I really Enjoyed doing this tag and it helped me discover so many things about myself that I had not paid attention to in months now. Life isn’t all that bad and dreams can still be realized. Today this journey comes to an end and it is time to post one picture of me. I wonder if I will even be able to own this magnificent dream machine but I sure want to ride it once. Godji please make this one dream come true. :p
Now this is unfair. Two songs? How can one choose two songs? For a music lover like me this is the hardest post till now. So many wonderful artists, so many music genre. There is so much music across the globe that I love. From folk to classical and movie tracks to instrumental. Each country has something special to offer.
Let us take one Indian and one western. Something different from what I usually share on Facebook, Twitter, Blog and other places. Something which is part of our music heritage. A Qawwali This is beautiful poetry by Amir Khusro sung beautifully by Sabri Bothers. I love it for the sheer beauty of its lyrics. This Qawwalli is played at the dargah of Hazrat Khwaja Muinuddin Chishti also known as Khwaja gareeb nawaz during Urs at other times too. Very close to my heart. Enjoy!
1. Chhap tilak sab cheeni ray mosay naina milaikay
One can’t really put just the first part so taking liberty to share part two also.
A part of English translation of the poem is –
You’ve taken away my looks, my identity, by just a glance.
By making me drink the wine of love-potion,
You’ve intoxicated me by just a glance;
My fair, delicate wrists with green bangles in them,
Have been held tightly by you with just a glance.
I give my life to you, Oh my cloth-dyer,
You’ve dyed me in yourself, by just a glance.
I give my whole life to you Oh, Nijam,
You’ve made me your bride, by just a glance.
2. Don’t cry for me Argentina – André Rieu
I loved Evita and Madonna’s version of this song till I heard her beautiful haunting voice . Time stood still and tears flowed freely. Each time I listen to Suzan Erens I get goosebumps . Andre Rieu himself is one exceptional violinist, conductor, and composer best known for creating the waltz-playing Johann Strauss. Suzan is just extraordinary as far as diction and performance goes and beautiful too. The song is very close to my heart as was the movie. Enjoy !
I know I am doing a great injustice to all the legendary artists here by not even mentioning them but then there is always time for another post exclusively for them.
Hope you enjoyed the two exceptionally talented maestro I presented.
The tag is coming to an end now but you can read from where it all Started .
I am not a movie buff but there are certain flicks that I can see over and over. They may be part of the main stream cinema or just a little different. It is difficult to pick just three. I loved Life is beautiful, Behind Enemy lines, Saving Private Ryan and Schindler’s list. There are hundreds of animation movies that I absolutely adore like Finding Nemo, Lion King, Aragon, Happy Feet etc. Then there are musicals and western classics. The list is endless. It is hard but let me select the three that touched my heart.
1. As Good As It Gets : I am a huge fan of Jack Nicholson and loved him as Joker in Batman. Exceptional artist and what a remarkable screen presence the guy has. A very well written and flawlessly directed dark edged romantic comedy. One of the best of its time. The greatest pleasure is the acting of Nicholson. Devilishly cuddly but at the same time in absolute control. He keeps you glued till the last scene. It is a very different role he plays here and the strong chemistry between him and Helen Hunt is exceptional. I like Hunt too. Simple and brilliance personified. My kinda woman. :p
2. Mackenna’s Gold – When we talk of western classics there are a few films that come to the mind. The Good The Bad and The Ugly, Mackenna’s Gold, Stage Coach, The Magnificent Seven, High Noon Duel in the Sun and many more. I saw Mackenna’s Gold as a teenager and instantly fell in love with Omar Sharif. Gregory Peck of course is all time heart-throb. The cinematography is amazing. Whole film is shot in Grand Canyon a place I would love to visit one day. The music by Quincy Jones is as always exceptional. The plot revolves around the legend of a fortune in gold hidden in the “Canyon del Oro,” guarded by the Apache spirits. It is an action packed, colorful film with a beautiful Jose Feliciano-sung ballad at the beginning of the film, “Old Turkey Buzzard”. The aerial Photography is breathtaking. Though the movie remains one of the weak western one I still love it for the sheer pleasure of its simplicity.
