Monday, June 12, 2017

Dubrovnik: A bird's-eye view

My morning routine has adapted itself to the hot summer of Doha and the holy month of Ramadan. I don't have to drop my son off to school first thing in the morning, so I find myself in my garden at six: watering, pruning and clicking pictures (when I remember to bring the phone with me). By nine am, the mercury is shooting to reach above 44 degrees, so I cherish this short window of time in the morning when the grass feels cool.

Gardening duties over, I make  my way back to the kitchen. En route, I pinch a few tulsi leaves to boil with fennel seeds and grated ginger to prepare my chai. The husband is packed off with his sandwiches and the son is yet to wake up. I am left with the gift of twenty minutes--too short to sit and mediate or practise yoga or run a wash cycle, but long enough to meet my feathered friends. I cradle my garam, garam chai in my hands and go back out to sit under the fragrant blooms of frangipani and the shade of the mulberry leaves to have tea with the birds.

A mishmash of house sparrows, Spanish sparrows, mynahs, doves and even the odd bulbul play their orchestra of notes while hopping from a branch here, to a leaf there, then to the moist ground to pick juicy breakfast. I've often thought of buying some seeds, but the birds seem content with berries and worms. Sipping tea, while squatting on the grass, trying to be invisible so that I can be part of their world for just under twenty minutes or so is the most special part of my day.

The birds gather here everyday like it's the first day. Their songs herald every day with the same magic, no matter the news, the changing temperature or the moon cycles. I sit and look at them and sometimes my heart flies around with them--free and fabulous.

It's been over a month since I've  blogged. I've been busy doing nothing--yes, that's the best kind of busy. Cleaning, cooking, reading, yoga and walks in Aspire Park have kept me occupied. I've been in a questioning mood (more about it in a later post--maybe:)

Today, after a long while, I feel like I'd like to write and share again. Birds sing, hoot, squawk and squeak.  They hop, skitter, skip and then fly off. I sit and watch and wonder what they make of what they see. So intent are they on their business of being, that they don't seem to have the need to question anything. No purpose needed other than the joy of living. Oh! how blessed are these feathered friends who have no mind to calm, no hearts to open, no chakras to align, no breath to focus on--they know how to be.

Bird's-eye view -- a term used for when you look at something from above--physically removed, detached, like an observer. Maybe that's the secret of the birds' lightness--they observe from a distance, they don't mire themselves in situations and reactions. Maybe one doesn't have to fly to detach, maybe one can sit and close ones eyes and let go. Maybe. Let's see. It's early days, but the journey to be has begun. 
April, this year, saw us exploring Croatia and one of my favourite walks was: walking the walls of Dubrovnik. I urge you to do it if you're able to. The views were stunning, of course, but the peace and quiet up here (at least when we were there) takes you back in time and space. You can be a bird, an ancient warrior fending your kingdom, a princess or a washerwoman waiting for her lover, or a mother carrying a camera:) Up here, your imagination and your eyes will keep you occupied for hours 

All these photos were taken from top of the walls that surround the Old City. 
Dubrovnik: A bird's-eye view

One never knows when ones seams  may come undone;)

And here's a view that's been painted by many artists:
Back down in the old city, who should I see? 
A bunch of birds--colourful, but not free.
Summer heat and political news makes me want to read poems like this one by Emily Dickinson:
Photo courtesy: Google Images.
Hope to see you soon, till then...
Wishing you all a happy summer.
May you smell the flowers and caress the grass.
May you bathe in moonshine.
May the warm rays of sun melt the snows of discontent.
May picnics be laid out 
and books be read under trees laden with summer fruit or leaves of green.
May mangoes bring you juicy sweetness and may cherries tart your tongues.
May lemonade infuse you with mint and thyme.
May jamuns and black berries colour you in their dark deliciousness.
May kulfi melt more rapidly than your licks.
May white kurtas and cream dupattas bear enough stains of feasts enjoyed.
May ice-cream carts ring in all your summers from before:
of orange bars and shared bites.
May you sing with birds and fly with them too.
May you remember to wear your sunscreen, your shades, your hat and your smile
when you step out.
May you be you this summer.

Monday, May 8, 2017

Reflection post #atozchallenge

Nottingham, U.K.
What do they tell us about us?
Are they mirrors to our past,

When we reflect,
do we have the courage to be honest?
Do we take off our masks
and see clearly
in the pools of pondering
or do we
choose to 
see what 
we know 
is not true?

