Saturday, December 31, 2016

Goodbye 2016 and Hello 2017 #FridayReflections #WOTY

Today is the last day of 2016 and here in New Zealand in less than an hour we will clock over to 2017.

So how was my 2016?

All in all it wasn't a bad year. Work wise it was an extremely busy year. I like being busy but I hope that in 2017 I find more time to do the things I want to do.

My writing took a backseat this year and though I did post fairly regularly, the satisfaction of having done well isn't there. Don't know why, but I just felt my writing was too fragmented. I seem to be catching up rather than planning well and a little too much free writing (probably because I was always trying to catch up). I also feel my writing needs to take on a new direction. Let's see what 2017 brings forth.

My word for 2016 was "Creative" and though I didn't do too well on the writing front, my other creative pursuits like mixed media and crafting brought me great joy. I will definitely keep up with that in 2017.

And I did a little travelling too.  Spent Christmas in Nelson in the South Island of New Zealand. Such a lovely place. Will write some more on that in another post.

What's my word for 2017? 

Creative came to me so easily as my word for 2016. But my word for 2017 seemed so elusive. I thought of a few - focus, persevere, enjoy. But none of them seemed to resonate. I thought I might have to go with no word this year as nothing was coming to mind. That unfortunately made me very uncomfortable. Words have a way of forging a path so I was determined to find one.

Then a couple of hours ago, I stumbled upon a video on Mozart. Prior to that I sent up a prayer and asked for a word. And as I listened to Mozart's Symphony No. 40 in G minor, the word andante came flashing into my mind and would not leave.

So having looked up the meaning of andante "music tempo - at a walking pace" I decided that it was really the perfect word for 2017. 

Andante for me means, in general, slowing down the pace of life. 2016 seemed to fly by and I felt I didn't really savour the moments. Andante also signifies exercising but not at a crazy pace that puts my back out and perhaps I will pursue my desire to learn a musical instrument. On the writing front I hope I will not have to rush things and do some focussed writing.

So let's see how Andante unfolds for me.



What's your word for 2017?  Write a post or share in the comments

Wishing you all a Happy New Year. May 2017 bring you good health, success, prosperity, peace, joy and love.

Linking to:
#FridayReflections at Everyday Gyaan -  Reflect on 2016, the year gone by
#WOTY at Ramblin' with AM
New Year prompt at BlogChatter


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Monday, November 28, 2016

5 Hobbies #FridayReflections

Unfortunately I missed the Friday Reflections prompt last week and I really wanted to write on my 5 hobbies and why I love them. So thank you Sanch for the prompt this week - write on any November prompt.

Dictionary.com defines a hobby as "an activity or interest pursued for pleasure or relaxation and not as a main occupation".

When I was young I collected stamps and postcards.  I still have my collection tucked away in a box somewhere. I also loved writing letters and at a point in time I had over 100 pen friends. I shared my thoughts and my life with them through my letters. I also had a fascination for stationery. Paper gave me a great thrill and I was forever making things from origami to little books, cards etc. And I loved to paint and colour.

Unfortunatey stamps and postcards collecting has gone by the wayside as has snail mail letter writing. But some of my earlier hobbies have transformed into the hobbies of today  (in no particular order) ...

Writing
I love writing. It's been a passion not since my young but my little days. Writing is so therapeutic. When the world of blogging opened up it was like a fabulous gift that was given to me, a chance to share my thoughts with the world with the hope that my words inspire someone. I also love poetry and share my poems on my poetry blog Reflections of my soul.  Poetry brings me great joy. So in the end letter writing transformed into blogging. 

Watercolour Painting
In November 2015 I came across some youtube videos on watercolour painting and I had to try my hand with it. I absolutely loved it. I paint on postcard size paper so within 20 minutes a painting emerges. Painting is so relaxing and watercolours are so unpredictible that more often than not the effects they produce are unexpectedly delightful.

Mixed Media Art Journalling
When I was young, I used to keep diaries of my thoughts and ramblings but when I moved to NZ I destroyed my diaries. I have no regrets as they served their purpose at that time. Over the years I tried to pick it up again but couldn't sustain it. Then I discovered mixed media art journalling. Now this is so much fun. I keep my journalling simple - a mixed media picture, scene etc with some words to go with it.

Crafting - Card Making
Mixed media art journalling led to card making.  This year I decided to make all my cards - adding a personal touch. Card making really challenges my creative skills. I'm hoping that this and my watercolour painting are hobbies that I can convert into post retirement charitable creations. My aim is to create and then donate my creations to places like hospice shops so they can sell and keep the profits.

