Tuesday, September 30, 2014

Tasty Teas Tuesday (in lieu of Coffee Day)

Photo of a coffee I had

Well! Since I missed International Coffee Day yesterday as I blogged about my recent award, I'll write about tea instead! Besides, it is my favourite drink!

Though I LUUUUVVVVVVV (that's "love") the smell of coffee just as much if not even more than the taste, I rarely drink it for various reasons: I seem to get acid reflux if I drink it, i.e., the "regular" coffee anyway (maybe not with espresso), and also it interferes with homeopathic remedies that I take. However, I occasionally treat myself to an espresso coffee, sometimes a tall, dark Americano ;) - couldn't resist that but true! - or a latte.

However, I would say my favourite drink would be tea. I find it amusing that I had actually been wanting to write about this and here is the perfect opportunity to do so.

Tea is calming, nurturing, grounding, and soothing for my soul and spirit. I sometimes remind one of my work colleagues that if I am ever upset in any way, then tell me to drink some tea. Better yet, serve it to me! ;) Tea just seems to have a way of settling me down. In terms of a feeling, I equate it in my imagination as being cocooned in a cozily-wrapped, warm blanket on a cool day...oh, while sipping hot tea of course! ;)

According to, my opinion, one of the supremacists of teas is David's Tea comparable to haute couture in the fashion world (http://www.davidstea.com/). Think of it like a royalty tea shop as there are eight types of tea with many flavours in each category. And here I thought that there were only white, green, herbal, and black teas. According to this shop, there are white, green, oolong, black, pu'erh (never heard of that one before!), mate, rooibus (I thought this was a type of herbal tea), and herbal teas.

Though unfortunately I dislike the taste of green tea - I will have it as part of an Asian meal, mainly Japanese though, I understand that it has a lot of major health benefits, including that of the heart.

Thus, I am "killing two birds with one stone" (an expression I do not like, but metaphorically means dealing with two things at the same time by blogging about Coffee Day as well as World Heart Day, well, both indirectly. ;)

People who drink green tea on a regular basis, may be less prone to developing heart disease as well as cancer. It can "improve some of the main risk factors for these diseases. This includes cholesterol, LDL cholesterol, and triglycerides." (http://authoritynutrition.com/top-10-evidence-based-health-benefits-of-green-tea/)

One of my favourite teas is Earl Grey tea - organic please as certain (non-organic) brands, even some of the most popular do not do it for me. In fact, they often leave a bitter aftertaste in my mouth.

Even more pleasant and tasty is a tea known as 'London Fog, a drink so called because it is - think London, England here folks - made of Earl Grey tea and steamed milk that creates a foamy 'fog.' Ok, that's my interpretation! Check out the real McCoy here: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/London_fog) Delish! (short for delicious).

London Fog tea can also be known as 'London Fog Tea Latte' or 'Vanilla Tea Misto' or an 'Earl Grey Tea Latte.' Stash brand of tea has a wonderful double bergamot early grey tea bag, but there are others such as Mighty Leaf which make for some great-smelling and tasting tea.

Their 'Vanilla Bean Latte' is fabulous and you can make your own version of the drink using this tea. David's Tea also has 'Bombai Chai Tea' as well - a note for you Indian bloggers - though I haven't had this one for awhile.

And speaking of which, I also love chai tea. I know there are many variations; however, as long as it's steamy, but not too spicy, I am on good terms with it.

Since I haven't drank regular milk in years, I usually prefer almond milk or the like with my teas. And though I used to drink tea with sugar in it, I no longer do so, except for chai which prefers a bit of sweetener. In that case, I may use some honey or raw cane sugar or stevia or the like.

In terms of herbal teas, I would say my favourites are Organic India's Tulsi Sweet Rose which I'm drinking during the writing of this post as well as Stash's Licorice tea. The latter appeals to me 'cause, after all, I'm Dutch! Dutch stores are often filled with tons of licorice from sweet to salty, even double salted: Yum! ;)

Licorice tea is good for digestion while the sweet rose tea, according to my naturopath, is good for self-love. Who knew!? ;)

And in the summer, I prefer iced teas with a wedge of lemon or not.