What I did in April 
(for the second time)
was the A to Z.

I cobbled together a new post every morning
followed by sharing 
visiting other bloggers
and reading comments left by others.

Truth be told, it turned out to be more challenging to read than to write!
Never thought that was even possible.
But it seemed like that BECAUSE
there were so many amazing blogs out there.

Come on a tiny tour of the treasures that April unfolded:
I can't possibly mention ALL the links I clicked on in April, 
so I'll stick to the ones I found myself visiting every day, 
despite exhaustion and a kitchen sink full of dirty dishes.
Housework suffered and I gained SIX bloody pounds!
Those were the only negatives of April.

Let's move on to the good stuff then:
From stars by Sage to Eva's postcards and Phillip's envelopes 
I travelled to far off countries (on my bucket list) like Ecuador --thanks to Emily 
and Maui with Courtney
Keith rambled on about Amble Bay. I almost had an ice-cream with him.
Yes, all this from the comfort of my kitchen chair--
that's the magic of blogging.
IF you can forget the bloody pounds you've piled on.
And that ice-cream was NOT even real!

There was so much to learn and admire in April:
From Wendy's odd objects which came packed in the bubble wrap of  her funny commentary
To Sara's herbs which made Deborah and I want to tumble in lilac.
The same rolling in lilac Deborah mentioned jargogle on the day of J 
and I found myself in a state of yagiment--how can I use this word that reminds me of googly eyes in a jar? 
I haven't done any writing this week--so yagimenting continues -- but the good kind:)

I found out that there's "A day to celebrate your first kiss"--who knew it even existed? 
messymimi did.

Toni found me and when I visited her I found Frank's tree--I'll be going back to see more, I'm sure.

There were weird stories all neatly complied under the title WTFs to keep your creative juices flowing--although not always in the right direction--if you get my drift.

We all love stories and when they come in the shape of recorded history, one gets pulled into the narrative. Kristin rekindled my desire to find out about my family's history. Both sets of  my grandparents were refugees of the 1947 partition--when India was carved into two and Pakistan was born. They made India their home where I was born. 

Words are my wine, I'd said when I started this challenge.
Some people have the gift to turn their words into balm and salve our souls with them.
Thank you Susan Scott, Beth Lapin and Deborah for sharing your insights in April.

Then there were bloggers who turned into friends in a matter of few posts.
Jz, you know who you are:)

I've saved my favourite discovery for the last--
My soul mate
happened to come along into my life this April.
He goes by the name of Elliot and you can find him here, right Sue?

I bid you adieu
with a sigh.
I'll miss you guys.
But the EXTRA pounds won't go anywhere if  I don't get my butt out of this chair and on that yoga mat.

So, for the sake of a leaner me (summer is not too far away, you see) I'll leave you with a BIG THANK YOU and these lines:
"I would live all my life in nonchalance and insouciance
Were it not for making a living, which is rather a nouciance."
Ogden Nash
Till we meet again
in Thunder, Lightning or in....
Oh! No! the fingers are on a roll. 
Need to get to that treadmill---soon.

Sunday, April 30, 2017

Z is for Zagreb and Zindagi #atozchallenge

When, on the 6th of April 2017, I took this photo, I was sure my Z for this challenge was sorted. Not one, but two Zs were asking to be explored and exposed. Lucky me.

My blogging to do list when I woke up today (the last day of A to Z) looked like this:

1) write replies to all the comments on my Y post 
2) quickly work through all the pictures I'd clicked in Zagreb (in the few hours we'd spent there)
3) write Z for Zagreb.
4) publish and share
5) And finally, visit as many participating bloggers as possible.


But this is not how my morning is unfolding. Zindagi (Urdu word for life) is interfering with my blogging plans.

A whatsap message has appeared on my phone screen while I'm waiting for the water to come to a boil in the pan on the hob. 

"Let's meet for coffee." my friend types. She wants to talk one on one. 

I am tempted to decline and arrange for a day in May, like everything else I've been putting off this month: threading eyebrows, picking that blouse from the tailor which was supposed to be ready by the 4th of April, yoga, walk in the park, coloring my roots, etc. etc.

I know I won't have the time to go through and edit lots of pictures, like I'd planned to. Dazzle them with your brilliance Arti, my ego keeps whispering sweet nothings such as these to boost me to pay attention to him. Finish with a flourish, Arti. Get all those photos out. Friends can wait. What's the big deal? May begins tomorrow. Have your coffee then. 

