Thedi Soru Nitham Thindru…

I love the below poem by Mahakavi Subramaniya Bharathiyar !!!

Whenever I feel down, I read this and I feel that I have strength to fight against my problems..I  like this lyrics to the core!!!

தேடிச் சோறுநிதந் தின்று – பல
சின்னஞ் சிறுகதைகள் பேசி – மனம்
வாடித் துன்பமிக உழன்று – பிறர்
வாடப் பலசெயல்கள் செய்து – நரை
கூடிக் கிழப்பருவ மெய்தி – கொடுங்
கூற்றுக் கிரையெனப்பின் மாயும் – பல
வேடிக்கை மனிதரைப் போலே – நான்
வீழ்வே னென்று நினைத் தாயோ?

நின்னைச் சிலவரங்கள் கேட்பேன் – அவை
நேரே இன்றெனக்குத் தருவாய் – என்றன்
முன்னைத் தீயவினைப் பயன்கள் – இன்னும்
மூளா தழிந்திடுதல் வேண்டும் – இனி
என்னைப் புதியவுயி ராக்கி – எனக்
கேதுங் கவலையறச் செய்து – மதி
தன்னை மிகத்தெளிவு செய்து – என்றும்
சந்தோஷங் கொண்டிருக்கச் செய்வாய்…

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My Experience at Passport Seva Kendra, Tambaram, Chennai…

This post is about my experience at PSK Tambaram..I have already blogged about process for applying passport online here..

This PSK office is at ground floor and first floor..In second floor, A/c waiting room for hourly charges, toilets, and a small canteen is available (I think it is owned by some private parties)..They charge Rs.5 for toilets and Rs.30 or Rs.40 as one hour charge for A/c waiting room..

I reached at PSK half an hour before my scheduled time..I was allowed inside at my particular time slot and I was asked to provide my online appointment receipt and original and xerox copies of documents for my name and address proof and matriculation mark sheet..After checking, original copies were returned back to me and I was sent to another counter for getting a token number..I got a token there and was asked to go to first floor for further process..

In first floor, there are A, B and C counters..Counter A is manned by TCS ( outsourced by government for passport issuance) employees and Counters B & C are manned by government officials..There are display screens in which token numbers and counter numbers are displayed..

Counter A:

I showed my original documents and xerox copies of the same to lady in the counter..She scanned all those documents and photograph and finger prints are also taken at the same counter..After that, She showed me the screen and asked me to check my details again…I paid Rs.45 in the same counter for knowing the status  of passport application  through SMS..

Then I was told that I have to go to  counter B for further verification.

Counter B:

Token number was the same and after some time, I was called at counter B..

Here my experience was different with many twists..Let me explain the same with bullet points for better understanding..

  • All my documents were cross checked with originals  by the Officer X (I don’t know the name and so let me call as “Officer X”)
  • I was asked for an additional self declaration for a minor name change..I asked the need for the same as I had already provided necessary documents for change of name and told that it is not mentioned in website..I got a reply that everything is not mentioned in the website..
  • Anyway as it is self declaration, I got the format  at ground floor, filled the same and went to the same counter.The Officer X checked the same and I was told to visit Counter A  again for scanning..
  • At Counter A, I was informed by the staff that self declaration is not needed now (It seems that earlier it was necessary and now process had changed)..Finally they scanned the same as that Officer X had asked for the same.
  • I went back to counter B and now that Officer X told me some corrections in that declaration and asked me to re scan the same ( I really can’t understand why the same wasn’t mentioned when it was earlier checked by the same officer)
  • I visited counter A again and re scanned the same document again.
  • I came to same Officer X in counter B and now I was told that it was lunch time and I have to wait for my token number after lunch..
  • I waited and finally I was called at another counter by another Officer..Again documents were checked and I was informed that there is no need of that extra declaration anyway..I told that I was asked for the same by Officer X previously..
  • I was then asked to go to “C” counter where final decision is taken regarding the issuance of passport..

I feel that Officer X didn’t like the question I asked about self declaration not mentioned in their website..I am sure I didn’t ask anything wrong – Making me run from pillar to post for an extra unnecessary document is not fair..Anyway, I was patient as my work had to be completed..

Counter C:

After some time, I was called at “C” counter and my original documents were checked again and finally passport was granted..I was given acknowledgement letter and was told that I would get my passport after police verification..Initially I thought that it would take more time, but was surprised that everything got completed within three hours..

Police verification is over and finally I received my passport !!!

Overall I feel that I had a good experience at PSK Tambaram despite of minor issues..I know, things like this happen and everything else was good and organised well at PSK Tambaram.

