Their Gifts

Mentor

One bright Saturday afternoon in May, Hans leans over his desk, neck craned, eyes blinking and takes note of everything his teacher Ms Wilson says. Besides him friend Lora and Doug are staring straight, vacant eyes. Liz on the other side sits silent. Dan is nodding his head as if he understands everything that Ms Wilson says. In the middle of the lecture, Ms.Wilson stops at Hans’s desk, smiles. “ Only take note of the important points.”

Hans stares back. In his mind this is funny, in English everything is random. In the preparatory class sometimes his teacher would say, “Here are the rules about preposition,” and then,three minutes later, “But remember when it comes to writing there are no rules!”

The contradictions are slowly driving him crazy. He has to prepare for the fill-in the blank of the critical reading section, has to memorize the vocabulary list, make flash cards.Then Ms. Wilson walks over to the chalk board and writes, “Follow the grammar questions.”

Hans sits with his mother at the dining table and vocabulary swims in his brain, letter jumping in and out of line.

“What are you thinking.”his mother says. “Be in the moment.”

“I am too tired.”
“Why?” She lays the spoon on her plate. “ Hans, You are not doing anything wrong, wrong things or wrong crowd of friends? She asks pushing her loose curls out of her eyes.

Hans laughs.

“Be respectful!Do you know that you have to score real good to get into a good university?”

His father who was listing to the whole conversation in the living room appears at the dining table. He pulls a chair and joins them. “I studied hard, got scholarship to go to Standford. It is not that easy.” He takes a spoon full of lentil soup. “ So concentrate on your studies.So how is your practice classes going?” he takes a gulp of water from his glass.

Hans finishes his vegetables and raises his head. “ Ms Wilson is good in explaining everything. I am thinking , may be I should take a gap year first before going to college.”

His mother chokes on her food. “ Gap year! From studying?” she asks.

“I heard some of my friends take time off, like travel, or think, whatever.. He regrets of saying wrong words although he meant something different. He is waiting for his father to shout at him. But instead his face brightens. He laughs hard. “Your whole life is a vacation. You have not done anything like the other kids in your school. We have worked hard our whole life to provide you all the comfort,best education,tennis lessons, violin classes, boy scout..” His father pushes the chair and leaves.

Hans sits on his chair. He likes science, good in literature, history but he is the average student. His report card always stays on B-plus. He finishes his dinner and retreats to his room. The room has baby blue walls and the walls have pictures of him playing violon, or tennis.His desk is full with books and binders, papers tumbled, school pictures. His mother knocks at the door and walks in. “ Hans, what is going on?” She arranges herself on a chair, her knees towards the bed.

“ You are special kid.” She says carefully. “ If you try, you can do much better. You have all the talents in yourshelf.Confidence is very important!” her voice is now firm and emphatic.

“What do you mean? I am just an average student.” he asks.

“ It is fine but if you work hard, you can get good scores too! Now go to bed early and early morning you can practice for your test.” She pushes the chair back to leave.

In the following week, on saturday, Hans was the first one in the class. He approaches Ms Wilson’s desk. “Excuse me. Ms Wilson,” he says. “ I would like to know the tricks to master the SAT score.

“Tricks?” she puts down her pen and looks up, blinking behind her glasses. “ Well, you have to know all your stuff or at least try to memorize them or have a sense for it.”

“Like?”

She leans forward in her chair. “ Today after the class I will look at your practice answer shit and after that I will be able tell you how to proceed further.”

“Thank You.” Hans says.

He is happy to see his friend Meg next to him in the class.She has an oversize pink shirt and big hoop earring. She is always very confident. Hans decides to ask her on some tricks to improve his test score. “Sure, I will tell you if you come with me to our temple.”

“When?”

“Tomorrow.”

Hans meets his friend at her temple.He removes his shoes, socks and sits besides Meg and watches as she places her palms on her knees and closes her eyes.

“There is nothing but this moment,”the guru said. “We will close your eyes and feel the universal love move through us. Let go of all your worldly thoughts, just observe them coming and crashing in your head one after another.”

Hans squeezes his eyes shut. The rug they sit on is old but has beautiful oriental patterns all over it. Hans listens to the silence. All his anxious thoughts on different subjects appear one after another in a long line, sometimes they even cut the line and appear on the front.He oserves them in his mind’s eyes. After twenty minutes he hears Namaste. He opens his eyes. The people bow and stand.

“What do you think?” Meg asks him as they walk into the open air.

“ Very relaxing! The thoughts of scoring high is still there, but it is not that stressful anymore.” he glances at Meg. “Thank you for the tip.”