Ego is  quite persistent.

I add grated ginger to the boiling water, wait a bit, then add the tea leaves and let it all brew under the lid. 

"If I see her at 11, I'll be back by lunch. I can post then." I'm trying to convince myself while I tidy up, make the beds and put the laundry out to dry, all in a haze of should I/shouldn't I?

"Just need a friend who'll listen to me today." another text and I'm decided.

I'm off, will finish the post when I get back and post it.
A long chat, a few hugs, a double macchiato and a delicious croissant later, I'm back. 

It was a day to listen. Not a day to write. I had plans, but zindagi had a few, too:) In a way, I'm glad Z turned out the way it did. 

It made me look up and take notice of a few realities. Blogging is great, but life happens outside the laptop screen. 

What was your last day of A to Z challenge like? Are you looking forward to it all coming to an end or will you miss it?
Streets of Zagreb may appear next year, 
if I'm here:)

for being part of this:)
Happy Zindagi to all. 

Saturday, April 29, 2017

Y is for Yellow #atozchallenge

The penultimate post of this challenge wants to be presented in a simple, straightforward way. No hunts for the elusive Y word have been carried out and no digging in closets of memories has taken place today.

It's a post awash with my favourite colour, Yellow.

A favour is all I ask of you my dear readers, please don't tell Turquoise about this post. He's my 'other' love. I tend to wear him more, too. So he may get the wrong idea, you see. Yellow, on the other hand, makes me do things I'd never do for T. Like, go up to complete strangers and ask them if I can click their picture. Or lie flat on my back to take a photo of a tiny desert plant that grows here in Qatar. Or wait for the sunset to capture Y's last radiant streaks. Or set the alarm for 4 in the morning to ensure I catch Y when he's being born.

Yellow, I can't resist. And Turquoise I can't live without.

Without further yakking, let's go and follow that Yellow...
Draped in Kutchch
Resplendent in Qatar--found this beauty on our way to Purple Island
Carpeting Nottingham, U.K.
Hanging in Amman, Jordan
and holding a Green Party, Amman again.
 Keeping Buddha company in Koh Samui
On display in Tbilisi, Georgia
Ready to take off in Washington D.C.
Streaming through curtains
and waiting to be harvested in Rajasthan.
Hanging outside to dry in Ahmedabad
Crossing the road in Split, Croatia
Do you know the name Split comes from a yellow flower that grows in abundance on the hills surrounding Split.
When the Greeks first settled here, they found the hills covered with Aspalatos (the yellow flower),
thus, giving Split its name.
Split is the place where Aspalatos grows.
A very kind lady at a shop I got some lavender from in Split told me this. 
She was such a treasure trove of information. 
I asked her if she knew why Split was called Split.
Croatians call this flower Brnistra. I didn't take any pictures of it, so I'm using this google image:
Van Gogh loved yellow, too.
Here's a letter I wrote to him about...ya right.. Yellow
That was in 2015. 
More recently, I met Surabhi, an artist who loves yellow as much as I do. 
Thank you all for keeping me company.
It's been an amazing journey.
One last letter to go.
Waiting for Zee.
Last year's last was Zekreet
What will this year's be?
Do you have a favourite colour?
What might that/those be?
Do share:)

Friday, April 28, 2017

X is for X shaped stitches on a Xmas stocking #atozchallenge

The months of May and June are the hottest in the northern parts of India. Even though Dehradun sits snuggled in the centre of Doon Valley, nestled in the lap of the Himalayas in the north and the Shivalik range in the south, summers get hot.

Back in the days of my childhood, in the late seventies/early eighties, there were no air-conditioners in any homes in Doon. No one seemed to need them, unlike today. We spent the hottest part of the day indoors (forced to take naps by my mother) sprawled on beds under whirring ceiling fans and the cooler evenings outside, playing with friends or just hanging at the local mandir (temple) or gurudwara. As a five/six year old, the charm of the mandir/gurudwara was the prasad (very, very tasty food blessed by the gods and given out to worshipers after the prayers etc. are over).

As we grew older, a chance to spot the cute boy from the other day became the reason to pay our daily visit to the temple near my parents' house. Washed and sprinkled with Johnson's baby powder, a bunch of us would gather and head out to the temple in the hours that fall between preparing chappatis and sitting down to eat dinner.

