Monday, December 27, 2010


The Christmas stocking means many things to many people.
For kids, it is a belief that being good will mean you will be rewarded.
For young adults, it may mean romantic encounters.
For mature parents and grand parents, stockings are a way of expressing their love for having their children around on a festive occasion.
The stocking epitomizes the giving spirit of Christmas. It is a symbol of the season's generosity.
The tradition of Christmas stockings is said to have originated from a kind nobleman named Nicholas, who was born in 280 AD. in Patara, a city of Lycia, in Asia Minor. While still young, his parents died in an epidemic and he dedicated his life to the service of God and became well known for his kindness and generosity.
He always gave his gifts late at night, so that his identity would remain secret. One popular account tells us of a poor peasant who could not get his 3 daughters married because he had no money for their dowry. When Nicolas discovered this , he went to their house one night with a bag of gold and emptied the contents into the stockings of the girls , who had hung them by the fire place to dry, after washing them. Ever since this tradition of stuffing the Christmas Stocking with gifts has come into practice.
Source: Bombay Times


Vaastu is based on 5 elements:
Earth, Water, Air, Fire and space.
"Feng" means "wind" and "shui" means "water" . In Chinese culture gentle wind and clear water have always been associated with good harvest and good health, thus "Feng Shui" came to mean good livelihood and fortune. It is one of the most ancient Chinese Arts of placement that balances the natural forces of the universe to help Chi (positive energy) flow in the best possible way.
These days lot of people are building house as per the principles of Vaastu and designing interiors as per feng shui as they feel it best way to get the all round benefit. Here are some of the tips by the famous vaastu consultant Shelly Gupta. Source: Bombay Times.
Keep moving your furniture around specially after every one year.This will change the flow of energy, which is considered good and also it is fun to create something new and exciting.

  • Those who need wealth should place flowering plants especially of red and purple colours in groups of three along the passage to the front door of your house.
  • Waterfalls are helpful in creating cash flow especially if they are placed in the far left rear corner of your backyard.
  • Paint your mailbox something fun, colourful and eye-catching, especially if your business is home based. This will encourage more business through the mail.
  • Play some music like the ocean waves, forest sounds or rain falling to bring calm to the stressful environment at workplace and home.
  • Place an abacus on your study table to excel in subjects like mathematics and accounting.
  • To attract wisdom and good energies in the house or place of work, put a chime of 8 rods as 8 is the most powerful money and growth manifesting number.
  • Ring a seven metal bell at least 9 times everyday in a house which is full of negative energies and if there are a lot of arguments happening in the house.

  • Saturday, December 25, 2010


    Picture source: photobucket
    Brazil has more than one hundred and fifty million inhabitants, a territory that covers 3,286,475 square miles....making it the fifth largest country on earth. It has immense natural resources.
    And I just cannot describe in words, the beauty of this country.
    Big cities like Sao Paulo have sky scrapers and also favelas (slums) wedged between the luxurious quarters. This is just how Brazil is. You have to see it to believe it.
    The people here are amazing...with love and warmth filled in their hearts. In spite of the language problem, we never felt like foreigners here. They go out of the way to help foreigners. This is a mixed a family you can see some people with African features, some having Chinese looks, Lebanese, Japanese and so on. This is because in the late fifties...Brazilian government invited immigrants to come and settle down here.... and over a period of time, every nationality mingled and married into each other's communities. Some Indian Scientists had come to settle down here but there are not many Indians here on the whole.....probably because of the language.
    Since the last 8-10 years, there has been awareness of English here and now most of the Brazilians are learning the language. Another amazing thing is their love for art and culture...specially Indian art. There are schools where Indian dances like Kuchipudi, Bharatanatyam, Manipuri are taught by the Brazilians, who have been learning these dances in India since their childhood. They feel that they were Indians in their previous birth and they all have Indian names. We also have many yoga centers. It feels really nice to see your country and its culture being appreciated and loved elsewhere, especially on the other side of the globe. After the recent visits of Indian President and the Prime Minister, Indo-Brazilian trade opportunities are opening up. Lot of IT and Pharma companies are investing here, bringing more Indian families to this beautiful country.
    Talking about Brazil and not mentioning the Foot ball .....
    The Brazilian foot ball team is ranked among the best in the world. Their love for the game is amazing. During the World Cup matches the whole country is on a holiday, enjoying the match. Big screens are put up everywhere for the people to watch the game.

