Friday, March 21, 2014

A to Z 2014 - My Theme

I'm taking part again this year in the A to Z Challenge  which is Arlee Bird's brainchild.

This post is in response to Vidya Sury's Theme Reveal

I'm thinking oh Lord, what's my theme ...

Initially I thought I would go with Random but from experience through last year's A to Z and other festival of words through the Write Tribe,  it's much easier to have a theme.

I thought I would have a spiritual aspect to my theme as when I look at all my posts it is my spiritual posts with a personal aspect to it that seem to be the most popular.

So this year my theme is  "Life's Jigsaw".

Life is like a jigsaw puzzle. Each little piece is an aspect of our journey through it. And when at last we find that last piece and fit it into place, we eventually see the meaning of this life.

Each of the 26 letters are a piece of my puzzle - but by no means the whole. So join me on my journey as life hands me a piece at a time and perhaps you will help me put them together to make some meaning of my life so far.

I look forward to joining in your journey too, for the pieces of my puzzle are also linked with the pieces of yours and vice versa.

And if you haven't joined in yet, drop by at AtoZ  and sign up. btw I'm number 221.

And as if 26 days weren't enough I'm also taking part in the April Ultimate Blogging Challenge ... yikes!

Enjoy your day.

Drop by my facebook page Suzy's Ilation and if any of your posts needs some tlc, leave a link there and I'll drop by and give it some love.

Warm Regards

Saturday, March 8, 2014

International Women's Day - Inspiring Change

Written for:
the Write Tribe Festival of Words #3 Day 7 - IWD Inspiring Change
 USC’s Women Inspire Campaign

                      I'm taking part in the Write Tribe Festival of Words -3       

"At the stroke of the midnight hour when the world slept, India awoke to life and freedom" (Adapted from the speech by Jawaharlal Nehru on the eve of India's Independence)

15th August 1947, the Indian flag flew for the first time and the people of India rejoiced.

The great leaders of the time, Gandhiji, Jawaharlal Nehru, Vallabhbhai Patel, Netaji Subhas Chandra Bose, Sarojini Naidu, Rabindranath Tagore, Jinnah, Maulana Azad are the names that will forever be etched in history.

But what of the ones who worked quietly behind the scenes, the silent and forgotten heroes, the forgotten freedom fighters? Without them India would not have awoken to life and freedom.

My grandmother was one of them. Read her biography here and here for more details.

But I will share the aspects of her life that inspired changes because she dared to dream, because she dared to fight, because she dared to be unafraid, because she had the utmost faith in God and because she had a great generosity of spirit and love for mankind.

At 5 feet tall, gentle and demure, respectful and soft spoken, graceful and loving, kind, compassionate and humble, pious and dharmic (one who follows the path of right action, speech and thought), she looked like a little wisp of a lady who lived a simple life according to the precepts of the Gita (holy book of the Hindus), but she was a formidable power, with a great strength of character and mind, a leader and the ultimate diplomat. She commanded respect wherever she went.

During the Quit India Movement, she took part in freedom marches and spoke at the several rallies held in Bombay. One of the marches that she took part in was the famous Salt Satyagraha Dandi march. In fact she led one of the marches from Bombay to Dandi.

Post Independence she was dragged into politics and became a member of the first Lok Sabha (House of Commons) of India. While in Parliament, she introduced the following bills:

  • Women's right to divorce
  • Anti Dowry bill
  • Indian Adoption of Children Bill
  • Suppression of immoral trafficking of Women 

And she strongly opposed the bill to punish unfaithful wives with her famous speech in Parliament "In a society where we have such evil customs as child marriages permitting a girl of ten or twelve to be married to a man of forty or fifty, old enough to be her grandfather, how can we expect her to be loyal? In a society where girls are at times sold as slaves by her own parents, how can they be expected to be faithful to their husbands?"  The bill was withdrawn.

After her term in Parliament was over, she did not contest again and instead dedicated her life to humanitarian services, to the upliftment of the poor and oppressed particularly women and children. For her, service to humanity was service to God. 

She was a founder member of the Bhagini Samaj an organisation dedicated to the welfare of women and children and started the Adivasi Welfare Centre in Udvada, Gujarat for women and children providing education and training. She introduced the adoption of villages a UNICEF approved programme and she was the first recipient of the prestigious Jamnalal Bajaj Award for her outstanding services to humanity. She donated her entire award to the the Adivasi Centre.

