A Bangalore weekend

February 22, 2015 Leave a comment

During the Chinese new year holidays here in Singapore, I had booked for a short, lightning trip to Bangalore to be with my family.  We decided to go on a day trip of Bangalore on the last day of my stay.

Our first stop was the Bannerghatta National Park.  We went on a trip of the zoo and also took the Safari trip.  It was a good, memorable experience where we got to see animals like elephants, lion, tigers and deer at a close range.

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We then visited the Visvesvaraya museum.  This museum has several interesting exhibits on physics, mechanics, space science, automobiles, engines etc

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Our next stop was the Bangalore palace.  This was an eye opener for me.  The audio guide and the beautiful exhibits in the palace revived memories of the grandeur and opulence of the Vadiyar Maharajahs and their lifestyle during the British Raj.

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I also visited the Iskcon temple at Rajaji Nagar and took a ride on the Bangalore metro.

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It is surprising that I could visit so many places during this short stay.  But sometimes the lesser time you have, the more you can accomplish.

I enjoyed the short stay in Bangalore as I could be with my family as well as visit some of the landmarks of Bangalore.

Categories: Books

An Ode to my Childhood

February 15, 2015 Leave a comment

Write an ode to someone or something you love. Bonus points for poetry!

Goa is beautiful !  Goa is home to some of the best beaches in India – take Miramar, Calangute, Colva, Candolim, Bogmalo,  Anjuna or Vagator.  Here you also find some of the best churches and temples.  .  The Dona Paula beach was just a kilometre away from our home.  We would go there for evening walks.

In pre-primary school, I studied in Our Lady of the Rosary a convent school a walking distance from our home.  My 3 sisters and brother also studied in the same school.  When I was in Primary 3, I stood first in my class.  I remember that day very clearly  because when I came home from school my mother hugged me.

From Primary 4, I joined the Don Bosco High School in Panjim the capital city of Goa.   When I was in my primary school, I had no idea what I wanted to become in life.  During recess time, an icecream man would come outside our school selling all kinds of icecream – milk, chocolate, strawberry etc.  He would ring a bell to attract the students.  I always found him smiling and happy.  I used to tell my parents that I wanted to become an ice-cream man when I grow up.

My earliest memories of Goa revolve around activities off school.  The walk from school back home yielded so many treasures.  We would pluck black berries, tamarinds, mangoes, cashews and jamuns (fruit with blackish-purple skin ).

My brother and I would do most of the home shopping.  This involved buying ration rice, sugar , wheat and kersosene for lighting the stove.  In those days there were no gas stoves.  The walk to the shop was down a steep slope and quite an adventure.  The walk upslope carrying the kerosene was really tiring.  We would also have to carry the wheat to a mill where it would be pounded into fine powder so that my mother could make chapathis.

We would balance the shopping, studying and play after school.

We mostly played cricket, table tennis, basketball and other games like hide and seek, kabaddi and just running around with bicycle tires, marbles etc.

We lived in the staff quarters of National Institute of Oceanography.  We had a nice club here with ping pong table, there was also a cricket ground and a basket ball court.  The club had a library and a bridge room.  There was also a dispensary nearby.

Festivals were a great time in our colony.  I still have vivid memories of the Sarvajanik Ganesh Chaturthi celebration.  There were seven days of celebration involving dances, drama and bhajans.  All children would get a chance to participate.  We also celebrated Diwali, Holi and Christmas and everyone came together to celebrate.

Another interesting event in our colony was the open air screening of movies once a month.  It was a great occasion.  A screen would be setup and a projector was also setup.  The movie reels would come in the evening and all the children would be excited.  People would setup chairs in places where they could get the best view.  We watched most of the Bollywood movies of the 70s and 80s in our colony.  This was before the advent of the television.

I still remember the day television came to our colony.  As we did not have a television at home we would go to our friends place to watch Chayageet , Chitrahaar and the Sunday movie.  A year later we got a television at home.  It had a light brown shutter cover and was a Weston Black and White television.

