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Mom! You Design My Life!

I was in awe as the 24 Oscars were bestowed to the well deserving artists and performances. I am so moved by the powerful speeches of achievers. The sound of victory and winning pleases my eardrums at all times especially when they come from those who have coursed through a rough road. The expectations of so many did not come to fruition but doesn’t mar the fact that they did rise up to the casement. Some returned victorious while others took back with them enormous hope. I rose from my couch to fill myself yet another glass of tonic water and one more helping of warm, crisp pepperoni pizza.

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I remember, how my mother once told me that we are here to achieve and nothing is bigger than our intentions. We must leverage on the free will bestowed upon us by the universe. The blueprint of victory is etched in our mind in the growing years of our lives.

That doesn’t imply that we are stuck in the space of scarcity if that’s been our default imprint so far, the fact is that in every moment we have a choice to choose abundance over lack. Choice is our tool to break through the matrix of beliefs and design our life.

As I hear the gratitude in the speeches of these achievers tonight, my heart opens up with love and gratitude for my mum who has always prayed for my happiness.

I realize what a gigantic responsibility has been laid upon every mother for she is the primary designer of her children’s entire life. If you are one of them, choose love above all. If you are one of those children who feel the blueprint hasn’t worked for you, remember to pick gratitude over complaint. Choose right.

I called my ma to say hi! I could hear her smile in her voice. After a little chitchat she hung up with her usual parting remark which puts me back in time to a place of joy, “I want you to be happy always!”

February 23, 2015   No Comments

New Hope of Love, Light And Laughter – Happy Chinese New Year!

“What does that mean?” Adrian shouted from across the street. She smiled with her eyes vanishing into a line and pretty little dimples forming craters in her cheeks which were a shade deeper now as she repeated, “Gong Xi Fa Cai my love!”, and then translated it in her Asian accent, “Happy New Year, congratulations ,wishing you abundance my darling”

Adrian and May met last year. Despite the huge dissimilarity as far as cultures were concerned, both of them connected instantly. She came to NYC to study Art in Cornell University. She loved her family living in Malaysia and wanted to finish the course and return, until she met him.

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I remember last Chinese New Year when he met her at the oriental restaurant, The Dynasty, on the 3rd Avenue. She wore a stunning red dress and had insisted that he wear something in red too as that was customary to their celebration. Usually, I have seen him in subtle colors but that day he got carried away and wore a stark red tee on his denims, I looked at him in amazement and teased him about losing his sanity on the Temporary Insanity Day. He laughed and rushed to join her in the traditional reunion dinner where to his surprise he was the only invitee. He had heard, they celebrate it with folks and friends together and there is a lot of noise and laughter. He had expected people but was happy to be alone with her.

Adrian was excited as he recounted to me about the evening spent with May. Aroma of chicken, Chinese cuisine and wine floated. Music of drums and cymbals drifted in the serene ambience. There were dancing figurines of lions and dragons elaborating the counters. Red flags with symbols of horse were swaying in the cool breeze. Red lanterns were lit on every table and she looked scintillating in the scarlet radiance. The whole town was painted in red that day and so was his heart.

They were served with a Chinese salad first; interestingly she explained the fun behind the salad ritual, known as the prosperity toss; it was a raw fish salad which they were supposed to mix with chopsticks. The tradition is that the higher one tosses the salad, the more fortunes will grow in the coming year. So Adrian attempted the heroic stunt and his fish flew high in the air, with pride he held out his plate firmly for it to land safely but it decided to take a sudden turn and landed on his girlfriend’s lap. She seemed cross but as he looked at her with his puppy eyes she broke out laughing and showed him the right way to toss the salad gracefully. Peals of laughter echoed and without much of his knowing his heart was painting a picture on his life’s campus which was meant to stay with him beyond this ephemeral moment in time.

She gifted him oranges as in Chinese tradition oranges bring in luck. He could not agree more with her as his lady luck stood right there in front of his eyes. Haven’t you felt butterflies, in love? Somehow that night he mustered all courage and proposed to her and without many words she welcomed him in her life.

Then, it happened. The path they were walking on forked into different destinations. And as ice melts in its own water so was she to return to Malaysia. You know how it feels when you say nothing will change and yet the sinister distance and time play their part. She had assured to come back in the next Chinese New Year. He was hoping against hope to relive those moments.

