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  • Date: Sat, June 09, 2018 at 12:04 PM, Shalini Gupta

    Hello Alpy, How are you all?
    Love and best wishes to you all,

    KEDARNATH YATRA .......ABODE OF LORD SHIVA...
    Dear friends, it gives me utter joy and satisfaction in describing this beautiful and arduous pilgrimage to Kedarnath. It was an adventure waiting to unfold.
    First of all, before I indulge in the various intricate experiences, the word YATRA needs to be explained.
    What is a yatra? In my personal opinion I would define it as an individual ‘s sojourn into something which he or she firmly believes in. It could be anything.
    So for each one of us, a Yatra has a different perspective and it’s good in every way provided we feel enlivened, cheerful and happy.

    The Kedarnath Yatra was to be undertaken by us ( me and husband) last year, but we couldn’t go, due to certain unavoidable circumstances. However, this year I was firm(2018).
    There is a Divinity that shapes our ends, indeed so it was so and the plan was made and executed in a systematic way. ( But when it comes to Nature, the plan and execution is entirely at the Nature ‘s mercy and fury. It’s astounding and speechless to encounter incidences which change at the drop of a hat, without any intimation or forewarning. All we can do is surrender and take heed.)
    Coming back , to the Yatra. We proceeded victoriously to Kedarnath, all essentials in tow. Jackets,woollens, dry fruits, sturdy shoes, pairs of socks etc.
    We hired a private taxi which was to take us to Guptakashi which is 247 kilometres from Dehradun, where we reside, from there to Sonprayag which is another 60 kilometres, and then to Gaurikund, another 5 kilometres.
    From Gaurikund, the actual Yatra starts on foot, which is 16 kilometres.One can go by a helicopter from Guptakashi, ( bookings have to be made before) or on a horse, or mule, a palanquin carried by four persons, or on a pithu ( in a basket carried by a person on his back)
    It is excruciatingly tough and hard. But these men are strong willed and determined.
    Personally, I feel these men are more surefooted than the horses.
    There are hundreds of horses going up this arduous trek with devotees and the ones that are coming down as well. The ascending track which increases with altitude is quite precarious, but nevertheless most people go, as there are limited choices.But on a horseback especially when you don’t know how to ride, and the horse keeper is taking you perched on the horse, you feel kind of dis balanced.
    That’s what happened to me. I had resolved to go on foot, but husband coaxed me to sit on the horse for a little while. I did so for 1/2 a kilometre and in those 500 metres, my horse missed a step. That was the last straw. I dismounted immediately.
    Mentally, I made up my mind, come what may, hail, snow, rain, sunshine I would trek on my two legs.( little knowing all this was to occur) but there is no harm in repeating it mentally and it would boomerang for all its worth, but one doesn’t think about it at that point of time.
    So , this point being put across rather succinctly, I would like to describe the importance of this temple.( It may be a little late for this , however I need to at the earliest, before my thoughts and my pen takes me to deeper sights unknown) Just kidding!!!!!

    The Kedarnath Temple is situated at a height of 11,755 feet. It is one of the highest altitude for a temple. Surrounded by snowy mountains, it is picturesque beyond description. The mammoth black stone temple , against the backdrop of the enormous snow covered mountains. So near , you feel you can touch them , yet so far when you are actually in front of them.
    The mountains are covered with snow , right from bottom to the peak especially if it’s snowed in the recent hours. Deep gigantic valleys, with greenery on the other side.
    The entire mountainous range is white with snow on one side, and green with trees on the other. It’s a sight to behold. It is bitterly cold.The temperatures are zero and sometimes in minus too.
    It’s wilderness all around, especially after the catastrophe in 2013, a cloudburst above this quaint location, strategic and fragile ,the deluge and the flood waters ravaged the place. Thousands of devotees were killed, and the waters swept everything on its path. The furore and fury of the water cascading down was unprecedented and it destroyed most of the establishments around the temple.
    In fact, it was a sea of shops , which were marring the natural habitat of this place.
    The temple was saved from destruction, as a huge boulder acted as a barrier and protected it.
    This place was out of bounds for all and it took the government two years to rebuild.
    Now in 2018, when one approaches the temple, there is a kind of an eerie feeling, but it vanishes the moment you see the throngs of devotees.
    It is rightfully said that Lord Shiva or ( the sanctity of any place is well preserved) when it is left unobstructed , here Lord Shiva, affectionately referred to as Bholenath or Baba prefers solitude in wilderness.
    Amidst this , stands the temple. In fact when the helicopter takes off and lands on the helipad , it looks so minuscule amongst the massive, enormous, mammoth mountains.
    One is totally dumbstruck at this wonderful display of Mother Nature.
    You feel as if you are standing on the precipice of our planet Earth.