Photography
I've loved photography from ever since I can remember. My late father was an avid photographer and my love for photography comes from him.  Photography for me is not about taking the perfect picture but about capturing a moment in time that you can remember forever. My photoblog Photos Are Fun is my photo showcase.


Some of my creations ...

sharing my thoughts from a snail mail challenge - a letter I wrote to a blogger, and my photo

my watercolour painting - Mt Fuji and Cherry Blossoms - the story behind this painting

from my mixed media art journal - I love this quote.


 one of my handmade Christmas cards. a few more shown here


Written for:
#FridayReflections at The Write Tribe - 5 hobbies and why I love them

Linking to:
Inspire Me Monday week 256
#openslather at One Mother Hen
No Rules Weekend Party at Sincerely Paula
#MicroblogMonday #118
#MondayMusings



Wishing you all an inspirational week. What is your favourite hobby? Do share in the comments or write your own post.


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Wednesday, November 16, 2016

Remembering Me #FridayReflections

I actually wrote a post for the fairy tales prompt, but then the 7.8 Earthquake struck NZ and fairy tales seemed just so frivolous.

My late father always said to me that your true strength of character is shown in your lows not your highs. You certainly know who your friends are in your time of need and adversity certainly brings about a new perspective to life.

So heartened that so many friends and relatives all around the world took a minute of their time to send love and support to me and my loved ones here in NZ. You will never know how much strength that one minute of your time gave me. Thank you.

So in the light of that, I hope that these are the things I will be remembered for:

1. That when someone needed kindness and compassion, I was there for them. Even if it was a hello, thinking of you and hope you are well.

2. That I never gave up on my children and believed in them. When they needed that extra bit of motivation I was there to keep them going and when they doubted their abilities, I gave them a reason to believe again and loved them unconditionally. I also gave them the freedom to live life on their terms and that I was accepting of their fears and anxieties. I also hope I gave them the courage to face their fears and overcome them.

3. That wherever possible, I tried to make a difference in someone's life. Even if it was just words of encouragement.

4. That my writing inspired somone, gave them hope, brought them peace. And for some it became a  catalyst to challenge their own way of thinking.

5. That my spiritual ramblings found their way into someone's heart and set them on their own spiritual path.

6. That my wild and wonderful imagination was a source of amusement and joy for some.

7. That I never lost my faith and trust in God and that all my actions showed my love for Him. Particularly in my writing, my poetry, my art, and other creative expressions.

8. That I had a sense of humour and could see the funny side of things.

9. That at times my keyboard and I made some great sounding music together.

10. And finally that I took life as it came with acceptance that life is exactly as it should be and that I lived it best I could mostly with a smile on my face.


Written for:
#FridayReflections at The Write Tribe - List 10 things you hope to be remembered for


What would you like to be remembered for? Share in the comments or write your own post.

Be safe, stay safe and take care.


Warm Regards
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Monday, October 24, 2016

Dwelling On Dreams #FridayReflections #MondayMusings

It does not do to dwell on dreams and forget to live.” says J K Rowling.



I'm a dreamer and dreaming makes life exciting. Dwelling on dreams is what I do best so I cannot imagine a life without dreams.

In my view, when we dwell on dreams these are sure pointers to our destinies. Dreams are our future realities.

So let's not generalise for we are all different and what's good for one may not be good for another.

When I was young, I thought that each of us have an angel and we were our angel's dream. As long as the angel was dreaming, we were alive

So from my perspective dreaming is living.

What's your view? Do you agree with JK Rowling's perspective on dreams and living?


Written for:
#FridayReflections at The Write Tribe - prompt write on JK Rowlings quote
#MicroblogMondays
#MondayMusings at Everyday Gyaan.


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Sunday, October 9, 2016

The Steps Of The Temple #FridayReflections #SoCS

Update - my post was chosen as the featured post. Thank you Write Tribe



picture prompt at the Write Tribe.


Myra stood rivetted at the scene in front of her. There was something vaguely familiar which perplexed her as she had never been here before. Perhaps she had seen a picture somewhere or perhaps her mind was imagining this was familiar as she held the brochure in her hand.  The tour guide was explaining something so Myra turned her attention to him. But that nagging familiar feeling would not leave her.

Mirabai sat on the steps of the temple with tambura (musical instrument) in hand. She had dedicated her life to her beloved Lord Krishna. She would sing devotional songs to Him. People came from near and far to listen. Her poetic verses and the soothing sound of her tambura would put people into a trance like state. There was a feeling of divinity associated with her. The people felt the presence of the Great Spirit when Mirabai sang.

