Read : The Bench by Bala Iyengar, Blank Space

Bala Iyengar

The Bench is the first story of Blank Space. A story which conveys us the message that inspiration is not about winning or conquering our desires. But inspiration is all about contentment in life.

It is all about facing the truths of life without sadness, but remembering the memories on a positive note. Bala has given life to a Bench and it’s lifetime journey with a lovely couple.


Preethi Venugopala : ‘The Bench’ was the story that I liked most in Blank Space. The lyrical descriptions, the depth of the emotions that are conveyed through the few paragraphs, the characters…everything was memorable.

Sourav Ghosh : I loved it. Touched my heart.

Saurabh Mishra : Read it long back and somehow I felt that my story was coherent with it but just set in another spacetime(metaphorically). I loved the diction. it’s beautiful

Ruchi Chopra : The Bench- evokes strong emotions, celebrate passion of 2 souls….imagery is wonderful & vivid…diction is beautiful…I enjoyed reading it. Bala, best of luck!

Shail Raghuvanshi : Bala’s story explores the charm of sentiment and of nostalgia. It, so beautifully takes you back into time and draws you into the old world charm and beauty of love that is ever eternal, even after death. Thank you Bala.

Namita Sunder :  Soft, silken, soothing ‘the bench’ is like a fragrance you inhale and let it float slowly inside your being. Thanks Bala reading your story was a beautiful enriching experience.

— You can buy Blank Space book Paperback copy for Rs.200/-

 Our Online Store ( delivery time within India 1 week)

 Amazon.in (Fulfilled by Amazon + Additional postal charges, delivers in 1-4 days)

Note: NGOs and Educational institutions / Bulk copies (more than 10)  can be availed at a discount of Rs.170 per book. contact publish@propelsteps.com for more details.


*for a sale of every 10 books we will give away a book free! Please don’t forget to nominate your friend’s name whom you want to gift the book on our facebook group. He/She could be the one in ten to get a free copy.
more details on www.facebook.com/groups/psBlankSpace

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Know : List of People with or had Autism

Autism is a neurodevelopmental disorder characterized by impaired social interaction, verbal and non-verbal communication, and restricted and repetitive behavior. Parents usually notice signs in the first two years of their child’s life. These signs often develop gradually, though some children with autism reach their developmental milestones at a normal pace and then regress. The diagnostic criteria require that symptoms become apparent in early childhood, typically before age three.

However, there are people who overcame or learned to live with Autism yet remain successful and an inspiration for all. Here is a list of people with or had Autism (collected from Internet if any factual error is there let us know)

50 Tyson – rapper and autism activist
Albert Einstein – Einstein had difficulty with social interactions, was very intelligent but had difficulty learning in school.
Alexis Wineman – The first Miss America contestant with autism to compete in the Miss Montana pageant.
Alonzo Clemons – American clay sculptor
Amadeus Mozart – Famous musician.
Amanda Baggs – advocate of rights for autistic people
Bhumi Jensen – grandson of Bhumibol Adulyadej, King of Thailand
Birger Sellin – German author
Christopher Knowles – American poet
Daniel Tammet – British autistic savant
Daryl Hannah – The actress talked to People Magazine about being diagnosed with autism as a child, and how it contributed to a fear of fame as an adult.
Derek Paravicini – blind British musician
Elisabeth Hughes – Author
Evgeny Kissin – Russian pianist
Gary Numan – Singer and songwriter
Henriett Seth F. – Hungarian autistic savant, poet, writer and artist
James Durbin – American Idol frontrunner
James Hobley – British dancer and 2011 Britain’s Got Talent finalist
James Henry Pullen – gifted British carpenter
Jason McElwain – high school basketball player
Jessica-Jane Applegate – Paralympic swimmer
Jonathan Jayne – contestant on American Idol
Jonathan Lerman – American artist
Leslie Lemke – blind American musician
Luca Brecel – Belgian professional snooker player.
Lucy Blackman – university educated author
Marty Balin – singer and songwriter with Jefferson Airplane and Jefferson Starship
Matthew Laborteaux – Actor
Matt Savage – U.S. jazz prodigy
Peter Tork – Musician
Richard Wawro – Scottish artist
Stephen Wiltshire – British architectural artist
Temple Grandin – The Colorado State University calls her “the most accomplished and well-known adult with autism in the world.”
Thristan Mendoza – Filipino marimba prodigy
Tito Mukhopadhyay – author, poet, and philosopher
Todd Hodgetts – Paralympic shot putter
Tony DeBlois – blind American musician
Vincent Philip D’Onofrio – (born June 30, 1959) is an American actor, director, film producer, writer, and singer.
Caiseal Mor – author, musician, and artist
Courtney Love – frontwoman of Hole
Dylan Scott Pierce – wildlife illustrator
Hikari Oe – Japanese composer
Jim Sinclair – autism rights activist
Michelle Dawson – autism researcher and autism rights activist
Temple Grandin – food animal handling systems designer and author

