“Yestereve, on the marble steps of the Temple, I saw a woman sitting between two men. One side of her face was pale, the other was blushing.” ~Kahlil Gibran
Time – infinite moments put together. Time – so unpredictable. No one knows what tomorrow brings, if tomorrow comes.
Yet, time – always predictable if you step back and look at the bigger picture. The beauty of time – the spring always follows winter.
Another dawn, another beautiful day. The mild temperature of a sunny afternoon; a welcome change.
The wintery chill is finally fading; the days growing longer, the nights shrinking. The morning frost is short lived. The winter attire and warm clothes are a thing of the yesterday. Strolling down the street in a spring jackets – it feels much lighter, much nicer…you can finally breathe the freshness of new air. Yes, a welcome change.
Another day, another season; it is finally starting to feel like spring again!
The small green buds are starting to peep from the naked tree branches. The green hue is returning to the brown dead grass. The ponds are no longer frozen; a pair of white swimming swans declare that the spring is finally here – the proof if you still need one. The outdoors are inviting again, with open arms. Continue reading
Packing for a trip back home to India? A check list that keeps growing, but this is a good start:
- Valid Passports: duh, no brainier!
- Valid visa or visa application: For those with non-Indian passports.
- Shopping for the airline tickets: If you have flexible dates, you can find some really good bargains online. Start early, at least 4 weeks in advance.
- Luggage/suitcases: H+L+W=61 inches and 50 lbs maximum; who would have thought!
- Clothing, the shopping: Don’t go crazy, save some space in your suitcases to bring back all the bargain buys… and the gifts.
- Fitting/sizing suits: Planing to attend some formal gathering or a wedding? Try on those old suits. Body shape changes over the years and that belly too!
- Malaria pills: Get these pills if you are going during mosquito season.
- Typhoid vaccine: Ask your doctor if you need one; no harm in being extra careful, especially for kids.
- Shopping for gifts: There is no end; keep it to reasonable list, it is hard to please everybody.
- Voltage converter: Need for your 110V American electronics.
- Phone list of important/emergency contacts
- Camera/Camcorder: How else are you going to make your FB friends jealous?
- Currency/funds: If needed, check the limits of maximum cash you can take.
- Pay up-coming/due bills if going for a long duration
- Stop/hold mail delivery
- Don’t forget your favorite casual shoes; be prepared to lots of walking
- Weigh the suitcases: If they feel heavy, they probably are.
- Arrange ground/road transit from Indian airport to the final destination
Top Bollywood films of 2012
As every year, Bollywood industry churned out hundred of feature films in 2012 – some very good, some very bad and a lot of mediocre ones. Here are some of the standouts of the year:
Barfi!: This is a romantic comedy written and directed by Anurag Basu. The movie narrates the story of “Barfi” – a mute and deaf boy in Darjeeling, West Bengal. The plot beautifully outlines his relation with two girls, one of whom is autistic. The film stars Ranbir Kapoor, Priyanka Chopra and Ileana D’Cruz in lead roles.
Gattu: A low-budget flick for all ages, Gattu appeals to kids and adults alike. Directed by Rajan Khosa, the story revolves around a kid living in a small town where everyone is obsessed with kite-flying. No glitter or high-budget stunts here; just pure human drama at its best.
Vicky Donor: This romantic comedy with modern twist is directed by Shoojit Sircar and produced by John Abraham.The movie explore the subject of sperm donation and infertility, something new for Indian cinema. It stars Ayushmann Khurrana, Yami Gautam and Annu Kapoor as the main cast.
Ek Tha Tiger: This is an action film, directed by Kabir Khan and produced by Aditya Chopra of Yash Raj Films. The movie stars Salman Khan and Katrina Kaif in the lead roles supported by Ranvir Shorey, Girish Karnad, Roshan Seth and Gavie Chahal. A combination of love story and spy drama, the movie is full of dazzling action, beautifully filmed international scenery and pleasant music. Continue reading
A horrific tragedy beyond imagination: Sandy Hook Elementary School shooting!
This is bad, beyond words.
Just heard on the news: Some deranged lunatic went crazy inside an elementary school in Connecticut, shooting little kids. More than 25 people are reported to be dead, 20 of them are children between the age of 5 and 10 years.
This is just unimaginable – one of the worst tragedy you can dread..
This is pure evil, the worst kind you can think of.
Killing innocent people is bad enough, killing innocent little kids? How low can you go!
I feel sad and helpless; not sure what to say or what to do! Continue reading
A fox looked at his shadow at sunrise and said, “I will have a camel for lunch today.” And all morning he went about looking for camels. But at noon he saw his shadow again — and he said, “A mouse will do.” Continue reading
Time – infinite moments put together, one after another.
Moments adding up to the continuous flow of life.
The tree of life growing moment by moment, day-by day, season-by-season.
The moments – sweet and sour – some memorable, most of them forgettable.
Summer. The summer of 2012; another season.
Another phase, another period punctuated by the scattered memories.
Summer of 2012, summed up in one word – heat.
