Sunday, July 29, 2007

Judge Not???

These days everyone emphasizes that you should not make judgments or criticize anyone's actions and we are ‘judgmental’ if we find something that, we god forbid, pronounce any judgment on, silent or otherwise. We should mind our own business and judge not lest we be judged.

If I see something and make a judgment about it, does that imply that I think I’m more virtuous than the other person? Or I have less compassion? Or that I don’t understand the complexities of life and that there are no black and whites just shades of grey? Or that I won’t make the same judgment on myself? Or that I think I'm not capable of making that mistake myself?

I’m sorry but I don’t think that’s true…

Leaving out the whole debate of right and wrong being relative there are things that we see which are blatantly wrong because you know those are actions that will lead to consequences that will hurt innocent people unnecessarily. There do exist some actions that are reprehensible from any point of view. On the level of plain decency, on the levels of friendship, on the levels of personal trust.

The word ‘morals’ is actually derived from the Latin word; ‘mores’ meaning customs so can be used for men’s customary ways of judging conduct. If there exist cultures that appreciate innocent people getting hurt and lifelong friendships being betrayed, I don’t know them.

Forget ethics, forget religion, somethings are wrong on the deepest level of humanity. There are some actions that you don't care so much about the 'right', 'wrong', 'morality' or 'immorality' of them, you just shudder at the disrespect of another human being that it causes and you just pray to God that it doesn't happen to you or you don't cause it to others.

So go ahead judge me for being judgmental...

Thursday, July 26, 2007

Is there an Athena living in my head too?

This is something I've written in my Blogcataog profile so it's not like a new discovery for me - but last night it struck me again and each time it does, it's a shock. This is what I had written
"I have now reached the conclusion that what I think of me might not be what others see me as".
And sometimes the two might actually be totally opposing views. So who's right and who's wrong or is it just relative? I mean if you think about it - the person who knows most about 'me' should be me - it is I who live in my head not others, right?

We are the ones who will have maximum knowledge of ourselves because let's face it, we think about ourselves more than anyone else ever will. Yet don't they say that to be able to see things clearly we need to put distance in between?

We had gone to a friend's get together yesterday, and it was one of those days that I was feeling particularly antisocial and wanting to stay home in bed with a good book, not even on my computer, that was the extent to which I felt the need to be alone. Anyway I had to go. We reached and I noticed myself acting like a consummate socialite, laughing and joking and entertaining people and actually having fun. There were a few people I was meeting for the first time, naturally seeing me like this they assumed that I was a very social, happy, jolly person - an opinion that I do not hold true of me at all.

In the course of the conversation this girl mentioned to me how I was such a happy go lucky person and blah blah. Of course, I thought to myself, you are seeing me today, what would you know. I tried to acquaint her with my view of me and she just gave me a blank stare, I kept insisting that tonight was just one of those surprising nights.

Two people really can't see the same phenomenon, argue many - so if there's this divide between our perception of ourself and someone else's - which one is me? I know they are all part of us, the faces we put on and the roles we play, are facets of our personality.

Whether it's the pretend us or the social us or the snooty us, doesn't make a difference, because we know all to be part of our nature, but to people we meet once, that is the person that is real. So if I tell you, I'm this or that, and you meet someone who has met me when I wasn't like that, who would you believe - especially if you knew both of us for the same time?

This girl I met, who I will probably never meet again, has an image of me, which to me is the total opposite of me but it's the only truth she has of me and will remember me as that for however long she does remember.

And this is just one example of strangers, sometimes this divide is felt when someone who knows us pretty well reveals something about us and we get shocked - that's not me, we think. In those cases who do we believe? Do we doubt our own self observation, or do we doubt whether the other person has understood us, or is it that our thoughts do not translate into our behaviour?

Each possibility poses a unique problem of its own - if the other person has not understood us then how do we make them do so, or will it be an exercise in futility?

Or are they actually right? We know them to be rational and if they have reached this conclusion it would be after observation of our behaviour ergo it must be correct. Then this would mean that we don't practice what we preach.

The whole question of who we really are then becomes quite problematic.

Or is it the case that we see ourselves with rose colored glasses and aren't who we think.

Or maybe, we have an entirely different person who lives hidden inside our head like Athena in Zeus' head, ready to spring out fully formed, any time.

Just tantalizing us with glimpses but never truly revealing themselves either to us or others.

It's quite fascinating and a little bit spooky - I wonder if that person would look like us as well?

