Saturday, November 24, 2018

A world full of light

World-full-of-light
Image Source


I am thinking of you 
When our world was full of light
Together we unleashed the zest of life
We sang songs of affection in unison
Our heart synced in love
How would I forget,
those early summer kisses
When the emotions were so strong 
But then our lives drifted apart
And our heart de-synced
Felt like my soul departing,
Leaving my body in a stasis
Then my heart desired you
But now my heart's desire is your happiness
Tears roll my cheek like the Bombay rains
Now, that you are moving out, drifting away,
As you prioritized your dream bigger than me
But my dream has always been you
Forthwith, I want you to be famous 
Maybe I can sit next to you again
And announce to the world 
How proud I am of you!
I will a song about you 
Of how proud I am of you!
And I'll watch you shine like a star
With tears of joy on my eyes
I will celebrate your achievements
Perhaps that day I shall wipe my tears, smile again
and scream I'm happy you left me
To make your dreams come true
and hope you walk again by my side
What if, you forgot me
Or  never came back,
Jabbing my soul with thousand knives
Oh dear, maybe I should stop overthinking
Because you may be gone with the wind,
but you'll boomerang back to me, 
This I know!
But till then, I'm thinking of you

This post is a part of Write Over the Weekend, an initiative for Indian Bloggers by BlogAdda.’
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How to easily identify an IRS scammer in USA?

Time and again we often hear about the different types of scammers who reside in the www. They interrupt the happiness in our life. And then out of nowhere someone calls you and says that you have done a major fraud in the tax system and the entire Tax and Revenue system is behind you. Imagine this situation. Most probably these scammers are operating from some call centre in India. Scammers have got innovative. Remember the Nigerian Prince who wants to share his 5 million dollars in your name and for that, he needs you to submit some amount to claim those millions. Maybe these scammers got to know that with time even people change. There is a long going IRS scam in the United States and these scammers duped multiple people over million dollars annually. The reason why I am writing this article is because I got a similar scam call yesterday with someone claiming to be police officer Bryan Alexander. 


I am going to share my experience here and I will post some valid points to easily identify these IRS scammers.
The other day I was busy checking some Black Friday deals on my mobile phone when I got a call from 911. I was actually worried about why would someone call me from 911. Then I spoke to the guy who introduced himself as a police officer from Ashville, where I live. He said that an arrest warrant was issued for me for some fraud that I did in the tax filing last year. He claimed that IRS, the internal revenue system, the agency responsible for the collection of taxes and enforcement of tax laws in the USA had filed a complaint on me. This actually freaked me out in the beginning. He then asked me to google for a phone number. And that turned out to be the phone number of the Ashville Police station. The guy gave me his full name and his badge ID like he was a real cop. He wanted me to cooperate with him else he would be sending cops to my house to get me arrested. He didn't let me talk.  This guy put me in a conference call with the guy claiming to be the IRS officer from his Washington DC office. The call looked genuine to me at the beginning.  So he called me 'Mr. Ste-fun'. This was where I got the first doubt. No American would call me Stefun which ideally is the Indian/Asian pronunciation of my name.  I carefully listened to the tale that the guy was cooking. He reiterated the story about my arrest warrant that the other guy from the Ashville line had told. He asked me if I want to hire an attorney or want to settle the matter out of court.  He asked questions like Who filed your taxes and all. He didn't let me talk while he was talking. I asked how do I settle the case out of court.  He said that I need to go to a nearby shopping mart and ask for a gift card of $1000. 
It was then I confirmed myself that the guy is a fakester, scamster or whatever you tag them. I could have made fun of them but I didn't want to entertain them any longer. I immediately called 911 and informed about all this. The lady officer on the line confirmed that it was a scam and asked me to ignore them. 
There are a few points I would like to share from my experience.
1. Always watch out for how they pronounce your name. This is because these guys are not proficient enough in saying Western names. Luckily I got to know the way they said my name. An American would call me Steven and not Ste-fun
2. IRS doesn't make any calls to any of the US citizens. IRS has always warned the US citizens to be aware of such calls and not to shell out their hard earned money in these scammers pockets
3. IRS would send a notice in case if there a tax violation
4. Any officers who call you claiming to be the police or from some department would talk to you politely. Remember, I talk to multiple people in the states on a day to day basis. They are normally kind and I've never seen people who won't let you talk or ask you to shut up on call. This is an important point
5. They will ask you for credit or debit card number on the phone
6. They would ask you to buy gift cards and give the number to them
7. They threaten to bring in cops or law enforcing agencies to get you arrested for not paying them the money
8. They demand that you pay them the money without giving you the chance to cross-question or appeal 
9. They demand immediate payment
10. Watch out for their accent. Their Indian accent eventually shows up after some time. 

