Posted in Family and Society, Life, Personal Musings, Quotes, Stories Around the World

The Gem Within

Ever experienced the niggling sense or foreboding that the self is being taken for a ride. The sixth sense in us, comes out of the dormancy and starts issuing the alert, slowly increasing in tempo and then we finally make a decision or a move. Sometimes it’s easy to get hold of own self and walk away, other times we may be swept with the tide and barely escape from being drowned. Worst, when we know we are sinking and far too gone. Hindsight is a pretty powerful thing, ain’t it ?!

“Sometimes walking away has nothing to do with weakness and everything to do with strength. We walk away not because we want others to realize our worth and value, but because we finally realize our own.” Anonymous

No matter the situation one is placed in, we all have a choice; whether to do or not, how much to do or not or when to do or not. The choice depends on a lot of things, but quite often we tend to overlook how much “the doing or not” changes us deep within. No one is indispensable, neither is anyone of us disposable. Each of us has that little something, that makes us extra special for the other.

Never let go of that something; for that is what makes the pleasant and vibrant colours of the fields. As nature always says, there are many shads of green, but the riot brought by the flowers is what brings the green to life.

“Never see your importance through the standards of the world.” Anonymous

Lend a hand, but not to lose oursleves in the process. Working for the daily bread and butter, doesn’t mean to lose the self. Each one of us needs to better the “special wihtin us” and doing so, gives the feeling that truly life is beautiful.

“A father before he died said to his son: “this is a watch your grandfather gave and this is more than 200 years old, but before I give it to you go to the watch shop on the first street, and tell him I want to sell it, and see how much it is”.
He went and then came back to his father, and said, “the watchmaker paid 5 dollars because it’s old”.
He said to him: “go to the coffee shop”. He went and then came back, and said: “He paid $15 father”.
“Go to the museum and show that watch”.
— He went then came back, and said to his father “They offered me a million dollars for this piece”.
The father said: “I wanted to let you know that the right place values your value in a way right, don’t put yourself in the wrong place and get angry if you don’t. Who knows your value is who appreciates you, don’t stay in a place that doesn’t suit you”.
Source: The Internet

“People always think that the most painful thing in life is losing the one you value. The truth is, the most painful thing is losing yourself in the process of valuing someone too much and forgetting that you are special too.” Anonymous

Posted in Daily, Food, Stories Around the World

Twist in the “Cup”

Quiet mornings are high on the wish-list these days, so when the weekend rolls over; the lure of the peace is strengthened by a hearty cuppa. With the new trend of butter to bulletproof coffee, yours truly did a couple of twist after intense research and experimentation to give a different flavour to each weekend of the month. As the new saying may be like something new, something old and then an extra something borrowed (not blue) gives a new vibe for the coming week.

Coming to coffee trend across the continents, the Austrian Kaisemelange can keep one guessing the ingredients. Traditionally made by mixing the egg yolk and honey, and adding strong black coffee while stirring gradually; the flavours give a different meaning for the day. Doing it at home, it took quite a number of tries to get all the proportions in sync.

On the other hand, the traditional Finnish “Kaffeost” combines the cheese to the coffee. Into the birch burl carved mug, a cube of cheese (originally juustoleipä from reindeer milk, leipäjuusto or juusto; recipe variations mention about bread cheese) is placed at the bottom and boiling black coffee is poured into it. As the coffee is being sipped, the softened chunks can be spooned out or left behind as dregs. This coffee flavoured cheese and the nutty buttery coffee flavour, gives off a dessert-ish vibe and especially enrich the morning routine.

