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Desert Rose


         

 

 

 

DESERT RESORT

 

Rajasthan this one word evokes images of sand covered dunes, camels, brightly coloured tribals wearing ethnic clothes in all colours of the rainbow. Amid this stark landscape in a little known corner lies a resort that is a luxury you must experience.

 The Desert Resort is located in the Shekhawati region of Rajasthan and was conceived and built by Thakur Kesri Singh a former banker. The resort is an extension of his numerous hobbies. You have never seen a sunset till you have seen it in the Desert Resort. The landscape surrounding is stunning in its sparseness   . For miles all around all you can see is the bright yellow sand of the desert floor and a hint of green here and there with trees and some small tufts of grass. The time to really catch the desert come alive is in the early morning hours when the sun is rising and a fiery orange yellow fills the sky making the earth seem to glisten in its wake. The Evening sunset is also a photo opportunity when the setting sun throws a serene pink hue on the evening sky which extends for miles around.

 The Desert Resort is located 265 km form Delhi and is easily accessible by car. it will take you approximately four hours to reach not factoring the 102 speed breakers you encounter on the way so keep you eyes peeled at all times. The Scenery you pass is uninspiring vast miles of nothing but bright yellow sand and an occasional tree and bush. However you will share the road with all kinds of interesting animals. You cannot go anywhere in Rajasthan without encountering a camel so lookout for the sleepy giants.

   The Resort’s design and décor are what really make it one of a kind. It is a beautiful blend of natural and modern integrating both styles into a mesmerizing whole. The resort contains 60 rooms which are divided into cottages and luxury suites. The cottages are visible as soon as you walk through the mud covered gate another innovation in design. In fact the Resort was groundbreaking architecture as it was one of the first mud structures on such a grand scale in India. You will feel you are walking into something special as soon as you walk through the gates where you are greeted by the staff wearing traditional turbans and dhotis and kurtas who greet you in the traditional Rajasthani way and put a tika on your head and garland your neck with saffron flowers. Time does not gallop in the resort which is good for those if us always running to and fro.

 There is great attention given to details in every aspect of the ambience of the hotel. It has a very light and airy feel and not once do you feel the heavy closed in feeling that can happen in other hotels. The mud background of the walls is contrasted with lamps everywhere again done up in traditional Rajasthani mirror work and even the trees in the garden have been planted so they gently sway into the upstairs room. Nature and luxury are close companions in this place. While there are traditional suites on the upper floor I chose to stay in the cottages on the ground floor. Done up like a traditional Rajsthani Tribal Home. There is a small step you walk on to get inside the room. The exterior walls are hand painted with rice flour in patterns traditional to the region. The interiors contain stunning mirror work and glass beads in the brightest colours you can imagine it is a visual cornucopia of colours . There are handmade pottery items placed at spots that are pleasing to the eye. While there is so much attention to authenticity you will not be denied modern comforts all the cottages contain double beds which are very comfortable to sleep on and modern bathrooms and electricity and phones. But there are no TV’s or computers with internet facilities in any of the room as the emphasis is on leaving the outside world behind and just being for a while .

   The Desert is not the place to come to if you are seeking wild pleasure. Simplicity and quiet ambling is more the pace here. There is a huge garden with comfortable cane chairs one can sink into for a good long bonding with a book. And the view of the desert as you look up is silent and peaceful. There is also a beautiful pool if you walk towards the spa area. Designed keeping the standards of modern luxury the water is pristine blue and it is not too deep so even novice swimmers can enjoy a dip. The pool is also heated during winter so swimming is something you can enjoy year round. There are also lots of chairs and shaded areas around the pool one such place is a gazebo type place with beautiful carved columns and a spacious table and chairs and since it is enclosed you can sit there in all kinds of weather. I sat there one afternoon in the middle of a fierce rain shower enjoying a book and the sound of the falling rain was a soothing symphony to my ears.

    My personal favourite spot in the resort is the duck pond which you can reach by going down a flight of stairs from near the pool. The stairs are well constructed and easy to manage. Down below is a park of sorts with a croquet court and a paved path for those who want to take a brisk evening walk. There are also swings which are big enough that even an adult can indulge her inner child. I did and it was great to greet the sky again as I used to so many years ago. But the star of the park is the duck pond which is the most picturesque part of the whole area there is a family of ducks who have been there every time I have been and they just seem to know when I am there and make it a point to swim near me. To add to the ambience there are water lilies and grass growing in the pond making everything magical.

 For the treasure seekers and I am one of them there is a small but quaint bazaar right behind Castle Mandawa that is definitely worth exploring. You have to arrange transport with the reception and get dropped off right behind the castle. The bazaar cannot rival the streets of more well known spots like Jaipur however there are still some diamonds waiting to be found. Most of the shops are typical village shops selling daily goods and such. Look for the bangle maker something you cannot ignore this old man  makes customized bangles right in front of you after checking your wrist size and colour combination preference once decided he fires up his kiln and within 15 minutes you have a bangle, for your arms only ..

