Sunday, May 12, 2019


“Watch this content for free! Lettuce free on the purchase of fresh vegetables and groceries. Pay 20% less and get some medicines free! It’s our anniversary month; get a pedicure free! Shop with us for Rs. 4999 only to get free vouchers! Pay for three and get a ride free! A burger on burger, free!”

Oof! I am confused now. So many freebies to chose from, calculate and prioritize. Someone is strategizing our every move for free!

I am not sure but lately, I have started feeling that these strategizing marketing bots are costing me a lot. I am eating more for freebies, sitting in a salon only to order cold storage items for free, travelling more and dressing up more to avail all the vouchers. Last but not the least, taking less rest (which is free in the comfort of my home) and popping more pills to rest my body at a cost. I am at the rescue of machine’s advice, for free, when my mind forbids me from taking human advice even for free. Am I part of a vicious circle, for free?

In a nutshell, I have formed an opinion now that all these inessential options are not for free!! Seasonal discounts are now replaced by all-time raining concessions to lure my heart and numb my mind. Precarious topics cloaked by superficial matters are drawing my attention, for free. Stay with me if you somewhat agree.

Courtesy : Google Images
I am now thinking about air, umm, which is free, but I’m not concerned. Water, at a marginal cost, not free, but India is already drying up and might follow South Africa’s postponed Day Zero too soon. Mother Earth presents us with nature in abundance for free, but my eyes miss it for they are glued to the digital devices which consume data, at a nominal fee.Since my head is bowed down to a 5 inches screen and the neck tweaks if I look upwards, I am missing out on the bird watching and spectacular hues of the sky which are actually free. Before an unbearable cost-model is launched for renewable sources of energy, i.e., fresh air, water, and soil, I think it is time to pause, reckon and prioritize my freebies.

Do you foresee a situation wherein I’ll be given free pure air or free unpolluted water in case I make judicious usage and decisions? Can some free time added to my lifespan that I can spend without running in a nowhere mad race? Could heart and brain smile together for once? Could hugs, probably from grizzly bears (as humans tend to go virtual) bring all the missing warmth, for free? Could someone concoct bedtime stories for me without judging my preferences, for free.?

On a liberal note if I may, things that I really love for free these days are the hearty laughs in the park and the elderly clapping, to maintain their fine blood circulation. In my heart, it feels as if they are applauding me, prodding me to go on and live my freedom in the free atmosphere. Concurrently, my mind encourages me to jog more, to ultimately accomplish my digitally controlled health goals. I love it when my friend calls me for no purpose, curses me for not giving her time as my “free time” is occupied by futile freebies.

I think it’s time to rest my itchy fingers and assess the freebies on my phalanges!!

Meanwhile, do share your freebies list here.

Wednesday, October 17, 2018


I pinched myself to check if I was day-dreaming. I shrieked. It was clear-cut that I wasn’t hallucinating. I had actually lived the childhood stairs’-game of “Sun, Moon, Land, Water, Earth” in reality with a twist. Courtesy – Lufthansa, I had lived the idea of #TheBlindList-A Blind date with the world.

It was just a week back when an email popped up in my inbox for an invitation to a blind date with the world. I never heed to such mails usually. However, this one from Lufthansa, lured me to #SayYesToTheWorld in a bid to travel to explore. Unchartered territories, people and culture are always fascinating and exciting. The thought of the unknown brought fear to my heart, but my mind was thrilled to experience this 'yes to the world’ and meander through the mysterious by lanes.

Once I had boarded the flight to the Unknown to embark on my blind date with the world, there was no looking back. It was like a hop on hop off tour via sky. People from various cultural backgrounds and nationalities surrounded me in the aero plane along with their pets.

The welcome kicked off at a beach shore, the first destination, for an aquatic aerobics performance by dolphins and subsequently by us. It was an energetic and a refreshing beginning for everyone. Next followed my favourite activity of snorkelling together with the fish's feet spa. The lively marine life along which I swam rejuvenated me. At a junction, we noticed beautiful colours. Little did we realise that some fish were swimming towards us at a slow pace. However, we realized some of them were stuck in plastic bags and entangled midst straws and cups. On observing more closely we found, that some of the fish were feeding small bottle caps to their offsprings. I was aghast at such a sight and questioned myself as to who was actually ruining my date?

