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 …

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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 😊😍

Conditional and Unconditional love

ishaThere is really no such thing as conditional love and unconditional love. There are conditions and there is love – when I saw this message on Isha Foundation FB page few weeks ago – I just brushed it off as I strongly believe in unconditional love (it is not love without conditions, rather love under all conditions – sounds the same meaning, may be love a person/persons or things without expecting anything in return – even love in return). But in contrary to my very own strong belief, few weeks after it is posted on FB, I have posted a message affirming that statement  – as my strong belief and feelings about unconditional love are being shattering and was ready to accept that there were conditions and there was love and no such thing as conditional love and unconditional love. Some of my close people – friends and family, were little worried that something might have happened and some one might have hurted my feelings as they haven’t seen that sort of negativity from my side. I was not questioning someone’s behaviour or actions rather I was questioning my sensitive heart about my love (which I thought unconditional towards some people until now was little bit wavering). I am not sure why I was reacting that way – may be I am expecting too much or atleast some in the way I wanted or may be not able to respond or realize the love I am receiving). I have been in that mood for a day or two and then again became normal. But not sure that I was convinced completely of the existence of unconditional love to which I was held on strongly for decades. Meanwhile I have experienced God’s love and blessings in many ways while I was in India (my Tirupathi visit and Lord Venkateswara’s darshan is a testimony for that fact- kori kanipinchava leka korikani penchava … hopefully in another blog article). But there is a small void somewhere in my heart and a lump in my throat.

Then I returned back to New York and came to my office and to my astonishment saw this on my keyboard – this is from our cleaning lady and she got this nameIMG_0273 plaque custom made from her country – Columbia. She got these for few of our staff (very few I should say) when she went home for a vacation; and then again with the divine intervention, I am slowly on my way back to my norms – believing in the existence of unconditional love – pure bliss, hope and wish to be in this state of being without getting affected by any storms .. am I differing with Sadgaru on this aspect or may be I am not able to understand what exactly he meant by that statement or may be I expect the same quality of love in return from the people so very close to my heart or may be I am not able to realize that love from them even though they are showering love on me boundlessly … I am in a dilemma .. just praying to Baba to give me that resilience to overcome these small nuances …

 

 

Memorable Day

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5 March 2016 stays as a memorable day in my life – met Nagarjuna – my everlasting dream – a very beautiful experience, I was completely in a different world the whole day, may be that is what cloud 9 is – nothing was sinking in, not able to understand anything going around me, just going with the flow – the day after and whenever I narrated that experience to my friends and family. It stays as a memorable day for ever.

I want to recollect those memories exactly after one year as they stay fresh and sweet as it happened now.

little bit into flashback …. Prologue …

Praveen has been asking me in every visit of mine to India whether I would like to meet Nagarjuna as he knows how strong admirer I am to him. I kept on telling him that I was not ready yet – Nagarjuna should be the one to say this – the reason behind it is I did not know what to talk about and I just do not want to meet him for just a photo op. For me, he should know at least a little about me as I know so much about him (atleast I thought I know), I keenly watch every interview of his (sometimes few times the same interview),  every public appearance of his on TV, follow his Twitter account and the bottom line is I have my very own interpretation of him.

My passion for Akkinenis started almost 50+ years ago with ANR garu was my ideal hero. But my liking or admiration for Nagarjuna does not happen as a family lineage as I was not a big fan of his earlier movies but with Ninnae Pelladutha everything takes a ‘U’ turn (no looking back since then and even started appreciating and falling in love with his earlier movies). – his style, screen presence, his clothes anything or everything about him turned me into his big admirer.

So I am not sure what I would/should talk to him if I meet and every year I am just putting off praveen’s offer. But in 2016, some how I was very much determined that I should meet him, a matter of fact I was longing to meet him. I wanted to make a nice scrapbook and got some material from US and I have ordered some scrapbook paper and some art materials from Amazon.in and bought some stuff at Waldens. I have a habit of saving his or his family’s pics (from his movies or from any public or private appearances) or any reviews on his movies on my phone, iPad or computer. So I have a huge collection of his pics, it was a humongous task for me to choose the pics I could use in the scrapbook. It literally took me couple of days to sort out the pics I want to (may want to) use. But I managed some how and got them printed. So I started working on the book and every night I spent some time on this with an everlasting doubt creeping on the back of mind that whether I could really meet him or all my efforts would be going waste.

