Mumbo Is Jumbo

From A Postbox Near You

Rays of darkness enter a postbox three blocks from your two-storey house. The quiet frustration of cars screeching to a stop at a red light that I can’t even see wakes me up and I blink. It’s another evening in the postbox. Here, I live among the many letters you send to your friends, exes and colleagues. I toss and turn, making space among your formal faithfullys and sincerelys, words penned with no regard to the meaningless flattery all regards have carried for the past hundred or so years.

This mundane evening, I proceed as I do every day, to reseal the letters that I fell asleep reading, making sure I leave no traces of spilt secrets. Once I’m done, I feast. I put my nose inches away from the efficient and neglected opening of the postbox and breathe in the crushed aroma of tea and coffee mixed with the mischief of leaves and seeds from the Asias. I smell yesterday’s rain on the coats of young ambitious souls on their way back from work and the leather of shoes not yet broken into. It reeks of monotony; all of it.

As the evening breaks into the pitch black of the night, I am confronted with what I must do to pass time. There’s not much to do at night. I certainly can’t read any letters. In fact, I can do nothing but listen to the stillness, an activity that’s such a bore I pity anyone who finds it beautiful. I like to process. I need smells and sounds to acknowledge the existence of my senses. I really don’t know why I spend so much time awake in the night. I could just sleep and be at my best during the day. I feel like an old fool. But that is just how it is. I like to tell myself my obsession with the laziness of the night lies in how the expectation of something new is glorified by nocturnal silence, a heightened experience of anticipation from a pause that lasts but around ten hours.

After this stretch of failed expectations and excusable disappointments, I finally find joy in the ever certain glorious break of dawn. The rays of darkness change colour like milk poured into a cup of hot tea. I hear the sound of birds echo inside my small cylindrical chamber of existence and condition my eyes to the yellow of the sun reflecting off the glass of an old pawn shop and falling on the red of the inlet of the post box. I hear the sniffs of dogs accompanied by the accomodating length of a whistle or a hum. I do not always smell flowers but I smell love and the expectation of love that flourishes in the sincerity of yet another day.

What I like to do in the wee hours of the morning on such a routine day, is scratch ever so patiently at the red of the inlet. Giving my living space a touch of individuality is cause for a lasting sense of warmth and security. After going about this for five seconds or so, I proceed to rummage through the letters in search of chocolate or liquorice that some kind old woman sent to her grandchild along with a note the child can’t read. Once I’ve helped myself to the spoil, I go on to read.

To know what day it is is not too much trouble for me. I just check the date on the first letter that comes in. As I read, I share in the frustration of my neighbours. I listen patiently to them rant about how their cooking appliances keep breaking down and how the country’s foreign policy is evil. I try to imagine their faces as they wrote the words down. It helps if I remember the edges of your fingers when you dropped the letter in or the sound of your coat brushing past the metal of my postbox. The sound of your shoes, the ruckus your loose change makes in your purse, all helps me to put a face to the words you write. That’s how I know about you.

Yes, you.

You live a few blocks from me. You write quite frequently. In fact, you no longer slow down when you reach the postbox. You, like a few others who frequently visit me, have mastered the art of skilfully targeting the rectangular inlet with one hand, very much like you would throw a frisbee. I don’t even hear the spring in your step after you’ve successfully posted a mail in this fashion. I find this to be a quality among many who post as often as you with similar ease in technique. You send a letter to your grandma every week and I find you to be a very sincere and likeable person. I’m sure your grandma loves reading what you write. I wish I could know what she writes back to you. I do know she does not correct your spelling mistakes because you continue to post your mail without proofreading it. It made my day when you wrote ‘Police Chef’ instead of ‘Police Chief’ in your last letter. I enjoy your letters for this very reason. It seems like you write to your grandmother just like you must have talked to her when you were a child.

Today, I hear you in the distance, your feet steady, the letter in your hand. I shield my face to brace the impact of your letter but nothing happens. I’m sure you passed by me because I can smell the undertones of lemon in the perfume you use. Did you forget to post your letter? I can still faintly hear your firm steps fading away. I almost panic. Is your grandmother all right? If something’s not right, do you need someone to talk to?