If you are not sure then call the IRS at 1.800.829.1040. The IRS officers can help you with any payment issue or report the incident to the IRS at www.tigta.gov.
SO, remember these points and save your hard-earned money. 



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Thursday, November 22, 2018

Roasted Turkey or Roasted in Turkey?

Fiction





Mr. Watson, my boss had invited our team for a Thanksgiving dinner at his place. This meeting was to decide the fate of a few of our outstanding employees who shall be posted to our company's different overseas location.
Few of them included Syria, Turkey, Iran, UAE,  Somalia, Ethiopia, and many North African countries. Well, seeing the list, you might have realized my feelings.
I had prayed to multiple gods that week as my heart didn't desire to go outside of America. I love the USA! At least I could say so after seeing the opportunities in those countries.
So we all gathered around the dining table.  I smacked my lips as I saw the different Thanksgiving dishes Mrs. Watson had cooked for us. My boss was discussing the employee placement plan and I was busy staring at the roasted turkey that was neatly dressed on a large platter. My eyes couldn't resist that sight and it was tempting. 
"So, I will now inform you what the management has decided." The boss said, " I just need a confirmation from you once I inform you your new work location." 
My ears bypassed what he said all those time that actually made me regret.
He pointed towards me and said, "Turkey!"  I was busy drooling at the roasted turkey.
"Yes, turkey!" I told him. "Are you sure?" he asked to confirm.
"Yes, of course," I said and the rats inside my stomach were busy rumbling. My mind failed to process the context of the topic and my boss had sent the confirmation to the management. The rest of my teammates had declined the offer and I was the only one who said yes. 
I was busy gorging on the roasted turkey while few of my teammates came and sat next to me.
"I admit you are indeed a brave man, Steve," Andrea said to me. 
"I second you, Andy," Greg said brusquely.
"I mean how could you think of Turkey," Matt said, " You must be a legend. Look at the extreme conditions there and the ISIS threat."
"How could you think of moving to Turkey?" Jeff joined in. 
"Turkey." I stood perplexed. It was a late realization. The oven roasted turkey had blinded me for a moment that my company decided to parcel me to Turkey.
Because of roasted Turkey, I was sure of getting roasted in Turkey.
"Nooooooo....." I screamed at the top of my voice while my teammates were busy appreciating my courage. 


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Sunday, November 18, 2018

How to fall asleep in 60 seconds?

Eric was busy staring at his iPad as Lisanne, his wife of 11 years was getting ready for work. She was a registered nurse at the Duke Medical University Hospital. It was one of those days when she had to work night shifts. The hospital paid extra incentives for its RN's who worked at night. They both had struggled a lot when they were new to Chicago. 
"Honey, I'm leaving for Duke in 20 minutes. You need anything?" Lisanne asked Eric.
"Baby, come here quickly. Just see what I found?" Eric beckoned his wife.
"Ughh, what now? Eric, I'm already running late." Lisanne riposted.
She sat next to him as Eric showed her the video of how to fall asleep quickly in 60 seconds.
"Eric, not again. You should put these devices aside and try to get some sleep," she said.
Eric was suffering from insomnia. It had been years since Eric slept peacefully. 
But sleep never beckoned him however hard he tried. 
"Lis, the guy in the video says that we need to release stress from our arms and limbs through some breathing exercises," Eric told.
"So, I am going to try these breathing exercises and see if it works," Eric added.
"Honey, I am really running late for work now. You try to get some sleep, Okay?" She planted a kiss on his lips and left for the hospital as the clock struck 10 at night.
Eric was performing the steps mentioned in the video.  Eric was happy today as he thought he found something that he was searching for ages. 



