Tuesday, April 30, 2013

UBC 30 - AtoZ - Zip-a-dee-doo-dah

Day 30 of the Ultimate Blogging Challenge and the letter  Z  for the  AtoZ Blogging Challenge.

Z is for .... ZIP-A-DEE-DOO-DAH

I've really enjoyed the A to Z Challenge and the Ultimate Blogging Challenge - both writing and reading blogs. But I'm also glad we've reached the end.

It has consumed a lot of my time and now looking forward to some Zzzzz time as well.

But for all of us who made it to the end ...

Zip-a-dee doo-dah 
Wonderful feeling, wonderful day
My, oh, my 
What a wonderful day! 
Plenty of sunshine
Heading my way

I am truly thankful to all the wonderful people who came with me on this journey - who took the time to read my posts, comment and encourage me.  You are friends that truly make me feel  Zipadeedoodah.

Enjoy the song

Have a Zipadeedoodah day

Warm Regards

Monday, April 29, 2013

UBC 29 - AtoZ - Yellow

Day 29 of the Ultimate Blogging Challenge and the letter  Y  for the  AtoZ Blogging Challenge.

Y is for ...  YELLOW

Yellow is such a happy, sunny colour. So I thought I would just post some pictures with a yellow theme.

I love bananas

Capsicum looked so colourful

Dahlia in my garden

Daffodil in my garden

Yellow kites somewhere in Gujarat 
There was something very eye-catching about these.

Have a Sunny day

Warm Regards

Sunday, April 28, 2013

UBC 28 - La Vie En Rose

Day 28

Pretty Preetilata posted an awesome post on her blog - My White Window and it was so much fun I thought I would play along and do a post as well

The rules are:

1. Put your Music Player on Shuffle Mode.
2. For each question, press the 'Next' button to get your answer.
3. You must write the name of the song no matter what it turns out to be.
4. No cheating.

So here goes ...

1. If someone says "Is this okay?", you say"

Donna - Donny Osmond

 2. What would best describe your personality?
Naina lagai ke - Asha Bhosle, Ustad Shujaat Khan  

3. What do you like in a guy/girl?

The way you look tonight – Elton John 

4. How do you feel today?

I feel the earth move – Carole King  

5. What is your life's motto?

You raise me up – Becky Taylor 

6. What do you think of your parents?

If I needed someone, (you’re the one that I’d be thinking of )– George Harrison

7. What do you think about very often?
Lead Kindly Light – from the album Ishvar Allah Tere Naam. 
Lead Thou me on
Keep Thou my feet, I do not ask to see the distant scene,
One step enough for me

8. What is 2+2?

I do, I do, I do, I do, I do - Abba  

9. What do you think of your best friend?
Bhaje Govinda (my foolish heart) - Krishna Das 

10. What do you think of the person you like? 

Besame Mucho – Andrea Bocelli  

11. What is your life story?

Kyon Hawa – Veer Zara – Sonu Nigam   
(Yep, life pretty much keeps me guessing!)

12. What do you want to be when you grow up?

Teddy Bear - Elvis  
(oh dear Lord!) 

13. What do you think when you see the person you like?

Love Me Tonight – Tom Jones   

14. What do your parents think of you?

A Hard Day’s Night – The Beatles 
         (He he)

15. What will you dance to on your wedding?
There’s a kind of Hush – Hermans Hermits

16. What will they play at your funeral?

Winter World of Love – Engelbert Humperdink

17.What's your biggest secret?

Your Song – Elton John.
 I don't have much, but it's the best I can do, my gift is my song and this one's for you

18. What do you think about your friends?

Blood on the Dance Floor – Michael Jackson
this made me chuckle ... 
 Susie got your number
And Susie ain't your friend
Look who took you under
With seven inches in
Blood is on the dance floor
Blood is on the knife
Susie's got your number
And Susie says its right

19. What should you post this as?

La Vie En Rose – Celine Dion
Love this song. One of the best love songs ever written.
So here is Celine Dion's version with translation 

Enjoy your day and post your answers or write a post and I'll be sure to check it out.

Warm Regards

Saturday, April 27, 2013

UBC 27 - AtoZ - IX X XI

Day 27  of the Ultimate Blogging Challenge and the letter  X  for the  AtoZ Blogging Challenge.

X is for ...  IX  X  XI

IX - Standard 9 -  The best year in school. 
We had the most awesome class teacher ever - he was the epitome of everything a teacher should be. He was firm but very kind and he made learning fun. 
He was also our English language and literature teacher and "My Family and Other Animals" is a book that is etched in our minds. Literature became one of my favourite subjects because of the way he taught it.
My first crush at school - he was so sweet and cuteness personified. A corner of my heart still belongs to him. I had my first ever school dance with him - the memories of that magical moment never leave.
And I won 3rd prize for Hindi Elocution after making a complete hash of it the year before. 