"This was the temple dedicated to Lord Krishna where Mirabai would sing her devotional songs" said the tour guide. "It is said that one day Mirabai walked into the temple and disappeared" he explained. "The people believe that the Lord Himself came to take her. All they found was her tambura at the feet of the idol of Lord Krishna" he continued. 

Myra felt a chill go up her spine. As they turned to leave, Myra heard the faint sound of the tambura. "Did you hear that" she asked her friend. "Not dreaming again are you Myra", her friend teased. Myra was silent, but the sound of the tambura filled her ears. "I need a sign" she prayed silently.

The little boy tugged at her skirt, a peacock feather in hand. He held it out to her. "10 paise" he said quietly. As she handed him the coin, the little boy grinned. "The tambura is blissful is it not?" he whispered.

 Written for:
#FridayReflections at The Write Tribe - Picture prompt
#SoCS - stream of consciousness - no editing - prompt Coin.

Sometimes prompts just fire up the imagination. Both prompts did that and got the thoughts flowing.



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Sunday, September 18, 2016

Il Mondo #FridayReflections

image source http://www.ahdwallpaper.net/wp-content/uploads/2015/02/Love-Birds-Swans-Hearts-HQ-Image.jpg

It was time for Isabella to go. She had spent wonderful years with her family and her four boys had grown up strong and confident. She looked back on her life to the days when she played in the fields with her friends and of the day Lazzaro and she married. She smiled as she looked at him for he meant the world to her. God had truly blessed her.

Lazzaro carried her out into the field that she loved and cradled her in his arms. She looked up at him for the last time.  "Lazzaro" she whispered, "Il mondo, you are my world".  Then she closed her eyes forever.  Lazzaro held her close and wept. He felt the life force within him drain out. Yet he lived. "How will I live without you Izzy" he sobbed, "Your love is all I need in my world".

Lazzaro was surrounded by his grandchildren and they brought him happiness.  After Isabella's death his life revolved around them. But deep inside a sadness still existed.

Angelina his daughter-in-law had just given birth. Lazzaro held the baby in his arms. There was something special about this one. As he gazed at her, he felt a life spark and joy filled his heart. "Izzy" he whispered. "Izzy".

Little Isabella loved her big papa above anyone else. The two shared a unique bond that was incomprehensible to most. "Big papa Lazzaro, il mondo, you are my world" Isabella would say as she snuggled up to him as he read stories to all his grandchildren.

Angelina worried about Little Izzy. After grandpa Lazzaro's death six month's ago she withdrew into a world of solitude and sadness. They had tried everything to draw her out, but Izzy's despair knew no bounds. It was difficult to take her out anywhere as her behaviour was sullen and rude so Angelina usually left her at home with the rest of the family. 

But today there was no baby sitter and Angelina was compelled to take her out.  "Dear God", she prayed. "I don't know what fate has in store today, but please let it go well today".

Maria's baby was a  month old.  He was a beautiful baby. Izzy watched him play, mesmerised and spellbound. Something stirred within her soul and she felt a life spark and a joy fill her heart.

"What have you named him?" asked Angelina. "We are unable to settle on a name" Maria replied.  "Lazzaro" said three year old Izzy excitedly. "Lazzaro, il mondo, my world".

~x~

Isabella - Promise of God
Lazzaro - My helper is God
Angelina - God's messenger

It is my belief that soulmates come together in many lifetimes in many ways. Sometimes as romantic partners but also as friends, siblings, parents / children, grandparents / grandchildren, workmates etc.

Contrary to popular belief that soulmates sometimes come together to tear each other apart, it is my belief that soulmate relationships are always harmonious. That does not mean that they don't face difficulties, but that through those, their relationship remains harmonious. 

I also believe that the term "soulmate" is too loosely used these days. Soul mates recognise each other at the soul level. I believe there is great familiarity, peace, contentment, joy in that recognition and both give each other great strength. I also believe that soulmates incarnate on Earth for a common purpose usually in some service for the good of humanity.



https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PpcIETFP2w8


Stay beside me, stay beside me
Say you'll never leave me
How I love you, how I love you
How I need you please believe me
In your arms I found my heaven
And your lips have done their part
Il Mondo
Your love is all I need in my world
Let tender kisses plead in my world
How could I ever live without you
Il Mondo
My heart belongs to you so take it
And promise me you'll never break it
Say you'll stay here in my arms

Gira, il mondo gira
Nello spazio senza fine
Con gli amori appena nati
Con gli amori già finiti
Con la gioia e col dolore
Della gente come me
Un mondo
Soltanto adesso, io ti guardo
Nel tuo silenzio io mi perdo
E sono niente accanto a te
Il mondo
Non si é fermato mai un momento
La notte insegue sempre il giorno
Ed il giorno verrà