  Walk away from the world and come to refresh your soul at Desert Resort Mandawa.

 

 

 

    

Thriller ( Memorial to Michael Jackson)


 

Artist, singer, dancer, humanitarian, friend, father, son , brother , and all round thriller. Michael Jackson was all these things and so much more . It would take many words to describe this man who changed time when he entered the world. Music will never be the same after he sang a song, video will never be the same as we will forever put impossible standards on visual images as Michael the visionary exposed us to things never before seen and where his imagination ran we were invited to enjoy and be dazzled by. Every thing he did was unique and one of a kind his style of singing , his way with a melody the nuances of his voice that could melt and make you feel the silky feel of love to his strong tones which made you stand up and acknowledge him. The world was blessed with this cornucopia of talent who shared his art, his music, his dance, his words, his vision; his big caring gentle heart he gave it all but has gone too soon.

 To millions of fans like Me Michael was the background sound of our young lives the way we came to understand the world was through his music. For me personally he was the soundtrack to every happy moment and even during confusing times something in a Michael Jackson Song would make me believe again. The first time I ever saw him was the Thriller video and it was his monumental declaration to the world of his brand of excellence. Michael had arrived fresh, visionary, and full of music and rhythm, ready to shake the world out of its comfortable notions of what a song is meant to be and how a video is supposed to be presented. I was as many were dazzled by the images I had been the movies without moving from my comfortable chair. And the dancing it was so mesmerizing this young black man who moved like a gentle breeze in summer swaying and contorting in ways I had never seen. We all wanted a piece of the joy all his songs had we wanted to capture the felling of the boogie that moved him so. In vain efforts we all tried to do what we thought was effortless in him but genius comes only once in a lifetime. But once we heard Michael Jackson we all wanted to be part of his world lively songs that forced you to move and smile and compelled you to sing along .The songs were infectious so was the spirit of the person singing them we all became part of his wave.

 Michael Jackson knew how to command a stage and he left a piece of himself every time he came on it. The most dazzling dancing and lights downright spectacular. Michael loved his fans with a genuineness that is rare if not downright impossible to find. When he said he loved you he meant it , he loved the world even when it was hurling stones at him. Michael knew how to love the right way with a song and a dance, a kind hug to someone who wanted to hold his brand of magic for a moment. Children who saw one of their own. He put his all into his music into his show a concert was not an obligation but a chance for Michael to spread his loving magic on those who came to be touched by his light.

 This was perhaps the most misunderstood man on the planet. Behind all the Whacko Jacko lable the media so callously placed on his gentle soul was a child hurting , seeking acceptance, seeking redemption, seeking love form whoever would care close enough to give it. He was the most soft spoken like a gentle dove who wanted nothing more than to care for his family and fiends. In a business where eat or be eaten is the credo Michael Jackson proved celebrities can share true bonds of reciprocative friendships . He was the kindest and most generous angel giving without much thought of reward to whomever needed his bright aura near them .While others made money and spent it Michael gave back with an abundance which was ever flowing . the only celebrity to support 34 charities he did what he alluded to in his songs he healed the world one child at a time one soul at a time.

While he came of a black family he was truly a child of the world. Able to love and be loved by an Asian, a German, an Indian and an American all equally. Even in death he continued to unite the world as the entire planet was forced to come out of their myopic inner visions that keeps us all separated. Michael united us with his music , his joy of the rhythm , his need to heal the world by making us all realize the world changes when we do , he forced us to become better because he was never satisfied in staying at the place he started out from .

He has now left us his legacy of heart grabbing, body moving music to make us sway forever to the euphoria he created. The sleeping world is now awake to remember this gift of God who made us laugh , made us cry, made us talk, made us listen, made us dance and above all made us feel what it is to be human . God needed to light heaven with your brightness so he snatched you from us. But you are never gone we can see you smiling and moving still now moon walking across the stars. Till we need to listen we will, till we need to dance we will and till we need to love we will and when we do you will be there your body died it was tired but your spirit and it’s grace never will. As long as we remember music and as long as children remain unloved and hungry we remember you. Now may you know the peace everlasting now the world cannot hurl the cold stones of judgment you can be loved the way you should be and ride the Ferris wheel of heavenly joy eternally. I will miss you till I come home. I will not forget what you tried to teach and in my own way I will try to make the world a better place starting with the man ( woman) in the mirror.

