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Liebster-Shiebster Haayo Rabbaa

    A few days back I got a comment from Priya of Pencil Stripes informing me that she was awarding me the Liebster award. It sounded so... German that I googled it right away. It's an award of appreciation and camaraderie that fellow bloggers award to those whom they find deserving of it. I felt really honored and humbled at the same time.
    I'm really thankful to Priya for awarding me the Liebster. I'd also like to congratulate her on receiving the Liebster herself. Despite being a busy mother, she finds time to write some really interesting and fresh stories. I hope she continues penning great stories in the future too.

The Liebster Award Official Rules:

    If you have been nominated for The Liebster Award AND YOU CHOOSE TO ACCEPT IT, write a blog post about the Liebster award in which you:
  1. Thank the person who nominated you, and post a link to their blog on your blog.
  2. Display the award on your blog — by including it in your post and/or displaying it using a “widget” or a “gadget”. (Note that the best way to do this is to save the image to your own computer and then upload it to your blog post.)
  3. Answer 11 questions about yourself, which will be provided to you by the person who nominated you.
  4. Provide 11 random facts about yourself.
  5. Nominate 5 – 11 blogs that you feel deserve the award, who have a less than 1000 followers. (Note that you can always ask the blog owner this since not all blogs display a widget that lets the readers know this information!)
  6. Create a new list of questions for the blogger to answer.
  7. List these rules in your post (You can copy and paste from here.) Once you have written and published it, you then have to:
  8. Inform the people/blogs that you nominated that they have been nominated for the Liebster award and provide a link for them to your post so that they can learn about it (they might not have ever heard of it!
So let me get to answering the questions. They are rather interesting, I must say.

Do the characters you create have the impression of your qualities?

    Definitely! Empathy will only get you so far. When a character is in a bind, I ask myself, 'What would you do if you were in that situation?' and hope that the reader will relate to my reaction.
    That said, not all characters are like me. I regularly base characters on my friends or those around me that I have observed.

Favorite food?

    Hard to say. I love my home cooked food: hashi, appehuli, bajji, gojju, huli, tambli, badnekaai palya, etc. I also love suki kachori, bhel, pani puri, ras malai, etc. I guess I like sweet and spicy (but not too pungent) dishes. I don't like Punjabi food much.

Do you share your secrets with anyone?

    Yes

Given a chance to visit USA, whom do you take with, parents or love?

    I love my parents. This question should be invalid! :D
    If it's a short trip, I think I'll take my parents, but I don't think they will be interested in staying in the US for long.

Do you get angry?

    Yes. I'm human after all. But I simmer down fast. My anger listens to reason.

What attracts you more, babies or flowers?

    I like babies. You can get them to do really stupid stuff.

Do you like to read lengthy posts?

    Depends on the content. With short posts, I read it anyways, but with longer posts, I might get impatient and move on to something else. If it's good, I'll continue reading.

What is your unforgettable dream?

    There are two dreams that I would call 'unforgettable'. I'll tell you about the first one, because I find it remarkable that I still remember a dream I had when I was 5-6 years old so vividly.

    In those days, we used to tenant in what I should technically call a bungalow. It was actually two houses of three rooms each, joined in between by a door. Our landlord's family used to live on one end and we in the other. I used to call our landlord 'ajoba' (grandpa in Marathi). We were very close.
    The dream started with me standing on the doorsill in the afternoon, right hand on the frame and left leg toeing the sill. A red car driven by a guy I had never seen before, stopped on the road in front of our bungalow. Our home was built in a rather quaint style. There was a little aangan (patio) and a flower garden between the house and the gate. The distance seemed too big to a 5 year old, but I guess the gate was still about 6-7 metres from where I stood.
    The man signaled - still sitting in the car - and my mother, followed by my father, walked to the car to talk to him. I didn't know why, but I didn't like him. My parents talked to him for a minute. It was too far to hear what they were saying, but there was a sense of supplication in the way they were talking to him. I stepped outside the door. Ajoba was standing next to me. I held his hand. My parents sat in the big red car without even looking back at me and then the car left.
    I looked at ajoba and asked him worriedly, "Who is that man?"
    He replied, "He is a rakshas(devil)"

    I got up really scared. I told my mother about the dream. Over the years, I have tried to make sense of the dream, but I haven't had much luck. I guess it was a mix-up of my childish fear of losing my parents and the typical bollywood movies we used to watch on Doordarshan in those days.

