WOW ! Here Comes My Award !

Awards are always welcomed and when you get one for your creativity, spirits or your thoughts then it becomes all the more special. I am so happy and honored to receive this award, surely it is going to encourage me to write well and share more.

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I am very much thankful to sweetkannoth  of  The Pen’lightenment of the soul who found my blog worth to nominate for Liebster Award, mainly given to  welcome and encourage budding bloggers in Blogosphere. You must check her wonderful blog to have a feel of Kerala. You will surely enjoy plethora of meaningful poems, straight from heart writing and amazing captures. I really admire her noble thoughts and smiling face.

Here goes the rules of this award, let me do the needful:

1. Link and thank the person who nominated you

2. Answer the questions they asked you

3. Pick eleven awesome bloggers to nominate ( preferably those with less than or around

200 followers )

4. Ask them eleven questions

5. Let them know by commenting on one of their posts

Here are my answers to the Questions I was asked

Give one word to describe your blog.

ME: In my opinion it is POSITIVITY.

What is that one quality that makes you different from other bloggers?

ME: My spirit and my soul makes me a unique combination nurtured with  positive thoughts. The message of love,compassion and peace has been well received and appreciated so far. I am known as a happy and kind soul by my friends and  followers.
Which is that place , in the entire world , that you would want to visit before you die?

ME: Kailash Mansarovar  Lake which lies in Tibet, China for its spiritual appeal. “Manas” means mind and “sarovar” means  “lake”. According to the Hindu religion, the lake was first created in the mind of the Lord Brahma after which it manifested on Earth. Las vegas is also on my wish list since the energy  and glamour of that place fascinates me so much.

Name three things that inspire your writings or pictures.

ME: 1. NATURE WITH IT’S ELEMENTS: I am a nature lover, wants  to explore the unexplored. 2. TRAVEL:  Always ready to travel on roads , can’t sit at home during weekends. I hang my camera and freak out in woods or explore ancient monuments and towns. 3. BEAUTY AND SPIRITUALITY:  I see beauty in everything . Be it relations, nature, religion, world, culture, language, humans……. Beauty connects you to spirituality and positivity.

 INTERESTING PROMPTS  given by The Daily Post and Weekly Photo Challenge also motivate me to write in response.
What according to you is more important ..money or memories ?

ME: Of course I need money….but to create unforgettable memories to cherish for lifetime and not  to build castles. Accumulating money to feel richer than before is not my way of Life. We as a couple have earned memories and happiness, money has been never the main focus of life. I am courageous enough to spend it to have good times in life, not many rich can do that,  huh !

 Which is that one place, close to your home that always makes you take out your pen or camera?

ME: Presently I am exploring a town which was established by Mughal emperor Aurangzeb. It was the capital of vast  Mughal empire during his reign. Ajanta Ellora caves are  just an hour drive from my house and have inspired me to write. You can check my post here.

What is that one quality you look for most ,in a friend?

ME: Unconditional faith and support. The one who came, never left my side, became my friend.
How did you start with blogging?

ME:  I used to write articles for school magazines and occasionally write poems, never bothered to compile at one place, off late  shared my travel experiences on Facebook with my friends. I started my blog Ignited minds on Google last year just to interact with my students and to know their views on topics discussed in the class. Once I left the school the blog lost it’s significance.

One fine day my youngest sister read two of my  poems and  suggested me to start blogging. I was busy then with my children and  home,  a hectic job schedule and official commitments were other deterrents. Recently one of my  seniors and a Dear friend Dr. Aruna started her wonderful blog Ripplesnreflectiontimes at word press. She inspired me to join this amazing world of Word Press and guided me.  My association with her goes a long way back.

 

Which is you most favorite holiday destination till date? ( a place you have been to )

ME:  I loved all the places where I have been to till date. India is incredibly beautiful ! …… The deserts, the mountains, deep oceans, the beaches, the forests, you name it, it’s there and each place has it’s own charm. Anywhere close to nature would be fine with me.
What is you favorite hobby ,other than blogging?

ME: Travelling, reading, gardening, photography.

Which is your favorite movie and why ?

