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Thursday, December 14, 2017


“Keep your face to the sun and you will never see the shadows.”
Helen Keller

Picture clicked when the sun is right above your head.


A nasty bout of flu, notwithstanding, I love winters. If I’s incapacitated for more than two weeks, I’ve no reason to rile winter. The fault lies with my immune system. It played me false.

 In North India where we live, we face extreme weather conditions both in summers and in winters. Yet somehow, the severity of winter is declining as also its duration. Ceaseless construction activity, congested roads, vehicular emissions, burgeoning population   all are the culprits. Let it be for another time!

Winter ushers in fun, frolic, golden sunlight, festivals and delectable cuisines. Winters are famous for providing good things in plenty, be it vegetables or fruits, sweet dishes or crunchy crisp snacking items.

Here is the list of activities, which makes winter special for me.

Early morning picture of the rising sun in the urban milieu.

Basking in the sun is one of the greatest pleasures of my life at this stage.  As the sun rises, our back verandah is lighted up with the mellowed luminosity and sweet raw warmth. Setting aside the curtains of all rooms, and allowing the morning glow to filter through the windowpanes is the most joyful task of the day. It fills me with gaiety and gratitude for being alive amidst such loveliness. My inner being smiles and shakes off inertia. I welcome the new day.


I head to the kitchen for  preparing my favorite ginger tea. I itch to go out while sipping the first cup of the day. A stroll in the driveway energizes. A tentative plan for the day emerges in the mind. What to prepare for breakfast and subsequent meals is traced in the mind’s calendar. Mental assessment of other tasks ensues. Things feel doable.   

(Prior planning has helped me all along. It enabled me to strike a balance between my home and professional life. Now retired but the habit stays. Time management helps me to carry on my creative pursuits and indulge in  my hobbies now.)


The golden mellow sunshine is so inviting that to eat breakfast inside feels like a sin. Hubby helps in transferring the eatables outside on the tiled  raised platform in the middle of the open yard.  It is a private kingly domain. We linger on enjoying every bite coupled with background music of a different kind. The chirps and peculiar sounds of the members of various avian families converged on our stately NEEM tree, add to the joy.  What a blessing!


I wait eagerly for this time. Some food for thought. Newspaper is waiting. I savor uninterrupted the columns, I enjoy while the sun goes up wrapping the area in its warm blanket. It is heavenly. Thank you GOD for being so generous. I solve 'SCRAMBLE' and 'SPELLATHON' next. My grey cells need some shaking up after all. ‘THE TIMES OF INDIA’ does cater to the needs of the retirees, ha ha  ha.


Reader’s Digest and my Kindle books provide me enough reading material to be relished in the balmy and restorative sunshine. The poor KINDLE lazed on my computer table for so many days because of my sickness. Dusted and brought to life once again. I’m reading Dostoevsky’s 'CRIME AND PUNISHMENT' for the third time. It describes  tragically life in Russia before the Revolution. Winter sun transforms even dense books into a pleasure reading.


I’ve no complaints even on bad days in winter. In fact, one can have a great time during winter rains and foggy days. You can sit snuggled up in your quilt with a book or pursue some hobby. I’m experimenting with a crochet hook. I’ve already learnt to crochet a circle and a square with left over wool of bygone days.

Now friends, this is just a tiny part of the trailer of my life. Like every other householder, there is always a lot in the work basket to be performed in the lapse of a day.  Yet this is how I feel on my cherished days in winter.
 Sunshine smiles- Google image
 Friends, welcome here as always!

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Wednesday, December 6, 2017


Top post on IndiBlogger, the biggest community of Indian Bloggers

“Words can be like X-rays if you use them properly -- they’ll go through anything. You read and you’re pierced.”
Aldous Huxley, Brave New World


   It is amazing to come across writers, who are masters of the art of expressing themselves vividly. They narrate an event or incident so vividly that the entire scene swims before your mind’s eye. Like a painting formed of words. It results from a near perfect skill in choosing the right visual words. Their wordplay resonates. The visual quality of the language wakes you up. You enjoy the images.They stir your senses. You are able to conjure them up in your mind. The sentences carry passion and power. The read becomes rejuvenating intellectually. You revisit those wonderful pages repeatedly. They acquire the power of a delicious dish where the taste stays until the next sampling.
   Intense imagination and great word power are the tools of vivid descriptive skills.  The enviable evocative quality entails acute sensitivity to observable facts.The ability to visualize is a magical gift. It attracts the reader's attention. William Wordsworth’s "The Daffodils'' evokes beautiful visual images, which become part of his emotional self. The scene, gets embedded in his inward eye. In an hour of solitude he recollects those impressions. He  recreates the effects, which host of daffodils growing on the banks of the lake had on his mind.

  Descriptive scenes saturated with emotions, provide sheer pleasure to the reader. Reading this poem  feels like, accompanying Wordsworth in his inspiring walk near the lake.  One get wings to one's perceptions.
   Here is the original poem:

           THE DAFFODILS
I wandered lonely as a cloud
That floats on high o'er vales and hills,
When all at once I saw a crowd,
A host, of golden daffodils;
Beside the lake, beneath the trees,
Fluttering and dancing in the breeze.

