Showing posts from April, 2011

Boquete flower gardens, coffee, misc

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After we left the Rio Crystal lodge (sniff!), we drove toward the Boquete flower gardens. The most beautiful, I thought were the private gardens of the home Villa Marta. They belong to the people who own the house. They actually cultivated the whole area and opened them to the public. It's free and gorgeous! They do have timings and I don't quite remember them. They request that you not be loud, step in restricted areas and attempt to feed the fish and birds. They have these little ponds and pools where you have fish, swans and ducks. The kids just ran round and round trying to find one more "coloured fish". Our way to Villa Marta was no less beautiful. Full of coffee plantations. Boquete grows some of the best coffee in the world. It was all on the border with Costa Rica. So it was funny to see the plantations stretching all the way into the other country.

When we drove back from Villa Marta, there was this curious rock formation. The kids tri…

Boquete zip lining heaven!

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After the white water rafting, we headed back to the Boquete Garden Inn. I was so sad to be leaving that place. Particularly since I had barely spent enough time (in my book) looking at every naturally flowering corner. We were all in for another gorgeous treat though. We just didn't know it yet!

Driving up a few miles of lush rainforest, we headed higher to the Rio Crystal mountain lodge. It was absolute rainforest paradise. The weather is cool and moist. When we arrived, the mountains were dressed in a low fog. You could almost touch it. Ethereal. Again, the log cabins there are built unobtrusively. Spaced well apart and private, the interiors are clean and cozy. Smells wonderful too! Mini-Him and his friend had a field day running up the stairs to the loft where they had twin beds. Oh the shower! Huge! With twin showers and if you decide to go in there and use both, you might just not want to come out. There's a warm and inviting restaurant with an e…

Full Circle

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So I wrote a book. A romance in the vein of Harlequin/Silhouette romances that I self published. It was originally written for them but I kept getting rejections and decided to go my own way. It is meant for adults (contemporary adult romance) and is on smashwords and amazon. The book is Full Circle by Anne Maven (definitely a pseudonym). It is intended to be a light read. Something to take your mind off things, relax with in the bath.

I'm grateful for the number of perspectives that I've received while writing it. Thanks SK, SK and SL (thanks to all three for the encouragement too), PK, KS, AV, PG and Elaine Waldron (author of the Vampira series - exciting books and she is also an excellent illustrator! Her books are available on Barnes and Noble, Amazon, Smashwords, Goodreads, Lulu - here's her website -

If there are any suggestions you may have after reading the book, do drop me a line. Would love to hear fro…

Nature in Boquete

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We drove to Boquete sometime last year. It is in the Chiriqui province not far from Costa Rica. It literally means the opening or the mouth. Apparently it was some sort of a detour for early explorers. The wiki link sums it up nicely -,_Chiriqu%C3%AD

It took us about six hours to get there from Panama City. It's not the most difficult journey. Just make sure that you drive out early enough in the day so you can make it before night fall. There are long stretches, especially in David, where the roads aren't that well lit. It's a beautiful drive though. Enough rest areas on the way.
We spent the first night in this place called Boquete Garden Inn. I've never seen a more charming location. There were little apartments all built into the greenery all named for the flowers they had growing in profusion around. The rest of the world has no room there. Seriously. Yes our cell phones worked and there was a TV. Just n…

Miss me today?

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Miss me today?
Did the crowds and laughing people
The jokes and meaningful glances
Bring remembrance
Of someone who might enjoy
Life and light that way?

I missed you today
When the spill of the willow tree
swept past my cheek
The fat drops of rain
traced their way down my arm
A caress

Miss me today?
When the craziness of the morning
Got to you perhaps
Did you hope
For a reprieve
A tinge of perfume
You know well or
A kiss?

I missed you today
As I thought of all of this
The willow, the stress and perfume
The laughing people and the light
I missed us being
All these things
To each other
morning noon and night.

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About childhood and what I miss

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What I miss most is being able to go to bed exactly when I feel like it! I had the best dreams and the best sleep in my childhood. I don't dream these days and sleep is restful enough. But the quality of restfulness is different. Perhaps because we knew so little then and yet, knew what was truly important. Perhaps we knew that the rest of the world will always do it's crazy thing and there is only so much each human can and should do to maintain harmony. Do you remember how it felt? No inner resistance, no inner holds. It was peace as soon as you hit the bed.

I miss not being able to enjoy a slushy for what it is. Even if it is a ton of sugar and preservative. I miss the happy glow a slushy could bestow.