I sit back against the rusty metal and run my fingers through my hair. You’re a loner. I hope everything’s fine. Another letter comes in. Amateur. I could hear him slow down, stop and I could even hear his shirt strain against his belt as he bent down ever so slightly to put the letter in.

Uninteresting.

Author’s note:

This post was inspired by the first scene of a very interesting movie I watched a few weeks ago called ‘About Elly’. The first shot looked like what light coming into a postbox would look like. It was nothing of the sort but it made me think about what it would be like to live inside a postbox. I ended up having all these different ideas. I’ve talked about a few in this post. If it’s too dense for your taste, I completely understand. This is the third post of the series ‘Mumbo is Jumbo’ where I talk about weird ideas and seemingly irrelevant stuff that I believe have aesthetic value.

I hope you guys enjoyed this post. The 4D family is growing. If you like reading about weird stuff that has a touch of poetry and aesthetic perspectives, consider becoming a part of this family. We’re all good friends here.

Philosophy Of Life, The christian life

Clothes For My Pimples

Photo by Justin Veenema. Source: unsplash.com

Treat it for what it is. A minute real estate on your face with very little resale value for the next few weeks.

Why do we wear clothes?

Go ahead and google it. It’s amusing to see how the web manages to give relevant answers to questions like these.

We wear clothes for protection, for decoration and mostly to keep what’s private, private.

When Adam and Eve ate from the forbidden fruit. they lost the glory of God that clothed them and they clothed themselves with leaves.

I sometimes wish I had clothes for other stuff. Like pimples and scars.

My skin has a thing for pimples. Despite my mother’s incessant instructions not to pop them, I still used do it. And because of that I had trouble walking with my head held up high. People sometimes don’t see how much pimples can affect someone. It was torture for me. My face used to shrink to the size of a small spot. Metaphorically, of course.

Here I was, a teenage kid with a lot of potential. I had everything going for me. I mean, I did struggle a bit during high school with academics (regardless of which I ended up at my dream university). But other than that, I was doing great. I loved meeting people and having a good conversation. The only thing that kept me from enjoying every single minute of my day most days was the number of pimples on my face. That’s sad.

You do get better at living with your pimples. It gets easier. But I didn’t want to live with them. If I was not responsible for them and they were going to be a part of my life regardless, I could not afford them becoming even the slightest of my worries.

I learnt, though at a very slow pace, that nobody actually cared about my pimples. At least not as much as I thought they did. I also learnt that sometimes not every part of who you are will serve your confidence and that you have to choose what to focus on.

Me being a born-again Christian, realised that it is in God that my value is found. It is his glory that now clothed me and made me who I was. That realisation helped me a lot.

You, dear reader, have to realise that I am talking about a problem that is nothing compared to the millions of problems that are out there. But it definitely is one. Which is why I thought I should talk about how hurtful it could be when you stare at somebody’s pimple or even point it out in public. Even when it seems like it’s no big deal.

Before I go, to all my friends with pimples: Really, it’s not a big deal. Don’t worry too much. Treat it for what it is. A minute real estate on your face with very little resale value for the next few weeks. If you really want to make a mountain out of it, call them volcanoes of purity or call yourself pompously pimplified. I hope that was not gross.

Anyway, if you’ve actually read till here, you deserve an award. Please claim my respect by saying a hi in the comments. Joking. You don’t have to do that. I love you all nevertheless.

Have a blast just existing!

Philosophy Of Life

Silence Is A Perfect Sound

Shhh…..

Silence. In some cases, we strive in our efforts to push it out of the picture. But in others, we love it, are amused by it and find solace and comfort in it.

It’s morning. The sun just peek-a-booed into the sky. The tree leaves moved gracefully in the wind. The branch of a crooked coconut tree  was  somehow serving as an  eyebrow to the sun. The face of the earth was dipped in yellow. A yellow that smelled of novelty, hope, victory and simply colour. It was raining too. But the skies were clear. It always confused me when that happened.

There is a silence in my room. I shift inside my blankets to try and sleep some more but end up just lying there, my eyes squinting into the sunrise. The silence is loud. Outside  the window of my room, the signs of life are so evident, it’s loud. It’s waiting to enter the silence in my room and break it. Not that it is evil. The loudness outside is very beautiful, extremely calming too, ironically. But letting it in, would mean giving up the silence. I would be giving  up a  perspective of reality inside the boundaries of my room. One that I was starting to enjoy.

