Pale

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Good evening, my Lady,

How art thee today?”

Fair and fine, dear Gentleman,

How come you upon this way?

Business“, said the Gentleman,

Of a truly enticing nature.

Said the Lady, “Pray what could it be,

If I may?

Could only matters of utmost importance

Bring me to these parts“, said he

For I hail from the far South

Where sushine is at its best.

Oh, woe is me who hath not seen

The beauty of the South“, said she

I hear of magnificent bounties

As nature did deeply invest.

‘Tis true that natural glory is bountiful there,

Yet I’ve recently come upon

Priceless treasures here“, said he to the lady fair.

The sun doth shine so brightly there,

As against its pale light here.

But pale is oft glorious,

Beautiful and sometimes rare!”,

Said the gentleman

To the lady fair.

Gray

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Colours everywhere.
A kaleidoscope.
A rainbow.

A shower of fireworks.

Life like a flower in bloom,
Red for love, blue for gloom,
Yellow laughter and purple plumes,

But black most certainly spells doom.

Sometimes they swirl,
Colours most often do.
Ribbons of hues

Slipping in and out of view.

My eyes see them true,
Some bright, some pale,
Some bitter, some stale

A story they’re telling you.

Rosy ribbons of love won
Bitter blacks of hate and failure
Murky brown self doubt

Leafy envy growing like vines.

I love them all.
I love them equally.
I love them all.

All but one.

Gray.
Thats my world.
Ashy, dusty, grimy gray

Like vision on a hazy day.

I could get glasses
With lenses of any hue
And look at life any way I chose

No one would oppose.

But it would serve no purpose,
No point really.
Gray would always be gray

Whatever anyone else were to say.

For now I accept gray,
Of being in between.
It could be a purple

Or a pale pink even.

Perhaps some day
We’d say good bye to gray.
But life would be black and white,

Then there would be no escape.

Gray is mine.
It should be yours too.
Who wants a tepid, colourless world ?

Let the colours rule.

Being mortal

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What is man if not a spiritual being
Although some may deny
An omnipotent existence
They are drawn to it
Either by love or hate.
Some others make it their mission
To draw the masses in
Sing songs of praise
In harrowing days
Of misfortune and misery.
Some wrestle with the idea of religion
Tearing at the granite books of old
Seeking amidst its folds
For a shred of unexplained evidence
And bring it crashing down.
The world is divided
Unified in its very division
Clusters of humans
Clamouring for the omnipotent’s notice
To be singled out for fame.
What is man if not mortally religious
Religious to being non-religious
Spiritual people of worldly goods
Searching for spiritual food.

Where do broken hearts go

Where do broken hearts go to heal?

Is there a place they go,

Or is it just time,

Sorrow’s greatest friend, saying hello?

How long must time stay

For the heart to get back to its old ways?

Do they ever heal

Or does one just begin to forget?

Must broken hearts heal on their own?

Will time help patch things up?

Do they hope for a loving word, a kindly glance,

A friendly face, a helping hand?

 

Where do broken hearts go?

Do they really have to?

Or can they stay and just be,

And eventually heal?

Will staying make it worse?

The memory renewed everyday,

Would it be better to forget,

And pretend to go on its way?

What does the heart need to mend?

Will anyone rise to its defence?

Will  a sword appear, a flame bright and clear,

A strong word or someone dear?

Can broken hearts forget?

Or is that what really happens?

Forget and not heal,

Just pretend and not feel?

 

 

Home is where delicious is

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After the husband and I visited Vietnam for the first time in 2011, we have revisited Saigon, now known as Ho Chi Minh City, multiple times. And every single time, the sheer charm and beauty of the place has blown me away.The city has somehow managed to maintain a beautiful balance of modernity, with the shiny, tall buildings and bustling activity, and the refreshing touch of old school charm with a sense of peace and quiet.

But this post is not just about the beauty of the place, it is all about food. I know I have said it before and I say it again… There’s no taste like the taste of Vietnam! From simple and soothing rice noodle soup to soups of the more adventurous kind, I’m yet to come across anything I have  truly disliked here. Of course, I’ll be the first to admit that I’m not the most adventurous of eaters, but I’ve still managed to try a WIDE variety of fish, from white fish to eels, and meats of many kinds! You can never go wrong with “street side” food here, and you will surely never go hungry owing to the fact that there are food stalls and small restaurants aplenty on every street in the city, every few feet. Fancy a sandwich? No problem. Just walk down any road and you are bound to come across a stall selling freshly baked baguettes (Banh Mi) with your choice of meats to fill. And you’ll get your greens with every meal. A huge bunch. A whole lot of deliciously crunchy leaves of many kinds. So there really is no need to feel guilty while you gobble down oodles of noodles and juicy pieces of meat.

