Thursday, May 25, 2006

Beautiful Places

Traveling has been good for me because it allowed me to see beyond my imagination. There are so many such places and I hope to add to the repertoire.

For example, New York City holds a special place in my life because it was responsible for opening my eyes and my mind in such a concentrated time span, that toughened yet humanized me – the education, the professional experience, the personal confidence that NYC has engendered in me has been life-changing.

Victoria Falls in Zimbabwe stays with me always. My family and I spent many a summer there and that will remain a highlight of my life. Victoria Falls was discovered by David Livingstone and named after Queen Victoria. But in fact this mighty falls existed before any discovery and was called “Mosi Oa Tunya” by the locals, meaning, “the smoke that thunders”. And it thunders, spraying mists of water for miles – feels like you are in the middle of a rainforest! It is the most powerful natural falls in the world and yet remains virtually untouched despite it’s tourism draw; powerful and perfect in its raw existence, never bowing to anything external…such inspiration! The significance of Mosi Oa Tunya/ Victoria Falls is personal and powerful to me – but actually it is simply beautiful and that is enough to be one of the most memorable place I have visited.

Côte d'Azur is dazzling! It has the irreplaceable quality of being both glamorous and serenely beautiful. The countryside is absolutely breathtaking and warm and natural with century old cobble-stoned pathways and lush green fields and vineyards – but go towards the beach and you are in for unmatched glamour and high flying spirit. Oh to have a serene and warm and sincere inner, and a glamorous outer.

What other locales should I add to my list of places I must visit? Turkey (Istanbul)? Brazil? Spain (Granada)? Maryland (Chesapeake Bay)? … ?? :-)

Ciao, Arividerci, Aufwiedersehen, Hasta Pronto – see you when I return!
(... till then, what are places that you have found beautiful? ... )

Monday, May 22, 2006

Some Road Somewhere. Any Road Anywhere

you choose the road description that fits the picture best :-)
high road, my road, connecting road, another road, crossroads, surprise road, straight road, come-what-may road (click on picture to enlarge) . They are all your roads - anywhere - so no right or wrong answers!









Friday, May 19, 2006

Flora Friday

As some of you have gathered, I am an avid academic. I really did love every day of high school :-) , and graduate school made me the person I am meant to be. So today when I had the opportunity to have a live lecture from a fantastic professor with an expertise on Plant Systematics & Phylogenetics, well I was right fascinated!

This is what I learnt:

(I picked up some exhibits - one must follow some scientific process afterall)
Exhibit A: birch leaf - the branch tastes like wintergreen - used to make birch beer

Exhibit B: notice the different shapes of the leaves from the same stem - one, two (like oven mittens), three. This is sassafras: smells delicious. It is of the same family as the avocado tress, cinnamon, and bay leaf. Interestingly cinnamon is indigenous to the Indian subcontinent, whereas sassafras is indigenous to North America

Exhibit C: honeysuckle - just a sweet pretty plant - my most beautiful fragrance

Exhibit D: wild roses - indigenous to Asia - and so pretty

Exhibit E: princess tree/ empress tree. Pretty purple flowers, light smell. The wood is white and very valuable

Exhibit F: black locust - beautiful fragrance, has thorns, grows on high trees, our ertswhile expert climbed the tree for this sample

wild grape vines are indigenous to North America (picture below is wild grape vine growing on tulip trees)
green plants actually have many colors, but the chlorophyll overpowers the other colors and thus we see the green. However, in the Autumn, when the chlorophyll is stripped away we see the other colors like red, orange, yellow

mangoes and poison ivy are from the same family - therefore some people are allergic to mangoes (not me - I love mangoes)

tulip trees are from the same family as magnolia and are indigenous to North America

tulip tree (to the left)
magnolia (below)

Wednesday, May 17, 2006

Sometimes ...

... my day is unbelievable
but I read somewhere, conceivable
it's the right way, the wrong way, or it's my way

unbelievable days inspire me to choose "my way", every day

Wednesday, May 10, 2006

"Life's Not Worth a Damn ...

... till you can shout out, 'I am what I am!' "

just quoting a fearless song by the resplendent Gloria Gaynor

Talking of resplendent, I received a lovely e-mail with the salutation, "hope you are enjoying the resplendent Spring weather we are having". I thought it was so fantastic that I used it in every following e-mail I sent. I received one back shortly with, "actually it's a bloody cold winter day here in South Africa."