Translation from http://lyricstranslate.com/en/il-mondo-world.html
Spiraling, The world goes around
in limitless space
where the Love has just begun
where the love has been over
where people are happy or hurt
as me
The World
Until now I look at you
I am lost in your silence world
I am nothing beside you
The World
never stops
Night is always following day
And the daylight will come


Written for:
#FridayReflections at The Write Tribe - prompt - Use the lyrics of your favourite song as the basis of a short story or a post


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Friday, August 12, 2016

Patsy My #Doll #FridayReflections

I was about 2.5 years old when my dad brought me Patsy from his trip to England.  She became my favourite doll and companion.

Patsy traveled with me wherever we went. She has seen the Himalayas in the North of India and  Kanyakumari which is the southern most tip of India and many other places in between.

I learned to stitch because of Patsy as I stitched all her clothes. I celebrated her birthday with a party for all the other dolls. My cousins were invited and they all arrived with their dolls.

Patsy has even been to my primary school for a show and tell session.

Patsy has blue eyes and closes them when placed vertically.

I still have my Patsy though she now lives in a box on a shelf.  Perhaps I will bring her out again.

Here is a picture of a doll that resembles Patsy though I think my Patsy was so much sweeter and her original dress was with white and red checks.


image source http://img.bidorbuy.co.za/image/upload/user_images/193/1702193/1702193_151118072958_20151117_153442.jpg


Written for:
 #Friday Reflections at the Write Tribe  prompt A well loved toy from my childhood.


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Sunday, August 7, 2016

Make No Promises #BarAThon

Make no promises. Promises keep you focused on what your mind wants you to do.

But it is the soul that knows the path you must take and that may not be the path you promised yourself or others.

When your mind is in alignment with your soul, you are in what sports people describe as "being in the zone".

How do you bring your mind in alignment with your soul - it is only with total surrender. It is what I call going with the Universal flow.

The way I exist is to simply live each day as it comes with total surrender to my Lord Rama / Lord Krishna  knowing without a shadow of doubt that He exists with me every moment of every day. And that he guides my path and takes me where I am meant to be.

I make no promises. I just know that I am in the zone when I feel the joy and bliss.

If you must make a promise, make the promise that you will do what brings your soul joy and then surrender to it.

Two years ago I wrote a post on "Paddling Downstream" as part of the AtoZ challenge. This post gives a more detailed perspective of surrender.


“The peace of God is with them whose mind and soul are in harmony, who are free from desire and wrath, who know their own soul.” 


The senses are higher than the body, the mind higher than the senses; 
above the mind is the intellect, and above the intellect is the Atman (soul). 
Thus, knowing that which is supreme, let the Atman rule the ego.
~ Lord Krishna to Prince Arjuna, Bhagavad Gita


Krishna Arjuna Bhagwat Gita
image source http://www.widehdwallpapers.in/lord-krishna/krishna-arjuna-bhagwat-gita.html


I am participating in the Blog-a-rhythm Blogathon. A 7 day blogging festival. 
I am with Team #CrimsonRush
Day 7 prompt is Promise



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Saturday, August 6, 2016

Wishful Thinking #BarAThon

As soon as I saw this prompt the song Wishful Thinking by Jim Reeves came to mind:

Wishful thinking daydreams fly
Happy visions fill the night
Untold memories fade to blue
While my heart aches just for you

Oh I would walk a thousand miles
I'd walk the seven seas
I'd come to stars in the Milky Way
Or leaves upon the trees

To see the twinkle in your eye
The devil in your smile
Hold your had touch your lips
For just a little while
(sung by Jim Reeves)

And that reminds me of Meerabai.


Meerabai sat in front of her beloved Krishna and sang the poems she composed about Him: "Mere to Giridhar Gopal dusro na koi" (For me it's only Lord Krishna and no one else).


She had dedicated her life to him. And singing to Him brought her the greatest joy and bliss. 

There was this knowing within her that her beloved Krishna was always by her side and that she shared a unique, special and eternal bond with Him. She knew that someday He would come for her.

The people thought her fanciful ideas were simply wishful thinking. The Lord doesn't just come because you call. But Meerabai steadfastly sang her devotion to her Lord.

It is said that one day Meerabai walked into the temple and vanished. It is believed that in the end her beloved Krishna came to take her to His Spiritual Abode.


File:Mirabai and Krishna.jpg
source https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Mirabai_and_Krishna.jpg


I believe that when we wish sincerely with a pure heart, with true devotion and love and if our wish benefits many, our prayers are always answered.