Finally the day came amidst confusion of few dates in the last week of my trip. And it happened to be the just the DAY before the day I left India – I was leaving India on 6 March at 10am flight and it happened on 5 March at 10:15.

I made the scrap book with some nice family photos and few beautiful articles published on Manam and Shiva movies and few articles from my blog. And by 10 am, I, Unnu, and Pragati were waiting in the car at the entrance of Annaporna Studios for Praveen to come. Actually the appointment was confirmed just a day before and I was just holding myself not to get too excited about, not even thinking of meeting my fav person which I wouldn’t even dreamt of. While we were waiting for Praveen, we have realized that I haven’t even taken pictures of my beautiful (at least for me) scrapbook, and we did not even brought a nice book to get his autograph.

After Praveen came, we walked to Nagarjuna’s office and sat in the reception area as he hadn’t come yet. Our appointment time is around 10:15 and he has another appointment for dubbing for oopiri movie at 10:30. So with zero hopes I was sitting there with least of expectations and excitement. Then he came around 10:20 and he walked into his office just looking at us. Then we were asked to come in and after introductions I didn’t even sit but just handed over him few ties I got from New York and the scrapbook and I was telling him something with regard to some incidents (articles) in the book as he also stood and browsing through the book. I was in a hurry to convey him something which relate to the articles and pictures in the book with the fact that we didn’t have much time to talk about. He asked me to sit and started conversation in a very friendly way. He has been with us for 40 min, made us so comfortable and showered so much warmth and love which I wouldn’t forget forever.

I haven’t planned about what I would talk and I am not sure how would I show or express in words in a limited time to a person with whom I haven’t talked before that they are almost more than a family to me and very deeply close to my heart – I could relate to their every emotion.

I did not even remember how the conversation started but it was endless – I did not even feel the existence of any animate or inanimate objects in that room except him. Few of the conversations among many of those I could recall – I told him about the message I posted on my FB when I saw Akhil very closely at New Jersey and said what would happen to me if he were Nagarjuna and my nephew posted a reply saying nothing would happen as he travelled with Nagarjuna sitting next to him when he was traveling to Bangalore the same day and I told him “nothing would happen to you but surely any thing could have happened to me if I were sitting next to him”.

And told him how many times I had told Unnu and Prati (they live across Mahesh Babu’s house) that I would have an heart attack if it were Nagarjuna’s house (even though I visit Hyd for a month every year); the conversation between our maid and my niece’s maid after I came home from watching Soggadae Chinni Nayana movie – when my niece’s maid asked me how was the movie, before I said anything, our maid said it is Nagarjuna’s movie and how would not Saradamma like it.

I even quoted his speech from Oopiri audio function – I have narrated exactly what he said in the speech – about if we wish for anything strongly that would happen for sure – he told Amala garu after watching the French movie The Intouchables his wish that someone would do the movie in Telugu and he would love to play the main character and how after 2 years Vamsi Paidipally came to him very hesitatingly with this story –  my wish to meet him was very strong this time and it came into reality almost the last day of the trip.

He is very friendly and have a nice conversation with unnu and Prati too and asking about how they feel or agree or disagree or their emotions being twins as they shared mother’s womb for nine months.

We have picked up small pieces of paper from his office to get his autograph – when he was scribbling his best wishes to me, I had a thought came to my mind – when I looked at the way he was writing I felt like he was writing a prescription and he said the same thing that he was feeling like writing a prescription – it is really a PRESCRIPTION for me without an expiration date which I treasure forever.


When I expressed my wish to meet Amala garu, he told us he even asked Praveen to bring us to his home. And he made an open invitation to his house in my next visit but it seems like it may not happen but few more days are still there and I am very optimistic.

