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Year 2020 Diary Blog.

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Year 2020 Diary Blog.

What a year was 2020! The Covid virus caught the world in a pandemic early on, stayed and disrupted life, work and health. It’s far reaching impact was felt on many fronts -social, economical, mental and physical. The sudden displacement of migrant workers, a rise in key workers like medics and therapists, governments globally engaged in fighting the virus, and anxiety of job losses created tense moments. It was remarked that this generation had not experienced a World War 2 type recession or calamity, thus unequipped! It dawned that we lived in a materialistic, consumerist, millennial society. Climate change, communal disharmony, Brexit, US Elections became other news, COVID news was far bigger! Oxford dictionary admitted it had ”too many words of the year” to choose from: Coronavirus, lockdown, social distancing, BLM (Black Lives Matter), facemasks, keyworkers, unmute…the list is long. How did the year and the virus change your life?

From news desk blogging: It’s my 5th year with over 160 posts in different categories. Market narratives, recipes and crochet and quilting kept my creative juices flowing. Each year-end, I adopt a different writing theme. Year 2020 is in diary format. For other themes See here for 2019, see here for 2018 and here for 2015.  

Writing a diary during my school days was like having a dependable friend! It provided a way to pour teenage feelings onto paper, to converse with oneself, without any intruders. My diary often had colourful sketches, a dry leaf or flower collected from a Nature walk stuck in with rudimentary poem making. Later, as a primary teacher, I often set aside first 10 minutes of Monday class for diary writing. Initially some children used to just stare at the wall or paper, not knowing where to begin, but eventually they began to scribble random thoughts, that got better with practiced reflection.

Virginia Woolf, a prolific writer talks that ”It is the habit of writing for my own eye which is a good practice, it loosens the ligaments. Never mind the misses and stumbles.” Author R. K. Narayanan meticulously wrote his diary on a visit to Rockfeller, that later became a famous book. Gandhiji’s grand niece Manu (Mridula) was taught how to maintain anecdotes, till Manu got comfortable about writing a diary at the Seva Ashram. And haven’t we read the diaries of Anne Frank and Kafka?

Photo courtesy: Dear diary – Learning potential.au

Book

January:

The slight chill of winter lingered and we treated ourselves to warmth of woolen shawls and cups of ginger chai and peanut ladoos or sweet treats. We watched the white fragrant flowers on our guava tree that finally gave its first fruit. As the first month unfolded, there was excitement and anticipation about a baby’s arrival. We would grandparents soon, yet again, and we made our travel plans.

For a winter market, written in 2014 see here

February:

Filtered news of a Chinese virus that had travelled to the USA soon became world news coverage. First European country to succumb was Italy, who lost many an aged life, and the grim situation soon led to closures of business and public places. In India, schools, offices and domestic travel were still functional.

March:

A week long yoga retreat in Uttarakhand was indeed a treat to savour sattvic cuisine and do meditation and discourses along the  banks of flowing Ganga river. A visit to the local market to buy wool and jaggery turned out to be perfect blog food. see here. 

April:

The COVID virus is HERE!! Lockdown in India and other countries. Our travel plans were cancelled, airports closed, safety measures at hospitals and public places created some disruptions. Early warnings of health announcements created anxiety among people. Economy crippled, Indian cities saw a huge problem of labour migrants stuck in cities, away from hometown and without jobs and food. Rich or poor, COVID did not spare any country, any people! Solidarity events like lighting candles and torches from balconies, and another day of music with bells, gongs, conches, plates helped awareness and hope all over the world, creating a new global harmony. War not among humans, but against a virus! 

Every adversity brings opportunities”… Winston Churchill.

Transformation, change and adaptation were key to survive. The demand for internet connectivity surged. Virtual meets, WFH, online classes, Webinars using ZOOM, personal videos flooded social media and work. Paid for classes became Free courses…as the world looked within yourself. Healing, keeping hope alive, communicating virtually became the need of the hour. Spiritual discourses, story telling, music lessons, Mandala workshops, Art as therapy bloomed online. In Balinese Nyepi is time to ponder, meditate and take time to see the little flower bud blossom, or a child smiling. Social media and newspapers screamed beautiful photos of sunsets and birds on trees, as Nature was happier with man locked inside!

See here for an earlier blog on Orange. 

