I don't get many message requests (from those that are not in my list) on Facebook. Actually I don't get any. The filtered request folder most times is only empty. But then, I have this secret passion of checking my others folder (not others their folder which though might be really interesting) to see if I have received any message from a stranger. There is always a certain kick in knowing that a complete stranger wants to initiate a conversation with you, no ?

Women understand it better. Naturally. "A/S/L?". "Want to be friendship?". "Want make friends?". "Your home or my home?". And more of these they see daily.

So, on one of those days when I see a new message, you can imagine my excitement. Message in others folder - Check. Message from a total stranger - Check. Hard work pays and my passion was finally bearing fruit. Like the little kid that hits the park after a day long wait, I jump in joy as I click "open". A one liner I see. Awesome. "Good profile pic. You look nice in a saree". WHAT ? Really ? Podaaaaaag.

Thus started my long journey of deleting all couple pics and changing privacy settings in the rest. Message from strangers are ok. Strange messages - Not ok. Passion died.

This post is written as part of the 'tagged' contest run by author Kaarthika along with 'The Chennai Bloggers Club'. Here is the link to pre-order the book.
As the saying goes, if you can make your passion your profession, there will not be a single day in life when you will be bored to go to work. This has always struck a chord with me and comes dangling in front of me every time I struggle to get up on a Monday. The least I can do at this point is be in awe with those that believe in their conviction and take the least treaded path of following their dreams. And when it happens with someone in a closed group that you are a part of, you can only be inspired and motivated. Am not a Jewelry person, but then it is this amazing entrepreneurial spirit of Minu Marie Mathew that makes me want to write this post today.

Minu Marie Mathew  The face behind Art-ery
I think for most of us, many things start as a hobby. For many, it turns into a passion at some point. But only a few have the courage to go out of their comfort zones to make things work their way. I have never met Minu, but have always had this impression of her being this petite and pretty girl, which she is. And to know that there is creative acumen behind that fa├žade and an artistic mind that would conceptualize a business venture makes it all the more impressive for me.

She has only recently started her line of designer jewelry called ART-ery.

From a blogger, to a hobbyist to now a passionate designer is quite a journey. I may not be the most appropriate guy to really talk about fashion and jewels and style. So hear it from the budding entrepreneur herself, 

We think your inner self is beautiful, stylish and fashionable. We don’t want to do anything to change that, we wouldn’t dare! We’re here to help you find that inner self. There’s fashion in your blood, fashion in your arteries! And that is the message behind the name ART-ery.

I most certainly identify myself with her creative self and want to heartily wish her all the best in her new found endeavor. So folks, meet the designer and check out some of her works. Also, follow the links below and take a look at all her hand made beauties.

Minu, I am a day late. But trust me, while writing about you on this very day is incidental, it personally means a lot to me. And that is something I cannot share in a public domain. So whenever I get a chance to talk to you.

Connect with Art-ery
You can buy from here
Minu writes a blog here
The official Facebook page is here
The official Craftsvilla age is here
When I wanted a gift, so precious and fine,
For the one I know, for all eternity, is mine,
I realized,

her dazzling cheeks, like the rose’s bud,
paled the brilliance of the Ruby’s red.
her glistening eyes, that glittering sheen,
the Emerald beheld, and turned so green.

Her luscious lips, so gentle and grand,
is the reason Kohinoor hid in a foreign land.
Her sparkling smile, making my day,
is there anything more prized? Oh no way !

Her gracious heart, its virtues untold,
nothing came close, even the purest Gold.
Her beautiful thoughts, so kind, so humane,
the allure of Platinum now looked so plain.

So now,
tell me what I can get for this gem of a girl,
who is more precious than a valuable pearl.
I can only choose something close to her glory,
something exquisite, something like Stylori.

~ Somu

P.S. This post is written as a part of Stylori Contest in association with The Chennai Bloggers Club.