3. Now to our own Bollywood. Khamoshi is one of my favorite movies. This Rajesh Khanna , Waheeda Rehman starter was a landmark in Indian Cinema. It had a bold plot and a very courageous climax for its time. The inner turmoil of the female protagonist , the love and the dilemma made it an excellent watch. Both the lead actors gave a brilliant performance. This 1969 movie had Waheeda in all her subtle moods and Rajesh too makes one want for more. The heart wrenching story is projected very well and the music is exceptional. Some of the best songs of that time came from this movie like tum pukar lo, wo sham kuch ajeeb thi, hamne dekhi hai in aankhon ki mehkti khushbu etc.
Hope you enjoyed my selection of movies. If you are doing this tag do leave a link so I can discover some good movies.
It all began HERE
You can give me some good books , a few bars of chocolate and refill my jug of filter coffee and then lock me up for the rest of my life. This is getting tougher than I imagined. Choosing four books out of so many that I love is unfair. Let me pick up some titles/ authors who are my all time favorites. The books I can read over and over.
1. Gabriel García Márquez– Love in the Time of Cholera – I read Marquez during my course in Spanish language. The book’s theme ‘the transcendental power of love, its sacredness and embodiment in everyday life’ is portrayed so beautifully that one doesn’t want the novel to end. Though It was the first novel Marquez wrote I read One hundred years of solitude first and then got lured to this one. Marquez maintains a dark earthy humor through out the book. I would call if a masterpiece of sensuous prose. A must read.
2. The Witch of Portobello – Paulo Coelho– “How do we find the courage to always be true to ourselves—even if we are unsure of whom we are?” The question was nagging me and the answer came through this absolutely wonderful book by Coelho. I love his works and have read most of them. Bewitched by Athena, the lead protagonist, I read the entire book in one marathon read and then read it again. Many people have not liked it as much as other Coelho books but for me this is a pilgrimage of soul, an inner journey into the hidden power of our life infused with philosophy, religious miracles, love, fear of loss .It is a story of her spiritual quest, her constant urge to fill the empty spaces in her life, her efforts to connect to her spiritual side through music and dance.
3. The Alexandria Quartet – Lawrence Darrell – A sensuous tetralogy set in Egypt, Greece , the book captivates with its romantic spirit, pain, espionage, and mystery. Each story is a word picture and is luscious, delightful. The characters are complex, colorful and deep, the vocabulary intense and elegant, the plot like a magical tapestry. Over all a fantastic book if you have patience to go through a thick quartet. One can read the books individually also. All of them are set in beautiful and rugged Alexandria, Egypt.I recommend this to all who are passionate about reading. A fascinating book with a unique style and structure.
4. Bhagvad Gita – This ancient Hindu epic is a philosophy of life as I read it. I am not a religious person but I read with an open inquisitive mind. Krishna is the only person in the history of human consciousness who is tremendously in love with life, with the poetry of life, with the music of life, with dance of life. He is not at all life-negative, he is very affirmative. And he accepts life as it is; he does not put god and the world as opposites.” When I read Bhagvad Gita or The song Divine it transformed my way of life. We , who do not see Krishna just as a God , see his as a yogi, a philosopher and a teacher. He is the greatest scientist and engineer . You can listen to the Song Divine Here but you must keep a copy of it with you to read as part of your daily routine. It is a science of self-realization and deep inner knowledge. For me a spiritual quest. Read more about Krishna and
One book I want to pick from my childhood. I know it is a four book challenge but I still want to write about it. The Fire Bird was one of the first Hard cover books I had and the exotic book cover made it even more delightful. It had lovely colorful illustrations and a brilliantly told story that I read every night. It made me dream of castles, princesses and the exotic fire bird. The illustrations are by Boris Zworykin. I parted with the book in tears when it was given to a library for kids. Somehow I had realized I will miss it all my life. It was also a birthday present.
The one I had, had a glowing Orange cover with a huge fire bird, I searched but could not find the same cover online. Russian Tales are always very engrossing and my all time favorites .
There are many more books I could have written about . Maybe in some other post 🙂 Meanwhile enjoy these.
