This picture looked easy but was kind of difficult to explain yet people have responded with enthusiasm and fun. They taught me so much by their ideas and perspectives about this picture. They talked about life, love, partners, marriage, relationships and friendships. I thoroughly enjoyed it. Hope my fellow authors and bloggers will enjoy them as well.

Following are the entries:

Avinash Das: “‘Q & A’ – Questions in life is like that black coffee ‘Raw – Few people like it – Incomplete – Unapproachable Look’ but Answers to those life’s questions brings the real taste – real look – approachable to all”

Sreepriya Menon: “Like black tea and milk, they blend together to make a family.”

Shrabani Tripathy: LIFE HAPPENS….TEA & COFFEE HELPS..😃

Pradita Kapahi: “He and she never agree…If he likes it black, she likes it sweet. But he and she can’t live without the other.. and that, in love, is what matters.”

Kalpana Kameshwari Vogeti: “Hold your cup and opportunities well before there’s a slip.”

Nerella Sima Das: “Contents in the cup 🏆 and the colour of the shirts are not same..whereas Sitting together and Holding the cup 🏆 in the same way..that’s all about the harmony of friendship 😊.”

Subha Smita: “‘U & Me’ – Different but always together.. 
Esther Bardhan: “We Agree to Disagree: When Perspectives Merge at Love.”
Preeta Bhatnagar: “‘Love = Respect each other’s choices’
So, I don’t want you to change for me, I love the way you are.”
Ipsita Patra:Whole and Soul is Life…”
Subhashree Das: “Hot & Cold no lukewarm.”
Gregory G Lewis: “Whether black or white, it’s all coffee on the inside.”
Vidhi Bomb: “Life is part coffee beans and part tea leaves. Dark and dreary sometimes, subtle and beautiful the other times.”
Geetmalini Sahu: “‘As u lyk it’ – sum lyk black & strong coffee ; while sum others prefer coffee creamy n blended with milk.”
Sony Abhishek Rout: “Life is about options. Options co-exists. Our choice, is what matters in the end.”
Arpita Mohanty: “Two aspect of life – i.e. Bitterness and Sweetness.”
Kuljeet Saini: “Life is black and white… It’s up to us to paint the colors in it…”
I don’t want to delay announcing the best one which I chose to be the winner of this particular competition… Esther Bardhan’ caption impacted me more for her simple, sweet yet very profound thought about any relationships, mostly about marriage.


Note:  The Wining Poster Certificate was set as the featured image of this post and will be displayed on the site’s sidebar as well till the next competition. 


Quote of the day

You walk your way to success or failure all alone though there are many who come across your path either as a help or an obstacle.


Last week one day, I took the bus for my office, plugged-in my earphone and started enjoying some of my favorite lectures on YouTube. I was so much indulged watching those talks that I forgot to get down at the connecting point to catch another bus. After 5/7 minutes as I peeped-out of the window I found myself at a different location and immediately I blamed the conductor for not telling me that the bus will not go to my destination. As soon as I got down from the bus I was struck by a question – “Is that right, what I did? If I would have paid attention I wouldn’t have to land at wrong place”.

I became a Butterfly when I got out of the Cocoon…

There are always some cocoons exist in our life and to find them out let’s flashback to the beginning of the ‘Blame Game’ in the Garden of Eden after the first man and woman ate the forbidden fruit:

God asked Man: Where are you?

Man: I heard you in the garden and I was afraid because I was naked; so I hid.

God: Who told you that you are naked? Have you eaten the forbidden fruit?

Man: The woman you put here with me – she gave me some fruit from the tree, and I ate it.

God: Woman, what is this you have done?

Woman: The Serpent deceived me, and I ate.

This incident has a great analogy to our daily life. Whether it is the cat fights of children or family issues or professional issues, everywhere we are very much accustomed to shifting of blames on others. It becomes very difficult for us to leave the cocoons of self-defense and self-righteousness. Often we try to leave them but alas.

Is it ever possible to leave these cocoons? Why I can’t see the beauty in others rather than lurking at their faults?

