How Would I Rather Die?

Would I rather die underwater, or
Would I rather die in an aircraft hovering over.

Would I rather die on the road, or
Would I rather die floating in a boat.

Would I rather die by a gun shot, or
A poison pot or lying in my cot.

Would I rather die choking on a chicken bone, or
Would I rather die struck by an enemy drone.

Would I rather die electrocuted by my hair dryer, or
Would I rather die burnt by my air fryer.

Would I rather die falling from a multi-storey, or
Be hit on a road by a car, truck or lorry.

Would I rather die of cancer, stroke or diabetes mellitus, or
Would Alzheimer’s drag me into the oblivious.

Would I rather die swimming in a pool, or
Would I rather die crushed under a construction tool.

Would I this, or would I that, but
Death I know, I cannot combat.

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The Plugin vs Me

It is true – there is no end to learning and no age bar as well.

Once upon a time chemistry used to be a mystery to me. Well, long gone are those days and now the only chemistry I am associated with is the concoctions I whip up in my kitchen. I don’t want to brag, but I am a bit of a good cook. You can check out my recipes at www.aseeminspiration.com.

Coming back to the mystery part – the new mystery in my life is the internet and the technical aspects of it. I am not a techie and a complete illiterate in any computer language but I dared to start two websites of my own. Started both from scratch. First I came up with a blog. Then the idea of having a personal .com became very appealing and so the first website was born. My recipe sharing site.

“I want my website to look like this,” I would say to myself whenever I came across some recipe blog. Then I would start hunting for solutions. I was introduced to plugins and one after the other my website was home to various plugins. Not that I knew how to use all of them but … what to do I had to make my site look cool, happy, appealing, inviting etc etc.

Then one day I thought, “So many plugins! Better declutter.” I went on a plugin deleting spree. In this rampage I ended up deleting my Jetpack plugin. Oops!

fullsizeoutput_5bd

“Reinstall the Jetpack plugin, darling,” I said to myself. Little did I know that reinstalling was not as easy as deleting. The plugin failed to reinstall because the ‘base files’ were still sitting somewhere in my account. The plugin had to be sent packing – lock, stock and barrel before it could make a comeback. Now how in the world was I supposed to do that?

Question: Where were these base files?
Answer: Somewhere on the server.
Question: Where was this server?
Answer: No answer.

One day a friend suggested to ask the plugin support group for solutions. Great support group! They replied in a flash. I was told to go to the server and follow their suggested path to locate the base directory. This directory had to be removed. Back to square one.

question-mark

Question: Where was this server?
Answer: No answer.

But hold on, the reply mail had suggested something like FTP/SFTP and I had seen this somewhere on my hosting site’s account. (I don’t even know if I am using all the right terminologies here. I told you this is a mystery) I little bit of peeking here and there in various places revealed to me some SFTP details. But where to use these?

“Google, you are great. You have answers to questions,” was my reaction when Googling told me that I needed to download FileZilla to access my SFTP files. A link took me to the ‘Download’ button, the application was soon on my machine, the details entered, the file located and a final goodbye bid to Jetpack, for the moment. Finally! After so many days, in fact months of baffling attempts the feat was achieved, a war was won.

Now all that remained was welcoming back the plugin. This was done in a jiffy.

Fingers crossed, hope everything works well now.

I will still say, the working of websites is a mystery. But I intend to solve as many as possible. Wishing myself all the very best!

 

We Create Jobs

We should be thankful to builders of high-rise buildings and large residential societies. Thanks to their careful selection of building equipment, electrical fittings, wiring, piping, plumbing, sanitary ware,  and ingenious planning all flat residents have become employment creators.

Plumber

Plumber

One day the building plumber visited us. There was a problem, he said. A problem that originated in our flat and caused discomfort in the flat immediately below ours. It was a seepage issue. 

(We live on the ninth floor and people on the eighth floor were facing a ceiling flaking problem.)

What could be the cause of the problem?

It was in the wooden frame of the bathroom door. Sadly, the wooden frame had to bear the company of one of its worst enemies, water. The lower portion of wood had begun to rot and cause a cavity under the flooring tiles. Water had seeped into the cavity and eventually all across the eighth floor ceiling. 

Mr Plumber had been of help to me when he had fixed a leaking pipe; a pipe that was leaking due to poor drainage on the tenth floor. Eeks!

Here too he had a job to do. Technically it was not his job but he is a multitalented person. He came back in a couple of hours with all the required material and within half an hour’s time the job was done. Peace and harmony restored between occupants of both floors. Who likes a problem causing neighbour?

Electrician

Electrician

“Hello, can you send an electrician, please?” Two switches in my bedroom were giving off sparks and the only person who could fix this was an electrician.

Within an hour the electrician was at my door. Since he was already there it was a good idea to check the switches of the other rooms too. It so turned out that four more switches were approaching their deathbed. Why wait till the end day?