Awesome Humans : Darshan Kumar – The Cab Driver

We found this conversation posted on facebook, originally said to be written by Dipesh Karki via The Analytical Indian. We felt this is a must share post. You will understand once you read the same.

Darshan Kumar

Name : Darshan Kumar.
Age: 75
Occupation : Cab Driver.

“I, along with my friend, got down at Sion station and started looking for black and yellow cabs to IMAX Wadala to watch Avengers. But none of the cabs was ready to go. And then came this old man who agreed to take us along. As soon as I got in, I noticed that he was very old, shaky hands, stammering voice. I was really surprised to see how this old Grandpa was driving this black and yellow cab and why was he driving it? I couldn’t hold myself from getting into a conversation with him.

(He first took another unfamiliar road, so I immediately asked.)
Me:” Ji, why are we going this way? Isn’t Wadala the opposite way?”
He: I’m using a shortcut and if you think I should go by the other way, you can tell me.
Me: No, it’s okay.
(after a while…)
Me: “Ji, how old are you?”
He(Grandpa): “Beta (Son), I am 75.”

Me: “Why are you driving at THIS age? Is it because of your passion or compulsion?”
He: “Beta, I don’t have any helping hands. My children are good for nothing. I have to earn my living BUT begging is beyond my attitude. So, you may call it a compulsion but I am doing it for myself.”
(I was like “RESPECT YOU SIR” from inside, mute for a moment.)
Me: “How long have you been in this profession?”
He:”Since last 50 years.”
Kunal(My friend): “So can you see clearly?”
He:”You observe it yourself beta, I am driving smooth and like a gentleman.”
.
.
(All of us laughed at this.)
He:”Thanks to good Lord that unlike many old people of my age, I am physically, mentally, emotionally and spiritually fit. I will continue with my service as long as I live. But I will never beg.”
Kunal:”Where are you originally from?”
He:”I am from Punjab.”
Me:”We both did our engineering from Kurukshetra, so we are quite acquainted with Haryana and Punjab.”

He:”My eldest son, he is in Panipat, doing some business of motor part and earning in crores. But he doesn’t want me. I have a daughter who is married to a rich guy in Delhi and they also have their own business. She doesn’t want me either. My youngest son is an officer in some good bank. He kept me with him for about three months, used to give me Rs. 1500/- as monthly expenses. But the other two didn’t like it and were constantly taunting him about this. I didn’t feel good about it so left them with their lives and came to Mumbai to earn my living.”

(We were speechless…)
Me:”So where is your wife?”
He:”She passed away.”
Me:”So you live alone here?”
He:”Yes beta, I live nearby Parle in a rented room. I pay Rs. 2500 as rent, have my own kitchen and cook my own food. I go home and wash this cloth immediately and wear it tomorrow AGAIN. During the day, I drive. That simply sums up my life here. But I am positive. I don’t count days, I work to make each day fruitful.”
Me:”I really appreciate your enthusiasm. In this country where there are beggars turned to billionaires, you are proudly struggling to earn your life. We are really inspired by your enthusiasm and we respect you for that.”