    Brazil has the most beautiful beaches too, the most famous one is Copacabana in Rio-de-Janeiro.
    Well, I must say that I had the opportunity to live in many countries...but the warmth, love and affection that I have seen in the amazing ...... I have not seen or experienced it anywhere else.

    Friday, December 17, 2010

    A Little Christmas Story

    When four of Santa's elves got sick, the trainee elves did not produce toys
    as fast as the regular ones, and Santa began to feel the Pre-Christmas
    pressure. Then Mrs. Claus told Santa her Mother was coming to visit, which stressed Santa even more. When he went to harness the reindeer, he found that three of them were about to give birth and two others had jumped the fence and were out, Heaven knows where. Then when he began to load the sleigh, one of the floorboards cracked, the toy bag fell to the ground and all the toys were scattered. Frustrated, Santa went in the house for a cup of apple cider and a shot of rum. When he went to the cupboard, he discovered the elves had drunk all the cider and hidden the liquor.. In his frustration, he accidentally dropped
    the cider jug, and it broke into hundreds of little glass pieces all over the kitchen floor. He went to get the broom and found the mice had eaten all the straw off the end of the broom. Just then the doorbell rang, and an irritated Santa marched to the door, yanked it open, and there stood a little angel with a great big Christmas tree. The angel said very cheerfully, 'Merry Christmas, Santa. Isn't this a lovely day? I have a beautiful tree for you. Where would you like me to stick it?'
    And so began the tradition of the little angel on top of the Christmas tree.

    Wednesday, December 15, 2010


    Sometimes we all start wondering, don't we, what life is all about. Especially when things go wrong, or a friend or a dear one hurts your feelings.

    As Corita Kent has beautifully said:
    "Life is a succession of moments.
    To live each one is to succeed "

    I was just reading this short story of two friends.
    One had a dutiful wife, who would do all her chores, thinking it as her duty and he thanked God for giving him such a wonderful wife.
    The other one had a wife just the opposite. She was nagging and cribbing about work all the time, and demanded her husband's help to do it.
    But in his prayers, the husband too thanked God for giving him a wonderful wife.
    His perspective was that this behaviour of hers also had a hidden advantage.
    Unknowingly, she was in a way, by making him do all the work, helping him be fit and independent.
    So now it is left to us how we decide how to take things in life and accept them. Though at every stage of our life we do have to make adjustments with everyone, we will be happy only when we learn to accept things as they are.

    Like the saying goes:
    Life is a package of it and accept it.
    It is God`s gift to you.!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    Tuesday, December 14, 2010


    Image source: Photobucket
    While keeping the rest of the house clean and tidy, the kitchen is one such area that requires more time and care.
    Here are some tips:
    • Use separate areas of the kitchen for different activities. Vegetables and meats should be cut and cleaned at a slight distance from the stove.
    • Keep different knives for different activities. A meat knife and a vegetable one should be different.
    • Always wipe up the spilt milk or gravies immediately. They can stick to the burner or kitchen platform and attract bacteria. It is best to take a sponge and clean it before it dries up.
    • Ensure your spoons and spatulas are freshly washed. Do not use something that has been lying in a cabinet for a while attracting dust.
    • Always soak the dishes before washing so that the dirt becomes easier to scrub off.
    • Kitchen towels and napkins should be washed everyday.
    Source: Bombay Times.

    Thursday, December 9, 2010

    ALMONDS - A Handful of Goodness

    Images : Photobucket

    It is a well known fact that almonds are a great source of multiple nutrients like vitamin E, Fiber, Copper, magnesium, Phosphorous and Riboflavin.They are also known to protect against diabetes and cardiovascular diseases. It is amazing to know just how much goodness is packed in a handful of these nuts.
    It is an ideal combination of taste and nutrition that blends well with the Indian cuisine and palate.

    • You can have them the way you like them, plain, salted, sweet, roasted, spicy and tangy.

    • Blanched and chopped almonds can be used to garnish the desserts.
    • Almond paste can be added to various curries making them rich, nutritious and flavourful.

    • Make nut crumbs by coarsely grinding almonds in a food processor, and use them as a topping on grain dishes and pasta.

    Use your creativity with almonds and turn every meal into a delicious affair.