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This time round, we had a chance to grab a bite at Quan Bui, a restaurant serving local  flavours. It is one of those places that seems like its a small,cozy place. But don’t be fooled by what you see from the outside.  It opens up into two floors of space nicely held together by a pretty cool theme… wooden tables and benches, throw cushions, foliage-hidden nooks and booths, and pastel coloured walls. And then they hand you the rather impressive and expansive menu! I know I had a hard time making up my mind on what to eat. And every single thing we got were scrumptilicious. One thing I must admit, the Vietnamese make veggies taste SO good. Even my purely carnivorous brother and my husband dearest both agreed with me wholeheartedly…for once. And the best part is that it is totally affordable.

So if you’re looking for a sit down with the local cuisine, this place is well worth a visit. They have a wide variety of food to choose from and a rather interesting choice of drinks too.

I can’t but say of course that trying out the street food is a MUST, especially if you’re on holiday and visiting HCMC. Another of my all-time favourite dishes in Vietnam is Bun Cha; a delightful rice noodle dish served with succulent slices of grilled pork and barbecued pork cutlets. It NEVER lets me down. This is best eaten with the sweet and spicy sauce and the leafy greens that come with it. I can never leave Vietnam without eating Bun Cha atleast once during a trip there.

For me, Vietnam is all about the food, the smiling people and the beauty of the place. Ive been truly lucky to have been given the chance go back again and again, and relive everything just once more and yet again!

Tomorrow

That broken window, that leaky faucet

That cracked mud pot, that squeaky floor board

That shaky table, that smudge on the mirror

I’ll get to it tomorrow because its not going anywhere. 

Tomorrow turned to days, 

Then months and then a year,

And I still tell myself, I’ll get to it later

Never fear. 

A year became two.

Thats two season changes

I’m two years older, 

The rings on that banyan are wider, 

My window, faucet, floor board, mud pot 

Table and mirror still need my attention. 

Before I knew it, 

Those sneaky culprits called disease and age 

Jumped upon me.

I didn’t see it coming

Neither did I feel it. 

And before I knew it

I had no tommorow, 

No later, 

No years or months or days.

I had only today, 

But today wasn’t enough, 

All my yesterdays were long gone 

And all I had to show for it were

The broken pieces of insignificant things, 

The things that didn’t matter to me, 

The things that will never matter to anyone. 

There is no tommorow,

But I had my today. 

Still

I can be still.

Let the day progress

Let noon come and go

Let darkness fall

I can be still. 
I can be still.

Though morning birds sing

As traffic speeds by

When street lights turn on

I can be still. 
I can be still.

When the phone is ringing

When the latest song creates a storm

When the last dry leaf has fallen

I can be still.
I can be still.

Be it rain or shine

The liar denies

The greedy eats humble pie

I can be still. 

Teach because you love it

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Teach to abolish illiteracy 

Teach to educate young minds

Teach because children are thristing for knowledge

Teach to open the eyes of the ignorant

Teach to broaden perspectives

Teach to implement moral principles

Teach to impart wisdom

Teach kindness and empathy

Teach tolerance and patience

Teach the importance of peace

Teach for people are hungry to learn

Teach because the world needs leaders

But most of all, 

Teach because you love it

Not because its convenient

Or means to an end. 

Books of Old, Books of Gold

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Now hold on just a minute before you get reading. This piece is not about the famous classics that we know and love. This one is more personal. So don’t misinterpret the title!

To say I’m a reader is an understatement; or perhaps ‘was’ an understatement considering I don’t get as much time or opportunity to snuggle down with a good book (or e-reader these days) in hand! Gone are the times when I couldn’t wait to get back home from school and get digging into the new book I’d snagged from the library. I was a voracious, insatiable fiction-reader. Yes, I was that wierd, quiet kid with the book. When most of the other kids my age were out playing in the evenings, I would be in my room with a book. Thus, some of the best times of my adolescence I remember were spent with my best friends – books!

Although there are many books, characters and authors I love, this post is on one of my favourites – Robin Cook. Like many people, I enjoy a good thriller. But add a bit of medical mystery and I’m sold! I can’t specifically recall when exactly I started reading his books, but I think it was sometime around 7th grade. I do remember that the first one I read was Coma which is perhaps one of his most popular works of all time. What I enjoyed most was that he took fact and added fiction to it, creating a perfect balance. He addresses real-world issues and problems of ethics in the books which sets our minds thinking. I must  admit that as I grew older, these novels even shaped my opinions and thoughts to a small exent. To me it was like learning a bit of medicine while smack in the middle of a thriller! Doesn’t get better than that.

Acceptable Risk is a favourite of mine. But then again, all those books were my favourites. Later, somewhere along the line I fell in love with Laurie Montgomery, Jack Stapleton and Lou Soldano, so much that they were almost like my own friends.

A few months ago, I’d been hit by a wave of nostalgia and I’ve been re-reading (maybe for the 10th time) all his books! And I’m still blown away. And likely to be even the next time I pick up those books, open those well-worn pages and read them all over again when nostalgia strikes next.