Dec 31, 2010

Congratulations to the winner(s)!

If you recall the giveaway announced earlier this month, today is the draw date.

It gives me great joy to consider all the participants as winners! It is truly my dream come true. Thank you for sharing in my dream! 

The winners are (in alphabetical order):

1. A
2. Bikramjit
3. Christopher
4. Doc
5. Jackie Parkes
6. Kalonda
7. ....Petty Witter
8. Raji, California
9. Reena - Oman
10. Renu
11. sm
12. Stranger

Congratulations to the winners! Thank you for participating in the giveaway! To claim your teddy bear, please email your mailing address to nrigirl at hotmail dot com

~ NRIGirl

Dec 29, 2010

We made it so far...

Today we complete twelve years of wedded bliss! That's right, tomorrow is our 12th wedding anniversary; honestly it only feels like 12 days... Few who started on similar journeys with us have gone apart which hurts me most. All I can say is it is mere grace that we are going on...

My sincere thanks to all who were involved in bringing us together and those who have prayed for us and guided us and helped us learn through ups and downs of life. Those who have been our role models, those who have shown us the way, those who have shared their stories to motivate us - are all fondly thought of.

Of course the friends and families; neighbors and relatives who all came together to celebrate our beginning with us, who dressed me up, walked by my side, held the vail, the little children who danced, the greeters, the stage designers, the singers, the Pastors, of course our parents and all those who blessed us with their sincere hearts - we are forever grateful for.

My Grandma who exclaimed when she first saw Israel that "Alu kollam, konjam karuppu dhan... aana alu kollam" (He is good looking, little dark, but good looking), my loving Papa who walked me thru' the aisle, handing me over to Israel, who often wondered how we were going to manage life's demands as he felt both of us were child like, my best friend Nimmie who loved us both very much, our nephew Sam who admired my driving skills and demanded to sit next to me from day one, my dear Mother-in-law who was all smiles all day long, yet kidded me, "don't show all your teeth" all are fondly remembered and greatly missed.

With our hearts full of praise, gratitude and hope we are set to continue rest of the way... with grace from above we will carry on...

Dec 28, 2010

Do you see what I see?

Do you see what I see
Trees made of only twigs
Leaves dancing on the streets
Swirling snow in the wind
Yet birds cheering on the poles?
If not, tell me what you see...
May be I see what you see too!

Do you hear what I hear
Aeroplanes flying overhead
Billowing winds with such a fright
Whistling cooker in the kitchen
Selling and buying in Monopoly?
If not, tell me what you hear...
May be I hear what you hear too!

Do you feel what I feel
Childhood doesn't last too long but
Memories forever will linger on
Loving the most and being our best
Are the only true treasures we can give away?
If not, tell me what you feel...
May be I feel what you feel too!

Dec 20, 2010

This Child

We all have Christmas favorites such as the carols, poinsettias, nativities, Christmas lights etc. Chestnuts, hot chocolates and gift giving are my personal favorites and take up my priority. It is all nice to have but it is not what Christmas is all about.

Christmas is the celebration of This Child - the Son of God or in other words God Himself - in human form. It is very difficult to understand the trinity of God - God the Father, God the Son and God the Holy Spirit. It is beyond our human nature to understand it all in full detail.

I wouldn't even dare to explain it, however let me share my few. The best example I can imagine is that of H2O which could be a solid (ice), liquid (water) or steam (gas). They are all the same, yet different form. They make the one substance H2O. Another thought that crosses my mind is the trinity in me - Hephzibah - my body, mind and soul - definitely these are three different forms of me - yet they make the "Me" in me. With my very limited capacity this is how far I can get to  - in understanding Trinity; however the Trinity of God is beyond any descriptions.

Now to get to the point, Father God created the whole earth and all that we see such as the sun, stars, seas, animals, creatures and also the humans. When He created the man(Adam) He created him in His image and in His likeness. He loved to spend time with this human on a daily basis. However sin separates Adam and God. Since then no form of sacrifice could redeem Adam fully. The wages of Adam's sin would be 'death' - eternal death. God couldn't allow that. That's when He decides to send in His own son - Jesus - to be born in human form and be sacrificed as a sinless lamb of God - forever paying off the cost of the sin, to bring Adam once again closer to God his creator.

Christmas is all about This Child Jesus who was born to take away my sins by His stripes. Christmas is a day to remember the birth of Jesus Christ and more importantly the death and resurrection of Jesus that brings me eternal life.

Christianity in it's entirety can be summed up in this single scripture: "For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life. John 3:16" The focus is on the word, "whoever" - doesn't matter young or old, rich or poor, brown or fair, anyone who believes in Him shall not perish but have eternal life!

For me Christmas is not just the 25th of December! It is also the 24th, 26th, 1st, 2nd or any day of June, August, February or any month! The date doesn't matter - it is the message that This Child was born to take away my sins - that's what matters.

Dec 18, 2010

Seasons Greetings from Mom

Christmas and New Year greetings to the friends from NRIGirl's blog.

When Jesus was born in Bethlehem, Palestine, a star appeared to a few wise men of the East and led them to the Baby. The wise men could recognise Him as a King, Priest and the Sacrificial Lamb. They bowed down and worshiped Him and presented Him with gifts of gold, frankincense and myrrh.

Jesus is the king who rules my life; Jesus is the priest who mediates between me and God; Jesus is my Sacrificial Lamb whose blood brings me forgiveness of my sins and cleanses me so that I can see God because without holiness no one can see God.

This is our simple Christian Faith.

Wish you all a very happy Christmas and a wonderfully blessed New Year 2011. - Y L

Dec 15, 2010

Dinosaur Eggs

The latest craze for Joshua is the dinosaur eggs. I must explain these are toys that look very much like eggs that you soak in water and patiently wait for it to "hatch" or if you are a little low on patience, pry them open with provided tools to get to your "baby dinosaur". We all know these are toys but Joshua would like to believe it is real egg with toy dinosaurs inside. Whatever!

Any shops we go to he asks for dinosaur eggs. Tell me how many is enough; will three do? Not for Joshua. He wants it again and again and again. Couple of days back we went to the nearby store to quickly pick up something and Joshua started his pleading for yet another dinosaur egg.

I would have bought him one if not for the fact that the girls gave lengthy lectures why I shouldn't buy him one. One explanation was that the last time he had a dinosaur egg while he was working on it he got angry with Mommy for something and decided to throw away the dinosaur egg in the garbage. Though honestly I do not recall the incident when two kids are saying so and the third not denying it, I had to believe it did happen. After that Kid 3 stopped asking for it and we left it at that.