Lord Krishna says that the way to reach Him is only through love and devotion.



https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FMtPn6-fjq0


I am participating in the Blog-a-rhythm Blogathon. A 7 day blogging festival. 
I am with Team #CrimsonRush
Day 6 prompt is Wishful Thinking




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Friday, August 5, 2016

Tiny Shoes #BarAThon

Indra the King of the demi Gods was irate. "How dare they not worship me" he thundered.

Indra's thunderbolts created the fiercest storm Vrindavan had ever seen.

Little Krishna called the people to shelter under Goverdhan Mountain which he lifted with his little finger.

The storm raged for 6 days and all the while Krishna held the mountain aloft and played his flute.

Eventually Indra gave up. The storm ceased and the waters receded.

There are many lessons in this story but the one that matches today's prompt is:

Never judge anyone by the size of their shoes. Sometimes tiny shoes are extremely large shoes to fill.


Watch this little Krishna story for more details on Krishna and Govardhan Mountain.


https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vzOhVnUA5eE


The Krishna Govardhan Mountain story is one of my favourite Krishna stories. Do you have a favourite story?


I am participating in the Blog-a-rhythm Blogathon. A 7 day blogging festival. 
I am with Team #CrimsonRush
Day 5 prompt is Tiny Shoes



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Thursday, August 4, 2016

Caught Red Handed #BarAThon

Young Kanha (Lord Krishna) and his friends looked around for the pot of butter. Krishna loved butter. But today they could not find any pots.

Yashoda maiya (mother) had cleverly tied them together suspended from the ceiling.

As Krishna and his friends contemplated their next move, a little bit of butter slipped from one of the pots. The treasure had been found.

The young boys climbed on each other's shoulders and reached those elusive pots of butter. Then followed a butter feast.

Yashoda maiya was returning on home and on hearing her footsteps the young lads ran. The door opened and maiya gazed in anguish at the pots of butter and at young Krishna.

Caught red handed the young Kanha cautiously licked the last of the butter off his face.

"Did you eat the butter?" demanded an annoyed maiya.

"Mein nahi makhan khayo" (I did not eat the butter) said young Krishna with the most innocent of faces and the most endearing of eyes.

"Open your mouth" demanded maiya. Lord Krishna opened his mouth and showed her the entire Universe.



Janmashtami is the festival to celebrate Lord Krishna's birth.

When I was young, the residents of the lane where I lived would tie a pot of yoghurt with some  money. People would simulate Lord Krishna and his friends to get at the pot.

They heralded their arrival with the song "Govinda Ala Re Ala" (Govinda = Lord Krishna, has come)

I really enjoyed watching them but I believe this is now banned in Mumbai.  Such a pity. This is one childhood memory that is etched in my mind.

Here is a video of a Bollywood movie depicting the festival.


https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Z60TE_JDsJE


Share a memory of a festival you really enjoy.


I am participating in the Blog-a-rhythm Blogathon. A 7 day blogging festival. 
I am with Team #CrimsonRush
Day 4 prompt is Caught Red Handed

BARATHON


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Wednesday, August 3, 2016

Fragile Lives #BarAThon

I'm really struggling with the prompts on this BarAThon.

This prompt somehow brings negative thoughts into my mind, but I want to write a positive spin on this. So again  I'm going to just let my fingers fly across the keyboard and let them take me where this post is meant to be.

I've written about this story before but for some reason I am compelled to write again so here it is again.

25 years ago one afternoon while we driving down to do our grocery shopping, the song "My Sweet Lord" by George Harrison was playing on the radio and I was singing along. 

Just as the song ended, the car had a complete mechanical meltdown. The steering wheel locked, the accelerator jammed, the brakes failed and we were on a curve on the motorway. There was nothing we could do but to let the car go. It kept veering fast, crossed 2 lanes, crashed into a high bank and flipped over 3 times. 

As we were racing towards that bank, I heard this voice, loud and clear, that we should relax and roll with the car not resist the roll, and that all will be well. I remember saying calmly to my daughter "We're having an accident, roll with the car. We'll be ok".

The car was completely smashed and if you had seen it you never would've believed we came out of it alive let alone without a scratch on us. And it amazes me to this day how calm I was through the whole thing. I actually counted the rolls.


Life can be so unpredictable and change in an instant. But though life can be so fragile, I do believe that we are never alone.  

I have always believed that My Sweet Lord was with me that day who saved us, held us in His arms, protected us, reassured us and comforted us and kept me calm in what were the most terrifying moments of my life.



My sweet Lord
I really want to see you
Really want to be with you
Really want to see you Lord
But it takes so long, my Lord
My sweet Lord
I really want to know you ...

