POUR VINEGAR TO HEAL, NOT TO KILL

Vinegar is an extremely important ingredient in some of the oldest as well as the newest food items. I remember, when I was a small kid, I used to watch my Grandma making all kinds of Achaar (pickle). She used to soak all the raw mangos, lemons, berries etc., in the vinegar and then dry them in the sun. Afterwards, she would cook them into different kinds of pickle according to the fruits – Mango pickle, Berry pickle, Lemon pickle and so on.

When I grew up, I understood the use of vinegar to marinate raw meat and then cook them after some time. And when I visited restaurants, I found vinegar with green chillies soaked in a bottle which are usually used as sauce or added flavour to soup and other dishes as salt, pepper etc.

When I started taking interest in cooking soya sauce and vinegar were my favourites. As I know they would cover up my follies if any and bring the taste in them.

I was curious to know about some more uses of vinegar in our life and I was shocked to find them in numerous amounts when I searched on the internet. I have mentioned a few below:

  • Vinegar, as we know, is an effective preservative. It works by making the food more acidic, which deactivates its enzymes and kills any bacteria in the food that may cause spoilage.
  • Vinegar has anti-bacterial properties because of which it helps as a deodorizer.
  • Vinegar is used in food items for various purposes. It is used in salad dressings. It is used to marinate meat to add flavour to the fry or curry or any dish that we try to prepare.
  • Vinegar is claimed to help diabetics control their blood sugar levels.
  • Some test tube studies say that vinegar can kill cancer cells.
  • Vinegar is a natural cleaning agent. It also helps to wash fruits and vegetables clean. It helps in cleaning our skins as well. Many people use it during bath too. Vinegar can be used like this in varied cleaning purposes because of its antibacterial properties.
  • Vinegar sometimes is recommended as help to weight loss because it may help you feel full.
  • Vinegar neutralizes the sting of minor burns and helps them heal more quickly by reducing the swelling. It also helps to cure pimples and acne.

The list can just go on and on… But there’s a glitch in it.

As I was discussing the uses of vinegar with my colleague in the office today, he was saying that they usually marinate meat with a spoon as vinegar might burn the skin. Vinegar helps as a mouthwash but if we use it without the knowledge of how to use it then vinegar use would be fatal than useful. We can not chew anything with our teeth if we use raw vinegar as a mouthwash.

The time, the quality and the quantity are very essential in every aspect of our life which we need to understand. If we don’t understand it then we suffer or let others suffer.

There’s a Bible verse that I found which made me smile and also gave me wisdom. It reads, “…like vinegar poured on a wound, is one who sings songs to a heavy heart”.

Remember? Above we saw vinegar helps the wound to heal quickly but if it is not used according to how it should be keeping the quality, quantity and time then the suffering of the wounded would be extreme.

A question popped up in my mind, “Is my counselling sometimes feel like vinegar on the wound to the one hurting?”

Sometimes parents and elders taunt their younger ones to correct them. It is definitely helpful at times while they reprimand but when it is done regularly as a habit then it spoils everything.

Be careful! Pour vinegar to heal, not to kill.

Stay Blessed!

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WHY I DON’T HAVE THE LIFESTYLE THAT I WISHED FOR!

A few years ago, I was asked to leave the present job to join a better one which was to fetch good money and was in my home town. I didn’t choose money but chose the place where I am now. I always feel that I am not greedy and I don’t have love of money. It might be true; I don’t have love of money in my present condition though I earn very little in comparison to the world around me. But sometimes I wonder and wish if I get an award of a crore rupees from nowhere then what will I do with it? I dream and wish to buy a few apartments for my immediate family members and rent out the rest as my future earnings. I will gift cash to my sisters and a few that I will keep in my wife’s name as a fixed deposit. And the rest of the money I will spend lavishly on food and travel. I am a good boy; I don’t drink or spend on women. Huh!

So, if I am given money at a given point of time then I might spend it lavishly. I have the human desire of enjoying life and just because I don’t earn or don’t have the ability to earn, I tend to feel that I don’t have that desire of money – this is not very true. My lifestyle would have been different than how it is now if I would have more money or wealth. I might not have led a bad lifestyle because of the wealth but I would have definitely taken the pride for having that wealth.

Money! Yeah, it does play a vital role behind someone’s or a family’s lifestyle. We take the decision to follow a certain lifestyle depending on our financial stability.

