Tuesday, July 31, 2012

UBC 31 - ABC Wednesday - C is for ...

Post 31 - The last one - for the Ultimate Blogging Challenge is ABC Wednesday's C prompt

Okay so I cheat a little, it isn't Wednesday yet but in 5 hours it will be.

Although I'm doing a music round, C is also for challenge so I'll write a few lines about the Ultimate Blogging Challenge.

Yay, I made it, but it wasn't easy. There were days when inspiration and motivation just flew out the window. But I got there eventually.

And now onto the music ...

My choice this week is Careless Whisper

Written by George Michael and Andrew Ridgely, it was George Michael's first solo single and was released in 1984.

It reached number one in nearly 25 countries, selling about six million copies worldwide.

I love the saxophone riffs in the song.

It's always fun to watch a live performance so here's George Michael singing live in Rio.

Youtube - Careless Whisper

And my Bollywood choice this week is  Chal Chal Chal Mere Saathi
from the movie Haathi Mere Saathi released in 1971 starring Rajesh Khanna and Tanuja and sung by the legendary Kishore Kumar.

The movie and the song were both big hits with the kids.

This song always makes me giggle as in 1993 our mini van (our "khatara" - usually applies to an old car that's falling to pieces) wouldn't start in Heidelberg. So while the kids and their grandparents sat in the car, my cousins and I pushed it down the road to start it up. And to entertain ourselves, we sang this song. The first verse was very apt for us as well!

Youtube - Haathi Mere Saathi

Have a chipper day.

Warm Regards

UBC 30 - Haiku - Talent

Post 30 for the Ultimate Blogging Challenge is Sensational Haiku Wednesday's prompt Talent

But in the long run
Earth's journey will even out
Nature has talent

All kids have talent
Each unique and different
Like leaves on a tree

A talent for sports
For watching or for playing
Nature in balance

The last haiku was inspired by the Olympic games and my excellent talent for watching!

Warm Regards

Monday, July 30, 2012

UBC 29 - GBE2 - Unexpected

Post 29 for the Ultimate Blogging Challenge is GBE2's prompt "Unexpected"

The Universe inevitably propels us forward to our next step whatever that may be.

So when things unexpectedly occur I take them as signs that I am meant to walk that path.

Each morning and evening I listen to devotional music on the way to and from work on the bus.
This helps me relax and puts me into a calm state of mind - ready to tackle anything at work - and then ready to leave it all behind and spend a happy and relaxed evening with my family at home.

But for the last week as I've been off work (in between jobs) I haven't adhered to my usual practice.

So this morning the Universe gives me a prod in the form of a youtube video posted by Jessica at Ascending the hills on her facebook wall. A quiet reminder from the Universe, to carry on that practice at home. Thanks Jessica for the nice reminder and for posting a beautiful video.

Here is the video. The pronunciation isn't perfect, but it has a lovely melody and is beautifully sung with heart and soul.

Youtube - Kashi Vishwanath Gange

The bhajan (devotional song) is very nicely translated here

And then I went onto research the singer Krishna Das, an American born Jeffrey Kagal. I love the blend of West and East that he brings into his music as I believe God is Universal and also because my scriptures are both Eastern and Christian; Eastern from birth, Christian from school (I went to an Anglican school).

Youtube - Jesus on that mainline

Wish you a day of unexpected miracles. Mine was a joyous one today.

Warm Regards

Sunday, July 29, 2012

UBC 27 - Haiku - Forget me not

Haiku Heights - Forget me not

This is the perfect prompt as I went from post 26 to post 28.

So here is Post 27 for the Ultimate Blogging Challenge

I skipped a number
Twenty seven went astray
Please forget me not

Caught you just in time
Forget me not you pleaded
Error rectified

Warm Regards

UBC 28 - Capture the Colour

Post 28 for the Ultimate Blogging Challenge is for the Capture the Colour competition held by Travel Supermarket.

And thanks to Kat at The engineer's other life for introducing me to this competition. Please see Kat's awesome entry here.

The challenge is to :
 - present 5 photographs from my travels showing the colours blue, green, yellow, red, and white
 - nominate 5 bloggers to participate in the challenge
 - complete the challenge and indicate you've entered by:
       - linking to your blog post on your Facebook wall mentioning Capture the Colour and 
         tagging the TravelSupermarket.com Facebook page or... 
       - linking to your post via Twitter including @travelsupermkt and #capturethecolour in 
         your tweet or...
      -  emailing your entry to capturethecolour@travelsupermarket.com, including your name, email 
         address and phone number.