Here's a link to my earlier post that describes my moment of realization of My Sweet Lord.


Share a moment when life felt so fragile and yet something good came of it.


I am participating in the Blog-a-rhythm Blogathon. A 7 day blogging festival. 
I am with Team #CrimsonRush
Day 3 prompt is Fragile Lives


BARATHON


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Tuesday, August 2, 2016

What You Don't Know #BarAThon

This prompt had me scratching my head for ideas but I just turned up with blanks. So as always I thought I would do a free write and see where my thoughts take me.

I really wanted to write on a spiritual theme but perhaps today I'm not supposed to. Instead the thought of the things that you perhaps don't know about me keeps going around in my head So here are some things that you don't know about me.

I was 2 years old when I took my first trip overseas to Singapore from Bombay. The flights back then took almost 12 hours and the propeller jets made the most awful noise. I screamed my head off for most of the flight and broke my mother's watch. Having heard this story from my mother, I now have a great tolerance for kids on planes.

I was about 6 years old when my dad bought me a puzzle book. Quite similar to the logic puzzles you get today I absolutely loved the book and it began my love affair with puzzles, one of the many things I had in common with my dad  When Sudoku came into existence, both my dad and I took to it like a duck to water. My dad had a routine of solving sudoku and word puzzles everyday. I try and solve one sudoku puzzle everyday usually on the bus home from work.

I was about 8 years old when at a movie (can't remember which one), they were handing out a  picture for a colouring competition held by Eagle flasks. My dad sent my colouring in and I won the 3rd prize - you guessed it, an Eagle flask.  Don't remember what the picture was but I do remember I coloured it in various shades of green and blue. And I don't know why that sticks so much in my memory.

Do share some of your What You Don't Know things.


I am participating in the Blog-a-rhythm Blogathon. A 7 day blogging festival. 
I am with Team #CrimsonRush
Day 2 prompt is What You Don't Know.



BARATHON


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Monday, August 1, 2016

Stranger Than Fiction #BarAThon

My mother was in hospital about 2 weeks ago. She suddenly took ill. I thought she was having a stroke but thank goodness it was ruled out.

She had just entered the house and suddenly became incoherent and was unable to stand. Just the thought that this could have happened while she was driving scares me. But I am sure Universal forces brought her home safely.

And ever since then my youtube recommendations have come up with kirtan music.  Perhaps the Universe is beckoning me as well.

Do the worlds outside our world, that vast cosmos fascinate you? Do you feel those Universal forces?

I have been meditating for years and now and then I connect with Divine forces. Sometimes I get a glimpse of something that is beyond human comprehension.  Sometimes I feel loving energies around me. And lately having taken to kirtan I am able to reach that moment of peaceful ecstasy more often than not.

I am certain that the Great Spirit, the Divine calls us to reach that place of bliss. How that occurs is a mystery but when it does it is a feeling sublime. He and His ways are truly stranger than fiction and yet we follow Him with unwavering faith and devotion.

Hare Rama Hare Krishna.

By whatever name you call Him, may you all feel that bliss when He calls.

If you haven't tried kirtan before I highly recommend it. Check these out:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VP623hMbAIA 
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-LdNrXaoT24


I am participating in the Blog-a-rhythm Blogathon. A 7 day blogging festival.

I am with Team #CrimsonRush

Day 1 prompt is Stranger Than Fiction.

BARATHON


Warm Regards
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Saturday, July 16, 2016

Remembering #Songs - Pritam Aan Milo

I am participating in the Write Tribe Festival Of Words. This is a 7 day festival from 10 July to 16 July.


My theme is "Remembering Songs". These are songs that trigger some memory.

I started this festival with songs I associate with my mother so it's only fair that I end the festival with a song that I associate with my father.

My song for day 7 is Pritam Aan Milo (Beloved Come Meet) by C.H Atma. Even though my dad wasn't musically inclined I would often hear him sing this song in his baritone voice.

In the last year of his life I heard him sing this a lot. I often wonder if he was being called to his Spiritual home.

After his death I searched youtube for the song and started loving it too. Whenever I hear this song I think of my dad.


https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=oPoVTL8Sa2c


Do you have a song you suddenly started to like? Share a song that means a lot to you.


My posts so far:
Day 1 -  Asmara
Day 2 -  Twilight On The Trail
Day 3 -  Moon River
Day 4 -  Amapola
Day 5 -  Arrivederci Roma
Day 6 -  Born Free



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Friday, July 15, 2016

Remembering #Songs - Born Free

I am participating in the Write Tribe Festival Of Words. This is a 7 day festival from 10 July to 16 July.



