Here is where it all started

In one of my French classes, our professor gave us homework to write a paragraph describing an event from our childhood. The condition was to use as much past tense as possible so that we can practice what we learnt in the class and ask questions for clarity the next day.

I was already pushing myself by joining the French class alongwith managing my office as well, so a homework always came as a task. Despite of that, I always tried attempting the homework because I knew that only the practice could help me learn at a faster pace.

I sat down with my journal and started writing about a funny event from my past. Even though this was a language I was still trying to learn, I realized how much fun it was to recall an event from the past and describe it for someone else to read. And and, that’s where my love for writing started. I had created a WordPress account years ago but probably it was just lately that I started picking up by writing a bit and publishing it for a larger audience. Honestly, I am loving this and I love to be here.

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I can confidently say that probably, this is the only place I found in recent times where people are so encouraging and motivating. Everyone are so kind enough to take time to read and provide feedback on what they love to read. There is so much of experiences to share or learn from everyone without the need of showing off (#trending on Facebook or Twitter) 🙂

I am glad I finally made it here and I am looking forward to knowing you all more through my reading experience.

Charmingly Bookish Montolieu

Taste of France

IMG_4529Books, art, old buildings. In the south of France. The village of Montolieu, just 15 kilometers (nine miles) from Carcassonne, is intellectual AND adorable.IMG_4528Montolieu bills itself le village du livre (the village of books), with 17 bookstores for under 800 residents. Plus art galleries. Plus very cute cafés and restaurants. All nestled among tiny, car-free lanes and crooked stone houses. With jaw-dropping views.

IMG_4523 We arrived too late for lunch and too early for dinner… Note the lady sitting outside and reading at the end of the street.

Enough said. Let’s go for an afternoon stroll.P1080629

IMG_4506 For a little coolness, visit the basement. Everything for €2 (books).

P1080634 Local resident.

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P1080626 A table in the middle of a street. Why not? Note the curtain on the door at the right (to keep out flies and mosquitos), and the clothesline along the wall. And the straightness of the walls, as witnessed by the…

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a waking dream.

I didn't have my glasses on....

Refugee children have written a book of fairy tales and it's just awesome
 Refugee children have written a book of fairy tales and it’s just awesome. Travelling Tales features chickens fighting an alien invasion among its eight stories.

A collection of fairy tales written by child refugees in Greece has gone on sale to help those like the book’s authors.

Travelling Tales features a rugby-playing dog, a king who grew to love animals and chickens fighting an alien invasion among its eight stories.

The book is the brainchild of Brazilian journalist Debora de Pina Castiglione and her sister Beatriz. The two combined their love of words and illustrations to create the book but the ideas came directly from the children.

Debora ran workshops with Syrian and Kurdish children aged between four and 14 years old, at three refugee camps close to Thessaloniki in Vasilika, Lagadikia and Oreokastro.

Front cover of Travelling Tales

It gave the children something to do without focusing on their own lives.“The idea was not…

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Weekly Inspiration: Guilty Pleasures

The Obsession Begins

Hello everyone and happy Monday! Last week, I didn’t do a weekly inspiration post. I gained 400 Followers and thought I’d celebrate my milestone instead. If you’re new to my series, I’ll clue you in. I started this  series because I want bloggers to feel more appreciated and noticed of their hard work. We all deserve it and I hope these posts will help you find other blogs too.

HOW IT WORKS

  • Every Monday I will post a weekly inspiration post
  • I will pick one post published within the last week (or two)
  • The blogger will be tagged and I’ll provide a little introduction
  • I will tag a post that I enjoyed most
  • I’ll mention why it caught my attention and what I liked about it

AN INTRODUCTION TO THE BLOGGER

Shelby writes over at True Bliss in order to share her thoughts, ideas, and things that have inspired her. She’s…

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Serenity

This was captured by me during my visit to one of the Heritage spots of Ahmedabad, Dada Hari ni Vav.

I caption this “Serenity” because every call to prayer calms my soul and connects me to “The Creator” no matter where it comes from. When everything seems to be going too fast or when I think I have no time for myself – these are the moments that reminds me to take a pause and say thanks – be grateful for this wondrous gift called “Life”.

It may be a call to prayer, the ringing church bells, choir singing, hearing the Gregorian chants, children playing, violin music, chirping birds or anything that wakes me up to Serenity.

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For anything urgent, better call

I couldn’t think of a better caption for this image. I was in a hurry to leave for work when this view caught my eye. I immediately ran to get my mobile phone to capture this before the bird flew away out of fear.

I zoomed my camera to get a closer view because I knew that if I made a noise it will fly away for sure, but that didn’t happen. No matter how closer I went to take the picture, it stayed there without any movements or sign of fear.

It was as if it had put on a status, “For anything urgent better call because I am busy” 😀

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A picture perfect

While I was capturing some beautiful views at the old city in Ahmedabad, three kids came to me requesting if I can take a picture of them. Their innocence and the happiness on their faces would not have let anyone turn down their request. I agreed and took this picture of them.

To my surprise, they didn’t ask me to show how the picture turned out to be. They just went away with double the happiness and smiles. Maybe for them being captured was the greatest thing to happen.

I don’t know who they are. I never met them thereafter, but this picture still gives me joy and inspires me to take life easy and to be in the moment.  And I am sure wherever they are, this is what they will continue to do – inspire and spread smiles.

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The boy who never grew up!

