Monthly Archives: March 2012

Good Samaritan named Jack

Sometime we meet strangers who help you when you fall down or who picks up the papers you dropped in the street or offers you a hand when you are carrying a heavy load, who offers you water in a sunny day or just gives you a seat in a bus /train when you are tired. You don’t know these people but they were just there when you needed help and they helped you. You might thank them when they helped you but sometimes you are so busy trying to fix the problem that before you gather your composure and look up to thank them but they are gone.

I am sure all of us can relate to these kinds of people who we don’t know but who is such a Good Samaritan that without them this world would be an evil place.

I had run in with a few people like that who came with an umbrella on a rainy day so I could cross the road; helped me to my car when I was carrying heavy grocery bags, stopped the car for me to cross, paid my bus fare on prepaid bus by using their pass and declined money or the ones who helped me fill air into my car tyres.

But today I want to share an incident of one of those Good Samaritans named Jack who made me smile and made this world a better place all over again.

One of my colleague’s wife, let’s call her Anna, had a car accident on Monday. For some reason she lost control of her car and hit a tree at the side of a street. She was driving with 2 kids, boys, 9 and 11. When she hit the car, the only thing on her mind was her boys’ safety but then she realised she was hurt and she couldn’t move. All three of them were in shock so that they didn’t react quickly. They were still inside the car. When you are in shock it is normal for people not to react and that was what they were going through.

Anyway out of nowhere, there was this guy who came and helped the kids out of the car. When he was trying to help Anna out of the car, he realised that she was hurt so she dialled ‘000’ for help. All Anna could hear at this stage was the guy talking on the phone and telling that his name is Jack. Anyway, the ambulance came after a few minutes and took Anna and both the boys to the hospital. The ambulance officer helped Anna, to call her husband, my colleague.

My colleague went to the hospital and found out that the boys were ok but Anna had some fractured bones so they were treating her at the hospital. He was thankful that it was not a big injury and glad that there was a guy who helped all of them. Once all the shock was absorbed, he asked Anna if she remembered who the Good Samaritan was as his quick thinking and help made sure Anna had proper medical help in time. But all Anna could remember was his first name. He even tried calling hospital to get the name so he could contact Jack and thank him. But no one knew who he was.

Yesterday he was so restless because he couldn’t  find any detail about Jack that he decided he would make a board that said ‘Thank You Jack!’ and stuck that on the tree where the accident happened. He told me that he really wanted to make sure that Jack knew that the whole family is thankful for his help.

Anyway he stuck the sign on the tree on the way to work yesterday. Guess what he saw on the tree when he was was driving home? Yes, Jack had replied and put a poster saying “It’s Ok. 🙂 I hope the kids r doing good.”

My colleague was so happy that his message was conveyed. He even took a picture of the tree and I am sharing that with you.

People like Jack make this world a better place and it makes me proud that we are human beings and haven’t lost our humanity.

Do share if you have any stories similar to this.

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Titaura

Anyone who is from Nepal already knows what Titaura is. Just thinking about it, my mouth is salivating already. For the rest of you who don’t know, Tiatura is sweet, sour, salty or hot or mixture of all those made from fruits like lapsi (pronounced “Lopsy”) which is also known as Nepali Hog Plum or scientific name Choerospondias axillaries. Titaura is also known as Paun in Nepal Bhasa.

Titaura seems to be famous among teenage girls so it is also known as lyase paun. In Nepal Bhasa the word lyase means young girl .

Lapsi is found in Nepal in the hills and they bloom in spring which is around March /April. Lapsi grows in a tree and it has green cover with flesh and a single seedstone inside when it is ripe.  Lapsi by itself tastes sour but when they make Titaura, they boil lapsi and take the seedstone out . The gluey flesh is mixed with ingredients like sugar, chilli, salt, other spices depending upon what type of Titaura need to be made. Then it is dried in the sun before packing in a plastic pouch to sell it.

