Benefits of Laughing

*This was my speech in the Toastmasters club contest held yesterday.  I won, and will now be competing in another Area Contest (did so twice last year) next week.

If you have listened to me in the past, you would know I have tried to make you laugh every time. Unfortunately, many of you didn’t find me funny 😦 I feel for you! But, I don’t give up easily. So here I am to make another attempt…I hope you will open up your lips, jaws, and everything in between…if not for my sake, at least for yours! The reason being, there are numerous benefits of laughing, so even if you don’t like me being here, you should still give it a try.

Let me lay down what you will gain from laughing:

  1. Helps you live a healthy lifestyle – A good laugh decreases stress hormones while increasing the build-up of infection fighting antibodies, thus improving your body’s resistance to diseases. It also relaxes your muscles for up to 45 minutes once you’ve had a good hearty laugh.
  2. Triggers the release of endorphins – Endorphins are body’s natural painkillers and improves your overall well-being. Once you’ve got accustomed to laughing, rest assured, you will start feeling good all over, and it can even help you fight any chronic pain you might have.
  3. Boosts T-cells: There are various types of cells in our body, one of them being a specialized type of immune system cell called T-cell. They are just waiting in your body to be activated, and laughing can do exactly that. Once they are active, they start fighting common symptoms like cold.
  4. Reduces the risk of a heart attack: Laughter helps your fight risk of a stroke or heart attack by lowering your blood pressure. Btw, how many of you have a high BP issue? It’s about time for you to give yourself a nice giggle! Great, you might have just had your daily dose of medicine.
  5. Helps in burning calories – It gets your heart pumping and burns calories. Just a word of caution – don’t compare laughing to hitting the gym or running your heart out. It does burn calories but comparable only to that achieved with walking at a slow to moderate pace. To that extent, it is even classified as a great cardio workout.
  6. Promotes harmony among people – There is nothing compared to sharing a good laugh with others, especially with those who you have a conflict with. Looking at the funny side of a situation helps you calm down the nerves. And if you have chosen to take a situation lightly, there is no way the other person won’t relax.
  7. Laughing is infectious: It is a social phenomena, and the positive vibes spread like a virus. Think about how many times a person next to you has laughed and you have gone into depression because of that. Never, right? So why not spread the infection of laughing around!

laughter alok singhalThese are just a handful of reasons why you should never give up on laughing.

I was a Yoga Instructor close to my earlier workplace, and I used to make it a point to have the members laugh at the end of the session. Believe me, that was the best I could have done for them. And I am glad to have done the same for you today 🙂

*Image sourced from here

Reasons to Love Donald Trump

*This is my next speech in Toastmasters, from the Advanced Manual “The Entertaining Speaker”Donald-Trump-Quotes alok singhalI am not a fan of Donald Trump, so I really hated myself when I chose to talk about why we should love him! But it is good to take a contrarian view sometimes. So, here are my thoughts on why he needs a bit of sympathy:

  1. Teaches us how to raise kids – I am not sure how many of you pamper your kids every time. But he doesn’t! He makes it a point to not have his kids being given things on a silver platter. This essentially means you are teaching your kids how difficult it is to earn money and have them respect the same.
  2. Shares his feelings openly: By now we know he was not completed fit for the position of the President of Untied States. This is because he doesn’t know what, when, and how to speak. In fact, he mentioned this about his daughter Ivanka Trump, “She has a great figure. Had she not been my daughter, I would have been dating her.” Huh! But I like people who come out clean rather than keeping such thoughts to them.
  3. History with women – It is no secret that Trump was a womanizer. When he ran for the President, a lot of women came out in the open accusing him of sexual misconduct in the past. However, do you know there are contradictory images of him, too? He hired one Barbara Res as his head of construction in the 1980s, when not many women held such positions. She later mentioned him saying, “While men tend to be better than women, a good woman is better than 10 good men.”
  4. An inspiration – My wife always says – if he can become the President of a super-power than America is, any Tom, Dick, and Harry can do anything in life. You just have to think Big! In fact, if you didn’t know, he picked up politics as a hobby a couple of years back and ended up defeating Clinton, who spent her entire career in politics!
  5. A real entertainer – This is my personal favorite. Believe it or not, you won’t ever find a character like him at such a position of authority. I mean who else can fit in his philosophy within just 140 characters on Twitter? And can defend it too! With the twitter text limit now raised, I am sure we are bound to have more laughs 😀
  6. He is a winner, after all – No matter his comments on Hillary during the Presidential debates or numerous women accusing him of wrong doings, a lot of people did go out and vote for him, including many women. So, I would assume he has a bit of charisma that drives people towards him.