“Like a symphony, coffee’s power rests in the hands of a few individuals who orchestrate its appeal. So much can go wrong during the journey from soil to cup that when everything goes right, it is nothing short of brilliant! After all, coffee doesn’t lie. It can’t. Every sip is proof of the artistry – technical as well as human – that went into its creation.” Howard Schultz

Going across to the next continent, the traditional Malaysian “Ipoh White Coffee” is made by roasting the coffee beans with margarine and no added sugar. Roasting the beans with wheat, sugar and margarine gives the other popular Malaysian ‘black’ coffee roast (Kopi-O). Coming to the Indian kitchen, the ever popular spice rack holds a special position there. Which is why the Mexican Café de Olla was on the “to try” list. Made traditionally in the earthen clay pot, the basic ingredients include ground coffee, cinnamon and piloncillo (unrefined whole cane sugar or dark brown sugar); served with optional ingredients like orange peel, anise, and clove to spice it up. pot brewed coffee with raw sugar and spices. The coffee is prepared in a stainless steel saucepan with water, brown sugar, cinnamon and dark roasted ground coffee and served in a cup with an orange peel.

All in all, the different “coffee trends” around the globe makes for an interesting experience, whether it be in the popular cafe or in the comfort of our kitchen. Each “cuppa joe” has its’ own special story, to share, experience and relish in; a voyage even in the these times.

Posted in Family and Society, Life, Personal Musings, Stories Around the World

In the Flow

Because I can count on my fingers the number of sunsets I have left, and I don’t want to miss any of them.” Suzanne Collins (author of Catching Fire)

The hustle and bustle of daily living gets to us at times, especially when we see someone whose time is drawing to a close. Even though some professional sectors especially the emergency sectors, healthcare workers, military and the like see it on a more frequent scale; each life threatening event strikes the core of own self, knowingly or unknowingly. It wouldn’t be something new for those who work in a field where one is deals too close to death like the healthcare sector, the police or even the military. For some of us (or maybe many) it would be a wake-up call; either being involved directly or indirectly (through someone) in a near brush with near-death situation as simple as a road traffic accident. Then we can feel the waves crashing around us wondering about the point of wearing ourselves down with life when death is one surety for all.

In such an event, it is time to step and see the bigger picture especially through the eyes of those who have survived near-death. We then realize that the beauty of living is when the smaller things add up and we become a part of someone else’s life. Just as “no man is an island” we are all part of a bigger orchestra to play the symphony. It is the little notes that finally sing the big tune. No matter how dreary our lives seem, there are others who have had it worse. Yet no matter whichever way it maybe, the echoes of death teach us to appreciate the hidden joys of the daily living. Each of us form a small thread in the fabric of life, be it our own or of those around us. At the end of the day, these little waves are what brings the harmony to the shore.

“Waves are the voices of tides. Tides are life,” murmured Niko. “They bring new food for shore creatures, and take ships out to sea. They are the ocean’s pulse, and our own heartbeat.” Tamora Pierce

The cycle of life and death, is an innate part of each of us. Many a time we chase behind the big wave or the bigger ride, forgetting that they came come few and far between. Instead chasing after the little clouds in our own sky zone, helps us to complete and draw a better picture than before. Not to get me wrong, do chase your dreams but learning not to forget that we are a small thread in the whole fabric makes the woven cloth a vibrancy of colours; a life of it’s own. In the face of that, the flaming embers don’t hide the gift that we all have received, been blessed with and have passed it on with our heart and soul.

The little wave The story is about a little wave, bobbing along in the ocean, having a grand old time. He’s enjoying the wind and the fresh air – until he notices the other waves in front of him, crashing against the shore. “My God, this terrible”, the wave says. “Look what’s going to happen to me!” Then along comes another wave. It sees the first wave, looking grim, and it says to him: “Why do you look so sad?” The first wave says: “You don’t understand! We’re all going to crash! All of us waves are going to be nothing! Isn’t it terrible?” The second wave says: “No, you don’t understand. You’re not a wave, you’re part of the ocean.” Source: “Tuesdays With Morrie” by Mitch Albom

Posted in Christian, Family and Society, Life, Personal Musings, poetry, Random Thoughts

Look up for a Smile

“Caelum non animum mutant qui trans mare currunt.
(They change their sky, not their soul, who rush across the sea.)”
― Horace, The Odes of Horace

Well into the humdrum of the working day, the ten minute walk to the local grounds for lunch, is something that one looks forward too. True that the hunger pangs may be going strong, but along with that factor is the chance to simply view the clear blue skies above.