By the way, does anyone know of a tasty darjeeling tea? I drank a really great brand in my 20's; however, haven't come across one that I like yet, albeit I drink it rarely now.

After you read this post and hopefully comment below, go ahead and make yourself a wonderful cup of steamy tea in whichever form you like. You deserve it! Don't you?

Which types of tea do you prefer and why? Does it change your essence as you are smelling it, tasting it, hmmm? Hmmmm.... ;)

...STAY TUNED...I HAVE A BRIEF TRIBUTE TO ALL YOU ULTRA BLOGGERS ... a bit later this morning, my time (for good reason) ;)

Monday, September 29, 2014

Another Award?! WOW! Woohoo!

I have been awarded yet another award by Usha Menon - my first Liebster Award - thank you Usha! ;) Check out her website for fun and entertaining clips including haiku at eccentricgrandmum (in case this link doesn't work: http://eccentricgrandmum.blogspot.ca/

I wanted to know more about this particular award as it wasn't self-explanatory to me. I discovered this website, http://wordingwell.com/the-liebster-award-the-official-rules-my-first-blog-award-and-a-few-personal-secrets-revealed/ in the process.

The Liebster Award - isn't it pretty? - was created to recognize and/or discover new bloggers and welcome them to the blogosphere.

According to Lorraine Reguly's reearch of this award, this award exists only on the internet, and is given to bloggers by other bloggers. It has German origins – the word “liebster” has several definitions: dearest, sweetest, kindest, nicest, beloved, lovely, kind, pleasant, valued, cute, endearing, welcome, sweetheart. and apparently boyfriend(!).

It follows similar principles as a chain letter, in the sense that it should be passed forward to a certain number of people. It can be misconstrued, depending upon your personal views, as either something wonderful (who doesn’t like awards?) or as an annoyance (a chain letter that involves work).

The choice lies within each of us to ACCEPT it, and continue PAYING IT FORWARD or to refuse to accept it, thereby STOPPING or INTERRUPTING the chain. However, if you stop the chain, you are only hurting yourself (keep reading for benefits you will have)!

Personal views play an important part in our choice to participate. Some people have refused to accept it and have made attempts to “break the chain”. There have been many people who have been nominated, yet refused to accept it, and now their blogs have been abandoned.

Variations have been made over time to the 'rules'. Marketing plays a role in accepting this award, as other bloggers are promoted. (This is not a bad thing, however, since people should help others!)

Other awards are a part of the whole meme. These include "One Lovely Blog Award," the "Sunshine Blog Award" (which by the way I was awarded last week by Usha as well), and the "Versatile Writer Award."

1. Post 11 facts about myself'
2. Answer the 11 questions given by you.
3. Tell them that they have been tagged by you.
11 Facts of Myself
1. Born in Europe and moved to Canada with my family when I was six.
2. Born a premature twin, am a surviving twin.
3. Have two older sisters and two younger brothers.
4. Work for a nonprofit agency full-time.
5. Am an ideas person, sometimes creating inventions in my life.
6. Have an eye for detail, good for editing at my day job and other things...
7. Am great at memorizing faces, voices, and numbers.
8. Especially love trees, mountains, and water from my European heritage.
9. Live in North Vancouver, British Columbia (BC), Canada - north of Vancouver.
10.Used to have a cat as my 'baby.' Pets are family members too! ;)
11.See and collect heart-shaped objects. ;)

11 Questions for My Nominees:
1. Where were you born?
2. What city/town, country do you live in now?
3. What languages do you speak?
4. What is your favourite food?
5. Do you like to cook? If so, what is your specialty, i.e., favourite dish?
6. Do you prefer tea or coffee? If so, what kind?
7. What are your top three to five activities you like/love to do?
8. Do you sing or play an instrument? If so, what kind of music?
9. Have you ever performed in a school play or on stage?
10.When did you start writing?
11.What do you love to write about: favourite topic(s)?

