Monthly Archives: January 2014

What is Reiki?

imagesAs an ‘energy’ healer/therapist I’m often asked this question. The simple answer is: “Reiki is a healing technique based on the principle that the therapist can channel energy into the¬†‘receiver’ by means of touch, to activate the natural healing processes of the receiver’s body and restore physical and emotional well-being.” What this definition is missing is the fact that this first step leads to core healing at the physical, emotional and spiritual levels ūüôā

imagesTo explain further, it is a technique that balances the energy in our endocrine glands, which are the¬†energy centers that can become over or under-energized, depending on a person’s lifestyle or simply their pace of life.

It is said that ‘stress’ is the¬†biggest killer of our age! When coping with stress, don’t underestimate the¬†value of ‘Reiki’ (pronounced ray-kee), to bring your body and all its systems into balance.¬†Go try a session today!


Words of wisdom from Rumi

220px-MolanaRight now I’m working on four different blog posts and none is complete because of lack of time. I’d thought there would be no post today and then very unexpectedly I came upon these beautiful thoughts by the Sufi mystic Rumi*, pictured to the left.

I adore Rumi’s writings and a have several collections of his poems translated in English¬†but all these were new to me. Here they are, for your reading and perusing pleasure!

¬į In generosity and giving help

¬į In compassion and grace

¬į In concealing others’ faults

¬į In anger and fury

¬į In modestly and humility

¬į In tolerance

Ah :)—truly words to live by!

*Rumi, a Persian, born 30 September, 1207 and died¬†17 December, 1273, was a 13th-century Persian¬†poet, jurist, theologian, and Sufi mystic.¬†His spiritual¬†importance is considered to transcend national and ethnic borders, and he and his writings were, and are, popular in countries from Persia in the west, all the way to India in the east! His¬†poems have been widely translated into many languages, and in 2007, he was described as the “most popular poet in America.”


Here’s more from the ‘wine napkins’ :)

2014-01-09 16_53_57The first quiz from my newly bought ‘wine quiz paper napkins appeared on January 9 — you may look for it if you missed it. Here’s the second one, five questions and five answers :)!

Q1. What’s the difference between Syrah and Shiraz?

Q2. Is sherry made from white grapes or red?

Q3. What does the term ‘blanc de noir’ refer to?

Q4. What country has the largest per capita wine consumption?

Q5. What do ‘rabbit’ and ‘butterfly’ refer to in the world of wine?

And here ladies and gentlemen, are the answers ūüôā

A1. Syrah is the grape name used in France, Europe and USA — Shiraz is what it is referred to in Australia, Canada and South Africa.

A2. White grapes.

A3. White wine made from red or black grapes.

A4. Hold your breath — The Vatican ūüôā

A5. These are two different kinds of bottle-openers ūüôā

Enjoy :)! Tchin tchin, Cheers, Sant√©, Salud ūüôā


Health problems? No panic here :)

imagesAQV9Q2SJThis morning, on my way to work,¬†in crossing the street¬†I slipped on a bit of ice and fell heavily on my right knee. Now, this kneecap had broken into two¬†pieces¬†almost exactly two years ago as a result of another fall¬†and¬†is now all¬†wired up… This¬†is great for¬†my knee, but the problem is that the twisted¬†wire is just under the skin¬†and any knocking or banging of the knee¬†hurts instantly. Therefore, falling on the knobbly* twists of¬†wire was not such a good idea;¬†it broke the skin and my knee bled profusely. Covering the wound inadequately with¬†bandaid and some tissues, I went through the morning just waiting to finally get home and¬†drip essential oils on the wound. It was one of those rare days I’d emptied my bag completely and didn’t have any oils with me ūüôĀ — but, not for a moment was I afraid, in any panic, troubled or concerned. Someone asked if I would go to the hospital, and¬†her question really surprised me!!! Whatever for? Once I applied the oils, I knew I would be on track as¬†they would disinfect and¬†sterilize the wound,¬†stop the bleeding,¬†start the healing process immediately, close the wound, and ultimately not even a¬†scar would remain :)! With so many benefits from the oils¬†why would I go and spend hours in ER with treatment that wouldn’t be as effective and may well have side-affects¬†—d’uh!!!