Story telling via Zoom

My Nyepi time was indeed rewarding at home, blessed to have a garden and cook daily meals. For recipes of banana flower see here and of pumpkin curry see here

May:

Summer in India is celebrated in its own way… arrival of juicy mangoes, making lemon and ginger pickles and downing plenty of yoghurt to keep the body cool. This year mango business slumped due to lockdown. Push cart peddlers, mini vans and Amazon delivery flourished. Lockdown brought the markets closer to home. Arrival of a baby in the family brought us joy, though virtually. Instead we prayed not only for our family bonds but for the medical personnel, health workers, and for those in less happier moments. Gratitude for what we have in hand, mattered most!  Locked in gave me plenty of time for spiritual readings as well as reading up my older posts. Mango recipe blog here.

June/July/August:

Here comes the seasonal monsoon. Time for a Haiku or sketching whilst raindrops made melodies on the trees and puddles on the street. The call of mating birds, a garden bursting with worms and caterpillars offered a alternate respite. The virtual world became the ‘new normal’ work from home (WFH) had some initial exciting moods that later brought it own woes of house space restrictions, orderliness and maybe longer hours string at the screen. Webinars and events on Zoom spurred creativity and innovative use of technology. In such locked in moments the importance of a hobby can be a great stress buster.

A blog on crochet/hobby see here

 

September:

Ahhh…everyone is tired of the same talk …Corona Virus! Preparation for the oncoming festive season Navratri, Dussera and Deepavali raised hope and interest. I too felt the urge to get out of home, visit an open air outdoor market. Never before were face masks and sanitizers seen in public places, other than hospitals. Read here for my market visit Rythu or Farmer’s Market at Alwal, Hyderabad

October:

Onset of the festive season, heralds a big shopping spree in India. This year was different! Malls and shops hardly saw customers. Instead online shopping even by the elderly was in demand. Rural weavers and wooden toy makers were caught is a spiral of technology learning and selling their products online to customers. It brought a  tremendous change in perspective, handling and adapting to the technology. Interestingly, many a youth at home encouraged and helped bringing about socio-economic change. 

Read here for a lack lustre festival Navratri .

November & December:

Participated in lots of story telling events online on FB and ZOOM platforms, telling stories of Akbar and Birbal, Nature and growth, festival stories and honing skills to tell in mother tongue. I also told stories to rural children with the NGO http://www.food4thought.org (read my volunteer experiences on their blogsite http://food4thoughtfoundation.org/2020/10/19/integration-of-curriculum-in-story-telling-virtual-joy-of-reading/). Telling and listening to monthly story swops at HYSTA ( Hyderabad tellers) is a good way to hone my skills and meet other tellers. I organized my first online fundraiser storytelling event, with volunteer tellers and raised a good amount for http://www.Chandramauli.org. Located in Kashi (Varanasi) the organization takes in children from less economic backgrounds to teach them Vedic chants, yoga and Sanskrit. A wonderful Children’s day  with Gurukul children interacting with children and adults in the audience, exchange of stories, asanas and mudras. 

Check out: http://www.Chandramauli.org for Gurukul details and donations.

That’s all and an early goodbye from me to you wonderful readers. I have new plans for my blogging journey in 2021. Do write to me your personal stories at seethepalliv@gmail.com and check here for details.

Lifelong learning helps us to stay sharp and healthy as we age, and is also good for the society we live in

Hoping to welcome a new golden dawn 2021, filled with cheer and good health for us all.

Sunrise over Coogee Beach, Australia

Arm Chair/Lockdown Travel and Food Quiz 2020

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Covid 19 virus and the lockdown, has brought a huge negative impact on the travel and tourism industry. Travel restrictions, empty airplanes parked safely in the deserts, gloomy airports, and not a sight of big fat destination weddings! Why not read up more posts, bring out memories and have quiz time?

Till then, wishing everyone a brighter, better future! Stay safe, stay healthy.

Here we go.

  1. Earliest lanterns originated in the Han Dynasty. It was a craft of needles, bamboo, gauze or silk. It was used in palaces and later by monks. Which country patronized these red and gold lanterns? When are they traditionally hung?

2. This expansive market building has borrowed architecture.

  In which country will you find this ‘Marche’ building?            What can you say about its architecture? 