When I posted these pics on FB immediately, I have so many likes and comments/compliments, I was very much overwhelmed emotionally. Out of most compliments I received are about his fine hand writing 👌🏻👌🏻👌🏻

And there are many more memorable conversations ….
The impromptu conversations and the incidents I picked up to tell him that how much he is part of my life hopefully conveyed the message which reflects clearly in his message.

A reflection on 2016

A reflection on 2016
All good memories – dreams came true in a blossoming way, discovering inner strengths and talents, taking paths those I even didn’t know they exist, all positive vibes.

pongal-2016Just to showcase my hidden talents – Pongal 2016 at Ramana’s place – I have practiced birds muggu as we planned to have muggulu on that day, but after I had that one, got so much inspired and checked for radham muggu on iPad and just put it on the spot, felt very much blessed.

It all startnagarjunaed with a memorable India trip in Feb/March – I met Nagarjuna (on 5th March) which I never ever dreamt of. Praveen has been asking me and I was asking praveen too about meeting him. But some how in my earlier trips, when ever Praveen asked me and he was shocked  when I was telling him that I was not ready to meet him yet. I truly admire him for many of his qualities and a day in my life wouldn’t pass on without me remembering him atleast once. But i really do not know what I should talk when I had lot to talk and for sure I did not want to meet him for just a photo op. I want him to know atleast a little bit of who I am when I know (I think) so much about him. So I have been postponing this for almost 5 years I think. This imagetime I have mentally prepared to meet him (even though i was not sure what I would talk to him 🙂 ) and I have decided to make a scrap book with some pictures starting from his parents’ pics to his kids’ pics and those all in between – from his real and reel candid shots. I had tons and
tons of his pics on my iphone and iPad – wherever i see a pic I like, I SAVE it. It took me a few days to select the pics from my humongous collection and got them printed. I have ordered scrapbook stuff from amazon.in and took some from here too and bought some stuff at Waldens. I also added some of the articles from my blog. I guess I need a separate blog article for this whole episode as I want to write every little thing related to this event. I got an apt prescription from him.

End of April – we had a baby shower for Prashanthi at my place – the first event that has brought out my hidden talents – I, Prashanthi and Chaitanya unknowingly each other’s ideas thought of Peacock theme for the baby shower. I had to thank Lakshmi Gonji immensely for bringing her artistic mind into this to make this venue a perfect Peacock land. One day, few weeks before the party ,  Lakshmi and I were talking on phone about this theme and in the next 15 min, she has sent me photo of a bird she made with paper (of course that one looked like a turkey, that is a different story) and then we  shopped for some nice paper in peacock colors.prashanthis-baby-shower

We made some banners and the day before the event Lakshmi with the help of Prithi and Babloo made some more peacocks. I was able to buy the gift bags designed with peacocks for return gifts. I found those online a week before after an intense search on the web and we were able to get those just on the day of the event. I even printed the labels with a thank you note with peacocks on it. With out any idea of this theme nor any planning, the sari I got for Prashanthi (my sister’s gift to her) is peacock colored shades one. I have ordered some sweets from Vellanki in Hyderabad and they have sent ladoos in hard boxes so that they won’t break into pieces have big peacock on each of the boxes. Of course, nevertheless to say that the flowers, eucalyptus stems  we used for decoration, the cake and the cup cakes everything is peacock themed.prashanthis-baby-shower1

When Prashanthi and Chaitanya walked into the party room around 4 pm while we were still decorating it were so amused (Prashanthi even complimented that she was feeling like walking into a Peacock land with eucalyptus and fresh flowers aroma is spreading the whole area). Chaitanya felt like he should hire an official photographer to make and preserve the event even memorable. But he could not find any in a short notice and Lakshmi gladly took that responsibility.