The next morning, 8 AM.
Lisanne walked upstairs. She was rummaging her bag for the house key as she didn't want to wake up Eric.
Hope Eric's new therapy helped him, she thought as she finally found her house key.
She turned the key in the lock and opened the door. She stood there speechless, her mouth agape.
Eric was sleeping on the bed. She hadn't seen this in view for ages. She was happy for him.
"Eric, honey, wake up," she said, "Look, what I got for you?" 
She had got Eric's favourite cheesecake from the Martin's.
She quickly changed her dress and saw Eric slept peacefully like a newborn baby. 
"Eric, Eric," she called him again.
She went closer to him and saw that he was not breathing. He had indeed fallen asleep in 60 seconds. She screeched at the top of her voice as she saw her husband sleeping peacefully, forever and ever!


This post is a part of Write Over the Weekend, an initiative for Indian Bloggers by BlogAdda.’ 

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Saturday, November 17, 2018

Stan required Medical attention

Music is beautiful. And when they are coupled with lyrics to form a song, then it adds more beauty to it. I recently came across this particular song by Eminem named "Stan". I am mighty impressed by the way Eminem actually sang the song. It is a perfect example of storytelling through music. I seldom find artists have excelled this area. Because most of the performers have songwriters and singing a song that actually tells a story is a perfect Art.

Ok coming back to the discussion. Stan is the main character in this song. He has a pregnant girlfriend and he is a die-hard fan of slim who happens to be the alter ego of Eminem. He believes that Slim is his world and he is impressed with his songs and performances. Writing fan emails are not a bad idea but expecting a reply from celebs considering their busy schedule is indeed a bad idea for sure. I initially have some sympathy for the guy Stan especially when he says that he stood in the blistering snow with his little brother to get Slim's autograph. Well, that indeed is heartbreaking but celeb life is difficult too. But some fans are crazy because they prioritize their idols before everything. 