 

A few lovely things in Life

Almost

Can you believe this! Anne leans closer to the cold window and looks at the front yard. All the trees, mailbox, lawn are covered with snow and it is almost seven-foot of snow.

“ I am telling you it is global warming. It may be a fake news or not a science after all for our president but it is the reality.” The nature suddenly has awaken form its torpor and unleashes the worst snowstorm in living memory. O’my! She is cursing the cold in her small,old,one story brick house. They get snow every winter but not type of Siberian winter which has struck Erie, Pennsylvania in error. Snow is always pristine from distance. Her basement, largely below street level and has poor heating. Snow is alway a nightmare. But Anne loves to do her morning yoga and meditation there. The frost-covered glass impedes light from entering through the small window and the inside gloom is hardly dispelled by the naked bulbs dangling from the ceiling. The basement has only the essentials; one long beige colored sofa, a thick oriental rug to cover the floor and a small wooden table with two chairs on both sides. Anne has her yoga mat, exercise balls and barbels in one corner of the room. She loves the quietness of the room.

The storm begins on Wednesday with a heavy snowfall followed by a fierce squall that lashes the streets. The forces of wind causes trees to bend and freezing weather kill many birds who has forgotten to migrate, fooled by the previous month’s warmth. A state of emergency is declared. Most of the offices, library and a few department stores are closed, although it would have been an adventure to visit the stores for Christmas shopping or to buy something special for the New Year’s eve party. Anne does not have to go to the university, so she takes the advantage of unexpected freedom to decorate her house elaborately for the upcoming New year’s eve party. She has arranged all her beautiful collection of clocks on the mantel as a countdown decor, has folded colored paper cubes to make decorative strings of lights, has taped giant confetti to her bare stone wall in the front living room.

“ Hopefully, all our family members and friends will make to the party.” She opens the thick wooden blinds from the window and glances outside. It is still snowing. The two tall red pine trees in the front yard of her neighbor’s house are almost covered in snow. She spots their puddle running around in the snow wagging her small black tail.Anne hears her husband Richard’s footsteps in the kitchen.

“ Good morning! You have already started baking!Let me know if you need any help.” he turns round and opens the back door to let the dog out. “Wow! Look at the snow! And it is still snowing! It is like the North Pole in here.” The bitterly cold wind fills the kitchen. He comes back into the kitchen closing the door. “ For the love of God, turn the heating up, don’t be so stingy.” Richard increases the thermostat and returns to the kitchen . “ A hot cup of strong coffee will do miracle.”  Richard makes coffee and takes a sip. “ This is wonderful! He walks towards the kitchen window and glances outside towards the snow.

“ I am not sure if guests will be able to drive here. Look at the snow fall.”

“ Let’s keep our finger crossed.”

“ I have an idea. We should prepare some healthy stuff for this party. Like sautéed Brussels sprout,avocado salad roll ups, Stuffed mushroom with feta cheese, garlic.”

“ We have most of the items and let’s go through the list first before adding up more items. I have already made green pea soup with carrot and celery, Mexican spicy corn bread and zucchini chips.”

“ That sounds wonderful. Hey, do you remember that tonight is Nora’s performance in  Warner?”

“ Yes, I do and we will try to make, it but we have to check if the theater will open tonight.”

Anne leaves the room to get her cell phone and confirms that it will open just one hour before the play starts.

Nora is Anne’s adopted daughter. She was five years old when they adopted her.She is the best gift in Anne’s life. Anne had all the fun with Nora helping her in homework, making school projects, playing Barbie, building legos, riding bicycle. Nora has given her the happiness that she will never find anywhere else in life. Nora is always gets lost in the maze of a feverish imagination and boundless curiosity, constantly wearing her heart on her sleeve, weeping for suffering humanity and mistreated animals. Anne has helped Nora several times in rescuing animals. And Nora always love to act. She has worked in school dramas, college plays. Theater arts is her favorite subject. Tonight, seventeen years old Nora plays the role of Mary and Nick her best friend, plays the role of gorgeous George of the story “It is a wonderful life”- a Christmas comedy-drama  based on the short story ‘The Greatest Gift’. “ In the story,they are both optimistic,innocent idealistic. George dreams big and is driven by a thirst of adventure. But he sometimes misses the truth what is right in front of him that Mary, the prettiest girl in town, is destined to be the great love of his life. Nora loves the story because it teaches loyalty and devotion. George Bailey is the poster boy for loyalty. He is epical loyal to his family, his business and to Bedford Falls. While they are practicing in the back stage Nora suddenly stops.

“Come on bring the words to life and give them more emotion.”

“Fancy talk. I don’t know how to.”

