Archive for June, 2012

Cherry blossoms

June 19, 2012 2 comments

Cherry blossoms symbolize the arrival of spring, prosperity and joy.

In Japan, cherry trees, called “sakura,” and cherry blossom flowers  are held in high regard.  The Japanese people celebrate hanami annually. Hanami is basically parties organized to view blossoming cherry trees.  They also symbolize innocence and simplicity.

We can all be like the cherry blossoms.  Let us sow the seeds of positive thoughts in our minds so that there is a bountiful spring. Let us spend some time every day in introspection and improving the quality of our thoughts, reducing the quantity of our thoughts and directing our thoughts to a higher ideal!



10 Worst Feelings

For my 200th blogpost –

Here is a feed of my tweets on a trending twitter hashtag #10WorstFeelings:

A ferry ride to serenity

June 18, 2012 1 comment



Last weekend we took a 2D/1N escapade to Batam. This trip was purely for relaxation and we did not do any travel within Batam. We stayed at the Holiday Inn Resort at Waterfront. The resort offers excellent suites, spas, gymnasium, swimming pool and a choice of 6 restaurants.

This was a different trip from our last holiday to Bintan. At Bintan, we have lot of watersports and other activities and it is more suited for the adventurous or sporty traveler. If you are looking for rejuvenation and comfort  – Batam is a good choice.

The ferry trip from Harbourfront to Waterfront takes 45 minutes. But we made a mistake and got off at Sekupang. We informed the staff at Holiday inn through the agent and they soon sent a bus to fetch us to the resort.

Right from our entry into Batam we were touched by the hospitality of all the staff at the Holiday Inn. Everyone of them would greet us with folded hands and were doing their best to make our stay pleasant

At the tea tree spa we had a 1 hour traditional Indonesian full body massage in an outdoor setting. The serene setting, relaxing music and the wonderful hospitality made this experience memorable. This was followed by a sauna and Jacuzzi.

We also had a good time in the pool and the gymnasium.

The international breakfast buffet is also excellent. For dinner we tried out the Tepanyaki Japanese restaurant near the outdoor pool. It was a pleasure watching the chef prepare the dishes. He was truly enjoying his job and the food was excellent.

During both our trips to Batam as well as Bintan we got a feeling of ample time – (don’t know whether it is because Indonesia is 1 hour behind Singapore). The trip was a short getaway but we enjoyed every moment of it.

Categories: General Tags: , , ,

12 websites that I like

June 15, 2012 1 comment

Some of the websites that I like to access frequently are Google as a search engine , mail, maps , Youtube and numerous other products and services.  I access twitter almost daily as a micro-blogging platform to post 140 character tweets.  For blogging, I prefer to use WordPress which I find very user –friendly.

For technology related news and content I prefer mashable and also access pcworld and cnet.  I love to access for their ‘word of the day’, thesaurus etc.  For my everyday supply of office humour I go to Dilbert.

National Geographic is a great site for information on animals and the environment.  Boston Globe – The Big Picture has a collection of great photographs from around  the world published weekly.

For great talks on Technology and Design , the TED site is a useful resource.  For a professional social networking tool, I access Linkedin.

Quora is an interesting question and answer platform  and Pinterest is also a social media site where you can repin theme-based image collections on hobbies, interests etc

Twitter is an online social networking service and microblogging  service that enables its users to send and read text-based posts of up to 140 characters, known as “tweets”. It was created in March 2006 by Jack Dorsey. The service rapidly gained worldwide popularity, with over 140 million active users as of 2012, generating over 340 million tweets daily and handling over 1.6 billion search queries per day

Mashable (Mashable Inc.) is a Scottish-American news website and Internet news blog founded by Pete Cashmore. The website’s primary focus is social media news, but also covers news and developments in mobile, entertainment, online video, business, web development, technology, memes and gadgets. Mashable was launched by Pete Cashmore from his home in Aberdeen, Scotland in July 2005.
With a reported 50+ million monthly pageviewsand an Alexa ranking under 250, Mashable ranks as one of the world’s largest websites.

Google Inc. is an American multinational corporation which provides Internet-related products and services, including Internet search, cloud computing, software and advertising technologies. The company was founded by Larry Page and Sergey Brin while both attended Stanford University. The company offers online productivity software including email, an office suite, Youtube videos and social networking.. Google leads the development of the Android mobile OS, as well as the Google Chrome OS browser-only operating system.