3. Yumm..mangoes are top favourite fruit, and can be added to many a dessert. What is the local name for this mango preparation? Name some Indian dessert recipes that use mangoes?  

4. My post has a countrymarket in this famous city of Blois, France. Can you name the river that passes through? What is the unique roof architecture of French buildings?   

5.  This garment is the national symbol of which country? What is it called? 

6.   Sunny, stunning beach view in Australia! Guess Sydney’s famous beaches?  

7.  Tell 3 differences between a fresh market and super market? What would you generally buy in either? 

8.   A very popular place for yoga in India. Where is this bridge? What is the significance?

That’s it for now.

Hope the photos bring back some memories or answers here. Do take your time to leave your ideas and comments below.

 

Fasten Seat Belts! It’s Lockdown. Recharge with Positive Actions

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Chapter 6 of the Bhagvad Gita (a 700 verse Hindu scripture)   elaborately discusses the Mind.  “He who is the master of his mind is a sage, while he who is a slave to his mind is a fool.”

ie. if one controls the mind and channelizes its energy into positive actions, it can create a fulfilling life, calm and creative. Think of the great artists, writers and engineers who single pointedly focused and put their energy into a positive goal. If one cannot arrest the monkey mind it will be drunk with the wine of desires, quotes Swami Vivekanandaji and Adi Shankaracharya, the great Hindu philosopher and saint compares the mind to a huge Tiger, lurking in our backyard!  

Covid 19 lockdown time has brought upon all of us a ‘new normal’ and each of us has a story to tell. A change of mindset and positive thinking is necessary to tide over these challenging times. Those who are blessed financially and health wise have been lucky, but I send out a prayer each day to the needy, aged and below poverty line people. Lockdown has  become our new teacher, in a new garb of technology. Keeping the mind calm and well fed with nutritious thoughts will help us pass through the day.

Change is the only constant in Nature.

Positive Growth and change in Nature

Has sheltering at home become a cramped, claustrophobic space or a time and space to bond with family, share household duties and learn some new hobbies? How has this time impacted you? What have you done for a change?

Initially I was restless, always waiting to pack my bags to visit family. Retirement and lockdown created frustration, anxiety and a sense of ‘whats next’? It brought me SO MUCH free time, I did not know how to channelize it (other than just house duties and exercise). Well, “stash away those bags and dig open my craft and hobby materials”‘ I said to myself. Get going, stay calm, be happy for what you have NOW!

Having a hobby to focus on forces us to take a break from stressful activities and negative thinking. Without a reason to take a break, we may unwittingly overwork ourselves to the point of exhaustion. Indoor hobbies do wonders for children too – drawing, craft, reading is much better than staring at gadjets. Studies have shown that the best hobbies for reducing stress include knitting, gardening, reading, and yoga. At our home, hubby digs up soil and feeds the plants in the garden, I calm down with Nature craft.

What is your hobby? How do you feel when engaged in it?

Crochet: Spring and Summer Flowers

Here is my lockdown project inspired by our blossoming garden. An old silk saree is being converted into a day quilt, lined with an old bedsheet. Old is gold (memories)…and incredibly soft!

 

Another ongoing project is editing my older posts. Phew! as a novice, 5 years ago the posts written have no clarity of thought, nor a good flow of language. Well, I’m glad to have come out of the cocoon into an emerging butterfly! Thank you dear readers. I now have over 250 followers and more than 40 narratives about various markets I’ve visited. It makes me more responsible to write better, isn’t it?

My trip down memory lane brought out few posts, dear to me and friends, as I edited. Remembering those far away travels, meeting friends who hosted and cooked for us, surely they were a beacon of light on our travel journey.

Summer in Canada:Maple Syrup,Summer Fruit and Outdoor Kiosk

Beachfront Weekend Market at Manly, Sydney

World Palate Recipes: New Zealand Carrot Cake(2)

Daily Post Challenge Close Up: Parsi Saree Borders

Focus 12: Types of Markets

With Zoom, whatsapp, Insta, Meet/hangouts and other online portals coming up with a variety of free classes in Art, Music, pencil sketching, Scriptural discourses and story telling sessions, it’s a whole new ‘virtual’ world I have been swimming in – I even got Zoom fatigue within few weeks, felt dizzy staring at the screens, and saving multiple passwords. Haha…

That brings me to story telling via Zoom. Now that real-life classrooms are shut down for a while, rural children in India are being ‘virtually’ engaged by NGO’s and other tellers. I climbed onto the train journey to keep connected with story telling, rural children and technology. It did feel weird without hearing any noisy distractions from children, rather it was ‘use the chatbox to put your comments, or type raise hand or thumbs up’ Engaging or disengaging interactions? What are your experiences using virtual classrooms and meets?

