On Abetments and Deterrences

Sushant Singh Rajput (1986 -2020)

If you want to wipe out someone,
Use your words.
You can completely destroy;
someone’s hope,
someone’s like,
someone’s love.
Pushing him to the brink;
So that he toppels over the edge.

If you want to save someone,
Use your words.
You can reinvigorate and build;
someone’s like,
someone’s love,
someone’s hope.
Pulling him from the edge,
So that he springs to life once more.

If you really love someone. You must be willing to live not die for that person. – Sumita Tah

Advantages of living in a small town over living in big cities.

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I have always preferred living in small towns to living in big cities. Occasional travel to big cities, are fine for entertainment or work related purposes, but I have always dreaded living permanently in big cities. The few years that I have spent in a big city for educational and work related purposes have passed in a daze.

 In those days, whenever I came back to my home in a small town, I found it uneasy to find people idling after work. I kept wondering how they tolerated such a slow paced life – without ambitions, without trying to improve and update themselves and secure their future. It became even more intolerable when I visited my ancestral village and observed the village folk leading lives with hardly any pace at all. I saw the men folk sitting under the old neem tree talking among themselves; totally satisfied to have their seasonal yield and to live in their ancestral homes without any major changes in their lives. The temporary change in my thought process at that time was a result of environmental conditioning at an impressionable age.

Living in big cities undoubtedly has multiple advantages. The multifarious facilities of health care, education, shopping, entertainment, are enough to lure the multitudes from small towns to migrate to cities. Life in big cities has the ability to cast a magical spell on its denizens. The challenges of day to day life are so many that residents hardly have time or inclination to ponder over the relevance of such a fast paced life – A life without any time to invest on people and things that really matter. It has its benefits too – It helps us to avert situations which make us uncomfortable.

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The major disadvantages of a big city life are commuting time, excessive population and pollution. Fresh food without preservatives are availed only by the super rich, who can purchase high priced organic food delivered to their homes. Others have to make do with food products with added preservatives to improve shelf life. That too, if they can afford time to cook meals for the family; otherwise they have to make do with take-away food, cooked in reused oils that are terribly harmful for the body.

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The comfortable life in cities, come at a high price that is paid by health and relationships. Parents hardly get to spend quality time with the children on regular basis. Children are not able to move about freely on their own due to high crime rates in cities. Therefore, things that are learnt through worthwhile experiences get lost along the line.

The major disadvantage of living in a small town is the lack of good educational, health and work facilities. Procuring better paid jobs is the major reason for migration from small towns to big cities. However, if lifestyle expenses are taken into consideration we would find that living in big cities are definitely more expensive than living in a small town. The options of going on a spending spree are less in small towns and hence the scope of savings is definitely more. The rent of accommodations, groceries and other services are much less than those in big cities. Living in a sprawling accommodation in a pollution free atmosphere with less competition and commuting time is definitely rewarding for people who prefer a life away from the hustle bustle of big cities.

The pandemic has increased the appeal of living in small town with less population. The close knit communities provide a stress free comfortable atmosphere in which kids can grow up freely. The post-covid era will see people opting for a more meaningful life in small towns and country sides. Hopefully, it will decrease the population load in the big cities and improve the quality of life in cities too.


There’s beauty in diversity. Without variety life would be bland. Beneath the superficial difference, there’s an inherent sameness in all humans. This tanka is very apt for the recent times.


Red is the colour 
Of blood that flows in our veins
It is not black, white
Black, white is not a colour
Just the darkness in our minds.

# Tanka

An old poem of mine written several years ago .

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Photo by Aleksandr Balandin

Happiness happiness where art thou?
I seek you here and there.
Happiness happiness where  are you?
I seek you everywhere.

I looked for you in work and love;
I sought you, with such care.
In leisure I tried to capture you,
In days foul and fair.

Oh! Why do you elude me?
When will I get my share?
It’s you I seek from dawn to dusk;
It’s you I seek in my prayer .

My heart once more wants to beat;
In tune with laughter fair.
Once more it wants to dance away,
Without a speck of care.

Happiness, happiness, where art thou?
I seek you here and there.
Happiness, happiness, where  are you?
I seek you everywhere.