In school, I loved to take part in elocution, debates, and quiz competitions.  My teacher Ms. Vilma Vaz who was pretty had a great love for English and inculcated the same love in us.  She explained poetry and English literature with great passion.  She also encouraged me to take part in poetry recitation.  I was good at mathematics and usually scored full marks.

Another teacher Mr. Crasto taught us music and public speaking.  He had a great oratorical style of speaking.  He has been instrumental in developing my public speaking skills.  On the last day of school, Mr. Crasto wrote this quote in my autograph : “Conquer yourself.  Self conquest leads to world conquest” .  I will never forget those inspiring words.

We could take up a second foreign language in school and I opted for French.  I loved French and studied it upto higher secondary.  I still remember some French and would love to visit Paris and see the Louvre museum , the Eiffel tower, the Arc de Triomphe, the museums and vineyards.

To commute to the capital city Panjim we had to walk down a steep slope and come to a bus stop near the National Institute of Oceanography.  From there it was approximately a 7km bus ride to Panjim where Don Bosco High School was located. Near the bus stop was a kiosk selling cigarettes, candies, milk etc.  Mr Fernandes was the owner of the shop.   Some of the candies were multi-coloured spherical balls and looked so wonderful  – called “godye” .  There were also chewing gum and bubble gum which we loved when young.

Growing up in a big family of 5 taught us a lot about sharing and we had to grow up learning to share space and also appreciate our differences and quirks.  I admire my parents for instilling in all of us the right values in life since young and giving us the greatest gift that they could give us – a good education, the foundation on which we could build our lives.

After my higher secondary, I joined the Goa Engineering College at Farmagudi which was about 35kms from my home in Dona Paula. It was  a great experience living with students from all over India in the college hostel.  After my graduation I had a brief stint of work at the National Institute of Oceanography.

There are myriad of magical memories that come to my mind when I think of Goa.  I am eagerly waiting and planning for a visit to Goa to re-kindle some of the moments that shaped my life!

Other interesting posts in this category:
1) https://zainabjavid.wordpress.com/2013/09/02/growing-up/
2) https://joec0321.wordpress.com/2013/02/20/odetospring/
3) https://thelonerose.wordpress.com/2015/02/14/love-is/
4) https://whoison1st.wordpress.com/2015/02/14/bliss-thy-name-is/
5) https://yzhengblog.wordpress.com/2015/02/14/to-you/
6) https://dragoneystory.wordpress.com/2015/02/14/let-my-words/
7) https://zombieflamingoes.wordpress.com/2015/02/14/a-picture-is-worth-a-thousand-odes/
8) https://howyoufeeling.wordpress.com/2015/02/14/love-yourself/
9) https://looking4godtoday.wordpress.com/2015/02/14/my-soul-sings/
10) https://siapositive.wordpress.com/2015/02/15/gift-of-love/

Categories: Books Tags: , , , ,

The Transporter

February 11, 2015 Leave a comment

Tell us about a sensation — a taste, a smell, a piece of music — that transports you back to childhood

 charlie charlotte einstein pink panther popeye scooby tom jerry

Watching a cartoon, an animation movie or reading a childrens book are the sensations that transport me back to childhood.

Some cartoons like Tom & Jerry, Popeye the sailorman etc are so interesting and funny that  they can lift up your mood .  My daughter sometimes insists that I read her story books and I have enjoyed reading Charlie and the Chocolate factory (loved the movie too).  I also love William by Richmal Crompton .

These cartoons and books are an audio visual treat that instantly transport me to childhood!

I grew up in Goa a beautiful state on the west coast of India. Whenever, I visit a beach, I am reminded of the beautiful beaches of Goa.  Playing ping pong or cricket also transports me to my younger days.