One of the most famous shops in Kathmandu for Titaura is Ratna Park Paun bhandar. The Tiatura from Paun bhandra is sold every where in Nepal form corner shop to supermarkets. These days you also find Titaura made from mango, tamarind, dates, lemon, gooseberry and lime.

For the last few years, we have been lucky to get Titaura in Nepali /Indian grocery shops in Sydney as well. It does cost almost 100% more but it is worth the price for the treat sometimes. I don’t buy it  often but when I do, I love it. I love the sweet ones a lot. Not a big fan of salty and hot ones.

Normally in Nepal, it is believed that these Titaura are not made in hygienic way and are discouraged by parents but you will find people of all age enjoying it nevertheless.

If you ever get a chance, do try it out. You may like it. 🙂

I’ve been tagged

First of all I want to thank Autumn and Janie for being so nice and tagging me in their blog. I am honoured and pleased to be a part of this game. Also I apologise for not doing this post sooner.

As any other award, this one has some rules as well.

Rules

1. Post the Rules.

2. Answer the question you were tagged with and then create 11 new questions for those you are going to tag.

3. Tag 11 people and link them to your post.

4. Let them know they have been tagged

Here are the questions Janie asked, with my answers.

  • What is your biggest regret in life? Not spending lots of time with my family.
  • What makes you angry? Selfish people.
  • Are you capable of forgiving and forgetting? Yes.
  • What do you consider the biggest fight you’ve ever had in your life? I fought a lot with my brother when we were kids
  • What is the ugliest part of your personality? Short temper.
  • Do you choose to see the best or the worst in people? Why? Best as I am a positive person.
  • Do you think other life forms exist in the universe? Yes.
  • If God were to grant you a wish, what would it be? Happiness to everyone.
  • What would you do if a stranger threw a spoon at you? Scream.
  • You are sky diving and you realize that you can’t open your parachute so, in a few moments you are about to die. What do you think would be your last thoughts? I will miss my family but  I died doing something I love 🙂
  • What will you do tomorrow? Weekend so just having fun 🙂

Here are the questions Autumn asked, with my answers.

  • Your Nickname? M
  • The wildest thing that you have ever done? Black water rafting.
  • Have you found true love in life? Yes. I am married to him now 🙂
  • Your special quality? Honest.
  • Your most clear memory of your childhood? Time spent with my brother.
  • The colour which describes you best? Red.
  • Your favourite novel? Sands of Time By Sidney Sheldon.
  • Your favourite movie? Sex and the City
  • One thing you would like to change about yourself? My temper
  • A song which describes you?  I am woman by Helen Reddy

Here are my questions for the people I’m tagging.

  • What makes you laugh?
  • What is the best part of blogging?
  • What makes your day?
  • What is your worst fear?
  • One famous person you want to meet.
  • If you could go anywhere in the world, where would you go?
  • What do you think is the single best decision you’ve made in your life so far?
  • What song always makes you happy when you hear it?
  • What are the things you always take with you?
  • What do you know about Nepal?
  • What are you thinking right now?

 My Tagged Bloggers

Thank you all the readers for reading my blog. I couldn’t have done it without you guys.

International Women’s Day

Today is International Women’s Day and it is a day to celebrate us, women, and have respect, appreciation and love towards us. Because everything starts from you and if you don’t respect, appreciate and love yourself, you can’t share that with the world.

There are many reasons why this day is celebrated but I want to celebrate it by listing all the good reasons why I rejoice being a woman.

  • Woman is a daughter, sister, wife, mother and a friend. I can’t imagine this world without them. Yes, that is who we are.
  • Women have so many choices. They can work or stay home. Be a nurse or a soldier.
  • How can I forget to mention the choices women have in fashion. One can choose to wear jeans or skirts or dress or shorts or Kurta or Sari or Omani or Kimono or Shalwar Kameez. Anything your heart desires.
  • Talking about fashion, how about high heels, they are my favourite and give women an instant boost in height and confidence or they can choose to wear a ballet flat or thongs and still look beautiful.
  • Make-up is a part of our daily regime and we can experiment with different, glamorous looks.
  • Doors are held open for us, chairs are pulled out for us.
  • We could dye our hair and get rid of the gray without being ridiculed.
  • We have the gift of female intuition which usually steers us in the right direction.
  • Women are great listeners and don’t always feel they need to fix things.
  • We can wear coloured nail polish to match the season, mood or our clothing.
  • Women can multi-task with ease.
  • Women are intelligent enough to know there is no such thing as a “Happy Period.”
  • Chances are in front of every awesome man is an awesome woman who made him that way

