Say yes to ‘No!’

Everyday life

Have you ever been in a situation where your co-workers and friends press you to make a decision on the spot?  

Are you the kind of person who finds herself or himself always compelled to say ‘Yes’ to anyone’s request?  

Picture thisyou are at your workplace.  

It’s 7pm and you have clocked in your hours for the day.  

‘Time to head back home and pop open a cold one’ – you tell yourself.

Right before you can pack your bag and grab your coat to leave, your boss comes to you and says – ‘Hey, we got a new task that just came in from the client and we need it done by today. You think you can stay back and finish it up?’ 

Let’s assess – a request with no tinge of force or aggression from your boss. 

You think to yourself – ‘Hey, maybe I should stay back and get it done.’ 

You inform your boss of your decision. He gives you a condescending smile and a thumbs up of approval – and leaves for the day – while you’re now stuck at office for the night.

Congratulations. You are now a “Yes Person”. 

“But I can’t say no to anyone!” 

… is the common response you get from any “Yes Person”. And that’s generally a sign that they put their well being at a lower priority compared to the well being of the people around him or her. 

Now your immediate reaction is – ‘Hey, there’s nothing wrong with selflessness’.

… which is a valid point. But everything is good in moderation. It’s when you do it in excess that it becomes a problem. 

And yes, being overly selfless serves to harm only yourself.  

“How can being a ‘Yes Person’ harm me? I would imagine that makes me endearing to the people around me, right?”

Maybe. But this world isn’t perfect. And for every kind hearted soul who appreciates your helpfulness with a pat on the back and a smile, there’s a douchebag waiting to take advantage of it. 

Whether it is in the form of a “friend” who calls you in the middle of the night asking for financial aid to help with a crisis (and yet, hasn’t spoken to you for months before that).  

Or maybe an extremely “nice” boss who requests you to clock in some extra hours, with no extra pay. 

It’s ok to say ‘no’ once in a while.

I have encountered several people in my life who just don’t have it in them to say the N word. And as a result, they end up getting caught in a vicious cycle of assenting and agreeing to every request thrown at them.  

Put the oxygen mask on yourself before assisting others with theirs

Never ever feel like saying ‘no’ is a sign of being insensitive or rude. It is merely a word that conveys your unavailability to comply to a certain request because you just don’t have the bandwidth for it – or maybe you just simply don’t want to. ( You’re still a nice person, don’t worry! 🙂 )

If you’re in an environment where saying ‘yes’ to everything is the norm – whether at a workplace or with a social circle – you either need to get out of it, or make a change.  

Don’t ever feel pressured to do something you don’t want to do. Your well being and mental health are above all else – and don’t you forget that! 

Say yes to ‘No!’. 

E-readers – and the death of paperbacks?

Books, Everyday life, Literature

It was in August of 2017 that I decided to take the plunge and invest in an Amazon Kindle Paperwhite – one of the world’s most popular reading devices. At the time, the reasoning behind me purchasing one was simple – convenience.

The Amazon Kindle in all it’s e-ink glory

The months prior to me finally purchasing an e-reader of my own were interesting – ordering paperbacks off online retailers and waiting days for them to get to me. Or casually browsing through books in book stores to eventually find (and purchase) a few that captured my attention.

And what’s the first thing we do when we purchase a new book?

Why, we flip it open, stick our nose into it, and take a deep breath.

Because no sensation is as euphoric as the aroma of a freshly purchased book. (Okay, maybe that’s too exaggerated a sentiment.)

The sweet smell of books

Nevertheless, when it came to paperbacks, one of my major gripes was the latency between wanting a book and eventually getting one. That, and the fact that you always need to have a decent light source under which to read.

Enter the Kindle.

Over the course of the last 2 years, I have probably read well over six dozen books on my Kindle – and the simplest reason for why that figure is so high is because of the immediate availability of any book you desire on the Kindle store.