Here are a few links for stories I told:

https://www.worldoftales.com/Asian_folktales/Filipino_folktale_45.html#gsc.tab( Turtle and Monkey)

Panchatantra wisdom tales,

Sang Kanchil, the clever mouse deer @Malaysian animal stories DashaAvatara of Krishna @ mythological stories

Australian aboriginal tales of Krangalang the crab and Tiddalick the greedy frog.

Aboriginal Dreamtime Stories

 

These are some drawings made by children, using Aboriginal theme of painting with dots.

What books or podcasts have you been listening to?

Do you have any story /link to share with us from your culture? 

That’s all for now. Stay safe, stay positive, be productive.

            If you want to live a happy life, tie it to a goal.

                                Not to people.

Albert Einstein

 

 

Year End 2019: Finding Meaning in the Memories

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The year 2018 goes by. Another sunset. Another year to collect our memories.

Sunset 2019

Photo courtesy: Ulhas D.

What ARE memories? Memories are the mental capacity of reviving or retaining facts, impressions, events of people and places, or recalling numerical facts. However, on an average the worst memories stick with us, and the pleasant ones seem to slip away too fast. The importance of memories lies in the emotions and learning that takes place. Isn’t it befitting then, to shake out and share some memories at year end? By sharing we make our bagfuls lighter.

Here are some memories dear to me that gave me an ‘Áha‘ moment, enriching me.

On Events: 

What a wonderful way to begin the year! A surprise birthday party for me made magical with food, laughter and fun with  cousins. Traditional greetings and a game of story telling  involved everyone’s participation. Lessons learned in gratitude towards all the wonderful people in my life!

Visiting family and friends is always a great way to relax. Opportunities to exchange ideas, savour cultural differences and try varied cuisines. Remembering that ‘adjustment factor’ is key to living amicably. ‘When in Rome, do as the Romans’ is a wise old saying.

Endless memories of constant caring for our elders at home coupled with recent death of loved ones has been on front burner. Dealing with petty needs, practicing patience, understanding the psychology of demential behaviour are just some eye openers in caring for aged. The fear of being incapacitated and immobile tends to snatch away the self esteem and interest in their life. As for us – It is an honourable chance to do our good Karmic duties and negate any residual loans in Life. Ónce they cared for us, now its our turn to look after them and be part of the cycle of Life.

Both pleasant and mentally tiring memories come to mind. The few pleasant interactions and short conversations, singing, reading to them made life more beautiful for both of us. The faint smile and the frail hand that reached out lovingly brought tears to us both. And memories of feeding a ripe mango and sweet kheer (milk and rice pudding) that dribbled down onto the shirt brought back my own childhood memories of being fed caringly by my parents.

Related image

Photo courtesy: express.co.uk

Then there are recent memories of attending my differently abled niece’s Talent show. Seeing these children perform with musical instruments, do traditional dance and learn a new language just demonstrated their grit and determination to learn as well as enjoy. Well done!

Can you recall any memories of social inclusion and work that you may have done?

On Friends and Relatives:

Friends, laughter, food, sharing thoughts and a shoulder to cry on -this sums up what friends are for.

Because of you I laugh a little, cry a little, talk a little …more‘ Thank you to EACH one of you, my dear friends. It was you who  comforted me when in pain and chided me when erring! (and I know some of them will be reading my blog post). Sitting in the warmth of your company, sipping tea or being fussed over with delicious home cooked food, or having discussions on storytelling and gardening- you inspired me!

On Skills Upgrading:

To stay young and fit, sharpen your memory’ is an old saying. True, as you age, the neurons in the brain shrink and you loose the ability to remember facts, names. One way is to keep learning, staying abreast, developing new hobbies, meeting new people or solving brain teasers. ( I’m nervous to upgrade to a new mobile phone and learn/unlearn many a function). Don’t laugh please!