I miss the excitement of a weekend. Even if we did nothing. The thought that there was a day's insurance against the next week. That half day before the two full weekend days was the best. Friday nights rocked! They had me feeling powerful :-) A pi…


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               I've stuck to an extremely simple form of Pranayama or in other words, an effort to "control" or "draw out" the life force. There are numerous definitions. A definition sourced from wikipedia, states that pranayama is the trance induced by stopping all breathing. Getting there would be some sort of culmination for me! I try very simple breath control.
              It is recommended that it be learned under the guidance of a teacher. Not all techniques are for everyone. The techniques range from forced exhalation to a complete stop in breathing by blocking air with your tongue. Considering the myriad ailments possible in people today, one has to be very careful about opting for the most effective method.
             At it's simplest, it provides increased oxygenation, reduces the harmful effects of respiratory conditions, provides relaxation, clears the mind, allows greater agility and absolutely improves concentratio…

Stringpuller and seeker

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The glorious string puller waited
His victims unsuspecting
The notion of waiting with breath bated
Never forming

Crash boom bang
The whole world tumbled
Happily, misery sang
The victims humbled

One named him
The string puller
Face grim hope gone
Life duller

The other looked away
Wondering about sunrise
For this was the end of the day
Guidance he needed from men so wise

And so the string puller and the seeker
Each became the thing they decreed
While life was certainly bleaker
Each life view either bound or freed

For a full stop that evil or nature brings
Defines not existence
A Loving fight gives wings
hope and peace ride toward deliverance.

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Hairfall remedy that works

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So I used this stuff and was surprised at how effective it was.

You'll need

Fenugreek seeds - half a cup
Yoghurt - half a cup

Soak the seeds overnight. Grind them after draining the water. Mix this pulp with yoghurt.

Apply! Leave on for about an hour and then rinse off. You'll have bits of the seed in your hair but a good rinse will take care of that. Also, you'll smell like maple syrup for a day, which can't be that bad, right?

Follow this for three weeks (applied twice a week) and voila! increased hair growth and the best part, reduced hair fall!

Enjoy :-)

I think, I feel...

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The middle ground between logic and emotion is a particularly difficult one for me to spot.

This is what I wonder about.

You know, the way logic is espoused as supreme, is wonderful. Really. Particularly in a world that is so irrational. But I believe that living in that kind of world should give us an added look into how much emotion really rules us as humans. Particularly when we assume the logical conclusion shared by a whole bunch of people must be the same for everyone else.

How does one decide what is right or wrong, logically, without considering the fuel that keeps one alive. Computers are logical. Robots are logical. They are not social beings with fear of stigma, or creatures who feel pain and sorrow. The logic even, comes from a need to make a choice. One attempts to make a choice to engage balance, either in oneself or in relationships. The need for balance comes out of the need to feel a certain way. Would you be logical if it keeps you unhappy? L…

Bliss in nothingness

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In that time between sleep
and wakefulness
When there is clarity in drowsing eyes
My heart feels no constriction
No holds that demand lies

You lie there
Sweet slumber dragging
it's warm heavy feet
The last mile lagging
Smiling, holding back nothing.

The sounds from around us
Non-existent and peaceful
give us a contrasting world
different from the rest of our day
right now, so blissful

Take me away from here
before the holds set in
before I begin to turn
turn into what I can never be
before you begin to run
Run thinking you're saving me

Take us away now,
in the peaceful early morn,
where the promises glow so strong
away from lies, need, fear and a dreary earth
that is tired of pulling us along.

photo link - <p><a href="">Image: Jennifer Ellison /</a></p>

Juliet downed not the poison

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“Juliet downed not the poison”
She stood out among her peers. Asta wore faded gray denims and a moss green t-shirt that had no shape. It did nothing for her, that look. She had hair that one couldn’t talk about - in a bun and decorated with an array of mismatched pins.
Sid watched the girl as she approached the circle. She was to read for the part of Juliet in the summer production of “If Juliet downed not the poison...”
 He was to play Romeo. He had no idea how he would fake the passion. Now if Linda from his chemistry class auditioned, he could make it work. Asta was tall. Too tall for a delicate Juliet. Too sure and too independent. He had overheard Mrs. Browning, the drama teacher declare that she could think of no one more sensible than Asta to play a revolutionary Juliet. “Of course,” she had said, “we’ll have to do something revolutionary about Asta’s appearance as well.” This last had elicited a wild giggling from Linda who had wanted to be Juliet herself.

Love the only one

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             It was like all those years ago. The familiar clench in his belly, his breath hitched as he saw her walk to the table across. She wore a white dress with black polka dots that clung to her form before flaring out at the hips. The form that he remembered every day of his waking life; his dreams were filled with memories. She ordered a Montalcino. Soft voice, breathing and speaking at once.

 "I can't see you." The voice was forlorn. Sid stared at the green rotary phone.
"What do you mean you can't see me? You just did. I just dropped you off!" He laughed as he said that. That look on her father's face didn't mean that he was unhappy with him. Just that, well, she was home past curfew.
"Sid, I...I can't see you ever again." Her breath came out in a little sob. Her voice, husky even then, was uneven. "Dad doesn't want us to be together. He ..."
"Wait, Rhea, is this about the curfew? …

How real?