 

 

 

Why can"t we See


Why Can't We See

I have been an avid viewer of the WB Show One Tree Hill for sometime. I am amazed constantly by the sensitive mature way the show deals with issues affecting adults and teenagers today. I today want to discuss in particular one episode which really touched my heart and wrenched a lot of tears out of me. The episode dealt with a teenager named Jimmy Richards who after feeling ignored and misunderstood for years takes up a gun to attack those who never looked at him as a human being ever. He holds his friends of year’s hostage and shuts down the school eventually taking his own life unable to cope with the pressure of not being perfect. What hurt me as a human being watching this was the thought of why did this young man have to die? While this was a fictional incident there are real life incidents in front of us to tell us how insensitive and numb high schools have become. We all watched in shocked horror as lives were laid waste at columbine and in some form the ugly monster of hate and ignorance raises it' head again and again at one school or another. The child in the episode said one dialogue which crystallizes his entire inner struggle and speaks for all like him. “I did not want to hurt anyone I just wanted them to leave me alone, I just wanted them to like me. There is enough pain in those three sentences to make anyone weep for this young man. His plight is that of many teenagers who silently walk the halls of their school feeling trapped in their existences. There are only a few who shine, jocks admired for their athletic ability the cheerleaders admired for their beauty and charisma. Popular girls who flaunt designer clothes and killer attitudes. All really, things showcasing a very immediate outer beauty but what about the Jimmy Richards, teenagers maybe physically not so beautiful and outwardly not so sharp in dressing the so called geeks. Is physical beauty the only measure of a person left .Does an intelligent mind and a good soul full of kindness and gentility have no worth anymore. Jimmy raised a very important point to his friends when he tells them that once they got on the popularity bandwagon they forgot he existed he walked the halls as a shadow there but not there. Invisible in every way that matters. Is that to be the plight of every teenager who does not fit the conventional mould of what is considered to be the ingredients of popularity? I believe every human being has something to offer every person is someone to be loved as we are all part of God's garden and just like in a garden it is not one flower but their combinations that produce true beauty. Teenagers who are not beautiful physically need a listening ear and understanding heart to tell them they are beautiful in their own way and deserving of love just like the person who is a basketball star or head cheerleader. It hurts me as a person to see a young life wasted and a young person reach a place where they feel that there is no life left for them that kind of anguish should never enter any human heart. I feel if teachers become more sensitive and parents become more sensitive and pick up the signs early we can keep such tragedies from happening. If I can help it I will never let a tender bud like Jimmy Richard reach such a dark place from which there is no return.

 

The Prince who had my heart

 

“This opens up a world of possibilities” as soon as the words were out of Rudra Pratap’s mouth he awaited to see the reaction of the girl sitting opposite his rather ornate table taking down every word he said. Carissa was there on a week long visit to give a human face to the legend that Prince Rudra Pratap had become. This flamboyant heir to the throne of Bhadopur was known for his way with money and women, both came easily to him.

Carissa answered quite nonchalantly “I don’t know what you mean”.

Rudra said with a twinkle in his eye “don’t you “ .

Carissa feeling conscious quickly spoke “why don’t you tell me more of what I am here to know

Rudra answered “I am an open book what you see is what you get what do you want to know”.

What Carissa saw and it was making her pen slip, was a very handsome man with the chiseled features of one of the statues on his rather extensive grounds deep chocolate eyes that danced around lightly and a wonderfully thin mouth ready to indulge in all kinds of sins. She could just imagine how those lips would feel on her open skin, it made her tingle.  

Rudra smiled as if he knew the effect he was having on Carissa .

Carissa continued not betraying any of the feelings churning within “you know I am here to tell our readers how a modern royal of India lives walking the thin line of past and present “.

Rudra smiled as he spoke and Carissa felt a jolt go through .

Rudra “correct there are traditions linked to every move I make .Which moves should I elaborate on” .

Carissa answered “Stop flirting please” .Rudra said “whose flirting I am waiting to see who holds out let the best person win” and a naughty wink followed .

Carissa was getting annoyed he was too attractive to play this way she was afraid she might give away her enjoyment of this all.

Carissa decided to reduce the heat she was starting to feel by saying “I want to thank you for the excellent help your staff has been giving me. You have a very well organized publicity team they make you look good”.

Rudra said “what do you think do I look good”.

Carissa thought if only you knew how good the face of a God the body of perfection broad shoulders washboard abs making their presence felt even through his thin white cotton shirt “ Is there something that has been left out to separate the man behind the myth ?

Rudra said “I am a man I would like a chance to show you sometime “ .

Clarissa shifted her skirt and Rudra took in the vision in front of him an ethereal looking girl with dark black curls falling gracefully onto her shoulders and violet eyes giving her an appearance of something otherworldly, an ample bosom with the softest slender hips and long legs hidden under a pink gossamer skirt giving away nothing he had a sudden notion to grab her by those hips and take a taste of those lovely rounded lips on that fair face .

Suddenly the door flew open and in came in a girl wearing the traditional kurta and lehengas favored by all locals, it was pink with beautiful embroidered flowers adding to the rustic appeal but then everything as Carissa had noticed in Rajasthan was beautiful down to the last detail . Suddenly Carissa squealed with delight.

“Birdie “

To that  Kuvri(princess) Mayuri answered “   I have not been called that in ages ,Carissa it is you that is what I came to see , when they told me a journalist had come from Women’s Daily I  hoped it was you it has been too long “ .

“Carissa said 10 years since Waverly “ .

