whole existence of a woman is to please men, and who dress up in certain way, behave certain ways are not satisfied with one man. In other words, a good woman stays covered up and only pleases her husband even if she is not sexually satisfied.



How to stop Slut Shaming

The solution is very simple: RESPECT INDIVIDUAL CHOICES.


Well, after reading all this, if you still wondering what was I wearing to cause such response, please read it again. 

"I use my talent AND my sexuality all the time because I choose to. Women can be sexual AND talented. Naked and dignified. It’s OUR choice," - Ariana Grande




Thursday, 25 November 2021

#ProductReview - Hair Growth Oil & Hair Serum from @deygaorganics #Organic #HairCare

November 25, 2021 0 Comments

I have been dealing with stress related health issues since 2018. It led to lack of energy, metabolism issues and hairfall. In 2019, both my mental and physical health took a bigger hit - to a point where both my kidney & liver took a big hit and I had to be on bed rest for three straight months. 

With control diet, loads of medicine, high water intake and a lot of rest, My physical health recovered. But some things are not that easy to regain and my hair is one of them. The overall quality (and quantity) of my hair took such a hit, that I practically gave up on it and cut it as short as I could. I tried quite a few products and even home remedies that showed no long term results.

When Deyga Organics approached me for a product review, I gladly accepted. But, I must also put a disclaimer here - that I kept my expectations low. I know that it wasn't going to be that easy and I certainly wasn't expecting a miracle cure that would give me Rapunzel hair overnight.




The first thing to know about the products is neither the hair oil nor the hair serum come with any directions on the bottle. So, it was completely up to me to decide how to use it. And after months of trying different regimes that came with stringent requirements - from how to use it to when to use it to how long to keep them on to how to wash it off - it was both liberating and a bit stupefying! 

Anyhoo, after much consideration (like 5 mins) I decided that I would use the hair oil for an hour before shower for a week and then try leaving it on overnight for another week. I also used the serum after shower o towel dried hair throughout. I have now used the hair growth oil and the hair serum 3 times a week for 2 weeks.

Things to note:

- The products use only organic ingredients.
- Deyga Organics doesn't test their products on animals. {Extra bit of love for that}
- The oil smells like medical hair oil. No synthetic perfume.
- The applicator is really helpful to make sure that most of the oil goes directly onto your scalp. I know there are other oils that provide similar applicators. I have not used any of those so cannot provide a comparison. All I can say is that my first experience with an applicator that came with the hair oil is good.
- If used properly, the scalp absorbs the oil well enough not to make your hair feel as oily as in case of coconut oil.
- In case you are planning to leave it over night, apply the oil about an hour before bed. That way the oil will be completely absorbed and it will not stain your pillow.
- The serum adds to the soft feel of the hair. However it can also be a dirt magnet if you go out immediately after application. So, best to give it time before going out.




Here's my overall experience with the products:

- After the 1st week of leaving on the hair oil for just 1 hour before the shower and the hair serum on towel dried hair:  Hair fall reduced from the second use. It also left the hair feeling much softer and silky. 
- After the 2nd week of leaving on the hair oil overnight and the hair serum on towel dried hair: Substantial reduction in hair fall. Combing doesn't cause hair fall anymore. Very little hair fall while oiling and washing. Certainly feels that this oil works better when left on overnight. Overall, visible changes in hair quality. Less tangles, hair is soft to the touch and feels healthier.

Final Take:

From someone who has been trying regimes after regimes, I am impressed with the results that Deyga Hair Growth Oil & the Hair Serum has given me in just two weeks. It's more than I could have expected. I am definitely going to stick with this two products for at least 6 months before deciding whether to stick with it long term.

You can buy the Hair Growth Oil from Amazon or from their Website. Here's the Amazon & the Deyga Website links for the Hair Serum




I would like to thank Deyga Organics for sending me these 2 products in exchange for an honest review. There is no monetary incentive involved.

Monday, 8 November 2021

#MondayBlogs - Nicotine

November 08, 2021 0 Comments

 

Photo by Aphiwat chuangchoem from Pexels


As the sobs wreaking through her body subsided, the tears in her eyes finally dried up. Brishti closed her puffed and stingy eyes as she tried to find a comfortable position on the cold, hard bed she had been curled up on for the last couple of hours. Her mind drifted off to those early days of her college life when she had spent an inordinate amount of time noticing and taking in everything he would do.