The glorious hue of the skies often bring to the mind, the possibility of chances, new shapes of dreams, His Love and His Grace as well as the infinity of the world around us. If by any chance one notes the shapes of the clouds; their shape-shifting ability is remarkable. No one can measure the beginning or the end of the blueness of the world above us. Neither can anyone change the colour of the skies by own choice. The different hues mimic own state of mind at times, but at the end of the day the darkness is lit by twinkling lights and the blackness gives way to the brighter tomorrow.

“In the beginning was the word and the word was love and love was imagination. When love takes us through the sun-dappled garden of our imagination, no stalking horses can perturb the rainbow in our mind or fade out its bright colors reflecting in the blue sky of our memory. (“Alpha and Omega”)” Erik Pevernagie

More or less, the skies teach us to rise above the ebbs of life. It tells to climb out of the troughs and trenches that we fall into. It promises a better tomorrow if put the light of today to good use. The blue skies always highlights the fact that even after rainy days, they do come again. As the skies bring their rays around, let those strengthen the souls that live within us. For then every dark day will fade away in due time, chased away if not by the brightness of the rays above, the strength from those memories will hold the tide till then. As time always moves ahead, so do the blue skies and so will the day that always comes after the present one. All we need to do is believe and forge ahead.

“There is one spectacle grander than the sea, that is the sky; there is one spectacle grander than the sky, that is the interior of the soul.” Victor Hugo, Les Misérables

A New Day
by Anonymous
If life seems at its lowest ebb,
Because a day’s gone wrong.
Let not your heart be troubled,
For a new day soon will dawn

And we can never be quite sure,
Just what it has in store.
Since each one is so different,
Than the one just gone before

As it penetrates the darkness,
With its soft and tranquil beams.
It calms even the most restless soul,
And brings new hopes and dreams

So when a days been troubled,
And the night is dark and long.
Lift up your fallen spirits,
For a new day soon will dawn

Posted in Life, Personal Musings, Random Thoughts, Stories Around the World

Angles to the Plane

Already a week into the new year, the way things are going across the world; it does sound like a rerun of the year past. But again, that is to one’s own perspective.

Each of us have come across plenty of illusions in our life. Often they are masked in the manner of dreams and hopes, other times they may be buried under the category of “futile thoughts”. What one doesn’t realize is that some of those “illusions” are on our own perception, but the rest on what has been fed to us by those around us or by what we seen through their eyes.

“What I need is perspective. The illusion of depth, created by a frame, the arrangement of shapes on a flat surface. Perspective is necessary. Otherwise there are only two dimensions. Otherwise you live with your face squashed up against a wall, everything a huge foreground, of details, close-ups, hairs, the weave of the bedsheet, the molecules of the face. Your own skin like a map, a diagram of futility, criscrossed with tiny roads that lead nowhere. Otherwise you live in the moment. Which is not where I want to be.” Margaret Atwood

The question then arises, the illusions that of theirs, why do they stay on in us. That’s when one needs to morph them into the varied angles through their own familiar planes; for it is our own perspective that matters in the end. For the urbanite, the city is the haven; whereas for the sylvan heart and soul the haven of the former becomes a nightmare. Those illusion made by the wayward thoughts need to be given their due depth and space depending on how one really wants it.

Placing all these illusions of colours onto the frame, raising them through their own angles gives a renewed perspective on how to see things. For this to happen, one has to place these choices in their own hands. Each of us have own canvas to colour, let’s do them as to the perspective that we hold. If not as in the year before, may this year echo such thoughts, dreams and hopes.

Different perspectives
The Minister travelled for days by train and car and boat to one of the furthest islands in the nation. As he surveyed the bleak but inspiring landscape, he turned to a local villager and said: “You’re very remote here, aren’t you?” She responded: “Remote from what?”
Source: The Internet

Posted in Family and Society, Life, Personal Musings, poetry, Quotes

Into the Next Over

While scheduling the work events for the next week and corresponding them into the wall calendar in the kitchen was when the irony of the innumerable uncertainties of the year that was the present.

