Category Archives: My Blog

My blog – the right place for you to read and understand how I think about things and what all I want to say.

Cruises, Autthornama

Create Memories to Last a Lifetime with Mediterranean Cruises


Mediterranean cruises offer you a travel experience that you will carry around in your heart, mind, and soul all the time. As you explore and travel through exotic and ancient cities of Greece, France, Italy or Turkey, it is an experience that will stay with you long after you step off the deck. The feel of the cruise’s rocking motion will sway your senses and lull you in your own bed at home. Breathtaking visuals of the sea, islands, and ports will mesmerize your whole being when you feel stressed from work. Mouthwatering varieties of fresh Mediterranean and other cuisines will continue to tantalize your taste buds long after you return home. As I said, the memories will stay afresh.

A Sailing City

A Mediterranean cruise liner is a luxury resort with its own boulevards, a-la-carte restaurants, sun lounges, swimming pools, spas, gymnasiums, concert halls, casinos, live performers, shows and much more. But, before you can indulge in any of these activities, an experienced traveler knows it makes sense to first explore and mesmerize the layout. If you are not inclined to do so, just carry the map of the liner with you. The chances of you getting lost are almost impossible, but if you do manage that, as I did, just turn to the all polite and smiling staff to guide you.

The Hopper Offer

The most interesting aspect of Mediterranean cruises is that you can travel to famous European cities and cover historical sites with the exuberance of a beach holiday. Some cruises meander through tiny islands whisking you away from the modern stresses without compromising on comfort or luxury. As per your travel plans to explore cities or luxuriate on the liner, choose cruise packages that suits your needs. Some packages include wine through the day while others offer staterooms with butlers.

Plan Your Holiday

However, before you finalize your travel plans, keep in mind that only a few liners offer embarkation and disembarkation ports without visas. Most of them are from cities in Europe and Asia and return airfare is not included in package costs. Even excursions packages on most liners can be customized to suit your demands. What are you waiting for, choose the ports, plan the holiday and freeze your Mediterranean cruise liner by booking online! 

A Tip: Most Mediterranean ports and cities have a summer vacation in August, so if you want to avoid heavy crowds, plan your trip in before or after. 

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?

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.

Meeting, Manners, Professionals

The Meeting Manners

Manners and mannerisms define a person, especially in the office space. No manager is averse to the negative impact that bad manners can have on his team and its future. Each manager has an example to set and certain unsaid rules and regulations are accepted as part of a leader’s mannerism, especially while planning and conducting meetings. They ultimately affect the team morale and all the entire team is expected to follow them. Five of the basic manners that every professional leader should have in their armoury while conducting a meeting is discussed here

Be on Time: Time is money, time once lost cannot be regained, etc., etc.; every person has grown up hearing some variation of these proverbs. But, their essentiality is everlasting. The team leader has to be on time and should expect every team member to be on time. There can be no second guesses or laxity regarding this basic manner. Most mannerism experts suggest arriving 5-15 minutes early for a business meeting. Being on time defines you as a responsible person who values his own time and that of others.

Dress Appropriately: Accept the fact that your dress and shoes make an impact. You have to know the written, or guess the unwritten code, and dress accordingly. You may argue it is a business meeting and performance matters, more. You are right, but there is a public image that your company needs to adhere and present. You should portray yourself as capable of meeting those demands. Flamboyancy works only for entertainers and people with the chutzpah to pull it off.

Switch off you Mobile: Meetings are scheduled for face-to-face interactions, therefore, eliminating the need for any phone calls. Attending calls, sending messages or any other disturbance from your mobile phone during meetings is considered rude. Switch off your mobile or keep it on vibrating mode. Don’t even for a moment think that if you are playing or chatting under the table, others at the table will not notice. You will be branded as careless and irresponsible.

Measure your Words: You are in a meeting, not a bar where casual or foul language is acceptable. You will get a chance to be heard so you do not need to either interrupt or shout. At every business meeting, speak softly and measure your words. The best way forward is to be prepared for the meeting, knowing your subject thoroughly and having prepared answers for questions that may arise. This will help you answer sensibly and correctly. Be firm, not aggressive to gain the respect of your peers and seniors.