Relentless heat; unforgettable!!
Heat, the dry heat.
The endless summer heat-wave.
Long days of summer and the long periods of droughts.
No rains for weeks, a rare tease of light sprinkles in between.
Dry ground. Dry ponds.
Dead grass, thirsty gardens.
Thirsty gardens, cornless cobs, shriveling fruits, withering leaves….
The sun bombarding the earth every moment of day, day after day
The never ending summer of 2012… Continue reading
What do you call a person who only speaks English? An American! But fear not, many countries try to help the visitors by putting up signs in English language.
A hotel elevator in Paris read:
Please leave your values at the front desk.
The real meaning may be lost in translations unless that’s what they really meant! The unintended outcomes of English translation are at full display in many of these travel signs, intended to help the tourists! Here are some of the funny ones:
Ladies have fits upstairs.
~ Outside a dress shop in Hong Kong
Drop your trousers here for the best results.
~ A Bangkok dry cleaner’s sign Continue reading
Happy 2012 to you and your loved ones!
The Time is the ultimate story teller; the time is the father of truth. As time goes by, the reality of everything around us strips down to their true colors.
We talk about passing time or sitting around idle, or killing time; in reality it is the time that kills us in the end. This is nothing new, we all know the importance of time; how precious it is!
Yes, we are overly preoccupied with the time and its passage. We have organized our time into calendars, into a busy schedule to prove that we are not wasting time. We are even double-booked some times! Yes, we have understood the importance of time, we have figured out a way to make the best out of it, so we believe!!
The new years, the new wishes, or the old wishes tweaked a little…this is the beauty of time, the new time. The passing time makes us feel so important, as if we control it.
Of course, we don’t control the time, or the life passing by. In fact, there is no need; there is no need to drag the time, or hold on to the past.
So let’s bid a farewell to 2011, already a part of our fading memories.
2012 – a brand new year! We are all wishing for 2012 to be the best year yet! Yes, we always wish for the best out there, otherwise it is not really a wish. Nobody wish for a glass half full, or something average.
The old time, the new time, the passing time – all divided into small milestones. 2012 marks yet another milestone!
Let the time fly, let the new year come with its true color as time always does! Let the 2012 come with its own stories about you and me!
Oh, and let’s hope that we are wiser than last year – just a bit at least! After all, we learn from our past – the wisdom of time!
Welcome 2012! Hope you bring me the best future out there. Hope you understand my wishes – my wishes to control you and ravage every second of you!
2012, I welcome you into my new calendar that I just purchased; it was on sale!! Continue reading
Every culture, every place has its own unique traditions, some meaningless, some plain weird. We follow many trivial customs as a part of our culture, not because they are important but because it is part of our past!
Here is another tradition, followed every year soon after the Thanksgiving holidays: the calculations of ‘True Cost of Christmas’, or the cost of True Love, as some call it.
This ‘True Cost of Christmas’ or the price of True Love is calculated based on the current price of the items or commodities mentioned in the carol “The Twelve Days of Christmas.”
To refresh your memory of the carol, it goes like this:
On the first day of Christmas my true love gave to me
a partridge in a pear tree
On the second day of Christmas my true love gave to me
Two turtle doves
and a partridge in a pear tree….. Continue reading
“For sale: baby shoes, never used.”
Perhaps written to settle a bar bet or perhaps written as a challenge, it is said that Ernest Hemingway wrote this ‘short short story’. Only 6 words long, the story has a beginning, a middle and an end. These are thought provoking 6 words forming a story-line. Perhaps, a woman’s life-long pain described in 6 words. Continue reading
Guru Nanak Dev: A poet, a philosopher, a saint…!!
“So kyon Manda Aakhiye Jit Jamme Rajan” (On female gender equality: “why call ‘her’ inferior? From her, the Kings are born”) ~ Guru Nanak dev
November 10, 2011 marks the birthday anniversary of the Shri Guru Nanak Dev Ji (1469 – 1539 CE) and is commonly known as GURPURAB. This is one of the most auspicious days for the Sikh religion.
Guru Nanak Dev lived an exemplary life. He was a poet, a philosopher and a saint – all combined into a human being that was above and beyond any religion. His writings came long before the Sikh religion was born. His contributions go beyond Sikhism and beyond Punjabi culture.
Guru Nanak Dev lived his life to the fullest. He traveled all over the places, meeting saints and sufis from all casts and creeds along the way. Some of his journeys lasted many years. On one of his journeys to the west, he went all the way to Mecca, Madina and Baghdad. His another journey to the south touched Sri Lanka. His extensive travels were not only to spread the message of God, but to learn from the wisdom of those he encountered along the way.
Guru Nanak Dev was a natural poet, his poetry is often quoted as a philosophical guideline for human behavior. He wrote 974 hyms comprising Japji Sahib, Asa-Di-Var, Bara-Mah, Sidh-Gosht, Onkar (Dakhani). He meditated ‘religiously’ to connect with his spiritual side. His thoughts, the experiences from his journeys and his philosophy are the corner-stones of his writings, which are the key components of the holy book Shri Guru Garanth Sahib Ji.