Oh! Happiness I wait for thee
Door to my heart lies bare
Come to me, fulfill my life,
And those that I love and care.

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TENSE Present Tense

She is reading a book. Photo by Arthur Krijgsman

Tense of a verb tells us about the time of action or event. It is a form of verb, which is used to show the state and time of an event. Tense helps us to show whether we are referring to the past, present or future.

In English tense must be expressed in all finite verb phrases.

But, most English full verbs have only two tense related forms.

  1. The simple Present  –   find,       look,        live,      leave,    write
  2. The simple past        –    found,   looked,    lived,   left,        wrote

The other tense forms are made with the auxiliary verbs mainly ‘Be’ and ‘Have’ telling us whether the action is in progress or complete.

Auxiliary verbsPastPresentFuture
BeWas/wereIs/am/areWill be/shall be
HaveHadHas/haveWill have/ shall have


 (used in simple present and in future tense with ‘will/shall’)(used in simple past tense)(used in perfect tense with ‘has/have’ verb)(used in continuous tense with ‘ be’ verb) (used with he/she/it)


Tenses are divided on the basis of time as follows:

Tense chart for the word ‘Write’:

SIMPLE/ INDEFINITE  I write.I wrote.I shall write.
CONTINUOUS/ PROGRESSIVE  I am writing.I was writing.I shall be writing.
PERFECT  I have written.I had written.I shall have written.
PERFECT CONTINUOUSI have been writing.I had been writing.I shall have been writing.

Before studying forms and usage of each group we must remember that a type of tense form may represent different time situations.

 For example Present continuous tense may represent:

  1. Things going on at the present- I am writing an essay.
  2. Developing and changing situations – The world is getting hotter.
  3. Future activity – I am visiting Paris next week.


Present tense may be divided into.

  1. Simple Present Tense / Present Indefinite Tense
  2. Present Continuous Tense / Present Progressive Tense
  3. Present Perfect Tense
  4. Present Perfect Continuous / Present Perfect Progressive Tense


SENTENCE TYPE                STRUCTURE                 EXAMPLE
PositiveSubject + V1 + Object I like ice-cream.
InterrogativeDo/Does + Subject + V1 + Object?Do I like ice-cream?
NegativeSubject + do not/ does not + V1 + Object I do not like ice-cream.

Situational Use:

  1. To express a habitual action – I go for a walk everyday.
  2. To express general statement or universal facts – The Earth revolves around the sun.
  3. To express an event taking place at the given moment- Here comes the bride.
  4. To express a permanent situation – Everest is the highest peak in the world.
  5. To express a future action that is planned – The plane departs at 6:00 p.m.
  6. To express series of events – We take two cups of milk and boil it.
  7. To express conditional future – I shall go out if it stops raining.
  8. For quotations – The Bible says, ‘Love thy neighbour’.
  9. For imperative sentences – Do your work.
  10. With Non- Progressive Verbs – I like this cake very much.
  11. With Adverbs and Adverbials – He always speaks the truth.
  12. Historical present or graphic present – Alexander invades India.

(In simple present tense Third Person Singular take –s or –es with full verbs. E.g. plays, goes)


Simple Present Tense is used in the following real life activities:

  1. Story Telling – She holds her mother and breaks down.
  2. TV./ Radio Commentaries – Ronaldo passes to Rivaldo, Rivaldo to Carlos and Carlos shoots.
  3. Formal Expressions in Letters – I enclose herewith.
  4. Newspaper Headings – Blind girl climbs Everest.


SENTENCE TYPE                STRUCTURE                 EXAMPLE
PositiveSubject +is/am/are + V4(-ing form of verb) + Object I am eating ice-cream.
InterrogativeIs/am/are + Subject + V4 + Object?Am I eating ice-cream?
NegativeSubject + is/am/are+ not + V4 + Object I am not eating ice-cream.

Situational Use:

  1. To express an action going on at the time of speaking. – It is raining.
  2. To express repeated action – My sister is writing a book.
  3. To indicate an action that is likely to happen. – I am meeting her tomorrow.
  4. To indicate changes. – The earth is getting warmer.
  5. To indicate things which happen very often. – I am always losing my pen.
  6. To indicate distancing /less definite things–I am hoping that the economy will revive.