Other interesting posts in this category:
1) https://jukblog.wordpress.com/2013/04/04/daily-prompt-the-transporter/
2) https://onmonruecha.wordpress.com/2013/04/06/daily-prompt-the-transporter/
3) https://susannenelson.wordpress.com/2013/04/04/daily-prompt-the-transporter/
4) https://mauldinfamily1.wordpress.com/2013/04/04/daily-prompt-the-transporter/
5) https://jdcgzm.wordpress.com/2013/04/04/daily-prompt-the-transporter/
6) https://sabethville.wordpress.com/2013/04/04/dp-daily-prompt-the-transporter/
7) https://lifewithcal.wordpress.com/2013/04/04/daily-prompt-the-transporter/
8) http://diaryofdennis.com/2013/04/05/daily-prompt-the-transporter/
9) http://frontrangescribbles.com/2013/04/04/daily-prompt-the-transporte/
10) http://ofglassandpaper.com/2013/04/04/daily-prompt-the-transporter/

Categories: Books

Proud

February 9, 2015 Leave a comment

When was the last time someone told you they were proud of you?

Flying on a magic carpet
To exotic countries
Greeted with cheers by die-hard fans
Crying to catch a glimpse of me

A shining limousine picks me up
Protected by body guards
From media and paparazzi
Fans vie for my attention

Whatever I need appears
I have the magic midas touch
The world around – a maze of mirrors
Everywhere I look there is just me

Sucked into a vortex
By fame, pride and wealth
Drawn away from love
My own being has deserted me

This mind, intellect and ego
Truth, knowledge and freedom
Happiness, fearlessness and fame
Are all an illusion

Blowing away my magic carpet
Pricking the balloon of my ego
I was pulled down to earth
By a shattering quake

Jolted from my reverie
Half-asleep and inebriated
I held on to my prized possessions
Self-belief and happiness

© copyright, skm, 19th June, 2014

Other interesting posts in this category:
1) https://phenomenallass.wordpress.com/2013/02/15/daily-prompt-proud/
2) https://qtheadult.wordpress.com/2013/02/15/pride/
3) https://prettywitgla33es.wordpress.com/2013/02/15/daily-prompt-proud/
4) https://thewellroundedlifeblog.wordpress.com/2015/02/08/someone-is-proud-of-me/
5) https://emmalmoore.wordpress.com/2015/02/08/proud/
6) http://geekergosum.com/2015/02/08/well-done-for-doing-your-job-or-proud/
7) http://www.inspiringmax.com/proud/
8) https://theyyouandme.wordpress.com/2015/02/08/proud-of-me/
9) http://ireland-ms.com/2015/02/08/proud/
10) https://thedailyblabber.wordpress.com/2015/02/08/im-so-proud-of-you/

Categories: Books Tags: , , ,

Breaking the Law

February 6, 2015 Leave a comment

Think about the last time you broke a rule (a big one, not just ripping the tags off your pillows). Were you burned, or did things turn out for the best?

For the most part of my life I have been a law abiding citizen, but once in a while even unintentionally due to some quirk of fate or my clumsiness, I landed myself in trouble.

My experiences of breaking the law were :

1)Moving in the classroom during art class to check out my friends work.
This had dire consequences and was the first time I got slapped on my face

2) Driving against the flow of traffic
This happened very long ago.  It was early morning and I turned the car into the wrong lane.  Luckily there was no traffic at this hour and I could immediately drive myself out of this risky situation

3) Getting into the wong toilet
This happened totally unintentionally.   The signage on the door was poor and I realized too late that I had got into the worng toilet.  Before I could get out, I was spotted and had a lot of explaining to do.  This was not only against the law it was also a most embarrassing moment in my life!

Other  interesting posts in this category:
1) https://randomencountersoftheinquisitivemind.wordpress.com/2013/01/20/rebellious-rule-follower/
2) http://geekergosum.com/2015/02/05/walking-the-tightrope-or-breaking-the-law/
3) https://poemdemonium.wordpress.com/2015/02/05/breaking-the-law/
4) http://adityaviyer.com/2013/01/20/breaking-the-law/
5) https://daddysnaughtylittlegirl.wordpress.com/2013/01/20/daily-prompt-breaking-the-law/
6) https://hopethehappyhugger.wordpress.com/2013/01/20/breaking-the-law/
7) https://gooseyanne.wordpress.com/2013/01/20/daily-prompt-breaking-the-law/
8) http://tobreatheistowrite.com/2013/01/20/daily-prompt-breaking-the-law/
9) https://joec0321.wordpress.com/2013/01/20/rule-breaking/
10) https://adjustingyourfocus.wordpress.com/2015/02/05/breaking-the-law-broke-my-spirit/

Categories: Books Tags: , , ,

Teacher’s Pet

February 2, 2015 1 comment

Tell us about a teacher who had a real impact on your life, either for the better or the worse. How is your life different today because of him or her?