The next stop was surprisingly, the clouds. I was first skeptical to see cumulonimbus clouds since they are famous to bring tornadoes. But after flying past them, I came across my favourite, the cumulus clouds. The airplane stopped as if afloat in the sky. The commotion around made everyone curious. The stewards were approaching each of the travelers and handed them a parachute which was to transport everyone to the next terminus. I exclaimed out of nervousness, but clinged onto my parachute to see what lay ahead. My vision became clearer and the ears enlivened after I landed on an igloo shaped glass party hall. The sunlight reflected from the clouds and brightened the interiors. Ceiling shone azure and birds flew around making soothing sounds. House sparrows and Cuckoo were easier to spot. Fellow explorers introduced me to other exotic birds like song thrush, Canary etc. from Europe, Mediterranean and United States. Calming music in the background was a bliss. Moreover, the savory and mouth watering vegetarian food being served kept us stuffed. It included Caldo Verde soup from Portugal, tortilla from Spain, spring rolls from China, Kushari from Egypt, trofie pasta from Italy, dal tadka from India and many other veggie platters. Certainly, a dish fit for the Gods. One of my friend believed the existence of heaven beyond the clouds which I had always thought to be a fallacy, turned to a verity that very morning for me. The camaraderie amongst co-travellers had now grown and the ones who had been strangers once were now companions. Travel stories from Arctic to Antarctica were being shared ecstatically. 

Lastly we hit the ground for a terrain picnic. With our backpacks, cycle gears and smart shoes, we started off with cycling, racing across traffic devoid lanes lined with fragrant flowers. The cool breeze kept the sweat in check and multiple pit stops at varied shaped houses amidst the mass expanse of lush green trees kept our spirits high. The birds crossed our paths, rabbits and cats ran along and swans raced in a river flowing beside the cycling track. 

Next, our digital shoes took us for a guided walk to a place with large jeeps waiting to ferry us to the white lands, probably Antarctica. I thought it to be an arduous expedition forward. But it was worth it! The gushing emerald blue geysers in the middle of white desserts with orange hues setting up in the firmament was a welcoming sight. The shoes kept our feet guided and we reached an entrance to a cave. We were assisted by our guide Nikki standing at the opening of the cave who provided us with utilities like helmets, torches, snow shoes and demonstrated how to enter the cave by sliding through the narrow opening. The cave was nothing like I had imagined. I had imagined a damp and dark space but what I witnessed completely amazed me. The moon and stars lit the cavern’s interiors which had colourful paintings and icicles glittered like diamonds. 

After going around the cave which didn’t cease to mesmerize us we reached the exit and reluctantly moved out of the cavity only to be frequented by millions of stars and constellations in the dark sky. I lay down on snow covered ground so as not to miss on any twinkle. As we tended to move swiftly, we realised our amiable assistant to be a humanoid since it bade us goodbye, called our Jeeps and powered off itself. 

“Ahhh! Nikki at its best or bots in a fierce competition with us.”, I mumbled to myself. 

“Be openminded dear Shilpa!”, chuckled my friend Ritu on seeing my expressions.

“I am better off conventional in this regard. Humans are above droids and not slaves to them”, I stated.

All of a sudden, interrupting our conversation, the green coloured Aurora Borealis shone above us. I felt as if heaven doors had opened and God’s grace was pouring on us from the world above. What a remarkable way to bid adieu to the blind date! Spectacular indeed!

I deboarded the flight back home post a tiresome journey into the unknown which had filled my heart with an enriching experience of nature and world exploration. However, the thought of increasing pollution, contaminated food web and human's digital imprisonment left me mulling.

On this note, I rest my itchy fingers hoping that this piece would be a travel inspiration for all my readers. Apart from meeting the divine world face-to-face, it would definitely force you into self exploration.


 Happy Travelling!