Today as the horse gives way to the sheep and again Chinese New Year comes by, he recollects the moments of love spent with May. No matter the moments are short-lived, they have a long life in the mind of a lover.

As we toss the fish in the air, may be his cell phone lits up and so his eyes. May be, he get’s the long-awaited message!

February 16, 2015   No Comments

Tags of Love

Lately, ‘Love You’ has become another jargon. When a simple ‘thank you’ doesn’t work this seems the right phrase for all sweet-talkers. Have you ever experienced the so-called expressions of adoration that lay a bunch of conditions on you?

You have to apply the filters of right understanding to the “so-called love” before you fall in with someone. So, ever wondered how to recognize love’s essence among these mixed baggage of emotions tagged as love?

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Last weekend I met my dear friend Kate at the Scottish bar on the 46th Street. She was charged up with her newfound love, I was all ears to her endless romantic vows and tales of ‘the one’ she had been waiting for all her life and had finally met. I was excited for her.

Yesterday, I called her up as Valentine’s Day is approaching I felt I’d offer her my hand in celebrating it in a unique way and plan some sweet surprises for the two. But she said casually, “umm …mm Bob it was indeed good, but it’s history now as I met someone else at the gym who’s the prince charming for me.” I was dumbfounded at the kind of passing declarations of love and fleeting romances lovers engage in. The concept of everlasting love is alien for them. It’s a deep heart to heart connection

Nonetheless, I always stick to my utopian idea of romance and rejoice the spirit of Valentine’s Day with Aaliyah. I know she is not expecting any surprise from me lately because of my crammed schedule. I intend to make her feel really special.

For me love is not volatile, it’s not an ephemeral moment in time nor is it just the rush of adrenaline in our bodies but it is the breath of life, the essence of existence. I am waiting for the wee hour that marks the beginning of the cherished Valentine’s Day.

The difference between love and so-called love is evident. I had read somewhere, when you look at a beautiful flower and think of plucking it then it’s the not love, it is mere infatuation. If you admire the flower and still let it remain rooted, scintillating under the radiant sun and dancing in the breeze, then you know you are in love.

Let the moments not pass us by. Spend good moments with those who matter. Reinvent yourself and revive the passion on this Valentine’s Day. Discriminate between tags of love and love. Cheers!

February 8, 2015   No Comments


Yesterday, I went over to Donna’s house for lunch. I had bought a bunch of pink roses, as the Rose Day is here. She smiled and I walked in to find a cute teddy bear on the couch with a note saying, “Dear Emily, big hug to you on this Teddy Bear Day! –Jake”. Emily had grown up to be a gorgeous young lady. I could see pride in her mother’s eyes, whenever she spoke about her.

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But, today she rather seemed a little tensed and handed me a diary. I hesitated before opening it as it belonged to Emily, who is a teenager.

But Donna said, “Honestly, Bob, I feel it’s the only way I can understand what’s going on in her life. She has taken to silence recently and it’s difficult to bring her to say what’s disturbing her.”

I flipped the diary open to the bookmarked page.

“Well, I do want to agree to positive preachers, but at the same time get really affected by my mother’s single status. Valentine’s Day is around and she is all alone, she is either enjoying with us or sitting at her desk working. Ethan and I are going out with school kids. Earlier, we used to stay with mom and enjoy the cuddles and kisses, gifts and surprises but these days we are sort of occupied with our own things, leaving no time for her.

I wish, my dad had cared enough, I wish my mom didn’t have this higher vision of saving the earth and for once would have thought of saving herself from solitude.”

I closed the diary and looked at the glum face of my dear friend, Donna, who, instead of grumbling would rather accept the world with a big grin on other occasions.

This was an effect of transition and her adolescent daughter felt guilty of being happy with her newfound amities. She felt the responsibility of being a companion to her mother.

Donna and I reflected upon the situation, as I nibbled at the chocolate ice-cream she had served. We always focus on the solutions more than the troubles. The best way to handle the change and relieve her daughter to enjoy her life would be to simply come out of the cocoon she had been in for years. Enjoy the world outside of goals, work and children.

I suggested her to go on a solo vacation and pamper herself on Valentine’s Day. Reward herself with something she always kept postponing. Wish friends and relatives, as the more we shrink our support group, we fall prey to loneliness. Send greetings packed with love.

