ART PEACE

tapping the creative 'right' side of my brain

Himalayas – Badrinath

So, where was I in my Himalayan tour Part 1 – we reached Haridwar, took a cab to Sonprayag, took the back breaking horse ride to Kedarnath and trekked back. I was exhausted way over my limits, but the plan was to cross those limits and to push those limits and extend them🙂

Triyuginarayan Mandir

Triyuginarayan Mandir

This is Triyuginarayan Mandir, with Sumeru Parvat(mountain) in its backdrop.

Story : It is said that Lord Shiva’s marriage to Sati was solemnized here in the presence of Lord Vishnu. Legend has it that the eternal fire which burns inside the temple never extinguishes. This place is way off the track some 14kms trek from Sonprayag but you get a very beautiful view of the valley and the step farmings, the girls of this area were exquisitely beautiful – I had to mention them🙂

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View from the top – Sonprayag

Sonprayag lies at the confluence of the rivers Basuki and Mandakini. Somewhere there is also the hotel that we stayed in. Now we are headed towards Badrinath, fully determined to reach there by nightfall.

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Ohh… the scenic and beautiful valleys and step farms, as “Winter is coming” there were almost no tourists in the area which made our journey even more beautiful and relaxing, but there were no restaurants open too !!! YAY

Orange orchard

So we resorted to stealing some oranges from someones backyard, when they saw us – we begged for some oranges and finally they let us borrow some. Hmmm….. now I know what beg-borrow-steal actually means🙂

I was very adamant about getting to Badrinath on the same day, had no idea we would lose day light by 5:15 PM itself and the route would be scary -scary-scary. Somehow we reached … Thank God. The town looked deserted, everyone had left the town and moved down for the winter. We got a room, some hot water and hot food and finally called it  a day.

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This is the first thing I see when I removed the drapes in the morning, I had no idea we were in the middle of the great Himalayan range. Badrinath is 10270 ft above sea level.

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Our Hotel Yoga, Badrinath

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I gazed at the wrinkled and rough hewn nirvana quiet mountains with a sense of awe.

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Badrinath Dham

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Ohhh… I forgot to mention about the early morning not so pleasant experience, I got up – got amazed by the view – got back to reality – went into the bathroom – turned on the tap – no water – called the reception only to be told that the water may have frozen in the taps because of the low temperatures. Now I understand why people migrate to the hills during this season. We got two buckets of hot water to do what we had to do. This is the first temple in my life to which I went without taking a bath… hmmm

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Now look at this – is this a joke!!! A hot spring right outside the temple and the taps in the hotel are choking.

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By the time we came out my feet and hands were numb. I hope God is watching me and will reward me appropriately, and he did – the shack cafe – the only place open for breakfast, and the only thing on the menu was Maggi. Steaming Maggie with hot tea – that’s all I need for now🙂

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Mana Village – the last village on the on the Indian side of the Indo-China border.

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Vyas Panthi – This is where the great epic of Mahabharata was written

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Can you see the small stream, that’s the Saraswati River, it is still thought to be a mythical river – which no longer exists. Maybe it no longer exists in its full glory but hey!! its still there.

There are two versions of why Saraswati exists only in the Himalayas

The Story: According to the Brahma-vaivarta Purana: When Ganga-devi cursed Saraswati-devi to become a river here on Mrtyuloka(earth), one of the conditions was that she would only remain on earth as long as rishis and other great sages performed tapasya on her banks. Since we are now in Kali-yuga, there are no longer these great souls performing austerities, so she vanished.

The tour guide’s version: In the above picture we saw Vyasa Panthi – it is the place where Ved Vyasa was reciting Mahabharata and Ganesha was writing it down, Vyasa got disturbed by the gurgling sounds of Saraswati’s water and asked her to slow down. But she wouldn’t listen so he cursed her to go obscure. So today you can see Saraswati only here in the Himalayan region of Mana Village where she originates and after that she goes underground only to emerge at the Triveni Sangam in Illahabad where Khumba Mela takes place.