Book Review 7 – “26 Favorite foods & A Little Bit Of Me” – by Mayuri Nidigallu #BlogChatterEbookCarnival

I am reviewing the following book:

“26 Favorite foods & A Little Bit Of Me” – by Ms.Mayuri Nidigallu 

About the Book:

This book is a collection of favorite foods of the Author –  She talks about her memory and moments with food in 26 chapters in alphabetical Order.

About the Author:

Ms.Mayuri Nidigallu is a tarot card reader by profession and writer by design..Since she already knows what the future holds, she enjoys unwrapping the present..

She blogs at http://www.srimiri.in.

My thoughts on this book:

Author talks about her favorite foods from various states..I liked the way she correlated the food and also information about her in alphabetical order..

It was really good to read about various food items and I haven’t  even heard of many in the list..

For some of her favorite foods, author had provided a link of the recipe which takes us to her blog..I personally felt that instead of link, if recipe is copy pasted in E-book, then it would have been easier for readers..Anyway, it is my personal opinion..

I know I would try preparing some of the unique food items mentioned by her..

Gratitude and Learning Series – July 2017

Gratitude – I think it is necessary to move on in our life..Whenever I face problems and I ask the “Why me??” question, gratitude had helped me a lot to come back to normal..As we all know, both bad and good experiences teach us a good lesson and this learning will definitely help us in our future life..

I would like to start a gratitude and learning series at the end of every month – Let me start with things that I am thankful for and what I learnt in July..

July  month made me realize that I am still strong – I never thought I would bounce back  very soon after whatever personal problems which I faced in previous months – I accept it still hurts, but this month made me acknowledge that I am still strong and could face problems with a smile.

I started enjoying my routine and didn’t feel that it is boring – I realized that I don’t know what would happen in future – It is better to enjoy what we have today and small joys helps us to stay calm in somewhat troubled life..

I joined in a gym near my house last month and it has been a good experience so far and I am enjoying the same..Pushing myself out of my comfort zone and achieving even small targets gave me joy – It helps me to relax my mind too – I am happy that physically I am able to do  all exercises without much pain..

In Gym, I met few people who wanted to know why I joined gym as I am not fat – I told them that I wanted to be fit..This question became repetitive and I am annoyed – I never interfere or give opinions unless asked for and I feel it would be good if others learn the same…I am surprised to see some people who still generalize a person’s character based on caste/religion..I hate when people generalize everything – I never do this and I feel it is high time that we learn not to connect a person’s behavior to his/her caste..

I am grateful that many of my  small wishes materialized in July..I really thank God for this as it helped me to gain my confidence back..

I am a sensitive and emotional person – If I am tensed, I shout or cry…But in July, I couldn’t believe the way I behaved – Even in a big problem, I maintained my cool and spoke what I wanted to without any emotions – It is a big personal achievement – I didn’t shout but I had a mature conversation with them..I spoke in a detached way as if I am talking to a stranger .. I am happy now as I again learnt a lesson that it’s my mistake to trust unworthy people in life..

July was a mix of  both good and bad experiences for me and I learned a lot..So,What about you??

Why I feel that Oviya in Bigg Boss Tamil is being Overrated???

(Disclaimer: Everyone is entitled to have an opinion and this post is about my views..If you are a hardcore Oviya fan, please don’t read this as you may not like it..If you are ready to acknowledge flaws in the person you love, then you can continue reading..)

#SaveOviya – If you are regularly watching Bigg Boss Tamil Show in Vijay Tv, then you would definitely understand the above mentioned famous hashtag in twitter..

First question which came to my mind is, Oviya has to be saved from whom??  from terrorists or aliens ???.. Ok, jokes apart, I think it is just a game show and here all the contestants wants to be the winner..Whether it is right or wrong, there will be cut throat competition here..The person who manages all this in a graceful and strong way deserves to be the winner!!!

I want to be clear in my point – I watch this show and I am neither a fan nor a hater of anyone in this.. As we know, people are different and so are the ones who participate in this show..Everyone has their plus and minus and majority of us tend to ignore the minuses in the person we like..

Ok, let me start what I think about Oviya…As of now, I am neutral in my opinion – I don’t like her the way everybody is crazy about her and I don’t hate her either..

When I started watching this show, I liked the way she was dancing for a day or two..But when it happened everyday, I felt bored (OK, may be I am differently wired)..I feel that she is not a good team player – There may be both good and bad people in a team, but it is very vital to participate in a team and its activities…In this kind of show, it is very important to mingle with others..Yes, few will try to irritate her, but she should be strong enough to manage them in an effective manner..