The best Capture the Colour entries will be shared throughout the competition by expert judges and the TravelSupermarket social accounts.

Each judge will  select their own colour category winners and will then combine to select the overall winner of the travel prize.

So first onto my pictures ...

This is the Pacific Ocean taken in Dunedin, New Zealand. The picture was taken from the bus on the way to Larnach Castle. The views were just spectacular. 
I chose this picture as the "blue" theme because it dominates the picture and I also like the different shades of blue in it. This picture gives me a feeling of quiet serenity. 

This picture is taken in Wellington, New Zealand. Wellington is a spectacular city and wherever you go the scenery takes your breath away.
I love the different shades of green in this picture. The day I took it was a warm sunny day in Summer with not much of a breeze which is quite rare for Wellington as it is affectionately nicknamed Windy Wellington.
Again a very serene picture.

This picture is taken somewhere in Gujarat, India sometime in January. This tiny village shop was probably gearing up for the festival of Makara Sankranthi that is traditionally celebrated by flying kites.
These yellow kites really caught my eye. I was keen to show my son the type of kites we have in India as they are quite different from the ones we get here.

The Golden Gate Bridge in San Francisco - quite red not golden! We were lucky we had such a beautiful day and hence some nice pictures. I have to add though that given the hype about the bridge it was pretty much just another bridge - probably because by then we had seen so many in New York and in other places in the world. 
I chose this picture for the "red" theme as I think the red is eye catching and your eyes are drawn to it. In this picture, in my view, less is more.

Last year we had a freak snowfall all over New Zealand. This picture was taken of the hills around Wellington. It was absolutely magical, I couldn't take my eyes off the view - breathtaking.
Selecting a picture was so hard as there were so many beautiful ones. I chose this one for it's simplicity.

And now to my nominees. All of them take amazing pictures and write some very interesting posts. So here they are (in no particular order):

1. Pauline at the Paddock - Pauline has some amazing pictures of the New Zealand countryside
2. LindyLouMac's World in Photos - I love LindyLou's pictures of Italy
3. Jama at Sweet Memories - Jama makes Singapore come alive through her pictures
4. Gattina at Keyhole Pictures - Gattina's pictures are so artistic
5. Sandi at Whistlestop Cafe Cooking - Sandi posts the perfect pictures for every theme.

Enjoy your day and please drop by and visit these amazing photographers.

Warm Regards

Saturday, July 28, 2012

UBC 26 - Lovers Cove Challenge # 3

Post 26 for the Ultimate Blogging Challenge is also for the Lovers Cove Challenge

Linking after Balquis

Each colour reflecting the many seasons of your life and conveying all your intimate emotions

Warm Regards

UBC 25 - Six Word Saturday

Post 25 for the Ultimate Blogging Challenge are my words for Six Word Saturday (yep it's Saturday in NZ)

Enjoyed the opening of the Olympics

Love watching sports so looking forward to all the events. But the opening show was great. Loved the humour - a little different from the usual stuff. And I loved the simplicity of the Olympic flame.
Nicely done London!

Enjoy the games

Warm Regards


Friday, July 27, 2012

UBC 24 - What I Stand For

Post 24 for the Ultimate Blogging Challenge is Blogging For Fun's prompt "What do you stand for?"

I'm going to interpret that as my beliefs and paint a picture through some quotes that I love ...

Go with the flow, be Zen and let it go ~ mine 

There are more things in Heaven and Earth Horatio, than are dreamt of in your philosophy ~ William Shakespeare

When you want something, all the Universe conspires in helping you achieve it ~ Paulo Coelho

Some Dan Millman quotes: 

Life has three rules: Paradox, Humour, and Change
- Paradox:  Life is a mystery, don't wast time trying to figure it out
- Humour:  Keep a sense of humour, especially about yourself. It is a strength beyond all measure
- Change:   Know that nothing ever stays the same

The time is now, the place is here. Stay in the present. You can do nothing to change the past, and the future will never come exactly as you plan or hope for.

Life comforts the disturbed and disturbs the comfortable. Sometimes, out of nowhere, Spirit lands a left hook that really shakes us up; we get slammed into the ropes, knocked to the canvas. Hard times provide opportunities that don’t come around when life is comfortable.

And some tweets I have collected that I thought were worth considering.

