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Showing posts from August, 2019

Book Review: A Song of Hyderabad: Memories of a World Gone By

August has been a month of rains, which means more cups of tea and a stack of non-fiction books to read. A funny thing about me is that I am increasingly glued to old books that one rarely gets to know about on social media. This month, the book that caught my interest is 'A Song of Hyderabad: Memories of a World Gone By', written by Bilquis Jehan Khan, who refers to her place of birth as 'Hyderabad Deccan.' An interesting chapter titled 'How to Run a Palace' has  elaborate descriptions of their luxurious lifestyle as royals in Hyderabad and another chapter is titled 'The Jagir that Supported Us.'   [Book Review: Sounds of Silence]

Readers are introduced to the family of the seventh Nizam of Hyderabad, Osman Ali Pasha, whom the author describes as a 'servant of the people' because he built the 4000 bed Osmania Hospital, the State Central Library which was then known as the Asafiya Library , the High Court and many other public service buildings i…

Sikkim travel: My Kind of Paradise

Away from the rush-filled schedule, I reached Gangtok via Siliguri at night. Little shops were closing. No traffic snarls. No brash driving. Smiling, young faces all around. What a beautiful place![READ: Ring in the New Year with Jodhpur] and [Pune Visit: Should I buy a Pepper Spray?]


[Copyright: Swapna Raghu Sanand]

Just as a shop next door was about to shut, I rushed to a bakery located next to our hotel. I bought some fresh bread and pastries just in case the restaurant in our hotel had shut its kitchen early. Thankfully, this didn't happen but we munched on the yummy pastries and bread anyway after a delicious supper that was served at the restaurant. [DO read: Mithaiwale in Pune!]

We settled into our cozy room. It was past nine o clock in the night but the view from my window left me spell bound.

It was so quiet.
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Funny side up! Sathya Sai and the Artist whose poetry book was eaten by a cow!

Whenever I get time, I listen to the Samarpan series of talks on YouTube. I find it inspiring to listen to many devotees and former students share their experiences. One of my favourite speakers is Dr. U. Suma Rao, whose talks are funny and personal, in a way that I enjoy. [Do Read: Love's Journey, Swami's Blessings] [Image: Radio Sai on FB]
A candid devotee that she is, Dr. Suma Rao says she felt that she was the next Picasso! She is an artist and a talented one too, so she felt that an art career at JJ School of Arts was her true calling. Her father arranged a meeting for her with the Vice Chancellor of JJ Arts who said, "You will never be a fine artist because you draw with your mind. Forget pure art. You may opt for something else." When she got a chance to speak with Swami later, she again expressed her desire to study at JJ School of Arts. Swami said to her, "No!" "If you surrender, God can interfere in your life but not otherwise. God gives opportu…