All posts by Archi

Hunger, not love, conquers all

Hunger, Not Love, Conquers All

Love is the Mount Everest of all emotions. It is revered and respected throughout the world as the emotion to be surrounded by. Love God, love thy neighbour, love your family, love your country, it is everywhere and in everything. And, the most delirious and dangerous of them all is the mantra propagated through boardrooms and classrooms, “love your work to succeed.”  Inspired by an article I came across on Miya Tokumitsu and a conversation in the family on the concept of love as experienced and elevated by the younger generation, led me to pen my thoughts.

We Remain Selfish At Heart

Love is important, undoubtedly, it is the emotion that binds individuals and groups, family and friends – a mother to her child, a father to his family and a human to existence.  Yes, it binds and it limits, but it also uplifts and empower. But for me personally, hunger, not love is the emotion that drives the world to move forward. We have moved forward, from being wild, uncontrolled creatures, to becoming animals who have mastered thoughts and speech. But, we have definitely not mastered our actions or the hunger that drives those actions. The cases of mob attacks are examples of animals, posing as evolutionised beings, but really just animals, unable to control their hunger, of what, I am still trying to grasp.

Hunger & Anger Are the Driving Forces

Have you ever been hungry? Hungry for food? For love? For success? For money? For power? Not getting food on time leads to anger, and we have even invented a term for – Hangry. As a citizen of the world, where poverty and hunger remain supreme, we who miss a meal or two are allowed to be Hangry; but what of the millions for whom it’s a way of life? They rob, steal, kill or are led into the world of slavery by criminals or salvation by priests, and we of full bellies, call them uneducated, uncouth and unrefined. A section of our society is born hangry – their hunger is gut-wrenching that starts from their gut and extends to the guts of their parents, siblings, spouses, kids and all whom they know. They work tirelessly not because they love what they do, but because they need to feed. I quote Ms. Miya Tokumitsu when I say that the CEOs, the glamorous and the worshipped, are successful not only because they worked hard and smart, but because they had at their disposal a population working tirelessly in factories and behind the scenes to feed their hungry that led to the starry successes. Her angst on Steve Jobs saying he was successful because he did what he loves is clearly reflected in what she states is directly demeaning to the hundreds of workers in his factories across Asia who work because they are hungry and not because they love Apple they way Jobs or final consumers do.

It is this hunger that forces each individual to work and allows the strong willed and the really hungry, and here the term drive comes to mind, to give us numerous, inspiring stories where individuals have defied their hunger circumstances to reach the skies where full stomachs reign.   These stories bring tears to our eyes and hope to our hearts but are merely reduced to textbooks and whatsapp messages to be forwarded to all. But then what? We remain hungry. We are born hungry. We never give up on hunger. Success, money and power become the hunger drives or the hunger games that continue to hound. Love too! We are taught the importance of love and each X, Y, Z generation revels in the freedom to love and choose whom to love. Romantic stories thrive on each youthful generation that challenges parents and society. Young and old alike believe love will let us survive, but look at ratio of divorce, suicides or depression to know that love never survives the hardships faced by hunger of the soul, belly, mind or money.

I reiterate,  hunger, not love, is what conquers all. Don’t believe me. Then answer this simple explanation – why are we easily influenced by hunger as it resides in our bodies, dominating our actions but let love slide, screaming at your spouses, taking our families for granted or asking our friends to understand shortage of time and patience. Can you do the same to hunger? Can you sleep hungry, physical or otherwise? Imagine trying to sleep while you know that painting is unfinished, the task your boss asked you to do is lagging or your competitor offered a better deal to your customers?

Hunger Is A Better Driver Than Love

Love lets you sleep, but hunger encourages, nay ensures, your survival. The best achievements of life, the most precious moments, the success we achieve, all through our life, love is the emotion that resounds on our screen and soul and falsely given the credit but it should be hunger. For a businessman, it is the hunger of money, for a politician it is the hunger of chair, for the actor, adulation is the hunger, for the thief, the heist, for the student, an A+ grade, for the mother, food for her child and so on and so forth. For the author in me, it is the hunger of stringing words together perfectly and a piece well-written that hounds my dreams and desires.

What is the hunger that drives you or are you still of the belief that love conquers all?