At the beginning he was just a part of her new group of friends at college. He was no different in her eyes from the other boys in the group or in the college for that matter. It was his unparalleled sense of humour that had caught her attention at first. He could take as much as he could dish out. Then came bunking classes, playing pranks and taking long walks into the natural beauty of the hills, Then she had unknowingly started to pay attention to his likes and dislikes in everything ranging from music to food. She started noticing how he was always there to bail his friends out of trouble, how he would be there to support his friends when they needed someone to talk to or just someone to sit quietly with. He would scramble down the dangerous slopes just to pick a flower that someone liked with the same enthusiasm as he would spend hours cooped up in a room to help someone understand the latest assignment from class.

Even today, she could not point out the exact moment when she had fallen in love with Akash. But she knew that it had to be at some point before she had divulged her darkest secrets to him one night over the phone. Instead of saying how disgusted he was of her, he had told her of his fears. They had both cried in the privacy of their rooms, miles apart but connected by modern technology. She wasn't sure whether they had cried because of their personal fears or for the pain of the other. All she knew that she had felt both light and heavy in her heart at the same time. The fact that her secrets had not driven him away from her had made her heart feel lighter than it had been in years. Yet there was also a new ache -- for her dear friend. Something had changed between them that night.

Now she could not help but wonder if that was also the moment she had turned blind to everything else that should have made her uncomfortable.

Over the next couple of years they had been happy like none other in this world. They had hardly ever fought and their love had only seemed to grow. They weathered through the rough patches in their individual lives together. They even survived when times demanded physical distance of hundreds of miles between them. They celebrated their little triumphs and assured each other that time would only increase and mature their love for each other. After all they would always be friends first in their hearts. Their happiness had known no bounds and the people around them started to brand them as the 'Sweetest' or the 'Perfect' Couple. She remembered having so much faith and trust in him that she had fought for him when time had demanded, even against her dearest ones. She remembered standing up for him when somebody showed less faith in him. She could still remember experiencing that giddy feeling, the butterflies in her stomach and the out of body experiences that she had only read about in books before.

She had heard the old saying that "Love is blind and Marriage is the eye opener" about a million times before and had always taken it as a joke. But something happened even before her marriage that made her wonder if it was a joke at all. For her all it had taken was both the families getting involved and them getting engaged. On one of the most important days of her life, when she had needed his support the most, he had let her down by not sparing even a thought about her. After knowing everything about her and her life, he had left her standing alone, to fend for herself when she was most vulnerable. She did not know how she had managed to smile and go about performing her duties as expected from her back then, but finding herself alone had made her stop and take a look around. That was when she had realized how blind she had been. The man who had promised to be her friend for life had never really kept his word. Her love for him had made her blind to all the instances he had invaded her life and had let her down in the past. For the first time she had stopped to take stock of all the times she had given into him because of her blind need to give him and to make him happy.

Still it had been too late for her. She did not want to create a scandal by breaking off her engagement. She could handle the heat and the pointing fingers, but she was afraid of the hurt it would cause her mother. A mother who had given up so much for her, who had truly been her true friend and the one person she had spent so much time convincing that he was the one for her. She could not bring herself to do the one thing that would free her from a lot of suffering but would shatter her mother's dreams, hurt her and leave her only caretaker to face the aftermath of the scandal. She had then talked herself into continuing the relationship, convincing herself that it was the right thing to do - at least for the sake of her mother.

Once reality broke through the illusion of her perfect love, she thought that she was ready to face the consequences of her follies. Surely now that she knew what to expect and what not to expect, she couldn't possibly be disappointed any further. But as if her realizing the truth was what he had been waiting for, his new promises increased as much as his deception. Every time she built a wall around her, he stripped her out her defenses even further. And for the last couple of months, it had come down to maintaining a perfect facade as much for the sake of peace at home as much for the outsiders. She tried her best to take care of her duties and responsibilities to the best of her capabilities and still take that extra step to take care of his needs, hoping that someday he would return her love with something more than empty words and promises. But every time she had been the first and only one to fall for the facade and set Herself up for more disappointments and heartaches.

