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The Spanish Shadorma (nothing to do with food or shawarma)

By November 15, 2017 Memes, Writing

Writer’s Digest is a place where I end up discovering wonderful literary and poetry forms and end up delighting myself by just being there. Today, I realized that they have a challenge ongoing currently called the 2017 November PAD (poem-a-day) Chapbook Challenge and while they are already halfway done, I plan to still use the prompts and write at my own pace.  Today’s poem does not fulfill any of the prompts from PAD so far but I will get to those soon. You can find out more about the challenge here (and per the rules, you can play catch up if you have a late start)

Today I discovered the shadorma, which is a Spanish 6-line syllabic poem of 3/5/3/3/7/5 syllable lines respectively. And Robert has a beautiful example over at Writer’s Digest in the previous link. This is my attempt at the shadorma and working it up with the photo prompt for dVerse’s challenge by Lillian and ABC Wednesday‘s letter S.  You can link up multiple shadorma if you chose. This is a fun poetry form to work with, as I discovered. Check out the other entries for dVerse and ABC Wednesday as well as for PAD on Writer’s Digest by clicking on the links provided.



(un?)Comfortablorful Crown


though my crown may be

don’t you see

they’re prickly

they hurt me

and now I shed rainbow tears

hoping you will see

– LadyInRead (Vidya Tiru)


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Ode to Rain

By November 10, 2017 Art, Memes, Writing

rose buds rain

 Rose buds, puddles and rainbows galore,

Crystals on webs,hot chocolate and smores,

That wonderful smell of the earth all around,

Rain-boots splashing to joyous sounds,

Droplets that feel so refreshing on you,

Makes one feel singing in the rain is the right thing to do!!

 – Vidya (LadyInRead)

 Today, Frank is having us compose odes over at dVerse and ABC Wednesday‘s Round 21 is currently exploring the letter R





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So Many Wonderful Tomorrows

By November 7, 2017 Memes, Travel, Uncategorized, Writing

Once upon a time

your tiny kicks,

like bubbling whispers


danced upon my heart.

Soon no longer a dream,

your first breath

on my cheek

made me blissful


Today, your giggles, your grins

cue answering

sparkly shimmery


Tomorrow’s beauty is next.

There is so much a little girl can do – waiting to see what the tomorrows bring!! For dVersePoet’s Quadrille #44, where the word to be used this week is ‘kick’.

I can read this too - says my little girl

My little girl at age 2 1/2 letting us know she can read the map at Great America park:)


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The Why Post

By October 28, 2017 Art, Everything Else, Food, Learning, Memes, Reviews, Travel, Writing

My previous(still actively current as well) blog

I started blogging years ago actually and as part of setting up this new blog earlier this month, I even imported content from there (excluding a couple more recent posts).. So you might be asking, why a why I am blogging post? This is more of a reinventing myself as a blogger post – of moving from a free blog to my own space on the world wide web. If then, why import all content from my previous blog? Because that is a part of me as well, and as part of reinventing, I also plan to refresh and redo some of my posts from earlier.

Writing Fuels me

Writing has been a treasured part of my life forever now (well, since I learned to write anyways, and before that, I made up stories to tell my little brother), and blogging is an extension of that.  As a child, I wrote poems, stories, and participated in writing challenges whenever I could. Everything I wrote, no matter what it was, gave me a sense of accomplishment that it energized me, made me happier, made me ‘me’, and that eventually led to a better me, which meant I was able to also help others (tutoring classmates the previous night before finals and all through the year was one of my first such experiences; mom would worry that I would not be able to focus on what I needed to study for, but teaching and sharing my knowledge made me better at it so it was all gooood!) (By the way, I also experience this same energy-up when I work on art or end up taking a really good photograph or somehow manage to have cooked up something yummy that is also healthy)

What was I blogging about?

My initial blog started out as my spot for my R&R – this could easily mean the traditional ‘rest and recreation’ or my little twist on the traditional ‘Recreation and Relaxation’ or my very own ‘Raving and Ranting’.  In the beginning (and even today), I read many blogs about blogging – and many of them had a central message – “pick a niche”. That led me to thinking – what is my specialty? I realized I am more of a Jack of Many Trades (with some level of mastery in a few) and it would be me being me, if I wrote about all of those passions and interests I have. So I have been writing about reading, travel, participating in memes, sharing recipes, tips, my poetry, and photographs, life’s magical moments, parenting and its many facets, reviews of books and products, and more.