She thanked me for having such a heart to heart conversation. She realized that she had closed herself from the pleasures of companionship and, her daughter’s reflections were just a message for her to open her heart to love and smiles.

Denial of emotions can aggravate the situation; rather experiencing the pain completely can release us. I believe we all have one person who would always be there to raise a toast, when everyone else has gone, and that person is the self.

Celebrate with folks and love yourself more on the upcoming Valentine’s Day as love begets love and above all, count your blessings more than the woes.

February 4, 2015   No Comments

We Are The Weather Prophets Of Our Life! – Groundhog’s Message

The little Groundhog comes out of its burrow on February 2; the Groundhog Day. Its strange behavior helps us to predict the weather.

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If the rodent sees its shadow, it runs back in its hide, which depicts the extension of winters whereas if there is a cloud cover it stays out which implies, the onset of Spring season.

Nature leaves clues for us to understand and find solution to our life situations. It’s the slate of God, on which is chalked in bold that we have several choices at any given point of time.

We, like the groundhog, are the weather prophets of our life. The snow cloak will be removed from the garden and so will the frost covered silver trees surface, little blossoms of hope will grow and the little birds will sing happy songs if we can just understand that destiny is our own making. I just reflected upon my choices and I am making the one that lets my smile be free of all inhibitions.

In NYC we are craving for luminous skies and warm weather. We are awaiting the springtime to absorb some warmth and step out in the open. Till then it’s our choice to stay in gloom or celebrate the inner warmness that comes from loved ones.

Celebrate love and friendship. Rejoice in life with better choices and surround yourself with positivity.

Have a great day! I will be with you and my observations of life that shall inspire the best in us.

January 27, 2015   No Comments

Win Hearts At Work And Life With Generous Compliments And Sweet Sharing!

It’s a cold and grey winter evening in New York. Most New Yorkers like to snuggle down in wraps and enjoy the slumber.

Unlike, an always in a rush, American, Today, I was, kind of, in an agreement with the Italian saying-“dolce far niente” which means the pleasure of doing nothing!

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It is the National Pie Day on January 23. Pie is a guilty pleasure of mine; I just can’t help myself but have a piece of this delicacy. So many stories are weaved in my mind with the little ritual of baking and sharing pie dishes with friends.

When your heart expands with gratitude and love, you feel like giving back to the world. So I decided to make some dark chocolates at home with generous sprinkling of crushed hazel nuts. I had learnt it from my expert girlfriend, Aaliyah. I especially love the aroma of melting chocolate arising from the double-boiler. When the chocolates were all set I wrapped them in golden foils with printed compliments on them.

Chocolate Cake Day is celebrated on January 27, so be creative and make this starting month, a month of gratitude and fun and the winter blues would disappear.

I am gifting these homemade chocolates at office on Fun at Work Day. Creating kinship and harmony is the main theme of the leading month of the year. Work doesn’t always have to be a drag and these are my excuses to add some splash of joy and happiness in lives of family, friends, colleagues and those of you who believe in these doses of positivity.

Enjoy your choice of pie or chocolate; give a great compliment to your friends, colleagues and strangers! Have Fun at work and most importantly, be sure to stay warm in this frigid winter season!

January 19, 2015   1 Comment

Take Stock Of Your Dreams And Be Good To Yourself!

After a joyful holiday season we are on the roll for a happening month when we begin with a clean slate, yet again. January is an important month for renewing relationship with loved ones. It brings in many reasons to partake in the heart-felt expressions and celebrations.

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It’s important to know where we are going in life. There are wanderers who float like the cloud and never know where the wind is taking them. But we are creatures of habit and we need a plan. We thrive on our dreams. On January 13, Make Your Dreams Come True Day gives us the perfect time to take stock of our dreams. Help others achieve success and you will in turn reap the benefits from your kindness. If you strive to obtain great successes, you will no doubt achieve well beyond what you thought you could.

Following this day of dreams and accomplishments, treat yourself to a delicious dessert. Strawberry Ice Cream Day should be commemorated with glorious amounts of refreshing and sweet strawberry ice cream. When I was younger, my mother used to make strawberry ice cream from scratch, with huge chunks of fresh strawberries, which became one of my favorite treats.

Try something new this week and make homemade ice cream for you and your friends! Trying something new can turn into a hobby you love, or it can inspire others to try new things as well! There is no better time to be an inspiration to others or more importantly to self. No matter what the feat may be, it’s your time to shine and your time to create your own happiness!