Observing screeching parrots and noisy Cockatoos in one of the parks sparked a new interest. Time to buy sketch pencils, colours and a drawing book, I thought to myself. Since then I’ve been recording bird facts, observing and feeding birds, searching You tube tutorials, and sharing my book with friends and school children. Be inspired, get creative!

Here is a simple bird story for you.

The Peacock And the Crane

Storytelling is another tool in my cap. Just like reading, listening to stories brings numerous benefits to children. It improves listening, recall, imagination, public speaking and becoming creative to make up own stories.

What are your memories of Grandmother stories?

Good stories surprise us. They make us think and feel. They stick in our minds and help us remember ideas and concepts in a way that a PowerPoint crammed with bar graphs never can.”

Joe Lazauskas and Shane Snow, The Storytelling Edge

On Blogging: It’s been a wonderful journey since 2014 to date. in my first year I did not know the ABC of creating or writing a blog. Memories of late nights writing and erasing a post, getting stuck with a writer’s block or even crying over unsaved work make me laugh a bit now that I am more experienced. Phew! I survived. I learned. I’ve grown a bit. see here. for my blogging journey.

Let me stop here, for the bag seems a bit lighter now after sharing. Surely the memories have taught me many a lesson and because they are my very own…I can always tuck into them whether happy or sad.

It’s time to hear some of your memories of year 2018. Did they change the course of your journey?

Photo credit: Jeanna Gabellini  htpps://masterpeacecoaching.com

                 Wishing you all a very Healthy and 

                      Peaceful New Year 2020.

 

 

New Year, New Growth

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My first blog of 2018 is an entry on ‘growth‘ by Daily Post challenge. Here’s wishing all my readers a Happy New Year!

A year of growth in strength:physical, mental and spiritual.

In growth there is positive energy.

In growth there is a change.

In growth there is a new beginning.

Here is the link: https://dailypost.wordpress.com/challenge

‘Growth is the only evidence of life.’ John Henry Newman.

Our apartment window sill is home to two warm pigeon eggs. It’s exciting to see them grow and be incubated.Though pigeons are a nuisance, to see the eggs hatch will be interesting.

‘All the flowers of tomorrow, are in the seeds of today’. 

Chinese proverb

Our kitchen garden gives us plenty of exciting opportunities to witness growth. As a new leaf sprouts, we await the flowers. As the flowers bloom, we await the bees. As the bee arrives we await pollination. Growth and change. Soon the flowers will turn into seeds ( pods of broad beans in the photo).

How do you plan to grow this year? What new beginnings are you undertaking? 

Dated: 23/1/2018

Fellow bloggers and friends requested for a more recent ‘growth’ photo of the hatched eggs. Here it is…..still growing. I decided to add it to this same post.

hatched chick

older chick

Kaleidoscope 2017: Photo Quiz

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The year 2017 that was….

It’s almost year end! Everyone of us has had their share of keeping the resolutions, bonding with family and friends, reaching out to community, travel, shopping and other needs of life. Some fun, some tough. Only moments that have challenged our strength, patience and sanity test us longer.

‘ There is not much growth when the road is smooth. We only grow when we face challenges that strengthen us from within and out.’

Anonymous.

As a year-end post, here is a quiz for you. Hope you’ve enjoyed reading up and enjoying the photo stories all along. Here’s a quiz.

How well do you remember year 2017 photos?

Your prize:  A small crochet item for the first person to have correct answers posted in the comments box below.

  1.   Which city is famous for this fruit? What sweet is the city famous for?

2.

Where did I capture this notebook seller? What items are sold in this market?

3.

What is the plant that is used to make this decorative item. What is the decoration called?

4.

Kitchen gardening is our latest hobby. Which vegetable did I grow and make this curry? In which countries does it grow?

5.

Yummmm…A ‘chatpata‘ snack invariably sold on Indian …….? What does the word ‘chatpata’ mean?

6.

It’s heart warming when friends cook and share their recipes. What is this preparation? When is it specially prepared?

7.

These flowers are used to make orange dye. Name the flower and the blog post that describes this.

Easy? Hope you hear your answers soon. What would you like me to add in my posts next year?

        Wish you all a happy and  

      successfull New Year 2018.

Stay strong, stay calm…be happy.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Big Thank You to my Reader’s

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       Yippee…I’ve just published my 120th blog post.