And who knows, he might actually make America great again! After all, the US economy has shown considerable progress in the last one year!

**Picture sourced from here

Who is Crazy…They or Me?

You might know we drive on the right side of the road here in the West, but even that has at least 2 lanes. The right-most lane is for the slow moving traffic, and you wouldn’t want to be there unless you have all the time in the world to reach your destination! The left-most is for those who can’t wait to get to their destination (like me)!

Now, I am not a slow driver, so I hardly visit the right lane. But then I don’t over-speed in the left, so people keep overtaking me from the right. Even if I am over the posted speed limit, people still keep zipping past me from the right. Some even give me horrible looks as if I shouldn’t be driving at all! That drives me crazy! Would you give me that title if I am already above the posted speed limit? Crazy! Not me…they!

Because of those looks, I do visit the right lane at times…when I get frustrated enough! But then I can’t see people leaving me behind from the left either. And some still give me looks as if I am too old to drive fast! Do you think I am crazy to let them reach early at their destination while I slog in the right lane. No way! …And here goes my car from the right to left 🙂

So, as you can imagine, it’s a constant struggle for me on the road – I can neither let people give me horrible looks when I am on the left-side; nor can I let them feel sorry for me when I am on the right.

When we have 3 lanes, it is easy for me to decide – just be in the middle one 🙂 That’s where I am at peace as I get the least of the weird looks, compared to the other 2 lanes. Some still show me the middle finger occasionally, but I consider it the price I have to pay to be on the road.driving-on-the-rightThings get complicated when there are too many lanes, as in the picture above. What do I do then? That requires a bit of analysis: Leave the left and the right altogether for the reasons mentioned earlier. Leave the 2nd from the right also, as those are the ’un-deciders,’ who can’t be on the extreme right but are afraid of picking up speed too, which is required in the left. That leaves us with 2nd from the left and the middle lane – and I use them both, with 80% of my time spent in the 2nd from left and only 20 in the middle one. The 2nd gives me the speed I need and the middle gives me relief, when I want to relax. The combination works well for me, and since there are too many options for people, I get the least of the crazy looks 🙂

*Picture sourced from here

You got to keep your wife Happy, and girl friend Happier!

…And there are no Ifs and Buts about it!

After the blockbuster success of how can you be happy that I wrote few months back, I thought for a while. How can you be happy without making sure your wife or girl friend is happy – in every respect! I know this is the most difficult task in the world, but then you are supposed to be that much wise. No?

I have failed on many accounts, but still my experience could be of some help to you.

love-kiss-man-woman

The way to tackle the issue is to list down all that she needs (most of that is indeed materialistic), and take them up one by one. For me, they have been Perfumes, Watches, Bags, and the list is just short of endless. And then go on to satisfy her desires, whatever that means 😛

You might argue how can materialistic things satisfy her the most? Well, that’s why people have failed to understand women! Better is not to think – if you apply your thought, you will surely not end up on the winning side. You might still be tempted to give it a thought, but believe me – the end result with be the same. Yes, you have my sympathies!

I see this unmarried young lady in office and I have hardly seen her repeat any of her ‘expensive’ dresses. God knows how will her husband keep up with her! Nevertheless, I know many ladies out there did the ‘100 saree pact,’ so I guess it can indeed be worked out. Even otherwise, if you think through, it is not that difficult…you just have to compromise on your ‘personal’ list of items to buy.

If you are unmarried, this becomes all the more important; else, you might not get whatever you are looking for. So, take your call – enjoy the company while being a mute puppy or raise your voice and be in your own company!