“Imagine that you are telling a story to a friend and he wants to know every detail of the story.  You should tell with some emotion, more details.”

Nick nods.

Richard gets out of the house and shovels and tries his best to clear the snow from their driveway. Around five in the evening they set off in their Lexus, travelling twelve miles until they reach downtown theater district.The road is slippery and hard to drive. The car headlights reveals a desolate cityscape as Richard drives cautiously, peering out through the semicircle free of frost on the windshield.The streets seems like those of an unknown city; for a minute her thinks he is lost,even though he has taken the route so many times before. Time seems at a standstill. The hum of the heating blower and the relentless back and forth motion of the windshield wipers give the impression that the car is suspended in a heavy fog. Anne from the passenger sit sighs.

“It is so dark! Drive slowly. The roads are so slippery!” Anne turns her face towards Richard.  “  It is only for Nora’s sake that we are coming. We can not see her sad.”

“ I understand. Don’t worry.” He concentrates in driving.

It is almost six thirty when they reach at the theatre. The parking lot is full.

“It is surprising to see all these cars!”

The decoration inside the building is mesmerizing! The room is full, instead of roadblocks and snow storm. The whole family took the front row straight across.The show is a huge hit. Anne hugs Nora after her performance. Nora looks very pretty with broad shoulders, a long neck and sparkling, spinach colored eyes. Her strapless blue chiffon dress with narrow chiffon ruffle neckline is breathtaking.

“ Both of you did  such a wonderful job! We loved your acting!”

“Thank you mom. I am glad that everybody came to see the play in this severe weather.”

“ This is your first performance on stage and we could not miss that. I can say confidently that It will be a promising new year for you.” Anne laughs hugging Nora.

 

 

 

 

My grateful heart to a perfect hero

Perfection

Meteors let go past the sliced moon in the pockets of a dark pulsing  thundered. No one can say how long it will rain. But the five years old girl is determined to find him. She has not moved from the left side of the car window .Her anxious eyes are glued to the glass, hoping to see her special person on the side of the road, may be in another car. She sighs. I hope he is safe. Her uncles and aunt waited for a long in the airport even after the last passenger picked up her luggage  but he was not there so they decided to return to the hotel. Suddenly the little girl’s penetrating gaze comes to rest on a familiar face inside a navy blue cab on the left. All the cars have stopped on the red traffic light. Immediately she rocks in a happy rhythm and her pale face flushes. She swipes the stray hair from her forehead to one side and screams. “ I found him! Open the door. Stop, do not move.” The driver, both her uncles and the aunt roll down the rain-soaked windows at the same time and look through the window. Their excited voices fly sharply towards the driver. “ Driver honk the horn and pull the car to the curb”. Yes, after a long drive in an overly crowded city in heavy rain they find the special person.

Suddenly the world is perfect and the little girl Sue is in paradise. The special person is Sue’s grandfather who returns from his trip from America. Sue and her grandfather open doors of their car and the cab at the same time, and run towards each other. The special person is Sue’s grandfather. Her grandfather lifts Sue from the road and swings her around. Sue wraps one hand around her grandfather lovingly, while wipes her tears with the palm of her left hand.Then they both laugh an absurd but charming laugh and hug each other at the same time.

Sue’s grandfather is not only a rich business man but also at the same time a publisher,a writer,  a very intelligent, honest warm-hearted simple person. Sue is the second eldest among the fifteen grandchildren. Everyone in the family, in the friend’s circle know that  Sue is her grand father’s favorite. One late afternoon in June, the sun is out of control. Sue tries her best to color the flowers brightly on a coloring book but the sweats drip down from her forehead and makes it hard to concentrate. She lifts her eyes from the book at the shrill sound of the bell on the  front door and the barking of the dog. As she opens the heavy oak door, the delivery man from the nearby convenience store smiles.“ Your grandfather has sent these for you.” He says and hands her the basket . She can not carry that heavy basket so she opens it right there at the doorstep. O’ grandpa you are the best! , Sue claps and giggles at the sight of the cold drinks and ice-cream inside the box. Her grandfather knows the perfect time to send the right stuff to his grand-daughter.

As the time passes Sue’s interest grow more and more into reading. She loves her grandfather’s elegant study room. The long rectangular room is stocked with walnut furniture and a renaissance bookcase of an ancient oak full of literary fictions, non-fictions, poetry. As if the heaven is right there in that room. In every summer the new collection of books come and decorate the book shelves.  Sue curls up on a chair with her favorite book. Delight blooms on her small face.