(He felt good about it and smiled back.)
By then we had reached IMax Wadala and surprisingly the fare was approximately Rs. 10/- less than my usual routes.
I gave him hundred rupees and said,” Sir, please keep the change. Consider it as a small token of respect from us for your honesty and positivity towards life.”
He really felt very happy and said “Thank you beta.”
I then asked him “Can I take a picture of you? I wish to share your thoughts and ideas on the Internet. Your work can inspire many people out there. Also, after seeing you, if any Mumbaikar noticed you on the internet and found you on road driving, they would ALWAYS choose your cab over others.
He,” Ha-ha, sure beta.”

I clicked his picture, shook hands with him and bid farewell. I really felt so glad to have met him.
Darshan Kumar’s story deserves a share, so please share this guy’s story and motivate the generation.”


Credits and Courtesy : Dipesh Karki via The Analytical Indian


Beautiful Words : From an Alzheimer Patient

Image Credits : Berkozturk

Image Credits : Berkozturk

Dear Friend,

Oh, how can this be

You and I are losing me.

Some day soon

Maybe morning, Maybe noon

I will no longer be the me

You and I know as me.

I ask, what is happening to me,

And the answer seems to be

Words and thoughts frequently scramble

And my conversations seem to ramble.

O, how can this be

You and I are losing me.

What do you see when you look into my eyes?

And neighbors just to pry?

Confusion, hurt, pity and pain,

For I am ill and not insane.

Oh Lord, help me I pray,

And this is what He seems to say,

“Fear not child, I will come and take you home,

To be with me for all eternity.”

What can we do from losing me?

“Nothing” say the experts.

But in my confused and foggy state,

To you I plea,

“Love me,

Remember me

Help me to be

All that I can be

For as long as I can be

The me we know as me.”


Courtesy & Credits : Originally written by Janis Hogan Aplin


Know : Irom Sharmila – The world’s longest hunger striker

This solitary hunger striker is about to cross 15 years without food!

Irom Sharmila

Iron Lady of Manipur” – Irom Sharmila (born 14 March 1972) is a civil rights activist, political activist, and poet from the Indian state of Manipur. On 2 November 2000, she began a hunger strike which is still ongoing.

On 2 November 2000, in Malom, a town in the Imphal Valley of Manipur, ten civilians were shot and killed while waiting at a bus stop. The incident, known as the “Malom Massacre”, was allegedly committed by the Assam Rifles, one of the Indian Paramilitary forces operating in the state.The victims included Leisangbam Ibetombi, a 62-year old woman, and 18-year old Sinam Chandramani, a 1988 National Bravery Award winner.

Sharmila, who was 28 at the time, began to fast in protest of the killing, taking neither food nor water. As her brother Irom Singhajit Singh recalled, “It was a Thursday. Sharmila used to fast on Thursdays since she was a child. That day she was fasting too. She has just continued with her fast.”

She has not met her mother since the start of the fast as seeing her mother’s anguish may break her resolve. She said “The day AFSPA is repealed I will eat rice from my mother’s hand.

The Manipur High Court has ordered Rs. 5 lakh compensation for each of the families of 10 people killed by the Assam Rifles in November 2000, in what was later alleged to be a fake encounter. But for the families of those who were killed 14 years ago, compensation is just the first step towards justice.

Three days after she began her strike, she was arrested by the police and charged with an “attempt to commit suicide”, which was unlawful under the Indian Penal Code (IPC) at that time, and was later transferred to judicial custody. However, Amnesty International and the World Medical Association both dispute that a hunger strike is equivalent to suicide as hunger strikers “generally hope and intend to survive”. Her health deteriorated rapidly, and nasogastric intubation was forced on her in order to keep her alive while under arrest.

And her hunger strike continues still…

The following documentary by IBN talks about her life and the politics around her.

The sad thing it is 15 years now. Will the Indian government answer her? This is the land of Mahatma Gandhi who remarkably contributed towards the Indian Freedom via non-violence! Will the government consider her request? What is their answer to her?

You can buy her book Fragrance of Peace here at Amazon


Courtesy & Credits : IBM via Youtube, Wikipedia and Sakthivel