My expressions of Love
It’s an amazing year of valentine
for me this season as I complete the 20th year of togetherness, me
and my better half.

Twenty years is a pretty long
time and there had been several occasions and opportunities for me to express
my love for my wife. Believe me; I have done it in the craziest of ways. When
we say, driving one crazy in love, that’s literally what I have done.

Hey! There, it has not come
without warning signs. She had known of my wild persona before she said yes to
me and so it is like expecting the inevitable, every single time.
Of course, I am feeling a bit
jittery, flaunting all my secrets out here, but then 20 years was hell of a
journey, the roller coaster broke down many times, the downs were steep, but we
both held on and as we chug along this amazing journey, I am sure she would not
mind reading this post and reminiscing all the fun we had over the two decades.
The most amazing thing I have
ever done was on the day of our wedding. The wedding ring that I gave her, on
which she had expected my name to be there was engraved with the most endearing
nickname that she used to call me. She was so embarrassed to show the ring to
others, but I saved her the blues in the nick of time by getting out another
ring for the occasion. Of course, the nicknamed ring is her most treasured
personal possession till this date.

Yeah, it was one of those days in
the low of our personal lives, that I suddenly decided to buy her a guitar,
knowing that singling and music was her passion, which she could unfortunately
never pursue. As I saw the glitter and the tear drops in her eyes, I understood
how important it felt to her that I took an interest in her passion, even for
that day. How I had come to know of her childhood passion, is a closely guarded
secret till this day.
The day when I decided to wake
her up early morning, put her into the car, drove down for two hours, to her
absolute confusion, was also a crazy moment for us. I had told her that she
needed to trust me, and so there it was, as she sat in the car, I blindfolded
her. And I should respect her faith in me that she never insisted on removing
her blindfold for the entire journey of two hours. And when she eventually did,
she was amazed. It was the scene of our first date and I made sure that we sat
at the same table, ordered the same food that we ate that special day and I was
so thrilled to see her blushing the way she did on our first date.

Yeah! The crazy little fun box
that I gifted to her last Valentine is also something we both will savor for the
rest of our lives. The fun box had every little bit of our journey over the
years. It had the mementos that I have saved from our relationship, tiny little
things, but which had a deep meaning and remembrance value for us. They were some
movie ticket stubs, cookie fortunes, and some dried flowers, even hate you
post-its on the refrigerator doors, that we had written over a fit of rage. It
had all the emotions packed into a tiny little box which we still hold on to
our chests.

There are so many, the expressions keep changing but my emotions have and will always remain the same.


 

This post is for the #SoundOfLove  activity for BlogAdda  in association with Bluestone.
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Where does God Live?
As a child, I always had this question which I used to ask my
Mom, “Where does God live?”. She would smile, point towards the sky, caress my
hair and say, “God lives in heaven”.

Every weekend, as she used to walk me across to the temple, I
used to wonder, if God lives in heaven, why is she taking me here. As I grew up
to respect all faiths, because my mother insisted that I go to the Church, the
Mosques, this question still remained unanswered for me.
As I started reading all the scriptures, I came across what the Apostle
Paul had written, “Do you not know that you are the temple of God and that the
Spirit of God dwells in you?”. It was then that I realized that God does not
live in heaven; he lives inside his people, in our bodies, in our minds, in our
souls.
When I imagine God, no picture comes to my mind. I can’t see him
as Krishna with the Sudarshan Chakra in his hand, or as Jesus hanging on the
cross. I see God as the Creator, a tiny structure, the infinite, who has chosen
to make his home in our hearts. I cannot imagine my Creator to be contained in
a physical building. He lives in me.
I would share a dialog between two believers. I came across this
somewhere and it really touched me to the core of my heart.
 “Where do you go to church?”
“Faith Community, down on the corner.”
“Oh, the little white one? I love the gardens out front.”
“Yeah, it could really use a new paint job, though.”

As we read the dialogue, we can understand that the first person
is asking the second person, where he goes to Church, to which the second
replies and the conversation shifts to the details of the building referred to.
As I read the dialogue again and again, I am compelled to think
whether the building which became the point of discussion, was the real meaning
of church. The Greek word, “Ekklesia” from which the English word “Church” has
been derived, does not mean a building at all. It just means an assembly,
i.e. it would mean the assembly of the believers and not the building.  
Let us understand the true meaning of the terms used for these
places of worship and not get unduly carried away by the insensible acts of a
few miscreants, who vandalize a church, or desecrate the idol of a goddess, or
bring down a mosque. I strongly believe that the misguided few who do this, are not the “church”
or the “temple” or the “mosque”.
We just need to understand that the true church (house of God) is
the believers who gather.

