10 Stunning Sunset Pictures from the same location

Didn’t I tell you every sunset is different? These 10 sunset pictures taken from the same place, prove this fact. Have a look at the stunning, glorious sunset pictures that will amaze you. And there are some amazing Sunset quotes for that extra effect! Enjoy.

Call for the grandest of all earthly spectacles, what is that? It is the sun going to his rest.
Thomas de Quincey
How can I know anything about the past or the future, when the light of the Beloved shines only Now? – Rumi

Sunset is still my favorite color, and rainbow is second.
Mattie J.T. Stepanek
The best way to live your life is this: At sunset, just think of the beauty of the sunset, because life is nothing but what the present moment offers you!
Mehmet Murat ildan
Sunrise is the start of something beautiful: the day.
Sunset is the start of something beautiful: the night.
Juansen Dizon
“I just need you and some sunsets” – Atticus
“Clouds come floating into my life, no longer to carry rain or usher storm, but to add color to my sunset sky.”
-Rabindranath Tagore, Stray Birds
Sunset is always wiser than sunrise because sunset has added the experience of an entire day to his soul!
Mehmet Murat ildan
Don’t forget:beautiful sunsets need cloudy skies.
Paulo Coelho
Whenever you want to see me, always look at the sunset; I will be there.
Grace Ogot

Images courtesy – My Iphone

Small Things#30 – English, Indian Istyle

Indian English is quickly carving its own space in the world. The tone, accent, colloquialisms, vocabulary, sentence construction, and variations are slowly being accepted rather than laughed at. Various localization projects worldwide treat Indian English separate from British, American, or Australian English, and …that’s a relief!

Because since long, we Indians have been so self-conscious and focused on using the English language correctly, that we have hardly been able to express ourselves at all. We have stayed segmented and almost mum in many ways.

It has been like always pretending to be someone else – a caricature of something we believed to be ‘grand’. But now, Indian English is finding its own footing. We no longer need to blush with shame for using the Queen’s English in Indian style. The self-consciousness in using English is lessening as we personalise and Indianise English. Indian English is now spoken by 125 million people and it is high time the language gets its own stature and dignity.

In my home, here in America, the boys often notice my English and ask about my ‘different’ pronunciation. They find my English accent strange and dissimilar from their American way of talking. I say, “I have studied British English, so, my English is a little bit different from yours.” Actually, my English is ‘very’ different from theirs, it is full of Indian words and Indian ways of sentence construction. It is decidedly Indian English!

A few days back, the word ‘opportunity’, gave me the opportunity to talk to my kids on the subject of different types of English. I was reading a book and when I said – ‘OP-POR-CHUNITY,’ I had their attention.
“But Mumma, it is ‘aa-pr-too-nuh-tee,” the little one said.
“But Mumma, in British English, “it is op-uh-tyoo-nuh-tee’. You spoke it differently.” The older one said.
And I found myself saying – I speak Indian English, you know! A few years back, I would not have done so because nothing was clear-cut then. Indian English had no properly defined presence at that time.

It is now time, that Indian English gets properly defined guidelines of its own. This does not mean – distorting or meddling with the original beautiful, flexible language. This means, using the language as an Indian rather than being an Indian and using it as a foreigner. English has the rare flexibility and ability to adapt, that’s why it has survived and thrived for so long. It should be used for our advantage rather than being overwhelmed by it.

By giving dignity and support to Indian English, we will have a new generation of confident kids who would not feel conscious in speaking English, in Indian style.

(Image courtesy Google)

The Laughing Saint – An Ancient Wisdom Story

Note – This story is reaching you with a message today. Hope the message rubs on you. When the story alighted in my mind, I laughed. And may you laugh too and spread it far and wide.

More than one thousand years ago in India, there lived a laughing Saint. Some called him a genius, others thought he was wise and some believed he was a fool.

So, a famous traveler from a faraway kingdom visited him one day. He wanted to evaluate and judge the man. The Saint was making an ordinary garland from grey flowers that had a very strong smell. On seeing the traveler, he pointed towards a bamboo mat.

The traveler kept sitting for a long time, watching the Saint, who would chuckle while putting fresh flowers in the thread. Soon, he got bored and thought the Saint was quite mad.

So, he started a conversation to get further proof of the Saint’s madness. “Ahem, hello Swamiji, for whom are you making the garland?”

No one in particular, ” the saint laughed.

Then why are you wasting your time on the garland?” the traveler asked.

The Saint looked at him and laughed again. The traveler got annoyed and thought this man was not only mad he was a fool too. There was nothing wise or intelligent about the man. Why was this idiot so famous?.

He got up to leave.

Sit down, dear friend. I am sorry I offended you, ” said the Saint. “I will ask you a few questions that will make you understand why I laughed. Tell me about yourself?”

I am a famous astronomer, scientist, and mathematician from a King’s court in the South. I own many palatial homes, immense wealth and I am highly respected in society. I have a lovely family and I live a grand life...”

That’s very good. So, what brings you here my friend?”