 Every season has a reason. Trust in the Divine order of your journey

 Enjoy life’s detours, they often provide life’s greatest memories

 When I let go of what’s not to be, I clear a path for good stuff to find me

 Take the first step in faith. You don’t have to see the whole staircase, just take the first step.

I also believe in karma, the law of attraction and that life balances itself out - we experience ups and downs and that having a positive attitude in difficult times, makes the journey of life a little bit easier.

Have a happy, easy day.

Warm Regards

Thursday, July 26, 2012

UBC 23 - Focus on this - Hidden

Post 23 for the Ultimate Blogging Challenge is Blogging For Fun's Focus on this prompt of Hidden

Last August we had some very unusual weather across New Zealand and the first time ever we had snowfall down to sea level.

So here are some pictures taken of and in the snow ...

My driveway, hidden by the snow  and  the grass in my backyard also hidden by the snow.

It was a cold day today in Welly and I'm praying tomorrow will be a warm day. So wishing you all a warm sunny day wherever you are.

Warm Regards

Wednesday, July 25, 2012

UBC 22 - ABC Wednesday - B is for....

Post 22 for the Ultimate Blogging Challenge is ABC Wednesday's letter B

So B is for ...

One of the most beautiful love songs ever written (in my view of course). 

The original version was written in Spanish in 1940 by Mexican songwriter Consuelo Velazquez and the English version was written by Sunny Skylar but it's not a direct translation of the Spanish version.

Both versions are beautiful.

I love Andrea Bocelli's version so here it is in Spanish

And here is the English version by Dean Martin

Youtube - Besame Mucho English

B is also for Bollywood ...

A few days ago, Bollywood bid farewell to it's greatest superstar and king of romance Rajesh Khanna. For all of us who lived through that time it was a sad day. Check out my post on a tribute
to a great talent here
And as I showcased some Bollywood songs in that post, I thought I would also add a Bollywood twist to my ABC Wednesday posts as well.

So here is the first one ... 

Baghon Mein Bahar Hai

featuring Rajesh Khanna and Farida Jalal from the movie Aradhana my favourite Bollywood movie

At a time when it was fashionable to be very skinny and when chubby was considered extremely unattractive and often a source of mean ridicule, it was a breath of fresh air to have a not so skinny Farida Jalal star opposite a mega superstar. I thought she was very pretty and charming and she made us chubby girls feel beautiful.

Bindiya Chamkegi 

Featuring Rajesh Khanna and Mumtaz from the movie Do Raaste

I was going to post only 1 song but I just couldn’t choose between these two. And as Mumtaz was my favourite Bollywood actress and Do Raaste one of my favourite movies, I had to share this one too.

Youtube - Bindiya Chamkegi

Check out some other B posts at ABC Wednesday and have a beautiful day.

Related Post: A Superstar of Bollywood Says Goodbye

Warm Regards

Tuesday, July 24, 2012

UBC 21 - Haiku - Meaning, Boredom

Post 21 for the Ultimate Blogging Challenge 

Haiku Heights - Meaning        
Sensational Haiku Wednesday - Boredom

When Mother Earth rocks
Is she playing ‘cos she’s bored
Or means to warn us?

Warm Regards

UBC 20 - GBE2 - Breathless

This is post 20 for the Ultimate Blogging Challenge on  GBE2's prompt  "Breathless"

Life is not measured by the number of breaths we take but by the moments that take our breath away ~ Unknown

So here are some of the moments of my life that took my breath away (in no particular order)

The birth of my kids - they were the sweetest babies I ever saw and they brought and still bring joy to my heart

Paris at Christmas - oh my, that was magical - nearly 20 years ago and I can still hear myself say "OMG this is so beautiful"

The Sistine Chappel - absolutely amazing - I was completely lost for words

Statue of David in Florence - the sheer size of it was astounding 

Inside the Colosseum in Rome - I think I just stood there and stared. Wow what can I say – in it’s time this must have been something magnificent.

Under the Niagara Falls in the maid of the mist – Actually it’s quite scary to hear the thunder of the falls but the ride was so worth it.

First glimpse of the majestic Himalayas – that is a sight to behold. I would love to go back and see them again.

Manali in the Himalayas – I think this is one of the most beautiful places I have ever seen.  I can close my eyes and see the place in my mind – it was so beautiful, it’s imprinted in my mind. 

The Houseboat on Dal Lake, Srinagar, Kashmir, India – I was 11 at the time and it was just so different. To my 11 year old mind this was just amazing. And the shikara (boat) ride across the lake with the mountains all around was breathtaking.

