Where is SHI-VA coming into my life from …

This is the BIG question popping in my mind while I was on my way to Kailash  – Shi-va, Kailash, Manasa Sarovar, travelling with some unknown people for 15 days (which I never thought I would do), dying for oxygen on those high elevations, chanting Shiva Shamboo through out my 14 km parikrama at an elevation of close to 16000 ft – even before I started for this trip, many questions were popping out my mind – why Shi-va, why ISHA, why Sadhguru, everything happened in a blink of an eye – in a matter of 3 months. I had wonderful moments at the processes performed at Manasa Sarovar and Kailash.  But the questions were being popped out since then or even before. I even asked this question at #unplugWithSadhguru when there was a month long campaign where Sadhguru traveled to many places in India to have a conversation with youth of India #YouthAndTruth. I was little envy for the celebrities when they got their questions answered in an elaborate way.

I do not remember doing poojas to Shiva when I was a child neither my husband was a Shivite – He was more for Venkateswara Swami. We were doing Shiva rathris when we were kids so that we could watch back to back movies or playing games.

But for some reason, for the past 10 years, I have been observing Kartheeka Masam very devotedly – fasting through the whole month. But not doing any specific poojas nor chanting any Shiva Stotras during that time.

That is the reason the question has been popping of my head especially when any one says that I was so lucky to do this pilgrimage.

Then suddenly few days ago, I found an answer for my quest. It just got into me and I felt like Sadhguru has answered my question – the question that is bothering me a lot – where is Shiva coming into my life from ……

I read the same  page, the page from which I have found the answer – (from the book Adiyogi The Source of Yoga by Sadhguru and Arundhathi Subramaniam) to my nephew while we were travelling to Boston immediately after I have returned from my Kailash Yatra. I was just flipping that book and randomly that content got my attention and read it to him. Even at my 60th birthday surprise party few weeks ago,  I spoke the gist of that paragraph but some how I was not able to join the dots.

I really loved the essence of it and took a pic several weeks ago to post it in FB and Instagram, but did not do it for some reason. I want to write an excerpt from that page

Shiva should not be kept in your home. Shiva is not meant for those who are simply seeking a little more profit, a little more advantage out of life … Shiva is only meant for those whose greed in unlimited, for those who are not willing to settle for life in installments, for those who want to become one with the very source of existence…. If you have the courage, you carry him within you. If you seeking the highest, you do not keep him in your home. You carry him in your heart.”

shiva

 

 

I was so overwhelmed with ecstasy. And today Sadhguru’s tweet made me very emotional and felt truly blessed. “If yopic 1u have really been with me even for one moment, this is your last life.” 

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Surprise birthday party – 60 is just a number

PHOTO-2018-09-23-09-13-18Thank you everyone who has been part of this amazing party 🙏🏻
I was anticipating something would be happening but not expected this. When I reached the venue and felt you all there inside, I was little upset momentarily, I was not mad at anyone, not even at Prashanthi but I felt very uneasy, the only thought I had was I would have come little prepared not like the one walking on Manhattan streets 🤣 even if Unnu hadn’t brought my sarees, I would have stayed in those clothes I came in – since that is what ‘true me’ – right ? The rest are all accessories – so many layers and extensions we have been adding …

If I had known earlier that you were planing this, I would not have accepted it. The main reason is I do not want to be ‘the center of attraction’.  The second reason is I do not want to waste money on these things. If you had still insisted, we could have a potluck get together at someone’s place and donate the money to a cause.
even I am thinking about the same with the gift if you all could agree for that – if we could return it and donate the money for a cause.

Putting aside all these, it was so nice to see the whole family with the exception few people who have been very close to me and not able to be there – Karthi, Tammy, Lakshmi, Prithi, Madhurima and Sneha and the list goes on and on as my ‘inclusiveness’ is bringing more people into my life (getting greedy in an unlimited way in Sadhguru’s sayings) and the bonding with everyone is getting stronger day after day.

