The magic of Tepoztlan – 1

I think of the magical feeling that we as a family had felt in Tepoztlan, Mexico and the warmth returns to my heart. The cobbled stone pathways filled with people, cabs squeezing their way through the narrow clogged streets, quaint houses, happy people, ancient cathedral and  interesting stores.  The jewel in the crown, though is the ancient Tepozteco pyramid, perched on top of the mountain. At the start of the hike, the path was dotted with little stores selling pottery, colorful scarves, headbands, jewelery and food stalls – with women slapping the corn dough in their hands before flinging it onto a huge griddle to make tortillas.

People lazily ambling along the path, no one seemed to be in any kind of hurry to climb the mountain. The initial path was a cobble stone pathway and then the climb began winding through huge trees across the muddy knotty pathways varying from being moderately steep to really steep. I needed to take several short breaks to catch my breath. We met many people along the way, who greeted us with a smile asking…Indiano? followed by Hello or a Namaste!  There was a group of boys playing little drums and guitar as they continued their hike up the mountain. Halfway through the hike, I decided to take a break and let my husband and the boys move on, as I felt I had no energy or water left.

A lady sat next to me as her daughter and husband continued the journey upwards. She smiled at me and tried to strike up a conversation despite the language barrier. We kept smiling and nodding at each other, in agreement to being in a similar situation. After about 15 minutes, I found myself re-energised and decided to complete the hike, I bid goodbye to my new friend, as she flashed a huge smile and a thumbs sign at me as I moved on.

It wasn’t that hard anymore.  I hiked another half a mile before I went up a spiral staircase to reach the entrance to the sacred Pyramid. I found my family re-hydrating themselves with bottles of soda. I was glad to drink soda too, as there was no water, we went around the ruins before we finally made it to the main structure. It was shaped like a pyramid with about 20 – 25 steep steps, about 30 feet in length that went up at  90 degree angle up to the summit. The summit was flat and narrow with a width of about 20 feet.

At the summit, We saw a young charismatic guy trying to get his picture taken, while sitting in a yogic pose, he had a rudraksh mala in his hand for the added effect.  He smiled at us. We were intrigued, more so when we found out that his name was Krishna Jesus ( pronounced Yesu). He took a picture of our family at the summit. It was easy to talk with him and his partner, a pretty girl who smiled more than talked. As it turned out, they were at Tepozatlan to spend the new year’s eve together. His parents had been into Yoga and meditation which explained the uniqueness of his name. He talked about the high spiritual energy surrounding Tepoztlan and the pyramid. We invited them to join us at the spiritual  ( Spirit Voyage) concert, later that night to greet the new year. They seemed interested.

We went down the mountain at leisure, walked around the downtown area, ate some enchiladas and tortillas at a restaurant, the hostess and people in the stores were all extremely courteous and friendly. We strolled along the homemade snack stores and bakeries, strangely reminiscent of India.Then walked through a street market and went inside an ancient cathedral, it was breathtakingly beautiful and peaceful. We spent some time in the shade of the enormous trees….

Finally, we reached the resort around 7 PM, where we had spent the last 3 days, as a part of SatNam Fest. It was a spiritual and musical bonanza intertwined together, especially with all our favorite musicians right there. What better way to usher in the new year than by meditating in peace and tranquility while listening to highly spiritually charged shabads( hymns) & music.

Around 11:00 PM, an hour before the start of another new year, there was a tap on my shoulder, I turned to look it was Krishna and Pilor. It was so nice to see them, we shared some of our blankets with them, as it was getting cold and continued to enjoy the concert. Then just before midnight, everyone stood around the pool, with lit candles in their hands to usher in the new year. It was a nice little ceremony that we did with Krishna and Pilor by our sides. It felt special with an overwhelming feeling of connectedness to all the people and the surroundings. A feeling of a special bond with this young couple. We had no idea or the need to know who they were, what they did, may be they were college students or starting out fresh in life …none of it  seemed to matter…………….

On the way to Tepozotec pyramid
On the way to Tepozotec pyramid

mexico 2012 125

mexico 2012 147
The final …..little climb to the pyramid
The steep steps at the top
The steep steps at the top
View on top of the pyramid
View on top of the pyramid
Ancient cathedral
Ancient cathedral in the downtown area

Of Dogstail and GUGU

We were chatting at Starbucks, when Ciarra’s iPhone started buzzing. She looked at her phone and put it away. “What happened”, I asked her. “Why do people post negative comments with fake names?” she asked as she wrinkled her nose with disappointment. “Oh! they must be GUGUs” I said casually.