( when a verb ends with ‘e’ we remove ‘e’ and add ‘ing’. – come – coming:

when a verb ends with ‘ie’ we remove ‘ie’ and add ‘y’. – tie – tying:

when a verb ends with a consonant except ‘r’, w, y’  with a vowel before it we add the consonant twice. – cut – cutting)


I have done it.

You have done a lot for me.

They have missed the bus.

He has left for home.

He has broken his pencil.

Have you ever seen a ghost?

I have lived here for ten years.

SENTENCE TYPE                STRUCTURE                 EXAMPLE
PositiveSubject + has/have + V3(past participle) + Object I have eaten ice-cream.
InterrogativeHas/ have + Subject + V3 + Object? Have I eaten ice-cream?
NegativeSubject + has/have + V3 + Object I have not eaten ice-cream.

Situational Use:

  1. To express an action that has just been completed. – The sun has set.
  2. To express past action the effect of which still continues. – Lily has won a prize.
  3. For habits leading to the present – I have studied hard for years.
  4. For finished events with certain time adverbs – I have already spoken to him.

(Time adverbs- lately, recently, already, never, ever, before, yet)


The Perfect Tense refers to an event in the Past with Present or current relevance. When we use simple Past the focus is on the person, thing or circumstances while present perfect refers to a situation or event.

[ Has – used with – He/she/ it:  Have – used with – I/You /we/they ]


SENTENCE TYPE                STRUCTURE                 EXAMPLE
PositiveSubject +has/ have+ been + V4(-ing form of verb) + Obj I have been eating ice-cream.
InterrogativeHas/ have + Subject+been + V4 + Object?Have I been eating ice-cream?
NegativeSubject + has/have+ not +been+ V4 + Object I have not been eating ice-cream.

Situational use

  1. For an activity that continued from past and has just been completed.–You have been fighting.
  2. For an action began in the past and is still going on.- She has been working since 9am.
  3. For repeated actions – I have been playing tennis a lot recently.
  4. For expressing actions in sentences beginning with ‘For how long’ or ‘Since when’For how long has she been suffering from the viral infection?
  5. For expressing temporary activities- He has been living here for a month.

( for expressing permanent activities we use Present perfect tense.-He has lived here for thirty years.)


For and Since

The Present perfect continuous tense is often used with ‘for’ and ‘since’. There is a difference between their use.


‘For’ is used to denote a period of time ( time span or duration)

It has been raining for six hours.

He has been working here for twenty years.

He has been suffering for a long time.


‘Since’ is used to denote an action starting from a point of time in the past.

She has been painting since 8 o’clock.

He has been looking for his glasses since he got up.

It has been raining since Sunday.

Present perfect continuous tense is generally used with verbs denoting continuity.

E.g.  rain,    study,    work,      live,      wait,      build.

Rating: 0.5 out of 5.

Who Loves Tom Swift? — Nicholas C. Rossis

No, Tom Swift is not a person. A Tom Swifty is a phrase in which a quoted sentence is linked by a pun to the manner in which it is attributed. The standard syntax is for the quoted sentence to be first, followed by the (humorous) description of the act of speaking. The hypothetical speaker […]

Who Loves Tom Swift? — Nicholas C. Rossis

Treasuring Time

Time has a wonderful way of showing us what really matters.
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Time is true treasure,
Try to treasure Time;
For forgetting to value it,
Is surely a serious crime.

Time never stops moving;
But keeps its records in genes,
In stones, bones and memories;
For the future beings.

Use your time wisely,
Have habits that are good.
Complete your work on time,
As best as you could.

For if you cherish time,
And refrain from its abuse;
Then fortune will favour you.
And grant what you choose.

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An inch of time, is an inch of gold. But with that inch of gold, you can’t buy that inch of time.

Don’t look at the clock, do what it does. Keep going.

Keep Yourself Focused Through Digital Minimalism.