Nevertheless, where should I start thanking people from ….
C713E905-5229-4458-A6DB-760CE43194DBI’ll start with my sister who has taken all the trouble traveling by different modes of transportation to come from Flushing to almost Trenton with her knee problems – thank you Geetha akka for your love, affection and concern for me and of course I missed Karthi;

263556EC-AF72-403A-B71F-11B6F472C60CThank you Lakshmi and Krishna Mohan to take the trouble to be part of this event as you are not attending many events nowadays and also thank you Krishna Mohan for mentioning and remembering chinna annayya – very touching 🙏🏻

73C8C644-E670-483C-B796-9C6F0D1377BDI would like to thank Radhika and Sekhar as through the WhatsApp conversations realized as they have spearheaded the event and selecting the restaurant 🙏🏻 by trying various places – don’t blame me Sekhar for putting on few pounds 😜and wishing their best wishes through video clippings – besides all these, I have a special bonding with Sekhar, we try to share things happening in our lives either sad or happy or anything in between and try to gossip sometimes 🙊🙉 and I try to be his mentor sometimes – whether it works or not 🤔

C2950704-A912-4599-B96B-CF218D7755ABI want to thank Ramana and Radhika for taking time to decorate the venue place which is so beautiful;I really know how much work is involved – time wise, ideas wise and etc., special thanks to Ramana for doing all these irrespective of her knee pain. Very truly appreciated your love ❤️

Ramu and Ramana – thank you for the beautiful song – ee mounam – from Dr. Chakravarthy – one of my fav ANR garu’s songs and with that song you tried to cover Akkinenis completely (very passionate for Akkinenis from my childhood) and always Ramu makes me feel emotional by his compliments for the works I do and calling me a ‘Role Model’ happy tears 😅and big hug 🤗

480874CD-5B35-4FAD-B5F4-CAC8FB6CBC35Kameswari and Kanth – for posting some fake WhatsApp messages in our small group fitness freaks that evening and also selecting Apple Watch ⌚️ and Kanth saying some nice things about me 😊 and Kameswari calling me a ‘good sport’ 😊 did I have a choice 🤣

9D4ACEB7-55F1-418E-86E2-5C4D840F2801Ramana and Sirisha – for being part of the event and Ramana for challenging me for cards game and talking about our good olden days 🤗 and also mentioning about 2017 Kailash Yatra video, that is just a sample 😜

 

 

EC8B5A0C-DE09-47A8-A3D1-1B0AF7E98829Radha – thanks for being there and brought back those beautiful memories of your childhood and making uncle and me a big part of yours and Ram Sai’s childhood. ❤️ and hugs 🤗

 

 

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Uma, Ramesh – thank you very much for that lovely video clip from your family and I was so surprised and happy to see Rhea being very close to me – she has appreciated the colors of my saree 🤗and even she has invited me to your place before she was leaving. So lovely and thanks for being part of event.

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Padmaja and Rajesh – thank you very much for being there and part of the team efforts to make this event happen in a beautiful way.

 

09EC13E0-A715-4CED-8C66-52EF9EB711D4Radha, Siri – thank you for being there as it has become a rarity to see you at the parties (I guess we haven’t had any lately) and it just hit me that I am 60 when Radha wished me as ‘Sastipurthi’ 🙉🙈

Satya Thank you for singing that beautiful song 😍😘❤️

 

Rachana and Tanvi for bringing so much happiness to me and delight to everyone by dancing for my one and only fav hero – Nagarjuna’s songs – picked from three different times – vesamkalam vennelalona … nee kosam nee kosam; Soggadae Chinni Nayana; greekuveerudu naa rakumarudu .. ❤️❤️❤️😍😍🤗🤗😘😘

And Rachhu for sharing your memories of spending time with me along with Nikki and how I have protected you from the pigeons 😜 and made me realize I should take you to a Broadway show.

Sowmya and Ramya – again you Yamarthy sisters rocked with picking chaitanya’s and Samantha’s songs
From their debut movie to their latest ones – YMC, UTurn, RRVC, again all my fav songs ❤️😍😘

How come you girls ignored Akhil Akkineni 🤔🙁

Then comes our Akhil – you have really touched me by calling your second MOM – that is the best birthday gift I could ask for – I am on my journey to become an ‘Universal Mother’ (hopefully that is Sadhguru’s future mission for me) – what an honor, thank you very much Akhil 😘❤️

Rishi Babu – thank you very much for recollecting a very nice memory of ours. I am so used to read books for Karthi when he was a child and I would never say NO to read a bed time story. So much love ❤️ and 🤗