Wittheteamh the confidence that we have gained from Prashanthi’s baby shower, we (I, Prashanthi, Lakshmi, Babloo) have established our ‘theTeam – an event management group‘ and initiated this on Guru Pournami day with Baba’s blessings at Flushing Temple

Then came Tanvi’s langa voni event.

tanvi-langa-voniI have asked Sekhar whether we could decorate the party hall (for Tanvi’s langa voni ceremony) and it was confirmed 5 days before the event – the event was Saturday lunch and we were given a green signal on Monday morning I guess. We plunged into the opportunity and had conference calls everyday and with whats app group, Lakshmi, Prashanthi and I came up with ideas and ordering stuff from amazon with prime. We were asked for center pieces on tables – Prashanthi came up with the idea of small dolls garned with langa vonis and lakshmi got the idea of making lotus flowers with paper so that we could keep the dolls on the lotus flower and we could use them as centerpieces on the tables. We have ordered barbie dolls and we used old pattu blouses to make vonis for them and decorated them with some jewelry and bindi etc. We bought a stand for the photo backdrop and some sarees were used as drapes and I made garlands with fresh flowers (carnation and mums in pink, yellow as the color theme for the event was pink and mustard).

Then Vinayaka Chavithi
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Some how few days before vinayaka chavithi – I had some images in front of my eyes – to arrange flowers in circles and keep Vinayakudu in the center. I had another vision to celebrate Vinayaka Pooja in an open farm amidst nice plants – may be Vinayaka would bring this dream materialize soon as I have a passion for farming and am looking for the options to start something in those lines.

I usually keep some books when I do Pooja on chavithi, and since I am not studying anything new by attending schools, I have just picked up a book from husband’s humongous collection of books. That is another story for my blog (my husband’s voracious passion for books, and music ) and I realized later that the title of the book I picked was Now, discover your inner strengths, so surprised and happy that Vinayaka’s blessings are with me always.
Then Rachana’s sweet sixteen

rachana-sweet16for this event Prashanthi and I have worked with Ramana (Rachana’s mom) to make the decor as beautiful as we could think (dream) of. For this event we had ample time, almost close to a month. The color theme for the event is Aqua Blue – Rachana’s dress color. We have completely taken ownership and used our creative abilities to bring beauty to – Welcome Table, Photo Booth, Sweets Stall, Guest Book, Papers Used for Guest Book, Printing Rachana’s 17 photos (16 birthday pictues + the one on the day she was born). For all the banners we made – Rachana’s Sweet 16, Guest Book, Sweets Stall, Photo Booth – we tried to stick to the theme colors – shades of Blue and white. These banners literally takes several hours to make those big circles with floral arches and the letters – thanks to Martha Stewart Arts and Crafts tools.

#Photo Booth – This one was an instantaneous hit. 1. Hand-made paper flowers – one big blue, two medium sized blue and 4 small white flowers 2. A backdrop for Photobooth 3. Hand-made floral props (became very popular) 4. Sweet Sixteen props designed and printed 5. Small slate.

#Guest Book 1. Hand-made banner ‘Guest Book’ glued to a Blue tulle and put it nicely in a photo frame 2. Printed various pictures of Rachana as watermarks on various colored papers so that guests can write their wishes and those papers would be nicely bound for her to keep it as a beautiful memorabilia.

#Sweets Stall 1. Hand-made banner – Sweets Stall 2. Cup cakes, Cake pops and Cake cones baked by Prashanthi and those are nicely wrapped in fancy decorative paper. We have placed a cherry Blossom tree on the table to bring elegance to the Sweets table.

Printed ‘Thank You’ labels to be affixed to the return gifts. Designed the labels with the birthday girl’s attire, shoes etc with a nice message.

Printed 16 birthday pics of Rachana with an extra one that has been taken on the day she was born which goes on to the 16 Candles table and the rest are nicely positioned on the walls of the party hallrachana-sweet161

Diwali – Worked with some mason jars – nicely wrapped with jute ribbons placing LED light strings inside. Also made paper lanterns with a string of LED lightsdiwali-2016

