Soni Ajji and Sontakka

After a large number of years I came across this basic beauty, Sontakka. Generally all white flowers are found to have intense aroma. Though I like each and every color the mother earth displays and my eyes can see, I like white flowers more like Jasmine, Jai, Jui, Sontakka, and Raat-Rani: due to their modest dressing and extraordinary aromatic qualities.

Sontakka-White-Flower

Yesterday when I saw the fresh flowers of Sontakka with shining raindrops still adorning them, I bowed down and inhaled their sweet smell to the full content of my heart. While my eyes were still closed, they took me down the memory lane with my Granny, Sumati Aajji or Soni Aajji, sometimes we fondly called her.

She looked gorgeous in her youth and even when she was aged. She was a staunch farmer. She had planted Guava, Custard Apple, Indian Gooseberry, and Jackfruit plants. She also had planted Drumsticks, Indian Beans, and Black-eyed Beans. She used to weed, prune, and water all plants by herself around the house.

She was a generous person. When it came to giving fruits, vegetables, or flowers to any passer-by or a guest, she never held back her hand.

Soni Aajji also had a good hand in tailoring and good understanding of musical notes. She liked to sing and listen to Marathi songs… We both used to sing some songs together. 🙂 She could follow the notes of the songs accurately. Yet another common thing in both of us was she had an appearance, gaze, and the diction of a straight-forward person just as I have now. 😀 hence her concern and caring nature often used to get masked under her straight words though for me, she always used to be soft-speaking and overtly loving. 🙂

One of the most important common traits between us was, we boh liked Sontakka. 🙂

I got introduced to Sontakka first at her doorstep when I used to spend my childhood weekends at her place. My grandfather himself had prepared a flowerbed just below her room’s window. The pink and yellow lilies, white roses, Mogra, Aboli, and Jai.

The Sontakka plants used to get drenched in the rains during rainy season as she had planted them little away from her flowerbed. Their butterfly-shaped flowers used to release an immense fragrance all around the plants.

Sontakka used to hold my attention as long as I used to be there at Granny’s place and long time thereafter.

At times we don’t come to know who left mark on our life till that person is away from us. Soni Aajji is far away from me. She is with God since long ago. I am happy she was a part of my growth. 🙂 The fragrance of Sontakka reminds me of her hidden sweetness behind her sharp persona.

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A Melodeous Morning

It was a couple of days before my recent Goa visit. I was lying in the bed under a cozy quilt. A heavenly call of a bird broke my sleep around 5:45 a.m. The call was so tempting that I couldn’t resist myself to get up and follow.

I grabbed my camera and climbed down the stairs praying in my mind for getting to see it if I was about to see some cute bird. It was a midline of the end of the night and a new daybreak. The clouds were masking the Sun.

I reached the car parking from where the continual sweet sound was coming. I sneaked behind the car and held my breath. It was him: Blue Flycatcher.

Its lean and frail female was flying to and fro from our neighbor’s; Keni Aajji’s outside veranda. She was little lighter in colors with a slender neck.

Blue Flycatcher Female

Looked like it was their breeding season and she was religiously into building her nest with her partner. She julienned some tiny pieces of coir from a dry coconut that had fallen into Keni Aajji’s yard the previous night. Then she took them inside Keni Ajji’s veranda and put them at the top of the wooden shoe rack. She was working tirelessly.

Blue Flycatcher Female Working

In the meantime, the deep vibrant-colored male was sitting nearby where the female was and guarding her. He was singing aloud. She did not sing as much as he did. Maybe because she was completely busy bringing up her nest and he was comparatively free.

Blue Flycatcher Singing

He came close to me at an unbelievable distance and kept sitting on the fence for quite some time.

Blue Flycatcher Side View

His overt loud chirping around me showed that he wanted to shoo me away from that place.

Blue Flycatcher Tilted Neck

It was breezing lightly. I sat next to the car on the ground and observed them both. They were so small, yet so occupied in their duties. They were working together for their next generation. I have no idea if Blue Flycatchers were the true monogamous romancers like Hornbills, Cranes, or Love-birds; but their act of dedication as a couple seemed very romantic. 🙂

The Sun appeared partially from behind the clouds. I resistantly took their leave. My day was made indeed! 🙂

Technical Writing versus Copy Writing

There are more differences than similarities between Technical Writing and Copy Writing when it is the matter of their objectives. Being a Technical Writer myself and having known what my advertising acquaintances write, let me explain what is Copy Writing first and then the differences between the two writings.

What is Copy Writing?

Copy Writing is a writing style intended to advertise or sell a product or a service. In the context of Copy Writing, a copy is a piece of text written to sell and/or promote a product or a service.

A Copy Writer writes to bring a reader to try a product demo, sign a mailing list, subscribe to the corporate website or follow their blog, purchase a product, or call a service provider.

What Does a Copy Writer Write?

A Copy Writer writes Flyers, Billboards, eMail or print Adverts, Email Campaigns, Lyrics for radio/TV Jingles, Scripts for TV/Radio Adverts, and Email Letters; to name a few. They write copies for both print and electronic media.

