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Looking Back at 2015

goodbye 2015
Goodbye 2015, Hello 2016

It was sad parting with 2015 and saying hello to another year. Maybe 2015 has washed away, but it still remains embedded deep within the sea of thoughts and experiences as one of my best years of my life. It was a momentous year of achievements and goals career wise and one that I will look back on fondly. I called it my “getting savvy”  year. There are a lot of things in life that I am brave about; new challenges, meeting new people, new experiences, but I have this insane fear about getting lost and not knowing my way around. Having had to travel at my new job incessantly made me brave about finding my way about places. I think every year brings a series of highs and lows. That’s just life. You can’t always expect to be happy just as you cannot always expect to be sad. However, what made me the most disappointed about 2015 is as much as I have grown as a person and become more “savvy”, there were people who just did not understand me or care to understand me. Those are the ones I lost. I learned that being above board and giving advice sometimes does not help. Many don’t want to hear the truth. The truth is a hard thing to swallow even if you want to give the best kind of advice as a friend. I lost many from being overly honest. No more delivering advice, even if asked for it I will dole it out carefully.

I think 2016 will be for me a “fixit” year. As 2015 was my “get savvy” year, 2016 is definitely trying to adjust my way of thinking and living. What do I mean by this ? It means living a more healthier life in general, eating right, exercising, and getting my health back on track. Without your health you really don’t have anything. Sometimes I feel like I am taking parts of myself out just to get rid of the health issues instead of tackling the root cause. Maybe it’s time for a maintenance checkup.  I can’t get a 2016 shiny model of myself all updated and sparkling. I just have to refurbish the old model. I will go into hell (surely I am not making it to heaven with all my sins) and the devil will turn me out since I am missing so many pieces to myself. I also need to see why I am always losing people in my life even when I try to do the right thing and be a good friend. It doesn’t make sense to me. I wonder…. what am I doing wrong? I suppose this will be the year to be introspective, creative and generally fix things that went wrong in 2015, but that does not mean I won’t keep going on my “savvy” track. And I apologize for not writing much. I have been supremely busy with work but writing has and always will be my passion in life. Thanks to those who keep coming back to see if I am awake.

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I Should be Awake !

Sorry for the inactivity. I know my blog looks like it flatlined for a bit, but I am back and I am wide awake now. I will be posting several travelogues for you. I have not been idle. I have been having a travel heavy couple of months, started a new job and have been super busy, so stay tuned for hopefully some helpful and fun posts ahead, mostly travel based!!!

Ciao for now. Stay tuned…..

A Year in Review

This blog post addresses the first post of this year and looks back at the goals I placed upon myself in “A New Year, A New Me”. I am not trying to tell you about my year, but trying to impart some life lessons that may help you to look at life a bit differently.

1) I told myself to be less judgmental about others since some people just do not need or want advice. I think about 50% of the time I was successful in doing that. Other times I have to tell myself to stop and back up and just listen without giving advice or being judgmental. Just today I was trying to give my piece of “wisdom” to someone and had to stop myself.  What is my point of view may not be someone else’s point of view and I am trying constantly to accept that and accept that there are many ways to look at the same situation. A coin has two sides and the two sides are very different but it’s the same coin and it’s the same object; it just looks different depending on which side it lands.

2) The jealousy abounds in people. When you see negative tendencies, either run or face it head on. I have done both and I have found many people who exhibit those tendencies. You can’t work with people who are jealous. They just want what they can’t have and it’s hard to make them see that what they have is good for them.

3) Creativity- I have done some of that with my blog writing and photography, but I want to do so much more. I want to write more, I want to draw and paint. I just want to be more creative to help relieve the other stresses in my life.

4) I have learned so much this past year with my new job. My brain has been active overtime and am loving it. I continue to aim to do this and challenge my mind and brain. I can safely say I have exceeded this goal this year to the limit and surpassed it.

5) Still working on being healthy. It’s a continuous struggle for someone who is a foodie and loves to cook. I have to cut down on the carbs, the sweets and get to a point where I am happy looking at myself in the mirror. That has not happened yet, so that goal has yet to be achieved.

6) Helen has become my second mother and continues to be an incredible influence in my life. She brings all that is positive in my world and I can’t imagine a life without someone like Helen. Priyanka is very sweet and continues to give me positive and bright thoughts and is a beautiful constant in my life. I have had the fortune to have rekindled my relationship with my cousin Mimi, who has travelled the world in the last few years and we had just lost touch from leading busy lives. I am so happy we have come back together to talk and share our adventures and misadventures. She is my true soul sister.  I have made also great friends at work who have been supportive. My family does not need listing. They are always there for me and a strong force. So, overall I am lucky to have good people surrounding me.

7) I continue my journey to seek spirituality. That will never wane.

8) One more thing I need to add. This year my philosophy is to use my head more than my heart. In the past, I have always used my heart more and it’s really never gotten me too far. This year I want to start using my head, be smart and make good and wise choices before letting my heart rule. Many of you may not agree with me, but it’s working for me so far so I will let that philosophy continue.

Have a safe, happy and healthy 2015! I would love to hear from any or all of you that read me.