I think the song by Helen Reddy sums of everything I want to express right now. This is for all the ladies out there. Here is the video and lyrics if you haven’t heard it before.

I am woman, hear me roar

In numbers too big to ignore

And I know too much to go back an’ pretend

’cause I’ve heard it all before

And I’ve been down there on the floor

No one’s ever gonna keep me down again

CHORUS

Oh yes I am wise

But it’s wisdom born of pain

Yes, I’ve paid the price

But look how much I gained

If I have to, I can do anything

I am strong (strong)

I am invincible (invincible)

I am woman

You can bend but never break me

’cause it only serves to make me

More determined to achieve my final goal

And I come back even stronger

Not a novice any longer

’cause you’ve deepened the conviction in my soul

CHORUS

I am woman watch me grow

See me standing toe to toe

As I spread my lovin’ arms across the land

But I’m still an embryo

With a long long way to go

Until I make my brother understand

Oh yes I am wise

But it’s wisdom born of pain

Yes, I’ve paid the price

But look how much I gained

If I have to I can face anything

I am strong (strong)

I am invincible (invincible)

I am woman

Oh, I am woman

I am invincible

I am strong

FADE

I am woman

I am invincible

I am strong

I am woman

Also there is the song “ I enjoy being a girl”, which I love .

Saying this I don’t hate men. I think we complement each other, like wheels of a bike. It is just that I am happy and content to be a woman and I won’t have it any other way.

To the all the ladies out there, Happy International Women’s Day. Enjoy and be proud of being a woman.

Holi / Phagu Purnima

Holi is one of the many festivals celebrated by Hindus in Nepal. It is also known as Phagu Purnima which is a festival of colours.

Holi is celebrated in two days in Nepal, today as Phagu Purnima (except in Terai)  and tomorrow in Terai region as Holi.

Chir of Holi

People install  Holi pole, “Chir’, a bamboo pole, fringed with strips of cloth representing good luck charms indicating the arrival of the Holi festival. This Chir pole is erected a week before the Holi festival is celebrated at all the three heritage squares of Nepal namely Kathmandu Durbar Square, Bhakatpur Durbar Square and Patan Durbar Square. Once the erecting is done, people throw red vermillion powder in the air as the symbol to mark the beginning of  Holi, a time for fun and frolic. It is said to symbolize the tree on which lord Krishna hung the milkmaids’ garments while they were bathing. At the end of the festivities the Chir is taken to a bonfire.

Here are some of the legends behind Holi (source: internet)

There is a popular legend behind the installation of Chir. The story is again about the mischievous nature of Lord Krishna who loved to play pranks with the milkmaids or gopis. Playful as he was, it is said that once he seduced all the local girls with his dashing good looks. He then danced with them all and when they were fully engrossed in him, then he thought they were ripe for a tease. He doused them in coloured water and stole all their clothes while they were bathing in the water of river Yamuna. Naughty Krishna then hung their clothes on a tree to bug them. Chir symbolizes that very tree.

Holika gets burnt in the fire

Another myth following Holi, reveals that a fiend named Holika together with her brother, an atheist king by the name of Hiranyakasyapu conspired to kill his son Pralhad because Pralhad was an ardent devotee of Lord Vishnu. But their attempts always failed for Lord Vishnu protects those who love him. Finally, Holika who having received a blessing from Lord Bramha to be immune to fire, jumped in a bonfire with Pralhadin her lap. But Brahma’s blessing could only be used for

Colours for Holi

good purposes and so Holika was consumed by the fire where as Pralhad was saved by the grace of the Gods. Thus, Holi is said to be celebrated to rejoice Holika’s extermination and the traditional bonfires are believed to commemorate her death.