Stonehenge, England, Authornama

Stonehenge, England: A Marvel of Pre-Historic Architecture

A visit to the burial ground may not be very high on bucket list of most people. But, Stonehenge in Wiltshire, England, deserves a mention on the list, and it most certainly deserves a visit. The majestic and gigantic stone structures hold even the most advanced scientists, engineers, architects and builders in awe, let alone people like you and me. As you cross the English countryside experiencing the natural fauna and fauna, however, prepared you are, you are bound to be awestruck and humbled by the dominating sight of the Stonehenge, England.  

The most prominent question to cross every mind as it come across the stones is. “How and why did this get built?” Through centuries many archeologists and scientists have presumed and propagated Stonehenge theories as to what those stone structures represent. Some have called them the ‘work of the Druids’ while others believed them to be monuments for pagan rituals or biblical patriarchs. There are some experts who believe that the Stonehenge stones were placed for astronomical reasons and a minor population who believe they were incarnations of modern sport arenas.

However, detailed surveys of the areas surrounding the Stonehenge grounds have modern scientists proclaiming it as a burial ground. What scientist say must be true since they are working tirelessly and sincerely to solve this Stonehenge mystery. But, no theory can lessen the mystique and magic of an ancient site that links us to our past! Stones weighing up to 50 tonnes were rolled into standing positions in a horseshoe and circle shape. If this is not amazing, what is! Believe it or not, radiocarbon dating suggests that this heritage structure was built from 3100 BC till the year 1600 BC.

Whatever the theory you want to believe, you must visit the prehistoric site for its architectural wonder. While debunking Stonehenge facts or choosing your favourite theories, ensure that you view the structure with the rising and the setting rays of the sun. The structure aligns itself to the 21st December solstice. It leads one to wonder, maybe, just maybe, theories calling Stonehenge a ritual ground or an astronomical monument are true.

#10Things for Freelancers

10 Things You Can Do to Get Bulk Work As a Freelance Content Writer

Getting work as a freelance content writer is easy if you follow the below guidelines

One of the major concerns for a content writer is always, “How do I reach out to a company or agency for bulk freelance content writing work?” It seems a daunting task but is actually quite easy. You can be at peace knowing that there is enough work for everybody – all digital marketing agencies and corporate sites today need to outsource their work.

Here, are the steps you should follow to reach out to the best companies and get content writing assignments:

  1. Research the Companies
  • Do a Google search for the best digital marketing companies
  • Check out the sites for quality of language and clients
  • Read reviews to know how the company treats it freelancers – people not getting paid are sure to talk about it
  1. Contact People Who Can Help
  • Use your LinkedIn profile or any social media group to reach out to people working in the company you are interested in
  • Ask to be introduced to the right person
  • If your contact list cannot be of help, go to the next step
  1. Check Contact Information on the Website
  • Go to the contact page on the website, and send in an email to the mentioned email ID.
  • Try a variation of the site addresses, if you do not want to reach out to a salesperson – Check the address – is it .com, .org, .in, Then use hrd or content@companyname.com. You are sure to get a response
  • There is no harm in reaching out to multiple people on the same email
  1. Reach Out to the Concerned Person
  • A simple Hi will suffice if there is no name.
  • Don’t try and guess the gender of the person
  • In the subject line add – looking for an opportunity as a freelance writer
  • Your email should reflect your language skills – it should be error-free
  1. Share Your Details
  • Share a professional summary like your experience, the niche you are comfortable in, the cost, and the amount of work you can complete in a day.
  • Share personal information such as your phone number, the email ID which can be used to reach you, your working hours, etc.
  • Attach a resume, if you have one
  1. Sharing Samples
  • If possible, attach samples of your work in the original email.
  • Use your best samples, which are error-free and will get instant approval.
  • Send samples of the niches you are most comfortable with
  • It is Ok, not to share samples in the first contact mail, and let the person-in-charge ask for them
  1. Follow Up For Work
  • Remember, the response may take 1–3 working days.
  • If you do not get a response, send a reminder. You can send up to 3 reminders.
  • Reach out to a separate ID, if the response is still not received
  1. Get the Conversation Flowing
  • Despite the sharing of details in the first mail, you may be asked to write a sample.
  • I am of the view, why not? However – if they are using the content, you get paid, if not, you go ahead and use it on your website
  • Ask questions – what kind of work will I get, how much will I get, and what are the payment terms.
  • Don’t be afraid to negotiate on the price. But, this is tricky, because some agencies have a limit on the price they can pay, while others are willing to pay a high-cost, but then their quality standards will be stricter.
  1. Sign A Contract
  • Most companies will ask you to sign a contract and NDA.
  • Read the terms and conditions carefully and take a decision
  • Once the contract is signed you will not be allowed to reach out to clients of the company you are working with for a certain period.
  • Once the contract is signed, you are bound by that decision
  1. Commit to Quality
  • Be ready for rejections and revisions if you are not able to meet their standards of quality. You cannot have a ‘bad day at work’ and expect the work to keep coming
  • Companies want work delivered as per their deadlines. They are more than willing to let good writers go if the content is not delivered as per timelines
  • Clients have expectations from their freelance content writer.