Surya – you really surprised me when you came before the mike to talk and dwell a nice memory of Toys R Us – thank you very much Surya 🤗

Tarun – thank you very much by acknowledging every one’s statement that I am RELIABLE 🤗😘 and I always think you are more matured to your age as sometimes you speak absolute truths in a casual manner. Love you ❤️

Chaitanya – thank you very much for expressing your love towards me and also speaking on behalf of Karthi – as you two are always my leg pullers; love you a lot 🤗

Unnu thank you very much for being here and I know for every birthday your wish was to be here with me to make me celebrate my big day and your wish was so STRONG that it happened this year itself ❤️😍😘🤗 and putting a poker face when I talked to you that morning about something was cooking and I could feel it ….

E2D9DC70-346B-4315-BEAE-3A7817ACE7D2Last but not the least – a big BEAR HUG to Prashanthi for considering me as her MOThER – you are all assuring me I am on a RIGHT Path and making such a beautiful video, I know how hectic task it is to communicate with people and getting messages and compiling them with nice apt music at the background especially when Arya was sick the whole week.i ❤️Manam background And also not leaking anything and made me to go the event … and also the way you expressed your concern and fears but how everyone of you has sent me to Kailash Yatra 🙏🏻

my birthday picI have to thank one more person here – Abigail- Arya’s friend who came to the party and scared by looking our gang and she literally got shivers and decided to stay away from us 😜 while we were returning , she wanted to have music played in the car despite of the fact she was very sleepy (she heard and simultaneously sang many songs while we were driving to the venue ) and she asked some singer or some series where there is a Happy Birthday Song – I knew immediately that she was asking that song for me and while the song was half way through chaitanya asked her why she has chosen that song and she said it was the birthday of someone in the car – I must say Girls are very mature – love you Abhi 😘😍🤗

Sorry for keeping you all waited for so long at the venue since it was a surprise for me it was very difficult for Prashanthi to keep me on the track for an outing and also the restaurant is far away from our place. even our Arya didn’t give me a clue when I asked him several times where we were going, love you Arya Babu and Shakti Babu for enjoying the dance 💃🏻 💃🏻💃🏻💃🏻

And you people have a nerve to ask me whether it was a surprise 🙈👺 looking at me, my dress, my hair, my face, and my sneakers.

I love you all a lot and please consider my request for returning the gift and donate to a cause 🙏🏻

  1. Prashanthi’s beautiful compilation from you all  This is the video link
  2. Link to pictures more pics to be added

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SHI-VA that which is not

Shi-va is, but Shi-va is not something 🙏

kailash

To Sadhguru:
This is what I should have said if I had spoken when you had Sathsang at Kathmandu with S1 group- returning from Kailash Yatra on 14th August.
It was such a great honor and privilege to sit before you, listen to you and talk to you. I should have opened my heart but then i decided not to as it was my very own experience I could narrate but not in a position to give any advice to any one – experience that is very personal and precious for me – those two days – two processes at Manasa Sarovar and Kailash – the moments to live for and the moments to die for 🙏
as a typical New Yorker,  I daily walk 5 to 6 miles very easily. I have a little pride in that but a conscious pride. When I came to this Yatra – I did not wear that pride, I know that there is an altitude parameter involved in it but I have faith in the God I trust that He would not leave my hand on any day but after you (Sadhguru) came into my life – of course you have come into my life in a constipated way but after I got Shambhavi initiated by you at Philadelphia in May 2018, you are happening to me in a more conscious way – your saying resonates in my ears and in my heart – “do not think of what is possible and what is not possible” – align all four energies – physical, mental, emotional and life energies – and you could get whatever you want – this is the advice if I may, I would give it to anyone – and this is how I got into S1 group – initially started with S8 and then big NO for this year and finally into S1 – I have gone through all these stages with in hours to few days – do not think of what is possible and what is not possible …

Kailash was never in my list – for that matter I do not have a list – then Where is Shiva coming into my life from  – SHI-VA – Is that which is not; is no-thing – I was not seeking for a guru at all – where is Sadhguru coming into my life  – completely encroaching upon my life – I am not a very religious person – to be more specific not a very ritualistic person – I do my karma yoga – very consciously for the past 10 years – a registered New York Cares volunteer since my husband has left this physical world – teach math and English to adults of various age groups and SAT students – almost 4 days of the week after my working hours and during Spring, summer and fall months on Saturdays  urban farming and parks revitalization projects, some times involved with handicapped kids playing basket ball – initially when I started 10 years ago I thought I would be helping them but in the process I have realized that they help me to be a better person every day.