imagesCNGBLHAAThis time it¬†was the cut on the knee, but other times it’s been a sore or stiff¬†muscle, a random pain, itching, a cold,¬†a cough coming on, threats of all sorts of flus and¬†viruses in the world — the chicken flu, the bird, the swine, the whatever else, sleeplessness, a worry, or absolutely anything at all. No matter what,¬†I open my case of over a hundred and forty oils and find something to take care of what’s going on :)! One doesn’t need a¬†hundred and forty oils¬†to be sure, but to have a basic collection of about 15-20 oils is a great idea. My oils make¬†me feel¬†very empowered; very¬†much in control of my health. They keep me¬†worry-free of the future as I get older, and thereby keep me completely panic free :)!¬†What a blessing it is¬†to have these ‘bottles of miracles’ in my life! Some may think I’m exaggerating but¬†if you don’t believe me just write and ask—I’ll be happy¬†to answer your questions about what oils you may¬†use for what problems :)! And as always, the only oils I use and recommend are Young Living Essential Oils from this Utah, US based company. I have tried and tested this company for 15 years and¬†swear by its product! More information at!

*Knobbly means to have lumps or raised areas on the surface


Do you know how to hug?

untitledSome years ago I learnt that there are two kinds of hugs…the right-side hug and the left-side hug! Let me further explain: The right-side hug is when people lean to their right while hugging, onto the left shoulder of the person they’re going to hug, exactly as shown in the¬†picture here. Conversely, the left-side hug is when both people lean to their left, onto the right shoulder of the other person, or the opposite of this picture.

In observing people, I have found that most of the time¬†they hug on the left side. And what’s wrong with that, you ask?¬†Well, this is what I learned from a very loved and respected teacher of mine. She met a Native-American elder, who told¬†her ‘white man’¬†doesn’t know how to hug. ‘Why so?’¬†she asked. He told her, ‘When¬†we lean to our left, it’s an empty hug–nothing happens; nothing comes of it.’ But, when¬†we lean to our right, our heart is against the other person’s¬†heart. Now our hearts come together, they meet and energize us, and this is a real hug.’ ‘White man’ or not, I think this universally applies to people everywhere–I have¬†shared this ‘lesson’¬†with people in India too :)!¬†When¬†the teacher¬†related this in my Psychosynthesis class, we, tried it and really did feel the difference. The right-sided hugs felt ‘real’; we felt we truly connected with the other person, and felt encouraged to linger…it was a very loving and nurturing feeling. We then tried the¬†left side, and…well, nothing!

Since that day, about ten years ago, I only lean to my right, onto the left shoulder of the¬†person I hug! Try it…and feel the magic ūüôā


A riddle for your funny bone :)

What’s the difference between a good girl and a bad girl?

When a good girl wakes up in the morning she says, “Good morning, Lord!” ūüôā

When a bad girl wakes up in the morning she says, “Good Lord, morning!” ūüôĀ

Were you good, or bad, today ;)? I’m afraid I was not good, this Sunday morning ;)!


What happened to courtesy :(

So much has changed in the world since I took my first flight¬†for my first trip abroad, in the 70s.¬†I¬†took a Thai Airways flight from New Delhi¬†to London, for a yearlong stay in England. As a volunteer social worker, I had received a scholarship from the UK organization Save the Children, to study in England.¬†This¬†year¬†turned out to be¬†a watershed year* for me, which colored every facet of my own life thereafter!¬†However this blog is not about this life-changing year, but is about courtesy and client services which are increasingly getting eroded in the travel and hospitality world…