And now 

All those varied things that I (plan to) write about inspired me to add the tagline for my blog – this is not a niche-less blog, but a blog(ful) of niches!!  I am still working on the theme, the logo, updating my older posts so they fall in place with my categories, and some more branding to make it more like home, a cozy place for readers to drop by and explore.

Today, I hope to keep doing all that and also include more posts where I can let my readers relax a bit, learn some more, and leave with a smile on their faces, facts in their brains, a spring in their step, and a desire to return (of course)!!…

So here is my question to my readers (old and new) –

what energized you today? Or made you smile? Do let me know in the comments!!


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Word…. Wednesday

By October 26, 2017 Memes, Writing

For Wednesday Hodgepodge

1. What’s surprised you most about your life or life in general?

That life is full of surprises! And you never know when it can throw a curve-ball at you or shower you with gifts  – so take both in stride…

2.  Sweet potato fries, sweet potato casserole, a baked sweet potato, a bowl of butternut squash soup, a caramel apple or a slice of pumpkin pie…you have to order one thing on this list right now. Which one do you go for?

the soup for me!

3. What’s a famous book set in your home state? Have you read it? On a scale of 1-5 (5 is fantastic) how many stars does it rate?

With Steinbeck being a native Californian and having many books set in the state, there are many famous books just by Steinbeck alone – and I am ashamed to say I am yet to read any of them though I have at least three of his books in my home library (and my son just finished reading ‘Of Mice and Men’ for school; he has asked me to read it as he really enjoyed it so that will be my first Steinbeck). Based on my son’s review, it rates 5 stars!

4. There are 60 days until Christmas…have you started your shopping? How do you stay organized for the holidays?

Not yet.. will only start sometime November 🙂 Lists, lists, and more lists for me to stay organized.

5. October 26th is National Tennessee Day. Have you ever lived or spent any time in Tennessee? Is this a state you’d like to visit one day? The top rated tourist attractions in Tennessee are-

The Great Smoky Mountain National Park (Gatlinburg area), Elvis’s Graceland (Memphis), Birth of the Music Biz (Memphis and Nashville), Dollywood (Pigeon Forge), Tennessee’s Military Heritage (many battlefields), The Hermitage (Andrew Jackson’s home), The Parthenon (Nashville), Oak Ridge American Museum of Science and Energy, Chattagnooa and the Tennessee Valley Railroad, Downtown Knoxville, Lookout Mountain, The Titanic Museum (Pigeon Forge), The Museum of Appalachia (Clinton), and The Lost Sea Adventure (Sweetwater)

How many on this list have you seen? Which one on the list would you most like to see?

None yet. Have not been to Tennessee. Great Smoky Mountain would be first on my list.

6.  Insert your own random thought here.

Do you have times when an acquaintance chances up on you suddenly and stops to greet you (meeting after a long time, too) and you were in the middle of something else, so you do have a conversation that you hope was good.. and later, you recall things you should have made part of the conversation (maybe you saw on Facebook earlier about an award he or she won; or something else worth bringing up and making them feel good).. well, that happens to me every once in a while, and it happened today too…

For ABC Wednesday‘s Round 21 – Letter P, I have here an image

P is for Plumes – my son, as I have mentioned earlier in the blog too, is in his high school’s marching band. Marching band is loads of hard work, loads of commitment of time and energy, and loads of fun and learning in the process!! When they are performing in events and competitions in full regalia, the marching band looks and sounds awesome! As parent volunteers, we sign up for various jobs. One of them I signed up the last time was to insert these beautiful white plumes into their shakos (hats).

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Hello world!

By October 25, 2017 Writing

A New Blog!