Usha's 11 questions to the recipients of this award, including me:
1. Where were you born? A: The Netherlands also known as Holland for short.
2. Do you like to read? A: No, I don't like to read. I actually LOVE to read and wish I had more time! ;)
3. Which is your favorite book? A: ONLY one?! The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-time, written by Mark Haddon, a brilliant rollercoaster ride of emotions etc.
4. Do you believe in superstitions? A: No, I am not superstitious.
5. Do you like to have Burgers and Pizzas? A: Yes, if organic and I LOVE pizza!
6. Given a choice, which country you will like to visit? A: ONLY one?! Alaska to experience the pristine wilderness and see the Northern Lights
7. Which season of the year do you like and why? A: I LOVE spring for so many reasons: milder temperatures, longer days, flowers, trees blossoming...
8. Which newspaper do you read? A: I browse through several at work, though I prefer my local community newspaper for news and events.
9. What is the first thing you like to read in the newspaper (i) Politics (ii) movies (iii) Gossip (iv) Fashion A: None of the above! I like to read - I follow - one comic strip and read my horoscope for the day just for fun.
10. How many languages do you know? Name them. A: English fluently, a few words in Dutch, and a bit of Spanish and French.
11. Do you believe in reincarnation? A: Yes, I never did before until I had certain incidents that made me a believer.

The Official Rules Of The Liebster Award

If you have been nominated for The Liebster Award AND you choose to accept it, write a blog post about Liebster award in which you:

1. thank the person who nominated you, and post a link to their blog on yours.
2. display the award on your blog — by including it in your post and/or displaying it using a 'widget' or a 'gadget.' (Note that the best way to do this is to save the image to your own computer and then upload it to your blog post.)
3. answer 11 questions about yourself, which will be provided to you by the person who nominated you.
4. provide 11 random facts about yourself.
5. nominate 5 to 11 blogs that you feel deserve the award, who have a less than 1000 followers. (Note that you can always ask the blog owner this since not all blogs display a widget that lets the readers know this information!)
6. create a new list of questions for the blogger to answer.
7. list these rules in your post (You can copy and paste from here.) Once you have written and published it, you then have to:
8. Inform the people/blogs that you nominated that they have been nominated for the Liebster award and provide a link for them to your post so that they can learn about it (as they might not have ever heard of it).
Though I would love to nominate both Vinodini Iyer and Shailaja Vishwanath, I know you two have already received the award and, no offense, I would like to nominate a few people who may not have received it thus far.

I would like to nominate the following bloggers for the Liebster Award:

1. Judy Yaron
2. Asiya Fathima
3. Nisha Sanjeev
4. Candess M Campbell
5. Penny McDaniel

Ok, now your turn. Have fun! ;)

Sunday, September 28, 2014

Soulful Sunday: Fave Posts - Mine and Yours

Photo I took of smarties (candies): see the heart-shaped one? ;)

It seems that the top favourite post of 'mine' was....drum roll please...

"No, I do NOT Speak Indian!" by my guest blogger and friend, Vinodini Iyer! Woohoo! It's no wonder as her writing is brilliant. With replies from both myself and Vinodini to the people who commented, it added up to a lot of comments. And it seemed a bit heated. It made for an interesting post, just with the responses themselves! ;) So thank you Vinodini Iyer for provoking controversial discussion.

Here is a video entitled, "I M Indian" - thanks to Corinne Rodriges - that perfectly illustrates the point Vinodini was attempting to make in her guest post, though I do suggest you read that as well.

I have met quite a number of other brilliant Indian writers through my blogging challenges. They amaze me with their language and some of the words they use. Their writing is so captivating! I find quite a number of them who have twisted storylines. Please understand that this is a compliment. You all surprise me with your superb writing...yes, that includes some of you male bloggers too: Anmol Rawat, Shashank Tiwari or Shanx, etc. (I don't have your names memorized yet, though actually I have with a number of Indian bloggers which rather amazes me. Must be my chanting in Sanskrit! ;))

The second most favourite post was World Gratitude Day: Part 2 (#MicroblogMonday) inspired by the writing of another blogger, Nabanita Dhar - thanks again dear! The post featured remarks that were uplifting, positive, joyful, and well happy, just like the song! I highly recommend listening to the video at http://xpressyouressence.blogspot.ca/2014/09/world-gratitude-day-part-2.html. ;)