Today was Christmas Boutique where vendors set up tables selling gifts at school and children could take money and buy gifts for their siblings and parents for Christmas. All three children look forward to this event a lot and throughout the year their conversation would be around how much they will get for Christmas boutique the following Christmas.

I am normally generous and give them $20 each but seeing all the garbage they brought in a few years ago I had to limit it at $10 for couple of years. So this year lot of pleading went in ahead of time to give them $20 each as I used to as some of the things they really want to buy costs them more and with $10 they can not get gifts for all five of us (yes, they always count themselves too).

So with a long lecture on what not to buy, they were given $20 each to spend on with a message that whatever left over money they bring back will go into their savings account. End of the day Rachel brought $7 back but then she didn't get anything for herself and daddy; she gave me a book lamp and her siblings finger puppet theatre riddles.

Sharon spent all her money and got herself a lot of gifts - six to be exact - and all of us one each. I got a cookie box which I liked, some erasers for Joshua, a tiny notebook that said 'Dad' for daddy and a nice framed art for Rachel's desk.

Joshua only got $15 to begin with - with a promise that his $5 will be directly going into savings. He comes home with a pair or winter socks each for the girls, a bracelet for Sharon and a mini cute little nativity set for Rachel and few bath toys for his favorite cousin (Joses) and the rest all he spent on himself! Guess what he got? Of course Dinosaur eggs - what else!! How many? Four!!

He is all smiles and so are we... Oh! that's not true; Sharon is not very happy about her "boring bracelet & puppet theatre" as she calls it, she wants the nativity set that Rachel got AND one of the dinosaur eggs! Whoever said money is the answer for everything?! It does not work that way for us... at least not now...

P.S: Rachel is 11, Sharon 9 and Joshua is 7 as we speak...

Dec 13, 2010

Window of Opportunity

I would never miss my chance at a window of opportunity - by which I mean, a window that can be made into a reading nook or seating area. It is my ultimate thrill of home decor. Any window for that matter can be turned into a relaxing oasis just by adding a few elements that are already available around the house.

Do you have a mismatched chair/bench/stool that doesn't quite fit into your room's style? Don't you worry; just drag it closer to the window and set a basket of books by the side and if you can bring a lamp closer, you are all set - your own private library! Add pillows and throws for extra comfort.

On sunny days open them up to let the cool breeze in. The honey bees in the flower pads outside will sing sweet lullabies as you catch a quick Sunday afternoon nap. Chickadees and robins and the playful squirrels will make the scene more fun to watch.

If your window is by a busy street curtains and shades can bring in privacy. Adding simple indoor plants will only make the spot more appealing to run to. The abundant natural light by the window will help the plants thrive making the room fresher.

Sitting by your window you can look at the world from a whole new angle - the rain that is falling, the snow that is drizzling, the birds that fly by, the children that are playing, the stars of the night, the moon up close, there aren't many things as mesmerizing as these ...

If a chair is not handy or you are not the type that would like to warm up with a book in the nook, the same window can be a show case of your favorite collections. Don't over do it though, as it will easily get cluttered. The best idea is to keep a few pieces - one if big - and rotate it through the seasons or depending upon your mood.

When we finished our basement, the interior room would have had absolutely no light if not for my idea of installing an indoor window on the dividing wall. The outer room gets ample natural light which then also fills the inner room through that window. Later I learned somewhere that the concept is called "Borrowed Light". Very interesting right?

Let's say you don't have any window that is accessible - the smartest thing to do is to create an illusion of a window with a big wall mirror or simply a wall art and adding window treatments to it. It will quickly brighten up the room along with your spirits.

Your window is a free gift to you though many of us haven't unwrapped it yet. When you do, you will be surprised at what it can do for you...

Dec 12, 2010

Merry Christmas to us all!

Dear God! How are you? Fine here and wish the same. Just returned from church. Pastor Doug's sermon on "Are you willing to do His will? If not, are you willing to be made willing?" was great. It put us right on track for Christmas.

As you know it is a huge celebration - your birthday - here on earth. Most of the homes, businesses and offices are decorated for Christmas. This season sure makes one merry. We sing carols, exchange gifts, gather as families, what not. Yesterday I was at the mall. It was full! The lines for Santa and family portraits were as long as the years before, if not longer. It reminded me of the little boy's question to his singer Aunt "Where is the line to see Jesus?" It did make me wonder the same.

The Live Nativity was much fun last night. We paid a surprise visit to see our "shepherd". I must say he was the best looking shepherd in the whole wide world. The hot chocolate, sugar cookies, the two lamas, the few sheep, the goats were all fun. Did you know one one of the goat's name was Nacho? That's right. Nacho got out of the pen a bit and stirred much interest among the younger visitors. Sure he behaved well. Even I got to touch him and the lamb. The lamas we wouldn't dare go near as we heard they spit. My favorite was the bonfires that warmed our hearts, the hay rolls we sat on and the huge trees full of lights. Pastor Rick's mini message at the end was icing on the cake.

So, what's news at your end? Busy busy I am sure, the angels and the heavenly hosts. Can't even imagine how beautiful the decor would be and how nicely the hallways are lit up. I must tell you it is so generous of you to keep the invitation open for all those who are willing to attend the party with you...

Oh! the reason for this letter now? I am glad you asked. We watched the movie "Letters to God" last night and I too felt like writing to you. After all we are in the midst of our letter writing spree these days, as if I needed an excuse to write... you know me better.

Okay Lord! Let me wind up now. Wishing you a Very Happy Birthday in advance and A Merry Christmas to us all!

Much love,
Me

Dec 9, 2010

To Amma

Please click the image to view bigger.

Dec 8, 2010

$1 $pecials

 If you have read my Gone Shopping post you know that I love to shop. Not only in big fancy stores, but also in the dollar stores and garage sales. Some of my friends think it is below their dignity to shop in $1 stores, but I am a huge fan of dollar stores for specific items.

Garage sale is another one of my favorites. I have also held garage sales - twice - first time we made a little over $100 and the next time a little below - not bad for otherwise throw away stuff right? Thought so too.

