There is this site I have subscribed to 'Useless Knowledge'. It sends tidbits every day and while none of it useful, it sure is interesting to read.

Read on and do tell me if you did (or didn't) find it interesting.

  • A dolphin produces notes 100 times higher than the highest note a human soprano can reach even in the shower.
  • In old Siam (today’s Thailand), white elephants were so rare that they were automatically the property of the emperor. To punish people, the emperor would give them a white elephant, because while they had to care for it, they were forbidden to ride or work it. Hence, the modern term for something totally useless: a white elephant.
  • The first commercial vacuum cleaner was so large that it was mounted on a wagon. People threw parties in their homes so guests could watch the new device do its job.
  • In ancient times, the traditional color of bridal gowns was red. The wife of Napoleon III broke the tradition and wore a white gown. Then, brides began wearing white gowns (which were worn only once) as a symbol of their wealth.
  • Some sharks swim in a figure eight when frightened.
  • The average human eyelash lives about 150 days.
  • Phobia: syngenesophobia Fear of: relatives
  • The name of the game may originate from the days of its origins in Scotland, when it was strictly a "Gentlemen Only, Ladies Forbidden" sport; hence GOLF.
  • Warner Communications paid $28 million for the copyright to the song "Happy Birthday."
    Ferdinand Porsche, who later went on to build the famous sports cars bearing his own name, designed the original 1936 Volkswagen.
  • Should members of these actual clubs be considered slightly deranged: Committee for Immediate Nuclear War, the National Society for Prevention of Cruelty to Mushrooms, the Order of Manly Men, and our favorite, the Institute of Totally Useless Skills?
  • The world’s first electric traffic light signal was installed 75 years ago in Cleveland, Ohio, at the intersection of Euclid Avenue and East 105th St.
  • About 27 tons of dust rain down on Earth each day from space, making a total of almost 10,000 tons each year.
  • Sharks have a sixth sense that enables them to detect bio electrical fields radiated by other sea creatures and to navigate by sensing changes in the earth’s magnetic field.
  • Camels eat just about anything. When camels are really hungry and there is no food around, they won’t think twice about gobbling up people’s tents, sandals, or blankets.
  • Colgate was the first toothpaste sold in metal tubes rather than jars.

The one I like the most is syngenesophobia (Fear of relatives)! I surely suffer from it!

And tomorrow, blogdosts, do come back to find your names in the gift-list; for this time, I haven't forgotten the promise I made :)

Till then, take care and stay precious!

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So I have been playing this hide and seek game here for quite a while now! This blogger's block is lingering for more than usual. And of course, I have more reasons than one for becoming so laid back.

But that sure should not give you any reason to think that any action was missing. For there are still things to talk about beyond the ever-rising mercury! (For that, I actually feel the need of an air conditioner all the time! Does Shahrukh's thanda-thanda cool cool really work? I think not as I haven't seen those ad this summer!)

And from the many adventures around me, I'd give the award to 'House on Fire'! The reward, of course, is that it gets talked about 'here'! Right over to the action!

A working Saturday is a sad day for me. No matter how hard I try, I cannot make myself to work. Though it does motivate me to reach office as early and leave as quickly too! Clients are usually not working, so that's a respite!

So, come last Saturday and I was up at 6.30 (and that is way too early for me!) and in office by 8! Phew! Beat that! And back home at 5! Trust me, even hot sweltering evenings are better enjoyed at home! So there I was cooling my heels after a long hard day at work. With some shopping to do and a late-night movie to catch, I sure needed some rest.

And then, I heard! It was some thumping/thudding sound, or may be banging, coming from afar. Paying no heed, I continued day-dreaming.

And it grew louder! And nearer! And louder! And nearer! More louder and more nearer!

Till I realized that it was actually coming from my roof! I sneakily opened my bedroom's balcony door, sure to find the monkey family enjoying a Saturday evening too!

They were not there! Nobody was there. Just the bangs and the thuds.

I rushed to the main balcony to check from the front. Before I could look up, I had to look around me! For there were all these people on 'their' balconies and the road...all looking towards my home, rather my rooftop!

I looked up and saw black smoke fuming out! And before I could think what's wrong, I heard people calling me out, 'Get down! What are you doing up there!?'