After being together for over a decade, having her heart broken and trampled on she still tried to work it out with him. No matter what the latest reason she had come up with and convinced herself of, deep down she knew that she still loved him. No matter how many times she tried to explain her heart that she should hate him for putting her through hell, she knew that she still loved him. She did not know how or why, but she knew that she would always love him.

Finally feeling comfortable, Brishti promised herself for what seemed to be the hundredth time, that this would be the last time she would cry herself to sleep over him and let her tired body and mind succumb to sleep in the spare bedroom of their flat. Her last conscious thought was that her love for Akash was something like Nicotine Addiction. Once you got addicted, your body and mind craved for it. And even though you knew that it is harmful for you, it was damn hard to give up.




Monday, 25 October 2021

#MondayBlogs - Judge Me All You Want

October 25, 2021 0 Comments

Source: Candy Cigarette by Sally Mann (Conscientious)


I know that look… I know that you are judging me right at this moment. See, if I care… Once upon a time, I would have cared but now I don’t. Not any more.

I was once like you – pure and innocent.  But I did not have a childhood like yours. Nor did I have the choices that you did. My life has been different from the very beginning. Why you ask? I do not know as I do not see any difference between you and me. I see the same heart and the same blood in both of us. We breathe in the same air and walk on the same earth. The same things hurt us and the same things bring us joy. Yet, my life is different from yours. Why you ask? Truthfully, I do not know.

People tell me it is because I dared to be born as a girl child in a family that craved only for a son. I was just a mistake conceived in a flurry of passion and regretted from the moment of my birth. No one cared that my sex was not my choice. No one cared that at I had the same need for attention and affection. No one cared that I can work just as hard and love even more. My younger brother was nourished and cherished, while I learnt to live on one meal a day – sometimes on even less. I was reminded every day that he was strong while I was weak. That my brother would grow up, earn and look after my parents while I would grow up and would need to be married off at the cost of a heavy dowry. I would always drain their blood and money. When my family could not afford the basic necessities, they sold off their only liability, me, in exchange for a meagre amount of cash that would keep their hunger at bay for a month. My cries and pleas did not move my parents. I was just a burden they were getting rid of.

From the age of six, I have been trained in every way possible to be successful at my trade. After all, I had to work off my family’s debt. I was only a little girl – fighting back wasn't an option. So, I learned the tricks and did my job even though it made me sick and hurt my insides. While numerous men enjoyed my flesh and ravaged my body, it did not matter if I wanted it or liked it or hated it – it was my job and I had to do it. I know you think that girls like me are in this business because it is an easy way to earn money or because it is pleasurable. But let me assure you that being beaten, whipped, tortured or used as an ashtray just to satisfy some sadistic need is neither a short cut nor is it pleasurable. Unlike you, I was not taught not to smoke or drink; instead it became my only escape. I felt violated, I felt trapped and I felt choked in my life but no one cared. Once again, my pleas for help fell on to deaf ears – I was yet to justify my existence.

It took me some time but I finally realized something… It doesn't matter whether anyone cared or not because no one can see beyond my flesh. You cannot see the pain in my eyes or the hurt in my heart or the broken dreams. It does not matter to you that I did not have the childhood I deserved or the love and affection that was my birth right. I do not deserve the prejudice you have against me and I do deserve the same respect as you. I warrant the same chance at happiness and the same encouragement to chase my dreams.

Did you ever stop to wonder who I am?

I am little girl with an old soul. My experiences have aged me far more than my years on this earth. I am a woman who is beyond any care in the world. After years of crying and begging, I know not to expect warmth or understanding or even a spare thought. So, why should I care for those who have always turned their backs and blind eyes away from me? I am a gentle spirit who has been pushed around for far too long. I am done being treated as a burden or a liability. I am tired of justifying my existence with every breath I take. I am just another human being who has been on the edge and back. My dreams and desires have been broken so many times, yet my soul and spirit survives.

I am the uncensored reflection of most women you know. Some trade in their freedom and some trade in their emotions. Some do it voluntarily and some do it involuntarily. Some do it in the name of love, some in the name of marriage and some do it in the name of family. All those little things that you take for granted from them, all those little compromises you expect them to make – brings her a step closer to what I unabashedly am. Every time you think she is weak, every time you try to suppress her, every time you take her choices away – you make her a little more like me. Crush her innocence, crush her dreams, crush her aspirations – she just gets a step closer to where I am.