After a long and tiring day,  I decided to stop by a coffee shop to recharge my energy. Even though I have tried out most of the cafes near my place,  this was my first visit here. As I opened the door, I was pleased to see the decor, there were some pretty and fun stuff hanging on the walls from decorated coffee mugs to funny quotes on why chocolate is irresistible.

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I took a corner seat and on the wall near me had this cute images of the comic characters from our childhood days.

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Snoopy dog, Garfield and Archies, – they reminded me of my friend who could talk endlessly about his crazy love for his favorite comic characters. Talking about them gave him immense happiness and he would laugh like a kid. During one of our conversations, I asked him, “What was the origin of your crush, I barely remember seeing these images in the newspapers but I don’t think I ever read any of their stories”

He narrated, “As a kid, I used to go to my cousin’s place to play. During one of our group play, I felt I was being neglected by them and no one were interested to play with me, so I stopped going there. I used to stay at home, sit and relax on my couch doing nothing. My parents started getting worried since I was not engaged in any activities.

Once my dad bought me a comic book. I immediately started reading; found it interesting and fun. There was a puzzle on the back of the book. Within a day I had finished both reading the book and also solving the puzzle. “That was so fast” – said my dad. My routine was back to normal. Since it was summer vacation, I absolutely didn’t had anything to do.

To my surprise, the same week – my dad came back home with a heap of books. He bought them from an old book store so that I will have enough to do during my vacation. I read everyday and started falling in love with these characters – not just because they were cute but also because I could relate with them even though they were fictional characters.

And out of all, Garfield remains forever close to my heart because he is a foodie, lazy, hates the world unbiasedly and doesn’t care what people think of him. He likes lasagne and hates getting older. In fact, he is my alter ego, my other self.

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And one thing I can say for sure is over these years no one has ever been able to replace the charm and innocence these characters bring to us. Kids love them, I still love them. And I have stored all the books so that one day my kids can have an access to these too.”

Photos from Bangladesh: A Campaign with World Vision Canada

Sophia Hsin

bangladesh_no_child_for_sale_world_vision-16An afternoon on the streets of Dhaka

I remember my first day waking up in Dhaka. The world’s most densely populated city with 14 million people—a city filled with blaring horns, faded concrete walls, the smell of dust, curry and the sound of prayer call five times a day.

I had partnered with World Vision Canada on their No Child For Sale campaign where we would visit area development projects in the slums of Bangladesh, visit communities deep in the country, dive into gathering resources on child labour issues involved in the supply chain and how it leads back to consumers in Canada.

I remember visiting countless night schools, interviewing five year olds that worked as waste pickers on garbage mountains and meeting children with stories that seemed too brutal to exist. Along the way, I was also cared for by staff that treated me like family and meet people…

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A rose from her is always special

I still remember that day. Everyone were happy at home. And what was the occasion? My family had just finalized that they had found the groom for me after our meeting with the guy at our place. After all this was the day they had been eagerly waiting for. I observed all one by one, there were only smiles but I knew deep in my heart that I wasn’t happy with this. In fact, I didn’t like the proposal. But since I didn’t wanted to hurt my parents, I stood there silently as if everything was okay.

Things seemed to move faster than I expected. My father booked tickets to meet the family to take the proposal further and also start with my wedding preparations. I started getting worried, wondering how can I say no to this proposal without hurting their feelings.

Later that week, on my way back home – I was seated near the window. Whenever I feel helpless I look above and seek an answer – staring at the stars and wishing for a miracle. These are the moments when I call out for help to angels and saints and every pure soul who I think are closer to God.

That day, out of the blue I thought of St. Thérèse of Lisieux. I recalled about a belief that people say for St. Thérèse, when you intercede to God through St. Thérèse , she sends roses to us as a sign of miracle to let us know that our prayers are being answered.

I looked above and then closed my eyes and said,”My dear St. Thérèse, if this is true – I request you for a miracle in my life and give me a sign that my prayer will be answered”

The following day, I started at 9.00 a.m. since I had to do some shopping before I left for office. At 10.00 a.m., when I reached the outlet – the security guard opened the door for me and handed over a rose to me and said,” Ma’am, you are our first customer for today. Have a nice day”.

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I recalled my last day’s prayer. That gave me goosebumps. I said to myself, “Oh my God, this is true. I have got a rose, Does that mean my prayer has been answered?” Even though I didn’t had any idea what was going to happen – I was hopeful that things will be alright.

Some days passed by, in the interim, my father also visited the guy’s home and fixed the tentative dates for the wedding. I was still waiting and hoping for a miracle.

One fine morning, my father called me and said, “That proposal has been dropped off”. Suppressing my sign of relief I asked, “Why, what happened all of a sudden”?. “The guy isn’t confident about taking this forward” – came the response.

I entered my room and thanked God. I got the miracle that I was looking for. This was probably the sweetest experience that I had in my life, experiencing the true presence of “The One” and his ambassadors in our life. We just have to move forward with faith and courage no matter what the situation is. They are watching over us and will not let us fall down.

Laughing at Life

A Small Island

Whats disturbing in one moment is hilarious the next.

Humor is usually the release of tension caused by a change in context regarding a shocking or absurd event.

People who don’t laugh are usually bitter, cynical, and resentful of the cruel nature of the world. The reasons for this are more than chemical. It is all too easy for one to despair in the knowledge of our condition; as mortal members of a young species existing on a floating piece of rock in a largely empty and barren Universe.

Yet that very description of our existence could function as the set up to a joke.

I’ve heard that morticians usually go to their work with a light-hearted attitude. Because what other choice do they have?

If every mortician woke up every day considering the dark implications and meanings implied by every part of their work, none would ever last more…

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