There was a questionnaire I was answering at Kathmandu before we had Sathsang with you – one question – why you choose ISHA ? I have answered with all HUMILITY that ISHA has chosen me as I had many questions – why ISHA ? Why Sadhguru ? Why SHI-VA ? WHY KAILASH? Where is my life leading to … many questions  – I got the answer in a very clear way – when I felt very sick at Kailash – badly hit by altitude sickness – I thought that it could be my last day / Sadhguru came before me clasping his hands in an intense prayer told me that he would not allow me to die – it would be a rebirth to me with a different mission – as Sadhguru mentioned if we feel the energies at Kailash for at least few moments, our lives would be benefitted immensely wonderful, I hope my life would blossom in such way to bring bliss to me and to people around me.

As I have travelled alone, during my sickness, loneliness and many humiliating moments I had faced or experienced during this trip,  I had to cling on to Sadhguru and SHI-VA to become more stronger …
– i do not know whether I had left anything in Kailash but  I had brought a  big chunk of Kailash and Sadhguru with me to lead the rest of my life giving more profound meaning to life 🙏FF27ACD7-4850-40D0-81C0-F6E4DC30BB36.jpeg

The profound effect of inner engineering and Sadhguru upon me

sadhguruIt is a very long story – I start with Sadhguru- it may be in 2011 or 2012, Muni Krishna garu mentioned to me about Sadhguru and he offered some books if I am interested to read. I am not a reader at all – I was reading Telugu novels, weekly and monthly magazine serials during my school and college days but once after I came to US in 1980, some how i slowly stopped reading may be because of the unavailability of the magazines. So with a subtle smile I got over his kind offer.

ishanaAfter I came back home, I was watching Telugu pop singer Smitha’s interview on YouTube on the eve of the release of her new album Ishana – where she talked about her inner engineering experience and what a profound effect it had on her and how it changed her life – I was quite amazed how anything or any one could change someone’s life in 4 days. The curiosity or inquisitiveness in me provoked me to check for inner engineering programs in US and I found one with Sadhguru at ISHA center Nashville, Tennessee. I checked with them whether they could provide me with any accommodation, and they said no, I did not want to be on my own in an unknown terrain and dropped that idea. But I bought Ishana album on iTunes immediately and I have listened to it very intensely for so long.
sadhguru at UN 2In 2016, Sadhguru addressed United Nations on the first International day of Yoga. So we attended the event and it was in the open space on the East Side of the building near the fountain around mid day, Since it was in the afternoon., he made us practice Upa Yoga which can be done at any time of the day. So I was like 10 to 20 feet away from

sadhguru at UN

him. That was my first ever personal met up with Sadhguru. Since then hearing Sadhguru for a few min here and there or reading his quotes and saving those which touched my inner core. Then I heard his full speech live when he addressed from Isha center Tennessee on the eve of new year 2017 where I wax awestruck to listen and to understand his expression “be greedy in an unlimited way” – including the whole universe in youwhat a magnificent thought.

In 2017, during my usual India visit in Feb, on Maha Sivarathri day, Adi yogi consecration happened at Isha center at Coimbatore and it was telecasted live on TV and the whole family was watching in the family room and I was getting glimpses of it here and there and after certain time everyone settled in their own rooms and watched it past midnight. The next day morning when I woke up and opened Facebook and awestruck to see the gigantic, the most beautiful Adi Yogi consecrated and I could not turn away my eyes from his beauty, magnanimity, exuberance, and equanimity.

In 2018, the same episode – I did not watch live broadcast from Isha Coimbatore on Maha Sivarathri. I returned from India on 14th March and Sadhguru was addressing on water issues at UN on World Water Day on 22 March with small plenary group of ECOSOC and I wanted to attend the event but it was a snow storm day and I telecommuted butI should have gone as I live a block away from UN. I would regret and not regret at the same time for missing the event. That experience of meeting him with out Shambhavi initiation by him would be totally meaningless compared to the out of the world experience after Shambhavi initiation with him; what I have been going through for the past 3 months, I’ll keep my entire life in his hands with out any inhibitions.