My office Christmas party –  Everything is hand made except for the raw materials. The decor completely reflects the holiday spirit. Made food place card holders with glass candy canes; Printed some food (our menu) labels with all Christmas based images;

oppba-christmas-party-2016decorated Mason jars which reflect the holiday spirit – lights, snow, pine cones, leaves and the red fruits; Made #GrinchFruitKabobs, Bombay Halwa (an Indian sweet) with Christmas colors; Made a beautiful garland with 100 multi colored lights string by knotting different colored ribbons (red, green, blue, silver, gold, white and jute). Made cotton ball garlands for bringing the snow effect; Made photo props; and finally the backdrop for Photo booth. Used meshed ribbon (close to 2 ft wide), with cotton ball garlands and the lights floral garland as the border with some Christmas decorations. Of course I was there with Canon DSLR and became the official photographer of the event and won the appreciation from many including the admiration and recognition from Ms. Bettina Tucci Bartsiotas (Assistant Secretary-General, Controller Department of Management)

New York Cares giving gifts to kids project – with the help of family, friends and colleagues was able to answer 105 kids’ wishes. New York Cares – Give Holiday Gifts 2016

My floral Christmas Tree – read about my passion for having a Christmas Tree at home christmas-tree-week-2

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On my birthday – I have been seriously thinking of celebrating my birth in a different way from next year onwards (regretted for not doing anything constructive this year) _ I I had a beautiful experience at the place I go to volunteer two days of a week – teach Math and English to students (adults) who are preparing for college entrance exams.

birthday2016The place where I go to teach (through New York Cares) is 1199 medical insurance company. They had a tutor appreciation day dinner a week before my birthday and I could not attend that one. Today when I was working
with my two students, the coordinator asked me to see her supervisor after the class as she had some gifts for all the tutors (I went to the class yesterday but she did not say anything) I wasbirthdat-gift-2 still with the students and her supervisor came to me and handed over this to me in a small gift bag, I thought there were some cookies, I came home and opened it and to my surprise I found a data bank and on that engraved Rabindranath Tagore’s quote, very emotional moment to me, a perfect birthday gift from Baba, my parents and my beloved husband, I was in tears 🙏🏻🙏🏻🙏🏻🙏🏻🙏🏻”

Taking all these beautiful memories and with the confidence and strength they have provided, and with Baba’s protection, guidance and grace and the love and support from my dear parents and my beloved husband, walking into 2017 to unveil more talents and to blossom into a better human being 

New York Cares – Give Holiday Gifts 2016

imageThis year with the help of friends, family and colleagues, we as a team answered #105WinterWishLetters from kids, teenagers. Very happy and an emotional moment for me. Thanks everyone who has been part of this happiness – Geetha akka and her colleagues around 36 letters), Karthi, Prashanthi, Chaitanya, Arya, Tinku, Radhika, Ramana, Radha, Radhalakshmi, Girija (Sirisha), Kameswari, Sarada (Prashanthi’s friend) and my colleagues – Gilbert, Dawit, Eswaran, Joseph, Rama Krishna, Monica, Liz, Mario, Michael, Nicole, Eline, Cheryl, Marta, Brenda, ever thankful and grateful to everyone who has faith in me and supports me in this journey ❤ ❤ ❤ #NewYorkCares

Usually New York Cares posts this project for us to request the letters around 3rd week of October, I logged into this site around 24th October and I did not see any letters for senior citizens. I sent them an email inquiring about senior letters and to my astonishment I was told that those letters were taken away already. I could not believe it and I was arguing with them with exchange of emails. I am disappointed a bit that I could not answer their wishes but I am very delighted that people are more aware of this project and embracing it with so much grace.

One of my colleagues who was a major support to me in this project for almost 7 years had left the United Nations and I was little worried that I might not be able to answer my usual 100 letters goal. But I have full support from Baba and my sister’s colleagues were very enthusiastic and took almost 36 letters vs. 20+ letters in the past. And some new colleagues and family members joined me in this journey and helped me reach my goal and we collectively made some kids smile on that day and tried to support their belief in giving – #Believe

one of my supervisors said that he was glad that I had asked him to be part of this project and this was the most rewarding thing he had done during this Christmas season and another colleague complemented my efforts by thanking me by letting him to be part of my humanitarian efforts.

thanking Baba for every opportunity that is coming in my way to make me grow into a better person 🙏🏻🙏🏻🙏🏻