ME: I don’t have one. Titanic, Pretty Woman, True lies, Avatar and few Bollywood classics like Pyasa, Hum Dono, Maine Pyar Kiya, Anand and Mugl-e-Azam are on my favorites list.  I enjoyed watching  Spider Man and Harry Potter series along with my sons.

Now I have to recommend 11 awesome  bloggers  for this award to let the ball rolling. Here I go….

http://witlessdatingafterfifty.wordpress.com

http://verseherder.wordpress.com

http://katpegimana.wordpress.com 

http://3psbyseeker.com

http://writingwingsforyou.com

http://mojowritin.wordpress.com

http://poemsandpoemes.wordpress.com 

http://solaner.wordpress.com

http://irisgreenwald.wordpress.com

http://sayadpoet.wordpress.com

http://booksearchjourney.wordpress.com

http://dragoneystory.wordpress.com

Some of the above mentioned bloggers have huge fan following  and might have been mentioned for this award before. I hope they won’t mind being nominated  again as it was not mentioned on their home page. I follow these blogs to get daily dose of inspiration.

Finally I have to ask eleven questions to the nominated bloggers. Here are those:

What was your reaction to this award nomination?

Why people  should visit your blog?

Share with us your most happiest moment.

What prompted you to become a blogger?

Given an opportunity to pursue your hobby, what it would be?

What do you prefer? A loner, lost in your own dream world or a popular bee surrounded with fans.

Which has been your most successful post so far?

Which is the first thing you look for as soon as you log in to your blog?

Do you need prompts to motivate you? If yes, which was that?

Have you ever experienced writer’s block? How did you deal with it?

Which is your favorite book and why?

Looking forward to your response…..Happy Blogging 🙂 :

 

Fast Food with Devotees

Are you a picky eater? Share some of your favorite food quirks with us (the more exotic, the better!). Omnivores: what’s the one thing you won’t eat?

http://dailypost.wordpress.com/dp_prompt/mouths-wide-shut/

This prompt has come during that time when I am observing fast for nine days called “NAVRATRI” a festival dedicated to the worship of Hindu deity “DURGA” in India. The literal meaning of the word is “Nine nights”, “Nava” means nine and “ratri” means night.

Very auspicious, spiritual days basically the period of devotional sadhanas and worship of Shakti the ultimate, absolute creative energy of the Divine conceptualized as the Mother Goddess-Durga, whose worship dates back to prehistoric times before the early Vedic age. Nine forms of Durga are worshipped during these nine days

To me Navratri is meant for cleansing mind, body and soul..

Most people switch on to simple vegetarian food,  strictly avoid non veg food, onions, garlic and ingredients in navratri. Intake of salt reduces to one meal only (mostly in lunch) some confine to fruits and juices only. Consumption of fruits and dairy products replace grain consumption, good for cleansing intestines and flushing out toxins from the body.

In vedas, girls are considered as “SHAKTI” or DURGA’s  incarnation on earth therefore those who observe fast they invite nine virgin girls to worship them who represent nine forms of Durga and obtain blessings. Devotees give them gifts and feed them famous Indian desert called Suji Ka Halwa and Puri Chana (chick peas) as devotional offering. This ritual is called Kanya Puja, performed on eight or ninth day depending on the connivence of a devotee  on culmination of fasts. I cook halwa and spicy chanas on this occasion which my family relish so much.

Let me take this prompt as an opportunity to share some foodie facts about this festive season.

No Indian occasion is complete without lavish and rich spread of exotic dishes. Navratri festival is also one such occasion. People tend to eat more what they eat during their normal days that too when they keep fast for nine nights. Isn’t it interesting?

A very large community keep these fasts every year. Now a days almost all food joints and restaurants offer special navratri palette. Special recipes have been introduced to make navratri food so tempting !!!

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Navratri means one week full of fried potatoes ! It can be anything from generous serving of potato cutlets, chips, fries, pakoras to boiled, diced and sautéed in pure ghee or simply mashed to mix in curd, depending on the mood.

Reason? Potato is considered as a fruit and a vegetable both, can be eaten without guilt day and night. Next comes dairy products which further add to calories. Milk, cottage cheese, curd, desserts made from milk….. like ‘Kheer’ ( sago pearls cooked in sweetened milk on  simmering heat  till milk becomes thick and tapioca pearls completely cooked, garnished with dry fruits generously), coconut ladoos, and all variety of nuts fried in fat are eaten mostly.images-33

People tend to gain weight during or after navratri but there are some extreme cases also like our Prime Minister Mr. Narendra Modi who only survive on water diet for nine days…..just plain water !!! Presently he is in USA and will not be able to enjoy White House Feast because of fasts.