Talking of e-mails, I received one earlier that said "I'll see your offer and raise you one". Now I am aware enough to know that this is a poker phrase - even though I know nothing about poker - but I am not sure what exactly he was hoping to raise since my "offer" had been to check some conference dates. Probably he knows as little about poker as I do

Talking of dates - I love dates - I try to have at least one every day. They are good for you, epsecially the pitted ones

As for pitting - well Iran is doing a fine job against the US of A. Sometimes I wonder what in the world they are up to; I wonder the same thing of Iran

Now the pronunciaiton of Iran is "Eeraan", not "Ay-ran". Same with Iraq. Seriously, if one invades a country at least learn how to ponounce the name

Names are important: my senior year in Chemical Engineering, I interviewed with a food processing company: the interviewer asked, "is the "z" in your name silent?" At least he did not think the "l" was silent

Silence is sometimes healthy - but speaking up, being true to myself, standing my own ground is just as healthy

So we are back to "I am what I am!"

Monday, May 8, 2006

United ... Forever!

While you are on this blog - you are an automatic fan of Manchester United!

We played the last game of the season - and won 4-0 against Charlton! Bit worried about Ruud - but then United is never defined by any one player - Beckham and Keano being recent proof. Besides Saha shows he is worthy.

So we are second on the Premeriship, two years in a row behind Chelsea - and that is heart-breaking - but only for a moment because I just love Manchester United! The only way is up! See you next season!

Tuesday, May 2, 2006

sweetest thing ...

... was driving through a beautiful tree-lined hilly landscape, lovely day, feeling absolutely fabulous, when I came across a cardboard sign that read "used books for sale" on a yard. I easily resist anything I want to - but never old books! So I stopped my car by the road, jumped out in sheer delight in anticipation of what I might find. I peeked into the boxes:

"Rabbit Goes Home", "Sniffy & Fluffy", "The Counting Story". Whoa - children's books ... ! I took off the sunglasses to make sure I was reading correctly. I was. So just as I was about to make a dash from the scene, unnoticed, this little girl of about 6 flew out of the house and ran towards me.

"Are you going to buy a book?" front teeth missing, gorgeous, melting smile
"Ah, well ... I don't know if I can read these"
"Yes you can. It is easy to read," she offered with confidence "Sniffy was my favourite when I was 5."
"Mmmh, well if you like Sniffy, then, I guess it must be a good book"
"Yes and I made some lemonade too and here is another book to help you count"

So a tart lemonade, $ 10, 10 minutes, and 2 books later, I was on my way to lunch with brilliant Professors of German, Biology and Spanish - but none could comapre to my new little friend, who can make lemonade and count and outshine the sun with her toothless smile!

Monday, May 1, 2006

On Salmon and The New World

Immigrants in search for a better life are marching to make a point - and dear old Lou Dobbs is branding the group that is helping them (ANSWER: Act Now to Stop War and End Racism) as radicals. Well, clearly Lou is a native American so no one from his family migrated to America for a better life. oh Lou!

Salmon is great for the skin! It's a great summer colour too - I think I am in the mood for some salmon. The only odd thing about salmon is it's great third cousin by marriage, salmonella - now that is a different breed altogether

Talking of which, malaria is terrible too. I think David Livingston suffered from it when he renamed "Mosi Ou Tunya" (Smoke That Thunders) to Victoria Falls upon "discovering" it in the jungles of Zimbabwe (formerly Rhodesia)

Smoke that Thunders! How breathtaking!

If I were to discover a country, I should call it "Nazliana".

It was just the other day, with respect to time, that these new worlds and countries were being "discovered" and "civilization" along with terrible diseases were being spread to those "uncivilized" people, who were then enslaved and shipped off to other newly discovered places, which were being fought away from the original inhabitants and where now people in search for a better life cannot lest they take away the dream.

Make sense? Good! Cheers and enjoy your day. I am outta here! Hasta Manana Amigos!

Sunday Sunderings ... on a Monday

my Sunday was too stunning and spectacular and sunny to be sundering about the world at large ...

but it's Monday and i must face reality: the world at large does impact my little world, what with birds and their flu, global warming increasing sea levels and washing in more sea shells on the sea shore for me to sell, and rising price of oil-based mascara ...

some people are born for greatness, others are determined to be great, and yet others who just want to live in peace, and there are those who just want to be. My Point? There isn't one - I was just thinking and writing to see where it took me and I became rather bored, so I am moving on

Iran is causing a bit or ruckus. Oh Dr. Ahemedine!

Bolivia's Evo Morales is looking to
nationalize the natural gas industry. Oh Evo!

And Colin Powell says he had told Rumsfeld and President Bush that he was concerned about the
troop level before the Iraq War. This on the 3rd anniversary of "Mission Accomplished". Oh god de guerre"

Someone said to me to the effect that greatness and humility are two sides of the same coin - mmmmh a hint to me ... ;-)

David Blaine, the magical chap has started another death-defying feat on Monday: spending a week submerged in an 8-foot sphere filled with water. Bless!