 

Numbers do not mean anything, they say.

All the same without an audience, me an amateur writer would have nothing more motivating than you. The blog began 3 years ago as a ‘time filler and learning to use the computer meaningfully.’ Somehow along the way, curious friends and bloggers began reading and following 🙂 Thank you to each on of you!

 

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In Pursuit of Self Awareness …..in 2016

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This morning on my walk, I looked up at the tall Eucalyptus or Nilgiri tree. It soared high. A faint aroma from the leaves filled the air. Parts of the old, silvery bark lay on the ground below, while the tree almost weeped as the trunk was peeling away. Tender, beige new skin making its appearance from within.

Nilgiri tree bark

Nilgiri tree bark

Taking in the aroma, a thought passed my mind. Can I too shed my old, negative and weary thoughts? Can I bloom with rejuvenated spirit into the New Year ? Can I too have aroma in my life and share it with others?

Come December, another year closes upon us. We are busy with resolutions, reflections, travel plans, financial notes, meeting our loved ones, doing charity, finish reading a book or adding the last row of stitches to the cardigan … a rush to complete the unfinished!

Year 2016 brought me a fair share of happy and challenging times. Quality time spent with family, caring for elders, learning new recipes and listening to (other’s) travel tales (for a change:) Crochet, books and friends brought the respite during stressful moments. Reciting my stotras or prayers while making small hand made gifts made time meaningful.

crochet-lace-edge

As a girl, I remember standing in a queue to buy movie tickets or sugar from the ration shop. That was in 1970’s! Of late, standing in long snaking queues outside banks or ATM’s seems to be the need of the day in India. Thanks to the bold move of de-monetization of Rs. 500 and Rs. 1000 by the government, the country is bent on eradicating corruption and black money. I admired volunteers who distributed water and biscuits to tired people in the long queues as well as praising the over worked staff. Reach out wherever and when, don’t wait for some exotic place.

India’s Currency Crunch:What are People in the Vegetable Markets Saying?

New Year, new ideas, new resolutions! But how many do we really succeed at? Well, at the beginning of 2016, I started a new series:Focus 12 with much excitement. Apologies, dear readers. I have not completed the intended 12 posts.

Focus 12 : Markets as Fun, Outdoor Classroom

Focus 12: Feel, Smell, Eat What’s in Season at the Market.

‘At the table with friends and family, you do not become old’… an Italian proverb.

Indian hospitality is known for inviting people to their homes. In fact, it’s rude not to burp after a meal in some communities, as it shows the host has not fed his guest sufficiently! At home, I’ve been busy trying out new variations to old recipes. The fruity twist I gave to a simple kheer, rice pudding was delicious. Though the kheer doesn’t freeze /stay fresh for many days, the pulpy sitaphal or custard apple lent a good flavour.

World Palate Recipes: Nawabi Style Sitaphal Phirni ( Custard Apple and Rice Pudding)

Festivals add cheer, colour and uphold traditions. Be it Halloween, Diwali or Christmas.

Year End and Festive Christmas Markets

Festive Market: Light up for Deepavali

As we fill our own homes with twinkling lights and invite family and friends to plentiful food, a thought goes out to those in need – homeless, disjoint families, children of war zones or devastating earthquakes. Now’s the time to look up worthy NGO’s and organizations and make our contributions. Share and care.

poinsettia-bloom

That brings us to Christmas and New Year. The bright red Poinsettia, in my neighbour’s garden is in full bloom, its red leaves(bracts) adding much Christmas colour. The story of a poor boy who offered roadside weeds to the God in church is a remarkable story of pure love and humble spirit. It was those weeds that bloomed into red and green flowers, known as Poinsettia!

A  VERY HAPPY NEW YEAR  2017

Dear readers, fellow bloggers, family and friends.

May we all try to emulate the Eucalyptus tree. 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Awards – Liebster Award

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Awards – Liebster Award

Nomination for Liebster Award.

My blog began as personal writing space. Ideas, photos and experiences had to find the right space and creative pursuits. Besides, I  also wanted to learn the use of technology. Thanks to family and friends, they were my first readers and critics. I survived! Since then, entering the blogosphere has been a rewarding experience, with viewers slowly increasing.