Not all emotions are easily controllable. There are a few that creep in with so much ease and refuse to get out. Much unlike anger which can either be subdued, or expressed and be done with, these emotions stay in like parasites. They keep gnawing you from inside. They infest your mind with unwanted thoughts. They leave a lump somewhere between your tummy and chest. You want it out, yet you are helpless. 

They overwhelm you and overshadow your best qualities. They keep jutting out keeping your original self at bay. The only way out is to kill the emotion. Kill the underlying thoughts that fuel the emotion. Kill the unwanted feelings that cloud your self. Be in the moment and burn your perceptions. It will be a battle between you and such negativity. If you keep the bigger picture in mind, eventually the better one will emerge victorious. 

Never should you succumb. You are above all that.
Ever since I heard from a friend about the beauty of this place, it found itself a spot in my list of “must-see places around the globe”. When we were contemplating on planning a vacation this Christmas holidays, Sri Lanka was the first destination that came in our minds. In spite of being questioned about its safety, we decided to go for it.

We had our tour planned by Deepa Travels, Adyar. The agent did a fine job organizing everything for us right from air tickets, visa and hotel to local cab and tour guide.

With a lot of uncertainty about our travel itself (due to work pressure and last minute plan changes), we finally left to Katunayake Airport, Colombo on the 21’st. The flight journey was a short pleasant one that lasted a little over an hour (Yes, Chennai- Colombo is a lot closer than Chennai- any ports within TN). At Colombo airport, we were received by our tour guide, Mr. Nilantha Fernando, an extremely warm, friendly person. Within moments we were out on the Colombo- Kandy highway in our Toyota Prius (:-) We did spot many high-end refurbished/ new Japanese-make commercial vehicles on the road). The first thing that caught our attention in SL was the cleanliness and greenery all around us. We felt as though we were in our very old God’s own country- Kerala. And apart from occasional sights of police patrols, there were no signs of anything but calm and peace.

The roads are well laid and it remained the same almost in every place we went. It was quite a sight as we drove on the road nestled among thick bushes and trees. The whole stretch had local vendors selling produce from their vegetable/ fruit garden- Mangoes, Jack Fruit (SL has Mangoes and Jack fruit grow in winters unlike TN/Kerala where the season is usually between April- July. I envy them :-(), King Coconut and what not. Nilantha was sweet enough to stop by at every store and Somu and I ate our hearts full. A couple of hours later, we reached the Pinnewala Elephant Park near Kandi that’s a sanctuary for over 80 elephants.

The park is open to the public daily for some entrance fees. It was great to see a number of animals all in one place, well taken care of. There are several shops attached to the park. One that caught our attention was this :-p …

Rest of the story to continue... 

The sound of waves kissing the shore,
Sometimes even my loved ones snore,
The googoos and gaagaas a baby mutters,
Are bliss that can make my heart go flutter.

The creaking noise of the crickets in dark,
The twinkle I hear when her smile sparks,
The myna and even the cuckoo’s chirpings, 
Have no bounds to the joys they can bring.

Music of Illayaraja, and his 80s hits,
Nothing matches up when she hums it.
Rustle in the leaves, whistle in the breeze,
Can you think of compositions better than these!  

Every word that break out of her lips,
Her every word though it may have a lisp,
Even the sound of her inhibited silence,
all sent from heaven to fill up my sense.

~ Somu

Photo Courtesy : Thethingswesay
When patches of my sky darken,
he is the moon I depend on,
to brighten up my dim mood,
and unlike its vanishing stint,
he is there evermore, his fondness for me
never diminishing.

Time of the day carries no meaning,
he is there when I need to talk,
give vent to my spleen and get things out of my system.
He speaks no word,
yet his listening compassion gives me
all the soothing effect I need.

His mere presence is magical,
giving me a sense of security,
a feeling of dependability,
and the assurance that he is there,
even when everyone else discards me.

So many years have passed,
and so many things changed,
yet this bond has stood the test,
gaining in strength with every passing day.
Even now when all else fails,
the only one I turn to is he – My pal,
My Best Friend.