WordPress is a free and open source blogging tool and a dynamic content management system (CMS) based on PHP and MySQL and . It has many features including a plug-in architecture and a template system. WordPress is currently the most popular CMS in use on the Internet.It was first released on May 27, 2003, by Matt Mullenweg.

Dilbert  is an American comic strip written and drawn by Scott Adams. First published on April 16, 1989; 23 years ago Dilbert is known for its satirical office humour about a white-collar, micromanaged office featuring the engineer Dilbert as the title character. The strip has spawned several books, an animated television series, a video game, and hundreds of Dilbert-themed merchandise items.. Dilbert appears in 2000 newspapers worldwide in 65 countries and 25 languages

Boston Globe – The Big picture:  Some of the best news photographs from around the world

Dictionary is an  encyclopedia, thesaurus and dictionary online.  The site also provides machine translation and web search. was launched by InReference, Inc in February, 1997. Lexico announced that would begin offering searches of Wikipedia content. In mid-2007, the site typically ranked in the mid-200s among the most popular websites on the Internet

Pinterest is a pinboard-style social photo sharing  website that allows users to create and manage theme-based image collections such as events, interests, hobbies, and more. Users can browse other pinboards for inspiration, ‘re-pin’ images to their own collections and/or ‘like’ photos. Pinterest’s mission is to “connect everyone in the world through the ‘things’ they find interesting via a global platform of inspiration and idea sharing.

Quora was co-founded by two former Facebook employees, Adam D’Angelo  and Charlie Cheever  is a question and answer platform created, edited and organized by its community of users.

National Geographic provides free maps, photos, videos and daily news stories, as well as articles and features about animals, the environment, cultures, history etc

TED (Technology, Entertainment and Design) is a global set of conferences owned by the private non-profit Sapling Foundation, formed to disseminate “ideas worth spreading.” TED was founded in 1984 as a one-off event and the conference was held annually from 1990 in Monterey, California.  The speakers are given a maximum of 18 minutes to present their ideas in the most innovative and engaging ways they can.

LinkedIn is a professional social networking website founded in December 2002 and launched in May 2003, it is mainly used for professional networking. It was founded by Reid Hoffman.

What are some of your favourite websites?

Categories: Technology Tags: ,

Wordless Wednesdays

Categories: General Tags: , ,

Why women love shopping and men want to get it over with?

June 12, 2012 3 comments

(This is not fiction.  Any reference to persons living or dead is purely intentional and not a coincidence)

Is there a woman who does not love shopping?  Shopping and women are sometimes inseparable, it appears. Shopping malls were made for women!  Men just go into shopping malls to follow their women, carry their bags or because they can’t avoid it.

Men have a hard time inside shopping malls, their legs suddenly become weak and their  eyelids grow heavier the instant  they enter a mall. But women actually spring to life as they pass through the door. They can’t wait to get into the merchandise whereas men have to fight the urge to retreat more with each step they take.

Is it due to evolution?. In our distant prehistoric past, men were hunters and women gatherers. Men would go out, track a beast down, kill it and bring it home. Women, on the other hand, would roam about looking for nuts, berries,roots, edible insects, eggs, any other type of edible they could find. This went on for thousands and thousands of years. That is why women like browsing round shops, because they never know what they may find,

Men are more drawn towards  cars,,bikes, gadgets, audio equipment, exercise machines,  and guitars . But ladies often drag their men into clothing, kitchen and shoe  dept.

A women has a  keen eye for sales and offers and she can never miss out on a sale even if it means standing  in long queues.  Buying stuff is something of a stress relief for them, It pacifies them, and gives them an ego-boost.

She will be very happy if you offer to carry her handbag during shopping or if you pay for the purchases (P.S. do not say you left your wallet at home, you can be fired)

I know of a friend who told her husband she was going out to buy a bag and what do you think she came back with ‘ a car’.  Fortunately, it was not me – I probably would have fainted.  I wonder how she could have explained this to her husband.

Men will get  to take the shopping bag if it means shopping for groceries (whether they like it or not).  This is something that is a chore for them – they have to write down the list of items, take a trolley and bring back all the items (they have become so used to this that they can do it blindfolded).

So, the next time you want to buy a house – stay far away from the hustle and bustle of the city and far, far away from a shopping mall.