I know that look… I know that you are judging me right at this moment. See, if I care… Once upon a time, I would have cared but now I don’t. Not any more. 

So, judge me all you want – for my actions and for the choices You think I have made. It does not matter because you are merely judging the piece of flesh that you see. 



"This post was originally published by me at a different blog as a part of IBL; the Battle of Blogs, sponsored by WriteupCafeJoin us at our Official Website and Facebook page"

Wednesday, 13 October 2021

You - #MyFriendAlexa

October 13, 2021 4 Comments



I saw you on a summer day
Standing on your porch...
Your unruly hairs were all over your face
As the rain soaked air passing by.

I was mesmerized by those...
self-absorbed eyes
You gave me a glance, and
I was drenched with spring

I wanted to hold this moment forever
You wanted to move on
I was shameless to ask for "you"
You were insolent and went on

I couldn’t control my desires
(Hence) I stored your memory in a wooden box,
You are safe with me now
Stored somewhere in my mind






I am taking my blog to the next level with Blogchatter’s #MyFriendAlexa.

Thursday, 7 October 2021

Major Arcana: The Fool's Journey (Part 3) - #TuesdayTarot #MyFriendAlexa

October 07, 2021 5 Comments

 



Welcome back! This is the third instalment of The Fool's Journey. Be sure to start this section after you have completed Part 1 of The Fool's Journey & Part 2 of The Fool's Journey where we have covered the first 15 cards of the Major Arcana. Today we will cover the remaining seven cards.


15. The Devil


The Devil is the card of indulgences and material pleasure. When The Devil appears, it urges you to take a look at the feel good factors in your life and pay attention to whether they are actually good for you. In case the card pops up when you are feeling low, it may be a sign that a little fun may be exactly what you need.

For The Fool's next lesson in his journey, he needs to realise that The Devil isn't an outside influence. It is the little voice within us that makes us a slave to the material world and often lead us to ignorance and hopelessness. The power to overcome it is also within us.

Keywords:
Upright – Attachments, Restrictions, Commitment, Limitations
Reverse – Breaking Free, Quitting, Hitting Rock Bottom, Broken agreements and Commitments.

16. The Tower

Tower is the card for shock and Chaos. Something unexpected and surprising could shake up your beliefs, assumptions and the things you took for granted. Drastic changes are required.

The Fool realizes that sometimes a shock is exactly what one needs when they are too comfortable in their life not realising that people, things and situations in his life aren't actually serving him anymore. Time to make drastic changes.

Keywords:
Upright – Sudden Shock, Destruction, Questioning Beliefs, Chaos
Reverse – Warning, Mounting Pressure, Ongoing Chaos, Stubbornness

17. The Star

The Star is the card of hope, peace and Renewal. It brings optimism for a fresh start. It urges you to do what is practically required of you in the moment, but also continue dreaming of what an ideal future looks like to you.

After his entanglements with The Devil and The Tower, The Star brings in a serene calm for The Fool. He is now optimistic and feels the need to share his optimism for those around him. The Fool discovers the peace after a storm.

Keywords:
Upright – Optimism, Renewal, Boundlessness, Peace
Reverse – Hope without Action, Unethical Healer, Pessimistic Outlook

18. The Moon


The Moon is the card of darkness, illusion and the unconscious. It is time to let go the last bit of pretence and confront what you fear.

The peace after the storm can also be a deceiving feeling if there are things that you have not confronted from your past experiences. The Fool's lesson from this card is to take stock of everything around him and within him to be able to pick up on and false illusions that he still may be carrying with him.

Keywords:
Upright – The Unconscious, The Shadow Self, Confusion, Dreams, Intuition
Reverse – Denial, repressed emotions, Projecting onto Others

19. The Sun


The Sun is the card of light. It urges you to reveal and share your true feelings and emotions. It is also a time to celebrate and aligning yourself with your authentic self.

With this card, The Fool finally understand that no challenge is too much. He can face anything as long as he draws from his experiences and lessons to understand exactly how great his own capabilities are and is confident about them.