Silence seems to add an iridescent beauty to all movement. It does so by just existing in a world of inactivity. The only thing that let’s us know it’s there, is time. But when it takes over, it lets you know that it is not brining about a cessation to activity, but rather adding meaning to it. In other words, it is a pause. And I find that so beautiful. If you follow this blog, you would know how much I love playing the guitar. A good musician has to know when to let his instrument speak and when to keep it silent. I would spend hours and hours, honing my skill of knowing when to allow silence to take over.  When silence takes over in the middle of a song, it’s definitely not a cessation of activity. On the contrary, it feels incredibly similar to standing still while your heart is beating like it’s on a rollercoaster. It is according to me, the best example of inertia, but one on an abstract level. And that silence, I find to be an ephemeral display of amazing.

Almost everything I have has some kind of cartoon or doodle. If you look at my laptop, among all the crazy things I’ve drawn on it, you’ll see this:   Silence is a Perfect Sound.  And I hope that today, I have given the world, a muddled up, arcane reason why it’s there. And if you didn’t understand this post, don’t worry. I’m still learning how to put silence in the right places.

 

Life in itself, Philosophy Of Life, The christian life

Never Cliché

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Dear …………………………,

I saw a great movie today. A beautiful one.

The sun’s almost down here. The birds are all returning to their modest abodes. If every day was a movie, then this would be a very cliché ending. But yet this is beautiful. Every day is filled with ephemeral clichés that we seem to enjoy with a satisfaction that makes no sense at all. Stefan, haven’t you gotten tired of seeing the sunset, the flying birds, and the full moon? You’ve been loitering on this earth for 18 years. But no, you still enjoy them. They still make sense to you.

The movie I saw today ended with a cliché. And yes, I would have liked it to surprise me, but it didn’t. But yet, it was beautiful, full of meaning. Today, films are trying to survive. Everything is becoming cliché. Around a lakh movies are made every year. New clichés are made every day. Playwrights and directors are rocking their brains left and right to find something new.

Why do I never stop loving a good sunrise? Why do I never get bored with nature?

Is it the acceptance of my unawareness of many of the delicate details I have yet to see? Maybe.

I have a feeling that a cliché becomes annoying only when you are aware of a better possibility. If this is indeed true, then it is the limitations of my imagination that makes me fall in love over and over again with nature, love, beauty and another human being.

And that, I find extremely beautiful. In a world that keeps changing in time, I find it comforting to think that my sheer oblivion to an alternative for many things and my sheer inability to form one, makes what is there everlasting and beautiful.

God, you have indeed painted your glory in the skies and in the most minute vestiges of nature. I can’t find anything to replace it.

Yours,

Stefan

 

 

 

Philosophy Of Life

Baby Embrace

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It’s amazing what you can learn from a great relationship. The raw, sincere love that you come across in a relationship somehow jolts and shakes you violently, waking you from your dormant stage of inaction and makes you do something for other people. You learn to value life a smidge more.

Yesterday, I was sitting in the last row at church, attending a music event. As I sat there, I was looking on amused by the actions of a baby boy on his father’s shoulders.

He was just sitting there, his face like the face of any other baby, a face that is trying to make sense of everything around him. Things did change for him after he came out into this really bright place. No wonder babies have got a look confused at times, when they see us. They have a way of seeing through the words, mostly because they don’t understand them.

They make conclusions completely based on what they see and what they feel and sometimes by what they hear, especially when it’s too loud.😊

You know how when you ‘meow’ at a cat, it suddenly cocks up its head and looks at you like, ‘What in the world……’ and then looks around as if to ask the world ‘Has he lost his mind?’ Yeah, I love that look, which is why you’ll always see me ‘meowing’ at cats. Lol

You’ll understand why I said that in a few seconds.

Anyway, I was sitting there, persistent, determined to make him smile, but he just sat there, the little ‘daddy climber’ giving me the ‘cat- look’ ( described above ).

He seemed very amused by my special techniques to make him smile. So did many others in my row. So I put on my serious face and looked on.

He looked at me one last time, I could see a faint smile there, but then, he is one of the living alternatives to the ever smiling Barbie dolls. 😊 I just sat there admiring him.