I am extremely fond of experimenting with various cuisines. Though I don’t like Chinese/ Thai food much I enjoy Dim sums and some other dishes to some extent. My favorites are vary according to mood of the day and time too. 🙂
I may long for a continental breakfast of bacon and eggs on a particular day and the next morning gorge on stuffed parathas with butter, pickle and yogurt. ( I can eat peanut butter sandwiches anytime though) 😉 (drool)
Some things that remain my constant love are :
Desserts : I can gorge on any kind of dessert without any guilt. Be it simple jalebi or exotic gateau. A chocoholic to the core I love to indulge in desserts with chocolate. Among Indian sweets I love shreekhand, Basundi (kheer) , Mysore Pak, hot gulab Jamun with vanilla ice cream, malpua with rabdi, Ras malai phirni , bhuna peda, karanji, gajar halwa and so on :p and I can also relish kiwi gateau, cakes, pastries and Swiss roles . Am not much fond of brownies though. I love lemon tarts and apple crumble/pies. I think I should be a little considerate towards those diabetic friends who must be reading this 😉 . Sorry folks I feel for you but am a sinner and glutton for sweets. 😀
I love Lebanese food : I think Lebanese food is very healthy and I like it very much. Shawarma and falafal sandwiches were my staple diet at one time and I still indulge now and then. Love the Lebanese breads with Hummus. I make Baba Ganoush, shawarma rolls and pickled radishes at home. There is so much variety of veg and non veg dishes in Lebanese food . Check this out : Recipes
3. Italian – Spaghetti with meat balls, Pasta in various sauces, Pizzas, Risotto , you name it and I love it. Lasagna is also one of my favorites. There is so much to choose from Italian Cusine. One site that I love for recipes and knowledge about Italian food is Anna Maria’s Open Kitchen Enjoy!
4. Street and Dhaba food: If you live in India and that too in North India and don’t love local street food and dhaba food then you must be off your rockers. It is the life line of all foodies. There is nothing more exciting than eat those sumptuous gol guppas, chats, tikiis and bhelpuri , kathi rolls etc right there from the vendors. Those who are conscious about hygiene and crap should stay away. I love dhaba food too. Murthal is the place for vegetarian delights and one can go to Delhi Gurgao Border for delicious non veg food . The high point of driving through the National Highways in North India is presence of those fantastic dhabas with mouthwatering parathas, dal and tandoori rotis coming out fresh from the clay oven. The entire process is worth experiencing . It is cheap , fresh and nutritious all the way to big glass of lassi malai mar ke. :p
5. Varan Bhat – Whatever one may say Home made food is the best. Simple Varan bhat ( dal and rice ) with toop( clarified butter) and lemon pickle. I think we can indulge in whatever cuisine and go gorging on delicacies but ultimately this simple dal chawal is what we return to. It is the best comfort food and very fulfilling too. 🙂
Some pix belong to Google images and their rightful owners.
Six Places. What should I list? Six places I would love to go? Six Places for foodies ? Six most memorable places I visited? Or Six places I would Not want to go again? The options are endless so let me make a cocktail of those which seem just a bit within reach. 😛 This planet has some of most amazing places which anybody would love to explore and I bet it’s impossible to do that in one life time. How can one just pick six? What about those which do not figure in the list?
1. Coastal Maharashtra and Coastal Karnataka– This entire coastal belt has been on my list for a long time. I want to travel the entire Karnataka and konkan coast ( from Raigad to Mangalore) by road and train. I want to see the ancient caves, the temples, waterfalls, beautiful beaches and forts along with the scenic beauty. I want to spend sometime in fishing villages and savor the local cuisine too. The place where I want to go first is Honavar. It is maternal grandmother’s place and at the outskirts of Honavar we still have our ancestral home. The first canned mango pulp factory was started in Queen Victoria’s time by my grandmother’s maternal uncle in Vadgeri where he had mango and cashew orchards. I want to visit these orchards although the factory has been closed down.
2. North Eastern States – The entire North East is on my list. Mountains never fail to lure me. There is something magical about the north-east and since I was a child I wanted to visit gorgeous Sikkim, be with Nagaland tribes, visit the Kaziranga National Park and watch the splendour of Himalayas especially the Kanchenjunga Peak. Meghalaya and Tripura are another two top places in North East that I want to visit.