Although Guru Nanak Dev traveled far and wide, he went full circle and ultimately retired to his home in Punjab, taking up farming as his last occupation. His writings are the foundation of the modern day Sikh preachings. The 3 main objectives of any human being, according to Guru Nanak, should be:
1. Kirat kar (work with your own hands or earn your own livelihood)
2. Vand Ckakk (Share your blessings/wealth/earnings)
3. Naam Japp ( Remember/worship/meditate )
These are also called the Three Pillars of Sikhism. Continue reading
A tribute to Steve Jobs and his quotes- an entrepreneur, an inventor, a thinker in his own words…
“There may be no greater tribute to Steve Jobs’ success than the fact that much of the world learned of his passing on a device he invented.” ~ Barack Obama
Steve Jobs, in very simple words, changed the way we go about our work, or the way we think. With innovations like iPod, iPhone and iPad, the man has revolutionized our daily lives.
In real life, Steve Jobs was more than an entrepreneur or an inventor or a business leader. He is the true example of living – the way a life should be.
Steve grew up as an adopted child, raised by a lower middle class family in California. He dropped out of of college after first semester….
Steve Jobs was not an isolated computer nerd or a geek. He looked at the world with a keen eye. He was deeply philosophical during his youth and wanted to study and experience spiritualism. His quest for spiritual enlightenment brought him to India in 1974 summer….
Jobs started Apple with a fellow college dropout Steve Wozniak in his family garage in Los Altos, California in 1976….
All these tidbits do not justify or summarize the real life of this revolutionary leader and thinker. The spectacular journey of this marvelous inventor is impossible to summarize in a single post. The quotes below give a genuine glimpse into the mind of this great man:
Objective: I’m looking for a fixer-upper with a solid foundation. Am willing to tear down walls, build bridges, and light fires. I have great experience, lots of energy, a bit of that “vision thing” and I’m not afraid to start from the beginning.Skills: That “vision thing,” public speaking, motivating teams, and helping to create really amazing products. ~ From Steve Jobs’s Curriculum Vitae (résumé)
“Your work is going to fill a large part of your life, and the only way to be truly satisfied is to do what you believe is great work. And the only way to do great work is to love what you do. If you haven’t found it yet, keep looking. Don’t settle. As with all matters of the heart, you’ll know when you find it. And, like any great relationship, it just gets better and better as the years roll on. So keep looking until you find it. Don’t settle.” ~ Steve Jobs (Stanford commencement speech 2005)
“Death is very likely the single best invention of Life. It is Life’s change agent. It clears out the old to make way for the new. Right now the new is you, but someday not too long from now, you will gradually become the old and be cleared away. Sorry to be so dramatic, but it is quite true.” ~ Steve Jobs (Stanford commencement speech, June 2005)
“Remembering that I’ll be dead soon is the most important tool I’ve ever encountered to help me make the big choices in life. Because almost everything — all external expectations, all pride, all fear of embarrassment or failure — these things just fall away in the face of death, leaving only what is truly important.” ~ Steve Jobs
“You can’t connect the dots looking forward; you can only connect them looking backwards. So you have to trust that the dots will somehow connect in your future. You have to trust in something — your gut, destiny, life, karma, whatever. This approach has never let me down, and it has made all the difference in my life.” ~Steve Jobs, (Stanford commencement speech, June 2005)
“Remembering that you are going to die is the best way to know to avoid the trap of thinking you have something to lose. You are already naked. There is no reason not to follow your heart.. Stay hungry. Stay foolish.” ~ Steve Jobs. Continue reading
Living Abroad – Different strokes for different folks!
Yes, life is different here, very different!!
Here, people come from all over the places! They have different skin tones, different heights. They walk different, they talk different. Some have local accent; others are outsiders for sure. Some speak in a monotone while others are too dramatic in every expression. Some stand still and deliver their opinion in a quiet but firm voice, while others use their hands and gestures more than their tongue.
Some dress sparingly and reveal everything, very outdoorsy to say it modestly! Others are too covered, as if protecting themselves from a wintery chill, even in the summer months.
People speak so many different languages here. Just walk down the street and you will get an earful of gibberish dialects for sure; many of those you have never heard of!
Yes, life is different here, very different!!
The food choices are quite interesting, or strange. Some like it plain and others, spicy. Some eat only vegetables while others hunt for meat. Some can afford it all, while others live from hand to mouth. Some like it exotic and show off their feasts while others struggle to feed even two times a day.
Some splurge in excess while others conserve all the time. Some fast, because they have over-indulged in food while others – those starving, malnourished and famished – fail to understand the concept of dieting.
Yes, life is different here, very different!!
There are so many different religions; some are more popular than others. Not everybody believe in a God but they all have their opinions. Fighting over religion is very common. Everybody is so guarded against others’ religion.
People pretend to be broadminded but they show their narrow mindedness every day, in every religion. Most of them are very sure that their religion is superior than others. Continue reading
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