Categories: General Tags: , ,

The Bhagavad Gita – my spiritual guide

June 9, 2012 3 comments

I was fortunate to be introduced to the Holy Gita in my 30s and ever since it has been a great source of inspiration for me and its liquid poetry expounds solid philosophy. I have greatly benefited from the weekend Gita classes held at Chinmaya Seva Centre in Singapore.

The Gita is a handbook of instructions as to how every human being can live the subtle philosophical principles of Vedanta in day-to-day life.
Here are 10 of my favourite slokas from the Gita:

karmanyevadhikaraste ma phalesu kadacana,
ma karmaphalaheturbhur ma te sango stvakarmani (2.47)

Let not the fruit of action be thy motive, nor let thy attachment be to inaction

yada yada hi dharmasya glanirbhavati bharata,
abhyutthanam adharmasya tadatmanam srjamyaham (4.7)

paritranaya sadhunam vinasaya ca duskrtam,
dharmasamsthapanarthaya sambhavami yuge yuge (4.8)

Whenever there is a decay of righteousness, O Bharata, and a rise of unrighteousness, then I manifest Myself

brahmarpanam brahma havir brahmagnau brahmana hutam,
brahmaiva tena gantavyam brahmakarmasamadhina(4.24)

Brahman is the oblation; Brahman is the offering; Brahman verily shall be reached by him who always sees Brahman in all actions

udharedatmanatmanam natmanamavasadayet
atmaiva hyatmano bandhuratmaiva ripuratmanah (6.5)

Let a man lift himself by his own Self, and let him not lower himself; for, this Self alone is one’s friend and this Self alone the enemy

ananyascintayanto mam ye janah paryupasate,
tesam nityabhiyuktanam yogaksemam vahamyaham (9.22)

To those men who worship Me alone, thinking of no other, to those ever self-controlled, I secure for them that which is not already possessed by them (yoga), and preserve for them what they already possess (ksema)

maccitta madgataprana bodhayantah parasparam,
kathayantasca mam nityam tusyanti ca ramanti ca (10.9)

With their minds wholly residing in Me, with their senses absorbed in Me, enlightening one another and ever speaking of Me, they are satisfied and delighted

tvamadidevah purusah puranah
tvamasya visvasya param nidhanam,
vettasi vedyam ca param ca dhama
tvaya tatam visvamanantarupa(11.38)

You are the Primal God, the Ancient Purusa; You are the Supreme Refuge of this universe. You are the knower, the knowable; and the Abode-Supreme. By Thee is the universe pervaded, O Being of Infinite forms

trividham narakasyedam dvaram nasanamatmanah,
kamah krodhastatha lobhastasmadetattrayam tyajet (16.21)

These three are the gates of hell, destructive of the Self – desire, anger, and greed; therefore, one should abandon these three

manmana bhava madbhakto madyaji mam namaskuru,
mameaisyasi satyam te pratijane priyo si me (18.65)

Fix your mind upon Me; be devoted to Me; sacrifice for Me; bow down to Me; you shall come, surely then, to Me alone; truly do I promise to you, (for) you are dear to Me
The Holy Gita is not only a commentary but is also a thorough presentation of the Vedantic Philosophy and an unfailing guide to all seekers of Truth.

Holy Gita – Ready Reference, Chinmaya International Foundation

Categories: General Tags: , ,

Venus transits Sun – the once in 100 year love affair!


Beauty spot on his visage
He gave her brightness and  warmth
She innocent love 

© copyright skm, 7th June , 2012

Star-gazers, astronomers and science enthusiasts worldwide  looked skywards on wednesday to catch a once in 100 year specatacle of Venus making its transit across the face of the sun.  The last Venus transit occurred on June 8, 2004, and the next one will not be visible again until the year 2117. The rare celestial phenomenon saw people gather around telescopes to view the beautiful spectacle in the sky.


June 1, 2012 5 comments








A gathering of familiar faces
Of relatives and of friends
A vexing thought revisited
In the canvas of my dream

From the inner recesses
Out of the blue
Objects, characters and emotions
Enact the play in my mind

Screams and sighs
Echoes of laughter
Chased by a tiger
Fights with that school bully

A medley of thoughts
Hidden desires
Resurface and unfold
In a whole new world

A reverie to remember
Or a nightmare best forgotten
Lost in this maze
Of my minds kaleidoscope

The alarm ring resonates
And I wake up with a start
Befuddled by this conundrum
That they call ‘A Dream’

© copyright skm, 2nd June 2012

Categories: Poetry Tags: , , ,
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