My theme is "Remembering Songs". These are songs that trigger some memory.

I had my day 7 all set but a song for Day 6  seemed to evade me.  You may wonder why I didn't use the day 7 song for day 6. But there is a method in my madness.

Then as I was browsing through youtube I came across Born Free and I knew that was my song for day 6.

I was about 9 or 10 I think when my dad took me to see the movie which is a true story about Elsa the Lioness and her beautiful relationship with Joy and George Adamson.

My favourite part of the movie was the ending. I thought it was so cute and the song was just perfect.

I also read the books written by Joy Adamson. Here are 2 of them. Couldn't find the last one Forever Free.


My favourite scene from the movie. Lions are so majestic and the cubs are so cute.


https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kB5iodUkBaI


So much of turbulence in the world right now. We are born free but are we living free and in the future will we stay free?  What do you think?


My posts so far:
Day 1 -  Asmara
Day 2 -  Twilight On The Trail
Day 3 -  Moon River
Day 4 -  Amapola
Day 5 -  Arrivederci Roma


Day 6 linkup


Warm Regards
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Thursday, July 14, 2016

Remembering #Songs - Arrivederci Roma

I am participating in the Write Tribe Festival Of Words. This is a 7 day festival from 10 July to 16 July.



My theme is "Remembering Songs". These are songs that trigger some memory.

Day 5  takes me back to 1993-1994 when I travelled to England and Europe.

We were 14 family members (5 children and 9 adults) who came from around the world for a trip around Europe. We hired a mini bus and a driver and travelled from London to Paris, Lucerne, Florence, Rome, Venice, Heidelberg and Cologne.

But my song today is about the beautiful city of Rome. It is one of my favourite cities in the world. And I hope that someday I will visit again.

I enjoyed visiting all the places and it was exciting to look forward to the next city. But I was really sad to leave Rome. I felt as if I was leaving a part of me behind. So as our bus pulled out of Rome, we all waved goodbye and sang Arrivederci Roma (Goodbye Rome).

Rome is a city you never forget.

But here is a video with some nice scenes of Rome that brought back many memories of a beautiful city and time with family of which 2 have said their final goodbyes - my dad and my aunt (dad's sister).


https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TqyMoP1Ph4A


Do you have a favourite city? Share a special memory from that city.


My posts so far:
Day 1 -  Asmara
Day 2 -  Twilight On The Trail
Day 3 -  Moon River
Day 4 -  Amapola


Day 5 linkup


Warm Regards
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Wednesday, July 13, 2016

Remembering #Songs - Amapola

I am participating in the Write Tribe Festival Of Words. This is a 7 day festival from 10 July to 16 July.



My theme is "Remembering Songs". These are songs that trigger some memory.

As day 3 was for my daughter Day 4 is dedicated to my son the night owl.

When he was a baby he had this uncanny knack of  waking up at precisely 11pm each night. This was his time to play. He rarely cried but his baby gurgling  wouldn't allow me to sleep. How can you be cross with your baby who looks like an angel and just wants to be loved and cuddled?

So the two of us would move into the lounge and there I would rock him in my arms and sing Amapola. That always seemed to calm and quieten him down and he would slowly drift off to sleep. I used to hum and sing this song a lot when I was pregnant and perhaps it was familiar to him.

It's such a beautiful song and such a lovely catchy melody. It's one of the songs I hum or sing often. Always makes me happy.


https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=INcRW7w6-8o

Poppy, pretty little poppy
My soul will always be only yours
I love you my dear child
As the flower loves daylight

Poppy, pretty little poppy
Don't be so hard and love me
Poppy, poppy
How can you live so alone?


Do you have a "go to" song whenever you need to calm down?


My posts so far:
Day 1 -  Asmara
Day 2 -  Twilight On The Trail
Day 3 -  Moon River


Day 4 linkup


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Tuesday, July 12, 2016

Remembering #Songs - Moon River

I am participating in the Write Tribe Festival Of Words. This is a 7 day festival from 10 July to 16 July.



My theme is "Remembering Songs". These are songs that trigger some memory.


"Moon River" from the movie "Breakfast at Tiffany's"  is my song for day 3.

I was 11 years old when I saw this movie on a luxury cruise liner from Singapore to Hong Kong. And since then I've loved this song.

Many years later my daughter and I  watched it together. It's one of our favourite "watch together" movies, And at every trip to New York walking past Tiffany's is a must.

Here is the song from the movie sung by Audreey Hepburn one of my favourite actresses.


https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BOByH_iOn88


Do you have  a favourite "watch together" movie?