3. Great Barrier Reef – Awesome Australia and the Great Barrier Reef is a dream destination. I want to visit this breathtaking coral reef before it dies out. If ever I have enough money to soak the sun on its enchanting golden beaches and picturesque tropical islands. I want to see all the 3000 individual reef systems and coral cays at least once before I die.
Now two places closest to my heart where I would love to be any time of the year.
4. Kinnaur – Strikingly beautiful Kinnaur is located in northeast corner of Himachal Pradesh. The three magnificent mountain ranges of Zanskar, Greater Himalayas and Dhauladhar, enclose the valleys of Sutlej, Spiti, Baspa and their tributaries. The place is awe inspiring with thick forests, raging rivers, apple orchards and colorful hamlet. The high terrain adventure is what lured me there. It was an amazing experience to drive down The old Hindustan-Tibet road NH-22. We spent 5 days in camps and trekked the surrounding area, drove to the border of Tibet in the drizzle and sunshine. One has to visit this area to experience the thrill. The road is an adventure in itself especially for those who love to drive. We traveled at night and it still sends a chill down my spine when I think about it.
5. Pune – The city of Pune is closest to my heart. Some of the most memorable memories are associated with this city. The joys of childhood and the sweet longings of teenage hood, the love of my grandparents and all the wonderful vacations I shared with my cousins are vibrant part of Pune. I love the food, people and the calm. This is where I would want to spend my old age unless of course someone sweeps me off my feet :P.
6. Ranikhet and adjoining places – I was born in Nainital and the place hold special place in my heart. I have traveled to this part of Uttarakhand many times and each journey is a new adventure. The exotic locations tucked away in the Himalayas untouched by the tourist onslaught always draw me . The entire region from Nanital to Pithoragarh including Mukteshwar, ranikhet, almora, jogeshwar and many such destinations is a heaven for those who love nature at its best. I guess it is time for yet another journey another relaxed holiday. Anyone interested ? :p
Picture credit goes to their rightful owners. Google Images.
We are mostly afraid of the unknown. Most of the time it’s our insecurities about life and its challenges. It is our response to physical or emotional danger. Dad used to say,” Why do you fear the unknown? How does it help being anxious about something and ruining the present? It is like making the wolf larger than it is.” Sometimes these fears turn into phobias and become a mind killer as people live in constant anxiety.
I thought over it but still some things make me jittery. Usual mundane things maybe but I do get nervous about them. Here are a few fears that I have 9 am sure I will be able to overcome them)
1. Fear of being disabled and physically dependent – This one of the biggest fear I have. I don’t fear death but being a cripple or terminally sick and dependent is something I won’t want ever. I want to die quickly and without much ado.
2. Fear of elevators and escalators – I used to be scared of elevators and escalators and would take the stairs instead but now am comfortable with them. Well, sort of. :p Sometimes I do get that feeling that its going to crash or I will fall or stumble but most of the times am good with it. It’s a big tease with my boys. Embarrassing isn’t it ? 😛 Similarly am also death scared of Giant wheel ( Ferris wheel) especially the electric one. The speeding rides in the adventure park etc scare me more than anything else. I got stuck in a Ferris Wheel once during a local mela . The electricity went off and I along with a few others found myself up in the sky. ( well it seemed like that because I was around 10 years. I felt that was the end of my life and the thing will come crashing down but we were safely dropped on the ground in one piece. Phew ! ) Since then I avoid all joy rides etc. It could also be a fear of closed spaces.
3. Fear of air travel– I guess most of my fear are based on the first one . I always feel I may get into some messy accident and then become dependent. Maybe that is the reason I preferred train or road travel than air travel. Even the sea travel never scared me though I am not at all a swimmer but Air travel used to make me sick. I like to be on the ground where I can cope with an emergency. Well the argument is Air crash would kill me and that’s good but a road or train accident can leave me cripple but still being up there gave me a creepy feeling till now. I feel alright now but this fear has stayed with me all my life.