Though the In Honour of National Tree Day post didn't receive as many replies, it did however bring forth rather unusual and intriguing ones. For that in and of itself is worth a read! (http://xpressyouressence.blogspot.ca/2014/09/in-honour-of-national-tree-day.html)

My own writing favourites were World Gratitude Day: Part 2 because I love that song: Read the post! (http://xpressyouressence.blogspot.ca/2014/09/world-gratitude-day-part-2.html) ;) Also, though I loved receiving two awards that I wrote about last Friday, it was fun to figure out what I wanted to write about in terms of 17 points about myself.

And some of my favourite posts that I read this past week:

Shailaja Vishwanath wrote a brilliant piece that I just love as sometimes it can be a challenge to always be happy. It reminded me of a poem I "should" have written when upset about an incident that I experienced this past week. The phrase, "Plastic Voices, Plastic Faces" came to mind and I knew intuitively that that was the title of a poem (the one I should have written)! Maybe I will, later. ;) See http://shailajav.wordpress.com/2014/09/27/unreasonable-amwriting/.

I loved Nabanita Dhar's theory on gratitude which inspired my post early in the week (see above). Check our her blog at http://nabanita-blacknwhite.blogspot.in/2014/09/a-theory-and-some-gratitude.html#.VB-37ldGiQE.

Judy Yaron's posts usually makes me laugh. These two are guaranteed to do the same for you: http://www.cutthecrapsolutions.com/#!Actually-I-wanted-to-write-about-SEX-/clxq/B71C3993-506C-40C7-949C-3DE4BAD7127B as well as http://www.cutthecrapsolutions.com/#!I-used-to-be-a-maleperson/clxq/D50DE852-4FDC-4505-8DDD-C1933E83AEF8.

What post would you most favour of mine this past week (other than Vinodini's which we know you all love)? And why? (The feedback is good for me to learn to improve my writing and/or blog!) ;)

Saturday, September 27, 2014

Smorgasbord Saturday: 4th week of Ultra Blog Challenge

Photo taken from Roberto Kaplan

Finally, here’s a recap of my Ultra Blog Challenge this past week starting from Monday, September 22nd to Friday, September 26th. Except for my guest post on Thursday about misconceptions of India, the themes this week seem to be focused on happiness and gratitude, including for that of trees and autumn.

World Gratitude Day: Part 2 (#MicroblogMonday) features a video of ‘Happy’, an upbeat, fun song that I wanted to share. Thus I tied it in with the theme from yesterday’s post on gratitude. (http://xpressyouressence.blogspot.ca/2014/09/world-gratitude-day-part-2.html)

Tantalizing Tuesday: Tree Days is a short piece about autumn equinox, the first day of autumn, my second-most favourite season. Autumn is a splendorous season, although unfortunately only in season in certain parts of the world. (http://xpressyouressence.blogspot.ca/2014/09/tantalizing-tuesday-tree-days.html)

In Honour of National Tree Day was posted in keeping with the theme of trees from yesterday.where I copied a piece of writing when I was in school. (http://xpressyouressence.blogspot.ca/2014/09/in-honour-of-national-tree-day.html)

"No, I do NOT speak Indian!" is a special post as a blogging companion and friend wrote on the misbeliefs of India which I was surprised many people had. I only have one out of the several she wrote about. ;) (https://www.blogger.com/blogger.g?blogID=4481012230858682867#editor/target=post;postID=7320907518553952528;onPublishedMenu=posts;onClosedMenu=posts;postNum=3;src=postname)

Frolicking Fun Friday: Two (2) Awards?! was a writing about two awards I received in one day that came out of the blue. I also shared a number of items about myself that people can read about in order to learn more about me. ;) (http://xpressyouressence.blogspot.ca/2014/09/frolicking-fun-friday-two-2-awards.html)

Friday, September 26, 2014

Frolicking Fun Friday: Two (2) Awards?!

This post was originally titled, "Talented Thursday: Supposedly Me!" but then I changed it as I posted Vinodini Iyer's story yesterday.