*Picture sourced from here

When I met his Girl Friend!

The other day I was standing at the bus stop when a young lady stealthily glanced at me.

She must have been in her late 20s and seemed unmarried…I have a knack for spotting such women.

I too gave her a quick look and smiled as if I expected a conversation to start.

 

Just then she came to me and asked, “Do I know you.”

“I don’t think so,” was my hesitant reply.

But then she seemed desperate to talk to me, so she started.

 

Is your name Alok?

Oh yes, how do you know (though I knew she read the label on my bag)?

Wow…so we do know each other, she almost jumped with excitement!

I was excited too…who doesn’t want to talk to a pretty lady 😛

 

“You waiting for somebody,” I asked.

No, Nah, just…

I am sure she was waiting for her boy friend. Well, I just know!

“Anyway, can we grab a cup of coffee?” I interrupted.

 

Sure, she immediately chose a perfect place for the evening.

As we took a taxi to go on a good half-hour drive, she was all smiling.

You are so cute, I said with confidence!

Thank you…you too are no less, she claimed! And the physical distance between us was no more!

 

I knew where we were heading eventually. However, I didn’t want it to end bad for her.

So, after a while I asked her to let her bf know. No surprise, she didn’t wait a moment for an excuse and phoned him.

I was listening intently as she skillfully handled the matter. However, the other guy was no other than my close friend.

It didn’t bother me a bit as I was not in for the long-run.

 

Just as we were done with the coffee, she asked me if I could accompany her to the apartment.

That was the moment I was waiting for! And we left in a hurry.

As soon as we entered, she was all upon me…without any protection.

Before I could make myself comfortable with the situation, I was all nude. She already was!

alok singhal sex

P.S. As expected, this is a work of fiction!

You, Bitch!

DSC02418I have always wanted you,
You, the beauty dressed in varied hues.

My longing for you goes long back,
The count of years I’ve lost track.

Even though you seem to act pricey,
With your curves, you are hot and spicy.

Have been close to you many times,
Solemnly, I’ve admired your fine lines.

Can’t you be mine even for a night?
I will always hold you up-close and tight.

I’ve always wanted to feel you inside out,
You are my eternal crush without a doubt!

I promise to make heavenly love,
Going places, far beyond and above.

And, we won’t need any sort of protection,
Just you and me and the direction.

Can you please me sometime soon?
I don’t want to wait for you until blue moon.

Why you have to be a bitch every time?
You know I can afford you even for a lifetime!

P.S. Picture is from my recent trip to Fort Lauderdale Hollywood Beach, Florida

Our obsession with celebrities!

red carpet celebritySome of us are extremely obsessed with celebrities. I have a lady connected with me on FB, who is an ardent fan of Aishwarya Rai. Even if Mrs Rai were to burp and post a pic of the same, I am sure she would definitely ‘like’ it! What irritates me is that she doesn’t have time to reply to the Birthday Wishes she gets from her friends every year (she just ‘likes’ them), in spite of spending so much time on Social Media.

The other day it was Hrithik Roshan’s birthday and someone in my twitter feed had tagged him and posted ‘ Love you so much, Hrithik. Stay blessed!’ While Mr Roshan was busy buying Rolls Royce for himself! Again, I have hardly seen her checking my updates and commenting on them and I am sure I am not in her ‘avoid’ list. Yes, I am not a celebrity…so that makes for a point. But then commenting on celebrities’ pictures? Don’t we know it is not the personality him/herself who is posting those updates…it is their PR firms? Do we think Narendra Modi has time to be on twitter and facebook every few minutes? He couldn’t have travelled the world, if he did! So, essentially, nobody cares about those statuses that some of us keep flooding celebrities’ timelines with.

In the recent verdict of Salman Khan’s hit-and-run case, the entire nation had opinions. If he would have been convicted, I can say with confidence some foolish people would have definitely committed suicide…we have seen that in the past! Ask yourself, would it have mattered to him? No, he wouldn’t even have known or cared about it!

This begs the question, why are we so obsessed with them?