Sunday, August 19, 2018


Human : Ahaa! I am loving this place called Earth. Just planning to stay a little long. The search for elixir of life is still on.

Polythene: Oh you poor animal! I am sure you'll be fossilized but I am going to stay here for long.

Courtesy: via Google Images
This dialogue has been haunting me in my dreams since long. Recent climatic changes,  untimely floods, garbage in the mountains and the rivers and pollution everywhere has made my fingers even more itchy.

I wonder when would be living beings free of synthetic menace.

What do you think?

Monday, April 30, 2018


My itchy fingers couldn’t zero in on a theme for today’s article and then they suddenly realised that what they had been searching for was right in front of their eyes: “Z”ERO. Voila!

Dictionary defines Zero as “No quantity or number; nought; the figure 0.”
Mathematics defines it as the smallest non-negative integer.
The only natural number which is not positive.

However, I see this Mathematical wonder to be a beauty. A paradox in itself.

Courtesy: Google Images
When it means nought, then how come everybody becomes incredible and willing to do the incredulous when the mid-term or year-end appraisal approaches just to insert some more Zeros to their paychecks? Of course, at the end!

How come anything divided by Zero, a practically insignificant term; becomes infinite, the undefined?

How come the whole nation or a bunch of scientists enveloped in an atmosphere of anticipation and frenzy hold their breath as the Zero hour approaches?

I wonder how something with virtually no value could turn out to be so valuable that everyone would run after it.
To think of it on a broader level, maybe not everybody is running after Zero, not students at the very least!

Isn’t it ironical that something we tried to drive away from our Report Cards all our educational journey becomes the driving force of our lives as soon as we step into the professional arena?

Mathematics states Zero to be an identity element.
In layman terms, it’s a neutral element.
If you add something to Zero or subtract Zero from something, multiply something to Zero or divide it by any number, the result is always the number itself or Zero. It has always been!
I think we can learn how to be true to ourselves and others and not changing our colours from Zero.
Can you see the firm will and pure determination of this small number which signifies practically nothing?

I pity the contemporary generation fighting the battle of Intelligence Quotient as it has achieved Zero when it comes to Emotional Quotient!
When the technology is on an all-time high, different types of content is literally flying at us from all the directions, the contentment level is going down to Zero.

Don’t you think that we are taking lessons of life from Zero but are implementing it in the wrong dimensions?

We have to understand that there is a huge difference between 1000/0 and 0/1000 and the tables can turn any time.
We have to be extremely careful enough at all the times hence.

Sometimes, I feel envious of Zero because it’s a clear demarcation between the positive and the negative.
Such an easy life. Isn’t it?
When you know what’s black and what’s white; when there are no surprises and one doesn’t have to deal with the so called grey area or set sail in unchartered territories.

I am bitter at the fact that Zero, nothing, is given the due respect and treated at par with the other numbers if not less despite being the “smallest” non-negative number, the “smallest” even number.
Then how come our generous society attaches a social stigma to the so-called “small” things in life?

Again, a lesson learnt wrong. Isn’t it?

But as they say grass is always greener on the other side.
You will understand the same when you will try to focus on the precarious position Zero is in, being the clear dividing point between the positives and the negatives?
I wonder how it might feel.
Maybe just like how the whistle-blowers might feel. Or maybe those who take up the responsibility and always get the work done while simultaneously being termed as zero, nothing or taken for granted.

Maybe the life of Zero is not as simple as it sounds.
It may have its own demons to deal with and own sunshine to bask in even though it’s neither positive nor negative.
But we as the only “intelligent creations” might want to learn from this Mathematical gift and apply it in the right direction lest we want the output to be Zero.

My itchy fingers would like to leave you at this note with the hope that whatever they wrote forced you to stop, to think even though for a duration.
They would feel blessed indeed to know that their effort did not create Zero impact on their readers.

This is the 26th post and the final entry in the series #AtoZChallenge.

This post is also for #BlogchatterA2Z ------> 'Z'.


“Watch this content for free! Lettuce free on the purchase of fresh vegetables and groceries. Pay 20% less and get some medicines fre...