WOWWWWW! I just (accidentally) discovered that I have been nominated for not one, but two awards! Two blogging awards!! And on the same day, from one blog post! Woohoo!!

One is the Sunshine Award - not sure what it means though I love the name of it. I'm guessing spreading sunshine through writing perhaps? Uplifting someone's spirits? Making someone smile? (I later discover it's about "spreading smile and cheer." I'm pretty close, not bad eh? I got the 'spreading' part right! ;)

That award reminds me of my post the other day with a photo of me where I have a wide grin on my face, actually laughing - http://xpressyouressence.blogspot.ca/2014/09/world-gratitude-day-part-2.html After all, laughter is contagious and well, smiles can be too sometimes! ;)

The other award I got awarded (couldn't resist that play on words) is The Very Inspiring Blogger Award.

I'm told that my blog (amongst a few others nominated) is "inspiring, entertaining and written with sincerity." I'm tickled pink, yet again! ;)

Both awards have been bestowed upon me by a relatively recent member of my blogging or blogosphere tribe known affectionally as 'eccentricgrandmum' (according to her blog) - http://eccentricgrandmum.blogspot.ca. I think I will start calling her 'Grandma' soon as she oozes sweetness. I just sense that about her.

Her real name is Usha Menon. Check out her fun, sometimes funny, blog in which she writes about various topics. She has a love for haiku poetry which she is naturally brilliant at. I so admire this - totally impressed - as I find that such a challenge to write! ;)

Now for 17 things about me (as part of receiving this award)...not sure why 17, but here goes:

1. I was born in Holland also known formally as 'The Netherlands' in a small town near Belgium. However, I did live for awhile in Amsterdam before moving to Canada.
2. I was born a twin who died shortly after birth, and consider myself 'monkey in the middle' in my family of two older sisters and two younger brothers. (http://xpressyouressence.blogspot.ca/2014/08/middle-child-you-are-special-todays.html)
3. I love nature, especially trees and flowers - someone else better take care of the plants than me though! ;) - and also animals, especially cats and lately dogs due to my favourite dog, golden labrador upstairs where I live.
4. I love to look at the moon and stars in the night sky, and the clouds and/or blue sky during the day.
5. I see heart-shaped objects in a lot of things including nature.
6. I love pizza and green beans - NO, not together! ;) Thin crust pizza please to taste the ingredients!
7. I LOVE music, always have, always will especially and including electronic (as it is meditative, puts me in a meditative type of trance) and 'new age' and East Indian with harmonium, sitar, tabla instruments, not necessarily together. ;)
8. I love to sing and have sung from tenor range to soprano, mostly though as an alto in choirs. Alto is my favourite as I love harmony and to harmonize.
9. I love to chant in Sanskrit. One of the best ways for me to feel peace, joy, love, bliss! ;)
10. I love to dance - creative, spontaneous dance to all kinds of music. I have been considered a "Dancing Queen" as in ABBA, one of my favourite rock bands. ;) I can even dance while sitting with my head bopping and/or my toes tapping!
11. I love looking and feeling young-at-heart though chronically I am a senior, albeit a young one next year! However, I'm open to 'senior' discounts! ;)
12. Though I tend to be more on the serious side, I love to tease, joke around, and have fun. Thus, all my winks like so: ;)
13. I love to inspire and empower others. I am a natural 'encourager' and 'supporter' of people to live their life's purpose and passions.
14. I love the creative and performing arts, including the expressive arts - music and poetry are some of my favourite loves. Essentially creativity and self-expression are important to me which is why I love writing/blogging.
15. I love movies. My favourites are comedies, dramas, and documentaries. I love books too: biographies and autobiographies, fiction, poetry ...
16. I get words a lot intuitively, spontaneously, claircognizantly. I just 'get them'...I don't see or hear them. I was told to write by a psychic years ago. (See my profile for details.)
17. I'm told by many that I have a great voice and wonder if I should have explored being a radio announcer or the like.