Also, e-books are far more inexpensive. And if you’re a voracious reader – purchasing a dozen paperbacks every two months can end up stressing your wallet. But then again, when it comes to a few certain books, I prefer the paperback over an e-book.

Most recently, I was looking out for Part 3 of ‘The Stormlight archives’ by Brandon SandersonOathbringer. Surprisingly enough, at the time (October 2018), the paperback version of it with the original cover art was unavailable in India and the hardcover version cost about ₹2000 (no thanks, mate!). So I ended up settling for the e-book which costed a mere ₹400.

If you do not follow this book series, you are missing out. More on ‘The Stormlight Archives’ in another blog post.

With the major boom of e-readers, starting from the early half of this decade, there has been concern surrounding the fate of paperbacks – and most importantly – the traditional concept of reading. Some say that e-readers are unnatural to use and do not compare to the “feel of having a book in your hand”. Some even say that e-readers aren’t as relevant as they used to be – with smartphones and tablets becoming the major devices used to cater to people’s reading needs.

But personally, I consider e-readers a blessing. Having access to any book I want (and saving paper in the process) is something that appeals to my thought process. Plus, being a predominantly night time reader, snuggling up under a blanket and reading a book on my Kindle with the lights out is quite an intimate experience in itself.

That being said, I still do purchase paperbacks. Currently, I am in the process of reading ‘The Wheel Of Time’ series by Robert Jordan and I have decided that I will purchase all of the series’ 14 odd books in the form of paperbacks.

Why? Because as much as I love my Kindle, nothing satisfies a bibliophile more than having his shelf expand with more and more books.

The feeling of a stacked collection – something my Kindle with a library of 50 odd books cannot convey as powerfully as its paperback counterparts would.

Cheers to paperbacks and to e-readers – both of which will continue to hold an equal stake of my heart for the near future.

What do you prefer? e-books? Or paperbacks? Drop a comment and let me know. 🙂


Everyday life, Tea
how about a cup of heavenly Chai this Sunday afternoon?

The alarm goes off.

The piercing sound of a rooster echoes throughout my bedroom as my arms instinctively scramble to my sides – searching for the source of that annoying sound.

I tuck my right hand under my pillow – nope, not there.

My left arm grazes the chequered blue bedsheet covering the left side of my bed – nope, not there either.

What madness drove me to choose the sound of a rooster as my alarm tone? It’s driving me insane.

Wait – wasn’t that why I picked that tone? I don’t recall. Right now all that matters is that I find the source of that grating sound.

My right hand now slides out from under my pillow in a slow, calculated manner as I take a second to ponder what my next move would be. Being hasty in this matter will not help – stop and think!

It’s not under my pillow – it’s not on the left side of my bed – did I check the right side of my bed?

I flail my right arm to my right side only to find emptiness.

Ah that’s right – I sleep at the right edge of my bed.

My arms quickly choke the pillow under my head and pull it from underneath me. I, then, gently smudge the soft exterior of the pillow onto my face.

As the pillow engulfs my senses, I can feel the sound of the deafening alarm wither away. It’s still there – but it’s not as effective anymore.

I win.

But before I can soak in the glory of my victory, a grim realization dawns upon me.

It’s Monday morning – and nobody wins against a Monday morning.

I lift the pillow off my face and suddenly jerk my body upright. As I sit dazed on my bed and look around my room – the ceiling fan above me that is never switched on (Bangalore is cold enough, thank you very much), the dark red curtains to my right shielding the sunlight penetrating through my windows, the mobile phone at the base of my bed loudly blaring an alarm right next to my left foot – I ponder over the day ahead. I start thinking about how things at work aren’t going so well and –


My right arm shoots itself at my phone and snatches it away from my foot. I press my thumb against the scanner (unlock, you fiend!) and gently swipe the screen of my phone downwards to bring up the notifications tab.

ALARM (8 am). Snooze or Dismiss? – my screen reads.

Snooze? That way I can get another 10 minutes maybe?

NO! Be strong!


I sigh and frown at my phone. Being an adult can be a chore, can’t it?

Dismiss it is.