“What does GUGU mean?” she asked. I thought hard but couldn’t explain it, all I managed to say was, “It is a slang!” “In which language?” she wanted to know. Again, I had no answer. Was it in Hindi, Punjabi, Kannada or a word used in Bangalore – English? Even Google baba (Mr. know it all)  couldn’t help me this time. A cursory check on Google revealed an actress by the name GUGU.  I racked by brains further and tried to explain “It means someone who acts timid, subservient or rather cowardly!” She burst out laughing! “The commenters sure are GUGUs, and look at their names Dogstail and Pigsnout” It was tempting to reply them as “Catsfur” but I couldn’t do it. Although, I have replied to comments as “Anonymous.”

So would it be a good idea to ban “fake names” on the internet altogether? But then, considering how everybody (me and a lot of people I know) relish reading the comments even before we have finished reading the main piece, it would be devastating to not have any comments to read. As people would be less inclined to comment without being able to use their fake names/personas.

One time while conducting a “social experiment” of sorts, I realized that while having an interesting name like Anahita elicited umpteen comments in the internet world,  it got old in about a month, especially, the fake madeup details. While I enjoyed the ride, it felt unreal, and that was many years ago. So back to GUGU, am I a GUGU? when I comment as “Anonymous”, I think so! I try to convince myself that I would like to keep my anonymity or whatever is left of it, because it is so easy to track people down on the internet, that it is almost scary.

The last thing, I want is a comment made by me showing up on google even after 10 years, so I mostly stay quiet, does that make me even more of a GUGU? My boys can have the last laugh now! Wary of being called GUGU they would do anything, even if it meant asking for directions in a new town…..but they never realised the biggest GUGU of them all was sitting in their midst…As for the language of origin. Any ideas?

Liebster Award Nominations

Thank you so  much for nominating me K E Garland  https://kwoted.wordpress.com, for the Liebster award. I have enjoyed reading your posts as well.

Now I am supposed to  nominate 5 – 11 other bloggers

I would like to nominate 5 other bloggers whose blogs I have enjoyed reading!!!

1.  Quantum Hermit – https://fimnorawestcaw.wordpress.com

2. Scribbles to Compositions  -https://awritershelper.wordpress.com

3. REVolving –  https://revrevolving.wordpress.com

4. Plato’s Groove – http://www.platosgroove.com

5.  Lovely Reflections – http://LovelyReflections.org

Here are my questions for you…..

  1. How did you pick your blog’s name?
  2. What is the most delicious food you have ever eaten?
  3. Which is your favorite book?
  4. What are three things you cannot live without?
  5. Who is your favorite fictional character?
  6. What is your favorite quote and by who?
  7. Describe yourself in three words.
  8. What is your guiltiest pleasure?
  9. What single quality do you most appreciate in people?
  10. Which was the prompt you liked most in  #writing101?
  11. What’s your favorite post that you’ve written? (Link, please!)

Now KG’s Questions (first answer that pops into your head and then explain):

1. Plastic or paper?
Paper – because there is a lot of plastic accumulating in the oceans. The last time I heard it was the size of Texas!

2. Book before movie or movie before book?
Book before movie, Books are almost always better than the movies. But I saw –  Gone Girl, Life of Pi, Maze Runner & Divergent  before reading the books, and may never read the books.

3. Oprah or Ellen?
I like them both, but hardly watch TV. The last time I saw Ellen was when she was taking a selfie at the Oscars. It has been ages since I saw Oprah!

4. Where do you like to write at home or outside?
At home, I like to write in the front room that gets a lot of the morning sunshine.

5. Married or single?
Married

6. Dog or cat?
None, I haven’t had any pets ever! Although my son always talked about having a cat and taking it for a walk just like a dog.

7. Healthy lifestyle or who cares?
Healthy lifestyle I think.. when I am not lazing around or writing ( another way to laze around)… I go hiking and like to cook food that is healthyand wholesome

8. City or Suburbs?
Suburbs for now, a nice place to retreat to after the energy of the city

9. Limited choice or complete freedom?
Complete freedom of course ! but I am realizing the need for a routine and discipline

10. Rainy day or snowy day?
Rainy day – the smell of the earth is the best smell in the world.

11. Writing on a device or writing by hand?
Writing by hand –  the flow of thoughts is much better

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Blogging Day# 20 Treasure – An assortment of little pin wheel squares…

Day Twenty: The Things We Treasure

Today’s Prompt: Tell us the story of your most-prized possession.

Today’s twist: We extolled the virtues of brevity back on day five, but now, let’s jump to the other side of the spectrum and turn to longform writing.