I always love to be peaceful person – a reconciliator and a calm person. I don’t like to confront people face to face and get into unnecessary arguments. My personality and my character traits make me follow a particular lifestyle. But sometimes I feel like retaliating and hitting back those who wronged me. At that time, I wish if I would have been a person having the physical strength and muscle power then I would have taught people good lessons. My lifestyle would have been different.

It is not only about my attitude or character, but my good health or muscle power would have determined a different job for me altogether and so also a different lifestyle. There are so many things in life I am either restricted or unable to do, all because of my health condition. But if the case would have been different then I would have done everything that I only can wish today and I am sure that would have allowed me to lead a different lifestyle.

So like money and wealth, physical strength and good health do play a vital role in determining someone’s lifestyle.

You might ask me if I feel sad about it. Yes, I do sometimes if I think humanly, but that sometimes is very small in comparison to how God let me lead a particular lifestyle in front of all the odds. I understood one thing very clearly and that is how I was commanded by my God – “Let your eyes look directly ahead and let your gaze be fixed straight in front of you. Watch the path of your feet and all your ways will be established. Do not turn to the right nor to the left; Turn your foot from evil.”

I make sure at the end of the day to check if I have fallen short of the standard or the lifestyle I am supposed to live up to despite my shortcomings and vulnerabilities. I believe God asks of us to adopt certain lifestyles for a purpose. And I acknowledge it wholeheartedly. I understood, ‘Why I don’t have the lifestyle that I wished for.’ It is better for all of us to understand so.

So, friends! Get ready for this week, reading about different lifestyles our writers lead and what they had or have wished for.

Keep reading, keep leaving your valuable feedback…

Stay blessed!

HE MAKES, BREAKS AND SHAPES US

In the church, we usually share our praise points and prayer points so that we can praise God for all the good things He had done in our lives and pray for all our needs along with the whole congregation. Last week, I stood up to share my heart, I was overwhelmed with emotions. I said, “I am thinking why I am living on this earth if I am causing so much pain to others.”

It was my hurt and my anger made me pour my heart like that in front of all but I kept on speaking quoting one verse from the Bible which reads, “The earth is the Lord’s, and everything in it, the world, and all who live in it; for He founded it on the seas and established it on the waters.” This verse let me understand that God owns everything and if He can establish the whole creation on the seas and on the waters then He can surely establish me on any difficult path. Remember, the very nature of water lets everything to drown in it yet, it was God who established His handy work on it. I was comforted soon afterward though my heart still hurts. 

(Picture Credit: Pixabay.com)

But when I saw this image God spoke in my heart again and I chose it for myself to reflect on it.

A potter takes the clay which is so easily moldable. He puts it on the wheel and spins it. The clay may be modeled by hand or fingers while the potter’s wheel spins. The raw moldable clay soon molded into different forms as directed or designed by the potter. After a pot is designed or given a form the potter dries it with fire to make it strong and usable.

What a beautiful picture it is…! It is like God shaping us as He wishes and defines our purposes on this earth.

I used to always grumble with God for creating me with such an ailment for which I had to suffer a lot and was held responsible for so many things which were not even in my hand. I used to question God when I was young. But later, He made me so strong that nothing had really shaken or discouraged me until the last few months. My present hurts and agony reminded me of my brokenness and how weak I am.

Yet… Yeah, Yet, I don’t lose hope on Him who says, “Arise and go down to the potter’s house, and there I will announce My words to you.” And lo and behold, today when I visited the potter’s house through this picture and saw how he was making something on the wheel. When the vessel that he was making of clay was spoiled he remade it into another vessel, as it pleased the potter to make. 

Whoa!

We all are in The Potter’s hands. And we are all safe in His hands. He will make us, He will break us, He will shape us into beautiful pots to be used beautifully in this earth and the life to come for eternity.

Stay Blessed!

I LOVE TO WORK WITH A SNAIL PACE

Oh man, Aaii (Nani)… Look at this… there are so many snails invading our verandah…” I screamed when I saw 20 odd snails climbing on the verandah at my maternal grandparent’s home. And it happens only during the rainy season. I was a little boy then. If you see that scene I am describing, you will feel exactly as if you are watching a sci-fi movie with sluggish aliens invading your territory.

The snails are one of the ugliest looking creatures that we find around us. I always had a curiosity to hold them in my palms but never got that courage to do so. And these days when I have the courage, I don’t see them.