Tuesday, July 24, 2007

"Is it oblivion or absorption
when things pass from our minds?

- Emily

Thomas Moore says when some new thought, feeling, or notion presents itself, we can't forget it or overlook it.

When we have invited it in or agree to live in its company, maybe then it won't be such a preoccupation.

It will be forgotten - not exiled into oblivion, but absorbed into being.

I'm pondering this over - where will they be absorbed? in the brain? in the mind?

meanwhile would love to know what you think.

Saturday, July 21, 2007

A Belated Thank You!

Sorry for taking such a long time in thanking all my kind and sweet friends for these fantastic awards. I am so happy to receive them, as I write this I can clearly remember when I first started this blog and would go to other people's blogs and see all the friends they had and the wonderful camaraderie shared. I would be a little envious and now I can't believe that I too am part of such wonderful and caring circle.

It's so great and I'm so happy that I discovered blogging. It's become such an integral part of my life that everything that happens in the course of the day and all thoughts and internal debates that I have, immediately start taking the shape of a post with the appropriate headline.

I actually use everything learned from this medium in daily life as well, since I'm a 'schmoozer' here which in life outside the computer I'm not, I sometimes replicate things I do here, for example now I'll actually pick up the phone and call someone randomly much like going to a friend's blog and commenting.

So thank you again for making me a part of your life on the net!

HollyGl who is not only beautiful but also incredibly sweet and talented and the remarkable Rebecca from Pixels of the Edge bestowed on me the Creative Blogger award

This award originated with Christy at Writers Reviews, and is "for those who bring unique and creative elements to their blogs. For those who incorporate art, music, creative writing, photo's, and other beautiful visual effects into their website. For those who put a unique spin on things and come up with new ideas. This award is for the artsy, the funky, the inventor, and even the rebel. This award is for those creative individuals who stand out from the crowd."

The blogs I have chosen are either very creative or a showcase of creative things, so whenever you visit you are surrounded by pretty things

Tigergirletsy - She makes really funky unique jewelry which you can check out at her blog
In Cinq - What an amazing idea for a blog, Adria's in cinq pairs the visual with the literary. It is a collection of self portraits sent by different people
Mariuca's perfume gallery - It's all about fragrance in the 'scent sational scent stations' as she calls it. Marzi likes to collect miniature perfumes and this blog is the shrine to her collection. I think it's such a cool idea
Mike French - He's writing this great book 'The Dandelion Tree' and each new chapter get unveiled once he gets 25 diggs, not only is the book great so is the blog visually. You have to read the book
Done4Fun - Silvia's Sketchblog - This blog is an art blog and is a simply beautiful collection of the artists sketches

Find the rules at the end of the post

Seiche whose wonderful blog I recently discovered, gave me the Thoughtful Blogger award and reading the description I was really happy to receive this award, especially from someone who really is such a thoughtful blogger himself - a real gentleman.

The Thoughtful Blogger award was started by Christy at Writer's Reviews and this particular award is... For those who answer blog comments, emails, and make their visitors feel at home on their blogs. For the people who take others feelings into consideration before speaking out and who are kind and courteous. Also for all of those bloggers who spend so much of their time helping others bloggers design, improve, and fix their sites. This award is for those generous bloggers who think of others.

Reading the above description, these are the people I thought of, they fit one or all of the descriptions of a thoughtful blogger

Bobby Revell - For helping me out numerous times with blogging and especially with the recent technorati fave train
Peter Haslem - For acknowledging each and every person's comments and being one of the first bloggers to help me out with my blog
Greg Although he's expressed an aversion to awards, I'll still go ahead, for giving great input and fabulous ideas and answers to various questions
The Real Mother [For being the first one to ever comment on my blog and making me feel so happy]
Blur ting [Again for being one of the first people to welcome me here]

And now, the small print...

1) If you have received an award simply choose either the dark or light background image and save it to your files, then post it proudly on your blog!

2) Pass the award on to five other people, you can choose any of the awards from the series, you do not have to pass out the exact award you received. Choose whichever of the awards below that you'd like to give out. You can give out one of each or five of the same one, whatever you prefer.

3) You can change the size and color of awards to suit your blog, that's up to you, it's your blog, just leave the titles the same.

4) Please link back to this post so that people can read these rules and so that the meanings of the awards will not be lost.

5) If you feel that you or a friend are deserving of an award and no one has given one to you yet then email me at sayhitochristy(at) and tell me about your website!

Friday, July 20, 2007

Against the Tide!