    The Kedarnath Temple is a Hindu temple dedicated to Lord Shiva. It was built by the Pandavas, revived by Adi Sankaracharya and is one of the twelve Jyotirlingas , the holiest Hindu shrines of Shiva.
    The Pandavas were supposed to have pleased Shiva by doing penance in Kedarnath.
    The temple is open only between the end of April to November.
    Coming back to our Yatra, we reached Guptakashi in seven and a half hours from Dehradun. It’s a small town nestled in the mountains overlooking the Kedar peak. One could see winding roads leading to Sonprayag and Gaurikund.
    An authentic pretty scenario, so was the small hotel in which we stayed .
    Next day, rising at dawn bathing and wearing a pretty attire we set out to the temple.
    Full of cheer and enthusiasm, we were ready to embark on foot and try to reach the temple by afternoon.
    Reaching Gaurikund, we hired two horses and their keepers. There were hundreds of horses, palanqin bearers , basket carriers who carried people on their backs.
    It was a chaotic scene. Everybody were frenzied and in a hurry to go.
    So were we.
    We started out triumphantly, an arduous trek of 16 kilometres. Husband was on horse, and after my slight interaction with the horse’s misstep, I promptly disowned him, got down and refused to mount him again, even after repeated pleas by the horse keeper.
    I valiantly decided to walk it up.
    Friends, here I like to mention that though the climb was steep, just like an ascending staircase( we were to reach the height of 11,755feet) from 6500feet, there were benches for weary walkers and porters to sit and take a breath, tea shops , makeshift bathrooms, all along the climb.
    Not to forget the sturdy horses, there were water pits every two kilometres for the horses to drink and rest. It was well thought of.
    In fact , for the walkers there were signboards every kilometre, clearly emphasising the need to rest , take a breath and then continue the journey.
    It was slightly warm, as the sun was hot, even at this height. I took off my jacket and gave it to husband.
    Husband’s horse and mine without me trotted merrily, since I was walking , obviously I couldn’t keep up with the horse, so it was decided we would meet on the top in the afternoon.
    It was 10:30am when we went our own ways. We had a light breakfast and in the midst of all this , I had met four ladies ( all sisters) who were also walking to the top. So I had company and this reassured husband.
    In this milieu, I forgot to ask for money, my jacket and phone( however it would have not worked since the signal there is very faint)
    Anyhow, we trudged along .Each of us had a walking stick which was a boon in that terrain. It was becoming difficult, as the climb was becoming steeper with each kilometre. These four sisters were a beacon of inspiration for me and we went along with gaiety.
    After a while, there was a sudden hailstorm. The four sisters immediately fished out their raincoats and wore them. Here was me, getting drenched to the core and sheepishly wondering why I didn’t take my jacket from husband. There was another couple going on foot, they kindly gave me an extra raincoat.It was a massive relief !!
    Anyway it was getting dark and weather in such high altitude is totally unpredictable.