In some evenings after supper Sue sits with her grandfather on a couch. His speech is always pretty to hear. “ Do you know that your body carries language within it; a timeless seed of meaning.” He would continue. “ It is the outward manifestation of your inner being. So it is very important to be a good human being. Practice from now-be honest, truthful, help others, respect others.” Sue is almost nine and enjoys every bit of the wonderful time with her grandfather.

One summer afternoon. The  fourth year college final exam result appeared in a letter, Sue was disappointed.  She drops her head until she could see the reflection of her unhappy face in the polished surface of the table. In that night she lay wide-eyed for an hour on the bed but could not sleep so she walks into the open terrace and stands in the gathering darkness. As the night darkens the Milky Way spread like powdered glass above the head. She hears a heavy footstep from behind. Her grandfather appears. “ Come, sit here on the chair. I know you tried your best. But never give up,” he said, “ No matter what. There is always a road out. Try again and you will be successful.”  Sue could not see his face in the dark but guessed he was really concerned. Sue wipes her tear and hugs her grandfather. He is always  a hero for Sue.

Smiling at the memory, Sue moves closer to the widow, Just like the days her grandfather and she used to watch the stars in the night. The flashing silver stars wiggle, illuminated by a cheddar-yellow moon. Sue lifts her eyes. “Thank you grandpa for everything. Happy Father’s Day!”

 

Treasure

Childhood

Leaning upon the ship’s rail, the captain breaths deeply, her lips part slightly as though she could drink in the fresh wind that billows the sail.The  morning sun dances on the water. The captain looks up to the sky. “ A day like this is a special gift.” She says clasping her hands behind her back. “ Do not worry we will find the sea monster.” The captain is  six years old Arushi and her friends are her cousin brother Anup and his little sister. She wants to be Dr. Aronnax, the renowned scientist of the  story ‘Twenty thousand leagues under the sea.’ They are on the fourth floor of there grandfather’s house which accumulates one foot of the rain-water in every rainy season and it stays for one or two days. Arushi has arranged a long,flat wood which will work as their ship.In those days their were no TV or computer so make belief games are their only option. Her four years old cousins clap and shouts, “ Look, Dolphins! Not one but two!”Arushi adjusts her cap and deepens her voice. “ Dolphins are good signs.” She says, that means we will capture the monster.

Around eleven in the morning they return from their voyage. Their faces are little tired from the adventure but satisfied.

The morning sun falls across the long rectangle wooden table, touching a brass vase of homegrown flowers there and scatter pages of the newspaper on Arushi’s grandfather’s hand.A gorgeous smile lit on her face as she leans forward. “ Good morning grand pa!.” She says in a pleasant voice pulling the chair closer to the  table. “ Do you know that  we went underwater, visit an island and saw lots of beautiful fish and different types of rocks. But there was no fight,just a twist at the ending.”

Her grandfather laughs.“ I am glad that you had a wonderful time under the water. Now go get ready to visit the bookstore.”

“I will.”

Arushi and her grandfather walk to their bookstore, not too far from home. On the way, out of her trail of her eye she spots an old woman on a bench. One leg crosses over the other and her foot swings rhythmically. Her big yellow purse sits on the bench a slight distance from her as though it is her companion. She stares straight ahead, seemingly lost in memories. Is she lonely? Arushi mutters and then stops on the middle of the road. “Grandpa wait.”

She runs towards the old woman with a delicious smile. “ Hi, do you need any help? Why are you sitting here alone? Where is your granddaughter and kids?”

The old woman adjusts her eye glasses on her nose. Her pale face flushes.“ I do not have any grand-daughter. I am taking a break from walking. It is so hot out there. I have to walk to a nearby shelter to eat and rest. You go ahead.”

Arushi runs back to her grandfather. “ I am tired of eating ice cream everyday,so can I give that money to the old woman? She is humgry and she does not have anyone to help her.” Arushi pushes her curl black hair behind her ear with one hand while she stands on her toes and whispers “ Even I think she can not see properly. That is really sad!”

Her grand father looks at her face lovingly and understands. “ Yes, it is sad.” He takes out a few coins and says, “ Go give this to the woman.”

A few years have passed.

Now Arushi is in fourth grade. She loves reading. Nothing disturbs your thoughts, she says. “ The hour passes without moving, you walk through the landscape you see in your mind’s eye and your thought caught up in the story, stops at the details or rush through for the plot. You pretend you are the character and feel it as your own heart beating. She slid into books like a seal into water. Her parents think she spends too much time in reading story books and not giving enough attention to her math subjects.

One late afternoon Arushi returns from school. As she enters through the front door, she glances the familiar stage. Her father holds a book but reads the empty spaces and close to him on the sofa her mom knits and hums like a tea-kettle. Arushi steps in. “ Hey!”