Continuous as the stars that shine
And twinkle on the milky way,
They stretched in never-ending line
Along the margin of a bay:
Ten thousand saw I at a glance,
Tossing their heads in sprightly dance.

The waves beside them danced; but they
Out-did the sparkling waves in glee:
A poet could not but be gay,
In such a jocund company:
I gazed—and gazed—but little thought
What wealth the show to me had brought:

For oft, when on my couch I lie
In vacant or in pensive mood,
They flash upon that inward eye
Which is the bliss of solitude;
And then my heart with pleasure fills,
And dances with the daffodils.

  • Wordsworth's use of similes, metaphors ( I wandered lonely as a cloud/ Ten thousand saw I at a glance/Tossing their heads in sprightly dance/ And then my heart with pleasure fills/And dances with the daffodils.’’) turn this poem into a lyrical marvel of word imagery describing movement.

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Friday, November 24, 2017


Top post on IndiBlogger, the biggest community of Indian Bloggers

 Guru Nanak Dev ji, founder of Sikh religion said: If you conquer the mind, you can conquer the world. ( "Man jeetei jag jeet.")

        T is for   'Tune in to yourself.'

Hassled as we are by the increasing pressures of modern life, we are 
forgetting to make our life purposeful and joyful. In fact, the mad race for living has bound us in its shackles. We have lost the inclination to think about life at a deeper level.  However, our inner growth depends on imbibing human values and righteous Karma.  There are well-defined parameters of living a meaningful life outlined in our scriptures. They abound in gems of wisdom, which can show us the right path.

Our willful alibis give us umpteen reasons to avoid looking within. That is the uncomfortable truth. We wrongly presume that wearing tinted glasses to escape unpleasant ground realities will work.   Experience confirms that shortcuts eventually harm our progress as human beings.

The enormity of distractions, technology has gifted us, has taken away our discerning power. We are afraid to face ourselves. Sitting in solitude has become an anathema. Unceasing action and noises have robbed us of calmness and composure. We hanker after instant gratification. Our world is limited to four walls of our house. We run away from questioning ourselves. We avoid introspection and reflection. Self-awareness becomes a casualty.

Yet, tuning in to yourself is as important as earning your livelihood. Listening to the voice  of our conscience, assessing the flow of our lives on a daily basis, constitutes the essence of life. While being busy in inanities of mundane life, time for meditation and mindfulness has to be squeezed out.
Here are a few suggestions based on personal experiences and gleamed from spiritual reads to help in tuning in to yourself:

Spending just fifteen minutes in gardening daily is a great stress buster. Tending plants teach patience, connects you to your inner self.  Consider it your ‘me’ time.

Nothing can beat a short walk in a park all alone. You feel the wind caressing your body, trees talking to you and flowers wreathed in blissful smiles. Optimism you garner via stimulating environment makes you take right decisions. Your day comes out to be more productive.

Mindfulness helps in focusing on your mind and actions.  It wakes up the forces of moral reasoning, reducing self-serving tendencies. The practice generates compassion for others and thoughts of doing larger good.

Develop a silent mental calendar to help in rationing time for main tasks. 

Disciplining the monkey mind is a tough job. Yet one should continually strive to achieve it.

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Thursday, November 16, 2017


For a lover of nature, sky gazing is like traversing the depths of imagination and reflection!

S is for SKY GAZING:

Since I've initiated myself into amateur photography, sky gazing has become an inspiring hobby with me. It is especially so, when I’m amidst hills during summers. In the congested urban milieu, what you see above is upper stories of houses, hindering the sky view and reducing it to a limited entity. 

Among hills, the scene is altogether different. While you step out on the balcony in the morning sipping your ginger tea, your eyes wish to take up the freshness of the setting all at once. Your gaze goes up spontaneously. The rising sun dispatches its magical signals through the wide-ranging hues in the east. The sprawling mountains present signs of imminent  arrival of illumining splendor. When finally the sun rises, it lights up the earth with its magnificence. Every object wreathes in smiles of celestial sweet warmth.

The sunset, the twilight hour with its gloaming hues takes our breath away. It is a metaphor for  the time of the day, which is mind blowing  wrapped in  an exotic color palette. 

During rains, sky gazing has its own indescribable charm. The endless designs of soaring clouds are simply mesmerizing. Every minute the shape, size and texture of clouds undergo changes. Your whole being whispers to itself, “What a wonder!” The unique natural phenomenon is humbling. It reminds us, how inconsequential human being is in the universal scheme of things.

The sight of the dark menacing clouds is thrilling and enchanting. They give loud and clear message of their intentions. You keep looking up expectantly. However it doesn't take long. Soon gurgling heavy  showers  rejuvenate the parched earth.  The withering vegetation and plants get a new lease of life. Summer mellows.

Many a poet and a painter have been stirred by the beauty of the sky and produced great literature and paintings. The tapestry of the sky has captivated photographers to click unforgettable pictures delighting the connoisseurs of art.

Moon lit starry skies have continuously enticed generations of cupid bitten couples to exchange love bites in the eerie light of the night. Novelists, short story writers, poets have used reams of paper to sing paeans in praise of star-studded nights. Literature abounds in tales of handsome knights and bewitching ladies smitten by each other, professing undying love in mystic moon light.

When everything is lost, sky watch, moon and stars will still be there to liven us up!

last two images courtesy: google

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