One of my favorite books is Herman Hesse's Siddhartha, the story of a young man in search of the ultimate truth or meaning of life. He becomes a wandering ascetic, but starving himself of all the world's pleasures doesn't bring him any closer to the truth, then he goes over to the opposite side and becomes a decadent hedonist, losing himself to a world of titillation and pleasure but that merely eats away his spirits and he becomes like the rest of the lost herd.

At the end he realizes that being nothing, doing nothing, just being - being empty, neither a practitioner nor a devotee, neither meditating nor reciting, just putting his ear to the river to blending in with the world, will he find his truth.

In Taoist philosophy, the river is a metaphor for life, never still, always changing. According to the natural order of things the river will always flow towards the sea. If we surrender life will carry us, wherever we want to go. The river's flow is yielding yet strong , with its ability to maneuver itself around all obstacles, its fluidity making it's path easier. It changes constantly to achieve its singular goal - that being to join the sea.

Yet I have always found myself opposing the river, maybe some of the disquietude in my soul can be blamed to not relinquishing myself to the the flow of things and letting things happen the way they are supposed to be. Maybe I try to find the quickest route and hurry and multi-task and get impatient for things to happen, for me to get the answers to all of life's riddles. Maybe I am stupid to be the angry wave, crashing and fighting against the gentle yet powerful river, going against the flow. Not allowing it time to carry me to the sea - swimming upstream for no reason - trying not to get enchanted by the shapes in the cave.

Maybe I should stop the struggle, do nothing, forget the journey and just swim along the decided sea, avoiding a different course. The calm of life's natural flow - invites me to surrender, to carry me, inviting me to trust it and let it make me forget. Yet how can I not know, how can I float blindly. How can I not want to to flee the cave and come back and take you with me?

The Taoist principle of Wu Wei , or the art of inaction says that if we do nothing, matters resolve themselves, essential to Wu Wei is avoidance of exerting pointless effort and contradicting nature. Abandoning tension to arrive at a quietude.

But if I stop asking won't I stop being? Am I vain to want to be - to be the one who goes out and comes back for the rest?

Thursday, July 19, 2007

On to Hogwarts Express!

Being a bit challenged with this technical stuff I had help from the very sweet Bobby, hope I managed to follow the instructions correctly. I love train rides so The Technorati Fave Train, was a journey I was very excited to embark on.
I was added to the Technorati Fave Train yesterday by Bobby. The Train was started at Gary Lee.

So, do you want to ride the train?

***Start Copying Here***
Here are the rules:
1. Write a short introduction paragraph about what how you found the list and include a link to the blog that referred you to the list.
2. COPY the Rules and ENTIRE List below and post it to your blog. To avoid duplicate content and increase the amount of keywords your site can accessible for, go ahead and change the titles of the blog. Just don’t change the links of the blog.
3. Take “My New Faves” and move them into the “The Original Faves” list.
4. Add at least 3 Blogs that you’ve just added to your Technorati Favorites to the “My New Faves” section. Remember to also add the “Fave Me” link next to your new blogs (i.e.
5. Add Everyone on this list to your Technorati Favorites List by clicking on “Fave the Site.” (Please FAVE EVERYONE on the List prior to posting the list or a Kitten will Die Alone in a Dark Alley Tonight). Those who want good karma will fave you back. If not, you will for sure get the benefits of faves from the bloggers who continue this list after you.

My New Faves

Holly GL - Fave the Site
Meleah Rebeccah - Fave the Site
Blur ting - Fave the Site
The Domestic Minx - Fave the Site

The Original Faves

Gary Lee - Fave the Site *

Amber [Random Magus] - Fave the Site
Mariuca - Fave the Site
JeanChia - Fave the Site
Janice - Fave the Site

Bobby Revell - Fave the Site

Wonder Woman - Fave the Site

Steve OlsonFave the Site
BlogoSquareFave the Site
Dosh Dosh - Fave the Site
Nate Whitehill - Fave the Site
Ms. Danielle - Fave the Site
Jeff Kee - Fave the Site
Scribble on the Wall - Fave the Site
Jimi Morrisons Head - Fave the Site
Jon Lee - Fave the Site
SiteLogic - Fave the Site
Julies Journal - Fave the Site
Tea & Slippers - Fave the Site
Pencil Thin - Fave the Site
Garry Conn - Fave the Site
Stephen Fung - Fave the Site
eWritings - Fave the Site
Mommy’s Getaway - Fave the Site
GR8 Egypt - Fave the Site
Divya Uttam - Fave the Site
Sean Dinner - Fave the Site
O Salepito - Fave the Site
Kyle Beabo - Fave the Site

Six Degrees of Inspiration - Fave the Site
Randa Clay Design - Fave the Site
Failure is the key to success - Fave the Site

Tech Bold - Fave the Site**

* - Train Engineer
** - Last Wagon
***End Copying Here***

Tuesday, July 17, 2007

In Bad Faith

Yesterday in our negotiation skills class we had an assignment, which was the basis of yet another life truth laid out so glaringly obvious.

