Exotic Bali escapade

April 22, 2016 Leave a comment

My family and I have just returned from an exotic Bali escapade.  This trip was a feast for our senses and was an eye-opener for us regarding the deep-rooted culture and sense of community in Bali.

We stayed at the Ibis hotels, Nusa Dua.  This hotel is opposite Holiday Inn resort.  Nusa Dua is the centre for water sports in Bali.

On the first day of our trip we tried out Snorkelling and banana boat ride.

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For the 2nd and 3rd day we hired a driver Mr. Agusto to take us around Bali. We visited the rice terraces in Ubud. At  the coffee plantation we got to sample different types of coffee and tea and also to see the process.  Our lunch was at the Kintamani volcano.  We also saw a dance performance depicting  a story about Kunti and Sahadeva.

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After that we visited the Batik factory, the art centre as well as the stone art centre.

On the last day of our trip, we visited the Tanah lot temple and finally we went for the Bali Safari.  The architecture everywhere around Bali is influenced by Hindu temples.  At street centres there are giant statues of Lord Ram, Ghatotkacha, Lord Hanuman and Lord Ganapathi.

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Bali has 83% of people practicing Hinduism with the rest practicing Islam, Christianity and Buddhism.  The people are very humble and have a strong sense of community and faith.   Every house here has a  temple.   There is also a community/territorial temple as well as a main temple.

Our driver told us that school children recite the Gayatri Mantra everyday.  We also saw ladies make offerings in the morning and evening at the doorstep, at temples and at workplaces.

Bali is an exotic place and it is amazing in that it is able to  embrace the modern while retaining its  ancient roots.  The airport is ultra-modern comparable with other new airports around the world. You can see vast green fields and cattle and at the same time you see young children riding motorbikes and Scoopy’s.

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The economy of Bali is tourism- centric.  And the young are moving from an agro-centric culture to learn English (you can see many English coaching centres). They are eager to join the hospitality industry.The people of Bali are creative and enterprising and this can be seen in the beautiful artwork, stone carvings, wood carvings and batik work on display in front of their own homes or at tourist attractions.  Places like Kuta, Denpasar and Seminyak have lot of shopping malls and fast food outlets whereas Ubud, Nusa Dua, Batur,  Tanah lot etc have more small-scale industries like art, stone carving, wood carving and cultivation of rice, vegetables, fruit and coffee.

Categories: Books

Sleep

April 13, 2016 Leave a comment

 

Write a post in response to todays one word prompt “Bedtime”

“To  Sleep is an Act of Faith”

– Barbara G Harrison

Other interesting posts in this category:
1) http://www.theblitheringfool.com/thoughts-bedtime-no-relief/
2) https://faithunlocked.wordpress.com/2016/04/12/bedtime/
3) https://new2writing.wordpress.com/2016/04/12/an-ode-to-bedtime/
4) https://lanternwords.wordpress.com/2016/04/12/bedtime-prayers/
5) https://asunkenthought.wordpress.com/2016/04/12/sweet-nothings/

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Categories: Books

Contrast

Contrast

Other interesting posts in this category:
1) https://lanternwords.wordpress.com/2016/04/04/338/
2) https://njsays.wordpress.com/2014/04/07/serene-sky/
3) https://thelonerose.wordpress.com/2016/04/04/contrast/
4) https://foryouwithloveandsqualor.wordpress.com/2016/04/05/contrast/
5) http://musingsofamenopausalmaven.com/2016/04/05/daily-prompt-the-contrasting-world-we-live-in/

Categories: Books

India – where cricket is an obsession!

March 30, 2016 Leave a comment

Cricket is a national obsession in India so much so that it could be called a religion. You can see children and adults alike play cricket inside the home, in the compound, on the street and anywhere where they can find some place.
Cricketers are treated like superstars, they have a huge fan following and they are
even worshipped or treated on par with God.

It is a game in which showing the index finger is considered perfectly fine (the umpire does this to signal that a player is out). The english say it is raining cats and dogs. For indians it is raining fours and sixes.

The commentator in a cricket game can behave like an energized electron at flashpoint..
He goes:”And this ball is full toss to Chris Gayle and Gayle is waiting for this moment.
He middles the ball and lifts it high in the air… and this is really far 108m. The crowd is in a frenzy, they are shouting and screaming. This man is hitting every ball for a six or a four. What a knock from Chris Gayle!”

With the advent of IPL, clubs conduct auction for top players.. Some of these players can
command millions of dollars. Betting on matches is also a big business and has resulted
in players being caught for match-fixing.