Today, I woke up to a wonderful surprise I’ve been nominated for the Liebster Award. It’s so motivating, but it also means ‘Do your best’! Thank you SmritiModi for nominating me.

The Liebster Award is given to up and coming bloggers who have less than 200 followers. Liebster is German and means sweetest, kindest, nicest, dearest, beloved, lovely, kind, pleasant, valued, cute, endearing.

Liebster award photo

Here are the answers to the 11 questions Smriti put up for me (and other nominees)

1. Tea or Coffee?

Surely it’s a cup of filter coffee, as they say in South India. Freshly roasted and ground Chicory seeds when added to coffee beans gives it a bit of density. My dear friend in Chennai – I hope you will read this…and invite me over for coffee!:) Let’s sit back on the verandah and hear the birds chirping while we sip coffee.

2. Beaches or Mountains?

I’m a water person. Mostly lived nearer to the sea and sand. I love morning walks, barefoot on the soft sand, a bit of sunshine on my face and the cool water touching my toes. Harmony in Nature.

One with Nature - soft sands caressing my feet

One with Nature – soft sands caressing my feet

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

3. Backpacker hostels or Luxury hotels? (assuming you have the money)

I would love to try Backpacker..I understand it’s a great way of meeting people, finding new company to travel or eat with, and get some real-life travel tips. YHA hostels? 

4. What is your favourite food?

Ahh..this is a tricky one. I have a sweet tooth and I love chocolates and ice creams. So it’s a creamy, New Zealand Boysenberry Ice cream with chunks of ripe fruit. 

Boysnberry Ice Cream

Boysenberry Ice Cream

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

5. Which city would you love to live in?

Having lived in many parts of the world, If given a choice I’d like to live in the quiet town of Chiang Mai, Thailand. The cool temperatures and gentle people are positive incentives. Who knows I would either be riding a humble Tuk- tuk or sit majestically riding an elephant – Thailand’s national animal. 

Majestic Elephant in Chiang Mai

Majestic Elephant in Chiang Mai

6. Who inspires you?

I have always been inspired by my father or Baba as we children fondly call him. In many ways he has guided my path, in good times and tough ones. A soft-spoken person, very caring and attentive to his family needs, always a helping hand to his brothers and sisters. Growing up in a meagre and at times harsh childhood, has left a mark on his outlook to life. ‘Charity and help’ are two words that come naturally to him. His sharp brain is put to good use. Today, at age 85+ he still keeps learning – uses the computer and Skype. Of late, his latest toy is his new iPhone! Keep it Baba – I wish I keep half of your spirit and energy at 80 years! 

And Aai – we love your caring spirit – you taught us to look after people, however good or bad their behaviours are. 

Namaste -Aai and Baba

Namaste -Aai and Baba

 

 

 

 

 

 

7. If a day had 25 hours, what would you do in the additional hour?

Sleep and me just don’t go together. And blogging is eating up into my sleep. So that’s another disciplinary no! One extra hour would be spent in Nature….watching birds in the gardens, smelling roses, or just hugging a fat tree trunk. Yes, its’ therapeutic too.

Bird watching near lakeside

Bird watching near lakeside

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

8. What would the name of the movie based on your life be?

One Year, One City’ 

You don’t believe it? Well, I can upload photos of my travel diary, address book and names of friends I’ve made all over the world. I’ve stood the test of time and patience. Above all, it was a great experience to understand so many different cultures, food and languages. My blog tells you all about it. 

9. What is the one thing (single most important) you itch to do in life?

Tear paper endlessly! Really – it’s almost becoming rare with the new technology. Whatever happened to childhood days and summer holidays when we could crush and tear old newspaper ?  Newspaper tearing was fun paint it, tear to make confetti. Or play a game – Who makes the lengthier paper strip? 

Fun - tearing toilet roll

Fun – tearing toilet roll

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

10. What is holding you back?

Energy management – a delete button to clear away negative, wasteful thoughts. This will create more useful time and energy 🙂

Delete Button

Delete Button

 

 

 

 

 

11. What is the one piece of advice you would want to give all your readers?

I like the Nike advertisement – Just do it!  There is no tomorrow, no age bar, no shyness. If you ever wish to try something – Go for it! 

Just do it!

Just do it!

 

 

 

 

 

 

That’s it, I’ve answered the 11 questions.Hope my friends can connect to some ideas and have a laugh.