Here's a listing of my top 12 $1 picks from both garage sales & dollar stores...
  1. Gilded Bibles (KJV) from Dollar Tree
  2. A mini desk fan - bought 10 years ago - which is still working good
  3. A tooled leather handbag which was originally bought by the owner for $169 - with the original tag still in place - never used
  4. A beautiful framed art which hangs in our basement wall nice and square
  5. Beautiful glass bowls - 36 in all - for only $1! I did distribute it among many of my friends - gave them all six each and I still have 12 for myself. Use it for dessert in all our get together.
  6. DVDs - which I later sold in amazon for prices ranging from $3.99 to $13.99!
  7. A finger ring with red stones - I am positive it is gold with rubies - but can't be too sure unless I take it to a jeweller...
  8. 5 x 7 picture frames from dollar store. For Rachel's birthday at home this Fall, I clicked the pictures of the guests as they arrived - alone or with their parent(s) as they were dropped off. Before the party was over, we printed the best shots of each child in Costco and framed it for the goody bag special. Trust me it was a hit among both children & parents alike!
  9. My kitchen jars from dollar store - I guess it was 2 for a $1 - bought 12 years ago in our first apartment. Since they aren't breaking I am still using them.
  10. Mylar balloon - which makes every occasion special. When Mom arrived from India kids brought "Welcome Home" balloons to the airport to receive her. When my cousin had a new born we visited with "It's a Boy!" balloon at the hospital. We always make sure to have plenty of "Happy Birthday!" balloons handy in parties so that each child guest can take one home; if there is no party we still have at least one balloon which is later released into the air with many "good bye"s.
  11. Birthday number candles - Hard to believe the same thing costs $3 or more in department stores.
  12. Not to forget the McChicken burger and fries
Money well spent - right?!

Dec 5, 2010

Introducing Coffee with Jesus

Though it has been out for nearly two months now, I wanted to make an "official" announcement of my new blog "Coffee with Jesus". It is a daily devotional blog; the idea is to share a devotion from the Bible in as little time as it takes to enjoy a cup of coffee.

Israel has been very kind to design me a logo for it - which I absolutely love. We had also ordered some  promotional products which arrived yesterday. I was overwhelmed seeing our own logo printed on something that we could touch and feel.

It is truly my dream come true! I am so grateful to God Almighty first and then to Israel for their support in making it real. I plan to use it for promotional giveaways.

The first giveaway is on; please check it out by clicking on the product picture below...


You may also check out the Help Page to see how you can be involved in the project... if at all interested.

Dec 4, 2010

Happy Birthday to Jyothi

Happy Birthday Jyothi!

Got introduced to your blogs through @A! Here's joining him in wishing you a wonderful birthday and many happy returns. May your fondest wishes come true this year. May you find much love and joy in the fellowship of your friends and family. Wishing you sunshine & good cheer!

On your birthday as my gift, I have subscribed to your blogs as a "Follower"! I know no greater gift to a blogger than new followers and yes of course a link to your blog.

I will be checking back shortly to visit your latest posts at "Life Does Have a Meaning"

Enjoy your day!

~ NRIGirl

P.S: It was @A's idea to surprise Jyothi with as much wishes as possible on her birthday. Please feel free to check him out at "Simply Speaking by "A" Simple Blogger"

Dec 3, 2010

Handwritten updates

Hope you all have enjoyed the Handwritten series so far. Hard to believe, but we have had a total of 18 handwritten correspondences, each one bringing us a tad bit closer as one big happy family!

We definitely can not deny the fact that we feel more connected now and we all feel terrible about losing one of us - Mohan Jadav - who had jumped onboard the idea so willingly just days ago but has departed from us so suddenly... Life has its way sometimes and we have no clue...

My sincere thanks to everyone participated in writing and also reading. Of course without the readers the writing would be of no fun. Appreciate it much!

I know some of you really wanted to write but errands have kept you busy or you were hesitant to publish your handwriting. Here's offering you another enticing opportunity to still be part of the game.

How about Typewritten letters?! Yes, I mean electronically typed in computer and sent by email... Why not?! We still want to hear from you one-on-one on your latest updates. I am sure rest of the players and readers would agree with me on this.

Also, you may "write" to one another - not only to me. Bikramjit is a candidate who would like to hear from some of you. His email address is: mannbik at googlemail dot com My Mom too would absolutely love to hear from you. Her email address is yohapushpam at hotmail dot com. Now, if you want it published you will need to email it to me. (nrigirl at hotmail dot com)

So, go ahead pen type a few words and mail it to nrigirl@hotmail.com

Eagerly awaiting,
~ NRIGirl

P.S: Handwritten posts are still welcome!

Dec 2, 2010

Mohan Jadhav

Dear All: I am so sad to share with you that Mohan Jadhav has passed away yesterday in Bangalore, India. He was the very first fan of my blogs and it was mainly due to his encouragement I dived deeper into blogging.

Mohan suffered from serious illness for a long time yet his upbeat spirit was amazing. Though we have never met in person I had counted on him as a good friend. He was a close friend of my best friend Sarah.

I am republishing his recent handwritten letter to me as a tribute to him. Please check out his blog Green Shoot when you have some time at: http://mygreenshoots.blogspot.com/

Dearest Sarah! Thank you for introducing me to Mohan. In the short span I have known him I have come to fully appreciate his liveliness and the ease with which he handled his illness. I am glad you were a good friend to him during his time of need. The seeds you have shown will be a great harvest I believe! Please be assured he is alright. Love you much. Take care,  ~Hephzi

His letter below was originally posted on Nov 18th 2010...

Dec 1, 2010

Flipped Horizontal

Here's presenting "Flipped Horizontal" by Hari! Hopefully this will remove some of the frustrations over my last post... Thank you Hari! That was very smart! You Rock!!

From NRIGirl

Friends! Just for fun tried something new... Let's see if you can figure it out... Please click on the picture once to open in a new browser, click again to view bigger...

Nov 29, 2010

Single Serve

Single Serve would be something or anything that can be used only once - for a specific need or purpose. For example tooth picks or tea bags or the single serve butter stick they serve on a plane or a bus ticket you buy when traveling from point A to point B are all single serves. Did you know we also have "Single Serve Friends"?

Classmates, team mates, batch mates, room mates, they serve a purpose in time. There are hundreds we grow up with in the same school, hostel or college but only a rare handful remain in touch through the years. Others - though we have had good times with them - have disappeared.

This prompts me to recall my single serve friends. I was in 8th grade when Papa took us on a family vacation to Delhi. In the same guest house where we stayed was another family who also had a 8th grader. We became quick friends in a day or two, but alas no contact after that. I am sorry to say that I can't even recall her name now.

There was Jeeva who was my junior from college who looked up to me a lot. She took me home for a weekend where her mom made fresh plantain chips for us. I do think of them often but where to track her down I don't have a clue.

Revathy was my room mate - a blind girl - a music teacher - who once suspected me of stealing her Rs. 80; all I could tell her was, "I will pray that you find it before I come back in the evening so that you will know I didn't take it". In the evening when I returned she told me she had found the money and just when I was happy for her, she added, "How is it that I found it just like you told me? May be you put it back..." I was speechless. She definitely was a single serve - I knew that!