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Days come and go, leaving us wondering about the accelerated speed of time in the recent times. Time, as we all are aware, develops its speed according to the activity we are involved in. If it is something that we enjoy, time flies like a hurricane; if it is something boring, time refuses to budge. After the arrival of the smart phones and the internet, time hardly ever stands still. Everyone around us, including ourselves, are forever engrossed in the wondrous world of internet, gorging on goodies for the mind. And often we find that the goodies that we devoured were nothing but junk for the brain, for which we had spent our priceless moments.

Digital minimalism is a must- if we really want to keep ourselves focused on the important things in  life. Digital minimalism involves prioritising, organising, simplifying and eliminating everything that distracts us from living a good life with specific intentions.  

Digitization has spun us into its web, and it is very difficult to live a life in which we are not completely immersed in the world of the internet. However, we must find our way out of the digital maze and keep our life focused and meaningful. Here are some ways in which we can come out of the digital vortex and keep our life simple, clear and stress free.

  1. Keep the morning hours free for doing things that need your undivided attention. An hour of work achieved in the morning will add up cumulatively over the days, increasing the productive output substantially. Do not look at the smart phone till the morning’s work is done.
  2. Avoid notifications as much as possible, as most of the information will be available in the mail.
  3. Check emails twice mid-morning and evening when the attention span related to work begins to waver.
  4. Keep an hour for social media when productive output is low. Set timer for time spent on social media as it will not contribute much in achieving aims.
  5. Regularly delete all unnecessary files, mails, pictures, videos, music and downloads.
  6. Make separate folders for different types of files and keep those folders in a separate folder to keep the desktop clean.
  7. Keep a clean background for the desktop and uninstall apps which are no longer in use. A clean workplace brings about intellectual clarity and keeps one focussed.
  8. Smart phones should not be taken to bed as it hampers sleep pattern and is detrimental to health in the long run.  
  9. Work in full-screen mode to retain attention and avoid distractions.
  10. Make a to-do list every evening and add the things not done to the next day’s list, along with allocating a specified time for doing the same. That way tasks will not pile up and will be done on a regular basis.

Keeping a digital-media free day once a week will be rewarding and will help in clearing the mind from information overload. Every kind of information is available on the web for access, when and as we need them. Therefore, it is unnecessary to overburden ourselves with extra information shared through the social media. It can take some determination to keep ourselves from investing too many hours in social media, but will be helpful in the long run.

We have come a long way from the time when W.H. Davis wrote ‘Leisure’ (1911) in his ‘Songs of Joy and Others.’ He would indeed have been surprised to see our lives truly full of care, without any time to stand and stare.

                                              “What is life if full of care,

                                                We have no time to stand and stare.”

Digital minimalism will provide us with actual leisure, which will relieve us from stress, help us think clearly and help live a purposeful life.

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More suggestions on Digital Minimalism would be most welcome.

Voice of the Virulent Virus

Photo by Polina Zimmerman

We came in absolute silence,
We’ve come without a trace;
And  within days and weeks,
We’ve shown our deadly face.
Turning life into a tizzy,
We’ve made a mockery of man;
It’s multitude that matters,
Stop us if you can.

You’re in numbers and so are we,
Both in equal killing spree.
Black death, plagues and the wars,
Ebola, dengu, COVID and sars…
Is here to give a lone  message:
‘The world is yours as well as ours.
Your insatiable greed has been a curse,
You cannot spoil things for us.’

Water’s murky, foul is the air;
Making life tough to bear.
Days of confinement has been quite bad,
Losing lives has made you sad.
But now things have to be solved,
Animals trees across the world;
Are caged or dying without food,
Life for them, isn’t pretty good.

It’s high time to mend your ways…
Without excuses, without delays;
Stop constructing buildings high!
Those concrete jungles make us sigh.
You must put up a worthy fight,
Or Nature herself will put things right.
Now, She’s trying to cure herself;
You bet she’ll do it-Without your help.

Your laws for now, you must abide,
Making sure you stay inside.
Inside your house, for a few days,
Listening to what your govt says.
For we are outside just like you;
Busy spreading the Covid scare,
Nature’s soldiers creating fear;
For, Mother Earth’s in mode of repair.