I share the words of Solomon from the 1 Kings 8:27 commentaries of the Bible, “But will God indeed dwell on the earth? Behold
heaven and the heaven of heavens cannot contain you. How much less this temple
which I have built!”. Let us read it again and again and be amazed.
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My review of my first Uber Cab ride in Mumbai
It was earlier this week, on
Tuesday to be precise, that my parents, who had come down to stay with us for
over a month, were leaving back to their village in Kerala. And as luck would
have it, Monday evening we all went out for a family dinner and while returning
my car broke down. Calling up the service centre to tow away the vehicle and
hitching up a bumpy ride in the kaali-peeli autorickshaws that ply by the
millions on the Mumbai roads, by the time we reached home, rather than enjoying
the fine-dining cuisine that we had, my elderly parents were exhausted to the
hilt.
As I was sitting on the bed,
wondering what to do to drop my parents to the railway station the next
morning, I was contemplating on calling up some friends and requesting them to
lend me their car for a day. Being a working day, when all of them travel to
work, and their cars already booked, I was perplexed.
That’s when my eyes lay on the
tiny little article on radio taxi services in a remote corner of the newspaper.
As I picked up the newspaper to read it, I had no clue as to which one to book
and how to ensure that I get a smooth and amazing ride for my parents. Many
names flashed before my eyes and to be honest, Uber did come across my mind and
I immediately discarded it having heard of only the negative sense after the
unfortunate incident involving one of their drivers in Delhi which had resulted
in the cab service being discontinued in the capital city.
However, it’s either common sense
or whether better sense, I am not aware, which prevailed upon me and I decided
to do a fast google search on the Uber cab service in my city. And lo and
behold, I found that it was as easy as anything.
Within seconds, I downloaded the
Uber App on my smart phone and registered myself. As I was doing it, my elder
daughter came across to the room and immediately suggested that if an existing
user gives me a reference code, I would get a Rs.600/- credit to my account.
She also immediately recollected that once she along with a few friends had
used this service and she had a promotion code available. Further ahead, my
tech-savvy daughter took over the reins and before I could blink my eyelids,
she had completed the process and registering me.
The next morning, a bit tensed as
I was, being a first time user, I panicked and booked a cab around an hour
before our scheduled departure. As I called the driver, whose vehicle number,
and his mobile contact was flashed on the App, I was warmly greeted by a good
morning and when I mentioned to him that I need to have the vehicle at my place
in an hour, the driver immediately intimated me that I need to book only around
15-20 minutes in advance. He was also gracious enough to guide me that I need
to cancel my booking immediately or else the system would debit the
cancellation charges to my account.
Some panicky moments thereafter
for me, as I realized that no cabs were available for booking when suddenly
this vehicle pooped up on my screen. I went ahead with the normal routine and
as I called the driver for providing him my exact co-ordinates, he informed me
that the vehicle would be at my doorstep in around 15 minutes. And surely there
it was there, dot in 15 minutes, the vehicle landed.
The look of the vehicle, the way
it was maintained itself, impressed me a lot and as the driver got down and
wished me, he ensured that he would help me load all the baggage conveniently
into the vehicle. And as we sat in the vehicle, the driver individually wished
each one of the passengers before politely asking me whether he can start the
journey by clicking on the GPS enabled phone loaded on to the dashboard.. (Yeah! Shiv was his name, driving an UberBlack). As I nodded in
agreement, and he did, an immediate message popped up on my phone indicating
the commencement of my journey.
The one gesture on the part of
the driver which touched my heart immediately before he started the vehicle was
something I can never forget. He turned back, looked at each of us, and folded
his hands in submission and apologized for the unfortunate incident in Delhi,
about which I had just mentioned earlier, and which had honestly made me a bit
jittery in choosing this service. As I shook my head in acceptance, he added,
“Thank you so much for showing your trust in Uber!”
I would have traded anything in
the world that day for that little gesture on the part of the company.
Nevertheless, the driver gave us some suggestions too. Being a slightly chilly
early morning, he suggested that we keep the heater on for a while before
switching on to the cooling air conditioner. After a while, when my Dad
suggested that he keeps the windows open, he obliged for sure, but within a few
kilometers, suggested again, that keeping the windows open would tire us out
and hence, it would be better to switch on the air conditioner.
Absolutely polite and decent,
throughout the entire journey, the driver made sure with his experience that we
maneuvered the morning city traffic well so that we reach our destination much
earlier than I had honestly anticipated. As he helped us get out our luggage,
he intimated me what the ride has cost me and immediately adding that the
amount that would be debited from my account would be 20% less, being the
promotional offer for the first ride.
As we disembarked, the driver
came out and again with folded hands, wished us a very happy and safe journey
and as he rode away leaving behind fond memories of our first ever Uber ride, I
instantly reached out for my mobile phone and give him the much deserved 5
stars ranking.
To sum, it up, it was an amazing
and wonderful experience and I am overwhelmed by the service of my first ever
luxury ride with Uber.
The Pros that I can sum up…
1.       Absolutely
easy and hassle free booking.
2.       Availability
within short time.
3.       No
hassles of any cash payment.
4.       Friendly
and polite staff.
5.       Absolutely
well maintained vehicle.
6.       Cheap
and affordable luxury travel.
7.       Immediate
intimation of the fare and its breakup over phone and email.
The Cons that I would be able to
conjure up with great difficulty would be…
(Hey! Mind you, these are not
drawbacks, but some features that I would like the company to incorporate in
their amazing service)
1.       Not
having the option to choose the vehicle you want (the vehicle that is nearest
to our location is to be booked).
2.       Availability
of the option to choose the kind of service that I want (when I booked, it
showed that only UberBlack was available and not UberX)
I would surely be recommending
the Uber service to all my friends and acquaintances and also shall be
soliciting their services many more times in days to come.  In a city full of potholes and traffic jams,
when we really need a comfortable ride, it becomes hard to find one and Uber is
surely destined to remedy that.
I would rank them on top when it
comes to ease and luxury where you just need to tap your smart phone a couple
to times to order a ride in a premium sedan and not even be bothered of change
and cash payments, where the fee is automatically charged to your prepaid
account.
Just a small bit of advice that I
have is when the Company terms the luxury ride as UberBlack, I would suggest
that it uses black colored sedans only to make the rider feel like a limousine
ride.

All in all, I would give the Uber
cab service in Mumbai a ranking of 10 on 10 (10/10).

So go ahead and indulge in a
super luxury ride, download the Uber APP today. For more details, check out
their website at https://www.uber.com or for
more specific Mumbai ride, directly go to https://www.uber.com/cities/mumbai
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