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For all my myLot friends - I would like to share some advice that some of my friends on myLot told me about. I thought I'd share it with you, since it can really multiply your earnings on myLot. I have been informed that, when you post/reply to discussions, if you write at least six lines, you will be paid a higher amount for that, than if you were to just write one or two lines. If you can keep your sentences short, then six lines is not a lot ! So friends, try to keep this advice in mind for your future discussions and the money start to add up quicker than it was before.

Sunday, December 7, 2014

E-Books Vs Real Books. Which Ones o You Prefer?

    In today's time, many publishing houses are opting for the digital format over the printed version. The physical copy of a book has a solid feel to it and at times is visually appealing than the digital format. One can walk down a book isle, see what is on display, pick one up, flip through the pages and see if it is worth purchasing. The digital store provides the convenience of browsing through pages of books on sale where you can read the description, see if it appeals to you and the customer can order whichever book appeals to them.  

    A certain number of books as decided by the store outlet need to be maintained at all times since a customer can walk in at anytime to browse through the choices to see what catches his/her eye. The digital version is easier to sell as it can be purchased and downloaded through most electronic devices and one does not need to maintain a physical stock thereby reducing the operating costs and boosting profits as there won't be any unsold stock left if the books/magazines loses favour with the customers.
    I have always loved the feel of a real book in my hands and it's a real pleasure taking ones times reading the contents, pausing for a bit and coming back to restart ones reading. The feel of real paper between ones finger and thumb as the page is flipped or when a finger runs down the page. Neither batteries nor a power plug required. The smell of a freshly printed book is something. Or discovering a long forgotten book/magazine, opening it gingerly so that the pages don't tear, spine doesn't break, mesmerized by the combination of rush of old memories, yellowing paper, smell and rediscovering a long forgotten yet cherished book.

    E-Readers are fine and they are appropriate when one is travelling or when is constraint for space, yet they do not have the same charm as a real book. There seems to be an infinite choice of books to read and it seems folks who have such devices will never run out of material to read. One can pack a large collection of electronic books inside a slim device and read the contents at ones leisure and at any location.

    As a young child, I remember going to the library or book store to see if something new was available either in reprint or something which I had missed earlier and was now available on the book shelf and I could and could spend hours upon hours there without getting bored as long as they had a large selection of books to browse through. I just love reading and I guess this hobby has formed the bedrock of my writing which I really enjoy quite a bit. I have noticed that kids these days at times have lost this precious habit. They want everything done quick, are always in a hurry to complete something and have no patience to pick up a book and actually read it for many long hours.

    Today's kids who are born in the digital era do not know the joys of a real book nor the joys of getting lost between the covers of an interesting book or spending time in a library. Casual reading will soon become a lost art, as folks will rely on the internet to discover facts, read books and even do the copy/paste homework submission without actually learning anything. I really dread what the future holds for these digital kids when they finally join the society on their own. A future without books and a society with no patience, imagination, reading nor writing skills. A very dull society which is intoxicated by the short term, bite sized pleasures provided by the television or computers for people who have very short term attention span.

    The older generation seems to had the best of both worlds as we grew up in an era where we had real libraries, real books and one could get lost within the covers of a book. The bygone era when one could walk into either a library, a well stocked bookstore or even a cosy second hand bookstore and 'get lost' within the covers of a book only to be brought back to the present when the owner threatens to lock you inside the store for the night if you don't go home.  Folks would not mind making excursions to these much-loved spots as their imagination flourished and satisfaction was usually guaranteed upon exit. As they discovered a long lost world, are submerged in a battle, slay dragons, raid ships and discover long lost pirates' treasure.  I really do hope the younger generation is able to disconnect itself from the dependence called the internet to rediscover the joys of taking ones time in reading a real paperback book before they totally disappear and become such a rarity that one will only find them in museums or in some long lost corner of the basement/ attic.   

      Saturday, November 8, 2014

      Deewali - The Festival Of Lights And The Colorful Vendors

        Diwali. This word means a line or a row of lamps/earthen lamps. It's also called the festival of lights and it's an annual festival. Cities light up like and homes look as pretty as a newly married decked up bride. The date of this festival varies every year. It represents the triumph of good over evil. 

        In the North, Diwali celebrates the return of Lord Rama, King of Ayodhya, with his wife Sita and brother Lakshman from a 14-year exile and a war in which he vanquished the demon king Ravana. In South India, Diwali festival often commemorates the conquering of the Asura Naraka, a powerful king of Assam, who imprisoned tens of thousands of inhabitants. It was Krishna who finally subdued Naraka and freed the prisoners. It is celebrated in the Tamil month of Aipasi (Thula month) ‘Naraka Chaturdasi' thithi, preceding amavasai. 

        Some of the photos shown below were taken last year while the rest were taken this year. Street vendors start selling decorative items to customers. It can be decorative household items, colored earthen lamps either for decorative purpose or using it as a decorative earthen oil filled lamp. Rice puff type of stuff and candies made of sugar are sold while folks decorate their homes with electric lights or oil filled diyas/candles. Fireworks are set off in the evening and folks have tons of fun enjoying themselves.

        A vendor selling Poha (Flattened Rice) and toys made out of sugar.

        Circular gift box containing nuts

        Another gift box for gifts.

        Vendors selling rice puffs and Poha (flattened rice)

        Vendor selling earthen clay lamp

        Brightly colored clay pots and earthen clay lamps.

        Two guys selling bamboo flutes.

        Brightly colored fruits and vegetables made out of clay.

        Brightly colored figures made out of clay.

        Clay decoration.

        Street vendor selling decorative vases and figures.

        Cashews and Almonds as gift items.

        Decorative items made out of clay.

        Clay figures playing instruments.

        Vendor selling candles and incense sticks.