Ms Vilma Vaz was one of my favourite English teachers at school.  She was a great source of motivation and inspiration for me.  She kindled in me the love of poetry.  I remember that she would always select me to participate in poetry and story telling competition at school and she always had a word of encouragement.

She taught English to us with a lot of passion and analysed poetry like “The Road not Taken by Robert Frost, “Death be not Proud by  John Donne” etc and kindled in us an interest in the subject.

Besides her, there were other teachers like Anand Prabhu, Mathany Saldanha and Agnel Crasto who could arouse wonder and curiosity in us.

I would attribute my love for public speaking and writing to teachers like Ms. Vilma Vaz and Agnel Crasto who  created an atmosphere of vibrancy conducive for learning

Other interesting posts in this category:
1) https://lightningbooksbyagmoye.wordpress.com/2015/02/02/response-to-teachers-pet/
2) https://yzhengblog.wordpress.com/2015/02/01/teachers-pets/
3) https://terriwebsterschrandt.wordpress.com/2015/02/01/teacher-of-the-year/
4) http://ceenphotography.com/2015/02/01/daily-post-teachers-pet/
5) https://extractsfromapersonaldiary.wordpress.com/2015/02/01/daily-prompt-teachers-pet/

Categories: Books Tags: , , , ,

Play Lexicographer

January 29, 2015 Leave a comment

ScreenHunter_117 Jan. 29 09.39

Create a new word and explain its meaning and etymology.

Sootakamadi (soo-taka-madi) :
(noun, origin Indian, plural: Sootakamadis ). .

  • Describes a person who is carefree, relaxed and happy-go-lucky.

Eg.  With the long weekend ahead it is a great time for Sootakamadis  to chill out.

The favourite pastime of a Sootakamadi is eating, drinking and sleeping

This word was coined by me and used only at home.  It was not shared with the outside world as I did not want it to become a trite, hackneyed word .

Other interesting posts in this category:
1) https://autismhomerescue.wordpress.com/2012/11/20/daily-prompt-play-lexicographer/
2) http://notalentforcertainty.com/2015/01/28/odiobonum/
3) https://thoughtsofajunkiemisfit.wordpress.com/2015/01/28/an-impossible-world/
4) https://livingonchi.wordpress.com/2015/01/28/daily-prompt-cannachinnating/
5) https://byndarnda.wordpress.com/2015/01/28/mafunzalo/

Embrace the Ick

January 28, 2015 Leave a comment

Think of something that truly repulses you. Hold that thought until your skin squirms. Now, write a glowing puff piece about its amazing merits.

cockroach

(Picture courtesy: trgpestcontrol.com)

Katsaridophobia – That is the what the fear of cockroaches is called.  But for me more than the fear is the dislike/disgust at these creatures.  They crawl up from nooks and corners in your home and can survive extreme conditions.

Both my wife and daughter scream for my help when they see one and dare not go anywhere near it.

They are disgusting because they are difficult to get rid off, they can sometimes fly and  they can keep on multiplying in numbers.

For me the most effective way of dealing with a cockroach is by spraying baygon on them.   They will flip over,  and will run helter-skelter till they succumb to the effects of the insecticide.

Other interesting posts in this category:
1) https://alotfromlydia.wordpress.com/2015/01/27/a-bite/
2) http://basicallybeyondbasic.com/2015/01/27/daily-prompt-embrace-the-ick/
3) http://angloswiss-chronicles.com/2015/01/27/daily-prompt-embrace-the-ick-from-maggot-to-fly-in-one-easy-lesson/
4) https://allthingscuteandbeautiful.wordpress.com/tag/daily-prompt-embrace-the-ick/
5) http://thecheekydiva.com/2012/11/08/embrace-the-ick-you-got-it/
6) https://thejoyfulsoul.wordpress.com/2012/11/08/nablopomo-too-many-legs/
7) https://rogershipp.wordpress.com/2015/01/27/embrace-the-ick/
8) https://amiewrites74.wordpress.com/2015/01/27/the-only-good-spider-is-a-dead-spider/
9) https://memoirsofawanderingmind.wordpress.com/2015/01/27/embrace-the-ick/
10) https://tombalistreri.wordpress.com/2015/01/27/icky-embrace/