I wanted to know the secret of your laughter. But I think I have got my answer now, ” the traveler said, looking at him from top to bottom.

You have everything in life. It must make you happy, so why did you come here looking for silly secrets?” the Saint asked, wrapping the garland in a wet cloth.

The traveler cleared his throat. “The problem is I should be happy but I am not always happy like you.

Ok, so what will make you happy like me?”

Hmmm, I feel happy when I think about my wealth and power. And soon I am planning to go on a sea voyage, I guess, that will make me happy like you, ” said the traveler.

The Saint laughed again. “Well, thinking about your wealth is a memory of happiness! And planning a sea voyage is about future happiness. Tell me what will make you happy, right now? Because real and pure happiness can only exist right now!

The traveler looked closely at the laughing Saint. Something clicked in him but he was still confused so he continued the conversation.

I can be truly happy right now if I get something which I am hoping for.”

Like?”

Umm… like a better position at the King’s court.”

So, you can be truly happy only – when you get what you love. But what if you – Accepted and loved what you got every moment the same way, ” the Saint laughed again.

That is so simple and yet so difficult. But yes, that would make me happy right now! But I would still need to make plans for my future happiness…

If you stay alive in the Now, the future and your plans will be taken care of automatically. A fresh path gets carved out of every moment of conscious presence. Trust the universe to make everything work in your favor. Now, do you want to know why I laughed while making the garland?

The traveler nodded.

Well, this morning, I got some flowers as a present from the little girl next door. You would hardly ever see me making a garland at this time. But today, I decided to make it for no reason at all. The process of making the garland was exhilarating. The freshness, color, shapes of each flower was delightful. But a thought arose in me – Why was I making the garland? I didn’t pay attention to it and continued being in the moment. And then you came along.

The traveler nodded again, listening with bated breath.

You asked the same question – For whom are you making the garland? And I laughed appreciating the glory and grace of the Universe. Of course, for you, my friend! The little girl unknowingly picked up the flowers for you and I blissfully made the herbal garland for you. And the universe sent you here to get what you were really looking for. I know you have a rare disease in your left leg, I can smell it. So, here take the garland, the smell of the flowers will cure it.

The traveler was bewildered and accepted the garland gratefully. He really had a rare disease that he had kept hidden from the world. “Yes, this was what I was looking for around the country. I am so joyful I got it. I am so indebted to you. But this cure was not what I was hoping to get from you. I really wanted to know why you laughed so much.

And you know now. Don’t you? I am blissful because I choose to accept and ‘just be’ in every moment. Whenever you want to be blissful, just come back to the moment from your past or present and flow with what is… May you always be as accepting and grateful as you are right now after getting the cure. And the universe will give you more opportunities for bliss and gratitude,” the Saint blessed him.

When he returned home, the King of Southern Kingdom asked about the laughing Saint. The traveler said – “At first, he may look like a mad man, then an idiot and a fool, and finally one of the wisest men on Earth. But one thing is sure – his child-like laughter and positivity will stay with you like the fragrance of a rare garland.”

Beautiful Girl Digital Art

“The Artist always has the masters in his eyes.”
― Ralph Waldo Emerson

Did you like her eyes? I had great fun creating her on SketchBook – a curious digital tool for art lovers. It is fun, fast, and has that undo button, which can quickly delete all my mistakes. While I think physical artworks are sacred, digital tools are feisty. Why not give it a try this weekend? BTW, do you like this girl with an intense gaze? What are your thoughts about her?

Thanks for stopping by. Wishing you a cool and creative weekend!

10 Great Quotes on Relaxation after a busy week

Has the week been hard on you? Take a moment and inspect your burden – too many things going on, tasks to finish, pending work, children or parents to take care of, a household to tend to… And then there are the emotional issues – a mishap, some misunderstanding, someone may be ill, someone in a bad situation! And then, on top of it, physical ailments, unresolved issues from the past, responsibilities in the future…! Ah, too much, isn’t it? We are all in the same boat so, why don’t you and I put down our burdens for a minute and relax with these quotes.

Here are 10 great quotes that will lead to relaxation and shift in perception:

Yes, you and I are enough, my friend. So relax! Hope these quotes helped you to relax, rejuvenate and believe that – all is and would always be well! And yes, keep setting aside your burden from time to time, believe me, it will shrink with time. Have a great weekend!

Just an #Inspiring Thought – What is my shadow telling me?

Have you noticed that Science and Spirituality often appear similar? The underlying laws are so simple and common. Today, I had a curious #inspiring #thought while watching the shadows of people walking their dogs. The size of our shadow in the daytime keeps changing according to the Sun. Now, read about what NASA has to say about the size of shadow under the sun and then, the spiritual observation.

According to NASA – A person or object blocks more light when the sun is low in the sky. And that makes shadows longer. Less light is blocked when the sun is high in the sky, and that makes shadow smaller.