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Keshav Prayag – Confluence of Saraswati and Alaknanda

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Now it was time to leave the abode of gods and return to lower grounds where the devilish minds are at work.

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Karna Prayag – Confluence of Alaknanda and Pindar Rivers and the last of the panch prayags.

I was supposed to take a dip in these Panch Prayag’s to attain Moksha but given the temperature of 8 degrees Celsius I’ll have to find other ways of attaining Moksha.

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On our way back to Rushikesh we could see villages and towns preparing for Diwali – the festival of lights

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Rushikesh – situated at the foothills of the Himalayas, besides Ganga river. It is famously known as the place for studying yoga, meditation and for temples and ashrams. To me it looked like the whole town’s having a hippie party.

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River Ganga – view from Lakshman Jhula

Haridwar Rushikesh

Evening Ganga aarti at Haridwar – the mesmerizing chanting of the mantras during the beginning of the aarti was the best way of concluding this trip.

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Haridwar market place

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A short visit to the Patanjali Yog Peeth on our way back.

Next time I go to Himalayas, I don’t want to be time bound and just let my instincts guide me.

Om Namah Shivay!!!

Sva-vida

“The beginning of knowledge is the discovery of something we do not understand” – Frank Herbert
Acrylics on a 12" X 12" board

Acrylics on a 12″ X 12″ board

I am seriously running out of ideas, this the best I could come up with after months of break.

Lake Kailash Manasarovar

Kailash Manasarovar

One of the early acrylic works, trying to bring out the shades which didn’t seem to work that well.

OM Namah Shivay

Rajasthani Woman

“Perform all work carefully, guided by compassion” – Ved Vyasa                 (The Bhagavat Gita)
Acrylics on 16" X 24" canvas board

Acrylics on 16″ X 24″ canvas board

Festive

“Be as you wish to be seem” – Socrates

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Dance of nature

“Life is a dance of nature.” ― Toba BetaNature-dance

Himalayas – Kedarnath

So it’s the festival season in India, with Dussehra and Diwali coming back to back we decided to plan trips bag to bag.

The first one was to Gujarat – which I have already bragged about, the next one was to Garhwal, Himalayas which was a very spontaneous trip as we booked all tickets on the go…. during this trip we used all possible modes of transportation – flights, trains, local buses, luxury buses, three wheeler autos, rickshaws, ponies and our legs.

First stop Delhi, the capital – there is lot going on in the capital but the only thing that caught my attention was the sad plight of the birds as a result of the urbanization and deforestation.

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Delhi was just a stop over for change of trains after which we headed to Haridwar from where our actual journey begins to the magnificent Himalayas. We started from Haridwar to reach Sonprayag by evening, the whole 250 kms stretch is through the ghat roads – winding roads, meandering rivers, green hills and beautiful landscapes.

We will be going towards the source of the many rivers which fertilize the farmlands downstream.

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Shiva protecting the town of Haridwar

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Garhwal, Himalayas

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Devprayag– where the river Bhagirathi and Alaknanda meet to become Ganga

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This is the famous Dhari Devi temple in the middle of Alaknanda river – the local lore is that it houses the upper half of the body of the goddess Dhari which changes its appearance during the day from a girl, to a woman and by evening to an old lady. We didn’t stay to witness the transformation but enjoyed the beauty of the nature and took some amazing shots and pushed off.

OK, before I go any further I feel the need to mention one thing, this was more of a pilgrimage cum tourism tour for us, the whole area which is also known as Devbhoomi(place where gods live – and the locals do believe that they still live here in the mountains) is filled with so many temples and significant sites full of legends and folk lore that it was hard not to stop at each of these spots to admire its beauty and listen to the stories. I’ll be sharing a few of them with you too🙂

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Rudraprayag – confluence of rive Alaknanda and Mandakini

I couldn’t get a better shot here as there was a group performing final rituals for somebody who had passed away, so we just went to the temple near by and moved on from there. Story related to this place – Narada meditated and learnt music from Shiva.