    Meanwhile, in that wilderness, with high mountains on all sides , hundreds of people going up and down, suddenly I felt a kind of déjà vu and longed to reach the temple as soon as possible.
    Did I feel alone? Not exactly, there was indeed a certain apprehensiveness to reach the top as soon as my legs would take me and one thing I knew for sure, husband would be waiting and worried .
    Anyhow, the four ladies and myself again started walking. I could acutely feel my heart beats racing, there was nothing we could do, except walk and walk.
    It was getting dark and cold. It was 4pm and still no sign of our destination.
    I was shivering and for a fleeting second I remembered my cosy room in Dehradun.
    We approached a tea stall , and one of the sisters ordered tea.It was like having ambrosia. We felt warm and nice. In those 8 hours together, we developed a camaraderie which is difficult to put into words.
    As the walk became steeper and steeper, so did our walk become slower and slower.It was 6pm. Time just flew and suddenly it became very dark , lightening and thunder and torrents of rain. It poured mercilessly.
    Luckily, we were near a rain shelter and we took refuge under it.
    It was cold, my hands were numb not to mention I was a little drenched too.
    Surprisingly, this discomfort did not deter me, I just wanted to reach my destination, and locate husband. Thankfully , the rain stopped after 20 minutes and bidding a hurried goodbye to the four ladies ,it was drizzling slightly I started walking.
    I had barely walked for 3 minutes, husband called out my name.
    Friends, It was the sweetest sound I heard, and the relief overwhelmed me.The tiredness, strain vanished in a trace and we joyfully met like Romeo and Juliet, except there was thunder and lightening and rain all around us.
    The snow covered mountains loomed just before and for me , they never looked so beautiful as they appeared now.
    Husband too was exhausted, and on the verge of a nervous breakdown, as he had been waiting for 4 hours ,but as they say all things end well. So they did.
    It was 7 p.m.

    In the midst of the weather playing havoc, two basket carriers helped us a great deal.
    We were still a kilometre away from the temple. They reached us there and we went in the temple to take Darshan.
    The temple with the lights and flower decorations was a grandeur in itself.
    I felt as if I had conquered Mount Everest.
    As the weather was bad, it was snowing, there was less crowd and we had a nice darshan.
    A sense of joy and relief overpowered both of us. We felt great.
    Jai Bholenath.

    That night we stayed in a tiny guest house in Kedarnath. We were shivering and the room felt like a haven in a storm , that was raging all along.
    The caretaker served us hot tea. It felt like Sanjivini booti ( its this herb which Hanumanji brought to save Lakshman) That night, we could not have been more thankful for the dry room, the hot tea, the dinner. Truly it was an inward darshan for the basic things, we take so much for granted otherwise.
    In fact, I felt connected to some unknown Power then. It was a stupendous feeling for which I have no words to express my gratitude.

    Next morning, we rose early , changed into a fresh clothes( no question of taking a bath, it was too........ cold) We brought Prasad, and took pictures to authenticate the fact that we did reach Kedarnath.
    The day was nice and bright, the snow covered peaks looked just too good to be true, so near and the temple nestled snugly just in front of them.
    The helicopter was landing and taking off. We noticed and observed the entire place in detail, as the last night we had arrived in darkness and rain.
    After the unfortunate floods in 2013 here, one can feel the devastation that took place and hearing some incidents from our caretaker, there was an eeriness unseen, untold , unheard.
    One has to be there to actually feel the vibrations of the Mystic Nature and Kedar valley.
    Our trek back was uneventful. It was kind of fun walking down. In fact , it seems so much easier. My walking stick was a great help to me apart from my two legs. We returned safe and sound to Dehradun.
    On a nostalgic note, it was an adventure and when you are in the middle of it , one is apprehensive and curious, but when we come out of it unscathed , we feel elated and victorious.
    So it felt the same here.
    It’s a magnificent experience and we will cherish it till we live.
    Jai Bholenath.

  • Date: Mon, Oct 24, 2016 at 9:53 PM, Sr. Marlene Jude

    My dear Alpana,

    Thank you for the invitation - which, regretfully, I will not be able to accept.

    Yes, I do believe you will miss dear Miss Konika Ghosh - I still find it hard to believe she has died. I am sure you will have an excellent turnout - that is the Teresian spirit! Please be sure to tell all our staff - former and present, and all our former Teresians that I send warm wishes. I pray that all may experience God's blessings and continue to make a difference for good as we try each day to live up to the faith and ideals we have received from our parents and school. HAVE A JOYFUL celebration!

    Thank you again for reaching out to me Alpana and for giving me an update of beloved Teachers. By the grace of God I keep fairly good health and feel very blessed. Wishing you all the very best.

  • Thursday, October 20, 2016 1:57 AM

    Respected Sister,

    It is with great pleasure, enthusiasm and optimism that we are inviting you to the 6th Reunion of our St. Teresa's Secondary School , Kidderpore , Calcutta. 