My posts so far:
Day 1 -  Asmara
Day 2 -  Twilight On The Trail

Day 3 linkup


Warm Regards
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Monday, July 11, 2016

Remembering #Songs - Twilight on the Trail

I am participating in the Write Tribe Festival Of Words. This is a 7 day festival from 10 July to 16 July.



My theme is "Remembering Songs". These are songs that trigger some memory

Carrying on from day 1 that had songs from my childhood, day 2 is all about the songs that I skipped and danced to when I was little - say about 10 years old.

Nat King Cole's Ramblin' Rose album was a big hit in our home, We had a big lounge and verandah and whenever we listened to this album my mom, brother and I would sing together and I would start my skipping. Those were such joyful days.

The musical side of us comes from my mother. My father on the hand was a sportsman. I did the singing with my mother and walking with my father,

One of the songs on the album that I loved was Twilight On The Trail. Back then I didn't understand the meaning of the song I just loved the rhythm and the tune. And it had a good beat for skipping. In fact most of the songs on the album were good for skipping.

I love the simplicity of life depicted in this song: We should be like this - in tune with nature and content with life just the way it is.

When it's twilight on the trail,
And I jog along, 
The world is like a dream 
And the ripple of the stream is my song.

When it's twilight on the trail,
And I rest once more, 
My ceiling is the sky 
And the grass on which I lie is my floor.

Never ever have a nickel in my jeans,
Never ever have a debt to pay, 
Still I understand what real contentment means, 
Guess I was born that way.

When it's twilight on the trail,
And my voice is still, 
Please plant this heart of mine 
Underneath the lonesome pine on the hill


Twilight on the trail - Nat King Cole from the album we had shown in this video.


https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=T9D9IEdEQ2k


Is there a song that brings back a childhood memory? Write a post or share in a comment.


My posts so far:
Day 1 -  Asmara

Day 2 linkup 


Warm Regards
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Sunday, July 10, 2016

Remembering #Songs - Asmara

I am participating in the Write Tribe Festival Of Words. This is a 7 day festival from 10 July to 16 July.



My theme is "Remembering Songs". These are songs that trigger some memory.

Day 1 begins with songs my mother used to sing to me in Malay (Bahasa Melayu / Bahasa Indonesia).

So while my friends were learning nursery rhymes I was learning these songs. I was 2 years old when I learned my first song - Burong Kakatua - a song about a cockatoo.

 I remember my mother had a record of Anneke Gronloh who sang these songs.  And I think her favourite was Asmara. I can still see her singing it and later when I grew up we used to sing it together. Haven't done that for a while now.

I love listening to these songs even though I don't understand every word. The melodies are lovely.

Isn't that the best thing about music - you don't need to understand the words, just the melodies can touch your soul.

So here are some songs for your listening pleasure

Asmara - a song about heartbreak


https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=t4Qox6PMzGg


Burong Kakatua - the first song I ever learned. The record cover shown is one of the ones we had.


https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jEi4577ByjY


Bengawan Solo - an Indonesian folk song about the river Solo. Another one of my favourites. This version is very soulful.


https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1hvdpavLYGk


What was the first song you learned?  Write a post or leave a comment.

Day 1 linkup


Warm Regards
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Sunday, June 12, 2016

Embracing the Journal Again #SoCS #FridayReflections

I love paper so it's not surprising that all through my childhood and youth I spent hours making things out of paper and writing letters to hundreds of penpals. And in amongst all that I also kept a diary.

Then as youth faded into adulthood, the diary became a thing of the past and journaling a forgotten activity.

Then along came the web and my blogs became my journals.  Alongside that I tried to resurrect the diary but after a couple of pages my enthusiasm waned.

In late 2015 I took up watercolour painting and one morning during my browsing for art supplies and Christmas presents I found a set of journals that I simply had to buy.

I thought a lot about journaling again bnt couldn't bring myself to start. Then as I started searching youtube for watercolour tutorials I came across the concept of the art journal. And that I embraced eagerly.

There is no set pattern for journaling. I journal when I feel the need to. Art journaling is so much fun and pictures speak a thousand words. I do write some short notes about the page - mostly why I did that page and if I tried any new techniques.

Sharing some pages from my mixed media art journal.




In the darkness someone lights a candle that ignites your soul 
- taken from my story "For I have talked with God"



 

Today's entry - I needed to reach out to my soul 
and that was best done listening to Santana's Samba Pa Ti

Written for:
#FridayReflections - Do you keep a journal?
#SoCS - Stream of Consciousness - just writing no editing - prompt = a word that has the letters "mb"


Do you journal?  Would love to hear your stories so do share by leaving a comment or write a post.


Warm Regards
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