Follow these instructions if you receive the award(s). You have to
(1) write a blog to acknowledge the award(s). Then (2) copy and paste the photos on your blog/post and (3) write 17 things about yourself.
(4) Nominate six to eight bloggers who you find fit for the award. (5) Inform all the nominees that they have been nominated. You need not nominate every one for two awards. The Sunshine Award represents spreading smile and cheer. That's it! Have fun! :)

I would have nominated Usha Menon with both awards if she hadn't nominated me! :)

DRUM ROLL PLEASE ... I hereby nominate the following bloggers, in alphabetical order, for both awards for various reasons including courage, wit, sincerity, humour, creativity, and twisted plots. I know I missed some bloggers whose writing I also admire. I haven't even gotten to the men yet! ;) Maybe next time?

Amy Bovaird, Asiya Fathima, Judy Yaron, Nabanita Dhar, Nisha Sanjeev, Penny McDaniel, Shailaja Vishwanath, Vinodini Iyer

Thursday, September 25, 2014

"No, I do NOT speak Indian!"

Photo of Taj Mahal from Wikipedia

In lieu of my recent Talented Thursday theme, I have a surprise, a special surprise for you! I have a guest blogger who is writing on my behalf, in place of me! Woohoo! :)

This female blogger has become a dear soul 'sista' (sister) of mine since meeting her in the blogging world through another blog challenge. We met through her stories - I was SO fascinated by them - the way she wrote with sharply curved storylines that reminded me so much of Agatha Christie's writing style - a mystery writer - in particular Murder on the Orient Express, the first book of hers that I read: you never knew 'whodunit.' (See http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Whodunit).

Vinodini Iyer is a blogger, writer, poet, design professional, and a 'lost' painter based out of India. She calls herself a lost painter because, although she was academically trained in the Fine Arts, somewhere along the way she lost her touch with painting. Writing is a childhood passion she reconnected with a few years back and there's been no looking back for her ever since. She blogs at http://vinodinii.blogspot.in/.

As a child she would haphazardly scribble amateur poetry on the last page of her school notebooks, in particularly boring classes. Her mother would in turn find those pieces of writings and compile them in a file and send some of them to the local newspapers to be published in the kiddies column.

She started blogging about six years ago, but has turned into an active blogger only a few months back after participating in a few blogging challenges. One of these challenges is where she met me.

She writes about her random experiences in life. She is fascinated by the unknown mystical and pursues the same with a childlike wonder. She considers herself a gypsy at heart, a gypsy who loves writing about her journey of life through various voices, sometimes her own, sometimes of her characters! They could be in the form of essays, poetry, or short stories. Of late though, she has been veering more towards short stories. One of her short stories is about to be published in an anthology.

I'll let my blogging sista take over from here ...
Elly and I have known each other for about two months now. While she enjoys reading my stories with twisted endings, I’m in awe of the tremendously informative blog posts she writes with careful research to back her write-ups with. Since we had decided to do a guest post on each other’s blog, after she obliged me with a wonderful story on my blog on August 1, 2014 (http://vinodinii.blogspot.in/2014/08/my-newfound-friend.html), it is time for me to invade Elly’s blog space. I chose to talk about India in this post for Elly’s apparent interest in the topic.
While India boasts of a rich and vibrant culture, there are a few misconceptions the world has about India. This observation has been made on certain generalized assumptions one comes across while interacting with people outside India.

India has also been ridiculously and falsely perceived as a poverty-stricken nation. Ridiculous assumption, specifically because the world is well aware of the royal heritage and background that this country originates from. Our historical monuments, rich cultural resources, and lifestyle are a testimony to the wealth of culture and riches this nation boasts of. So, the documentaries and photographs depicting the dreary poverty in India that you might have chanced upon are only one side of the story. This is the land of the aristocratic Tatas, Birlas, and Ambanis. Go on, Google them if you haven’t heard about them.

People visiting India for the first time, at times are pleasantly surprised or rather disappointed to see Indians commuting by cars and buses as opposed to elephants. Fortunately technology spared the elephants long back, sent them back to the jungles, where they belonged, and gave us vehicles that ran on fuel. Also, a few people come to India with the hopes of seeing snake charmers on the streets, but, well, the snake charmer has probably become redundant long back and has switched to selling cheap cellphone covers outside the railway station.