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http://indianexpress.com/article/india/india-others/pm-narendra-modis-navratri-fast-not-an-issue-white-house/

Here is a list of Navratri Dishes  to relish

You can try these exotic dishes at home. Sharing  Navratri food recipes.

Sabudana vada

Konda kadalai (chick peas) Sundal

Peanut (kadalai) Sundal

Sabudana vadaimages-29
Sabudana Khichadi
Puri Chana and Halwa
Makhane Ki Sabzi
Sawank Ke Chawal
Dahi Pudine Wale Aloo
Shakarkandi Ki Chaatimages-28
Sabudana Papad
Banana Raita
Aloo Raita
Singhare Ke Pakode
Banana Chips
Kaddu Ka Raita
Malaiwale Kofte
Fruits/Fruit Juices
Sabudana Khir

Presently I am on fruits, milk and dry nuts diet, trying to avoid fried food and salt for this week.

Otherwise also I can’t eat oily and spicy food. Proud to be a vegetarian. Here is a twist in the tale…..I have never tasted chicken but I can cook amazing Indian and continental non veg food for my husband and both the sons. The way they polish off  tandoori chicken with in no time I am sure it is yummy.

I love to eat Chinese,Thai and south Indian cuisine anywhere any time. I am dying to eat food cooked by my mom and looking forward to  holidays when I will join my in laws and parents, my sisters for a lavish family meal.

Till then Happy Navratri to you all. Maa Durga Bless you all.

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I Can Handle More

Daily Prompt

“Perhaps too much of everything is as bad as too little.” – Edna Ferber
Do you agree with this statement on excess?

I think I won’t say yes to this

For I have been always in bliss

Too much of love is never bad

Especially when it comes from dad

Truth and kindness are man’s asset

More you smile  better for health

I love to be too fit to look the best

Too many shoes, dresses to flaunt

I won’t mind either of these at all

Too many potted plants, butterflies

My garden gives pleasure to eyes

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Last but not the least, let me confess

Who doesn’t want too many likes ?

On each post, Oh yes ! many more posts

I can never be tired of replying friends

Here comes the finisher, counting the blessings

Too little or in excess, there is no sweating

Soul receives uncountable…….too much, too many

Spirited, happy,  I smile without being uncanny

http://dailypost.wordpress.com/dp_prompt/no-excess/

Make it count: Soul’s Message

You’ve been given the opportunity to send one message to one person you wouldn’t normally have access to (for example: the President. Kim Kardashian. A coffee grower in Ethiopia). Who’s the person you choose, and what’s the message?

Since you all know that I am a spirited soul,

I would like to send the message to the omnipotent…  

Though I am always connected to immortal, omnipresent….

Still the access remains blocked due to worldly pleasures….

Greed takes over, ego, lies, lust most harmful creatures…..

How to deal with loads of desires, silly expectations……

I think I am too much involved in my relations……

Today I am sending you a message O Lord 

Bless me with wisdom, empower me O God

I must know the cause for my birth 

The purpose for which you sent me on earth

May I become spirited and devoted soul

Stay connected to you on the whole

freedom

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I am thick skinned

Due to some reasons this post was not able to show on The Daily Post prompt grid in time. Reblogging it to share my response once again.

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The Daily Prompt: Handle With Care

How are you at receiving criticism? Do you prefer that others treat you with kid gloves, or go for brutal honesty?

I  cooly shrink into a shell which I have developed over the years, listening to various forms of criticism, some honest, some brutal, perhaps an outcome of sheer jealousy or might be critic’s own insecurities.

Whatever may be the reason initially it used to get bothered when people misunderstood me, I even tried explaining my point of view and felt pained, but not any more…… but then I have learnt my lessons hard way. 

I read few quotes one day and it changed me into a thick skinned person – that’s what I’m today, not bothered what people think or say about me.

“You can’t change others.The only person you can change is you.”

” You can’t keep everybody happy. There will be few…

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