We end the day with some sumptuous meal and went to sleep early.

One tip that I can give your here is: eat less while driving on ghat roads, the continuous movement of the car along the curve roads can be nauseating.

Day 2

Today we will start from Sonprayag to reach Kedarnath, fabled to be the abode of Lord Shiva. , this is a 18 kms trek. We were getting ready to trek but due to the cold climate and snow in the mountains opted for a pony ride.

The 4 hour long pony ride … Ouccchhhhh……..it still hurts my back when I think of it.

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This is what we- I mean the pony and me  :) had accomplished after 2 hrs.

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Looking down upon the rocky slope, I could hear the sound of the flowing and emerging waters which filled me with a peace I hadn’t felt in a long time.

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The final destination is somewhere there …. !!!

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Luxury in the lap of wild nature

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As pleased as I was, my pony was also pleased to have flat ground and turf before them. For us the journey is not yet over, we still have to cover over a kilometer to reach the temple.

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The dry river bed which emerges from the mountains.

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Kedarnath Dham – situated at the started point of River Mandakini

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Lone Ranger – the ranger is carrying parts with which they build houses up in these mountains. There was a better route along the river bank which got washed of in 2013 flash floods, so now until some other alternative is found these rangers carry the heavy wooden parts up the terrain.

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The descent down was another task in itself, it took us 6 hours by foot to finally reach base and God was I happy to see my comfy and warm bed.

OM Namah Shivaya

 

 

 

 

 

Gujarat, India

In this blog we will go to the beautiful, vibrant and culturally rich state of Gujarat, India. I have heard a lot about its growth and development models – which I did witness but apart from that I also witnessed the rich culture that they have held onto which I feel is missing in many other parts of India.

So coming back to the trip, it was a 2500 km drive.

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Pune – Mumbai Expressway goes through the Western ghats, the winding roads which takes you through 4-5 tunnels was a very good start for the trip.

And then came Mumbai – one of the busiest cities in India, we hustled ourselves out of the crazy traffic of Mumbai, best thing about India – you can just honk your way out of the traffic🙂

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As we were on the border of 2 states – the traffic scene didn’t just end after Mumbai, but now the competitors we the huge trucks, now here you don’t want to piss off the big fellows so you just quietly and articulately make your way out.

Our first stop – Vadodara, it was Navratri festival that day so we had booked tickets for viewing the dance festival.

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Navlakhi grounds

These are all local people who have dressed up for the occasion and not hired dancers.

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And in no time the whole ground was filled with people dancing in sync and in full zeal to the mesmerizing live music.

If interested you can watch a few videos I had taken here and here and here and here and here

taken from my shaky phone (I had no idea how the event would be else I would have at least freed up space in my phone).

Day2 – drive to Dwarika

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Look at those horns, you better not mess with them

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We share the road with everybody🙂

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The cows in India have the right to be anywhere they want and there is no debate on that🙂

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Dwarkadhish Temple,

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The point where the Gomati river joins Arabian Sea

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The street hawker who has all the marketing and management skills she needed and the colorful market place.

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And the journey continues

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The bridge we were supposed to cross Vs The bridge we crossed

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The local highway dhaba, this is a kathiyawadi gastronomical delight – all vegetarian (which makes me happy) and authentic taste which you will not get in any of those high priced imitation restaurants in the city and it is dead cheap plus served with smiles🙂, so I put all my manners aside and enjoyed my appetizing meal.

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There is a small bunch of flamingos in there, Indian bustard – an endangered species, some pelicans, herons and ducks, not much of a bird watcher so just clicked a snap for the record🙂

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Somnath Temple

Phone and cameras are not allowed inside the temple so will have to do with the long shots. If you go to Somnath you should not miss the evening aarti, the music – the drums beats are so transcendental.

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Gir National forest – 3 hours back breaking safari to see these and a few other of their relatives but no predators(lion or leopard).  We saw some lion poop and on analyzing that our guide concluded that the lion had a deer for his lunch … so yeyyy, I wouldn’t have mind seeing the lion in action – even if it was pooping.