Categories: Books Tags: , , ,

Re-springing your step

January 20, 2015 1 comment

Tell us about the last experience you had that left you feeling fresh, energized, and rejuvenated.  What was it that had such a positive effect on you?

springstep2

There are couple of things that energize me leaving me refreshed and reinvigorated.  First among these is waking up early in the morning followed by a morning jog or some quiet time for  reflection.

On weekends a good afternoon nap is one of the best ways to feel  fresh and recharged.

On weekdays after a days work, I find that the best way to relax and recharge is to attend a toastmasters session where I get to network with  friends and have fun through learning and sharing

Spending some time everyday watching Friends, Comedy central or Standup comedies and reading a good book are ways to recharge myself.

Travelling to a new destination to soak in the sights, sounds and culture also has a soothing effect for me after a week of hectic work.

A good massage at a spa also rejuvenates me and leaves me alive and kicking

Finally, listening/playing music and being with my family leave me refreshed

Other interesting posts in this category:
1) https://thebeespeak.wordpress.com/2015/01/19/a-fresh-coat-of-paint-be-creative/
2) https://warriorfreya.wordpress.com/2015/01/20/prompt-page-0013-re-springing-your-step/
3) https://yzhengblog.wordpress.com/2015/01/19/imagination-recharged/
4) https://iamrainman.wordpress.com/2015/01/19/re-springing-six-steps/
5) http://earthtokait.com/2015/01/19/adventure/
6) https://theyyouandme.wordpress.com/2015/01/19/food-for-the-soul/
7) https://allthingscuteandbeautiful.wordpress.com/2015/01/19/daily-prompt-being-rejuvenated/
8) https://kretschmannland.wordpress.com/2015/01/19/late-night-creativity/
9) https://myleviathan.wordpress.com/2015/01/19/re-springing-your-step/
10) http://macbofisbil.com/2015/01/19/exercise-rejuvenation/

Connect the Dots

January 15, 2015 1 comment

Open your nearest book to page 82.  Take the third full sentence on the page, and work it into a post somehow

The abductionPg82_line3

The book that I have nearest to me today is “The Abduction” by John Grisham.  And the 3rd line on page 82 reads :

“ I never saw her wear it.  I don’t think she wore the cap either”.

She had a habit of keeping her new dress carefully in her cubboard and she would only wear it on a special occasion.  I wondered when that time would come.

I hoped that she liked the gift.  I had spend a lot of time shopping for the dress and the cap.

Five months had passed .

On our anniversary, we had planned a surprise holiday.  She woke me up in the morning.  She was wearing the beautiful dress and the cap and she looked gorgeous!

Other interesting posts in this category:
1) https://juliepowell2014.wordpress.com/2015/01/15/connect-the-dots/
2) http://pepperconnection.com/473/connecting-random-dots/
3) http://movingtowardsthelight.com/2015/01/14/weaving-words/
4) https://myleviathan.wordpress.com/2015/01/14/connect-the-dots/
5) https://burningfireshutinmybones.wordpress.com/2012/11/23/daily-prompt-connect-the-dots/
6) http://thecheekydiva.com/2012/11/23/daily-post-prompt-challenge-connect-the-dots/
7) https://mboldenme.wordpress.com/2012/11/23/daily-prompt-challenge-connect-the-dots/
8) https://daydreamdaisies.wordpress.com/2012/11/23/questions-on-life-and-death-daily-prompt-connect-the-dots/
9) https://angiesgrapevine.wordpress.com/2012/11/23/daily-prompt-connect-the-dots/
10) http://residentalien.co/2012/11/23/wordpress-daily-prompt-connecting-the-dots

Categories: Books Tags: , , ,
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