The cursed sound of that rooster finally stops and a sombre silence falls upon my room.

Now where was I? Right.

I start thinking about how things at work aren’t going so well and how I’ll need to clock in some late hours to get my latest task done.

No wonder the silence was so depressing. Because at the least, the piercing sound of the rooster made me forget about my day ahead.

I need to talk to Shilpa too. We had a fight last night (God, why are women so hard!).

Oh crap, I didn’t do my laundry this weekend!

I slowly bring my feet from the base of my bed to my floor (Wow, that’s cold!). I stand upright and slowly walk to my cupboard and gently pry it open.

What shirt looks the least dirty? – I ask myself as my eyes scan past a dozen shirts hung up in my cupboard.

The blue striped one? It’s been a month since I washed that one. But it doesn’t seem like it.

What about my bright red one? No, I hate that one. It makes me look like a tomato. Why did I even buy that shirt?

Ah, blue striped one it is.

A minor sigh of relief escapes my mouth as the thought of me having a decent shirt to wear to office brought some semblance of comfort to me.

Looks like you haven’t won completely, Monday!

I slowly walk to my kitchen. Once inside, I open the bottom shelf and take out a vessel to boil some water.

I place the vessel on my induction cooker and turn it on. Ah, just a few more minutes and my tea will be –

Oh wait, where’s the water? Idiot.

I slide the bottom shelf open again and this time pull out a ceramic mug with a picture of Naruto on it. I fill it with water and then proceed to pour the contents of my cup into the vessel.

Just a few more minutes and my tea will be ready.

Christ, work is terrible! Things aren’t going great with Shilpa. And I have nothing clean to wear to office.

The bubbles begin to surface on the hot water in the vessel.

That’s my cue.

I open my top-shelf cabinet and pull out a sealed container of tea powder. I place it on my kitchen platform, lift the lid open and take a spoonful of tea powder. With one quick movement, I dump the spoonful of tea powder into the vessel.

My drowsy mind wanders through a sea of negativity – Should I quit my job? Maybe Shilpa deserves a better friend. I can’t even do my laundry on time – what makes me think I can handle my job and my friends then?

No, stop! Just a few more minutes – we’re almost there. Fight it!

Finally, the smell of fresh black tea permeates the entire air around me. I can slowly feel the drowsiness and the negativity in me recede.

That’s my second cue.

I turn off the induction cooker, and move towards my vessel to pour the contents into my –

WAIT! The tea strainer. Idiot

I open the bottom shelf and frantically search for the strainer. Dang it – we’re so close. Don’t make me wait anymore.

It’s not there?

It’s not bloody there!

My life is so effing misera –


Didn’t I leave it in the top shelf last night?

Hope blooms in my heart as my hand grabs the handle of my top shelf once again and I impatiently swing it open. Lo and behold – there she was!

(Is this what love at first sight feels like?)

I grab the tea strainer and place it on top of my mug. I pour the tea into my ceramic tribute to shōnen mangas’ most beloved protagonist. Once I did so, I reached out to the already open top shelf once again to grab the containers of sugar and powdered milk, placed them on my platform and lifted their respective lids open.

Three teaspoons of powdered milk.

Can I sort things out at work?

Two teaspoons of sugar.

Can I sort things out with Shilpa?

I begin to stir the contents of my mug with my spoon.

Is the shirt passable for office today?

All done.

I raise the mug towards my lips. Inches away. I take one last whiff of the beautiful concoction beneath my nose.

Hope has arrived.

I take a sip.

I let it settle in. Then I take another.

A minute passes by in silence – no longer the sombre silence it was like in the bedroom. Rather, a more uplifting one.

Work’s going to be fine.

I take a deep gulp this time.

God, it tastes so good.

I’ll sort things out with Shilpa too. It wasn’t that big a fight anyways. And my shirt will do. I’m not going for a fashion show. I’m a software developer after all.

Sorry Monday – but my cup of chai tells me that you’re not getting the best of me today.

Try again next week.