So two days after I came from India in March this year, I was having coffee with Sekhar in Dunkin Donuts, suddenly I asked him whether we should register for inner engineering with Sadhguru in Philadelphia which is on 5th and 6th May. Without taking a moment he nodded positively. Within 2 days we have registered for the event.
So I would /should say Sadhguru came into my life in a constipated 😜way – by bits and pieces – he uses this word a lot in his  discourses😊
I was burst into tears when he talked about motherly love – listening to him when our eyes were closed – willingness to be a mother to one child – 10 children, 100, 10000,  1 million, 10 million, 100 million. And ultimately to the whole universe with out thinking of the physicalities/practicalities. It really touched the right chord with his soothing voice and I bursted into tears. I was in ecstasy. Then we were asked to be very silent for a while – not to get out of that mood / no eye contact no signs no talking with anyone. Then we got Shambhavi initiation – a few breathing exercises (our eyes are closed through out the process) consecrated by his life energies takes me to another world and I felt like he is talking standing in front of me and I was in tears the whole 21 min. Second time Shambhavi in the evening again in his presence, I was really moved by the whole experience.
We were supposed to practice Shambhavi twice a day for 40 days and once for six months after. I did not waste a day and started my Shambhavi from the following day. I did not wait for the first Sathsang which happens on the second Saturday at New York center. I got few of my corrections while I am doing my Shambhavi by none other than my guru. Initially I thought I was moved to tears while practicing Shambhavi at Phily as I was doing in Sadhguru’s presence but it continues to be the same even I was doing at home. Quickly I have noticed lot of subtle changes in my thought process, reacting to events in every day of life, more inclusiveness than I naturally possess.
Since inner Engineering, I was glued to Sadhguru’s videos / passionate to listen to him, stopped watching what ever I watch on TV 😊🤗
When we were at inner engineering, we were shown a video of Kailash Yatra with Sadhguru and it touched me very deeply.
So the Monday after inner Engineering, I have opened my FB, and it asked me what is on your mind Sarada – I immediately posted the following
“What’s on your mind, Sarada” FB is asking.
I would say #KailashYatra with Sadhguru; Inner Engineering course has a profound affect on me, every atom and molecule in me is longing for #KailashYatra; feeling highly emotional; whether I can do it with my knee issues🤔 ; but then remembering Sadhguru’s sayings – do not think of what is possible and what is not possible 🙏
This saying got sunk in me very deeply and apply for everything in my daily life / I swear it works like magic.

So I immediately checked Isha Sacred Walks and there are 9 groups for people living in abroad S1 to S9, and 9 groups for people living in India, they open up these registrations in December of the previous year for the sacred walks to begin on 31 July and all the tours start one day after another and finish by mid September.
I guess I am eligible for S3 and S8 and all the groups up to S8 were full, S8 was almost full, so I immediately filled out the application and I was given an application number and I was asked to go through some medical tests, so I tried to fill up my profile as far as I could. I was almost ready but two factors were pulling me back – one is my sister who does not want me to take any risk and the other one is Unnu / she got admission to MBA at Babson and her orientation is from 20 August to 23 August – I guess S8 to be started on 27th or 28th August and I should be in Delhi 4 days before to get my Tibet group visa. So I was in a dilemma but unnu and Prati told me it was absolutely ok as I wanted to do this yatra very passionately.  And the month of May was quite hectic for me as I have been traveling during weekends and another niece with her daughter from India visited me on 20th May and we all had a get together at Prashanthi’s place for the long weekend to celebrate Shakti Babu’s birthday. In the meantime I finished my medical tests and I have all the reports ready from my doctor too. So Tuesday morning, I logged into my profile and I was ready to pay and the payment was not going through, so I sent them an email and came home for lunch and when I went back to office and opened mail from Isha Sacred Walks, to my disappointment I was told that the group was closed and I had to wait until next year and the registration opens up in December, If I hadn’t had inner Engineering, My thought process would be very different since I believe everything happens for our own good; may be I am not in a position to undertake this financially, physically and mentally or for whatever reason. It is not my state of mind after IE, and Sadhguru’s saying resonating in my ears – do not think of what is possible and what is not possible – listening to Sadhguru’s video (as I was at work) –