4. Fear of leaving the comfort zone – Another thing which is strangely playing with me is the fear of leaving my comfort zone. I have hardly lived on my own and am so used to being in comfortable situation that in spite of hardships I lack self-confidence and courage to move out and face the world on my own. At the back of this fear is the fear of sickness. It is founded on events of last few years for I was a very strong person and take off with my little boys to unknown places on my own. This has become a major drawback with me and I really need to get over it.
5. Fear of rats and mice – I am petrified of house rats and mice. I have lived for a few months in a house infested with big dirty rats and it is more of an aversion for them than anything else. I was eight months pregnant at that time and lived in constant fear of a few of them jumping on me and chewing me off for a hearty meal.The mice are even worse . They breed in the most unexpected places and are such awful looking pests. Basically they suck.
6. Fear of Losing in relationships– Sometimes life puts us in such situations that one becomes unsure and insecure about those around us. The fear of losing someone special is always there with me. Knowing that those who care and think I am important to them will always be there , there is a constant urge to affirm that feeling. I have seen loss of friends, family and though I copes with their moving on and realized we all have our time together and one should let go if the relationship is becoming stagnant I still feel the hurt of separation and loss. I keep preaching that one is complete by oneself . why do we need others? But the truth is we do.
6. Crowded places – I hate crowded places. At one time I could move comfortably in fairs and use public transport but now a days crowds seem to engulf me. I feel giddy at such places. Here we have less control over things I guess. That’s the reason maybe I do not like to go to planetarium, cinema halls etc. though I can watch a play/ concert in an auditorium.
7. Fear of going blind – This has been a constant fear with me since childhood. When I was small one day dad made me tie a blindfold and spend at least two hours like that. The idea was to spend the day but after some time he gave a concession. Those two prime time hours were the most difficult in my life. I realized what darkness means. I woke up blindfolded and wept throughout as I stumbled and groped for things. Being able to see is the greatest gift of all and I pledged to donate my eyes long back. Not to wake up to the morning sunshine , not to see colors, not to be able to be part of the brilliance of the universe around is death to me.
8. Fear of losing my memory – I know it is just a funny feeling. We were talking about how each one of us has Gajni syndrome and we keep forgetting things, names, phone numbers etc. Sometimes it is just absent-mindedness. The fear arose when I went to the refrigerator and stood there blankly staring at it and didn’t know why I had opened it and on the same day I missed the turn and wasn’t able to place where I was.For five minutes I looked around remembering why the house looked so unfamiliar. Then I saw the domestic help and realized I had come out of the opposite elevator and that why our flat was on the other side. This sent a chill down my spine. Am I losing it? 😛 well not yet. I was just too stressed I guess. All iz well. 😀
It all stated Here
This is challenge is getting tougher each day. Nine loves ..ummm .. Oh there are so many and this is unfair. 😦 Anyway let me list those which are not so obvious like my children, parents etc.
1. Music – Music is therapeutic for me and I have started to enjoy a wide range from Jazz to blues, country music to hard rock, pop and rap. I love Latin American music , the African beats left my spirits at any given time. I love Arabic music for its sheer sensuousness . I can listen to Old Bollywood songs of Hemant kumar, surriya , kishor Kumar and many others at any given time. I love Indian classical music too. Listening to Ustad Bilsmillah Khan, Pt. Bhimsen Joshi and Pt. Jasraj live was an experience I will never forget. I enjoy instrumental music too. I feel music helps me relax and heal. I carry my music on my laptop, hone, IPod and my morning always starts with FM on the radio. I have discovered that playing music helps me in doing the mundane tasks in a quicker a better way.
2. Books – I grew up in midst of books. My grandfather has a very good collection of classics and many other books by authors across the globe and then at home we had books ranging from communism to thrillers, romances, classics, children’s books, murder mystery and ghost stories. As a child I remember there were two books that were my favorites. Little Woman and The Fire Bird. We always got books from NBT and PPH and those Russian books for children in English were great fun to read. These days I read a variety of books and bedtime reading is a ritual which has stayed with me from my maternal home. However tired I maybe I always read before I sleep. There is nothing more erotic than the smell of books. I used to spend hours in Libraries and now do that in book stores and trust me its truly excruciating.