We often got told off by old grannies who'd come to the temple for the serious business of securing a place in God's good books while we stood in our group, giggling and teasing:
He's looking. No, he's not. He flunked his class. NO! Grades were important to us even when we were teenagers indulging in puppy love. You say stereotype, I say reality--at least mine, when I was growing up.

Apart from the grades, my mother was of the opinion that we (my sister and I ) should know how to cook, sew, embroider, fix a button etc.etc. She made us who we are--independent and fond of creating things.

Cross stitch was the second stitch she taught us. The first was running stitch. 

One summer, Mummy brought out her sewing kit and a pale yellow fabric which had tiny holes in it. Along with it came a rainbow of anchor threads. She showed us how to take the strands out of the twisted bun, cut the right length (don't be greedy, or you'll get knots), twist the end to make a knot and then another to make sure, lick the other end with your tongue to make it easier for the thread to go through the eye of the needle. And then we got started.

We started off with cross stitching in straight lines. After a line was done, we'd go to her to show her our work. She was a perfectionist and she expected no less from us. 

After a few weeks of practice, I managed to cross stitch a motif (can't remember if it was a rose or a heart). I was very proud. 

Mummy looked pleased, too. Then she said, "turn it over."


"I want to see the other side. It's not just the pattern that should look good, a good embroider leaves the wrong side as tidy as the right. There should be no loose knots or lazy jumps of thread or dangling yarn."

I hated her guts then. She made us undo stitches and redo them till we got them right. I often wondered if I was adopted.

She's no more. My mother died when I was nineteen.

As I type out this post, I can almost feel her smiling from somewhere near me:
"siddha, puttha dono vadiya hone chai de ne" both sides of the embroidery should look good.  Her words ring our clearly--pieces of memories embed in us and become a part of our fabric.

Her work reflected her Meraki: from her cooking to her house-keeping and even her embroidery.

I have two pieces of her embroidery with me. Why only two? Here's the story, if you have time.

This is one of them: flowers and a bird on pale grey sateen pillow case. A few years ago, I put in in a frame and hung it. I didn't realise that the afternoon sun hit the wall I'd hung the frame on. So, the fabric faded a bit. I keep the pillow case wrapped up in tissue these days. I took it out today to take these photos.
 sidhha paasa. The right side
puttha paasa. The wrong side.
Christmas 2013, my darling friend Danielle gave me a Xmas stocking she'd made herself. I can never put in words what Danielle's gesture means to me.
Every time I put this stocking up, all the cross stitches I made to please my mother (when she was alive) and the ones I made in her memory, come alive with the joy of a life lived with all its ups and downs.
Thank you Danielle. 

You know you're blessed when you have friends like these.

Do you have a piece of cloth or embroidery that pulls at your heart strings?

Thursday, April 27, 2017

W is for Warp and Weft #atozchallenge

What are you weaving on your loom today?
How tense are the threads you hold?

Are you alone?
Or with company?

The cloth you weave is of your choosing.
So choose 

Patience is key.

Love will guide you to the pattern of your heart.

Fear will plant doubts. 
The shuttle will lose its path.

or with your beloved
weave a peaceful harmony
of breath, body and soul.

The loom knows its rhythm:

Threads know their purpose.
They wear their hearts on their sleeves
nothing to hide or be ashamed of
ready to dye
in all colours of life
whatever they may be.

Open and empty
waits the space
(where the cloth will be)
to be filled
with life's surprises
happy and not so happy.

You are the weaver of your destiny.
What are you waiting for?
The words above are by no means a lesson or a lecture or gyan (wise words). They came to the page willingly after I'd spent a good half an hour staring at the blank screen.

I kept hitting a wall today when I first sat down to write this post--no seriously, I'm not just saying it because wall begins with a W. Trust me. 

So, I decided to go through a few pictures of my recent travels to help me unclog the writing. Weavers of Kutchch helped. I started editing a few photos to post under W and before you know it, the post patterned up.

We visited Dharam Patola Art in February this year.
These photos were clicked in their home, where the lady of the house and her husband weave side by side, 
a stole each.

What I didn't do today,
is what I usually do most mornings
when I sit with my cup of tea at my kitchen table--
  I open Rumi.

After I'd typed all this, I did do what I usually do every morning--
Opened up to Rumi.
And guess what he said?
Image result for rumis quotes about weaving

What do you do when creative juices seize to flow?