Rudra answered “Ladies I take your leave I have many things to attend to the dinner tonight being topmost on the agenda “. Carissa dear (Carissa’s heart danced at the way his mouth intonated the dear) “I will see you later and there is no one more qualified than Mayuri here to fill you in on the private me although I am sure this is not the last time we will be alone together “(his eyes were surveying her as he spoke holding them for a brief second before he disappeared out of the door) .

The evening disappeared in a whirl for Carissa who decided to blend in by wearing a heavy ornately decorated sari in swirls of pink and red and gold details with a gold blouse being tied up in the back with exquisitely designed strings. She felt exhausted by the end of the dinner having met in her mind every single person associated with Rudra. What struck Carissa is that every single person kept praising him for his humility and warmth. Carissa thought maybe her initial opinion of a spoilt rich playboy was a hastily formed one. Needing air Carissa found her way to the balcony. Once there Carissa relaxed immediately. It was a beautiful moonlit night and there was a light cool breeze blowing and below Carissa could see the small bungalows lights coming on one by one  when all the lights were lit it was the most picturesque sight Carissa had ever seen the stars were twinkling on the ground rather than the sky. Suddenly Carissa felt cold she muttered to herself “ Darn why did I forget to bring a sweater it is so cold “ , suddenly a male voice boomed behind her “ don’t worry I will make you warm in just a moment” Carissa looked up and Rudra Prataps mesmerizing eyes held hers captive ,   breaking the spell he said “ here please take my jacket we know how to treat our guests “ without realizing what she was saying Carissa said “ Is that all I am a guest” Rudra momentarily stunned did not say anything but just took her in his arms ,  his lips found hers and as if on its own accord her hands slipped around his shoulders and travelled down his sculpted  body finally resting around his hips he looked up moving his lips away but not breaking his release on her and said “ No you are no guest but someone out of dreams, smart ,beautiful and sexy as hell and I definitely want to know you better “ he then bent down capturing her mouth completely with his and his hands explored her body with slow strokes up and down her arm and then came down to her exposed hips and his warm palm worked sensual waves there till she could feel a slow heat from the top of her shoulder to the tips of her feet . He started to undo her blouse from the back his mouth still continuing to explore hers. When his hands slipped under her blouse Carissa felt tears streaming down her face screaming “I can’t do this not here not now “, she tied up her blouse and wordlessly left quickly making her way to her room.

The next morning as Carissa came out of her bath the vision of Rudra Pratap was dancing in her eyes the tall figure in a nehru style jacket with traditional work on it and white pants with traditional jutis (as shoes were called in these parts) what kept pricking  were his eyes silently asking what he had done wrong. As she started to pick up her bag there was a knock on the door the man standing there was one of the royal valets with a silver plate in his hand containing an envelope marked Carissa. She started to read the note as she closed the door. It said “ I am extremely sorry if I offended you I want you to know I really respect you, too much to ever do anything to hurt you  please meet me at the grounds today for a private camel ride completely arranged  . I just request you to give me a chance to make it up to you in person”.

 

By the evening there was a beautiful outfit waiting for Carissa as she came back from a long day shopping with Mayuri , still recovering from the plethora of delicate handicrafts and textiles that had greeted her eyes , putting on her blue lehenga with gradations of navy and sky blue and delicate silver work on it , she kept thinking of Mayuri’s words “ Don’t be quick to judge Rudra he is much more than he seems behind his bravado is a wounded heart I don’t know the entire story but it seems Baba Sa ( Father ) made him give up a girl he was deeply in love with in England whom he wanted to marry . After that he has never gotten  serious he carries her picture with him everywhere “.

 Looking every bit the Rajasthani except for her violet eyes Carissa walked nervously to where the tents had been set up in the desert there were nice comfortable chairs and a table with some wine and a beautiful traditional decoration with some snacks in ornate silver bowls. Rudra was there looking for once very casual in a thin white cotton shirt and blue jeans she liked this more regular guy. He got up as soon as he saw her and said” let us go right away it gets cold out here the darker it gets besides I want to be alone “. She did not protest but came near the camel waiting for them to get on he assured her” Devi here is one of our gentlest and will be a good hostess “ Carissa hesitated Rudra said” Don’t be afraid get on she took his hand and as the camel bent got on holding on to him the whole time till the camel got straight it felt good to hold on him and she did not want to let go she put her head on his shoulders and they moved on wordlessly he did not say anything but just with a mere feather touch of his hand pushed a curl that was coming in her eyes tenderly putting it behind her ears keeping  his hands over hers where she held him. After about an hour of silence Rudra spoke “ I have arranged for a fire to be lit in this spot I like in the desert and also some folk singers . He was quiet as if weighing his words she felt his hands go cold and he said not releasing her hands” I have something I want to say to you. Eventually they came to the spot he was mentioning and Carissa got off and came and warmed her hands near the fire the sound of folk singers was coming through the air as Rudra explained to her  they were singing about a woman feeling incomplete without her lover that she felt like a lake without water . Turning and holding her face so close to his she could smell his delicious musky after shave he took out something from his wallet it was a picture from of her from Waverly days Rudra then looking into her eyes said the words she would never forget “I love you Carissa I always have and always will, you met a young man who could not fight his position the person who is in front of you now will risk it all to have you in his arms for eternity”. Rudra gave her a soft tender kiss and said “ Could you forgive me , would you be able to love this fool who left you once before “ Carissa looked up at him with tears in her eyes and said “Yes I will because I am your kind of fool “ .