But all of those fun loving friends in college hostels Divya Rodriguez from Darjeeling & Sister Rose - both  went on to become doctors, Rachna Mishra from Patna, Sheeja Thomas from Calicut, Nisha Anumol from wherever and the three sisters Jessica, Thanuja and Janet, and of course my favorite Honey Ann Joseph from Ernakulam - it is hard to believe they too were single serve...

Nov 27, 2010

Neither prose nor poetry

Neither prose nor poetry it is just
The way my Grandma made puttu...

Childhood mornings at Grandma's home
Puttu always came from rice
Soak the rice for hours before,
Tiny hands powder the rice
Roast the flour, sprinkle water

Set aside, then scrape coconut
Add some sugar for taste
Off goes Grandma to collect some twigs
And dried coconut leaves
To lit her mud stove from the scratch

Brings a pot of water to boil
Layers flour and coconut in a tube
That fits perfectly on the pot
Quickly Grandma visits her store room
To fetch some ripe plantains and bananas
Before the tube on the pot starts to steam

Now, it is time to remove the tube
Grandma picks up her ladle turns it around
And sticks the stick end into the tube
That gently pushes the puttu out
Steaming hot with great aroma

With watering mouths we kids watch her do
Fill another puttu in the tube
Nicely set on the boiling pot
Off to fetch some plates for us
While we sit in the short kitchen walls & steps
She gives us puttu and some fruits

Yum so yum the puttu tastes
We finish it quickly and wait around
For the next puttu that cooks along
Even after the second round
We still wait around with hopes for more

Neither prose nor poetry it is just
The way my Grandma made puttu...

Nov 26, 2010

What has happened since?

Just a quick glance at earlier posts and updates on what has happend since:

* Remember  my plight looking for the moon in "Honey, where is the moon" ? -  Well, the moon has returned safe and sound and it has been honey moon ever since...

* Also, my Shocking Surprise is now over as the mustache has grown back

* No, couldn't show the butterflies to the star that landed in my Conversation with the Stars, as when I woke up I realized it was all just dream...

* The invitation is still open, you are Welcome to our Kitchen !

* Haven't got another chance to sit down with the Girl in the Mirror

* Some snacks did return to work, but I ended up sharing with the team, everyone said, "Mmm Mmm good! "

* That is right, I still don't LOL

* My Cuckoo clock is doing well.

So, what has happened since at your end?

Nov 25, 2010

To Bikramjit

Nov 24, 2010

From Bikramjit

From My Grandma

Since we are in the middle of Handwritten series I thought it would be a good idea to share a letter from my Grandma from the year 1994. I was doing my MCA staying on campus. Though my Grandma is no longer with us, I can see her love remains; I am so blessed to share in her love and blessings. 

She is the best Grandma ever made! Okay, now that may be a rude statement; how about I say, all Grandmas are made equal?! Please click on the image once to view in full. Translation follows below the image for those who can't read Tamil...


My loving child Queenma, from Grandma who loves you a lot. Are you well? Be well. I pray for you to learn your subjects carefully and to get good grades. Pray everyday, read the Bible. Is your scooter a blessing? No running around places. Only use it to go to college.

May God's grace protect you. Let Him be like a mother bird that protects from front and rear. Write to me in your own hand. I need to see that. Write to me about your situation. Because ever since the scooter came there I feel very afraid. May the Lord protect you from all danger. Pray well. Say Thank you.

Pray for Sweetma to do well in her exams and for little brother's studies, and for your beloved Amma and Pappa. May God bless you. I am not able to write well as my hand is shaking.  Let us praise God who thought about us in our lowliness. May the Lord be with you in all your ways. Glory be to Him only.

Reply me, I will be awaiting. My loving child Queenma, many kisses to you. Hallelujah!

Nov 23, 2010

To Bhawna

Nov 22, 2010

From Bhawna

What's wrong with NRIGirl?

Nothing... really... okay if you insist, it is the hair... Israel's hair. He has been such a well groomed handsome gentleman all along but lately he wants to grow his hair longer. "How long?", when I ask he says "mmm... how about as long as yours?!" Hope he is joking as it gives me jitters already...

When I further insist, he says, "how many hairstyles you have tried over the years, have I said anything? Now I want to give it a try - I always wanted to do it but my Mom never let me, so now I want to just try it once, anyway I have only skipped one cutting, may be will do one or two more, that's it..."

OK his reasoning sounds good, but can't truly understand why he should spoil his looks over a teenage dream? I even showed him Einstein's picture to let him know how his hairstyle looks like now - seriously! He just thought I was joking...

On Sunday as we were pulling in to the Church parking lot, there was another lady with the blinkers on coming from the opposite direction. I had expected Gentleman Israel to give way for her, but he pulled in to the parking lot first. When I commented on that, he said "We had the right of way"

I had to tell him he used to be so nice and gentlemanly as long as his hair was tame, now that it is wild and out of control he is behaving like a ruffian! We had a good laugh. Jokes apart, it really puts me off.

This morning Israel was asking, "There seems to be something bothering you, what is it?" I replied, "Nothing..." He insisted, "Tell me the truth NRIGirl!" and hence this post...

Am I overreacting?

Nov 20, 2010

To Mohan

Dear Readers! Kindly excuse the illegible print. For whatever reason, the script does not come through properly in the scanned copy. Since I tried it at least twice without any improvement decided to post the second one as is... Have to find a good pen next time! You can click on the image below to open it in a new browser and then click once more to view the original size...

Nov 18, 2010

From Mohan

Nov 17, 2010

Pencil memories

Don't know what it is about sharpening the pencils that my kids don't like - they go on and on and on writing with the trace of lead that we can hardly see.

I was way different. I loved to sharpen pencils. I had to have plenty of pencils all sharpened to the finest tip. Even the slightest usage would prompt me to sharpen them again.

Mostly I would do it to make some "food" for my peacock feathers that we "grew" inside our text books. We (kids) had this crazy love for peacock feathers and believed it would grow feeding on pencil shavings... Rarely a feather would split up, taking us to new heights of joy that our treatment worked!

We also believed we can make erasers with pencil shavings - following a certain recipe with tree amber and what not! No, I never got close to collecting the "ingredients" to actually try the recipe.

Oh! I must tell you this, once I poked Papa's leg with a sharp pencil that a drop of blood seeped out. I was horror stricken! Not because Papa was hurt, but because Papa had blood! Till that point in life I was under the assumption men were made of steel and didn't have blood or wouldn't feel the pain...

Now, getting back to sharpening the pencils, I have tried different lures to get a bunch of pencils sharpened by my kids. Nothing has worked so far.