Keywords:
Upright – Enthusiasm, Clarity, Personal Growth, Self Acceptance
Reverse – Afraid to Shine, Burnout, Painful Truth, Attention Seeking

20. Judgement

Judgement is the card of drastic change, review and release. This is the one last reminder that change is inevitable and continuous. It urges you to look objectively at what has come before and measure up your success and failure to learn from them. Be honest.

The Fool now needs to make the final Judgement about his life. Now that he has shed his false ego and is more equipped to see and accept himself for who truly is, he needs to decide what to shed and what to keep with him to move forward.

Keywords:
Upright – Rite of Passage, Mature, Review, Transition
Reverse – Refusing to Change, Feeling Stuck, Numbness, Feeling Judged, Being Judgemental

21. The World

This card brings in an ending and a new beginning. It urges you to move beyond your own personal quest and think in terms of what you can give back to the world.

This card brings The Fool's Journey to a full circle as his current journey ends and he is ready to take on a new adventure. What kind of journey will he take on next?

Keywords:
Upright – Integration, Completion, Options, Wholeness, Connection
Reverse – Overwhelmed, Difficulty Finishing, Clinging to Past


That is it! We have now covered the Major Arcana through The Fool's Journey. We have certainly covered your Soul/Personality/Shadow Card today if we hadn't done it before. Did it resonate with you?

Shall we take a break and take time to get more acclimated with the Major Arcana cards? Or would you like a round up? Or shall we move on to Minor Arcana. Leave your intentions in the comment section.


QOTD: What is your main takeaway from The Fool's Journey. Which Major Aracana card did you feel most & least drawn to?




I am taking my blog to the next level with Blogchatter’s #MyFriendAlexa.




Wednesday, 6 October 2021

My Favourite Food Joints In Vizag - #MyFriendAlexa

October 06, 2021 32 Comments



I am a typical Bheto Bengali. Food and I go hand in hand. It’s mutual love, we both love each other. I love to cook and eat and the food loves to be eaten by me.

I left Kolkata in 2009. However, no matter where I am, I try to find food like Kolkata. Most of the places disappoint me; still, I am always able to find something tasty to eat.

I am here in Vizag for the last three years, and was able to find some food joints that I love.

Disclaimer:
I am in no way claiming these are the best places to eat or make the best food or the other places do not offer good food. All I want to say is they are my favourite.




Let’s start exploring...


The Chaiwala in front of SFS State Board Gate:

In Seethamadhara, if you come from the Tech Mahindra junction, you will find SFS State Board School on your left side. Just in front of the main gate, there is a small tea stall. I have no idea what is the name of the tea stall. It is run by a young couple. And what allam (ginger) tea they make. I am literally in love with the allam tea. You have a cup of it, and all your tiredness, worries are gone.

Kolkata Roll Centre:

In Dhaba Garden, there is a pantaloons showroom, just beside the showroom, there is a lane, and some food stalls are there. And there is Kolkata Roll Centre. In no way, it serves the authentic Kolkata rolls, but the noodles they make is really good. The chicken noodles they serve actually tastes like Kolkata roadside, thela wala (stall) noodles. It’s like a dash of Kolkata taste away from my love, Kolkata.

The Momowala in front of Bay View Hotel:

In front of Bay View Hotel in RK beach, you will find the best Momos in Vizag. The main cook is a Nepali guy, and hence, the momos are really good. They serve red chilli chutney with the momos, and it tastes like northeast India. Also, they serve really tasty chicken sweet corn soup.

Upland Bistro:

This restaurant serves the best continental in Vizag, hand down. This restaurant is run by an Telugu guy name Kalyan. I am a regular here. I have tried many dishes from the menu, and they are actually good. I have also tried many other continental restaurants here in Vizag, most of the time the food is actually, sorry for the word, shit. The fish and chip from this restaurant is my favourite.

Cafe Military:

Located on the Venkojipalem highway, they serve one of the best tiffin in Vizag. I simply love the Masala Dosa, the dosa is crispy, and the aloo masala is super tasty. I can literally eat it, every morning, if there is a possibility. It’s just my lazy husband refuses to take me there every morning.

Soda Paniwala:

The summer here in Vizag is really cruel. And the only way I survive the brutish sun is by drinking gallons of sweet soda pani. I have probably tried the all the Soda Pani stalls in Vizag. They all are life-saving, in the summertime. I even tried my best to impress them with my Telegu speaking skills for some extra, they mostly ignore me (my Telegu is a disaster). Still, hoping to befriend one for some extra soda pani, for free of course.

