August Blues: Bugbear Exams

As a kid, were you happy or anxious about going back to school? Now that you’re older, how has your attitude toward the end of the summer evolved?

As a kid, I always looked forward to the holidays.

Start of school was always greeted with groans. But it was also exciting—fresh  textbooks and notebooks, brown covers and colourful labels.

I would devour my English and History texts much before school began. To me, they were merely more novel reading material.

Exams , however, have always been my bugbear. And they continue to be so. My worst nightmares always have an exam in them. Exams stress me out especially if I feel that I am not adequately prepared.

That has not changed and, I guess, it never will.

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You, Robot: Comments

Congrats — you’ve been handed a robot whose sole job is to relieve you of one chore, job, or responsibility you particularly hate. What is it?

(Thanks, Daniela, for suggesting a similar prompt!)


The robot will relieve me of the tedium of responding to and posting comments on WordPress sites and other blogs.

Comments are recommended to drive traffic to one’s website and interact with the blogging community as large.

But it really does not make sense to comment if your remark does not provide any fresh insight or inform the blogger what particularly struck you about his or her post. General comments are just that—generally useless and unhelpful.

An insightful observation takes as much thought and effort as a blog post.

However, it can be a huge chore.

Now, if I could have a robot that would personalise comments and provide wonderful insights, I would take it any day.

It would leave me free to focus on the core, that is, the blogging per se.

That is a huge ask and I have a small budget. So for now, I will make do with commenting occasionally and at specific times of the day.

How? Have a look at the Contacts widget of my site—if you care.

Work? Optional! : Hypothetical response

If money were out of the equation, would you still work? If yes, why, and how much? If not, what would you do with your free time?

Ordinarily, this should have been a hypothetical situation.

But I have been out of a paying job for so long that I now feel well qualified to answer this question.

I find it hard to not do something with my time and while most of my efforts are aimed towards getting a job or clearing a pathway towards one, I think my response would have been the same had money been out of the equation.

However, I would probably not be as serious or dedicated about it. It all depends on your surroundings and the environment you are in.

If you are the only person slogging and you see others around you enjoying themselves, it is that much harder to motivate yourself. There is much to be said about returning to the classroom or university setting. But that may not be an option for all.

A conducive environment is a necessity for pursuing activities that require quiet and deep reflection. Surely not a monastery?

That said, I digress.

What would I do with my free time?

I guess I’d read—a lot. Learn to play a musical instrument or two.


Travel—see the world.

Seek adventure in safe doses.


Exercise regularly.

Meet friends more often.


Not much different from most people, I guess.

What about you? What would you do?

Breaking the Ice: Prose masquerading as poetry

Poems in Prose

Poems in Prose (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

English: women in masquerade

English: women in masquerade (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

The internet has recently been swept up by the ALS Ice Bucket Challenge. Is there a cause — social, political, cultural, or other — you passionately believe in? Tell us how you got involved — or why you don’t get involved.

Causes, causes, causes.

The internet is full of causes.

All you need to do,

Is sign up for a signature campaign,

and you’re good—you’ve done your part in saving the world.

Causes, causes, causes.

There are two ways to support a cause.

Open your wallet and shell out,

In the belief that they’d do a better job,

More efficiently anyway.

The other would be to give,

All your time, fervently, passionately,

Hoping that you and your efforts,

Make a difference—a huge one.

Causes, causes, causes.

What could be mine?

I have none that involves me, drives me.

But I can think of one or two that I’d probably support.

Passion comes from what I feel,

From who or what I identify with,

It comes from within.

And until I find one that I’m personally involved with,

One I’d give an arm and a limb to be a part of,

My only cause—I guess, for now— is me.

Yeah…Selfish me…

~Linus Fernandes

Secret Admirers: Bouquets and Brickbats

English: Bouquet of flowers made of silk flowe...