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After a soul enriching trip we headed home.

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I’ll miss Kathiawadi food and hope to see you soon.

 

 

Wall mural – Indian music

“Music washes away from the soul the dust of everyday life” – Berthold Auerbach

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Music instrument: Dhol

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Music instrument: Tabla and Shehnai

Wall mural – Indian dance forms 4

“Happiness can exist only in acceptance” – George Orwell

This is a North Indian dance form – Kathak

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“Winning is only half of it. Having fun is the other half”  – Bum Phillips

This West Indian dance form is known as Garba.

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Wall mural – Indian dance forms 2

“Life’s a dance, you learn as you go” – J Montgomery

This is a East Indian dance form called Manipuri. I have brightened up the first image to showcase the glittery veil🙂

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Wall mural – Indian dance forms 1

“Do all things with love, passion and dedication!” – Patrick Driessen

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This is a South Indian dance form named Bharatnatyam. 

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Wall mural universe – completed

Yeyy… I am back !!! …. after yet another relocation and a whole episode of searching for an apartment – shifting and settling in …

It feels good to back on the web …. and on wordpress… never thought I would miss wordpress so much…🙂

So, I started this ambitious wall mural project back when I was home and getting bored ….

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I was supposed to fill up only the vertical walls …. but I got too ambitious and crawled onto the ceiling too …🙂

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Maybe next time we will find a different place for the refrigerator and fill up that void too …🙂

In today’s post I will share the mysterious universe I tried creating inside my home…. I am obsessed with the universe paintings these day  :)🙂

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The ceiling view

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The side view

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The burning sun – it looks far better in real

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The earth’s representative – the tree🙂

“Mystery creates wonder and wonder is the basis of man’s desire to understand” – Neil Armstrong

Monterrey, CA

Monterrey, California – One of the most beautiful places on earth. Its been 3 years but I can still feel the beauty and purity of nature in my heart. I just don’t have enough words to describe the feeling.

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I used to just sit there on the beach for hours watching the birds and staring into the vastness of the Pacific Ocean.

I wish I had a taken more photos, but one thing is for sure- you can not capture everything in a frame🙂, its the memories and the experience which keep the feeling alive.

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17-mile drive – which is again very scenic- I guess this is a view from pebble beach.

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Fisherman’s wharf

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 Elephant Seals getting a tan on the rock sea wall

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The historic Cannery row

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View from the Monterrey Aquarium

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Guess what’s this???

Parking lot🙂

PS: Do not miss Carmel Village Valley – for shopping, wine and coffee. I had the best coffee ever in one of those over crowded cafes, most of them are named just after Carmel – Carmel coffee, Carmel Cofe house, Carmel Cofe place ….

so I don’t remember the name, but that was the best dark coffee I ever had.

Indian dance forms- In progress

“Those who dance are considered insane by those who cannot hear the music.” ― Friedrich Nietzsche

 

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Second wall art in Progress -started on 22-Aug-2015, let’s see how much time this thing takes🙂

 

Reflection

“BECOME QUIETLY EFFECTIVE” – Swami Chinmayananda

Brahma

Brahma

Bali – Indonesia

I am no travel blogger but decided to share about all the adventurous – funny – frugal escapades that we have every now and then.

I’ll start with Bali- Indonesia, we went there for 3 day(which is not enough for Bali). We had an awful start, the hotel we checked into was not at all the same as we had seen in the pictures while we were booking it online and we had a little incident which scared the s**t out of us the very first night.

The incident- someone knocked on our room door at 2AM claiming it was housekeeping… they kept banging the door for 5 mins, demanding us (yes not politely) to open the door, we didn’t give in to their demands (good that we missed the other type of adventure). We called the reception – no response. The result – I couldn’t sleep… On reporting, the hotel told us it was some drunk guest. DRUNK — I never believed that.

So the scared tourists started their day by overeating at the breakfast buffet.