In conclusion, reaching out to a client for a bulk order is the easy part. It is also easy to convince them that let you come on board. The actual difficulty arises, when you are required to start delivering content. Most companies will give you a monthly timeline, along with details of their requirements, Fulfilling the requirements in terms of quality and timelines is what will get you bulk work, repeatedly!

 

10 Skills Every Homemaker Should Know!

The world is forever letting women know what they can and cannot do. A few years ago, it was – You are meant to take care of the home and kids. And, today, it is, you should be working outside the home to truly contribute. No, it is a choice, both men and women should be given. Happiness and peace come from doing things you like and enjoy. Of course, getting appreciation also matters!

So, if you are a housewife or a househusband, or are planning to be one, here are the 10 Skills you should absolutely know.

  1. Become aware of nutrition – Are you surprised that cooking is not the first! Well, to me, knowing and understanding nutrition is much more important than knowing how to cook. Every person needs to eat 4-5 meals in a day, and you will be the person responsible for preparing these meals. As such, it is necessary for you to know how to make tasty dishes which are nutritious. Get knowledge of proteins, carbohydrates, vitamins, minerals, etc. to ensure you are all physically fit.
  2. Learn how to sew – You have to get ready to take on the responsibility of mending torn socks, sewing loose buttons or hems. Keeping your sewing kit ready for an emergency will come in handy for the smooth running of a home, and subduing tempers and tantrums. But, knowing how to stitch a skirt out of a bed-sheet or patching a quilt out of old coats, is a bonus. You can even learn how to knit or tat, to save money and create beautiful, cardigans, scarves, shawls or even tops!
  3. Brush up portfolio management skills – Project managers, rise to program managers and then become portfolio managers. Do you realize what this means? You have to learn the ten commandments of project management, learn how to fit every project into a program and manage them all together under the portfolio – keeping the house and the people living in it together as a happy, wholesome, bunch. People, finance and time management are the most crucial, as are planning, execution, and analysis.
  4. Master arts and crafts – Please do not think this is for school assignments only. You can decorate your home with self-made paintings, or crafts work. If this is not of interest to you, cultivate a hobby. Reading, dancing, writing poetry, video-gaming, there are so many things to choose from.  These are the lifelines of a homemaker, giving you the freedom to express various moods, even if the end result is for your eyes only.
  5. Cultivate deep friendships – You will make many friends in the future, friends of spouses, parents from school, neighbors, and more. And, then there are friendships of your childhood and with cousins or other family members. Learn to call people home, go out for a coffee, or take time out to chat. Remember, you have to learn to love each friend as they will give you social standing, emotional support or tips, and tricks to make your life simple. You too can learn to support them, and that is a trait of a good homemaker, letting people know they can count on you.
  6. Be prepared for stress – Being a homemaker is a relentless job. You can switch off from an office, but you can never say Goodbye to your household duties. The pressure to keep everyone happy, and losing out on things you once considered important is going to happen. It is life, it happens to everybody, and you will be no exception. You have to prepare to take on the stresses of life with deep breathing, laughter, physical exercise and keeping your mind active and positive.
  7. Basic sciences are a necessity – Did you know home science or home economics graduates undergo training in basic sciences? Physics, Chemistry, Botany, Zoology, Economics? This is apart from your basic food & nutrition, textiles, home cleaning, and child development! The basics are necessary to help you understand how an acid will react on a hard floor, or why certain foods will taste better with some ingredients.
  8. Child development is the key – Some homemakers choose the profession because they do not want to leave the kids with strangers. There are many parenting books and sites to help you understand and manage the different stages of your child’s growth. You can learn about their behaviors at every age, how to do CPR, treat illnesses, manage tantrums, entertain their friends ‘correctly’, face bruises. fractures, or even minor electrocution require immediate attention from a doctor. Apart from physical fitness, you also need to know how to challenge the young minds and keep them growing well.
  9. Learn how to drive – Believe me, despite all the public transportation you have, knowing how to drive a car is a necessity for a homemaker. Don’t treat this lightly. Dropping a child to school for a test or to the doctor’s clinic for inoculation is a task will more than likely be your responsibility. You should also know how to ride a bike, skip a rope, play hopscotch, throw a ball – the list is quite endless. These are skills you will use to interact with your kids and have a good time while doing so.
  10. Develop the happiness gene – I know scientific breakthrough still has not discovered the art of human genome interchangeability or enhancement. But, you have to convert your DNA into the happy gene. You have to learn how to remain happy, even when everything in life is going wrong, and days seem like endless minutes of chores. Your positive attitude will rub off on your partner, kids, plants, and the overall environment of your home.