Taj Mahal at Agra – one of the 7 wonders of the world – to be experienced as one can’t describe it in words.

Fatehpur Sikri near Agra– Now this was a place that truly amazed me – I enjoyed every moment of it. Our guide was so awesome, one could actually transport oneself to the time of Akbar the Great. If ever you visit India, don’t miss this one.

Marlborough Sounds, South Island, New Zealand – New Zealand has many places that take your breath away including my beautiful city of Wellington, but I chose this one as this was my first view of the South Island from the Interislander ferry and I was just blown away by the views.

Pohutu geyser, mud pools and Waiotapu in Rotorua – the thermal activity in Rotorua is also something one has to see. The Pohutu geyser erupts approximately every 1-1.5 hours so we were lucky to see one eruption that was quite spectacular.

The snow in the freak snowfall we had all over New Zealand. I had so much fun in the snow, I was like a little kid and the views from my house were astounding.

And then there was Donny Osmond … he held my hand for a moment or two while singing Puppy Love at the Wellington concert in 2006 – oh what can I say – my heart stopped beating for that moment.

I’m sure if I spent some more time on this post I would come up with many more breath-taking moments but will have to leave those for another post another day.

Wish you all many awesome moments.

Here are pics of the snow on the hills around Wellington that truly took my breath away.

Warm Regards

Monday, July 23, 2012

UBC 19 - Focus on this - Delicious

Post 19 for the Ultimate Blogging Challenge is Blogging for fun's Focus on this prompt - Delicious

This is taken from my other blog - Photos are Fun

I love Indian food and here is my favourite

Dahi Batata Puri (yoghurt, potatoes, puri) - Indian fast food. But just delicious.

Warm Regards

UBC 18 - Six Word Saturday

Post 18 for the Ultimate Blogging Challenge are my words for Six Word Saturday (even though it's Monday)

Technology withdrawal with no Internet service

My modem decided to give up but hooray for mobile technology, I'm back up and running again while my new modem arrives.

Have a fun day

Warm Regards

Will have to skip the pics, mobile technology is expensive here and this has got to last to the end of the week.

Sunday, July 22, 2012

UBC 17 - Cyrus Mistry Trekking for Charity

Post 17 for the Ultimate Blogging Challenge features my friend Cyrus Mistry.

Cyrus was my classmate in school. After school we lost contact with each other but thanks to social media (facebook), email and technology, we are now back in touch.

About Cyrus himself I will say very little as he says it best himself on his website Trekking4kids

Cyrus is trekking for charity and will be climbing Mt Kilimanjaro in October this year.

I have some many awesome classmates that have made their mark on the world in many ways but over the years my view of life and its purpose has changed.

While material comforts bring us pleasure, it is the service to humanity that makes me truly happy.

A couple of weeks ago, Cyrus and I had a nice chat over the phone and I was so glad to hear that we share the same values in life. That giving back to this wonderful world a little of what it has given us, gives us both joy.

Good luck my friend on your noble quest. If not all of your classmates, at least I will be with you every step of the way in spirit.

Please check out Cyrus’ website Trekking4kids  and if you can help that would be greatly appreciated. A little goes a long way for these kids.

Warm Regards

Saturday, July 21, 2012

UBC 16 - Another Ending - A Superstar of Bollywood says goodbye

Post 16 for the Ultimate Blogging Challenge and another one for the prompt Endings from The Writers Post

This post will probably appeal more to my Indian readers, but I hope you can tolerate a radically different post from the stuff I normally write as this is about Bollywood and one of it's legendary stars.

Rajesh Khanna the mega superstar and king of romance of Bollywood died at the age of 69 on 18 July 2012. 

And though the man who was a phenomenon, a superstar, and unlikely ever to be surpassed (at least not in my lifetime), is no longer with us, he lives on in the hearts of many Indians and will forever be remembered as the greatest ever of the Bollywood screen. He was the only Bollywood star who has had 15 consecutive golden jubilee hit movies.

The following and adoration that he commanded was the stuff that stars dream about but never achieve.  He just drove the girls wild. I wasn't that crazy about the guy but I loved a lot of the movies he starred in and I loved his songs. 

My first Rajesh Khanna movie was Aradhana, a diamond jubilee hit for him. I was 9 years old when I saw it at the Roxy Cinema at Marine Lines in Bombay and it remains my favourite Bollywood movie. I've lost count of the number of times I've seen it.  Some of my other favourite movies that he starred in are Kati Patang, Amar Prem, Anand, Do Raaste.