Recently I was in the school for parent teacher meeting and I saw that Joshua's pencils were all blunt. Just to surprise him I sharpened one pencil for him and kept it at his desk with a note, "Mommy loves you!" The next day he was so elated that I had sharpened his pencil and Sharon was upset I didn't do hers.

Sometimes I would gather plenty of pencils around the house and dedicate half an hour or so to sharpen them. Within minutes it will all vanish as children rush to claim them. So it is really not the sharpened pencils they dislike, it is the sharpening they do...

I am thinking of getting some peacock feathers and instilling the idea of feeding them on a regular basis with pencil shavings. May be that will do the trick...

Nov 16, 2010

Papaya

We had one or two Papaya trees in our backyard which faithfully yielded lots and lots of fruits all year around. Papa loved plucking the fruits from the tree and then cutting it length wise for us to eat. I loved watching Papa plucking it and cleaning it. It is Papa's fingers I admired most more than the fruit itself. Next I loved the glossy seeds, I could easily get lost in them...

We shared Papayas with neighbors at times, but mostly we ate them all as they had their own. Papa would say the fruits have beauty vitamins in them which was enough for me to start.

Once during a summer break my Aunt cut a Papaya while I was sleeping and just when I was getting up she was wrapping the peels and seeds to throw away. Seeing the nice bundle in her hands I asked her what it was. She told me it was a special gift she got for me. I was very excited and opened the bundle expecting to see grapes and to my shame there were Papaya peels and seeds inside.

All my cousins had a hearty laugh and I cried the next hour or so. I am sure my Aunt got her share from my Grandma for doing such a prank and making me cry. I love my Grandma. Even to this day whenever I cut a Papaya the scene spreads in my memory screen...

This incident taught me a very valuable lesson - not to play prank with anyone, especially kids, at least not with food favorites... lest a decade or two later they too may blog about my little prank making me feel so very miserable all over again...

Nov 15, 2010

To Punam

Nov 14, 2010

From Punam

Please click here to check out Punam's blog: Dreamz Forever She has a dedicated one for her paintings and one for her poems/thoughts...

(Please double click on the image to view in new browser and then click once to view bigger)

From @Stranger to @YL

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Nov 12, 2010

To @SG

(Kindly excuse the gaudy background - a color of FALL - Please click on the image to view bigger)

Nov 10, 2010

From @YL to @Stranger

To @Stranger

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Nov 9, 2010

From @Stranger

If you would like to take part in our "Handwritten" series please check out our brainstorming session. Thank you!

Nov 8, 2010

Lost in Translation

Over the years I have lost many friends - in translation. I believe it was to do with something I said or did or something I didn't say or do and hence the term "Lost in translation". They were once dear to me but all of a sudden disappeared without a trace or hint. It wasn't anything on my part, OR was it?

It could be that I meant to say something which came across as something else offending the very same people I was trying to please... May be I wasn't around when they were hurting or that we have different priorities altogether.

Once a dear friend emailed me a very generic message with just her first name and I had to make sure it was the right person, so I asked, "I know three Annies, which Annie are you?", never to hear back from her again. My repeated emails went in vain and I still feel bad about that. May be I should have rephrased my question somewhat differently, but not sure how...

Another long lost friend of mine reached out to me out of the blue that she was visiting Rutgers University to teach. I was overjoyed and wrote, "Wow! That's awesome Monika, I live in NJ, may be we can get together" and she disappeared once again without a word.

Joe once told me he will be my big brother always; but that was some 15 years ago - he was never part of anything in my life as a big brother would have been or even as a good friend.

Another friend had abruptly halted any and all communication with us, without any warning... To the best of my knowledge I couldn't figure out why, but I was very hurt. This past weekend we just stopped by to say hello and continued conversation from where we had left as if nothing had ever happend. It felt awesome!

One down, many to go... I am on a mission to find the friends lost in translation... Should I bother?!

Nov 6, 2010

Brainstorming

Dear All: Hope all is well. It's like I have gone completely blank lately. I've been wanting to write something the last few days, anything - but nothing comes to my mind... Does it ever happen to you?

OK, now before I forget this, let's plan out how we want to do the "Handwritten" series. Please share any and all ideas you might have on this.

So far we have, 7 volunteers. @SG & @Doc are forced into it - which makes it 9 and including me we have 10! That's a good number - is it not?!

One idea (though very selfish) is me writing to all of you individually and posting it along with your response on my blog... This way everyone writes only one letter - to me.

Another idea is: Each of us will get an assigned # and then everyone picks one number out of ten and writes to that person in the list. The sender and receiver will both email me their scanned copies, which I can post in my blog; of course you can too. This way, you will end up writing two letters, one to your "pick" and the second as the response to the letter you receive from whoever "picks" you... (have I confused you enough?!)

I am trusting all of you smart people will come up with a fun and exciting way that can be easily implemented. Please share your thoughts... Looking forward to hear from all of you.

Yes, more volunteers are welcome. So jump on board if you have the slightest desire. It's going to be a fun ride...

The ten people are:
1. A
2. Bikramjit
3. Emily, Ruby Slipper Traveller
4. Mohan Jadhav
5. Petty Witter
6. Punam
7. Stanger
8. Doc
9. SG
10. NRIGirl

~ NRIGirl
(nrigirl at hotmail dot com)

Nov 4, 2010

Handwritten - Response

A while ago I had posted a handwritten letter in my blog which was later mailed to one of our fellow bloggers. This week I received the response which is posted below with permission, as promised. 

Now this has initiated a whole new idea in my mind. What if we write letters to one another and post the response in our blogs along with the original letters? Not sure how many of you feel upto it. Even if we have five volunteers it will be fun. If you want to remain anonymous and don't feel comfortable sharing your mailing address, we can play it by email - handwritten and scanned... Who wants to play?

(Clicking on the image below will link you to his/her blog)

Oct 29, 2010

Around Town

Driving around town loved this red shed; wanted to share... What would be your caption for it? Let's see...

Oct 28, 2010

Perfect Timing

Israel has perfect timing when it comes to helping out in the kitchen. Usually for a lunch get together I will be up very early starting things from scratch, from making a list to striking it off one by one as each item is finished.

I wouldn't have even thought of breakfast on that day. But when the crew descends downstairs they will want a breakfast. A quick fix of toast or bagel won't do that day - they want real Saturday morning breakfast. I should tell you Israel takes care of breakfast on weekdays, so weekend breakfast is my responsibility. OK, I'll switch to making some custom pancakes and what not all the while looking at the clock to make sure I am not too far behind.

My idea would be that if I feed this clan of mine some heavy breakfast then they would give me a hand with the errands. However one by one everyone will vanish into thin air, watching TV or back to bed while the poor me continues alone.