    We sincerely hope that you will grace the occasion with your presence and let us relive all the past moments. It would be a trip down memory lane worth visiting. How we all long for H.G Wells Time Machine or Professor Dumbledore's time turner!

    Sister we are having it in school this time and will sorely miss Ms K. Ghosh. She used to be so tensed whether there would be a sufficient turnout or not. She was always energised and enthusiastic about the Reunion. In fact she would call up and invite a lot of the girls and insist they take the passes. That slot of ours cannot be filled this year. 

    Sister Ms Goela is also depressed as Mr Goela is not keeping well. Its worse because he is suffering now. Ms Gupta is as frail as ever. We hope to convince her nephew if she can attend the Reunion for a short while. Her eyes and face light up with almost childlike glee at the mere mention of school.

    October is a month of festivities in Kolkata. Pujas are just over and Kali Puja and Diwali are round the corner.The city is gearing up for it.

    Hope you are keeping fine and are in good health. Its always an enriching experience just communicating with you. It gives a feeling of achievement and a warm feel good feeling.

    Take care of yourself , Sister . We miss the good old days. 

    Sister the Interact club is one year old and is going great guns. There is a lot of enthusiasm and interest shown by the girls.

    I am enclosing the invite and a Report of what the Alumni has done since its inception in 2013.

    With warm Regards and lots of love


    Alpana Jain Bhattacharyya

  • On Mon, Dec 23, 2013 at 5:32 AM, Sr. Marlene Jude Sylas

    My dear Alpana,

    Great to hear about the 3rd Reunion of Teresians - past and present - loved the invitation and the program! 

    May you have a great CELEBRATION of what is and has been an important part of your lives - giving thanks to God for these blessings.

    Loving Greetings to the Principal, Staff and Former Students who remember me - Once a Teresian - always a Teresian!!   I am very sorry to hear of Miss Gupta's health problems and offer my prayers to God for her.  Keep our motto alive - ORA ET LABORA - and let nothing discourage us!

  • Date: Mon, Dec 23, 2013 at 9:23 AM

    Respected Sister,

    Thank you for the Blessings and your warm encouraging good wishes!!! We had a wonderful time!!! There is a constant murmur when will you come to calcutta!! All of us are looking forward to the day we meet you!!!

    Sister the 3rd Reunion was a fun filled event. There was food, games , music, dance and lots of chatter!!!! The numbers were low but the spirit of those present was unlimited and quite made up for all those who could not attend!!!! Mrs Mathur attended the Reunion. This was her first one and the young at heart girl gang of Mrs Goela, Mrs Chopra, Mrs hariharan, Mrs Mahajan and Mrs Mathur had a wonderful time catching up on all the gossip!! Sister remember Anuradha Rao? we located her and she came with Aunty and her daughter. She looks the same and her daughter is a carbon copy of her and Aunty is still so elegant!!!

    Now for the details!!! Lots of them.....

    We started a little late. I croaked mumbled and stuttered in the mike with a good morning and welcome everyone. Then we said the School prayer 'I have come to thee'followed by the Lord's Prayer and our school song. Sr. Margaret gave the welcome address and Sr. Regina addressed the gathering . Sr. Leela was cornered into saying a few words and she is so good with them!!!! The announcements were made amidst a constant murmur...( in fact Sr Regina had to admonish us . It was literally Back to School) The Raffle tickets priced at Rs 100/- were a success and everyone had something to take back. The musical chairs was won by Mrs Hariharan!!! ( Yes Sister ....so you can get your breath back..) There was food galore and the caterer Mr Gupta did a wonderful job, yet once again!!! There were school magnets on sale and some T shirts also ( Modeled by some of us!! We looked hot..and it had nothing to do with the weather sister, though it was warm yesterday. We are becoming cheeky aren't we, Sister???) Oh we had the throw ball match between the 50+ and the 50- and the Seniors won inspite of Patricia supporting the Juniors !! Wow some of them really have a mean throw and arm!!!

    Then the DJ was given the floor and everyone let their hair down and danced away till 4pm. The cleaning done we were a contented, tired lot discussing what we are going to do for the next year's Reunion!!!! :D

    We will soon be uploading the photographs and the videos on our website stssalumni.co.in soon. Will also send some of them to you.