Wednesday, April 26, 2017

V is for Ventriloquist #atozchallenge

"Ventriloquist is someone who...." 

A muffled thud made me stop and look up. I was reading a story in Red class, year 1, at 3 in the afternoon. The bell to go home would ring in less than ten minutes. This was our daily routine--story time to end the day. It was also my favourite time. There is a kind of magic that happens when you read to a group of children. 

Muffled clattering followed the muffled thud.

I got up from the chair I was sitting in, designed for six year old children, and stood up to peer across the room.

"Mrs G?" I called out to our class room assistant.

She was sitting behind the table that marked the end of our carpet area (which is where all the children were gathered for story time) on a short chair, similar to mine, when I started reading the story.

So I pitched my question in that direction.

A hand shot up from behind the table. It belonged to Mrs. G.

"Mrs G...what happened? Are you okay?"

All the little heads that were facing me now turned to face the direction my question was aimed at.

A few muffled noises which sounded like sobs to me came from behind the table. 

"Ellie, can you and Ryan read the Hungry Caterpillar for us please?"

Conor had swung into action before me. He was spread on top of the table, ninja style, to find out where Mrs G was.

"The Very Hungry Caterpillar, mean, right?"

Ellie was the best reader in class and also the most pedantic.

I nodded and sprang across the carpet area, scooped Conor off the table and tapped on Mrs G's shoulder who was lying in a sort of child pose on the floor. Her shoulders were heaving.

For the uninitiated among you, i.e. those who haven't experienced being responsible for under ten year olds in a classroom situation, let me tell you that all of the above happened in less that 2 minutes. Speed and agility are of utmost importance when it comes to keeping order. Trust me.

"Mrs G, what happened? Are you okay?"

The face Mrs G raised to me from her position on the floor was red and streaked with tears.

"Where does it hurt...should I send for the nurse?"

Mrs G held out her hand (her sobs had morphed into intermittent hiccups by now) to be helped up on her feet.

"Mrs G is on the floor." announced Conor with glee.

The entire class bolted to the table. Mayhem.

There's nothing like noisy children to reboot a teacher/teaching assistant's batteries into action. When you've taught children this young, you know how quickly they pick on your energies. 

Stoic and calm, as if nothing out of the ordinary had happened a couple of minutes ago, Mrs. G rose to her role, calling out children by their names and instructing them to pick up the drying dragons they'd painted earlier, from the table she'd been sitting at and tumbled off from while checking their reading records.

The bell rang. The children left. We were alone in the room: Mrs. G and I.

"Are you okay? What happened?"

"Say that again..." again the same sobs, no wait... that's soft chuckling...not sobs.

I was lost and confused.

"What did I say?"

Mrs G walked across the carpet area and picked the book I was about to read to the children, came back to where I was standing, opened to a page and pointed to, "ventriloquist."

"Ventriloquist?" I asked.

And there she was again, chuckling her soft chuckles, her shoulders heaving. Blobs of red were creeping back on her neck and cheeks.

The penny dropped. 

"How do you say it?" I asked.

In between her heaves, she held my hand to assure me she didn't mean to be rude and said, 

I spent the rest of that afternoon saying [ven-tril-uh-kwist] aloud  to myself. 

Even today, when I come across it, I do a quick rehearsal in my head before I utter this word.

When I'd  said ventriloquist that day, this is what Mrs. G had heard, wen-tri-lo-quist. I had stressed each syllable (Indian style) and picked LO instead of tri as my stress syllable. Try it once, I can assure you it doesn't sound like any ventriloquist you know. We'll cover the v/w confusion in a bit.

I learnt English as a second language. All my spoken English came from school and from reading books. I have always loved words and I never hesitate to use new ones. When using a dictionary, I wasn't shown how to read the pronunciation of the words, so I only gleaned the meaning and usage and kept adding new words to my vocabulary.

All was well till I ended up teaching in a primary school in London. 

I came across West London English and my students met English's Indian cousin.

The great thing about children is that they are honest and forgiving. My students would correct me and with their help I learnt how to modulate my speech to not sound 'funny' when I didn't want to sound funny.  

But, it wasn't till my own two children started correcting my V or lack of it, that I became aware of the fact that despite Hindi alphabet's ability to have a letter for almost all 44 phonemes, my V sounded like W to others (not to me). Even today, scenes like this happen at home.