Around noon I would be done cooking, cleaning, setting, and would quickly sweep the kitchen table and floor.Oh yes, Israel would vacuum the other rooms and I would rush for a quick shower; and just when I come downstairs it would be time for the guest to arrive or one or two would have already arrived while I am gone, greeted by "poor" Israel who will be trying to finish up the vacuuming.

Just then the oven would be done and of course Israel helps with taking the trays out of the oven as I am afraid to do so. So, he puts his vacuum away, gets the mittens and pulls the trays out, spreads some coriander leaf decor already cut and kept aside and brings it to the table, which is also already set - yes, by me - who else?!

OK, we all have a good time, dessert is served, everyone is happy, all is well and suddenly a commotion breaks out among the guests. When you pay attention the husbands are feeling uncomfortable over some comments their respective wives are making. What is that? "Look at Israel, how much he helps around the kitchen!!"

For all they saw was Israel working, greeting, cleaning, taking the trays out of the oven,decorating it with final touch thus appearing as if he was cooking too and oh yes, he makes sure the kids eat. And what they saw of me was climbing down the stairs in fresh attire. I wasn't at the door to receive them, greet them, offer them anything hot or cold, didn't vacuum, didn't take the tray out of the oven and hence didn't cook or didn't even take care of the kids...

What say folks? Isn't it perfect timing?!

Oct 26, 2010

Commendable Comments

Please don't get me wrong; I love all the comments received for my posts. Just wanted to project these two as a post in itself so that you will get to enjoy it too.

Emily, Ruby Slipper Traveller had this to say on Fading Glory:

"I'm starting to find this too. I'm not the youngest of any group any more, and sometimes I look at pictures of myself and think that I look tired and as though I've lost some bloom. It's natural... and yet it's such a shame... Shakespeare said it like this, more or less:

Duke: For women are as roses, whose fair flower
Being once displayed, doth fall that very hour.

Viola: And so they are; alas, that they are so!
To die, even when they to perfection grow!  "

Mom recalls her childhood on Tamarind Seeds as :

"When we were children, we used to take out the outer shell of a big ripe tamarind, make small holes on the top to put a thread and hang the shell on trees filled with a liquid mixture of tamarind water and jaggery water. After a few hours or so, may be next day, we shall drink the liquid. As children we enjoyed doing this. we used to climb on our tamarind trees and help my mother to gather the fruits from the trees.

Since we went as a group with our lunch bundles etc, they were our picnics.Drying the fruits, shelling them, then removing the seeds out and again drying and preserving etc etc are routine annual jobs for my mother. May be we helped a little. Sometimes she hired some help.Those tamarind trees are gone with the land which we had to offer to the govt for some purpose. But the memories remain.The seeds are sold since it is needed to feed the milk cows.We can see people boiling the tamarind seeds for the cows they bring up in their houses.Since tamarind is an important ingredient in preparing fish curry, puli kulambu , and tamarind rice,rasam and even saambar, it is somewhat costly..."

Oct 22, 2010

Tamarind seeds

Have you tried tamarind seeds? It used to be one of my favorites growing up. Grandma would roast it and bring when she comes visiting us. We remove the shell by hitting it with a rock or something or sometimes Grandma would de shell it in bulk in the grinding stone. We'll soak the seeds in water and after a while it will be chewable soft. Mostly I like eating it as is, soaking it in my mouth...

Sometimes I eat it raw too, it has somewhat of a bitter taste as the skin sticks to it. Favorite of all is plucking raw tamarind from Grandma's well-side tree and quickly biting in to remove the skin and other sour parts to get to the fresh seeds... I can still visualize the tree and how myself and my cousins will claim our favorite spots on the tree to sit on it with our feet dangling below, watching Grandma washing the clothes, applying neelam blue for her whites, carefully making starch for her other voile favorites, Grandma's assistants washing fish by the other side of the well, calling us to show the eggs inside and we starting to fight already for who gets it when it is fried... oh! how I long to be back there back then...

OK, getting back to the tamarind seeds, the reason I recall it is that last night while making sambar I came across a rare tamarind seed and was staring at it long and hard, flying back in time to the memories of the carefree tree climbing days, Grandma living days and wondering how far I have traveled from there since then.

Yes, I tried it; no, it didn't taste the same - the tamarind seed. I guess it only tastes good when it comes from Grandma... I am sure there will be tamarind trees in heaven too. Won't there?

Oct 21, 2010

Fading glory

As I have often said everyone is beautiful so I would call myself also beautiful! But to think of how it is all fading away is hard to imagine. It has been a fun ride so far when all co-workers were of same age as me or older. But all of a sudden I realize the wind is changing in that I am no longer the youngest of the lot and that I move way to give the limelight to people younger, brighter and more energetic than me! I have had my playing parts so that's okay I guess...

Every now and then I see a grey in my comb and can easily brush it off as a pre-mature grey. But what happens ten years from now?! It would no longer be a pre-mature grey but on and about time grey. There won't be just one or two, there will be many, many more each day.

My perfect teeth will have to give way too I guess, okay not in ten years, but twice that say. This whole idea of aging scares me. Life had just began it seems but already I am half way through! Okay, not quite but you get my point!

I understand we can't hold back the arms of the clock as it slowly tics & tocs into the unknown. Oh, now I get it, it is the fear of the unknown that keeps me wide awake! I guess I needn’t lose any more sleep over it as the clock is on a pre-determined journey - yes, journey through time - forward!

Kings and Queens, rich and poor, young and old, in good health or not, all travel the same journey - a journey through time - forward. King Solomon jots down his thoughts as below,

"Remember your Creator
in the days of your youth,
before the days of trouble come
and the years approach when you will say,
"I find no pleasure in them"-

before the sun and the light
and the moon and the stars grow dark,
and the clouds return after the rain;

when the keepers of the house tremble,
and the strong men stoop,
when the grinders cease because they are few,
and those looking through the windows grow dim;

when the doors to the street are closed
and the sound of grinding fades;
when men rise up at the sound of birds,
but all their songs grow faint;

when men are afraid of heights
and of dangers in the streets;
when the almond tree blossoms
and the grasshopper drags himself along
and desire no longer is stirred.
Then man goes to his eternal home
and mourners go about the streets.

Remember him—before the silver cord is severed,
or the golden bowl is broken;
before the pitcher is shattered at the spring,
or the wheel broken at the well,

and the dust returns to the ground it came from,
and the spirit returns to God who gave it.

"Meaningless! Meaningless!" says the Teacher.
"Everything is meaningless!"

Here is the conclusion of the matter:
Fear God and keep his commandments,
for this is the whole duty of man."