While cricket has a huge fan following in India. It will be great if the same attention can be given to other sports like hockey, football, badminton, wrestling, boxing, swimming, tennis and chess where sportsmen and sportsmen are doing great honours for India but are not getting due attention

Currently, the World T20 Cup has reached the semi-final phase and the first semi-final will be played today.

 

Categories: Books

Revisiting Malacca – a heritage city

March 27, 2016 1 comment

During the long weekend, my friend and I decided to rent a car and drive to Malacca but it being a busy time we could not get a car.  So we took a bus instead. The ride to Malacca takes about 3 hours from Johor.

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Malacca is the third smallest Malaysian state, after Perlis and Penang. It is located in the southern region of the Malay Peninsula, on the Straits of Malacca. It borders Negeri Sembilan to the north and the state of Johor to the south. The capital is Malacca City, which is 148 km south east of Malaysia’s capital city Kuala Lumpur, 235 km north west to Johor’s largest city Johor Bahru.   The monarchy was abolished in Malacca when the Portuguese conquered it in 1511. The Yang di-Pertua Negeri or Governor, rather than a Sultan, acts as the head of state now.

Malacca rose from a humble fishing village to become a major center of the spice trade forming a vital link between the East and the West. Since it’s founding, circa 1400, by a fleeing Sumatra prince, Parameswara. In 1511, the first of many foreign invasions of Malacca took place when the Portuguese arrived. The Portuguese were determined to control the East-West trade; so Malacca still retained its importance as a trade center until 1641 when the Portuguese surrendered Malacca to the Dutch.

The Dutch who had a stronger foothold over the Indonesia archipelago swung the trade center over to Sumatra. In the meantime, Malacca’s trade also declined due to the silting of its port. In 1795 Melaka (Malacca) was given to the British to prevent it form falling to the hands of the French, where the Netherlands was captured during the French Revolution.

Some of the interesting places to see in Malacca are the  Christ Church, Jonker walk, St. Francis Xavier Church, Stadthuys, St. Pauls Church, Cheng Hoon Teng temple, Malacca History Museum, the Maritime museum (Muzium Samudera), the Malacca river cruise etc. The line up of decorated rickshaws makes an interesting spectacle. Malacca is a historical city which is now declared a world heritage site.

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You can also spend time sipping coffee at some interesting joints and there are a lot of massage parlours in the area.  You can see people trying out the Chendol, Gula Melaka, Satay, Laksa , water melon drink (a full water melon turned into juice with a handheld mixer) &  Nasi Lemak . For Indian food there are a number of restaurants at the Little India area.

Categories: Books

Reading Challenge

March 23, 2016 Leave a comment

My man jeeves  eat pray love

one-hundred-years-of-solitude  pilgrims  bombay tiger

One of my goals this year is to read at least 25 books. The first 5 books that
I have read so far are:
Bombay Tiger – Kamala Markandeya
My Man Jeeves – P G Wodehouse
Pilgrims – Elizabeth Gilbert
One hundred years of Solitude – Gabriel Garcia Marquez
Eat, Pray, Love – Elizabeth Gilbert

These are books from different genres and all of them were very interesting. I am trying
to pick up new authors.

What are the 10 best books that you would recommend to read?

Categories: Books

Friend

March 23, 2016 Leave a comment

Write a new post in response to today’s one-word prompt: “Friend”.

I would rather know a friend
then anyone in the world
A friend is one who cares
And a symbol of trust

There are many who know you
But few understand you
A friend is the only one
Who sees beauty in your quirks

When you go through despair
And there is not a soul out there
A smiling face will show up there
A friend for all seasons

To cheer you up, lift up your spirits
And make your day
Keep in touch with your friends
Call them right away!

© copyright skm, 22nd March 2016

Other interesting posts in this category:
1)https://lifestyleofindians.wordpress.com/2016/03/22/friend/
2)https://lovehappily.wordpress.com/2016/03/22/daily-prompt-friend/
3)https://lanternwords.wordpress.com/2016/03/21/he-is-your-friend/
4)https://flowersandbreezes.wordpress.com/2016/03/21/who-needs-a-friend/
5)https://way2heart.wordpress.com/2016/03/21/best-friends-for-life/
6)https://any1mark66.wordpress.com/2016/03/21/friend/
7)https://monicleblog.wordpress.com/2016/03/21/my-own-best-friend/
8)https://ripplesnreflectiontimes.wordpress.com/2016/03/21/friendship/
9)http://reginamartins.com/2016/03/21/friend/
10)https://nonsmokingladybug.wordpress.com/2016/03/21/friends-come-in-many-form-and-sizes/

Categories: Books

Bukit Kutu – A weekend trek

March 13, 2016 Leave a comment

My second trek this year was a memorable trek up Bukit Kutu hill (Treacher’s Hill) in Selangor.   This hike is not an easy one and is not meant for beginners.  The 7 – 8 hour trek takes about 4 hrs uphill and 3 hours downhill.  Bukit Kutu is 1080m and the trail is covered with thick bamboo vegetation.