He was tired, evidently ( as all my master techniques to make him smile had went down like a lead balloon (with smoke 😊)) But I still could see a lot in this baby on his father’s shoulders.

It was absolutely amazing. Every time he looked up to criticize my professional attempts, he would, after giving me the ‘cat-look’ lay his head down, in extra slow motion on his father’s shoulder. And every time he did that, I mean literally every time he did that, his father would react.

It was as if some shock had gone through the father’s body. I would see his hand hug the baby closer and his head would slightly tilt to meet the baby’s head. Every. Single. Time.

It was a gentle embrace. An extremely beautiful one. One that showed the small effort of a baby to show love and the greater effort of the father to give every inch of it back.

It’s the ‘baby embrace’. That’s how you hug a baby. You can’t hug him like you hug a grown up person, you have to go that extra mile and let him rest completely on you. And if you don’t, according to protocol…… He. Will. Cry.

I sat there trying to imagine that baby growing up, sitting on his fathers shoulder. I tried to imagine him on his father’s shoulders, thirty years old. Though odd, it seemed to make sense to me.

I’m not a father, but I believe, every time that father hugs him, be it twenty or thirty years from now, he is going to hug him in a way that his baby boy can completely rest on him. Every time he hugs him, he’ll be trying to put every drop of his love out there. Every time he’ll be doing a different version of the baby embrace.

And I doubt we as kids ever understand the depth of that embrace or the meaning of that embrace, a meaning that has its roots in a time that we will never remember. But then, maybe that’s what makes it so special.

I am already choking up writing this. And maybe you are too.

We are lucky to have parents. They are not perfect, they are human just like us, though we expect them to be so much more. For some of us, they might not be here today, for some of us, we might just have had an argument with them. But for all of us, they’ve left an inheritance of amazing hugs.

Next time you hug somebody in need, hug them the way your parents did.

Hugs and love……
Stefan

What did you think of ‘Baby Embrace’?

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God bless you guys!!!

Life in itself

Trophies

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‘Talent is plants that sprout from seeds of passion.’ 🙂

 

Hey guys!

Yesterday, was an important day for me. You could say it was an emotional one, but it’s a special kind of emotion. The kind of emotion you have when you move to a different house. That feeling of wanting to stay, when you shut that door for the last time.

Am I moving to a new place?

Nope.

I mean, yeah. Kind of.

When I was about 6 years old, I prayed a very heartfelt prayer, sitting in an old auditorium in my school. It was a beautiful evening, but it was an evening I would remember not because it was beautiful, but because of the emotion that passed through me as I sat there.

I sat there, my head down, as all my friends went to collect their trophies. Their feet on the floor echoed in the auditorium, putting me into a sleep, sedating me. I was stuck in time, as everything around me moved. I was happy for my friends, I really was. But I was sad because I did not have a trophy to carry back home.

And on that day, I prayed a heartfelt prayer,

‘God, please help me achieve at least one prize, one trophy, before I leave this school.’

I’ve always thought I was made for something special. It’s not like I’m prideful or anything. I think every person should live like that. My parents always made me feel special and encouraged me and told me I was meant for something great. So from a very young age, I started thinking about my future.

I’ve always dreamed of being great, just like every person on this planet. But I don’t want to be known for just one thing. I want to be an all-rounder. A man of many talents. And I’ve always tried to work towards that. Every two to three years, I add something to my life and I try to see how far I can go. I’ve always loved the change, colour and satisfaction it brought into my life. This blog, is a great example for that. 🙂

As time passed by, I learned to draw, play instruments, speak, write and create. I proved to myself that I could study well too. I didn’t take part in many competitions until high school. When I got into high school, I decided to challenge myself. We have an arts festival every year at school. 3 days filled with competition, excitement and challenge. Those who come up top in the competitions qualify for the regionals. I decided to do something crazy. I went up there and gave my name for nearly everything up on the board that day. If I could scrape through it, I believed I should try it. Those three days, I was running from venue to venue, doing stuff that I’d never done before. But I felt good.

Everything I learnt, I learnt on my own. So they were never professional or perfect. They were the result of the many hobbies I had taken up along the years.