I feel this show became interesting when someone tries to play the victim card and they get support from people..Many of the so-called Oviya fans are criticizing other contestants in public platform in a very bad manner..I accept they are entitled to express but not in indecent way and it is now becoming more  bad personal attacks which can never be justified..

Majority of us tell lies, get angry and even gossip about others in our life – Will we accept that we belong to worst kind of human beings ?? Never ..But we expect those contestants to be perfect epitome of humanity and we criticize them badly if they don’t meet our expectations..

Consider this situation – In our life, we may blindly like or love a particular person in our family or a friend..We don’t mind their flaws/mistakes and continue liking them..I think this is what happening in Oviya’s case..

I feel she is OK but not THE BEST, as majority of people think…She is more interested about herself and she stays aloof  and is not a team player..I like that she doesn’t gossips about others as of now and I appreciate her for this – But we have to accept the fact that as it is a competitive show, others would definitely trigger her and she has to manage to survive and win – I am not justifying others’ behavior, but we all know that it is tend to happen..

Using bad words or trying to hit others can never be justified or glorified in any situation – According to me, Whoever does this, including Oviya, they are wrong and  nobody can escape saying that I got angry as the other person triggered me and so I uttered bad words or tried to hit..

Majority of us have this bad habit  – We perceive some people to be very bad and if they make mistakes, then we consider it as a SIN and portray them as very bad villains..But if the same mistake is done by people we like, we consider their act to be heroic and brave and even congratulate them...I still wonder how a previous blunder can suddenly become right!!!

I wish to reiterate that I don’t hate Oviya, but till now, I feel that She is being Overrated by people and I am not sure whether She deserves it!!!

I know my opinion may differ from others, but this is what I feel and  Whether I am  right or wrong ??? I think it is too early to answer and we have to wait and watch!!!

Indu, Please come back!!! #defeatingdeathforaday

When I was browsing  through Indiblogger website, I saw  the below topic for Indispire this week:

If you could bring back someone from the other side of the rainbow bridge for just one day, would you do that?#defeatingdeathforaday

First person who came to my mind is the one whom I have never met in my life..

I haven’t seen her, spoken with her and she is not my  friend or relative..But still she was the one who made me cry a lot on hearing the news of her sudden death due to bursting of gas cylinder before sixteen years..

Her name is Indumathi*** and she was around 22 years old when she left this world..

I  met Uma***, younger sister of Indumathi, on the first day of my college life in my hostel room..I still remember Uma crying a lot as it was the first time she was away from her family – Her father was working in a small company, her mother a house wife and her elder sister who had got married before eight months…

We both became friends and she used to share a lot with me about her family and particularly about her sister Indu..I learnt from her that Indu was a caring, intelligent and a very good person who always used to help others..Uma said that Indu was living in another city along with her husband and In-laws..

After first semester holidays, when I met Uma in our hostel room, she was crying..I thought it was due to home-sickness and consoled her – But she said that she was very much worried about Indu as she was not happy in her married life – Her husband and inlaws tortured her daily for more dowry..Uma said that as her father was already in huge debt due to Indu’s marraige, it was not possible to provide more..

During our holidays, Indu had come to her home and met her parents and uma..She was crying a lot that she couldn’t live in her husband’s house as she was facing both physical and mental abuse from them..She told them that she will never go to their house – Her parents were shocked and had advised her that she has to adjust in her life and be patient..Her father pleaded with her that he is having another younger daughter and her life would be spoiled if Indu gets separated from her husband..Uma got angry and she had told her father that Indu need not go back to the place where she was not respected..But her father scolded her back and asked her to be quiet..Indu had no option and finally left to her husband’s home accompanied by her father..As expected, her father was treated badly by her in-laws and  Indu cried a lot and her father advised her to adjust and returned to his home..Uma was sad that Indu’s life was not good and I consoled her..

I still remember that ill-fated day when Uma was called during a middle of a class to Principal’s room – Her  parents had informed Principal that Indu had died due to gas cylinder burst and  Uma’s distant brother had come to pick her up from hostel..Uma was inconsolable beyond words and left ..

Uma came back to college after a month and I could feel her pain..Her parents were grief stricken and were guilty that they had killed their own daughter..Her father had complained to Police that it was not an accident ..Uma said that Case had been filed and investigation was going on..But she was doubtful about the outcome, as Indu’s husband’s family had many influential contacts and they were involved in the case.. We both completed our under graduation and were writing letters to each other for one or two years..But after that, we lost touch…

After many years, I recently got a message from Uma..I was surprised and called her and talked a lot..She is working now and said that her husband is a very nice person..She told that her parents live along with her and she invited me to her house..I went and met her and we had a good time..Her parents remembered me and we started talking about Indu..Her father told me that he had committed a big blunder and he felt that he had killed his own daughter..They started crying and was inconsolable…Uma told me that all of them couldn’t come out of that sad incident even after many years..Their guiltyness was killing them and they still feel bad for sending Indu back to her husband earlier..I started from her home with a heavy heart..