At times, it is the fair-skinned Indian baby born in a foreign land that evokes awe, for the color of its skin. Especially, since it is another general assumption that Indians have either black- or brown-toned skin. Well we sure are proud of our honey-colored complexion, but just as there are different hair colors like red-heads, brunettes, and blondes elsewhere in the world; in the same manner Indians also have a wide variety of skin colors and facial features. And hence, we do have fair-skinned people around along with a wide assortment of wheatish, honey, and black skin. The best part is that our sharp features blend beautifully with almost all skin tones. I say this at the risk of sounding vain and immodest, but the fact remains.

Photo from students.ou.edu

A few months back, I met a lady from Sweden who was confused when I told her that not all Indians speak Hindi or Sanskrit. We have 29 states and 7 union territories in India which speak 18 different languages! And yes, for people who thought there was a language called ‘Indian’ (yes, I’ve heard that too!), you got it wrong. There’s no such language. Just as there is no language called ‘American.’ Hindi is our national language. Also, ‘Hindi’ is not a religion and ‘Hindu’ is not a language. Also not all Indians are Hindus; there are Indians who follow other faiths like Islam, Christianity, Buddhism, Sikhism, and Zoroastrianism. Most of the educated Indians these days are well versed in English.

My whole intention of writing this post for Elly’s blog is to enlighten the ones who are genuinely interested in knowing more about India, but have been thriving on half-baked information that the media feeds them with. There are many more such myths and illusions that people outside India carry that I have not delved into here, or else this post would have gone much longer than acceptable limits of maintaining the interest of the reader.

Elly, thank you so much for inviting me to ramble on your blog space. For once, I did not write a thought-out story, but just went with the flow of words to come up with a blog post that I thought would hopefully add some value to your blog.
I am particularly honoured that Vinodini is gracing my blog, zesting it up with a bit of spice and writing about a topic that has always intrigued me. Thank you Vinodini for sharing this enlightening post on India. Namaste.

I encourage you readers to share your thoughts in the comments below to support my wonderful friend in her attempt to write in my style.

Wednesday, September 24, 2014

In Honour of National Tree Day

How can I NOT pay tribute to that which I love: trees! It's National Tree Day after all! I absolutely LOVE trees! Do you? Do you touch them, hug them, talk to them, and even 'bless' them? I do!

Yes, I may be 'crazy' doing that, but that's okay. My inner child is doing that 'cause she adores trees and why should I stop her? She isn't harming them!

Look very closely at the photo below: What do you see? Tell me... ;)

If you guessed a heart shape you were right! I see heart-shaped objects so often, including in nature. (See my blog post dated February 17, 2012: http://xpressyouressence.blogspot.ca/2012/02/communications-from-my-dead-twin.html).

Here is a story/prose poem(?) I referred to in yesterday's post on autumn that I wrote when I was about 15 or 16, entitled, "Autumn Glory":

The countryside with its rolling hills, fields and pastures are full of colour and beauty as autumn appears. The trees await the moment for their leaves to turn into ripening and artistic colours of brilliant yellows, bright oranges, blazing reds, and deep rust browns. A touch of charm is added to the proud trees making them more lively and dignified. Gentle breezes ripple the leaves showing off their dazzling colours and boasting to the other trees about their dignity.* (I think I meant ‘splendour.’)

I stand bewildered and spellbound as I gaze up at the trees with awe. My spine tingles and I hold my breath as I look up at a tall, sparkling, all-red coloured maple tree. I am thrilled and delighted by this inspiration.

The leaves murmur among themselves, bravely preparing for the coming of winter. Then, as if by magic, the leaves drop onto the ground leaving the trees bare.

I used to like scuffling through the dry leaves as I walk and hearing the crunch of the crisp leaves. Now as I learn the magnificence of nature and the roles in which the trees play, I realize that I shouldn’t disturb the leaves but let them die peacefully.

The melancholy trees moan and mourn for the loss of their leaves as winter approaches. The trees shiver from the cold as they are unprotected. So the trees hibernate instead, until spring blooms again.

This is what autumn is like to me

Do you love trees? What is your favourite and why?