The day the results came, I saw everyone looking at me. Overnight, my name had appeared in a lot of places. I went down there and I saw them and my heart started beating fast. My dreams were coming true.

In the years that came, I achieved things that I never thought I could achieve. I always tried my best to make sure it never went to my head. God had heard my prayer. That was how I looked at it. Giving everything up to him, helped me to focus on the future and not base it on the past. I would enjoy the moments of glory on stage and leave it at that.

My grades really suffered because of the many hobbies I had. Added to that was my dislike of the subjects I had to learn. But I scraped through somehow.

I kept some of my trophies by my bed. They reminded me that I was worth it and also reminded me to thank God for everything good in my life. They always inspired me and helped me to push myself harder.

Now I am out of school. And I know there is something great for me out there. I believe there are many more things to achieve. And I should make room for them. I have to prepare the fields for the rain.

So, yesterday, I did something to signify a new page in my life. I took around thirty trophies and packed them in an Amazon box and sealed it. It somehow felt like moving into a new house. But it was exciting. For me it was a sign of accepting new challenges.

 

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Guys, I believe talent is plants that sprout from seeds of passion. And I want you to remember that you are special. And when you believe that your eyes will be opened to a whole new world of possibilities. You start really believing in your dreams when you realise and accept that. For you to have passion for something, you have to believe you can do it.

You can have a talent for anything in the world. It can be anything. Anything from making a good coffee to being an amazing singer. That is why it can change your life. People will see passion in your eyes every time they talk to you. But for that to happen you have to believe you are meant for something great.

Believing that you are special and that you can create a difference is like that moment of inspiration in movies where the hero is knocked out and the villain is laughing. But suddenly the hero rises again, inspired, by something. Sometimes it’s a person, sometimes it’s a memory and sometimes it’s a voice in their head of someone they love, telling them, ‘you are special’. That one moment of inspiration, wakes up the muscles that were sleeping, it floods the entire body like a wave of energy.

That wave of energy in your life, will recruit parts of your brain and your mind that were fast asleep. That’s when talent is born.

God made you to be great. It is a fact. Believe it. It will change your life.

God bless! 🙂

 

What do you think about this? Comment. Share. Be a part of the movement! 🙂

 

 

 

Life in itself

Happy Mother’s Day!! :)

Just wanted to take a moment to thank the mothers who always stand behind us, never expecting anything back. It is their smile that we see first and their heartbeat that makes us feel secure. They made us smile. Today, it is our job to make them smile.

Here are some pics of the old me and my mom 🙂

Happy Mother’s Day, Mommy!!!!

a toothless me with my mother lost in thought the old me

 

Philosophy Of Life

Beat The System

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‘The world will only be it’s best when the people do what they do best.’

Experience.

It’s amazing what that word in it’s reality can do to your life. It lies at the foundations of adventure and lurks behind the word ‘change’. It is a knowledge no money can buy. Experience, in its application in daily life, offers a sense of security of sorts. You face your fears and gain experience to overcome it. If you’re an astronaut, before you shoot off into space, they give you a taste of what it’s going to be like. Just so that you don’t freak out!

We need experience to live the way we live today.

Imagine you’ve never even seen or experienced winter or snow. Imagine the world has always been warm and sunny. Then one day, you feel this cold that you’ve never felt before. All of a sudden, this white stuff starts falling from the sky. And as the days go by, it starts to pile up stopping traffic and shutting down schools. And then, everybody starts going bonkers. The Governments bring up all these possible reasons, scientists start showing up on reality shows and theatres start showing movies of the sky falling down in 3D. Total Chaos.

Why isn’t this happening in our world today?

Because we know. We know about seasonal changes. We know winter. We’ve experienced it. From an age when all we cared about was milk, we’ve felt it. And so when the seasons change and when it gets rough, we remind ourselves it’s going to change, like it always has. We save ourselves from unnecessary shock by going back to ‘experience’.

But there’s a catch.

Experience works only when there is a certain level of consistency in our lives. Experience becomes useful only when we live in a system.

What does that mean?

If each morning I wake up, I am in a different country, my experience from yesterday is not going to help, is it? The systems have changed. Being part of a system you know, helps you to use your experience from the past to avoid unnecessary shock and fear. And an environment like that is where development happens.