Haunted San Francisco


One Evening at The Neptune Society Columbarium while walking around the park with some friends a man approached and asked me the time I looked back to reply but the man had vanished into thin air !

Established in 1776 by the Spanish who put up a fort and a mission named for Francis of Assisi, the city has an interesting history. San Francisco has always been at the forefront of the unusual. The Gold Rush in 1848 led to rapid development propelling it into world class status. Being devastated by the 1906 earthquake and fire, San Francisco was quickly rebuilt, hosting the Panama-Pacific International Exposition nine years later. After the war, the confluence of returning servicemen, massive immigration, liberalizing attitudes, and other factors gave rise to the Summer of Love and the gay rights movement, cementing San Francisco as a liberal bastion in the United States.

I have had the rare gift of getting acquainted with this beautiful city as an insider. I studied at University of California San Francisco Campus. I could tell you the expected things as in the romantic spots of the city or the great places to shop but I am going to make you walk on the road less taken. While it is true, culturally speaking that  San Francisco is a well cut diamond, I am  instead going to show you the lesser known city by  telling  you spots where you can see those citizens of San Francisco who died but never left.

The very first spots I will talk about is very close to the main campus where I took my Liberal Arts classes. The place is The Ucsf Medical Center that is haunted by many women who died in childbirth. There are many children who haunt the pediatric unit. In the early 90s of the last  century, the 8th floor got so problematic that they had to exorcise it.

A not to miss spot for the adventurous ones out there is The Neptune Society Columbarium. This is a registered city landmark which is maintained by donations. It is located at One Loraine Court. Originally part of the Odd Fellows Cemetery, the Columbarium is still standing over Geary Boulevard near Stanyan Street. The Repository of the dead is surprisingly stunning eye candy while being a constant source of numerous ghost encounter accounts. I myself one evening, unaware of the numerous accounts of otherworldly visits, had come to finish a science project and heard a voice I never found a body to. I was walking along with my friend in deep conversation it was a warm evening by San Francisco Standards temperatures were in the 26 -28 degree range. There was a lovely breeze blowing and the park looked breathtaking greenery everywhere, tall tree straight ahead like Victorian ladies with protruding skirts. I was in the middle of saying something to my friend when I felt two persistent taps on my shoulder and a deep male voice say “ Excuse me miss could you tell me what the time is “ I turned around to answer but there was no one there. I ran quite a ways down to see where the man could have gone but there was no one there. I later learnt on investigation that my experience was not unique one lady even had eerie silver handprints permanently imprinted on her blouse.

There is another experience I would like to share something for those wanting to experience the other side of San Francisco. This happened in perhaps what is the most famous park of San Francisco. In the day and  evening this park has numerous benches and pathways and plenty of green grass, tall trees, and dainty staircases used by all those in love or wanting to be. It is one of the most romantic parks because of the immense natural beauty and amorous atmosphere. But after 11 in the night there is a police officer ghost that roams the park. I and a group of my friends encountered him one night when we were driving through after a party we had just attended. When my friend pulled into the park, everything looked innocuous enough: the tall Victorian lamps lined up on the side of the road were dropping their soft lights; .it was unusually quiet there were …. No lovers lingering under the trees as usual. We were almost half way out of the park when we saw a man in a police uniform straight ahead. We stopped as there was no way around him. He had bright red hair and hazel eyes and a very pleasant smile on his face. I remember thinking he must be happy he makes his quota for the day. He talked to my friend, producing a paper. It was a speeding ticket. We took it and quickly sped away finding the whole thing a bit odd. When we turned around to look at the arresting officer, he had disappeared into thin air. Many people have encountered this ghost cop and the story goes that, if he is trailing you in the park do not stop, keep driving till you are outside the park and he will disappear. The unsuspecting victims often take their tickets to the courts to be informed that the cop in question has been dead for over 20 years.