    Source: Bombay Times (The Times of India)

    Monday, December 6, 2010


    Kanjeevaram saree is known as Queen of Sarees.
    The Kanjeevaram saree get its name from the town it originated in - KANCHIPURAM / KANJEEVARAM also known as Temple Town.
    It is situated in the Southern state of Tamilnadu, about 75 Kms. away from Chennai.
    These sarees are made of heavy silk which is so durable that it can be washed at home with normal water. They are passed over from one generation to the next, like a piece of antique jewellery. The unique trait of these sarees is the bold and bright colours with intricate borders and exquisite pallus, which are generally woven using gold dipped silver threads (zari).

    The credit completely goes to the weavers who have been carrying on this tradition for generations with excellent expertise and skill. Each saree is a unique creation and no two sarees are identical.
    The length of the saree is six yards usually. There are some of nine-yard length which are worn during religious ceremonies. They are draped in a different way.Some of the older generation still continue wearing the traditional nine yard saree.
    The cost of a Kanjeevaram saree can go from rupees 2,000 to 50,000 depending on the quality of the silk and the zari used. It is a must in every trousseau, specially of a South Indian girl. In the recent past, Indian silks, especially Kanjeevaram silks have been gaining popularity in the fashion capitals of the world.

    Sunday, December 5, 2010


    Use toothpaste to repair scratched CDs and DVDs

    Believe it or not, this simple dental hygiene product can work wonders for small scratches.

    Here is what you have to do:

    • Squirt a circle just on the outside of the inner circle. Use your index finger to spread the toothpaste.

    • Lay the CD/DVD on a flat surface, and using your clean fingers gently rub the toothpaste in small circular motions

    • Leave the toothpaste on for about 5 minutes

    • Wash off the toothpaste with cool tap water. Make sure you get all the toothpaste off.

    • Dry off the CD/DVD with a paper towel because some clothes are not always clean and can cause further damage.

    (Please make a backup copy of your disc when you are trying out the first time)

    Source: The Times of India


    Lot of people suffer from the problem of blackheads and how eager they are to know how to get rid of them.Thankfully there are solutions.In extreme cases it is better to invest a little money in a treatment from a specialist.

    There are lots of cosmetic scrubs available in the market.One needs to gently massage the blackhead prone areas, wash and pat dry. You could also try some home remedies.
    • Apply a paste of green apple extracts on the affected area and gently exfoliate with gram powder.
    • Prepare a paste of cinnamon and lime juice and apply on your face.
    • Prepare a paste of turmeric powder and coriander leaves and apply on your face
    • Take the pulp of grapes and apply on the blackhead affected area.Leave it for 15-20 minutes and wash your face with warm water.
    • Apply cucumber paste and let it dry. Wash your face with cold water.

    Source: The Times of India

    Image source: Photobucket

    Saturday, December 4, 2010

    HEALTH TIPS (Omega 3 )

    Did you know that foods which are high in Omega 3 fatty acids can make your skin glow with good health.

    Foods rich in Omega 3 acids:




    Vegetarians can opt for:



    The easiest way is to add these food items to your salad bowl couple of times in a week.

    Wednesday, December 1, 2010

    THOUGHT FOR THE DAY (Lesson from crayons)

    We could learn a lot from crayons...
    Some are sharp, some are pretty and some are dull.
    Some have weird names,
    and all are of different colors,
    but they all have to live in the same box.

    A single colour just looks like any colour
    But when seen colourful !

    Can we not take this as an example in our lives too.
    Learn to adjust and adapt and live together rather than being a loner.
    Make your life beautiful and colourful !

    Just Remember
    People who live in their own little world
    never get to enjoy the worlds of others.

    Thursday, November 25, 2010

    THOUGHT FOR THE DAY (Always be Happy)

    Each morning when I open my eyes I say to myself:
    I, not events, have the power to make me happy or unhappy today.
    I can choose which it shall be.
    Yesterday is dead, tomorrow hasn't arrived yet.
    I have just one day, today,
    and I'm going to be happy in it.
    - Groucho Marx

    Wednesday, November 24, 2010


    During my stay in Brazil I once went for shopping to the down-town of the city where I met this Brazilian girl Maria...who also calls herself Meera. She had a tattoo of OM on her hands.
    She said that she has read a lot about Indian culture and she was impressed with so many things....our culture, yoga, food, our faith in God...the way Indian women pray and fast for their husbands etc. She asked me to translate something in Hindi so that she could get that tattooed on her hands as well. It said, "GOD SAVE ME FROM THE EVIL EYE." I explained so many things to her and convinced her that OM was the mantra for everything and that it alone was enough.
    I used to wonder before as to how these people know so much about other cultures till I met a Brazilian who is married to an Indian. She has translated all the Epics like Ramayana, Mahabharatha and Jataka tales for children in Portuguese.
    She also has written all about Rudraksha so much detail that even we would not know that much about it.
    Her next project is Indian Astrology. We have so many ways of fortelling the future, like palmistry, parrot picking up ur fortune card, Bhrigushastra, then down South we have people fortelling your future by just feeling ur pulse... etc.
    It is really amazing to see foreigners taking so much interest in Indian Culture.