Sadhguru How To Get What You Want Best Motivational Speech

the essence of that discourse is “get what ever you want by aligning all these four energies – physical energies, mental energies, emotional energies and life energies” I really do not know how to distinguish those energies, but my focus is on going to Kailash this year only and kept on sending emails to Isha Sacred Walks group coming up with excuses that I have been waiting for medical and I got all done and I have reports from my doctor too, then they asked me to send the reports and said that they would place me on the waitlist – something positive from big NO and next year to waitlist this year – I sent them the medical reports and kept on listening to his video, ( it is a 20 min to 30 min video clip) then around 5 pm, I received an email from them informing me that they would put me with S9 (it is a Russian group 😜) anything is ok with me at that moment, the only question I asked them whether there would be anyone from ISHA who speaks English. The next day they have assigned me a new registration number and I have paid, this happened on Wednesday. Either Thursday or Friday, I have received another email from them asking me whether I would be interested to go with an earlier group as there was a cancellation but those dates do not suit me well with Unnu’s orientation and everything. So I clearly explained them the genuine reason of not able to accept their offer and informed them if if were S1, S3 or S8, it would be fine, if it were S1 (which is from 31 July to 14 th August) that would be awesome. Saturday morning I was going to Brooklyn for my New York Cares urban farming project and Sneha was with me and I was explaining her everything that happened from Tuesday to Friday and we both felt it would be awesome if I could get into S1. I came home from the project around 1:30 pm and along with my nieces I went to my sister’s place. While I was on train, I causally opened my mail ( I haven’t done it until then since the midnight), to my surprise and astonishment, there was a mail from ISHA sacred walks that they had an opening in S1 and they put me in. My joy knew no bounds – from a Big NO, try next year to the very group that is comfortable to me in every possible way
“do not think of what is possible and what is not possible” the key mantra 🙏
I am very much mesmerized by Sadhguru by his mystic teachings, his compassionate and powerful and soothing voice ( everyone has to get attracted to it) and the vastness of his knowledge, he just can have discourse on any aspect, his speech flows like a river, never takes a word back, his logical approach to life …
He never preaches, he does not ask you to perform any religious rituals
He asks us to do everything consciously not compulsively 🙏
How I can not bow to Him 🙏
isha volunteerSo I became a proud ISHA volunteer for a 4 day teacher led inner engineering program in New York from 28 June to 1 July – so much humbled and blessed to celebrate my 60th birthday at inner Engineering at ISHA New York center. I always envy ISHA volunteers for their impeccable teamwork, commitment, dedication, involvement. Finally became one 🤗 truly blessed 🙏 became part of ISHA Family #willingness is the key to#Volunteerism –

The question is not about the volume of what you do; the willingness with which you breathe, and walk and live, that makes you a volunteer.” – Sadhguru 

If you are a 24-hour volunteer wherever you are, you always have a very powerful space around you. – Sadhguru

At the IE program where I volunteered during my birthday weekend, the same experience again when Sadhguru was talking about our acceptance to become an Universal Mother – My left hand palm up which was placed on my thigh trembling when I was soaked in tears with my eyes closed while Sadhguru speaking about being a mother to the universe. It was a very emotional moment for me.
The next day while I was doing my Shambhavi, the last part is closing eyes and watching breath and I asked him take me anywhere he wants to and he asked me would I want to be mother for 1 million children (he gave me a big number, I do not remember it exactly, so I gave a random number) – Mother to Universe – what an honor 🙏
Many more in my next blog articles …

Hyderabad to New York

On my return from India on 14 March, after few hours of sleeping on the flight, I started feeling little down and started analyzing my emotional disturbance and started penning my thoughts at that time …

unnuPrati feeling like I left a part of me in Hyderabad and started missing it. I know the best part of me lies in New York but I still yearn for the missing part. New York and Hyderabad are the two places very close to my heart – Hyderabad more for people and their unconditional love but New York, besides people I have a strong affliction with the place it self – the place where I met my soul mate and where we have shared many beautiful moments and I could still feel the warmth of his love for me; saw many hills and valleys  in life;