I think of my most-prized possession, I draw a blank. I think harder and realize, I have many, in fact so many that I couldn’t possibly talk about them all. So, I look around the room and find one. It is one of my many prized possessions…

Continue reading “Blogging Day# 20 Treasure – An assortment of little pin wheel squares…”

Blogging Day#18 – Pattee & her Brigadier son

Day Eighteen: Hone Your Point of View

The neighbourhood has seen better days, but Mrs. Pauley has lived there since before anyone can remember. She raised a family of six boys, who’ve all grown up and moved away. Since Mr. Pauley died three months ago, she’d had no income. She’s fallen behind in the rent. The landlord, accompanied by the police, have come to evict Mrs. Pauley from the house she’s lived in for forty years.

Today’s prompt: write this story in first person, told by the twelve-year-old sitting on the stoop across the street.    Today’s twist: For those of you who want an extra challenge, think about more than simply writing in first-person point of view — build this twelve-year-old as a character. Reveal at least one personality quirk, for example, either through spoken dialogue or inner monologue.

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I was sitting on the verandah and mulling over my predicament, at twelve, I was too old to play tag with my buddies – who were all atleast four to five years younger than me. Once upon a time, I was  their leader, I had to decide what games would be played – tag, hide-n- seek, hopscotch or ring toss among many other games.

Continue reading “Blogging Day#18 – Pattee & her Brigadier son”

Blogging Day #19 – Rhubarb & more……

Day Nineteen: Don’t Stop the Rockin’

Today is a free writing day. Write at least four-hundred words, and once you start typing, don’t stop. No self-editing, no trash-talking, and no second guessing: just go. Bonus points if you tackle an idea you’ve been playing with but think is too silly to post about.

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So here is my post, free writing, no editing – no looking back – no correcting the typos …….I love free writing I can tell…….

It is a beautiful day, as if to make up for the beautiful day, the wind decides to show its presence and the rain decides it does not want to be left far behind. So, here we have the wind and the rain, a perfect ending to a beautiful day. The garlic is sprouting, I have a ton of rhubarb, that I don’t know what to do with.

Continue reading “Blogging Day #19 – Rhubarb & more……”

Blogging Day# 17 – Scared me then, Scare me now

Day Seventeen: Your Personality on the Page

Today’s Prompt: We all have anxieties, worries, and fears. What are you scared of? Address one of your worst fears. Today’s Twist: Write this post in a style distinct from your own.

A strong gust of wind; a play of dancing shadows,

I hear a tapping on my window, was it just the wind?

Continue reading “Blogging Day# 17 – Scared me then, Scare me now”

Serially lost – Part 3 ( Melting Snowman)

“Nothing Lost Nothing gained.”  When we are little, we are happy to play Hide and Seek – the game of lost and found, when we grow up we continue to play the game, although with an added flavor of “awareness” that shows up once in a while. Farewells feel like losses, new friendships feel like gains and life goes on between the game of Hide and Seek or Lost and Found.

Continue reading “Serially lost – Part 3 ( Melting Snowman)”

Blogging Day #15 – Dilemma & more than 50 shades of gray

Today’s Prompt: Think about an event you’ve attended and loved. Your hometown’s annual fair. That life-changing music festival. A conference that shifted your worldview.

Today’s twist: While writing this post, focus again on your own voice. Pay attention to your word choice, tone, and rhythm. Make sure it sounds like you.

This is perhaps, the hardest prompt for me, I wish I could talk about one life-changing event, but can’t think of one. ” A fair or a music festival that I enjoyed”, well plenty! in fact, too many to count. This prompt feels like a sequel to the serially lost/found part three to me. Obviously if somebody evil were to take away something important or precious to me I would feel like I had lost something profound, and yet hope to find some meaning in the loss. I would feel miserable, sad and angry, all at the same time.

Continue reading “Blogging Day #15 – Dilemma & more than 50 shades of gray”

Blogging Day #14 Dear Interesting

Day Fourteen: To Whom It May Concern

Today’s Prompt: Pick up the nearest book and flip to page 29. What’s the first word that jumps off the page? Use this word as your springboard for inspiration.  Today’s twist: write the post in the form of a letter. T

Typing on my mobile with my thumb… the challenges and the conveniences of technology…. Dear Interesting,

I miss you! Where are you these days? I grew up listening to your stories. They were never boring…even when the king and queen died, I found you there! Even when I had listened to a story told over and over again, I found you there! You were my companion when I read the adventures of Fatty and the girls in the Malory towers, in books by Enid Blyton. I found you easily when I was a child.

Continue reading “Blogging Day #14 Dear Interesting”

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