Immediately her mother opens a smile like a lightning and says, “ There is a surprise for you but it is for your benefit. We have asked one graduate student to come here to help you in math.”

“ What?” Arushi says adjusting the navy backpack on her hand.

She hears her father’s deep voice. “ It start from today.”

Now what?  Arushi thinks to herself.She hates math.

The teacher comes sharp at seven. They introduce each other and sits on their chairs facing each other. First day and lots of expectations.

This continue for a month.

At the beginning of the second month,something happens on a Saturday.According to the tradition tea and snacks are served to the teacher. Arushi tries her best to concentrate on math but her mind is in the half-finished story ‘The Prisoner of Zenda’.  A brilliant idea flashes on her mind.

She leaps forward, opens her ink pen and drops the ink to the tea.

Her math tutor watches in disbelief. He stares with large astonished eyes.

“ You are not supposed to behave this way!”

Arushi shakes her head. She says while twisting the cover of the black pen in her hand, “ I do not want you to come and teach me math. I want to finish reading my books. I can learn math by myself. I have tried to explain so many times but could not. May be if I act strange then you will understand. Sorry. Please let my parents know that you do not want to teach.”

He sits quietly on his chair for a while before he leaves. Arushi knows that it is not a best thing but the attraction of her story books are stronger. She stares at the closed-door and sighs.

Arushi crosses and uncrossed her legs. She sits with both elbows on the desk, rubs her forehead, then keeps one hand on each side of her face. She has to make up a story for her parents and it should be the best.

 

“The older I grow the more earnestly I feel that the few joys of childhood are the best that life has to give.” Ellen Glasgow

 

Slightly Invisible

Imaginary Friend

People  disappear, reappear, lose each other and suddenly find each other.

It happens again in October.   Daisy settles herself on the garden chair and dangles her feet ,enjoying the sensation of her ankles flopping loose in the breeze with the book The Orphan Train on her hand. She tries to concentrate on the story, when a heart-shaped face with bright brown eyes and a pleasant smile appears on her side. Daisy turns her head.The other one sits close to her with her hands on her lap folded upon her light blue dress. Her hair loosely black and hang down to her nape, are scattered over her shoulder. Her impressions are numerous and they are all reflected in her clear knowing smile. She breaks the silence. “ It has been a long time! Are you happy to see me back?”

Daisy smiles warmly. She uncrosses her legs, leans towards her friend. “ Yes, I am delighted to see you here.” Her voice leaps up extraordinarily strong. Daisy continues. “ It is a little lonely after the children left, and somedays it is so quiet that it feels like the house hums itself.”

Yes,her friend replies nodding her head. “ How about your other friends? Do not say that you do not mingle with them.” She raises her large astonished eyes.“ What about writing?”

Daisy pushes her curly hair behind her ears and says twisting her ring on her finger, the golden one  with tiny flowers bud on it, the one she purchased with her daughter. She misses her. “ I love writing which happens only in the weekends. What about you? You look so energetic! How is your life?”

She smiles luxuriously and answers in a  thrilling voice as if each speech is an arrangement of notes. “ I am in love with my yoga routine and keeping myself busy with lots of charity works, music lessons, travelling.This time I am planning to go to Alaska and hike in Denali.You should come with us and it will be lots of fun. I remember clearly that you love hiking.” The air is alive with chatter and laughter.

Her friend looks around with astonishment. “You have not decorated your house! It is Halloween. I know how much you love to decorate and hand out candies to the children.” She looks at Daisy more closely as if to read something in her eyes.

Daisy leans forward and sighs. Her voice is quite grave now. She sits still, her hands motionless upon her lap.“ I used to but after both of my children left, I do not think it is fun anymore. We used to decorate together, buy treats, take turn in opening the front door and giving candies to the children and love their custumes.”

Her friend springs to her feet and pulls Daisy from the chair.“ That is very absurd! Children have to leave and start their own life and that does not mean that you behave as if the life ends.’” She reminds Daisy of her first encounter in one clear in a bright Sunday. “ It was a pretty day in one Spring. You were almost five and half. You left your grandparents house and came to live with your parents in another city. You were standing leaning against a tall tree and crying. your shoulders were shaking and hands clenched. Occasionally you raised your eyes to look at the book which  was a gift from your grandmother, then lowered your eyes. your eyes were brimming with tears as if your existence is dull like a faded garment. Then I appeared in front of you with a promise of friendship, hope and excessive joy. It was so much fun! So now I am here again. Let’s have fun together just like the old days before I leave.” She says more warmly with a delicious smile.