She was also a Justice of Peace.

But to me she was Dadima (Paternal grandmother), an inspirational, exceptional and beautiful human being who left her family a legacy rich in culture and heritage. Who taught us all, through her life, the meaning of love.

My late father and I were at her side when she breathed her last on the 28th of August 1985. Graceful and respectful even in death, she joined her hands together in Namaste to my dad and me, looked heavenward, and with the words "Hey Ram" (Oh God) she passed over peacefully and quietly to the other side. Be at peace Dadima.

I hope someday my destiny will also lead me in service to humanity.

Jayashri Raiji 26 October 1895 - 28 August 1985

pic 1: receiving her award from the then Prime Minister of India, Indira Gandhi, 1980
pic 2: Dadima and me circa 1962

Be inspired, stay inspired, inspire change, be the change!

My posts so far: Day 1   Day 2    Day 3    Day 4    Day 5   Day 6

“I’m celebrating Women’s History Month and International Women’s Day by blogging for the #WomenInspire Campaign sponsored by USC’s masters degree in social work program. Join the blog carnival to honor a woman who has inspired you!”

Drop by my facebook page Suzy's Ilation and if any of your posts needs some tlc, leave a link there and I'll drop by and give it some love.

Warm Regards

A Tryst With Destiny

Written for the Write Tribe Festival of Words #3 Day 6 - 55 Fiction on Friday

I'm taking part in the Write Tribe Festival of Words -3

The crowds gathered to herald the triumphant Romans. Roses in hand, the young ladies stood excitedly.

Each offered the handsome general a rose. She silently hoped he would take hers as she watched him shyly.

He nodded slightly, a hint of a smile, as he took it from her outstretched hand.

Joy filled her heart.

My posts so far: Day 1   Day 2    Day 3    Day 4    Day 5

Drop by my facebook page Suzy's Ilation and if any of your posts needs some tlc, leave a link there and I'll drop by and give it some love.

Warm Regards

Thursday, March 6, 2014

Inspire Someone

Written for the Write Tribe Festival of Words #3 Day 5 - Inspiration

We all love to read inspiring stories. Today is your turn to tell us one – preferably your own experience, or a story about someone who inspires you. 

I'm taking part in the Write Tribe Festival of Words -3

Someone once said to me - "you have the ability to make us do the things we thought we could never do without ever forcing us to do it. How do you do it? "

My answer, I really don't know. We each have our own individual style of managing. So here's what I do ...
  • Encourage - you cannot motivate anyone, only they can motivate themselves, but encouragement helps that motivation
  • Focus on strengths, not weaknesses - trying to improve weaknesses makes mediocre, focus on their strengths and make them great
  • Acknowledge - This does not have to be in big ways. even a simple "good job" goes a long way.
  • Learn to give a little - when you give a little you get a lot
  • Make people feel important and special - remember that your team lifts you not the other way around
  • Be polite and respectful. Respect is earned - it is not the right of the title or position 
  • Back your team no matter what - you can take them aside later and explain if things went wrong but in front of others, always back them - and they will never let you down
  • You are the manager, the buck stops with you. Make it your problem not theirs.

Share your style and then go inspire someone today!

My posts so far: Day 1  Day 2   Day 3  Day 4

Drop by my facebook page Suzy's Ilation and if any of your posts needs some tlc, leave a link there and I'll drop by and give it some love.

Warm Regards

Wednesday, March 5, 2014

Book Love

Written for the Write Tribe Festival of Words #3 Day 4 - Book Review

I'm taking part in the Write Tribe Festival of Words -3

Many years ago when I got married, my best friend had already moved to the US. Unfortunately she couldn't make it to my wedding but she sent me a wedding card and in it she wrote these lines:

Give your hearts, but not into each other's keeping.
For only the hand of Life can contain your hearts.
And stand together yet not too near together:
For the pillars of the temple stand apart,
And the oak tree and the cypress grow not in each other's shadow.

These are words from Kahlil Gibran's book, The Prophet, my favourite book of all time. It's one of my most treasured gifts that I got from my workmates in India when I left for New Zealand.