 

 

and the way New York embraces me and gave me enough sIloveny.pngtrength to battle the loneliness and showed the righteous path and making me a better person day after day after my husband passed away 10 years ago; it extracts some of the imbibed qualities in me and made me a stronger person. I know besides New York, my beloved parents, my husband and Baba are helping me to achieve many things which have been mere dreams in the past; to pull me and provide strength when I become weak and fall on my knees; to recreate my life in a way which I never thought exist.
When I am writing this, I could feel a lump in my throat and tears are just rolling down …

Blend of Traditions

IMG_8581#Christmas2017 #BlendOfTraditions last year was my first Christmas tree  at home and of course I wanted to do it differently and used fresh flowers theme and it was a smashing hit. This year I have been looking into some novel ideas; since I have done hand made diyas on a large scale for Diwali with air Dry clay and painted them with colors and decorated them with small muggulu and jewelry, I wanted to make some diyas and small mason jar decorations for the tree.

I have started looking for small mason jars to put some tea candles and hang them to the tree and also diyas with small tea candles, that is where my amazing journey to the #BlendOfTraditions #ChristmasTree2017 decorations started – #discoveringInnerStrengths; #becomingStrong day after day, #ArtsAndCrafts 

Then started looking into Pinterest for more ideas besides having diyas and mason jars – and decided to buy plain glass ornaments, paint those and draw muggulu (rangolis) on those and then I have entered int a domain that I am not familiar with  – I used to put muggulu and gobbaemmalu from my childhood until I finished my undergrad. but never in my life I was into arts and crafts this way as I am for the past one and half years. I never knew I could be creative with my hands (I thought I was good only at programming).

 

Then my amazing journey started. I enjoyed every minute of this 3 weeks project – running back and forth to Michaels store – could be for paints, or for the plain glass balls or anything in between. It was like a retreat to me, more like meditation, just focusing on the work no thoughts of any sort. #immensepeace #completebliss

I kept my tree at my sister’s place as I do not have space at my apartment and brought it back when I went to her place for Thanksgiving weekend. then I put up the tree after a few days and kept it like that for more than a week. last year we have used 300 lights and Karthi has fixed those as he does it in a typical way and then I decorated with flowers changing them over for 3 times. This year also he has offered his help, but I wanted to do it myself as I want to learn things on my own. he even wanted to facetime.

So ‘decoration of tree lights’ has become a nightmare and every time when I looked at the tree, I felt like it was asking when I would adorn her with lights and decorations and I was feeling miserable. Prithi was coming to New York for a day and I wanted to call her and ask her help, but I held myself from doing that. Christmas Tree without lights looks like Times Square during daytime, no kidding I swear.

I did not want to wrap the light strings around the tree, may be that is how many trees are being adorned. So I started checking for youtube videos on decorating the lights on the tree, the first one or two were not very helpful but then I found the perfect one and I just followed what I understood and it came out very beautiful. I had

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tree with 500 lights

another 200 lights which I bought for Diwali, so I had 500 lights and I thought I was in a good shape. But with those I could come only half way through the tree but I really loved the way it was coming up.

 

of course I had to buy more lights, I have decided to buy 300 more and may be an extra 100 in case. But finally ended up having 500 when I was at the counter to pay. I have used 400 of those.

 

 

9DE68C4D-E4E3-41C0-AADA-63086EE7A09DMy beautiful tree with 900 lights.

I feel so proud as it got its professional look and I also got the compliments for that look

 

 

Then came the ornaments – I have decided to have simple muggulu and some Christmas spirted designs – I am taking pics of every piece of decoration which caught my eyes’ attention and tugs at my heartstrings – let those be on the windows of any place, or Pinterest or even from the cardboard box from Michaels stores, every frame is locked in my iPhone.

I checked for small muggulu on google, I practiced the ones I like few times before I laid my hands on the ornaments. So I used some foam balls too besides glass ornaments.

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IMG_8668 Then came the idea of making snowmen and took some suggestions from Prashanthi and opened the doors for another domain, I bought some felt to make the caps for snowmen and used wool yarn to make the scarfs. Just in time for our first Snow storm.

 

I used foam balls to make cup cake decorations and some with small designs with ‘Sree’.