Our friendly tour guide, Agung was on time and hence started our 3 day marathon….

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Garuda Wisnu Kencana has some old and beautiful architectural delights

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Some wall graffiti

Padang-Padang beach

Padang-Padang Beach

Ulluwattu

Uluwattu – do see the Kecak dance which is one of a kind, but don’t expect it to be anything like the dance in the movie Baraka.

Tourists are not actually allowed to get inside the temple premises, but we accidentally ended up getting inside, after some confusion and howling the priest excused us and made us pray the Balinese way, that was some experience🙂

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Water rafting in Ayung River

Four reserved, calm and smiling people and one over charged guide, he made all the noise and got excited ..yeeehhh

I felt a bit sorry for him but that is the way I like to enjoy my rafting and maybe my German counterparts were in sync with me. We started rafting on a funny note:- our guide asks me “Are you on your honeymoon?” I say “No” and smile. Then he turns to the other girl on the boat and asks her the same question and she says – “He’s my dad”. So that was a funny and embarrassing way to start the raft. But I enjoyed the day. The tough part came after we finished rafting when he had to climb some innumerable stairs to get to our vehicle….hmmm

imagesdownloadMee goreng and Nasi goreng – my staple food in Bali as only these two can be made without meat.

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Tanah Lot temple for records

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Sunset at Tanah lot

(PS: carry your shorts or beach wear, even if you are going to a temple, you might just end up in a beautiful place like this )

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Food hunting and a walk near our hotel in Kuta

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Time to conquer Mt Batur, my first mountain trek, happens be a volcanic mountain which was just fuming out of frustration – it’s been decades this thing has erupted.

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The famous cat shit coffee or Luwak coffee – tasty, costly, caffeine free – hoping it was shit free too.

Ended the trip with a long afternoon nap and a relaxing Indonesian massage.

Time to get back to reality.

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Bye Bye beautiful Bali !!!

Pic credits: Naresh Saginala

Stay Cosmic

” The earth is what we all have in common” – Wendell Berry

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After two crazy months I finally got my painting time. I just started somewhere and this is what evolved. This painting inspires me to buy a telescope and see the real cosmos and planets out there.

Original Art for sale onhttp://fineartamerica.com/featured/stay-cosmic-prasna-velcheru.html

Blog awards #5

A huge thanks to Erika Kind, for nominating me for this blog award. Check out her blog on https://erikakind.wordpress.com/.

Here are the Rules:

* Display the Creative Blogger Award logo on your blog
* Nominate 15-20 blogs and notify all nominees via their social media/blogs
* Thank and post the link of the blog that nominated you (very important)
* Share 5 random facts about yourself to your readers
* Pass these rules on to them

the-creative-blogger-award

My nominations:

http://taniabrazil.com/

https://imageryoflight.wordpress.com/

https://dearkitty1.wordpress.com/

https://aamrits.wordpress.com/

http://poesypluspolemics.com/

http://dreambigdreamoften.co/

https://craigbottomley1.wordpress.com/

https://danakrystlepaintings.wordpress.com/

http://adamaskwhy.com/

https://artemismcgettigan.wordpress.com/

https://ourworldinpics.wordpress.com/

https://funwithlol.wordpress.com/

https://artbytres.wordpress.com/

https://weight2lose2013.wordpress.com/

http://dorindaduclos.com/

https://lucaramacciotti.wordpress.com/

5 Random facts about myself

1. I love being lazy but my mind never lets me.

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2. I have an adorable pet. His name is Bachi

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3. I love long hair but never had the motivation to grow it.

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4. I get rashes when I wear any metal except gold and platinum, nobody can cheat me with those🙂

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5. I am waiting for the monsoon to be over so that I can plan a trip.

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Blog Award #4

This one’s long long due, I would like to thank my very dear and patient friend merryfairy for nominating me with this blog award. I would like to thank her for all the motivation and kind words.

Check out her colorful and merry blog at https://merryfairy.wordpress.com.

encouraging-thunder

 

My purpose in blogging:

1) To share my work and thoughts with the world.

