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Monday, 15 September 2014

I Successfully Completed My Gratefulness Challenge

During the month of September, I was tagged by my friends, Sangeet Bird and Suniti Joshi to do the gratitude challenge. The rules were as follows: I had to enumerate three things I am grateful for on three separate days, not necessarily consecutive (days) and on each day, I had to tag three friends, encouraging them to participate too.

Doing this test is like opening yourself in public. You expose yourself without reservations. Many people whom I had tagged did not take up the challenge, maybe they were too busy to give a thought to it, or maybe they didn’t want to share. Well, whatever it was, I went along and completed this challenge, although not in three consecutive days. This challenge was done more for myself than for others and I had to feel what I was writing sincerely. But after completing the challenged I realized how blessed I am and I should not be complaining if sometimes things don’t go as planned.

So, here I am, sharing what I said on FB on three different days

 Day one of my Gratefulness Challenge.

  • Not a day goes by when I don’t thank the universe for being kind to me. A roof over my head, delicious food on my table and feeling of content for everything I have. What more could I ask? Universe listens, whenever I ask for security and care, Spiritual blessings are endowed over me. 
  •  I am grateful for belonging to loving and caring family, siblings and cousins, aunts and uncles, nieces and nephews, my large supportive family is always there, close enough to stretch and touch but far enough to create a space for freedom to breathe.
  • I am grateful and proud of my inner circle of friends, online and offline; they have a class of their own. Polished, matured and understanding, I can count on them on all times and they never disappoint me. 

I would like to tag and encourage Deepti Chavan, Suja Sukumaran  and Gitoo Shafizada to participate and share their hours of gratitude and continue the challenge.

Day two of Gratitude Challenge

  • So very grateful to my mom, who encouraged me to be independent and self-sufficient. She always believed that the education, cultural values and talent are enough for person to survive, that money is not important to buy happiness, but patience and tolerence is.
  • So very grateful to my well-wishers (family and friends), who want to see me succeed in life and have contributed in spreading the word of my latest book on ‪#‎SindhiCuisine. My thanks to them for making my book so popular that it is now available worldwide.
  • So very grateful for the latest technology and gadgets in the world, that has brought everybody closer to me, has made my life a luxury and easy to live. It keeps me occupied with the activities like reading and writings and is the great source of information.

I would like to tag Meghna Mirpuri, Sahara-Dolly Mirpuri and Gina Balani to participate and share their hours of gratitude and continue the challenge.

The Third and final day of my Gratefulness Challenge.

  • I am grateful for living in the city of Mumbai. The city has given me independence and confidence. There are so many activities happening all the time that it keeps me occupied and entertained. There is read-meet groups that helps me improve my writing skills, there is food bloggers group that allows me to follow my passion for cooking. There are art galleries, poetry meetings, photography sessions that I regularly visit. Safe city to live, I would never be able to live anywhere else. 
  • I am grateful to be connected to Special school. Being in touch with differently abled children and their struggling families has taught me to appreciate life. We cannot take our life for granted. Every moment has to be analyzed to be able to understand the problems. My own knots seem so little when I compare it with them. Special children have taught me patience and to accept life as it comes 
  • I am grateful to my friends who stand me and my special thanks to Suniti and Sangeeta, who invited me to do this gratitude challenge. During my three posts of rambling, I realized how blessed I am.

This brings me to the end of my three days challenge of gratitude.

I would like to tag and encourage Salma Khan, Aruna Doshi and Anita Mantri to participate and share their hours of gratitude and continue the challenge

Friday, 12 September 2014

Craftsmen of Bangkok

I have always been interested in art and craft. Actually its my passion. There are many carving tool that I possess and the little time I get I like to create something or the other.

I love to learn the art and craft of the country I visit and I have even tried my hand on it. But handicraft is time consuming and requires lots of concentration. It is like meditation, really. You get so engrossed in it that you might forget to eat too.

During my recent visit to Bangkok, I met some craftsmen in Bangkok.

 In Thailand people use the term ‘Chang sip mu’ (ten categories of craftsmen) to call different kinds of arts and crafts. But the names were not specified until the reign of King Rama (1868-1910). They were painting, lacquering, carving on hard and soft objects, modeling, padding, casting, sculpting, plastering, etc.

With industrialization, the handicraft activity is become just a hobby for people who have ample time. But still machine cannot produce the quality of work that is done by these craftsman.

Like this woman who kept thrashing the wood pulp till it reached the right consistency to mold it to a perfect shape.

Or this woman who selected differently shaped tools for carving out the wood at different points.