San Francisco’s prettiest landmarks are its painted ladies. The beautiful Victorian homes lining up the main street that give so much character to the city. There are many stories waiting to be told from within their delicate walls. One of the most famous haunted Victorian buildings is the Queen Anne Hotel. Located at the corner of Sutter and Octavia, the Queen Anne Hotel is an elegant Victorian style hotel, which dates back to the 1890s. With free access to all of the floors and some of the rooms, it's a great place to perform an investigation. If you want you can spend a night or so in Miss Mary Lakes Room. Before the hotel even was a hotel, it was a school for girls since few girls had access to schools back then. Miss Mary Lakes was the teacher. She was dedicated to her work. But when the school was closed down she was heart broken and as she eventually died. Her spirit remained. Room 410 top floor is where you can find her room. I myself with some daring friends tested the theory that, if you leave things in a mess in her room, they are cleaned up by morning. She has also often been seen reading a book and walking up and down in her room. One night, with the permission of the current owners, we left a pile of books in a mess on the bed; pulled back the curtains threw some clothes on the old Victorian rocker and left for the evening. The next morning when we came back the books were all lined up on the bookcase in alphabetical order, the clothes were neatly folded on the bed and the curtain was pulled back. A chill went up all our spines even though the sun was devastating bright that day.

The stories above are proof that San Francisco is so much more than the hippie streets of Haight Ashbury and the picturesque Pier 39. Looking beyond the obvious will reveal mysteries still waiting to see the light of the day.

Plan For a great Romantic Evening


THE  man about town able to close deals without the blink of an eye turns to jelly at the mention of one word - Romance. Your worries are over-you have found a blueprint to create the perfect romantic evening absolutely stress free. Use the Little Steps below to make her love you forever.

1.       First and foremost choose a theme. The easiest one to adopt is to take your love on an exotic vacation without any flying involved. Create the feeling of Italy or France or any country that appeals to you right in your own backyard. I have chosen to give you ideas for an Italian night to remember which will have her going mama mia!

 

2.       Once the theme is in order then plan on a menu. You can have the event catered and have sumptuous Italian food delivered from your favorite restaurant or the more daring route (not for the fainthearted) is to cook it yourself when your date is there. Italian food is one of the fastest to cook. Creation of a meal together could become a memorable and sensual experience .I will let you fill in the blanks.  A good wine will make the food reach the right places so choose wisely keeping your theme in mind.

3.       For the table choose a cloth, reminiscent of prints available in Italy or something with images of the beautiful country all across which will definitely add to the ambience. In the center of the table put a dried flower arrangement with flowers unique to the region. Candles are a must, of course ,with tall tapered ones capable of providing longer light for an extended period of staring into her eyes. If you can manage candles with a vanilla scent, the melt factor will increase as vanilla is a proven aphrodisiac. Keep the lights off as much as possible to keep the atmosphere deliciously dreamy.

4.       For increasing the exotic appeal further have soft, romantic  songs in Italian playing in the background, so she feels she is floating on a gondola as she has the meal. Do your research well for this one and have an assortment of perennial favorites and surprise her with the rest of your choices 

5.       After the meal have a movie cued up in the DVD player that makes you both feel you are walking on the cobbled streets of Tuscany or Rome. You can choose a classic if you do not have a movie you both have enjoyed in the past. My two suggestions for this would be “Roman Holiday” or “Only You”; both blend romance and Italy in an extremely graceful manner.

6.       Learn some amorous phrases in Italian and use all throughout the evening when you feel the moment is right to continue the exotic aura. And slip in the English Translation should your loved one not be well versed in Italian, you do not want to lose the moment as she searches for a phrasebook .

7.       What is a date without dancing but since you are the gentleman who never does what is expected try this- Set up a hi fi system on an outdoor porch all ready with soft dance numbers this is no time to disco. An exciting surprise is to have a poster (easily available at any travel agent) with a beautiful vista of Italy on it.   Hanging on the wall or door or on a small table on an upright poster board. Take her hand gently and lead her out to this. If you can manage this in the spring time you would get the added feel of gentle breezes and a wonderful starlit night sky.

Executed to perfection, adding your own brand of magic. The I ideas above will make the evening unforgettable

Silent language of Gestures


SILENT LANGUAGE OF GESTURES

”IF personality is an unbroken series of successful gestures, then there was something gorgeous about him. . . .” --F. Scott Fitzgerald, regarding Gatsby. Fitzgerald’s character Gatsby was known as a gentleman not by words but by things not spoken. He had mastered the art of nonverbal communication.

 Silent Expression  is the single most powerful form of getting a message out . More than voice or even words,  body language  cues you in to what is on another person’s mind. The best speakers  are sensitive to the power of the emotions and thoughts indicated  nonverbally. Nonverbal Script  ranges from facial expression to body language. Gestures, signs, and use of space are also important in instinctive kinesthetic expression . Let us now explore the role of non verbal communication in our lives, where we tend to use gestures and the most widely used gestures all over the world.

 

 People all around us on a daily basis are speaking to each other  without the need of language and speech. Is this possible.  Definitely yes. The world is a giddy montage of vivid gestures- traffic police, street vendors, expressway drivers, teachers, children on playground, athletes with their exuberant hugging, clenched fists and "high fives." People all over the world use their hands, heads, and bodies to communicate expressively. It just takes an observant eye and turning a spotlight on oneself to see how much we use out hands to say something without words from moment to moment.