Samosa from Sea Pearl:

In Kolkata, you get the best samosas. I have tried samosas from various parts of South India, and they are not good. However, Sea Pearl restaurant on RK Beach serves one of the best samosas, in Vizag. The dough is perfectly kneaded with a hint of ajwain. The filling is heavenly, fried to perfection, served with sweet chutney. The combination is to die for.

The honourable motions are Idli from Mr And Mrs Idli, Biryani from Satyam restaurant & Raju's Kitchen, North Indian veg thali from Shree Shyam restaurant, veg cuisine from Santosh Dhaba, Bengali food from Hotel Nimantran Inn, and many, many more.


Happy Eating







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Thursday, 30 September 2021

Major Arcana: The Fool's Journey (Part 2) - #TarotThursday #MyFriendAlexa

September 30, 2021 0 Comments

 



Welcome back to the second instalment of The Fool's Journey. Be sure to start this section with Part 1 of The Fool's Journey where I have covered the first 7 cards of the Major Arcana. Just a refresher - The Fool’s Journey is a story that we can tell in order to help us get a glimpse into each Major Arcana making it easier to understand the set. In this part, we will cover next 7 cards, starting with The Chariot.


7. The Chariot


The Chariot tells you to take control of your life. Staying focused and harnessing all of your resources will eventually get you where you want to go. It also signifies travel and movement.

The Chariot teaches The Fool that He has everything that he needs. All he needs to do is stay focused and disciplined in order to reach his goals.

Keywords:
Upright – Momentum, Competence, Self-Discipline, Control, Determination
Reverse – Rushing, Stress, Undisciplined

8.  Strength



The Strength card urges you to look within and draw from your inner strength and find a balance between your basic drives and higher aspirations. In case of conflict, the card urges you to face your adversary with love and compassion.

The Fool's lesson from this card is that he is resilient and fearless, and can accomplish anything he sets his mind to.

Keywords:
Upright – Instinct, Inner Strength, Survival, Courage
Reverse – Compulsive Behaviour, Weakness, Reactive Emotions, Fear, Lack of Confidence

9. The Hermit


The Hermit signifies a need or desire to withdraw from the world. It may be an indication that you need time to withdraw from the world, introspect while you rejuvenate yourself. It could also be advising you to seek a wise and experienced guide/counselor/mentor.

The Fool realises that he may sometime need to seek the answers he is looking for within himself and sometimes he may need a mentor to help him find what he is looking for.

Keywords:

Upright – Solitude, Introspection, Perspective, Wisdom, Guidance
Reverse – Antisocial, Needing Solitude, Feeling Lost, Loneliness

10. Wheel of Fortune



The Wheel of Fortune reminds us that change is inevitable. As such, it is important to center yourself and stay calm when the world around you seems to be spinning out of control.

This cards teaches The Fool that life is fluid and full of ups and downs. He will never stay in the same position for long. It is important to remember the good times so that when it gets stressful and/or painful, he should remember what it is like to be happy too.

Keywords:
Upright – Taking Action, Change, Movement, Destiny, Luck, Expansion
Reverse – Lack of Control, Confusion, Ongoing Struggle, Setbacks, Bad Luck

11. Justice


Justice appears when it is time to balance the scales. It indicated that actions will have consequences and truth will catch up. It is time to think logically.

Justice teaches The Fool that the truth behind everything will eventually come to light and there will be repercussions.

Keywords:
Upright – Fairness, Balance, Ethics, Law, Accountability
Reverse – Extremes, Unbalanced, Self-Centered, Lacking Objectivity, Unfair

12. The Hanged Man


The Hanged man is the card of patience, contemplation and sacrifice.  It urges you to observe your environment and situation from a new perspective. A sacrifice may be required in order to move forward.

The Fool realises that doing something else for a while may be worthwhile because it will help him clear his head so he can succeed. A sacrifice may be required of a small dream in order to fulfil a bigger goal.

Keywords:
Upright – Surrender, New Perspective, Patience, Sacrifice, Release
Reverse – Procrastination, Victim Mentality, Hypocrisy

13. Death

Death is a card of and ending before an utter transformation. It urges you to let go and embrace change and seek closure before moving on.