3. Chocolates and cheese – I am a complete chocoholic and cheese addict. Though I prefer dark bitter chocolate I can gorge on any kind or anything made of chocolate. I like liqueur filled chocolates, chocolates with orange flavor, strawberries , raisins, nuts dipped in chocolate . Chocolate cakes, syrups,. After Eight is one of my all time favorites. Similarly I am a die-hard fan of cheese be it Mozzarella, Parmesan, Ricotta or any other Italian Cheese .Feta is the one I love most but Cheddar is also all time hit. In fact I love to eat and savor any kind of cheese.
4. Travel – I traveled extensively till some years back especially in Uttaranchal and Himanchal Pradesh. I love mountains and exploring far off virgin places tucked away from the eyes of tourists is my idea of travel. I have plans to visit some of my dream places and am sure in coming years I will realize my dreams. Visiting National reserves, bird sanctuaries is also my passion. Anything that keeps me close to nature is welcome. I hate to travel to crowded cities and prefer quite secluded places. The treks I did in Himachal and the visit to Kinnaur has been till now the most memorable of my journeys.
5. Writing and my blog – Writing is my passion be it on my blog or my diary or the book I dream of writing someday. I enjoy to let my thoughts take shape in form of poems, stories, memoirs etc. I stand for some very important social issues and writing about them on my blog has helped me voice my thoughts and reach out to people. Writing again is therapeutic to me. It has helped me grow and learn a lot about myself.
6. My friends – I lost a few very close friends and realized that the void left is hard to fill. I give my 100% in any relationship and that is true of friendships too. There are casual friends, acquaintances , virtual friends, blogger friends and some very special ones who cross all boundaries all norms to form a bond of friendship which is beyond beautiful. I cherish each friend and detest those who do not value the relationship. I think friends enrich your life and it is through them you truly come to know yourself. I learned a lot from each friendship and I feel some of them are more than my family now.
7. Snakes, Raptors, Spiders and stuff :p – I love them all. Snakes are amazing creatures and most misunderstood. I am completely awed by snakes and have handled them in captivity. Now the dream is to see some fabulous snakes and handle them in the wild. Same goes for the raptors. There is nothing more liberating than to watch an eagle fly. As a child I used to watch the kites flying high up in the vast blue sky. Just a spec slowly sailing effortlessly. Now that’s what I call freedom. I saw some of the gorgeous Griffon Vultures and Golden Eagles during my visits to Himachal. Now on the verge of extinction these beautiful birds of pray are in need of serious care. They say as long as the spider is visible it is fine, it’s when it vanishes then the problem begins. 🙂 well , although I watch them from a distance but I feel spiders are cool. They are artists and absolute joy to watch as they spin the beautiful webs. Spider webs are amazing wonders of nature.
Some day I would love to watch a blue cobalt tarantula , a black widow, a falcon and a condor plus some rare species of owls. Till then a regular barn owl would do.
8. Baby animals esp … – I love all things bright and beautiful all creatures great and small but some baby animals are my all time favorites. Have you ever seen baby donkeys 🙂 they are adorable . One can not but fall in love with them. They have such innocent expression on their faces and their eyes draw you with such warmth of love that you feel like hugging them. Another favorites are the baby monkeys, baby chimps . I have held a baby chimp in my arms and it was unforgettable as she circled her arms around me and kept her tiny head on my shoulder. They are very friendly and really cute.
9.Cocktails and liqueurs, ciders and Coffee – You can explore, experiment and enjoy when it comes to cocktails and liqueurs. I love apple cider, peach schnapps, cocktails like Bloody Mary, Bay Breeze, Long Island Iced Tea, Margarita, and the ever green Planter’s punch.Shots esp the brain Hemorrhage which truly lives up to its name. I love Liqueur like Kahlua, Tia Maria, Bailey’s Irish Cream, Crème de menthe and Pan Liqueur.
Am a caffeine addict and extremely fond of filter coffee in fact coffee of any sort at any given time. If I get it hot black and freshly brewed then there is nothing more I want in this world. The aroma of fresh roasted coffee beans can be an instant high.