The book opens with the Prophet Almustafa leaving the city of Orphalese. He's about to board his ship when  he is stopped by a group of people who ask him to enlighten them on life.

The book is divided into chapters dealing with different stages of life and circumstances, human values and conditions and each chapter is written in poetic form. As I love poetry, this style of this book  appeals to me greatly.

This is a book that truly grows on you. Each time I read it, I understand the words a little bit better. One can read this as a story or take a spiritual meaning from it.

But one has to read it to experience it for oneself.

My posts so far: Day 1  Day 2   Day 3

Drop by my facebook page Suzy's Ilation and if any of your posts needs some tlc, leave a link there and I'll drop by and give it some love.

Warm Regards

Tuesday, March 4, 2014

A Time For Us

Written for the Write Tribe Festival of Words #3 Day 3 -  Free Write

I'm taking part in the Write Tribe Festival of Words -3

This is a 2 part story - read part 1 first before you read this. 

My day 1 story "Racing Towards Destiny" brought a lot of reaction for poor Belle so I thought I would continue the story. This is a free write so don't know where my thoughts will take me but here goes anyway ...

Armand needed some fresh air. Seeing Belle had disturbed him. He excused himself and walked onto the balcony. The air was crisp and fresh and the view of Paris was stunning. But the ache in his heart was intense and tears formed in his eyes. His thoughts went back to that tragic day when he and Belle rode together for the very last time.

The war had broken and the soldier was gone. Those were hard days. Armand sat on his bed each night and whispered the words over and over again. "Wait for me my sweet Belle, for someday you and I will walk hand in hand again and ride into the sunset". It was only that thought that kept him going and gave him the will to live. 

The months seemed endless and then at last the war was ending and the soldiers were preparing to return. They went through villages helping people rebuild their lives. 

It was a cold wet day when Armand broke down the door of the house. He found the old man gasping for air clutching onto his young daughter. Armand knelt down by the man and gently cradled his head. He had seen death before and knew it was just a matter of time. The old man saw the soldier and the kindness in his eyes. "Please" he whispered. "My daughter, please take care of her, please don't leave her, promise me you'll take care of her".

Marie's tears flowed as they laid her father to rest. She sobbed uncontrollably as she clutched Armand's hand. Her eyes were wide with fear. The soldier's heart was full of compassion. He held her close and smiled kindly. But his thoughts were with Belle. "Forgive me my sweet Belle, but I have made a promise I must keep" he thought sadly. And then he wept.

Armand lay in his bed knowing he would soon breathe his last. He thought about his life and where destiny had led him. He had wealth and fame, Marie had been a good wife and she had loved him too, and their sons had grown up to be fine young men. Life with them all had been wonderful and life had been good. And then his thoughts once again took him to Belle. "My Belle" he thought, "my Belle".

Belle sat by the window and looked across at the garden. She was old and tired and very frail. She thought about her life and of the soldier who once took her into his arms and loved her with a passion. She smiled for he was the love of her life and she was fortunate to have shared a time with a kind and beautiful man. She hoped with all her heart that he was at peace. Then she leant back against the chair and closed her eyes forever.


Armand stood in front of her, his pristine white shirt billowing in the wind, his sword dangling by his side. He held out his hands to Belle and as she took them, he took her into his arms and smiled. "My Belle" he whispered with joy, "My Belle".

Then the dashing young soldier and his beautiful Belle rode off into the sunset, together, side by side, their souls beating in time with the rhythmic thunder of the hooves, their hair flying wildly in the wind, the mare and the stallion carrying them away forever into the land of love.


True love never dies. Sometimes it is not in our destiny to find it here for whatever reason - fate, karma, choice, circumstance. But love is eternal and meetings in that land of love are certain. And sometimes we also have the good fortune to come back again and share that love and make peace with life.

A time for us someday there'll be
when chains are torn by courage born of a love that's free
A time when dreams so long denied
can flourish as we unveil the love we now must hide
A time for us at last to see
A life worthwhile for you and me
And with our love through tears and thorns
We will endure as we pass surely through every storm
A time for us someday there'll be
A new world, a world of shining hope for you and me.
                                                                ~from Romeo and Juliet

Enjoy the song. I thought it captured the essence of my story well.