Starting with that very first¬†flight, I made several trips from London, to many cities and countries in Europe, as well the United States. Travel was such a pleasure, then! To cut the long story short, even economy class passengers received the same courtesy and attention as business or first class do today,¬†starting from the quality of the service to on board comfort-kits of blankets, slippers, eye masks, toiletries and little luxury items like creams and lotions. Everything made you feel special! Ah…those were the days… ūüôā

I’m reminiscing about those¬†days because I just finished writing¬†a review¬†of a 5-star¬†hotel in Toronto with the least expensive rooms at $179 a night. I’m leaving out the name of the hotel. Hopefully my review will make them rethink their policies. Here it is:

“I was forced to stay overnight at this hotel because of a flight cancellation. At 1:00 a.m. I wasn’t in the best frame of mind, very sleep deprived and was grateful for the wonderful, knowledgeable and efficient lady at the reception. Everything went well till she told me that I would have to cough up an extra¬† $100 (I was already paying for the room) in advance for any ‘incidentals’, and before leaving in the morning I’d have to call for a security-check after which my money would be refunded to me. All this for the privilege of having a bed for about 3 hours, as I had to be back at the airport at 5:00. I’m a widely travelled senior, nationally and internationally, but never having had this experience ever before I was quite simply very irritated because this extra procedure cost me an hour of sleep, not knowing how long security would take to show up, and how long it would take them to refund my money! They had my credit card information¬†and could have charged it for incidentals. The increasing lack of courtesy today by businesses to clients is very disappointing. Would I ever choose this hotel if in Toronto again? No!”

I know people are used to dealing with a lot of discourtesy today, and may think I’m over reacting, but hey, they¬†were courteous¬†in the past — why not any more?

*A watershed moment  means a turning point, defining moment, pivotal moment


How many grapes in a bottle of wine?

2014-01-09 16_53_57On my recent trip to California I walked into a housewares store and found some very interesting and funny paper napkins. One¬†of these¬†had two wine-related¬†queries and answers on each napkin, with a total of 40 questions in the packet of 20 napkins. What fun, I thought, and bought them for the Wine and Wine Trivia category of this blog! Here’s a quiz for wine lovers, from this set of napkins. The questions are in the first part, the answers in the second¬†— and you guessed right that there’ll be more such quizzes, from these napkins! Enjoy ūüôā

Q1. What’s the average number of grapes required to make a bottle of wine?

Q2. How many varieties of wine grapes exist in the world?

Q3. How many bubbles are there in a bottle of champagne?

Q4. What 3 types of grapes are used for sparkling wine and champagne production?

Q5. What is “plonk”?

2014-01-09 16_53_43


A1. About 600-800.

A2. 10,000 documented; 230 used.

A3. 49 million bubbles ūüôā

A4. Chardonnay, Pinot Noir, Pinot Meunier.

A5. Inexpensive or poor quality wine.

I hope you’re happy that you’re smarter now, than when you started reading this post, even¬†if it’s¬†only wine-related information ūüėČ — and if your score was 0, please don’t be mad and serve me ‘plonk’ when I next see you ūüėČ



cbkAfter a wonderful two-week vacation, I returned home yesterday, but not before spending a grueling 36 hours in four different planes,¬†with layovers in four different airports…not including the ones I took off from, and landed in! How and why this happened is a long story but most of it had to do with the weather — either¬†the extremely low temperatures interfering with take off,¬†or the strong winds, preventing landing. My huge delight at finally reaching home was palpable*…

‘Home’ — what magic this word conjures in our minds :)! Why I’m writing this post is because of saying and thinking the word ‘home’ so much in the last two and a half days of being pretty much¬†‘home less’ (not the same as ‘homeless’, to be sure ūüôā ). And this, because the homes I¬†was in during my vacation were my children’s homes…homes¬†where I feel completely and totally ‘at home’, and then suddenly because of waylaid flights, found myself, sort of, ‘out in the cold’! So, I was eager to¬†be in the warmth of my ‘own space’! Expressions and quotes I’d always heard¬†started racing through my mind:

* Home sweet home

*Home is where the heart is

*There’s no place like home

*Home is home

* An Englishman’s home is his castle

and finally, my favorite

*Home is a place they can’t say no, if you want to go…

This last one was a quote in the Montreal newspaper the Montreal Gazette, when violence ensued in Lebanon some years ago, and the Canadian government sent its ships to bring back Canadian citizens of Lebanese descent who were either visitors there or had moved back maintaining their Canadian citizenship. Reading this quote then had brought tears to my eyes. I feel extremely fortunate and blessed that along with my own beautiful and secure home I have many homes, of family, and some of dear friends as well, who will not say no, if I want to go!

And what about you? What’s ‘home’ to you?

* Palpable means something solid, that you can touch or feel

P.S. The above picture is of a house in my neighborhood, through google maps¬†— couldn’t click on¬†and save the image of mine

A new year decision — NOT resolution ;)

2013-11-20 22_28_03This below is an old post that I’m re-posting as I definitely need this reminder for myself for this year. I don’t like to make ‘new year resolutions’ but instead call them my ‘decisions’ :)! Then there’s no resolutions to break, but only decisions to take, and follow through with ;0!

The below was originally posted under the title ‘Just TEN songs’. I now have my guitar (pictured here), and I have to just get cracking…learning to play, and singing the songs! How many of you are going to ‘take decisions’ and fulfill or manifest them in 2014? I would love to see your replies!


Some¬†seven years ago I started a new English course and the student told me she had just moved to Montreal from Quebec City and was going to spend the weekend painting her new apartment. I had recently¬†moved into my new condo which needed to be painted too. Not being familiar with¬†this kind of handiwork, I thought it would be cool to learn how to paint one’s own place. So, I made her an offer — if she would show me how, I’d help her paint her apartment! It was a kif-kif* deal…

The best part of the day came when we finished and cleaned up. I had noticed a classic guitar, like the one in the picture, lying in her bedroom and asked her about it. She told me it had always been a dream of hers to play a few songs on the guitar. At her age (still only in her¬†40s ūüėČ ), she didn’t want to try to become a¬†serious guitar player but had a list of just TEN songs that she wanted to learn to play. She’d got a¬†guitar, got a teacher and was working on her list. She even played the famous Peruvian¬†song¬†El Condor Pasa (If I Could) for me! The experience was too much and too emotional for me…because like her, I too had always wanted to sing, and play a few songs on the guitar.

Her story¬†was terrific inspiration for me! For seven years¬†I hung on to the dream and then mentioned it to a friend, a new guitar player, who too is passionate about playing the guitar and who had spent hours and hours¬†on studying different kinds of guitars before buying his own. He immediately offered to help me get a good second hand guitar. I sent him a list of my favorite ten songs and he graded them according to difficulty so I’d be able to start with an easy one. Yaaayyyy…I’m very excited, and this will be another check mark on my bucket list of things to do. I’m waiting now for a good cutaway acoustic guitar to be found and then get started! Why acoustic? Because after trying different guitars, I preferred the sound of all-metal strings as compared to the classic metal and nylon.

For, what is a¬†man, if he doesn’t have a passion, and then goes all the way to fulfil it!!! What hidden, or unspoken, passions do YOU have, that have yet to see the light of day? I hope this post will make you sit up and pay attention to them — to set your heart free ;)!

*Kif-kif is a word of Arabic origin, meaning ‘it’s the same thing’ or meeting someone half-way or 50-50

**Molding is the American English¬†spelling of the word ‘moulding’ (as used everywhere else in the world where English is written and spoken)

***’What is a man….’ is an expression — it applies to humans in general, and even though it doesn’t say, it includes women ūüėČ

****Instill is the American English spelling of Instil. Since I live in North America, and am an ESL teacher, I have adopted the American spelling system, but may still sometimes trip up, as I’m basically a product of the British education system