X - Standard 10 - The Map Room
Our classroom was called the Geography or Map room as it had maps hung everywhere not for decor but storage but it seemed like the maps were for decor!  I think it was the brightest and airiest classroom of all in the whole school.
Our class teacher was our Geography teacher as well. For some unknown reason I was one of her favourite students and hence I scored over 90% in Geography that year. 

XI - Standard 11 - Last year at school
We were the privileged class to have the most coveted classroom tucked away behind the school gym. 
The room had wooden slats in its windows and a birds eye view of the whole school. No one could look into it but it was a vantage point to watch all comings and goings and to alert the class when the teacher walked towards it.
It was sad leaving school - so many wonderful memories and so many friends left behind. But thanks to FB so many are back in touch again.

Here are some pictures of my Standard 9 classroom that I took on my last visit. Such a thrill to go back and find that of the few classrooms that were unlocked, my std 9 class was one of them.

The classroom is back to front now and blackboards replaced by whiteboards 
but otherwise pretty much the same!

my desk - except we faced the other way.

Enjoy this clip from "To Sir With Love" - another awesome movie that brings back a few memories.


So grateful for the wonderful memories of an awesome time in school.

Have an eXcellent day.

Warm Regards

Friday, April 26, 2013

UBC 26 - AtoZ - Waterfall

Day 26  of the Ultimate Blogging Challenge and the letter  W  for the  AtoZ Blogging Challenge.

W is for ... WATERFALL

Linking to Haiku Heights Waterfall prompt

Horseshoe or Canadian falls taken in Summer

Oh Niagara!
Thundering, tumbling waters
Demanding respect

The Niagara Falls are truly a sight to behold. I've been there twice - once in Summer and once at the tail end of Autumn.

Here are some more pictures of this grand waterfall

American falls in Summer

American falls in Autumn

Horseshoe or Canadian falls in Autumn

Rainbow bridge in Autumn

Canadian falls from inside the tunnel behind the falls

So grateful to have seen some awesome forces of Nature and the colours of Autumn that are spectacular.

Have a wonderful day

Warm Regards

Thursday, April 25, 2013

UBC 25 - AtoZ - Voices

Day 25  of the Ultimate Blogging Challenge and the letter  V  for the  AtoZ Blogging Challenge.

V is for  ...  VOICES

Thought it was time to write a poem.  Sharing the poem from my poetry blog  ...

image source wikipedia

Take the road less travelled
Said a thought inside my head
That road is long and gravelled
But to treasures you'll be led

Take the next detour
Said a thought inside my head
Though it drizzles, maybe pours
But to sunshine you'll be led

The feet they keep to familiar path
Squashed is the thought inside my head
Then Spirit nudges without wrath
The road I walk is shred

You cannot reach the highest heights
If you cannot try be bold
Learn not to push away or fight
The voices of your soul

Have a happy day.

Warm Regards

Wednesday, April 24, 2013

UBC 24 - AtoZ - Up Where We Belong

Day 24  of the Ultimate Blogging Challenge and the letter  U  for the  AtoZ Blogging Challenge.

U is for  ...  Up Where We Belong

Thought I would do a song and keep it short and simple.

So here is "Up Where We Belong" the theme song of one of my favourite movies "An Officer And A Gentleman" - my first Richard Gere movie and loved him ever since.

Enjoy some scenes from the movie and this song sung by Joe Cocker and Jennifer Warne.


Have an uber super day.

Warm Regards

Tuesday, April 23, 2013

UBC 23 - AtoZ - Tower

Day 23  of the Ultimate Blogging Challenge and the letter  T  for the  AtoZ Blogging Challenge.

T is for  ...  Sky TOWER

After a wordy post for S, I thought I would say as little as possible.

The Sky Tower is an observation and communications tower in Auckland, New Zealand.

Some Sky Tower facts (from skycityauckland):

  • Tallest free standing structure in the Southern Hemisphere
  • 3 observation desks with 360degree views of Auckland
  • There are 1267 steps from the base to the Sky deck
  • The tower is often lit up in different colour schemes to promote different events or causes 
  • Offers 2 activities, the sky walk (a walk around the exterior of the observation deck) and the sky jump from 192m.

Here are some pics I took on one of my visits there:

View of Rangitoto island in the background from the Sky Tower

Auckland Harbour Bridge from the Sky Tower

View from the Sky Tower

Someone attempting a sky jump 

Sky jump - taken from below - looks so scary.

Have a terrific day.

Warm Regards

Monday, April 22, 2013

UBC 22 - AtoZ - Suzy (me)

Day 22  of the Ultimate Blogging Challenge and the letter  S  for the  AtoZ Blogging Challenge.