The Bible teaches us three very logical and possible exits from these cocoons –

  • Rationalize your character before shifting the blame – Before taking any decision or making any comment, let’s pause for a flashback of the entire incident and find-out where we have gone wrong. Bible says, And why worry about a speck in your friend’s eye when you have a log in your own? How can you think of saying to your friend, ‘Let me help you get rid of that speck in your eye,’ when you can’t see past the log in your own eye? Hypocrite! First get rid of the log in your own eye; then you will see well enough to deal with the speck in your friend’s eye.
  • Judge your heart’s desire before shifting the blame on someone else – Human heart is desperately wicked and always falls into temptation very easily. Bible says, “Temptation comes from our own desires, which entices us and drag us away.
  • Confess your transgression before shifting the blame – Except God there is no one “perfect” in this world and whosoever calls him perfect, he grieves God and is a liar. Falling sort in transgression is very obvious for every human being. Bible says, “People who conceal their sins will not prosper, but if they confess and turn from them, they will receive mercy. Blessed are those who fear to do wrong, but the stubborn are headed for serious trouble.

Now we have the way to leave the cocoon easily!

Quote of the day

Sin entices slowly, Captures entirely.


When things go wrong, it is very convenient to blame someone else for that. And we do the same when life puts us in a difficult situation. Today I am going to share something about myself, my life. I am going to share how did I reach the other side of the blame.

It wasn’t long ago that my life was a mess. I had switched to a new job – a very well paying one. But little did I know that I was in a wrong place. People over there weren’t good humans, or so I thought. My immediate boss was keen to insult me and put me down even for smallest errors and made derogatory remarks and a colleague was more than officially interested in me. This person made sure that he does his best to spoil my relationship with my husband in one way or the other. And unfortunately, he had succeeded to a great extent. My husband and I started having petty fights over office issues which gradually turned into bigger fights. My world had come crashing down. In all this hardship, I suffered two miscarriages. I was ruined on the personal as well as professional front. I choose not to describe my situation further because thankfully the worst is over now and the negativity from the past need not be remembered.
I felt like I had fallen in a deep and dark pothole and there was no way to escape. I cribbed and cried and blamed God to put me in such a difficult situation. I turned into a negative person, a bad soul. You couldn’t call me anything better because I had dared to hold the Almighty responsible for my pathetic and disgusting state. I had concluded that it is my destiny and I cannot help the wrongdoing happening around me.
But as kind as God is, He showed me a way. I happened to read a book called “The Laws of The Spirit World”. Not sure how many of you have read or even heard about it but let me tell you, it is a great book, very enlightening! This book initiated my spiritual journey. And the first step was to look within. This book taught me that I am the creator of my life (the way I live). I am the reason to all the consequences. All the incorrect things that were happening to me were the result of my own actions. It also taught me that the people who trouble you are merely a medium to make you go through the suffering you have created for yourself because of your choices and actions. God is not responsible for it. He doesn’t do bad things for you! You cannot blame Him but can ask Him to rescue from your difficult life.
Never blame others for the things that happen in you life. You can change anytime you want to. Most people are weak because they choose to be.
Those who believe in destiny lead their life as though they are powerless. They feel no matter what they do, “what has to happen will happen”. This is not the right way of thinking as the future circumstances depend on your present actions. 
The above extract from this book was an eye-opener. When the message sank in completely, I could dare to take that first step towards owning my mistakes and not blaming anyone else for it.
Yes, it was my mistake that probably I had unknowingly encouraged that guy to enter my personal life. I could have drawn the line but I failed. Had I not failed to do so, perhaps he would have never dared to go to the extent he did.
Yes, it was my mistake that I let my boss ridicule me for everything. I could have taken this up with the super boss or HR at the right time, but I didn’t. Instead I pitied myself and tried to seek comfort in self sympathizing.
Your life is what you make it. So don’t blame others when you screw up. If your face is ugly, you cannot blame the mirror. When you think everything is someone else’s fault, you will suffer a lot. When you learn that everything springs from only yourself, you will learn both, peace and joy. 
This little amount of knowledge gave me enough strength to walk on the right path. I gave up that job which cost me a lot on the financial front but peace of mind and love of my husband was my priority. I learnt to face that demon who wanted to separate me from my husband. It definitely sounds easier than done. And all this courage came to me only after I stopped blaming God and destiny, only after I learnt to own my mistakes.
Today, I stand on the other side of the blame. I have a better job than before in all aspects. My career is flourishing. The demon doesn’t bother me any more. And most importantly, my relationship with my husband has grown stronger than ever. Now I am sure that come what may, he will always stand by my side and no Tom, Dick and Harry shall be able to break our relationship. The most wonderful thing has happened to us. Our baby!
It took immense courage to accept my faults and accept that feeling that I have really erred so much in the past that it justifies the testing and trial that I was put through. I can’t thank God enough to hold my hand and make me walk on the right path.
I am not sure how many of you will relate to this. But what you give comes back to you. Hence be good, do good. Never blame anybody for your failure. Instead look within, chances are God may let you find answers yourself.