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Skinny arms browned further
Rise in request but the eyes
next to you say "don't hurt her"
Irises so wise

Little face, gap toothed smile
You stand weary
It won't be a while
Before she too sees life clearly

The dust, famine and storms
reported in the news
etched in faces so worn
need not sermon nor meditation in dew
to realize the fabric of life is torn.

Yet you stand and ask,
I look into your eyes and see not any less
My emotions boiling behind a mask
I cannot see how I can with money bless

What is this world that deems me a giver
or a taker of nature and people
Does my bed and blanket protecting me from shiver
entitle me to folded hands in shape of a steeple?

For all the hardship and blessing in our script
That I have little to do with
The veil of illusion ripped
Superior Inferior a myth

Would coins erase the issue?
Your daughter for this life learning
That my life is of value
And simply nothing is all her yearning

Aye I'll give you coin

The point of meditation as per a monk

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Meditation has taken me through some ridiculously difficult times. There have been instances when after emerging from it, I've realized that I was possibly in that "void" where no thoughts, feelings, desires exist. This was of course for fleeting moments.  These moments though, have been extremely rare. In twelve years, possibly less than five times. I do have an easily agitated mind and attempting to quieten it down, using TM, was an exercise in patience and understanding. On a side note, a realization - there's nothing as unforgiving as a judgemental view of oneself. You see the world through your physical self/understand through your mind/feel through your heart, right? What if the lens through which you view existence (you as a sum of your experiences) is that badly flawed? Again, in your own estimation. I firmly believe that it can be crippling to expect perfection at once, or to believe that we're not good enough. No one is happy thi…

Nature Cure

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Some body creams and scrubs are much better when made fresh, with ingredients right out of your kitchen.

One of my favorites is a pre-bath body cream. Leave it on for about fifteen minutes (atleast) before your shower. This keeps well in the refrigerator for at least two weeks.

So, the ingredients are as follows -
Milk - half a cup
Honey - quarter cup
Crushed almonds/lentils/oatmeal/flaxseed - about two tbsp
Oil (almond and/or coconut and or/olive and/or sesame)
Lemon juice and rind (a quarter cup of lemon juice and a tablespoon of lemon rind - the oils seep through this)
You're welcome to add essential oils to this mix or just plain rose water before use.

Add the lemon juice and rind after all the other ingredients have been whipped together.

Warm the mixture slightly before use.

It works well as a moisturizer, humectant and skin toner.

Make sure that you don't step into th…

Exercise moments

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I do realize that people have known this forever. So have I. But when put into practice in a sequence, picturesque results ensue!

Well, I'm talking about exercises for the glutes.

Squats with absolute emphasis on form - 10 reps, 3 sets (with or without weights, your choice)

After about a twenty second rest interval

Donkey kicks - Try doing about 15 in one go. I do 15 reps, 3 sets.
For the kicks, stay on all fours, elbows perpendicular to arms, start with the right (or left if you prefer :-)

draw the knee to your chest, and then kick backward and upward. with as much force as you can manage.

I kid you not, soreness aside, it can tone the glutes behind and on the sides in no time!

Enjoy...the result I mean :-)

I remove myself

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Light floods the morning room
Dispels yesterday's gloom
You squint and drag gold drapes across
Feeling a sense of loss
I remove myself
I remove myself

Smiling into your beautiful face
I thank heaven's grace
Your eyes beloved, look away
Her shape, golden hair hold sway
Mood gone for a toss
Feeling a sense of loss
I remove myself
I remove myself

You marvel at a thought
An idea for which men have fought
A bridge across forever
Sweat, blood, beam, lever
Your wonder is mine
A life line

Joy in togetherness
Lasts so long as we expect less
than the most perfect instance
Let go of persistence

I remove myself still
from the hope that you will
Someday view life
through the window that captures your wife.

Sky dive because

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I suddenly remembered today, the time I sky dived from thirteen thousand feet. We were just married, Him and I. It was the time when in the first flush of newly wedded bliss, one tends to agree to almost anything. Just for the happiness of hanging out together. And of course, not having to refuse. Atleast, I couldn't refuse. Not when Him asked with that innocent, excited sweetness that still remains his trademark; which is why none of us is afraid even when he roars from his 6'3 height. He's as liable to burst out laughing the next second at his own actions.

So we went. The girl at the reception desk asked us if we wanted to stick with the pre booked nine thousand feet or go for thirteen thousand feet. Him looked at me, eyes shining. He had done it before and was excited for me. I figured that jumping from a plane deserved grandeur. I would not fall from nine thousand feet if I could choose four thousand feet more. I was jumping. I might as well pu…