Remember the Beloved

spirits

Let not the dust settle on the memories of souls that departed on particles of scattered debris. The lost souls wander in unrest at the cruel senselessness of untimely death. They have not departed but walk on this land in confusion and unrest. Their spirits roam aimlessly searching for retribution and looking for their loved ones as their loved ones search for embers of their spirits eternally in the little corners of this earth. Never forget the beloved.

 

An Indian Flash Mob

First of all let me define the term “flash mob” to those who are a bit confounded by this phrase. The “flash mob” concept was started in 2003 by a man named Bill Wasik who emailed the instructions for the first meet-up from an anonymous account, sending it to what he calls a “fairly representative cross section of hipsters”. In June of 2003, the first successful flash mob was presented at the Manhattan Macy’s department store. A group of 100 people received instructions to gather at the Macy’s rug department giving them directions  to tell the employees they lived together and were shopping for a “love rug.”

Today using social media, email or any other digital medium a group is formed to come together for various purposes of entertainment or social causes to perform or enact a group event that is generally choreographed earlier and presented to unwittingly clueless audiences in an impromptu fashion. Most of the time it is a dance sequence. In this case, I went to Edison, NJ to support my dance group, Satrangi School of Fusion. The school had organized a flash mob dance sequence in the heart of the Edison’s, Oak Tree Rd. shopping district. The children’s age group ranging from about 6 to 20 something year olds performed dance numbers to popular Bollywood songs in front of clueless and awestruck shoppers in the shopping district of Oak Tree. As you can see, in a flash mob it starts with a few and then the number of dancers get added on to create more energy and excitement in a well choreographed dance sequence. It is one surprising experience to see not only the flash mob dance in front of a crowd of unsuspecting shoppers and audience, but also to see the spectator reaction in all this.

Downton Abbey – Season 4, Pt 2

Mr. Bates and Anna:

brendan coyle  beachI think all are waiting to see what will happen to Anna (JoAnne Froggatt) and Mr. Bates (Brendan Coyle). I enjoyed their romance  in the past seasons only to see it rapidly decline this season. It was a sad day for all of us fans when Anna was raped. There was such coldness between them after that, that even though Mr. Bates was trying his best to reach out to Anna, she just couldn’t let him in. My friend who dislikes Mr. Bates with a vengeance couldn’t wait to throw the line,  “See I told you SO” at me concerning Mr. Bates. She is as staunchly convinced of his guilt as I am of his inner goodness. I suppose, this season we had to look hard to find that inner goodness, but I am convinced it’s still there. Fellowes, don’t kill of my Mr. Bates!  Why do I always tend to think that in the end Mr. Bates will come through and show some great quality in him that will exonerate him from all previous dubious, potentially illicit acts?

My friend, call her “Doubting Debbie”, has neatly listed his many heinous acts (according to her he is HEINOUS): murder of his deceased wife, threatening acts towards his fellow inmate, murder of Lord Gillingham’s valet and now forgery. She wants to see him hang!!! Poor Mr. Bates ! Is there no one in his corner except Mrs. Huges, Anna and myself ? Is there no one who feels that he may be justified in perhaps pushing the sleazy rapist, Mr. Green in front of the bus? I just wish Julian Fellowes directed some human feeling into Mr. Bates in season 4, so we could feel a bit more empathy at his plight. I wish Mr. Bates could have shown a little more about how enraged he was at Anna’s predicament, how horribly despondent he was at the turn of events in his romance with Anna and how he plotted his vengeance. I wish for once, Mr. Bates would let down his guard and show some passionate rage. I wished Fellowes showed something of the vengeance plot, if there truly was any. Why was that left in the background like a “oh btw, Mr. Green was found dead”. Anything, except that cold, calculating stare from Mr. Bates would have been more desirable. That cold, calculating stare when Bates realized that Mr. Green had raped Anna gave me the chills. However, he showed his lack of conscience to deliver justice in his own vigilante manner when he showed no remorse in his feelings in season 4. One can always deliver justice, but do it with some passion !  Be the tragic hero that you are, that we all have grown to love in the past and that we saw little of in this season.

I want Mr. Bates to come out to be a hero. I want his romance with Anna to be rekindled like a flaming phoenix; I want them to have a future. Is that in the cards though? Fellowes does not like to keep Mr. Bates happy for too long. He likes to keep happiness dangling for Mr. Bates, tangibly present and near, but never fully attainable without a price. What will Fellowes have in store for Mr. Bates next season? If I was the writer… let’s see…what would I do ?  I still do have faith in him and if I was the writer I would put a twist in season 5. I would throw a wrench in the plot and would create a situation where he would come out a victor, a hero and show the world that he is not at all a villain, but a man of principle, honor and valor. Let’s see what all of you think? Have the tides turned against Mr. Bates during this season? It’s time for another poll, methinks. Meanwhile, I remain steadfastly loyal to Mr. Bates and hope that his goodness shines bright in season 5. You know which way I will be voting.

Toodles to all !

A Sabbatical of Sorts

I am so sorry to have spent so much time away from the writing. I was away on a long vacation of about a month and did not have very good internet connection to put up some posts. I apologize for the disconnect, but will soon post several items that may be of interest to you all. Where did I go? I followed the journey to the land of my roots, INDIA. It was bright, sunny, warm and I came back to snow, stormy weather, below freezing weather but it’s always nice to be back home. As they say, “Home is where the heart is”. That is so very true in this case. Stay tuned for some travel posts coming up!