English: Bouquet of flowers made of silk flowers, prepared roses and prepared gras Deutsch: Rosenstrauß aus Seidenblumen, präparierten Rosen und präparierten Gräsern (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

You return home to discover a huge flower bouquet waiting for you, no card attached. Who is it from — and why did they send it to you?

The bouquet’s not for me. It’s for my mother.

Me? I deal in brickbats! Winking smile

The Name’s The Thing: Anonymous Unanimity

 Replica of the teddy 55PB of Steiff
Replica of the teddy 55PB of Steiff (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Have you ever named an inanimate object? (Your car? Your laptop? The volleyball that kept you company while you were stranded in the ocean?) Share the story of at least one object with which you’re on a first-name basis.

What’s in a name? A rose, by any other name, is still a rose.

The volleyball that kept me company while I was stranded in the ocean?

That would be a tall tale, indeed.

Naming inanimate objects?

Hmm…Now that’s something I have never done.

But I can imagine the urge, the need to possess, to even converse with those everyday things that are almost extensions of ourselves.

We are all used to christening dolls or soft toys such as teddy bears. It is but natural for a kid to personify these childhood relics.

But inanimate objects? An appellation’s fine for a plane, a boat, a painting  or even a race car.

I am not one to give people pejorative nick-names. So why label things?

Perhaps , it might help me recall where things are placed should earmark them so–sort of a memory aid.

What do you think or feel?

I guess this story will have to wait until I make it a habit to brand things so.

Teddy bear, born in Germany about 1954

Second opinion: Strong medicine

Cover of "Second Opinions"

Cover of Second Opinions

Strong Medicine (novel)

Strong Medicine (novel) (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

What are some (or one) of the things about which you usually don’t trust your own judgment, and need someone’s else’s confirmation?

I think we need second opinions on different things at different times in our lives.

When we are young and we grow into adolescence, although we like to believe that we are now older and more mature, we still need advice from our parents, our elders while making decisions about our studies, the people we date or even staying out late. In most cases, we don’t have a choice. Those are the rules of the game.

As we grow older into adulthood, we need to take cognisance of the people we work with, our neighbours and how our decisions affect them. We cannot be laws to ourselves. Whatever body or organization we belong to, we are bound by their rules—the rules of the tribe.

But this post is about some (or one) of the things about which I don’t usually trust my judgment.

Well, one’s simple. Since I’m no doctor and am not medically trained, I’d definitely need a second opinion about the symptoms I’m experiencing. Self-diagnosis works only for simple ailments. Wouldn’t you agree?

Unlikely Pairing: Bengal gram and curds

English: Bowl of fresh muesli, made from rolle...

English: Bowl of fresh muesli, made from rolled oats, orange juice, blended apple and banana, redcurrants, raisins, cottage cheese, topped with raspberries. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Bacon and chocolate, caramel and cheddar… Is there an unorthodox food pairing you really enjoy? Share with us the weirdest combo you’re willing to admit that you like — and how you discovered it.




This ought to have been easy or maybe not.

I thought I was being original when I mixed muesli with yogurt and  chomped it down between meals or for supper.

But no, it proved to be the recommended way to have it anyway.

Until I discovered that I could have kala chana or Bengal Gram with yogurt as well.

English: Aloe vera yogurt

English: Aloe vera yogurt (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Quite yummy! Try it!


Missing Sequels: Happily Ever After


WordPress (Photo credit: Adriano Gasparri)

If you could create a sequel to one favorite (standalone) movie, which would it be? How would it build on the original?

The daily prompt for this Sunday arrived this morning. Yep, it’s mid-morning here in India.

And the few posted responses pinged back were mostly gripes about the prompt being late.

I’ll add my bit. The title’s misspelt too! Or was the WordPress man being clever?

Oh, well! Who knows? A much needed off-day for me!

But to answer the prompt—well, that’s pretty simple.

Take all the movies that end “and they lived happily ever after” and show that the protagonists live somewhat humdrum, mundane lives ever after…

Wouldn’t that be something?

Some of them might even be WordPress bloggers responding to Daily Prompts!