But I guess the best way to showcase Bollywood and the legend that was, is via some videos of some of my favourite songs and some that trigger some memory.

Roop Tera Mastana (You are beautiful) from Aradhana with Sharmila Tagore, my absolute favourite Bollywood song. 
I believe this song was also voted the song of the century (though I don't have any documented clarification of that). It was the song that gave Kishor Kumar his first Filmfare award and established him as the leading playback singer in Bollywood.

Youtube - Roop Tera Mastana

Gunguna Rahe Hain - also from Aradhana with Sharmila Tagore

Just about every song in Aradhana is just great and it was a hard choice but I eventually chose this one as I love the tune of this song and it's such a happy song. You also get a glimpse of the beautiful Himalayas.

Youtube - Gunguna Rahe Hain

Chup Gaye Saare Nazare - from Do Raaste with Mumtaz, my favourite actress

If you have never seen a Bollywood movie ... yep this is Bollywood!

Youtube - Chup Gaye Nazare

Zindagi Ek Safar Hai Suhana - Life is a beautiful journey - from Andaaz (197) with Hema Malini.

Rajesh Khanna only appeared for 5 minutes in this movie and made the song a hit - such was the RK mania.

I chose this song because you get to see my beautiful city of Mumbai and because my class saw this movie together as part of our Hindi subject "excursion" when we were in standard 7.

Youtube - Zindagi Ek Safar Hai Suhana

Jis Gali Mein - from Kati Patang with Asha Parekh

Such a beautiful song, they don't make songs like this now and in my view the actors of today simply could not pull off a song like this.

Youtube - Jis Gali Mein

Zindagi Kaisi Hai Paheli - Life is a riddle - from Anand

I think this movie (in my opinion) was Rajesh Khanna's best acting performance ever. And tragically the end for him in reality came in the same way as in the movie.

Youtube - Zindagi Kaisi Hai Paheli

Zindagi kaisi hai paheli, kabhi to hasaye, kabhi ye rulaye
Life is a riddle, sometimes it makes you laugh and sometimes it makes you cry.

RIP Rajesh Khanna.

Warm Regards

Friday, July 20, 2012

UBC 15 - Endings

Post 15 for the Ultimate Blogging Challenge on the prompt from Thursday Writer's Post - Endings

I hate endings so when this prompt came up, my mind went completely blank.

However, as always, at some point, every prompt triggers a flood of inspiration and ideas so here's my post, many weeks later for the prompt.

Yesterday was my last day at work. I've been working in this organisation for 5 months and I worked with an awesome group of people.

I am now chilling at home for a couple of weeks before I start my new job.

But back to the endings ...

6 weeks ago I got told at work, along with about 7 others, that our contracts were being terminated as there wasn't enough work for us. My manager gave us 6 weeks notice - unheard of while contracting - but then she is an awesome, compassionate person and terminating our contracts was not of her doing.

So began the quest for another role - which happily I have found and will be starting at the new place in a few weeks. I've worked there before and I was happy there so I am so relieved and excited to be working there again. As they say ... every cloud has a silver lining.

I was given a very sweet farewell and a lovely card from co-workers that even though I've only known for a short time have become good friends.  They were such a fun bunch of people.

But things happen for a reason. And all endings are the beginnings of something new and wonderful.

Here's my lovely card from my awesome workmates that I will cherish.

When the clouds appear in your life, I wish you many silver linings and wonderful new beginnings.

Warm Regards

UBC 14 - Haiku - First

Haiku Heights - First

First rays of the sun
Shows world in technicolour
A true life painting.

A lover's first kiss
Unforgettable moment
Or one to erase?

A baby's first step
Parent's clap hands in great joy
A new adventure.

Post 14 of the Ultimate Blogging Challenge

Also linking to Andy's Blog Hop Saturday

Warm Regards

Wednesday, July 18, 2012

UBC 13 - A is for ...

Round 10 of ABC Wednesday was a music round and I enjoyed that round so much, I thought I would keep the music going for this round or at least for most of it.

So this week my choice of song is

Always on my mind
by Johnny Christopher, Mark James and Wayne Carson was originally recorded by Brenda Lee in 1972.

There are over 300 recorded releases of the song by many performers including Elvis Presley in 1972 and Willie Nelson's Grammy award version in 1982.

This is a song close to my heart.

So here is Willie Nelson's version

Youtube - Always on my mind

Linking to the Ultimate Blogging Challenge

Wish you all happy memories, always :)

Warm Regards

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