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Quadrille Monday

By October 24, 2017 Art, Writing
The day that dawned
When I creaked my way
It whispered
‘Put a spring in your step
Rise above your fear
Grin and face it,
Dance, melt away those pounds
Take a journey on the greens
 The creak will just be an echo then.’
For today’s Quadrille #43, I tried to use some of the words from this series and this is something I really need to work on – poetry writing, and exercise!! 🙂
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R is for Roohafza

By April 22, 2017 Food, Writing
 R brought to my mind Roohafza first as I thought of my theme, and when I asked my DD what she could think of, she came up with ‘rangoli’ (or kolam as we call it in our mother-tongue Tamil) and ‘rasgulla’ as well as ‘rasmalai’.
But for today, I present Roohafzah – with summer soon upon us, this is going to be a refreshing post!!
Roohafza – Word Origins – ‘Rooh’ means the soul; and ‘Afza’ means ‘that which nurtures/nourishes’, so there you have it – that which nourishes the soul – Roohafza! And a sip of this drink (taken in your favorite version) certainly does that. Growing up, mom always had a bottle of Roohafza in the fridge and hot summer afternoons were cooled down by a soul-nourishing flavored milk, a beautiful pink in color; or by a bright-red, ice-cold juice where it was mixed with water. And many a time, I took an extra spoon to add to my milk, just to lick it off. It might be too sweet for some tastes but a little bit of it added to cold milk is pure heaven – in looks and taste and its refreshing, nourishing, energizing, healing, soothing powers.
Containing herbs, fruits, vegetables, flowers, and roots that were specially chosen for their cooling properties, Roohafza is the perfect summer drink and popular in India, Pakistan, Bangladesh, and parts of the Middle East.  First made in 1907, it definitely has over a century of sweetness behind it and its branding as a natural, herbal nourisher with a unique sweetness all its own, and a strong cultural following over the decades mean it is here to stay!
And now, I enjoy it with my kids. While they have also mainly taken it with a glass of cold milk or like a lassi (with buttermilk/yogurt) so far, I have discovered wonderful recipes that I know we will all enjoy.  Here are some of the links that you can try out too. Roohafza is available to buy in the US in many Indian and Pakistani grocery stores as well as online.

Q to the reader:
What is your favorite summer drink? Have you tried Roohafza? If yes, what is your favorite way to drink it?
Signing off on Day 21 and the letter R as I continue on the #AtoZChallenge  and #UltimateBloggingChallenge
My #AtoZ2017Posts and #UBCPosts:

Theme_1 A3 B4 C5 D6 E7 F8 G9  Day9 H10 I11 J12 K13 L14 M15 Day16 N17 O18 P19 Q20 R S T U V W X Y Z

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D is for Delhi, and for Dharwad Peda

By April 6, 2017 Food, Travel, Writing

Delhi is what I put in every form where it asks me ‘Place/City of Birth’. And that seems to be enough to make me feel a special connection to this city which I have visited not more than five times in my life (I think, and this includes my entry into the world!) but each visit was a treasure chest of memories its own. One of them is recorded here.
My last visit to the capital city of India was last summer with my DH and my little (well, not so little anymore at 14 and 11 years) ones. (Check – – Favorite Childhood Memories, be it games or books or food or movies or just random somethings – with one additional twist – these are memories I would like to build in the future as well – with my kids, if possible).

Here are some glimpses of Delhi from the eyes of my camera…


Dharwad Peda: This simple looking, often overlooked in the sweet shop (except by die-hard fans like me) dessert is simply put, delicious. While other people might go for the fancier looking sweets shaped like flowers or fruits or all colorful, or rich milk sweets like rasmalai or the cham-cham, or the nuts based barfis, my eyes (and taste-buds) always lead me to this sweet – the Dharwad Peda. Named for where it hails from, the town of Dharwad in north Karnataka, this simple sweet has an interesting history that goes back two centuries. Baba Singh Thakur of Unnao in the northern India state of Uttar Pradesh fled to Dharwad when plague struck Unnao in the 19th century. He started making the pedas and his grandson popularized it – today Thakur Peda or ‘Line Bazaar peda’ or Dharwad peda is known all around the state and elsewhere and always leaves your sweet tooth satisfied. The recipe is zealously guarded but there are faithful copycat versions and recipes and someday, I will eat it whenever I want – homemade! One recipe can be found at easybitesonline should the reader want to attempt it.
And yes, now I share the love for this peda with my little ones too – it is the family favorite!

#Dharwad Peda
Attribution: Wikipedia

Q to the reader: What is your favorite dessert? Have you tried the Dharwad Peda?

Signing off on the letter D as I continue on the #AtoZChallenge and #UltimateBloggingChallenge  
while listening to this familiar tune from childhood


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