          Friday, July 18, 2014

          The Bus Ride

            Seconds turn into minutes. The clock ticks lazily and time seems to drag. Looking upwards, I see the fan spinning lazily. A stray fly or two buzz past. Noticing my gaze, they turn around and start murmuring sweet nothing in my ears. Not feeling up to a group orgy, I swat them with the rolled up paper. Seeing the bloody mess, I stuff it in handbag of the guy sitting next to me. He'll probably won't notice anything till he gets home. Lifting his head gently, I put a hand on his shoulder and get up gently so that I don't wake him up.

            The bus conductor inquires about the ticket. "How many? That old man is with you?" He asks. "No" I said. Ruffling through the old man pant pocket, I find an overflowing wallet. Taking out a few bucks, I give it to the conductor who gives a ticket back. I stare hard at him only to see him blink and walk away. Pocketing the money, I throw the wallet out the window. Throwing the old man out of the moving bus window proved to be more difficult. I hollered out to the fellow passanger to lend a hand.

            "Hey pretty thing. Here's the seat you were asking for." I hollered to the two headed blue colored being from Xion. I heard the being slither across the floor leaving behind a trail of mucus. I fingered the pouch of salt in my trench coat in case things got rough. Feeling a tentacle poke into one ear and emerge from the other I finally knew that my head was empty.

              Wednesday, July 16, 2014

              A Chance Encounter

                Haiku (5-7-5)

                Familiar Object
                Memories Revisited
                Floodgates Reopen

                  Wednesday, June 25, 2014

                  Looking Out The Window June 06, 2014

                    Looking out the window, I see a bright sun glaring angrily at the land below. Pedestrians and folks on two wheeler are seen wrapped up in clothing to avoid its glare and hastily move around. Cars lazily move around with windows rolled up and air conditioning turned on to max. A herd of cows are seen lazily moving around and the scent of garbage attracts them. One head butts a dog which lets out a yelp and then all start feasting on the mess left behind by the city folks. Looking down the street, I see a motorcycle approaching. Two men are sitting on it. Both are yelling at each other. Their voices get louder as they approach me. The louder they talk and the louder they yell, the faster they drive. Roar of their two wheeler and the filth they are yelling fills my ears. By the time they reach the next mini intersection, I think they will reach escape velocity and attain a low orbit around Earth. The heat is starting to crank up and not many folks are seen outside. Pretty soon, the city will wear a deserted look during the peak heat moments and folks will be seen only in early mornings or late evenings or night. Not many varieties of vegetables will be seen and the ones which are sold will rot quickly. Heat stroke news will be seen more frequently in the papers. Unannounced power cuts and erratic water supply will make a come back till the weather cools down again. We need to clean our swamp cooler and maybe get a new air conditioner next year. Sensing a dust storm in the horizon and the impending heaps of garbage and cows flying round and round inside the vortex, I wander back inside the home. Smell of food being cooked overwhelms the senses as I see bread pakoras being cooked and mixed veg concoction being readied for the lunch. Have a good day folks, hope we are well met and what's new in your world? Read more...

                      Sunday, June 22, 2014

                      View From The window

                        Placing my arm on the solitary window, I rest my head on it and look outwards. The sky is a dull shade of grey, I hear rolling thunder in the distance, the flash of lightning that blinds. Rain starts to splatter against the glass. I see a lonesome bird struggling to stay afloat in the turbulent winds, fail as it loses the battle and plummet downwards only to disappear in the distance. Looking down, I see a sea of humanity which still flowed past endlessly as if they were in a rush to meet their new found God. Some flip open umbrellas, while other tilt their hats to shield their face and tighten their raincoats. Running my hand across the glass to wipe the dust, memories as bleak the sun scorched desserts float through my mind.

                        Looking at my own reflection, I wondered what I had really achieved. Time passes by and after what seems like another lifetime, I find myself walking up back to the closet to get my coat. The stormy clouds starts to break, the rain come to a stop and I see the sun break through. As I headed out the door, I looked at my image in the receding mirror with tinge of sadness as past memories flooded his mind. I realized the world was getting smaller and darker with each passing year as I faded into the darkness of the trash strewn apartment hallway. Read more...

                          Monday, February 17, 2014

                          Walking around in circles

                            Roving around the city, I have noticed something odd. Folks wander here and there aimlessly like zombies. Ask them something and they just stare at you blankly. With great difficulty, some manage to utter words which are hard to understand. At random times, they suddenly become active, start running towards a fast approaching bus or taxi in vain hope that it will shallow them up and vomit them at some new destination. At times they just spin around in circles while making odd noises while some gather in bunches and run around some object as they sing some song which I can't place. Have you noticed anything similar or have you participated in such activities?

                              The interplanetary excursion Fiction In A Flash # 20

                                One fine day, we boarded an innocuous looking wormy interplanetary ship and headed to Uranus where the Blue Backwoods tribe allowed jewels and meerschaum to be harvested using hazardous Peroxide without wearing any clothes in remembrance of the miners who had gone before us and give us the money to keep our home fires burning. 

                                  Where The Wild Things Are Fiction In A Flash # 21

                                    (This picture was taken from the Internet)

                                    Curses that would turn a sailors cheeks red filled my ears as I saw a figure yelling into a phone.  She kept cursing as it barreled towards the water. The startled woman ran down the bridge when I kept staring at her. "I must be drunk." I mumbled as I took another gulp of whiskey.

                                      The Abandoned House Fiction In A Flash # 22

                                        (This picture was taken from the Internet)

                                        A strong earthy smell wafted over me and the sound of crunching leaves seemed ominous. Startled, I looked up and the forbidding sky seemed as dark and forbidding as the thoughts I was in. Turning around, I gestured to my companion and we sat under the shadows of the derelict house to empty the whisky bottle.