“Please change them too.”

Another job done! For now. Experience has taught me that he would be back. Very soon.

I did not have to wait long. 

“What has happened to the geyser?” Husband came out of the washroom with a puzzled look. “I had to take a cold shower even though the geyser switch was on.” 

Another job for Mr Electrician. We hoped and prayed that nothing was wrong with the geyser because fixing it was going to be a hell of a job. You should see the position of the appliance. Behind a window panel, in a duct kind of place where only the most skilled acrobat can reach. How did they place it there? Thankfully, it was just a switch problem. Phew! What a relief!

Carpenter

Tools

Knock-knock! Bang-bang! Knock-knock! Bang-bang!

I rushed to the bathroom to see what had happened. My husband’s aunts had come visiting and one of them was not able to come out of the bathroom. This was a terrible situation. Poor old lady stuck, of all the places, in a bathroom. Using the key to the door lock we rescued her. 

What I had on hand was another employment opportunity. A job for a carpenter. The door knob had given away. 

Next day the Mr Carpenter came visiting with his tools and experienced looks. “This is broken from inside. We need to replace it. Not possible to repair it.” There you go. But this was not the first door facing the tough tools of the carpenter. Two other doors had faced the same fate. We could understand. 

There was some sawing, some drilling, some cutting and lots of banging. Finally the door was gifted a new lock and knob.

Painter and Plasterer

Buidling Painter

My family soon discovered that problems can come showering down too, even if we stay inside a ‘well-built’ high-rise building. The ceiling of the sitting room had moisture trapped inside which caused it to flake, peel and eventually shower. There was white dust all over. Now I needed a plasterer and a painter. This was going to be huge task. It took two full days to get the job completed. The original plaster was scraped off, a new one applied, left to dry, a fresh coat of paint applied and a second coat repeated.

I was gifted a brand new ceiling which was smiling down on me. 

Before I could smile back I heard sharp knocks on the front door. I rushed to see what the problem was. My husband . . . no he was not the problem. The problem was that he had been at the door since the past five minutes waiting for someone to open it. When no one came he started knocking.

“But why not use the door bell?” I was puzzled.

“I did,” he snapped back. 

“But none of us heard the bell.”

. . .

“Hello, can you send the electrician, please?”

How is my trolley empty?

“Oh no! How is my trolley empty? What could have happened?”

When the home is your workplace you are working 24X7. This is the case with me. I am a stay at home mom, wife and daughter-in-law having to juggle my time between all members of the family. Between all their time I manage to squeeze in time for myself.

A Saturday morning is the beginning of a weekend. Time to relax? Not really. I am still working in an out of rooms and the kitchen. To maintain a balance of taste I decided to make chicken curry for lunch but the biggest issue was that there was no chicken at home. Going by the thought that ‘better to look for a solution than ponder over the problem’ I quickly finished my morning chores and was on my way to the store to make my purchases.

Having arrived a little early, the store was relatively empty. What a relief! That meant quicker manoeuvring through aisles and less time at the checkout counter.

shopping-cart 2

I started collecting my items in my basket. Chicken, curd, tomato puree, cucumbers …

Now for the spices. The section was no where to be seen so I approached a store lady for directions. “The spices section is straight down the line at the end of the store near the billing counters.”

I had to get back home in a hurry since lunch was yet to be cooked. Rushing through almost five to six aisles, around the bakery section, beyond the dairy counter and behind the grains aisles were the spices. Finally I arrived. I picked up a pack of garam masala and was going to place it in my trolley when I looked down into my trolley only to be left surprised and shocked.

“Oh no! How is my trolley empty? What could have happened?”

It soon hit me how stupid and absent minded I had been. In all the the rushing I had brought along the wrong trolley. Thankfully it was empty and not someone else’s. But where was my trolley?

Yes, behind the grain section, beyond the dairy counter, around the bakery section and down almost five to six aisles away.

I had given myself a good reason to smile all the way back home.

Accidental Happiness

Do accidents bring you happiness?

This was the fifth time Avni was looking at her watch. Sid should have been here fifteen minutes back but there was no sign of him. Avni tried calling him on his mobile but in vain. His mobile was switched off.

“What could be taking him so long?”

“Would he even turn up or not?”

“And why was his phone switched off? Who switches off a phone just before a business meeting?”

Avni and Sid were supposed to meet to discuss a business proposal. This meeting was critical for both of them. Sid needed a web designer for his startup. For Avni, a freelance web designer, Sid was her first client.

It was over twenty minutes now and Avni’s coffee was long over. She tried calling him once again. Instead her phone started ringing. It was some unknown number, a landline number.

Phone calling

“Hello. Is this Avni?”

“Yes. Who’s calling?”

“Do you know Siddharth Rao?”

“Yes, but who’s calling?”