The snails are Invertebrate (Animals that do not have a vertebral column), Exoskeleton (External skeleton that protects the body of an animal) and Hermaphrodites (A living organism that has reproductive organs of both sexes) creatures.

Usually, there are different types of snails around the world which are mainly categorized according to their habitats – Land snails, Clean Water snails, and Sea snails. Some edible snails are reared for the purpose of different delicacies. There are some French cuisines prepared especially made of snails. I would love to taste them one day. There is an interesting fact that I found about the snails which have been used as famine food in historical times. Wikipedia mentions, a history of Scotland written in the 1800s recounts a description of various snails and their use as food items in times of plague.

The snails are also found in different sizes. They are as tiny as a bee or wasp and as big as the size of a rabbit. Unbelievable!

Giant African Land Snail

See the picture above. It is a Giant African Land Snail, a pet of that woman. But it is better not to keep them as pet as it’s considered one of the most invasive pests in the world and is believed responsible for carrying a parasite (in its slime, no less) that is responsible for a form of meningitis that is harmful to humans.

The shells of snails have been used as ornaments and decorative items. They are very popular among people around the world.

A snail is usually symbolically denoted to laziness – the sin of sloth because of their slow movements. But unless we crush them to ground, they are invincible and persistent in their journey which they start with a pace which the world never appreciates.

Sometimes, when I look at myself, I relate to it. Many things I am unable to do with the pace usually the world expects from a normal person. I do it slowly and calmly, without any hurry. I get annoyed when someone asks me to do things quickly which is beyond my ability.

The laid back (not lazy) people are happy people like me despite my struggles, I feel.  Therefore, I would conclude that it is better not to fall prey to the sin of sloth but it is also important for not to fall prey to the rat race of this world. I would prefer to be a snail, rather neglect my loved ones by running around money.

Stay Blessed!

Transparency is better than hiding; because hiding from others have many negative implications which sometimes become very difficult for us to explain even if it was done in good intentions.

THE BEST WRITER STIRS THE EMOTIONS OF READERS

This week went so well as we wrote about each other applauding our works on Candles Online. I was drooling joyfully over the emotions stirred by Prabhjot dedicating an article for me, but after reading what Kuljeet wrote about Aastha my previous emotions were replaced with a fresh set of emotions. Both of them have been my all time favourites. The more you read their articles, the more you feel connected to their soul. The reason was clear they write from their hearts.

I took the opportunity to read a few of their old articles to quote them here in this article and I never could stop my smiles and tears. I found an article that Aastha wrote on 28th December 2016. It was on a 12 years old boy whom she met on a train. The whole story made me very emotional and feel proud of my sister, Aastha. One paragraph hit me hard and I want to share that here – “Often when we know what other factors can contribute or hinder our hopes, we tend to fall prey and lose hope. Without hope, there is absolutely nothing in life. This is where we need to find our balance back by holding ourselves. Everything that happens, every situation we handle has to make us more stronger and prepare us for our future struggles.” How insightful this article is! Don’t forget to click this and read it.

Do you really want to carry a burden on your chest for a long long time? Or is it better to share with a trusted person?  Sometimes the things are not as bad as they seem to us. Getting another person’s perspective helps“, says Kuljeet in one of her article which is full of good advice for all which we need in our life.

The above two are my personal best yet if I am asked about the writers who are professional and never at a loss of words or skills then with my eyes closed I will choose three people – Sulagna, Saakshi, and Pradita.

You might ask ‘Why these three’? Then better read their articles to know them well.

It’s also important, to be honest with yourself about which ones are your real regrets and which ones aren’t. If you make a mistake here, you might again be stuck with wrong decisions“, says Sulagna while writing on the topic – Your Regrets. Give a read to it and you will learn a lot from this article. And if you are hooked to it then go on and read all her 8 powerful articles. I seriously miss her on Candles Online.

My gold digger, Saakshi wrote a blinder for the topic – The Attitude of Gratitude, explaining how much she is grateful to a man who has been serving her family for more than 20 years. She says, “Now to capture Noorie (I gave him this name out of affection as he often complains that he became almost a women doing womanly chores for my mother and me) in words is like trying to collect all the sea water in a Coca-Cola bottle.” Read this light-hearted article and feel fresh. And if you again feel like picking up another book from Saakshi’s library then you can do so without giving a second thought.