My posts so far: Day 1  Day 2

Drop by my facebook page Suzy's Ilation and if any of your posts needs some tlc, leave a link there and I'll drop by and give it some love.

Warm Regards

Monday, March 3, 2014

Blog Love

Written for the Write Tribe Festival of Words #3 Day 2 -  Blog Love

Show some love to another blog or blogs by showcasing them on yours. Share with us why you love a particular blog or blogs. We encourage you not to include blogs of people in your circle – or people taking part in the Festival of Words

I'm taking part in the Write Tribe Festival of Words -3

In the world of poetry

Sumana Roy's blog Vision is one of my favourite blogs.

Sumana writes beautiful poems with a spiritual aspect to them that appeals to my senses and resonates with me. Each poem is simply written, visually stimulating and draws the reader in. There's never a moment when I've thought "what on earth does that mean" (something I do more often than not in reading poems).
Sumana shares her life story in an interview with Sherry Blue Sky.

In the world of photography I enjoy:

Magic Eye's Mumbai Daily.

Not only is Magic Eye a superb photographer but he also posts the most unusual pictures of my hometown Mumbai. I have learned so many new things about Mumbai and remembered my moments there. In short, I relive my Mumbai days through this blog.

Rajesh's My India Travel

Rajesh showcases India so beautifully with spectacular photos, a little bit of history of each. Such an interesting blog. Again, I learn so much of my birth country through this blog.

And then there is

Martha's Meditations Of My Heart

Martha can pick any situation in her life, anything she's observed, anything she's read and weave it into a meditation, a teaching. And her love for her Lord shines through her words. I consider myself a spiritual person as opposed to a religious person and I believe that my connection to the Great Spirit is best done in solitude and silence. But I always find some connection to Spirit through Martha's blog. Each post ends with a prayer that is delightful and apt and more often than not, it's just what I need to hear that day. The Lord leadeth me there.

I hope you will enjoy these blogs as much as I do.

My posts so far: Day 1

And in keeping with previous festivals, here are some Day 1 posts I enjoyed:
Kajal's Love Ballad:  We must've had some esp going on as our stories were so similar.
Kathy's Into the Sunset: A story about a daughter's love for her mother. Heart-warming and beautiful.
Roshan's Survivor's Secret Having faith in the charioteer of your destiny

Drop my facebook page Suzy's Ilation and if any of your posts needs some tlc, leave a link there and I'll drop by and give it some love.

Warm Regards

Sunday, March 2, 2014

Racing Towards Destiny

Written for the Write Tribe Festival of Words #3 Day 1 -  Write a piece of fiction consisting of exactly 9 sentences.

I'm taking part in the Write Tribe Festival of Words -3

"Life can be so unfair" thought Belle as she stood behind the pillar of the ballroom and took in the grandeur of the hall and its occupants.

Her eyes slowly scanned each nook and cranny until they fell upon the handsome soldier who had once stolen her heart.

Eyes locked with his, they both delighted in that moment, while her thoughts drifted to a day when they were young and life was full of joy and freedom, love and passion ..

"Fly like the wind my beauty" whispered Belle to her beautiful black mare as she mounted her horse, her thoughts filled with Armand knowing he would be waiting for her under the tree with his pristine white shirt billowing gently in the wind, his sword dangling by his side.

Armand watched her come towards him, her dark hair flying wildly, her eyes shining with excitement, her pale skin flushed pink like a blooming rose. 

She ran into his open arms passions flaring, hearts beating fast, their love setting the dusk on fire, yet sweet and tender. 

The mare and the stallion pawed at the ground frisking around waiting for that moment when Belle and Armand would ride them again, fast and exhilarating like the wind, their hair flying, hearts beating in rhythm to the thunder of the hooves, racing together, side by side, towards their destiny.

"But destiny sometimes plays a very cruel game" thought Belle as she watched him dance with his lady while she sadly dropped her eyes, sighed and walked back into the kitchen. It was time to serve.

Story continued .. A Time For Us


Not sure what theme will emerge this time! In the meantime check out some posts:

Day 1:  9 Sentence Fiction

Drop my facebook page Suzy's Ilation and if any of your posts needs some tlc, post a link there and I'll drop by and give it some love.

Warm Regards

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