The gen set of the tower on the roof was smoking away! Which tower? Well, it's the MTNL mobile tower! Yeah...right on top of my head! Or better put, on the fourth floor of the building, where I dwell on the 3rd! Now, don't get asking what it is doing there. After renting out the basement, 1st, 2nd & 3rd floor, this was the best my landlord could do to make some more moollah! And seeing that very tower be the centre of attraction (distraction! Worry!) this summery Saturday evening made me first worried, then fume!

I started for the stairs and ran back towards my bedroom! For whatever might or might not happen, I needed to carry my handbag with me! Oh, and what else did I need then? I have never made that list of things to carry when your house catches fire. So just the handbag was fine, me thought.

I rushed downstairs, clutching my handbag in one hand and mobile phone in the other. In my bathroom slippers! Still wearing the sweat-ridden top and jeans I had been wearing all day. And all the while, thinking if there is anything else I need to take along! Maybe some of my funky jewellery. Or at least, a decent footwear! Or my laptop! And some pictures!

You can laugh there, for now as I write, I realize that there were still all my important documents inside my home with the burning tower on the roof! My certificates. The fruits of my entire life's hard work and toil! Yes, not once did I think about them!

And while I ran down the stairs, I called my landlord's number, which was unreachable.

Then I called up his wife, who was not at home either!

Woww! Was I going to be the only victim had I stayed back! A thought comes and goes.

I had still another flight of stairs to descend when the lady at 100 took all the details. 'I'll send the fire brigade,' she had said calmly before hanging up.

There was a whole crowd on the road, on the balcony, all of them spilling over, all of them looking at my rooftop. The black smoke continued, the banging got harder!

I called the MTNL Customer Service and told them in hysterically that their tower was on fire. 'Please call the fire brigade, Ma'am,' he said calmly before hanging up!

I stood there trying to calm myself down, worry and anger now beginning to take over!

Then came two policemen on a PCR bike. They went to the neighbours. Took first-hand information. Debated whether to go upstairs before the firemen arrived. Shook their heads and subsequently rubbed their bulging tummies. Looked up again. And decided they should check for themselves.

I tailed them upstairs. Watched them go to the rooftop. Well, if they did feel scared, which their hesitant footsteps showed, their eyes betrayed that emotion. They are trained!

After a quick recce, they made their way downstairs. Wrote down my details. While I gave them the information, I so wanted to tell them that I was not responsible for the fire. I wanted to tell them that though I hated working on Saturdays, I never got as mad as to set my own rooftop afire!

I think my innocent eyes convinced them and they went on to call MTNL. And voila! They got the same reply!

Then came the firemen. Some with the bulging tummies (those who stand and instruct!), others with flat ones and instruments in their hands. They went to the rooftop, did some more banging, broke a thing or too, I suppose. Then some more banging with louder instructions from the one with the bulging tummy. The original sounds from the box had died. The smoke ceased. All that remained was the sound of them breaking the box and the voice over the walkie-talky!

Another fifteen minutes followed before the firemen decided that the needful has been done and they could call it a day. They made their way down, not before telling me nonchalantly, 'Don't worry, madam. Just a short circuit. We have taken care of it.' Don't fires break out due to 'just a short circuit'? Before I could ask, they had left and left me with my thoughts.

The action was finally over. Thankfully, the unwanted attention was also over! By now, people had left their balconies and the roadsides. An occasional glance from here and there was all that the tower attracted now.

Relieved with the sudden silence after an hour and half, I locked my home and made my way downstairs. A shopping spree and a good movie were something to look forward to after that ordeal. Now if you want to know which movie I watched... well, it was the much-hyped Kites! Yeah, that WAS another ordeal!

PS: Blogdosts, I am calling off the surprise gift thingee for the first two comments. Call it superstition, but the two times that I flagged it, I received heart-breaking news. But keep heart, I am going to send a gift to all my regular readers (and comments also!) and will post their names in the next post. Till then, take care and stay precious!
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We plan. We dream. We desire. We long. We hope. We pray.

Amidst all this, we, sometimes, forget that there is that one great power above us, who guides and controls us. It doesn't matter how meticulous our planning has been, how perfect and how detailed. At the end, what happens seems all planned and laid out. We try to control our lives and forget that it is, actually, life that controls us.