Here are my nominees (New bloggers with less than 200 followers…and growing!)

1. http://cottagelifeinengland.wordpress.com/bout/

2. http://thesaltedbanana.com/2014/08/23/good-morning-207/

3. http://iamlivingwithsll.wordpress.com/about/

4. http://cyrilbussiere.wordpress.com/2014/08/23/wooden-flames-a-haiku/

5. http://thetravelingforkblog.wordpress.com/2014/08/23/eat-flammkuchen-or-tarte-flambee-in-alsace/

6. http://madabouttheorient.wordpress.com/

7. http://observingthescenery.wordpress.com/

8. http://dancingbirdstudio.wordpress.com/2014/08/23/rare-sarus-crane-chick/

9. http://foodishlyinlove.wordpress.com/about/

10. http://justapieceofafrika.wordpress.com/about/

Ah…this treasure hunt for blog nominations is exhausting, and time is tight. But I’ve tried. That’s it for now.

Here are the questions they have to answer:

  1. In three words tell us about your interests and activities.
  2. Why is blogging important to you?
  3. What is your favourite music ?
  4. If you could turn back the clock, which is the time period you would favour? Why?
  5. What motivates you?
  6. One favourite food you would like to tuck into, if you must eat in bed.
  7. A friend in need is a friend indeed – share an experience
  8. Which is the latest gadget / App /techno product you are using? How does it help you?
  9. What advice would do you have for new bloggers ?
  10. Stand with your eyes closed in any one place of choice. Now open your eyes – tell us about the first thing you observed? Does it tell us a bit of your personality?
  11. Finally, you pop one question for yourself. A free bird! Let’s see what comes to your mind.

This was  an interesting task. To be awarded is one thing, but finding other nominees, and asking questions is another. It’s Sunday …I’m going to laze in bed…or rather do some gardening!

Enjoy your day!

 

Aside

Someone asked me – If you are writing about your travels – Why did you choose something mundane as local fresh market? Why not – popular tourist sites, food of the country or clothes people wear?

Well, isn’t the local market telling you about all this and more? The history, culture and food all put together ? I asked.

Every market is so unique and bubbling with activity, it’s only when you look beneath that layer can you spot the cultural identity. The market too is a great tourist spot on one’s itinerary. The colours of fresh produce are brighter than on canvas, the sounds of vendors so concentrated upon the selling activity, the fresh produce is so diverse across the oceans, the seasons spell tell-tale signs upon the clothes people wear and the fruit they buy at the market.

So why not write about markets? What do my readers think?

And, look what I stumbled upon….some other bloggers /travel writers are writing about culture at markets too:)

http://www.lakshmisharath.com/2014/05/20/five-favourite-markets-around-world

http://anythinglily.blogspot.com.au/2013/06/phuket-travel-part-4-visit-to-banzaan.html

http://jamie-monk.blogspot.com.au/2010/12/local-markets-local-life.html

I hope to carve a niche for myself in this BIG, BIG blogging world out there.

Happy reading!

 

 

 

Other Bloggers

Hooray! My blog received the 2000 th viewer today!

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Hooray! My blog received the 2000 th viewer today!

Dear readers (and fellow bloggers),

My blog primarily began as a wish to create some meaningful pastime for myself and a trip down memory lane. Filled with a desire to learn new things, acquire new skills and to over come technological apprehensions, I set on my journey last year.

Hooray! Today I received my 2000 th viewer. One from UAE.

Thank you EACH one of you! Without your support, my achievement would mean very little. YOU make the difference.

Desire is the starting point of all achievement, not a hope, not a wish, but a keen pulsating desire which transcends everything.

– Napoleon Hill

 

Aside

Creating a Gallery with Readers Contributions

 

Pictures tell stories. And sometimes powerful ones too!

Let’s do this together !  Readers, please send me ONE photo of a market scene – fresh market, supermarket counter, vendors pushing their carts  or maybe even a toppled vegetable cart! Include a short caption or verse , if you wish.

My next blog post will be a collage of reader’s contributions.

When there are NO words, one is compelled to search the picture /photo for something that sparks interest or expression, the creative brain get’s activated.

So get going- see, click and send.

My email is: veesee12@gmail.com

 

Gallery of market photos