“I am the station officer calling. Siddharth Rao has met with an accident and is hospitalised. Nothing major, only a slight injury on his head. He is unconscious now. We got your number from the diary he was carrying.”

“But…”

“Please come and complete the formalities of the hospital. Mr Rao can be discharged after he regains consciousness and the doctor has examined him.”

The officer gave the hospital name and address and disconnected the call.

“What did just happen?” Avni said to herself.

Avni sat staring at her phone. What was she supposed to do? She knew nothing about Siddharth and his family. How was she to inform them? Why should she go to the hospital? She was not his family or even his friend? She was meeting him merely for the second time. But what if his condition is critical? And what if it was a hoax call? But who makes such hoax calls? Anyone can do so?

With thoughts battling in her mind she decided to call up the hospital. In the next five minutes Avni was on her way to the address the station officer had given her.

When Avni reached the hospital she saw that Sid was awake and being examined by the doctor.

“Hey Avni. So sorry you were troubled. My phone was lost in the accident and the cops saw your number in my diary and called you.”

“Oh,” was all Avni could manage.

“By the way, I wasn’t expecting you to come,” Sid said with a smile and twinkle in his eye.

“Yeah… But…” Avni did not know what to say.

“Would you mind having the meeting here? The doctors say I need to stay here for an hour to ensure all is fine. An hour would be enough, right?” Sid was sitting upright,  smiling as if nothing had happend.

His infectious smile lightened the sombre hospital atmosphere. The meeting was over in half an hour, a deal was struck but their conversation was far from over.

Besides business they had much more to talk about. It’s been ten years since then and their conversations have never got over. One small accident gave Sid and Avni happiness for life.

Yes, sometimes accidents can also bring happiness!

What if …?

Would we appreciate the good if bad did not exist?

What would be the value of truth if no one ever lied?

Would a smile be the same if we knew not how to frown?

What would be the value of right if we knew there was no wrong?

 

Would we treasure friends if foes never existed?

What value would a prince have if the pauper never appeared?

Would white look as bright if there was no black?

What would a rose be sans the pricking thorn?

 

Would we desire for light if there was no darkness?

What would be the importance of peace without the fear of war?

Would the rich be rich if there were no poor?

What would the hero do if the villain never showed up?

 

Would we appreciate success in the absence of failure?

What would be pretty if there was no ugly?

Would life be treasured if death were not the end?

AND …

Would we worship God if the Devil never threatened?

 

 

 

 

Happy Women’s Day?

International Women’s Day!

Every year March 8 is dedicated to women across the globe and ‘celebrated’ as International Women’s Day. It has been over a century now since the world ‘honoured’ women with a complete day to themselves. How did the celebrations begin? I will not get into that as there is ample matter on the web to give a detailed account of why and how countries across the world came together for this cause.

The following link can throw some light on the matter.

Why is International Women’s Day Celebrated? 

No doubt, a lot has been achieved since the first step women took to bring about a change in their lives.

  • Women have entered the field of education. Savitribai Phule from Pune, India, fought all odds and became one of top educators the world has seen.
  • There has been a marked increase in women occupying top positions in leading corporate offices, take for example Indira Nooyi who headed PepsiCo.
  • Many of the world’s top political leaders have been women. We cannot forget Indira Gandhi and Margaret Thatcher.
  • Women have taken the leap and reached space with Valentina Tereshkova from Russia being the first in 1969.
  • Women have shown remarkable skills in the field of science. It was Maria Mayer, who suggested the nuclear shell model of the atomic nucleus.

Listing the achievements of women from across the world will never come to an end. We are seeing increasing number of women enter fields that were only open to men and not considered suitable for the ‘weaker sex.’ Women are now accepted to be suitable for combat services too, be it land, water or air.

Women Globe

Indeed, women are in a far better state than they were a century ago. However, can we talk in the affirmative in issues like the following on a global scale?

  • Women get equal rights to study and pursue a career.
  • It is absolutely safe for a woman to venture out alone at night.
  • There is no disparity in the pay-scale of men and women.
  • Girls are not made to drop out of school to get married.
  • Women share equal rights to enter places of worship.
  • A girl child is a blessing to the family.
  • Women do not suffer from domestic violence.
  • Women are no more subject to sexual abuse and violence.

These are just a handful of issues that women are facing even today, a century after the first International Women’s Day was observed. When we see the achievements of women over the century and the illnesses that plagued the society with respect to women it is difficult to imagine what life must have been like back then.

It was not an easy time to be a woman then but what do we say about today? Women do not need to be equal to men. There will always be a difference between the two genders. What is needed is care and respect. How difficult is it to care for an individual and to respect her existence. NO, NOT PITY BUT RESPECT!

By the way, I did get a 40 percent discount on my Starbucks bill for being a woman today!   Happy Women’s Day to me.