The class was split into 10 groups, five of which represented the 'management' and the other five the 'Workers'. Each group was paired against another, management negotitaing with the workers. The problem was that the management had changed the shift hour pattern so instead of 12 hours per day for 3.5 days now they'd have to work 8 hours but for 5.5 days, [lessening the hours per day but increasing the days] and this was not acceptable to them. If the negotiations were not successful either the workers would call a strike or the management would declare a lockout. So we had to negotiate with workers and trade concessions and reach an agreement that was acceptable for both

As management, we came up with great incentives, we offered them transport, we offered to split 10% of the profits if the productivity increased by 30%, we even offered to change the shift time so that work would start at 6 am and end by 2pm, leaving them ample time to spend with their families as this was one of the concerns raised, that is, working 2 extra days they would have less time with family .

To cut a long story short, although the other group did not have any legs to stand on or any rational reason to refuse they took issue at some remark one of the 'management' made which they thought was personal and they refused the deal and raised banners [which they had brought from home] that they were quitting.

When I saw the banners, I realized that they had decided this outcome from before, so no matter what we would have offered their answer would be the same. I even asked one the girls from the other group after class and she confirmed my doubt.

Anyway to finally come to the point of this post - sometimes in life it's not about what we did or didn't do, or what we could have done better in any situation, its about the other person. When they have decided the outcome from before, even if we bring manna from heavens they will say no, at the same time they'll try to make us feel that it's our fault that if we had done more, things would be different. We sometimes feel so bad and think about all the things that are wrong with us and what we could have done to change some situation, when really it's not about what's lacking in us at all.

If the other person starts in bad faith it is not about what we could have done more or less it's about them having decided what they would do from before.

Saturday, July 14, 2007


I was reading this beautiful piece of fiction over at Paisley's in which the protagonist was called Silence and I got to thinking about silence and how scared we are of it - how deafening it can be, if we don't know how to recognize its quiet beauty.

We are so used to noise that silence has started to mean that you don't have anything valuable to say. People feel the need to fill the gap, and if someone becomes quiet while talking to us we become nervous and start filling the blanks with jargon. I've noticed, especially in a group, that if everyone suddenly becomes quiet someone will always begin talking, even if it has nothing to do with the conversation. In fact in our hurry to fill the silence we start thinking of topics beforehand in our head so that we'll have a fallback plan if the situation comes to that.

We feel that until we call attention to ourselves through our words, we won't have a chance to be noticed or a chance to contribute. This happens the most in interpersonal relationships, with your husband or friend or partner. If they unburden themselves to you and tell you of some problem they might be having, you immediately start thinking of the solution you need to offer and imparting your advice - when maybe sometimes all they really want you to do is listen. To be able to have something to 'insightful' to say, sometimes we forget to even listen.

And this extends to inner silence as well, we are afraid that if we let our mind achieve stillness, we'll be forced to look into issues that we don't want to deal with. So we fill our head with million thoughts, they continually chase each other resulting in a cacophony of sound - we forget that a symphony needs rest, patches of silence to accentuate the notes in between to elevate them... to let them shine.

The simple fact is that silence troubles us and we don't know how to deal with it [me being one such person]

When strangely enough, it is actually the testament to the strongest of relationships. If you can share silence with someone it means you are so close that you don't words to bridge the distance!

Oh Stewie - You Machievelli you

Did I mention how much I love Stewie Griffin who due to his great training and the 'peerless intrepidity' developed at testicular bootcamp won the race to the 'ovarian bastille' but found too late that it was a trap.

So he plans world domination.. stuck in a family that he wants to annihilate.

The cutest thing is that your ignorant family hears you but I don't think they understand your evil genius....but oh stewie I understand you

... you rock!!!

"The more I resist the more intriguing they become, I can't look away... yes, yes again, again" - Stewie in spite of himself, attracted to Teletubies and hating himself for it...