Do you apologize verbally, for your mistakes?

    Yes. Sometimes very profusely.

Do you like to spend or save?

    I like to save on things I don't consider important so that I can spend on the things that I think will make me happy.

What is 'love' according to you?

    People have written voluminous poems and essays to explore this very thing. Let me try a very brief version. I don't think I'll be very accurate.
    I think love is the color pink; it doesn't exist on its own (Check out this link). Love is the combination of the feelings of happiness, euphoria, giddiness, attraction, trust, etc. that you feel because of someone/something. Your 'Love' for your parents is different from the 'Love' you feel for your partner or the 'Love' you feel for Gulab Jamuns. No two loves are the same, because no two people feel the same way. I think that Love is an all encompassing term we use to describe the combination that makes you feel good.
    As a fun exercise, try to describe what the color pink is to someone without referencing any other color, or showing them any object that you 'think' is pink. That's how it feels to explain to someone else what love means to you.
    There might not be Love in the world, but I hope you find lots of love in your life.

11 Random Facts About Me

  1. I call my engineering college as 'school' and refer to my engineering years as bachpan (childhood).
  2. I like to infantilize kids even if they are only an year or two younger than me.
  3. I'm technically still in college for the next 11 days.
  4. Almost every post of mine is designed to have at least one "aha!" moment. I am not talking about twist endings, but about self-referencing jokes, in-jokes, hints about the twist end and things you can infer if you read between the lines to reward rereaders, regular readers and the intelligent.
  5. I listen to audiobooks on my way from work.
  6. I love reading xkcd.
  7. My grandfather was my first inspiration to write but I haven't read any of his stories so far. He used to be a short story writer.
  8. Besides the Harry Potter series, there are only a handful of novels that I have read completely.
  9. I took a German class last semester, but I don't quite understand much of it.
  10. I didn't take a Spanish class, I can read and understand quite a bit of it.
  11. I have edited this post 4 times after publishing it.
Enough about me. I think this is already the longest post I have written till date. It's time to pass the baton. I am offering the Liebster award to the following people.

I don't know if it is allowed to pass the award back to the person who gave it to you in the first place, but I'm doing it anyway. She deserves two. I think I have already praised her enough. (If you accept, I think you don't need to pass it on again. Just thank me and answer my questions) 
He's one of the first writers I liked on the WoW scene. He mostly writes horror stories, with alternative history thrown in between. I learnt a lot from him.
She makes even the simplest of stories so wonderful with a very skillful narrative style. Well paced stories with great characters.
A new blogger with lots of potential. I can see her improving, so this is my incentive for her to keep on improving. Her posts are usually funny with a dash of sentimentality.
5. Abhra Pal
One of my first 'writer' friends. I was introduced to WoW and 55 fiction by him. In the years that I have known him, I have seen him transform into an amazing writer. Now he writes mostly poems, which sucks, because I don't understand them, but that doesn't stop me from appreciating his good work.

    So if you are one of those above, you might want to know my questions. So here they go.
  1. Why do you write?
  2. Do you have a procedure that you follow when you write a story or a poem?
  3. Do you enjoy reading? If yes, what do you like to read? Poem? Fiction? Comic Books? History of Medieval European Blacksmiths?
  4. If you were a character in a book, how would you describe your appearance?
  5. How do you think people view you?
  6. If your life were a movie, which one would it be? And why?
  7. What do you see yourself doing in 3 years?
  8. If you could change one thing about yourself, what would it be?
  9. Can you change the above mentioned thing about you? Have you tried?
  10. Which is your favourite language? Why? (Expect more than 'it's my mother tongue')
    I have fulfilled all the requirements of the Liebster award. This was indeed my longest post till date. I hope I didn't bore the ones who have read till this point. It felt great writing this one, so thank you again, Priya.

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