"Have you packed your vests?"

"Yes, mom...wests and souths and a few norths, too."

A CELTA trainer in Doha told me, "Never be ashamed of how you speak. Find out the standard pronunciation of a word, if you're not sure. And tell your students both the versions--standard and colloquial."

"I'm a Geordie." she said and smiled. " If I talk to you the way I speak at home, you'll be lost."

I ended up teaching English to adults in Doha. 

V is to Hindi speakers what P is to speakers of Arabic. There is no P sound in Arabic, so B is used instead.

"PAPA  John's Pizza." I stress the P with a piece of paper placed a few centimeters away from my mouth. "See, how the paper moves when I say P, now say B--it doesn't move."

"Let's try again Abdullah...P...P, expel that air through your lips."

"Wery well teacher." mimics Abdullah and I have no choice but to laugh out loud and remind myself to bite my lower lip slightly with my teeth next time I want to sound out the very troublesome V.
I love the English language. It's let me live so many lives over these years: from Famous Five to Winnie the Pooh and then a bit of Mowgli, too. I better stop or we'll be here for a very long time.

I love the different accents even more. The richness these bring to a language so widely spoken should not be contained in the clipped sound of received pronunciation.

In India, the way you speak English is often used as a measure of your intelligence. I know. Sad and shocking. 

Have you ever faced a miscommunication or misinterpretation because of your accent or pronunciation?

A 2 minute video to wind up the post today.
Wishing you all a wonderful day:)
Will see you tomorrow.

Disclaimer: The classroom shenanigans are a mixture of many memories. All names have been changed. The bit about Mrs. G falling off her chair because she put her head back a bit too much to laugh out and hence tipped the balance of the tiny chair is totally true.

Tuesday, April 25, 2017

U is for Uttarakhand #atozchallenge

I was born in Dehradun which used to be part of a huge state in India called Uttar Pradesh (UP for short) (Uttar means North and Pradesh means State).

Then in the year 2000, Uttarakhand (UK for short) (Uttara mearns Northern and Khand means Land) was carved out of UP and Dehradun, the land of my birth and childhood memories, became its capital.

The Himalayan state of Uttarakhand is also called Devbhoomi (Land of the Gods). Funny how Gods always pick the best places to live (whether they come from Greek or Indian mythology)

I guess Gods know a good deal when they see one. Uttarakhand has it all -- in abundance: snow capped mountains, unending meadows, forests of oak, juniper, sal and sheesham, guava and mango trees to climb, valleys bursting with flowers, Ganga, Yamuna and even a tiny bit of the mythical Saraswati flow here.

This is the land where blue poppies bloom.

"Soil ours, water ours, ours are these forests.
Our forefathers raised them, it's we who must protect them."

(A snippet of a song I found while googling, it's claimed to be a translation of a Garhwali chipko song.)

The song says it all.

Women from this region hugged trees to save them from being cut down. Chipko means a hug or an embrace or clinging in Hindi.

A land such as this,
where women clung to trees
to save them--
that's where I was born. 

It's called the chipko movement: This extract from women in world history gives you a glimpse of what trees and protecting them means to the people of this region:

"In one the contractor says:
“You foolish village women, do you know what these forest bear?
Resin, timber, and therefore foreign exchange!”
The women answer:
“Yes, we know. What do the forests bear?
Soil, water, and pure air,
Soil, water, and pure air.”
One post is not enough. And I have a tendency to sound like a lovesick teenager when I start talking about Uttarakhand, so I'll stop and just share a few pictures instead.

There are links to some older posts of places I've visited. If you have the time, check them out. I promise--you'll be happy you did:)
The Saraswati flows and rocks copy Klimt's kiss
Locals pick moss that grows on oaks and use it to make dye and medicines.
Fog fills the skies and Ganesh gets a ride
Did we make it? 
We climb and live to tell the tale at Roopkund
Flowers so fragrant, they're called dhoop or incense and used in Budhhist temples.
Bhugyals or meadows that go on and on
Tea on the boil at 14000 ft.
 Laundry never felt this good about being left high and dry
Temple bells
Gurudwaras and holy lakes. 
Dipping  in these glacial waters will make you go brrrrr at first.
But when you come out, you'll feel new.
Where the sun rises gently,
and sets with aplomb.
What's your favourite thing about your hometown or the place you call home?

V is coming, right before W...
I'll be here, how about you?