I could understand their pain and their guilty feeling..Her father was afraid to go against the society and her mother asked her to adjust..But they finally lost their dear daugher..

If I could bring back someone alive for just one day, I would definitely bring back Indumathi…Her Parents would tell her how much they miss her and love her..They would ask her to forgive them and how much pain they are facing due to the blunder they committed..Uma would hug her loving and caring sister and cry a lot..

I would be really happy if I could defeat death for a day and bring back Indumathi to her family… It is never ever possible..But, I am sure Indumathi lives in their heart forever…

(***Note: It is a real incident but I have changed names to protect identity)

The day I left my Native Place…

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It was my last day in the city where I grew up and I still can’t believe that I am leaving this place which is very close to my heart..

I have completed my MBA and was in my hometown for last 10 days..But when time came to leave for Chennai in search of a job, I felt numb..I had been in hostel for many years, but I usually visit my place twice in a month..I wasn’t sure whether frequent visits are possible in future..

I had a weird feeling which can’t be described very easily..I know my future life will be based out of Chennai as my small town didn’t have many job opportunities for me..I was excited when I think of my future but sad when I thought of leaving my hometown..

I enjoyed a lot in those ten days before leaving my place..I visited nook and corner of my town – Each place had many sweet memories for me and it was like revisiting my past..I woke up early and went to water falls near my town and as usual, I was mesmerized by its beauty.. I took my old bicycle and visited many of my friends’ houses and most of the time I wasn’t in my home..Many of our houses had interconnecting terraces and so it was fun jumping from one terrace to other and shouting a lot..I knew many people there and I was visiting their houses to bid goodbye and it was a really good feeling when you realize that they care for you a lot and they don’t expect anything from you in return..

I didn’t think more about my future job in those 10 days and all I thought was how to enjoy to the core..I knew that these sweet memories will be in my mind forever…

Finally, it was last day in my city, and I had a train to catch that night..My family and close friends came along with me to railway station and I started to Chennai..I didn’t cry as I didn’t want to make them upset but I didn’t sleep well in train that night..I was both excited and sad and worried when I thought of my future life..

I got selected in my first interview in Chennai and my life moved on…Yes, initially I found it to be somewhat difficult but I adapted myself to live here..I still can’t believe that it is more than 12 years that I left my home town..I visit my native place once in a year and I always enjoy my peaceful stay there a lot..My hometown had changed a lot but still I feel it hasn’t lost its charm and it will always remain beautiful in my eyes!!!

This post is a part of Write Over the Weekend, an initiative for Indian Bloggers by BlogAdda.’

How to apply for Passport online??

I still remember that day before 10 years when my father asked me to apply for a Passport. I didn’t apply as I was lazy to the core..

Last month, I suddenly got this desire to apply for a fresh passport..I knew that Passport can be applied through online and so started the process of applying the same..

I browsed through their website( https://portal2.passportindia.gov.in) and all instructions are very clearly given here..I read about the documents needed for issuance of fresh passport and other details required..

Applying through online for passport is not difficult, but still I wish to explain step by step so that it may be helpful for others..

  • First step is to register ourselves in the  New user? Register Now section in above mentioned website..Passport office has to be selected and other details like name, date of birth, mail id are to be filled..After registering successfully, we will have a new login id and password..
  • We have to enter our login id and password in Existing User? Login ..Then click on Apply for a fresh passport/reissue of passport link and start filling details..There are 2 options – We can download the soft copy of the form, fill and upload the same or We can fill the application form online..I opted for filling the application online..
  • After selecting the type of application as normal/tatkaal and type of passport booklet, Applicant details like name, surname,DOB, Place of birth, gender,marital status,educational qualification, eligibility for Non-ECR Category and other details are to be filled..It is self explanatory.
  • Then we have to enter our Family details in the online application and then we have to enter our present residential address details..There is a limit to number of characters that can be typed in the address box..So, we have to mention the address correctly and carefully..If our permanent address is different from our present address, it has to be mentioned separately.Then, we have to select the police station in our area and also fill our details like mobile/telephone number, email id, etc..We have to provide name and address of two persons as our references for passport issuance.
  • Then we have to fill Emergency contact details and self declaration details..
  • After filling the form fully, we have to submit the same and then we have to schedule appointment at Passport office for application submission..We have to select a date from available dates and then pay Rs.1500 for the same..I paid the fee through online and payment was successful..
  • We also can upload supporting documents which I think is not mandatory and is optional..However, I scanned and attached the same..
  • After completing everything, we can take printouts of Online Appointment Receipt in which appointment date and time and other details are clearly mentioned..