    Thank you Sister for making us who we are today.

    Wishing you a Merry Christmas

    With lots of love , hugs and Warm Regards

  • Sent from my iPad

    REUNION OF TERESIANS.

    Astoundingly it was a warm morning that greeted us on 22 nd December, our third consecutive reunion being held in our school premises. The President, Secretary, Treasurer and all other committee members of the Almuni Association of the school had , had innumerable meetings to make such an event possible. Our present school Principal's convincing consent set the ball rolling. The invitation cards designed beautifully and full of vibrant colours were made by our imminent advertising designer in our group with our slogan " Once a Teresian , always a Teresian" standing out vividly.
    Meetings held periodically, tasks assigned and all the events to take place that day were updated and the D - day finally arrived.

    As we were having this reunion of the ex students for the third time in three years Friends , the response was not enthusiastic. However, though it was slightly lack lustre in the beginning, the atmosphere gained momentum and vibrancy as the day's programmes unfolded. As the ex- students trickled in the hall, we started the programme by saying the school prayer, followed by singing the school song. It was indeed a nostalgic moment. There is a phrase in our school song (quote) "When we grow weary, when the day is dreary . Think we of joy and success to come. Patience endeavour will win the long way. Forwards and upwards come what may."( unquote) These sentences hold a great deal of depth. In one of Shakespeare's plays there is a volatile and aggressive proclamation( quote) " Oh, Judgement ! Thou art fled to brutish beasts, because men have lost their Reason" ( unquote) Similarly, when we instil the value of PATIENCE, there is reasoning power which leads to a sound and just judgement.

    The Principal, Sisters , Teachers gave their short speeches which really made us misty eyed , because hearing all that now made more sense to us than in our school years. The ex-students too reminisced their years in school and hearing students who studied in 1957 to 1970 was a treat. There were exclamations, surprise and guffaws of laughter on their anecdotes.

    This time , we the organisers planned two events, apart from the lucky draw and Musical chairs to be played with the teachers.The lucky draw had lovely hampers given generously by an ex-student and one of our committee member.
    One event was an White Elephant Stall, in which raffle tickets with numbers were given to all who bought the ticket, and each ticket holder was assured a gift. All the gifts , comprising of purses, glass items , and other fancy stuff were contributed generously by the committee members. All the tickets were undoubtedly sold. The other event was a throw ball match between all of us. It was boisterous , because everyone was shrieking and screaming. Hot sun and great fun.
    The winning team was awarded a packet of chocolate eclairs given by the present Principal of the school.

    The euphoria of the reunion was gradually picking up and cold drinks, snacks , tea and coffee were relished by all and so was the tasty lunch sumptuously gulped by everyone present there. The icing on the cake was the presence of a DJ, and with loud music and beats , everyone danced without a care in the world which could be attributed to a certain degree of madness.( If I am allowed to say so friends!) One ex-student danced with so much of passion that we all decided to give her a prize. She loved it. All the ex- students talked and gossiped , huddled in groups. The scenario was appealing and endearing. The reunion was coming to a close and it was time to say goodbye.Here we were bound together like pearls in a necklace, and just as the pearls are gathered to make a necklace, so too we all TERESIANS are held together by our school and the moral values which were inculcated in us from an early age.

    May God be with each one of us in every step of our life.

    HAIL TO ALL TERESIANS! HIP HIP HURRAY!!!!

  • Dec 16, 2013 at 11:05 AM

    My dear Alpana

    I hope and pray that this letter finds you along with family and friendsin the best of health and looking fwd to the Xmas break and the get together of the friends connected directly or indirectly with St. Tereasa's school. The very name opens up a floodgate of memories going back almost half a century! I first worked with the senior most class of the school to see them through the home science exams- the list of a series of faces stream through my minds eye but the names escape my old head! I can picture myself with the class when I would suddenly find Menakshi (3 yrs old then) standing behind the black board (the black board used to be on a stand then) busy scribbling and the students trying their best to not appear distracted! Those were fun days!