Yet another legend says that there was an Ogress known as Putna. Lord Krishna’s devil uncle Kansa seeked the help of Putna to kill infant Krishna by feeding him poisonous milk.Putna disguised herself as a simple and pious woman and treacherously fed baby Krishna with her poisoned breast. Lord Krishna, however, sucked her blood which revealed the monster behind that pious woman and laid her to death.

On the night before Holi, there is a practice to burn an effigy of Putna – the Ogress who nearly killed Lord Krishna. The tradition is symbolic of victory of divinity over demonic forces. It also shows the end of winter and darkness – as typified by Putna.

I used to love Holi while growing up. It used to be a few days off from school and we loved playing will lola (water filled balloons) and abeer (colours). It was time of fun and frolic. People spent the day smearing coloured powder all over each other’s faces, throwing coloured water at each other, having parties, and dancing.

Lola

The only drawback of Holi in Kathmandu is for young girls and women who get lola thrown at them everywhere they go. I remember being bombarded by hundreds of balloons from someone’s roof top on the way to school or on the way back. It was days before the real Holi and it used to piss me off. Can you imagine, you are going somewhere and you are drenched with water from these balloons? Also as you know clean water is not available easily in Nepal so I am not even sure, what kind of water they used. I used to fight with these people who spoiled the real meaning of Holi.

If you are in Nepal, hope you are having a great time.

Sydney is celebrating Holi at the end of the month so hoping to go and have some fun then.

Happy Holi everyone !!!

Happy Holi

Update on Mardi Gras 2012

 The weather didn’t cooperate with this year’s Mardi Gras as it was rainy and windy the whole day but it didn’t stop around 300,000 spectators from coming out in the aweful weather to watch the parade of 120 floats and almost 9000 participants. Here are some of the photos from the day.

Sydney Mardi Gras

Tomorrow, 3rd of March, is  Sydney Mardi Gras which is a yearly parade for gays, lesbians, bisexuals, transgender, and intersex communities in Sydney, Australia. Every year there are lots of people who visit Sydney for this event and it is one of the biggest of its kind.

Normally this parade consists of tens of thousands of participants with lots of floats and loud music. Then there are thousands more who fill the streets of Sydney to get a glimpse of this magnificent event. It is also telecast on TV so there are thousands more who enjoy viewing the parade from their homes as well. 

This year for the first time, the parade will be broadcast to an international audience online.

 

In the 1970s, Sydney Mardi Gras started as a celebration following a morning protest march and commemoration of the Stonewall Riots where 500 people gathered on Oxford Street, calling for an end to discrimination against homosexuals in employment and housing . 

These days it has changed into a fun-filled parade with colorfully dressed men and women having a great time. There will be many floats with people dressing up as brides and grooms, cheerleaders, nuns, vampires etc. 

For the last few years each parade has a Chief of Parade like Rupert Everett (2007), Margaret Cho (2008), Matthew Mitcham (2009), Amanda Lepore (2010) and Lily Tomlin(2011), Peter Tatchell (2011) and I am so excited about this year’s Chief of Parade. She is no other than the famous Kyile Minogue, Australia’s pop queen. I am so excited to see her float after watching her spectacular show. I am sure it is going to be amazing and breath-taking. 

According to the news, Minogue’s song arrangements are completely tailor-made for the show, backed by 16 dancers, to be held in the Royal Hall of Industries at an unspecified time during the night. 

Diverse music styles and more performance art mark this year’s party, with ’90s sounds fashionably strong. Long, leggy drag singer RuPaul is confirmed to be there as well. 

I am looking forward to going and watching the parade this year. It will be AS’s first one too so I hope he will enjoy watching the fun and fabulous parade with some weird stuff mixed in. I will update all of you on this year’s parade soon. 

Enjoy some photos from last years Mardi Gras.