Stan gives up all the hope of receiving a reply from Slim after writing multiple emails. He tears off all the posters from the underground in his home that he had kept a secret from everyone. He had Slim's poster and his song lyrics and everything maintained there.  He was so crazy that he didn't pay attention to his pregnant girlfriend who required attention. He is so mad at Slim that he beats her and closes her in his car trunk. He is pissed off at his idol and wants to live a life of guilt and regret. And his idea of doing this is by giving away his life, not just his life but also his girlfriend's and his unborn baby. This is depressing and gets more depressing when his girlfriend screeches from the trunk as he drives at 90 mph in the highway. He records all this in a cassette and he plunges into the sea. 
Well, he required some medical attention. He could have been treated through counselling.  That's what Slim says when he finally decides to reply Stan and asks him not to be the guy who took away his life by killing himself. But Slim realizes that Stan was the guy and he is super disappointed. 
There are many fans like Stan in this world who are crazy for their idols.  The things that they do to get attention is annoying at times. These people need medical attention. It's not bad to be a fan of some big superstar but we should be mature enough to understand that we got our own world and they got their own world. These celebs earn money for their family and it is their life that they enjoy. They don't live for their fans and that's how life is! Such type of fans requires immediate medical attention. If you know someone like Stan in your family or in your friend's circle then please take them to a medical counsellor before they do anything drastic.  The lyrics start with a hope of Stan talking about his favourite Slim and then gets a little depressing with Stan not receiving a reply an then he loses his cool and lashes out at Slim. Even after 20 years, this song still remains gold for me. Such a brilliant piece of work!  Check out the lyrics and the video.
My tea's gone cold I'm wondering why I
Got out of bed at all
The morning rain clouds up my window
And I can't see at all
And even if I could it'll all be gray
Put your picture on my wall
It reminds me, that it's not so bad
It's not so bad
My tea's gone cold I'm wondering why I
Got out of bed at all
The morning rain clouds up my window
And I can't see at all
And even if I could it'll all be gray
Put your picture on my wall
It reminds me, that it's not so bad
It's not so bad
Dear Slim, I wrote you but still ain't callin'
I left my cell, my pager, and my home phone at the bottom
I sent two letters back in autumn, you must not-a got 'em
There probably was a problem at the post office or somethin'
Sometimes I scribble addresses too sloppy when I jot 'em
But anyways, fuck it, what's been up? Man how's your daughter?
My girlfriend's pregnant too, I'm bout to be a father
If I have a daughter, guess what I'm a call her?
I'm a name her Bonnie
I read about your Uncle Ronnie too I'm sorry
I had a friend kill himself over some bitch who didn't want him
I know you probably hear this everyday, but I'm your biggest fan
I even got the underground shit that you did with Skam
I got a room full of your posters and your pictures man
I like the shit you did with Rawkus too, that shit was fat
Anyways, I hope you get this man, hit me back
Just to chat, truly yours, your biggest fan
This is Stan
My tea's gone cold I'm wondering why I
Got out of bed at all
The morning rain clouds up my window
And I can't see at all
And even if I could it'll all be gray
Put your picture on my wall
It reminds me, that it's not so bad
It's not so bad
Dear Slim, you still ain't called or wrote, I hope you have a chance
I ain't mad, I just think it's fucked up you don't answer fans
If you didn't wanna talk to me outside your concert
You didn't have to, but you coulda signed an autograph for Matthew
That's my little brother man, he's only six years old
We waited in the blistering cold for you,
For four hours and you just said, "No."
That's pretty shitty man, you're like his fuckin' idol
He wants to be just like you man, he likes you more than I do
I ain't that mad though, I just don't like bein' lied to
Remember when we met in Denver, you said if I'd write you you would write back
See I'm just like you in a way
I never knew my father neither
He used to always cheat on my mom and beat her
I can relate to what you're saying in your songs
So when I have a shitty day, I drift away and put 'em on
'Cause I don't really got shit else so that shit helps when I'm depressed
I even got a tattoo of your name across the chest
Sometimes I even cut myself to see how much it bleeds
It's like adrenaline, the pain is such a sudden rush for me
See everything you say is real, and I respect you cause you tell it
My girlfriend's jealous 'cause I talk about you 24/7
But she don't know you like I know you Slim, no one does
She don't know what it was like for people like us growin' up, you gotta call me man
I'll be the biggest fan you'll ever lose
Sincerely yours, Stan, P.S. we should be together too
My tea's gone cold I'm wondering why I
Got out of bed at all
The morning rain clouds up my window
And I can't see at all
And even if I could it'll all be gray
Put your picture on my wall
It reminds me, that it's not so bad
It's not so bad
Dear Mister "I'm Too Good To Call Or Write My Fans"
This will be the last package I ever send your ass
It's been six months and still no word, I don't deserve it?
I know you got my last two letters, I wrote the addresses on 'em perfect
So this is my cassette I'm sending you, I hope you hear it
I'm in the car right now, I'm doing 90 on the freeway
Hey Slim, I drank a fifth of vodka
You dare me to drive?
You know the song by Phil Collins, "In the Air of the Night"
About that guy who could a saved that other guy from drowning
But didn't, then Phil saw it all, then at a a show he found him?
That's kinda how this is, you could a rescued me from drowning
Now it's too late, I'm on a thousand downers now, I'm drowsy
And all I wanted was a lousy letter or a call
I hope you know I ripped all of your pictures off the wall
I love you Slim, we coulda been together, think about it
You ruined it now, I hope you can't sleep and you dream about it
And when you dream I hope you can't sleep and you scream about it
I hope your conscience eats at you and you can't breathe without me
See Slim, shut up bitch! I'm tryin' to talk!
Hey Slim, that's my girlfriend screamin' in the trunk
But I didn't slit her throat, I just tied her up, see I ain't like you
'Cause if she suffocates she'll suffer more, and then she'll die too
Well, gotta go, I'm almost at the bridge now
Oh shit, I forgot, how am I supposed to send this shit out?
My tea's gone cold I'm wondering why I
Got out of bed at all
The morning rain clouds up my window
And I can't see at all
And even if I could it'll all be gray
Put your picture on my wall
It reminds me, that it's not so bad
It's not so bad
Dear Stan, I meant to write you sooner but I just been busy
You said your girlfriend's pregnant now, how far along is she?
Look, I'm really flattered you would call your daughter that
And here's an autograph for your brother
I wrote it on the Starter cap
I'm sorry I didn't see you at the show, I must of missed you
Don't think I did that shit intentionally just to diss you
But what's this shit you said about you like to cut your wrists too?
I say that shit just clownin' dog, come on, how fucked up is you?
You got some issues Stan, I think you need some counseling
To help your ass from bouncing off the walls when you get down some
And what's this shit about us meant to be together?
That type of shit will make me not want us to meet each other
I really think you and your girlfriend need each other
Or maybe you just need to treat her better
I hope you get to read this letter, I just hope it reaches you in time
Before you hurt yourself, I think that you'll be doin' just fine
If you relax a little, I'm glad I inspire you but Stan
Why are you so mad? Try to understand, that I do want you as a fan
I just don't want you to do some crazy shit
I seen this one shit on the news a couple weeks ago that made me sick
Some dude was drunk and drove his car over a bridge
And had his girlfriend in the trunk, and she was pregnant with his kid
And in the car they found a tape, but they didn't say who it was to
Come to think about, his name was, it was you
Damn!