My analysis says because they are famous personalities and somehow we want to be associated with them – even if through a ‘like’ that can become a topic of discussion with our friends. The fact that we have never (or hardly) met the personality also plays a role since we consider them as way above us, akin to God. In other words, if you were to start living with Aishwarya, you would consider her as just another person, in spite of her same accomplishments.

I would close by saying be close to your friends and family first; you never know someone might actually become a celebrity one day! Here’s a quote I came up with few years back:

If you are a celebrity, people would follow you blindly. Till then, you have to do the hard work.

*Picture is sourced from google, without any specific source

Ladies & Gentlemen – Welcome Aboard!

Hello folks,

This is your Captain – Alok Singhal – speaking.

I, and the crew of The Learning Curve, Thank you for taking this flight ‘Happiness’ from ’15 December 2014’ to ’14 December 2015.’ Though the journey was a long one, I am sure some of you would have really enjoyed it. If not, you always had the option to get your asses off anytime; but I am glad you rather chose to maintain your cool, have a smile on your face, relax and enjoy with us!

We started slowly (also reflected in our tagline – One Step at a Time), as we were new in Blogosphere and the competition was tough. But, i am glad the take-off was smooth and we crossed the international boundaries post-by-post! We knew if we could serve our customers well, we can create our own name. And that is exactly what we did! In fact, the response from our clients has been overwhelming and that has kept us going strong.

On the way, we also met a few who were just looking for a one-night-stand, but no hard feelings – we enjoyed equally 😉 After all, we should all strive for happiness…that is what counts in the end!

We’ve had people flying with us from all over the world. So far we have touched various ‘Happy’ places, including Humor, Travel, Lessons in Life, Personal, Toastmasters, and were even bugged by Health issues. While traveling, we were also showered with ‘Blogger Awards’ and ‘Likes’ – a testament to our world-class service! Not to forget the comments, which created a bond with many of you. Some of our most commented places have been:

alok singhal comments

Sometimes, we veered off the course so we could enjoy a lot of spots from the Travel category, based on heavy demand. That led us to think we could serve our audience well by joining Twitter, which we did few months back. Here’s where you can find us, if you were not aware:

alok singhal twitter

Over the course of time, we were approached by various Brands for advertisements, which we gladly accepted. You see, the margins are thin in our business, so new avenues are always welcome 😛 Moreover, that gives us additional exposure too, taking our reach and brand value even further.

Now that we are about to land at our destination, which is not far from Christmas and New Year, I wish you all the very Best in your respective journeys. I am sure you will give us opportunities to serve you in the future as well.

Thank you once again, it is always a pleasure having you on board! I am sure you will keep voting ‘The Learning Curve’ as one of your favorite brands in various Contests that we chose to participate in.

Take Care! Outside temperature is good, go have fun 🙂

You can also connect with us on other networks that we operate on – Facebook, and Instagram, where we just started last week…here’s how the stats look there for now:

alok singhal instagram

The smartphone (r)evolution!

Smartphones have changed our lives. They has revolutionized the way we live, and many new breeds of people have ‘evolved’ because of this evolving technology. Some of these newbies are amusing, intelligent, while some are border-line crazy! Read some species that have made their way to the Top 5 list:

Expert Photographers – They are the ones to use their smartphones more as a camera. When I see a plate of food, I dig into it; but these folks take pictures from 10 different angles, post them and comments and likes follow. Few chaps think they have clicked a NatGeo award winning picture, while all others are admiring Kaka Chat Bhandar ki Chaat. Their hashtags are brand affiliated #Lumia #Galaxy6 #iPhonePhotography #Android; my personal favorite is #NoFilter. I wonder what is their ultimate wish – shooting the next Kingfisher Calendar Girls! …which, by the way, I will surely like and retweet 😛

Excuse-the-Photographer

Selfies Addicts – They are the most photogenic people on our timeline, or so they think. They click their own pictures and bombard us. From Angelina Jolie’s pout to Ranbir Kapoor’s Rockstar look, they copy everything. Well, I have no problems with that, but their action selfies are scary – #EatingSelfie #SleepingSelfie and I am scared that one day some fellow will share his #ShittingSelfie, or it might already be there!