( Note: There is an Instructions Booklet in their website which clears many of our doubts.. Please go through the same before starting to fill the application online.. Documents required are mentioned in elaborate manner..There is also an option to Save details while filling the form online)

Overall, I feel that filling application for passport online is very easy provided we read the instructions carefully..I read about documents required and other instructions fully before starting to fill online.

After filling form online, we have to visit the passport office directly as per our scheduled appointment to submit the documents..

I would write about my experience in Passport Office in my next post.

How to Declutter My Mind???

Meaning of the word “Declutter” as per dictionary is:

“to remove things you do not need from a place, in order to make it more pleasant and more useful”

How often do we declutter our houses?? What makes us or prompts us to keep our house clean?? Each one of us have our own views on keeping our house clean..We may be lethargic and keep on postponing this main task for many days..Finally, one fine day, we decide that enough is enough and we start decluttering..We realize that we have many unwanted and useless things and we are confused on what to do with them..At the end, we throw them away..We are now happy and proud to see a sparkling clean house..A big task completed !!!! Isn’t it???

Many of us are stressed and worried about something in our life – Magnitude of worries may differ among us, but we can’t deny the fact that we are stressed about something..We think a lot and everything is stored in our mind..We try hard to be calm, but couldn’t achieve the same many times..Now I have a question to myself and also to others who read this:

Have we ever thought of decluttering our minds???

To be honest, I haven’t thought of the same till now..Life teaches us many lessons and we learn by both good and bad experiences..Yes, life slapped me very hard and now I am forced to come out of negativeness sorrounding me..Is it possible to come out of mental pain which is caused by untrustworthy people ?? I really don’t know the answer till now but I believe I should try to declutter certain thoughts from my mind to be happy..I am not sure whether I will suceed or not, but I feel it is worth trying.

After searching more about decluttering our minds, I have following thoughts which I think will help me in succeeding in my effort..They are:

  • First,throw away: I have to throw away unwanted thoughts from my mind – I know it is not a easy task..I accept that certain pains are difficult to let go..But If I want to get mental peace, this is the first step which should be tried..I am sensitive in nature and I know I can’t forgive those people nor forget what they did to me, but I can throw them away from my mind..Throwing unwanted thoughts is the first step needed for decluttering my mind.
  • Express yourself: Writing what I feel in my journal/diary or in this blog certainly helps me a lot..It makes me to accept the fact that as my mind is cluttered, I become restless and unfocussed..I get this urge to help myself to clean my mind and try to be happy.
  • Don’t multitask: I have to concentrate on one thing at a time and shouldn’t multi task..If I am decluttering my house, I would first concentrate on one particular place which I feel is more dirty..I would complete cleaning that place first and move on to the next..Just like that, I have to pick on a specific issue which I feel is bad for my mental health and try to come out of that..After completion of that, I should move on to the next.
  • Reframe negative thoughts: Many of us primarily worry about what had happened in the past and what is going to happen in future..We can’t change the past, but having a positive approach helps to face our future with a smile..I have a bad habit of negative thinking and I feel that it is high time to stop it.
  • Be grateful: Many thoughts in our mind is usually about the things that we don’t have and we yearn for the same a lot..I feel that I have to start practicing gratitude in my life..Being grateful plays an important role in keeping our mind in peace.
  • Learn to say “NO”:  This is the most vital ingredient for our mental peace..I have to start saying “No” to certain people and shouldn’t do anything which I feel like not doing..If I practice this, then clutter in my mind will reduce to some extent.

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(Courtesy: Google images)

So, What are your thoughts on decluttering our minds???

Book Review 6 – “Just as it Happened” – by Kadambari Singh #BlogChatterEbookCarnival

I am reviewing the following book:

“Just as it Happened” – by Ms.Kadambari Singh 

About the Book:

This is a love story which revolves around the life of two different people Meer and Meera.

About the Author:

Ms.Kadambari Singh is a management graduate, passionate marketing professional and loves to write..

My thoughts on this book:

Meer is a young IT professional and he meets Meera, a independent, sorted girl. They meet by chance and fell in love with each other. Whether they are able to get united in their life forms the rest of the story. Author had explained about their relationship and their thoughts on love in this story. I personally liked the character Meera more when compared to Meer.

Overall, I feel this story is a light read.