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Monday, November 12, 2018

Everything is blue now


Everything is blue now
How long do I remember you?
As long as there are days and nights
Till the sun and the moon shines
The birds are warbling and 
Winter is coming 
The snow is falling
But where are you?
Aren't you gonna come?
The wind whistles searching for you
The star weeps thinking about you
Will you ever come back?
No, never disappoint
Our hearts are already broken
Don't break it anymore
Oh Look, the voids have grown large
The bridge has fallen
And the gates have closed forever
The scars have turned dark
Our heart mourns and yearns
Everything is blue now
Aren't you sad seeing us in tears
The house that housed us together 
It isn't the same anymore
The womb that bore you is  filled with hurt
A joyful past we all had,
An hopeful future we all dreamed of,
But a present  full of pain is what we nurse
and tears without you 
Now Fake smile , broken dreams, shattered hopes
You know things aren't the same anymore
Now Everything is blue



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Sunday, November 11, 2018

Dear Little Sister

Dear Anu, my little sister, 



Today is your 26th birthday. And you left all of us in distress last year when you ascended towards heaven. Did you know how much pain it caused us that day when you breathe your last on my arms. I can't believe I am writing this on your birthday in your absence that hurts me the most. I am a weak person and you, my little sister, have taught me some great life lessons. God punished you, an innocent being, by inflicting you with the deadliest disease in the world that even Medical science is striving to find a cure for! I detest God for doing this to someone whom I love more than anyone in this world. I know you would hate me for hating god for you have been the purest and god loving person in the world.  You know Mom and Dad are crying every single day since you left for the heavenly abode. I don't have enough courage to ask them not to cry.  Mother carried you in her wombs and fed you with love and treated you with utmost care. Our Father, whom I never saw so weak in my entire life is left heartbroken. I've never seen him cry so much.  Do you remember the days he used to carry you to school when you were late? Wasn't that amazing? Every time he would call you from his work to ask what you want for snacks.  And you would often ask him to get Samosa or Dabeli since you liked it the most. Do you remember how momma used to come home early during Saturdays so that she could spend most of her time with us? She still regrets leaving us home during our childhood. She holds herself responsible for whatever happened to you. She thinks she didn't love her children and she left them at home. But she did that because she wanted to raise her children well. Isn't that the story of every working parent? They have to sacrifice a lot to see their children happy. I remember the sadness on your eyes everytime Momma left for work because you wanted her to be with you. Anu, remember that we love you a lot. It's difficult to believe that you are no more I am not able to digest the events that happened that night when you left us. I am still in shock.  Is God cruel enough to take my 'only' little sister?  