Difference between Technical Writing and Copy Writing

The fundamental difference lies in the objectives of Technical Writing and Copy Writing.

Technical Writing is mainly concerned with explaining. It involves:

  • Informing – What, When, Where, Who, and Why.
  • Instructing – How to.

Copy Writing is oriented towards:

  • Encouraging the reader to buy a product or avail a service.
  • Promoting a product or a service.

The writing style and tone in Technical Writing are different from that of  Content Writing.

A Technical Writer describes the technical information to the readers by considering the level of readers’ education and experience. Any vague terms like more, sometimes, many, etc., don’t appear in technical documents. A Technical Writer needs to write precisely how much more, at what specific times, or exactly how many. A Technical Writer needs to write by confining to a specific vocabulary and formatting rules strictly. The language in Technical Writing is very straightforward. This turns any technical document quite boring for a common reader.

For example, only a mechanical engineer or an automobile engineering student would be interested to read gear motor operation manual. A common reader deviates from a technical professional in education and life experience. The prior does not require an elaborate and specific technical information that the latter does. Since technical professionals are a subset of the people in general, the audience of a Technical Writer is limited.

Copy Writing

A Copy Writer considers all his readers as prospective buyers. Since a copy is intended for a large audience of varied demographics, he can use words or phrases that contain generic terms such as highest, largest, cheapest, anything, etc. A Copy Writer uses persuasive language and writes naturally with a  conversational tone. A Copy Writer needs to write in a friendly manner to reach to the maximum number of readers on a personal level and provoke their interest in the product or service he is writing for. Hence to a large extent, the content of the copy becomes interesting for a common reader. Writing a brief copy skillfully that can grab readers’ attention and compel the reader to engage with the business is a challenge in Copy Writing.

Here is a crisp comparison between Technical Writing and Copy Writing:

Element Technical Writing Copy Writing
Tone Always Formal Casual and Entertaining
Vocabulary Specific Generic
Audience Limited Wide
Writer’s Viewpoint Objective Subjective
Information 

Organization

Alphabetical, Chronological, Logical, or Thematic. Random
Information

Accuracy

Requirement

Highly Accurate, inaccuracy is not tolerated Non-damaging inaccuracy is forgiven
Document
Structure
A Technical Document often contains Headings of multiple levels, Table of Contents, Images, Tables, and Charts. The graphical elements are added to support the textual information. A Marketing Copy contains brief textual information with Images. The graphical elements are added to capture readers’ attention to add a visual appeal.
Tools Required Adobe® Technical Communication Suite, Text Editors, Image Editing Software, Screen Capturing Tools, Dictionary, Cloud Storage. Adobe® Creative Suite, Keyword Search Tools, Business Dictionary, Text Editors, Rhyming Words Search, Basic Design, Image Editing, and Copy Evaluation Tools, Cloud Storage.
Inherent Qualities Required Ability to grasp technical information quickly, Ability to simplify complex information, Flair for writing, An eye for detail, Command over language, Straightforwardness is a plus. Salesmanship, Ability to observe and understand people’s nerve, Sense of aesthetics and humor, Liking for Social Media, Wide life-vocabulary, Command over language, Sense of Humor is a plus.
Creativity Almost nil Absolute
Required in Product-based and Service-based Organizations Advertising, Online B2B, and B2C Organizations
Output Format Document Copy

To sum it up:

It’s all up to your objectives for your organization. If you need to explain some complex information to your in-house audience or otherwise, reach out to a Technical Writer. If you need to grab the readers’ attention to what you sell and provoke them to add to your organization’s revenue, then approach a Copy Writer.

The Matter of Time

Today I and my teenager son Nishant were having breakfast as usual. I always look forward to the breakfast time with him. It is the time when we sit facing each other. Though briefly, we can get to spend some quality time and involve in a friendly yet meaningful conversation. He often exchanges his life-observations that time and I get to know a bit of how he is growing.

He took a rice dumpling in his plate and said, “You know Aai (mom), yesterday in my class a boy proposed a girl to be his girlfriend. He requested all of us but the girl to vacate the classroom and gave her a large chocolate while proposing.”

I was startled to hear what he said. I had witnessed a couple of calf love stories taking place around when I was a schoolgirl. The teenaged girls often used to get into it by mistaking infatuation as love. By the time I adjusted to my helplessness to the fact that class 9 students are engaging in the distracting activities while they are still in their student shoes, Nishant threw another line:

“But I don’t think their relationship would last long.”

I curiously asked him why did he think that their relationship would not last, just to know his viewpoint.Love and Time

He said by finishing the last piece in his plate, “Because at first place it took so short time to form.”

He finished his breakfast, picked up the bag and told me to hurry up while descending the stairs.

Children observe. They notice more than what we think they do. It was good to find him taking right notes. With a feeling of contentment, I picked up my bag and headed towards car parking.

My Dear Brother

We shared the same house and
the same loving parents
We took one another’s devices
without any consent…

We grew up my dear brother
sharing thoughts and views
And remained confined together
with love and good virtues..