'Omnipotence... gotta get me some of that'.....indeed

PS: When the world is yours will my death be 'quick and painless'?

Thursday, July 12, 2007

Fun Posts by Friends: Thursday Thirteen... Attempt 6

Thirteen Fun Posts [June]

I missed some posts in June as I was with dad, anyway for this post I thought I'd go over June archives - and chose these posts by friends on my blogroll!
[... in random order]

1. Thing-a-fy by Paisley
I can’t say i really ever expected that perhaps the most profound statement i have ever heard would come out of the unsuspecting mouth of my boss, while we engaged in ordinary conversation yesterday at work… read more

2. My Grandmother's Home by Michelle [Komabi + Crow's Feet]
All my childhood lies in my grandmother's house. No matter where I am or what I remember, my mind takes me back to that house. It was, as I have said, the centre of the wheel for our entire ... read more

3. Choosing to Write Changes Everything by Greg [Greg's Writing Blog]
You choose to write today and it's exciting. You'll be rich and famous in a year, maybe two. And it's not so much about the money because you have something important to say and you love words and everyone tells you how great you more

4. Tug of War by Adam [old things under the sun]
What a funny name. It could be a hand-job that you get when you are on R&R, or that feeling that young people get when they think about joining the Army. Of course the other more

5. Speaking in tongues the one and only Domestic Minx
You have no doubt gleaned from these rather rude and rampant pages, dear reader, that my tongue has oft been tied when it comes to saying no to the demon drink... read more

6. The Hair-Removal Exercise by The Real Mother Hen
I went to bed at 7pm last night because I had a stinking headache. This morning I woke up at 7am and had an awful more

7. The Open Paths of The Sky by Mark [tobeme]
Yesterday when the captain of the plane announced to please fasten our seat belts for we were about to make our decent into the airport in Minneapolis/St Paul, I put my book down and peered out the more

8. The Outsider by Meleah Rebeccah
5 years ago, at the age of 27, I made the decision to undergo a complete change. I went from ‘bartending’ (amongst other things) and working nights in a more

9. Roaming in Rome by Blurting
I’ve learned so much through my travels but there is one lesson that I will never forget.
Two years ago, I stepped out of the train station in Rome and started walking down one of the many more

10. Good Things by HollyGL
I used to visit my "Grammy" in Kansas every summer when I was a kid. I would fly from Florida to Amarillo, TX and Grammy would be there to... read more

11. The Dandelion Tree... The Prologue
The sun exposed the beach in its glare. Holidaymakers mixed with locals, flesh tanned, children played, waves swam away as the tide receded. With worries left in cars reaching boiling point, carefree days rolled over the cliffs to give a more

12. Politically Incorrect by TwistedSister... totally pissed off!
I grew up in a home with a developmentally delayed, epileptic sister. One word that was absolutely taboo at our house was "retarded." It was as bad or worse than any curse word to my parents and it was not to be tolerated. Our parents taught more

13. A study in blog types by Bobby
I was enjoying another evening of blogger watching and accidentally read one which is bad luck on Fridays (21 years of bad luck). I was overtaken by a psychic vision - I can’t predict when my ability to see beyond ... read more

Links to other Thursday Thirteens!
1. (leave your link in comments, I’ll add you here!)

Get the Thursday Thirteen code here!

The purpose of the meme is to get to know everyone who participates a little bit better every Thursday. Visiting fellow Thirteeners is encouraged! If you participate, leave the link to your Thirteen in others comments. It’s easy, and fun! Be sure to update your Thirteen with links that are left for you, as well! I will link to everyone who participates and leaves a link to their 13 things. Trackbacks, pings, comment links accepted!

Wednesday, July 11, 2007


Black doesn't reflect light
and white..
white reflects all colours
But when you generate both on a computer screen
black and white are exactly the same color is just brighter than the other.

Monday, July 9, 2007

Nursery Rhymes - Simply Child's Play?

The other day I had gone to spend the day at a friend's and was playing with her one and half year old son who is truly adorable and we were singing all these old nursery rhymes and having a merry old time.

Most of us have grown up with nursery rhymes, such as Jack and Jill, Humpty Dumpty, Georgie Peorgie or Baa Baa Black Sheep, and all the others. Although singing with kids we add effects and movements to make them cute and fun, most of these rhymes have historical connotations behind them some of which are downright sinister.