S is for ... Suzy (me)

Thought I would share a little about myself today so here goes ...

Suzy is a nickname I had in school that I use as my virtual name. Some of my classmates still call me Suzy. Long story about how I got it.  My real name means "Earth" (as in the planet) in Sanskrit and my Chinese astrology element is also Earth. Maybe that's why I feel so connected to the earth. btw Suzy means "Lily" - I'm all nature!
My brother took great delight in calling me "Mati ben" (Miss Mud) when we were children. He's lucky that I have a great sense of humour.

I love the hills and mountains. There is something very spiritual about mountains.Each morning I sip my tea (chai), watch the hills, listen to some devotional music.   It's so peaceful and very serene.

view of the hills from my window

I love watching sunsets particularly at the beach. There's something very calming about hearing the sound of the ocean. Often when I meditate I close my eyes and imagine myself at the beach watching a spectacular sunset or sunrise, with the waves gently lapping the shore. Meditation nourishes my soul and connects me with Spirit.
sunset over the Arabian Sea

Photography is one of my passions. My love for photography began when I was very young as my dad was an avid amateur photographer. I have no understanding of the techniques of perfect photography, but I constantly remind myself of my dad's words:
"photography is all about composition. your photo should tell your story."

image from google images

I use a Canon S80 camera.  I love Canon cameras. 
I share my photos on my photo blog Photos are Fun.

I love poetry. Poems, for me, are the language of love and I am a hopeless romantic. I try to weave my spiritual beliefs and romance into my poems that I share on my blog Reflections Of My Soul. I also love Haiku. One can say so much in so few words. Some of my favourite poets are Rabindranath Tagore, Rumi, and Khalil Gibran. My favourite book is Khalil Gibran's "The Prophet".

Although I love my job and what I do, my passion lies in humanitarian aid work. I believe that this is my calling and someday that is what I will do. During my school days I was a member of the interact club which is the junior arm of the Rotary club. On some Saturdays we visited an orphanage and I loved going there. The children were so beautiful and I loved being with them. The energy there was so high. Perhaps the seeds were sowed then, which reminds me of these words from a Simon and Garfunkel song:

"And the vision that was planted in my brain, still remains"

Now each Saturday morning is spent at the fruit and vegetable market.  It's great to be outdoors in the fresh air and to spend some time with friends.  The market place is so colourful and also has a high energy buzz about it.
Lower Hutt market

I love walking barefoot in the grass in my garden and I love roses.  
My favourite colours are blue, yellow and red. I love greens too - colours of nature!
I love ice-cream. 
I love food - Indian, Chinese, Italian, Mexican are my favourite. 
I love sudoku puzzles and I love to write.
Maths was my favourite subject in school. 

"You've Got Mail" is one of my favourite movies and "I Love Lucy" one of my favourite shows. 
Tom Hanks, Richard Gere, Audrey Hepburn and Meg Ryan my favourite actors/actresses. 
On the Bollywood front I like Salman Khan and I think Waheeda Rehman was the most beautiful actress ever. 
The Ramayana is my favourite Indian epic and my Lord Rama is my favourite epic hero.  I never tire of watching the TV serials.
The Beatles are my favourite band and my favourite song is "Spanish Eyes". I've loved this song since I was about 10 years old and I am convinced I have a karmic/spiritual connection with it.

My spiritual quest began about 15 years ago and in this time I have learned that the Universe has a plan all of its own. I have finally succumbed to its force and stopped trying to plan my life, direct it or drive it. Going with the flow has simplified my life and made it infinitely easier and happier. 

I look back sometimes and live the beautiful moments that bring a smile to my face and lift me up. I have learned to let go off the bad ones or those that no longer serve any purpose.  I don't think of the future,  and I live my life in the now: 

"Following Universe's flow with Bhakti and Shradha" 

Bhakti = heartfelt devotion and love for the Divine
Shradha = unconditional, unquestioning, absolute faith in the Divine

Oh btw, my favourite other super hero is Spiderman. I mean how can I not love Spiderman after this!

at Universal Studios LA.

Grateful for the many adventures I've had and the places I've visited,  for all the people who have come into my life and those who have departed and particularly my dear late father who was the best ever, for my children who are my strength and joy, for a benevolent Universe that continues to surprise and amaze me as life progresses, and for my Lord who nourishes my soul.

Have the most spectacular day and please share a little of your life.

Warm Regards

Sunday, April 21, 2013

UBC 21 - Tree - Haiku

Graceful, pretty, big and bright
Shelter from wind rain

picture source: wikipedia

The Pohutukawa is a native tree of New Zealand and is fondly called the New Zealand Christmas Tree as it flowers during Summer (Dec - Feb).