It is scary, yes! But to think of all those who are traveling with me and those who have travelled ahead of me and of course those who have finished their journeys, I guess only better times are ahead. And this fear is unnecessary. What say folks?!

Oct 20, 2010

'East coast of the West' to 'West coast of the East'

Wow, isn't that a cool title; thought so too.

Ok now coming to the subject, if you ever need to travel from the East Coast (USA) to Trivandrum (India) and ask me which airlines is the best option, I would suggest Qatar airlines.

From JFK International Airport non-stop (12 hrs) to Doha, Qatar with a connecting flight to Trivandrum (5 hrs). The transit time at Doha is less than 2 hours, just enough time to switch aircrafts. In less than 20 hours of flying time you will be landing in the beautiful seashores of Trivandrum. Can it get any better than that? I didn't think so either.

The food is good and you get a cute little travelers pouch with travel necessities - I don't think many other airlines offer it any more.

True, just recently I had written high of Continental's non-stop flight but that is for traveling to Bombay or Delhi, not Trivandrum.

So, Trivandrum folks, Tirunelveli folks and those from in between, try Qatar Airways and let me know how you like it.

Oct 18, 2010

My Middle Child

I must tell you all about my middle child. Sharon is nine years old and doesn't fully fit in Rachel's circle nor Joshua's circle. However, if Rachel gets something she has to get it and if Joshua gets something then too she fights to get it. She makes my role as a Mom lot more fun.

Occasionally I go to pick them up from school and her whereabouts are unpredictable. She will be hanging upside down in the monkey bars, or running so fast from their vending machine to play ground or digging the earth with a stick to get some live earth worm to play with. She will sometimes see me pulling into the parking lot but will ignore it to continue with her digging or hanging or climbing. It is mostly interesting, only when we are running late for something, it won't be.

She is the one to run out to receive the guests, entertain their kids, attend phone calls, help me around in the kitchen or fold the mountains of clothes for a dollar! Also, she is a mediator. She is bold and works out a deal with us on many occasions. She talks to us to let go of Rachel from her piano practice or to let Joshua play in his Nintendo a little while longer.

She plays drums and gives such a hard time to practice. She will call third always, meaning only after Rachel and Joshua are done with their piano practice she will go. By then we will forget about her practice. When we remember she will make a scene saying there is no one downstairs. When you go with her, she will show you everything about drums she knows like, "Mommy you know this is the snare drum, and do you know this is the thrown", or quickly she will turn some pages and talk about some random notes showing you some skills and then before you know it she will call it quits - saying that's all for the day. You will be too tiered to argue with her by then.

She is very good in her studies, and a born leader, has good teaching skills too. Loves checking out my closet going through my collections, claiming it as hers and moving it to her room - unannounced! She collects rocks, makes book marks, and anything else Rachel starts. She'll ask, "When this saree becomes small can I keep it?" If I get a journal she will beg and plead and take it for her, it is quite interesting.

No, she doesn't annoy me, only when she doesn't do any of this I will start to worry.

P.S: Posted with her permission. She was quite happy reading about herself.

Oct 16, 2010

It's all about you!

Just thought I will do things a little differently today. Instead of a regular "it's all about me" post, I wanted to make it an "all about you" post.

I wish to give credit to my friends and fellow bloggers who encourage me with their comments, phone calls, emails and visits.

Let's start with @A Simple Blogger - lovingly called as @A in the blogosphere... He was the first blogger I met - whose blog I commented on - who in turn commented on my post and it went on from there. I can always trust him for honest feedback and have become great friends and exchange friendly emails on things happening, ideas for improvements, comment on the comments etc.

@SG surprises me with his posts each time as it is hard to predict what is next. He too gladly shares his feedback on posts and we have become good friends. I am glad he speaks the same language as me - Tamil - which allows me to comment in "Tanglish" from time to time...

@Bikramjit - When I first met him (of course in the blogosphere) he was already pretty well established. He had won tons of awards, received tons of comments etc. and I wasn't even sure if he will care to visit me back. I left him a comment and within days he caught up. I was very surprised receiving a comment from him. I love his posts though at times I don't feel the same zeal on political issues. He is a great person to know who loves his friends, which includes his blog friends. His posts repeatedly talk about friends and what they mean to him. Only one thing that used to bother me was, his Punjabi posts - but now he painstakingly writes the translation for us folks who are nil in Punjabi and I truly appreciate his time and efforts.

@Black Walnut Pearl - Trust me she is the one who got me started on blogging. Not only that, she is the first to create my first ever email address too. Over the years I have come to truly appreciate her friendship. Hers is one place where we (the whole parivar) can descend unannounced and know for sure she loves it! Though she doesn't comment often I know for sure she will tell me if something annoys her. All my stories on friends - like dancing in the rain, cloud watching, star gazing, it all includes her.

@Stranger - I respect his/her anonymity, so better not write much. I must add I truly enjoy the posts by her/him.

@Emily, Ruby slipper traveller - You all must visit her. She is such fun and tracing her path is unpredictable. She will be in Mexico one month, in London the next and elsewhere the third... She likes to call herself a 'nomad' but I am sure she makes it a home wherever she is. She shares a lot of pictures about her surroundings which takes you there. I truly love her fashion sense and the frankness by which she writes. Any given day I know for sure she will enlighten me with a cool post.

@... Petty Witter - It took me a while to get her name right, it's Witter and not Writer. Petty shares reviews of books she reads, some make you want to get that book right away, some make you think, 'good I read her review first, I am not going to touch that book'. I love her weekend posts which gives a summary round up of all local news that we would never come across unless you live in her UK surroundings. She is fun and honest and loves encouraging fellow bloggers with her comments and visits. Listen folks, if I ever write a book, I will get it reviewed by Petty first :)

@Dr. Antony - I call him @Doc and glad to have come across him in the blogosphere. He shares a lot from his personal experience which gives a 3D touch to his posts. He writes on random matters and brings our attention to some serious issues going on around us. My only complaint is, he doesn't blog as often as we would like to read; but then who else is?!

@Sanand surprises me every now and then with his comments. He loves his son and most posts are around their time together. I must add him to my blogger list so that I don't miss out on his rare posts.

@Haddock - His story about a bird nest in his backyard drew my attention to his blog. I truly enjoyed the picture updates he shared of this bird family - from birth to the moment the last one flew away. Can't wait to see what he is coming up with next - in a series like that.

@Raji - She has a dedicated post for pictures, and one for her thoughts. I think her first post I visited was a picture of a cat by the window sill with a caption, "Living on the edge" It made me laugh out loud. I appreciate her stopping by and leaving a trace with her comments from time to time.