2) To connect with like minded people.

My nominations:

https://melissachahine.wordpress.com/

http://atrivialmindatwork.com/

http://lifeofadailypainter.com/

https://mazeepuran.wordpress.com/

 

The Rules:

• Post it on your blog.

• Grant other bloggers the award.

What you cannot do:

1. Abuse or misuse the logo.

2. Claim that it is your own handmade logo.

What you should do after receiving the Encouraging Thunder Award:

• Enjoy the award!

• At least give thanks via comments, likes and/or mentioning the blog that you received the award from.

• Mention your purpose in blogging

 

Shivi

“You can’t start the change unless you dare to be different.”  – Toba Beta

Shivi

“Shivi” is my figment of imagination, I wanted to write my own comic series and make her my superwomen. So until I do that, here I just want to dedicate this to all the woman in my life who inspire and motivate me to chase my dreams🙂

 

Blog Awards #3

This award is simple. I would like to thank Nirmala for the nomination.

The Premio Dardos Award exists to acknowledge the values that every blogger shows in their effort to transmit cultural, ethical, literary, and personal values every day. These stamps were created with the intention of promoting fraternization between bloggers, a way of showing affection and gratitude for work that adds value to the Web.

Thank you for recognizing and appreciating my blog.

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Here are the rules for this award!

1) Accept the award by posting it on your blog along with the name of the person that has granted the award and a link to his or her blog.

2) Include the image of the “Premios Dardos” in the post.

3) Pass the award to another 15 blogs that are worthy of this acknowledgement.

I would like to nominate the following 15 bloggers for this award.  Some of you may have a No Award Policy, however, this is to let you know that I truly love reading your blogs and look forward to reading more…!

http://lfhaller.com/

https://perferviddreams.wordpress.com/

https://voiceurmind.wordpress.com/

http://cookingwithteamj.com/

https://erikakind.wordpress.com

http://photopaulm.com/

http://taniabrazil.com/

https://voiceurmind.wordpress.com/

http://johnknifton.com/

https://japhethgolen.wordpress.com/

http://oilpastelsbymary.com/

https://niasunset.wordpress.com/

https://storinghope.wordpress.com/

https://badfish2.wordpress.com/

https://assiashahin.wordpress.com/

https://mindsetoverload.wordpress.com/

 

Madness

“Imperfection is beauty, madness is genius and it’s better to be absolutely ridiculous than absolutely boring.” – Marilyn Monroe

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Blog Award #2

Thank you dear Kitty for nominating me for the ” Real Neat Blog Award”. I really appreciate your effort for starting this.

real-neat-blog-award

Rules

  1. Put the award logo on your blog
  2. Answer 7 questions asked by the person who nominated you.
  3. Thank the people who nominated you, linking to their blogs.
  4. Nominate any number of bloggers you like, linking to their blogs.
  5. Let them know you nominated them (by commenting on their blog etc.)

Question – Answers

  1. Where do most visits to your blog come from? United States
  2. What is your favourite sport? Softball and bowling
  3. What has been a special moment for you in 2015 so far? I learnt swimming this year…. finally!!!
  4. What is your favourite quote? “Be faithful to that which exists within yourself” – Andre Gide
  5. What was your favourite class when still at school? Sports class🙂
  6. Anything you had wished to have learned earlier? Any musical instrument or a classical dance form.
  7. What musical instrument have you tried to play? Guitar, keyboard and now trying the flute(because it is easy to carry).

Now my turn; 

1. Why do you have a blog?

2. How many Languages can you speak?

3. What made you happy today?

4. What do you love to brag about?

5. What musical instrument have you tried to play?

6. Favourite comic character?

7. Do you believe in ghosts? Why?

I hope that you have fun answering all the questions as well as nominating others! If you do decided to do this, please link to the post in my comments enjoy and have fun!

As there is no limit for nominations here, I would like to leave the nominations open here, let me know in case you want to be nominated and I will put up your blog name here.

Cheers

Prasna

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