Or this craftsman who chiseled the wood with finer tools to carve out the wood of right precision

Or this craftsman, who attached every piece at just the right position to give it a proper posture

 Such care cannot be taken with machines. Hundreds of statues may be made by machine but handcrafted items always stand apart.

In Bangkok, handicraft is encouraged. In fact, her Majesty, Queen Sirikit, was kind enough to have her order to open the school of crafts Jitlada in 1979, aiming to be the center to train students, who were handicap or those who were unable to get regular jobs. For past 35years, Jitlada has trained to its highest level of craftsmanship that can be compared to the Royal crafts or ‘The craftsmen of Rhatanagosin’

I was fascinated with all the products that were on display. I specially liked the cravings on the golden teak. The ‘Mother-of-Pearl Inlaying’ is the technique used for these carvings that is as difficult as any other art because each piece of shell must be delicately cut and polished into a very tiny size to fit in each part of the pattern.

It is time consuming activity but the satisfaction of looking at our own end product is exhilarating. 

Thursday, 21 August 2014

Themed Welcome Party at Krabi

During my recent trip to Krabi, one of the occasions that I truly enjoyed during the wedding celebrations was ‘The Welcome Party’.

It was the family wedding I was attending, and welcome party is the occasion where one gets to meet new family members and friends. Naturally, to break the ice, one had to be innovative. Every occasion had a theme, but the welcome party had an interesting theme. There was a dress code for fancy dress; the guests were expected to dress in the character that begins with the first alphabet of their name.

Since the first letter of my name begins with ‘P’ I decided to dress up as a Peacock. That would mean, looking for peacock feathers, stitching a proper dress and doing the right make-up. I was able to find peacock feathers at an art store. I stitched the feathers on my blouse that was dark blue with pink embroidery. My friend had gifted me a bunch of about 24 peacock feathers to take it with me to Krabi. It would look good to use them as a cape and maybe dance. But my brother warned me against it. He said it was illegal to carry peacock feather to Thailand. I am too afraid to do anything illegal and hiding it in my suitcase (as some friends advised) was the risk I was unwilling to take. Therefore it was just few feathers here and there. My cousin volunteered to do eye make-up and that was good enough for me.

So I went to party in long netted pink skirt, a long scarf, peacock-feathered blue blouse and colorful makeup with feathers stuck over my brows and some in the hair band.

I was satisfied with my appearance till I met others. There was creativity everywhere, some dressed up as TV characters, some as deities, some as Hollywood stars and some even as fruits.

My niece was dressed up like a doll with a proper eye-makeup, and beautiful blond hair. It looked strange to look into her eyes, they looked like glass eyes and she kept blinking like dolls do. 

Sometimes I had to look really hard to recognize the face. My niece made funny faces and actually resembled Crazy Susan that we have seen in TV serials.

My cousin was dressed up as Charlie Chaplain, and he walked, limping all the time, cracking joke mostly one-liners.

Everybody was in a crazy mood, clicking pictures in every pose, saving the memories for another day. Every guest was dressed boldly in a fancy dress, each matching the first initial of their name with the respective character they represented.

The party had just begun….

Wednesday, 20 August 2014

Crocodile Farm in Bangkok

I would call crocodile big brothers of iguana, and fierce cousin of lizard. But they are lazy lot. They look like sculptures glued to the floor, with no movement for hours, stiff and inert. If you look closely at the crocodile, its skin is very beautiful with proportional geometrical designs equally spaced, a wonderful natural creation. It is farmed chiefly for its skin to make assorted leather products like wallets, belts, gloves, etc. Some eat crocodile meat, which is considered aphrodisiac.

A crocodile show was to begin, there were huge crocodiles in their pens, some in the water and few on the concrete slab in the middle of the moat. Two boys came and tried to wrestle with crocodile, holding them by the tail and trying to place them on the concrete island. It was quite an effort pulling the heavy croc, they tried with their hands or pushing with their legs. Once they succeeded in bringing the croc on the concrete island they pulled croc’s jaws wide open. Then they would do stunts like inserting their body or head in the open mouth of the croc and moving it out before the croc shut their jaw with a snap.

What if those boys were not able to move their body fast enough from croc's jaws? What if their body be stuck between the sharp teeth of croc? This was quite stressful for me and I wanted it to end as soon as possible with no gory accidents.

In another pen, I saw people buying meat and throwing to the croc. It would start a fight between the hungry croc.

I hate animal shows of any kind where somebody is likely to get hurt.

"I shall seize the fate by its throat....

"I shall seize the fate by its throat....
"I shall seize the fate by its throat....It shall certainly not bend nor crush me completely"

Out of Box


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