We criticized and irked
each other at times
You could guess my frame of mind
By just looking into my eyes

Will I ever get back those
same old childhood days?
When we fought, laughed, played and cooked,
teased each other in many ways…

Today we are staying
a number of miles away
I hold our gems of memories
in my heart everyday…

No single day has passed
yet without your thought
I pray God to give you life
healthy, happy and lengthy a lot!

Brother-Sister Playing Chess

(I am happy to publish this poem here on the occasion of my brother’s birthday! :))

A Treasured Valentine’s Week

That was the mid-February of year 1996, the month of a shoulder season in Pune. The winter was diminishing and summer was taking baby steps. The intoxicating aroma of mango blossom and jasmine had started wafting on the air.

I was studying engineering. My younger brother Yogendra (all his near ones call him Yoga) was a youth of sixteen. My elder cousin sister Nayana, who was studying medicine had come to our place on vacation.

As Valentine’s day was nearing, I was longing for some letter from my beloved, though each casual letter otherwise was also a special one in our long-distance relationship. My parents knew about my love story since it started and Yoga came to know about it little later due to my exchange of letters with my beloved.

A middle-aged postman whom I called Datta uncle, used to deliver letters in our area. Whenever I crossed path with Datta uncle, I used to stop and collect my personal incoming letters from him before they landed up in Yoga’s hands. The reason was obvious: on getting hold of my letters, he often used to make me run after him from one room to other while teasing and return them only on bargaining something in exchange such as my best piece of stationery. His behavior used to agitate me at times but then my life would have been very boring if he were not so playful! 😀

I tried to call my beloved on Valentine’s day but my calls went dematerialized. He had not called either. We couldn’t communicate, which was quite upsetting. The history repeated on the following two days. I used to attend college, do all my due submissions and practicals, study, and come back home by evening. He used to be on my mind as usual.

On the evening of 17th February after spending a usual college day, I returned home. I was tired like anything. As soon as I headed for the jasmine plants in the backyard to get some fresh scent, Nayana and the granny gathered around me. Nayana handed over to me five large beautiful cards and they both couldn’t hold the curiosity flowing to the rims of their eyes. 😀 My waiting had come to an end finally! I felt like I had met him in person. 🙂 My granny enquired about the card sender’s details keenly and Nayana listened to my answers with twinkling eyes.

They say if you tell a secret to a woman, it no longer remains a secret. And I had to tell my secret to two women! 😀 I told them everything as it was and of course it did not remain a secret then.

On the same evening, Arun called me on phone. Then I came to know that he had posted those five cards to me in such an order that I could receive one card each day so that we both celebrate a Valentine’s week rather than a Valentine’s day. 🙂 But most probably, the postal service didn’t operate daily from MP to Maharashtra then and that is why I had received five cards on the same day just a little after Valentine’s day. Receiving a bundle of cards from my Valentine was a feeling no lesser than winning a lottery. 😀

All of us have some everlasting memories. The time changes so does our belief system but those memories don’t fade. Today, when enough number of years have passed to be able to look back, I think we don’t require any specific day to express our love. Now each day of togetherness is a Valentine’s day for both of us. But yes, that planned Valentine’s week I have treasured in my stash forever. 🙂

An Open Letter to My Sweetheart

My Sweetheart,

I have written you numerous letters before this one but today’s is a special one. Though we were in the courtship for more than 4 years before our wedding; on 27th November 1998 we entered into a wedlock and formally vowed to be with each other forever, may whatever come our way.

We-Together.jpg

It is hard to believe; so many years have passed since we have been together, yet our marriage is so fresh! 😀

Today I want to thank you for being my other half. When I share my problems and concerns with you, they no longer remain only mine; they become yours too. You always stand by me and help me to get rid of them. You always support me actively in whatever activities or hobbies I pursue. And I like to support you the same way; though I get worried about you due to your  adventures sometimes. 😉

Everything seems clear, straight, and untangled when you are there with me.

Apart from our own respective interests, we both also do what the other half likes. I learned to clean the greesy electric toaster though I find it complicated and you lit up the oil lamp though you don’t like handling the messy oil… 😀

We click pictures and visit places in our special way. We find chances to sing and cook together, and share even the silliest thing happened each day.

In our journey together, I have learnt so many things from you, which I wouldn’t have learnt with any other person. May it be as small as eating capsicum (you know, I couldn’t stand them) to as big as recognizing a person’s motives by his body language and eyes. I trust you also must have learnt a few good things from me. 🙂

We had our bad times too. Our life as a couple was not always lovey-dovey; no couple’s is either. But the best part of our relationship is, we never stop caring for each other even if we are upset because of one another. However rough the days can be, I trust the grip of our hands held together will never loosen.

Down the timeline, I wish to visit the world with you. I wish to spend more and more time with you. I wish to flaunt my grey hair with you when we go to places. I wish to sip evening coffee with you in our yard revisiting all the bittersweet memories we have been creating all these years. Most importantly, I wish to see you happy.

I am glad that we were destined to be together. We would continue growing older together; enriching each other’s lives for looking ahead with you has always been wonderful. 🙂

I Love You, my dear!