Listen Attentively: Listening as a mannerism is a trait sadly lacking in many a gentleman and gentlewoman. I use the words gentle because listeners are considered sensitive and more in tune with the mood of the meeting, which is absolutely true. The more you listen, the more you have a chance to observe, learn and understand what the other person is saying. Listening is a skill but it also is a basic mannerism that requires you to let the other person complete sentences and thoughts.

If you are not adhering to even one of the basic mannerisms mentioned above, your reputation, operations and career are both in trouble. These manners are not only demanded of you as a professional but will help you build your personal brand and enhance its value! 

Away, the

Another year goes by,
All we can say is, “Oh, how time flies,”
Ahoy, sailing in the winds in goes,
Always twinkling with the stars for a mo,
And, yet, it remains hidden,
Away from us, and withing us,
Attached to our hearts,
As memories forevermore!

© A.G.

10 Things Hospital Waiting Rooms Showed Me

Nobody likes going to hospitals. But, you have to. The extended waiting times and the fear of disease lead to chaos in the minds. But, waiting rooms are also a source of inspiration and human kindness. Here, are the 10 things I saw in the hospital waiting room.

Sick children break your heart

As a parent, a small, listless child, held like a China Doll by a father, breaks your heart, every, single, time. I can see the red eyes, puffed up from crying, and yet, each parent will smile, and you can see their lips move closer to their child’s ears. These are words of encouragement, and love, not only for their child but also for themselves.

2. Human beings are temperamental

Despite all the civility and educational superiority humans claim to possess, a hospital is a right place to see temperaments. Whether it is the nurses, the attendants, the other medical staff or the patients themselves, it takes little for tempers to glare or angry words to be exchanged.

3. Everyone thinks they are right

Patients, doctors and the staff, all look at the waiting room from their points of view. Patient waiting for hours agonizes, a doctor is unapologetic for attending to an emergency, and the receptionists and nurses see patients as haughty. All are right, and yet each one is wronging the other.

4. Discussions are inherent to families

All families love to debate and contradict each other, but it is in a hospital waiting rooms you see the discussions. Hunched over reports they have no expertise to read, they ask each other what the doctor said, what it means and the next steps. You know the discussion will move to the home and will be endless unless a decision is reached.

5. Faith keeps us alive

Death is what we travel towards, and yet it is our faith that keeps the wheels of our lives turning. We have faith in our ability to fight a disease, a doctor to guide us out of the depths of despair or in a God to prolong our lives. Along with our faith, it is our dreams that keep us alive

6. Shattered faith is the worst

Despite the wide berth of forgiveness that doctors enjoy, some will go ahead and shatter faith. Inability to diagnose and vanity to not refer to another doctor, showing up exhausted or drunk for surgeries and in a hurry to meet, trying to attend to more than the number of patients they can examine, forgetting to share basic instructions for diseases which leads to chronic illnesses which could have been cured in the first place.

7. Doctors are interested in money

In India, patients have learned to accept the fact that they will undergo a battery of tests, unnecessary ones. Doctors today are more of money making nodules of a hospital than the healers they are meant to be. To be noble is an outdated virtue and patients with limited options, work on the premise- as long as I am healed, it’s Ok.

8. All humans are not equal

Gender, race, religion or any other classification you want divide humans with cease to exist in a hospital.waiting room. Here, the population is divided, patients and their attendees, hospitals and their staff. God created us all equal, and yet, there are divides which we exist, In real life, reel life as well as hospital life.

9. Nature thrives on interdependency
Patients are fully dependent on doctors, and doctors may not realize it, but without patients ready to line up and wait for them, their demi-God status will come crashing down. Both are dependent on each other for success in living and thriving.

10. Health is wealth
I hate to use the word, but here I have to, literally. If you are healthy, you do not need to waste money and time in hospital waiting rooms. So, an advice I hope I am able to put into practice, exercise, eat well and stay away from junk. In the long run, you will save thousands, as you will need doctors less.