Time will slip through your fingers, when you are preparing meals, looking for keys, driving kids to school, etc. Keep yourself happy, your friends around, and pursue a hobby, and you will enjoy the journey immensely.

Indian Heroes

Two Heroes of India

Two heroes of India,

One vocal

One silent,

One became father

One became PM,

One is our pride

One is our afterthought!

 

Two martyrs of India

One shot

One lost,

One died in a crowd

One in a room alone,

One we celebrate

One we obliviate!

 

Two leaders of India

One worshipped

One forgotten,

One history loves

One history’s footnote,

One we quote

One we ignore!

 

Two Strengths of India

One omnipresent

One overshadowed,

One is Gandhi

One is Shastri,

One we wish Happy Birthday

One we wish, oh you too!!!

 

Blinds, Awnings

Blinds and Awnings for Your Home During the Summer

Jute chiks (traditional blinds of India) were popular additions to Indian homes to battle the onslaught of summers. Jute, as everybody knows, is used for twining and ropes and the fiber from the young shoots was used to create window and door shades from the scorching Indian sun.

Why was Jute popular?

First of all, it was abundantly available, making it an option for the rich and the not-so-rich. The straws were strung together tightly to reduce the effects of the hot, dry and dusty summer in the homes. Palaces had jute curtains hanging from crevices and columns, and there were people tasked to keep sprinkling water onto them. The reason – whatever dry air passed through the curtain, it absorbed moisture, cooling the indoor air temperature. Others sprinkled water themselves, but even without the water, the jute chiks were a barrier against the hot winds. Borders were added and different colors were used to paint the straws to give them a stylish element.

Jute chiks lost their sheen

Even when electricity and fans came, people continued to use jute chiks. With the advent of air conditioners, the role of jute chiks diminished, as people moved to the more ‘cooler’ option. But with power cuts a permanent fixture in nearly every city of India, the air conditioner, just becomes a unit on the wall, which is not even pretty. Temperatures in North Indian cities can reach up to 48 degrees, binding people indoors. Despite the most modern cooling units, and uninterrupted supply of electricity, windows and doors need to be covered.

You need Window Coverings to battle the summer heat

Modern window blinds and awnings play a pivotal role during summers. They disallow intense sun rays to enter through glass windows and doors. They also enhance the style quotient of your interiors and exteriors.

Window blinds are used inside the homes, and when drawn down, they keep the piercing light of the sun from entering your room.

· Blackout Roller Blinds allow you to completely block sun rays, making them ideal for windows that receive more than their fair share of the Indian sun.

· Wooden Venetian Blinds have slats you can tilt to control the rays entering your home.

· You can opt for Honeycomb Blinds, designed to keep cool in summers.

Awnings, on the other hand, are designed for your home exteriors. They are placed on top of windows and doors to protect you from sun, wind, and rain.

· Drop Arm Awnings, Window Awnings, and Fixed Awnings ensure that your windows and doors remain shaded.

· Terrace Awnings, Vertical Awnings, Drop Arm Awnings, and Gazebos are perfect add-ons to your terraces, gardens, and balconies.

Lots of options to choose from

Today, there are the stylish and dazzling array of colors, fabrics, and designs you can add to your home to battle the summers. Express yourself with the choices available. The best part is you do not need to step out in the heat to look at their offerings. Just give them a call and most manufacturers and retailers are willing to send a sales executive to your home with a set of samples.