And death. Death that takes away our soul, our life. Death that marks a halt to all our plans, our dreams, our hopes, our prayers. Rich, poor, successful or not, we cannot avoid it. It comes to all of us. The means vary, but the end remains the same. For we are all mere mortals.

Such are the thoughts that are clouding my mind since morning. ever since I received the news. Ever since I let it sink in to me. Ever since I realized what has happened. This morning as I welcomed a new day at office, with the usual checking of emails that lay unread, little did I know that there would be this news awaiting me. The subject line of that email said it all - Kati Passed Away This Morning. I felt numb for a while before I could feel the tears trickling down my cheeks. Yes, she was terminally ill and the news shouldn't have been a surprise; yet, it was a shock. For I still hoped that she would regain her health. I, still, prayed that she would emerge victorious in her fight against cancer; and I, still, wished that she would make it to India for my wedding. To put it honestly, I would, sometimes, (even) imagine her reactions during the various ceremonies and rituals while attending her first Indian wedding.

She took it all in her stride, never once complained. The pain she went through never reflected on her face. Spending a day at Day Care for her chemotherapy sessions and returning to work next day seemed normal to her. And all this while knowing that nothing can be predicted, nothing will remain forever, nothing is there to stay. The thought that, finally, she is rid of the pain and suffering that she endured for so long is a consolation.

It's hard to believe that she is no longer among us. Her memories will stay forever and I pray that her soul rests in peace.

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Don't you feel like acting mean, rude and shrewd sometimes? Or do you always want to be the goody-goody, lovey-dovey person? Trust me these past few days, I have got enough opportunities, and been tempted too, to put it across at people's faces!
...people who do not matter to me....
....people who have absolutely no significance in my life and neither I have in their's (so it's mutual)....
....and those people who would not care any less for me, had they not wanted a favor or help or maybe just that extra attention...

Yes, such people! And when such people call again and again, they barely know what test they are putting my patience to! They don't know me as well as to sense the indifference in my voice. Therefore, it'd be unjust to blame them.

You might tell me not to be bothered and not to let it linger on in my mind. Trust me, it doesn't! For two minutes after the call is disconnected, I am back to what I was/have been doing. However, the time spent in trying to suppress the ever-growing irritation during the call and then another two minutes of trying to vent it out after the call are, at times, too much to handle.

So, the next time I receive a call from a person, who grudged me for my position at work and who questioned my capabilities as his/her manager (obviously not saying anything to me directly), asking me to see is there is a suitable position in my new team in my new office, I want to say that I don't have positions for people who'd only backbite and only create a negative atmosphere!

So, the next time I receive a call from a person, who is actually not a friend and with whom I have merely exchanged greetings sometimes, complaining that I never answer calls nor do I bother to call back, I want to say that I am obliged to do neither.

The next time when a so-called friend, who hasn't bothered to call for ages, asks me to do that little favor of editing the resume or doing a small write-up, I want to make count the number of times when I tried to reach out to them and they didn't care to respond.

And I'd do all this while thanking them in some corner of my heart.
For if they had not been the way they are, I would not have known the value of others around me.
For if they had not behaved the way they did, I would have lived on in my world of illusions.

I would have, then, still thought that everyone around me loved and cared the way I did.
I would have, then, not half respected and valued all those who take the brunt of my anger, which was actually meant for that some other selfish being.
I would have, then, still believed that everyone can be trusted for I hadn't yet wronged them.
I would have, then, still not really understood the way the world works.

And yet, I would still love to give them that little piece of my mind. I would make enemies, I know. I am in those moods these days when the after-effects cease to matter anymore. Any remedy for this, blogdosts?

And yes, I know I vanish after making fake promises of posting regularly. Blame it on no one else, but me! I am experiencing bloggers' block and for once, I seem to have run out of words to write! I am trying to get back....hang on...

Some of my blogdosts also reminded me of the contest that I started last December, but dropped midway. I'd like to start it again. With this being the first post this month, I'd send a gift to two blogdosts who leave the first two comments on each post. This is valid for all posts this month! And I'll send a special gift to that 'one' blogdost who leaves a comment regularly this month.

I hope I made up for being away for so long.

Will come back soon with more. Till then, take care, blogdosts, and stay precious.

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