selfie-pic

Expert Opinion – First thing this breed does every morning is to see the trending hashtags. For every topic under the sun, they have some ‘life changing’ opinion. I bet they haven’t even see a  real football in life, but come the FIFA season and they write the most opinionated tweets. But look at their modesty, every tweet is followed by a humble –  #Just Saying

expert opinion

Jack of all trades – I might get thrown out of my house for citing this breed, as my wife is a perfect example. They are the golden child of smartphone companies as they use the smartphones of every individual in the family. Zara is sunset ki picture lena, meri battery kam hai; Bhai, snowfall ki picture bhej. Then begins the tough job of choosing the best from the lot and sharing it on the best occasion. Their timeline is filled with pictures clicked on smartphones, pictures made on smartphone apps and in my case, sarcastic comments on husband for using his smartphone.

Kings of Sharing and Caring – These generous folks don’t shy away from tagging, forwarding, and sharing excessively…that too at 4G speed! Agreed, sharing is caring, but too much of everything is bad. No point in trying to be modern day Danveer Karan! When it comes to social media and whatsapp, there is a high chance of being unfollowed and blocked. And, what is the fun in doing extra homework! #KeepCalm #SaveYourBattery

sharing is caring

And, the only category that ends up riding on appreciation is #Technocrats. They provide us with the best technology, reviews, comparison, bug fixes, and hack tools. Sadly, we call them geeks. Well, they are the dudes responsible for midnight whatsapp messages for your girlfriend, sukhdev dhaba check-in on highway and even for your social talks. I love them and so should you. We owe our loveline, blogline and timeline to them!

When it comes to Technocrats and the Technical know-how they have, nothing can beat Team Micromax! They introduce the best of technologies at unbeatable prices! You can join the smartphone (r)evolution with them at www.micromaxinfo.com

Jokes apart…

I have encountered some incidents in the past that gave me a good laugh. There is learning also in each of them, so they go with the title of my site too 🙂

Let’s delve into them:

1. Prelude: Some of us have a serious issue of not being attentive to others, even in one-to-one conversations. Blame most of it on the use of social media and our wandering thoughts, thus keeping us from being in the present.

Incident: I had a friend of mine from college who came to visit us after he had gotten married also. As soon as we took our seats and were done with basic conversations, we started talking about other friends from college that we were in touch with. He asked about a lady who studied with us and I said ‘She is expecting,’ to which my buddy suddenly replied ‘What is she expecting?’

What happened next? We had an amazing laugh 😀

I checked online too later if ‘she’ and ‘expecting’ can have a different meaning…no, it doesn’t!

Learning: We need to listen intently, especially in one-to-one conversations.

2. Prelude: Few firms like Domino’s and Amazon are planning to use drones for deliveries.

Incident: I was once at an airport in India waiting for my flight. I had these 2 young people from either sex sitting next to me. I think the dude was really trying to impress the lady, so he was being funny every time. They started talking about the concept of Drone that Domino’s was planning to try out for deliveries. The guy immediately exclaimed, “India mein ye system kaam nahin karega. Bachchon ne patthar maar maar ke hi gira dena hai use (in India this system will not work as kids will bring down the drone by pelting stones at it).”

Hahaha…I couldn’t control my laugh!

Learning: One can actually impress a lady by being funny, since he was able to impress a hard nut like me 🙂

3. Prelude: Blogging is not a pass time and it is not just about earning money!

Incident: Sometime back a young lady asked my wife, “aaj-kal blogging me kis cheez ki demand hai? (what is in demand in blogging these days?).”

A related incident is when I heard somebody say to her, “haan kuch to karoge hi ghar baith kar (you ought to do something while sitting at home).”

Well, I can only feel pity on such people because they make writing seem so easy. My response -Try getting a decent reach and readership and then we’ll talk!

Learning: One cannot become famous overnight. It requires hard-work, dedication, persistence, commitment and many other factors. Every famous person we see around went through the same phase!

Let me know which one is your favorite and any inputs are appreciated.