You are special to me. I will never use a past tense for you because you are still alive for me. My mind is not able to process the fact that you are no more. Momma and Appa ask me to be strong but break when they say that. Even I can't control my tears when I ask them to stay strong. How can I say this to them? What they lost is something beyond imagination! I pray no parent ever loses their child.  It's the most painful suffering for anyone in this world.  Many say God took you because he wanted to reduce your pain.  Maybe that's true. You had written many letters to him and I remember reading all of those after you left us. Those letters were full of hope. You just asked him for miracles and he disappointed you. You suffered a lot of pain from the moment you came to know about this disease that killed you every single minute.  Maybe you shouldn't have browsed the internet or maybe it is my fault to have got an internet connection at home that was one of the reasons that broke you.  You would say that it's good to be careful and the internet actually helped you in some or the other ways. 
We hid your health issues from our family just because you never wanted people to look at you with sympathy.  You always were a strong girl till your last breath but I still can't understand how a strong girl like you succumbed. You, my little sister, would always stay special for me. You loved doing creative stuff. Your crochet works like bags, bands, skirts and everything you did as part of your fashion designing is still in our house. Your wall paintings, your artwork - be it your designs or croquis, everything is inside our home. God weakened you and tried to test our love. But we four stayed united and never gave up. Our love towards each other grew strong and our bond strengthened. 

Do you remember the summer vacations of 2003 when we both cried when you left early for our village?  We both were quite young then.  Imagine I couldn't handle the pain of such a small period of separation, how can I handle this absence?  Mom, Dad and me are hurt and we know you have gone far away. We don't know what you are doing and what kind of life you are living. People who visit our home say that she is happy there with God. How can you be happy without us? You once said that we three are your world and you can't remain happy without your momma, appa and beloved anna. I know how much you loved us. It is evident from the letters that you have written. Mom cared for both of us equally but she never scolded you or beat you whenever you scored less in your exams during your school days. But she thrashed me whenever I scored less because she loved you and cared about you. She always cared about your happiness.  She knows what you like and what you love.  For people who say God has taken his child away from our parents. Does he know what you like? Momma and Appa know everything about your likes and dislikes. They worked hard for your expensive medicines. You were so mature that you used to advise me about life.  I still have that poetry with me that you had written about living life to the fullest. You really did. You had so many dreams in your eyes and goals in your life. Your dream is now mine! 

Dear little sister, I will work on all your dreams. You always used to say that when you grew up and worked, you will give away a small portion of your income to old age homes after you saw the sufferings of old parents in an old age home.  Anu, you were so kind and the best. I've always been proud of you and would proudly talk about you and show your creative work with my colleagues and friends at the office.  Everyone knew about you and your talent. Remember everytime you created something beautiful, I would share it on Facebook. That's because I wanted the world to see my sisters talent. I love you a lot. 

I can't control my tears as I type each and every word of this article. Maybe we loved you so much that your absence is terribly hurting us. It is piercing and hurting our heart. 
I still remember that early morning of 2011 when I left for Pune. You had a blackout and seizures. A part of me got destroyed that day itself. From that day itself, I pledged to myself to be the best brother to you.  I always wanted to see you happy and got you everything that you wanted.  I have written a lot of blog posts about you. And in all of them, I prayed to God to grant you a long and healthy life. But he never heard any of our prayers, even your prayers! How cruel can God be to our family? 
Do you remember that Thursday of 1994 where  you were sucking popsicles that our Aunt had brought you? You were just 2 years old and I snatched it from you and ate it. You just had your brand new teeth that you drugged inside my arms. I still have those scars on my left arms. Not just that there are numerous scars on my arms that you scribbled. 

You were an angry young woman and you got angry very fast but your heart was pure.  I will never ever get a sister like you. You were my best sister and my best friend.  And you live with us forever!
You are always the best and we will never forget you till our last breath.  Anu, stay happy. You are God's best angel and that's why he gave his best angel to us for just the 25 years of our life. When the time came, he took you! I miss you da and more than that I love you to infinity! Never forget us!

Yours loving Anna

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