    A year later I joined, to my own surprise- as the teacher in charge of class III, and the next 8 years were one of the most enjoyable years of my career, until the year that Mini completed class X and graduated from school and joined La Martieniere for 11 and 12, ! Mini was with me in class for 2 of these years as I moved from Class III to Class IV. Though I remained attached to Class IV, my responsibilities brought me into close contact with students of all other classes upto Class X. I had the privilege and pleasure of serving as house mistress of all 4 Houses in turn, Yellow, Green and Red-, and you, Alpana, was the captain of the Yellow House with me ans we were a great team- three cheers for Alpana! This additional role in school allowed me to get to know many students more closely and I must say, I always felt loved, respected and honored! Students were very dear to me and their welfare and happiness was my pleasure! I hope and pray that each one of them is happily settled and doing very well in life.

    Please convey my blessings and lots of love to everyone, with a special hug to everyone who still remembers me. I will look forward to the year 2014 and come what may, I will be in Calcutte to meet you all.
    Until then, I say Goodbye,
    With lots of love

    Sincerely yours,
    ____
    Dr. Minnie Sarwal, MD, FRCP, DCH, PhD
    Professor, Transplant Nephrology and Pediatrics
    California Pacific Medical Center
    Director, The BIOMARC Institute for Personalized Medicine, 
    Sutter Health Care
    Director, The Sarwal Lab, CPMC-Research Institute,
    475 Brannan Street
    San Francisco, CA, USA
    Consulting Professor,
    Stanford University, 
    Palo Alto, CA, USA

    www.sarwallab.org

  • Sent from my iPad- Fri, Feb 15, 2013 at 12:15 PM

    THIRTIETH MARRIAGE ANNIVERSARY.

    Ladies and Gentlemen, Boys and Girls, it's my pleasure to announce that we that is husband and me have completed thirty years of our married life today.
    It's a nostalgia of events interwoven like pearls in a necklace. A SOJOURN OF EXPERIENCES INTERSPERSED with bountiful blessings of The Lord Who made this wonderful universe.
    It's been an enriching life so far, learnt so many things and actually understood what life is about.
    A lot has happened in these years, as the world is in a constant influx of change, but to me thirty years ago, life was a bed of roses---thorns ( here referred as diversity) was nowhere in my life. Gullible innocence and smartness were vital aspects in my character not to mention they are still there.
    Parents looked for a appropriate groom for me , which to my astonishment were all C.A's.
    Yes , dear friends ' FINANCE IS THE KEY WORD' and able financiers are really sought after whether its for the country, for corporates or a home budget and yes I will reluctantly admit that marrying a finance person has been a privilege and of course helped me to understand how tedious it is to earn money, then manage it, and then squander it a little if allowed , under the watchful eyes of husband-----oop's sorry! Financier folks!.

    Anyway, coming back to the topic concerned, these thirty years have passed blissfully , of course occasional massive silly arguments, tantrums , meaningless talks (now when you think about it) and getting adjusted . I would like to add a point here by saying that one cannot tame a tiger or a tigress into a deer and vice versa, it will be in its nature only.
    Similarly, when two different minds of two individuals come under one roof then fireworks are bound to be there, till one has the maturity to accept the fact that you can't change a person's nature, till one willingly makes a conscious effort to do so on its own . So it's best to let the tiger be the tiger and the deer , a deer. Complications arise when we impose ourselves on each other and try to change each other.
    It can also be understood as all tantamount grumbling cannot make a lily , an oak tree. A lily is a delicate flower , it should be handled as such, and the oak tree , an enormous gigantic , sturdy tree. Let it be as it is.
    Anyhow, after a lot of my timid silly ways and in between spurts of my smartness gushing out, a settled life ensued , with two lovely children , a boy - matured beyond comprehension, a petite girl equally matured.
    Raising and nurturing them was a pleasure and I did take pride in that and twenty five years passed like a blink of the eye( now it seems so) not to mention I was taking care of husband financier too which was slightly difficult, because you know folks, how financiers are---- not this ! Not that!.
    I have grown and matured immensely, from a bud to a flower and hopefully wither as a flower only, as now we are in our fifties.