We still recite these stories without knowing the colorful history or gossip behind them as these rumors and stories do not affect us. The story may have disappeared but the music is still repeated each time we sing along with kids. So I thought why not create a post and try to re-create the past hidden in these inconspicuous sounding rhymes. So I did a bit of research and compiled a few nursery rhymes and the meanings that were supposed to be behind them.

Most of the popular ones came from British politics, in fact they were invented as a way of spreading gossip about royalty. Almost every nursery rhyme has a story behind it. Baa Baa Black Sheep was about taxation, The Old Woman Who Lived In a Shoe was referring to the British Empire trying to control its colonies.

Ring around the rosies,
Pocket full of posies,
Ashes, ashes
We all fall down.

This one is the one I called sinister, its about the black plague- the symptom of which included circles around the eyes (ring around the rosies), and coughing up dried blood from the lungs, resembling ashes. The pocket full of posies was a medieval belief that posies held some curative measures against the plague, so carrying around that flower would keep you safe. Finally, the last line spells out the unavoidable ending to the story, of everyone falling down, dead.
Humpty Dumpty sat on a wall.
Humpty Dumpty had a great fall.
All the king's horses and all the king's men
Couldn't put Humpty together again!
Humpty Dumpty was a powerful cannon during the English Civil War (1642-49). It was mounted on top of the St. Mary's at the Wall Church in Colchester defending the city against siege in the summer of 1648. (Although Colchester was a Parliamentarian stronghold, it was captured by the Royalists who held it for 11 weeks.) The church tower was hit by the enemy and the top of the tower was blown off, sending "Humpty" tumbling to the ground. Naturally the King's men* tried to mend him but in vain. * The "men" would have been infantry, and "horses" the cavalry troops.
- From the East Anglia Tourist Board in England

Georgie Porgie pudding and pie,
Kissed the girls and made them cry
When the boys came out to play,
Georgie Porgie ran away.

Naughty "Georgie Porgie"of the Stuart era!
The origins of the lyrics to "Georgie Porgie" are English and refer to the courtier George Villiers, 1st duke of Duke of Buckingham (1592–1628). King James I took Villiers as his lover and nicknamed him "Steenie" (a reference to St. Stephen whom in the Bible describes as having the "face of an angel"). Villier's good looks also appealed to the ladies and his highly suspect morals were much in question!

Affair with the married lady - the Queen of France!
Villiers most notorious affair was with his liaison with Anne of Austria, (1601–1666) who was the Queen of France and married to the French King Louis XIII badly injured both of their reputations. This, however, was overlooked due to his great friendship with the English King, James I (1586 - 1625). He was disliked by both courtiers and commoners, not least for helping to arrange the marriage of King James' son to the French Catholic princess Henrietta Maria (1609-1669) - he later became King Charles I (1600-1649).

George Villiers ( Georgie Porgie )exercised great influence over the King who allowed him many liberties. Villiers private liaisons and political scheming were questioned and Parliament who finally lost patience and stopped the King intervening on behalf of "Georgie Porgie". The romantic elements of of George Villiers and Anne of Austria are featured in the novel 'The Three Musketeers' by Alexander Dumas.

Jack and Jill went up the hill to fetch a pail of water
Jack fell down and broke his crown
And Jill came tumbling after

A picture of a French Revolution execution Scene during the Reign of Terror

The roots of the story, or poem, of Jack and Jill are in France. Jack and Jill referred to are said to be King Louis XVI - Jack -who was beheaded (lost his crown) followed by his Queen Marie Antoinette - Jill - (who came tumbling after). The words and lyrics to the Jack and Jill poem were made more acceptable as a story for children by providing a happy ending! The actual beheadings occurred in during the Reign of Terror in 1793. The first publication date for the lyrics of Jack and Jill rhyme is 1795 - which ties-in with the history and origins.

Rock-a-bye-baby On the treetop
When the wind blows,
The cradle will rock.
When the bough breaks,
The cradle will fall
And down will come baby
Cradle and all

The author of this well-loved lullaby was reportedly a pilgrim who sailed on the Mayflower. The Wampanoag Indians, who befriended the colonists, carried their infants in cradleboards on their backs. In temperate weather, they suspended the cradles from tree limbs so that passing breezes could rock the babies while their mothers tended the maize and beans. With typical motherly indulgence, the cradles were decorated with shells, beads and porcupine quills. For sober-minded puritans, the sight of a birch tree festooned with such cradles must have been very memorable indeed.

Mary Mary quite contrary,
How does your garden grow?
With silver bells and cockle shells
And pretty maids all in a row.