 . For example you threw a flying kiss to your husband as he steps out of the home for office he feels loved without your saying it. Without gestures, our world would be static and colorless. The social anthropologist Edward T. Hall claims 60 percent of all our communication is nonverbal. In that case, how can we possibly communicate with one another without gestures? Gestures and body language communicate as effectively as words- maybe even more effectively. We use gestures daily, almost instinctively, from beckoning to a waiter, or punctuating a business presentation with visual signals to airport ground attendants guiding an airline pilot into the jet way or a parent using a whole dictionary of gestures to teach (or preach to) a child

We all have our own vocabulary of gestures, just as we have a personal vocabulary of words; it is what makes us unique. Despite this individuality there are certain gestures understood by all over the world despite cultural differences. Bear in mind that the following gestures are in general use, but there may always be exceptions. In recent years, Western and contemporary values and ideas have become more popular and has either influenced, altered, and even replaced, some of the more traditional gestures, Here are some examples of somewhat universal gestures

·        Shaking hands with a business acquaintance or someone you have just been introduced to in a personal setting. Without your realizing it your handshake sends a silent signal about the kind of person you are a soft handshake for example might be interpreted to mean you are soft and passive

·        Saying bye to a person by waving your hand with all fingers out waving back and forth is a universal form of farewell

·        Nodding and shaking the head up and down to mean yes side to side to mean no

·        Rubbing hands together to mean I am cold

·        Pressing the palms together and resting the head on the back of the hand while closing the eyes as if sleeping to indicate you are tired

To end off learning  the vocabulary of gestures is just like building  your vocabulary of spoken language, comprehending  both universal ways of expressing with the body and eyes as well as grasping other gestures  unique to a particular culture or region can be an exhaustive task requiring lifelong observance. Mastering the language of gestures makes you a citizen of the world in the eloquent words of Francis Bacon “If a man be gracious and courteous to strangers, it shows he is a citizen of the world, and that his heart is no island cut off from other lands, but a continent that joins them.” Becoming a body language expert can only add further depth to your power of expression so you always leave an unforgettable first impression.

 

Ship Of Dreams


SHIP OF DREAMS

Life affords no higher pleasure than that of surmounting difficulties, passing from one step of success to another, forming new wishes and seeing them gratified.”   Eloquent words from gifted writer Samuel Johnson. What if I were to tell you there is a way to make all your dreams come true and live in the sunshine of all your wishes being granted and coming into your life as if by magic?

 This miracle is called creative visualization.

Creative visualization is a mental technique that uses the imagination to make dreams come true. Used in the right way, creative visualization can improve our life and attract success and prosperity. It is a power that can alter our environment and circumstances, cause events to happen, and attract money, possessions, work, people and love into our life. Creative visualization uses the power of the mind, and is the power behind every success , says Remez Sasson author of visualize and achieve

By visualizing a certain event or a situation, or an object, such as a car, a house, furniture etc, we attract it into our life. It is a process that is similar to daydreaming. For some people it might look like magic, but there is no magic involved, only the natural process of the power of thoughts and natural mental laws. It is like having a genie at your disposal!

Creative Visualization basically works on the power of our thoughts. Each thought we have in a day is like a deposit we make into the bank of our imagination. Most people go through life unaware of the power of their thoughts and do not realize why what they do not want keeps showing up in their life. There is a way to tap our positive thoughts and use the power of our thoughts to attract exactly the kind of circumstances, people, and experiences that we want into our lives.

Creative visualization will remain another great theory unless we can practically find a way to use visualization to change our lives on a daily basis. Fortunately for us , there are many ways to practice visualization in a practical and easy manner .

·        Make visualizing a daily part of your existence it is the only way it will not be a one time event . Regularly feeding your thoughts and wishes gives them energy so that they can finally manifest from imagination to reality

·        Prentice Mulford shared an exercise in the Secret which can literally change the way events go for us on a daily basis. Prentice says to set our day in advance the best way to do this is before going to bed at night . Plan the events of the next day in your mind see in your mind’s eye where you will be going who you will be meeting etc and see each event exactly the way you want it to and don’t just see but also feel the contentment you would feel at the end of a good day .

·        Another way to set our wishes into motion is by maintaining a collage of wishes you have by pasting pictures clipped from magazines unto a poster board or blank sketch pad with affirmations on top of the pictures. Keep it in a prominent place where you would see it on a daily basis Sarah Ban Breathnach in her inspirational bible Simple Abundance presents the idea of a illustrated discovery journal. Where she urges the reader to get an artists sketchbook and to then go through all the magazines one has on hand and fill the images in a collage representing one’s wishes. It is important to fill just based on what images appeal to you without question. She also says while creating the Journal or a treasure map (collage of dreams on a poster board) think delight and fill it with childish enthusiasm.

·        Another time saving and easy method to wish fulfillment is to write all your wishes in a journal . In her book World Renowned Clairvoyant and founder of Angel Therapy Dr Doreen Virtue says to write down all ones wishes in a blank journal and to write without abandon. Dr Virtue says it is best to hold a concrete image of these deliver the laws to you. You should cover all the areas of your life like health, career, family, love, leisure time, spirituality, finances, social life, education, possessions. The more specific your wishes the greater the chance you will get into your existence exactly what you wished for.