@Bhawna - I appreciate the comments she leaves behind every now and then. I am looking forward to get to know her more via her blog posts.

@Y L - My Mom who is full of love - not only on us her children, but she loves all. She is full of life and laughter; loves her friends, my friends, all relatives, neighbors... Amma has recently started blogging, but I guess only one post she did. Hopefully she will share more in the coming days...

My cousin Jacinth is my all time favorite when it comes to discussing my posts. She encourages me for each post and I truly appreciate her taking the time to read and then calling me up to discuss it. She loves much and is much loved.

Reena, Rehana, Princess, Sunita, Lovet, Harikrishna my MCA classmate and friend, Yesudas, Mary Sunish, all take their time to get to know me more by reading what I have to say. I am so grateful for them all.

I know there are many more readers who I might not know in person or in the blogosphere but I truly would love to know them more. If you are one of them please leave a link to your blogs in the comments section; I will surely visit.

Thank you one and all for making my life little bit more interesting by your connections. God bless you all!

Oct 12, 2010

I love you too

Recently Rachel has started using the phrase "I love you too" often, and not always as a response to "I love you"; that is what is making it more interesting.

When I remind her (not always in a gentle tone) to put away her back pack in the closet or the clothes in the laundry, or when Sharon says something nasty, or Joshua calls her names, or Daddy calls her for breakfast, Rachel's response would be, "I love you too" as though we just told her we loved her. It never fails to lighten the moment & lessen the tension, bringing instant smiles to parties involved.

One of my friends shared, while driving if someone does a nasty gesture she sends a flying kiss his/her way. I am sure it makes the person cringe & learn to behave the rest of the day.

One of my co-workers, a good friend in an earlier job swore a lot. He used foul language so much to a point that it made me wonder how to handle it, without offending him. Nobody else seemed to care. An idea struck me, I took a white paper, stuck it to the wall and said for each swearing word he uses, I will mark a dot on it and when there are 25 dots he needs to take us out for lunch (a team of 4 including him). Trust me, he didn't go past 3 dots and turned around almost instantly, I hope for good.

What these have taught me is that love conquers all! So, love you too!!

Oct 10, 2010

10-10-10

Hello folks! Just realized it is a special kind of day!

The 10th day of the 10th month of the '10th year. Happy 10-10-10!

Let's make it special. Have a nice day!

~ NRIGirl

Oct 9, 2010

Personality Check

OK, here's something to assess our own personality. I took the test and the results were quiet appealing and thought you might like it too. Let's begin!

Instructions: Grab a pen and paper and note down the answers for the following questions along with the weights next to it. We'll need this to assess the results at the end. 

1. When do you feel your best?
           a. In the morning (2)
           b. During the afternoon and early evening (4)
           c. Late at night (6)

2. You usually walk...
         a. Fairly fast, with long steps (6)
         b. Fairly fast, with small steps (4)
         c. Less fast, head up, looking the world in the face (7)
         d. Less fast, head down (2)
         e. Very slowly (1)

3. When talking to people, you...
         a. Stand with your arms folded (4)
         b. Have your hands clasped (2)
         c. Have one or both of your hands on your hips (5)
         d. Touch or push the person to whom you are talking (7)
         e. Play with your ear or hair, touch your chin, or smooth your hair (6)

4. When relaxing, you sit with...
         a. Your knees bent, with your legs neatly side by side (4)
         b. Your legs crossed (6)
         c. Your legs stretched out or straight (2)
         d. One leg curled under you (1)

 5. When something really amuses you, you react with...
         a. A big, appreciative laugh (6)
         b. A laugh, but not a loud one (4)
         c. A quiet chuckle (3)
         d. A sheepish smile (5)

 6. When you go to a party or social gathering, you...
        a. Make a loud entrance, so that everyone notices you (6)
        b. Make a quiet entrance, looking around for someone you know (4)
        c. Make the quietest entrance, trying to stay unnoticed (2)

7. You're working very hard, concentrating hard, and you're interrupted. You...
         a. Welcome the break (6)
         b. Feel extremely irritated (2)
         c. Vary between these two extremes (4)

8. Which of the following colors do you like the most?
         a. Red/orange (6)
         b. Black (7)
         c. Yellow/light blue (5)
         d. Green (4)
         e. Dark blue/purple (3)
          f. White (2)
          h. Brown/gray (1)

 9. When you are in bed at night, in those last few moments before going to sleep, you are...
          a. Stretched out on your back (7)
          b. Stretched out face down on your stomach (6)
          c. On your side, slightly curled (4)
          d. With your head on one arm (2)
          e. With your head under the covers (1)

10. You often dream that you are...
          a. Falling (4)
          b. Fighting or struggling (2)
          c. Searching for something or somebody (3)
          d. Flying or floating (5)
          e. You usually have dreamless sleep (6)
          f. Your dreams are always pleasant (1)

Tallying: Now add up all the weights and read through the analysis below depending on where you fall:

Over 60 Points: Others see you as some one they should "handle with care". You're seen as vain, self-centered and one as extremely domineering. Others could admire you, wishing they could be more like you, but they don't always trust you, hesitating to become too deeply involved with you.

51 to 60 Points: Others see you as exciting, highly volatile, rather impulsive personality; a natural leader, one who is quick to make decisions, though not always the right ones. They see you as bold as adventuresome, someone who will try anything once; someone who takes chances and enjoys an adventure. They enjoy being in your company because of the excitement you radiate.

41 to 50 Points: Others see you as a fresh, lively, charming, amusing, practical and always interesting; someone who is always in the center of attraction, but sufficiently well balanced not to let it go to their head. They also see you as kind, considerate and understanding; someone who'll always cheer them up and help them out.

31 to 40 Points: Others see you as sensible, cautious, careful and practical. They see you as clever, gifted or talented but modest. Not a person who makes friends too quickly or easily, but someone who is extremely loyal to friends you do make and who expects the same loyalty in return. Those who really get to know you realize it that it takes a lot to shake your trust in your friends, but equally that it takes you longer to get over it if ever that trust is broken.

21 to 30 Points: Your friends see you as painstaking and fussy. They see you as very cautious, extremely careful, a slow and steady plodder. It would really surprise them if you ever did something impulsively or on the spur of the moment, expecting you to examine everything carefully, from every angle and usually decide against it. They think this reaction is caused partly by your careful nature.

Under 21 Points: People think you are shy, nervous and indecisive, someone who needs looking after, who always wants someone else to make the decisions and who doesn't want to get involved with anyone or anything! They see you as a worrier who always sees problems that don't exist. Some people think you are boring. Only those who know you well know that you aren't.

Thank you! So, what do you think, was your assessment right? Care to share?!
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