The Mary alluded to in this traditional English nursery rhyme is reputed to be Mary Tudor, or Bloody Mary, who was the daughter of King Henry VIII. Queen Mary was a staunch Catholic and the garden referred to is an allusion to graveyards which were increasing in size with those who dared to continue to adhere to the Protestant faith - Protestant martyrs.

Instruments of Torture!
The silver bells and cockle shells referred to in the Nursery Rhyme were colloquialisms for instruments of torture. The 'silver bells' were thumbscrews which crushed the thumb between two hard surfaces by the tightening of a screw. The 'cockleshells' were believed to be instruments of torture which were attached to the genitals!

The " Maids" or Maiden was the original guillotine!
The 'maids' were a device to behead people called the Maiden. Beheading a victim was fraught with problems. It could take up to 11 blows to actually sever the head, the victim often resisted and had to be chased around the scaffold. Margaret Pole (1473 - 1541), Countess of Salisbury did not go willingly to her death and had to be chased and hacked at by the Executioner. These problems led to the invention of a mechanical instrument (now known as the guillotine) called the Maiden - shortened to Maids in the Mary Mary Nursery Rhyme.

This drawing was created by the talented Scottish artist Shona Penny - was inspired by the origins of the 'Mary, Mary Quite Contrary' Nursery Rhyme.

Goosey Goosey Gander where shall I wander,
Upstairs, downstairs and in my lady's chamber
There I met an old man who wouldn't say his prayers,
I took him by the left leg and threw him down the stairs.
Goosey, Goosey Gander is a Rhyme with Historical undertones - an attention grabber for a nursery rhyme which uses alliteration in the lyrics designed to intrigue any child. The 'lady's chamber' was a room that once upon a time a high born lady would have her own chamber, (also referred to as a solar). The origins of the nursery rhyme are believed to date back to the 16th century and refer to necessity for Catholic priests to hide in 'Priest Holes' ( very small secret rooms once found in many great houses in England) to avoid persecution from zealous Protestants who were totally against the old Catholic religion. If caught both the priest and members of any family found harbouring them were executed. The moral in Goosey Goosey Gander's lyrics imply that something unpleasant would surely happen to anyone failing to say their prayers correctly - meaning the Protestant Prayers, said in English as opposed to Catholic prayers which were said in Latin!

ALTERNATE VERSION: The rhyme possibly could also refer to Oliver Cromwell and his Roundheads. The first line is a reference to "goose-stepping" Roundheads who would search houses for Royalists. Anyone who refused to accept Puritan ways was arrested and thrown in jail.

There are many who will possibly have different interpretations to each and some who will even refute that this is actually what they mean, but still it's fun to read the stories and rumours circulating behind some of our favorite memories of oft-repeated rhymes from our childhood which we undoubtedly want to pass on to our kids.

Sunday, July 8, 2007

I Think! Therefore I Make Myself Unhappy!

'Thoughts are natural. They can not be stopped, they can however be made sublime with counter thoughts. Just like a thorn can be removed with another and poison neutralized by poison, so can the mind be made sublime with counter thoughts. Inauspicious thoughts should be countered with auspicious thoughts. A state of thoughtlessness comes with long and intense meditation'
- Acharya Mahprajna
Sometimes our life moves in circles - a little while back in conversation with a friend I said that when Descartes said 'I think therefore I am', he must have been crazy because its possible to exist without thinking, and have a happier existence as we make ourselves miserable with the thoughts swarming around. To which he replied if what I wanted, was to be stupid.... to which I had no answer.

A couple of days later I find these lines in one of my really old books. Myself and three of my girlfriends had gone to Nepal few years ago [what a blast]. On one of our less adventurous days [para-gliding, white water rafting and that flight into the Everest in a tiny plane that crashes more often than not made up three of our 6 days] we had gone to this one shop that had the most beautiful pashmina shawls and the owners were Jain and they gave all of us this book by Acharya Mahaprajna called 'Thoughts at Sunrise'.

Anyway to cut a long story short, reading this passage made me realize that although Descartes was right in what he said ...I wasn't altogether too wrong either! Of course if we didn't think we'd be no better than animals [although sometimes I feel it's debatable if we are] and that of course the unexamined life would really not be worth living, and boring in the extreme, but we do train our minds to think more unproductive thoughts than constructive ones!