    In the twenty fifth year of married life ,son married his dear girlfriend of four years and another battle (sorry!) has begun. A nice , straight forward girl came into our family and made it complete .Now , waiting for a prospective son -in- law.
    Lastly, I would conclude these thirty years have been wonderful, in a way of its own , there were challenges, oppressions e.t. c, but as we know we should never mind failures, and to meet with struggle and opposition brings out the best in us. Hardships and difficulties bring out the fire in us, make us strong and enduring and as we all very well know ,

    EVERYTHING IS CONQUERED BY THE GIANT FORCE OF WILL.
    Isn't it people!

  • Sent from my iPad, Thu, Feb 14, 2013 at 10:01 PM

    TRUE LOVE!
    How do we define this wonderful emotion?
    Does it mean romance, caring for , sharing , feeling or lust!

    Friends! A highly combustible emotion and has no boundaries.
    It's a feeling that can be expressed silently as well as verbally .
    Today, the 14 th of February, Valentine 's Day as everyone calls it, I suddenly got the urge to write on this four letter word.
    So, here I go. It is known that RED is the colour of love, and if we put these red coloured lenses on our glasses we should be able to see with the eye of love, and how one goes about it is surely each individual's domain.

    Personally, I feel love means doing anything for anybody without any expectation, a kind of genuine happiness for that person or a cause.
    A selfless act without any prefixes or suffixes , just doing it. We have heard that love means sacrifice too, but then after sometime, harping about the sacrifice makes the love shallow without any depth.
    I would like to quote my example. Initially my friendships, associations with relatives and others and even husband had that feeling in me what if he or she doesn't respond , that expectant hope was there, BUT NOW I FEEL DIFFERENTLY.
    IT's a feeling of genuine concern for all, not bothered about what I will get in return. This is LOVE.
    When men and woman marry, fidelity is also an expression of love. In fact I asked my young son and daughter-in-law their definition.
    Son's reaction ' AWWW.......AAWWWWWWW!!!!! I don't know Mother, but daughter-in-law's answer... The sweetest, She said I think it's the way your son bears with me. VIOLA! So true ,even defined son's definition of love.

    Coming back to another aspect, is love actual or textual? Is this emotion shown to perfection, only in movies , novels or it exists in reality too.
    Of course , it does exist in reality too. An expression of love can be shown in so many ways. Relationships are also no barriers, whether it is brother sister, friends, mother children anybody. It's a UNIVERSAL FEELING OF AFFECTION FOR ANYBODY AND ANYTHING IN ANY PART OF THIS STUPENDOUS UNIVERSE.
    Apart from physical affection, gifts, flowers, anything can be an expression of love, provided there are no expectations.

    Another subtle aspect of love, in a slightly philosophical way , love would also mean a kind of surrender to his or her areas of ignorance.
    For e.g if one knows about his or her spouse's,( or any other relationship) an excellence in any sphere, it's best to surrender to it rather than show an ego , that I can also do the same thing equally well. Surrender does not mean being meek , it's an expression of accepting that wonderful attribute in the person, which again signifies LOVE..
    Love is Devotion , that devout selfless affection that Sudama had for Shri Krishna vice versa or Mira Bai too had for Krishna. There is a major contrast here, Sudama was in poverty , but he and Krishna were childhood friends and Mira Bai was a princess, but she left everything to pursue her devotion for Krishna.
    When we love somebody, we are willing to accept that person as and how she or he is then why do we go about seeking the true definition of love.
    It is there in our soul , we just need to express it in sweet words, genuine actions and pure thoughts. That's it.!!!!!! THE BE ALL AND THE END ALL OF THE WORD ' LOVE'.

    I would like to conclude by quoting the lyrics of the famous song 'We are the World' sung by maestros like Michael Jackson, Tina Turner, Stevie Wonder, Diana Ross and others. It's a beautiful song and the lyrics have an abyss which cannot be described.(quote

    THERE COMES A TIME WHEN WE HEED A CERTAIN CALL,
    WHEN THE WORLD MUST COME TOGETHER AS ONE,
    THERE ARE PEOPLE DYING,
    AND IT'S TIMETO LEND A HAND TO LIFE,
    THE GREATEST GIFT OF ALL.
    WE CAN'T GO ON PRETENDING DAY BY DAY,
    THAT SOMEONE, SOMEHOW WILL SOON MAKE A CHANGE,
    WE ARE ALL A PART OF GOD'S GREAT BIG FAMILY, AND THE TRUTH! YOU KNOW,

    LOVE IS ALL WE NEED. (Unquote)

    So ,there we all are . We need this exuberant emotion to sustain us in this magnificent universe.