Regardless of the outcome, be sure to have the utmost wonderful week eating strawberry ice cream, making all your incredible dreams come true and being that inspiration to others!

January 13, 2015   2 Comments

Celebrate Orthodox Christmas And Cuddle Up Day!

Although many Christians in the western world celebrate Christmas on December 25, some follow a different calendar, which has Christmas falling on Jan 7. The Orthodox Church follows the Julian calendar, created in 45 BC during Julius Caesar’s reign. Latin Pope Gregory of Rome created another calendar later in 1582; this was referred to as the Gregorian calendar, which is now what most of the western world follows. There is only a 13-day difference between them and both Christmas are celebrated on what is considered the 25 of December, however, they fall differently on each calendar.

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With winter sweeping its way through, it’s tough to see flowers blooming. The month of January can be dreadful for any plants trying to make it through, the cold just too treacherous. However, the temperatures indoors can fare well for some plants like a crisp winter jasmine or a bright Amaryllis. Flowers can make a room feel comforting and less dreary, so spice up these cold winter days with an array of January Flowers!

Since the winter is cold, it’s the perfect time to cozy up with someone you enjoy and celebrate Cuddle Up Day on January 6. A hug and a cuddle is the best way to boost endorphins and induce happiness! Whisk away the cold feeling and get warm on a brisk January night!

Cuddle up next to the fireside, smell the delicious flowers and show praise for the Orthodox Christmas. Know anyone celebrating? Send a card to acknowledge their beliefs respectfully.

January 4, 2015   1 Comment

Grab A Drink And Toast To A Fun Filled And Successful Year Ahead- Happy New Year 2015!

In the United States, New Year’s Eve is a grand celebration that the entire nation looks forward to. It involves many parties, dancing, drinking and of course, fireworks! At midnight on New Year’s Eve, fireworks can be seen or heard all over the major cities. Some people enjoy setting off their own throughout the night. The whole eve is for celebrations, happiness and plenty of drinks. Grab a drink and toast to a fun filled and successful year ahead!

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We like to bring in the New Year with a fabulous party and this can be said for all over the world. Most countries in the world celebrate the New Year on January 1. It is considered to some, a fresh start to a whole new year. In New York City, a tradition that has many spectators every year is the watching of the ball drop in Times Square. The ball has been dropping since 1907, weighs 11,875 pounds and is 12 feet in diameter. This spectacular event has inspired many similar events all over the United States.

January 1 is a very religious holiday for many devout Roman Catholics. It is considered to be a Holy Day of Obligation, a day to honor the Virgin Mary, the Mother of Jesus.

Many people also have New Year’s resolutions that they intend to imply to their lives to better themselves on this fresh start.

To add to the New Year’s resolutions, send out a wonderful message and express the season’s greetings to all those you cherish. Express a heartfelt Thank You, well wishes and New Year greetings!

December 29, 2014   1 Comment

Seasons Greetings! Feliz Navidad! Merry Christmas!

Christmas holidays are celebrated differently all over the world. Each culture has their own traditions special to them, just as every family has their own unique practices. One particular common theme found all over the world, is Santa Claus. Although he can be known by many different names, in most European countries, he is referred to as St. Nicholas and caters to children by bringing presents or delicious holiday foods.

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Santa Claus or St. Nicholas, formally known as Father Christmas was a Victorian tradition arising in the United Kingdom a long time ago. In fact, most of the traditions we carry out here in the United States come from the English and more specifically the depictions described in Charles Dickens, ‘A Christmas Carol.’

Places all over the world celebrate this holiday differently, however in Japan, their celebrations and traditions are very similar to ours here in the United States. There are decorated trees, feasts on Christmas Day, and nativity scenes that can be seen in abundance. Something interesting is that young girls in Japan are fascinated with this scene as it is the first time most of them encounter a baby in a cradle. Cradles are uncommon in Japanese households.

The nativity scene was first originated in Rome, Italy where a manger scene was recreated and then St. Francis performed Mass in front of the scene. This struck awe in the villagers and soon became one of the best-known traditions of the holiday season.

There are so many beautiful customs that occur around the world. The one thing to remember is that Christmas is a time for love, devotion and admiration for those around us. It is important to send well wishes to all and a very Merry Christmas!

December 23, 2014   1 Comment