Daisy tips her head slightly and looks at her friend. There is a determination in her eyes. Happiness deepens in her. Everything at once seems gorgeous.Tonight they will make cup cakes, decorate the house for halloween and plan for their hiking trip to Alaska.

“A daily dose of daydreaming heals the heart, soothes the soul, and strengthens the imagination.”

Richelle E. Goodrich

Image result for image of imaginary friend

Simply Delicious

32 Flavors

A warm day in march, the first day of my Spring break. I return from school, open the front door and walk in. I go straight to see my mom. I like to talk to her about my school , friends and my homework. She is always a good listener better than my friends. She sits on the dining chair with a magazine in one hand and a cup of tea in the other hand. For her every part of a book is magic.She delights most in the exquisite words or descriptions that undulated across a page like any soft batter pouring into a pan. She tips her head slightly, lifts her eyes towards me, closes the magazine and says, ” O’ hello! How was your day?”

I drop my heavy Blue back pack on the floor, pull a chair with a deep cushion and sit close to her. I say breathlessly,”I had a busy but a very fun day in the school. I think the teachers in my class were in a cheerful mood because of the coming break.” I brush my a loose strand of hair from my eye, lean forward and say with excitement, “Can you imagine that I even do not have any homework. We should make a plan for a trip like Lisa’s family. How about we go to Alaska. I would love to see the bears and the whales. Can we go?”

My mom adjusts her glass on her nose, sips the tea and says warmly,” Well, we have to talk to dad and then together decide on a trip. Also I have planed some nice activities for this week, I think you may enjoy them too.”

Joy flashes into my heart, I feel  happy that we are going to spend time together, so I smile deliciously and reply,” That will be great.” In the evening after my friend left, I follow my mom to the kitchen. Mom arranges a lots of ingredients on the  granite kitchen counter. I get more curious. She brings a heavy stainless steel saucepan with black handle to the stove. I help her in bringing the milk and the heavy cream from the refrigerator. With a white measuring cup she slowly pours 3 cups of milk, one cup of heavy cream,  half tea-spoon of peppermint extract, two tea spoons of vanilla extracts,  two-third cups of sugar into the pan. I  stand on a stool, close to my mom and stir the liquid  in a low heat for ten minutes. I look at the pan. The white milk looks like a untouched snowfield, then it gets thicker and creamier. I take a deep breath. The silk sweet  heavenly smell of vanilla curls into my nostrils. The scent travels across the kitchen in soft , heavy waves filling the space with whispers of the kitchen. I stand close to the stove and watch. My mom bends and checks with a  wooden spoon to make sure that sugar has dissolved. She removes the pan from the heat, turns towards me and asks to bring the ice cream maker from the cupboard to freeze the liquid. We freeze that for two hours. It seems like  we have to wait  for a very long time,so I run to my room to get the Scrabble board game to play with mom. It is lots of fun. After two hours, mom brings out the partially frozen ice-cream, adds sliced strawberries, mangoes, peaches, cherry, pistachios to it  and then freezes again. It is hard to wait to eat the delicious, delectable,sweet.

That night  I had a real long but beautiful dream. I turn over sleepily on my bed greeting a patch of cold sun on  the glass pane of the window. The room is full of morning. I overheaard from the other room from my parents that it was Alaska. My eyes lazily roam my surroundings. Outside everything stirs gently in the soft breath of cold air; the trees, the bushes, the wild grass and a few birds skipping from tree to trree. I turn my head and glance at the beautiful mountains. Yes, we are going to climb the mountains ,play hide and seek with the black bears, the pretty polar bears and even  take a ride on the whales. Wow! It will be so much fun! After all the games they will get hungry so  I better pack my back pack with lots of  treats. My proper plans were reflected in a clear, big smile. The dream ended towards the end of our hike from the mountain Denali, after the game of hide and seek when the polar bear cubs left with their mothers, the whales disappear slowly under the water.

Next morning, after my visit to the library, the classical dance class and my one hour of  piano practice, I  was  very hungry. I did not want any of the healthy fruits that my mom always insists to eat. But I was ready to taste the bud thrilling ice cream.So I walk straight to the refrigerator. I open the doors slowly, take out the cover of the ice-cream. I take out one big scoop of the delicious icecream on a small white plate and settle myself comfortably on a chair. Mom walks in to the kitchen. She hands me a few slices of thin cut mango, peach, strawberry, chopped pecans, pistachios, then pours a few drops of caramel on the top of the icecream. I slowly take a spoon full of the amazingly, delicious creamy ice cream. I close my eyes and feel the heavenly taste, as it slowly enter to my warm mouth and melts. images (1)

My Angel

Twenty-Five

There are 26 letters in the English language, and we need every single one of them. Want proof? Choose a letter and write a blog post without using it.

