Mystery Blogger Award


Thanks so much to HPKahin over at FeelPurple for nominating me. I found her very recently by searching for blogs that were a mixture of Hindi and English. Blogs like that give me a bit of reading and vocabulary practice, but my vocabulary is so small that it takes a long time to read even a short story or poem. So having a bit of English mixed in keeps me engaged and let’s me get to know someone more quickly. I’ve enjoyed her writing and photos.

The “Mystery Blogger Award” is an award for amazing bloggers with ingenious posts. Their blog not only captivates; it inspires and motivates. They are one of the best out there, and they deserve every recognition they get. This award is also for bloggers who find fun and inspiration in blogging, and they do it with so much love and passion.
– Okoto Enigma

Award Rules
• Display award logo
• List the Rules
• Thank the person that nominated you
• Mention and link the award creator: Okoto Enigma
• Answer the 5 questions from who nominated you
• Nominate bloggers….however many suits your fancy when you write it up.

The last point is something I generally don’t do – I don’t specifically nominate people. But you’re welcome to answer my questions either in your own entry or below in the comments.

What is your idea to feel refreshed after a hectic day?

A few years back I was working on a very difficult project. The work environment was very stressful and at times hostile. Meetings could get very heated and sometimes people would just disappear. One day they would be working there. The next, their office lights would be off, the door locked, and there would be whispers among employees and emails from department heads informing everyone that that person no longer worked there.

I would finish up work in a terrible mood with the worst scenes from the day replaying endlessly in my head. I wouldn’t even head directly home. I’d go to the spin studio, change in to my cycling shorts and do a class. The lights would go down, the music would play at top volume, and the instructor would lead us in a workout that took us to the edge of our physical limits, heart pounding near maximum and legs screaming for mercy.

Photo via Wikimedia Commons

The effect was very strong. Working that hard meant that I had to focus very closely on my movement and breathing. If I didn’t I couldn’t keep up with the class. The music was so loud it drove everything else out of my mind. And so any stressful thoughts would be pushed out of my mind by the need to simply breathe. And interestingly enough, once the endless instant replay of the day had short-circuited, it would not come back. I could go home, make dinner and have a great night.

Usually one 45 minute class would be enough to do the trick though there were a few particularly difficult days after which I would stick around for a second class. It never took more than that to get myself in to a good mood.

I don’t go to a spin studio anymore. After moving some distance from the one that I went to while I was working on that project, it is just too far. I can spend two hours or more on transit travelling there and back. Now I have a trainer that lets me put my own bike on it and do virtual rides. That said, my life isn’t so stressful these days. But exercise, and particularly cycling, always makes me feel good.

Virtually cycling at home often takes me to the inside of a volcano.

What makes you feel special?

Helping other people or doing things that make others feel good. We have so many opportunities in our day to day life to make a difference. I like knowing I did something good for someone else.

I also feel special when spending time with my family: when they enjoy a meal I made for them, going to a library with Sage or on a bike ride with Daegan. Spending time with my family makes me feel particularly special and lucky.

Do you use pen and paper to write before writing on laptop?

Ha ha ha!

Let me tell you a story: At age 10 back in 1981, my Grade 5 teacher took me aside. This teacher, who at the time had been teaching in our school for many years comfortably reading hundreds of pages of children’s handwriting, asked me: “Can you please learn to type your homework assignments?” That summer I went to a summer program for a lot of different things studying economics and computer programming but also typing. Now, a few decades later, I type about 100 words a minute – almost as quickly as I think. So no, I write as little as possible. The ideas come out too slowly when I write them and I generally can’t read them afterward. Don’t believe me? Have a look.


What is your favourite memory from childhood?

There is not a specific moment that stands out but I remember the summer of 1977 – I would have been six years old. Being the 1970’s, kids my age were allowed lots more independence than they are today as a general rule. So back then, I could go many places on my own. I’d often go to the library by myself. This would involve a walk down from my grandparents place to where the sidewalk ended and then crossing a relatively busy street here.

Via Google Street View

Overall it was about a fifteen minute walk but there was never a problem. I’d just tell my parents where I was going and walk out the door. I’d spend a while there (I remember going there for the summer reading program and hearing The Phantom Tollbooth – and they didn’t finish it before the program was over so I had to take it home and read it myself. Heaven!).  Many of my peers who lived next door to my grandparents couldn’t read yet and so I was known to have my own story time on the porch of their house with books I’d bring home from the library.

When it got warmer I would have swimming lessons about a thirty minute walk from where we lived. I’d go out in the morning when it was still cool (the pool wasn’t heated – it was COLD), cross that street again at the other side of the village, and get to the pool. I might stay there all day, bringing a little money from my mom for a snack.

On the way home, if I wanted something different I’d stop by the old “Proctor Trust” bank to say hello to my aunt who was a teller there. She would sit behind old fashioned wrought iron bars and do her job though one day her boss invited me in to the back to see the antique vault. Six year old me was very impressed.

This street was also lost in time in some ways. Though it was 1977, there was still a store that sold penny candy. For just a few cents I could get a treat for the walk home. A few doors down from that was Mills’ Store. This was an old five and dime that in my memory looks like the pharmacy from It’s A Wonderful Life. At the front was a counter where you could get a snack. I still remember my grandmother taking me here one time for a coke and instead of coming from a can or even a machine like we still see today, the owner, Mrs. Mills, likely in her 70’s then, would get a glass, pour some ice and a bit of Coca-Cola syrup inside it and then add carbonated water from the old fashioned soda fountain. It had to be stirred after that and was always a bit sweeter than what you’d get in the can.

So not a specific memory but a good series of them nonetheless

Tell me about that place where you feel solitude.

Solitude for me has always been about exploration. From the time when I was going to the library on my own to a few years later when I would explore the woods near my home. Years later when I had a car, I would randomly take dirt roads to learn where they went and spend hours travelling that way. Now I explore the city by transit, or travel by bicycle to places I’ve never been or even entire countries on my own. I enjoy my own company during these times but usually like to make the same trips later with others to share what I’ve discovered. Whether that means taking a friend at age 12 to see a cool spot I found in the woods, riding in my car with my best friend in high school, or taking my son on a bike trip or to India, solitude is about exploring in preparation for sharing.

OK – now my questions for those who would like to answer them:

  • Who was the biggest influence in your life?
  • Tell me about a crossroad you had in life. What way did you choose? What would your life be like had you gone the other direction?
  • Are you an avid reader? If so, what do you like to read?
  • Do you have a big project you’re working on that you can share?
  • What are you hoping for your life five years from now?

11 thoughts on “Mystery Blogger Award

  1. Congratulations! I absolutely loved your answers!
    Also, I couldn’t helo but notice the picture of the sheet that you posted. It’s all translation of Hindi words! Brilliant work!

    1. Thank you. That was the closest handwriting example I had at hand. Notes from class. Fortunately only I need to be able to read it.

  2. Hi. I enjoyed reading your posts and the answers you’ve written here. Congratulations on the award. BTW I could read your handwriting, those hindi translations!!! Barf par fisalna : to slip on ice 😀

    1. Thank you! I think you can tell by looking at that that I wrote it in winter. Tab mausam bahut thanda tha aur bahut din barf gir raha tha.

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