We need systems to develop because systems help us to use our experiences from the past.

Now, I’m a teenager who just got out of school. I am in an education system. We are all part of a long list of systems. Now in the light of what I just said,

Why do we need an education system?

We need an education system to avoid the uncertainty of how our lives are going to turn out. We need it to avoid possible future shocks. We need it to insure our future. Now it’s easy. Like a simple equation of x + y = z. You put in the effort and the grades and you get a good life. There’s order here. Now it’s no longer like seeing winter for the first time. You know the system, you know the future.

Or do you?

Today, many kids my age, put a gun to their heads because they think they’ve figured it all out. They look at the system, the system they know and are taught from day 1. They put in their grades and out come the result: ‘you loose’. So they come to the conclusion that their life is done.

We need systems, yes. But sometimes, they may be wrong. Our systems have been known to kick out many people. Can you sing? Big deal. This guy just put a rocket in space. You’re an artist? Big deal. This guy just made an engine.

Our systems are flawed and they’ll never be perfect. Knowing that is important . Why?

Because that might just save you. Grades are not everything. The score is not everything. You don’t have to crawl up in a corner and stamp SOS on yourself just because you didn’t pass your exam. Beat the system. Show them you exist and that there are people like you who deserve to be in the system and be a part of progress.

The God who made us knows the real system, the system that brings together every person on the world. Listen to him.

There are things in life that you need to change, but there are also things in life that you should never lose. Don’t lose them and beat the system. Keep them and beat it.

Like I said,

‘The world will only be it’s best when the people do what they do best.’

So, if you are out there and you are listening to me. Maybe you’re having a hard time. Maybe your talent deserves more than you get. Don’t settle for less and leave it behind. Keep it. Don’t let any system cut it out from you. Your talent is a gift only you can throw away. And when they tell you you’re a loser because you didn’t make straight As, don’t crawl up and cry. Stand up and throw away those labels. And then, beat the system.

What do you think about this?

Comment. Share. Be a part of the movement.

Thank you for being a part of the 4D family. 🙂

God bless!

challenge

3 Day Quote Challenge! Day 3

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Ooops!

Hey guys, I just wanted to apologise first to you all for doing my Day 3, 2 hours late. Does that still count. I am technically 2 hours and 30 minutes into Day 4. I got caught up with a lot of other things and I couldn’t make it in time. Anyway, I won’t let you down next time 🙂

But I’m still excited to do this.

Here are the rules:

  1. Thank the person who nominated you.
  2. Post a quote for three consecutive days.
  3. Nominate three other bloggers each day.

This is the last post of this challenge. I just wanted to thank 4 very special people for making this possible. If you haven’t checked them out yet, do me a favour and do so. I promise you, you’ll love them all! 🙂

1. Grief to life – https://grieftolife.com/
2.Sunshine – https://kerri-elizabeth.com/
3.Living What You Love – https://rominascorner.wordpress.com/
4.Stuart L. Tutt – https://stubaby777.wordpress.com/

Okay, here goes………….

The last quote of this challenge if from my post ‘Life’s Orchestra’. You can get the full post at https://thefourthdimensionoflife.wordpress.com/2017/05/11/lifes-orchestra/

Life is a song sung by you. It’s up to you whether to go solo or to form an orchestra.

Why I like this quote:

In the post, I tried to make a similarity between how every life is in fact a song and how no life is useless because every song has a listener who will understand and adore it. We all have different tastes. But this particular quote deals with how we produce our song. You can  stand out there on the canvas of time and sing it all alone. Or. You can bring in all those people who love and care for you. Sometimes it’s hard bringing in other people. It leads to a lot of contrasting opinions and preferences and sometimes ends in arguments. But. at the end of the day, you have a fullness to your song. You can’t play all the instruments. Life’s not a recording studio. It moves with time. The only way to put those instruments in your song and make it an explosive work of creativity is to be a team player.

I hope you liked this quote. What did you think of it?

Comment. Share. Be a part of the movement.

My nominees for today!

  1. Wordpalblog :- https://worldpal.blog/
  2. Quotes, Blogs and a Whole lot :- https://daradgamer.wordpress.com/
  3. Jessy :- https://faithandbooks.com/

Have a great day guys! I absolutely love you all! God bless! 🙂