    Tuesday, November 23, 2010


    Today I saw an e-mail which really touched my heart. I would like to share the gist of it with you.
    This reflects on the behaviour of some of the youngsters these days.
    There was this young couple who had their father living with them. They just got fed up of his age-induced clumsiness. He would drop his spoons and forks...spoil the carpet....break the crockery because old age had made him weak and fragile. One day, they just gave him a table in the corner of the room and a wooden bowl to eat from. This behaviour of his children towards him brought tears in his eyes... but he was helpless.
    One day the parents see their child collecting wooden pieces in the garden and ask him what he was doing. The child innocently replies,"I am collecting wood to make wooden bowls for that when you are old like may need them."
    Imagine what a lesson this child has taught to his parents. After that day, the couple took their father back to the table, and thereafter, never minded about the broken crockery or stained carpets. They had learnt about the circle of life.
    Imagine even little kids can teach us a lot, some times.
    I believe that life is a process of learning...from any age.


    Photo source: THE HINDU

    Having lived a reasonably contented life, I was musing over what a person should strive for to achieve happiness. I drew up a list of a few essentials which I put forward for the readers' appraisal.

    1. First and foremost is GOOD HEALTH. If you do not enjoy good health you can never be happy. Any ailment, however trivial, will deduct from your happiness.

    2. Second, A HEALTHY BANK BALANCE. It need not run into crores/millions but should be enough to provide for creature comforts and something to spare for recreation, like eating out, going to the pictures, travelling or going on holidays on the hills or by the sea. Shortage of money can be only demoralizing. Living on credit or borrowing is demeaning and lowers one in
    one's own eyes.

    3. Third, A HOME OF YOUR OWN. Rented premises can never give you the snug feeling of a nest which is yours for keeps that a home provides: if it has a garden space, all the better. Plant your own trees and flowers, see them grow and blossom, cultivate a sense of kinship with them.

    4. Fourth, AN UNDERSTANDING COMPANION, be it your spouse or a friend. If there are too many misunderstandings, they will rob you of your peace of mind. It is better to be divorced than to bicker all the time.

    5. Fifth, LACK OF ENVY towards those who have done better than you in life; risen higher, made more money, or earned more fame. Envy can be very corroding; avoid comparing yourself with others.

    6. Sixth, DO NOT ALLOW OTHER PEOPLE to descend on you for gup-shup (gossip). By the time you get rid of them, you will feel exhausted and poisoned by their gossip-mongering.

    7. Seventh, CULTIVATE SOME HOBBIES which can bring you a sense of fulfilment, such as gardening, reading, writing, painting, playing or listening to music. Going to clubs or parties to get free drinks or to meet celebrities is criminal waste of time.

    8. Eighth, every morning and evening, devote 15 minutes to INTROSPECTION. In the morning, 10 minutes should be spent on stilling the mind and then five in listing things you have to do that day. In the evening, five minutes to still the mind again, and ten to go over what you had undertaken to do.
    RICHNESS is not Earning More, Spending More Or Saving More, but ...

    Tuesday, November 16, 2010


    The six most important words in the English language are:
    "I admit I made a mistake."
    The five most important words in the English language are:
    "You did a good job."
    The four most important words in the English language are:
    "What is your opinion?"
    The three most important words in the English Language are:
    "If you please."
    The two most important words in the English language are:
    "Thank you."
    The one most important word in the English language is :
    The least important word in the English language is
    The two least Important words in the English language are:
    "I can't."

    Source: The Speaking Tree
    A Times of India Publication.
    I really liked these lines. None of us is perfect. Are we? We all have our shortcomings and should learn to admit our mistakes gracefully at the same time be appreciative towards others success and good deeds. The least we could do is to be polite to people. Try to have a positive attitude rather than saying that "I CAN'T".