There are many Pohutukawa trees down my street and one near the bus stop provides shelter on windy or wet days.

Today's Haiku is dedicated to that tree.

Grateful for the Pohutukawa that provides shelter.

Have a fun day.

Warm Regards

Saturday, April 20, 2013

UBC 20 - AtoZ - Rhema

Day 20  of the Ultimate Blogging Challenge and the letter  R  for the  AtoZ Blogging Challenge.

R is for .... Rhema Marvanne

I thought about the letter R a lot. In fact I had too many choices - Rome, Railways, Rumi (the poet), Rainbows but somehow they just didn't seem right.

My heart cried for a song and then young Rhema Marvanne came to mind.

Rhema is a young 10 year old gospel singer who started singing gospel songs at the age of 7 after her mother died.

Her first song was Amazing Grace, but the one I love best is "The Prayer"

Some of the words are already translated on the video but here are those that aren't:

Sogniamo un mondo senza piu violenza  (We dream of a world without violence)
Un mondo di giustizia e di speranza   (A world of justice and hope)
Ognuno dia la mano al suo vicino   (Everyone gives the hand to his neighbour)
Simbolo di pace e di fraternita    (Symbol of peace and brotherhood)

E la fede che  (And the faith that)
Hai acceso in noi (You lit in us)
Sento che ci salvera  (I feel it will save us)

(translated via google translate)

I think the world could do with this prayer right now.

So grateful for my Lord.

Have a Blessed day.

Warm Regards

Friday, April 19, 2013

UBC 19 - AtoZ - Quintessential Love

Day 19  of the Ultimate Blogging Challenge and the letter Q  for the  AtoZ Blogging Challenge.

Q is for  .... Quintessential Love

Quintessential means "Representing the most perfect or typical example of a quality or class"

I have to say the letter Q stumped me as well and then quintessential kept appearing in my mind.

Quintessential? Quintessential what? and then the brain flashed the word Love so Quintessential Love it is and with that I will go ...

Love is such a beautiful and profound emotion when one connects with the spiritual aspect of it.

There are so many famous couples in history Anthony and Cleopatra, Lancelot and Guinevere, Paris and Helen of Troy and one of my favourites Romeo and Juliet among many others.

In India too we have some very Divine couples depicting the most perfect love:  Rama and Sita,  Krishna and Radha,  Shiva and Sati-Parvati. These are "shashwat jodis" - perpetual, permanent couples - soulmates never parted in life and in Spirit - always merged for only together are they whole.

But I wanted to define quintessential love for me, that is what I understand it to be from my perspective so penned it down in a poem, for poems are the language of love,

I have lived through the aeons of time with you

We have traversed universes in a multitude of lifetimes

I have loved each beat of your heart, every thought in your mind

I have smiled at every rhythm your soul has orchestrated

And immersed myself in the ecstasy of your every moment

I have seen you in every aspect of my existence

And felt you in the minutest fibre of my being

I have merged my consciousness with yours

And thus bridged the chasm of this vast, endless cosmos

Wherever we are, we reach through thin veils

And blend together into one presence 

Now, and then forever.

Grateful for that soul that brings my definition of quintessential love to life, wherever you are.

And to all my Indian friends, Happy Ram Navami - God's love for us is truly quintessential and ineffable.

from google images

Have a love-filled day. Namaste. Blessings to all.

Warm Regards

Also posting this on my poetry blog Reflections of my soul

Thursday, April 18, 2013

UBC 18 - AtoZ - Pohutu Geyser

Day 18  of the Ultimate Blogging Challenge and the letter P  for the  AtoZ Blogging Challenge.

P is for  ... Pohutu Geyser

Rotorua is the geothermal activity pool of New Zealand and the Pohutu Geyser is New Zealand's answer to the Old Faithful in USA. It spurts up to twenty times per day and can reach heights of up to 30 metres (100 feet).

Here are some pictures I took some years ago when I visited Rotorua.
Pohutu Geyser erupting - quite spectacular to watch particularly when you stand on the bridge. 
Photos however are best taken from afar.

boiling mud pools

Name of the thermal valley where the Pohutu Geyser is situated.

Te Whaka-rewa-rewa-tanga-o te-ope-taua-a-wahiao means "the gathering place for the war parties of Wahiao". The name is usually shortened to Whakarewarewa.

And more geothermal activity in Rotorua at Wai-O-Tapu which means "Sacred Waters". 

Wai-o-tapu panoramic view of the central pools

part of the Sulphur Cave crater

The Devil's Bath

Here are some more pictures - source wikipedia

Artist's palette

Champagne Pools
image by  Christian Mehlfuehrer 

This world of ours is so interesting. Grateful for an amazing world and for the chance to see some of its unique wonders.

Have a phenomenal day.

Warm Regards
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