Sometimes the wrong kind of thinking leads to all sorts of misery, convinces you that you are worthless. We create prisons for ourselves - if everything is going perfect we wait for the bad to happen. If we get a compliment we immediately think that we don't deserve it. We think that everyone who thinks we are smart has been sadly mistaken and we are actually not intelligent at all. Our insecurities keep us from trusting people and sometimes our own happiness.

It's like we feel that we don't deserve to be happy so whenever we are, we unconsciously thwart any chance of success. Maybe its self-preservation, throw something away before it gets taken away. I don't know. But we mutilate ourselves mentally and emotionally with our thoughts everyday.

If indeed we could find a way to separate the bad ones from the good and simply throw away the negative scary ones we'd be happier. A state where we can consciously stop ourselves from thinking - have that kind of control that we can switch on and off - wow!

P.S.: I can't meditate for 5 secs before an unwelcome storm of thoughts, just assails me, ranging from the truly horrible ones to mundane ones where I finally remember where I put the stapler I have been looking for.... all

It's that season again - the award season. There is nothing like getting feel so special and it's even better when you receive it from your friends - there's no feeling like it.
Especially when someone like me who thinks of themselves as a bit socially 'challenged' gets the schmoozer award. I have actually been showing off my awards to my non-blogging friends. [Sometimes I can be such a show-off and a bit sad;)]

I am seriously deciding to live most of my life through the net.. I do so much better on it!!!

So thank you confessing7girl, Hollygl and Blur ting... I am now going to try this schmoozing factor on more people I meet...

Here are the rules:
1. If, and only if, you get the Thinking Blogger Award or The Power of Schmooze Award, write a post with links to 5 blogs that make you think, or have schmoozed you into submission.
2. Link to
this post and Mike so that people can easily find the exact origin of the meme,
3. Optional: Proudly display the ‘Thinking Blogger Award’ with a link to the post that you wrote (here is an alternative
silver version if gold doesn’t fit your blog).

5 of the Best Schmoozers there are:
I think schmoozer in this context would be someone who always makes an effort to connect to you. I wish I could have added a few more...

1. Quasar9
I have said this once before - his comments always leave me smiling, they are so original and so much fun

2. Josie Two Shoes
I recently came across her blog and am so glad to have met her - she too always says hi

3. Peter Haslem: Not only does he comment on other people's bogs he makes it a point to answer each comment on his own blog

4. Titania Starlight
Who's blog is really cute with amazing giffs and she herself is a very 'enchanting' lady

5. Insanity suits-me
A insanely funny blog and they too always leave great comments

and I know it's breaking the rules [as I must restrict it to 5 but rules are made to be broken right?] so I must add Zakman for he too is the ultimate schmoozer

Most of my other social schmoozers have already received this award. Kisses to you all!!!

Mariuca who has two fantastic blogs, the Mariuca's Perfume Gallery and Mariuca - wishing on a falling star and herself is such a rocking chick; and the cutest and sweetest of bloggers has given me a rocking chick award which I must confess I would glance lovingly at on other rocking bloggers sites!
So a big thank you.

I am going to give this award to a few other absolutely fabulous women I have met on the blogosphere...Paisley, Mariuca and Adria have already won... so

The Real Mother Hen
Blur Ting
Meleah Rebeccah

.... you truly rock!!!!

Saturday, July 7, 2007

An Observation - take it at face value!!!

So much of our life's lived on the net not only with friends we haven't met but also with our other friends... with a phenomenon called Facebook.

I've met my really old friends who I hadn't seen for ages, my work friends from way back when... best friends who live in various cities, friends of friends I might have partied with, random people met once or twice in life...

What's scary is that sometimes people seem more fun from behind a screen, they are easier to deal with, a fewer conflicts arise, we have the capability to use the delete button [unfortunately the 'edit' facility is sometimes lost when we are face to face ;)].

Although people find ways to create conflict and fight on Facebook as well it's far more subtle and long drawn.... and sometimes enjoyable to watch a fascinating treat for the voyeur lurking in all of us.

Very soon I feel all life will be lived sitting in front of a computer.

Thursday, July 5, 2007

Bizarro me

So I got back... and of course I checked out all my favorite blogs... and one comment I made on one of Greg's posts spewed this post into existence.

How much fun would it be if we had a Bizarro version of ourselves.. someone living a life alternate to ours yet a part of ours... sort of a crazy version of us who gets past all the super ego barriers, who knows no limitations of time and space and does everything we want
... we experience what our Bizarro self does yet we are not accountable for it...

... again.. how much fun would that be????