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We started out from Rawang after stopping for breakfast after a briefing with our leader.  On this trek you come across 2 big rocks, a chimney  and a sanatorium.  There are different versions of stories on the sanatorium/hospital here.  Some say there it may be meant for recuperation of the injured rather than a hospital for treating the hill.

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Once at the summit you can get a panoramic view of the clouds, valley and mountain peaks. I joined the SG Trekking group and we were 40 people of diverse backgrounds.  This made the trip even more enjoyable as there was a lot of sharing and networking. After the long trek uphill, the 360deg view from the summit was the best reward.

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Coming downhill is not easy as your legs are wobbly after the long climb.  For an outdoor experience and a day away from city life, this trek offers a good sweat and you will feel recharged and rejuvenated for the week ahead.

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On our return we enjoyed a dip in the stream below the waterfall.

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Categories: Books

Screen

Write a new post in response to today’s one-word prompt: “Screen”.

Everywhere I turn to
I can only see
People transfixed
To screens

Videos and candy crush
Whatsapp and facebook
Two year olds glaring
At nursery rhymes

At work we stare
at Computer screens
And at home
Its the giant television screen

No phone calls
No tête-à-tête
No time to glance at
The morning sky

From all-embracing
To tunnel vision
Screens shrink
Our perception

 

© copyright skm, 3rd March 2016

 
Other interesting posts in this category:
1) http://shadowrealities.me/2016/03/07/screen/
2) https://simpledimplesite.wordpress.com/2016/03/06/screen-daily-prompt/
3) https://any1mark66.wordpress.com/2016/03/07/screen/
4) https://lanternwords.wordpress.com/2016/03/06/beyond-the-veil/
5) http://acookingpotandtwistedtales.com/2016/03/06/his-big-screen-personal/
6) http://yoursuccessinspirer.com/2016/03/06/screen/
7) https://logos59wordpresscom.wordpress.com/2016/03/06/screen-daily-prompt/
8) https://randomactsofsnark.wordpress.com/2016/03/06/screen/
9) https://lovehappily.wordpress.com/2016/03/06/daily-prompt-screen/
10) https://sonyca.wordpress.com/2016/03/06/screened-off/

Categories: Books

Divide

March 3, 2016 1 comment

Write a new post in response to today’s one-word prompt : “Divide”

The word ‘Divide’ evokes negative emotions. Our mind pictures images of walls, strife, partition and borders. Society has created these divisions based on colour, caste, race, creed, language and religion.

Today is there a world where one does not belittle another? A world where we do not want to clone everyone into stereotypes but rather celebrate our uniqueness, imperfections and variety?

Is there a world where hunger and poverty do not kill thousands everyday? —Where the greed of the rich who are never satisfied leaves the poor to starve for a morsel everyday?.

Today – this seems like a Utopian dream!

Tagore once dreamed that our country wakes up to such a world not divided by narrow domestic walls of hatred (Where the mind is without fear by Rabindranath Tagore).

 

 

Where the mind is without fear and the head is held high
Where knowledge is free
Where the world has not been broken up into fragments
By narrow domestic walls
Where words come out from the depth of truth
Where tireless striving stretches its arms towards perfection
Where the clear stream of reason has not lost its way
Into the dreary desert sand of dead habit
Where the mind is led forward by thee
Into ever-widening thought and action
Into that heaven of freedom, my Father, let my country awake.

 

Other interesting posts in this category:
1) https://ashortconversation.wordpress.com/2016/03/02/trust-me/
2) https://zajizee.wordpress.com/2016/03/02/seeking-bridges-to-cross/
3) https://rudyblues.wordpress.com/2016/03/02/long-divisions/
4) https://writing160.wordpress.com/2016/03/03/divide/
5) https://dragoneystory.wordpress.com/2016/03/02/dp-prompt-divide/
6) https://lindaswritingblog.wordpress.com/2016/03/02/long-division-2/
7) https://vexingpoint.wordpress.com/2016/03/02/daily-prompt-divide/
8) https://charlesewaugh.wordpress.com/2016/03/02/divide-is-a-dirty-word/
9) https://apoorvakulkarni.wordpress.com/2016/03/02/divide/
10) https://hotdogsandmarmalade.wordpress.com/2016/03/02/a-house-divided/

Categories: Books
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