I did not buy a star but I used last year one not anything specific but I wanted to add pine cones to it and used 25 lights to it.

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I wanted to make a candy cane wreath to hang on the front door, I made it but I do not think it is strong enough to be put on the door so I used it as a decorative piece.

 

 

 

I used 6 small mason jars – painted them inside and filled them up with Epsom salt with eucalyptus fragrance and placed remote controlled LED Tea Candles and used them as decorative pieces rather than adorning the tree with them.

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I wanted to make a wreath with all the different ornaments I made for my tree – a cup cake, a diya, glass ornaments painted and designed with muggulu on them, and a mini snowman.

 

I have made snow flakes with coffee filters and hang them from the ceiling9BCA4E97-8A6B-4F41-B950-8EEB7619E68A

CCBE68AB-A7B1-4309-9E4D-27F0DA880786I bought Christmas train last year. my beloved husband and I had a special fascination for trains and we would love to watch these trains going around the tree around this time of the year and we used to buy these for our dear friends’ kids for Christmas. There is a toy trains shop on 45th street between 5th and 6th Aves into which I never entered into, which is 15 min walk from my place and every time I pass by this store, I stop for a moment listening to the train sounds reminiscing the beautiful memories I had with my beloved husband; and I miss him very dearly especially more during this time of the year. I am sure that he would be so proud to watch all my achievements and I am longing to see the sparkle in his eyes. He was and he is the biggest strength I have on any day.

I have made about 121 ornaments out of which I gifted 17 ornaments and used 4 for my wreath (the diya on the wreath is the one I made for my Oktofest),

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gift hamper for karthi

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gift hamper for prashanthi as her theme is Santa Clause – so everything is in red and white

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Lakshmi has gifted me this beautiful piece which has live action with Christmas Carols playing

 

 

So finally my gorgeous tree with 100 ornaments with 900 lights and the star with 25 lights stood as a testimony of my passion, hard work, determination and novel approach.

Some of my beautiful pieces

Watch here glimpse of my tree showing every ornament

Check here for my complete christmas tree 2017 picture album

Handcrafted/Handmade has become my signature lately. Thanks to Baba for making me a better person day after day and His immense support and guidance in everything I do. He is the Kartha, Karma, and Kriya

 

 

OKtofest

I have been thinking of decorating my apartment with #Orangish things in October – sort of #Autumn feeling / but until last week very much occupied with Diwali and Prashanthi’s housewarming party 🎉. So almost 10 days left in October to call this as #Oktofest 😜
I have many ideas coming and going like flashes / more than going out and they are coming and settling only 😊

First i have decided to make some diyas – made them with whole wheat flour and baked them and painted them with #OrangeAndYellow paint and embellished them with stones.

Made some orange and yellow flowers with tissue paper and hang them to the ceiling.

Used the mason jar decorations I made for Diwali. The stuff inside the mason jars is homemade (rangoli type but with different ingredients)

The placemats for diyas and mason jars are handmade,

Used jute burlap to add authentic touch to the ambience.

Bought marigold flowers to add extra beauty.

Glued orange 🍊 yarn to paper cups and put some LED lights in them, actually wanted to put those in a string of white lights but I could not finish that so I used them differently.

Added some cinnamon whisk to add nice aroma.

Then comes the imp thing – #PumpkinCaving – the very first time in my life. I bought two small ones and few very tiny ones (orange and white) for decoration. Sunday I did FaceTime with Prashanthi when she was carving the pumpkin 🎃 her first time too. Then I got confidence and I finished carving my two pumpkins. If I had stopped at that, #thatwouldnotbeme – I am a very ambitious person – I do not give up on things very easily. So this afternoon I bought a humongous pumpkin 🎃, I could not even lift that one so I had to take the help of the store employee to put it in my cart. It took me a while to carve it but it came out very beautifully.

Used a cardboard box and covered it with a nice saree and jute burlap and placed pumpkins on it and I carved some of the small ones too and put LED lights in all the pumkins.
One more thing in my list is still waiting / baking some cupcakes – why doubt 🤔 this is also my very first time – besides engulfing myself in all these creative activities, being a team leader in #GlobalHealthChallenge contest, I have to walk 22k steps everyday 👣👣👣
so that’s all folks me and my #Oktofest 😊😍