    Happy Valentine's Day to all.

  • Sent from my iPad- Fri, Feb 15, 2013 at 12:42 PM

    THE TUMULTUOUS YEAR 2012.

    Dear Friends, When we usher in a new year, each one of us has apprehensions of all kinds.
    We generally are in awe of this mysterious twelve month tenure, which holds a lot of speculation and debate ---- we wonder! All kinds of notions are formed in our minds and heart and all of us definitely want good tidings for everyone including the entire world.And so, with this optimistic view I would like to write about this year 2012 , as it's been for me.
    The world is in the constant influx of change , we are all aware of that and we cannot change the world we know that for sure, all we can do is change ourselves, which we do not want to do and therein the problems arise.

    To save my friends the details of each month in the year 2012 , how it's been for me, I will analyse the year on the whole.
    I have particularly observed that the first month of each year rapidly passes and the rest of the year takes its own sweet time.
    I was fortunate to have travelled in various parts of our country.....Kaziranga wild life reserve in Assam, a pilgrimage to Vaishnodevi temple in Jammu, two trips to Lucknow, the first one for my friend's fiftieth birthday and the second one, to celebrate again a birthday but that of a relative's son's first year , a trip to Delhi and Rishikesh, a short but adequate visit to Udaipur the city of lakes and palaces. All these places have been described in detail in separate articles.
    Each experience was lovely and we did enjoy ourselves.

    In the middle of the year, husband took me to Europe to countries namely London, Germany and France. IT was a whirlwind tour of eight days, but extremely gratifying. I made new friends in London, and we got along like peas in a pod. Paris is just beautiful. I don't have any words in my dictionary to describe that city, even though I am middle aged, the city grew on me overnight.
    One feels so alive , vibrant and some kind of romance infuses into you.
    I will always cherish that awesome atmosphere, whenever I remember that city.
    Anyway, for a home bird like me, so many trips in a single year made me feel some kind of a celebrity, and I just went along with the whole show.

    BUT DEAR FRIENDS! This was a special year for me, I was to complete FIFTY YEARS in the last month of the year. Elaborate plans were made as two my closest friends were to join me and usher in the fifty first year of my life and since one of my friends share the same birthdate, the occasion was even more special.
    There is a famous saying MAN PROPOSES! GOD DISPOSES , and so it happened, some unforeseen circumstances took place and the entire programme had to be cancelled. It was quite depressing, but I had to take it in my stride and bore it valiantly .
    In between this quagmire of uncertainty of events, family member's health took a serious turn, and thereby hospital, tests and medicines were in tow and as the year was coming to a close so were these events hopefully , of which I was becoming extremely wary but .... The inevitable had to happen... One fine day, my back developed a snitch and there I was walking, and sitting like a ninety year old woman. Fifty to ninety was pretty swift. Oh! Dear , it took three weeks to heal completely.

    Another important decision taken was the booking of a flat , because after husband's retirement one needs a roof over one 's head which is a necessity unquestioned.

    Looking back on the year 2012 was a year full of sojourns, family gatherings, friends and school reunion, illnesses in bounty, No surprises, BUT ONE MAJOR ACHIEVEMENT...... We ALL GOT OUT OF IT UNSCATHED, with our mental and physical abilities intact.
    Friends, such horrific events take place all over the world, even in our country, but we can't be a mute spectator to all this gross injustice.
    We need to make our voices heard and try to heal the world and make it a better place for all, in whichever way it's possible by each one of us.

    SO! HERE IS WISHING THE WHOLE OF MANKIND AND LIVING BEINGS A WONDERFUL HAPPY NEW YEAR 2013 AND MAY EACH ONES WISHES COME TRUE AND WOMAN ALL OVER THE WORLD GET JUSTICE FOR ATROCITIES COMM ITTED ON THEM.


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