The Fool learns not to be scared of what's to come as he knows that the future holds bigger and better things for him.

Keywords:
Upright – Transformation, Ending, Closure, Regeneration
Reverse – Burning Bridges, Running Away, Fear of Change, Refusing to Let Go

14. Temperance


Temperance is a card of integration and finding balance. Finding a balance between emotions and practicality is important to be able to put a steady foot forward. Some compromise may be necessary.

As a part of The Fool's journey came to an end with the Death Card, Temperance teaches him the value of compromise and adjustment while moving forward as two or more things come together to create something new, or bring fruition to what The Fool was working on before.

Keywords:
Upright – Integration, Creation, Compromise, Experiments
Reverse – Over Compromise, Rigidity, No Consensus


That is it for today. 7 cards remain in the Major Arcana for us to handle in the next post.


QOTD: Have we covered your Soul/Personality/Shadow Card today? If yes, what impressions do you have of your cards so far?




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Wednesday, 29 September 2021

Poison - #MyFriendAlexa

September 29, 2021 41 Comments



 What’s your Poison... She asked me

I replied, Pain

She seems disappointed with my answer.

I asked, 

What’s yours?

She said...Love

Looking at my own reflection, I enquired, 

How can it be? Aren’t we the same.

She smiled and said......NO





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Thursday, 23 September 2021

Major Arcana: The Fool's Journey (Part 1) - #TarotThursday #MyFriendAlexa

September 23, 2021 30 Comments

 


So, did you guys read my last post ‘How would you like to discover yourself in the cards?’ and did you look up your personality, soul and shadow cards? And did they truly resonate with you?

Traditional Tarot decks – like The Rider-Waite deck, have 78 cards. 22 Major Arcana cards and 56 Minor Arcana cards, with 4 suits of 14 cards each. The Major Arcana represents major incidents, situations and learning curves of your life while the Minor Arcana cards deals with the everyday trials, tribulations, and situations of your everyday life.

The Major Arcana cards appear in your reading when you need to stop, take a moment, and pay attention to the theme in your life and the lesson that life is offering you. They also set the ‘scene’ for a reading and let the Minor Arcana cards add some more important details and some shades that relate to the bigger picture that the Major Arcana is painting.

Today, we will take on the Fool’s Journey to study the Major Arcana cards. The Fool’s Journey is a story that we can tell in order to help us get a glimpse into each Major Arcana making it easier to understand the set.

The first card in the Major Arcana is ‘0. The Fool’



The Fool stands for a new beginning. As you can see, he has his necessities packed and his pet with him and excited about the journey he is about to embark on. There is a sense of excitement and optimism about the new adventure.

We start the story with The Fool starting on a new journey with a blank slate, optimism, and adventure.

Keywords:
Upright – Trust, Innocence, Open Mind, Beginning.
Reverse – Foolish, Naïve, Reckless, Close Minded, Distrust

1. The Magician


The magician has the resources and potential to make things happen, but intention and action are both required.

So, the first lesson that The Fool learns is he has the power to create and manifest what he wants. He only needs to tap into his full potential.

Keywords:
Upright – Personal Power, Intention, Will, Resourcefulness
Reverse – Lacking Skills or Resources, Intention without Action, Trickery, Illusion


2. The High Priestess


The High Priestess encourages you to build up on and expand on your inner knowledge, to trust your intuition and notice synchronicity as you go through your days. Look within for the answers that you are asking.

The second lesson that The Fool learns is that he needs to reflect and learn about himself through religion, nature, meditation, and spirituality. Sometimes it becomes important to listen to your intuition over everything else. Heart over mind.

Keywords:
Upright – Inner Wisdom, Receptivity Spirituality, Meditation
Reverse – Secretive, Withdrawn, Ignoring Intuition, Gossip, Disconnected from Sexuality


3. The Empress


The Empress is the mother figure in the Major Arcana. She is the nurturer. She encourages to connect/network not only with people who can be mentors and friends and have a positive effect on your life, but also with nature and things that can help you develop yourself and grow. Connect with your sensuality.

The third lesson that The Fool learns is that it is important to take care of yourself and nurture relationships, interests, and skills in order to grow.