        I have only shared some of the many ways creative visualization can be used by you to create the life of your dreams. Start by reading the Secret by Rhonda Byrne and the works of Norman Vincent Peale among many others and join the millions who are living out their fantasies on a daily basis.

 

Rosy Summer


ROSY SUMMER

 

 

 THE rose speaks of love silently, in a language known only to the heart." (said an unknown poet). Come on a journey and make an acquaintance with this most ethereal of flowers. Learn how to bring dewy beauty into the days when the heat is making you wilt and make your summer truly rosy.

During summer as the earth turns up the heat. You take quite a beating. Your body and face due to the rising temperature tend to dry out and due to excessive sweating, your face feels and looks tired and drained out. There is a simple solution to feeling refreshed quickly and inexpensively. This miracle cure is rosewater. There are simple rituals you can adopt with rosewater to have a lovely glowing complexion when all around you are sweaty messes. There is so much we can do with the lovely water of roses

·        To get an instant glow simply wash your face with rosewater wherever you are no regular water required. As rosewater is very effective as a tonic and is very soothing to irritated skin says Rose Magazine.

·        Another way to remove the unnecessary tan caused by the harsh summer sun wipe your face with cotton wool soaked in some rosewater. This will ensure you shine with a radiant fairness

·        Mix rosewater with glycerine to retain the youthful softness of your skin as this combination is a very effective moisturiser.

Beauty is not exclusive to the rich who can afford those luxury beauty creams. You can achieve delicate dew like complexion right at home by using rosewater in a home made facial pack. Make this wonderful lavender and rose facial for glowing skin

Melt ½ ounce of beeswax in 4 ounces of jojoba using a double boiler. Add 3 ounces of distilled water in a thin stream while stirring vigorously with a wire whisk. Remove from heat and continue stirring while adding 20 drops of rose oil (absolute or Otto) and 15 drops of lavender. Allow to cool, and then enjoy this wonderful homemade cream for sensitive skin. (The Beauty Bottle).

Now that you are shining with the dew of the roses on the outside roses can also do wonders for your insides. I don’t know if you realize but there are delicious edibles that can be made using roses. Bet you never thought you could eat them (yes you can!!!). In the heat when your body craves ways to be cooler there are many items you can make using roses which are easy and quick to make becoming wonderful additions to your traditional summer menu. As soon as summer makes it appearance we all take measures to see we have ice cubes in our freezer at all times so any beverage we drink cools us rapidly.

·        Take the road less travelled and make rose ice cubes. Boil together for five minutes, two cupful water and 1/2 cupful sugar. Pour this over 1/2 cupful finely minced sweetbriar rose leaves. Cool, add juice of three lemons. Strain, color light green. Freeze in cubes, use in fruit drinks and herb teas. ( recipe by Rose Cooking Expert Mary Koehler)

·        Another old fashioned way of doing things you can turn on its ear is the tradition of evening tea, try rose hip tea. To brew rose hip tea, which by the way is truly delicious, roughly chop up entire rose hips. Cover with distilled or purified water and boil for 30 minutes (longer if desired). Strain through a fine strainer or cheesecloth and add a bit of honey if desired. One can also find Rose Hip Tea in the local health food stores. (Roses Society).

·        Discard the traditional Lemonade for a cold glass of rose water beverage. Soak two cups fresh rose petals in water overnight or at least four hours. Petals should be under pressure while soaking. Add to sweetened fruit juice. ( Rose Expert Mary Koehler)

What is summer without ice cream! See below an ice cream variation adapted by Lynn A Pettis for the American Rose Society Website.

Rose Ice Cream

 

Ingredients

 

1 quart of vanilla ice cream
1 Tablespoon of pesticide-free, dried, ground up red and pink rose petals
3 Tablespoons coarsely chopped pistachios
1 Tablespoon of rose syrup
1 Tablespoon of rosewater
2 teaspoons of ground cardamom

Directions

Soften ice cream in a large bowl. Stir in the remaining ingredients until well mixed. Spoon into serving glasses (champagne flutes are nice!).

Re-freeze until set.

 

In conclusion let us remember what the great dramatist James Barrie said “God gave us memory so we could have roses in December “. So never forget the power of roses and take all the ideas given as pieces of a quilt and sew them into all the summer’s of your life forever.

 

Writer's Block: Duos

Sam and Diane, Ross and Rachel, Chuck and Blair—who is your favorite TV couple?
i have several but I will come up with some Buffy and Angel on Buffy the Vampire Slayer , Dawson and Joey from Dawson;s Creek they should have ended up together I always thought they were soulmates, Betty and Henry ftom Ugly Betty it is perfect example of minds meeting and looking past the outer covering although Henry had a pretty good outer covering.