Pradita, the name itself lets all of us here on Candles Online expect of something fabulous and amazing. Writing on the topic – Shadow of Sin, she wrote how the abuse of power is a grave sin.  She says, “Most positions of power occur over monetary reasons or in positions of trust. An abuse of power in such situations is not just a sin, it also breaks the faith of the subordinates who look to the power wielder for support, guidance, and leadership.” She is excellent in every way. Tell about, the formatting of the articles, the selection of appropriate words, presenting the subject matter and the flow of the article, everything looks perfect and professional. She never gives me the stress of checking the errors, formatting, adding a picture, etc., she does everything herself.

Sadly, the above three are not regular writers. But they are the best.

In the end, coming back to the same person whom I mentioned earlier, who made me travel through a memory lane this week, who made me emotional, who wrote an article wonderfully dedicating it to me I would like to say she has been the icon of consistency and persistence. Prabhjot is a writer who has always been straight forward and flamboyant. One of her articles is my all time favourite where she raises questions against the mindset of young girls who thinks negative about their looks. She says, “Remember – Looks are only part of your personality. It is as significant as your intellectual capabilities and your emotional balance. And beauty is not just about your looks – it is about your holistic personality.” She shares her own story and how she used to think previously while motivating and encouraging many others through this beautiful article.

If I go on talking about my co-writers then this article will never come to an end. Someone rightly said some time ago, “Candles Online is like a library with so many books written by many authors“.

So true! And I believe that they all have the art to stir the emotions of their readers…

So what are you waiting for? Start reading and giving your valuable feedback.

Stay Blessed!

A SMALL SEED SOWED CAN ALSO PROVIDE COOL SHADE TO THE WEARY PEDESTRIANS

(Click the image to read the original post)

September 16, 2016, was the day when this lady commented on Candles Online for the first time as a reader of this blog. Her younger sister, Prabhjot asked me to encourage her to join Candles Online and this comment gave me the opportunity to initiate my conversation with her.

FOUR days later on September 20, 2016, I got the opportunity and I would like to leak a few things about the initial conversations that we had the very first time. I hope that won’t upset her.

All she had about herself was negative – “I am not as talented as my younger sister…”, “I am more of the laidback sister…”, “Let’s hope I can put up a decent article”.

But I am a person who never leaves people in negativity. I kept on pushing her and motivating her till she wrote her first article on Candles Online – “LET’S TWEAK OUR CUSTOM A BIT“. That day she actually tweaked her own custom of being a non-writer and became a writer, unknown of that very fact herself.

I would like to confess that her first article of 281 words which I thought of inflating it a bit by adding few more words before publishing made me think about my selection a bit at that moment, though I usually don’t lose hope on someone. But guess what? Kuljeet Saini became the most loved writer on Candles Online who left everyone with a thought to ponder upon starting from her second article on Candles Online – “DRESSED TO KILL“. That was a hilarious yet very powerful article. She got 11 votes on that particular article. Usually, votes are from anonymous readers so 11 is a very good number. That day again I patted myself again with a smile and in my heart, I thanked Prabhjot for bringing her sister in.

The article which stamped Kuljeet as my ace writer (though I don’t rate or rank my co-writers in any manner) was – “MY AFFAIR WITH THE GREEN EYED MONSTER“. She never looked back again. Her articles never lacked feedbacks. She was highly appreciated for her write-ups which were from the first-hand experience, written wholeheartedly and absolutely relatable.

Another special skill of Kiljeet which really makes her my favourite is her ability to give very catchy Titles to her all the articles. It was only on one occasion I had to give a title to her article otherwise she herself does that every time.

As a person, she is an adorable character with a pleasing personality. She is very warm and cheerful. I am sure whenever she speaks she brings a joyful vibe to the other person as she does to me whenever I speak with her over the phone. In our group, she is lovingly called as – Killjeet instead of Kuljeet. As a writer, she reflects her true self in her articles and never shies away to confess her own weaknesses. That’s one quality which I love about her so much. She is always open to healthy discussions about life and God.

Now, I remembered our initial conversation once again as I am concluding this article… She said – “I was not as talented as my younger sister“. I have a smile on my face now as I realized – She was right that day. She isn’t talented like her sister. But her talent was different and very special than everyone else. Her beginning as a writer was delayed and small yet her write-ups provide comfort as cool tree-shade for weary pedestrians. She is an asset for Candles Online.

In closing, I am happy to have her in my team, may God Bless her and let her write more such fabulous articles till the end.

(Dedicated to @kuljeetsaini )