Now read in the spiritual tongue – The lower your spirit (sun), the more light you (person) will block! And your problem (shadow) will become bigger. But the higher your spirit, the more light you will allow. And your problem will become smaller.

So, what is my shadow (problems) telling me? Simple! I should keep my spirit high and avoid blocking this little light of mine! Wasn’t it an interesting connection between science and spirituality?

Have an amazing week ahead and enjoy the brightest news of 2020 as COVID-19 Vaccine Distribution Begins.

Likhita Japa – Write Divine Mantras to Reduce Stress

Powerful Mantra Meditation Writing or Likhita Japa is a relatively easy yet lesser known meditation technique and devotional practice for spiritual, mental and emotional wellness. It is tremendously valuable for increasing concentration and depression free life.

Writing the mantra with full concentration is one hundred times more beneficial and powerful than Japa chanting.” – Vaishnava Tantra.

My grandmother first told me about this sacred practice. Sitting in a Lotus position, she would use a red pen to write divine mantras on her brown journal everyday. She taught us the value of this transformational ancient Hindu practice that involves many parts of a person’s body-mind while chanting and writing a mantra. It is interesting how eyes follow sacred words, hands are used to write it down, the mouth recites the pure sounds, ears enjoy, and the mind gets connected to the divine flow of energy.

After filling all the pages of the brown journal, she would offer it to some temple in a holy place in India. Once, she asked me to take few of her journals to Hrishikesh for the offering and I felt privileged to do that. She lived a stress free life for more than a century.

This age-old practice is great for developing great concentration and ensures holistic well-being!

The Method of Likhita Japa – Likhita Japa is easy to practice and has a far better impact than any other technique. Alternatively, you can use the journal to write positive thoughts in any language and make that your mantra!

Step 1: Choose a particular time of a day and be consistent.

Step 2: Purify yourself by washing your hands and feet.

Step 3: Sit comfortably with the spine straight and carefully choose a particular mantra based on your intent or just write the name of your ishtdeva (God) or a positive thought in your own language.

Step 4: You can use different colored pens for writing to make it interesting.

Step 5: Chant gently while you write.

Step 6: You can write as many times as you want (108, 27, 21, or 11 is considered auspicious).

Step 7: Sit quietly for a moment after finishing, reflecting on the mantra. Be grateful for this divine opportunity.

Step 8: Keep the journal and pen in an appropriate place.

Step 9: You can choose to offer the journal to a place of worship after filling all the pages.

The memories of my grandma’s journal prompted me to create one Likhita Japa or Mantra Meditation Journal. So, if you wish you can buy my journal from Amazon .

Hari Om!

The Ideal Inspirational Blogger Award

It’s been long since I last wrote answers to questions posed by a fellow blogger but I thought of writing for Kunakshi Kapoor. I am grateful to Kunakshi for nominating me for ‘The Ideal Inspirational Blogger Award’ (BTW these awards are ways of the blogger community to show appreciation for each other). Please visit Kunakshi’s lovely blog at https://thepennedsoul.wordpress.com/ and explore her interesting works.

Now moving on to the questions she asked me:

1) When were you most scared? I was in a pet store and a huge, black dog came very close and began to sniff me. That was before we got Happy, our pet dog. I felt I was going to get a nasty bite so I reacted rudely and screamed – Take him away! The owner of the dog was pretty upset and muttered that I was not loving and friendly. Well, I was so scared I just wanted to leave the store. Now, that we have a dog I realize why the lady was upset..

2) What does passion mean to you? Passion is the brightest color in a painting, sweetest note in music and mystical words in poetry. It is the driving force behind every kind of creative activity. It is the precious energy that makes dreams possible!

3) Define life in a sentence? Life is a spectacle where only I am the actor, the director and the audience! 

4) What was your most funniest moment? There have been countless funny moments in my life. One of the most embarrassing was when I used a ball pen to sign on iPad instead of stylus, shocking teachers in my son’s class.

5) What does writing mean to you? Writing is my favorite way of expression. Many people use speech or other ways to communicate, I like to write.

The rules of the award are as follows :

  • Thank the person who have nominated you and provide a link back to his/her blog.
  • Answer their questions.
  • Nominate up to 9 other bloggers and ask them 5 new questions.
  • Notify the nominees through their blog by visiting and commenting on their blog.
  • List the rules and display the “Ideal Inspiration Blogger Award” logo.
  • Provide the link of the Award creator of ideal inspiration blogger award as Rising Star from https://idealinspiration.blog/.
  • And finally , the people whom l nominate for this award …

I would like to invite all my fellow bloggers and readers for this award. You are all inspiring and I marvel at the lovely things you write. Do take up the open challenge if you wish. And answer one or all of these challenging questions, if you want and leave a link back to my blog. 

  • Q. What if you could be invisible for a day? What would you do if no one could see or hear you?
  • Q. What would you do if you could stop time?
  • Q. What is the most shocking news item you’ve ever heard?
  • Q. If you were a tree, where would you stand and why?
  • Q. The most amazing life lesson you have learnt recently?

Be well and stay blissful!