Early Sunday morning. I play in the big farm the chasing game. I run after the big purple, pink, silver-tipped butterfly. I run through the field, jump the small bushes, then the big gate, then on the side of the road. I stop on the side. I look around and see lots of  small and big cars and trucks flying by. And the butterfly is not there any more. I look up to the sky to find her, then turn my head to both my right and left sides, but I did not see her.

O’ I think, she is tired and left.

I decide to turn back but cannot find the road to home. I am lost. I feel scared. I move to one side of the road, sit against a bush , my ears and tail drooping. I try to cover my small ears. I do not like the screeching sounds of the crazy vehicles. After some moments I see a  silver color car stop close to me. The door opens.I lift my eyes and see a medium height man with a black baseball hat. He has a small round face, big eyes, is dressed in a blue t-shirt and khaki pants.He bends towards me, puts his arm around me, lifts me up from the road and carries me to the car. He talks to me on a low, soothing tone and makes me calm. He  strokes my head and shoulder, puts me gently on the side seat, gives me something tasty from a crinkly bag. But I am scared. I miss my mom. I turn my head and rest it on my legs. He starts the car.

After a long drive, the car turns right  to a quiet street and stops in front of a big brick house. I try to stand and look out. My heart is thumping. He honks the horn. I see a small black-haired girl, her heart-shaped face smiling prettily. She bounces out of the house, her beautiful lilac dress dancing. She opens the car door, picks me up gently, kisses me and laughs. She turns around, says “Thank you dad for the Lovely surprise”. She brings me a small saucer of milk and treats. I hesitate first, then move slowly to sniff the saucer. I lift my eyes and look at her, just to make sure it is fine. I enjoy the delightful liquid and my tail start to broom the floor back and forth in appreciation.She nods her head and pulls me closer. My tail dances in the air, I move closer to the girl and lick her face. She calls me by the name Lucy. I run after her to the back yard. I stretch my front legs and look at the beautiful green grass and pretty colorful plants. She plays fetch.  I run among the bristling hedges. I see lemongrass along the ditches, red roses, sage and mint.I even get closer to sniff. It is lots of fun. I run to one corner of the garden, sniff the wet sand play with it casting it between my hind legs. I try my articulated bark and madly shake my small tail in the air.

The sky is getting dark. The birds are quiet, maybe snuggling against their mom to sleep. I am tired too. look around for my mom, she is not there. I feel suffocated and sad. I bend my head, feel like crying and sigh. She comes closer, holds me tight, kisses me and carries me to her room. She puts me gently in a small soft rectangular tan color bed on the floor and I lay there.She sits there besides me and reads a real big book in her hand. After a couple of minutes she closes the book  and scratches my back. I feel safe. I glance back opening one eye and give her a contented thump of my tail. My eyes close softy. I enjoy my beautiful dream of running around in the grass, barking and playing fetch.

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This is my writing without the letter W.

A Majestic Beauty

A Moment in Time

“Did you ever build a castle in the air? Here is one, brought down to earth and fixed for the wonder of ages.”

– Bayard Taylor.

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The last day of Emma’s visit to India was very delightful as well as a very pleasant surprise. Emma, her husband Aiden and her daughter Autumn reached their destination. As they were stepping down from the van, Emma noticed lots of small to medium size shops on both the sides of the road displaying different types of souvenirs, colorful bangles, silver and gold color anklets studded with stones, pretty dresses, saris, and various types of wall paintings. She adjusted her hair, then dug into her elegant tote for her sunglasses. She pulled out both the sunglass and a small tube of sunscreen. After re-applying  the sunscreen she reached over to give the tube to  Autumn. Aiden turned around and asked both Autumn and Emma to cross the road carefully as he was looking at the street. It was very busy and crowded with cars, buses, trucks, autos, pedestrians, stray dogs and, not to ignore the main boss of the street, the cows. Emma chuckled seeing the sleepy cows in the middle of the street and the desperate driver trying to scare the cows off of the street. She crossed the road with Autumn, and smiled to see the reaction on Autumn’s face. There was a long line for tickets and the security check. As they were entering through the main gate, Emma noticed that the outside noises slowly faded away, and then they were enveloped in to tranquility. She glanced at the beautiful main gate, a large three story high structure made of red sandstone. Through the crowd, Emma, her husband and Autumn made their way to a stone platform overlooking the ground and peered out straight to catch the glimpse of the majestic view and could not help but gasp at the sight that met them.

They stood breathless and mesmerized. At first sight, chills came upon them. Rising up towards the clouds, the magnificent monument pierced the blue sky. It looks like a delicate fairytale castle from a movie or a storybook. The stunning, captivating eighth wonder of the world, the famous Taj Mahal!