“Last year’s words belong to last year’s language. And next year’s words await another voice.” T.S. Eliot

Despite all the chaos of the year, there are many things one would have been grateful for. There would also be many blessings that were received with surprise and gratitude; the help from unknown corners; kindness from a strangers and the unexpected blessings in the midst of perceived or true adversities. Through all this, one has prevailed and reached the next set of overs. What we do carry forward from the year previous are the lessons from the failures or choices that were made. Gather them and reap their benefit by looking beyond the emotional tangents and then strike ahead in the next given set of overs. Sometime we will eventually hit the boundary or go beyond it, and score more than the runs we expect.

“I close my eyes to old ends. And open my heart to new beginnings.” Nick Frederickson

One of the tangible things learnt this year among the known concept of the humane ability within each of us to adapt or survive, is the courage to do so. All of us have that strength in us to survive the falls in life; we just need to bring out the courage lying deep down. Let the dormant courage come to life, and steer us ahead. To find it, just put one foot in front of the other and take a few baby steps. Soon we will learn to walk and navigate those rocky paths with faith, courage and hope. Just move ahead, we all can do it.

Turn of a Year
Joan Houlihan

This is regret: or a ferret. Snuffling,
stunted, a snout full of snow.

As the end of day shuffles down
the repentant scurry and swarm—

an unstable contrition is born.
Bend down. Look into the lair.

Where newborn pieties spark and strike
I will make my peace as a low bulb

burnt into a dent of snow. A cloth to keep me
from seeping. Light crumpled over a hole.

Why does the maker keep me awake?
He must want my oddments, their glow.

Posted in Christian, Musique, Photography Art, Reflections

Chimes of the Day

“Christmas Bells”
I heard the bells on Christmas Day
Their old, familiar carols play,
And wild and sweet
The words repeat
Of peace on earth, good-will to men! by Henry Wadsworth Longfellow

As the lights twinkle nearby, both above and nearby, they bring a Christmas different from the year previous. Instead of the usual family all pouring in, this year it would be a half and half, few of us together and the rest sharing in the joy from different parts of the world or even the same state or areas as well. Whichever way it may be, the essence of Christmas doesn’t change.

With the last minute preparations being completed, the candles are lit, ribbon-ed and christingles are completed; it all brings to the mind of the faith that things will always change for the better. As Christmas always reminds us of the unconditional love God had for each of us, bringing light into an otherwise dark world. Though the seasons change and winds may go against us, there’s always the hope that His Light gives. Even the dark cloudy skies have the occasional twinkle from the stars that lie in them. All one needs to do, is to hang on and do their bit; for the rest will come through.

“After listening to the king, they went on their way. And behold, the star that they had seen when it rose went before them until it came to rest over the place where the child was. When they saw the star, they rejoiced exceedingly with great joy. And going into the house they saw the child with Mary his mother, and they fell down and worshiped him. Then, opening their treasures, they offered him gifts, gold and frankincense and myrrh.” (Mathew 2:9-11)

As this Christmas comes and will soon go by, to remember to carry on the message of love and peace is what is important. To make room in our hearts for those who need a hand. To know to cherish, support and love those around us. And above all, to always share a little bit of kindness along the way as we go across different paths is what brings the sparkle and peace to not not just the lives that go by us, but into our own as well.

As each Christmas says, let the spirit of love and goodwill always be a part and parcel of us, no matter how troubled or different times may be. For as always, love, hope and faith shall conquer all.

“Feliz Navidad, próspero año y felicidad.”

“Music on Christmas Morning”

Music I love -­ but never strain
Could kindle raptures so divine,
So grief assuage, so conquer pain,
And rouse this pensive heart of mine -­
As that we hear on Christmas morn,
Upon the wintry breezes borne.

Though Darkness still her empire keep,
And hours must pass, ere morning break;
From troubled dreams, or slumbers deep,
That music kindly bids us wake:
It calls us, with an angel’s voice,
To wake, and worship, and rejoice;
-by Anne Brontë