Keywords:
Upright – Nurturing, Creativity, Sensitivity, Mother Figure
Reverse – Smothering, Burn Out, Possessiveness, Blocked Creativity


4. The Emperor


The Emperor is the father figure in the Major Arcana. He encourages logical and rational thinking, to try and increase stability in any situation.

The fourth lesson that The Fool Learns is that it is important to think strategically and logically when pursuing his dreams.

Keywords:
Upright – Power, Structure, Stability, Authority, Father Figure
Reverse – Controlling, Egotistical, Giving Up Power, Abuse of Power, Lacking Structure


5. The Hierophant


The Hierophant wants you to pause and take a look at your own beliefs. Are they flexible or are they rigid? Do they help you in your learning curve or stops you from growing?

The lesson that The Fool Learns from the Hierophant is that wanting to follow pre-established societal norms instead of trying some new or taking an uncharted path may not always the right thing for him.

Keywords:
Upright – Teacher, Belief System, Knowledge, Conscientious, Responsibility
Reverse – Dogmatic, Fundamentalist, Iconoclast, Unethical Teacher


6. The Lovers

The Lovers card encourages you to take a look what is in both your heart and mind. And whenever you make a choice, take complete ownership and responsibility of the choices you have made.

The Lovers teaches The Fool to cherish and celebrate the love he has in his life in all forms. Whether it’s a lover, or a partner, or parents, or friends, and even self-love.

Keywords:
Upright – Love, Union, Cooperation, Choice, Sexuality
Reverse – Incompatibility, Uncooperative, Unrequited Love, Disconnection between the Heart and the Mind.



QOTD: Have we covered your Soul/Personality/Shadow Card today? If yes, what impressions do you have of your cards so far?





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Wednesday, 22 September 2021

My Seasonal Lover - #MyFriendAlexa

September 22, 2021 52 Comments



My plane landed around 5 AM on an October morning in 2018. I am in a new city and I have to call it home for the next few years. I was happy to finally leave Hyderabad, but not sure what to expect from this new city.

I got my language and came out of the airport. I knew that nobody is coming to pick me up, still hoped to see a familiar face. Mr. Anirudh Gaurav said he can’t pick me up for some reason, I forgot the reason, however, remember I was mad.

A grey, gloomy and rainy city welcomed me with not much enthusiasm. I never disliked a rainy day like this.

I booked my Uber and patiently waited outside the airport. My Uber came and I started my journey into this new city. I more I entered the city, the more I hated it. I finally reached my destination, MVP Colony. Gaurav was there to receive me, but to my surprise, what welcomed me is the Devil’s Tree, in front of the hotel.

It was like Durga Puja welcoming me outside Kolkata. I was in love.

Gaurav left for work, and I began my hunt for a new home (rented house). I roamed every lane, every street of MVP colony. And every corner there was a Devil’s Tree waiting to tempt me with its smell. I was trying to get some flowers from the tree and some lady told me not to, as it is poisonous.

And in my mind, the smell of the flower is my poison. I don’t know how dangerous this is for asthma patients, but this is definitely harmful to me. It makes my desires run wild. No kidding it’s called the seductive Casanova of smells.

The smell would arrive every year, during Durga Puja (September end to October) stay till December to wish me on my birthday. I reached this new city in October and thank God it was October. Otherwise, how would I know Devil’s Tree will be waiting for me with open arms.

The smell takes me back to my teenage years. Someone would be waiting for me and I was ignorant enough to ignore him. The smell takes me to my first love, first heartbreak, and first tears of pain.

Yet, this smell is so toxic for me that I can’t simply imagine Durga Puja or winter without it.

Then the unavoidable happens, by the time winter is over, the smell leaves me like a seasonal lover. I am heartbroken and missing my love. I try my best not to embrace the last hint of the smell, as I know it will leave me high and dry.

Yet how can I not, long for it as long it’s there, it’s like the forbidden lover. He is toxic, poisonous, going to leave me to suffer for sure, yet so passionate with his love and desires.

It’s been three winters. The air, the streets, and the people feel much familiar to me now. I have made it a home, my Vizag.  

Yet in those lonely nights in my balcony, I long for my poison. I am madly in love with this toxic flower called Chatim Ful (in Bengali) and last but not least, a poisonous someone. It’s so difficult to reason with my feelings. What I know for sure is I want him. And he can't be mine, ever. A pain I endure with all my affection. 




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