Quote of the day

When you are at the top, don’t forget the path you came across till that height.


Iteration of a lie often attains the status of perceived veracity.

The other day a cousin of mine was searching for the car keys, when her husband immediately confronted her saying “You always forget to keep the car keys at the right place, Neelam“. Switching on her defence mode my cousin reacted but retracted when she was reminded how she keeps forgetting things all the time. I had observed her backing off especially when she is told that she doesn’t remember things.  Neelam was excellent in academics and always remembers all the songs just by listening to once. I found it hard to believe that she actually has a problem with her memory. Later when I came across the concept of Gaslighting everything about Neelam’s constant retraction to any confrontation zoomed in.

The ‘Illusory truth effect’ or ‘Gaslighting’ is a form of psychological abuse where information is contorted to favour the abuser or information is falsified with the intent of making the victims doubt their perception and memory.

Basically Gaslighting is a form of blame shifting tactic used to mess with your perception of reality, making you constantly doubt your experiences by persistent lying, misdirection, contradiction and denial. It’s an attempt to undermine and delegitimize the victim’s beliefs and understanding of reality. The term is derived from a play (1938)by Patrick Hamilton, Gaslight where the husband tries to manipulate his wife’s sanity by causing her to question her reality.

This emotional abuse can happen to anyone but mostly occurs in personal relationships or workplace where the victim is constantly blamed and undergoes the make believe experiences, doubting their logic and rationale. In a subtle form Gaslighting creates a power dynamics in the relationship where the abuser blame shifts with microaggression. However there are severe cases of dominance, mind control and psychological exploits too.

Preston Ni (M.S.B.A) in his book “How to Successfully handle Gaslighters & stop Psychological bullying” has described the variations in stages of Gaslighting.

1. Fibbing and exaggerating the reality to put the victim on the defensive and iterate those lies constantly to control your percept.

“You’re oversensitive.”

“How would you know when you never remember things correctly.”

Constant use of such phrases is a red flag.

2. When challenged the abuser escalates refuting evidences and misdirecting with denial and blames.

Why do you always have to bring this up?”

I don’t want to deal with this nonsense.

Such statements of dismissal are again red flags.

3. The insecurity and anxiety instilled helps the abuser to gain control on the victim. Over the time this wears out the victim to debilitate and question  reality.

4. When you bring up the hurtful behavior, the abuser turns the table to play victim making it seem that you are harming the abuser by even bringing it up.

“Why am I always the bad guy?”

“I’m the one who’s actually hurting now.”

Abuser uses phrases like these conditioning you to mistrust your experiences.

5. Occasionally the abuser would treat you to positive reinforcements to keep you reigned in and you would end up contemplating, “May be they aren’t that bad.

With this temporary mildness tactic the abuser tries to reinforce a codependent controlled relationship.

Gaslighting as you can see is a form of coercion,  instilling fear, doubt and insecurity in the victim resulting in augmentation of power and personal gain of the abuser. So, how can the victim identify Gaslighting. To answer this let’s rewind to the statements mentioned above. With every reaction of blame, if you question the validity of your perception and memories you are being Gaslit. If people in your life are constantly accusing you of being sensitive and telling you that you never remember a thing, you are probably experiencing Gaslighting. When you express your hurt and are ignored or reverse blamed, the red flag of Gaslighting pops.

So, how can you address the situation and get out of this abuse. Well the hardest part is realizing and accepting the warning signs of Gaslighting. Spot out the people in your life who forces you to experience this abuse by noting their behavioral pattern. Always remember manipulation and abuse always has a pattern and trigger points. Realize those moments and don’t give in to the blame.  Trust your Instincts and experiences and most importantly trust yourself.

Many times it is difficult to gust out on your abuser owing to the fact that they are family. But be strong, voice your concern and actively affirm your memory and experiences. Don’t allow to be manipulated. Self affirmation is very critical while learning to trust yourself again.

Your own sense of truth can only bring you back to your reality in those moments of manipulation. Your feelings are valid and you have every right to react to things that hurt you. Remember that you are worthy and capable of being able to trust and find yourself again.