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Taj Mahal stands on the southern bank of Yamuna River, in Agra, India. It was built by Emperor Shah Jahan for his beloved wife Mumtaz Mahal. Mumtaz Mahal passed away after her fourteenth delivery, leaving the Emperor in deep sorrow. The Emperor decided to build an everlasting memorial for his cherished wife. His wife’s casket rests inside this monument. The mausoleum complex of white marble, built over more than twenty years with the hard work of 20,000 workers, portrays the astounding Mughal architecture. The glorious view of the mosque and the guest house on the sides, and most of all, the main mausoleum in the center with four minarets standing proudly at each corner.

Emma with Aiden and Autumn climbed down from the stairs and walked into the ornamental garden. They looked around and notice that the entire garden was divided into four parts with two marble canals studded with fountains crossing in the center and lined with Cypress trees and different flower beds. The garden seemed more lively with the birds flying overhead, the soft flowing water in the pool glinting in the sunlight and a light November breeze rustling gently through the trees. Suddenly Autumn stopped and showed her parents the raised marble lotus tank with a cusped and trefoil border in the middle of the garden. There are twenty four fountains adorning this pond from the four sides. Emma noticed that there was a big crowd around the pond. So they walked closer to the pool, bend down to look, and then stopped.  The reaction of the crowd was noticeable. Everyone was starting with their big eyes and mouths half open.  Emma adjusted her glasses, and then drew a breath, as she saw the beautiful reflection of Taj Mahal dancing softly on the pool water. Then she and her family slowly meandered through the garden looking at various flowers and different trees.  The garden ended at the base of the mausoleum.

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Emma and Autumn climbed up the narrow stairs to see the main chamber, the central dome which is framed by a central arch. Emma noticed how the central marble dome is planted on a huge white marble terrace that itself is centered on a high red stone base, topped by a large dome, arched balconies stacked on either side. Four minarets frame the casket, one at each corner forming a symmetrical design.  The chamber has false caskets for display, protecting the actual caskets of both Mumtaz Mahal and the Emperor which lay below at the garden level. Autumn leaned against the wall and took out her camera from her black handbag.  She was impressed with the geometrical design of the floor with the black marble inlaid in white, making it very pretty. Emma tried squeezing through the crowd to take pictures of the intricately carved marble screen around the caskets, but it was not an easy task. She moved away from there to the other end and tipped her head to look closely at the semi-precious stones forming twining vines, fruits and flowers inlaid delicately on the rest of the surfaces of the wall. And they too were very pretty and elegantly designed.

images (4)imagesIt was almost noon. Emma walked outside to the terrace to take a stroll. The white marble was dazzling in the sunlight. She opened her blue handbag, pulled out the water bottle for a sip, and then took out her sunglasses. The reflection of sunlight on the white marble was hard on Emma’s eyes. With the sunglasses it was easy for her to see the beautifully carved flower designs and calligraphy at the arched entrance to the mausoleum, while Autumn was busy taking pictures with her dad. Inside the mausoleum, Autumn was astounded to see the glittering globe with convex mirrors and chandeliers that hang from the ceiling, the beautiful walls which were embedded with calligraphy, floral designs, and carvings and inlaid with semiprecious stones. Emma overheard the tourist guide telling the group that how the shimmering white marble of Taj Mahal change color depending on the sunlight or moonlight hitting its surface and it looks more beautiful in the moonlight.

It was almost evening when Emma and her family finished touring the mausoleum. As they came out from the compound Emma looked back again to the divine beauty, an apostle of love and was delighted of having this magical tour with her family.

“It is the perfect pearl on an azure ground.”- Hodges.

Success through my eyes

If “failure is the condiment that gives success its flavor” (Truman Capote), how spicy do you like your success stories?The Spice of Success

Success and failure are closely related.Failure has been branded a taboo in our society. We need to understand that the elements of success are hidden in failure.Everybody who achieves unbelievable victories also knows saddening defeat. Failure is essential and even inspiring. “Develop success from failure. Discouragement and failure are two of the surest stepping-stones to success.”- Dale Carnegie.

I always notice that success correlates to power, money,possessions,fame.The term varies from person to person, from gender to gender. The definition of success is shaped by social and cultural expectations. Life is very precious and tomorrow is not guaranteed. For me success is like wrapping my life with love, compassion, generosity,gratefulness.And to make it spicier I need  more burning desire to experiment and explore which will help me to identify my inner strength and energies to discover the full potential . I want to live my life passionately spreading joy and happiness and continue my  persistent  journey for a spicier successful life.